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George Frideric Handel

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Motya Frideric Handel by Balthasar Denner (about 1726–1728)

George Frideric Handel (Halle, Duchy of Magdeburg, 23 February 1685 – London, 14 April 1759) was a German composer. He passed most of his adult life in England. He composed operas in Italian for London, and oratorios in English.

His best known works include the operas, Alcina, Ariodante, and Xerxes, and the oratorios, Israel in Egypt, Alexander's Feast, Saul, Semele, and Messiah.

Other well known works are the three Water Music suites, the Royal Fireworks Music for orchestra, and the Theme and Variations in E for harpsichord called "The Harmonious Blacksmith".

His Largo from ''Xerxes'' is played on solemn occasions such as weddings and school graduations. The Christmas carol, "Joy to the World", is said to have been composed by Handel.

Handel died in London, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.


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