With clarity and with admirable simplicity, keyed to the understanding of children, Opal Wheeler has traced the many-sided career of George Frederic Handel, whose restless nature vied always with his tremendous ability as a composer and director.
Handel's strange boyhood, clouded by the fact that his father did not want him to become a musician, and the later years when, thanks to the patronage of the Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels, his music was played before the greatest music lovers of Europe—all this makes absorbing reading. The selections of Handel's music included here are those best understood and most apt to be mastered by young musicians.
One evening, back in 1691, conservative Doctor Handel was shocked and dismayed to find his small son carrying the torch at the head of a band of singers wandering through the little town of Halle. The good doctor never quite understood the all-consuming love of music which drove his son from childhood on and on to the great heights he eventually attained as the beloved Father of the Oratorio, the composer of the magnificent "Messiah".
Opal Wheeler has given us here the most finished, most completely satisfying book on her list of fine music biographies. Handel at the Court of Kings should be a favorite of all children who love music, whether they are young musicians themselves or not.
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