Page:Romain Rolland Handel.djvu/42
GEORGE FREDERICK HANDEL
He led the life of a gay libertine, and all the artists around him rivalled him in his follies. Alone Handel held aloof from the follies, working hard, and spending only what was barely necessary. After the success of these two operas he resigned his post as second violin and clavecinist to the orchestra, but continued to give lessons, and his reputation as a composer kept pace with that of his teaching. Keiser was uneasy. Handel's increasing reputation aroused his amour-propre. Nothing was more stupid, however, than his jealousy. He was Director of the Opera, and it was in his interest to give those pieces which were written by popular composers, and to maintain relationships with successful composers, but jealousy knows no reason. He reset Almira and Nero to music in order to put Handel out of joint, and as he had not the opportunity of publishing his opera in toto he hastily printed the most taking solos from each. But, however quickly he went, his downfall followed faster. Before the volume of his opera airs appeared
- In 1703 Handel returned his mother the allowance which she made him, and added thereto certain presents for Christmas. In 1704, 1705 and 1706 he saved two hundred ducats for his travels in Italy.
- The new Nero was played under the title of Die Römische Unruhe, oder die edelmüthige Octavia (The troubles of Rome, or the magnanimous Octavia). The score has been republished in the supplements to the Complete Handel Edition by Max Seiffert with Breitkopf. Almira took the title: Der Durchlanchtige Secretarius, oder Almira, Königen in Castilien (His Excellency the Secretary, or Almira, Queen of Castile).
Besides these two works, Keiser wrote in two years, seven operas, the finest he had done, an evident proof of his genius, which, however, lacked the character and dignity worthy of it.
- Under the title Componimenti Musicali, 1706, Hamburg.