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Donald Burrows

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199737369

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199737369.001.0001

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The Final Decade II

The Final Decade II

A Career Completed

(p.476) Chapter Fifteen The Final Decade II

Donald Burrows

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the final years of George Frideric Handel, when he finally succumbed to blindness. It examines various ‘new’ material inserted into his oratorio in the seasons between 1753 and 1759. Another thing worth noting is the existence of the myth of Handel's constant activity as a composer, performer, and impresario during his last years. This may reflect the smoothness of the transition from Handel's leadership to that of John Christopher Smith, Handel's amanuensis. The year 1752 had seen revivals of the oratorios Joshua and Judas Maccabaeus. They were repeated in the following seasons, together with their companion work Alexander Balus, and completed with revivals of Deborah, Saul and Samson and Messiah. Aside from the performances, the chapter looks into the ‘travels’ done by Handel. It concludes with a description of Handel's funeral and several accounts of persons who were involved in his life and career.

Keywords:   George Frideric Handel, blindness, oratorio, impresario, John Christopher Smith, amanuensis, Joshua, Judas Maccabaeus, Alexander Balus

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