Handel's oratorio Messiah is a phenomenon with no parallel in music history. No other work of music has been so popular for so long. Yet familiarity can sometimes breed contempt — and also misunderstanding.
This book by music expert Calvin Stapert will greatly increase understanding and appreciation of Handel's majestic Messiah, whether readers are old friends of this remarkable work or have only just discovered its magnificence.
Stapert provides fascinating historical background, tracing not only Messiah's unlikely inception but also its amazing reception throughout history. The bulk of the book offers scene-by-scene musical and theological commentary on the whole work, focusing on the way Handel's music beautifully interprets and illuminates the biblical text.
For anyone seeking to appreciate Handel's Messiah more, this informed yet accessible guide is the book to have and read.
Musical recordings courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc. (P) 2010 Naxos Rights International Ltd.
Jonathan E. says:
In regards to Handel's Messiah, by Calvin Stapert, it seems to be an impressive examination of the history of music and theology influencing one another in the beautiful collision of an experience of worship. Listening to the audiobook, I am immensely impressed by content provided that would not have been experienced via a traditional format. The audiobook started with a beautiful concerto of ... Read more
I was excited to receive this audio to review, as I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to Handel’s Messiah on CD for many years. This had the potential to be a good listening experience as the subject matter is of interest to me. Unfortunately this has not been the case as the narrator made it really hard work. Although he is extremely clear, and its easy to understand what he is talking about... Read more
This book takes Handel's theology, biography and musicalality, and combines the three to tell a wonderful historically accurate story to show the birth of this famous piece of music. Of particular interest, Stapert goes on to develop an investigation into whether Handel's Messiah was originally intended to be for the church, or the theatre. The most important thing about reviewing this book, I ... Read more