Handel's Oratorios and Eighteenth-Century Thought

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Overview

In this wide-ranging and challenging book, Ruth Smith shows that the words of Handel's oratorios reflect the events and ideas of their time and have far greater meaning than has hitherto been realized. She sheds new light on the oratorio librettists and explores literature, music, aesthetics, politics and religion to reveal Handel's texts as conduits for eighteenth-century thought and sensibility. This book enriches our understanding of Handel, his times, and the relationships between music and its intellectual contexts.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book presents research on the English social and cultural contexts of Handel's oratorios, topics usually treated as peripheral in traditional studies, which relate his librettos primarily to their musical settings." Choice
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521402651
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2004
  • Pages: 500
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. English Origins of English Oratario: 1. Artistic norms; 2. The purpose of art; 3. Music, morals and religion; 4. The biblical sublime; 5. The survival of the epic; 6. The defence of Christianity; 7. Towards oratorio; Part II. The Patriot Libretto from the Excise Bill to the Jew Bill: Israelite Oratarios and English Politics: 8. Political events and political thought; 9. Allegorical politics; 10. Moral politics; 11. Esther to Athalia; 12. In time of war; 13. Images of government; 14. The conflict of public and private interests; 15. Coda: the end of Handel's Israelite oratorios; Appendices; Notes; Index.

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