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3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  79 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
In this definitive biography, Wolfgang Hildesheimer demythologizes Mozart, revealing him as a flawed and puzzling human being, but a matchless artist. Hildesheimer's fresh approach to the music itself, his telling quotations from Mozart's letters (Mozart was one of the greatest and most outrageous of letter writers), and his sympathetic but unsentimental insights make this ...more
Paperback, 408 pages
Published September 1st 1991 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published January 1st 1977)
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Sep 13, 2008 Lauren rated it really liked it
my love of mozart began years ago when i travelled to austria and saw his childhood home. i have since read several books about the life of mozart, none of which detailed his life in such real terms. this author does a wonderful job depicting mozart's human flaws and oddities. if you are interested in mozart's life at all, this is a must read.
Feb 24, 2015 David rated it it was amazing
I have been tempted to agree with the sentence the bounders between useful & useless knowledge are separated out before my concerns , accordingly to each individual reader desire for knowledge varies with their degree of personal involvement , I presume that this has been used with all my reviews .
May I quote again, great music does not come from any mystical obscurity or ethic attachment , rather it is made in the interaction of “ unconscious “ ideas & conscious “methodology” the reason
Jul 11, 2015 Willis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is an English translation of a German book. As Mozart is German, it seems appropriate to read a biography from that perspective. The translation is done well but I find it hard to label this a biography. This reads like a meandering, rambling 400 page essay on Mozart full of the authors opinions and speculations. No chapters, no structure, nothing chronological about it so it was extremely difficult to follow. The assumption is that you are a Mozart lover who knows his music by heart. If th ...more
TyLean Polley
I enjoyed this book, but it is fairly rambling with no chapters... at all. It's just one paragraph after another, which - for a person like me who is obsessed with measuring progress - is just irritating. It also makes it a bit more difficult to flip back to sections you have already read and may want to re-read. There is an index, but I really prefer to flip to the chapter and skim.

I can see how this book would be extremely heavy going for someone who isn't either very knowledgeable about Moza
Evan Sproul
"...[Mozart's] shrouded in mystery and always will be." So writes the biographer. Mozart's death fares no better under biographical scrutiny, lighted only by the putative glimmer of speculation.
Be that as it may, Wolfgang Hildesheimer seems to have done a masterful job of uncovering what can be uncovered of the mystery of Mozart's life through analysis of his music, his letters, and stories from those who knew him, though the veracity of some of those stories is brought into question.
Apr 29, 2015 Davide rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Quante domande ininteressanti si pone!
Quante polemiche inutili con non si sa chi porta avanti!
Quanti problemi del tipo: che differenza c'è tra il genio e lo pseudogenio?
Apr 20, 2013 David rated it really liked it
Intensely informative book that I sought out after having listened to a lot of Mozart and especially after the movie. We all had gone to Vienna and attended a performance by a period orchestra with contemporary 18th century costumes and instruments. So when I read this well researched and expertly written book, I felt I knew Mozart better. Of course, nothing beats playing his works on the appropriate instrument, but this was as close as I could get.
Dec 06, 2015 Calomar rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
Well, after reading it you won't know anything more about Mozart's life because, in my opinion, the author assumes that you already know about it.
The author wants to go deep inside Mozart's character, psyche, personality.
Sometimes it seem to argue about other authors' Mozart books.
In the end: a good books but too advanced for a "medium" reader
Gene Bales
Dec 05, 2015 Gene Bales rated it it was amazing
Hildesheimer was well versed in Mozart's private life, and the book is really an effort to demythologize the great composer. At times I was annoyed with all this; but in the end I can say that this is informative in many ways.
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