Music Composers

Georg Friedrich Handel-Part 13

The fecundity of Handel was prodigious. Enough to say that he composed 23 oratorios and 44 operas, 39 of the latter in Italian.

In person and character Handel was like his music, large and powerful. He was kind and generous to a degree that his roughness of manner and the blunt humor of his conversation could not impair. He never married nor did he ever show any inclination for the cares and joys of domestic life.

Handel required uncommonly large and frequent supplies of food. It is said that whenever he dined alone at  a tavern he always ordered "dinner for three," and on receiving as answer to his questions, "Is te dinner retty?" (Handel never los this German accent) "As soon as the company come," the waiter would say. "Den bring up de dinner prestissimo. I am de gombany."

Although he lived much with the great of his day, Handel was no flatterer. He once told a member of the royal family who asked how he liked his playing of the violoncello: 'Vy, sir, your highness plays like a prince." When the same prince prevailed on him to hear a minuet of his own composition, which he played himself on the violoncello, Handel heard him out very quietly but when the prince told him that he would call in his band to play it to him, that he might hear the full effect of his composition, Handel could contain himself no longer, and ran out of the room crying: "Worsher and worsher, upon my honor!"

On Sunday, having attended divine worship at a country church, Handel asked the organist to permit him to play the people out, to which the organist politely consented. Handel accordingly sat down to the organ and began to play in such a masterly manner as instantly to attract the attention of the whole congregation, who, instead of vacating the seats, as usual, remained for a considerable time listening in silent admiration.

The Etude Magazine June 1920






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