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Handel [Paperback]

Christopher Hogwood , Anthony Hicks
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.95
Price: 13.40 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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There is a newer edition of this item:
Handel Handel 2.5 out of 5 stars (2)
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Book Description

July 1988
A look back at the original Handel, providing a portrait of his life and music that blends the evidence from documents of all kinds with biographical observation. It contains a chronological table and traces the Handel legend down to our own time.


Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd; New edition edition (July 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500274983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500274989
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,041,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly excellent 10 Jun 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I am amazed by Christopher Hogwood's book. Not only is Hogwood the leader of the brilliant period-instruments ensemble The Academy of Ancient Music and one of the finest conductors of early music, but he is also an outstanding musicologist and writer. He is intelligent and unflagginly entertaining in his narrative representation of Handel's life and works. Especially the chapter 5 on "the Oratorios" may well be the best introduction to Handel's oratorios at all. The book contains also a chronological table, 100 fine illustrations (10 in color), and a map. So If you are interested in musical history and G. F. Handel (1685-1759) this biography is a must.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 11 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
a great book by an outstanding musician which has withstood the test of time. The research is exhaustive and the writing lucid and engaging
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4.0 out of 5 stars I was looking for an easier read. But this ... 26 Nov 2013
By Jemasmi
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was looking for an easier read. But this book, however, is amazingly complete, very well researched, for me will become more of a reference book...
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly excellent 9 Jun 2000
By Lars Hinnum - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I am amazed by Christopher Hogwood's book. Not only is Hogwood the leader of the brilliant period-instruments ensemble The Academy of Ancient Music and one of the finest conductors of early music, but he is also an outstanding musicologist and writer. He is intelligent and unflagginly entertaining in his narrative representation of Handel's life and works. Especially the chapter 5 on "the Oratorios" may well be the best introduction to Handel's oratorios at all. The book contains also a chronological table, 100 fine illustrations (10 in color), and a map. So If you are interested in musical history and G. F. Handel (1685-1759) this biography is a must.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful biography. 22 Jan 2003
By E. A. Bucchianeri - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
For anyone who is generally interested in Handel, or commencing music studies of the late Baroque period, this book is for you. An accessible treasure trove of information, Hogwood takes the reader on an fascinating trip through time, exploring Handel's childhood and early years in Germany, his prodigious development in music, his Grand Tours through Italy, the Opera and Oratorio years in England, and his musical legacy after his death. Packed full of photographs, snippets of interesting quotations and reprints of contemporary documents, this book is a feast for the eye and the mind. A chronological table is also included, making it easy to track the events in Handel's career with one glance. There is also an extensive bibliography -- the only drawback is the fact Hogwood does not indicate exactly where he sourced his information, i.e. there is an astonishing lack of footnotes, therefore it is impossible to know which of the books listed in the bibliography would be of use to follow up on the information he provides if required for more in-depth research. Nevertheless, I would certainly recommend this book.

E.A. Bucchianeri, author of ...
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meticulous Work On This Major Composer 3 Jan 2005
By rodboomboom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hogwood intensely and carefully chronicles Handel's life year by year, beginning at his birth and continuing with his effects into the twentieth century.

From his Italian days to his real love with Italian opera and its failure to take hold of English entertainment to his renowned oratorios, Hogwood exhastively probes the history of the background and creative birth to his most known works.

A Lutheran, some of Handel's greatest works were Scripture inspired, e.g. Israel in Egypt and of course The Messiah. Intersting to learn of its debut in of all places, Dublin, Ireland. The subsequent Handel Festivals after his death growing to over 4,000 performers and audiences at a single setting of over 85,000 are astounding.

There is much to be gleaned from this reading, e.g. that Handel considered Messiah to be more of an Easter piece than its standard Christmas fare.

Excellent work by a significant performer, musiciologist and writer.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Il caro Sassone 31 Jan 2010
By E. A. Lovitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Handel" is a carefully written, extensively footnoted biography by a fellow musician, who is considered a premier interpreter of this composer's works. It takes careful reading, but there are treasures within. One of my favorite anecdotes concerns Handel's wig:

"...Handel wore the Sir Godfrey Kneller wig: greatest of wigs: one of which some great General of the day used to take off his head after the fatigue of the battle, and hand over to his valet to have the bullets combed out of it. Such a wig was a fugue in itself." (Edward Fitzgerald, 1845)

Christopher Hogwood composed this biography from many original sources: letters; contemporaneous biographies; press clippings; court proceedings; paintings; and even a rather rude cartoon. He gently admonishes earlier Handel biographers for their errors, and presents both Handel, the genius, and Handel, the pig-headed Saxon bully, who once attempted to defenestrate a recalcitrant soprano.

It was quite enthralling to read about all of my favorite operas and oratorios, presented in loving detail, and scrupulously tracing all of Handel's `borrowings,' both from his earlier works, and from the compositions of others. Hogwood subscribes to Jonathan Richardson's defence of borrowings in the arts (1719):

"Nor need any Man be asham'd to be sometimes a Plagiary, `tis what the greatest Painters, and Poets have allowed themselves...indeed `tis hard that a Man having had a good Thought should have a Patent for it for Ever..."

Where Handel did borrow, he improved.

I highly recommend this biography to all lovers of the music of `Il Caro Sassone.'
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