Mozart’s Cross

Brigid Brophy

  • The Letters of Mozart and his Family translated by Emily Anderson
    Macmillan, 1038 pp, £38.50, November 1985, ISBN 0 333 39832 7

Mozart the letter-writer, like Mozart the composer of virtually every form and species of music, is the supreme non-bore. The ‘daughter of Hamm, the Secretary for War’, must, he reports to his father from Augsburg in 1777, have a gift for music since, even without having been well taught, she can play several clavier pieces ‘really well’. Yet she is an affected performer. Tuition in Salzburg from Mozart père would improve both her musical knowledge and her intelligence, and the teacher would get ‘plenty of entertainment’ in return.

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