Travels in Italy with the teenage Mozart

Between the ages of 13 and 17, Mozart made three trips to Italy, spending some two-and- a-half years in ‘the country at the heart of the opera world’. He would never return as an adult. His mature Italian operas – The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, La Clemenza di Tito – can be traced directly back to these formative teenage encounters and experiences in Bologna, Venice, Rome, Florence and Naples. So argues Jane Glover in Mozart in Italy. A follow-up to 2005’s Mozart’s Women, the book is a lively account of journeys which the composer shared (mostly) with his father Leopold. What dominates initially is the business

There’s more to Salzburg than The Sound of Music

Returning to Salzburg last week, for the first time since Covid, I’d almost forgotten what a beautiful city this is. I’ve been here umpteen times, but each new arrival takes my breath away. An ornate cluster of domes and spires, set against a backdrop of snowcapped peaks, it’s implausibly picturesque, like the setting for a movie – which is apt, because for most Britons it’s still synonymous with that kitsch classic, The Sound of Music. Salzburg does have its schmaltzy side, but it’s also a highly sophisticated place, a city of classical music and antiquities, and it’s this blend of highbrow and lowbrow which makes it so appealing. You can