Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers - Christian Heritage Edinburgh
But, I am Handel's advocate on Bachtrack (now, there's a thing: where's .. with their frustrations: was it their status, or their faith in God which. Messiah and George Frideric Handel from church history timeline. Though many books on the lives of great composers begin with Bach, in fact, . He was a relentless optimist whose faith in God sustained him through every. since bach and handel were contemporaries and their music covers some common . mainly for himself and for the glory of god and his greatest works . of london and hanover maintained warm relations with each other.
Handel's father was a court surgeon, so Handel grew up listening to the fine music of the aristocracy. Each wore the lifelong stamp of his origins.
Probing Bach’s Relationship With God
Handel studied at the university in Hamburg. He went to Italy in where he established himself as a first-rate composer.
- Bach & God
- Handel or Bach? The great Baroque debate
- Messiah and George Frideric Handel
He moved to London in and spent the rest of his life as an English citizen. Bach learned music by apprenticeship in several church posts, none very far from his birthplace.
Inat the age of 38, he moved to Leipzig where he spent the rest of his life. So Handel and Bach lived separate lives, and they never did meet.
Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers
But they came close. In Bach's work took him to Halle, where Handel was home on a visit. Bach learned of Handel's visit and tried to look him up. Handel had, alas, left the day before. Bach made a second attempt to contact Handel ten years later, and that also failed to pan out. So the two greatest composers of their age worked at their art without meeting. Handel created some of the most festive baroque music and Bach some of the most introspective.
Both worked until their eyes failed.
Messiah and George Frideric Handel - Church History Timeline
And here we meet a third character: Taylor, born the son of an apothecary instudied medicine and specialized in ophthalmology. He soon rose to the post of eye doctor to King George II and became a shameless self-promoter. By the time Bach and Handel began losing their sight, Taylor was traveling widely on the continent.
He plays the clavier very skillfully and with power, reads at sight very well, and — to put it in a nutshell — he plays chiefly The Well-Tempered Clavier of Sebastian Bach, which Herr Neefe put into his hands.
Whoever knows this collection of preludes and fugues in all the keys — which might almost be called the non plus ultra of our art — will know what this means.
Christian Gottiob Neefe, organist at the electoral court in Bonn, gave Beethoven his first lessons in composition and fired his young charge with his own enthusiasm for Bach. To appreciate the significance of his statement about young Beethoven, we need to realize that in the preludes and fugues of The Well-Tempered Clavier were considered very difficult fare. How amazing they must have sounded to a boy accustomed to the easy-listening galant music popular at the time!
Thanks to Neefe, Bach's musical logic and emotional depth left a lasting imprint on Beethoven. The Well-Tempered Clavier remained his Bible for the rest of his life.
Soon after his move to Vienna inBeethoven was swept into the circle of Baroque enthusiasts who gathered every Sunday in the apartments of Baron Gottfried van Swieten to perform music by Bach and Handel. He lost little time responding to his host's invitation to peruse his library of early music.
He soon began to acquire manuscript copies of Bach's music that came his way and eagerly snapped up published editions as they became available. His correspondence mentions several attempts to locate a copy of the B-Minor Mass, which remained unpublished during his lifetime. Before writing his Missa Solemnis he combed the library of Archduke Rudolph for music by Renaissance and Baroque composers, "among whom only Bach and Handel had real genius.
Did playing Bach's preludes and fugues at a tender age have any real effect on the music he composed? Nothing in these or the three early Beethoven pieces in the Saturday Intermezzo Recital, sounds at all like Bach.
But in a fallow period following the triumphs of his middle period, Beethoven paused to survey all he had achieved, felt some-thing lacking, and turned back to Bach, the supreme master of counterpoint and fugue, for guidance into unexplored continents of mind and spirit. Despite differences in temperament, style, and the times they lived in, Bach and Beethoven pursued similar paths during the last decade of their lives. Each withdrew from the world of public performance and turned inward to reflect on his craft.
Both men concentrated on the more esoteric aspects of fugal writing and made prominent use of fugues in their most ambitious works.