Talented narrators Nigel Anthony and Paul Rhys work well together in rendering this fascinating look at one of the greatest composers in history. They use their prodigious vocal talents and experience to pull back the curtain on the strained relationship between Mozart and his father and his early success as a composer and performer for the royals of Europe. Using an authoritative tone, they deliver the facts, and the more emotional and evocative passages are presented with increasing tension and excitement. Musical passages add to the listening experience, rounding out this fascinating and fulfilling study.
This is the poignant and compelling story of perhaps the most naturally gifted musical genius of all time. Copiously illustrated with examples of his music, it tells of Mozart's extraordinary childhood travelling the courts of Europe, and of how, after a brief period of fame in Vienna, his fortunes declined until his early death and last resting place in a pauper's grave...
Perry Keenlyside has written a very nice little book about the life of Mozart. Within nearly four hours the listener gets by means of many letters by Mozart to his father, sister and wife a very good overview about his music and fascinating career. Many short and well selected extracts of his works make this biography a very enjoyable listening experience.
For me this book could have been much longer. A must for every Mozart fan!
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
I enjoyed this, although Mozart's life was more depressing than I expected. The musical snippets scattered throughout were a nice addition.
My biggest complaint is in the narration. The volume changes depending upon whether the narrator is reading text or an excerpt from a letter. And he has the annoying habit of dropping his tone to emphasize a particular word so that it is sometimes hard to understand. Example: He describes a particular song in a Mozart opera as both touching and . . . and what? I had to rewind to hear the dropped tone on the word "ironic." Yes, my hearing is just fine -- and I want to keep it that way by not turning the volume way up just to hear the whispers.
Nice book. The narrator works hard and, for the most part, delivers well but the volume thing was annoying.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
I knew next to nothing about Mozart, and this offered a good overview of his life and music.
Though it is the furthest thing from exhaustive, the narrative is largely told through the correspondences of Mozart, his father, and various other figures, giving it all an intimate tone and leaving the listener with a feeling of having at least gone beneath the surface of things.
At first I was wary of a biography interspersed with music, but I couldn't have been happier with the execution and the result. Short, quality recordings of his pieces blend smoothly into the narrative, giving immediate illustrations of what was just read.
In the end, this audiobook aims at nothing more than to give a very broad overview of an endlessly fascinating life. But it achieves that admirably, and for the casual listener it serves as a fine starting point for further exploration of his life and music.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This was a great read, a solid insight into who the man was and struggles he faced.
Very good for those that want to know more about one of the greatest musicians in the history of man.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
It's too short. Narration was great interspersed by relevant pieces wonderfully performed . some facts I didn't even know!
I found this title to be well presented, well researched and very informative. Being based upon the letters between Mozart and his family, colleagues and friends it also gives a great insight into the man and the times he lived in.
With snippets of Mozarts' works intermingled in the text the whole production is a very enjoyable experience. It also goes some way to address the wrongs done to Salieri following the play and film "Amadeus".
A recommended read for anyone with an interest in music.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful