Thirty years before, when Leopold Mozart saw what his son was capable of, he determined to show the world what he declared a miracle of God, thereby to turn the world to thoughts of God’s miracles, also thereby to profit from this one. Now Leopold’s son was dead at not quite thirty-six years old, having surpassed nearly all men in his art and on the brink of surpassing himself in unimaginable ways. He had been named Theophilus, “beloved of God.” But it turns out that the gods do not care. They do not care. The gods, nature, whatever it was that made Mozart, had indifferently created a miracle, and indifferently let it be erased long before its time. Ah, that day of tears and mourning!
— Jan Swafford, Mozart: The Reign of Love
I got this book for Christmas last year and have only just finished it. I don’t think I’ve ever taken so long to finish a book. Partly, that’s due to having to pause throughout and listen to the compositions being described. Mainly, though, this is one of those books that’s made for luxuriating in. Swafford is a great storyteller, and Mozart is always an antidote to the mean and sickly minds of the everyday world. Highly recommended.