Even from the perspective of time, it is nearly impossible to grasp the full contribution made to music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in his brief and glorious life. He composed his first symphony at the age of 8 and reached full artistic maturity by the time he was only 20. And when he died at the age of 35, he left a legacy of more than 600 works of brilliance - symphonies, chamber music, operas, and more - most composed during an incredibly productive 20-year period.
But even though it can well take a lifetime to fully grasp the achievement of the man described by Rossini as "the only composer who had as much knowledge as genius and as much genius as knowledge", every step of that journey toward understanding will be a joy - one you can begin with this fascinating eight-lecture series, which can serve as both a stand-alone introduction to this extraordinary composer or as the gateway to a lifetime of appreciation and pleasure.
Beginning with an examination of the many myths that surround Mozart to this day, Professor Greenberg offers not only an understanding of his music, but also a realistic view of Mozart the boy and man, from his emergence as youthful prodigy to his posthumous deification.You'll learn about his difficult and ultimately doomed relationship with his father, his troubled marriage, his relationships with luminaries like Haydn, Emperor Joseph II, and his operatic librettist, Lorenzo da Ponte, and the triumphs and disappointments that marked his career - including the astonishing and inexplicable creative recovery that enabled him to create his great Masonic opera, The Magic Flute, only months before his death.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©2000 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2000 The Great Courses
After having listened to Dr. Greenberg's course on the Thirty Greatest Orchestra Works, I had to have more, and decided to give this one a try. Although I have always had a great appreciation for the music of Mozart and truly love many of the things he has written, I can’t say that he has been one of my all time favorite composers. With the insights I gained from this Great Courses class taught by Dr. Robert Greenberg, I must say the great genius has moved up in my estimation. My understanding of his music is markedly better, and I can now say he truly is one of my favorite composers. The world lost him way too soon at the age of nearly 36, but thank goodness for the things he was able to give us.
Yes...it is a fascinating biography...although I loved the film AMADEUS, this tells the truth versus the fiction and clarifies where Mozart fits into an evolving art form in the context of world history.
The development of the genius of Mozart in the context of the times in which he lived.
His zest for srorytelling and light humor.
Unedited, unsugar coated, and as it was summary of his life. Very eye opening and it makes me appreciate his music so much more.
Professor Greenberg's lecture delivery is as informative as it is entertaining. He covers the basics of Mozart's life, addressing many common misconceptions. The lecture isn't technical in terms of music by any means, but does give clear examples of the material described. I imagine the video lectures of this series would have been better, but as I listen to most audiobooks in the car or while at work, this is the next best thing. If you are fan of classical (concert) music, and enjoy lectures that are very conversational, then this will suit you just fine.
This lecture series is perfect for someone who wants to get a smattering of information and does not mind being treated in a patronizing, supercilious and insulting manner by a lecturer so desperate to be "cool" and "hip" that he wastes our time with redundancies, digressions and self-indulgent rants. I can't imagine why he is considered a good lecturer.
By the way, I gave him more than one chance, having listened to three of his lecture series and each one is more grating and annoying than the last. If he just cut out some of the supercilious repetitions of adjectives and pseudo-hipster quips, he would have more time for the substance.
I have listened to audio books about composers in the past and found them dry, because the music is missing. Immediately the lecture format overcomes this, and these lectures are packed with musical excerts. So the format is ideal. But what makes this course shine is the wonderful Professor Greenberg: energetic, funny and at the same time authoritative. I absolutely loved it and am moving on immediately to another of his lecture courses. The material covers Mozart's life and his key musical development and output. I found it fascinating and I cannot recommend this course highly enough.
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