johnpierce.us / Opera

Die Zauberfloete
The Magic Flute

 


May 2001

Book review

1791, Mozartís Last Year

by H. C. Robbins Landon

Thames and Hudson, 1999

1791, Mozartís Last Year is a fairly short (199 pages plus appendices, notes, and index) book about the last year of the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the famous composer.Among the things discussed are the possibility of Mozartís receiving a good paying position in the Vienna cathedral, his involvement with the Masons, and the circumstances surrounding the composition of La Clemenza di Tito, Die Zauberfloete (The Magic Flute), and the Requiem.  Chapters also provide more general background about life in Vienna at the time.  One chapter is devoted to the facts about Mozartís last illness, and other explores various myths and theories about it.  A final chapter refutes some criticisms of Mozartís wife Constanze.  The book is very well written, and appears to be the product of considerable knowledge and research.  Included are some photographs and illustrations.