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On Mozart

On Mozart

A Paean for Wolfgang
A non fiction book by

Publisher's Weekly
Burgess, a composer before he turned to writing, worships Mozart with a tinge of envy, to which he himself alludes in a closing essay. While recognizing Mozart as the supreme musical genius, he also finds it necessary to observe that Mozart ''may not have the complex humanity of Shakespeare.'' This witty, freewheeling homage, more divertimento than symphony, opens with the shades of Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Wagner squabbling up in heaven. Burgess includes an opera libretto starring Wolfgang himself, fragments of a film script, an ill-conceived prose-poem based on Mozart's Fortieth Symphony, a schizoid dialogue between the author's divided self (''Anthony'' vs. ''Burgess'') and additional celestial dithering by Henry James, Gershwin, Salieri and Schoenberg. The mystery of the composer's genius is neither illuminated nor enhanced by this dazzling confection.

Library Journal
Burgess, the acclaimed author of such works as A Clockwork Orange ( LJ 2/15/63), puts his considerable writing talents to work conjuring up vivid images in prose and poetry, all revolving around his esteem for Mozart. The book begins with a celestial conversation about Mozart's music involving Ludwig van Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn, Sergei Prokofiev, Sir Arthur Bliss, and Richard Wagner. It is followed by an opera libretto on Mozart's life with intermission dialogs that include Antonio Rossini and Stendahl, Arnold Schoenberg and George Gershwin. A prose fantasy in the form of the great G-minor symphony, and a film script that places the author among the various historical characters complete this most unusual tribute to Mozart. A delightful--if off the wall--variation on this year's most popular artistic theme.-- Timothy J. McGee, Univ. of Toronto

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Hardback Editions

November 1991 : USA Hardback
Title: On Mozart: A Paean for Wolfgang
Author(s): Anthony Burgess
ISBN: 0-395-59510-X / 978-0-395-59510-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Ticknor and Fields
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

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