?10 October 1791

Mozart mentioned in a review of Sarti’s Le gelosie villane

[Friedrich Wilhelm Rust], Musikalisches Wochenblatt, ii, ?10 Oct 1791

[12] [Berlin]

        Den 5ten Oktober. Heute wurde auf dem
kleinen Schlosstheater die italiänische Opera
buffa: Le gelosie villane
vorgestellt. Die
Musik ist von Sarti und in der gewöhnli-
chen leichten italiänischen Manier. Ohner-

Musikalisches Wochenblatt, 12a

achtet der Anzeiger diesen Komponisten sonst
sehr schätzt, und die Musik zu dieser Operette
auch hie und da einzelne Schönheiten hat,
—besonders zeichnete sich ein Finale und
ein Terzett aus—so wollte ihm doch das
Ganze nicht recht behagen. [...]

Musikalisches Wochenblatt, 12b


Übrigens muss Rec. gestehen, dass er,
nach seinem Gefühle, eine deutsche Operet-
te, sowohl des Inhalts wegen als der Musik,
zumal von der gearbeitetern Komposition ei-
nes Benda, Mozart, Dittersdorf und andern,
dem gewöhnlichen Schlage der italiänischen
Operetten bei weitem vorzieht.
                                                                . . . . st.

Musikalisches Wochenblatt, 13


5 October. Today the Italian opera buffa
Le gelosie villane was performed in the
small palace theater. The music is by
Sarti and in the usual light Italian manner.
Even though the reporter otherwise values
this composer very highly, and the music
of this operetta also has individual beauties
here and there—especially notable are
a finale and a trio—the whole does not
really please.

[...] Besides, the reviewer must confess,
that by his own lights, he prefers by far
a German operetta to the usual sort of
Italian operettas, as to the content
as well as in the music, in particular the
more worked out compositions of a Benda,
Mozart, Dittersdorf, and others.
                                                               . . . . st.



Mozart’s name appears here in a review of Le gelosie villane by Giuseppe Sarti (1729–1802), performed in the “kleines Schloßtheater” (small palace theater) in Berlin on 5 Oct 1791. The reviewer is lukewarm about the opera, and closes by saying that he would by far prefer a German “operetta” (singspiel) by Benda (probably Georg), Mozart, or Dittersdorf to a run-of-the-mill Italian one. The review, signed  “. . . . st”, is probably by Friedrich Wilhelm Rust (1739–1796); Rust is listed among the contributors to the combined publication of Musikalisches Wochenblatt and Musikalische Monathsschrift (see the Notes below) and is the only one of the contributors whose name ends with those letters. Le gelosie villane had its premiere in Venice in 1776.

In his catalog of his own works (the Verzeichnüß), Mozart lists a setting with orchestral accompaniment of the final chorus of Sarti’s Le gelosie villane, “Viviamo felici in dolce contento,” K. 615, dated 20 Apr 1791. Apart from the incipit in Mozart’s catalog, the work is entirely lost.


Musikalisches Wochenblatt was a short-lived journal produced by Friedrich Ludwig Æmilius Kunzen (1761–1817) with the assistance of Carl Spazier (1761–1805); it appeared in twenty-four issues between the beginning of October 1791 and mid March 1792. In 1792 Kunzen became music director of the Frankfurt theater and was no longer able to maintain the Wochenblatt; it was taken over by his friend Johann Friedrich Reichardt (1752–1814), who continued publication as a monthly under the title Musikalische Monathsschrift. Only six issues of the monthly appeared, from July to December 1792. All issues of both titles were published together in 1793 under the title Studien für Tonkünstler und Musikfreunde. Eine historisch-kritische Zeitschrift mit neun und dreisig Musikstücken von verschiedenen Meistern fürs Jahr 1792 in zwei Theilen . . .  The digitized copy on Google Books of the complete Studien für Tonkünstler und Musikfreunde (containing both the Wochenblatt and the Monathsschrift) is taken from the exemplar in the collection of the Bavarian State Library (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, BSB).

The issues of the Wochenblatt are numbered, but not dated, and their dates of publication must be inferred from the dates of reviewed performances and other dates mentioned in the text of the journal. The first issue reports the premiere of Reichardt’s setting of Metastasio’s Olimpiade:

⁣     Den 3ten Okt. Heute ward die italiänische
Oper Olimpiade mit grosser Pracht und sehr
glücklicher Wirkung aufgeführt. Die Sen-
sation war allgemein. — Die Oper wird Frei-
tags den 7ten wiederholt, und unsre künfti-
gen Blätter werden ausführlichere Nachrich-
ten davon geben.
⁣     Oct 3. Today the Italian opera Olimpiade
was performed with great splendor and
a felicitous effect. It was a universal
sensation. — The opera will be repeated
on the 7th, and are next issue will give
a more detailed report of it.

The “today” (heute) reported here, 3 Oct 1791, was a Monday, and is the earliest possible date for the issue. The latest date reported in the following issue is 9 Oct, which is consistent with publication on Mon, 10 Oct. Another possibility is that the initial report on Olimpiade was written on Mon, 3 Oct, but published the following day, Tue, 4 Oct. In that case, the Wochenblatt may have appeared on Tuesdays.

In any case, all dates mentioned in subsequent issues are consistent with the hypothesis that the Wochenblatt was published weekly on Monday (or perhaps Tuesday or Wednesday), with a hiatus over Christmas and New Year (by this reckoning, no issue appeared between 12 Dec and 2 Jan). On this hypothesis, the twenty-fourth and final issue of the Wochenblatt would have appeared on Mon, 19 Mar 1792 or Tue, 20 Mar 1792. These dates remain speculative, but are likely to be nearly correct based on internal evidence.

Otto Erich Deutsch (Dokumente) gives hypothetical dates for the Wochenblatt that are several days later than those proposed here. For example, he dates the third issue to Sat, 22 Oct; we would date it to 17 or 18 Oct. Deutsch’s datings seem to have been merely guesses, but they have been widely repeated in the secondary literature; Schwob (2015), for example, follows Deutsch’s dates throughout.

Deutsch includes seven items from the Wochenblatt in Dokumente, two of which are curtailed (both are given in full on this site):

Issue Page Dokumente Item




A review of a concert in Berlin on 8 Oct 1791 at which a piano concerto by Mozart was performed.




A review of Don Juan at the Nationaltheater in Berlin. The review is curtailed in Dokumente; it is given in full on this site (see our entry for 12 Oct 1791).




A report from Vienna dated 9 Oct on Die Zauberflöte (the report was not published in the Wochenblatt until Dec).




A letter from Prague dated 12 Dec referring to the performance La clemenza di Tito at the coronation festivities in Sep; the letter also reports Mozart’s death.




Mention of “Mozard” in a review of Paul Wranitzky’s Oberon.




A letter from Kassel reporting a memorial concert for Mozart on 31 Jan 1792.




A review of a memorial concert for Mozart in Berlin. The review is curtailed in Dokumente; it is given in full on this site (see our entry for 18 Mar 1792).

There are ten additional references to Mozart in the Wochenblatt that Deutsch omitted or overlooked; in addition to the review of Le gelosie villane transcribed above, see the entries on this site for 24 Oct 1791, 7 Nov 1791, 28 Nov 1791 (a shorter notice on the reception of Tito), 5 Dec 1791 (a), 5 Dec 1791 (b), 12 Dec 1791 (a report of Mozart’s death), 2 Jan 1792, 13 Feb 1792, and 5 Mar 1792.

Dokumente contains two items from the Monathsschrift:

Deutsch omitted five other references to Mozart in the Monathsschrift: a report on a performance of Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Summer 1791 at the summer residence of the Thurn und Taxis court in Dischingen; a reference to a planned performance of Die Zauberflöte in Frankfurt during the coming fair season (7 Aug 1792); a comment on the improvement in the performances of Figaro by the orchestra of the Nationaltheater in Berlin under the direction of Bernhard Wessely (Sep 1792); a substantial review, probably by Wessely, of Così fan tutte (under the title Eine machts wie die andre, oder, die Schule der Liebhaber; see Nov 1792); Mozart in the table of contents of a fanciful music collection (Dec 1792).

Some of these “new” items from the Wochenblatt and Monathschrift were previously published (albeit usually only in extract) by other writers. “H. T.” (Friedrich Hieronymus Truhn) published four items from these two journals in a short article in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik in 1838 (vol. 9, 116–17): the first few sentences of the review of Così fan tutte (Nov 1792); the report from Vienna on Die Zauberflöte (Dokumente, 358); a report of Mozart’s death (12 Dec 1791); and the report from Prague dated 12 Dec 1791 on the reception of La clemenza di Tito, also with a report of Mozart’s death (Dokumente, 380). Otto Jahn included in his Mozart biogaphy a slightly longer extract from the review of Così, as well as the shorter report of the reception of Tito (28 Nov 1791); neither are in Dokumente. More recently, Gertraut Haberkamp (1997) has published three reviews from these journals: an extract from a review of volume 2 of Bibliothek der Grazien, which contains two pieces by Mozart (Wochenblatt, 2 Jan 1792); a substantial extract of a review of Mozart’s variations K. 359 and K. 455 (Wochenblatt, 13 Feb 1792); and the complete review of Così (Monathsschrift, Nov 1792). However, her commentaries for these documents are cursory and she does not date them. All three are included on this site with proposed dates and more extensive commentary. (Haberkamp’s article also includes extracts from four advertisements in the Wochenblatt listing works by Mozart or his father; these advertisements are not included on this site.)

Schwob (2015) has published all but three of the Mozart items in Musikalisches Wochenblatt and Musikalische Monathsschrift. In nearly all cases, he has given complete texts, not merely the portions referring to Mozart. Schwob’s book may have been in press when our site first went online in 2014; at any rate, he seems to have been unable to take into account our prior publication of fifteen items from Musikalisches Wochenblatt and Musikalische Monathsschrift. He overlooked three items that we have published (2 Jan 1792, Summer 1791, 7 Aug 1792); we overlooked two that appear in his book (7 Nov 1791, Dec 1792). We have now included these on our site with credit to Schwob.

On the Musikalisches Wochenblatt and the Musikalische Monathsschrift, see also the entry in the Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals (RIPM) and the entry on German Wikisource (de.wikiesource.org).


Jahn, Otto. 1859. W. A. Mozart. Vol. 4. Leipzig: Breitkopf und Härtel.

Haberkamp, Gertraut. 1997. “Anzeigen und Rezensionen von Mozart-Drucken in Zeitungen und Zeitschriften. Teil V.”  In Mozart Studien, vol. 7, edited by Manfred Hermann Schmid, 229–292. Tutzing: Hans Schneider.

Schwob, Rainer J. ed. 2015. W. A. Mozart im Spiegel des Musikjournalismus, deutschsprachiger Raum 1782–1800. Beiträge zur Mozart-Dokumentation, vol. 1. Stuttgart: Carus Verlag.

[Truhn, Friedrich Hieronymus]. 1838. “Ueber Mozart von seinen Zeitgenossen.” Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, vol. 9, no. 29,  9 Oct 1838, 116–17.

Credit: DE

Author: Dexter Edge

Search Term: mozart

Categories: Reception

First Published: Sun, 21 Sep 2014

Updated: Sun, 15 Jan 2023

Print Citation:

Edge, Dexter. 2014. “Mozart mentioned in a review of Sarti’s Le gelosie villane (10 October 1791).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 21 September 2014; updated 15 January 2023. https://www.mozartdocuments.org/documents/10-october-1791/

Web Citation:

Edge, Dexter. 2014. “Mozart mentioned in a review of Sarti’s Le gelosie villane (10 October 1791).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 21 September 2014; updated 15 January 2023. [direct link]