Monday, 23 May 2016

Mozart's Journey to Prague by Eduard Morike Review


The title of Eduard Morike’s “classic” novella, Mozart’s Journey to Prague, makes you think it’s about something - the great composer’s journey to Prague, for example - but it’s not really about anything at all. 

31 year-old Mozart and his wife Constanze are on their way to Prague for the opening of Don Giovanni when they stop and go wandering in the forest. Mozart winds up in a rich family’s garden, picks one of their oranges, and ends up staying with them for the evening, playing music while they watch enthralled at having a celebrity in their midst. And that’s the whole book!

I mean, sure we get a glimpse into Mozart’s day to day life - bustling about giving music lessons to untalented rich idiots and then composing his masterpieces in the night while his wife worries about the household budget given her husband’s spendthrift, dandyish lifestyle - but it’s nothing anyone who knows anything about Mozart wouldn’t already know and even if you didn’t, it’s not enough to understand the artist. 

Then again this was published in the mid-19th century so maybe people didn’t really know all that much about Mozart and so something like this was eye-opening. Maybe it’s significant because it helped maintain interest in the composer’s life as well as his music. But I’m not sure who today would find this appealing or very interesting. Mozart’s Journey to Prague is well-written but the total lack of anything happening makes it instantly forgettable - I recommend watching Milos Forman’s Amadeus instead.

Mozart's Journey to Prague

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