The Omnipresent Mr Handel

Episodes

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20090108

How Handel became, through his oratorios, a favourite of the working and middle classes.

Social historian Peter Stead explores how George Friderich Handel, court composer to King George II and provider of opera for the aristocracy, also became, through his oratorios, a favourite of the working and middle classes.

The oratorio played a key role in the development of music festivals and choral societies from the 18th century onwards, particularly in the burgeoning industrial regions of the Wales and the north of England.