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Handel : Messiah - Donald Burrows

Paperback Published: 23rd August 1991
ISBN: 9780521376204
Number Of Pages: 140

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This new guide to Handel's most celebrated work traces the course of Messiah from Handel's initial musical response to the libretto, through the oratorio's turbulent first years to its eventual popularity with the Foundling Hospital performances. Different chapters consider the varying reception the work received in Dublin and London, the uneasy relationship between the composer and his librettist Charles Jennens and the many changes Messiah underwent through the varying needs and capacities of Handel's performers. As well as tracing the history of the work's development, the book addresses musical and technical issues such as Messiah's place in the oratorio genre, Handel's treatment of structural design, tonal relationships and English word-setting. An edited libretto elucidates the variants between the text that Handel set and the texts of the early printed word-books. Donald Burrows brings many new insights to this fascinating account of one of the favourite works of the concert hall.

Industry Reviews

"Handel scholarship has come long way...notably in important articles on "Messiah" and its versions by Donald Burrows published in Music and Letters in 1975 and 1985. (The material has been pulled together admirably in Mr. Burrows's new Cambridge Music handbook on the oratorio.)" New York Times "...the music lover who would like to know more about Handel and Messiah will find succinct history of English oratorio, a genre that Handel himself invented under circumstances and for reasons that remain unclear to this day, and a concise survey of the evolution of the genre to 1741 (Ch. 1). ...presents for the first time in English a clear and detailed chronology of the composition and the events leading up to the first performance of Messiah on 13 April, 1742." Charles Michael Carroll, The Eighteenth Century

Prefacep. vii
References to 'Messiah' editionsp. ix
The historical backgroundp. 1
Handel in Germany and Italy: passion and oratoriop. 2
Esther, Handel's first English oratoriop. 4
1732-1741: from Esther to Messiahp. 5
From composition to first performancep. 8
The librettistp. 9
The collaborationp. 10
August-November 1741: from London to Dublinp. 12
The Dublin performancesp. 15
The music and soloists in Handel's Dublin performancesp. 22
The first London performancesp. 23
The music of Handel's 1743 performancesp. 30
Revival and revision, 1743-1759p. 32
The 1745 revivalp. 34
1749-1753: Covent Garden and the Foundling Hospitalp. 36
1754-1759: Handel's last yearsp. 39
Handel's revisions: aesthetic choice or practical necessity?p. 40
The early revisionsp. 41
Handel's later revisions and the 1750 versionp. 42
Versions for modern performancesp. 44
Messiah in other handsp. 47
The nineteenth centuryp. 48
Additional accompanimentsp. 49
To the present dayp. 51
Designp. 55
Messiah within the oratorio genrep. 55
The libretto: structure and contentp. 57
Musical forms in Messiah: some general considerationsp. 60
Part Two 'scene' Ip. 63
Individual movementsp. 68
Recitativesp. 68
Ariasp. 69
Chorusesp. 71
The orchestra's contributionp. 73
Handel's word-settingp. 75
The libretto of Messiahp. 83
Messiah sourcesp. 103
Notesp. 109
Bibliographyp. 121
Indexp. 123
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521376204
ISBN-10: 0521376203
Series: Cambridge Music Handbooks
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 140
Published: 23rd August 1991
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.05 x 15.8  x 0.97
Weight (kg): 0.2