by John Suchet


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An ideal introduction to understanding the famous composer. Rich with wit and warmth, this compact biography is thoroughly enchanting.

We think we know the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's life. Austrian-born to a tyrannical father who worked him fiercely; unhappily married to a spendthrift woman; a child-like character ill at ease amid the aristocratic splendor of the Viennese court; a musical genius who died young thus depriving the world of future glories.

Yet only that last point is actually true. In this comprehensive biography, John Suchet examines the many myths and misunderstandings surrounding the world's best-loved composer. From his early days as a child prodigy performing for the imperial royal family in Vienna to the last months of his short life, driven to exhaustion by a punitive workload, one thing remained constant: his happy disposition.

Through trials and tribulations, grand successes and disheartening setbacks, Suchet shows us the real Mozart—blessed with an abundance of talent yet sometimes struggling to earn a living. His mischievous nature and earthy sense of humor, his ease and confidence in his own incredible abilities; these were traits that never left him. His music has brought comfort to countless generations; his life, though brief, is no less fascinating.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681775098
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 08/08/2017
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 499,034
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

John Suchet presents Classic FM's flagship morning program in England. Before turning to classical music, John was one of the England’s most respected television journalists. As a reporter he covered world events, including the Iran revolution, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Philippines revolution. John has been honored for both roles. In 1986 he was voted Television Journalist of the Year, in 1996 Television Newscaster of the Year, and in 2008 the Royal Television Society awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Royal Academy of Music has awarded him an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his work on Beethoven, having written six books on the composer, including the highly acclaimed Beethoven: The Man Revealed. His bestselling biography of the Strauss family, The Last Waltz: The Strauss Dynasty and Vienna, was published in 2015.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Prologue xi

1 The Handsomest Couple in Salzburg 1

2 The little Wizard 15

3 The Grand Tour 27

4 Prodigies of Nature 39

5 He Is Skin and Bone 49

6 Wolfganggangganger! 59

7 Chevalier de Mozart 71

8 Ass-Bumping in Venice 83

9 Bravissimo Maestro! 93

10 Gnagflow Trazom 103

11 There Is No Vacancy 113

12 Wolfgang Amadé Rosenkranz 123

13 Off with You to Paris! 131

14 My Dear Departed Mother 139

15 Unlucky in Love 151

16 A Kick in the Backside 165

17 An Honest and Virtuous Wife 175

18 Return to Salzburg 189

19 Paternal Pride 203

20 Womaniser, Criminal and Genius with Words 213

21 The Final, and Greatest, Symphonies 225

22 A Stranger Knocks 239

23 The Taste of Death on My Tongue 249

Afterword 261

Postscript 264

Notes 265

Index 267

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