- Paperback: 412 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press (March 28, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521588235
- ISBN-13: 978-0521588232
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,571,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Wolfgang Amadé Mozart Paperback – March 28, 1997
Who was Mozart--the pure artist some have thought him, or the grotesque idiot savant, obsessed by the scatological but still capable of writing music as if channeling God? In this 1991 biography (newly translated into English by J. Bradford Robinson), author Georg Knepler demolishes both notions. In their place he presents a thinking man, a true son of the Enlightenment, a man unimpressed by inherited position--at home in all segments of society--and profoundly affected by events and ideas around him. Knepler traces Mozart's intellectual and musical development to make a compelling case for the composer as a complex and multifaceted individual. This is one of the best, most thoughtful biographies of Mozart to appear in recent years.
"Could the composer, who lived to see the French Revolution, have been immune to revolutionary thought? Emphatically not, Knepler says. Evidence appears through careful reading of Mozart's letters and from impressive analysis of several musical works, particularly parts of the operas. The book, translated brilliantly from the German by Robinson, includes notes, index, illustrations, musical examples, and a large bibliography; an appendix offers several texts that 'played a role in Mozart's intellectual development.'...This provocative, original book is highly recommended to students of Mozart and to anyone interested in the cultural life of the alte 18th century." Choice
"Among the innumerable books triggered in 1991 by the bicentenary of Mozart's death, that of Georg Knepler shone with exceptional distinction; we are duly grateful that it reaches us, three years after the event, in a translation by J. Bradford Robinson worthy of Knepler's dense yet gracious prose. The book, neither a chronological survey nor a comprehensive Life and Works, is something much rarer: a sequence of insights into matters biographical, historical, psychological, and mythical, and into the musical techniques wherein they are incarnate....Especially moving is Knepler's final chapter....he still believes in Mozart's vision and so, surely, must we. This great book tells us why." Wilfrid Mellers, Times Literary Supplement
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