The Man & His Music
Fully revised, expanded and updated edition of Jonathan Keates' magisterial 1985 biography of one of the world's favourite composers.
* Though unquestionably one of the greatest and best-loved of all composers, George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) had received little attention from biographers before Jonathan Keates's masterful Handel: The Man and His Music appeared in 1985.
* This fully updated and expanded edition - published to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the composer's death - charts in detail Handel's life, from his youth in Germany, through his brilliantly successful Italian sojourn, to the opulence and squalor of Georgian London.
* For over two decades Handel was absorbed in London's heady but precarious operatic world. But even his phenomenal energy and determination could not overcome the public's growing indifference to Italian opera in the 1730s, and he turned finally to oratorio, a genre which he made peculiarly his own and in which he created some of his finest works, such as Saul, Messiah, and Jeptha.
* Jonathan Keates writes with sympathy and penetration about this extraordinary genius, whose career abounded in reversals that would have crushed anyone with less resilience and willpower, but whose influence was to be deeply felt by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Interwoven with the account of Handel's life are commentaries on all his major works, as well as many less familiar pieces by this most inventive, expressive and captivating of composers.
“Will still be valued in a hundred years' time...the book as a whole is an event”
Peter Phillips, Spectator
“Full of extremely penetrating, well-judged observations on both man and music.”
Nicholas Kenyon, The Times
“His creative engagement sympathetically draws out Handel's motivation as a composer.”
Tom Sutcliffe, Guardian
“Readers cannot go wrong if they choose Keates's account, which is always thoughtful and well-informed, and simmers with an unashamed passion for the music itself”
“The music is the thing and Keates gives it full volume”
“Keates appraises his works with passionate scrutiny, capturing superbly the increasing solitude of Handel's English years”
“Keate's study has been skilfully updated in tribute to today's thriving Handel industry through which the composer has risen”
“A good book has become a better one”