1791, Mozart's Last Year
The last month of the year 1791 witnessed what H.C. Robbins Landon calls "the greatest tragedy in the history of music": the premature death of the thirty-five-year-old Mozart. Surrounded by enigma and intrigue, allegations of poisoning, and sexual scandal, this event continues to grip the popular imagination today--as was demonstrated by the astonishing success of the play and movie Amadeus. Curious and controversial as the circumstances of Mozart's death are, the truth has been obscured by accumulated layers of mythology. Drawing on his unrivaled knowledge of the sources, Professor Landon cuts through fantasy and mystification to present the facts--including a substantial amount of unpublished information--and reconstruct the moving story of the last year of Mozart's life. The composition of such works as the Requiem and the operas The Magic Flute and La clemenza di Tito is discussed in detail, and new light is thrown on Mozart's relations with the Freemasons and with Salieri, among others. One of the world's leading musicologists, H.C. Robbins Landon is justly renowned for his rare ability to communicate the excitement of discovery. This is a major contribution to the literature of Mozart.