Handel's Oratorios Analysis

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Introduction: The Baroque era of music which ranged from 1600 until 1750 saw the birth of many great composers like J.S Bach and G.F Handel and creation of new techniques and forms of music. The Baroque era saw many changes and progressions through music. The formation of the Oratorio was an example of these changes that occurred during this time period. Handel’s oratorios that were set in English were gained popularity, it was also peculiar that they were composed in the English language instead of Italian, as it had been proclaimed the George Friedrich Handel was “German born and Italian trained” (). The purpose of this essay is to examine the dramatic content and musical styles of Handel’s oratorios. This essay will examine four oratorios…show more content…
These works have maintained their popularity through the fact that they are still being performed throughout the world today. While Handel took different lengths of time to fully completely each oratorio, they all had similar responses from their audience. Despite earlier controversy that had been caused due to the Church’s restrictions on music being performed during the season of Lent, Handel managed to uphold a positive image and received praise for his work. When attempting to draw a comparison between the four oratorios that have been mentioned in this essay, the reader notices that Handel keeps a similar musical style in these works especially in Samson and Semele however, they remain distinct from each other as they are still “individual in their subject, matter and the roles they portray” (Burrows, 1994: 302). Handel strikes balance in his purpose merge the music and stories of the Church and operatic style of music. Burrows (1994) concludes that the result of this is “the solemnity of Church-Musick is agreeably united with the most pleasing Airs of the stage” (Burrows, 1994: 305). While mainly drawing inspiration from the Bible, Handel was not afraid to endeavour in other sources like Greek mythology when looking for stimulation for a new type of

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