Among the subscribers to Mozart’s famous series of subscription concerts in 1784 was “Chotek.” This may be Count Johann Rudolph Chotek (1748–1824), who as director of the Finanz-Hofstelle was later to make the frank admission (following the Hofmusikgraf Ugarte) that Mozart was only given a court post in 1788 to keep him in Vienna (Briefe, iii:305; Dokumente, 378, 388).
Chotek’s wife Maria Sidonia (née Clary-Aldringen, 1748–1824) kept a diary from 1789 until her death, and in an entry discovered by Ivo Cerman, the Countess recorded her attendance at the premiere of Così fan tutte. Her evaluation was highly negative, but she was not in agreement with Count Zinzendorf, who found the music charming and the subject very amusing (Dokumente, 318; Addenda, 62). As no other detailed reviews of the Viennese production are known to survive, it is difficult to evaluate the Countess’ claim that the singers—Adriana Ferrarese, Louise Villeneuve, Francesco Benucci, Vincenzo Calvesi and Dorotea and Francesco Bussani—did not know their parts. As far as the public reception is concerned, Dexter Edge has shown that Così at least initially maintained a healthy pattern of box-office takings (Edge 1996, 82).
This entry is also transcribed in Brauneis 2010, 243 and Mixánková 2011, 84.
We are very grateful to Dr. Ivo Cerman for providing us with a copy of this document.
Brauneis, Walther. 2010. "Mozarts KV 621: Eine Krönungsoper in 18 Tagen?". In Klang-quellen: Festschrift fur Ernst Hintermaier zum 65. Geburtstag, edited by Lars E. Laubhold and Gerhard Walterskirchen. Munich: Strube Verlag. 235–51.
Cerman, Ivo. 2008. Chotkové: příběh úřednické šlechty. Prague: Nakladatelství Lidové noviny.
Edge, Dexter. 1996. “Mozart’s Reception in Vienna, 1787–1791”. In Wolfgang Amadè Mozart: Essays on His Life and His Music, edited by Stanley Sadie, 66–117. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Steblin, Rita. 2013. Beethoven in the Diaries of Johann Nepomuk Chotek. Schriften zur Beethoven-Forschung 24. Bonn: Verlag Beethoven-Haus.
Credit: Ivo Cerman (transcription and commentary by DB)
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Litoměřice, Státní oblastní archiv, Pracoviště Děčín, RA Clary-Aldringen, kart. 110, inv. 261, sešit 2 (1790), f. 22
First Published: Thu, 12 Jun 2014
Updated: Tue, 26 Sep 2017
Black, David. 2014. “Report of the first performance of Così fan tutte (26 January 1790).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 12 June 2014; updated 26 September 2017. https://www.mozartdocuments.org/documents/26-january-1790/
Black, David. 2014. “Report of the first performance of Così fan tutte (26 January 1790).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 12 June 2014; updated 26 September 2017. [direct link]