Salzburg, 8 April. Since there was no news for a long time where the Salzburg Kapellmeister, Herr
Mozart, with his miraculous children were to be found: so it will not be unpleasant for many to hear,
that after a journey of three and a half years the same arrived safely in Salzburg with his family. What
these children have done in all places, and the musical knowledge that they possess, can be neither
described nor believed without having seen it for yourself. The Munich court was convinced of this,
since the little ten-year-old composer at table by the side of His Highness the Elector wrote down
a piece, for which His Highness gave him in a few measures the ideas he had to carry out; and Salzburg
was amazed through a Singspiel that he set to music, and which all present listened to with the utmost
admiration, which the foreign merchants who were there on the occasion of the Lenten market cannot
praise enough, and are not able to talk about without tender emotion. Perhaps they will make a trip to
On 8 Nov 1766 the Mozart family arrived in Munich on their way home from the Grand Tour. Wolfgang and Nannerl appeared before the court the following day and on 22 Nov before returning to Salzburg a week later. The passage concerning the unidentified “Stück” may be derived from Leopold’s account of the event to Hagenauer:
Gestern, Sontags [9 Nov], haben wir S:r Churfürstlichen Durchleucht bey der Tafel besucht; wir wurden gnädigst empfangen. Der Wolfgangl muste gleich neben dem Churfürsten ein Stück auf der Tafel componiren, davon ihm S:r Durchleucht den Anfang oder idea von ein paar Tacte vorsang, er muste es auch bey Höchstdenselben nach der Tafel im Cabinet Spielen. Wie erstaunt iederman war dieses zu sehen und zu hören, ist leicht zu erachten. (Briefe, i:231–32; on the possible identification of the piece see Zaslaw 1985, 345)
Yesterday, Sunday [9 Nov], we visited His Highness the Elector at table and were most graciously received. Wolfgang had at once to compose, at the table beside the Elector, a piece for which His Highness sang him the beginning, or rather a few bars of the theme, and then he had to play it for him after dinner in his private rooms. You may easily guess how surprised everyone was to see and hear this. (translation from Zaslaw 1985, 345).
The “Singspiel” is the first part of Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots, K. 35, which received performances on 12 Mar and 2 Apr 1767 (Dokumente, 68–70). Another report of the Lenten market in Salzburg in 1767, and the wonder experienced by visitors who heard Mozart’s music for Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots and saw him direct the performance, was printed in the Augspurgische Ordinari Postzeitung on 30 Mar 1767. The wording in the two reports is strikingly similar, and it may be that the Augsburg report was the source for this one in the Berlin Vossische Zeitung. As the report speculated, Wolfgang and Leopold later made trips to Italy.
This report was quoted in Eberhard Buchner’s anthology of historical newspaper reports in 1911–1913, but was unknown to Deutsch and later editors. Schulze 2008 independently recognised the significance of Buchner for Mozart research. The report also appeared with identical wording but with a byline of 18 April in the Hamburg Reichspostreuter on 1 May 1767.
Buchner, Eberhard. 1911–13. Das Neueste von Gestern. Kulturgeschichtlich interessante Dokumente aus alten deutschen Zeitungen. 5 vols. Munich: Albert Langen.
Schulze, Hans-Joachim. 2008. “Bach and Mozart: From the Perspective of Different Documentary Evidence.” In The Century of Bach and Mozart. Perspectives on Historiography, Composition, Theory and Performance in Honor of Christoph Wolff, edited by Sean Gallagher and Thomas Forrest Kelly. 207–16. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Zaslaw, Neal. 1985. “Leopold Mozart’s List of His Son’s Works.” In Music in the Classic Period: Essays in Honor of Barry S. Brook, edited by Allan Atlas. 323–58. New York: Pendragon.
Credit: DB (following Buchner)
Search Term: N/A
SBB, Ztg 1621 (not seen); Vienna, Wienbibliothek, A 291602 (Buchner)
First Published: Thu, 12 Jun 2014
Updated: Sun, 10 May 2015
Black, David. 2014. “Reports of Mozart's performance for the Munich court (Nov 1766), and Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots (Mar & Apr 1767) (8 April 1767).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 12 June 2014; updated 10 May 2015. https://www.mozartdocuments.org/documents/8-april-1767/
Black, David. 2014. “Reports of Mozart's performance for the Munich court (Nov 1766), and Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots (Mar & Apr 1767) (8 April 1767).” In: Mozart: New Documents, edited by Dexter Edge and David Black. First published 12 June 2014; updated 10 May 2015. [direct link]