“Mozart: New Documents” reaches 100

We have just added 11 new documents to our site (which just had its first birthday on 12 Jun 2015!), bringing the total published so far to 100. We now expect that the site will eventually include well over 200 documents.

New documents include:

Mozart in Paris and his Sonatas, op. 1 (addendum)

We restore two paragraphs that Otto Erich Deutsch omitted from the famous article on Mozart in the journal L'Avantcoureur, and show that this article was published at least seven times in German-language periodicals and books over the following months, in two independent translations, making it the most widely distributed description of young Mozart prior to the publication of Daines Barrington's famous report in 1771. The second of the restored paragraphs can be regarded as the earliest advertisement of Mozart's music. The introduction to one German version of the article describes Mozart as a phenomenon analogous to the annular eclipse of the sun visible in Paris on 1 Apr 1764.

An advertisement of Mozart’s Sonatas, op. 1 & op. 2 (K. 6–9)

One of the earliest advertisements of Mozart's music.

A Berlin report on the Mozarts in Paris

A previously unknown report from a Berlin newspaper on the reception of the Mozart children in Paris.

Hugh Elliot on La finta giardiniera in Munich

A quotation, first published in the 19th century, from a letter by diplomat Hugh Elliot, who attended the premiere of Mozart's La finta giardiniera in Munich on 13 Jan 1775 (discovered by John Rice).

The Count and Countess of the North at Die Entführung aus dem Serail

The Grand Duke and Duchess of Russia, traveling incognito as the "Count and Countess of the North," attended Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 8 Oct 1782, with Mozart directing the performance from the keyboard. Our extended commentary examines in detail the musical and theatrical contexts of the two Viennese sojourns of the Grand Duke and Duchess, from 21 Nov 1781 to 4 Jan 1782, and again from 4 to 19 Oct 1782, bringing to light several previously unknown musical events during their visits and new details about ones that were previously known.

The premiere of Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Bonn

The previously unpublished primary source for the date of the premiere of Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Bonn at the court theater of Maximilian Friedrich, Elector of Cologne. This is the third documented local premiere of the opera outside Vienna, following those in Strasbourg on 24 Jan 1783 and Warsaw on 8 May 1783. This performance was very likely young Beethoven's first exposure to Mozart's dramatic music.

Figaro in Lübeck (spurious document)

Otto Erich Deutsch (Dokumente, 277) wrote that Mozart's Figaro had its Lübeck premiere on 18 May 1788, in a German translation. This “fact” has been widely accepted in the Mozart literature—but the performance is a phantom; it didn't happen. The confusion resulted from a typographical error in the primary source and a failure to read the surrounding context carefully.

Mozart and Sterkel’s variations on “Lison dormait”

A favorable reference to Mozart's variations on “Lison dormait”, K. 264, in a review of variations attributed to Johann Franz Xaver Sterkel on the same tune.

Mozart named successor to Hofmann at St. Stephen’s Cathedral

Two new reports on Mozart's appointment as unpaid adjunct to Leopold Hofmann as Kapellmeister at St. Stephen's Cathedral.

Notices of Mozart’s death in various English periodicals

Two reports on Mozart's death in the Mercure universel, with Viennese datelines 7 and 10 Dec 1791.

Mozart comments on “Haydn’s” Toy Symphony

An anecdote, probably apocryphal, published in Vienna in 1793, in which Mozart tells a young musician to notice the mark of a master even in a piece of musical fluff like Haydn's "Toy" Symphony (Kindersymphonie)—which (we now know) is probably not by Haydn.

In addition to these new documents, the entry for Johann Baptist Wallihauser’s advertisement of the libretto of Die Entführung aus dem Serail (formerly under “1788”, now redated to 26 Sep 1787) has received a significant update, based on a newly discovered advertisement of the libretto in the Wiener Zeitung.

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