2 July 2011 0 Comments

The Music of MOZART’S LAST ARIA: The Requiem

In my novel about the death of the great composer, I knew I’d have to give a central position to Mozart’s Requiem, his most powerful piece of music and the one that’s most laden with death — perhaps, indeed, his own. So, in MOZART’S LAST ARIA, there’s a key scene set in the crypt below […]

27 June 2011 0 Comments

Podcast: The story behind the writing of MOZART’S LAST ARIA

In the third of my podcasts I describe the story behind my historical crime novel MOZART’S LAST ARIA. I tell how I became interested in Nannerl Mozart, the great composer’s sister, while traveling in the mountains of Austria; how I developed the idea for my novel with the help of great musicians; how I researched […]

15 June 2011 0 Comments

Bookgeeks: MOZART’S LAST ARIA and writing music in a novel

I’ve a guest post on the UK book blog Bookgeeks today, about how I “wrote the music” for my new Mozart novel MOZART’S LAST ARIA. Here’s how the post starts: I’ve played music all my life, but I’m no musician. After my initial childhood music lessons I parted ways with the playing of classical music. […]

29 May 2011 0 Comments

The Music of MOZART’S LAST ARIA: Vorrei spiegarvi

In Chapter 22 of my new novel MOZART’S LAST ARIA, Wolfgang Mozart’s sister Nannerl sings for Baron van Swieten. The aria for soprano “Vorrei spiegarvi” (“I wish to explain to you”) is a tender love song by a woman who cannot be with her true love. This version is sung by Elizabeth Parcells, the American […]

20 May 2011 0 Comments

The Music of MOZART’ LAST ARIA: piano concerto in C

Nannerl Mozart, Wolfgang’s sister, ends the concert scene in my novel MOZART’S LAST ARIA with her brother’s beautiful C piano concerto. Here’s the fabulous second movement of the concerto played by the incomparable Catalan Alicia de Larrocha. Listen to more music from MOZART’S LAST ARIA. Watch videos about the book.

16 May 2011 0 Comments

The Music of MOZART’S LAST ARIA: Hell’s Revenge

In the concert scene of my new novel MOZART’S LAST ARIA, the dead composer’s sister-in-law sings “Der Hölle Rache” (“Hell’s revenge”), an aria from the opera The Magic Flute. It’s a particularly difficult piece to sing and, as my main character Nannerl, Wolfgang’s sister, observes, its high tessitura turns the soprano’s voice into something more […]

16 May 2011 2 Comments

The Music of MOZART’S LAST ARIA: Symphony 41

In my new novel MOZART’S LAST ARIA, Nannerl Mozart, the great composer’s sister, hears this symphony, which is known as the “Jupiter,” for the first time shortly before she’s due to perform one of her brother’s piano concertos. Its sheer genius awakens a fear that her own playing will look at best mediocre…Until one of […]

11 May 2011 0 Comments

The Music of MOZART’S LAST ARIA: Ach, ich liebte

At a concert in my new thriller MOZART’S LAST ARIA, Wolfgang’s widow Constanze sings: “Ach, ich liebte” (“Ah, I was in love”), this aria from the opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio). Wolfgang wrote it for a character he called “Konstanze” at the time he was courting his wife. To […]

9 May 2011 0 Comments

The Music of MOZART’S LAST ARIA: Clarinet Concerto in A

Wolfgang’s friend Anton Stadler was a master of the clarinet. He also invented a longer clarinet with some extra low notes, the bass clarinet. The soloist in this concerto in A by Wolfgang, Sharon Kam, is using such a clarinet. He’s practicing this piece when Wolfgang’s sister Nannerl goes to see him in my new […]

8 May 2011 0 Comments

The Music of MOZART’S LAST ARIA: Piano sonata in A minor

In the first chapter of MOZART’S LAST ARIA, my new historical thriller, Nannerl Mozart plays the disturbing, frenetic opening movement of the sonata for piano in A minor, which her brother Wolfgang wrote just after his mother’s death. I used this piece as the framework for my novel. I built the opening of the book, […]