An intensely personal biography of a historically impersonal composer handel was notorious for not keeping a personal journal this provides insight into handels life by focusing on his interactions with 8 close friends. Ellen t harris starts her handel biography with the composers death or to be precise with his will friends including several to whom he made generous bequests played an especially important role in his bachelor life. George frideric handel a life with friends is the consummation of ellen harriss long professional life with handel it is the work of a wise scholar who views musicians as social beings and music as social activity that outlook and the authors fresh and supple prose make this a most appealing finally endearing book richard . During his lifetime the sounds of handels music reached from court to theater echoed in cathedrals and filled crowded taverns but the man himself known to most as the composer of messiah is a bit of a mystery. Ellen harris delightful handel a life with friends gives us a charming and intimate picture of london during the 17th century when handel was composing the lion share of his lifes work
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