Mozart! What friend of musical art must not become a devotee of the sublime muse of this
celebrated man? — If music is one of Nature’s most magnificent gifts to mankind — if it is the
most glorious triumph of the imagination — what name — exclamation — emphasis — should
one use in order to recommend this great master of tones — Mozart — to those upon whose
feelings the magic of his play — his electric thought — has not yet had an effect? Those who
stand at Mozart’s level may be his few — but effective — eulogists; others can only pay silent
tribute in amazed admiration. Because the unprecedented acclaim with which the
incomparable opera in two acts (Don Giovanni) was received here still grows day by day,
and this great masterpiece may well perhaps still be entirely unknown to some at home and
abroad; so I believe that I am doing a not unpleasant service to some music lover far from
here, if I offer him the aforementioned singspiel complete as well as in keyboard score. The
undersigned hereby bids him send his order by post, and the response will include the price
and remittance, after which the requested pieces will be delivered. To be had in Prague from
Anton Grams, Ballhaus no. 259.
This advertisement (along with other Mozartiana in the Bayreuther Zeitung) is mentioned in Piontek (2009), who in turn gives credit to Habermann (1991) for uncovering this and several other items in the Bayreuther Zeitung related to Mozart. (We have not yet been able to see Habermann’s article.)
Anton Grams (1752–1823) was a double-bassist, music dealer, and music copyist based mainly in Prague (see Jonášová 2012). It is thought that he probably played in the orchestra for the premiere of Don Giovanni in Prague in 1787. The advertisement transcribed here is notable for its effusive description of the merits of Mozart’s music (e.g., “sein electrisches Denken”). On Grams' work as a copyist of Don Giovanni, see Jonášová 2015, and for his knowledge of the opera's genesis see Jonášová 2016.
Albrecht, Theodore. 2002. “Anton Grams: Beethoven’s preferred double bassist.” Bass World 26:19–23.
Habermann, Sylvia. 1991. “Bayreuth und der ‘unsterbliche’ Mozart.” Heimatbote (monthly supplement to the Nordbayerischer Kurier) 2:1–3.
Jonášová, Milada. 2012. “»Mozart selbst schenke ihm seinen Beifall« Der Prager Kontrabassist und Musikverleger Anton Grams in Salzburg und Wien.” In: Mozart Studien 21. 337-68.
————. 2015. "Zur Entstehungsgeschichte von Mozarts Don Giovanni - I. Neue Partituren und Stimmen aus der Kopistenwerkstatt von Anton Grams." In: Mozart Studien 23. 11-244.
————. 2016. "Anton Grams berichtet an Gustav Groβmann, Mozart schreibe eine neue Oper." Hudební veda 53/1: 29–54.
Piontek, Frank. 2009. “Rätsel, Spuren und Verweise. Mozart und Bayreuth.” Acta Mozartiana 56:133–67.
Reininghaus, Till. 2010. “Die Hamburger Partitur von Mozarts Don Giovanni (1788) im Kontext der anderen Prager Quellen.” Mozart Studien, 19:153–93.
Woodfield, Ian. 2010. The Vienna Don Giovanni. Woodbridge: Boydell.
Credit: Sylvia Habermann and Frank Piontek (transcription, translation, and commentary here by DE)
Search Term: mozart
BSB, 4 Eph.pol. 56-1788
First Published: Thu, 12 Jun 2014
Updated: Sun, 14 Dec 2014
Edge, Dexter. 2014. “Anton Grams advertises Don Giovanni (26 February 1788).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 12 June 2014; updated 14 December 2014. https://www.mozartdocuments.org/documents/26-february-1788/
Edge, Dexter. 2014. “Anton Grams advertises Don Giovanni (26 February 1788).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 12 June 2014; updated 14 December 2014. [direct link]