LONDON (Reuters) - London’s Handel House Museum, where the German-born composer died, will host an exhibition in 2009 focussing on his passion for food and his finances to mark the 250th anniversary of his death.
The museum, located in the Mayfair townhouse where Handel wrote “Messiah,” aims to unmask the man behind the music by focussing on the little-known details of his personal life.
“The personal aspects of Handel are very shadowy and it would be nice to fill out the man,” said Edward Blakeman, programme editor for BBC Radio 3.
The BBC will also air special Handel programmes throughout the year, including a performance of the Messiah in Westminster Abbey on April 14, the day the composer died.
For the first time it will also broadcast all of George Frideric Handel’s 40-odd operas, Blakeman added.
Many legends surround German-born Handel, who moved to London in 1713, Handel House curators said. According to one story, he played his harpsichord so much its keys were hollowed out like spoons.
“They (composers) filter what they see and hear in the world ... through their own personalities,” said Christopher Hogwood, a Cambridge University professor organising the exhibition.
He said finding out more about the composer’s life would help to understand his music.
“It’s of interest to people and reflected through the music depending on what sort of brain it has been through,” Hogwood told Reuters, standing in what was once the Baroque composer’s living room.
The exhibition, called “Handel Reveal‘d,” will run from April 8 to October 25, 2009. Handel House will also host performances of Handel’s chamber music.
Editing by Paul Casciato