PLEASE NOTE: this is your last chance to buy this book. We will NOT be buying it again. Also, this book is NOT RETURNABLE, and SOLD AS-IS. It may have defects, such as highlighting, torn pages or loose cover.
Here's a book that reads like a movie. From the opening shot (an aerial view of the Prague Opera House, lit up for the premiere of Mozart's Don Giovanni ) on to a quick closeup of the composer and his wife, through the long flashback to the composer's birth in Salzburg, remarkable childhood and debt-ridden but immensely creative adult life, readers are treated to a succession of sumptuous visual images, accompanied by an absorbing story line. Downing has chosen to present the tale in the first person, a strategy that slightly blurs the line between biography and fiction, but empowers the subject with a sense of immediacy. Her luminous watercolors are filled with the kinds of detail—architectural fine points, period costume, even the outrageous hairstyles of the day—that are obviously the fruit of extensive research. As an introduction to the man and his music, this is a winner in every way.