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The Mozart Question

Michael Morpurgo
Walker Books
Nov 2007
Following a colleagues misfortunes on the ski-slopes, journalist Lesley McInley is enlisted to interview the world famous concert violinist, Paulo Levi. Inexperienced and somewhat intimidated by the magnitude of the task facing her, Lesley feels inadequate, however, Paulo embarks upon explaining the extraordinary tale of how he discovered his love for the violin.

The strands of a story that spans three separate generations are woven together expertly by Michael Morpurgo and chart life prior to, during and following the Holocaust. Far from explicit, the atrocities of the period are concealed beneath the urgent attempts of Paulo Levi’s parents’ to survive.

High culture and barbarism are played out against one another emphasising the tragedy and extent and magnitude of the history that underpins this fiction. Subtle reference to this is made as Morpurgo draws a wide geographic base around his characters that are thrown together, pulled apart and eventually drawn back to one another through the nature of all they have seen and heard.

The power of art to heal and foster understanding is explored and manifested in this quiet, contemplative work.

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