India on George Frideric Handel & Johann Sebastian Bach

A commemorative postage stamp on the 300th Birth Anniversary of George Frederick Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach :

1024-george-frideric-handel-johann-sebastian-bach-india-stamp-1985Issued by India

Issued on Dec 27, 1985

Issued for : The Department of Posts is privileged to issue a special postage stamp on the theme of performing arts on George Frideric Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach.

Description of Design : The 500 P. multicolour stamp designed by India Security Press, Nashik Road (based on the layout design supplied by J. J. Bhabha) shows the portraits of Bach and Handel. The First Day Cover has been designed by C. R. Pakrashi. The Cancellation has been designed by Nenu Bagga.

Type : Stamp, Postal Used

Colour : Multi colour

Denomination : 500 Paise

Overall size : 5.8 x 3.91 cms.

Printing size : 5.435 x 3.55 cms.

Perforation : 13 x 13

Paper : Unwatermarked adhesive stamp paper

Number printed : 15,00,000

Number per issue sheet : 40

Printing process : Photogravure

Printed at : India Security Press

Name : Georg Friedrich Händel

Born on Feb 23, 1685 at Halle, Germany

Died on Apr 14, 1759 at London, England

About : 

  • Handel was born in 1685 at Halle in Germany and died in 1759 in London.
  • Unlike his great contemporary, Johann Sebastian Bach, who came from a family of musicians, Handel was the son of a barber-surgeon who disapproved of music and wanted him to become a lawyer. On a clavichord which a friend smuggled into an attic of the house, Handel aged only eight, practised behind the closed door and by his persistence later succeeded in persuading his father to allow him to pursue music. After he had already established himself as a distinguished composer of operas, Handel visited England several times after the age of twenty-five and met with such success and appreciation that in 1726 he became a naturalised Englishman. Some of his greatest oratorios, including the Messiah, were written in England.
  • The popular idea that Handel’s style is easily recognisable comes from the fact that he over-shadows all his predecessors and contemporaries except Bach. Actually Handel’s style is the apotheosis of the typical Italian style of the 18th century. The effects of Handel’s original inspiration upon foreign material are really the best indication of the range of his style and the effects of his influence on the great musical geniuses who followed him, such as Beethoven.

Name : Johann Sebastian Bach

Born on Mar 21, 1685 at Eisenach, Germany

Died on Jul 28, 1750 at Leipzig, Germany

About : 

  • Johann Sebastian Bach was born at Eisenach in 1685 and died in Leipzig in 1750.
  • Since all the members of Bach’s family were musicians by long tradition, his musical education came first from his father at Eisenach and subsequently from his elder brother with whom he lived on the death of his parents.
  • At 15, he left school to become a chorister at Luneburg and later a violinist in the dual orchestra at Weimar. At the age of 18 he took an organist’s post at Arnstadt. A passion for wider musical knowledge distinguished him from the rest of his family, driving him to undertake uncomfortable journeys to centres like Hamburg. His prowess as an organist soon became renowned. The reception accorded to him by King Frederick the Great on a visit to the Court of Potsdam was the highlight of his career. Failing eyesight eventually necessitated an operation which was not successful and he died soon afterwards.
  • Bach’s influence in the history of western classical music was amazingly powerful. His was the most subtle and universal force in the development of music particularly of such great Masters as Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Mandelssohn, Schubert, Brahms and Wagner.
  • Bach’s place in music is far higher than that of an inventor of new forms or a reformer of old ones. He is like a spectator of all music, time and existence, to whom it is not of the smallest importance whether a thing be new or old so long as it is true. Bach has been recognised by posterity as the bringer of polyphonic age to its greatest, final glory.

Text Courtesy : National Centre for the Performing Arts.

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