Five Star Pick
Since I am a huge Mozart fan, I grabbed this as soon as I saw it on display at the library. I had read about his beginnings from the book by Stanley Sadie called Mozart: the Early Years, 1756-1781, but I was waiting for more information on the rest of his life and was thrilled when this book came out. Even though Wolff’s work focuses more on the music that Mozart composed at this time, I did learn new and interesting things that I had no idea about the composer—including a plausible reason for his premature death. Wolff also shares prints of concert posters and scores written in Mozart’s hand to show us how things looked in that era. He even gives us an idea about the currency exchanged in those times, which give us a picture of what Mozart could afford and the living spaces he inhabited. The composer’s music plays a huge role in this book, as many famous scores are intimately examined (the reasons for being written, the tone and beats). It is the first time I see how Mozart’s compositions reflected the person he was during the time he was writing them. The book is also quite a fast read, so overall it is an enjoyable piece of history!