- Hardcover: 271 pages
- Publisher: Schirmer Books/ MacMillan Publishing; First Edition edition (1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0028720253
- ISBN-13: 978-0028720258
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 10.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,428,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mozart: The Golden Years 1781-1791 Hardcover – 1989
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It must be admitted, however, that this book did appear originally in 1989, so that obviously any later scholarship by Robbins Landon and others must, by definition, be missing. Still, with that in mind, this makes a very substantial introduction for those who want to start to understand Mozart from that decade of 1781 to 1791.
Landon focuses on the years Mozart spent in Vienna from 1781 until his death in 1791, the years that Mozart composed most of his many musical masterpieces. The opening chapter, however, provides a summary of his early years in Salzburg. The final year, 1791, of Mozart's life is only briefly covered in this volume. Landon has written a separate book, "1791, Mozart's Last Year," that covers in detail Mozart's most prolific year, his "annus mirabilus." In both books, Landon states that he has aimed for both readability and scholarly content. By and large, he has been successful in achieving that goal.
Besides discussing Mozart's life and music, Landon describes life in Vienna, already the musical capital of Europe, in the late Eighteenth Century. The last chapter deals with a possible Freemason conspiracy against the Austrian government in 1791. Mozart was a Freemason, but his role, if any, in such a conspiracy is unknown. In any event, Freemason activity was sharply curtailed in the years following 1791, and some lodges were closed.
Elsewhere, Landon has divided his attention about equally between Mozart's life and his compositions. There are excellent discussions of his chamber music and his piano concertos, in particular. The book is footnoted extensively and also contains seven appendices on various topics related to Mozart's Vienna years.Read more ›