08. Handel and the Harris Circle

08. Handel and the Harris Circle
Hampshire Papers 8: Handel and the Harris Circle
by Rosemary Dunhill (1995)

Based on letters to James Harris, father of the 1st Earl of Malmesbury, this paper provides an insight into the life and work of the composer George Frederic Handel. The letters from Harris's relatives and close friends begin in 1736, when Handel was already 50 and had spent some 25 years in London, and provide more or less regular news of the composer until his death in 1759.

Through the letters, which form one of Hampshire's great archive treasures, Handel's changing fortunes can be traced. They throw light on his method of composition, on rehearsals which merged into private performances, on his astounding work output and the illnesses to which this gave rise. They describe his singers and illustrate the extent to which his work was affected by the voices available to him. They chart his popularity and the fierce opposition which he aroused. They record particular performances and the gradual onset of the blindness which blighted his later years.

Physical description 295mm x 210mm; softback; 24 pages.
Published in 1995 by Hampshire County Council.
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