Mozart: The Early Years, 1756-1781

Overview

The first comprehensive life and works of the composer in over sixty years, by a leading Mozart specialist.
Our understanding of Mozart's life and music has broadened immensely in recent years. Much new material has come to light, including discoveries of musical sources and fresh ways of interpreting known ones. Studies in the chronology of Mozart's works, his compositional process, his relationship to the world around him—these and many other areas have yielded new thinking ...

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Overview

The first comprehensive life and works of the composer in over sixty years, by a leading Mozart specialist.
Our understanding of Mozart's life and music has broadened immensely in recent years. Much new material has come to light, including discoveries of musical sources and fresh ways of interpreting known ones. Studies in the chronology of Mozart's works, his compositional process, his relationship to the world around him—these and many other areas have yielded new thinking that has challenged or overturned the inherited wisdom. In Mozart: The Early Years renowned music historian Stanley Sadie discusses all aspects of the composer's life and music, relating them to the social, economic, cultural, and musical environments in which he worked. Drawing substantially on family correspondence, Sadie illuminates Mozart's world and his relationships with employers, colleagues, and family. Individual works are discussed in sequence and related to the events of the composer's life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
More a biography of Mozart's music than a study of the man himself, Sadie's final opus-he died this year after publishing some 30 books-should delight musicologists but puzzle general readers. Not only is the music Sadie's primary interest, he does not believe it reveals anything, necessarily, about its composer. Indeed, he reminds readers not to impose contemporary values on Mozart's era. "Romantic eyes," for example, might see certain minor-key compositions as expressions of Mozart's grief over his mother's death, but Sadie argues that there's "no real reason to imagine that he used his music as [a] vehicle for the expression of his own personal feelings." Likewise, modern critics expect to see a certain type of progress in Mozart's oeuvre, with subsequent works building and elaborating former ones, in ways alien to Mozart on his contemporaries. Sadie is deft at situating various styles of musical composition in their cultural context: preferences for serious vs. comic opera, shorter vs. longer works, ecclesiastical vs. lay sponsorship, etc. But Sadie's real forte is his skill at dissecting musical composition-breaking it down to its constituent elements to understand its power-which is why this volume is indispensable for serious scholars, and mostly unreadable by everyone else. Illus. (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Not just Eine Kleine Nachtmusick: a full-scale study of Mozart's life and works from the late, great music critic for the London Times. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393061123
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/19/2005
  • Pages: 624
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Stanley Sadie (1930-2005), former music critic for The Times of London and editor of The Musical Times, published thirty books and edited the monumental New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

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