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Mozart's Women: His Family, His Friends, His Music

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  234 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Throughout his life, Mozart was inspired, fascinated, amused, aroused, hurt, disappointed and betrayed by women -- and he was equally complex to them. But, first and last, Mozart loved and respected women. His mother, his sister, his wife, her sisters, and his female patrons, friends, lovers and fellow artists all figure prominently in his life. And his experience, observa ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published January 3rd 2006 by Harper (first published September 16th 2005)
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Marrying Mozart by Stephanie CowellAmadeus by Peter ShafferMozart's Last Aria by Matt ReesMozart's Women by Jane GloverRequiem in Full Score by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
4th out of 19 books — 13 voters
The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison WeirThe Children of Henry VIII by Alison WeirEleanor of Aquitaine by Alison WeirWives of Henry VIII by Antonia FraserThe Weaker Vessel by Antonia Fraser
Women's History Written By Women
100th out of 259 books — 52 voters

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Community Reviews

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In this focused bio Glover lovingly relates Mozart's short life and musical immortality with a focus on Mozart's relationships with women. Inextricably woven in this is his relationship with his emotionally abusive father, Leopold.

Leopold, makes his 15 year old son feel a failure for not securing what "grown ups" with vast accomplishments could not. This same all knowing patriarch relegates his talented daughter, Nannerl, to a life of shadows while he piddles away his own presumed talent, to bet
This is an excellent book. Author Jane Glover examines Wolfgang Mozart's relations with the people in his life, especially the women, and particularly his mother, sister, and wife. Glover also discusses and analyzes the women characters in his operas and shows how he created strong women. The book gives a much different view of Mozart's life and personality than is popularly held. The same is true of Constanze. The Wolfgang and Constanze of "Amadeus" (play and movie) are two-dimensional figures ...more
Erika Robuck
Mozart’s Women: His Family, His Friends, His Music was written by accomplished Mozart conductor, Jane Glover. It was published in 2007, and is 372 pages. In it, Glover tells the story of the oft written about musical prodigy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, in relation to the women in his family, the women who inspired him, and the women who loved him.

The biography is divided into four sections: “Mozart’s Family”, “Mozart’s Other Family”, “Mozart’s Women”, and “After Mozart.” The first two sections pr
May 09, 2010 Amie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mozart/classical music fans
I loved this book! It was an enjoyable, easy-to-read biography that placed Mozart's music in the context of what was happening in his life when it was written. There was a lot of information about Mozarts mother, his sister, and his love interests, but the title is somewhat limiting, in that the author also talks extensively about the relationship Mozart had with his father, and about his collaborative relationships with different musicians and librettists. There is a section that talks about th ...more
This book cannot be faulted for the amount of detail about Mozart, it is very densely packed with information. It is divided into four parts with the third part a bizarrely positioned musical section. My book group unanimously skipped part three, it would have been better as an appendix. The author's writing was also a little jarring - various characters 'actually' did this and that and at one point Mozart and his wife 'peeled off' to a destination while on a journey. Nevertheless, a fascinating ...more
Really enjoyed this book and found it full of detail and history. Find it increases my enjoyment of the music and operas. Hope she writes more.
A surprisingly good read.....times, culture, music and fathers and sons....
I loved this book. It put Mozart in perspective and made me go back to his operas to listen and discover again. The book is scholarly yet completely accessible. A must read for all classical music lovers.
Jennifer Mitchell
A fascinating look at Mozart's story and how the women in his life shaped him and his music. I imagine that I will revisit this book more than once in my life.
The angle of this Mozart biography is Mozart through the women in his life. Along with Mozart’s life, it details the lives of his mother Maria Anna Mozart, his sister Maria Anna “Nannerl” Mozart, his wife Constanza Weber Mozart, and his wife’s sisters Josefa, Aloysia, and Sophie. When Mozart dies on page 181, the book carries on for another 200 pages, launching into a lengthy discussion of the music Mozart composed specifically for female roles and voices as well as music performed by female mus ...more
Brian Schweitzer
This is a quite frustrating book. The premise is great; a biography for the various women closest to Mozart during his life. Unfortunately, this book fails to deliver.

The middle two sections - "Mozart's Other Family" and "Mozart's Women" - compromise over half of the book. Between them, they cover a biography of Mozart, and detailed summaries/discussions his operas, including pseudo-psychoanalysis of the thoughts and motivations of his female characters. Especially during this latter section, ma
An amazing biography of a musical genius. Wolfgang Mozart's immediate family consisted of his domineering autocratic father, Leopold, his mother, Maria Anna, and his talented older sister, Maria Anna AKA Nannerl. Leopold was a ranking musician in the Archbishopric Court in Salzberg and taught his children. In their preteen and early teen years the two children performed for many of the courts in Europe and many of Wolfgang's earlier compositions were written with her in mind. Unfortunately, as N ...more
The latest installment in my Enlightenment biography kick (which also inclued The Librettist of Venice and Love and Louis XIV). I was raised on the Mozart legend and his music, so this book was a fun read full of familiar milestones: the touring prodigy and his sister, the rebellion against his father, the infatuations with the four Weber sisters (he married Constaza, but ended up writing some of his greatest soprano parts for Aloysia and Josefa),etc. Glover's narration (and lively-translated qu ...more
Read this book while in Austria where you can't get away from Mozart. Really enjoyed the insights into his life, and the lives of the amazing women he surrounded himself with. Was also an interesting slice of life of 18th century Vienna.

Most of the book deals with Mozart's personal relationships -- parents (dad was a bit of a jerk), sister and wife as gleaned through letters back and forth which were meticulously kept by sister and wife. Once again was annoyed by gender roles as his sister Nann
Patrick Johns
Wow, I really enjoyed this book. I found it fascinating - as gripping as any novel - a real page turner. I found Jane Glover's style very easy to read, and for me she struck just the right balance between biographical description, historical detail and musical analysis. It painted a wonderful picture of a musician's life in central Europe at the end of the 18th century. I found myself reaching for the Atlas to remind myself exactly where Salzburg, Mannheim and Prague are located. She justifies m ...more
My piano prof at Rutgers University (actually Douglass College) was Thomas Richner, well- known at the time as a Mozart interpreter. So it isn't surprising that I love everything Mozart. There are other biographies and biographical novels, but this one seems to dimensionalize him through his relationships. One of my favorite quotes about Mozart's music is that children find his piano sonatas quite easy to play; adults find his work very difficult. In that same vein, it would take more than one b ...more
A great overview of Mozart's career and family life, especially for the non-musician. Although not much time is spent on the music, it all mentioned in the right time and place according the personal life story. Glover never talks down to the reader as some music books do. If you have never read any of Mozart's letters, this would be a good place to start, as she quotes some of the best ones. Very well-written, reads like a novel. I am only giving it 3 starts because there is nothing new of inte ...more
Jul 31, 2014 Spiros rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: "Amadeus" debunkers
Shelves: freebox
A nice, solid view of the effect that the various women in Mozart's life had on his career and his music. Has made me want to go back and listen to all of his operas.
Jun 19, 2007 Magid rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 18th Century women
It was ok. Quite interesting to learn about the lives of the women in the great man's life. But that's the trouble - their life stories were all told in reference to that of Wolfgang Amadeus. Reading about the life of his sister was quite disquieting. She was evidently just as talented as he was, but was not given any chances to develop her gifts into adulthood because of her sex. I was disappointed by the number of typo's in this book.
Biography. Tells the life story of Mozart from the point of view of the women who loved him. Details include his brilliant childhood and his short adulthood. He died at the age of 34. Most surprising was that he really only loved one woman, Constanze, and was devoted to her completely. Also surprising was that his sister was as talented as he was but she was not allowed to compose or perform because of her gender.
This is a look at the social life of a genius in relation to its music. There is a Chicago connection: Glover is Music Director of Chicago's Music of the Baroque, a wonderful ensemble that everyone should experience. And the book has nothing to do with law. Writing is a lawyer's stock in trade, and the best way to learn how to write well is to read well-written literature. - Frank Easterbrook
This is an interesting book with some decent stories, but overall it reads like an encyclopedia of Mozart's interactions with the women in his life and during his travels. Thus, no relationship really gets its due in the book. Jane Glover obviously has a passion for Mozart, and she is a brilliant conductor, but the writing falls flat, and reading about Mozart's life become tedious at points.
A thorough review f the life and work of Mozart, with focus on the women in his life. Very sympathetic to his wife in particular, who I always felt was shortchanged in past bios. Based on the correspondence between them, they were very close throughout their marriage, and she did a fantastic job of building a life--and fortune--for herself and her children after his death.
This book is bursting at the seams with rich detail about Mozart's life. If like me, you are a fan of his, you will definitely enjoy the read. However, this is not a book for the faint-hearted. It can be a hard slog in parts with heavy technical descriptions of his music that are unintelligible to the layperson.
I am really enjoying this book though I can only read it in short snippets. It is interesting to see mozart's life in terms of his relationship with the women in his life, both real and imaginary. I just wish I had a cd of all of his music that is referenced in the book so that I could get a better picture of it
Jennifer de Guzman
I read every book about Mozart I can get my hands on. This one brought me closest to perceiving Mozart as a person, using his relationships with the women in his life and the depiction of the women in his operas.
Cynthia Ellis
I was hoping for more insight into his music. The book was heavily weighted towards minute-by-minute commentary on his comings and goings.
Really good information, lots of great anecdotes and letter excerpts. Not very well-written and too much unnecessary analysis of the music. I liked it though! All Mozart fans should read this!
Elisabeth pifer
great mini\ biography for the first half , Although there is alot of the author's voice in this it is a enjoyable read. Second half of the book, goes into details of liberato of Mozart's operas.
All people are affected by the women in their lives. Mozart no more or less than anyone else. The story of the women in Mozart's life is not different enough to write a book about it.
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