Quotes About George Frideric Handel

“Handel is so great and so simple that no one but a professional musician is unable to understand him.” – Samuel Butler Notebooks (2004) p. 153.

“This man is the master of us all.” – Haydn, at a performance of Messiah. Quoted in John Galt George the Third, His Court and Family (1824) p. 34, and in Leopold Schmidt Joseph Haydn (1898) p. 86.

“Händel is the greatest and ablest of all composers; from him I can still learn.” – Beethoven on his deathbed, speaking to Gerhard von Breuning. Published in Friedrich Kerst Beethoven der Mann und der Künstler, wie in seinen Eigenen Words enthüllt no. 111 [3]; Friedrich Kerst (trans. Henry Edward Krehbiel) Beethoven, the Man and the Artist, as Revealed in his own Words (1964), p. 54.

“Every Englishman believes that Handel now occupies an important position in heaven. If so, le bon Dieu must feel toward him very much as Louis Treize felt toward Richelieu.” – George Bernard Shaw in Ainslee’s Magazine, May 1913.

“Händel is the greatest composer that ever lived. I would uncover my head and kneel on his grave.” – Beethoven, speaking to J. A. Stumpff in the autumn of 1823. Published in Friedrich Kerst Beethoven der Mann und der Künstler, wie in seinen Eigenen Words enthüllt no. 112 [2]; Friedrich Kerst (trans. Henry Edward Krehbiel) Beethoven, the Man and the Artist, as Revealed in his own Words (1964), p. 54.

“Handel paralysed music in England for generations and they have not yet quite got over him.” – Frederick Delius, letter to Ethel Smyth, February 17, 1909; Lionel Carley Delius: A Life in Letters vol. 2 (1988) p. 9.

“Händel is the unattained master of all masters. Go and learn from him how to achieve vast effects with simple means.” – Beethoven, quoted by Ignaz von Seyfried. Published in Friedrich Kerst Beethoven der Mann und der Künstler, wie in seinen Eigenen Words enthüllt no. 111 [1]; Friedrich Kerst (trans. Henry Edward Krehbiel) Beethoven, the Man and the Artist, as Revealed in his own Words (1964), p. 54.

“His hallelujahs open the heavens. He utters the word “Wonderful,” as if all their trumpets spoke together. And then, when he comes to earth, to make love amidst nymphs and shepherds (for the beauties of all religions found room within his breast), his strains drop milk and honey, and his love is the youthfulness of the Golden Age.” – Leigh Hunt Table-Talk (1851) pp. 147-8.

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