(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

Throughout the book, Komroff shows much sensitivity to Mozart as a person and makes it clear that the life of a genius, at any age, is not an easy one. Most of the text’s information derives from letters exchanged between Mozart and his father, allowing the reader a glimpse of Mozart’s life and experiences as he saw them himself. It is unusual to have so much information of this type concerning a famous figure from the eighteenth century, and the author uses the source material well.

Mozart is described through his relationships with his surroundings, a context in which he is seen first as an extraordinary child prodigy exploited by his father. He is then portrayed as an adolescent who is already the musical equal of other professional musicians and one encountering much difficulty in breaking away from his father’s domination. Ultimately, he is shown as a mature artist, but one still troubled by the strong personality of his father, Leopold. Komroff avoids describing Mozart as the subject of a psychological study, but he seems to infer that such an approach would be appropriate.

It is clear that Leopold Mozart recognized the extraordinary talents of his son when the child was very young, and certainly he tried to capitalize on this situation as much as possible. As Mozart approached maturity, however, writing the operas and concertos for which he has come to be so famous, his father not only failed to release his hold over his son but...

(The entire section is 491 words.)