* Though unquestionably one of the greatest and best-loved of all composers, George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) had received little attention from biographers before Jonathan Keates's masterful Handel: The Man and His Music appeared in 1985.
* This fully updated and expanded edition - published to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the composer's death - charts in detail Handel's life, from his youth in Germany, through his brilliantly successful Italian sojourn, to the opulence and squalor of Georgian London.
* For over two decades Handel was absorbed in London's heady but precarious operatic world. But even his phenomenal energy and determination could not overcome the public's growing indifference to Italian opera in the 1730s, and he turned finally to oratorio, a genre which he made peculiarly his own and in which he created some of his finest works, such as Saul, Messiah, and Jeptha.
* Jonathan Keates writes with sympathy and penetration about this extraordinary genius, whose career abounded in reversals that would have crushed anyone with less resilience and willpower, but whose influence was to be deeply felt by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Interwoven with the account of Handel's life are commentaries on all his major works, as well as many less familiar pieces by this most inventive, expressive and captivating of composers.