Few people these days would question Mozart's rating as the most popular of all classical composers. Yet there exists no substantial, up-to-date English-language study of the man and his works. In this new study of Mozart's early years, Stanley Sadie aims to fill this gap in the form of a traditional biography on a straightforward chronological basis. The volume covers the period up to 1781, the year of Idomeneo and Mozart's settling in Vienna. Individual works are discussed in sequence and related to the events of his life. Stanley Sadie draws substantially on the family correspondence, quoting the letters and discussing what they tell us about Mozart and his world and his relationships with his family and his professional colleagues. Also included is a discussion of all aspects of Mozart's life and his music, relating them to the environment in which he worked, social, economic and cultural as well as musical. Much new material connected with Mozart has come to light in recent years. There have been discoveries of musical sources and new ways of studying known ones.
Such finds and methods have changed our view of the chronology of many works and they often have significant biographical ramifications. Understanding of the context for Mozart's music, and indeed his life, has broadened immensely. Stanley Sadie's biography digests and interprets this corpus of new information.