Scientific Committee: Prof. Michael Burden, New College, Oxford; Prof. Pierre Degott, Université de Metz: Prof. Pierre Dubois, Université de Tours; Prof. Albert Gier, Universität Bamberg; Dr. Sylvie Lemoël, Université de Tours; Prof. Laurine Quetin, Université de Tours
After his death, his first biographer, John Mainwaring (Memoirs of the Life of the Late G.F.Handel, 1760) contributed greatly to the fashioning of that image, which led to a lasting cult of the composer’s figure and works. A large body of publications – books, articles, poems – was devoted to Handel both in his lifetime and for decades after his death. The Great Handel Commemoration organised at Westminster Abbey and the Pantheon of 1784, and followed by similar events in the following years, presented Handel as the very embodiment of the national character and used his work and image in an ideological patriotic construct to celebrate the greatness of the British nation. The music festivals organised in the provinces in the 18th century as well as the great musical and patriotic celebrations staged in the newly-built Town-Halls in the 19th century testified to the fact that the influence of Handel lasted well beyond his own demise and even after his own music had become stylistically old-fashioned and his works had ceased being performed in their original form.
The aim of the conference is consequently to envisage the ‘resonance,’ influence and lasting fame of the figure and work of Handel both during his lifetime and beyond, in a diachronic and interdisciplinary perspective.