Monday, June 20, 2011

Nonfiction Monday: For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart

For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna MozartFor the Love of Music: The remarkable  Story of Maria Anna Mozart by Elizabeth Rusch, paintings by Steve Johnson and Lou Francher. Tricycle Press, 2011 (review copy provided by the publisher)

The CIP in this books shows the LC subject heading as "Berchtold zu Sonnenburg, Maria Anna Mozart, Reichsfrelin von, 1751-1829" aka Maria Anna Mozart, Wolfgang's sister. Rusch uses  the piano sonata form, which she describes before the story begins, to frame her story as Maria played them frequently.   Billed as Wonders of Nature! and Child Geniuses!, Maria and her younger brother, Wolfgang performed together across Europe.  The two spoke French and Italian and had rich imaginations.  A composer and prodigy in her own right, Maria noted down Wolfgang's compositions for him, before he could write.  When their father chose to focus on Wolfgang as a solo performer, Maria was left behind at home, a move that devastated her.  The siblings remained close though even after Maria's marriage and many of Wolfgang's compositions were dedicated to his sister.

Artists, Johnson and Francher use a collage of woven fabrics, rich brocades and embroidered satins, to bring the story to life. The textiles act as a canvas for the paintings and give them richness and depth. The paint is laid on thickly in places rendering a three dimensional feel to the figures.  The pianos are layered with  images of original hand written sheet music from the Mozart family collection.  I would love to see the original artwork for this book. 

A brief but complete bibliography  includes books, letters and documents and personal interviews.  An "encore" summary of Maria Anna Mozart's life fills out details of her story.  This book is beautifully executed in every way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ooh - I have a deep and abiding love for Mozart, and love books like this - will snag it for sure!