G.F. Handel: A Guide to Research

G.F. Handel: A Guide to Research

G.F. Handel: A Guide to Research

G.F. Handel: A Guide to Research

Excerpt

When I prepared the first edition of this book, I noted that most of the Handel literature had been produced during the three previous decades. in that first preface, written in 1987, I suggested that the recent burst of activity had, to some extent, been inspired by two great achievements of the 1950s — the documentary biography of Otto Erich Deutsch, and Winton Dean’s comprehensive study of the dramatic oratorios and masques. Little did I realize that the body of Handel scholarship would more than double in the ensuing eighteen years or so. Again, we can trace the increased activity to particular events. First, the celebrations in 1985 of the three-hundredth anniversary of Handel’s birth spawned a great number of conferences and special publications. Second, the completion of the HändelHandbuch during the late 1970s and early 1980s, and the paper studies undertaken in the 1980s and early 1990s, especially by Donald Burrows and Martha Ronish, put Handel research on a firm footing.

The explosion of Handel research in recent years has resulted in a much longer book. I have been forced to limit cross-referencing, especially with regard to the items in chapter 5, the chapter on performance practices and reception history. However, the reader should find the indexes to be more detailed than those in the first edition. in particular, the numbering of items according to chapter should prove useful; for example, readers consulting the index of Handel’s works can identify items relating to performance practices and reception because their numbers are all preceded by the letter “E.”

The focus is on scholarly books and articles. As a rule, I have been unable to examine dissertations, but they are listed with the notation “not examined.” Generally, I have not been able to include Master’s theses, reviews, program notes, or items prepared primarily for popular consumption. in the annotations themselves, I have tried to indicate which items are indispensable, which come to questionable conclusions, which have been disputed, and so on.

For definitions, studies of genres, and information on composers and other musical personalities, the reader is advised to consult The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2nd ed., Eds. Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell, London: Macmillan, 2001), which is also available by subscription at Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy, .

Mary Ann Parker Toronto August, 2004 . . .

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