Handel's Operas, 1726-1741 (Anglais) Relié – 19 avril 2007
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There are certain drawbacks. The issue of performance practise is naturally outside the scope of such a book, but to look away from the many results investigation in performance practise at Handel's time altogether seems anachronistic in 2006. Another aspect is the rather rough matter of fact assessments made in evaluating the libretti without taking into account the baroque semiotics. The baroque emblemata which are crucial to the understanding of the early modern society altogether, are simply not touched upon, instead we get useless comparisons with Verdi and other romantics. Here Dean simply misses the point. The focal point of these problems is of course scientifically the rather outdated perspective of evolution, betrayed in such phrases as i.e. "[...] two primitive clarinets (chalumauxs) [...].".
This book is however valuable, when one keeps in mind Dean's general lack of theoretic reflection and his, at times, lack of interest in cultural history. You will certainly not sense that Dean has brought new material into consideration from his first book on the early Handel-operas. As such it is a perfect follow-up where one wouldn't believe more than 30 years separate these two works. Of course, one could wish for more reflection and less pedantry, but you will most likely find a lot of information that is not available elsewhere.