BOOKS

TITLE: MESSIAH
AUTHOR: JULIAN HERBAGE
PUBLISHER: MAX PARRISH & CO. LIMITED
ISBN (HARDCOVER): N/A
ISBN (PAPERBACK): N/A
UPC/EAN: N/A
LCCN: N/A
YEAR: 1948
SERIES: THE WORLD OF MUSIC
PAGES: 72 P.
PUB. LOCATION: LONDON
DDC: N/A
EXCERPT: CLICK HERE FOR SAMPLE PAGE (.PDF)


DESCRIPTION:  This book traces the fascinating story of the sublime Oratorio from the frustration and despair out of which it was born, through the great Commemoration performances of the last century, to its present deep hold on the hearts of the English people and its immortal place in the world of music.  Julian Herbage was responsible for many years for the broadcast series "The Foundations of Music".  In 1935 he edited the score of 'Messiah' for the broadcast marking the two-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of Handel's birth.  This material was lost by enemy action, and he again edited the score for the bicentenary of the first performance of 'Messiah' in 1942.

SITE RATING:  8/10
SITE REVIEW:  Julian Herbage's 1948 book Messiah remains a good beginner's overview of the creation of that work, a biography of both George Frideric Handel, and the germination and subsequent history of the oratorio.  Filled with color and blank-and-white illustrations, this book is strongly reminiscent of Tim Slover's 2007 book, which also concerns itself more with the popular history, rather than the musical achievements of Messiah.  But Herbage's book goes a bit further than Slover's, discussing the slight dip in popularity of Handel's music in the decades following his death, Mozart's admiration and reorchestrations; the large spectacular concerts which began to take hold in England's Crystal Palace and beyond, and finishes up with Ebenezer Proust's performing edition of the score which became standard for generations.  Herbage's prose is clean and natural - more conversational than scholarly, befitting its introductory, layman audience, and the illustrations are useful, running the gamut from full-color portraits to photographs of Handel's death mask and epitaph in Westminster Abbey.  Some of the era's florid language seeps into the author's writing, but Herbage's book remains, even (as of this writing) sixty years after its publication, a fine, fact-filled introduction to Handel's Messiah.


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
All Rights Reserved.