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The Faber Pocket Guide to Mozart (Faber Pocket Guides) [Kindle Edition]

Sir Nicholas Kenyon CBE , Nicholas Kenyon

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

Why is Mozart the best known and most popular of all the great Western classical composers? As the 250th anniversary of his birth approaches, his reputation stands higher than ever before. This lively new Pocket Guide assesses what Mozart means to us today, and explores why his music is so enduringly valued by listeners. The Guide aims to tell the general reader and listener in concise form all they need to know in order to listen to and enjoy Mozart's music - it will introduce a new generation of concert-goers and record-listeners to all his key works in forms from opera to symphony, concerto to song. In a crisp, sharp style, with extensive recommendations of good performances and recordings, Nicholas Kenyon shows how Mozart has turned a different face to every age that has performed his music and has communicated with unique. Separating the Mozart myth and the Mozart industry from the realities of his superb music, the book also asks key questions: How did Mozart compose? What did he look like? What did he think? How should we perform his music today? There will also be a brief calendar of Mozart's life, a musical glossary and a who's who of key figures in his life.

Product Description


Kenyon, an immensely experienced communicator, involves us in his own Mozartian passion...his overall approach is general and highly accessible. -- BBC Music Magazine, October 2005

Refreshingly down to earth, while brimming with lightly worn scholarship...a well-organised handbook at bargain price. -- Observer, September 2005

Book Description

This lively Pocket Guide assesses what Mozart means to us today and explores why his music is so universally loved.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 595 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Classical Music & Dance (6 Jan. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004GTN6J8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #166,371 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly level-headed look at the little tyke... 4 May 2006
By The Man in the Hathaway Shirt - Published on
This is a terrific introductory book to Mozart, and would be beneficial even to those who are already familiar with the subject. The author does a good job of deflating Mozart myths *without generating any new ones himself.* This has been particularly tough for writers of Mozart biography. The author just presents Mozart as a man, paints a picture of him with the latest research, and does not attempt grandiose summations or philosophical meanderings. At the same time, he knows and appreciates Mozart's greatness and uniqueness. The chapter called "Mozart in 2006" is particularly good, and worth the price of the book by itself. Kenyon talks about the events going on in Salzburg on the big 250th, and how Mozart is being marketed like a Big Mac (and much more successfully apparently, judging by the lines I had to wait in to get into the Geburtshaus this year). But then he retraces past history to show that for most of even the 20th century, it wasn't this way, Mozart was a composer loved for only a handful of works (it's amazing to contemplate how recently most of the operas of the "immortal Mozart" have entered the repertoire), was not considered "profound" or "sublime" but more like "pretty" and "enjoyable," and that his reawakening started with some British scholars--all but ignored at first--and then pushed into mainstream mania by the distorting film Amadeus. He shows how this has done as much bad as good for Mozart, but the ticket-takers in Salzburg wouldn't agree. The book then discusses Mozart year by year. The detail is rich and interesting, and again the author doesn't fetishize his subject. We learn some new things, such as the fact that apparently Prince Lichnowsky, who later became an important patron of Beethoven, was in the process of suing Mozart when he (Mozart) died.

The analyses of various pieces of music are also refreshing. Finally someone who dispels the myth that the finale of the Jupiter symphony consists of a four-part fugue. Well, there is a brief such moment in the coda, but it's gone in a flash and it's not the real reason for the piece's significance. His breakdown on such works as the symphonies 36 and 38, the Sinfonia Concertante K. 364, and other well-known works, is also fresh and readable whether you have musical training or not. In a world that already contains perhaps too many guides to Mozart, this one was really needed.

Mozart patrons and singers are listed and given brief bios, but oddly there's no section for other instrumentalists in his life. There are also sections with quotes and verse about Mozart, from everyone from Beethoven to Victor Borge. (Borge's is best!) Kenyon goes over the main corpus of Mozart's works and rates them. Overall I agree with the ratings, though I feel he shortchanges a few key works, such as the 17th piano concerto. Also Kenyon's chapter on performing period Mozart is a little naive, but it's typical of what Brits, who started the whole "original music" school, tend to think. All in all a fine book and a great introduction to the Divine Mister M, with an excellent list of suggested readings in the back so that you can continue your exploration. The small size (roughly that of a Tom Clancy paperback) means you can throw this in your luggage and take it when you visit Salzburg or Vienna, and carry it with you to appreciate the sites that much more. Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent survey of Mozart's life and works. 26 Oct. 2011
By George Goldberg - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is not a work of original research into primary sources or a close technical analysis of Mozart's compositional technique. What it is, and is an ideal example of, is a synopsis of where Mozart scholarship stands today with respect to his life and music, and a survey of his major works with brief discographies. It can serve as an excellent introduction to Mozart for newcomers but is also of interest to Mozart aficionados who listen to his music, play some of it, and have read a few biographies. Thus I learned that the Köchel numbering system we have lived with for so long is being updated, though the new system is not yet in general use. Most of all, and not typical of survey books, this book is well-written and enjoyable to read. Highly recommended.
3.0 out of 5 stars bullet point chronology 16 Aug. 2013
By John F. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wish Faber would have instructed their Pocket Guide authors to maintain a common format. After reading FPG to Haydn this becomes a disapointment although the writer is clearly a master of the topic and very skillfull writer. One really needs a more full-bodied version following this bullet point presentation!
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