The device of Nannerl Mozart's diary serves to relate the life of her famous brother- and her own- in a novel that holds...

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THE GOLDEN QUILL

The device of Nannerl Mozart's diary serves to relate the life of her famous brother- and her own- in a novel that holds relatively close to the known facts. We first encounter the Mozart family on tour as Leopold entrains with his precocious progeny to entertain Europe's courts. While the father is pictured as forcing show manship on his children, no doubt is cast on his sincere belief in their gifts. Mozart as genius must go on; Nannerl as talent eventually turns to teaching when the choice is hers. The story then follows Mozart's career,- the effect on him of contemporary musicians (Christian Bach, Haydn, Gluck) and the impression made by his patrons (the Archbishop of Salzburg, Karl Theodor, etc.). But the emphasis -- the embroidery of the tale- lies in the erratic, erotic nature of the private man, his ""chambermalderies"", his love for Aloyshia Weber, which embroiled him with a powerful patron. As Mozart runs himself down to his tragic end in Salzburg, Nannerl lives out her days in a marriage of convenience forced on her when the Emperor Joseph refused permission for her marriage to a colonel without dowry. The sense of private lives among crowding contemporary figures is pervsive. But the device of the telling fails to reveal the inner Mozart. This misses the dramatic vitality of the Pierre LaMure novels of genius.

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 1956

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1956