Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Feeling meh about Marrying Mozart

So far, 2016 has been the year to read all the fluff and fun.  Marrying Mozart by Stephanie Cowell seemed like just the sort of book I like.  Historic fiction set in one of my favorite time periods and featuring one of my favorite musicians.  I have seen Amadeus many times.  It's one of my all-time favorite movies, and I always wanted to know more about Constanze.

Marrying Mozart covers the time period before that of the start of Amadeus, and up to Mozart's marriage to Constanze.  The four Weber sisters, Josefa, Aloysia, Constanze, and Sophie, live in Mannheim, Germany.  Their father, a musician and teacher, hosts a musical gathering every Thursday, which Mozart attends one evening, which is the beginning of his long relationship with the family.  Mozart falls in love with Aloysia, but she dumps him for another man, and he marries Constanze almost as an afterthought.  The book is more about the four sisters and their relationship with each other,  their difficult mother, and their father.  

Ultimately, Marrying Mozart was a disappointment.  Cowell does a good job of setting the scene and of evoking the lush atmosphere of 18th-century Vienna, with its sweets and baked goods and cinnamon-infused coffee. The characters, however, never come to life and the more entangled they get in their relationships, the more tedious it becomes to read about them.

Constanze Mozart

If you are absolutely dying to learn more about Constanze Weber Mozart and her life, you will probably want to read Marrying Mozart, but you will also want to find other books, because this one will leave you feeling unsatisfied.


  1. Unsatisfactory books are just so annoying. I just finished a book with a highly unsatisfactory ending - so disappointing!

  2. I, too, find it difficult to read a book when I am not interested in the characters.

    I haven't seen it in a long time, but the movie "Amadeus" left me with an unsettled feeling - Mozart was such a jerk, and I felt so sorry for Salieri. Maybe that's what the movie is supposed to do. Mozart's music is, of course, heavenly. To the best of my recollection, the way the music is used in the movie is excellent.

  3. Oh, bummer. I was just hearing about a tour to Vienna and felt terribly tempted. Someday.