27–28 November 1993
King’s College, London
The 1730s are often regarded as a transitional period in Handel’s career in London. The 1720s were dominated by his involvement with the Royal Academy of Music and the composition of arguably his greatest Italian operas, while the 1740s was the decade of the greatest of his English oratorios. By contrast, his output in the 1730s was rather varied – with more operas, his first oratorios for London, two Cecilian odes, his ‘twelve grand concertos’ (Op. 6) and more – and Handel himself suffered from ill-health. The purpose of this conference was to explore Handel’s journey through this difficult and fascinating, but pivotal, period. The death on 18 October of Prof. Dr. Bernd Baselt cast a shadow over the event, but his place in the programme was taken by Professor Howard Serwer, who read a paper on ‘The Italians in Esther’.