Mozart feels underpaid and misused by his patron, the Archbishop of Salzburg. The young virtuoso-composer longs to escape from the ``Archbooby,'' preferring to remain in Vienna, where he and his benefactor are paying an extended visit, than return to his father and the relatively uncultured town of Salzburg. The story unfolds through epistolary invectives sent from Mozart to his father railing against the Archbishop and his entourage, including his ``stooge,''p. 23 Count Arco. We don't see the father's replies, and Mozart's self-interested account of events keeps us guessing at the truth. Though he claims to have given up ``the foolish error of his former ways,'' his appreciation of a student's cleavage proves otherwise. Mozart declares that the decision to stay or to go is entirely up to his father. However, when the senior Mozart opts for his son to return, Wolfgang explains why he can no longer do so, respectfully adding that perhaps his father was dreaming when he last wrote and vehemently listing reasons why he should stay. Neider's ( A Visit to Yazoo ) is an amusing, energetic kick-butt account--Mozart's foot, Countp. 86 Arco's butt--of Mozart's early years. (Sept.)
The newest work by prolific writer and traveler Neider ( Overflight , LJ 12/86) is an epistolary novel. The story unfolds through the use of letters from an adolescent Mozart to his father, thereby combining historical fact with contemporary attitudes to portray Mozart's feelings, his goals and aspirations, and his pervasive hatred of the Archbishop of Salzburg. Music buffs will enjoy Neider's tongue-in-cheek, spoofing manner, which presents the man behind the genius. Recommended for large collections.-- Ellen R. Cohen, Rockville, Md.