28 November 1789

Mozart minuets in a collection offered by subscription by Carl Immanuel Engel

Leipziger Intelligenz-Blatt, No. 52, Sat, 28 Nov 1789


⁣      5) Musikalische Anzeige: Auf die, von
mir ohnlängst angekündigten Claviersachen
für Anfänger und Liebhaber, bestehend in 6
Menuetten von Mozart, 3 Polonoisen und
15 deutsche Tänze aus der so beliebten Oper
Una cosa rara, kann man noch bis zum 19.
December a. c. mit 12 gr. Sächs. pränume=
riren sowohl in dem wohllöbl. Intell. Com=

Leipziger Intelligenz-Blatt, 1789-11-28, 431a

toir allhier, in der Hilscherschen Buchhand=
lung allhier und in Dresden, beym Herrn
Kaufmann Bugenhagen in Chemnitz, wie
auch bey mir selbst, (wohnhaft vor dem
Schloßthore beym Wachstuchfabrikant Hrn.
Minner.) Nachher ist der Ladenpreis 18 gr.
Auswärtige Collecteurs erhalten das 10te
Exemplar frey. Ich wünschte, daß mir die
Namen der resp. Pränumeranten längstens
den 24. December zugeschickt würden, weil
solche vorgedruckt und die Exemplare zur
Neujahrmesse 1790 abgeliefert werden sollen.
Auch bitte ich ergebenst, Briefe und Gelder
franco einzusenden. Leipzig den 27. Novem=
ber 1789.

⁣                            Carl Immanuel Engel,
                Churfürstl. Sächs. Hof= und Schloß=

Leipziger Intelligenz-Blatt, 1789-11-28, 431b


⁣     5) Musical Advertisement: Concerning my
recently announced keyboard pieces for beginners
and amateurs, consisting of six minuets by Mozart,
three polonaises, and fifteen German dances
from the very popular opera, Una cosa rara: these
can still be had until the 19th of December of this
year for 12 Saxon groschen by subscription at the
estimable Intelligenz Comtoir; in the Hilscher
bookshop here and in Dresden; from Herr
Kaufmann Bugenhagen in Chemnitz; as well
as from me (residing by the Schloßthore at the
waxcloth maker Herr Minner). Subsequently
the retail price is 18 groschen. Foreign collectors
receive the 10th exemplar free. I would like the
names of the respective subscribers to be sent
to me by 24 December at the latest, as these
should be preprinted and the exemplars delivered
before the 1790 New Year’s fair. I also humbly
request letters of credit and cash. Leipzig,
November 27, 1789.

⁣                            Carl Immanuel Engel,
                Electoral Saxon Court and Palace


Carl Immanuel Engel (1764–1795) was organist at the Catholic chapel in Leipzig and active in the Guardasoni opera troupe, of which he eventually became musical director. In 1787 Engel was the organiser for the so-called Extra concerts at the Thomëischen Saal which featured unidentified Mozart symphonies, arias from Le Nozze di Figaro, and choruses from Thamos (Strebel 1992, 97–98). He was presumably involved in further Mozart performances in Leipzig in the late 1780s (Woodfield 2012, 132–35).

Engel has achieved musical immortality as the dedicatee of the Kleine Gigue, K. 574, which Mozart wrote into Engel’s commonplace book on 16 May 1789, shortly before the composer’s departure from Leipzig. As a fellow Mason, Engel may well have introduced Mozart to influential figures in Leipzig’s cultural life (Strebel 1992, 98–101). It is no surprise that a few months later Engel seems to have planned for six Mozart minuets to feature in a collection of easy keyboard pieces with optional violin accompaniment, as this advertisement confirms. The majority of the print was to be dance arrangements of numbers from Martín y Soler’s tremendously popular opera Una cosa rara (1786). The advertisement was repeated on 12 December.

The history of the publication leads to some doubt about Engel’s intentions for the print. His earlier announcement of this subscription, referred to here, appeared in the same newspaper on Saturday, 17 Oct 1789 (370). This initial announcement does not mention Mozart; the contents there are described thus: “Sie erscheinen künftige Neujahrmesse 1790 unter dem Titel: Sechs Menuetten, drey Polonoisen und 15 deutsche Tänze aus der so beliebten Oper: Una cosa rara, nebst einer Violino ad libitum.” (“They will appear at the coming 1790 New Year’s fair under the title: Six Minuets, Three Polonaises, and Fifteen German Dances from the Very Famous Opera: Una cosa rara, together with violin ad libitum”). In other words, the entire print was to be arrangements of Martín.

RISM lists two surviving copies of Engel’s print: one in Brussels and the other in the German village of Reuden (although RISM has separate entries for the prints, they appear to refer to the same item). Although we have not had the opportunity to examine these copies, the transcriptions of the title pages make no mention of Mozart. This suggests that the print as it finally appeared reverted to Engel’s original design. While it is possible that the words “von Mozart” were inserted in the advertisements by mistake, it is difficult to see how this could have happened.

This advertisement is noted in Woodfield 2012, 163, who however mistakenly cites the earlier notice without the Mozart reference as its source. On 29 May 1790 Engel announced a second part to the series, this time featuring minuets, polonaises, "Angloisen" and marches, with no mention of Martín.


Strebel, Harald. 1992. “Mozart und sein Leipziger Freund und ‘ächte Bruder’ Carl Emmanuel Engel, Dedikationsträger der Kleinen Gigues KV 574.” Mitteilungen der Internationalen Stiftung Mozarteum 40: 95–110.

Woodfield, Ian. 2012. Performing Operas for Mozart: Impresarios, Singers and Troupes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Credit: DB

Author: David Black

Search Term: mozart

Categories: Reception, Advertisement

First Published: Thu, 3 Dec 2015

Updated: Sat, 14 Jan 2023

Print Citation:

Black, David. 2015. “Mozart minuets in a collection offered by subscription by Carl Immanuel Engel (28 November 1789).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 3 December 2015; updated 14 January 2023. https://www.mozartdocuments.org/documents/28-november-1789/

Web Citation:

Black, David. 2015. “Mozart minuets in a collection offered by subscription by Carl Immanuel Engel (28 November 1789).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 3 December 2015; updated 14 January 2023. [direct link]