Mozart in the coronation diary of Count Zierotin in 1790
Posted: Sat, 6 Jul 2019
We have just added three new documents to our site, and we are pleased to welcome Martin Nedbal as a guest contributor. Nedbal writes on two previously unknown references to Mozart in a diary kept by the young nobleman Count Franz Joseph von Zierotin during his trip to the coronation of Leopold II in Frankfurt in 1790.
Zierotin, who stopped in Mainz on the first leg of his journey home from Frankfurt, heard Mozart perform on the fortepiano at a concert given by the Elector of Mainz, Archbishop Friedrich Karl Joseph von Erthal. Although Mozart’s participation in this concert was already known from a report in the Privilegierte Mainzer Zeitung, Zierotin’s diary adds previously unknown details. Nedbal’s commentary includes a photograph of the hall in which the concert took place (destroyed in the Second World War), as well as Zierotin’s five entries on Viennese theater in June 1790. Zierotin stopped for several days in Vienna on his way to Frankfurt, and attended performances at the Theater in der Leopoldstadt, the Burgtheater, and the Theater auf der Wieden.
Two days after hearing Mozart in Mainz, Zierotin attended a rehearsal of Figaro in Mannheim, with Mozart directing. It has long been known from Mozart’s letter to Constanze on 23 Oct 1790 (the day before the premiere) that he participated in a rehearsal on that day, but his participation in the rehearsal on 22 Oct was previously unknown.
Dexter Edge and Martin Nedbal write on the Mannheim premiere of Figaro, at which Mozart probably directed the music. The commentary begins with the complete text of the review of the premiere in Bertram’s Annalen des Theaters (given in truncated form in Deutsch, who omitted everything about the singers). It also includes an image and transcription of the premiere poster, information on the singers at the premiere (most of whom had sung in other Mozart operas in Mannheim), a discussion of the translation by Christian August Vulpius used for the Mannheim production (which seems to have contributed to the opera’s poor reception there), and an extended review of the revival of Figaro in Mannheim in 1794.
We are tremendously grateful to those individuals who have made financial contributions to our project. Thank you! These contributions have been helpful in covering a portion of our research and technical expenses. (Donors are listed on our Acknowledgments page).
We continue to welcome financial contributions to the project, which currently receives no institutional support of any kind; we still cover most of the costs of sources, research, and technology out of our own pockets. 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.
We are actively looking for a long-term institutional home for our site, and welcome inquiries or suggestions.