Synopses & Reviews
Throughout his life, Mozart was inspired, fascinated, amused, aroused, hurt, disappointed and betrayed by women -- and he was equally complex to them. But, first and last, Mozart loved and respected women. His mother, his sister, his wife, her sisters, and his female patrons, friends, lovers and fellow artists all figure prominently in his life. And his experience, observation and understanding of women reappear, spectacularly, in the characters he created. As one of our finest interpreters of Mozart's work, Jane Glover is perfectly placed to bring these remarkable women -- both real and dramatized -- vividly to life. We meet Mozart's mother, Maria Anna, and his beloved and devoted sister, Nannerl, perhaps as talented as her brilliant brother but, owing to her sex, destined to languish at home while Wolfgang and their father entertained the drawing rooms of Europe. We meet, too, Mozart's other family -- his in-laws, the Webers: Constanze, his wife, much maligned by history, and her sisters, Aloysia, Sophie and Josefa. Aloysia and Josefa were highly talented singers for whom Mozart wrote some of his most remarkable music. Aloysia was the first woman whom Mozart truly and passionately loved, and her eventual rejection of him nearly broke his heart. Constanze, though a less gifted singer, proved a steadfast and loving wife and -- after Mozart's death -- his extremely efficient widow, consolidating his reputation and ensuring that his most enduring legacy, his music, never be forgotten.
Mozart's Women is their story. But it is also the story of the women in his operas, all of whom were -- like his sister, his mother, his wife and his entire female acquaintance -- restrained bythe conventions and strictures of eighteenth-century society. Yet through his glorious writing, he identified and released the emotions of his characters. Constanze in Die Entfü hrung aus dem Serail; Ilia and Elettra in Idomeneo; Susanna and the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro; Donnas Anna and Elvira in Don Giovanni; Fiordiligi, Dorabella and Despina in Così fan tutte; Pamina and the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflö te: are all examined and celebrated. They hold up the mirror to their audiences and offer inestimable insight, together constituting yet further proof of Mozart's true genius and phenomenal understanding of human nature. Rich, evocative and compellingly readable, Mozart's Women illuminates the music and the man -- but, above all, the women who inspired him.
“a heartfelt and original portrait...[from] one of the worlds finest musical interpreters of Mozart.” The Observer
“Jane Glover has pulled off a coup des livres with her fresh take on Mozarts life and work.” John Allison, Sunday Telegraph
“Beautifully written and scholarly without seeming so.” Dame Felicity Lott
“Impossible to read Mozarts Women without being deeply touched by what it reveals of the people closest to the composer.” The Independent
“Rich, evocative, compellingly readable, Mozarts Women illuminates the music and the man, but above all, the women who inspired him.” ClassicFM Newsnight
“It is Jane Glovers great gift to show how the women surrounding Mozart...all influenced him.” Judith Flanders
Throughout his life, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was enchanted, amused, aroused, and betrayed by women—his mother, sister, wife, sisters-in-law, female patrons, friends, lovers, and fellow artists—and he was equally complex to them. But ultimately the great composer loved and respected the women he knew intimately and those whom he admired from afar. In this fascinating, evocative, and compellingly readable biography, Jane Glover, acclaimed conductor and acknowledged expert on Mozart's life and work, brings these remarkable ladies vividly to life—the real women who shared the composer's tumultuous world and inspired some of his greatest musical achievements, as well as those he dramatized in his magnificent operas.
About the Author
Jane Glover is one of our preeminent conductors and an expert on Mozart. She studied music at St. Hugh's College, Oxford, and subsequently completed her doctorate on seventeenth-century Venetian opera. She is Music Director of Chicago's Music of the Baroque and conducts regularly with the Chicago Opera Theater. In addition to the New York City Opera, she has conducted at all the major symphony and chamber orchestras in Britain -- at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the English National Opera and Glyndebourne -- and appears regularly at the BBC Proms. She works extensively in the United States, Europe and Australia. She is also a regular broadcaster, with highlights that include a television series on Mozart and the radio series Opera House. She received the honor of Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2003.