Mozart at the Gateway to His Fortune, Serving the Emperor 1788-1791
Christoph Wolff is an eminent scholar, and in this nonfiction work offers new insights into the last four years of Mozart’s life. Specifically, the author discusses at great length and with much documented support the composer’s prolific creativity just prior to his death. Mozart’s musical genius was anchored in an uncanny power of memory and use of mnemonic devices, but understanding his creative process requires studying his daily routines, his emotional struggles, his demons and his relationships with both his father and his colleagues. Although detailed discussions of music dominate this work, Wolff holds the reader with insights into Viennese society, details of Mozart’s travels and living arrangements, his constant financial difficulties, and his relationship with Salieri. Anyone who enjoys Mozart’s music will find much that is interesting and engaging in this book, but the detailed and complex musical discussions will only be accessible to serious music students and Mozart scholars.