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

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  298 Ratings  ·  49 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, ...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
Mozart
4th out of 22 books — 17 voters
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Women's History Written By Women
130th out of 284 books — 76 voters


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Community Reviews

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Louise
Dec 12, 2013 Louise rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Becky
Jun 12, 2012 Becky rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 07, 2010 Erika Robuck rated it really liked it
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
...more
Amie
May 09, 2010 Amie rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Lesley
Apr 19, 2012 Lesley rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Adri
Jul 19, 2011 Adri rated it it was amazing
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.
Sharon
Jan 09, 2012 Sharon rated it it was amazing
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....
Jennifer Mitchell
Jan 03, 2013 Jennifer Mitchell rated it it was amazing
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.
Greg
Apr 23, 2016 Greg rated it it was amazing
Mozart's Women is one of the best biographies I've read. Prior to this, the only Mozart biography I'd read was Mozart: A Life in Letters. This primary source bio, filled as it is with letters by Leopold and Wolfgang, is a great resource, but it focuses primarily on the men. While Jane Glover's bio includes the most important male relationships in Mozart's life, its focus is on the women, particularly Nannerl and Constanze, the two women who knew him best, one in his early years, one in his final ...more
Elentarri
Dec 23, 2015 Elentarri rated it really liked it
Beautifully written biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with an emphasis on the role played by the women in his life. I can't really add anything more than what is included in the book description/ blurb repeated below.


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, f
...more
Vardit
Apr 08, 2007 Vardit rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Bruce
Apr 15, 2013 Bruce rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Meredith
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 ...more
Brian Schweitzer
Oct 25, 2012 Brian Schweitzer rated it did not like it
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
...more
Susan Conklin
Glover honors the women in Mozart's life in this very detailed read that begins with the history of the Mozart family for the first half, then delves in detail about the women surrounding the genius. Nunnery Mozart, the sister, co-wrote much of Mozart's works when they were children and she performed along side him often accompanied by their father. Constant, Mozart's wife was, evidently just the mate he needed throughout their marriage and it was after he died at age 35 that her influence ...more
Rainbolt
Jan 15, 2008 Rainbolt rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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
...more
Patrick Johns
Nov 27, 2012 Patrick Johns rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music, bio
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 ...more
Adriana
Sep 04, 2015 Adriana rated it liked it
This book was not the best biography I've ever read. It was mostly factual. I was hoping that it would be structured in a way that was more like a story line I could follow. Also, there was a part in the book where it wandered away from Mozart himself and just started describing a lot of the plot lines in the series of Italian Operas he wrote. The stories were interesting but I felt each opera should have had a book dedicated to it solely. I did really enjoy hearing about Mozart's wife ...more
Rochelle
Dec 11, 2012 Rochelle rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Karen
Jun 30, 2010 Karen rated it liked it
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 ...more
Samantha Bee
May 25, 2016 Samantha Bee rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

A good read and an easy read. I quite liked the focus on women, and I enjoy reading biographies set up this way. It jumped back and forth a fair bit, but it worked as the chapters were long enough that you didn't get confused. I will agree with some other reviewers that the third part seemed out of place with the rest of the book, but I did enjoy reading that section all the same. I also feel a few of the statements made throughout the book could have used extra sources.
Magid
Jun 19, 2007 Magid rated it liked it
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.
Celeste
May 06, 2012 Celeste rated it it was ok
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.
Staci
Aug 08, 2011 Staci rated it liked it
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.
Amanda
Feb 05, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
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.
UChicagoLaw
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
Liba Vaynberg
Jul 21, 2016 Liba Vaynberg rated it it was amazing
Really intricate and beautiful analysis of his music and his letters. I especially love the inclusion of the "After Mozart" chapter at the end. So many books end with his death, and it was nice to have a full story of what happened to his music, wife, sister and sisters-in-law after he died. The book is sensitively written and insightful.
Kirsty
Aug 02, 2012 Kirsty rated it liked it
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.
Allison
Apr 09, 2008 Allison rated it liked it
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
Mar 16, 2014 Jennifer de Guzman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
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.
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