arts&sciences | Spring 2011

The Remarkable Wolfgang Amadè

By Jean Hennelly Keith

Professor of Music Roye Wates's new book, Mozart: an Introduction to the Music, the Man, and the Myths (Amadeus Press, 2010), takes a comprehensive look at the life, musical gifts, and historically tumultuous times of Wolfgang Amadè—the usage Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart preferred. In addition to a lively biography, Wates offers guided study of 20 musical compositions representing every major genre of that era. The book includes a great many letters, newly translated by the author, providing an intimate glimpse into Mozart's personal and professional life. For the non-musician reader, or those not-so-familiar with Mozart and his music, Wates offers clear definitions of musical terms, making Mozart most accessible.

Writes British reviewer Philip Borg-Wheeler in Classical Music magazine: "As in a good novel, the author draws the reader into the lives and inter-relationships of her characters—Mozart, his family and colleagues—and engagingly describes the cultural milieu. I cannot recommend this outstanding book too highly."