From the Library: Handel & his Contemporaries

This day in 1685 saw the birth of Georg Frid­er­ic Han­del, one of the best-known com­posers of the Baroque era, and today we’ll be fea­tur­ing his music — includ­ing the famous Water Music and Fire­works suites and the Mes­si­ah - along with some care­ful­ly-cho­sen late Baroque con­tem­po­raries, such as Thomas Arne, John Blow, William Boyce, Anto­nio Vival­di, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Domeni­co Scar­lat­ti and Georg Philipp Tele­mann, and a touch of ear­li­er music of the Baroque from Pur­cell and Scar­lat­ti. J S Bach, born in the same year as Han­del, real­ly deserves his own pro­gramme — which he gets from time to time, so we trust his shade will not be par­tic­u­lar­ly upset by the fact that his work does not appear today.

Han­del was born in Ger­many and received a musi­cal train­ing in Italy before he moved to Lon­don and became a British sub­ject. He was influ­enced by the Ital­ian Baroque and Ger­man com­posers, but his own work was to impact many who came after him includ­ing Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart. He died in 1759. His music has remained pop­u­lar until the present day, and par­tic­u­lar­ly so dur­ing the Vic­to­ri­an era, when reg­u­lar Han­del fes­ti­vals took place at the Crys­tal Palace in Syden­ham, South Lon­don.

You can read more about Han­del and his life in this Wikipedia arti­cle.

Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin and pro­duced by Radio Riel in con­junc­tion with our friends at the Alexan­dri­an Free Library Con­sor­tium of Sec­ond Life. You can lis­ten to the pro­gramme in-world now at, or sim­ply click here to start your play­er, if your brows­er is con­fig­ured to do so. Lis­ten­ers in the Unit­ed States are encour­aged to tune in using this link:

For more infor­ma­tion on the Alexan­dri­an Free Library, cur­rent exhibits and the work of Con­sor­tium mem­bers in gen­er­al, please vis­it the Alexan­dri­an Free Library web­site, or one of their branch­es in-world.

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