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The Faber Pocket Guide to Handel

Edward Blakeman

The Faber Pocket Guide to Handel is Edward Blakeman’s engaging and easy-to-use pocket guide, published in the anniversary year of the celebrated composer’s death.

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The Faber Pocket Guide to Handel offers a detailed but accessible exploration of George Frederick Handel, his composition, and his legacy. A larger-than-life figure in his time, Handel’s reputation has been less than steady since his death in 1759. Was he (in the words of Berlioz) just ‘a great barrel of pork and beer’, or (as Handel himself claimed) truly ‘the master of us all’? Now, more than 250 years after his death, there is more interest in Handel than ever before, with his operas (such as Rinaldo and Agrippina) experiencing fantastic renewed popularity. This lively new Pocket Guide goes in search of the composer who wrote the Messiah, Water Music – and much more.

Handy for browsing and reference, key features include:
– Handel’s life: year by year
– Handel’s operas: a complete guide
– Essential Handel
– Picturing Handel
– Handel on CD and DVD
– Handel Online

Edward Blakeman assesses how Handel’s works – incredibly influential in their context of baroque music – have stood the test of time and why they can still speak thrillingly to us today. With recommendations throughout for listening, further reading, and web surfing, this is the ideal guide for music lovers who want to discover the great composer for themselves.

Critic Reviews

A new handily priced Pocket Guide to Handel **** by Radio 3's Edward Blakeman is useful because it surveys the composer's life and works, and recommends recordings with a light touch the general reader will appreciate and the specialist won't resent.

David Mellor, Mail on Sunday
Critic Reviews

With each new release, Faber's enterprising pocket guide series is growing into an invaluable library. Compact, concise, and crammed with information, these conveniently sized volumes offer more than mere introductions to their subjects.... Edward Blakeman's Handel is an eloquent example of pouring quarts into pint pots and underpinned by an obvious enthusiasm for the subject. ... While the tone is approachable and jargon-free, the arguments are commendably well researched and argued, achieving a reach that is comprehensive and encyclopaedic - surprisingly, but satisfyingly so, given the limitations of space. ... These are perfect concert companions and will please the novice and aficionado alike.

Michael Quinn, Classical Music
Critic Reviews

This brilliantly researched book should be on the shelf of every music lover; it tells you everything you could possibly want to know about the man fellow composer called 'the master of us all.'

Paul Donnelley, Sunday Express
Critic Reviews

Edward Blakeman's pocket guide provides us with huge amounts of information in a small space.

George Hall, BBC Music Magazine
Critic Reviews

If you want to use this anniversary year to explore the world of Georg Friederic Handel in a little more detail, this is probably the best place to start. Blakeman's book is thorough, easy to read and will fit in your pocket.

Andrew Mellor, Classic FM Magazine

Edward Blakeman is a commissioning and programme Editor at BBC Radio 3, where his responsibilities include overseeing the broadcasts of the annual season of BBC Proms. Before joining the BBC, he freelanced as a flute player, writer and presenter, and was Head of the Wind Department at the London College of Music. He is a member of the Council of…

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