Mozart in Italy
'I couldn’t put it down' - Joanne Lumley
At thirteen years old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a child prodigy who had captured the hearts of northern Europe, but his father Leopold was now determined to conquer Italy. Together, they made three visits there the last when Mozart was seventeen, all vividly recounted here by acclaimed conductor Jane Glover.
Father and son travelled from the theatres and concert salons of Milan to the church-filled streets of Rome to Naples, poorer and more dangerous than the prosperous north, and to Venice, the carnivalesque birthplace of public opera. All the while Mozart was absorbing Italian culture, language, style and art, and honed his craft. He met the challenge of writing Italian opera for Italian singers and audiences and provoked a variety of responses, from triumph and admiration to intrigue and hostility: in a way, these Italian years can be seen as a microcosm of his whole life.
Evocative, beautifully written and with a profound understanding of eighteenth-century classical music, Mozart in Italy reveals how what he experienced during these Italian journeys changed Mozart – and his music – for ever.
You don’t have to be able to hum Mozart to find this book utterly engrossing. As a fan of both the fabled composer and Dame Jane Glover, Mozart in Italy is a match made in heaven. I couldn’t put it down.
Brimming with life, Glover’s vibrant account of Mozart’s unique and absorbing adolescence is joyously rewarding.
The Toronto Star