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Mozart in Motion: His Work and His World in Pieces

Mozart in Motion: His Work and His World in Pieces

Mozart in Motion: His Work and His World in Pieces

By Patrick Mackie

“Erudite, ambitious and elegantly written . . . Mackie’s assertions about the ways Mozart’s identification with his era come through in the music are intriguing and insightful . . . His writing is fresh and imaginative, showing feeling for the musical character and dramatic narrative of a piece.” —Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times Book Review

“Mackie’s approach is to situate the composer as an avatar of modernism, facing a fragmented high culture—caught between dry, ritualized forms of courtly music and the ‘hedonistic levity’ betokened by Enlightenment individualism. By laying such tensions bare, Mackie achieves for Mozart what Mozart himself did for music, time and time again: to make the old new, and intelligible as such.” —Robert Erickson, The New Criterion

In exhilarating, transformative prose, the poet Patrick Mackie reveals a musician in dialogue with culture at its most sweepingly progressive.

Mozart is one of the most familiar and beloved icons of our culture, but how much do we really understand about his music, and what can it reveal to us about the great composer?

Following Mozart from his youth in Salzburg to his early death, from his close and rivalrous relationship with his father to his romantic attachments, from his hugely successful operas to intimate compositions on the keyboard, Patrick Mackie leads the reader through the major and lesser-known moments of the composer’s life and brings alive the teeming, swiveling modernity of eighteenth-century Europe. In this era of rococo painting, surrealist aesthetics, and political turbulence, Mozart reckoned with a searing talent that threatened to overwhelm him, all the while pushing himself to extraordinary feats of musicianship.

In Mozart in Motion, we are returned to the volatility of the eighteenth century and hear Mozart’s music in all its audacious vividness, gaining fresh perspectives on why his works still move us so intensely today as we continue to search for a modernity he imagined into being. 

368 pages
Picador, 2024
5.65 x 0.95 x 8.7 inches
ISBN 9781250335715
Biography, Austrian Composer

$20.00 $20.00