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Handel in London: The Making of a Genius

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Paperback, 390 pages
Published August 22nd 2019 by Picador (first published September 20th 2018)
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David Wineberg
Handel in London is a showbiz tour of the 1700s, far more than a biography. Jane Glover has filled a book with details of operas and concerts and especially their stars. Readers get profiles and the inside poop on endless Italian singers, English impresarios, and of course all the trashy goings on in the royal family. Handel – not so much.

Glover has all the experience in the world to write an appreciation of performances, and she doesn’t disappoint on that level. She examines every aria in
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is going to be the best high-end Christmas book ever. From the joyful cover to the fact that the font isn’t too small, from the canny summaries of every opera and oratorio Handel wrote to the insightful but not distractingly detailed musical analysis, Handel in London might well have been tailored specifically for the genteel-music-lover market, and their Christmas needs. It’s also fun to read about the various difficulties involved in putting on operas in England in the early
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of Handel and thought I had heard a significant number of his compositions performed, but reading this book, I quickly realized that I have only experienced the tip of the iceberg. Handel was incredibly prolific and maybe this is what gives the book a little bit of a repetitive quality-- as someone said just below, "This is a showbiz tour of the 1700s, far more than a biography."

Glover goes through each and every piece of music with great attention paid to the singers and
Tony Fitzpatrick
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jane Glover has written a comprehensive survey of Handel's musical life whilst he was living and working in London, from about 1712 (when he was 27) more or less until his death. It is very much focused on his music - you will find little in here on Handel as the man, his likes and loves, and his social life. Instead we get a portrait of a composition machine or work-horse, turning out very quickly, and in rapid succession, a huge number of Italian operas and then oratorio, year in year out. The ...more
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full confession, I don't know very much about the Hanoverian patronage of Handel, but I do know London. The latter's presence is still very much felt with constant performances of his music in churches and concert halls, blue plaques celebrating his various physical habitats around town, and the Handel Museum, which I would recommend to anyone who wanted to learn about the Georgian period. This book celebrates all of that but most of all, the incredible amount of music Handel produced while ...more
Dr. Andrew Higgins
This is one of the best books I have read about Handel or indeed any classical composer written by a true artist who has lived with and conducted many of his works (several of which I have been lucky to see her do). Jane Glover brings Handel - a man from Europe who came to the UK - and his works to life and her excellent and vivid descriptions of his works made me want to explore the ones I don’t know and re-explore the ones I do. Highly recommend this brilliant portrait of one of the most ...more
Andrea Engle
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2019
Jane Glover, an astonishing conductor and skilled interpreter of Handel’s work (she conducts “The Messiah” as though she’d written it herself), constructs the engrossing story of Handel’s amazing career in London ... the joy of reading a talented musician’s analysis of this creative genius is unparalleled ... the breadth of her professional knowledge adds greatly to the exceptional scope of this remarkable book ... a music lover’s delight ...
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love Handel you cannot miss it. All the insight of his compositions and circumstances of his work.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know little of music or musicians so it was nice to read this item and learn of both the life of the composer and that of the world around him. I felt I learned a lot.
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very enjoyable. Glover is an excellent writer and scholar. I only gave the book four stars because I was beginning to find the constant mention of the Italian singers in Handel’s circle during each subsequent new opera to be repetitive. A small quibble really from an otherwise good read. I’ll be pulling several of my recordings out for more thorough listening after having read the stories of how many of these pieces came into existence.
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Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bettie, Wanda
From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the week:
At a time of great political and architectural transformation in London, a young
German composer arrives with his patron, the future King George, and enjoys instant success.

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 Frederic Handel. He would be at the heart of musical activity
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Jane Glover has been Music Director of the Glyndebourne Touring Opera, Artistic Director of The London Mozart Players, and has conducted all the major symphony and chamber orchestras in Britain.