Mozart: The Man Revealed

Pegasus Books
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The illustrated life-story of the world’s most beloved composer, bringing vividly to life the man himself, his influences, achievements, and the glittering milieu of the Habsburg empire in eighteenth-century Europe. We think we know the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's life. Austrian-born to a tyrannical father who worked him fiercely; unhappily married to a spendthrift woman; a child-like character ill at ease amid the aristocratic splendor of the Viennese court; a musical genius who died young thus depriving the world of future glories.

Yet only that last point is actually true. In this comprehensive biography, John Suchet examines the many myths and misunderstandings surrounding the world's best-loved composer. From his early days as a child prodigy performing for the imperial royal family in Vienna to the last months of his short life, driven to exhaustion by a punitive workload, one thing remained constant: his happy disposition.

Through trials and tribulations, grand successes and disheartening setbacks, Suchet shows us the real Mozart—blessed with an abundance of talent yet sometimes struggling to earn a living. His mischievous nature and earthy sense of humor, his ease and confidence in his own incredible abilities; these were traits that never left him. His music has brought comfort to countless generations; his life, though brief, is no less fascinating.
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About the author

John Suchet presents Classic FM's flagship morning program in England. Before turning to classical music, John was one of the England’s most respected television journalists. As a reporter he covered world events, including the Iran revolution, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Philippines revolution. John has been honored for both roles. In 1986 he was voted Television Journalist of the Year, in 1996 Television Newscaster of the Year, and in 2008 the Royal Television Society awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Royal Academy of Music has awarded him an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his work on Beethoven, having written six books on the composer, including the highly acclaimed Beethoven: The Man Revealed. His bestselling biography of the Strauss family, The Last Waltz: The Strauss Dynasty and Vienna, was published in 2015.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Pegasus Books
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Published on
Aug 8, 2017
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781681775760
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / General
Biography & Autobiography / Music
Music / General
Music / Individual Composer & Musician
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The life of a beloved American composer reflected through his music, writings, and letters.

New York City native and gifted pianist George Gershwin blossomed as an accompanist before his talent as a songwriter opened the way to Broadway, where he fashioned his own brand of American music. He composed a long run of musical comedies, many with his brother Ira as lyricist, but his aspirations reached beyond commercial success.

A lifetime learner, Gershwin was able to appeal to listeners on both sides of the purported popular-classical divide. In 1924—when he was just twenty-five—he bridged that gap with his first instrumental composition, Rhapsody in Blue, an instant classic premiered by Paul Whiteman’s jazz orchestra, as the anchor of a concert entitled “An Experiment in Modern Music.”

From that time forward his work as a composer, pianist, and citizen of the Jazz Age made him in some circles a leader on America’s musical scene. The late1920s found him extending the range of the shows he scored to include the United Kingdom, and he published several articles to reveal his thinking about a range of musical matters. Moreover, having polished his skills as an orchestrator, he pushed boundaries again in 1935 with the groundbreaking folk opera, Porgy and Bess—his magnum opus.

Gershwin’s talent and warmth made him a presence in New York’s musical and social circles (and linked him romantically with pianist-composer Kay Swift). In 1936 he and Ira moved west to write songs for Hollywood. Their work was cut short, however, when George developed a brain tumor and died at thirty-eight, a beloved American artist.

Drawing extensively from letters and contemporaneous accounts, acclaimed music historian Richard Crawford traces the arc of Gershwin’s remarkable life, seamlessly blending colorful anecdotes with a discussion of Gershwin’s unforgettable oeuvre. His days on earth were limited to the summertime of life. But the spirit and inventive vitality of the music he left behind lives on.

A book about Taylor.
Made with love.
By fans. For fans.

“Delightful...A rich and exhaustive production...Swifties have gotten their bible.” —The New Yorker

Ten years ago, an unknown sixteen-year-old released a self-titled debut country album. A decade later, Taylor Swift has reached record-breaking, chart-topping heights. A ten-time Grammy winner, Swift has been hailed for her songwriting talent, crossed effortlessly from country to pop, and established herself as a musician who can surprise, delight, and inspire, all while connecting with her fans in a way that only she can.

Amazingly, after all these years, there is no great, comprehensive book about Swift for her fans. Until now. This book, a fan-generated celebration of Swift’s first decade as an artist, collects the best writing and images from the past ten years in one gorgeous volume. From prefame interviews with Swift in local Pennsylvania newspapers to major profiles in The New Yorker and Rolling Stone; from album reviews by top critics such as Robert Christgau, Sasha Frere-Jones, and Ann Powers to essays by beloved novelists like Maggie Shipstead; from Tavi Gevinson’s classic ode to Swift in The Believer to Q&As with Chuck Klosterman and humorous analysis from McSweeney’s and The Hairpin; from album-themed crossword puzzles and adult coloring pages to profiles of Taylor’s biggest fans; from an excerpt of the soon-to-be-published novel Taylor Swift: Girl Detective to a “book within a book” of Swift’s most inspiring quotations titled (naturally) The Tao of Tay, this book is the vital collection of all things Taylor.

Here, finally, is the must-have book for every Swiftie and every music lover. For, as Klosterman wrote in GQ, “If you don’t take Swift seriously, you don’t take contemporary music seriously.”

* This book is a tribute to Taylor Swift, but she was not involved in its creation. *
Composer, conductor, and pianist, Thomas Adès is one of the most diversely talented musical figures of his generation. His music is performed by great opera companies, symphony orchestras, chamber groups, and music festivals throughout the world. But Adès has resisted public discussion of the creative process behind his musical compositions. Until now, the interior experience that has fired the spectrum of his work—from his first opera, Powder Her Face, to his masterpiece The Tempest and his acclaimed orchestral works Asyla and Tevot—has largely remained unexplained. Here, in spirited, intimate, and, at times, contentious conversations with the distinguished music critic Tom Service, Adès opens up about his work. "For Adès, whose literary and artistic sensibilities are nearly as refined and virtuosic as his musical instincts," writes Service, "inhabiting the different territory of words rather than notes offers a chance to search out new creative correspondences, to open doors—a phrase he often uses—into new ways of thinking in and about music."

The phrase "full of noises," from Caliban's speech in The Tempest, refers both to the sounds "swirling around" Adès's head that are transmuted into music and to the vast array of his musical influences—from Sephardic folk music, to 1980s electronica, to Adès's passion for Beethoven and Janácek and his equally visceral dislike of Wagner. It also suggests "the creative friction" essential to any authentic dialogue. As readers of these "wilfully brilliant" conversations will quickly discover, Thomas Adès: Full of Noises brings us into the "revelatory kaleidoscope" of Adès's world.

Earlier this year John Suchet revealed that his beautiful 67-year-old wife Bonnie, the love of his life, is suffering from Dementia. During the past three years he has gone from lover to carer. And he has found that exceptionally tough. In this moving, and bitterly honest account, the newsreader reveals his loneliness and his despair.

For John it was love at first sight. For many years he had admired Bonnie from afar, hoping and dreaming one day she would feel the same way. Nearly a decade after they first met, their passionate and romantic love affair began. They married in 1985 – head over heels in love – and have enjoyed over 20 years of love and laughter; both had been married before (she had two children and he had three) but both felt, the day they married, they finally joined their other half.

In March 2004 John began to notice strange quirks in Bonnie's behaviour. She underwent her first set of neurological tests in March 2005, which brought back no definite results. Then, in February 2006, following a second set of tests, she was diagnosed with Dementia.

For three years John personally cared for his beloved wife, keeping her condition secret from all but family and close friends. But in the middle of September this year, over 26 years after his life with Bonnie began, John made the agonising decision to move his wife to a full-time care home.

Written in passionate and vivid prose, that captures both the warmth of the good times and the utter despair of the bad times, John weaves together a series of moving and heartfelt stories. In this combination of present day descriptions of life with Bonnie, as her carer, and memories of the romantic years they shared together, John gives a unique – and at times stark – insight into the pain of witnessing a loved one lose their memory.

This is a story of pain and despair, and anger and guilt. But above all that it is a story of love; a story of devotion and dedication, and the pleasure that those little moments of recognition, those glimmers of joy, can give – even in the hardest times.

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