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Mozart's Sister by Nancy Moser

Mozart's Sister

by Nancy Moser

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345850,887 (3.61)10
Eleven-year-old Nannerl is arguably the best keyboard player in all of Europe. Yet because her six-year-old brother Wolfie can play almost as well as she, he receives virtually all the praise and adulation. Traveling far and wide with her family, she and her brother perform before the crowned heads of Europe. Social convention and public clamor relegate her to living life in the shadow of a prodigy. But when will Nannerl ever realize her own dreams and aspirations?… (more)

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This is the story of Maria Anna (Nannerl) the older sister of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and their life as child protégée's who travelled around Europe giving concerts for both Royalty and common people. It was a difficult life doing so much travel and money was tight and so much relied on handout's from rich benefactors. As Nannerl grew older she was forced to stay at home and eventually married and had a family of her own. Her famous brother passed away in 1791 at the age of 35 and was buried in a unmarked grave in Vienna. Nannerl died 29 October 1829 and is buried in St. Peter's Cemetery in Salzburg, Austria.

I really enjoyed the book and even though I am not really a fan of classical music I found myself looking up both Nannerl and Woldgang on Wikipedia for more information. ( )
  slvoight | Mar 31, 2013 |
I thought this was an interesting point of view to see Mozart from a different angle. (In fact, I didn’t even know he had a sister). This book was really good when it came to historical accuracy and it was well written. I really did like Nannerl, and really did sympathize with her once her father started pushing her aside and focus more on Wolfgang.

You could really see the extreme differences on how each gender was treated in this book. It’s so blatantly different and the gap is so wide especially when Wolfgang and his father go on tour while Nannerl and her mother stay at home. It just did not seem fair as Nannerl is just as talented and gifted with music as Wolfgang but because she’s female she’s expected to give those talents up to get married, and have children. It’s these kinds of injustices that made me angry in the book. It felt that such wonderful talent was wasted and I could not help but get even more angry at her father for pushing her aside, and at her mother for not doing anything at all. However, it was like that back then, so it’s hard to get used to such gender disparity.

I have to admit I hated her father at first. He was the type of parent that lived through their kids and profited from it. However I reserved most of my anger towards Wolfgang. Oh my. What a spoiled piece of...well you get the idea. His ego was as big as the moon (his father helped a lot with that) and he treated the rest of his family like dirt. Once he got even more famous, he suddenly became ‘too good’ to be with his family to visit. What a horrid little creature he was in this book! Towards the ending of the novel he just got worse. Their father on the other hand, I started taking a liking to him. It seemed he finally realized Wolfgang was a jerk after all and treated Nannerl much better.

The writing was excellent throughout the novel, although the plot was a bit slow paced. Nannerl’s faith is admirable yet you wonder if it’s possible for her to just keep relying on her faith for the answer, what if she had decided to take matters into her own hands? perhaps the plot would have a huge change but it might have made it a little more interesting. I really did like the characters in this book despite Wolfgang being a twit. Everyone was exceptionally well written and were well developed throughout the story.

This was a well written historically accurate novel seeing a famous composer through a different set of eyes; namely his sister. It’s a different point of view and despite the slow moving plot, the characters are well written and you’ll find yourself engrossed in this book. It’s well worth the read. ( )
  sensitivemuse | May 14, 2011 |
Other than some of his music, I knew essentially nothing about Mozart and even less about the rest of his family. I was pleasantly surprised to see how Moser made Mozart, his parents, and his sister, Nannerl, come alive. Nannerl was a musician nearly equally as talented as Wolfgang and the two of them traveled extensively with their parents as young children, performing from their home in Austria as far away as London for royalty and commoners alike.

As Nannerl grows older, however, her father focuses more and more on her brother’s talent and largely discounts hers. He gives her no time to attempt composing and begins taking Wolfgang out for performances on his own without her. Nannerl struggles to reconcile her talent with the role assigned to her as a woman by society.

I really, really enjoyed “Mozart’s Sister.” I liked and believed Nannerl and was fascinated by the subject, place, and time period I knew little about. As much as I enjoyed “Washington’s Lady,” I think that “Mozart’s Sister” is an even better work. ( )
  DevourerOfBooks | Jan 15, 2009 |
Depressing, Not her best work. ( )
  btaylor | Aug 5, 2007 |
Very little if anything has every been written about Wolfgang Mozart's sister Nannerl. Ms. Moser does an excellent job of giving us a small glimspe into this young womans life.

She is a accomplished performer in her own right but because of her being female she finds she must take a back seat to her brother Wolfgang. She tries desperately for years to prove she is as good as her brother but everyone including her parents seem more interested in him.
She feels guilt for her jealousy of her brothers fame and tries her hardest to overcome it. She basically is the pillar of this family when things fall apart after Mozart goes off on his own. In later years while trying to visit his grave she feels remorse for becoming so enstranged to her brother.
Great read and would highly recommend it. ( )
  KathyWoodall | Dec 27, 2006 |
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