This fourth installment of a series focuses on the music of Mozart.
Alexander (Sex and Romance, 2015, etc.) continues his series of manuals with a slight departure from the norm. Previous volumes have centered on providing readers with lucid, accessible guides to such practical matters as sex, romance, money, finances, and general life lessons, but in this updated version of Book 4, the emphasis turns quite specific: the journey, music, and genius of Mozart. The author contends that listening to and properly appreciating Mozart’s music can usher readers into what Alexander calls a “heavenly state of consciousness.” Great art, according to the author, transports listeners to a realm where they ask: How is it possible that a human being actually made something so beautiful and stirring? Offering copious musical examples, Alexander deftly describes several of Mozart’s best known or most technically virtuosic pieces, grounding them in the particulars of the composer’s life and career. The author presents e-book readers with links to YouTube clips featuring Mozart performances or various discussions by experts on the music’s splendor and significance. At several points, readers are taken on deeper examinations of key works (both Mozart’s and those of other classical composers who either influenced or were inspired by his music). The Mozart offerings range from popular operas like The Marriage of Figaro and complex pieces like the string quartets and quintets to such towering achievements as the “Jupiter” Symphony. The technical details of instruments and arrangements are broken down in clear language. The author is always alert to the ways Mozart “stretched the ears” of his listeners, perfecting many of the musical forms that had come before him and foreshadowing several later developments in the genre. And throughout the book, as in the previous entries in this series, Alexander is very effective at stressing the excitement of discovery, the great personal rewards to be reaped with patient and meticulous study. The guide is brightly and invitingly designed, clearly intended to welcome readers to a grand adventure.
A thorough and enthusiastic introduction to the life and works of Mozart, perfect for readers of all ages.