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Mozart's Letters, Mozart's Life
Synopses & Reviews
What was Mozart really like--wild? sublime? responsible? fun-loving? bright? foul-mouthed? Reading these letters, we learn in his own words that he was all of these and much more. Here is the composer at his most intimate and unguarded, expressing his feelings about life, love, music, and the world around him. For this collection, Robert Spaethling has carefully chosen letters written by Mozart over a span of almost twenty-two years--from his first journey to Italy as a shy teenager to the final months of his life in Vienna. The letters, together with the accompanying introductions, chronicle the composer's life, personal development, and artistic growth. These new translations into English, the first in more than sixty years, are faithful to the original German even to the point of misspellings, which abound in the early correspondence. No effort has been spared to find language as closely equivalent to Mozart's as any translation can be and to clear up references in the letters to people, places, and events. Mozart's Letters, Mozart's Life makes wonderful reading for anyone who has ever loved a work by the composer, from the deceptively simple Eine kleine Nachtmusik to the towering, magnificent Requiem.
Book News Annotation:
In these new translations—the first in some 60 years—of 275- plus letters written over two decades, Spaethling (emeritus, German, U. of Massachusetts) retains his idiosyncratic spelling and offers Mozart lovers insights into the composer's artistic and personal journeys (1756-91). Includes an introduction, annotations, a map of Mozart's Europe, a chronology, travel itinerary, and illustrations of Salzburg, Mozart, his family, and letters.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Letters by Mozart in sparkling new translations that capture the flavor of the writing, transmit every nuance, and render every thought faithfully and accurately.
'\"A wonderful collection that gives Mozart a voice as a son, husband, brother and friend.\" \'\"New York Times Book Review\n
"Mozart's honesty, his awareness of his own genius and his contempt for authority all shine out from these letters."'"Sunday Times"(London). " In Mozart's Letters, Mozart's Life, Robert Spaethling presents "Mozart in all the rawness of his driving energies" (Spectator), preserved in the "zany, often angry effervescence" of his writing (Observer). Where other translators have ignored Mozart's atrocious spelling and tempered his foul language, "Robert Spaethling's new translations are lively and racy, and do justice to Mozart's restlessly inventive mind" (Daily Mail). Carefully selected and meticulously annotated, this collection of letters "should be on the shelves of every music lover" (BBC Music Magazine).
About the Author
Robert Spaethling was raised in the Bavarian town of Weissenstadt. He attended the Universities of Regensburg and Würzburg and has a Ph.D. in German from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Larkspur, California.Robert Spaethling was raised in the Bavarian town of Weissenstadt. He attended the Universities of Regensburg and Würzburg and has a Ph.D. in German from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Larkspur, California.
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