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Mozart: The Reign of Love by [Jan Swafford]
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Mozart: The Reign of Love Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 212 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Mr. Swafford delights in repeating [stories of Mozart]—it’s one of the pleasures of this comprehensive and engaging biography.... With the eye of an omniscient novelist, Mr. Swafford tells Mozart’s story looking both forward and back, knowing too well how it will end… When he’s describing music, Mr. Swafford the novelist often becomes Mr. Swafford the poet, finding the impeccable image or unforgettable turn of phrase… [Mozart is a] conversation he so irresistibly invites us to join.” -- Wall Street Journal

"This is an excellent book on Mozart for both musicians and the general reader. The story is told in a lively, knowing style, without written-out musical examples but shot through with unfailingly erudite and impassioned discussion of the composer’s work." -- Washington Post

“It is a great pleasure to read about Mozart as a working composer in a narrative written by a working composer....Jan Swafford, an author whose music has been performed by the symphonies in St. Louis and Indianapolis, is our guide into the composing process, aided by a dexterous use of Mozart’s  correspondence and a deep knowledge of how music came about during the 18th century…The result is a biography that has an immediacy, a wholly thrilling ‘you are there’ impact.” -- San Francisco Chronicle

“The book goes well beyond setting the historical record straight, however. It is an utterly comprehensive look at Mozart's life, as well as an exhaustive reference to his music. Swafford, who has also written biographies of Beethoven, Charles Ives and Brahms, is a composer first, and his keen understanding of music is his greatest strength as a biographer.” -- Minneapolis Star Tribune

"In this masterfully written biography, Jan Swafford not only presents a richly detailed portrait of one of the greatest classical composers of all time, but debunks many of the myths surrounding the momentous and all-too-short life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The author, who is a composer, brings his insight to bear on his subject." -- Christian Science Monitor

"Composer and biographer Swafford brings expertise and insight to bear on a comprehensive, animated life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.. deftly [capturing Mozart’s] brilliance in a challenging narrative that is sure to thrill classical music fans… An admiring, authoritative biography.” -- Kirkus Reviews

"If tackling an 832-page biography of anybody seems daunting for the general reader, Swafford makes it almost effortless with Mozart, animating his genius....and, as a composer himself, offering an astute yet thoroughly approachable analysis, almost piece by piece, of the composer’s entire canon, lingering fittingly on the composer’s major operas....A virtually indispensable volume for the music collection."
-- Booklist (starred review)

"The copious detail will appeal to musicologists, while the flowing, conversational style will draw in general readers who’d like to learn more about the composer. Heartily recommended to everyone with an interest in the subject." -- Library Journal (starred review)

"[An] amazing biography....Orchestrating words and themes as deftly as any of the composers he so vividly has revealed to date (who will be next, we wonder?), Swafford transforms a deluge of available information into imaginative yet fact-based contexts that reveal Mozart’s talent in a down-to-earth and memorably human way." -- Bookreporter.com --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

About the Author

Jan Swafford is an American composer and author. He earned his bachelor of arts magna cum laude from Harvard College and his DMA in composition from the Yale School of Music. His music has been widely played by ensembles, including the symphonies of St. Louis, Indianapolis, and the Dutch Radio. He is the author of biographies of Ives, Brahms, and Beethoven. His many honors include an NEA Composer Grant and the Deems Taylor Award for online writing on music, which he won for his essays in Slate. He is a longtime program writer and preconcert lecturer for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and has written notes and essays for the orchestras of Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit, and Toronto. Among his liner notes for  recordings are those for DGG’s anniversary release of  Beethoven’s nine symphonies by the Vienna Philharmonic.

--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08425FRNN
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper (December 8, 2020)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ December 8, 2020
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 32165 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 827 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 212 ratings

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
212 global ratings
How are ratings calculated?

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2020
61 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on December 24, 2020
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30 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on January 13, 2021
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10 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

PaulS
3.0 out of 5 stars 5* for the author 1* for the publisher
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 29, 2020
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3.0 out of 5 stars 5* for the author 1* for the publisher
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 29, 2020
I couldn't agree more with the reviewer Mr C P Rouse. What is the point of a two-thirds height dust cover? I've returned my copy to Amazon and will await the paperback (hopefully the publisher will not give that a two-thirds height front cover!). I am certain that this book will be as excellent a read as the Beethoven biography was, but I'm not prepared to pay £20+ for this ill conceived idea.

** UPDATE ** I have bought the Harper edition (ISBN 9780062433572) which has a full height dust jacket. It cost a little bit more but it was well worth it as it is actually a nicer looking book.
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5 people found this helpful
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David Barry
2.0 out of 5 stars book arrived in very poor condition
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 16, 2020
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2 people found this helpful
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salty season
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only read one book on Mozart, this must be it.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 8, 2021
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2 people found this helpful
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deirdre byrne
5.0 out of 5 stars truly awesome biography.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 30, 2020
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2 people found this helpful
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Bob
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 14, 2021
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