THE MOZART GIRL – Barbara Nickel

Second Story Press. Pub Date: March 18, 2019. ISBN: 9781772600896. Price: $10.95

“The Mozart Girl” by Barbara Nickel is the interesting biography of Maria Anna Walburga Ignatia Mozart, one of the finest pianists in Europe before her younger brother, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart overshadowed her. Born on 30 July 1751 in Salzburg, Austria, Maria Anna Mozart, called “Marianne or Nannerl,” was the first born child of Leopold and Anna Maria Mozart. She was the family’s first musical prodigy. Touring Europe as a pianist, Maria Anna took the world’s stage by storm in Munich, Vienna, Paris, London, the Hague, Germany and Switzerland. “My little girl plays the most difficult works … with incredible precision and so excellently,” her father, Leopold, proudly wrote in 1764. “My little girl, only 12 years old, is one of the most skillful players in Europe.Nannerl’s playing became so brilliant, her technique absolutely perfect. She was an extremely talented young virtuoso. Nannerl quickly learnt that music was a unique way to communicate without words. Her famous younger brother, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, wrote to her in 1770: “I am in awe that you can compose so well… the song you wrote is beautiful.” But her lovely composition has been lost to posterity. Her father, Leopold wrote that she played with “perfect insight into harmony and modulations” and that she improvises “so successfully that you would be astounded.” In “The Mozart Girl,” Barbara Nickel portrays Maria Anna Mozart brilliantly, including the feelings common to all young girls that she might have faced as she struggled to compose the most astounding music in the male-dominated world of her life and times.

Miriam Jacob

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