“Mozart: Gift of God,” by Demi.
Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2018, 37 pages, K-3.
Saint Gregory the Great is reputed to have said: “those who sing, pray twice.” Not only do singers use words in their songs, but they also use poetry in their melodies. This accounts for the range of feelings music can invoke.
One of the most important emotions in music is joy. The famous writer/illustrator Demi pays tribute to joy and to the life the composer Mozart in this lovely biography. Entitled “Mozart: Gift of God,” Demi shows us the immense talent of Mozart and how his great love for God lead to his incredible output of operas, sonatas, concertos and Requiem Masses. It is a beautiful book and a delight to read.
Wolfgang Theophilus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria January 27, 1756. His father was a musician and concertmaster for the archbishop of Salzburg. As a result, the young boy is surrounded by music being composed and performed by talented musicians. His sister is Maria Anna, five years his senior. Musically talented, she plays the violin with great skill.
By the age of 5, Wolfgang begins demonstrating the musical gifts of a prodigy. He can play the violin, organ and harpsichord with exceptional ability. The Mozart family begin moving from one country’s capital to the next for music performances. He soon begins giving concerts before kings and queens. Most people are entranced with young Mozart’s spectacular talents and his joyful personality.
Entering his teens, Mozart begins composing extensively and produces some brilliant pieces of music. Throughout all of his tremendous success, Wolfgang tells people that he owes all of his success to the gifts given to him by God. He prays extensively and regularly attends Mass. On a tour of Italy, his love for God becomes so obvious that his middle name changes from Theophilus (friend of God) to Amadeus (lover of God).
He is then hired as the Concert Master of Salzburg but is soon fired by the tone-deaf cardinal of Salzburg. While heartbroken by his dismissal, Mozart recovers and again writes beautiful music. Additionally, he falls in love and marries the beautiful Constance Weber. The couple are very happy and Wolfgang’s music continues to be loved throughout Europe. The famous composer, Joseph Haydn, tells Mozart’s father that Wolfgang is the greatest composer in all of Europe.
In his next burst of genius, Wolfgang begins composing some of the greatest operas ever written. They include The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni among others. However, all this genius begins to wreck his health. By the age of 35, Mozart begins to decline. What happens next?
How does Mozart’s great love for God drive all of his compositions? Why is he such a happy person? When we hear his famous music today, most people feel uplifted. How did he use his prodigious gifts to pray to God and assist people? To find out the answers to these and other questions, go to the library and find this wonderful book, or order it from a bookstore.
Demi is a caring and brilliant writer/illustrator and only publishes under her first name of Demi. She usually writes uplifting stories that help people overcome problems in their own lives. Her drawings are beautiful and touching. You just can’t go wrong with her books. I especially liked an earlier book she wrote entitled “The Empty Pot.” If you can’t get this book at your local library, I encourage you to purchase it.
Read “Mozart: Gift of God” with the younger members of your family and let them experience the joy Mozart felt for God. The book is terrific. Enjoy!