Sharon Chmielarz The Other Mozart: Poems

ISBN 13: 9780865381018

The Other Mozart: Poems

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9780865381018: The Other Mozart: Poems
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A vital, delightful, engaging sketch of the life of Maria Anna Mozart, a child prodigy herself before she was eclipsed by the genius of her younger brother. "...dearest Sister...please trust me absolutely and never think that I shall forget you; but remember that things do not always turn out, or at least not always exactly, as one wishes."Mozart (17) to Maria Anna (22), 1778 Charming, intelligent, witty, beautiful, irreverent, Maria Anna (Nannerl) was the older sister of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. A musical genius in her own right, she toured the courts of Europe as a wunderkind from 1762 to 1767. But her career was cut short when her father, Leopold Mozart, decided to focus his resources on her brother Wolfgang. Sharon Chmielarz dramatizes important moments throughout Nannerl's life, creating a vital, engaging, and ultimately tragic heroine. The poems range from childhood scenes to Nannerl's early retirement and years of virtual exclusion, her marriage of convenience to a wealthy older man, the births of her children, the loss of her parents, brother, and husband, and finally her return as a widow to Salzburg. A fascinating, richly detailed glimpse into the private life of a cultured woman of her era, The Other Mozart, is engaging both as biography and poetry.

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About the Author:

Sharon Chmielarz has published two books of poetry with New Rivers Press and a chapbook with Poetry Harbor. Individual poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Ontario Review, The American Voice, Cumberland Poetry Review, and many other periodicals. Her children's books have been published by Stemmer House, Crown, and Ticknor and Fields, and her travel memoirs anthologized in The House on Via Gombito, Talking of Hands, and An Inn Near Kyoto. She lives in Minneapolis.

From Booklist:

Wolfgang's sister Maria Anna--Nannerl, as the family called her--is the subject of this absorbing biography-in-poems. Five years older than Wolfgang, she was his partner in a piano duo that toured Europe. When she reached adolescence, father Leopold withdrew her from performance. He recognized that Wolfgang, a phenomenal composer as well as performer, would be more lucrative as a solo act, while Nannerl could be prepared to marry well. She did, but not to the man she loved, and she never lost her love of music. She died in 1829; only her son, Leopold, survived her. In the poems, Chmielarz adopts many perspectives on her life, including Nannerl's own (but excepting Wolfgang's), and she touches on every important occurrence in her life. She writes in many forms--couplets, tercets, quatrains, etc.--but eschews regular meters and rhyme, and she neatly modulates diction to distinguish the personas of the poems' speakers. She never rants about women's oppression in Nannerl's time because the poems so artfully dramatize it. Extraordinary. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Sharon Chmielarz
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