Dokumente includes a passage from Charles Burney’s famous travel diary, The Present State of Music in France and Italy, chronicling his meeting with Wolfgang and Leopold Mozart in Bologna in 1770 (Burney 1771, 228, cited in Dokumente, 126; on this encounter, see our entry for 30 Aug 1770). However, Deutsch omits a second reference to Mozart in the same book, in the passage transcribed above. Although this passage has been cited elsewhere in the Mozart literature (see, for example, Cowgill 2000, 68), it is not in Dokumente, Addenda, or Neue Folge. The passage also appears in modern editions of Burney’s travels (SECM 2020; Scholes 1959, 184), and it is currently quoted in the Wikipedia article on Thomas Linley (en.wikipedia).
Burney’s meeting with the Mozarts took place during the first of their three extended trips to Italy, from Dec 1769 to Mar 1771. Thomas Linley the younger (1756–1778) was a prodigy violinist and composer who lived in Florence from 1768 to 1771, where he studied with Pietro Nardini. Linley and Wolfgang met in Florence in Apr 1770; the day before the Mozarts’ departure on 7 Apr, Linley gave Wolfgang a sonnet in Italian composed in his honor by Corilla Olimpica (Maria Maddalena Morelli; Dokumente 105, Briefe, i:332–33). The two prodigies were nearly exact coevals: Wolfgang was just 101 days older than Thomas. Linley died in a boating accident in 1778.
“Signora Anna Fond” cannot be identified; web searches on the name turn up only the references in Burney’s Present State, and a reference to her in the Journal zur Kunstgeschichte und zur allgemeinen Litteratur in 1776 (ii:25), which seems likely to be drawn from the German edition of Burney (1772). There is no passage analogous to this in Burney’s manuscript travel notes (Burney 1770). The name “Fond” does not appear in the Portheim-Katalog, the most extensive list of prominent names in Viennese cultural life. Perhaps Burney meant to refer to the singer and composer Anna Bon. Although Bon is said to have been born in Russia, she was the daughter of Italian parents and studied in Venice. She was with her family during their engagement at the Esterházy court from 1762–1765, which could account for Burney’s reference to her being from “Vienna” and “in the service of the court.” On the other hand, Bon is not known to have played the harp.
In the 1772 German translation of Burney’s travel diary, the passage regarding Mozart and Linley reads
So habe ich auch hier in dieser Stadt eine gute
Spielerinn auf der Doppelharfe gehört, die Sgra.
Anna Fond, von Venedig [sic], welche bey Hofe in
Diensten steht; wie auch meinen kleinen Lands=
mann Linley, der zwey Jahr durch vom Herrn
Nardini gelernt hat, und zu Florenz war, als
ich dahin kam, woselbst er von allen bewundert
ward. Vom Tomasino, wie man ihn nennt, und
dem kleinen Mozart spricht man in ganz Italien,
als won zwey Genies, die die größte Hofnung
geben. [Burney 1772, 184–85]
The passage transcribed here is also found on page 255 of the second edition of Burney’s Present State (Burney 1773a). Burney refers to Linley several times in his manuscript travel notes (Burney 1770, 114, 116, 117, 118, and 128), but there is no analogue to his passage on Linley, Mozart, and “Fond.”
Burney, Charles. 1770. Music, Men, and Manners in France and Italy 1770. Being the Journal written by Charles Burney, Mus.D. … Edited by H. Edmund Poole. London: The Folio Society (1969).
Burney, Charles. 1771. The Present State of Music in France and Italy: or, The Journal of a Tour through those Countries, Undertaken to Collect Materials for a General History of Music. London: T. Becket.
Burney, Charles. 1772. Carl Burney’s der Musik Doctors Tagebuch einer Musikalischen Reise durch Frankreich und Italien welche er unternommen hat um zu einer allgemeinen Geschichte der Musik Materialien zu sammeln. Trans. C. D. Ebeling. Hamburg: Bode.
Burney, Charles. 1773a. The Present State of Music in France and Italy: or, The Journal of a Tour through those Countries, Undertaken to Collect Materials for a General History of Music. 2nd corrected ed. London: T. Becket; J. Robson; G. Robinson.
Burney, Charles. 1773b. The Present State of Music in Germany, The Netherlands, and United Provinces, or, The Journal of a Tour through those Countries, Undertaken to Collect Materials for a General History of Music. 2 vols. London: T. Becket; J. Robson; G. Robinson. [vol. 1; vol. 2]
Hettrick, Jane Schatkin. 2015. “Bon, Anna.” Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, accessed 13 Nov 2015. [link; gated]
Oldman, Cecil B. 1964a. “Dr. Burney and Mozart.” Mozart-Jahrbuch 1962/63, 75–81. Kassel: Bärenreiter.
————. 1964b. “Dr. Burney and Mozart. Addenda and Corrigenda.” Mozart-Jahrbuch 1964, 1099–10. Kassel: Bärenreiter.
Scholes, Percy A., ed. 1959. An Eighteenth-Century Musical Tour in France and Italy: Being Dr. Charles Burney’s Account of His Musical Experiences as It Appears in His Published Volume with Which Are Incorporated His Travel Experiences According to His Original Intention. London: Oxford University Press.
SECM [Society for Eighteenth-Century Music]. 2020. Transcription of Charles Burney, The Present State of Music in France and Italy. 2nd corrected edition. London: T. Becket and Co., 1773. Accessed 12 Dec 2020.
Search Term: mozart
First Published: Thu, 3 Dec 2015
Updated: Sat, 26 Dec 2020
Edge, Dexter. 2015. “Linley and Mozart as “the most promising geniusses of this age” (addendum) (1771).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 3 December 2015; updated 26 December 2020. https://www.mozartdocuments.org/documents/1771-burney/
Edge, Dexter. 2015. “Linley and Mozart as “the most promising geniusses of this age” (addendum) (1771).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 3 December 2015; updated 26 December 2020. [direct link]