Jan 10 NS

Giorgio Stella to Elector Johann Wilhelm von der Pfalz


Mentre che è Cominciata l’Opera di San Cassano [Cassiano] mi è parso bene di mandare l’Opera, e 6: Ariette delle più belle, sono intersiate [= intrecciate] con instromenti, non mi à Stato possibile di haverli, non mando di San Gio. Grisostomo, che credo che il Valeriano [Pellegrini] le manderà, il quale è molto aplaudito, perché è Virtuoso …[1]

Venice, 10th January 1710.

As the opera at San Cassiano has commenced, I thought well to send you the opera [libretto] and six of the finest arias. They have instrumental accompaniments, but it was not possible for me to obtain the latter. I am not sending those [arias] from the San Giovanni Crisostomo theatre, which I believe will be sent by Valeriano [Pellegrini], who is much applauded, being a virtuoso singer.[2]




Mar 9 NS

Carl Philipp von Neuburg to Ferdinando de’ Medici


Serenissimo Signor mio, Cugino Oss.mo,

Fu bensì da me il da V.A. raccomandatomi Giorgio Federigo Hendel, e mi consegnò l’umanissimo di lei Foglio. Ma siccome lo stesso [Händel] non hebbe d’uopo della mia Assistenza, così mi riuscì di sommo Sentimento il non poter far conoscere la Stima che facio [sic] dei di lei Comandi, nella pronta esecutione de’ Medesimi. Devo però [= perciò] attendere l’onore d’essere dall’A. V. impiegato in congiunture più favorevoli, per poterle comprovare il sommo della mia Osservanza, con la quale le bacio affetuosamente le Mani.

Insprugg, 9 Marzo 1710

Affett.mo Servitore e Cugino

Carlo Filippo Conte Palatino del Reno[3]




Jun 4 NS

Electress Sophia of Hanover to Sophia Dorothea, Princess Royal of Prussia

A Herenhausen, le 4 de Juin 1710

ie va [ca..] tous les iours voir nostre Princesse Electorale qui ce porte a present for bien et ne garde plus le lit            elle et diverti de la Musique d’un Saxson qui surpasse touse qu’on a iamais entandu sur le Clavesin et dans la Composition    on L’a fort admire en Italye    il est for propre a estre Maitre de chapelle si le Roy L’avoit sa Musique serat bien mieux en Ordre qu’elle est a présent      il va a Dusseldorf pour y Composer un opera


I go [almost] every day to see our electoral princess {= Caroline, later Queen of Great Britain}, who is very well at the moment and no longer confined to bed.  She is entertained by the music of a Saxon {= Handel} who surpasses every one who has ever been heard in harpsichord-playing and composition.  He was much admired in Italy.  He is very suitable to be [appointed] Master of the Chapel.  If the king {= Frederick I of Prussia} took him, his music would be in much better shape than it is at present.  He is going to Düsseldorf to compose an opera there.[4]




Jun 14 NS

Electress Sophia of Hanover to Sophia Dorothea, Princess Royal of Prussia

A Herenhausen le 14 de juin 1710

car d’icy il n’y a pas grand chose a dire si non que L’Electeur a pris un maitre de chapelle qui sapelle Hendel qui ioue a mervelle du Clavesin dont le Prince et la Princesse Electorale ont beaucoup de ioye, il est assez bel homme et la medisance dit qu’il a este amant de la Victoria, La Pes Ele ce porte si bien qu’elle ce promene tous les soirs avec moy au iardin, ce qui est un grand plesir pour moy


But there is not much to say from here except that the elector {= Georg Ludwig, later King George I of Great Britain} has taken on a Master of the Chapel named Handel, who plays marvellously on the harpsichord, in which the electoral prince and princess {= the later King George II and Queen Caroline} take a great deal of pleasure.  He is quite a handsome man, and gossip says that he has been in love with Victoria.  The electoral princess is so well that she walks every evening with me in the garden, which is a great pleasure for me.[5]




Jun 15 NS

Electress Sophia of Hanover to Sophia Dorothea, Princess Royal of Prussia

A Herenhausen le 15 de Juin 1710

Vous ne me [raendes] pas ma chere Princesse si le Roy a garde dans son service la bonne chanteuse dont V A R parle, L’Electeur a pris dans son service Henling qui ioue si bien du Clavesin et qui est (: a ce qu’on dit:) si savant en musique le Pr et la Pes Electorale en sont charme et ravy que L’Electeur La retenu, pour moy ie ne m’y entants pas, depuis que i’ay perdu la feu Reyne ma fille la musique me rant melancolique


You have not [informed] me, my dear princess, whether the king has retained in his service the fine singer of whom Your Royal Highness spoke.  The elector has taken into his service Henling [sic], who plays the harpsichord so well and who is (so they say) so learned in music.  The electoral prince and princess are charmed with him and delighted that the elector has kept him.  For myself, I do not know much about it: since I lost the late queen, my daughter, music makes me melancholy.[6]





Hanover Chamber Accounts

payments to “Georg Friedrich Hendell

Midsummer (‘Johannis’) 1710 – Midsummer 1711

1,000 Thaler[7]




Sep 13

Elector Johann Wilhelm von der Pfalz to the Granprincipe Ferdinando de’Medici


Serenissima Altezza Reale,

Ho trovato nel virtuoso Giorgio Federigo Hendel tutti quasi singolari talenti, per cui gode un giusto luogo nella benigna stima di V. A. R., di cui egli mi ha recato un umanissimo foglio. Mi chiamo però debitore a V. A. R. della soddisfazione che ho avuta di trattenerlo qui alcune settimane, e molto più mi stimerò favorito s’ella si compiacerà tener esercitata, co’suoi comandi, la mia cordialissima osservanza, mentre resto baciandole affetuosamente le mani.

Dusseldorff 13 Settembre 1710[8]




Oct 4–Dec 30

[Wednesday 4 October–

Thursday 9 November]

The opera House open’d Oct 4th. 5th. & 7

then closd till 4 novr. contd till 18th

nov then closd.


22 Nov


Siga Elv Pillotta




The Opera commenced 22 novr. under

the direction of A. Hill.


25 nov



29 nov



Decr 2



Dec 6th

Pyr & Dem


Dec 9th

Pyr & Dem

Made Isae Girardeu


Dec 13

Pyr & Dem


Dec 16

Pyr & Dem

New Cascade Scene

after Italian Manner


Dec 20



Dec 22



27 Dec



30 Dec

Pyr & D[9]




Nov 17

To Signor Cav:o

Nicolini Grimaldi

att ye Princes head


S:t Martins Lane


Nov ber 17th



I understand a Messenger left word

at my Lodging this day to come to Practice

the Opera, to night, but I must desire You

to provide another being I once gave my

Word I wou’d not Play except our Old Master

Mr Du Parr was in also, It is not that

I think my self a better performer than Others

Or that I have less need of Mony then any

Other that makes me do this, but it is a.

Principle of honesty, which obliges every

well meaning Man to stand as much upon

his word as his bond, I shall be ready

to serve You on any other Occasion, and

wish You all Prosperity & Success

and Remain

Sr   Yo:r

most humble

Serv:r to Com[m]and

Nov:r 17                                  W: Armstrong





Dec 18



Q.  FIRST ’twas Whisper’d, then aloud,

Fame has sounded to the Crowd,

Wonders meant to please the Age,

Wonders on the * British Stage:

Such as Athens ne’er cou’d boast,

Nor the whole Italic Coast;

Such as Gallia ne’er cou’d raise,

Tho’ a Rival, fond of Praise;

That both Art and Nature will

Vie, with strong contested Skill,

For advancing our Delight,

Soft’ning Cares of Day, at Night.

Tuneful Numbers, to soft Notes,

Warbled through Seraphic Throats;

While the Flow’r of e’ery Clime

(Such as never, ’till this time, [3]

Joyned their Harmonious Noise,

To disperse Coelestial Joys)

Grace the Theater, as these,

Must most Elegantly please;

So the Eye (as we are told)

Equal Wonders will behold.

Beauties of that Excellence,

Such as are of brightest Sense,

Will with great surprize be caught,

And Idea’s brighter taught.

Groves in Nat’ral Forms appear,

While their Inmates charm the Ear;

Streams from Fountains, which arise,

’Till they hit the Azure Skies;

Cataract and bright Cascade,

Both the Ears and Eyes invade:

Nor the Land alone; but Ocean,

Will appear in Genuine motion;

Sometimes peaceful Calms, then Storms,

In the most Terrific Forms;

While Turnado’s black, on high,

Seem to muffle up the Sky;

Sprouts, like other Sea’s Rain down,

Threatning all the Globe to drown;

Thunders horrid Bolts prepare,

Sheets of Lightning singe the Air.

’Till from his Alcove below,

Where Streams unmolested flow,

Neptune rises to asswage [sic],

The rough Blasts of Northern Rage;

Strait the Mounting Billows fall,

And obey the awful call,

Sporting Tritons than advance,

Joyning Nerieds in a Dance,

As they smoothly glide along,

Sounding with their Shells their Song.


* The Improvement of the Theater, in the Hay-Market, so much talk’d of.

The new Voices brought from Foreign Parts.


Nay, Machines, they say, will move,

Glorious Regions from above,

Bringing down the Blest aboads,

While we mingle, with the Gods.


These Designs and Numbers more,

Such as ne’er were known before,

Fame Reports (if Fame says true)

Will be shewn to Publick view.


Now ye Daelians, ye who know,

All Transactions here below,

Say if these things will advance,

Or if ’tis not all Romance.

When the Nation was in Health,

Blest with Peace and flowing Wealth;

Arts and Sciences did Flourish,

And the Great, th’ Ingenious cherish;

Then (by Reason we are taught)

Things were to Perfection brought;

And Invention flow’d with ease,

Or to profit or to please;

But when War so long hath Reign’d;

And of Gold the Nation drain’d,

Say from whence, can we surmize,

Such Great Things as these can rise.


A.  Strange we own these matters seem,

Strange as if ’twere all a Dream;

That surrounded thus with Wars,

Checkt too by Intestine Jars,

Art shou’d Progress make, nay more,

Than was ever known before.

Yet th’ Report is just and true,

As th’ events will quickly shew:

ThoMister’ous does appear.

Thus the Mistery we clear.


The * Ruler of the Stage, we find,

A Youth of vast extended Mind;

No disappointments can controul,

The Emanations of his Soul;

But through all Lets will boldly run,

Uncurb’d, like thHorses of the Sun,

Prompt by a Genius, which declares,

Th’ events will Answer all his Cares.

Of apprehension quick and fraught,

With matter for sublimest Thought;

In Fancy fruitful, and of Sense

Digestive of all flows from thence;

We may expect from such a Sluice,

All Art, or Nature can produce.


* Aaron Hill, Esquire.


What Praises may his Merits claim,

How justly fill the Trump of Fame;

Since so much Honour he will gain

The Nation, by his Fertil Brain:

How to our Glory will it sound,

In all the Neighbo’ring Kingdoms round,

That while War with wild Devastations,

Sinks and oppresses other Nations;

We, as not Sinking by its Rage,

With Minds serene approach the Stage;

Crowding the Theater, to show,

We scarcely Taxes feel or know;

Look down on France, who sink beneath

Oppressing Loads and hardly Breath;

Beholding us with envy while

We unconcern’d appear and Smile.


To his alluring and attractive Skill,

Which with such Crouds the Theater does fill;

We owe this Credit to our Grand Affairs:

The Glory’s his, but others reap their shares.[11]





Christoph Gottlieb Schröter, Letzte Beschäftigung mit Musikalischen Dingen, Nordhausen 1782


§ 10. … Diese kluge Wort-Ausleger und witzige Ton-Forscher finden, wegen ihrer langwierigen Erfahrung, in der obersten Classe [der Komponisten] als ehrwürdige Beysitzer jederzeit die wohlverdienten Ehrenstellen.


§ 11. Wer getrauet sich wohl zu behaupten, daß dieses Jahrhundert von solchen beliebten Männern leer gewesen? Als ich 1710, 11, 12 zu Dreßden anfieng, die gute Wirkung der dasigen Musik herzrührend zu empfinden, so erfuhr ich zugleich, daß solche schöne Arbeit theils Händel, theils Kaiser, u. a. m. verfertiget. Telemann kam auch mit verbesserten Kirchenstücken dazu, wobey jedoch gemeldet wurde, daß dessen Ouverturen und andere französische Stücke ihm noch besser gerieten. Bey solchen Umständen rief jedermann: Nun ist die Musik aufs höchste gestiegen![12]


[1] Händel Handbuch, 44.

[2] Deutsch, 28.

[3] Händel Handbuch, 45.

[4] Donald Burrows, “Handel and Hanover,” in Bach, Handel, Scarlatti Tercentenary Essays, ed. Peter Williams (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 35–60: 39.

[5] Donald Burrows, “Handel and Hanover,” in Bach, Handel, Scarlatti Tercentenary Essays, ed. Peter Williams (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 35–60: 39.

[6] Donald Burrows, “Handel and Hanover,” in Bach, Handel, Scarlatti Tercentenary Essays, ed. Peter Williams (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 35–60: 39.

[7] Donald Burrows, “Handel and Hanover,” in Bach, Handel, Scarlatti Tercentenary Essays, ed. Peter Williams (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 35–60: 40.

[8] Händel Handbuch, 46.

[9] British Library, Egerton Ms. 2321, ff. 2r-5v.

[10] Hoblitzelle Theatre Collection, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin; repr. Vice Chamberlain Coke’s Theatrical Papers, 1706-1715, ed. Judith Milhous and Robert D. Hume (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1982), 155.

[11] The British Apollo: Or, Curious Amusements for the Ingenious, vol. 3, nr. 115, Friday 15–Monday 18 December 1710, [2–3].

[12] Händel Handbuch, 47.