Mozart in Motion | Granta

  • Published: 01/09/2022
  • ISBN: 9781783786008
  • Granta Books
  • 384 pages

Mozart in Motion

Patrick Mackie

Mozart is one of the most familiar and beloved icons of our culture, but how much do we really understand of his music, and what can it reveal to us of the great composer? In exhilarating, transformative prose, Patrick Mackie mixes biographical storytelling with deep dives into the experience of listening to Mozart”s music to reveal a musician in dialogue with culture at its most sweepingly progressive, when Europe was caught between two historical worlds.

We follow Mozart from his adolescence in Salzburg to his early death; from his close and rivalrous relationship with his father to his romantic attachments; from his hugely successful operas to intimate compositions on the keyboard. Mackie leads the reader through the major and lesser-known moments of the composer”s life and brings alive the teeming, swivelling, modernity of eighteenth-century Europe. In this era of rococo painting, surrealist aesthetics and political turbulence, Mozart reckoned with a searing talent which threatened to overwhelm him, all the while pushing him to extraordinary feats of musicianship.

Returned to the volatility of the eighteenth century, we hear Mozart”s music in all its audacious vividness, gaining fresh perspectives on why his works still move us so intensely today, as we continue to search for a modernity he imagined into being.

An exhilarating and stimulating new survey of one of our civilization's greatest creative figures. Mackie sheds new light on both Mozart's music and his motivation, with an often piercingly original sideways glance - typically, Mackie ends his molto allegro romp through the works not with Mozart's famous unfinished Requiem but with a tiny keyboard Gigue that sums up his genius

Nicholas Kenyon, Managing Director, Barbican Centre

This book is like a set of virtuoso cadenzas on themes from Mozart's life and works: improvisatory, thought-provoking, quirky and constantly inventive

Stephen Hough

A dazzling celebration and recalibration of Mozart's genius, written with an energy to match its subject

Ian Bostridge, author of Schubert's Winter Journey

The Author

Patrick Mackie has published books of poems with Carcanet and CB Editions and was a visiting fellow at Harvard.

More about the author →