Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: A Musical Picture Book
Ernst A Ekker
Illustrated by Doris Eisenburger
Non-Fiction Picture Book and Music CD
Ages 7 to 12
North-South Books, 2005, 0-7358-2056-2
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart came from a very musical family and it seemed very natural therefore that he should take to music in a big way when he was still very young. When he was just three Mozart begged his parents that he should be allowed to learn how to play the piano, the violin, the viola, and the organ. Once he began his musical education he quickly outpaced his sister Nannerl who was four and a half years older than Mozart.
The amazing thing was that Mozart was able to compose as well as play beautifully. He would experiment with an existing piece until he had turned it into something completely different, something new and special. Not surprisingly Mozart’s father wanted to show off his musically talented children and when the children were still very young, they began to tour around Europe playing for famous people and even for kings and queens. The family had many adventures on their travels and Mozart was inspired by many of the places and by the people that he saw. He wrote numerous pieces of music and while in Italy he began creating operas.
As Mozart grew older he found it harder to find work that pleased him. He did not like working for a patron who did not seem to appreciate him and who underpaid him. Eventually Mozart and this patron parted ways and Mozart moved to Vienna with his young wife Constanza. At last he was in a place that suited him and where he could work. Of course life was not easy for, wherever Mozart went, troubles of one kind or another were sure to follow.
In this excellent illustrated biography the author not only tells us about the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart but he also helps us discover what kind of a person Mozart was. He loved fun and frolics. He loved to dance and he had very little patience for people who did not understand him and his work. He was a restless soul who was always looking for something more. It is hard to say if he ever found what he was looking for and alas for us all he died when he was still very young. Still he left behind an extraordinary body of work, music which is still played and performed the world over.
At the back of the book the reader will find a CD on which can be found sixteen pieces of Mozart’s music. The pictures in the book provide a perfect backdrop for the music, making it possible for readers to get a sense of Mozart’s genius and his passion.
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