George Frideric Handel, 1685-1789
Baroque composer George Handel was born February 23, 1685, in Halle, Germany. In 1704 Handel made his debut as an opera composer with Almira. He produced several operas with the Royal Academy of Music before forming the New Royal Academy of Music in 1727. Originally devised as a one act masque, Acis and Galatea premiered in 1718. Handel later adapted the piece into a three act serenata for the Italian opera troupe in London in 1732, which incorporated a number of songs (still in Italian) from Aci, Galatea e Polifemo, his 1708 setting of the same story to different music. He later adapted the original English work into a two act work in 1739. When Italian operas fell out of fashion, he started composing oratorios, including The Messiah. Handel died April 14, 1759, in London, England.
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756-1791
Born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a multi-instrumentalist who started playing in public at the age of 6. Over the years, Mozart aligned himself with a variety of European venues and patrons, composing hundreds of works that included sonatas, symphonies, masses, concertos and operas, marked by vivid emotion and sophisticated textures. Mozart rescored Acis and Galatea in 1788 for his patron Baron Gottfried van Swieten.
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