During their tour of Europe in the years 1763 to 1766, the Mozart family spent nearly five months in Paris, arriving on 18 Nov 1763 and departing on 10 Apr 1764. On 5 Mar 1764, the weekly French journal L’Avantcoureur published a description of the wondrous accomplishments of the Mozart children, focusing especially of young Wolfgang. That article also served as the first public announcement of the publication of Wolfgang’s op. 1, a pair of sonatas for harpsichord with violin accompaniment (K. 6 and 7) dedicated to Madame Victoire de France, the second daughter of King Louis XV (see our entry for 5 Mar 1764).
On Mon, 9 Apr 1764, the day before the Mozarts departed for England, L’Avantcoureur published the notice transcribed above, announcing the availability of Wolfgang’s op. 1, and now also his op. 2, a second pair of sonatas for harpsichord and violin (K. 8 and 9), dedicated to the Countess de Tessé, lady-in-waiting to the Dauphine, Maria Josepha of Saxony. This announcement—really an advertisement—does not appear in Dokumente or its supplements (it is mentioned but not transcribed in Haberkamp 1986, i:67 and 70).
The advertisement in L’Avantcoureur on 9 Apr states that Wolfgang’s op. 2 had just been published. On 1 Feb Leopold had written to Maria Theresia Hagenauer: “Now 4 sonatas by Monsieur Wolfgang Mozart are at the engraver’s” (“Nun sind 4 Sonaten von Mr: Wolfgang Mozart beym stechen”), implying that all four sonatas were already in preparation for publication at that point. But as Leopold had explained to Lorenz Hagenauer in a letter of 1 Apr 1764, the publication of op. 2 had been delayed because Countess de Tessé had not approved the first draft of Grimm’s dedication to her (Briefe, i:141; for a more detailed discussion of the delay and the countess’s objection, see our entry for 5 Mar 1764). In the same letter of 1 Apr, Leopold writes that op. 2 will appear “in a few days” (“In etlichen Tägen”). The advertisement in L’Avantcoureur on the day before the Mozarts’ departure suggests that it had finally appeared, so the date of issue can now be placed between 1 Apr and 9 Apr 1764 (compare Haberkamp 1986, i:70, where the date of publication of op. 2 is given as “März/April 1764”). We know that Leopold had the engraved plates for all four sonatas with him in London, because he used them for a private edition of the sonatas, before passing the plates on to the London publisher Bremner (see Haberkamp 1986, i:68ff.)
The first address given in the advertisement is the residence of Count Maximilian Emanuel Franz van Eyck, the Bavarian ambassador, where the Mozarts lodged in Paris. The count’s wife, Maria Anna Felicitas, was the daughter of Count Arco, an official at the Salzburg court. The young Countess van Eyck suddenly sickened and died in Feb 1764 during the Mozarts’ stay (see Leopold Mozart’s detailed descriptions of the countess’s illness in his letter of 1 Feb to Maria Theresia Hagenauer, Briefe, i:127f, and his letter of 22 Feb to Lorenz Hagenauer referring to the countess’s death, Briefe, i:129). The count fell into a serious depression, which Leopold felt the Mozarts’ presence might be serving to aggravate, because it reminded the count of his late wife’s home town. For that reason, Leopold ends his letter to Lorenz and Maria Theresia Hagenauer on 4 Mar 1764 with the request that they address future correspondence to him care of Monsieur Grimm, secretary to the Duc d’Orléans, at the Rue Neuve du Luxembourg (Briefe, i:136–37). This is the second address given in the advertisement above, the residence of Friedrich Melchior Baron von Grimm, the Mozarts’ principal champion in Paris.
Mozart’s op. 1 and op. 2 were advertised again in L’Avantcoureur on 23 Jan 1765 (no. 3, 42–43); the identical advertisement appeared in Mercure de France the following month (see Dokumente, 42).
We are very grateful to Kris Steyaert for pointing out a significant error in an earlier version of this commentary.