ALCINA PRESS was established in 2005 as a small, independent 'ePress.' Its first publication and distribution will be the work of author and composer A.M. Bauld whose novel, Mozart's Sister, has just become available. Following an article she wrote for The Independent newspaper on Nannerl Mozart, the author explored the few facts to create this vivid portrait of an overlooked and misunderstood sister of a genius.
CLASSIC FM MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2005: BEST BUY, 5*****
'A.M.Bauld, a former pupil of pioneering composer Elisabeth Lutyens, weaves a compelling tale around the little we do know to create an extraordinarily accomplished first novel.Freed from the trappings of academia she has created a flesh-and-blood character, giving fresh perspectives on the Mozart family's world by seeing it through Nannerl's eyes....Bauld's song 'No More of Love', a specially composed homage to Nannerl, is reproduced as a handwritten manuscript, and even the striking cover painting of Nannerl is by Bauld. A veritable tour de force.'
'I loved reading Mozart's Sister because it carried me far. It's a living history: it's history appropriated by an informed, engaged, adoring, perceptive and wildly creative mind that responds to the Mozarts' life and music with a life and music of its own.'
Meredith Oakes, playwright and librettist.
It can be obtained through all good bookshops or online through Amazon.
For more information on A.M. Bauld, Mozart's Sister, Alcina Press and its future publishing plans, please use the buttons on the left.
It is about living in a shadow, sibling rivalry and the lot of a gifted eighteenth century woman - the sister of a musical genius, who wanted to compose in her own right. At nineteen, Nannerl Mozart received a letter from her brother praising her composition and urging her to write more, although none of her music survives. The book interprets hints from letters about depression, adolescent frustrations, delayed married life with five step-children and reasons why she handed over her firstborn child to her father for his infancy. It follows her life through to widowhood as an impoverished piano teacher in Salzburg and to her death at seventy-eight in conversations with her nephew, Mozart's younger son. (It is a fact that Franz Xaver Mozart claimed he learnt more about his father from his aunt in these meetings than from anyone else, including his own mother.) A fictional subplot explains the whereabouts of Mozart's body and the consequences of this bodysnatching, the author listing what is fiction and fact in an absorbing index at the end of the novel.
'This book constitutes a remarkable act of sympathetic restitution. By amplifying the scattered facts with imaginative fantasy, A.M. Bauld brings the personality of Mozart's too-little considered sister vividly back to life while offering an intriguing hypothesis about Mozart's end.'
Bayan Northcott, composer and musicologist.
'The novel is excellently and ingeniously constructed. the casting of the narrator as the omnipotent observer, a spider weaving the web of the story, draws attention to the account's fictional qualities while pulling the reader into the tale...It is interwoven with an imagined account of the fate of Mozart's body... These sections function like a mystery story and drive the plot along, uniting the strands of the narrative at the end... Mozart's Sister' is an absorbing work of fiction and a sensitive and creative analysis of enduring themes such as the pressures of family and romantic relationships and the nature of artistic inspiration. The novel should be applauded for encouraging us to give greater consideration to the forgotten women of the eighteenth century.'
from a review by Fiona Ritchie, Deputy Curator of Dr Johnson's House
To coincide with publication of her book, A.M. Bauld is keeping regular posts of a blog in the form of a diary by Nannerl Mozart. The site can be reached by clicking on http://nannerlmozart.blogspot.com