30 March 1787

The source for Mozart’s entry in Kronauer’s Stammbuch

ÖNB, Cod. Ser. n. 4832, 41r

Patience and tranquillity of mind contribute more to cure our

distempers as the whole art of Medecine. _

Wien[n] den 30:ten März 1787.                          Ihr wahrer aufrichtiger freund und O: Br:.
                                                                                    Wolfgang Amadè Mozart
mpia XX
                                                                                    Mittglied der sehr E: ▭ zur Neu gekrön[n]ten
                                                                                    Hofnung in O: V: W:.

Kronauer, Mozart entry (rev)


Table of Contents

The source for Mozart's entry in Kronauer's Stammbuch


Mozart’s English-language entry in the Stammbuch (friendship book) of his fellow Mason Johann Georg Kronauer has been known since 1883, when George Grove published a transcription of it in his article on Franz Schubert in the third volume of A Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Grove 1883, iii:332). In a footnote, Grove thanks C. F. Pohl for the reference; at that time, the Stammbuch appears to have been in private possession. In 1909 it was acquired by the Hofbibliothek in Vienna (now the Austrian National Library) from an “Ing[nieur] Merz” (see Mazal & Hilmar 1997, 35), who seems not previously to have been identified. It may have been the Viennese architect Oskar Merz (1830–1904)—but Merz’s date of death would imply that Kronauer’s Stammbuch, if it did indeed belong to Merz, was acquired from his estate. Merz was long involved with the Wiener Sängerbund and was elected to its Hauptversammlung on 6 Dec 1900. His involvement in that organization in earlier years might well have brought him into contact with Pohl (who died in 1887), which could explain how Pohl came to learn of Mozart’s entry. Kronauer’s Stammbuch (ÖNB, Handschriftensammlung, Ser. n. 4832) is now available online in a good color facsimile.

Mozart’s entry in Kronauer’s Stammbuch is transcribed in Dokumente (253) and Briefe (iv:40), and it has been quoted very frequently elsewhere. The Mozart literature generally betrays uncertainty over whether Mozart himself invented the English sentence; Otto Erich Deutsch writes, for example: “Ob die Sentenz von Mozart stammt oder ein Zitat ist, bleibt unentschieden” (Dokumente, 253: “Whether the maxim stems from Mozart or is a quotation remains undecided”). Up to now, no source for the sentence has been found.

Mozart’s entry can be traced back to a saying that was apparently first published in English in 1728, in an anonymous translation from a revised edition of Instruction sur l’Histoire de France et Romaine, originally by Claude Le Ragois. The title page of the translation reads:

L’Histoire Romaine, &c.

Roman History;
Giving an Account of some of the most consider-
able Persons and Things, from the Foundation
of ROME, to the Ruin of the EMPIRE.
Written originally in French,
By M. le R A G O I S, Preceptor to
The Duke du Maine.
With a large Collection of excellent MAXIMS and
curious REFLEXIONS, for the Conduct of Life,
and the Knowledge of one’s self and the World.
The whole now publish’d for the Advancement of
British Education. [...]

Instruction sur  L'histoire Romaine (1728), tp (small)

The sentence that eventually becomes Mozart’s entry in Kronauer’s Stammbuch appears here with a French original on the facing page:

Instruction sur L'histoire Romaine (1728), 73a (small)

Instruction sur L'histoire Romaine (1728), 73b (small)

The full text in French is:

La patience & la tranquillité de l’esprit con-
tribüent plus que tous les remedes à gue-
rir les maladies du corps. Les bétes [sic] qui
n’ont pas tant de peines d’esprit, ne sont
pas si long-tems, ni si dangereusement
malades que les hommes, & se guerissent
sans aucun remede, par le seul repos.
[Instruction sur l’Histoire Romaine, 73]

This is translated as:

Patience and Tranquillity of Mind contri-
bute more than the whole Art of Medi-
cine, to cure the Distempers of the Body.
Brutes, that have not so many Anxieties,
are neither so long, nor so dangerously
sick as Men; and cure themselves with-
out any Physik, by Repose alone.

The enormously popular Instruction sur l’Histoire de France by the obscure Claude Le Ragois was first published in 1687, four years after the date most commonly given for the author’s death. It was subsequently republished in an extraordinary number of editions, revisions, and extensions until well into the nineteenth century.

Instruction sur l'Historie de France (1687), tp

Title page of the first edition of Le Ragois, Instruction sur l’Histoire de France (1687)

But the first edition does not contain the saying in French that became, in English translation, the basis for Mozart’s inscription in Kronauer’s Stammbuch. So far as we have been able to determine, the earliest edition in which that saying appears is the sixth, published in 1705. It is not in the fourth edition of 1696; we have not yet been able to check the fifth edition (1700), which seems not to be available online.

In the sixth edition, the saying reads:

La patience, & la tranquillité de
l’esprit contribüent plus que tous les
remedes, à guerir les maladies du
corps: les bêtes qui n’ont pas tant de
peines d’esprit, ne sont pas si long-
tems, ni si dangereusement malades
que les hommes, & se guerissent sans
aucun remede, par le seul repos.
[Instruction sur l’Histoire de France, 6th ed (1705), 534]

Instruction sur l'Historie de France (1705), 534

Apart from inconsequential differences in punctuation and the incorrect accent on “bétes” (probably a typographical error), the 1728 version is identical to that of 1705.

In the sixth edition of Instruction sur l’Histoire de France, the saying is found in the section “Recueil de bons mots, et des pensées choisies des auteurs anciens, et modernes.” This section was not part of the first edition of 1687. Since Le Ragois is said to have died around 1683, the “Recueil de bons mots” and the items in it must have been added by a later editor. The section’s title strongly suggests that “La patience & la tranquillité” is adopted from an even earlier source, but its source remains unknown. The ultimate source need not have been French.

The English version of the saying, “Patience and Tranquillity of Mind,” appeared again in 1737 in English Miscellanies, a large compendium of examples intended for English learners, assembled by John Tompson (1693–1768), public lecturer in English at the new University of Göttingen. (For more on Tompson, see the Notes below.) Tompson borrowed a large number of maxims and sayings in English translation from Instruction sur L’Histoire Romaine of 1728, and also incorporated its English translation of the history of Rome in catechismal form. Tompson’s Miscellanies came to be used in teaching in Göttingen, and it was adopted by other German universities. Because of its popularity, it was issued in four ever-expanding editions, in 1737, 1746, 1755, and 1766. The saying “Patience and Tranquillity of Mind” appears in at least three of these (1737, 1755, and 1766; we have not been able to see the edition of 1746).

In the Miscellanies, the saying reads in full:

Patience and Tranquillity of Mind contribute
more, than the whole Art of Medicine, to cure the
Distempers of the Body. Brutes, that have not so
many Anxieties, are neither so long, nor so dan-
gerously sick, as Men; and cure themselves without
Physick, by Repose alone.
[English Miscellanies, 4th ed. (1766), 68]

English Miscellanies (1766), i-68 (rev)

Apart from the omission of “any” before “Physick” and the added comma after “more”, this is identical to the version published in 1728.

“Patience and Tranquillity of Mind” appeared in at least one other book published during Mozart’s lifetime: the second edition (Berlin 1786) of Englische Sprachlehre für die Deutschen by Karl Philipp Moritz, who evidently lifted it (and indeed, much of the section) from Tompson.

One of these three books—the 1728 Instruction sur l’Histoire Romaine, or more likely Tompson’s English Miscellanies or the second edition of the Englische Sprachlehre by Moritz—would almost certainly have been Mozart’s direct source, although at present we cannot say which. So far as we have been able to determine, none of the three was ever advertised in a Viennese newspaper during the eighteenth century, and none was in Mozart’s estate. But Mozart might well have been able to borrow a copy from a friend, or he might once have owned a copy that was no longer in his estate at the time of the inventory. That two of the three were explicitly intended for German speakers learning English suggests that Mozart may have learned the saying while trying to improve his English.

Three books in English are listed in Mozart’s estate inventory: the play Percy, a Tragedy by Hannah More (1778); a 1761 edition of John Kirby’s The Capacity and Extent of the human Understanding, exemplified in the extraordinary Case of Automathes, a young Nobleman, who was accidentally left in his infancy upon a desolate Island, and continued nineteen Years in that solitary State, separate from all human Society; and a different compendium of examples intended for English learners, a 1774 edition of Frederick William Streit’s An Attempt to facilitate the Study of the English Language by publishing in the present cheap Manner a Collection of some Letters, Anecdotes, Remarks and Verses wrote by several celebrated English Authors… (see a 1789 edition here; for Mozart’s estate inventory, see Konrad & Staehelin 1991, here especially 13, 26, and 37). The 1789 edition of Streit’s book (other editions are not available online) does not contain “Patience and Tranquillity of Mind,” so this collection was probably not Mozart’s source. However, the presence of Streit’s collection in Mozart’s library is yet another indication of the composer’s desire to improve his English.

Four details suggest that Mozart reproduced the passage from memory. He inverts the phrases “than the whole Art of Medicine” and “to cure the Distempers of the Body”; he gives “our distempers” rather than “the Distempers of the Body”; he uses “as” instead of “than” (probably thinking of German “als”), and he writes “Medecine” instead of “Medicine.” However, Mozart’s “tranquillity,” which is sometimes assumed to be a misspelling, matches the spelling in all three books that might have been Mozart’s direct source.

Mozart’s English and his planned trip to London in 1787


The extent of Mozart’s knowledge of English is unclear. He spent 15 months in London in 1764 and 1765, at the ages of eight and nine, and would certainly have absorbed and used the language during his stay there. But at present, we have no direct evidence that he used English at all between his departure from England in 1765 and his earliest known example of written English from 1782.

In a letter to his father from Vienna on 17 Aug 1782, Mozart writes that he is learning English:

Mein gedanke ist künftige fasten Nach Paris zu gehen; [...]
— ich habe mich die zeither täglich in der französischen sprache geübt — und nun
schon 3 lectionen im Englischen genommen. — in 3 Monathen hoffe ich so ganz
Passable die Engländischen bücher lesen und verstehen zu können.
[Briefe, iii:221]
My thought is to go to Paris this coming Lent; [...]
— Since that time [since his marriage] I have been practicing the French language
daily — and I’ve now taken 3 lessons in English. — In 3 months I thus hope to be
able to read and understand books from England quite acceptably.

The commentary to this letter in Briefe claims that Mozart later continued his studies of English with Kronauer (“Mozart setzte die Sprachstudien, inbesondere in der englischen Sprache weiter fort; er zog hierzu später einen Sprachlehrer, Johann Georg Kronauer …”; Briefe, vi:115), but there is no evidence for this: Kronauer, who came from Winterthur in Switzerland, gave French lessons in Vienna, but he is not known ever to have spoken, written, or taught English. (On Kronauer, see the Notes below.)

Mozart’s first known written sentence in English appears six weeks later in a letter to Baroness Waldstätten:

— j kiß your hands, and hoping to see you in good health the Tuesday j am
                      your most humble servant
[Briefe, iii:233]

This sentence suggests that Mozart’s command of idiomatic English was not highly developed at that point. In any case, Leopold quickly persuaded Wolfgang not to undertake a trip to France and England in Lent 1783 (Briefe, iii:224, 23ff, and iii:230, 41–42), and there is no further mention of English lessons.

A small number of entries in English in Mozart’s hand appear in Thomas Attwood’s studies with Mozart between 1785 and 1787 (NMA, X/30/1). Most of these entries are very short, sometimes just single words (“bad”, “good”, “better”). Mozart’s longest known entries in Attwood’s studies are:

Attwood, Mozart entry, 6r

There are many faults in this Exemp[le] [...]
attentive [cancellation]

Attwood, Mozart entry, 13v

This after noon I am not at home, therefore I pray you
to come to morrow at three [&] half. Mozartmpa

In the first of these, a square piece has been excised from the margin, leaving telltale fragments of letters in Mozart’s hand. It seems likely that the leaf originally contained a longer entry in English by Mozart that was clipped at some point as a souvenir; if the souvenir survives, its current location is unknown. In the second quotation, “[&] half” has been crossed out and Attwood has written “& a half”.

From Leopold we know that Wolfgang planned to go to England in the spring of 1787. On 17 Nov 1786, Leopold wrote to Nannerl:

Heut habe einen Brief deines Bruders beantworten müssen der mir viel Schreibens gekostet hat, folglich kann dir sehr wenig schreiben, — [...] Daß ich einen sehr nachdrücklichen Brief schreiben musste, kannst dir leicht vorstellen, da er mir keinen geringern Vortrag macht, als seine 2 kinder in meine Versorgung zu nehmen, da er im halben fasching eine Reise durch Teutschland nach Engelland machen möchte etc: — ich habe aber tüchtig geschrieben, und versprochen die Continuation meines Briefes mit nächster Post ihm zu schicken. [Briefe, iii:606]
Today I had to answer a letter from your brother that cost me a lot of writing, consequently I can write very little to you. — [...] That I had to write a very emphatic letter to him you can easily imagine, as he made me no lesser proposal than that I should take his 2 children into my care, as he wants in mid Lent to take a trip through Germany to England, etc. — However, I wrote very aptly, and promised to send him the continuation of my letter in the next post.

Leopold’s letters to Wolfgang and Wolfgang’s to him from this time are not known to survive, so we know few details about this exchange.

On 12 Jan 1787, Leopold wrote to Nannerl:

Md:me Duscheck gehet nach Berlin, und die Rede, daß dein Bruder nach Engelland reisen wird, bestättigt sich noch immer von Wienn, von Prag und von München aus.
[Briefe, iv:7]
Madame Duschek is going to Berlin, and the talk that your brother will travel to England is confirmed from Vienna, from Prague, and from Munich.

Leopold is likely referring here to newspaper reports. At present, four are known that mention Wolfgang’s plan to go to London. On 15 Dec 1786, a letter from Vienna dated 6 Dec was published in the Staats- und gelehrten Zeitung des Hamburgischen unpartheyischen Correspondenten, which states:

Schreiben aus Wien, vom 6 December.
[...] Der berühmte Compositor, Herr Mozart, schickt sich an, auf künftiges Frühjahr nach London zu reisen, wohin er die vortheilhaftesten Anträge hat. Er wird seinen Weg über Paris nehmen. [...]
[Neue Folge, 48]
Letter from Vienna, 6 December.
[...] The famous composer, Herr Mozart, is preparing to travel to London early next year, where he has the most advantageous offers. He will go by way of Paris. [...]

The identical sentences appeared in the Prager Oberpostamtszeitung on 26 Dec 1786 (Dokumente, 248). Two other references to Mozart’s prospective trip to London had not yet been published by the time of Leopold’s letter to Nannerl on 12 Jan. On 23 Apr 1787 the Magazin der Musik published a letter from Vienna dated 29 Jan 1787 that also refers to Mozart’s travels:

⁣             Den 23sten April, 1787.
Nachrichten; Auszüge aus Briefen,

    3) Wien, den 29sten Januar, 1787.) ….
                                                            — Storace ist hier,
und noch immer unsere Lieblingssängerin, wird aber mit
Anfang der Fasten Wien verlassen, und schwer zu ersetzen
seyn. Mozart hat vor einigen Wochen eine musikalische
Reise nach Prag, Berlin, und man sagt, sogar nach London
angetreten. [...]
[Magazin der Musik, 2/ii: 1272–73; Dokumente, 255]

                  23 April 1787.
       News; Extracts from Letters,

    3) Vienna, 29 January 1787.) ….
                                                           — Storace is here.
and is still our favorite female singer, but she will leave
Vienna at the beginning of Lent, and will be hard to
replace. A few weeks ago Mozart set off on a musical
tour to Prague, Berlin, and it is said, even to London,

Mozart was indeed in Prague on the date of the byline: he and Constanze had departed Vienna for Prague on 8 Jan 1787, and they left to return to Vienna on 8 Feb. There is no evidence that they intended to travel further than Prague on that particular trip, and the correspondent to Magazin der Musik was probably simply reporting gossip.

Another reference (albeit somewhat garbled) to Mozart’s planned trip to London was published in the Bayreuther Zeitung on 12 Mar 1787, in a correspondent’s letter from Vienna dated 1 Mar:

Wien, vom 1. März
    Herr Mozzart durfte gestern eine musikalische Aca=
demie zu seinen Vortheil geben, und hatte eine gute
Einnahme. Er reist in diesem Monath mit seiner Frau
nach Londen [sic], um sein Talent daselbst bewundern und
belohnen zu lassen, wohin er von dem Sohn des Königl.
Capellmeister Sir Atwulf, der sich einige Monathe
hier aufgehalten hat, eingeladen worden, und es ist
als gewiß anzunehmen, daß er sehr gefallen werde.
[Bayreuther Zeitung, Mon, 12 Mar 1787, 112]


Vienna, from 1 March
    Yesterday Herr Mozart was able to give a musical
academy for his own benefit and had good receipts. He
is traveling this month with his wife to London to have
his talent admired and rewarded there, having been
invited by the son of the Royal kapellmeister Sir Atwulf
[recte Attwood], who stopped here for several months;
and it can be taken as certain that he will please greatly.

Mozart’s benefit concert in the Kärntnertortheater on 28 Feb 1787, if it took place, may have been specifically intended to help him raise money for the trip. (For more on this report and the concert, which is known only from this source, see our entry for 28 Feb 1787.)

On 3 Jan 1787, Amand Wilhelm Smith, who had been studying medicine in Vienna and knew Mozart personally, wrote to Emerich Horváth-Stansith in Zips (now the Spiš region of Slovakia):

Mozart post mensem Londinum pergit ibi domicilium fixurus. Dolent multi de ejus abitu. certe in cembalo non habet sibi parem. [Fuchs 2006, 196]
In one month Mozart sets off for London to establish residence there. Many mourn his departure. Certainly he does not have an equal on the keyboard.

On 15 Jan 1787 Mozart wrote from Prague to his close friend Gottfried von Jacquin in Vienna; a passage in this letter strongly implies that Wolfgang was planning to leave Vienna quite soon after his return, perhaps permanently:

— wenn ich bedenke daß ich nach meiner zurückkunft nur eine kurze Zeit noch das Vergnügen genüssen kann in ihrer werthen gesellschaft zu seyn, und dann auf so lange — und vieleicht auf immer dieses Vergnügen werde entbehren müssen — dann fühle ich erst ganz die freundschaft und Achtung welche ich gegen ihr ganzes Haus hege; — Nun leben sie wohl liebster freund, liebster HinkitiHonky! — [Briefe, iv:11]
— When I consider that after my return I will have only a short time yet to be able to enjoy your dear company, and then will have to be deprived of this pleasure for so long—and perhaps forever—only then do I feel the friendship and regard in which I hold your entire household; — Now farewell, dearest friend, dearest HinkitiHonky! —

Mozart and his wife left Prague on 8 Feb 1787 and probably arrived in Vienna three or four days later, although the precise date is unknown. Ash Wednesday—the beginning of Lent and the Viennese concert season—fell on 21 Feb that year. On 19 Feb, the immensely popular English soprano Ann (“Nancy”) Storace gave her final opera performance in Vienna, appearing in Martín y Soler’s Il burbero di buon cuore. Storace, who had made her debut in Vienna in Apr 1783, had created the role of Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in 1786. Storace’s older brother, the composer Stephen, had joined her in Vienna around the end of 1784, and his opera Gli sposi malcontenti was produced by the court theater the following year.

Also making his debut in the Viennese court theater in Apr 1783 was the Irish buffo tenor Michael Kelly, who created the roles of Don Basilio and Don Curzio in Figaro. Kelly and the Storaces were native speakers of English, all three knew Mozart well, and he might at least occasionally have practiced speaking English with them. But all three had studied in Italy, all three were certainly fluent in Italian—and all evidence suggests that Mozart’s Italian was considerably better than his English, so one suspects that he more often conversed with them in that language. (It is very unlikely that they conversed in German.) Mozart might also have practiced speaking English with his student, the young English composer Thomas Attwood. But Attwood had studied in Naples for two years before coming to Vienna in Aug 1785, and was probably also comfortable speaking Italian. Most of Mozart’s entries in Attwood’s studies are in Italian, and it seems likely that Mozart gave his lessons to Attwood primarily in Italian, perhaps interspersed with bits of English.

Nancy Storace gave a farewell concert in the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna on Fri, 23 Feb 1787. For the occasion Mozart composed the concert aria “Ch’io mi scordi di te … Non temer amato bene,” K. 505, with obbligato piano solo; they performed the work together at the concert, and we know from a later reminiscence of Thomas Attwood that Mozart also performed the Piano Concerto in D minor, K. 466 (Neue Folge, 90). The day of the concert, Amand Wilhelm Smith wrote to Horváth-Stansith:

M. Storace hodie ultima vice canit in academia musica, quam pro favore suo dat, altera Septimana Londinum pergit cum Mozartio. Publicum dolet illius abitum. [Fuchs 2006, 196]
Madame Storace sings for the last time today in a musical academy she is giving for her own benefit. Next week she goes to London with Mozart. The public mourns her leaving.

In fact, Storace, her brother, Kelly, Attwood and their entourage left Vienna on their journey back to London not “next week,” but shortly after the concert, probably the following morning or perhaps even later that same night—and Mozart was not with them. In a letter written to his daughter on 1 Mar, Leopold Mozart reported that the company had arrived in Salzburg on Mon, 26 Feb. The morning after their arrival Leopold gave them a tour of Salzburg and lunched with them. In the evening he heard Nancy Storce sing three arias (one likes to imagine that “Deh vieni non tardar” was among them); the company then departed for Munich at midnight in their two coaches (Briefe, iv:28). In a continuation of the same letter on 2 Mar, Leopold reported to Nannerl what the visitors had told him about Wolfgang, from whom he had had no recent letters:

In betref deines Bruders hab erfahren, daß er wieder in Wienn ist, denn ich hatte, seit dem ihm nach Prag geschrieben, keine Antwort; daß er 1000 f in Prag |: wie sie sagten :| gewonnen; daß sein letzter Bueb Leopoldl gestorben; und daß er, wie bemerkte, nach Engelland reisen will, allein daß sein Scolar ihm vorhero in London etwas gewisses ausmachen soll, näm: den Contract eine opera zu schreiben, oder ein Subscriptions Concert etcetc: über den näm: gegenstand wird ihm auch M:dme Storaci das Maul gemacht haben und die ganze Gesellschaft, und diese Leute und sein Scolar werden den Gedanken in ihm auch anfangs erweckt haben, mit ihnen nach Engelland zu gehen. Nachdem ich ihm aber vätterlich darüber geschrieben, daß er auf der Reise im Sommer nichts gewinnen, auch zur unrechten zeit in Engell: anlangen würde, — da er wenigst 2000 f im Sack haben müsste um diese Reise zu unternehmen, und daß er endlich, ohne etwas gewisses als engagement in London schon zu haben, es wagen würde bey aller Geschicklichkeit anfangs wenigst sicher Noth zu leiden; — so wird er den Muth verloren haben, da natür: Weise der Brüder der Sängerin für diesesmahl eine opera schreiben wird. [Briefe, iv:28–29]
As regards your brother I learned that he is in Vienna again (for I had no answer from him since I wrote to him in Prague); that he earned (they said) 1000 fl. in Prague; that his most recent child Leopoldl died; and that he, as I’ve said, wants to travel to England, provided that his student [Attwood] will have arranged something certain for him in London in advance, namely a contract to write an opera or a subscription concert etcetc. Madame Storace and the entire company will also have cajoled him on said topic, and these people and his student will have newly awakened in him the idea to go to England with them. After I had written to him in a fatherly way about this—that he would earn nothing from a trip in the summer, and that he would reach England at the wrong time—that he must have at least 2000 fl in his bag to undertake such a trip, and that he would in the end, without some sort of certain engagement in London, in spite of all skill at the beginning, risk suffering certain want—so he will have lost courage, for naturally her brother wants to write an opera for the singer this time.

Leopold is venting frustration here, having had no recent direct communication from his son. But all evidence points to the conclusion that Wolfgang had been planning a trip to London since at least November and that he had not changed his mind by the time he returned to Vienna from Prague in February. This plan would have been a strong motivation for renewing his studies of English, and it is the direct context for his English-language entry in Kronauer’s Stammbuch on 30 Mar 1787. It makes perfect sense in this context that Mozart made use of a maxim (that he slightly misremembered) from a compendium intended for English learners.

Mozart himself acquired a Stammbuch around the time of his entry into Kronauer’s. The earliest dated entry into Mozart’s book was made by the bass Ludwig Fischer, the original Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Dokumente, 254), who was visiting Vienna in early 1787, having left the city and the ensemble of the court theater in 1783. Mozart’s Stammbuch was given to the Dommusikverein in Salzburg by his son Karl in 1841 and was subsequently in the collection of the Mozarteum, but it has been lost since 1945.

Roland Tenschert, who was able to examine Mozart’s Stammbuch in person, plausibly suggested that it was given to him as a gift by his student Barbara Ployer, whose own Stammbuch (now in the possession of the Mozarteum) is essentially identical in design (Tenschert 1927, 12). During the time that Mozart used the Stammbuch, he collected only eleven entries. Five were made in Apr 1787 and four later that year; the last dated entry was made by physician “Ant. Schmith” on 31 Oct 1789 (Fuchs 2006, 191, suggests that this may have been Amand Wilhelm Smith); one entry, by Joseph von Bauernfeld, was undated. (On Mozart’s Stammbuch, see Engl 1911; all eleven entries are given in Dokumente.) This pattern of entries is consistent with Mozart having intended to take a Stammbuch with him on his journey to London and quickly acquiring several entries when his departure still seemed imminent. But his enthusiasm then seems to have waned when his plans changed.

A poem entered into Mozart’s Stammbuch on 14 Apr 1787 by physician Sigmund Barisani alludes to Mozart’s impending trip to Britain and his departure from Vienna.

Wien den 14ten Aprilmonats 1787.

Wenn deines Flügels Meisterspiel
Den Briten, der, selbst gross an Geist,
Den grossen Mann zu schätzen weiss,
Dahinreisst zur Bewunderung;
Wenn deine Kunst, um welche dich
Der welsche Komponist beneidt,
Und wie er kann und mag verfolgt;
Wenn deine Kunst, in der dir nur
Ein Bach, ein Joseph Hayden gleicht
Dir längst verdientes Glück erwirbt,
Vergiss da deines Freundes nicht,
Der sich mit Wonne stets und stets
Mit Stolz erinnern wird, dass er
Als Arzt dir zweymal hat gedient
Und dich der Welt zur Lust erhielt,
Der aber noch weit stolzer ist
Dass du sein Freund bist so wie er.
⁣                                   Dein Freund Sigmund Barisani
                            Physicus Primarius im allgemeinen
                                                          Dokumente, 255]

Vienna, 14 April 1787.

If your masterly pianism exalts to admiration
the Briton, who, himself great of spirit,
knows how to value a great man;
If your art, which the Italian composer
envies, and pursues as he can and may;
If your art, in which you are equalled
only by a Bach, a Joseph Haydn,
gains you your long-deserved good fortune;

Do not forget there your friend,
who will ever remember with delight
and ever with pride that he,
as a doctor, has served you twice,
and preserved you for the world’s delight;
who is, however, far prouder still
that you are his friend, as he is yours.
⁣                                      Your friend Sigmund Barisani
                         Physicus Primarius in the Allgemeines
[translation by DE]

The last few lines of this poem are a farewell, with the strong implication that Mozart is going to seek his fortune in Britain. Ten days later, Mozart produced his last known example of written English, an inscription in the Stammbuch of Joseph Franz von Jacquin, Gottfried’s brother:

don’t never forget your true and faithfull friend
Vienna. the 24 april. 1787.                                                         
                                                               Wolfgang Amadè Mozartmpia
[Dokumente, 256]

In the wider context, this entry is also a farewell, written in the language of the city to which Mozart is evidently still planning to travel at that point.

Yet Mozart did not go to London. It has been rather carelessly assumed in the Mozart literature that he gave up the idea after Leopold read him the riot act in lost letters from late 1786 and early 1787. (This reading of the evidence seems to go back to Jahn 1858, iii:179ff.) But careful chronological analysis shows that Mozart seems still to have been planning the trip until at least 24 Apr 1787. Why did he change his mind?

Mozart scholars have generally claimed that the composer returned to Vienna from Prague in early Feb 1787 with a contract in hand from Pasquale Bondini to compose a new opera that coming autumn. This was the commission that became Don Giovanni. (This claim is made in, for example, Plath & Rehm 1968, Rushton 1981, and Wolfgang Rehm’s musicological introduction to Mozart 2009.) Yet there is no primary evidence that Mozart had the commission at the time of his return to Vienna from Prague. The idea seems to derive from Niemetschek:

⁣         Der Opernunternehmer Bondini schloß zugleich mit Mozart
den Akkord zu einer neuen Oper für die Prager Bühne auf den näch=
sten Winter, welche dieser gerne übernahm, weil er erfahren hatte, wie
gut die Böhmen seine Musik zu schätzen und auszuführen verstanden.
[Niemetschek 1798, 28]
⁣         The opera impresario Bondini at once reached an agreement
with Mozart for a new opera for the Prague stage the next winter, which
the latter gladly accepted, because he had experienced how well
the Bohemians understand how to appreciate and perform his music.

Niemetschek sandwiches this statement directly between a description of Mozart’s concert in Prague on 19 Jan 1787, and a report of Mozart’s thanks to the theater orchestra in Prague for its fine work in Figaro. A superficial reading may leave the impression that Niemetschek is explicitly claiming that Mozart left Prague with a contract. But Niemetschek speaks only of an “Akkord” (an agreement) and writes “zugleich” (at once), which is not specific. In any case, we have no reason to think that Niemetischek had direct knowledge of any negotiations or correspondence between Bondini and Mozart at the time, and his statement does not count as primary evidence.

A careful consideration of the known primary evidence shows that Mozart probably did not return to Vienna in Feb 1787 with a contract in hand for a new opera. For it is extremely unlikely that Mozart would have continued to plan in late April an imminent trip to London, more than two months after returning from Prague, had he already committed to writing a new opera for that city by the end of the year. It is much more plausible that Mozart cancelled or postponed the trip because he received Bondini’s commission at some point after 24 Apr 1787

The hypothesis that Mozart got a later start on Don Giovanni than is generally supposed is supported by the paper-types of the autograph. The first paper-type that Mozart used for the opera is almost certainly the one Edge identifies as 55-III (Edge 2001, Table 3.1, 430). It is the earliest paper-type in the opera’s autograph to which any firm date can be attached. There are 117 leaves (over two quires) of paper-type 55-III in Mozart’s known autographs. Four leaves (two bifolia) appear in the fourth movement of Mozart’s String Quintet in C Major, dated 19 Apr 1787, the earliest date associated with this paper-type. So Mozart probably acquired his first batch of it around this time. Eleven leaves appear in the autograph of K. 522, dated 14 Jun 1787, seven in the autograph of K. 525, dated 10 Aug 1787, and eleven in the autograph of K. 526, dated 24 Aug 1787.

The autograph of Don Giovanni contains 47 leaves of paper-type 55-III, all at the beginning of the opera. It is the paper-type used for scenes i–vi and vii in Act I, and it is thus almost certainly the first paper-type used for the opera’s composition (see the foliation diagram in Mozart 2009, iii:143–44). If the hypothesis put forward here is correct—that Mozart received the commission from Bondini at some point after 24 Apr 1787, and allowing time for Lorenzo Da Ponte to begin adapting the libretto—the earliest that Mozart could have begun work on the opera would have been the middle of May, and he probably began even later than that. Work on the opera would have been more than sufficient reason for Mozart to defer his plan to go to London.



In a letter to his father written on 19 Oct 1782, Mozart famously refers to himself as an “Arch-Englishman”:

— Ja wohl habe ich, und zwar zu meiner grossen freude |: denn sie wissen wohl daß ich ein ErzEngelländer bin :| Engellands Siege gehört! — [Briefe, iii:239]
— Yes indeed, I have heard, and to my great joy (for you well know that I’m an Arch-Englishmen) of England’s victory! —

He is referring here to England’s overwhelming victory against the massive assault launched by Spain and France in the Great Siege of Gibraltar (Mozart might well have read about this victory in the Wiener Zeitung on 12 Oct 1782), and it has nothing directly to do with any plan to go to London.

But it is easy to imagine that for all Mozart’s wide travels in his youth, London might have retained a special place in his heart and memory. It was unlike any other city that he had visited: it was by far the largest city in Europe, and because of its burgeoning global trade, arguably the most cosmopolitan. To Mozart it may well have seemed the most open city he had ever experienced, socially and economically, and the variety and frequency of its public cultural life far outstripped anything he had experienced elsewhere during his travels—as can be seen by an examination of any random issue of The Public Advertiser from the time. During the Mozarts’ fifteen months in the city, Wolfgang performed in a wider variety of settings than at any time before his decade in Vienna: in London he performed before royalty, in private settings, at public concerts both indoor and outdoor, even in a tavern. The young Mozart was befriended in London by the famous Johann Christian Bach, a German who had made a highly successful career as an independent entrepreneurial musician, a worthy model for emulation. Handel had died in 1759, just five years before the Mozarts arrived, and his heroic example as an increasingly iconic composer of opera, oratorio, and instrumental music in London may have made a deep impression on young Wolfgang as something to aspire to. In later years, London would probably have continued to seem to Mozart a city of endless potential. Ever-practical Leopold was only too well aware of the high cost of living in London and the risks of the life of an independent performer and composer, and he attempted to warn Wolfgang against these. But by the mid 1780s, Wolfgang had tasted considerable success as an independent composer and performer in Vienna (and by early 1787 in Prague), and it is not surprising that London would have seemed an especially attractive prospect, compared to the restricted opportunities and rather ingrown audience in Vienna.

We can only guess why Mozart was drawn to the particular saying that he inscribed into Kronauer’s Stammbuch. “Patience” and “tranquility of mind” are the subjects of other English maxims in the same three books that were potential direct sources for Mozart:

Patience is the surest Remedy against Calumnies.
Time, soon, or late, discovers the Truth.
    Nothing is more capable of confounding our Ene-
mies, than Patience in Injuries. A touchy Man
commonly shews them his Foibles, and gives them
an Opportunity, to make an Advantage of it.
[English Miscellanies, 1766, 59]⁣
Four Things are necessary to the Happiness of
Life: Health, Tranquillity of Mind, Goods of
Fortune, sincere Friends.
[English Miscellanies, 1766, 65]

These are quoted from the 1766 edition of English Miscellanies, but all three also appear in Instructions sur l’Histoire Romaine in 1728 and in Moritz’s Englische Sprachlehre of 1786.

A passage from John Tillotson’s sermon “The Wisdom of being Religious” in the 1755 edition of English Miscellanies also resonates here:

⁣     It is to be wise, as to our main Interest. Our
chief End and highest Interest is Happiness. And
this is Happiness, to be freed from all, (if it may
be) however from the greatest Evils; and to enjoy
(if it may be) all Good, however the chiefest.
To be happy, is not only to be freed from the
Pains and Diseases of the Body, but from Anxiety
and Vexation of Spirit; not only to enjoy the
Pleasures of Sense, but Peace of Conscience, and
Tranquillity of Mind. To be happy, is not only
to be so, for a little While, but as long, as may be;
and, if it be possible, for ever. [...]
[English Miscellanies, 1755, 312]

It is perhaps not entirely fanciful to imagine that Mozart might have used the English Miscellanies or one of these other books as a sort of guide to self-improvement—a “self-help” book avant la lettre. Such was, in fact, the stated intention of the anonymous translator of Instruction sur l’Histoire Romaine, who wrote on the title page in 1728:

With a large Collection of excellent MAXIMS and
curious REFLEXIONS, for the Conduct of Life,
and the Knowledge of one’s self and the World.


The original version of our commentary identified Tompson’s English Miscellanies as the ultimate source of Mozart’s entry in Kronauer’s Stammbuch. Shortly after that version was published, Vivian S. Ramalingam informed us that she had found an even earlier source, the 1728 L’Instruction sur l’Histoire Romaine, an anonymous translation of a portion of a posthumous revised edition of Le Ragois’ Instruction sur L’Histoire de France et Romaine; Ramalingam also discovered the reprinting of the saying in the second edition of Moritz’s Englische Sprachlehre in 1786.

The saying can be found in Tompson’s English Miscellanies using the Google Books search: “patience and tranquillity” + distempers, with the date constrained to before 1800. The saying appears on page 68 of the original 1737 edition of Tompson’s English Miscellanies. This printing of the saying and those in the 1755 and 1766 editions show no significant differences. We have not yet been able to see the 1746 edition of the collection.

Our transcription of Mozart’s entry in Kronauer's Stammbuch corrects small errors and omissions in the versions printed in Dokumente (253) and Briefe (iv:40). Both of these omit Mozart’s schematic flourish for the abbreviation “mpia” (manu propria) and the “XX” after his signature. The latter is probably a manuscript representation of the famous Masonic symbol of interlocked compass and square:


This same symbol is embossed on the back cover of Kronauer’s Stammbuch.

Kronauer, back cover

Woodfield (2010, 33ff) and Weidinger (2002) both point out that Mozart very likely did not return from Prague in Feb 1787 with a contract in hand for a new opera. However, neither mentions Mozart’s planned trip to London. We have not yet been able to see the more detailed discussion of the genesis of Don Giovanni in Weidinger’s full dissertation.

In Dokumente (219), Deutsch incorrectly attributes to Mozart an inscription in English written in the left margin of folio 8r of Attwood’s studies. The hand is Attwood’s.

Attwood, 8r

Leopold, in his letter of 12 Jan 1787, mentions having heard reports from Vienna, Prague, and Munich about Wolfgang’s plan to go to London. Reports from Vienna and Prague are known (see the Commentary above), but no such report from Munich has yet been found.

Tompson's English Miscellanies


John Tompson, the compiler of English Miscellanies, was born in London on 25 Apr 1693. (On Tompson’s biography, see Schröder 2017.) At the beginning of 1735, after extensive travels on the Continent and a stint teaching modern languages at the University of Helmstedt, he was invited to become public lecturer in English at the newly founded University of Göttingen. In April that same year King George II (as Elector of Hannover) appointed him Master of Languages at the university. The first edition of English Miscellanies appeared in 1737, the year Tompson began teaching in Göttingen. He gradually expanded and updated the content in three subsequent editions, in 1746, 1755, and 1766. Tompson remained in Göttingen for the rest of his life, and died there on 26 Oct 1768.

English Miscellanies was published in Göttingen by the university printer Abraham Vandenhoeck, himself an English speaker with good connections in England (Schaff 2017). Tompson’s collection represented at that time an innovative, even “avant-garde” approach to language teaching and learning (Schröder 2017, 41). As Schröder explains, the collection was intended “to teach high-level communicative performance through a great variety of literary texts” (Schröder 2017, 40–41). According to Schaff (2017, 47), Tompson’s English Miscellanies was “the first collection of British literature ever printed on the Continent,” but it was not intended as an introduction to the history of English literature, and it contains no canonical authors earlier than Dryden and Milton—thus no Shakespeare, Spenser, or Chaucer (Schaff 2017, 51). Its contents consist entirely of contemporary authors, with extracts chosen to provide models of good contemporary idiomatic style in a variety of contexts; for example, English Miscellanies contains several extracts from Steele’s The Tatler and Addison and Steele’s The Spectator

The saying “Patience and Tranquillity of Mind” is found in the section “Maxims and various Reflections” (37–68 of the 1766 edition). The overall effect of the section is a seemingly endless series of Polonian platitudes. It begins:

Speak little, and speak well, if you would be
look’d upon as a Man of Merit.
    He that does not use himself to speak with Wa-
riness, and Reserve, in Things of little Consequence,
will be sure to slip in Affairs of Importance.
    Nothing is so tiresome in Conversation, as long
Speeches, void of all Grace and Attraction.
   The Way to please, and succeed, in Conversa-
tion, is, not to take half so much Pains, to bring
one’s own Wit into Play, as the Wit of other People.[...]

It continues in this vein for 20 more pages. In the 1755 edition, the corresponding section is more than twice as long, occupying pages 43 to 96. As literature, this would be tedious in the extreme, but as a pedagogical strategy it had much to recommend it in an eighteenth-century context: a large collection of short, well-wrought, and pithy examples from which the beginning student could pick and choose.

Johann Georg Kronauer


Very little is known about Johann Georg Kronauer, whose Stammbuch contains Mozart’s entry. Kronauer died in Vienna on 2 Mar 1799; according to his death record, he had been born in Winterthur in Switzerland, he was 56 (thus born in 1742 or 1743) and Protestant (“Reformirter Religion”).

Martius [1]799
                           den 2:ten
Kronauer, Herr Johann Georg, französischer Sprach=
          meister, Reformirter Religion, verh.
          von Winterthor aus der Schweiz gebürtig,
          ist im Sollingerischen H. N:o 24. auf der
          Laimgrube, an der Magenentzündung gest.
          alt 56 Jr:
[Vienna, Stadt- und Landesarchiv, Totenbeschreibamt, vol. 109, 1799, lit. G/K, fol. 16v]

Kronauer death

(Family Search [requires registration])

His wife Sophie died in the care of the St. Marx hospital on 6 May 1830 at the age of 83 (Vienna, Stadt- und Landesarchiv, Totenbeschreibamt, vol. 160, 1830, lit. G/K, fol. 41v). She is said in her death record to have been from Preßburg (today Bratislava). The couple are not known to have had any children, and there are no references to them in the surviving records of the Reformierte Stadtkirche in Vienna.

It is not known exactly when Kronauer arrived in Vienna. A document dated 12 Nov 1776 referring to him survives in the archive of the University of Vienna; in the university’s online finding aid, the document (which we have not yet been able to consult) is summarized:

Johann Georg Kronauer bittet Rektor und Konsistorium um Ausbezahlung der im Universaldepositenamt von dem Studenten der Medizin Franz Buglioni für ihn hinterlegten 21 fl. 30 kr. [Vienna, Universitätsarchiv, CA 3.1750]
Johann Georg Kronauer requests the Rector and Consistory to pay the 21 fl. 30 kr. left for him in the Universal Deposit Office by the medical student Franz Buglioni.

This entry shows that Kronauer was in Vienna by the end of 1776.

In the 1780s Kronauer advertised in the Wiener Zeitung and Das Wienerblättchen as a private French teacher. The earliest known such advertisement appeared in the Wiener Zeitung on 31 Dec 1783:

Französischer Sprachmeister.
    Da ich hauptsächlich zur Bequemlichkeit mei=
ner Schuler meine bisherige Wohnung verän=
dert habe, halte ich mich für verbunden, ei=
ner hohen Noblesse sowohl, als einem hochge=
ehrtesten Publikum hievon Nachricht zu geben.
Es sind schon mehrere Jahre, daß mir eine
k. k. ni. öst. Landesregierung die Erlaubniß,
öffentlichen Unterricht in der französischen Spra=
che, Personen beyderley Geschlechts zu geben,
aus dem Grund ertheilte, weil ich mich bey
gedachter hohen Stelle auswies, das meine Lehr=
art besonders faßlich, kurz und angenehm sey.
Ich habe seit dieser Zeit schon sehr viele Perso=
nen, hohen und niedern Standes, von aller=
ley Alter zu ihrer Zufriedenheit und meinem
innigsten Vergnügen gebildet, und durch mein
eifriges Bemühen, und ihr fleißiges Mitwir=
ken so weit gebracht, daß sie diese mit Recht
so beliebte Sprache nun vollkommen besitzen.
Allen denen, welche sie noch ferner erlernen
wollen, bezeige ich hiemit meine Bereitwillig=
keit, zu ihrem Vorsatz alles Mögliche beyzu=
tragen. Meine Stunden sollen Kindern sowohl,
als erwachsenen Personen beyderley Geschlechts
gewidmet seyn, und mein Bestreben bleibt nicht
nur dahin gerichtet, nach den kürzesten und
neuesten Regeln im Lesen und Sreiben [sic] zu un=
terrichten, sondern hauptsächlich auch im Fran=
zösischreden fleißig Uebungen anzustellen. Dieje=
nigen Personen, die in ihrem eigenen Hause
Unterricht zu nehmen verlangen, belieben mir
die Stunden, die sie begehren, zu bestimmen.
Ich wohne jetzt in der Rosmaringasse bey der
Fischerstiege Nr. 453 im ersten Stock rechts.
                       J. G. Kronauer, k. k. priv. öffentl. Lehrer.
[Wiener Zeitung, no. 105, Wed, 31 Dec 1783, 13–14]


⁣             French Language Teacher.
    Because I have, primarily for the convenience
of my students, changed my previous residence,
I consider it my duty to inform the high nobility
and the most honorable public of the fact. It has
already been several years since the k. k. Nieder-
österreichische Landesregierung granted me the
permission to give public lessons in the French
language to persons of either sex, on the stated
grounds that I had demonstrated to that high
office that my teaching method was especially
easy to comprehend, short, and pleasant. Since
that time I have taught to their satisfaction and
my most sincere pleasure, very many persons of
high and low estate of every age, and through
my zealous efforts and their diligent cooperation
brought them so far that they have now fully
mastered this rightfully so popular language. To
all of those who wish to study further, I show my
readiness to contribute everything possible to
their intention. My lessons are intended to be
both for children and adults of both sexes, and
my efforts remain directed not only toward teaching
the shortest and newest rules of reading and
writing, but also primarily to offer diligent exercise
in spoken French. Those persons who require
taking instruction in their own house, please
indicate to me the hours that you desire. I now
live in the Rosmaringasse by the Fischerstiege
No. 453 in the first floor, right.

According to a document in the Vertrauliche Akten of the Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv in Vienna (discussed in Abafi 1893, iv:213, cited in Zellwecker 1951, 69), Kronauer had been registered with the Niederösterreichische Landesregierung as a French teacher since 1774, and he received a decree to this effect in 1784. Although this reference remains to be checked, we can provisionally say that Kronauer had been teaching French in Vienna since at least 1774.

A silhouette that is presumed to be Kronauer appears on the verso of the title page of his Stammbuch.

Kronauer Stammbuch, silhouette (Kronauer)

The profile here (particularly the blocky forehead) is an excellent match with a different silhouette of Kronauer from the Stammbuch of Gabriele von Baumberg (Deutsch 1961, 206).

Kronauer was a member of the Viennese Masonic lodge Zur gekrönten Hoffnung in the years 1784 and 1785; then, from the reorganization of the Viennese lodges 1786 until 1792 he was a member of Zur neugekrönten Hoffnung, to which Mozart also belonged (Schuler 1992, 112). Thus Kronauer and Mozart were members of the same lodge at the time Mozart made his entry in Kronauer’s Stammbuch.

In an article published in 1873, Gustav Brabbé described the Masonic items and documents from the estate of his grandfather Franz Brabbé (1758–1831), who was a member of the lodge Zur Beständigkeit in Vienna from 1783 to 1785 (Brabbé 1873; on Franz Brabbé, see Schuler 1992, 80). Among the documents was a Stammbuch with around 150 entries made over four decades. Gustav Brabbé discusses in detail some of the entries in the Stammbuch by other Masons. Among the members of the lodge Zur Beständigkeit who made entries were Joseph Bauernjöpel, the artist of the title page of Kronauer’s Stammbuch (see below); the actor Ludwig Schmidt from the Nationalsingspiel in Vienna, who in 1784 founded his own traveling theater company that played a key role in the early diffusion and reception of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail (see our entry for 25 Aug 1785); and Franz Kalmes, a close friend of Schmidt’s who was the father of the young sopranos Franziska and Josepha Kalmes, who sang Konstanze and Blonde in Schmidt’s production of Entführung (the first production heard by Leopold and Nannerl Mozart). Masons who were not members of Zur Beständigkeit who made entries in Franz Brabbé’s Stammbuch included painter and court-theater actor Joseph Lange (Mozart’s brother-in-law), and Johann Georg Kronauer. Gustav Brabbé devotes several pages to a highly unflattering portrait of Kronauer (Brabbé 1873, 49–53). Because this is the only known personal depiction of Kronauer, it has continued (perhaps unfairly) to color subsequent descriptions of Kronauer in the secondary literature (see, for example, Schuler 1992, 112).

For further references on Kronauer, see Portheim and Lorenz 2013.

Kronauer’s Stammbuch


Kronauer’s Stammbuch has been in a public collection since 1909. It has long been known in Masonic circles; it was printed in a facsimile by the Viennese publisher Max Jaffé around 1932 in an edition of approximately 200, of which around 160 went to lodges in the United States (Bernhart 1957, 110). Mozarteans know of the Stammbuch because of Mozart’s entry. The Stammbuch is a complex and fascinating object, yet in spite of its notoriety it has not yet been comprehensively analyzed. To undertake such an analysis here would take us too far afield. Instead we will merely point to some of the questions about the Stammbuch that remain to be investigated.

The most complete published index of Kronauer’s Stammbuch in its current state is given by Bernhart (1957); Bernhart describes the contents of every page, but unfortunately (from a scholarly standpoint) gives only English translations of the entries, which in the original are variously in German, French, Italian, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Bernhart also attempts to give some account of the entries written in cipher. A more standard bibliographic description of the Stammbuch is in Mazal and Hilmar (1997), who give an inventory of the inscriptions, but no transcriptions.

The title page of Kronauer’s Stammbuch depicts a broken stone tablet surrounded by various Masonic symbols. Engraved in the tablet is the dedication: “DEN HOCHWÜRDIGEN / WÜRDIGEN UND LIEBEN / BRÜDERN / UND / FREŸENMAUERN / GEWIDMET VON B. KRONAUER / 5783” (meaning 1783). The artist is Joseph Bauernjöpel, whose initials “J. B.” are written in the corner of the tablet, and who also identifies himself in an inscription written across the bottom of the page using a French version of a common Masonic cipher—although Bauernjöpel makes a few errors. He has literally written: “Dieses Blat ist allen geeign, die sind, gewesen sind, und sein werden, von ihrmn [sic] aufrichtch_n [sic] Bruder J Baurmjöpel [sic],” thus even misspelling his own name.

Kronauer Stammbuch, tp (rev)

A table for this version of the cipher is shown in the Nouveau Catechisme des Francs-Maçons (3rd ed. 1748, 41).

French Masonic cipher

(Nouveau Catechisme… (1748), 41)

Because the cipher contains no ‘W’, Bauernjöpel has simply used that letter in plain-text where necessary. The pairs ‘I/J’ and ‘U/V’ are encoded with the same symbols.

Kronauer, tp cipher

Two principal oddities of Kronauer’s Stammbuch have yet to be explained. Near the end of the book is an index of the names of those who have made entries; the index consists of nine pages bound (for some reason) in reverse order. The entries are numbered “1” to “74,” but the sequence skips “65” and “66” and one other entry is cancelled, so there are 71 entries in all. The last extant page of the index includes entries 71–74, with plenty of space remaining below for additional entries. Thus there is no reason to think that any of the pages of the index are missing.

Yet there are many discrepancies between the index and the Stammbuch’s contents: several names in the index do not correspond to entries in the book in its present state, and several entries in the book have no corresponding entry in the index. The entries in the index are more or less chronological, from 26 Oct 1783 (no. 1) to 19 Jun 1791 (no. 74), but as the volume is currently bound, dated entries appear scattered almost at random. Thus it may be that the book was reorganized and rebound at some point, and the digital scan seems to show some evidence of this. It seems not to have been noticed that the dates, locations, and lodge affiliations for many entries in the Stammbuch are not written in the hands of those who made the inscriptions, but by a different hand that is probably Kronauer’s. (Mozart, however, has written his own date, location, and affiliation.)

Remarkably, it seems also to have escaped notice up to now in the musicological literature that the earliest dated entry in Kronauer’s Stammbuch is by Swedish composer Joseph Martin Kraus, who was visiting Vienna in the autumn of 1783. (Kraus’s entry in Kronauer’s Stammbuch is not mentioned in Van Boer 2004.) The entry, dated (by Kraus himself) 26 Oct 1783 shows that he had not yet left Vienna by that date, a previously unknown detail. An unidentified silhouette tipped in on the facing page may be Kraus.

Kronauer Stammbuch, Kraus (rev)

Kronauer Stammbuch, silhouette (Kraus)

(ÖNB, Cod. Ser. n. 4832, images 15 and 14)

Other notable Viennese cultural figures with entries in Kronauer’s Stammbuch include writers Otto von Gemmingen, Alois Blumauer, Johann Baptist Alxinger, and Gottlieb Leon. The famous actor Johann Heinrich Friedrich Müller, from the company of the Viennese court theater, also has an entry in Kronauer’s Stammbuch, as does violinist Joseph Zistler. An inscription in Latin with the monogram “LB” is generally assumed to be Ignaz von Born (although Bernhart dissents), whose identified silhouette appears on the facing page.

The entry for Mozart in Kronauer’s index reads: “63. – Mozart. Compositeur. d[etto]”, where the “detto” refers to the most recent entry above with an identified lodge membership, “Baron Callisch de la ▭ à l’Esp. cour.”—namely “Zur gekrönten Hoffnung.” Kronauer actually means “Zur neugekrönten Hoffnung,” as it was called in 1787.

Kronauer Stammbuch, Mozart index entry (rev)

Mozart’s entry in Kronauer’s Stammbuch is dated 30 Mar 1787. There are no other entries with that date. Other entries made around that same time include two Austrian cavalry captains, Brochowski and Rottermund, on 18 Feb 1787, Baron von Calisch (as he spells it) on 26 Feb 1787, and Joseph Szegedi, counselor to the governor of Siebenbürgen (Transylvania), on 1 Apr 1787. (All entries were made in Vienna.)

We are extremely grateful to Vivian S. Ramalingam for uncovering what is currently the earliest known source for the English saying that Mozart entered into Kronauer’s Stammbuch: the Instruction sur l’Histoire Romaine of 1728. We would also like to thank Bruce Brown and Michael Lorenz for their responses to particular queries regarding this commentary, and Brown, Steven Whiting, Janet Page, and Christopher Salmon for their comments on drafts. We are grateful to Ramalingam and Martin Childs for their advice on the interpretation of the Masonic symbol in Mozart’s signature.


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Credit: Vivian S. Ramalingam & DE

Author: Dexter Edge

Search Term: “patience and tranquillity” + distempers + miscellanies

Categories: Biography

First Published: Sun, 9 Aug 2020

Updated: Sat, 15 Aug 2020

Print Citation:

Edge, Dexter. 2020. “The source for Mozart’s entry in Kronauer’s Stammbuch (1787).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 9 August 2020; updated 15 August 2020. https://www.mozartdocuments.org/documents/30-march-1787-kronauer/

Web Citation:

Edge, Dexter. 2020. “The source for Mozart’s entry in Kronauer’s Stammbuch (1787).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 9 August 2020; updated 15 August 2020. [direct link]