Mozart: A Life

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HarperCollinsPublishers, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 640 pages
44 Reviews
Mozart: A Life is based on an unsurpassed knowledge of the documentary sources, including numerous documents that have not previously appeared in any biography of the composer. It offers a beautifully written and absorbing narrative of Mozart's life, from his birth in 1756 and childhood in Salzburg to the extraordinary decade of acclaimed performances in the capitals of Europe, where he was honored by royal families and adoring audiences, to his emergence as a prolific young composer, his status as Salzburg's favorite son in the 1770s, his conquest of Vienna, his marriage there, his financial vicissitudes, his later journeys to Prague and Germany, his deepening melancholia, his final triumphs, and his premature death in 1791. Narrative chapters alternate with rich and imaginative in-depth explorations of issues crucial to understanding Mozart - his antic disposition, his penchant for the bawdy, his enigmatic Zoroastran riddles, his perplexing adoption of the code name "Adam", his brilliance as an impresario, his tangled finances, his Masonic creed, and his rending contest with his father, which continued to shadow him even after Leopold Mozart's death in 1787. And in a series of highly original chapters, Solomon probes such musical topics as the finding of Mozart's personal voice in his early serenades; the innovative character of his slow movements; the blend of strangeness and ecstasy in some of his most beautiful instrumental works; and the disquieting effect of his later operas.

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Review: Mozart

User Review  - John-Paul Pizzica - Goodreads

I've long been enamored of Mozart's music but unfortunately my only frame of reference regarding the life of this musical genius was the well-directed (if not misleading) Peter Shaffer film Amadeus. I ... Read full review

Review: Mozart

User Review  - Asha Hawkesworth - Goodreads

I enjoyed the book, but you get the idea that Mozart was hard to pin down, and that we don't really know that much about him in the end. Read full review

Contents

The Myth of the Eternal Child
3
BEGINNINGS
19
Leopold Mozart
21
Copyright

22 other sections not shown

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About the author (1995)

Maynard Solomon's books on Beethoven and his renowned writings on Mozart, Schubert, and Ives led a contributor to Music & Letters to name him "the leading musicologist-biographer of our time." His classic biography, Beethoven, has been translated into seven languages and his Beethoven Essays received the Kinkeldey Award of the American Musicological Society for best book of the year in 1989. Mr. Solomon, who lives in New York, has taught at Columbia, Harvard, and Yale Universities.

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