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Marrying Mozart Paperback – 28 December 2004
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Amadeus meets Little Women in this irresistibly delightful historical novel by award-winning author Stephanie Cowell. The year is 1777 and the four Weber sisters, daughters of a musical family, share a crowded, artistic life in a ramshackle house. While their father scrapes by as a music copyist and their mother secretly draws up a list of prospective suitors in the kitchen, the sisters struggle with their futures, both marital and musical - until twenty-one-year-old Wolfgang Mozart walks into their lives. Bringing eighteenth-century Europe to life with unforgiving winters, yawning princes, scheming parents, and the enduring passions of young talent, Stephanie Cowell s richly textured tale captures a remarkable historical figure - and the four young women who engage his passion, his music, and his heart.
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About the Author
- Publisher : Penguin; 1st edition (28 December 2004)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 014303457X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0143034575
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.13 x 19.56 cm
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I would say that Mozart was almost portrayed a little too mild in places. He tended to be overly sensitive because of his personal insecurity. In places, such as his interaction with Frau Weber, he almost seemed fully in control of his temper. I can't quite see that. This didn't really bother me-not as much as the butchering of his character in the movie.
I particularly delighted in Fridolin Weber's Thursday night music evenings which Cowell brought to life so well. In the absence of TV or radio these types of evenings were common in 18th c musical homes, & Mozart wrote for, played in as well as hosted them, often. After the death of Fridolin the mother's down-hill slide is very believable. It was mentioned that she "drank more than a woman should." (I guess it was okay for a man.) I liked the way the author began & ended with Novello's visit to Sophia, the last remaining Weber daughter. I have read the book of Mary & Vincent Novello's journey to Salzburg, & it is believable also that she would have told the story of the family to him-although I doubt very much that she would have included the spicier parts.
Any negative comments aside, I would have loved it if this book went on further into Mozart's life as there is so much more to be brought to life there. I would recommend the book to Mozart lovers of course or anyone interested in 18th c Vienna. Those who know the details of Mozart's life may be bothered by the liberties taken & those who aren't will enjoy the story as historical fiction.
You will love Stephanie's writing style outlining the relationships of the Weber family and his role in their life.
The reader is then taken from Sophie Weber's apartment in 1842 to the home of her girlhood in 1777 as she tells the story of how she and her family became intricately woven into the life of the world's foremost composer.
Mozart is a young man in his twenties, his prodigy days behind him. He is unemployed and his name is quickly slipping into anonymity. It is at this time that he meets the musician Fridolin Weber who invites him to his home for a Thursday night musical evening. Mozart is magnetically drawn to this family. The four daughters each have charm and in her own way, each captivates him.
Marrying Mozart is alive with energy. We learn the intricate details of the characters' personalities, and they become our friends. We are concerned whether Wolfgang will be able to overcome his tyrannical father and the girls' overly possessive mother in order to secure for himself both a livelihood and a life. The overall plot is simply the story of whom Mozart chooses to marry and how it happens. However, the poignancy with which it is carried out moved me from the first page to the last.
Marrying Mozart is a book to be owned, read and re-read. It is a treat from beginning to end.