Handel in London
'How refreshing, to read a book about music written for a music lover and not a musicologist. In clear, lucid, entertaining prose, Jane Glover makes those of us who lack musical literacy better understand and appreciate Handel’s divinity.' - Donna Leon, author of Handel's Bestiary and the Inspector Brunetti mysteries
Handel in London tells the story of a young German composer who in 1712, followed his princely master to London and would remain there for the rest of his life. That master would become King George II and the composer was George Frideric Handel.
Handel, then still only twenty-seven and largely self-taught, would be at the heart of musical activity in London for the next four decades, composing masterpiece after masterpiece, whether the glorious coronation anthem, Zadok the Priest, operas such as Giulio Cesare, Rinaldo and Alcina or the great oratorios, culminating, of course, in Messiah.
Here, Jane Glover, who has conducted Handel’s work in opera houses and concert halls throughout the world, draws on her profound understanding of music and musicians to tell Handel’s story. It is a story of music-making and musicianship, of practices and practicalities, but also of courts and cabals, of theatrical rivalries and of eighteenth-century society. It is also, of course, the story of some of the most remarkable music ever written, music that has been played and sung, and loved, in this country – and throughout the world – for three hundred years.
Remarkable ... Glover's command of detail is impressive ... Her beautiful descriptions of Handel's music sent me again and again, in mid-chapter, to my LPs and CDs to play the arias she had just described ... Handel in London is a delight to read,
Richard Stokes, Financial Times
Written in elegant prose that wears its author's scrupulous scholarship lightly ... Glover deftly weaves musical analysis into her biographical flow. Her greatest achievement, however, is to give life and music a political and social context.
Richard Morrison, The Times
Beautifully written ... This book's main achievement, though, is to evoke with admirable clarity and sympathy the rich, interdependent symbiosis between Handel, his singers, his audiences, the royal family and the great capital city that housed their life and work.
Jessica Duchen, Sunday Times