22 CHAP. II. Goes to London. HISTORY OF PIANOFORTE MUSIC. famous. He stayed in London only six months, as his leave of absence had expired, but after his London triumph, his life and work in Hanover no longer contented him. Early in 1712, he again obtained leave of absence, and coming to London, he lingered far beyond the time allowed him. This naturally offended his master, the elector, and when that prince came to En- gland as George I, Haendel thought it best to avoid showing himself to the new monarch. However, it was soon made up between them. The king ar- ranged some festivity on the Thames, and one of his suite advised Haendel to compose some music for the occasion. This he did, and following the king's barge, in a boat, with his band, he played it, I was greatly to his majesty's satisfaction. George too good a judge of music to deprive himself longer of the services of such a musician, so he not only received him into favor, but granted him an an- nuity of two hundred pounds. The two years from 1716 to 1718 Haendel spent with the king in Hanover. Then returning to England, he became chapel-master to the Duke of Chandos, a wealthy nobleman, who lived in a style of great splendor. He remained in this post three years, writing music for the English church service, and harpsichord music for the daughters of the Prince of Wales, who were his pupils. He also wrote here his so-called " Serenata," "Ads and Galatea" and "Esther," his first English oratorio. He had written
G. F. HAENDEL. 2 3 a German oratorio, the "Passion" stay in Hanover. during his last In 1720 he became director of Italian Opera for the Academy of Music, and from this time, for seventeen years, he was constantly engaged in com- posing operas, and managing operatic enterprises, with varying success. At last, in 1737, he became bankrupt. He made a few ineffectual efforts to recover himself, during the next two years, and then turned his attention almost exclusively to the com- position of English oratorios. Here he found his real field. He had had more than forty years of experience as a composer, and all the resources of musical expression then known were perfectly at his command. His imagination was vivid and power- ful and dealt most vigorously with the sublimest re- ligious conceptions. So that in "The Messiah/' " Samson," " Saul," "Judas Maccabaeus," and " Is- rael in Egypt," he created imperishable works, of the loftiest character. Haendel was a large, vigorous man, open-hearted and generous, passionate and hot-tempered, but very placable, of unconquerable will, energetic, industri- ous, and withal full of genuine religious feeling. The themes he loved to treat were such as called forth joyful adoration and worship. The two great climaxes in " The Messiah," the "Hallelujah " chorus and " Worthy is The Lamb," are unsurpassed and unsurpassable as expressions of this phase of re- ligious emotion. He could treat the tender and pa- CHAP. II. Becomes director of Italian opera. His personal character* The Messiah.