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Ten books about Mozart

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Mozart (1756-1791) is one of the most popular composers of the Classical era, known as a precocious child prodigy, celebrated as an excellent performer, and romanticized as a melancholy genius. These ten books offer a variety of portraits of Mozart in his own words, about his career, and about the reception of his music.

Stanley Sadie provides an account of the beginning of Mozart's career while H.C. Robbins Landon discusses his final year. Mark Everist's Mozart's Ghost's: Haunting the Halls of Musical Culture contextualizes how Mozart came to be one of the most revered composers in the history of Western art music through the careful study of early reception histories. Robert Gutman's Mozart: A Cultural Biography provides a comprehensive view of aesthetic currents in eighteenth-century Europe. 

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Piero Melograni here offers a wholly readable account of Mozart's remarkable life and times. This masterly biography proceeds from the young Mozart's earliest years as a wunderkind - the child prodigy who traveled with his family to perform concerts throughout Europe - to his formative years in Vienna, where he fully absorbed the artistic and intellectual spirit of the Enlightenment, to his deathbed, his unfinished Requiem, and the mystery that still surrounds his burial. Melograni's deft use of Mozart's letters throughout confers authority and vitality to his recounting, and his expertise brings Mozart's eighteenth-century milieu evocatively to life. Written with a gifted historian's flair for narrative and unencumbered by specialized analyses of Mozart's music, Melograni's is the most vivid and enjoyable biography of Mozart available.

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1791: Mozart's Last Year

The last month of the year 1791 witnessed what Robbins Landon calls "the greatest tragedy in the history of music" - the premature death of the 35-year-old Mozart. The event was surrounded by enigma and intrigue, allegations of poisoning and sexual scandal. Drawing on his knowledge of the sources, Professor Landon seeks to cut through the fantasy to present the facts and to reconstruct the story of the last year of Mozart's life. The composition of such works as the "Requiem", "The Magic Flute" and "La Clemenza di Tito" is discussed in detail, and light is thrown on Mozart's relations with the freemasons, with Salieri, Sussmayr and others.

Mozart

Few people these days would question Mozart's rating as the most popular of all classical composers. Yet there exists no substantial, up-to-date English-language study of the man and his works. In this new study of Mozart's early years, Stanley Sadie aims to fill this gap in the form of a traditional biography on a straightforward chronological basis. The volume covers the period up to 1781, the year of Idomeneo and Mozart's settling in Vienna. Individual works are discussed in sequence and related to the events of his life. Stanley Sadie draws substantially on the family correspondence, quoting the letters and discussing what they tell us about Mozart and his world and his relationships with his family and his professional colleagues. Also included is a discussion of all aspects of Mozart's life and his music, relating them to the environment in which he worked, social, economic and cultural as well as musical. Much new material connected with Mozart has come to light in recent years. There have been discoveries of musical sources and new ways of studying known ones. Such finds and methods have changed our view of the chronology of many works and they often have significant biographical ramifications. Understanding of the context for Mozart's music, and indeed his life, has broadened immensely. Stanley Sadie's biography digests and interprets this corpus of new information.

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Mozart: a Cultural Biography

This major work places Mozart's life and music in the context of the intellectual, political, and artistic currents of eighteenth-century Europe. Even as he delves into philosophic and aesthetic questions, Robert Gutman keeps in sight, clearly and firmly, the composer and his works. He discusses the major genres in which Mozart worked-chamber music; liturgical, theater, and keyboard compositions; concerto; symphony; opera; and oratorio. All of these riches unfold within the framework of the composer's brief but remarkable life. With Gutman's informed and sensitive handling, Mozart emerges in a light more luminous than in previous renderings. The composer was an affectionate and generous man to family and friends, self-deprecating, witty, winsome, but also an austere moralist, incisive and purposeful. Mozart is both an extraordinary portrait of a man in his time and a brilliant distillation of musical thought.

Mozart's Music of Friends

In 1829 Goethe famously described the string quartet as 'a conversation among four intelligent people'. Inspired by this metaphor, Edward Klorman's study draws on a wide variety of documentary and iconographic sources to explore Mozart's chamber works as 'the music of friends'. Illuminating the meanings and historical foundations of comparisons between chamber music and social interplay, Klorman infuses the analysis of sonata form and phrase rhythm with a performer's sensibility. He develops a new analytical method called multiple agency that interprets the various players within an ensemble as participants in stylized social intercourse - characters capable of surprising, seducing, outwitting, and even deceiving one another musically. This book is accompanied by online resources that include original recordings performed by the author and other musicians, as well as video analyses that invite the reader to experience the interplay in time, as if from within the ensemble.

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The Cambridge Companion to Mozart

The Cambridge Companion to Mozart paints a rounded yet focussed picture of one of the most revered artists of all time. Bringing the most recent scholarship into the public arena, this volume bridges the gap between scholarly and popular images of the composer, enhancing the readers' appreciation of Mozart and his extraordinary output, regardless of their prior knowledge of the music. Part I situates Mozart in the context of late eighteenth-century musical environments and aesthetic trends that played a pivotal role in his artistic development and examines his methods of composition. Part II surveys Mozart's works in all of the genres in which he excelled and Part III looks at the reception of the composer and his music since his death. Part IV offers insight into Mozart's career as a performer as well as theoretical and practical perspectives on historically informed performances of his music.

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Mozart's Ghosts

Mozart's Ghosts traces the many lives of this great composer that emerged following his early death in 1791. Crossing national boundaries and traversing two hundred years-worth of interpretation and reception, author Mark Everist investigates how Mozart's past status can be understood as part of today's veneration. Everist forges new paths to reach the composer, examining a number of ways in which Western culture has absorbed the idea of Mozart, how various cultural agents have appropriated, deployed, and exploited Mozart toward both authoritarian and subversive ends, and how the figure of Mozart and his impact illuminate the cultural history of the last two centuries in Europe, England, and America. Modern reverence for the composer is conditioned by earlier responses to his music, and Everist argues that such earlier responses are more complex than allowed by a simple "reception studies" model. Closely linking nine case studies in an innovative cultural and theoretical framework, the book approaches the developing reputation of the composer from death to the present day along three paths: "Phantoms of the Opera" deals with stage music, "Holy Spirits" addresses the trope of the sacred, and "Specters at the Feast" considers the impact of Mozart's music in literature and film. Mozart's Ghosts adeptly moves the study of Mozart reception away from hagiography and closer to cultural and historical criticism, and will be avidly read by Mozart scholars and students of eighteenth-century music history, as well as literary critics, historians of philosophy and aesthetics, and cultural historians in general.

Mozart and Enlightenment Semiotics

In this groundbreaking, historically-informed semiotic study of late eighteenth-century music, Stephen Rumph focuses on Mozart to explore musical meaning within the context of Enlightenment sign and language theory. Illuminating his discussion with French, British, German, and Italian writings on signs and language, Rumph analyzes movements from Mozart's symphonies, concertos, operas, and church music. He argues that Mozartian semiosis is best understood within the empiricist tradition of Condillac, Vico, Herder, or Adam Smith, which emphasized the constitutive role of signs within human cognition. Recognizing that the rationalist model of neoclassical rhetoric has guided much recent work on Mozart and his contemporaries, Rumph demonstrates how the dialogic tension between opposing paradigms enabled the composer to negotiate contradictions within Enlightenment thought.

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Mozart: The 'Jupiter' Symphony

This guide to Mozart's last and most celebrated symphony explores the historical background and aesthetic context of the work as well as the music itself. The early chapters examine the expectations of the symphony in Mozart's Vienna, Mozart's career in 1788 - the year of the three last symphonies - and the changing reception of the 'Jupiter' over the subsequent two hundred years. A separate chapter is then devoted to each movement of the symphony with musical discussion illuminated by a broad array of topics. Finally, a lucid exposition of rhetoric reveals the connections between elevated and learned styles and the sublime, enabling the reader to grasp the effect Mozart's music had upon his contemporaries.

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Joanna is a Front-End Developer at Bookwitty. You can actually find a coffee cup from the Amsterdam Concertgebouw artist lounge on her desk. She has twice won certificates of honour (and a free ... Show More

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