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Mozart's Sister Paperback – 12 Sep 2005
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'A vivid and convincing portrayal with an intriguing new hypothesis about Mozart's final resting place.' -- Saturday Guardian, 7th January 2006 - Rachel Hore
'Alison Bauld weaves a compelling tale to create an extraordinarily accomplished first novel...a veritable tour de force. Best Buy.' -- Classic FM Magazine, December 2005 - Julian Haylock
'Bauld writes with a lyrical delicacy but robust strains of earthy reality make her characters come alive on the page.' -- Chatshow.net - Roz
'Mozart's Sister is a brilliantly constructed debut novel with a wealth of additional facts as an index...I loved it!' -- Musical Opinion, November-December 2005 - Judith Monk
'That rare phenomenon, a book that's hugely enjoyable for the general reader and essential reading for scholars...I was enthralled.' -- Classic FM Radio Broadcast, december 2005 - Chris Powling
This wonderful debut novel follows Nannerl Mozart's life through marriage, children, widowhood and death in conversations with her nephew, Franz Xaver, Mozart's younger son. "Intervoven" is a fictional account of what may have happened to Mozart's body. It is a story with subplots ingeniously constructed from the few known facts. The heroine is Nannerl Mozart, the forgotten sister of a genius. As a child she had played for the royal courts of Europe with her brother, yet in adolescence she was left at home in Salzburg with her mother, while her father and Mozart lived in Italy. The father is not portrayed as an ogre, more a parent dedicated to enshrining and marketing his son's talent. The consequences are explored with perception and sympathy for each member and for Nannerl in particular as an eighteenth century female of considerable musical gifts. In 1770, Mozart wrote to his sister from Rome to praise her composition, urging her to send him more. None of her music survives and A. M. Bauld has included one of her own songs in homage. Merdith Oakes, playwright and librettist said "I loved reading "Mozart's Sister" because it carried me far.It's a living history: it's history appropriated by an informed, engaged, adoring, perceptive and wildly creative mind that responds to the Mozarts' life and music with a life and music of its own." See all Product description
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Later she married a much older man with six children, largely to escape spinsterhood and probably under Leopold's orders. She never really had a chance to blossom to her full potential like, say, Maria Theresa von Paradis, the blind cellist and composer in Vienna. There was a lot of "if only" to Nannerl's story. I have to admire her, though little is really known about what she was like as a person.
This novel has a bizarre point of view problem with the way the author's choice of narrative, which I found hard to like. I won't give it away. A simple narrative from Nannerl's own point of view would have been more insightful and enjoyable.