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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is one of the great icons of Western music. An amazing prodigy―he toured the capitals of Europe while still a child, astonishing royalty and professional musicians with his precocious skills―he wrote as an adult some of the finest music in the entire European tradition.
Julian Rushton offers a concise and up-to-date biography of this musical genius, combining a well-researched life of the composer with an introduction to the works―symphonic, chamber, sacred, and theatrical―of one of the few musicians in history to have written undisputed masterpieces in every genre open to composers of his time. Rushton offers a vivid portrait of the composer, ranging from Mozart the Wunderkind―travelling with his family from Salzburg to Vienna, Paris, London, Rome, and Milan―to the mature author of such classic works as "The Marriage of Figaro", "Don Giovanni", and "The Magic Flute". During the past half-century, scholars have thoroughly explored Mozart's life and music, offering new interpretations of his compositions based on their historical context and providing a factual basis for confirming or, more often, debunking fanciful accounts of the man and his work. Rushton takes full advantage of these biographical and musical studies as well as the definitive New Mozart Edition to provide an accurate account of Mozart's life and, equally important, an insightful look at the music itself, complete with musical examples.
An engaging biography for general readers that will also be an informative resource for scholars, this new addition to the prestigious Master Musicians series offers an authoritative portrait of one of the defining figures of European culture.
Elegantly straightforward, engaging and informative, thought-provoking and enlightening... this is perhaps the finest concise study of Mozart and his music yet written. (Piano Magazine)
Rushton tells the Mozart story with sympathy and understanding... Authoritative, up-to-date and reliable. (Peter Williams, Times Literary Supplement)
The ideal general biography of Mozart. (thehistorychannel.co.uk)
...the general reader will be splendidly served by this superb introduction to the life and works, and the expert will have much to contemplate. (David Grayson, Music and Letters, Vol. 88, No. 2)