‘A dazzling celebration and recalibration of Mozart’s genius, written with an energy to match its subject’ Ian BostridgeMozart is one of the most familiar and beloved icons of our culture, but how much do we really understand of his music, and what can it reveal to us of the great composer? In exhilarating, transformative prose, Patrick Mackie mixes biographical storytelling with deep dives into the experience of listening to Mozart”s music to reveal a musician in dialogue with culture at its most sweepingly progressive, when Europe was caught between two historical worlds. We follow Mozart from his adolescence in Salzburg to his early death; from his close and rivalrous relationship with his father to his romantic attachments; from his hugely successful operas to intimate compositions on the keyboard. Mackie leads the reader through the major and lesser-known moments of the composer”s life and brings alive the teeming, swivelling, modernity of eighteenth-century Europe.
In this era of rococo painting, surrealist aesthetics and political turbulence, Mozart reckoned with a searing talent which threatened to overwhelm him, all the while pushing him to extraordinary feats of musicianship. Returned to the volatility of the eighteenth century, we hear Mozart”s music in all its audacious vividness, gaining fresh perspectives on why his works still move us so intensely today, as we continue to search for a modernity he imagined into being.