George Frideric Handel: A Life with Friends

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9780393088953: George Frideric Handel: A Life with Friends

An intimate portrait of Handel’s life and inner circle, modeled after one of the composer’s favorite forms: the fugue.

During his lifetime, the sounds of Handel’s music reached from court to theater, echoed in cathedrals, and filled crowded taverns, but the man himself―known to most as the composer of Messiah―is a bit of a mystery. Though he took meticulous care of his musical manuscripts and even provided for their preservation on his death, very little of an intimate nature survives.

One document―Handel’s will―offers us a narrow window into his personal life. In it, he remembers not only family and close colleagues but also neighborhood friends. In search of the private man behind the public figure, Ellen T. Harris has spent years tracking down the letters, diaries, personal accounts, legal cases, and other documents connected to these bequests. The result is a tightly woven tapestry of London in the first half of the eighteenth century, one that interlaces vibrant descriptions of Handel’s music with stories of loyalty, cunning, and betrayal.

With this wholly new approach, Harris has achieved something greater than biography. Layering the interconnecting stories of Handel’s friends like the subjects and countersubjects of a fugue, Harris introduces us to an ambitious, shrewd, generous, brilliant, and flawed man, hiding in full view behind his public persona.

43 illustrations; 3 maps

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About the Author:

Ellen T. Harris is professor emeritus at MIT and has served on the music faculties of Columbia University and the University of Chicago. Her previous books include Handel as Orpheus: Voice and Desire in the Chamber Cantatas, and she has spoken at Lincoln Center and appeared on PBS NewsHour and BBC Radio 3. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* To fully appreciate the great composer of the universally known oratorio Messiah, it is not enough to trace his personal life, Harris says. The culture of the society he served and aspired to join must be considered, too. As she proceeds through Handel’s life, Harris embeds him in the institutional realities of eighteenth-century England, where entrepreneurship predominated. London suited the young musician, who had set out to pursue as independent a career as possible—a goal attainable, however, only by having the right friends. Handel was good at friendship, to the extent that his life and theirs—six in particular, whom Harris chronicles as extensively as she does her main subject—are inextricable. The composer followed their leads in business (his first opera company was structurally similar to the East India and other great trading companies); negotiated with them, by means of carefully ambiguous roman à clef scenarios for his operas, the politics of a kingdom with a contested throne and, by similar means in his oratorios, the religious contention of the day; sympathized with them about loveless, arranged marriages (well he might, since he was socially ineligible to marry at all) via many an opera’s plot; and privately entertained and taught them music with his instrumental works. Handel’s life in Harris’ hands becomes a compelling plunge into the social history of his time. --Ray Olson

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Descrizione libro WW Norton Co, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. During his lifetime, the sounds of Handel s music reached from court to theatre, echoed in cathedrals and filled crowded taverns. But the man himself is a mystery. Though he took meticulous care of his musical manuscripts and provided for their preservation in his will, very little of an intimate nature survives. In search of the private man behind the public persona, Ellen T. Harris has tracked down the letters, diaries, financial accounts, court cases and other documents connected with the composer s closest friends. The result is a tightly woven tapestry of London life in the first half of the eighteenth century, one that weaves together vibrant descriptions of Handel s music with stories of loyalty, cunning and betrayal. With this new approach, Harris reveals an ambitious, shrewd, generous, brilliant and flawed man. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780393088953

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Descrizione libro WW Norton Co, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. During his lifetime, the sounds of Handel s music reached from court to theatre, echoed in cathedrals and filled crowded taverns. But the man himself is a mystery. Though he took meticulous care of his musical manuscripts and provided for their preservation in his will, very little of an intimate nature survives. In search of the private man behind the public persona, Ellen T. Harris has tracked down the letters, diaries, financial accounts, court cases and other documents connected with the composer s closest friends. The result is a tightly woven tapestry of London life in the first half of the eighteenth century, one that weaves together vibrant descriptions of Handel s music with stories of loyalty, cunning and betrayal. With this new approach, Harris reveals an ambitious, shrewd, generous, brilliant and flawed man. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780393088953

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Descrizione libro W. W. Norton & Company, 2014. Condizione libro: New. An intimate portrait of Handel's life and inner circle, modeled after one of the composer's favorite forms: the fugue. Num Pages: 496 pages, 43 illustrations; 3 maps. BIC Classification: AVGC3; AVH; BGF. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 243 x 162 x 37. Weight in Grams: 972. . 2014. 1st Edition. Hardcover. . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780393088953

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Ellen T. Harris
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Descrizione libro WW Norton Co, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. During his lifetime, the sounds of Handel s music reached from court to theatre, echoed in cathedrals and filled crowded taverns. But the man himself is a mystery. Though he took meticulous care of his musical manuscripts and provided for their preservation in his will, very little of an intimate nature survives. In search of the private man behind the public persona, Ellen T. Harris has tracked down the letters, diaries, financial accounts, court cases and other documents connected with the composer s closest friends. The result is a tightly woven tapestry of London life in the first half of the eighteenth century, one that weaves together vibrant descriptions of Handel s music with stories of loyalty, cunning and betrayal. With this new approach, Harris reveals an ambitious, shrewd, generous, brilliant and flawed man. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780393088953

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