Edward J. Dent
from chapter 4
George Handel, the surgeon, seems to have hated music. There is no evidence that either his wife or her sister, who shared their home after her father's death in 1685, was musically gifted, but the mere fact of their being the daughters of a Lutheran pastor makes it probable that they had had some education in the art. We may safely guess that the composer inherited his musical talents from the Taust family. He showed his inclination for music at a very early age, with such insistence indeed that his father forbade him to touch any musical instrument. There is a well-known story of his contriving to smuggle a clavichord into a garret without his father's knowledge in order to practise on it while the rest of the family were asleep, but for this tale Mainwaring is our only authority. It is very probable that old Handel was irritated by the sound of his son's early efforts and regarded music as a waste of time; his wife may perhaps have encouraged the child's obvious abilities, taking care that he made music only in some part of the house where he would not disturb his father. ...go to paragraph
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