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Introducing Mozart

by Kitty Barne, 1955 JM Dent & Sons, GCSE/Adult                                                       

introducing mozart barne

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Author: Kitty Barne

First published: 1955

Publisher: J.M. Dent & Sons


Level: GCSE/High school/Teen/Adult

Pages: 89

Our Rating: starstarstarstar greystar grey


  • The story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's life.


Showing its age a little, this book's rather dated writing style will probably not appeal to younger readers. Although it's aimed at children, it's quite wordy and dense. On the other hand, it only glosses over the main biographical events of Mozart's life, so there is really no need for so many long words ("irrefragable", for instance!)

Barne sketches out the main events of Mozart's life from birth to death, mentioning his various musical posts, most famous compositions and infamous poverty along the way. She paints Mozart's father, Leopold, as a pious, doting father and does not hint at the domineering character that more modern writers feel he had. She also pays almost no attention to Salieri, Mozart's great rival. You get the impression that Barne feels it necessary to censor out any information which might make the story a bit more sizzling, for fear of corrupting her young reader's minds.

There are no musical examples (although there are line-drawn illustrations here and there, which add nothing). There is no talk of what makes Mozart's music unqique, no analysis or even simple description of any of the music. 

I found this an interesting read because of Barne's style, and because of what she missed out. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who wanted to actually learn about Mozart. But as a historical document in itself, showing the kind of educational literature that youngsters were exposed to half a century ago, it has some interest.



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