Leopold and Wolfgang visit Cignaroli (Verona 1770); Constanze’s benefit concert in the Burgtheater (23 Dec 1791); and 5 other new documents
Posted: Tue, 3 Apr 2018
We have just added seven new documents to our site, and we are pleased to welcome Matteo Magarotto as a guest contributor.
On 8 Jan 1770, the celebrated Veronese painter Giambettino Cignaroli recorded in his diary a visit by Leopold and Wolfgang Mozart. Cignaroli is one of the painters to whom the famous “Verona portrait” of young Wolfgang has sometimes been attributed; another oft-named candidate is Cignaroli’s student Saverio Dalla Rosa. Guest contributor Matteo Magarotto summarizes the evidence for these attributions in light of Cignaroli’s diary entry and other evidence, concluding that there is not a strong case for either candidate, and that the attribution is still an open question.
An anonymous musical almanac from 1782, probably by Carl Friedrich Junker, contains two references to Mozart. One of these was already noted in NMD and Neue Folge, but the other was not: Mozart’s name also appears in the monthly calendar at the front of the almanac, associated (apparently arbitrarily) with the date 14 Jun.
This item in the Venetian newspaper Notizie del mondo is one of five known news reports on the performance of Le nozze di Figaro in Prague on 14 Oct 1787 to mark the visit of Archduchess Maria Theresia, who was on her way to Dresden to complete her marriage to Prince Anton of Saxony. An examination of the five reports shows that they are based on common sources, but (except in one case) are not direct copies of one another.
In a previously overlooked reference to Mozart in the published travel diary of the Danish actor Joachim Daniel Preisler, Preisler and his colleague Michael Rosing visit the prominent actor Johann Heinrich Friedrich Müller at home in Vienna, where they hear his daughter Josepha Hortensia play piano sonatas by Mozart and her teacher Josepha Auernhammer. This item was discovered by Richard Mackey.
A reference to Mozart’s works for piano four-hands in a review in the Gothaische gelehrte Zeitungen of three sonatas in that genre by Baron August Diedrich Friedrich Wilhelm von Münchhausen.
A short favorable review of the premiere of the first Viennese revival of Le nozze di Figaro, a production for which Mozart made substantive changes. The review shows that the role of Figaro was sung by Giovanni Battista Brocchi, who had created the role of Figaro in Paisiello’s Il barbieri di Siviglia in St. Petersburg in 1782, but whose participation in the Viennese revival of Figaro was previously unknown. The commentary takes the opportunity to reexamine the reception of Figaro in Vienna in the seasons 1789–90 and 1790–91.
On 31 Dec 1791 the Preßburger Zeitung published a brief report of a benefit concert for Constanze Mozart in the Burgtheater in Vienna on Fri, 23 Dec. This report is transcribed in Dokumente, but Deutsch knew of no other evidence to confirm that the concert took place and was clearly skeptical. We now know that there are at least five published reports of the concert: in the Brünner Zeitung, the Münchner Zeitung (transcribed here for the first time), the Oberdeutsche Staatszeitung, and the Journal des Luxus und der Moden, in addition to the Preßburger Zeitung. It seems certain, then, that Constanze’s benefit concert did take place. Our commentary re-examines the context of the concert, which may have been organized at the instigation of Emperor Leopold II, who also made a generous contribution to the event.
Revisions have also been made to our two entries on Johann Friedrich Jünger’s play Er mengt sich in Alles, in which Josepha Hortensia Müller created the role of Charlotte and may have played a piano piece by Mozart on stage (see here and 23 Aug 1791). In addition, the commentary to our entry for 16 May 1786 (a report in the Bayreuther Zeitung on the premiere of Le nozze di Figaro in Vienna) has been revised and a translation added. Our Acknowledgments page is also in the process of being updated.
We are grateful to Pablo Aguilera, Evan Baker, and one anonymous donor for their donations to this project following our previous post. Their generosity has already helped us defray the costs of our move later this year to a dedicated domain and has helped pay for the acquisition of new sources.
We continue to welcome contributions to our project, which currently receives no institutional support. If you would like to contribute, please contact Dexter Edge at firstname.lastname@example.org; or if you have a PayPal account, you can send a contribution directly to the account linked to that e-mail address. Thanks!