Messiah: The Composition and Afterlife of Handel's Masterpiece, by Jonathan Keates

Messiah: The Composition and Afterlife of Handel's Masterpiece, by Jonathan Keates

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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. This book 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.

"Delightful.... This richly illustrated book is like a lively performance of the piece itself.... Captures the essence of Handel's magic."— Wall Street Journal