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Celebrating its 100th anniversary, this extraordinary series continues to amaze and captivate its readers with detailed insight into the lives and work of music's geniuses. Unlike other composer biographies that focus narrowly on the music, this series explores the personal history of each composer and the social context surrounding the music. In a precise, engaging, and authoritative manner, each volume combines a vivid portrait of the master musicians' inspirations, influences, life experiences, even their weaknesses, with an accessible discussion of their work-all in roughly 300 pages. Further, each volume offers superb reference material, including a detailed life and times chronology, a complete list of works, a personalia glossary highlighting the important people in the composer's life, and a select bibliography. Under the supervision of music expert and series general editor Stanley Sadie, Master Musicians will certainly proceed to delight music scholars, serious musicians, and all music lovers for another hundred years.
In this volume, Donald Burrows's relates Handel's life and his music, devoting particular attention to two crucial junctures in Handel's development: his transition from a church-trained musician in Germany to a successful opera composer in London, and the gradual transformation of his theater career from opera to oratorio, some thirty years later. In the oratorio form, as Burrows demonstrates, Handel was able to combine the techniques of large-scale construction and of aria writing that he had developed in his operas with an experience of choral music that went back to his earliest training as a church organist. The result was music that succeeds to this day in capturing the imagination of a vast audience.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The Master Musicians series, which provides an in-depth, and admirably accessible survey of the lives and music of great composers, has become something of a classic in the music biography genre. There is a wide-ranging detailed analysis of Handel's operatic style ... Donald Burrows' Handel is a welcome addition to what has already proved itself to be an excellent, authoritative series of musical biographies."--Judith Eagle, Classical Music

"Burrows makes a valuable contribution towards restoring the balance...Burrows skilfully interweaves Handel's 'outward' biography with the 'inner' one of his creative life, linking the two aspects chronologically in irregularly alternating chapters. In this way the reader can conveniently use the book either as biography or as a commentary on the music...this is a considerable achievement. Burrows's study of Handel,...provides us with a deeply informative and well-balanced composition."--BBC Music

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198166498
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Series: Master Musicians Series
  • Edition description: Subsequent
  • Pages: 520
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald Burrows is Professor of Music at The Open University. He serves on the board of the Georg-Friedrich-Handel-Gesellschaft, and is the editor of many editions of Handel's music (some published by OUP's music dept.).

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Table of Contents

1 Germany, 1685-1706
2 Italy and Hanover, 1706-10
3 Music for Germany and Italy, 1706-10
4 London: The first decade, 1711-19
5 The music, 1711-19
6 The 'Academy' years, 1720-32
7 The music of the 'Academy years
Other works
8 The transitional decade I: Competition, 1732-7
9 The transitional decade II: Confusion, 1737-41
10 The music, 1732-41
Oratorios and odes
Church music
Instrumental music
11 The oratorio composer 1: Dublin and London, 1741-5
12 The oratorio composer II: Towards victory, 1745-9
13 The music of the 1740s
Theatre music
Other works
14 The final decade I: The last major works, 1749-51
15 The final decade II: A career completed
A Calendar
B List of works
C Personalia
D The ruling houses of Hanover, Britain and Prussia
E A London Opera-goer in 1728
F Select bibliography

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