Abstracts of issue 3/1985 (3)
“Serse”, a Comic Opera by Händel
Here is a discussion of
Händel’s Serse, as seen through the ages of the eighteenth century and through our twentieth-century eyes. Dr. Burney’s objections against
Händel’s comic masterpiece are put forward and analyzed; its seventeenth-century Venetian libretto is cursorily described and so is the Beaumont and Fletcher type of tragicomedy to which it is related, and the rules that govern the
“reformed” kind of the Metastasian libretti (rarely used by Händel). There is also a brief reference to the distinction (made by later ages) between Händel, the composer of sacred and secular music.