02 August 2015
Bach and Handel 27.12.1985
In spite of fierce wars which devastated Germany, during which all other arts suffered terribly, music actually advanced in its development of truly human expression. The wealth of folk-song and church music, including the Passion, then acquired by Germany, is still one of its greatest treasures; and polyphonic art, which had so sadly declined in Italy, found a new opportunity for development and growth at the hands of the great German organists.
The time was now ripe for the arrival of two great musical geniuses, not only the greatest in Germany but in the world of that day, Bach and Handel.
George Frideric (or Frederick) Handel (born Georg Friedrich Händel 23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) was a German-born, British Baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming well known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, and organ concertos. Born in a family indifferent to music, Handel received critical training in Halle, Hamburg and Italy before settling in London (1712), and became a naturalized British subject in 1727. He was strongly influenced both by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition.
Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and over three hundred cantatas of which nearly two hundred survive. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.