Articles on subjects related to my historical novel Mozart’s Sister.

 

Mozart’s sister and Shakespeare’s sister

— Rita Charbonnier

Virginia Woolf wrote her famous essay A Room of One’s Own in 1928/1929, reworking ideas from two lectures she had given to her students at Cambridge on the subject of women and literature. One of the most interesting aspects for me was the part about William Shakespeare’s imaginary sister-poetess.

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Mozart’s murder: “Look for the guilty woman”

— Rita Charbonnier

As we all know, there is nothing concrete to explain Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s early death (in 1791), and so, over the centuries, speculation has mounted. Some time ago, streptococcus was mentioned, for the first time I think. Other hypotheses include nephritis, mercury poisoning and syphilis. It is probably true…

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The Mozart Forum

— Rita Charbonnier

If you are a lover of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music then you will probably be familiar with the Mozart Forum, a wonderful site dealing with the life and works of the great master. You can exchange information and make contact with experts in the field and ask them questions. I recommend…

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Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9 K 271, “Jeunehomme”

— Rita Charbonnier

I mention various pieces by Mozart in my novel, Mozart’s Sister, but only two of them have any real bearing on the story: one is the Fantasia in D minor K 397, the other is the Piano Concerto No. 9 in E flat major K 271, ‘Jeunehomme’. The term in French means ‘young man’ but it actually refers to a woman…

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Writers are liars and opportunists!

— Rita Charbonnier

I have a blog in Italian, and when I put the article about the film Amadeus on there, it sparked some fairly lively comment. Some Mozart lovers felt that authors of historical fiction ought to curb their imagination. The question is whether it is legitimate to create your own story around what actually happened…

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The film “Amadeus”

— Rita Charbonnier

Why does Mozart’s sister not appear in the film Amadeus? Why isn’t there even a mention of her anywhere? The film is about the last few years of Mozart’s life in Vienna. At that time Wolfgang and his sister Maria Anna, known as “Nannerl”, were no longer in touch with each other. They lived in different cities and they knew nothing about…

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Mozart’s Sister on the phone

— Rita Charbonnier

Venue: Italy, Tuscany, Arezzo (a great city). Situation: we are in an old stately building, the writer of Mozart’s Sister is reading aloud from her novel (the original Italian version). It’s the page where it talks about Mozart’s Fantasia in D minor for pianoforte, KV 397. Behind her, the pianist Patrizio Paoli is sitting…

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Mozart’s Fantasia in D Minor, KV 397

— Rita Charbonnier

One day, some years ago now, I bought one of those cheap Mozart collections off a market stall. When I got home I put the CD on to listen to. One of the tracks was the Fantasia in D minor for piano, KV 397. As soon as I heard the opening notes I was stunned. I stopped what I was doing to listen properly…

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When Music is the Muse

— Susanne Dunlap in Historical Novels Review

As biographical subjects, musicians are no different from any other historical characters except perhaps—with a few exceptions—in being less generally familiar to a wide audience. Yet in recreating the world of even the most famous and familiar of musicians or composers, writers face a unique difficulty.

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Was Nannerl as great a genius as Mozart himself?

— Rita Charbonnier in Perti, Martini e Mozart

There will never be a definitive answer to this question. Those of Mozart’s biographers who mention his sister Nannerl, generally take it for granted that she was a good player, but would absolutely not have been able to compose. I wonder how one can claim to judge a talent that never had the possibility…

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A special rapport between brother and sister

— Rita Charbonnier in Perti, Martini e Mozart

When they were children, Wolfgang and Maria Anna “Nannerl” Mozart were a successful duo, a pair of enfants prodiges who shared exhilarating experiences, such as performing for the kings of Europe, and dramatic ones such as an illness that took both of them to the brink of death. In 1765, in The Hague, Nannerl became ill…

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