BOOKS

TITLE: THE MESSIAH BOOK: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF G.F. HANDEL'S GREATEST HIT
AUTHOR: PETER JACOBI
PUBLISHER: ST. MARTIN'S PRESS
ISBN (HARDCOVER): 0312530722
ISBN (PAPERBACK): 0312530730
UPC/EAN: N/A
LCCN: ML410.H13J3; 82-5703
YEAR: 1982
SERIES: N/A
PAGES: 186 P.
PUB. LOCATION: NEW YORK
DDC: 783.3'092'4
EXCERPT: CLICK HERE FOR SAMPLE PAGE (.PDF)


DESCRIPTION:  Full of charming anecdotes about Handel's life, the story of Messiah's composition, and its checkered performance history, and graced by engravings of the period, Messiah: The Life and Times of G.F. Handel's Greatest Hit also contains a score of several of the best-loved arias and choruses.  For everyone who has ever hummed along with Handel's masterpiece and wanted to know the story behind this remarkable work, here is a perfect gem of a book, one all lovers of Messiah will want in their collection.

SITE RATING:  8/10
SITE REVIEW: Author Peter Jacobi, as of this writing a Professor Emeritus at Indiana University, wrote this short, genial book about Handel's Messiah in 1982, and manages in a very few pages to touch upon all of the known facts of its composition, including the circumstances of the composer, the relationship between Jennens and Handel, it's first and subsequent performances, and its rise to mythic heights in the opinion of the classical world.  The book includes the entire libretto, as well as an extended index which includes nearly seventy pages of the score, highlighting what Jacobi feels are Messiah's finest arias and choruses.  Besides being a University professor, Jacobi was a frequent contributor to the Christian Science Monitor and Opera magazine, so his writing is easy, accessible and fluid; and the author also allows quite a bit of his own humor to distinguish the writing.  The author keeps very close to his subject matter as well, cutting out examinations of Handel's earlier life and works, and diving right into the subject of Messiah - some readers might want more context, but for its purposes, the book works very well.  Not for scholars, but a fine introduction to Messiah and an excellent book to seek out for beginners.


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
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