Thursday, November 14, 2013
Paul Johnson's biography of Mozart is as diminutive as the composer himself (164 pages and "not much over five foot," respectively), but the book's cover design packs all the wallop of a crescendoing aria. Designer Jason Ramirez cleverly uses Barbara Krafft's portrait of Amadeus (full name: Joannes Chrysotomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart) to make the book leap off the shelf--or, in my case, pop out of the mailing envelope which I received from the publisher yesterday (I believe my exact words were "Oh my God, would you look at that!"). Ramirez layers the famous portrait with a scarlet-red curtain and five-lined music staffs. The effect is simultaneously subtle and in-your-face beautiful. I would probably read Johnson's biography anyway, but the fire-engine, Canadian-Mountie-jacket, supermodel-lipstick red of the jacket design insists I do so sooner rather than later. Fortissimo!