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Offers a detailed examination of Mozart's final months, discusses the cause of his death, and looks at his final compositions
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When Haydn left on a concert tour to London in December 1790, Mozart said farewell forever, and most people assumed it was Haydn's health that he was worried about. As we know now, the elder composer was to live for almost two decades more; Mozart, a single year. It was to be a year in which he wrote The Magic Flute, La Clemenza di Tito, and the Clarinet Concerto, as well as most of the Requiem; it was also a year of mounting disappointment in his career as part of the Viennese musical establishment, and a year of growing debt. Robbins Landon is keen to debunk the myths: Mozart was not poisoned ,but died of progressive kidney failure, and Salieri was innocent of his death, though not of promoting his own career at Mozart's expense. Landon defends Mozart's wife, Constanze, against the libels of biographers, though at times his portrait of comfortable bourgeois monogamy sounds like special pleading and overlaps with hints of conscientious bohemian racketiness. This is a wonderful portrait of a great artist and the city where he lived; in passing, Landon tells us everything we need to know about musical life, Masonry, and the truth about that pauper's grave. --Roz KaveneyFrom Publishers Weekly:
" Amadeus , the play and film, popularized the many legends about Mozart's 'decline and fall.' In this factual account of the composer's last year, musicologist Landon gathers authentic contemporary documents to 'bring us nearer to Mozart and his wife, Constanze, than does fiction, even at its most inspired,' " reported PW. Illustrated.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Schirmer Books, Macmillan, New York, 1988. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st American Edition. RIVETING: HEART-BREAKING: SCHOLARLY: NEW: First American Edition (orig. 1988) w/ no. line showing 4th Printing (c. 1996), NEW handsomely-presented unclipped mylar-protected jacket w/ sharp NEW edges & corners & showing orig. $19.95 pub. price at top right inside-front flyleaf, NEW library-durability-treated black fabric-over-boards cover w/ sharp NEW edges & corners & titles elegantly gilt-stamped on spine, IMMACULATE smooth-cut text-block exterior, IMPECCABLE cream-white card-stock end-papers, NEW sewn binding w/ tight signatures & blue-white-checked cloth bands at spine-caps, PRISTINE interior printed w/ handsome clarity on VERY GOOD unblemished acid-free paper * 6.36" x 9.50" x 1.00", 0.63 kg, 240 pp. * "Mozart is --- dead. He returned from Prague feeling sickly: it was thought he had contacted dropsy, & he died in Vienna. Because his body swelled up after death, people even thought he had been poisoned. . ." So speculated a Berlin newspaper on New Year's Eve, 1791 --- just weeks after Mozart's death. And so started an almost 200-year-long controversy over the cause of what H.C. Robbins Landon calls the greatest tragedy in music history. Myths, theories, & rumors abound: Was Mozart poisoned, the victim of personal, political, or professional intrigue? Did the Masons do it? Did Salieri? And was Mozart's beloved wife Constanze to blame for Mozart's many troubles during the last year of hs life? H.C. Robbins Landon settles the score with this fascinating book. One of the world's best-known musical scholars, he draws on a rich variety of new sources, from eyewitness accounts to freshly discovered documents, to lay myth aside for the facts about Mozart's last year. Taking us virtually month by month through 1791, Robbins Landon has written a book for all who love Mozart & his music, one that speaks w/ the voice of undisputed authority & reads w/ the drama of a first-rate detective novel. * HIGH PRAISE: "This is a scholarly work, yet it is so lively & convincing that the reader feels liker a juror mesmerized by a compelling cross-examiner." -New York Times . . . "Robbins Landon offers a riveting & heartbreaking account of the last year of Mozart's cruelly brief life." -Washington Post. Seller Inventory # 008439
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