Mozartiana, collected by Joseph Solman (Waller & Co...

May 19, 2002|By Michael Pakenham | Michael Pakenham,Editor's Choice

Mozartiana, collected by Joseph Solman (Waller & Co., 201 pages, $12).

An enchanting, provocative and perhaps instructive little book for anybody who loves music of any variety at all. Solman is a very significant artist, a New Yorker who was an original member of the American expressionists. His sketches, mostly of Mozart's head, are a delight, running through more than half the pages of the book. But the substance is quotations, delightfully culled, from the master himself and from almost anyone else you might think had something to say about him. Not all agree. Maria Callas, quoted in her biography, said, "Most of Mozart is dull." H.C. Robbins Landon writes in his Mozart's Last Year that "the Mozartian legacy, in brief, is as good an excuse for mankind's existence as we shall ever encounter and is perhaps, after all, a still small hope for our ultimate survival." Hear, hear.

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