Three documents from Leopold and Wolfgang Mozart’s first trip to Italy

Arco letter, 1769-12-11 (reduced)

We have just added three new documents to our site, all from the first month of Leopold and Wolfgang Mozart’s first trip to Italy. All three documents have been previously published, but they are not in Dokumente or Neue Folge and remain little known to Mozart scholars. We are also very pleased to welcome Stefano Frega as co-author (with Dexter Edge) of the three commentaries here.

Count Georg von Arco’s letter of recommendation for the Mozarts

This letter of recommendation for the Mozarts was written by Count Johann Georg Anton Felix von Arco in Salzburg to his second cousin Count Francesco Eugenio d’Arco in Mantua. The letter, written two days before Leopold and Wolfgang’s departure from Salzburg, was first published by Emilio Fario in 1956; it is published here in facsimile for the first time with a new, complete, and corrected transcription based on the original. Our commentary places the letter in the context of the Mozarts’ visit to Mantua from 10 to 19 Jan 1770, and re-examines the role of the Arco family in Wolfgang’s biography.

Count Domenico Lodron’s letter of recommendation for the Mozarts

This letter of recommendation from Count Domenico Lodron in Rovereto to Count Gian Luca Pallavicini in Bologna was first published by Anelide Nascimbene in 1994, but it is not in Dokumente or Neue Folge. It is published in facsimile here for the first time, with a new and corrected transcription by Bruce Alan Brown. Domenico Lodron was a younger brother of Count Nicola Sebastiano Lodron (Nikolaus Sebastian), head of the secundogenital line of the Lodron family, and at that time Obersthofmarschall in Salzburg.

Ottaviano Dionisi on Mozart in Verona

This letter from Ottaviano Dionisi in Verona to his brother Giovanni Francesco in Padua describes the concert appearance in Verona on 5 Jan 1770 of a musical “portento di natura” (Wolfgang Mozart). Although Mozart’s concert at the Accademia filarmonica in Verona has long been known from a report in the Gazzetta di Mantova and a letter of Leopold Mozart, Ottaviano Dionisi’s letter adds new details. The extract on Mozart was first published by Carlo Bologna in 1991, but it is not in Dokumente or Neue Folge. Our commentary also includes another description of Mozart’s Verona concert from the Venetian chronicle of Pietro Gradenigo.

A formatted pdf of our updated entry for 24 Dec 1781 (“Emperor Joseph II and Grand Duchess Maria Fyodorovna wager on the Mozart-Clementi duel”) is now available for download at We have also made minor updates to our entries for 18 Sep 1765, 8 Jan 1770, 25 Nov 1783, 3 May 1786, 16 May 1786, 14 Oct 1787.

We welcome all reports of corrections, potential new documents, and proposals for commentaries. All contributions and corrections will be explicitly acknowledged. Correspondence should be directed to Dexter Edge at

We also continue to welcome financial contributions to the project, which currently receives no financial support of any kind; we currently cover the costs of sources and technology out of our own pockets. If you would like to contribute, please contact Dexter Edge at; or if you have a PayPal account, you can send a contribution directly to the account linked to that e-mail address.

We are very grateful to Arizona State University for providing access to its research collections and online resources.

DE dedicates this post to Janet K. Page on her birthday.

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