The first Dutch edition of Leopold Mozart’s Versuch einer gründlichen Violinschule was published in Haarlem in 1766 by Johannes Enschedé (1708–1780), under the title Grondig onderwys in het behandelen der viool.
The first four documents transcribed above include Enschedé’s first announcement of the translation and three of his advertisements of it, all in the Oprechte Haerlemse Courant (for which Enschedé himself had been the printer since 1737); the fifth document is an advertisement of Grondig onderwys by the publisher and bookseller A. L. Callenfels and Son in Middelburg in 1767; the sixth is a review appearing that same year in the Vaderlandsche Letteroefeningen; and the seventh is a reference to the book in Enschedé’s catalog of his typefaces, published in 1768. Two of Enschedé’s advertisements (documents 2 & 4) refer to Wolfgang as “dat Musicaal-Wonder” (“that musical marvel”).
Of the seven documents, only Enschedé’s long advertisement of 13 May 1766 (document 4) is mentioned in Dokumente, and Deutsch transcribes only the clause mentioning Wolfgang: “… de naam van MOZART en zyne 2 Kinderen, met naame zyn Zoontje van 9 Jaaren, dat Musicaal-Wonder, zyn genoeg bekend” (Dokumente, 514, German translation on 52; “… MOZART’s name and his 2 children, especially his 9-year-old son, that musical marvel, are sufficiently known”). Deutsch describes this as the first advertisement of Grondig onderwys, but Enschedé announced the translation as early as 28 Feb 1765 (document 1), while the Mozarts were still in England; this early date shows that lanning for the translation and publication was already well underway more than six months before the Mozarts arrived in the Dutch Republic on 10 Sep 1765. According to Scheurleer (1909, ii:356), on 21 Sep 1765, just a few days after the Mozarts’ arrival, Enschedé announced that half of Grondig onderwys had been printed (Scheurleer gives no specific citation for this announcement, and we have not yet been able to trace his source). Enschedé also published at least two other advertisements of the book predating the one on 13 May 1766 (documents 2 & 3 above).
Grondig onderwys was dedicated to William V, Prince of Orange, and a copy bound in red morocco was presented to him on the occasion of his installation as Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic on his eighteenth birthday, 8 Mar 1766 (on William, see also our entry for 18 Sep 1765). This presentation copy survives and is now in the collection of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague (KW 1793 C 25).
Enschedé also gave Leopold Mozart a copy of the translation. Leopold described the Dutch edition in a letter to Lorenz Hagenauer on 16 May 1766:
Ich werde die Ehre haben ihnen meine Violin Schule in Holländischer Sprache vorzulegen. Dieß Buch haben die H: H: Holländer in dem nämlichen format in meinem Angesicht in das Holländische übersetzt dem Printzen dedicirt und zu seinen Installations=Fest presentirt. Die Edition ist ungemein schön, und noch schöner als meine eigene. Der verleger |: der Buchdrucker in harlem :| kamm mit einer Ehrfurchtsvollen Mine zu mir und überreichte mir das Buch …
I will have the honor to place before you my Violinschule in the Dutch language. The Dutch gentlemen, using the same format, translated it into Dutch and dedicated it to the Prince and presented it to him as I looked on at the festivities for his installation. The edition is exceptionally lovely, even more so than my own. The publisher (the book printer in Haarlem) came to me with reverential countenance and submitted the book to me.
Thus the book was in print by Mar 1766. Enschedé’s earliest known advertisement of the complete book appeared on Tue, 1 Apr 1766 (document 2), more than one year after it had first been announced (document 1). The advertisement on 1 Apr 1766 is the first to mention “the musical-marvel” Wolfgang, who by that point had performed several times in the Dutch Republic. The very next issue of the Oprechte Haerlemse Courant, on 3 Apr 1766, contains yet another advertisement for the book (document 3), which was repeated on 19, 22, and 29 Apr. This advertisement omits the reference to Wolfgang, but alludes again to the novel technique used for the printing of Grondig onderwys, by which Enschedé meant the use of movable type for the musical examples, which had already been mentioned in his first announcement of the translation a year earlier. The technique is explained more fully in Enschedé’s long advertisement in the same newspaper the following month, on Tue, 13 May 1766 (document 4).
The advertisement on 13 May combines the information from the previous two (the reference to Wolfgang and the allusion to the new printing technique), and adds a description of the contents and illustrations. For the musical examples in Grondig onderwys, Enschedé used the elegant musical typeface cut by Joan Michael Fleischman (1701–1768), which Enschedé referred to in his 1768 catalog of typefaces as “Volmaakte en Volkomene Muziek” (“perfect and complete music”; see page 4 of the price list in Enschedé 1768, where the price for this typeface is listed as 5 guilder).
Enschedé himself gives a good description of this typeface in his 1768 catalog, accompanied by a short musical example that uses it.
VOLMAAKTE EN VOLKOMENE MUZIEK
Dit is het allervolmaakste en het allerkonstigste Werkstuk,
dat ooit door eenig Lettersnyder gemaakt is; de Heer J.M.
FLEISCHMAN heeft dat in ’t Jaar 1760 ten einde gebragt,
na ruim twee Jaaren daar aan te hebben gearbeid; al zyn Konst
en Vlyt heeft hy daar aan besteed; ieder die eenige kennis heeft
van de Drukkonst en van ’t Lettergieten, staat daar over ver-
baast; alles is mathematisch vierkant ingerigt; dit groote Konst-
stuk bestaat uit 226 stuks Staale Stempels en 240 Matryzen, en
word op Parel Corpus gegooten. Daar kan in de Muziek niets
gecomponeert worden, of het kan met deeze Muziek-Caractè- [sic]
ren, even zo gemaklyk gezet en gedrukt worden, als de or-
dinaire Grieksche, Latynsche en Nederduitsche Letteren; zo
dat dit allervolmaakste Werkstuk de Geschreevene Letteren,
die ook verwonderlyk schoon zyn, zeer verre overtreft.
PERFECT AND COMPLETE MUSIC
This is the most perfect and most ingenious piece of work
that has ever been made by a type cutter. Mister J. M.
FLEISCHMAN finished this in the year 1760, having worked
on it for more than two years. He devoted all his craftsmanship
and diligence to it. Everyone who has some knowledge of
printing and typecasting is amazed by it. Everything is organized
mathematically in squares. This great masterpiece consists
of 226 steel punches and 240 matrices, and is cast on a pearl
body [Parel Corpus = 5 point]. There is nothing that can be
composed in music that cannot be set and printed with these
music characters as easily as ordinary Greek, Latin and Dutch
letters, in such a way that this most perfect piece of work surpasses
by far the script letters, which are also amazingly beautiful.
To print music with movable type was not a novelty: the technique had been used even in the earliest printed editions of music, most famously in the elegant Harmonice Musices Odhecaton A, printed in Venice in 1501 by Ottaviano Petrucci. But by the early eighteenth century, the technique had largely been overshadowed, in terms of quality and beauty, by music printed from engraved plates. The use of movable type for music was given a new lease on life by the ingenious and superbly engineered “mosaic” typeface for music, introduced in Leipzig around 1754 by Johann Gottlob Immanuel Breitkopf (founder of the publishing firm that became Breitkopf & Härtel). Breitkopf’s type was Fleischman’s inspiration, to which he added his own refinements, and it is Breitkopf’s system to which Enschedé is referring in the preface to his 1768 catalog (document 7) when he writes that Fleischman’s musical typeface “overtreft zeer verre de Muziek-Caracteren, die in Duitschland, zedert 1755, zyn uitgekomen” (“surpasses by far the music characters that have been produced in Germany since 1755”).
The use of Fleischman’s “Volmaakte en Volkomene Muziek” in Grondig onderwys gives the musical examples a very consistent and crisp printed image. However, Enschedé’s advertisements overstate the case for the novelty of the technique: the examples in Leopold Mozart’s original 1756 edition of his Versuch are also set with musical type, as can readily be seen from the visible gaps between type pieces. But the technique may have been a novelty for Enschedé’s Dutch customers in the 1760s.
The equivalent examples from Enschedé’s edition show that Fleischman’s musical type is indeed crisper, and the gaps between individual pieces of type are less evident. The engineering of the typeface is so precise that it is not at all obvious, for example, that each G clef in the example below is assembled from five separate pieces of type, one for each staff line (see the complete table of Fleischman’s typeface in Enschedé, C., 1908, 217, also reproduced in Wester 2005, 145). So it is not surprising that Leopold would have found the Dutch edition “schöner” than the German.
However, neither Fleischman’s typeface nor that in the original 1756 edition of the Versuch were able fully to solve the problem of “wavy” beams in connected sequences of notes that change direction, as can be seen in the examples above. One of the many marvels of Breitkopf’s system is that it avoids wavy beams, as can be seen, for example, on the first page of music in his splendid 1756 edition of Il trionfo della fedeltà by Maria Antonia of Bavaria, Electress of Saxony, issued in the same year as the first edition of Leopold’s Versuch.
The musical typeface used in Enschedé’s edition is not without other minor flaws. For instance, in the musical example at the top of page 27 (in the Dutch edition) illustrating Leopold’s discussion of the benefits of movable G-clefs, those clefs in which the note G falls on a space do not have staff lines; evidently, Fleischman did not create punches for the special pieces of type that would allow the assembly of such clefs. (Compare the table in Enschedé, C., 1908, 217. G clefs of this kind do not ordinarily appear in actual use, so it is understandable that Fleischman omitted the characters from his typeface; however, the clefs in the equivalent example in the 1756 original German edition of the Versuch do have staff lines.) In spite of these minor deficiencies, Enschedé was justifiably proud of the elegant and finely crafted look of his edition using Fleischman’s musical typeface.
Grondig onderwys was just the second work in which Enschedé used Fleischman’s “Volmaakte en Volkomene Muziek.” The first was a collection of 48 songs entitled Haerlemse zangen, based on Breitkopf’s 1756 collection Berlinische Oden und Lieder (part 1), with music by Marpurg, Agricola, Schale, Nichelman, and C. P. E. Bach (this was one of Breitkopf’s earliest publications using his own musical typeface). Enschedé had the German texts translated into Dutch to fit the rhythm and melody of the original music. Haerlemse zangen was first published in 1761; the advertisements here (documents 2, 3, & 4) show that Enschedé was still advertising the work in 1765 and 1766, along with Leopold’s Grondig onderwys.
These are the only two books known to have been printed using Fleischman’s “Volmaakte en Volkomene Muziek.” In later years, the Enschedé firm reused type from this typeface to print intricate decorative borders on banknotes, stock certificates, and the like, making them much more difficult to forge (for examples, see Wester 2005, 145). The Netherlands honored Fleischman’s typeface and the 300th anniversary of the Enschedé firm with a pair of stamps in 2003. The first-day cover for the issue shows an image of the complete set of punches for the typeface. The caption beneath reads: “The Fleischman musical typeface is the first hallmark of authenticity protecting securities and banknotes against counterfeiting and forgery.” The stamp on the right shows a stylized representation of musical characters from the typeface; the stamp on the left commemorates the firm’s contributions to document security.
The four engraved illustrations in Enschedé’s Grondig onderwys are modeled directly on those in the original German edition of Leopold Mozart’s Versuch, but they are newly engraved. This is particularly evident in the genially addled facial expression that Enschedé’s engraver, Cornelis van Noorde (1731–1795), has given the violinist holding the violin incorrectly.
Unlike the (abridged) French translation of theVersuch by Valentin Roeser published a few years later (Méthode raisonnée pour apprendre à jouer du violon, ca. 1770), the Dutch edition does not include the name of the translator, whose identity remains unknown.
The advertisement in the Oprechte Haerlemse Courant on 13 May 1766 takes into account Leopold Mozart’s promotion from “Kamer-Musicus” (“chamber musician”) to “Capel-Meester” (“Kapellmeister”), although, strictly speaking, Leopold had been promoted to the rank of deputy Kapellmeister in Salzburg in Feb 1763. Initially, before the Mozarts arrived in the Dutch Republic, Enschedé, presumably unaware of Leopold’s promotion, would have used the information printed on the title page of the German Violinschule (1756), where the author is indeed identified as “Hochfürstl. Salzburgischen Cammermusikus.” When they met in person, Leopold probably informed the Haarlem printer of his new status, and Enschedé changed the advertisement in the Oprechte Haerlemse Courant accordingly. However, since the first half of Grondig onderwys had apparently already been printed by the time the Mozarts arrived in the Dutch Republic in Sep 1765, it was too late to make any changes to the title page. This explains why Leopold is still described as “Hoogvorstelyk-Saltzburgschen Kamer-Musicus” in the Dutch edition, on the title page and in the dedication to William V.
The long advertisement of 13 May (document 4) was reprinted in the Oprechte Haerlemse Courant on 17 May and 21 Aug 1766, and 10 Jan, 19 Jan and 28 Jan 1768. Wolfgang’s age in the advertisements was revised as appropriate, but as was often the case at the time, his reported age is lower than his actual age: in the advertisement of 10 Jan 1767 Wolfgang is said to be 9 (he was about to turn 11), and in the two advertisements in Jan 1768 his age is given as 10 (he turned 12 that month).
From April 1767 onwards, the Dutch edition of Leopold’s book was also available at the shop of the widow of A. L. Callenfels in Middelburg, in the Dutch province of Zeeland. A small advertisement alerting readers to this new point of sale was published in the Middelburgsche Courant on 9, 18 and 2 Apr, and 28 May 1767 (document 5). This newspaper had been founded by A. L. Callenfels himself in 1758, together with S. Maldergeen and L. Taillefert.
Also in 1767, the only known contemporaneous review of Grondig onderwys appeared in the Vaderlandsche Letteroefeningen (document 6), one of the leading literary and cultural periodicals in the Dutch Republic. Its main purpose was to inform Dutch readers of useful and worthwhile publications, both new and old, on a wide range of subjects. The anonymous reviewer of Grondig onderwys emphasizes the book’s didactic merits and the innovative use of moveable type for the music notation. Closely following the text of Enschedé’s advertisements and dedication, the reviewer describes the work as unique in its genre. This is not entirely correct, as treatises on the violin had been published before, most notably, perhaps, The Art of Playing on the Violin by Francesco Geminiani in 1731. However, the scope and breadth of Leopold Mozart’s work far exceeds the publications of his predecessors, making the Violinschule an undisputed milestone. In a footnote, the Dutch reviewer reminds his readers of Enschedé’s previous experiment with moveable type for printing music, the collection Haerlemse zangen.