The purpose and scope of this little book will be obvious to the
reader from even a cursory glance at its contents. It is, in a
way, an autobiography of Mozart written without conscious
purpose, and for that reason peculiarly winning, illuminating and
convincing. The outward things in Mozart's life are all but
ignored in it, but there is a frank and full disclosure of the
great musician's artistic, intellectual and moral character, made
in his own words.
The Editor has not only taken the trouble to revise the work of
the German author and compiler, but, for reasons which seemed to
him imperative, has also made a new translation of all the
excerpts. Most of the translations of Mozart's letters which have
found their way into the books betray want of familiarity with
the idioms and colloquialisms employed by Mozart, as well as
understanding of his careless, contradictory and sprawling
epistolary style. Some of the intimacy of that style the new
translation seeks to preserve, but the purpose has chiefly been
to make the meaning plain.
New York, June 7, 1905
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