Music Composers

Georg Friedrich Handel-Part 10

Handel in London

Arrived in London, Handel was requested to write for the Queens' Theater an Italian opera, the subject being Rinaldo, in Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered. The poet of the libretto, Rossi, was given so little time that he prefixed his work with the following letter: "I implore you, discreet readers, to consider the speed with which I have had to work, and if my performance does not deserve your praise, at all events do not refuse it your compassion, for Herr Handel, the Orpheus of our age, has scarcely given me time to write, while composing the music, and I have been stupefied to see an entire opera set to harmony with the highest degree of perfection in no more than a fortnight." The success of Rinaldo was brilliant. The opera was put on the stage with a scenic magnificence which was quite extraordinary, the realism being carried to such an extent that birds were let loose to fly about the stage in the scene which represented the enchanted garden of Armida.

After a short trip to Hanover Handel returned to London, but, being first ignored at court, he was advised by Baron Kielmansegge to prepare music for the occasion of an excursion of the royal party on the Thames. Handel took the hint, and composed a Serenade called Water Music, which the composer himself conducted in a boat which followed the royal barge. The King was surprised and delighted and became reconciled to the composer.

The Etude Magazine June 1920






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