George Frideric Handel: A Life with Friends


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  • Author: Harris, Ellen T.
  • Book Type: NF
  • Dewey Classification: 780.92
  • Language: ENGLISH
  • Library of Congress Number: 2014008148
  • ASIN: 0393088952

Product Description

     

An intimate portrait of Handelu2019s life and inner circle, modeled after one of the composeru2019s favorite forms: the fugue.

During his lifetime, the sounds of Handelu2019s music reached from court to theater, echoed in cathedrals, and filled crowded taverns, but the man himselfu2015known to most as the composer of Messiahu2015is 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 documentu2015Handelu2019s willu2015offers 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 Handelu2019s 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 Handelu2019s 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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