This biography of Wolfgang Mozart is short but not sweet. The opening chapters provide a good overview of Mozart's childhood, family life, and early m...moreThis biography of Wolfgang Mozart is short but not sweet. The opening chapters provide a good overview of Mozart's childhood, family life, and early musical influences and training, and the final chapter does a good job dispelling the myths surrounding Mozart's death and burial. Even nonmusical readers will be able to understand the development of Mozart's musical talents and composition. Unfortunately, these accomplishments as overshadowed by the book's flaws.
The book is organized so that each chapter shows a different role played by Mozart, which results in a nonlinear chronology that can be confusing at times if the reader isn't paying close attention to all the dates. The author doesn't feel inclined to provide exact dates for important events in Mozart's life. This same stinginess applies to the events themselves, and the author glosses over things that deserve more than a single sentence.
Much time is spent analyzing Mozart's relationship with his father, but this is done from a modern point of view, so the intrepretation is skewed rather than set in its historical context. The author also goes into great detail regarding Mozart's amusingly smutty letters to his first love interests although they have no relevance to his later life, relationships, or musical compositions.
Readers looking for a good solid biography of Wolfgang Mozart best look elsewhere, but Mozart does have its good points for those willing to spend their time on something that hits as often as it missed.
This board book contains the words to the carols "Deck the Halls," "Silent Night," "O Christmas Tree," "God Rest You, Merry Gentlemen," "We Wish You a...moreThis board book contains the words to the carols "Deck the Halls," "Silent Night," "O Christmas Tree," "God Rest You, Merry Gentlemen," "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," and "Away in the Manger," each accompanied by a beautiful illustration by Tomie dePaola.(less)
Mozart in Salzburg is a concise biography detailing the lives and works of Leopold and Wolfgang Mozart during their various periods of residence in Sa...moreMozart in Salzburg is a concise biography detailing the lives and works of Leopold and Wolfgang Mozart during their various periods of residence in Salzburg. It is unique among Mozart biographies in that it focuses exclusively on the periods of time that Mozart lived in Salzburg ane excludes all others, only mentioning those that cannot be omitted due to their significance. The book begins with Leopold's arrival from Augsburg intending to study at the university and ends with Wolfgang's final visit to the city. A bonus chapter discussing the residence of Constanza Mozart, Wolfgang's widow, in Salzburg at the end of her life.
In the opening chapter relevant Salzburg history is presented alongside Leopold and his background. Mozart's musical compositions are detailed and named by Kochel number. The author is obviously a trained musician as well as a scholar. Unfortunately, like the Salzburgians he mocks for appreciating good music like they did good food and good wine because they recognized it to be of good quality rather than understanding its value, I recognize the genius of Mozart without understanding how or why. Most of Kenyon's ruminations on the composition, form, tone, style, ornamentation, interpretation, and nuances is lost on me like a wine connoisseur talking about wine.
Mozartists -- both lay readers and musicians and especially those who love Salzburg -- will enjoy this book. The discussions of each musical work are particularly insightful. The book's only fault is that it focuses almost entirely on the bare bones of Mozart's life and his compositions rather than his personal life and interactions with the city of his birth. Maps of the city as it stood in Mozart's day as well as other illustrations would be appreciated in an updated edition. (less)
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 Mo...moreThe 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 musicians before returning to conclude the lives of Nannerl and Constanza. An index, selected bibliography, and a notes and sources section are also included.
The book is divided into four parts with a prelude (pages 1 to 8) and a postlude (pages 373 to 374). Part 1 is Mozart’s Family (pages 9 to 98), which discusses Mozart’s mother and sister. Part 2 is Mozart’s Other Family (pages 99 to 182), which discusses Mozart’s wife, her sisters, and her mother as well as many female opera singers in Vienna. Part 3 is Mozart’s Women (pages 183 to 308). This section gives its name to the biography and is the meatiest. It is also eye-glazing for the lay reader who has little formal musical training and cannot follow all the various executions, performances, and interpretations of Mozart’s musical canon. Part 3 can be skipped without missing much Mozart biography. Part 4 is After Mozart (pages 309 to 372), which wraps up the lives of Constanza and Nannerl. (less)
This book contains some great arrangements of classical nursery rhymes for easy piano. It also has a lot of songs from old Disney movies and children'...moreThis book contains some great arrangements of classical nursery rhymes for easy piano. It also has a lot of songs from old Disney movies and children's musicals.(less)