While a lot of the book is based on Nickel’s research, some of the story is imaginative speculation. So while it’s true women and girls were, at the time, restricted from playing the organ and the violin as those instruments were used by men playing professionally (women were not allowed to play professionally or in churches nor were they allowed to learn composition or improvisation), we also know Nannerl composed pieces for both the organ and the clavier. A clavier is a “musical instrument having keyboard, especially a stringed keyboard instrument such as a harpsichord or clavichord” (thank you handy glossary in the back).
But we also know Nannerl’s pieces were never published, although she did perform in public, where according to research, Johann Schobert, a composer and a famous player of the harpsichord, “expressed jealousy of Nannerl’s precise and excellent playing of very difficult pieces by Johann Gottfried Eckhardt.”
However, as we are not in the mid-1700s, I found the unfairness of Nannerl’s talent simply because she is a girl awful so I was appreciative of the imaginative speculation in this book where Mozart’s likely more talented sister (she was, after all, self-taught) had her moment to shine.
A copy of this book was provided by Second Story Press for an honest review.
The opinions are my own