BOOKS

TITLE: MESSIAH: THE COMPOSITION AND AFTERLLIFE OF HANDEL'S MASTERPIECE
AUTHOR: JONATHAN KEATES
PUBLISHER: BASIC BOOKS
ISBN (HARDCOVER): 9781541697355
ISBN (PAPERBACK): UNKNOWN
UPC/EAN: 9781541697355
LCCN: 2017952758
YEAR: 2017
SERIES: N/A
PAGES: 176
PUB. LOCATION: NEW YORK
DDC: UNKNOWN
EXCERPT: CLICK HERE FOR SAMPLE PAGE


SITE RATING:  4/10
SITE REVIEW:  When a new book on Messiah is published, I hope that the author has done so with some new content, or new, fresh ideas to bring to the table.  After all, Handel's Messiah is not only one of the most beloved masterpieces in all of Classical music, but one of the most examined and written about.   Unfortunately,  Messiah: The Composition and Afterlife of Handel's Masterpiece by Jonathan Keates brings nothing new to the table except his own strangely-placed religious bias, and well-worn historical retreads.  Despite the book's title, it has very little to offer on the "afterlife" of the Messiah - the bulk of the text rehearses ad-nauseum the well-known to the point of cliche tale of the fallen-from-popular-favor Italian opera composer Handel, who hastily composes the Messiah, flees to Dublin to premiere it, and later, after some short time, triumphantly returns to critical and popular greatness, riding upon the shoulders of the oratorio.  The bulk of the book tells this oft-told tale with flat style and pedantic "just the facts" flavor.  What distinguishes this book from its better-written peers is the late-to-the-game author's open sneering at his perceived so-called piety of religions that embrace Messiah, and small-minded questioning how certain religions can claim it, as if Messiah was an exclusive property of one sect.  It boggles the mind how an educated man can be so intolerant.

The Complete Messiah All Content Copyright 2017 Bret D. Wheadon
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