ISBN: PB: 9781800173088


January 2024

320 pp.

21,6x13,5 cm

30.00 GBP


Devil Prefers Mozart

On Music and Musicians, 1962-1993

Born into a family of musicians – his mother a music-hall singer, his father a pianist in silent cinemas – Anthony Burgess became interested in music at an early age. A composer long before he became a writer, he gained a wide knowledge of the classical repertoire from concertgoing at the Free Trade Hall while he was a student in Manchester before the Second World War.
In this flavoursome, entertaining collection of writings about music, Burgess reflects on the classical canon – with reference to Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Delius – and delivers opinions on twentieth-century practitioners, among them Stravinsky, Elgar, and The Beatles. Despite his reputation as "Godfather of Punk" – bestowed by the Italian press following the release of Stanley Kubrick's film version of "A Clockwork Orange" – Burgess is severe in his writing about Sid Vicious and The Sex Pistols. He provides an insider's view of how music is made, reflecting on his own compositions for symphony orchestra, piano and guitar. "The Devil Prefers Mozart" demonstrates the versatility of his nonfiction writing and confirms the extent to which music is at the heart of his creative life. The book supports Burgess's claim that he was primarily a musician who also happened to be a writer. Encountering his work for the first time.

About the author

Anthony Burgess was born in Manchester in 1917. He graduated with honours in English Literature from Manchester University in 1940. He served in World War II, then became an education officer in the Far East before beginning to write. 1962 saw the publication of his most famous work "A Clockwork Orange", which made him famous as a satirical novelist, and which was filmed by Stanley Kubrick in the 1970s. Anthony Burgess died in 1993 leaving behind an incredible body of work including poetry, screenplays and orchestral works.