BOOKS

TITLE: HANDEL AND THE MESSIAH STORY
AUTHOR: HERTHA PAULI
PUBLISHER: MEREDITH PRESS
ISBN (HARDCOVER): N/A
ISBN (PAPERBACK): N/A
UPC/EAN: N/A
LCCN: 68-22068
YEAR: 1968
SERIES: N/A
PAGES: 112 P.
PUB. LOCATION: NEW YORK
DDC: N/A
EXCERPT: CLICK HERE FOR SAMPLE PAGE (.PDF)


DESCRIPTION:  This is the human, moving, and true story of Handel's lifelong devotion to music; of the background and reality of Captain Coram's great dream, the Foundling Hospital; and of the world of music and art in eighteenth-century London (including fascinating glimpses of Handel's great friend, the painter Hogarth) - all set in the framework of that one triumphant day when the Messiah came into its own.

SITE RATING:  3/10
SITE REVIEW: An interesting, but failed attempt to dramatize the dual stories of Handel and The Foundling Hospital's founder Captain Coram, and their intersection, Handel and the Messiah Story has the basic elements of a dramatic story, but the disparate parts never gel. Author Hertha Pauli, an Austrian emigrant who came to America to help anti-Nazi Germans who had fled the war, has the germ of a good idea here, but her prose is so stilted and cardboard that the characters fail to come to life.  She begins the dual stories from each character's childhood, and, interspersing actual events with made-up situations and dialogue, gradually brings their two lives together with the beginnings of Handel's charity performances for the hospital.  Interspersed throughout the book are black and white drawings and photographs depicting scenes or items which appear in the story, but these factual photographs tend to blur the line between whether the author is attempting a purely fictional account of the events, or a factual retelling of the story, with dialogue.  It feels more like the latter - a dry recounting of events, with clumsy "scenes" thrown in; and the two competing halves never come together in a compelling manner.  I think there is a good idea here, with pathos, drama, and a rich denouement, but the subject needs a better scribe than Ms. Pauli.



The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
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