From the A Lifetime of Learning Book series , Vol. 4

A thorough and enthusiastic introduction to the life and works of Mozart, perfect for readers of all ages.

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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.

Pub Date: Dec. 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-937597-24-5

Page Count: 180

Publisher: The School of Pythagoras

Review Posted Online: Nov. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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