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Colley Cibber, the actor and dramatist, explains why Italian opera could never satisfy the requirement of Handel, or be anything more than an artificial luxury in England: "The truth is, this kind of entertainment is entirely sensational."

No sensible person can suppose for a single moment that everybody is born with the ability for using books, for reading and studying literature. Certainly not everybody is born with the capacity of being a great scholar. All people are no more born great scholars like Gibbon and Bentley, than they are all born great musicians like Handel and Beethoven.

This was not true of Hasse, Mozart, Gluck, Cherubini, Weber, in dramatic composition; nor of Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, in other branches of the musical art. However great a man's genius may be, he must live and learn. To attain the highest excellence, long continued study is necessary; and Handel, as we believe, was no exception to the general law.

Nothing could be more delightful than their interpretations together of the main works of Beethoven Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Weber, and other masters.

Upton, in his valuable work, "Standard Oratorios," calls it "from the highest standpoint the only oratorio yet produced in this country." This oratorio, while containing much of the floridity and repetition of Händel at his worst, is also marked with the erudition and largeness of Händel at his best. The aria for St. Peter, "O God, My God, Forsake Me Not," is especially fine.

The Handels of Breslau had for several generations been coppersmiths. Valentine Handel, the composer's grandfather, born in 1582, migrated to Halle, where two of his sons followed the same trade. His third son, George, born 1622, became a barber-surgeon. At the age of twenty he married the widow of the barber to whom he had been apprenticed; she was twelve years older than he was.

The Bishop and the priests read the Requiem Mass, the little organ pealed the De Profundis as if inspired; and when the imperious triumphant music of Handel followed, Teresa's fresh young soprano seemed, to her excited imagination, to soar to the gates of heaven itself. When she looked down again the lights were dim in the incense, her senses swam in the pungent odor of spices and gum.

He was the first composer who treated an opera as an integral whole. He was inferior to many of his predecessors, notably to Handel, in musical science, and even in power of characterisation.

Fountagne, said Handel, 'it is very poor stuff; I thought so myself when I had finished it. The old gentleman, being taken by surprise, was beginning to apologize; but Handel assured him there was no necessity, that the music was really bad, having been composed hastily, and his time for the production limited; and that the opinion given was as correct as it was honest."

By that time Handel had left Hamburg for Italy; he evidently took little interest in the production of these works, neither of which has survived. It was during the run of Almira, says Mainwaring, that Handel made the acquaintance of Prince Gian Gastone de' Medici, son of the Grand Duke Cosmo III of Tuscany.

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