CZECH  ENGLISH Česká Händelova společnost / The Czech Handel Society
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III. Publications

In November 1991 the Czech Handel Society published an extensive Handel monograph by Pavel Polka, 'Triumf času a pravdy', i.e. 'The Triumph of Time and Truth'. Production costs for its publication (2,352 copies) were covered by 27 foreign sponsors. Suitable for the general reader, 'The Triumph of Time and Truth' deals with Handel's life, work and heritage. It consists of 26 parts and contains inter alia period texts, music examples, family tree, a selection from Handel's correspondence, anecdotes, chronological surveys, 162 notes, index of proper names, bibliography, as well as English, German and French summaries. The 326 pages of text are supplemented by 210 black-and-white illustrations which rank among the largest sets of their kind in the world . The photographic material was provided by 45 organizations and private owners. Many of the pictures are unique even on an international scale. Detailed information on the illustrations is given by commentaries included in the text.

The need for promotion material led the Czech Handel Society to publishing a two-colour information folder (8,700 pieces; February 1994), offering general information not only about the Society itself, but also on George Frideric Handel. In February 1997, at the start of the long-term project 'Masterworks of Baroque Opera', a printed colour leaflet was published, dedicated to the Cappella Accademica Praha ensemble and the project; the expenses were again covered by the Czech Handel Society (2,250 pieces).

In May 1998 2,500 high-quality colour postcards were printed of a plaster cast of the terracotta model for the famous 1739 marble bust of Handel by Louis François Roubiliac (1702-1762). The plaster cast is in the Collection of the Czech Handel Society, the terracotta model is in the Foundling Museum, London; the marble bust adorns the interior of Windsor Castle.

In November 2004 the above item was joined by another colour postcard - with a bronze bust of George Frideric Handel by the sculptor Petr Novák (b. 1957) from Jaroměř, Czech Republic (cast No. I/V, July 2004). On the postcard, of oblong format, printed in 3,000 copies, the bust is rendered in three different positions.

To mark the 10th anniversary of its foundation, the Czech Handel Society issued, in March 2000, a spectacular bilingual brochure in A4 format, 'Česká Händelova společnost. The Czech Handel Society' (2,580 copies; 16 pages, 23 illustrations). The publication, comprising 10 thematically-defined text parts, is conceived as a simply-arranged chronicle of the Society's hitherto activities.

After a lapse of another 10 years, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of its foundation, on 28 March 2010 the Czech Handel Society published, in 130 numbered and signed copies, a three-colour woodcut by the Czech graphic artist Marek Hofman (b. 1981), measuring 25.0 × 14.0 cm. - To the 25th anniversary of its foundation and to the 330th anniversary of the birth of George Frideric Handel the Society dedicated a not-for-sale jubilee notebook, issued, in an edition of 600 pieces, on 13 February 2015 (cover + 40 blank pages; size: 14.6 × 10.8 cm).

The long-term project 'Masterworks of Baroque Opera' required the publishing of invitations and programmes. With regard to a performance of Handel's opera 'Flavio' at the Náměšť nad Oslavou stately home (see 'Masterworks of Baroque Opera'), the Czech Handel Society published, in February 1999, 500 copies of Pavel Polka's paper 'Jindřich Vilém hrabě Haugwitz (1770-1842) a jeho vztah k dílu hudebního skladatele Georga Friedricha Händela', i.e. 'Count Heinrich Wilhelm von Haugwitz (1770-1842) and his Relations to the Works by the Composer George Frideric Handel'.

In connection with the stage production of Antonio Vivaldi's opera 'Orlando finto pazzo' ('Roland, or the Pretended Madness'; modern world premiere) in the theatre of the stately home Mnichovo Hradiště 8 - 11 September 2000 (see 'Masterworks of Baroque Opera'), the Society published, in February 2001, a collection of textual and pictorial documents, 'Předstírané šílenství v Mnichově Hradišti', i.e. 'Pretended Madness in Mnichovo Hradiště' (760 copies; 20 pages with a supplement of 25 illustrations).

For the staged production of Jean-Baptiste Lully's opera 'Armide' at the theatre of Castle Valtice on 24 and 25 August 2017, the Czech Handel Society published, in an edition of 250 copies, a 40-page printed programme brochure, with the original French libretto and a Czech translation. The brochure in A5 format, containing an abundance of colour illustrations, was printed – in superior quality – in Germany.

To mark the 30th anniversary of its foundation, the Society brought out, in 2259 copies, a splendid paperback jubilee publication, entitled ‘The Czech Handel Society 1990–2020’ (144 pages sized 140 × 210 mm, 77 colour and black-and-white illustrations). Not for sale, the book was published on 6 December 2019. Its first part has been assigned to an occasional essay by Pavel Polka, ‘George Frideric Handel among Music Colleagues on the Roof of the Rudolfinum in Prague’. The remaining place is devoted to a description of miscellaneous activities and unique collections of the jubilant thirty years old Society containing items related, both directly and indirectly, to Handel’s life and work. Funds for the book’s publication have been provided as donations by 36 natural and 3 legal persons.

As for the quality of typography and binding, the highest point in the hitherto publishing activities of the Czech Handel Society has been reached by the second, revised and expanded, edition of Pavel Polka’s Handel monograph ‘Triumf času a pravdy’ (‘The Triumph of Time and Truth’): 626 text pages inclusive of 123 pages of the pictorial section (220 black-and-white illustrations). Not for sale, the book in the B5 format (176 × 250 mm) was successively delivered on 14 September 2021 (20 copies) and on 4 October 2021 (218 copies), thus numbering 238 copies altogether. The print & binding costs, invoiced by the printing company ‘powerprint s.r.o.’, based at Prague 6 – Suchdol, were defrayed by the author of the monograph. The aforesaid company has done an admirably perfect piece of work, contributing conclusively to an exceptional attractivity of the book, printed on chalk coated paper, weighing nearly two kilograms. A no less admirable, truly heroic achievement was demonstrated by Mr Jan Kučera from Kladno – not only did he compose the text (including the music examples), but he also digitally remastered all the 210 illustrations by means of the original photographs from the first edition of the book. It was the graphic artist Libor Hofman from Úholičky, an eminent member of the Czech Handel Society, who set a characteristic seal of his creative invention to the boards and the frontispiece of the monograph.

The inimitable, highly personal artwork on most Czech Handel Society publications is by the painter Lenka Kerelová. Her part had subsequently been assumed by the graphic artist Libor Hofman from Úholičky.