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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 18 October 2016
I have previously read Suchet's trilogy on the life of Beethoven. I found those books to be eminently readable and highly informative. His life of Mozart is also easy to read, but I found the content to be somewhat "thinner". Suchet freely acknowledges that much of his source material came from other authors, and the core facts of the biography depend on letters written by Mozart or members of his family. Thus, the overall impression is of a slightly second hand biography, and at no time do we discover whether Suchet was able to read the original German letters for himself. He uses a curious maneuver by which he extracts quotes from the book and separates them into paragraphs or lines in parentheses. I do not think this added anything. My overwhelming emotion as I read the book was sadness despite being well aware of Mozart's early death. Set against his astonishing genius the timing of his tragic death is hard to cope with. Suchet was correct in assuming that much of my previous knowledge of Mozart came from the film "Amadeus" and I was pleased to discover that the story of Mozart being placed in a pauper's grave is false.
One great asset that Suchet brings to a biography of a musical great is that Suchet himself has considerable musical knowledge as well as practical skill. This allows him to offer personal insights into individual pieces. I found this very helpful, so much so that when I read of a particular piece, I listened to it on my i-pad before continuing with the narrative.
I accept that the role of Mozart's father was very important in the life of Mozart, but I did wonder if it was slightly overdone because Suchet was so dependent on letters as his source material.
An easily read biography, perhaps most useful for someone who loves music and history, but is not an authority on either.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 November 2016
I love listening to Classic FM and even though I know which pieces of music I like to listen to, I find that I know very little about the lives of the great composers who wrote the music I love. In these days of quick fix information it's very easy just to search the internet for snippets of information as you need it, but nothing beats the look and feel of a really good biography. Mozart: The Man Revealed by John Suchet is a wonderful glossy biography to immerse yourself in, and as you read on, the here and now disappears, and you are quietly transported back to a wonderful time of musical soirées in the opulent salons of eighteenth century Europe.

The life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, from his birth in in Salzburg in January 1756, through to his untimely demise in Prague, aged just thirty five in 1791, is covered in fine detail. Each of the twenty-three chapters which make up the bulk of the work have delightfully descriptive headings, I think my favourites have to be those titles which head chapter 8 “Ass-Bumping in Venice", and the delightfully quirky heading for chapter 10, "Gnagflow Trazom", which I'll let you work out for yourself! John Suchet writes with such warmth and wit about this great composer but isn't afraid to show the man behind the genius, warts and all, which comes across when describing Mozart's rather salacious communication with his nineteen year old cousin, Maria Anna Mozart. I loved the way the biography flowed beautifully and was gilded with an assortment of delightful illustrations and documents which highlight Mozart’s complex and fascinating life.
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on 4 December 2016
I HAVE MANY BOOKS ABOUT MOZART IN MY LIBARY. THIS BOOK IS WELL PUT TOGETHER AND GOES INTO GREAT DETAIL ABOUT THE COMPOSERS LIFE FROM A YOUNG CHILD UNTIL HIS UNTIMELY DEATH AT THE AGE OF 35. JOHN SUCHET SHOULD BE CONGATULATED ON WRITING A GREAT BOOK.
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on 22 October 2016
As always, John Suchet writes in an informative and entertaining way. Mozart's story is far more complex than many would imagine! I won't spoil it, but will leave it to the reader.
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on 6 November 2016
Arrived on time and it has not disappointed. A really good insight into the personality of Mozart and social history. Extremely well written and easy to read.
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on 7 November 2016
I read this book so quickly because it was easy to read, engaging and informative. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in Mozart and his life.
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on 13 October 2016
A splendid book. It has gone very well as a present.
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on 5 January 2017
This book was a present for my birthday and is the sequel to John Suchet's previous book on Beethoven which I also enjoyed. It is well-written and researched and gives you a real insight into Mozart's life and work. It is also a book you want to keep as it is beautifully presented with lots of interesting illustrations. I thoroughly recommend it!
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on 3 December 2016
Interesting insights into the real man that was Mozart. Some surprising and disappointing revelations, I think we like to forget he was human also.
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on 8 January 2017
This is a very interesting book and written by John Suchet is easy to read. I`ve always enjoyed Mozart`s music but didn`t know much about him and now I do. I recommend this book which is good value for money. His last book about Strauss was excellent too.
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