Music: Handel for a Hobby

Friedrich Chrysander ran a pickle factory on the side. But for years he lived on little more than rolls and water, and his wife sold flowers in the Hamburg market, to scrape together enough money to finance his life's work. It was to make a complete edition of Composer George Frederick Handel's works. Chrysander died in 1901, with the job far from done.

Thirty years later, the mission was taken up by a man who had played the organ between movies at Manhattan's Capitol Theater. Jacob Maurice Coopersmith, a stubby, dedicated, bustling man with thick eyeglasses, caught the fever too. He caught...

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