Philip Hale's Boston Symphony Programme Notes: Historical, Critical, and Descriptive Comment on Music and Composers

By John N. Burk; Philip Hale | Go to book overview

GEORG FRIDERIC
HANDEL

(Born at Halle, February 23, 1685;
died at
London, April 14, 1759)

MR. GEORG FRIDERIC HANDEL," Mr. Runciman once wrote, "is by far the most superb personage one meets, in the history of music. He alone, of all the musicians, lived his life straight through in the grand manner."1 When Handel wrote "pomposo" on a page, he wrote not idly. What magnificent simplicity in outlines! … For melodic lines of such chaste and noble beauty, such Olympian authority, no one has approached Handel. "Within that circle none durst walk but he." His nearest rival is the Chevalier Gluck.

And this giant of a man could express a tenderness known only to him and Mozart, for Schubert, with all his melodic wealth and sensitiveness, could fall at times into sentimentalism, and Schumann's intimate confessions were sometimes whispered. Handel in his tenderness was always manly. No one has approached him in his sublimely solemn moments! Few composers, if there is anyone, have been able to produce such pathetic or sublime effects by simple means, by a few chords even. He was one of the greatest melodists. His fugal pages seldom seem labored; they are distingushed by amazing vitality and spontaneity. In his slow movements, his instrumental airs, there is a peculiar dignity, a peculiar serenity, and a direct appeal that we find in no other composer.

Would that we could hear more of Handel's music! At present he is known in this country as the composer of The Messiah, the

____________________
1
John F. Runciman: Old Scores and New Readings, 1899.

-[150]-

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Philip Hale's Boston Symphony Programme Notes: Historical, Critical, and Descriptive Comment on Music and Composers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Philip Hale's Boston Symphony Programme Notes - Historical, Critical, and Descriptive Comment on Music and Composers *
  • Editor's Note v
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xvii
  • Johann Sebastian Bach i
  • Ludwig Van Beethoven 7
  • Hector Berlioz 56
  • Ernest Bloch 66
  • Alexander Porphirievitch Borodin 70
  • Johannes Brahms 75
  • Johannes Brahms 77
  • Anton Bruckner 100
  • John Alden Carpenter 114
  • Claude Achille Debussy 118
  • Anton DvoØÁk 130
  • Edward William Elgar 135
  • Manuel De Falla 140
  • CÉsar Franck 145
  • Georg Frideric Handel 150
  • Franz Josef Haydn 154
  • Paul Hindemith 161
  • Arthur Honegger 164
  • Paul Marie ThÉodore Vincent D'Indy 166
  • Franz Liszt 173
  • Franz Liszt 175
  • Charles Martin Loeffler 184
  • Edward Macdowell 186
  • Gustav Mahler 189
  • Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy 195
  • Modeste Petrovitch Moussorgsky 206
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 209
  • Symphonies in E Flat (koechel No. 543), G Minor (koechel No. 550), C Major ("Jupiter"), (koechel No. 551) 211
  • Serge Sergievich Prokofieff 225
  • Sergei Vassilievich Rachmaninoff 229
  • Joseph Maurice Ravel 234
  • Otterino Respighi 241
  • Nicolas Andrejevitch Rimsky-Korsakov 244
  • Charles Camille Saint-Saens 253
  • Arnold Schoenberg 259
  • Franz Peter Schubert 261
  • Robert Alexander Schumann 270
  • Alexander Nicolaievitch Scriabin 288
  • Jean Julius Christian Sibelius 292
  • Richard Strauss 308
  • Igor Fedorovitch Stravinsky 331
  • Joseph Deems Taylor 339
  • Peter Ilitch Tchaikovsky 343
  • Richard Wagner 363
  • Richard Wagner 365
  • Carl Maria Von Weber 380
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams 389
  • Index 395
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