Musical Journey: Italy (South Tyrol)
The Places: South Tyrol, in Northern Italy, has had a varied history, for many years as part of Austrian territory. The region remains largely German-speaking, although both German and Italian are used. Looming over the territory are the mountains, the Dolomites, with their strange shapes, and the Alps, while the valleys provide fertile ground for the production of wine. The Music: Music for the tour is taken from four Concerti grossi by Handel. Born in Halle in 1685, Handel had his first musical employment there and then in Hamburg, before moving in 1706 to Italy, where he remained until 1710, when he was appointed Kapellmeister to the Elector of Hanover. He travelled almost at once to London, where he had been engaged to compose an Italian opera, and from 1712 until his death in 1759 settled in England, winning fame first as a composer of Italian opera and then as the creator of English oratorio.