1791, Mozart's Last Year

H. C. Robbins Landon, Author Schirmer Trade Books $19.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-02-872592-5
Amadeus, the play and film, popularized the many legends about Mozart's ""decline and fall.'' In this factual account of the composer's last year, musicologist Landon gathers authentic contemporary documents to ``bring us nearer to Mozart and his wife Constanze than does fiction, even at its most inspired.'' He reexamines concert life and dance music in Mozart's Vienna; the composer's journeys to Frankfurt and Prague; details of the commission for the ``Requiem''; The Magic Flute and its connections with Freemasonry; and medical aspects of Mozart's final illness and death (``the greatest tragedy in the history of music''). Landon concludes with a vindication of the ``wickedly defamed'' Constanze, whom many German music historians have unjustly described as a ``scheming, brainless sex-symbol.'' Illustrations not seen by PW. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
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