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22gigantes.com - A lifelong study of the music of Johann Hasse by conductor DavidWilson has culminated in his superb new book, The Dresden Manuscripts:Unearthing an 18th Century Musical Genius. Hasse’s music achieved greatpopularity during his lifetime, only to be overshadowed later in historyby other composers, especially Mozart.Dr. Wilson’s important and illuminating focus on the Dresden manuscriptswill certainly be a springboard for conductors and musicologiststo further examine the entirety of Hasse’s oeuvre to rediscover othergems, particularly among the masses and operas, many of which will befound worthy of reentering the repertoire.David Wilson has produced a revelatory work of refined scholarship thatwill deepen our knowledge of this important yet oft-neglected Baroquecomposer.
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Most helpful customer reviews 0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. Fascinating read about a great composer By Mark Payne I read this fascinating book in 2 days. I have been interested in the wonderful Baroque composer Johann Adolf Hasse since first hearing one of his operas (Cajo Fabriccio) in a concert performance in London 5 or 6 years ago. I could not believe that such a masterpiece could have been written by a composer of whom I and many others had never heard. I discovered that Hasse was one of the best known opera composers of the 18th century, who ran the best orchestra in Europe in Dresden for 30 years. The author David Wilson fell in love with Hasse's music in the same way by conducting his choir in a Hasse Miserere decades ago. At that time it was widely believed that Hasse's music was lost. This book tells the story of the author's fascinating trips to Vienna and Dresden, then under communist occupation, and his discovery of many sacred works by Hasse. Later he took his choir to Dresden to perform a Hasse work to great acclaim. The book is well written and engaging, and a fascinating reminder of why we do not want to return to the days of the cold war and communism, and why freedom of movement and speech and study is so important. It is also very informative about Hasse and contains a chapter with an excellent brief biography of 'the divine Saxon' (as the Italians called Hasse at the time). I believe this is the only biography of the composer in English at this time (apart from Grove I guess). David Wilson does not touch much on the operas as he was focusing on the sacred music, but the good news is that virtually all of Hasse's operas survive and the manuscripts are I believe in Milan. There are 60-80. I hope this splendid book will contribute to the growing awareness of this brilliant composer, who thoroughly deserves to come back to life. No one listened to or performed Handel's operas for 250 years or so, and today they are a staple of enlightened opera houses. The same could and should happen to Hasse's. As David Wilson's book makes clear, his sacred music is in a different, more restrained and 'classical' style yet equally beautiful melodically and harmonically. It also deserves to be much better known and more frequently performed. 0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. yet his beautiful music had been destroyed or lost By Amazon Customer The Dresden Manuscripts by David Wilson tells of the hunt for lost musical manuscripts that requires a very tense trip to communist, Russian occupied East Germany. It tells of coping with unhelpful and even revengeful bureaucracies both in East Germany and back home. And this exciting suspense is a memoir by a music professor; how improbable is that?Here is the question that sends Wilson on his adventure of rediscovery. How could evidence of JohannAdolf Hasse, a European rock star for 40 years, disappear? In the 1700s, Hasse was as famous as Bach, Handel and Haydn, yet his beautiful music had been destroyed or lost.Because of Wilson’s adventure, Hasse’s music is now heard more often. We are lucky to have this short memoir to give us the back story, both of Hasse and his rediscovery. For readers who may be worried about too much tension, I don’t think it will spoil your experience to know that you will meet many remarkable people on both sides of the Iron Curtain without whom Wilson’s search would have failed. You will love this book. 0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. Real Life Thriller By AP from California I downloaded the book at the suggestion of my choir director, and was utterly caught up in the story of David Wilson's efforts to bring to light the music of this little known 18th century composer. How Hasse's music was lost to our modern time was itself a fascinating tale of politics and social upheaval. The process of finding and collecting his work added a layer of intrigue and insight into the cutthroat world of academic scholarship. David Wilson has made an important contribution to our knowledge while sharing this intensely personal journey. On many levels he is a brave man. Recommended for lovers of music, history buffs, and those who enjoy an exciting and inspirational tale. See all 64 customer reviews...
''Dr. Wilson takes us on an emotional and fascinating journey into the life of this genius and shows how even one person's passion can make a difference in bringing back the lost treasures of the past.'' --Vivica Genaux, world-acclaimed mezzo soprano About the Author David Wilson, teacher, scholar, and conductor, is professor emeritus of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. In addition, he is artistic director/conductor emeritus of the Long Beach Bach Festival and the Camerata Singers of Long Beach. A graduate of the University of the Pacific and University of Illinois, he also studied conducting at the Berkshire Music Festival in Tanglewood, Massachusetts, and the Hochschule fur Musik in Vienna. As a recognized expert in eighteenth-century music, Dr. Wilson has conducted hundreds of works of Bach, Handel, and their contemporaries.
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