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The world of arts:

Handel House Museum, a glorious heritage

As you enter the Handel House Museum, you feel the migical wonder of the immortal Handle. It is there to observe his lifestyle and the feeling of excitement, raptures in the air and a sense of urgency to bolt through the house is over-powering. This is what I felt.

Handel’s magnificent bed restored and maintained by the H. H. M.

Tucked away in Brook Street, May fair, London in a place least expected, this monument of Handel beckons all lovers of his music to pay homage to a mortal who left behind a glorious legacy in classical music. Preserved with tender care and love, it is a home to future musicians as well as for those who want to update their knowledge in his music.

The museum possesses one of the world’s best preserved and rare instruments, the Harpsichord on which Handel scored and played.

The House

The great baroque composer, Handel lived at 25, Brook Street, London from 1723 to 1759. It was here that he composed some of his great works such as Messiah, Zadok The Priest, Music For The Royal Fireworks, etc.

Today, the house is restored to a beautiful museum with live music venues that offers an insight to Handel’s life. Paintings and prints of Handel and his contemporaries provide an insight to Handel’s life in London. Today, the museum is as alive as it was during his life in the house. This provide an exciting experience to the visitors.

The museum exhibits a selection of manuscripts and printed scores from the Handel House Museum Trust in the adjoining 23, Brook Street. The exhibits include a fascinating letter written by Handel to Charles Jennens who was the libretist for Messiah and other Handel scores. There is an autograph leaf from Esther along with Mozart’s arrangement of a Handel fugue and the Memories of the Life of the Late George Fredric Handel by John Mainwaring.

In Handel’s Rehearsal and Performance Room which is an intimate chamber space, many events take place.

To sit by, ponder and hear music in the very room where MESSIAH and many operatic masterpieces were composed is no doubt, a profoundly moving experience. No wonder the house is enchantingly beautiful and presented in a manner that if grips the spirit of all those who pass through this house, as spiritual as visual imagination. Students in particular are motivated, drawn electrically to the haunting melodies of this great composer.

One of the world’s most famous and centuries-old musical instruments. The Harpsichord on which Handel scored many classics such as The Messiah can be seen at The Handel House Museum.

Handel House Museum possesses a remarkable range of music jut as it was in Handel’s day.

Composer-in- Residence

A great new idea to boost Handel’s music among the young generation, it has commissioned for the first time, a Composer-in-Residence whose responsibilities are to conduct school workshops in the Museum, to collaborate on successful music projects. Mark Bowden is the Composer-in-Residence and since his appointment in 2007, Mark has done an enormous service.

Mark gained a first class degree in music from the University of Huddersfield before studying compositions with Julian Anderson at the Royal College of Music. He has received many musical awards and was judged the best young composer for 2006.

The Handel House Museum also have a Ensemble-in-Residence and works closely with the British Harpsichord Society.

George Frideric Handel

He was a lucky composer in that he had George 1 (1660-1727) King of Great Britain and Ireland who employed him while he was in London. Previously, he had been made the Elector of Hanover. So, it was during this period that he lived at Brook Street, London.

There was a remarkable coincidence in musical history that touched the life of Handel. He along with Bach were born within a matter of three months apart in the year of 1685. However, these two great composers of the 18th century, never had the occasion to meet each other nor wanted to, perhaps.

Mark Bowden is Handel House Museum’s first Composer-in-Residence

While Bach remained in Germany, Handle opted to spread his wings across the world of Italian opera and finally settled in England. Bach died in 1750 while Handel lived on to 1959, when Mozart was three years old.

Bach emerged from a long dynasty of musicians while Handel was the first generation composer from his family.

Essentially a religious composer, Handel is revered by the church for his magnificent scores such as The Messiah and in the choral field. He scored a massive number of ‘greats’ the oratorio Saul And Israel being one among them and written in Egypt.

He first performed The Messiah in Dublin in 1742 and it became the world’s most popular oratario to this date. It was followed by Samson and Judas Maccabaeus. In 1752 Handel’s failing eyesight did not respond to surgery and he became totally blind. But he went on to conduct the annual performance of The Messiah. It was after one such performance that he collapsed and died.

George Frideric Handel was buried at Westminster Abbey in the presence of 3000 mourners who braved the weather until the last hymn was sung.


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