The first German story about Handel was written in 1834 (Johann Peter Lyser, Händel 1834), and subsequent novels came out after the publication of Friedrich Chrysander’s scholarly biography (1858–1867). The first one was Armin Stein’s full biographical novel Georg Friedrich Händel. Ein Künstlerleben, Halle 1882 (Part 1) and 1883 (Part 2). Handel’s professional life is very well documented, but we do not know very much about his private life. How is it possible to create a captivating story gripping the reader about such a composer, even if he is famous? Examining the belletristic literature about Handel shows that the authors followed the progress of Handel’s works, and they needed to use all the well known anecdotes, passed on by Mainwaring/Mattheson, Burney or Coxe. The anecdotes are narrated in different versions, and it is possible to trace the filiation of the novels and to establish a connection in respect to the plot and the choice of anecdotes.
The paper will deal with different aspects of the German belletristic literature about Handel such as: How are the novels constructed and what were the sources for the authors? The anecdotes are examined in terms of frequency, source, evidence and background. What picture of Handel is conveyed to the reader? What is worth praising and what conclusions can be formed?
Haendel après Haendel :
Construction, renommée, influence de Haendel et de la figure haendélienne
Redaktion der Hallischen-Händel-Ausgabe
The German Belletristic Literature about George Frideric Handel: Fact and Fancy