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Handel's Operas, 1726-1741

by Winton Dean

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Handel ranks with Monteverdi, Mozart and Verdi among the supreme masters of opera, yet between 1754 (when Handel was still living) and 1920 not one of his operas was performed anywhere. Their revival in the modern theatre has been among the most remarkable phenomena in the history of the art. But they are still too little understood, or studied, and until recently no reliable modern editions existed. This long-awaited book is the sequel to l>Handel's Operas 1704-1726/l>, published in 1987. It is the first study in depth of Handel's last twenty-two operas, including major masterpieces such as l>Orlando/l>, l>Ariodante/l>and l>Alcina/l>and the brilliant lighter works l>Partenope/l>, l>Serse/l>and l>Imeneo/l>. Each chapter contains a full synopsis and study of the libretto, a detailed assessment of the opera's musical and (often misunderstood) dramatic qualities, a performance history, and comparison of the different versions. Much new material has been incorporated. In addition four general chapters throw a vivid light on the historical background. Two Epilogues touch on Handel's dramatic vision, the revival of his operas in the twentieth century, and their performance today. There are a number of valuable Appendices. Together with its predecessor, the book provides the first complete overview of these works. WINTON DEAN is the most distinguished British authority on the life and work of Handel; he has also written extensively on opera in general.… (more)

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Handel ranks with Monteverdi, Mozart and Verdi among the supreme masters of opera, yet between 1754 (when Handel was still living) and 1920 not one of his operas was performed anywhere. Their revival in the modern theatre has been among the most remarkable phenomena in the history of the art. But they are still too little understood, or studied, and until recently no reliable modern editions existed. This long-awaited book is the sequel to l>Handel's Operas 1704-1726/l>, published in 1987. It is the first study in depth of Handel's last twenty-two operas, including major masterpieces such as l>Orlando/l>, l>Ariodante/l>and l>Alcina/l>and the brilliant lighter works l>Partenope/l>, l>Serse/l>and l>Imeneo/l>. Each chapter contains a full synopsis and study of the libretto, a detailed assessment of the opera's musical and (often misunderstood) dramatic qualities, a performance history, and comparison of the different versions. Much new material has been incorporated. In addition four general chapters throw a vivid light on the historical background. Two Epilogues touch on Handel's dramatic vision, the revival of his operas in the twentieth century, and their performance today. There are a number of valuable Appendices. Together with its predecessor, the book provides the first complete overview of these works. WINTON DEAN is the most distinguished British authority on the life and work of Handel; he has also written extensively on opera in general.

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