30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Still the best Mozart biography I have found,
This review is from: Mozart: A Life (Paperback)
An enjoyable read but not without some rather large flaws. Much easier to digest than Guttman's biography of Mozart in this regard. Certainly a readable and sometimes exciting chronology of Mozart's life. One gets a feeling of what Mozarts life was like but something in Solomon's psychological and cultural portraint seems to be missing. When I was finished I was left with as many questions about the life and times of Mozart as I had when I begun.
A very dissapointing discussion of Mozarts works, in fact there is no systemic evaluation on his output. Nothing on the piano concertos, chamber music, symphonies, or operas. Instead we are left with a few chapters superimposed into the text (Solomon admits they where used earlier as lecture material) that try to relate some adagio and concerti to outdated and apsychological theories of aesthetics. One should refer to Swafford's biograpy of Brahms as a model for an integrated discussion of a composers life and works.
Most annoying of all is Solomons incessant need to Psychoanalyze. More time is spent trying to pigeonhole Mozart's relation with his father into a Freudian model than is discussing the musical culture of Viena, or for that matter Mozarts sources of creativity. Dare I say, most of Solomons charachter analysis amounts to little more than psychobabble. This takes special crecedence when one considers how dubous and now abandoned Freudian theory is today in general.