Front cover image for Handel's oratorios and eighteenth-century thought

Handel's oratorios and eighteenth-century thought

Ruth Smith
In this wide-ranging and challenging book, the author shows that the words of Handel's oratorios reflect the events and ideas of their time and have far greater meaning than has hitherto been realized. She sheds new light on the oratorio librettists and explores literature, music, aesthetics, politics and religion to reveal Handel's texts as conduits for eighteenth-century thought and sensibility. This book enriches our understanding of Handel, his times, and the relationships between music and its intellectual contexts
Print Book, English, 1995
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995
xiv, 484 pages : tables ; 24 cm
9780521402651, 0521402654
pt. I. English Origins of English Oratorio. 1. Artistic norms. 2. The purpose of art. 3. Music, morals and religion. 4. The biblical sublime. 5. The survival of epic. 6. The defence of Christianity. 7. Towards oratorio
pt. II. The Patriot Libretto from the Excise Bill to the Jew Bill: Israelite Oratorios and English Politics. 8. Political events and political thought. 9. Allegorical politics. 10. Moral politics. 11. Esther to Athalia. 12. In time of war. 13. Images of government. 14. The conflict of public and private interests. 15. Coda: the end of Handel's Israelite oratorios
Appendix 1: Libretto authors and sources
Appendix 2: The oratorios and Methodism