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Handel's Oratorios and Eighteenth-Century Thought

$63.99 (C)

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  • Date Published: October 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521023702

$ 63.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • In this wide-ranging and challenging book, Ruth Smith shows that the words of Handel's oratorios reflect the events and ideas of their time and have far greater meaning than has hitherto been realized. She sheds new light on the oratorio librettists and explores literature, music, aesthetics, politics and religion to reveal Handel's texts as conduits for eighteenth-century thought and sensibility. This book enriches our understanding of Handel, his times, and the relationships between music and its intellectual contexts.

    • Sheds a new light on Handel's oratorios e.g. Messiah
    • Supplies a missing piece in the jigsaw of eighteenth-century intellectual history
    • Accessible to non-specialists; assumes no academic knowledge and an understanding of music is not necessary
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    • Winner of the 1996 Rose Mary Crawshay Prize, awarded by the British Academy

    Reviews & endorsements

    "The book presents research on the English social and cultural contexts of Handel's oratorios, topics usually treated as peripheral in traditional studies, which relate his librettos primarily to their musical settings." Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521023702
    • length: 500 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 35 mm
    • weight: 0.757kg
    • contains: 4 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. English Origins of English Oratario:
    1. Artistic norms
    2. The purpose of art
    3. Music, morals and religion
    4. The biblical sublime
    5. The survival of the epic
    6. The defence of Christianity
    7. Towards oratorio
    Part II. The Patriot Libretto from the Excise Bill to the Jew Bill: Israelite Oratarios and English Politics:
    8. Political events and political thought
    9. Allegorical politics
    10. Moral politics
    11. Esther to Athalia
    12. In time of war
    13. Images of government
    14. The conflict of public and private interests
    15. Coda: the end of Handel's Israelite oratorios

  • Author

    Ruth Smith


    • Winner of the 1996 Rose Mary Crawshay Prize, awarded by the British Academy

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