Händel is the greatest composer that ever lived. I would uncover my head and kneel on his grave.
Beethoven, speaking to J. A. Stumpff in the autumn of 1823.
If there is someone who makes me feel notsalghia for experiences I haven’t lived, dreams that aren’t mine and a happiness I’ve never felt is Handel. He has been the spark that made me fall in love with music since I was a child, and rejoice in the inner castles of his torrid musical embellishments. Every Christmas meant to get engrossed in his music, and revel in the dreaminess of a realm beyond wonder.
According to Maywaring’s biography, as a boy he played the spinnet in secret, for his father abhorred the idea of his son venturing into music, so he hid the instrument in the attic. After the death of his father, and against his will, he was free to pursue a career in music, and he did so afterwards, traveling and visting different cities like Berlin, Hamburg and Italy, enriching his compostions and his experiences with different styles. It is then that he travels to London, and decides to settle down there, and what came afterwards is all but unknown.
His music, so full of refinement and exhuberance, is never false or shallow. It is a richness that delves in its own nature, and perhaps it is its simple means, like Beethoven said, in which its great effects had its origin. It is in drama, the theater and opera where Handel provides a vital force, which penetrates and hypnotizes, and creates an irreplicable sensation of timeless warmth.
On his day, we commemorate it with what best to pay tribute to his two worlds? Battenberg Cake, which has its origins in a dessert made to honor the marriage of Princess Victoria to Prince Louis of Battenberg. As a German, it is said he liked to indulge in coffee always, so it went along wonderfully with it. And now, off to listen to his Royal Fireworks 3 times, as King George I did the day of the premiere.
I should be sorry if I only entertained them, I wish to make them better.
(Handel in reply to Lord Kinnoull, who had complimented him on his Messiah, “the noble entertainment which he had lately given the town”.)