Mozart in Motion
‘A dazzling celebration and recalibration of Mozart’s genius, written with an energy to match its subject’ Ian Bostridge
Mozart 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.
An exhilarating and stimulating new survey of one of our civilization's greatest creative figures. Mackie sheds new light on both Mozart's music and his motivation, with an often piercingly original sideways glance - typically, Mackie ends his molto allegro romp through the works not with Mozart's famous unfinished Requiem but with a tiny keyboard Gigue that sums up his genius -- Nicholas Kenyon, Managing Director, Barbican Centre This book is like a set of virtuoso cadenzas on themes from Mozart's life and works: improvisatory, thought-provoking, quirky and constantly inventive -- Stephen Hough A dazzling celebration and recalibration of Mozart's genius, written with an energy to match its subject -- Ian Bostridge, author of Schubert's Winter Journey Written with the kind of energy and inventiveness of its subject, Mozart in Motion brings Mozart and his milieu into focus in a startling and original way. At once vividly evocative and dazzlingly informative and informed, this book changes the way we think about how art works, and how writing about art should work -- Adam Phillips As "kaleidoscopic" as the composer's own genius... an immersive and thought-provoking experience that will send you back to Mozart's oeuvre with a renewed appetite * Financial Times * Some sections flare into flame... he brings into vivid life the decadence of 18th-century Paris as it slides towards the Revolution... this book is as much about literary virtuosity as anything else * BBC Music Magazine * A brilliant whirlwind of a book that makes us listen to Mozart's music in new ways and brings new ideas about the enlightenment, modernity, the rococo, Goethe, Kant, Prince -- Lara Feigel, Books of the Year * White Review * Patrick Mackie's book places us firmly in [a] new world, and that's the best part of it - a feeling of looking over Mozart's shoulder * TLS * [Mackie's] sentences sizzle and explode from the page like an elaborate firework display... Luminous * Morning Star *
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