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Mozart's Letters, Mozart's Life: Selected Letters Hardcover – August 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (August 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393047199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393047196
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #794,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Spaethling writes in the introduction that his goal was to "provide a complete portrait and continuous account of Mozart the musician, Mozart the individual and Mozart the writer," and he has succeeded most admirably. -- The New York Times Book Review, Peggy Constantine

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Reviewer on July 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone who has ever heard any of Mozart's work knows that he is a fantastic composer - arguably the best ever. But every recording of every one of Mozart's pieces could not begin to provide the glimpse into Mozart's life that this book does. Contained herein are hundreds of Mozart's letters to those close to him, starting from when he was a boy traveling around Europe to a mere three months before his death in 1791. And whilst the fact that all of these letters are translations does make for some awkward reading at times, it also adds to the authenticity and thusly makes it all the more interesting.
I cannot recommend Mozart's Letters, Mozart's Life highly enough to anyone interested in Wolfgang Mozart. It is an unparalleled first-hand account of Mozart's life by the man himself, and is a must have for any classical music enthusiast's collection.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Craig Matteson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
What a fine accomplishment! According to the introduction, this book contains about 2/3 of Mozart's surviving correspondence. It has letters from and to Mozart and the translations are very lively and bring the personality of the composer to life. In older translations it seems that care was taken to make him sound like the monumental cultural force that he has become. But in this book, Mozart is a boy, a young man, a young husband, a fiery genius, and at times lost, grieving, and even confused.
The book is organized chronologically and provides biographical information that gives each letter some context. There are many useful footnotes as well as a couple of maps and list of Mozart's travels. The author has even included some notes about the various currencies in order to help the reader understand the discussions of money in the letters.
I can't emphasize enough what a lively read this book is. I found that I simply didn't get bogged down and enjoyed reading it. Yes, there are some portions of some letters I skipped, but that is one of the beauties of the book. You don't get lost simply because you skipped some mundane portions of one letter or another.
Mr. Spaethling is to be congratulated on this fine achievement. If you are interested in Mozart in any way, this book will deepen your appreciation of the living breathing person who wrote all that music. It didn't come from some alien dimension. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, this wonderful and complex human being did it all and we are much richer for it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mr Bassil A MARDELLI on April 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Mozart's full and final dedication to his work was exemplary; no doubt, his music spoke for the conscience of the world and his audience felt an almost religious faith in it. But the young man had frivolous and fun-loving personality, and his closeness to infantile notions was apparent with friends, relatives and pupils.

Mozart was possessor of the least inhibited tongue even in his contacts with serious foundations like Archbishopric or Freemasonry that mismatched the depth of notes he wrote.

This composer genius was filled with spontaneous strong-willed passion for music if weak-witted for romance and throughout the wide spectrum of his works involving every conceivable style of symphonies, operas, and orchestral pieces - some of the finest ever written - Mozart produced something truer than love.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. Caplan on December 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Those of us who know a little about Mozart believe that he was perfection incarnate, part angel, fluttering down to endow the world with heavenly music. (There probably is some truth to that.) This book, however, reveals a whole new side of Mozart, a very human side. As beautiful as Mozart's music is, the more beautiful it becomes after reading this book. Understanding his big heart, hard work and, yes, even imperfections, increases one's appreciation of his music.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book enabled Mozart come to life for me. The translation was very good. It showed, (in english), how Mozart worked on his grammar and spelling as he got older. Since he was "home educated", he had to work at this.
I could not put this book down, reading a few letters every day, I saw how Mozart grew from a boy into a man with a family. He was a really good guy, it's a shame he had to die so young.
I would say, to anyone who wants to know more about Mozart, buy this book. You can form your own opinion of him, then you can buy the "expert's" books.
After having read this book, I would like to know more about Constanze!
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