As he s done in "Napoleon," "Churchill," "Jesus," and "Darwin," acclaimed historian and author Paul Johnson here offers a concise, illuminating biography of Mozart. Read more...
As he s done in "Napoleon," "Churchill," "Jesus," and "Darwin," acclaimed historian and author Paul Johnson here offers a concise, illuminating biography of Mozart. Johnson s focus is on the music Mozart s wondrous output of composition and his uncanny gift for instrumentation.
Liszt once said that Mozart composed more bars than a trained copyist could write in a lifetime. Mozart s gift and skill with instruments was also remarkable as he mastered all of them except the harp. For example, no sooner had the clarinet been invented and introduced than Mozart began playing and composing for it.
In addition to his many insights into Mozart s music, Johnson also challenges the many myths that have followed Mozart, including those about the composer s health, wealth, religion, and relationships. Always engaging, Johnson offers readers and music lovers a superb examination of Mozart and his glorious music, which is still performed every day in concert halls and opera houses around the world."
- ISBN-13: 9780670026371
- ISBN-10: 0670026379
- Publisher: Viking Pr
- Publish Date: November 2013
- Page Count: 164
- Dimensions: 0.75 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.78 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-09-30
- Reviewer: Staff
Historian Johnson (A History of the American People) has taken to writing succinct biographies of world-renowned figures like Darwin and Churchill that usually clock in under 200 pages, and this newest work, is no exception. Johnson packs a great deal of information into these pages in this chronological narrative, and his grasp of Mozart’s musical output is astounding, his descriptions of Mozart’s works comprehensive and enlightening. Johnson nicely gets into Mozart’s character (“Mozart had just enough experience with opera for it to remain fun, without disgusting him”), and he challenges preconceived notions about Mozart’s financial situation, marriage and, in an epilogue, the events surrounding his death. Overall, this is a solid, and often fresh, introduction to the life and work of the composer. (Nov.)