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PuzzleWatch: How Much Can You Handel?

"Messiah" season is nearly upon us, but the baroque composer wrote hundreds of other works: operas, cantatas, chamber music, and more. How many do you know?


Portrait of George Frideric Handel by Thomas Hudson, 1741.

It’s the start of the holiday music season and someone asks you, “Hey, you going to the Handel?” 

You could have a bit of fun and respond, “Oh, what’s playing? Tolomeo, Theodora, or Triumph of Time and Truth, perhaps?”  Or you could look at the skies and respond, “Oh, someone’s doing Water Music?” But instead of enduring a scowl and a head shake you simply say, “Yeah, on Saturday, how about you?” That’ll do.

If you’re in Portland, they must be referring to Portland Baroque Orchestra and Cappella Romana and George Frideric Handel’s Messiah. It’s been a Portland Christmas tradition since 2006 and you can catch it in PDX on December 9, 10, and 11.

But Handel was a prolific composer of many other fine pieces, too: chamber music, organ works, 120 cantatas, 42 operas and 29 oratorios, including those mentioned above – and more. So, let’s see what you know about this great baroque composer in this month’s PuzzleWatch crossword, “How Much Can You Handel?”

Watch out for a little puzzle trickery as the performing groups have had their bonds torn asunder. Don’t worry – you’ll figure it out and get them back together before the downbeat.

By the way, PBO is performing Water Music in March of 2023.

How Much Can You Handel? – Click here for an interactive puzzle you can fill out in your web browser

Download the puzzle as a printable PDF

Download the answer key

Daryl Browne is a music educator, alto, flutist and writer who lives in Beaverton, Oregon.

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