Monday, 7 November 2016

Review ~ Mozart : The Man Revealed by John Suchet

Elliot & Thompson

This is one of those splendid coffee table books that will sit very comfortably just waiting for someone to open it and read its fascinating contents.

I love listening to Classic FM and even though I know which pieces of music I like to listen to, I find that I know very little about the lives of the great composers who wrote the music I love. In these days of quick fix information it's very easy just to search the internet for snippets of information as you need it, but nothing beats the look and feel of a really good biography. Mozart: The Man Revealed by John Suchet is a wonderful glossy biography to immerse yourself in, and as you read on,  the here and now disappears, and you are quietly transported back to a wonderful time of musical soirées in the opulent salons of eighteenth century Europe.

The life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, from his birth in in Salzburg in January 1756, through to his untimely demise in Prague, aged just thirty five in 1791, is covered in fine detail. Each of the twenty-three chapters which make up the bulk of the work have delightfully descriptive headings, I think my favourites have to be those titles which head chapter 8  “Ass-Bumping in Venice", and the delightfully quirky heading for chapter 10, "Gnagflow Trazom", which I'll let you work out for yourself! John Suchet writes with such warmth and wit about this great composer but isn't afraid to show the man behind the genius, warts and all, which comes across when describing Mozart's rather salacious communication with his nineteen year old cousin, Maria Anna Mozart. I loved the way the biography flowed beautifully and was gilded with an assortment of delightful illustrations and documents which highlight Mozart’s complex and fascinating life.

There is no doubt that Mozart's musical genius continues to enhance our modern world. Whilst reading this lovely book I listened to his Salzburg Symphonies which are simply delightful and which compliment this lovely book to perfection.

Mozart: The Man Revealed would make a perfect Christmas present for the classical music lover in your life or simply as well earned treat.

My copy is definitely one to keep and cherish.

Best Read with ...a cup of richly, aromatic hot chocolate and a generous slice of Apfelstrudel

About the author

John Suchet

John Suchet presents Classic FM’s flagship morning programme, from 9am every weekday. His informative style of presentation, coupled with a deep knowledge of classical music, has won a wide spectrum of new listeners to the station. Before turning to classical music, John was one of the UK’s best-known television journalists. As a reporter for ITN he covered world events, including the Iran revolution, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Philippines revolution. He then became a newscaster, regularly presenting ITN’s flagship News at Ten, as well as all other bulletins, over a period of nearly twenty years.

John has been honoured for both roles. In 1986 he was voted Television Journalist of the Year, in 1996 Television Newscaster of the Year, and in 2008 the Royal Television Society awarded him its highest accolade, a Lifetime Achievement Award. John has been given an honorary degree by his old university, the University of Dundee, and in 2001 the Royal Academy of Music awarded him an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his work on Beethoven, having written six books on the composer, including the highly acclaimed Beethoven: The Man Revealed (2012). His bestselling biography of the Strauss family, The Last Waltz: The Strauss Dynasty and Vienna, was published in 2015.

 My thanks Alison Menzies at Elliot & Thompson 

for the opportunity to read and review this book.



  1. Oh - tempting! I do love Mozart and in my late teens read a wonderful biography about him, which I kept for years, but eventually passed on. I also have a copy of Amadaeus, the film...... not necessarily everyone's cup of tea but what a wonderful soundtrack!!

    1. It's a lovely book Mrs M. A bit pricey (£25) but well worth it..a gift from Santa, maybe ? !!


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