The Mysteries, Myths, and Truths about Mr Handel

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David Vickers takes an in-depth look at the composer, his life, and works...

Not so long ago George Frideric Handel was best known to the general public for a few predictable things: Messiah, being 'German', his obesity, and for going blind. Thankfully that narrow perception has substantially altered over the last 30 years. Nowadays we appreciate that his career was often as dramatic in its ups, downs and incredible twists as the plot of one of his operas. Moreover, Handel has become the composer who most epitomises 'European-ness', and from our 21st-century perspective he represents an exemplary historical precedent for what it means to be multi-national. As much as we know about him, though, there are still riddles to be solved. Some of which we can begin to answer.

What do we know for sure? He was .....

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