“My father knows many aspects of music: the toil, the diligence, the exactitude. But the ecstatic love of it eludes him; he does not trust it. And what is it to trust music and the deep feelings it pulls from you?”
Marrying Mozart, Stephanie Cowell
Marrying Mozart, by Stephanie Cowell, is 368 pages, and was published in 2004. I bought the book for my Kindle after reading and loving Cowell’s recently released novel, Claude and Camille. I was not disappointed.
Set against the musical world of eighteenth century Europe, Marrying Mozart traces the composer’s relationships with the four daughters of music copyist Fridolin Weber and his temperamental wife. Cowell weaves the musical rise of Mozart through his dealings with the beautiful, capricious songbird, Aloysia, the musical Josefa, the saintly Sophie, and the sweet and quiet Constanze.
I knew that Mozart had relationships with more than one of the Weber girls, and admittedly, I judged him harshly for it, until I read this book. Cowell presents a good case for the composer, and artfully reveals how each relationship rose and fell with tender detail. Her depiction of the complexities of women’s relationships through the Weber girls and their mother is also captivating, and is, arguably, the focus of the novel.
Though Mozart is a character, one need not be acquainted with his music or his life to enjoy the story. I recommend Marrying Mozart.