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Mozart Bio

Discussion in 'Useful resources' started by RSPIll, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

    Nov 10, 2009
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    Church Musician, Choral Accompanist, Musical Theat
    Hey Folks,

    Here's another book of interest.

    Mozart in Vienna, 1781-1791
    Author: Volkmar Braunbehrens
    Publisher: New York : Grove Weidenfeld, 1990.
    Edition/Format: Book : Biography : English : 1st edView all editions and formats

    I found a copy a while back in a used book store. It is a fascinating read because he blows several Mozart myths out of the water.

    One is that he was NOT buried in a pauper's grave. He was buried in accordance with the burial standards under Emperor Joseph in which all but the landed wealthy (aristocracy) in Vienna followed.

    Constanza is not the simpering twit that we have come to believe.

    Though financially he had his ups and downs like practically everyone, he did not live a life of destitution. He did die in debt, but remember they didn't have life insurance back then so who didn't? (In fact, who doesn't actually have some debt when they die today). And surely he didn't expect to die at that age. How many of us have become millionaires in our 30s?

    The interesting thing is, the author uses records written by Mozart and others as well as legal documents to make his case.

    I'll try to give you time to digest this and the other reading material before I give anymore reading assignments :wink:

  2. Terez

    Terez New Member

    Apr 30, 2007
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    Gulfport, MS, USA
    I haven't read it, as I'm not a huge Mozart fan, but I visited Vienna with a music history prof and I got lectured on a lot of Mozart myths (including the funeral). He definitely wasn't destitute, but like Chopin, he always lived from paycheck to paycheck and borrowed a lot of money. In Chopin's case it was because he wanted to live like an aristocrat no matter how much money he was making, and he couldn't bring himself to save any of it when he could have shiny wallpaper or ice cream instead. In Mozart's case it was gambling. Most of the money he borrowed was for brief periods of time, usually when he was about to get paid for something or other.
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Jun 14, 2006
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    Thanks again, Scott. I better hurry up and finish the Chopin book I'm currently reading. Those other two books you mentioned are on the way to my local library - I should get them in a day or so.

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