Messiah: The Composition and Afterlife of Handel's Masterpiece

Jonathan Keates (Author)
Available

Description

From Handel's renowned biographer, the story of one of the most celebrated compositions of Western classical music, Handel's famous oratorio, Messiah

In the late summer of 1741, George Friderick Handel, composed an oratorio set to words from the King James Bible, rich in tuneful arias and magnificent choruses. Jonathan Keates recounts the history and afterlife of Messiah, one of the best-loved works in the classical repertoire. He relates the composition's first performances and its relationship with spirituality in the age of the Enlightenment, and examines how Messiah, after Handel's death, became an essential component of our musical canon.

An authoritative and affectionate celebration of the high-point of the Georgian golden age of music, Messiah is essential reading for lovers of classical music.

Product Details

Price
$25.00
Publisher
Basic Books
Publish Date
October 24, 2017
Pages
176
Dimensions
5.2 X 0.9 X 7.6 inches | 0.55 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9781541697355
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Jonathan Keates is a distinguished and prize-winning biographer, novelist and travel writer, and author of the biographies Handel and Purcell. He is chairman of the Venice in Peril fund and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He won both the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Hawthornden Prize for his collection of short stories, Allegro Postillions (1983). Jonathan Keates is a regular contributor to the Observer (UK) and the Times Literary Supplement (UK) among a number of other publications.

Reviews

"With its astute commentaries on the operas, this book makes a brilliantly lucid guide to Handel's evolving art."
--Independent (UK)

"Keates is an enthusiastic, serious and careful writer.... The author clearly knows what he is talking about, and illuminates what we thought we knew."
--Guardian (UK), Book of the Week

"However you like to hear your Messiah, you should enjoy it more for reading Keates's lucid guide...his analysis is taut and his narrative skillfully concise."
--Times (UK)

Wall Street Journal
"Delightful...This richly illustrated book is like a lively performance of the piece itself...Capture[s] the essence of Handel's magic."
Christianity Today
"One strength of Keates's book is the reminder that it is not only the music of Messiah that is extraordinary. So is the libretto, penned by Charles Jennens...Keates's book does what it needs to do in awakening an urge to hear Handel's masterwork again, and now with a bit deeper understanding."
The Deseret News
"Keates illuminates the biography of this famous oratorio...Messiah's life story is one of humble beginnings, soaring successes, controversial adaptations, and eventual redemption, not unlike the scriptures from whence it came."