Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mozart's Women: His Family, His Friends, His Music” as Want to Read:
Mozart's Women: His Family, His Friends, His Music
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  370 Ratings  ·  56 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mozart's Women, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mozart's Women

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Apr 08, 2016 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
Dec 12, 2013 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
Apr 23, 2012 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
Jun 04, 2009 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
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
This book is a biography of Mozart as seen through the lens of the women in his life and his relationships with them. Glover concentrates on Mozart's mother Maria Anna, his sister Nannerl, and his wife Constanze, but she also includes Constanze's sisters (especially Aloysia) and several musicians that Mozart knew and worked with over the course of his career. In addition, Glover discusses the women in each of Mozart's operas.
Mozart's Women is a very enjoyable book, providing lots of information
Mar 03, 2008 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 th ...more
Apr 19, 2012 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
Jul 19, 2011 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.
Nov 14, 2011 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 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.
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: female-writers
Halfway through this fascinating biography, Mozart dies "on an unresolved dominant chord" while working on his anonymously-commissioned Requiem. The genius composer's wife, sister, and favorite singers would all outlive him, which is probably why Jane Glover decided to shape her narrative the way she did. I like the result, which taught me a lot that I did not know (for example, that Mozart tailored his music to the people who would perform it whenever he liked them well enough to do so -- and t ...more
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book. I love learning more about a historical subject through the women involved (the Russian Revolution through the Romanov daughters, for example) so this book was right up my alley. It is both a biography of Mozart and the women in his life (most particularly his mother, sister, wife and mother- and sisters-in-law) and a description of his creative process and how those women were involved in it. The author is a conductor and music scholar and it shows, especially in the section on Moza ...more
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arts, aborted
Initially, I found this book to be fascinating and was going to give it 4 stars. But soon, it became repetitive and opinionated, containing a little too much speculation.

It didn't help that I was reading a library copy that had been heavily underlined in pencil by a previous reader. Page after page was at least half underlined. Several of the underlined pages included margin notes. (Who does that? Sure, if it's your own book, maybe that's okay. Then again, maybe not. Has this person never heard
Rene Saller
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Virginia Woolf's famous formulation was, "What if Shakespeare had a sister?" In Mozart's case, we already know the answer: Nannerl, the first child prodigy in the Mozart family, performed to great acclaim until she married, which ended her career forever. Jane Glover, a respected conductor and Mozart scholar, writes sympathetically and perceptively about Nannerl as well as Mozart's wife, Constanze, his sister-in-law Aloysia, and many other women who helped inspire, shape, and support the great c ...more
Jaime Robles
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A different look at Mozart by this esteemed conductor and Mozart scholar. The book looks at his relationship to his mother and sister, his wife and her sisters and various women who were his prima donnas for his operas. A very easy and enjoyable read. With a perspective that is also very informative in overlooked ways. For example, she posits that given the list of singers for the first productions of Don Giovanni the lead female character is Zerlina, rather than Donna Anna.
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love anything about Mozart. A true gifted musician!
Dec 16, 2015 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
Mar 28, 2007 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
Apr 15, 2013 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 N ...more
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
Oct 03, 2012 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
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 reall ...more
Jan 15, 2008 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
Patrick Johns
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bio, music
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
Aug 03, 2015 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 Constanze ...more
Dec 11, 2012 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 b ...more
Jun 27, 2010 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 inte ...more
Samantha Bee
May 01, 2014 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.
Jun 19, 2007 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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mozart's Letters, Mozart's Life
  • Mozart: A Cultural Biography
  • Piano Notes: The World of the Pianist
  • Beethoven
  • Beethoven's Letters
  • Mozart: A Life
  • Mistress of the Elgin Marbles: A Biography of Mary Nisbet, Countess of Elgin
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: A Biography
  • Mozart
  • Glenn Gould: A Life and Variations
  • Schubert's Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession
  • Sounds and Sweet Airs: The Forgotten Women of Classical Music
  • Beethoven: The Universal Composer
  • Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician
  • A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould's Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano
  • Voltaire in Love
  • The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824
  • Beethoven's Hair: An Extraordinary Historical Odyssey and a Scientific Mystery Solved
1 follower
Jane Glover has been Music Director of the Glyndebourne Touring Opera, Artistic Director of The London Mozart Players, and has conducted all the major symphony and chamber orchestras in Britain.