Friday, November 07, 2008

Making Mozart Real

I haven't quite gotten my "space groove" back, though I have enjoyed reading this week's post-election email traffic from members of the Space Policy Advisory Group which I joined a while back through the Obama campaign website (no calls yet from Barack on how he should handle space, but I'm standing by). More on that in a few days as I emerge from election obsession and a busy week of teaching.

Tomorrow morning I will leave Salzburg where I have enjoyed revisiting my old obsession with Mozart, listening to his music (live and on iPod) and visiting two residences that are now museums. In one of those I saw the Mozart family portrait from which the above detail is taken. Mozart's sister Nannerl said that this was the best likeness of Wolfgang as a young man.

I've also been rereading a wonderful biography, Mozart by Marcia Davenport. I have read several other biographies of Mozart and also have a couple of recent ones in hardcover that I have not yet read (too heavy for this trip). But Davenport's 1932 book brings Mozart and his world to life in most lively and readable style. It may be too informal for some, but it's the ideal companion for a trip to Salzburg. It seems to be out of print but many used copies are available through Amazon and other sources.

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