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Handel: The Man & His Music

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Over the last two decades a complete revolution in Handel's status has taken place. He is now seen both as a titanic figure in music, and as one of the world's favorite composers, with snatches of his work accompanying weddings, funerals, and television commercials the world over. Though unquestionably one of the greatest and best-loved of all composers, George Frideric Handel (1685–1759) had received little attention from biographers before Jonathan Keates’s masterful biography appeared in 1985. This fully ...

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Handel: The Man & His Music

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Overview

Over the last two decades a complete revolution in Handel's status has taken place. He is now seen both as a titanic figure in music, and as one of the world's favorite composers, with snatches of his work accompanying weddings, funerals, and television commercials the world over. Though unquestionably one of the greatest and best-loved of all composers, George Frideric Handel (1685–1759) had received little attention from biographers before Jonathan Keates’s masterful biography appeared in 1985. This fully updated and expanded edition charts in detail Handel’s life, from his youth in Germany, through his brilliantly successful Italian sojourn, to the opulence and squalor of Georgian London. Written with sympathy and penetration about this extraordinary genius, it details Handel's career which abounded in reversals that would have crushed anyone with less resilience and willpower, but his influence was deeply felt by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. Interwoven with the account of Handel’s life are commentaries on all his major works, as well as many less familiar pieces by this most inventive, expressive, and captivating of composers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Will still be valued in a hundred years' time . . . the book as a whole is an event."  —Spectator

"Quirky and colorful."  —Library Journal

"Has been skilfully updated in tribute to today’s thriving Handel industry through which the composer has risen."  —Herald

"Full of extremely penetrating, well-judged observations on both man and music."  —The Times

"Readers cannot go wrong if they choose Keates’s account, which is always thoughtful and well-informed, and simmers with an unashamed passion for the music itself."  —Sunday Telegraph

"Keates appraises his works with passionate scrutiny, capturing superbly the increasing solitude of Handel’s English years."  —Sunday Times

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This portrait of the German composer interweaves biographical details with commentary on his immenseoeuvre. (Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845951153
  • Publisher: Random House UK
  • Publication date: 5/1/2010
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Jonathan Keates is a biographer and novelist. His other titles include Allegro Postillions, for which he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Purcell, and Stendhal.
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Table of Contents

Preface to the New Edition ix

Acknowledgements xi

List of Illustrations xiii

1 The Liberal Arts 1

2 Caro Sassone 21

3 Popery in Wit 49

4 Noble Oratories 76

5 A Nest of Nightingales 99

6 Discords in the State 131

7 Airs of a Modern Cast 168

8 Music, Ladies and Learning 195

9 The Fate of Harmony 220

10 All for War and Admiral Haddock 243

11 A British Sixpence 266

12 Brave Hallelujahs 286

13 Next to the Hooting of Owls 306

14 Overplied in Music's Cause 324

15 Great and Good 343

Notes 379

Bibliography 393

General Index 401

Index of Handel's Works 429

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