HANDEL WHO KNEW WHAT HE LIKED by M.T. Anderson

HANDEL WHO KNEW WHAT HE LIKED

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Readers don’t need to know anything about the composer to enjoy this lively biography, but it is hard to imagine anyone reading these pages who wouldn’t want to run right out to hear the “Water Music” or a snatch of the “Messiah.” Handel’s father didn’t want him to be a musician, but the boy snuck a clavichord into the attic and practiced in secret anyway. (“Not everyone has the courage to smuggle a clavichord past their parents.”) Thanks to the intervention of a noble, Handel was allowed to begin training, but as a compromise, was forced to study law as well. He studied in various places in Germany, where he was born, traveled in Italy, but settled in England to write opera. As Anderson (Burger Wuss, 1999, etc.) describes Handel’s operas, “The characters would sing arias in Italian, some of the most beautiful music ever heard onstage. Then they would stab each other.” Handel’s duel with a friend, the success of the “Water Music” and the disaster of the “Royal Fireworks,” and the final and continuous triumph of the “Messiah” are energetically reported in a light-hearted accounting. Hawkes (Dial-a-Ghost, p. 741, etc.) employs 18th-century borders and patterns in his fulsomely colored acrylics: light and shadow are used to excellent effect, and humorous touches abound. Handel himself, with his cherubic face and large fuzzy white wig, bounds from almost every page, fairly glowing with good will and music. (chronology, discography, further adult reading) (Biography. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-7636-1046-1
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2001




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