Mozart’s Sister

Monday, September 26 th, 2016 at 00:09 am 

Mozart’s Sister

JOY REVIEW

Mozart’s Sister is a part of history that I absolutely knew nothing about. Most of us know about Mozart and that he was a child genius and wrote sonatas when he was four years old, but I didn’t know that he had an older sister who was about five years older than he was and was equally talented, but grew up in a society that really didn’t allow women to do things, including play the violin and learning to write or be able to take composition courses. Their father schlepped them all over Europe and had her accompany her prodigy brother, but she really took a very secondary role and turns out to have had in some ways, she had a much more interesting life and lived much longer than Mozart did.   She had apparently, quite accidentally, known some of the offspring of Louis XV, knew Louis XVI, and hung out at court. She was apparently incredibly talented and not only played the harpsichord, but also composed music, had a fabulous voice and played the violin. But she was a woman and really wasn’t allowed much flexibility, although, she tried to give piano lessons at one point and break away from her family but was seduced by Louis XVI and then repudiated by him. She went and married a significantly older man and then had a bunch of kids, one child whom she turned over to her father with the hope that he would turn out to be as talented as her younger brother. She ended up penniless and blind at 78, having spent most of her life trying to compile her brother’s compositions. So it is a very sad story. It is beautifully photographed, with terrific costumes and very good acting. My only criticism is it is a little plodding, but it is a very engrossing part of history. It’s sort of a feminist look at music at the time of Mozart. Who knew he had a sister who was apparently just as talented and a much more fascinating and longer life than he, but because she was a woman it was denied all recognition?  I’d give it three and a half stars.

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