Mozart: The Man and the Artist Revealed in His Own Words
Mozart’s adult life was an almost unbroken succession of artistic triumphs and personal disappointments. This collection of excerpts from his letters to family and friends, and from his other writings and reported conversations, the thoughts and emotions of the great composer – through periods of joy and travail – are disclosed for the modern reader.
In his own words (as compiled by Friedrich Kerst and translated into English by Henry Edward Krehbiel), Mozart communicates his optimisms and anticipations, his recurrent hopes for a post with a fixed income and suitable prestige; his frequent discouragements when these hopes went unfulfilled and pecuniary difficulties ensued; his unhappiness at Salzburg and his maltreatment at the hands of Archbishop Hieronymus; and the circumstances of his love affair with Aloysia Weber and his subsequent marriage to her sister, Constanze. In all, the book contains 255 observations on such subjects as opera, musical pedagogics, love and friendship, religion and morals, composers and performers, the value of hard work, self-respect and honor, travel, and other matters.
A composite portrait of Mozart the man and artist takes shape as you read. You’ll find him a man of strong attachments – devoted to his father, his wife, and his friends. You’ll also disco’ver his piety, pride, wit and good nature, and see how his normal equanimity could be transformed into passionate extremes, as in his bitter comment upon the death of Voltaire, “that godless fellow and arch-rascal”, and in his outrage after his ignominious treatment by the archbishop’s high-steward, Count Arco.
The selections are annotated by both Kerst and Krehbiel, giving dates and places of writing, indicating to whom the letter was addressed, amplifying the composer’s remarks if necessary, and providing much miscellaneous information. In these personal messages and reflections music lovers have a unique opportunity to gain first-hand insight into Mozart’s life and personality.
Publisher: Dover Publications
Author / Composer: Friedrich Kerst & Henry Edward Krehbiel