Books

Mozart Demythologised

Mozart: A Life by Paul Johnson Penguin, 2014, 164 pages, $19.99 Paul Johnson’s important new short book on Mozart presents the man and the musician in a fresh new light, in so doing laying to rest a multi­tude of traditional caricatures and canards propagated for so long by some music historians. While acknowledging that the brevity of Mozart’s life is a tragedy for music, Johnson writes: The notion of the “Mozart tragedy” has to be seen in the context of a huge volume of work, most of the highest quality, with virtually all the masterpieces surviving in Mozart’s own hand.…

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