(1685 - 1759). A German-born, English composer, he was proficient on the organ and harpischord by age 7 and began composing at 9. His father wished him to study law, but he left law school after his father's death in 1703 to pursue music.
Handel spent a short time in Italy, where he was known as "Il Sassone" (the Saxon, for his fiery, lusty temper), before journeying to England and finally settling there in 1712. His affinity for England and its people, coupled with their returned admiration and devotion to him made his assimilation so complete that he was considered a national treasure by the time he became a British subject in 1727.
Essential works include his 12 Concerti grossi and the Organ Concerti, the "Water Music", "Music for the Royal Fireworks", the Coronation Anthems (especially "Zadok the Priest"), and his oratorio "Messiah".
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