17 New Documents

We have added 17 new documents to our site, including:

  • Two references to Mozart as keyboard player (both from 1780)
  • A document shedding new light on the background of Mozart’s two religious songs, K. 343 (1787)
  • A report of a performance of a Mozart concerto in Dresden (22 Apr 1788)
  • A reference to Mozart in a theological tract (1791);
  • Several new documents from the Berlin periodical Musikalisches Wochenblatt (1791–2) and its successor the Musikalische Monathsschrift (1792).

Otto Erich Deutsch included six items from the Wochenblatt and two from the Monathschrift in his Dokumente, but he omitted or overlooked nine other references to Mozart in the Wochenblatt and three in the Monathsschrift. He also omitted significant passages from two items in the Wochenblatt that he did include, most importantly a long passage from a remarkable review of Don Giovanni by Bernhard Wessely, a Jewish composer and musician who was music director in the Nationaltheater in Berlin from 1788 until 1796. We give Wessely’s review of Don Giovanni complete (12 Oct 1791), as well as the complete text of Wessely’s later review of Eine machts wie die andre (Nov 1792), a German translation of Così fan tutte which Wessely had almost certainly directed in its first Berlin performance on 3 Aug 1792. Other new documents relating to Wessely include: his reference to Mozart as a model for wind writing (5 Dec 1791); a review of a performance of Wessely’s memorial cantata Mozarts Urne (18 Mar 1792); Wessely’s advertisement for a subscription to the printed edition of that cantata (23 Jun 1792); and a reference to the improved performance of Mozart’s Figaro by the Berlin theater orchestra under Wessely’s direction (Sep 1792).

Other new items from the Wochenblatt include a short report on the reception of La clemenza di Tito at its first performance in Prague in September 1791 (see 28 Nov 1791); an early report of Mozart’s death (12 Dec 1791); references to Mozart’s works in a review of a printed anthology of keyboard music (2 Jan 1792); and three references to Mozart in reviews of works by other composers (10 Oct 1791,  24 Oct 1791, 5 Dec 1791).

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