?7 November 1791

Mozart in a review of Clementi’s Sonatas op. 23

[Friedrich Ludwig Æmilius Kunzen], Musikalisches Wochenblatt, vi, ?7 Nov 1791

Tre Sonate per Clavicembalo o Pianoforte
        composte del Sigr. Muzio Clementi Op.

Unter den vielen neueren Komponisten
für’s Fortepiano hat sich schon längst Cle-

Musikalisches Wochenblatt, 1791-11-07, small-a

menti besonders ausgezeichnet. Nicht allein,
dass seine Sachen mehr Reichtum, Ge-
schmack, Kenntniss seines Instruments ver-
rathen, als man gewöhnlich bei Klaviersa-
chen findet, so hat er sich auch einen ganz
eigenthümlichen Stil zu eigen zu machen
gewusst, der ihn sehr rühmlich von dem
Trosse der Nachahmer auszeichnet. Sein
Stil hat nichts ähnliches, weder mit einem
Bach, noch Hayden, weder mit einem Mo-
zart noch Kotzeluch, weder mit einem Ster-
kel noch Vanhall, sondern er steht ganz
selbstständig für sich allein da. [...]

Musikalisches Wochenblatt, 1791-11-07, small-b

                                                  . . . . n.

Musikalisches Wochenblatt, 1791-11-07c


⁣    Three Sonatas for Harpsichord or Pianoforte
        composed by Sig. Muzio Clementi

Among the many newer composers for the
fortepiano, Clementi has already long since
especially distinguished himself, not only
because his pieces show more richness,
taste, and knowledge of his instrument than
one usually finds in keyboard pieces, but he
has also been able to make his own an entirely
individual style that laudably distinguishes him
from the baggage-train of imitators. His style has
nothing similar to either a Bach or Haydn, to
either a Mozart or Kozeluch, to either a Sterkel
or Vanhal; rather he stands completely independent,
by himself. [...]

                                                  . . . . n.


The publication reviewed here is Artaria’s edition of three piano sonatas by Muzio Clementi, corresponding to opus 23 in Alan Tyson’s catalog of Clementi’s works (1967, 61). The set consists of solo sonatas in E-flat major, F major, and E-flat major. Tyson takes the opus number from Longman & Broderip’s English edition of the three sonatas, whereas Artaria’s title page identifies them as opus 24.


The title page of Artaria’s edition of Clementi’s “op. 24” (Tyson op. 23)
(Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek, Weimar)

Artaria’s edition, which carries the plate number 278, was first advertised in the Wiener Zeitung on 21 Mar 1789 (Weinmann 1985, 26). The same advertisement offers Mozart’s German Dances, K. 536 and K. 567, the Minuets, K. 568 and two songs (called “deutsche Arien” in the advertisement), “Abendempfindung,” K. 523, and “An Chloe,” K. 524. (The Mozart items from Artaria’s advertisement are transcribed in Dokumente, 295.)

WZ, 1789-03-21, 686-small

WZ, 1789-03-21, 687-small

Artaria’s advertisement in the Wiener Zeitung, 21 Mar 1789

The author of the review transcribed above is Friedrich Ludwig Æmilius Kunzen, co-founder of Musikalisches Wochenblatt with Carl Spazier (on the Wochenblatt, see our entry for 10 Oct 1791). Kunzen’s review of Clementi’s sonatas occupies an entire two-column page in the Wochenblatt, and is of considerable interest in its own right. Here, however, we focus on his reference to Mozart as one of six prominent keyboard composers of the time whose styles Clementi is not imitating. The other five composers besides Mozart mentioned in the review are:


So far as we know, this reference to Mozart in Musikalisches Wochenblatt was first published by Schwob (2015, 180–81). Schwob gives a slightly longer extract than we do here, but his is still incomplete. Schwob does not identify the Clementi edition discussed in the review.

In the introduction to his catalog of Clementi’s works, Tyson writes:

The growing popularity of Clementi’s music on the continent meant that a large number of editions appeared in Paris, Vienna and elsewhere. Since there is nothing to show that such editions were anything but Nachdrucke, copied directly (or indirectly) from the English ones, they are not included in the Catalogue. In particular Artaria of Vienna—who had a business relationship with Longman & Broderip in London—published a long series of Clementi editions; some of these have hitherto been held to be first editions but it seems in every case that they are in fact later than the London ones, and are copied from them. [Tyson 1967, 19–20]

Longman & Broderip’s edition of the three sonatas op. 23 (corresponding to Artaria’s op. 24) was entered at Stationer’s Hall in London on 1 Jan 1790 (see Tyson 1767, 61), more than nine months after Artaria’s first advertisement. So based on this evidence, there is reason to wonder whether Tyson’s generalization about Longman & Broderip’s priority might be mistaken in this case

We are grateful to Janet Page for her comments on a draft of this entry.


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.

Tyson, Alan. 1967. Thematic Catalogue of the Works of Muzio Clementi. Tutzing: Hans Schneider.

Weinmann, Alexander. 1985. Vollständiges Verlagsverzeichnis Artaria & Comp. 3rd ed. Vienna: Ludwig Krenn.

Credit: Rainer J. Schwob

Author: Dexter Edge

Search Term: mozart

Categories: Reception

First Published: Fri, 27 Jan 2023

Print Citation:

Edge, Dexter. 2023. “Mozart in a review of Clementi’s Sonatas op. 23 (7 November 1791).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 27 January 2023. https://www.mozartdocuments.org/documents/7-november-1791/

Web Citation:

Edge, Dexter. 2023. “Mozart in a review of Clementi’s Sonatas op. 23 (7 November 1791).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 27 January 2023. [direct link]