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Mozart: His Character, His Work (Galaxy Books) [Paperback]

Alfred Einstein , Nathan Broder , Arthur Mendel
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Price: £14.13 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; New Ed edition (31 Dec 1965)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195007328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195007329
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 498,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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THERE is a strange kind of human being in whom there is an eternal struggle between body and soul, animal and god, for dominance. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars MOZART 1 Sep 2014
An excellent addition to my collection of Mozart books and music. Page 85 gives such an interesting Plate of Mozart as a Child,Courtesy,Yale School of Music,but I note the (?) included within the From a Portrait(?) J.B.Greuze. Such a portrait could surely have only been a commission by a known artist and I am curious as to the doubt raised here.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the essentials in Mozartian scholarship. 27 Oct 1999
By Joseph C. Murray - Published on Amazon.com
One should be fairly familiar with the life of Mozart before embarking on this book. Full of technical insights, it gives the reader some idea of what was going on in the composer's mind. Chapters which talk about Mozart's compositional influences and the factors which helped cultivate his musical consciousness are particularly informative. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is rather familiar with the story of the man and wants to understand why he was so great.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delight for Mozart Lovers 31 May 2007
By David Adams - Published on Amazon.com
Trans by Arthur Mendell and Nathan Broder. Three-quarters of Einstein's book is given over to a discussion of the works in layman's terms. Einstein had the knack of being able to write for the masses yet keep the attention of the musical scholar. I see it as one of the classics on Mozart's works for everyman. His biographical secion at the beginning is charming as well. Overall, a delightful treat for Mozart lovers, a MUST read. He opens his text with "There is a strange kind of human being in whom there is an eternal struggle between body and soul, animal and god, for dominance." You know you are in for a good time.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To K 626 and Beyond 7 Jun 2011
By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon - Published on Amazon.com
Alfred Einstein oversaw K3, which was the first radical overhaul of Köchel. He was a scholar who was deeply grounded in Nineteenth Century German Humanism. This book is the product of his lifelong interest in Mozart. Purchasing it does not entail a visit to the Valley of the Dry Bones where only desiccated scholars draw sustenance; it was written for the Common Man or Woman.

Part of this book is antiquated. Recent scholarship has completely overhauled our understanding of Mozart's creative process. Similarly, the chronology of many works as advanced by K3 has been revised, not least by Alan Tyson Mozart: Studies of the Autograph Scores. If you purchase Einstein's book, be mindful that Chapter 8 'Fragments and the Process of Creation' is thoroughly outdated.

There is a difference between truth and fact. We can still profit from Einstein's knowledge and his deep love of Mozart. There is no better depiction of Mozart as an Eighteenth Century composer, a man among men. Words often falter when applied to music. Thankfully Einstein is the master of the analogy; what else can one use to encompass such a demi-god? Mozart's organic growth as a composer is well traced. Again and again, he imparts illumination.

There are sunspots: Einstein underrates the E Flat Major Concerto - K 482, the Queen of the Realm; he famously neglected to include the Haffner Serenade; he also stands staunchly in the anti-Constanze camp (the poor woman was incessantly pregnant during the eight year marriage); his review of the Clarinet Quintet - one of the wonders of the world - is somewhat underwhelming. Nor am I convinced that Mozart should be labelled the "most Catholic of composers" - to wit, his espousal of Freemasonry (and a certain guy called Anton Bruckner has stronger claims).

Even so, every page will deepen your understanding "of the miracle that God allowed to be born in Salzburg." [Leopold Mozart] This book is a classic. Come Judgement Day, it will still be in print.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Character and work described and analyzed 12 Oct 2010
By Shalom Freedman - Published on Amazon.com
The first part of this book is dedicated to illuminating the character of Mozart. It opens with descriptions of Mozart's love of traveling and the fact that he was never really at home in any one place. It speaks about the role of Mozart's father Leopold and his understanding and cultivating of his genius son. Einstein is kinder to Leopold than other writers about Mozart and sees the pathos in his situation after his son broke free of him at the age of twenty- two. As Einstein sees it the overprotected genius Mozart was great only in his music, and was essentially mugged by everyday reality. The family of his wife, and especially Mozart's mother- in- law are seen as villains of the piece.
One of the most interesting sections of the work is a comparison made of the methods of composition of Mozart and Beethoven. Mozart could begin with a complex idea and have it organically develop to completion. Beethoven often began with a simple theme or idea and had to rework and rearrange various parts of the composition until he brought it to proper composition.
The second part of the book analyzes the musical work of Mozart. As Einstein sees him he was a 'traditionalist' who created works of perfection in the vocal and non- vocal modes in which he worked.
I believe this to be a very good book. I also know that those with a much deeper understanding of Classical Music than myself will get far more from it than I could.
By the way according to Einstein Mozart may have loved to travel but he paid no attention to the scenery, to nature and even to Art. He sat in his coach absorbed in the process of composition, in the world of his creation.
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful and scholarly 7 Mar 2014
By Sprari - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Alfred Einstein is considered one of the foremost Mozart scholars. The book is thoroughly researched and presented. The book was translated from German a long time ago, and the style may be somewhat unfamiliar to English speakers, with extremely long paragraphs (a page or more in many cases). This is more a book for musicologists and students of musicology than the average person. Nevertheless, there's much to learn about Mozart and his works from the book, but reading it is often taxing. Unlike some other biographers, Einstein does provide detailed interpretations of many of Mozarts compositions, but you may need to keep a music dictionary handy.
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