Memoirs of the life of...George Frederic Handel. To which is added a catalogue of his works

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R. and J. Dodsley, 1760 - 208 pages
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Pioneering biography of the composer Handel. As it was written close in time to the events described, it gives insights which a modern author could not offer.

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Page 9 - It happened one morning, that while he was playing on the organ after the service was over, the Duke was in the church. Something there was in the manner of playing which drew his attention so strongly, that His Highness, as soon as he returned, asked his valet de chambre who it was that he had heard at the organ, when the service was over. The valet replied that it was...
Page 123 - Whoever knows any thing of the nature of those baths, will, from this instance, form some idea of his surprising constitution. His sweats were profuse beyond what can well be imagined. His cure, from the manner as well as from the quickness, with which it was wrought, passed with the Nuns for a miracle. When, but a few hours from the time of his...
Page 91 - It was performed and conducted by himself, unknown to his Majesty, whose pleasure on hearing it was equal to his surprise. He was impatient to know whose it was, and how this entertainment came to be provided without his knowledge. The Baron then produced the delinquent, and asked leave to present him to his Majesty, as one that was too conscious of his fault to attempt an excuse for it, but sincerely desirous to atone for...
Page 12 - Music in exclusion of the Languages, or of the Civil Law, provided it was possible to reconcile them together : what he wished was, that all of them might have fair play ; that no violence might be used, but the boy be left at liberty to follow the natural bent of his faculties, whatever that might be.
Page 11 - And as to -profit, he observed how much more likely he would be to succeed, if suffered to pursue the path that Nature and Providence seemed to have marked out for him ; than if he was forced into another track to which he had no such bias ; nay, to which he had a direct aversion. He concluded with saying, that he...
Page 121 - The observation that misfortunes rarely come single, was verified in HANDEL. His fortune was not more impaired, than his health and his understanding: His right arm was become useless to him from a stroke of the palsy ; and how greatly his senses were disordered at intervals, for a long time, appeared from an hundred instances, which are better forgotten than recorded.
Page 51 - He was first discovered there at a Masquerade, while he was playing on a harpsichord in his visor. SCARLATTI happened to be there, and affirmed that it could be no one but the famous Saxon, or the devil.
Page 78 - ... he set out for Dusseldorp. The elector was highly pleased with him, and at parting made him a present of a fine set of wrought plate for a dessert. From Dusseldorp he made the best of his way through Holland ; and embarking for England, he arrived at London in the winter of 1710, where he was soon introduced at court, and honoured with marks of the queen's favour. Many of the nobility were impatient for an opera from him; on which he composed " Rinaldo," which succeeded so wonderfully, that his...
Page 9 - ... was in the manner of playing which drew his attention so strongly, that His Highness, as soon as he returned, asked his valet de chambre who it was that he had heard at the organ, when the service was over. The valet replied that it was his brother. The Duke demanded to see him. After he had seen him, and made all the inquiries which it was natural for a man of taste and discernment to make on such an occasion, he told his physician that every father must judge for himself in what manner to dispose...
Page 63 - Trionfo del Tempo, besides several other pieces, which Handel set at his desire, some in the compass of a single evening, and others extempore. One of these was in honour of Handel himself. He was compared to Orpheus, and exalted above the rank of mortals. Whether his Eminence chose this subject as most likely to inspire him with fine conceptions, or with a view to discover how far so great an artist was proof against the assaults of vanity, it is not material to determine. Handel's modesty was not...

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