What to Listen for in Mozart

What to Listen for in Mozart

by Robert Harris
     
 

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The essential introduction to Mozart and the pleasures of classical music in a witty, exuberant style to match Mozart's own. What to Listen For in Mozart reveals the essence of Mozart’s music as well as his tumultuous life and times, examining his achievements within the aristocratic society of the late 1700’s, a society hovering on the brink of…  See more details below

Overview

The essential introduction to Mozart and the pleasures of classical music in a witty, exuberant style to match Mozart's own. What to Listen For in Mozart reveals the essence of Mozart’s music as well as his tumultuous life and times, examining his achievements within the aristocratic society of the late 1700’s, a society hovering on the brink of revolution , and the details of his career and tragic death, shunned and destitute at the age of thirty-five.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Introducing a contemporary reader with only limited musical knowledge to an infinitely sophisticated composer is a daring venture; all the more gratifying, therefore, to report that Harris, a CBS-Radio executive, brings it off with considerable success. He writes warmly and colorfully about Mozart's too brief and largely unhappy life, disclosing nothing new to scholars but certainly creating a character likely to appeal to the reader's curiosity. The heart of the book, though, is a series of detailed studies of a handful of works-- Eine Kleine Nachtmusik , the Haffner serenade, the K.467 piano concerto, the Jupiter symphony and the operas Don Giovanni , The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute . Harris shines as an educator on the level of Leonard Bernstein in The Joy of Music , one of the only bestsellers about musical classics. Harris's exposition is lucid, his explanation of structure highly perceptive and his use of musical examples couched at just the right level for the interested amateur. He hits the appropriate tone, neither talking down to readers nor overwhelming them with arcane jargon. (Aug.)
Library Journal
As the title suggests, this is a guide to the music of Mozart for the uninitiated. Harris, who has created music appreciation programs for CBS radio, offers an easy-going and infectiously enthusiastic text. But there are two serious flaws: first, the book is replete with the worst sort of popularizing and mythicization (e.g., an interval of a major third expresses ``confidence and joy''; ``in the Romantic era meter was seen as a hindrance to . . . deep emotion''; ``for many composers after Mozart, form was not that important''). Second, even the most ardent novice might be discouraged by the formidable amount of space devoted to technical analysis. Harris deserves credit for trying to communicate his love for the subject and for introducing musical analysis at an introductory study, but the work's gross simplifications foster inaccurate and fanciful notions, and the target audience might be put off by the long stretches of often arguable analysis.-- Daniel Fermon, Museum of Modern Art Lib., New York
From the Publisher
“Harris shines as an educator on the level of Leonard Bernstein.”
Publisher's Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780743244046
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
06/07/2002
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Robert Harris is the author of Pompeii, Enigma, and Fatherland. He has been a television correspondent with the BBC and a newspaper columnist for the London Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph. His novels have sold more than ten million copies and been translated into thirty languages. He lives in Berkshire, England, with his wife and four children.

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