Mozart at the Gateway to His Fortune

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Christoph Wolff, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, is the Adams University Professor at Harvard University and one of the world’s foremost experts on Bach and Mozart.

Also available: The New Bach Reader (ISBN 978 0 393 31956 9).

Mozart at the Gateway to His Fortune
Serving the Emperor, 1788–1791
Christoph Wolff

"I now stand at the gateway to my fortune", Mozart wrote in a letter of 1790. He had entered into the service of Emperor Joseph II of Austria two years earlier as Imperial-Royal Chamber Composer—a salaried appointment with a distinguished title and few obligations. His extraordinary subsequent output invites a reassessment of this period of his life. Readers will gain a new appreciation and understanding of the composer’s works from that time, without an emphasis on his imminent death. The author discusses the implications of the appointment and explores Mozart’s "imperial style" on the basis of his major compositions and focuses on the large, unfamiliar works he left incomplete. This new perspective points to an energetic, fresh beginning for the composer and a promising future.

"Christoph Wolff has been generous with his understanding, in a Mozart study whose substance and perceptiveness richly respond to its great theme."
Literary Review

"In the rarefied world of musicology, it is quite a sensation for the greatest living Bach turn his hand to Mozart. Yet Christoph no stranger to Mozart."

"... this book—certainly 'a fresh look', as the publishers claim—is essential reading."
Classical Music

June 2012 • £18.99 • ISBN 978 0 393 05070 7 • 256pp • 140 x 210mm • 8 pages of illustrations