About Life in Flow:Flow in Life

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Mozart in fiction, part 5

I finished reading Mozart: A Life by Maynard Solomon, but I'm going to postpone writing about it until a later post. I will say that it's a fantastic book, with lots of research behind it. At times it was as gripping as a really well-written novel.

So, speaking of novels, I also finished another of the novels about Nannerl Mozart, this one being Mozart's Sister by Nancy Moser. This begins in the cemetery in Vienna, with Nannerl searching for her brother's grave, then flashes back to her childhood of exciting travels and performances with Wolfgang. This Nannerl is wide-eyed, describing the exotic cities, beautiful clothes, and stunning concerts that she and Wolfgang gave, while also making short asides revealing the negative. The novel ends with Nannerl having made a success of her marriage and step-children, with a brief coda taking place at the end of her life. Since she is a narrator, she naturally explains all her actions and decisions as being logical, or glosses over the parts of her real life history that put her in a poor light. Wolfgang (whom she always calls Wolfie though in actuality his family called him Wolferl) is the thoughtless, carefree prodigy who lives in the moment with no thought for the future. Leopold is definitely the boss in the family, whom Nannerl argues with as a young girl, but comes to rely on as an adult.

I am getting tired of novels about Nannerl, but maybe it's because I haven't read a really good one yet. There's one more to read, and there's also a movie. Perhaps I will decide that the truth is more interesting than the fiction.

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