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Title: Life Of Mozart, Vol. 3 (of 3)
Author: Jahn, Otto, 1813-1869
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Life Of Mozart, Vol. 3 (of 3)" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


By Otto Jahn

Translated From the German by Pauline D. Townsend.

With A Preface By

George Grove, Esq., D.C.L.

In Three Volumes Vol. III.

London Novello, Ewer & Co.


Fac-similé No. 1 is of Mozart's letter to Bullinger from Paris, after
the death of his mother (see Vol. II., p. 53).

Fac-simile No. 2 is of the original MS. of "Das Veil-chen," now in the
possession of Mr. Speyer, of Herne Hill (see Vol. II., p. 373).

Fac-similes Nos. 3 and 4 are sketches illustrative of Mozart's method of
composing. Sketch I. is described in Vol. II., p. 425. Sketch II. is of
part of Denis's Ode, the words of which are given below; it is noticed
in Vol. II., pp. 370, 424:

    O Calpe! dir donnerts am Fusse,
    Doch blickt dein tausendjähriger
    Gipfel Ruhig auf Welten umher.
    Siehe dort wölkt es sich auf
    Ueber die westlichen Wogen her,
    Wölket sich breiter und ahnender auf,--
    Es flattert, O Calpe! Segelgewolk!
    Flügel der Hülfe! Wie prachtig
    Wallet die Fahne Brittaniens
    Deiner getreuen Verheisserin!
    Calpe! Sie walltl Aber die Nacht sinkt,
    Sie deckt mit ihren schwàrzesten,
    Unholdesten Rabenfittigen Gebirge,
    Flàchen, Meer und Bucht Und Klippen, wo der bleiche
    Tod Des Schiffers, Kiele spaltend, sitzt.


NEXT to pianoforte music for amateur musical entertainments, the quartet
for stringed instruments was the favourite form of chamber music. The
performers were occasionally highly cultivated amateurs, but more
often professional musicians, thus giving scope for more pretentious
compositions. The comparatively small expense involved enabled others
besides noblemen, even those of the citizen class who were so inclined,
to include quartet-playing among their regular entertainments.[1] Jos.
Haydn was, as is well known, the musician who gave to the quartet its
characteristic form and development.[2] Other composers had written
works for four stringed instruments, but the string quartet in its
well-defined and henceforth stationary constitution was his creation,
the result of his life-work. It is seldom that an artist has been
so successful in discovering the fittest outcome for his individual
productiveness; the quartet was Haydn's natural expression of his
musical nature. The freshness and life, the cheerful joviality, which
are the main characteristics of his compositions, gained ready and
universal acceptance for them. Connoisseurs and critics, it is true,
were at first suspicious, and even contemptuous, of this new kind of
music; and it was only gradually that they became aware that depth and
earnestness of feeling, as well as knowledge and skill, existed together
with humour in Haydn's quartets. He went on his way, however, untroubled



by the critics, and secured the favour and adherence of the public by an
unbroken series of works: whoever ventured on the same field was obliged
to serve under his banner.

The widespread popularity of quartet music in Vienna could not fail to
impel Mozart to try his forces in this direction. His master was
also his attached friend and fellow-artist, with whom he stood in
the position, not of a scholar, but of an independent artist in noble
emulation. The first six quartets belong to the comparatively less
numerous works which Mozart wrote for his own pleasure, without any
special external impulse. They are, as he says in the dedication to
Haydn, the fruit of long and earnest application, and extended over a
space of several years. The first, in G major (387 K.), was, according
to a note on the autograph manuscript, written on December 31, 1782;
the second, in D minor (421 K.), in June, 1783, during Constanze's
confinement (Vol. II., p. 423); and the third, in E flat major (428 K.),
belongs to the same year. After a somewhat lengthy pause he returned
with new zeal to the composition of the quartets; the fourth, in B flat
major (458 K.), was written November 9, 1784; the fifth, in A major (464
K.), on January 10; and the last, in C major (465 K.), on January 14,
1785. It was in February of this year that Leopold Mozart paid his visit
to Vienna. He knew the first three quartets, Wolfgang having sent them
to him according to custom; and he heard the others at a musical party
where Haydn was also present; the warmly expressed approbation of
the latter may have been the immediate cause of Mozart's graceful
dedication, when he published the quartets during the autumn of 1785
(Op. ü).[3]

The popular judgment is usually founded on comparison, and a comparison
with Haydn's quartets was even more obvious than usual on this occasion.
The Emperor Joseph, who objected to Haydn's "tricks and nonsense" (Vol.



p. 204), requested Dittersdorf in 1786 to draw a parallel between
Haydn's and Mozart's chamber music. Dittersdorf answered by requesting
the Emperor in his turn to draw a parallel between Klopstock and
Gellert; whereupon Joseph replied that both were great poets, but that
Klopstock must be read repeatedly in order to understand his beauties,
whereas Gellert's beauties lay plainly exposed to the first glance.
Dittersdorf's analogy of Mozart with Klopstock, Haydn with Gellert
(!), was readily accepted by the Emperor, who further compared Mozart's
compositions to a snuffbox of Parisian manufacture, Haydn's to one
manufactured in London.[4] The Emperor looked at nothing deeper than the
respective degrees of taste displayed by the two musicians, and could
find no better comparison for works of art than articles of passing
fancy; whereas the composer had regard to the inner essence of the
works, and placed them on the same footing as those of the (in
his opinion) greatest poets of Germany. However odd may appear to
us--admiring as we do, above all things in Mozart, his clearness and
purity of form--Dittersdorf s comparison of him with Klopstock, it is
nevertheless instructive, as showing that his contemporaries prized his
grandeur and dignity, and the force and boldness of his expression, as
his highest and most distinguishing qualities. L. Mozart used also to
say, that his son was in music what Klopstock was in poetry;[5] no doubt
because Klopstock was to him the type of all that was deep and grand.
But the public did not regard the new phenomenon in the same light; the
quality they esteemed most highly in Haydn's quartets was their animated
cheerfulness; and his successors, Dittersdorf, Pichl, Pleyel, had
accustomed them even to lighter enjoyments. "It is a pity," says a
favourable critic, in a letter from Vienna (January, 1787), "that in his
truly artistic and beautiful compositions Mozart should carry his effort
after originality too far, to the detriment of the sentiment and heart
of his works. His new quartets, dedicated to Haydn, are much too highly
spiced to be palatable for any length

{MOZART'S instrumental music.}


of time."[6] Prince Grassalcovicz, a musical connoisseur of rank in
Vienna,[7] had the quartets performed, as Mozart's widow relates,[8] and
was so enraged at finding that the discords played by the musicians were
really in the parts, that he tore them all to pieces--but Gyrowetz's
symphonies pleased him very much. From Italy also the parts were sent
back to the publisher, as being full of printer's errors, and even Sarti
undertook to prove, in a violent criticism, that some of the music in
these quartets was insupportable from its wilful offences against rule
and euphony. The chief stumbling-block is the well-known introduction of
the C major quartet--[See Page Image]

the harshness of which irritates the expectant ear. Its grammatical
justification has been repeatedly given in learned analyses.[9] Haydn
is said to have declared, during a dispute over this passage, that if
Mozart wrote it so, he must have had his reasons for doing it[10]--a

{QUARTETS, 1785.}


ambiguous remark. Ulibicheff[11] undertook to correct the passage with
the aid of Fétis,[12] and then considered it both fine and pleasing;
and Lenz[13] declared that Mozart in "this delightful expression of the
doctrine of necessary evil, founded on the insufficiency of all finite
things" had produced a piquant, but not an incorrect passage. It is
certain, at least, that Mozart intended to write the passage as it
stands, and his meaning in so doing, let the grammatical construction
be what it will, will not be obscure to sympathetic hearers. The C
major quartet, the last of this first set, is the only one with an
introduction. The frame of mind expressed in it is a noble, manly
cheerfulness, rising in the andante to an almost supernatural
serenity--the kind of cheerfulness which, in life or in art, appears
only as the result of previous pain and strife. The sharp accents of
the first and second movements, the struggling agony of the trio to
the minuet, the wonderful depth of beauty in the subject of the finale,
startling us by its entry, first in E flat and then in A flat major, are
perhaps the most striking illustrations of this, but the introduction
stands forth as the element which gives birth to all the happy serenity
of the work. The contrast between the troubled, depressed phrase--[See
Page Images]

has a direct effect upon the hearer; both phrases have one solution:--

and the shrill agitated one--[See Page Images]



The manner in which they are opposed to each other, and the devices by
which their opposition is thrown into strong relief, are of unusual, but
by no means unjustifiable, harshness. But the goal is not reached by one
bound; no sooner does serenity seem to be attained than the recurrence
of the _b_ draws the clouds together again, and peace and the power
of breathing and moving freely are only won by slow and painful

Any difference of opinion as to this work at the present day can only
exist with regard to minor details, and it will scarcely now be asserted
by any one that "a piece may be recognised as Mozart's by its rapid
succession of daring transitions."[15] We are accustomed to take our
standard from Beethoven, and it seems to us almost incredible that
a contemporary of Mozart's, the Stuttgart Hofmusicus, Schaul (who
acknowledged, it is true, that he belonged to a time when nothing was
heard but Italian operas and musicians), should exclaim:[16]--

What a gulf between a Mozart and a Boccherini! The former leads us over
rugged rocks on to a waste, sparsely strewn with flowers; the latter
through smiling country, flowery meadows, and by the side of rippling

Apart from all differences of opinion or analogies with other works,
it may safely be asserted that these quartets are the clear and perfect
expression of Mozart's nature; nothing less is to be expected from
a work upon which he put forth all his powers in order to accomplish
something that would redound to his master Haydn's honour as well as his
own. The form had already, in all its essential points, been determined
by Haydn; it is the sonata form, already described, with the addition
of the minuet--in this application a creation of Haydn's. Mozart
appropriated these main



features, without feeling it incumbent on him even to alter them.
Following a deeply rooted impulse of his nature, he renounced the light
and fanciful style in which Haydn had treated them, seized upon their
legitimate points, and gave a firmer and more delicate construction to
the whole fabric. To say of Mozart's quartets in their general features
that, in comparison with Haydn's, they are of deeper and fuller
expression, more refined beauty, and broader conception of form,[17] is
only to distinguish these as Mozart's individual characteristics,
in contrast with Haydn's inexhaustible fund of original and humorous
productive power. Any summary comparison of the two masters must result
in undue depreciation of one or the other, for nothing but a detailed
examination would do full justice to them both and explain their
admiration of each other. Two circumstances must not be left out of
account. Mozart's quartets are few in number compared with the long list
of Haydn's. Every point that is of interest in Mozart may be paralleled
in Haydn; hence it follows that certain peculiarities found in Haydn's
music are predominating elements in Mozart's. Again, Haydn was a much
older man, and is therefore usually regarded as Mozart's predecessor;
but the compositions on which his fame chiefly rests belong for the most
part to the period of Mozart's activity in Vienna, and were not without
important influence on the latter. This mutual reaction, so generously
acknowledged by both musicians, must be taken into account in forming a
judgment upon them.

The string quartet offers the most favourable conditions for the
development of instrumental music, both as to expression and technical
construction, giving free play to the composer in every direction,
provided only that he keep within the limits imposed by the nature
of his art. Each of the four combined instruments is capable of the
greatest variety of melodic construction; they have the advantage over
the piano in their power of sustaining the vibrations of the notes, so
as to produce song-like effects; nor are they inferior



in their power of rapid movement. Their union enables them to fulfil the
demands of complete harmonies, and to compensate by increase of freedom
and fulness for the advantages which the pianoforte possesses as a solo
instrument. The quartet is therefore particularly well adapted both for
the polyphonic and the homophonie style of composition. The varieties of
tone of the instruments among each other, and of each in different
keys, further increases their capacity for expression, the nuances
of tone-colouring appearing to belong to the nature of stringed
instruments. Thus the material sound elements of the string quartet are
singularly uniform, at the same time that they allow free scope to the
individual movement of the component parts. The beginning of the andante
of the E flat major quartet (428 K.) will suffice to show how entirely
different an effect is given by a mere difference in the position of the
parts. The value which Mozart set upon the uniformity of the naturally
beautiful sound effects of stringed instruments may be inferred from
the fact that he seldom attempted interference with it as a device for
pleasing the ear. Pizzicato passages occur only three times--in the trio
of the D minor quartet (421 K.), of the C major quintet (515 K.), and
of the clarinet quintet (581 K.)--and each time as the gentlest form of
accompaniment to a tender melody. He was not prone either to emphasise
bass passages by pizzicato, and has done so only in the second adagio
of the G minor quintet (516 K.) and in the first movement of the horn
quintet (407 K.). Nor is the muting, formerly so frequent, made use of
except in the first adagio of the G minor quartet and in the larghetto
of the clarinet quintet. It need scarcely be said that an equal amount
of technical execution and musical proficiency was presupposed in each
of the performers. This is especially noticeable in the treatment of the
violoncello. It is not only put on a level with the other instruments as
to execution, but its many-sided character receives due recognition, and
it is raised from the limited sphere of a bass part into one of complete

The favourite comparison of the quartet with a conversation between four
intellectual persons holds good in some



degree, if it is kept in mind that the intellectual participation and
sympathy of the interlocutors, although not necessarily languishing in
conversation, are only audibly expressed by turns, whereas the musical
embodiment of ideas must be continuous and simultaneous. The comparison
is intended to illustrate the essential point that every component part
of the quartet stands out independently, according to its character, but
so diffidently that all co-operate to produce a whole which is never at
any moment out of view; an effect so massive as to absorb altogether the
individual parts would be as much out of place as the undue emphasising
of any one part and the subordination of the others to it. The object
to be kept continually in view is the blending of the homophonie or
melodious, and the polyphonic or formal elements of composition to form
a new and living creation. Neither is neglected; but neither is allowed
to assert itself too prominently. Even when a melody is delivered by
one instrument alone, the others do not readily confine themselves to
a merely harmonic accompaniment, but preserve their independence of
movement. Infallible signs of a master-hand are visible in the free and
ingenious adaptation of the bass and the middle parts to the melodies;
and, as a rule, the characteristic disposition of the parts gives
occasion for a host of interesting harmonic details. The severer forms
of counterpoint only appear in exceptional cases, such as the last
movement of the first quartet, in G major (387 K.). The intention is
not to work out a subject in a given form, but to play freely with
it, presenting it from various interesting points of view by means
of combinations, analysis, construction, and connection with fresh
contrasting elements. But since this free play can only be accepted as
artistic by virtue of the internal coherency of its component parts,
it follows that the same laws which govern strict forms must lie at the
root of the freer construction. In the same way a conversation--even
though severe logical disputation may be studiously avoided--adheres to
the laws of logic while letting fall here a main proposition, there
a subordinate idea, and connecting apparent incongruities by means of
association of ideas. A similar freedom in the grouping and



development of the different subjects exists in the quartet, limited
only by the unity of artistic conception, and by the main principles of
rhythmic and harmonic structure, and of the forms of counterpoint. This
is most observable when an apparently unimportant phrase is taken up,
and by its interesting development formed into an essential element
of the whole, as in the first movement of the third quartet, in B flat
major (458 K.), where a figure--[See Page Image]

at the close of a lengthy subject is first repeated by the instruments
separately, with a mocking sort of air, and afterwards retained and
treated as the germ of numerous freely developed images.

In publishing these six quartets together Mozart certainly did not
intend them to be regarded in all their parts as one whole; his object
was to bring to view the many-sidedness of expression and technical
treatment of which this species of music was capable. The first quartet,
in G major (387 K.), and the fourth, in E flat major (428 K.), have
a certain relationship in their earnest and sustained tone; but how
different is the expression of energetic decision in the first from that
of contemplative reserve in the fourth; a difference most noticeable
in the andantes of the two quartets. Again, in the third and fifth
quartets, in B flat (458 K.) and A major (464 K.), the likeness in
their general character is individualised by the difference in treatment
throughout. The second quartet, in D minor (421 K.), and the sixth, in
C major (465 K.), stand alone; the former by its affecting expression of
melancholy, the latter by its revelation of that higher peace to which a
noble mind attains through strife and suffering.

An equal wealth of characterisation and technical elaboration meets us
in a comparison of the separate movements. The ground-plan of the first
movement is the usual one, and the centre of gravity is always the
working-out at the beginning of the second part, which is therefore
distinguished by its length as a principal portion of the movement. The
working-out of each quartet is peculiar to itself. In the two



first the principal subject is made the groundwork, and combined with
the subordinate subject closing the first part, but quite differently
worked-out. In the G major quartet the first subject is spun out into
a florid figure, which is turned hither and thither, broken off by the
entry of the second subject, again resumed, only to be again broken off
in order, by an easy play on the closing bar--[See Page Images]

to lead back again to the theme. In the D minor quartet, on the other
hand, only the first characteristic division--[See Page Images]

of the broad theme is worked out as a motif; the next division somewhat
modified--[See Page Images]

is imitated and adorned by the final figure:--[See Page Images]

The first part of the third quartet, in B flat major, has not the usual
sharply accented second subject; the second part makes up for this in
a measure by at once introducing a new and perfectly formed melody,
followed by an easy play with a connecting passage--

this is invaded by the analogous motif of the first part--[See Page

which brings about the return to the first part. The peculiar structure
of the movement occasions the repetition of the second part, whereupon
a third part introduces the chief subject anew, and leads to the
conclusion in an independent



way. In the E flat major quartet the interest depends upon the harmonic
treatment of an expressive triplet passage connected with the principal
subject. The first subject of the fifth quartet, in A major, is
indicated from the very beginning as a suitable one for imitative
treatment, and very freely developed in the working-out section. In the
last quartet in C major also, the treatment of the principal subject is
indicated at once, but the importance of the modest theme is only
made apparent by the harmonic and contrapuntal art of its working-out,
leading to the expressive climax of the coda and the conclusion.

The slow movements of the quartets are the mature fruit of deep feeling
and masterly skill. With fine discrimination the consolatory andante
of the melancholy D minor quartet is made easy, but so managed as
to express the character of ardent longing, both in the ascending
passage--[See Page Image]

and in the tendency to fall into the minor key. The andante of the
fourth quartet, in E flat major, forms a complete contrast to this.
Its incessant harmonic movement only allows of pregnant suggestions of
melodies, and is expressive of a self-concentrated mood, rousing itself
with difficulty from mental abstraction. But the crown of them all in
delicacy of form and depth of expression is the andante of the last
quartet, in C major; it belongs to those wonderful manifestations of
genius which are only of the earth in so far as they take effect
upon human minds; which soar aloft into a region of blessedness where
suffering and passion are transfigured.

The minuets are characteristic of Mozart's tendencies as opposed
to Haydn's. The inexhaustible humour, the delight in startling and
whimsical fancy, which form the essence of Haydn's minuets, occur only
here and there in Mozart's.



They are cast in a nobler mould, their distinguishing characteristics
being grace and delicacy, and they are equally capable of expressing
merry drollery and strong, even painful, emotion. Haydn's minuets are
the product of a laughter-loving national life, Mozart's give the tone
of good society. Especially well-defined in character are the minuets
of the D minor and C major quartets--the former bold and defiant, the
latter fresh and vigorous. Delicate detail in the disposition of the
parts is common to almost all of them, keeping the interest tense
and high, and there are some striking peculiarities of rhythmical
construction. Among such we may notice the juxtaposition of groups of
eight and ten bars, so that two bars are either played prematurely, as
in the minuet of the first quartet, or inserted, as in the trio of the
B flat major quartet.[18] The ten-bar group in the minuet of the D minor
quartet is more complicated, because more intimately blended, and still
more so is the rhythm of the minuet in the fourth quartet, where
the detached unequal groups are curiously interlaced.[19] Very
characteristic is also the sharp contrast between minuet and trio--as,
for instance, the almost harshly passionate minor trios of the first
and last quartets, and the still more striking major trio of the D minor
quartet, light and glittering, like a smile in the midst of tears.

The finales have more meaning and emphasis than has hitherto been the
case in Mozart's instrumental compositions. Three of them are in
rondo form (those of the B flat, E flat, and C major quartet), quick,
easy-flowing movements, rich in graceful motifs and interesting features
in the working-out. The merriment in them is tempered by 1 a deeper vein
of humour, and we are sometimes startled by a display of pathos, as
in the finale of the C major quartet. The more cheerful passages are
distinctly German in tone; and echoes of the "Zauberflote" may be heard
in many of the melodies and turns of expression.



The last movement of the G major quartet is written in strict form, and
highly interesting by reason of the elegance of its counterpoint; the
finale of the A major quartet is freer and easier, but nevertheless
polyphonic in treatment.[20] The D minor quartet concludes with
variations, the original and long-drawn theme having the rhythmical and
sharply accented harmonic form of the siciliana. It is in imitation of
a national song, and is sometimes like a slow gigue, sometimes like a
pastorale. The rhythm of the 6-8 time is somewhat peculiar, in that
the first of three quavers is dotted throughout; the tone is soft and
tender. There is a very similar siciliana in Gluck's ballet "Don
Juan" (No. 2), showing how marked the typical character is.[21] The
variations, which are as charming from their grace and delicacy of
form as from their singular mixture of melancholy and mirth, bring this
wonderful quartet to a close in a very original manner.

The middle movement of the A major quartet is also in variations--more
earnest and careful on the whole--the precursor of the variations
in Haydn's "Kaiser" and Beethoven's A major quartets. These quartet
variations far surpass the pianoforte variations in character and
workmanship; they consist not merely of a graceful play of passages, but
of a characteristic development of new motifs springing from the theme.

The success of the quartets, on which Mozart put forth all his best
powers, was scarcely sufficient to encourage him to make further
attempts in the same direction; not until August, 1786, do we find him
again occupied with a quartet (D major, 499 K.), in which may be traced
an attempt to

{LATER QUARTETS, 1786-1790.}


meet the taste of the public without sacrificing the dignity of the
quartet style. It is not inferior to the others in any essential point.
The technical work is careful and interesting, the design broad--in many
respects freer than formerly--the tone cheerful and forcible throughout,
with the sentimental element in the background, as compared with the
first quartets. The last movement approaches nearest to Haydn's
humorous turn of thought, following his manner also in the contrapuntal
elaboration of a lightly suggested motif into a running stream of
merry humour. Nevertheless, this quartet remained without any immediate
successor; it would appear that it met with no very general approval
on its first appearance. "A short serenade, consisting of an allegro,
romance, minuet and trio, and finale" in G major, composed August 10,
1787 (525 K.), does not belong to quartet music proper. The direction
for violoncello, contrabasso, points to a fuller setting, which is
confirmed by the whole arrangement, especially in the treatment of the
middle parts. It is an easy, precisely worked-out occasional piece.

During his stay in Berlin and Potsdam in the spring of 1789 Mozart was
repeatedly summoned to the private concerts of Frederick William II. of
Prussia, in which the monarch himself took part as a violoncellist.
He was a clever and enthusiastic pupil of Graziani and Duport, and he
commissioned Mozart to write quartets for him, as he had previously
commissioned Haydn[22] and Boccherini,[23] rewarding them with princely
liberality. In June of this year Mozart completed the first of three
quartets, composed for and dedicated to the King of Prussia, in D major
(575 K.); the second, in B flat major (589 K.), and the third, in F
major (590 K.), were composed in May and June, 1790. From letters to
Puchberg, we know



that this was a time of bitter care and poverty, which made it a painful
effort to work at the quartets, but there is even less trace of effort
in them than in the earlier ones. The instrument appropriated to his
royal patron is brought to the front, and made into a solo instrument,
giving out the melodies in its higher notes. This obliges the viola
frequently to take the bass part, altering the whole tone-colouring of
the piece, and the instruments are altogether set higher than usual, the
more so as the first violin constantly alternates with the violoncello.
By this means the tone of the whole becomes more brilliant and brighter,
but atones for this in an occasional loss of vigour and force. In other
respects also, out of deference no doubt to the King's taste, there is
more stress laid upon elegance and clearness than upon depth and warmth
of tone. Mozart was too much of an artist to allow any solo part in
a quartet to predominate unduly over the others; the first violin and
violoncello leave the other two instruments their independent power of
expression, but the motifs and working-out portions are less important,
and here and there they run into a fanciful play of passages. It is
singular that in the quartets in D and F major the last movements are
the most important. When once the composer has thrown himself into the
elaboration of his trifling motifs he grows warm, and, setting to work
in good earnest, the solo instrument is made to fall into rank and
file; the artist appears, and has no more thought of his presentation at
court. The middle movements are very fine as to form and effect, but are
without any great depth of feeling. The charming allegro of the second
quartet, in F major, is easy and graceful in tone, and interesting from
the elegance of its elaboration. In short, these quartets completely
maintain Mozart's reputation for inventive powers, sense of proportion,
and mastery of form, but they lack that absolute devotion to the highest
ideal of art characteristic of the earlier ones.

Mozart's partiality for quartet-writing may be inferred from the many
sketches which remain (68-75, Anh., K.), some of them of considerable
length, such as that fragment of a lively movement in A major (68, 72,
Anh., K.) consisting of 169 bars.

{TRIO IN E FLAT, 1788.}


Duets and trios for stringed instruments were naturally held in less
esteem than string quartets. Mozart composed in Vienna (September 27,
1788), for some unspecified occasion, a trio for violin, viola, and
violoncello, in £ flat major (563 K.), which consists of six movements,
after the manner of a divertimento--allegro, adagio, minuet, andante
with variations, minuet, rondo. The omission of the one instrument
increases the difficulty of composing a piece full in sound and
characteristic in movement, more than could have been imagined; the
invention and skill of the composer are taxed to the utmost. It is
evident that this only gave the work an additional charm to Mozart. Each
of the six movements is broadly designed and carried out with equal care
and devotion, making this trio unquestionably one of Mozart's finest
works. No one performer is preferred before the other, but each, if
he does his duty, may distinguish himself in his own province. With
wonderful discrimination, too, every technical device is employed which
can give an impulse to any happy original idea. How beautifully,
for instance, is the simple violoncello passage which ushers in the
adagio--[See Page Images]

transformed into the emphatic one for the violin--

coined in due time, with climacteric effect, by the viola and
violoncello. The violin-jumps in the same adagio--

are effective only in their proper position; and all the resources at
command are made subservient to the art which is to produce the living



The variations demand special attention. The theme is suggestive of a
national melody, and its effect is heightened by the different treatment
of each part when repeated, which also gives fulness and variety to the
variations. Each of these is artistically worked out in detail and of
distinctly individual character; the last is especially remarkable, in
which the viola, to a very lively figure, carries out the theme in its
simplest enunciation as a true Cantus firmus. The whole impression is
one of freshness and beauty of conception, elevated and enlivened by
the difficulties which offered themselves. Nothing more charming can
be imagined than the first trio of the second minuet; its tender purity
charms us like that of a flower gleaming through the grass.

Haydn seems to have made no use of the increased resources offered
by the quintet, although other musicians--Boccherini, for
instance--cultivated this branch. It would appear to have been for some
particular occasions that Mozart composed four great string quintets,
in which he followed the track laid out in the first quartets. Two were
composed in the spring of 1787, after his return from Prague--[24]

C major, composed April 19, 1787 (515 K.).

G major, composed May 16, 1787 (516 K.).--

the other two--

D major, composed December, 1790 (593 K.).

E flat major, composed April 12, 1791 (614 K.).--

at short intervals, "at the earnest solicitation of a musical friend,"
as the publisher's announcement declares.[25]

Mozart doubles the viola[26]--not like Boccherini in his 155 quintets,
the violoncello[27]--whereby little alteration in tone, colour, or
structure is effected. The doubling of the violoncello gives it a
predominance which its very charm of tone



renders all the more dangerous: whereas the strengthening of the less
strongly accentuated middle parts by the addition of a viola gives
freer scope for a lengthy composition. The additional instrument gives
increase of freedom in the formation of melodies and their harmonic
development, but it also lays on the composer the obligation of
providing independent occupation for the enlarged parts. A chief
consideration is the grouping of the parts in their numerous possible
combinations. The first viola corresponds to the first violin as leader
of melodies, while the second viola leaves the violoncello greater
freedom of action; these parts share the melodies in twos or threes,
either alternately or in imitative interweaving; the division of a
motif as question and answer among different instruments is especially
facilitated thereby. Again, two divisions may be placed in effective
contrast, the violins being supported by a viola, or the violas by the
violoncello. But the device first used by Haydn in his quartets, of
giving two parts in octaves, is perhaps the most effective in the
quintets, a threefold augmentation being even employed in the trio of
the E flat major quintet (614 K.). Finally, it is easier to strengthen
the violoncello by the viola here than it is in the quartet. It is not
that all these resources are out of reach for the quartet, but that they
find freer and fuller scope in the quintet. The effect of the quintet is
not massive; it rests on the characteristic movement of the individual
parts, and demands greater freedom in order that this movement of
manifold and differing forces may be well ordered and instinct with
living power. The increased forces require greater space for their
activity, if only on account of the increased mass of sound. If the
middle parts are to move freely without pressing on each other, the
outer parts must be farther apart, and this has a decided influence on
the melodies and the sound effects, the general impression becoming more
forcible and brilliant. The dimensions must also be increased in other
directions. A theme, to be divided among five parts, and a working-out
which is to give each of them fair play, must be planned from the first.
The original motif of the first Allegro of the C major quintet (515
K.)--[See Page Image]



involves of necessity the continuation of the idea enunciated; and only
after a third repetition with modifications is it allowed to proceed
to a conclusion. It has thus become too far developed to allow of a
repetition of the whole theme; it starts again in C minor, is further
developed by harmonic inflections; and after a short by-play on a
tributary, it is again taken up and leads on to the second theme; we
have thus a complete organic development of the first motif. The second
theme is then of course carried out, and finally we have the broadly
designed motif which brings the part to a conclusion in a gradually
increasing _crescendo_ for all the parts; the whole movement thus gains
considerably in dimensions.

The motif of the first movement of the E flat major quintet (614
K.)--[See Page Image]

is precisely rendered. But it is the germ whence the whole movement
is to spring; all beyond itself is suggested by this motif, and is
important only in relation thereto. The unfettered cheerfulness which
runs through the whole of the movement is expressed in these few bars,
given by the violas like a call to the merry chase. The opening of the
C major quintet prepares us in an equally decided manner for what is to
follow. The decision and thoughtfulness which form the ground-tone of
the whole movement, in spite of its lively agitation, are calmly and
clearly expressed in the first few bars.

The G minor quintet begins very differently, with a complete melody of
eight bars, repeated in a different key. Few



instrumental compositions express a mood of passionate excitement with
such energy as this G minor quintet. We feel our pity stirred in the
first movement by a pain which moans, sighs, weeps; is conscious in its
ravings only of itself, refuses to take note of anything but itself, and
finds its only consolation in unreasoning outbreaks of emotion, until
it ends exhausted by the struggle. But the struggle begins anew in
the minuet, and now there is mingled with it a feeling of defiant
resentment, showing that there is some healthy force still remaining;
in the second part a memory of happy times involuntarily breaks in,
but is overcome by the present pain; then the trio bursts forth
irresistibly, as if by a higher power, proclaiming the blessed certainty
that happiness is still to be attained. One of those apparently obvious
touches, requiring nevertheless the piercing glance of true genius,
occurs when, after closing the minuet in the most sorrowful minor
accents--[See Page Image]

Mozart introduces the trio with the same inflection in the major--

and proceeds to carry it out in such a manner that only a whispered
longing may be detected underlying the gently dying sounds of peace.
This turn of expression decides the further course of the development.
The next movement, "Adagio ma non troppo, con sordini," gives us an
insight into a mind deeply wounded, tormented with self-questionings;
earnest reflection, doubt, resolve, outbreaks of smothered pain
alternate with each other, until a yearning



cry for comfort arises, tempered by the confident hope of an answer
to its appeal; and so the movement ends in the calm of a joyful peace
instead of, as the first, in the silence of exhaustion. The conquered
pain breaks out again in the introduction to the last movement, but its
sting is broken--it dies away to make room for another feeling. The new
émotion is not merely resignation, but joy--the passionate consciousness
of bliss, just as inspired, just as restlessly excited as the previous
pain. But the exultant dithyramb has not the same engrossing interest
for the hearers; man is readier to sympathise with the sorrows of others
than with their joys, although he would rather bear his sorrow alone
than his joy. This complete change of mood may well excite a suspicion
of fickleness, but it is not the less true that the anguish of the first
movement, and the exultation of the last, belong to one and the same
nature, and are rendered with absolute truth of artistic expression.

We turn involuntarily from the artist to the man after such a
psychological revelation as this, and find traces of Mozart's nature
unmistakably impressed on his work. But we may seek in vain for any
suggestion of the work in his actual daily life. At the time when he
wrote this quintet his circumstances were favourable, he had only lately
returned from Prague covered with honour and substantial rewards, and he
was enjoying an intercourse with the Jacquin family which must have been
altogether pleasurable to him. It is true that he lost his father soon
after (May 26), but a recollection of the letter which he addressed to
him with the possibility of his death in view (Vol. II., p. 323), Mozart
being at the time engaged on the C major quintet, will prevent our
imagining that the mood of the G minor quintet was clouded by the
thought of his father's approaching decease. The springs of artistic
production flow too deep to be awakened by any of the accidents of
life. The artist, indeed, can only give what is in him and what he, has
himself experienced; but Goethe's saying holds good of the musician as
well as of the poet or painter; he reveals nothing that he has not felt,
but nothing _as_ he felt it.

The main characteristics of the other quintets are calmer



and more cheerful, but they are not altogether wanting in energetic
expression of passion. The sharper characterisation made necessary by
the division of the music among a greater number of instruments was only
possible by means of the agitation and restless movement of the parts,
even when the tone of the whole was quiet and contained. We find
therefore various sharp or even harsh details giving zest to the
whole--such, for instance, as the use of the minor ninth and the
comparatively frequent successions of ninths in a circle of fifths;
and the quintets have apparently been a mine of wealth to later
composers, who have made exaggerated use of these dangerous stimulants.
Greater freedom of motion stands in close connection with the better
defined characterisation of the quintets. Polyphony is their vital
element; the forms of counterpoint became more appropriate as the number
of parts increased. The finales to the Quintets in D and E flat Major
(573, 614, K.) showed that Mozart was able to make use of the very
strictest forms upon occasion. Both movements begin in innocent
light-heartedness, but severe musical combinations are developed out
of the airy play of fancy; ideas which have only been, as it were,
suggested are taken up and worked out, severe forms alternate with laxer
ones--one leads to the other naturally and fluently, and sometimes they
are both made use of at the same time. The disposition of the parts is
free, without any preconceived or definitive form, and its many delicate
details of taste and originality give an individual charm to each
separate part. The homophonie style of composition is not altogether
disregarded for the polyphonic, but it is never made the determining
element. Even a melody such as the second subject of the first movement
of the G minor quintet, complete in itself as any melody can be, is
made use of as a motif for polyphonic development. The freest and most
elastic treatment of form is that of the last movements. The other
movements are fully developed, and sometimes carried out at great
length, but the main features are always distinct and well preserved;
the outline of the finales is less firm, and capable of a lighter and
more varied treatment.



Another branch of concerted music high in favour in Mozart's day was the
so-called "Harmoniemusik," written exclusively for wind instruments, and
for performance at table or as serenades. Families of rank frequently
retained the services of a band for "Harmoniemusik" instead of a
complete orchestra.[28] The Emperor Joseph selected eight distinguished
virtuosi[29] for the Imperial "Harmonie," who played during meals,
especially when these took place in the imperial pleasure-gardens. The
performances included operatic arrangements as well as pieces composed
expressly for this object.[30] Reichardt dwells on the enjoyment
afforded him in 1783 by the Harmoniemusik of the Emperor and the
Archduke Maximilian. "Tone, delivery, everything was pure and
harmonious; some movements by Mozart were lovely; but unluckily nothing
of Haydn's was performed."[31] First-class taverns supported their own
"Harmonie" bands, in order that the guests might not be deprived of this
favourite accompaniment to their meals.[32]

Besides the great serenades, intended for public performance, the old
custom was still practised of writing "Standchen,"[33] for performance
under the window of the person who was to be thus celebrated; and the
general desire that such pieces should be new and original provided
composers with almost constant employment on them.[34] Wind instruments
were most in vogue for this "night-music." The instruments were usually
limited to six--two clarinets, two horns, and two bassoons, strengthened



sometimes by two oboes. Such eight-part harmonies sufficed both the Emperor
and the Elector of Cologne as table-music and for serenades; and at a
court festival at Berlin in 1791 the music during the banquet was
thus appointed.[35] The "Standchen," in "Cosi fan Tutte" (21), and the
table-music, in the second finale of "Don Giovanni," are imitations of

Mozart did not neglect the opportunities thus afforded him of making
himself known during his residence in Vienna. He writes to his father
(November 3, 1781):--

I must apologise for not writing by the last post; it fell just on my
birthday (October 31), and the early part of the day was given to
my devotions. Afterwards, when I should have written, a shower of
congratulations came and prevented me. At twelve o'clock I drove to the
Leopoldstadt, to the Baroness Waldstädten, where I spent the day. At
eleven o'clock at night I was greeted by a serenade for two clarinets,
two horns, and two bassoons, of my own composition. I had composed it
on St. Theresa's day (October 15) for the sister of Frau von Hickl (the
portrait-painter's wife), and it was then performed for the first time.
The six gentlemen who execute such pieces are poor fellows, but they
play very well together, especially the first clarinet and the two
horns. The chief reason I wrote it was to let Herr von Strack (who
goes there daily) hear something of mine, and on this account I made
it rather serious. It was very much admired. It was played in three
different places on St. Theresa's night. When people had had enough of
it in one place they went to another, and got paid over again.

This "rather serious" composition is the Serenade in E flat major (375
K.), which Mozart increased by the addition of two oboes, no doubt in
June, 1782, when he also wrote the Serenade in C minor for eight wind
instruments (388 K., s.). He had at that time more than one occasion for
works of this kind. The attention both of the Emperor and the Archduke
Maximilian was directed towards him (Vol. II., p. 197); and since
Reichardt heard compositions by Mozart at court in 1783, his attempt to
gain Strack's good offices must have been successful. In the year
1782 Prince Liechtenstein was in treaty with Mozart concerning the
arrangement of a Harmoniemusik (Vol. II., p. 206), and he



had undertaken with Martin the conduct of the Augarten concerts, which
involved the production of four great public serenades (Vol. II., p.

Both the serenades already mentioned are striking compositions, far
above the ordinary level of their kind, and may be considered, both
as to style and treatment, the precursors of modern chamber music. The
first movement of the Serenade in E flat major had originally two parts,
which Mozart afterwards condensed into one, giving it greater precision
by the omission of lengthy repetitions. The addition of the oboes gives
it greater fulness and variety; but it is easy to detect that they are
additions to a finished work. The whole piece is of genuine serenade
character. After a brilliant introductory phrase, a plaintive melody
makes its unexpected appearance, dying away in a sort of sigh, but
only to reassert itself with greater fervour. The amorous tone of the
"Entführung" may be distinctly traced in the adagio, and through all its
mazy intertwining of parts we seem to catch the tender dialogue of two
lovers. The closing rondo is full of fresh, healthy joy; the suggestion
of a national air in no way interferes with the interesting harmonic
and contrapuntal working-out.[36] The Serenade in C minor is far from
leaving the same impression of cheerful homage. The seriousness of its
tone is not that of sorrow or melancholy, but, especially in the
first movement, of strong resolution. The second theme is especially
indicative of this, its expressive melody being further noteworthy by
reason of its rhythmical structure. It consists of two six-bar phrases,
of which the first is formed of two sections of three bars each:--[See
Page Image]

After the repetition of this, the second phrase follows, formed from the
same melodic elements, but in three sections of two bars each--[See Page



and also repeated. On its first occurrence it forms a fine contrast to
the passionate commencement, and lays the foundation for the lively
and forcible conclusion of the first part, while in the second part
its transposition into the minor prepares the way for the gloomy and
agitated conclusion of the movement. The calmer mood of the andante
preserves the serious character of the whole, without too great softness
or languor of expression.

Mozart has perpetrated a contrapuntal joke in the minuet. The oboes and
bassoons lead a two-part canon in octave, while the clarinets and horns
are used as tutti parts. In the four-part trio the oboes and bassoons
again carry out a two-part canon (_al rovescio_) in which the answering
part exactly renders the rhythm and intervals, the latter, however,
inverted:--[See Page Image]

Tricks of this kind should always come as this does, without apparent
thought or effort, as if they were thrown together by a happy chance,
the difficulties of form serving only to give a special flavour to the
euphonious effect. The last movement, variations, passes gradually from
a disquieted anxious mood into a calmer one, and closes by a recurrence
to the subject in the major, with freshness and force.



This serenade is best known in the form of a quintet for stringed
instruments, to which Mozart adapted it apparently before 1784 (506
K.). Nothing essential is altered--only the middle parts, accompaniment
passages, &c., are somewhat modified. Some of the passages and
movements, however, especially the andante and finale, have lost
considerably by the altered tone-colouring.

Various divertimenti for wind instruments, which have been published
under Mozart's name, have neither external nor internal signs of
authenticity.[37] An Adagio in B flat major for two clarinets and three
basset-horns (411 K.), concerning which little is known, stands alone
of its kind.[38] The combination of instruments points here as elsewhere
(Vol. II., pp. 361, 410) to some special, perhaps masonic occasion,
the more so as a detached and independent adagio could only have been
written with a definite object in view. The juxtaposition of instruments
so nearly related, with their full, soft, and, in their deeper notes,
sepulchral tones, produces an impression of solemnity, which is in
accordance with the general facter of peace after conflict expressed
by the adagio.

Mozart's works for wind instruments are distinguished by delicacy of
treatment apart from virtuoso-like effects. Considering them, however,
in the light of studies for the treatment of wind instruments as
essential elements of the full orchestra, they afford no mean conception
of the performances of instrumentalists from whom so much mastery of
technical difficulties, delicacy of detail, and expressive delivery
might be expected. Instrumental music had risen to great importance in
Vienna at that time. A great number of available, and even distinguished
musicians had settled there. Besides the two admirably appointed
imperial orchestras, and the private bands attached to families of rank,
there were various societies of musicians ready to form large or small
orchestras when required; and public and private concerts were, as we
have seen, of very frequent occurrence.



The appointment was, as a rule, weak, when judged by the standard of the
present day. The opera orchestra contained one of each wind instrument,
six of each violin, with four violas, three violoncelli, and three
basses.[39] On particular occasions the orchestra was strengthened (Vol.
II., p. 173), but most of the orchestral compositions betray by their
treatment that they were not intended for large orchestras. The purity
and equality of tone and the animated delivery of the Vienna orchestra
is extolled by a contemporary, who seems to have been no connoisseur,
but to have faithfully rendered the public opinion of the day.[40]
Of greater weight is the praise of Nicolai, a careful observer, who
compared the performances of the Vienna orchestra with those of other
bands.[41] He asserted, when he heard the Munich orchestra soon after,
that it had far surpassed his highly wrought expectations of Mannheim,
and that he had been perfectly astonished at the commencement of an
allegro.[42] It was not a matter of small importance, therefore, that
Mozart should have learnt all that could be learnt from the orchestras
of Mannheim, Munich, and Paris, and then found in Vienna the forces at
command wherewith to perfect this branch of his art. In this respect he
had a great advantage over Haydn, who had only the Esterhazy band at his
disposal, and never heard great instrumental performances except during
his short stays in Vienna.

Mozart had much to do with raising the Vienna orchestra, particularly
in the wind instruments, to its highest pitch of perfection. Among
contemporary composers, who strove to turn to the best account the
advantages of a fuller instrumentation,

Haydn undoubtedly claims the first rank. It is his incontestable merit
to have opened the way in his symphonies to the free expression of
artistic individuality in instrumental music, to have defined its forms,
and developed



them with the many-sidedness of genius; he did not, how-I ever, bequeath
to Mozart, but rather received from him the well-appointed, fully
organised, and finely proportioned orchestra of our day. In his old age
Haydn once complained to Kalkbrenner that death should call man away
before he has accomplished his life-long desires: "I have only learnt
the proper use of wind instruments in my old age, and now I must pass
away without turning my knowledge to account."[43]

The first of the seven Vienna symphonies is in D major (part 5, 384 K.
(likely 385 K. DW)), and was composed by Mozart, at his father's wish,
for a Salzburg fête in the summer of 1782. He wrote it under the
pressure of numerous engagements in less than a fortnight, sending the
movements as they were ready to his father (Vol. II., p. 211). No wonder
that when he saw it again he was "quite surprised," not "remembering a
word of it." For performance in Vienna (March 3, 1783) he reduced it to
the usual four movements by the omission of the march and of one of the
minuets, and strengthened the wind instruments very effectively in the
first and last movement by flutes and clarinets.

A lively, festive style was called for by the occasion, and in the
treatment of the different movements the influence of the old serenade
form is still visible. The first allegro has only one main subject, with
which it begins; this subject enters with a bold leap--[See Page Image]

and keeps its place to the end with a life and energy enhanced by harsh
dissonances of wonderful freshness and vigour. The whole movement is
a continuous treatment of this subject, no other independent motif
occurring at all. The first part is therefore not repeated, the
working-out section is short, and the whole movement differs
considerably from the usual form of a first symphony movement. The
andante is in the simplest lyric form, pretty and refined, but nothing
more; the minuet is fresh and brilliant (Vol. I., p. 219).



The tolerably long drawn-out concluding rondo is lively and brilliant,
and far from insignificant, though not equal to the first movement in
force and fire.

A second symphony was written by Mozart in great haste on his journey
through Linz in November, 1783; it was apparently that in C major (part
6, 425 K.), which with another short symphony in G major (part 6, 444
K.), bears clear traces of Haydn's influence, direct and indirect.
(Note: By M. Haydn--the Introduction only by Mozart. DW)

Several years lie between these symphonies and the next in D major (part
1, 504 K.). This was written for the winter concerts on December 6,
1786, and met with extraordinary approbation, especially in Prague,
where Mozart performed it in January, 1787[44]The first glance at the
symphony shows an altered treatment of the orchestra; it is now
fully organised, and both in combination and detail shows individual
independence. The instrumentation is very clear and brilliant--here and
there perhaps a little sharp--but this tone is purposely selected as the
suitable one. Traces of Haydn's influence may be found in the prefixing
of a solemn introduction to the first allegro, as well as in separate
features of the andante; such, for instance, as the epigrammatic close;
but in all essential points we have nothing but Mozart. The adagio is
an appropriate preface for the allegro, which expresses in its whole
character a lively but earnest struggle. In this allegro the form of
a great symphony movement lies open before us. The chief subject is
completely expressed at the beginning--[See Page Image]



and recurs after a half-close on the dominant with a characteristic
figure--[See Page Image]

thus allowing of the independent development of section B. Then, after a
complete close on the dominant, there enters the very characteristic and
originally treated second subject; the close of the part is introduced
by the figure, D, so that a member of the chief subject, A, is again
touched upon. The working-out in the second part is founded on the third
section of the chief subject, C. These two bars, which there formed only
an intermediate passage, are here treated imitatively as an independent
motif; first B, then D, are added as counter-subjects, all three are
worked-out together, tributary subjects reappear from the first part,
until the chief subject, A, enters on the dominant in D minor, leading
the way for the other motifs, which press in simultaneously, and glide
upon a long organ point gradually back to the first subject, with
which the modified repetition of the first part begins. In this lengthy
working-out every part of the main idea is fully developed. The simple
enunciations of the first part appear, after the elaboration of
their different elements like utterances of a higher power, bringing
conviction and satisfaction to all who hear. The springlike charm of the
andante, with all its tender grace, never degenerates into effeminacy;
its peculiar character is given by the short, interrupted subject--[See
Page Image]

which is given in unison or imitation by the treble part and the bass,
and runs through the whole, different harmonic turns giving it a tone,
sometimes of mockery, sometimes of thoughtful reserve. The last movement
(for this symphony has no minuet) displays the greatest agitation and



without any license; in this it accords with the restraint which
characterises the other movements. It illustrates the moderation of
most of Mozart's great works, which, as Ambros ("Granzen der Musik und
Poesie," p. 56) remarks, "is not a proof of inability to soar into a
higher sphere, but a noble and majestic proportioning of all his forces,
that so they may hold each other in equilibrium." The essence of the
work, to borrow the aesthetic expression of the ancients, is ethic
rather than pathetic; character, decision, stability find expression
there rather than passion or fleeting excitement.

A year and a half passed before Mozart again turned his attention to
the composition of symphonies; then, in the summer of 1788, within two
months, he composed the three symphonies in E flat major (June 26), G
minor (July 25), and C major (August 10)--the compositions which
most readily occur to us when Mozart's orchestral works come under
discussion. The production of such widely differing and important works
within so short a space of time affords another proof that the mind of
an artist works and creates undisturbed by the changing impressions of
daily life, and that the threads are spun in secret which are to form
the weft and woof of a work of art. The symphonies display Mozart's
perfected power of making the orchestra, by means of free movement
and songlike delivery, into the organ of his artistic mood. As Richard
Wagner says:--

The longing sigh of the great human voice, drawn to him by the loving
power of his genius, breathes from his instruments. He leads the
irresistible stream of richest harmony into the heart of his melody, as
though with anxious care he sought to give it, by way of compensation
for its delivery by mere instruments, the depth of feeling and ardour
which lies at the source of the human voice as the expression of the
unfathomable depths of the heart.[45]



This result can only be attained by the most delicate appreciation of
the various capacities of each individual instrument. The very diversity
of tone-colouring which characterises these symphonies shows the
masterly hand with which Mozart chooses and blends his tones, so that
every detail shall come to full effect. It would not be easy to find
places in which the sound-effect does not correspond with the intention;
as he imagined it and willed it, so it sounds, and the same certainty,
the same moderation, is apparent in every part of the artistic

The Symphony in E flat major (543 K., part 3) is a veritable triumph of
euphony. Mozart has employed clarinets here, and their union with the
horns and bassoons produces that full, mellow tone which is so important
an element in the modern orchestra; the addition of flutes gives
it clearness and light, and trumpets endow it with brilliancy and
freshness. It will suffice to remind the reader of the beautiful passage
in the andante, where the wind instruments enter in imitation, or of
the charming trio to the minuet, to make manifest the importance of the
choice of tone-colouring in giving characteristic expression. We find
the expression of perfect happiness in the exuberant charm of euphony,
the brilliancy of maturest beauty in which these symphonies are, as it
were, steeped, leaving such an impression as that made on the eye by the
dazzling colours of a glorious summer day. How seldom is this unalloyed
happiness and joy in living granted to mankind, how seldom does art
succeed in reproducing it entire and pure, as it is in this symphony!
The feeling of pride in the consciousness of power shines through the
magnificent introduction, while the allegro expresses purest pleasure,
now in frolicsome joy, now in active excitement, and now in noble and
dignified composure. Some shadows appear, it is true, in the andante,
but they only serve to throw into stronger relief the mild serenity of a



mind that communes with itself and rejoices in the peace which fills it.
This is the true source of the cheerful transport which rules the last
movement, rejoicing in its own strength and in the joy of being. The
last movement in especial is full of a mocking joviality more frequent
with Haydn than Mozart, but it does not lose its hold on the more
refined and elevated tone of the preceding movements. This movement
receives its peculiar stamp from its startling harmonic and rhythmical
surprises. Thus it has an extremely comic effect when the wind
instruments try to continue the subject begun by the violins, but
because these pursue their way unheeding, are thrown out as it were, and
break off in the middle. This mocking tone is kept up to the
conclusion, which appears to Nägeli ("Vorlesungen," p. 158) "so noisily
inconclusive" (_so stillos unschliessend_), "such a bang, that the
unsuspecting hearer does not know what has happened to him."[46]

The G minor symphony affords a complete contrast to all this (550 K.,
part 2). Sorrow and complaining take the place of joy and gladness. The
pianoforte quartet (composed August, 1785) and the Quintet (composed May
16, 1787) in G minor are allied in tone, but their sorrow passes in the
end to gladness or calm, whereas here it rises in a continuous climax
to a wild merriment, as if seeking to stifle care. The agitated first
movement begins with a low plaintiveness, which is scarcely interrupted
by the calmer mood of the second subject;[47] the working-out of the
second part intensifies the gentle murmur--[See Page Image]



into a piercing cry of anguish; but, strive and struggle as it may, the
strength of the resistance sinks again into the murmur with which the
movement closes. The andante, on the contrary, is consolatory in tone;
not reposing on the consciousness of an inner peace, but striving after
it with an earnest composure which even attempts to be cheerful.[48]
The minuet introduces a new turn of expression. A resolute resistance is
opposed to the foe, but in vain, and again the effort sinks to a
moan. Even the tender comfort of the trio, softer and sweeter than the
andante, fails to bring lasting peace; again the combat is renewed, and
again it dies away, complaining. The last movement brings no peace, only
a wild merriment that seeks to drown sorrow, and goes on its course
in restless excitement. This is the most passionate of all Mozart's
symphonies; but even in this he has not forgotten that "music, when
expressing horrors, must still be music" (Vol. II., p. 239).[49]
Goethe's words concerning the Laocoon are applicable here ("Werke"
XXIV., p. 233): "We may boldly assert that this work exhausts its
subject, and fulfils every condition of art. It teaches us that though
the artist's feeling for beauty may be stirred by calm and simple
subjects, it is only displayed in its highest grandeur and dignity when
it proves its power of depicting varieties of character, and of throwing
moderation and control into its representations of outbreaks of human
passion." And in the same sense in which Goethe ventured to call the
Laocoon graceful, none can deny the grace of this symphony, in spite of
much harshness and



keenness of expression.[50] The nature of the case demands the
employment of quite other means to those of the E flat major symphony.
The outlines are more sharply defined and contrasted, without the
abundant filling-in of detail which are of such excellent effect in
the earlier work, the result being a greater clearness, combined with
a certain amount of severity and harshness. The instrumentation agrees
with it; it is kept within confined limits, and has a sharp, abrupt
character. The addition of clarinets for a later performance gave the
tone-colouring greater intensity and fulness. Mozart has taken an extra
sheet of paper, and has rearranged the original oboe parts, giving
characteristic passages to the clarinets, others to the oboes alone, and
frequently combining the two. No clarinets were added to the minuet.
Again, of a totally distinct character is the last symphony, in C
major (551 K., part 4), in more than one respect the greatest and best,
although neither so full of passion as the G minor symphony, nor so
full of charm as the E flat major.[51] Most striking is the dignity and
solemnity of the whole work, manifested in the brilliant pomp in the
first movement, with its evident delight in splendid sound-effects.:

It has no passionate excitement, but its tender grace is heightened by
a serenity which shines forth most unmistakably in the subject already
alluded to (Vol. II., p. 455, cf. p. 334), which occurs unexpectedly
at the close of the first part. The andante reveals the very depths of
feeling, with traces in its calm beauty of the passionate agitation and
strife from which it proceeds; the impression it leaves is one of moral



perfected to a noble gentleness. The minuet recalls to mind the cheerful
subject of the first movement. There is an elastic spring in its motion,
sustained with a delicacy and refinement which transports the hearer
into a purer element, where he seems to exist without effort, like the
Homeric gods. The finale is that masterpiece of marvellous contrapuntal
art, which leaves even upon the uninitiated the impression of a
magnificent princely pageant, to prepare the mind for which has been the
office of the previous movements. We recognise in the principal subject
which opens the movement--[See Page Images]

the motif of which Mozart made frequent use even in his youth (Vol. I.,
p. 259); here he seems anxious to bid it a final farewell. He takes it
again as a fugue subject, and again inverted:--

Then other motifs join in. One, in pregnant rhythm--

asserting itself with sharp accents in all sorts of different ways, and
connected with a third motif as a concluding section:--

All these subjects are interwoven or worked out with other subordinate
ideas, both as independent elements for



contrapuntal elaboration, and in two, three, or fourfold combinations,
bringing to pass harmonic inflections of great force and boldness,
sometimes even of biting harshness. There is scarcely a phrase, however
insignificant, which does not make good its independent existence.[52]
A searching analysis is out of the question in this place; such an
analysis would serve, however, to increase our admiration of the genius
which makes of strictest form the vehicle for a flow of fiery eloquence,
and spreads abroad glory and beauty without stint.[53]

The perfection of the art of counterpoint is not the distinguishing
characteristic of this symphony alone, but of them all. The enthralling
interest of the development of each movement in its necessary connection
and continuity consists chiefly in the free and liberal use of the
manifold resources of counterpoint. The ease and certainty of this mode
of expression makes it seem fittest for what the composer has to say.
Freedom of treatment penetrates every component part of the whole,
producing the independent, natural motion of each. The then novel art
of employing the wind instruments in separate and combined effects was
especially admired by Mozart's contemporaries. His treatment of the
stringed instruments showed a progress not less advanced, as, for
instance, in the free treatment of the basses, as characteristic as it
was melodious. The highest quality of the symphonies, however, is their
harmony of tone-colour, the healthy combination of orchestral sound,
which is not to be replaced by any separate effects, however charming.
In this combination consists the art of making the orchestra as a living
organism express the artistic idea which gives the creative impulse to
the work, and controls the forces which are always ready to be set in
motion. An unerring conception of the capacities for development



contained in each subject, of the relations of contrasting and
conflicting elements, of the proportions of the parts composing the
different movements,[54] and of the proportions of the movements to
the whole work; finally, of the proper division and blending of the
tone-colours--such are the essential conditions for the production of a
work of art which is to be effective in all its parts.

Few persons will wish to dispute the fact that Mozart's great symphonies
display the happiest union of invention and knowledge, of feeling and
taste. We have endeavoured also to show in brief outline that they are
the characteristic expression of a mind tuned to artistic production,
whence their entire organisation of necessity proceeds. But language,
incapable of rendering the impressions made by the formative arts, is
still more impotent in seeking to reproduce the substance of a musical
work.[55] Points that can be readily apprehended are emphasised
disproportionately; and the subjectivity of the speaker or writer
intrudes itself upon the consideration of the music. It has been
lately questioned, for instance, whether Mozart's compositions were the
absolute and necessary results of certain definite frames of mind, and
a comparison has been made between him and Beethoven upon this point.
If it is intended by this to draw attention to Beethoven's art, as
proceeding from his _spiritual_ being (Geist), in contrast to that of
earlier composers--of Mozart especially--which came from the _mind_
(Seele),[56] an important point is indicated. But if this distinction is
made exhaustive, or essentially qualitative, the right point of view
is thereby disturbed. There can be no doubt that Beethoven has struck
chords in the human mind which none before him had touched--that



he employs the means at his command with a power and energy of
expression unheard before; that by him--the true son of his time--the
strife of passions and the struggle for individual freedom are more
powerfully and unhesitatingly expressed than by any of his predecessors.
But human nature remains the same, and the genuine impulses of artistic
creation proceed from universal and unalterable laws; the artist does
but impress his individual stamp upon the composing elements of his
work; and if, under certain circumstances, this should fail to be
comprehended, it does not therefore follow that the work has no
meaning.[57] For neither can the form and the substance of a veritable
work of art be divided or substituted the one for the other, nor can
such a work take effect as a whole when it is not accepted and grasped
in all its parts.[58] It is this wholeness, this oneness, which brings
the mind of the artist most clearly before us. Let it be remembered
that Mozart's contemporaries dis-; covered an exaggerated expression of
emotion and an incomprehensible depth of characterisation in those very
compositions in which our age recognises dignified moderation, pure
harmony, perfect beauty, and a graceful treatment of form sometimes even
to the loss of intrinsic force; and it will be acknowledged that much
which was supposed to depend on the construction of the work lies really
in the changing point of view of the hearers. Those only who come to the
consideration of the work with a clear and unbiased mind, taking their
standard from the universal and unchangeable laws of art--those only who
are capable of grasping the individuality of an artistic nature, will
not go astray either in their appreciation or their criticism.


[Footnote 1: The Greiners had quartet parties every Tuesday during Advent and
Lent (Car. Pichler, Denkw., I., p. 127. Jahrb. d. Tonk., 1796, p. 71).]

[Footnote 2: Luigi Boccherini (1740-1805), who was almost a contemporary,
followed his own bent in numerous quartets, quintets, and trios,
uninfluenced by the works of others, and not himself exerting any
lasting influence (Piquot, Notice sur la Vie et les Ouvrages de L.
Boccherini. Paris, 1851).]

[Footnote 3: The advertisement (Wien. Ztg., 1785, No. 75, p. 2191) ran: "Mozart's
works require no praise, and to quote any would be superfluous; we can
only assure the public that we are offering them a masterpiece. This
is confirmed by the fact that the quartets are dedicated to his friend
Joseph Haydn, Kapellmeister to Prince Estcrhazy, who honoured them with
all the approbation which one man of genius can bestow upon another."]

[Footnote 4: Dittersdorf, Selbstbiogr., p. 238.]

[Footnote 5: Nissen, Nachtrag, p. 62.]

[Footnote 6: Cramer, Magazin der Musik, II., p. 1273.]

[Footnote 7: Gyrowetz, Selbstbiogr., p. xx. Jahrb. d. Tonkunst, 1796, p. 77.]

[Footnote 8: A. M. Z., I., p. 855.]

[Footnote 9: Fétis attacked this introduction in the Revue Musicale, V., p. 601,
and maintained his opinion against Pernes (Ibid., VI., pp. 25, 32). An
equally lively onslaught upon Fétis was made in a detailed analysis by
C. A. Leduc (A. M. Z., XXXII., p. 117), and renewed (A. M. Z., XXXIII.,
pp. 81, 101) after an answer by Fétis (Rev. Mus., VIII., p. 821), and
also by C. M. Balthasar (A. M. ZM XXXIII., p. 493). Thereupon G. Weber
subjected the passage to a searching examination, and acknowledged
finally that the combinations of sound were unpleasing to his own ear.]

[Footnote 10: Càcilia, XIV., p. 2.]

[Footnote 11: Ulibicheff, II., p. 254.]

[Footnote 12: The conjecture of Fétis that the first violin follows the second at
the second instead of the third crotchet of the second bar, by reason of
a printer's error, is disproved by Mozart's own manuscript (also by his
Thematic Catalogue).]

[Footnote 13: Lenz, Beethoven, II., p. 78.]

[Footnote 14: The same object is entirely fulfilled by Beethoven in the
introduction to the Symphony in B flat major, to say nothing of the
Quartet in C major. The cheerful serenity pervading the symphony, and
the occasional stronger accents of passionate feeling, are, as it were,
prefigured in the introduction, where we hear the rolling of the storm
which is to clear and freshen the atmosphere.]

[Footnote 15: A. M.Z., III., p. 350.]

[Footnote 16: Joh. Bapt. Schaul, Briefe über den Geschmack in der Musik, p. 8.]

[Footnote 17: Cf. Musik. Briefe von einem Wohlbekannten, II., p. 40.]

[Footnote 18: Two bars are added as an extension of the conclusion as in the
minuet of the Quintet in C major (515 K.).]

[Footnote 19: There are groups of seven bars in the minuet of the later Quartet
in F major (590 K.), and of five bars in the trio.]

[Footnote 20: This movement has been scored by Beethoven; the original is in
Artaria's possession.]

[Footnote 21: A siciliana occurs among the variations in a sonata for pianoforte
and violin (377 K., 3), simpler and shorter than the one under
consideration, and altogether omitting the transition to the major key.
The same form is the basis of the rondo to the pianoforte Trio in G
major (496 K.), but freely carried out. The siliciana is employed,
according to old usage, for the slow middle movements of an early Sonata
in F major (280 K.), and of the pianoforte Concerto in A major (414 K.).]

[Footnote 22: The Hadyn quartets, written in 1787 for the King of Prussia, are
well known.]

[Footnote 23: From 1787 to 1797 Boccherini drew a considerable pension from
Frederick William II., for which he had to furnish annually some
quartets and quintets, compositions much loved and often played by the
King (Reichardt, Musik. Monatsschr., p. 17. Mus. Ztg., 1805, p. 232.
Picquot, Not. sur L. Boccherini, pp. 16, 112).]

[Footnote 24: In March, 1788, Mozart announced (Wien. Ztg., 1788, No. 27 Anh.)
three new quintets--these two, and the one arranged in C minor--at four
ducats a copy.]

[Footnote 25: Wien. Ztg., May 18, 1793, p. 1462.]

[Footnote 26: So also in the unfinished sketches of a number of qointet movements
(79.84 Anh., K.).]

[Footnote 27: Picquot, Not. sur L. Boccherini, pp. 19, 28, 123]

[Footnote 28: Prince Grassalcovicz reduced his full band to a "Harmoniemusik"
(Jahrb. d. Tonk., 1796, p. 77).]

[Footnote 29: Trûbensee and Wendt as oboists, the brothers Stadler as
clarinetists, Rub and Eisen hornists, Kautzner and Druben bassoonists
(Cramer, Magaz. Mus., I., p. 1400. Musik. Korresp., 1790, p. 31).]

[Footnote 30: Mozart arranged the "Entfuhrung" for wind instruments (Vol. II., p.

[Footnote 31: A. M. Z., XV., p. 668 (Schletterer, Reichardt, I., p. 327).]

[Footnote 32: Mozart praised Albert's good "Harmoniemusik" to his father from
Munich (October 3, 1777). A special wind band was engaged for the table
music at the Augarten (Jahrb. d. Tonk., 1796, p. 78).]

[Footnote 33: Nicolai speaks highly of the "Harmoniemusik," which was performed
every evening before the main guard at the court (Reise, IV., p. 558).]

[Footnote 34: Carpani, Le Haydine, p. 81. Gyrowetz, Biogr., p. 5.]

[Footnote 35: Musik. Korr., 1791, p. 366.]

[Footnote 36: The serenata has two minuets, the second of which is especially
Haydnlike in character. Perhaps they were intended to be omitted in the
rearrangement, for in Mozart's autograph score they are only copied and

[Footnote 37: The beginning of an eight-part allegro is among the sketches.]

[Footnote 38: The first bars of an adagio for clarinets and three basset-horns
were written out (93 Anh., K.), and an allegro for two clarinets and
three basset-horns (95 Anh., K.) was somewhat further advanced.]

[Footnote 39: So it is given by Meyer (L. Schröder, I., p. 357) for the year 1781
(cf. A. M. Z., XXIV., p. 268), and the tables in the Jahrb. d. Tonkunst,
1796, p. 92, agree with his statement.]

[Footnote 40: K. R[isbeck], Briefe ûb. Deutschld., I., p. 279.]

[Footnote 41: Nicolai, Reise, IV., p. 542.]

[Footnote 42: Nicolai, Reise, VI., p. 702.]

[Footnote 43: So Kalkbrenner told me in Paris, in 1837.]

[Footnote 44: Niemetschek, Biogr., p. 41. (Note: Misnumbered in the print

[Footnote 45: Rich. Wagner, Kunstwerk der Zukunft, p. 85. It was just this
"Cantabilität" with which Nàgeli reproached Mozart, who according to him
"cannot be termed a correct composer of instrumental music, for he
mingled and confounded 'cantabilität' with a free instrumental play of
ideas, and his very wealth of fancy and emotional gifts led to a sort of
fermentation in the whole province of art, causing it rather to
retrograde than to advance, and exercising a very powerful influence
over it" (Vorlesungen, p. 157). It certainly appears strange in our
times to see Mozart considered as the disturbing and exciting element in
the development of art; and Nägeli was thoroughly sincere and in earnest
in his musical judgments.]

[Footnote 46: E. T. A. Hoffmann says of this symphony (called the "swan song"):
"Love and melancholy breathe forth in purest spirit tones; we feel
ourselves drawn with inexpressible longing towards the forms which
beckon us to join them in their flight through the clouds to another
sphere." A. Apel attempted to turn the symphony into a poem, which was
to imitate in words the character of the different movements (A. M. Z.,
VIII., p. 453). Cf. Ludw. Bauer's Schriften, p. 471.]

[Footnote 47: It is characteristic that in the first and last movements the
second theme is only fully expressed when it enters for the second time
in the minor; in the major key it is far less expressive.]

[Footnote 48: A mistake long perpetrated in the andante has been pointed out
by Schumann (N. Ztschr., XV., p. 150. Ges. Schr., IV., p. 62). In both
parts four bars (I., 29-32; II., 48-51) are repeated twice, with altered
instrumentation; this is altogether inexcusable, for it causes the same
transition from D flat major to minor (G flat major, A flat minor) to
occur twice in succession. A glance at the original score makes the
matter clear. Mozart originally wrote the four bars 33-36 (II., 52-55),
and then added the other version on a separate page, probably as
being easier; they were copied one after the other by mistake. That
he intended the demisemiquaver passage for the wind instruments may
be inferred from the arrangement with clarinets to be presently noted,
where it is given to those instruments.]

[Footnote 49: Palmer (Evangel. Hymnologie, p. 246) finds no pain in this
symphony, only pure life and gaiety.]

[Footnote 50: H. Hirschbach says, apparently quite seriously (N. Zeitschr. Mus.,
VIII., p. 190): "There are many people who fight shy of Beethoven's
music, finding his earlier symphonies tolerable, but the later bizarre,
obscure, and so on; but Mozart's G minor symphony is acknowledged to
be a masterpiece, though here and there may be one who thinks this
so-called symphony really does not deserve the name, for it is
distinguished neither by originality nor workmanship, and is a
commonplace mild piece of music, requiring no great effort for its
production (even if we set aside the greater demands of the present
day), and it was apparently not considered as a great work by

[Footnote 51: It has been called, I do not know when or by whom, the "Jupiter"
symphony, more, doubtless, to indicate its majesty and splendour than
with a view to any deeper symbolism.]

[Footnote 52: Sechtcr gave a technical analysis in the appendix to Marpurg's
Kunst der Fuge (Wien: Diabelli) II., p. 161. Lobe, Compositionslehre,
III., p. 393.]

[Footnote 53: Nägeli (Vorlesungen, p. 162) subjects this symphony to a searching
criticism, in order to prove that Mozart (to whom he allows great
originality and power of combination, extolling him as the first to form
the orchestra into a perfect organic whole) was wanting in repose, and
often shallow and confused.]

[Footnote 54: Ad. Kullak (Das Musikalisch Schöne, p. 80) remarks that numerous
calculations undertaken by him serve to show that Hadyn and Mozart, in
the majority of their works, keep pretty close to the law of proportion
laid down by Zeising (according to which a whole divided into unequal
parts will not give the effect of symmetry unless the smaller parts bear
the same ratio to the larger as the larger to the whole), and that in
some cases they follow it exactly.]

[Footnote 55: Mendelssohn's Briefe, II., p. 337.]

[Footnote 56: Marx, Musik. des Neunzehnten Jahrh., p. 68.]

[Footnote 57: Ad. Kullak, Das Musikalisch Schöne, p. 149.]

[Footnote 58: Ambros, Gränzen der Musik und Poesie, pp. 64,123, 141.]





THE unexampled success of the "Entführung," which brought fame to the
composer and pecuniary gain to the theatrical management, justified
Mozart in his expectation that the Emperor, having called German opera
into existence,[1] would commission him to further its prosperous
career. He was indeed offered an opera, but the libretto, ''Welches ist
die beste Nation?" was such miserable trash, that Mozart would not waste
his music on it. Umlauf composed it, but it was hissed off the stage;
and Mozart wrote to his father (December 21, 1782) that he did not know
whether the poet or the composer were most deserving of the condemnation
the work received. In fact, the impulse given to German opera seemed
only too likely to die away without lasting result. Stephanie the
younger[2] contrived by his intrigues to obtain the dismissal of Müller
as conductor of the opera, and the appointment of a committee, whose
jealousies and party feelings he turned so skilfully to account that
they were all speedily satisfied to leave the actual power in his hands.
The incessant disagreements which were the consequence, the hostility
between composers, actors, and musicians, disgusted Kienmayer and
Rosenberg, the managers of the opera, and the Emperor himself. Nor were
the repeated experiments made with the works of mediocre



composers (which so enraged Mozart that he purposed writing a critique
on them with examples) likely to find favour with the Emperor. Add to
this that his immediate musical surroundings, Salieri at the head of
them, were at least passively opposed to German opera, and it will not
be thought surprising that the Emperor Joseph angrily renounced German
opera, and followed his own taste in the reinstalment of the Italian.
Chance brought this determination to a point. A French company of
considerable merit, both in opera and the drama, was performing at the
Kamthnerthortheater, and was patronised by the Emperor.[3] He sent for
the performers to Schönbrunn in the summer of

1782, and entertained them in the castle during their stay. They were
dissatisfied with the hospitality they there received, and one of the
actors had the ill-breeding, during a meal at which the Emperor happened
to come in, to offer him a glass of wine, with the request that he would
try it, and say whether such wretched Burgundy was good enough for them
to drink. The Emperor drank the wine, and answered that it was good
enough for him, but he had no doubt they would find better wine in

On the dismissal of this company, Count Rosenberg was commissioned to
engage the best singers in Italy, male and female, for an opera buffa,
which was all that was then thought feasible; and at the end of the
carnival of 1783 the German opera company was dissolved, its best
members associating themselves with the new Italian company.[5] Under
these circumstances there was not much hope of success for German
operatic compositions; and only three new pieces were produced in 1783,
none of them with any success.[6] Mozart wrote to his father (February
5, 1783):--



Yesterday my opera was given for the seventeenth time with the usual
applause, and to a crowded house. Next Friday a new opera is to
be given, the music an absurdity (Galimathias) by a young pupil of

(Joh. Mederitsch), called "Gallus cantans in abore sedens gigirigi
faciens." It will probably fail, but perhaps not so completely as
its predecessor, an old opera by Gassmann," "La Notte Critica" ("The
Disturbed Night"), which was scarcely brought to a third performance.
Before this there was Umlaufs execrable opera, which only reached a
second. It is as though, knowing that German opera is to die after
Easter, they wanted to hasten its end by their own act: and they are
Germans--confound them!--who do this. My own opinion is, that Italian
opera will not survive long, and I shall always hold to the German; I
prefer it, although it is certainly more trouble. Every nation has its
opera, why should we Germans not have ours? Is not our language as fit
for singing as the French and English? and more so than the Russian?
Well, I am writing a German opera all _for myself_.

I have chosen as subject Goldoni's comedy "Il Servitore di Due Padroni,"
and the first act is already translated--the translator being Baron
Binder! But it is to be a secret until it is finished. Now, what do you
think of that? Don't you think that I shall do myself some good by it?

There can be little doubt that his father would have answered this
question in the affirmative, but he would have been more sceptical as to
the feasibility of the plan, and practical considerations seem to have
caused its abandonment. Two German airs, preserved in draft score,
belong by their handwriting to this period; one for a tenor (indicated
as Carl), "Müsst ich auch durch tausend Drachen" (435 K.), and the other
for a bass (Wahrmond), "Manner suchen stets zu naschen" (433 K.). No
dramatic situation is recognisable, and it cannot therefore be affirmed
that they were composed for this opera. The composition of a German
opera for which he afterwards received a commission from Mannheim
came to nothing. Klein sent him a libretto (doubtless "Rudolf von
Habsburg")[7] with the request that he would set it to music, whereupon
Mozart answered (March 21, 1785):[8]--



I ought certainly to have acknowledged before now the receipt of your
letter and the accompanying parcel; but it is not the case that I have
in the meantime received two other letters from you; if so, I should
certainly have remembered to answer your first as I now do, having
received your other two letters on the last post-day. But I should have
had no more to say to you on the subject of the opera than I now have.
My dear sir, my hands are so full of work that I have not a moment to
myself. You know by experience, even better than I, that a thing of this
sort must be read carefully and attentively several times over. Hitherto
I have not been able to read it once without interruption. All that I
can say at present is, that I should like to keep the piece a little
longer, if you will be kind enough to leave it with me. In case I should
feel disposed to set it to music, I should wish to know beforehand
whether it is intended for performance at any particular place? For such
a work ought not to be left to chance. I shall hope for an explanation
on this point from you.

The reasons for the final rejection of this opera are unknown.
Mozart's account of the position of German opera in Vienna is very
characteristic. In 1784, it was almost extinct; only Madame Lange
selected the "Entführung" for her benefit on January 25, conducted
by Mozart himself (Wiener Zeitung, 1784, No. 7); and Adamberger gave
Gluck's "Pilgrimme von Mecca" on February 15. Besides these, Benda's
melodramas, "Ariadne" and "Medea," Jacquet's chief characters, were
performed a few times. But when in the following year the desire
for German opera revived, it was decided to reappoint the
Kamthnerthortheater, which had been freed from its connection with
the court, and to reinstate the German opera in competition with the
Italian. On this point Mozart continues:--

I can give you no present information as to the intended German opera,
as (with the exception of the alterations at the Karnthnerthor-theater)
everything goes on very quietly. It is to be opened at the beginning of
October. I do not prophesy a very prosperous result. It seems to me that
the plans now formed are more likely to end in the final overthrow
of the temporarily depressed German opera, than in its elevation and
support. My sister-in-law Lange alone is to be allowed to join the
German company. Cavalieri, Adamberger, Teyber, all pure Germans, of
whom our fatherland may be proud, are to stay in the Italian theatre, to
oppose and rival their own countrymen. German singers at present may be
easily counted! And even if they be as good



as those I have named, which I very much doubt, the present management
appears to me too economical and too little patriotic to think of paying
the services of strangers, when they can have as good or better on the
spot. The Italian _troupe_ has no need of them in point of numbers; it
can stand alone. The present idea is to employ _acteurs and actrices_
for the German opera who sing from need; unfortunately the very men are
retained as the _directeurs_ of the theatre and the orchestra who have
contributed by their want of knowledge and energy to the downfall of
their own edifice. If only a single patriot were to come to the fore,
it would give the affair another aspect. But in that case, perhaps,
the budding national theatre would break forth into blossom; and what a
disgrace it would be to Germany if we Germans once began in earnest to
think, or act, or speak and even--to _sing_ German! Do not blame me, my
dear sir, if I go too far in my zeal. Convinced that I am addressing a
fellow _German_, I give my tongue free course, which unfortunately is
so seldom possible that after such an outpouring of the heart one feels
that one might get drunk without any risk of injuring one's health.

The performances of the new German opera, which opened on October 16,
1785, with Monsigny's "Félix," were in no respect equal to those of the
Italian opera. Mozart, whose "Entführung" maintained its place in the
repertory until March, 1788, when the house was again closed, was not
further employed as composer.[9] Only on one occasion did the Emperor
seem to recollect that Mozart was the only opera composer of German
birth who could rival the Italian Salieri. At a "Festival in honour of
the Governor-General of the Netherlands," dramatic performances were
commanded by the Emperor in the Orangery at Schönbrunn, on February
7, 1796; the most distinguished actors and singers, both Italian and
German, were engaged.[10] Stephanie junior was commissioned to prepare
the German occasional



piece; it was called "Der Schauspieldirector."[11] The dramatis persona
were as follows:--[See Page Image]

The plot consists in the difficulties of Frank, the manager, in engaging
a company for a theatre he has received permission to open in Salzburg.
Many actors and actresses offer their services, and perform favourite
scenes by way of testing their ability, the piece concluding with a
similar trial of operatic music. The piece was loosely put together, and
its main interest consisted in allusions to the passing events in the
theatrical world; these are sometimes too palpable and rather coarse.
Casti's little Italian opera, written for the same occasion, "Prima la
Musica e poi le Parole" is, on the contrary, really witty and amusing,
and allows the composer scope for a genuine musical work. Salieri, whose
music, according to Mozart, was tolerable, but nothing more,[12] thus
gained a great advantage over Mozart, to whom was entrusted the musical
portion of the German piece. There could here, of course, be no question
of dramatic interest and individual characterisation. The two singers
bring their airs with them as prepared trials of skill. The object was
to mark the contrast between them. The two songs are alike in design,
with one slow and one agitated movement, and they further resemble each
other in their mixture of sentimentality and gaiety, and in the number
of bravura passages,



which sometimes go to a considerable height. It is in the details that
everything is different, even to the instrumentation, and that the
sharpest possible contrast is maintained both in the parts and style of
delivery. There is no great liveliness of movement until--the manager
being perplexed to make his choice between the two--they fall to
quarrelling, each of them reiterating with increasing warmth: "Ich bin
die beste Sangerin." Thereupon the tenor comes to the rescue, and seeks
to allay the irritation of the enraged ladies, giving occasion for
a comic terzet full of life and humour. This was composed by Mozart,
probably because it amused him, on January 18, 1786, although the play
was not finished until February 3. Although the situation in itself
cannot be said to possess much interest, there is a certain charm in
the piece, and the forms which are usually only of artistic significance
have here a substantial basis. The imitations with which the singers
follow on each other's heels, the passages in which they run up to
a fabulous height, the alternation of rapid _parlando_ with affected
delivery and extraordinary passages--all these not only take effect as
means of dramatic characterisation, but give the hearers the pleasure
of deciding for themselves which of the two aspirants really is the best
singer. The peacemaking tenor attaches., himself now to one, now to the
other singer, and then again opposes them both, giving a certain amount
of dignity to the dispute by means of musical and dramatic contrasts.
Indeed the whole scene is so lively, so gay, so free from caricature,
and so euphonious, that the terzet may well claim a place with more
important works. The concluding operatic piece is a vaudeville. Each
solo voice delivers a verse of the song, passing with characteristic
modifications into the principal motif, which takes the form of a
chorus. The bass voice comes last; the actor Buf gives his decision for
the first buffo. This was Lange, who himself used to say that he could
only make a singer at need (Selbtsbiographie, p. 126), and who thus
ironically parodied his own words.

Mozart also wrote an overture to the piece, in which, less bound by the
triviality of the text, he could move more



freely. It consists of a single movement in quick time. The first
bars--[See Page Image]

fall at once into the tone of the whole, and form in their contrasting
elements the motifs which are afterwards intersected in the working-out.
The two subsequent better-sustained melodies possess in their easy
imitative movement, the charm of a lively, excited conversation, the
transition passage forming a piquant contrast; in short, the whole
overture resembles a comedy with the different characters and intrigues
crossing each other, until at last all ends well. The whole festival was
twice repeated at the Kamthnerthortheater soon after the performance at

Several later attempts were made to give the piece more action and more
music, so as to preserve Mozart's work on the stage.

When Goethe undertook the management of the court theatre at Weimar in
1791, numerous Italian and French operas were arranged to German words
by the indefatigable concertmeister Kranz and the industrious theatrical
poet, Vulpius.[14] Goethe, being in Rome in the summer of 1787, was
extremely amused by the performance of an intermezzo, "L' Impresario
in angustie,"[15] which Cimarosa had composed in the Carnival of the
previous year (at the same time as Mozart's "Schauspieldirector") for
the Teatro Nuovo at Naples.[16] He at once had it arranged as a comic
opera, with the title of "Theatralische Abenteuer," and the whole of the
music to Mozart's "Schauspieldirector" introduced.[17]



It was performed at Weimar on October 24,1791, with great success,
and afterwards repeated with alterations[18] on other stages during a
considerable time.

In Vienna, after the operetta had again been thrice performed in
1797, an experiment was made in 1814 with an increased adaptation by
Stegmeyer, but without lasting success.[19] Within the last few years
L. Schneider has made a false step in the publication of the
"Schauspieldirector, or Mozart und Schikaneder."[20] Wishing to preserve
Mozart's music free from foreign contact, he chose out some songs, which
were suitably instrumentalised by Taubert, and fitted fairly well into
the new piece.[21] But in order to give the plot more interest he fell
into the unpardonable error of making Mozart himself the hero of the
opera, composing the "Zauberflöte"

under Schikaneder's direction. It is incredible that any one should have
been capable of thus misrepresenting the master whom the resuscitation
of his music was intended to honour, as a senseless, infatuated coxcomb,
contemptible both in his obsequious submission to Schikaneder and
his immoral relations with his sister-in-law, Aloysia Lange. In 1856
Mozart's operetta was given in Paris at the Bouffes Parisiens with great
success; but with what adaptations I am not aware.

Mozart was altogether deceived in his expectation that the Italian opera
would not find favour with the public. Joseph made himself acquainted
through Salieri with all the most distinguished artists whom the latter
had heard in Italy (Mosel, Salieri, p. 75), and gave him full power to
engage those he thought fit; he even made this a special object of his
own journey through Italy. He thus succeeded in bringing together a
_personnel_ for opera buffa, which through a long series of years, with
various changes, was unsurpassed in the



unanimous opinion of the public and connoisseurs.[22] The already
mentioned Vienna singers who went over to the Italian opera, Lange,
Cavalieri, and Teyber, were joined by Bemasconi, already past her
prime, in honour of whom Gluck's "Iphigenie in Tauris" was performed in
Italian, in December, 1783.[23] From Italy came Nancy Storace, Mandini,
and afterwards Celestine Coltellini. Of the German male singers they
had indeed dismissed Fischer, whose loss Mozart rightly declared to
be irreparable, but in Benucci they acquired a bass buffo of the first
rank. True, he left Vienna the same year, but Marchesini, who replaced
him, was not nearly so popular, and Benucci was recalled the following
year. The baritones were Mandini, Bussani, and Pugnetti, together
with the tenor, O'Kelly (Kelly), and the Germans, Adamberger, Saal, and
Ruprecht. On April 22, 1783, the Italian opera was opened with Salieri's
newly adapted opera "La Scuola dei Gelosi."[24] It was a decided success,
and was repeated twenty-five times, although a cold criticism of the
opening night asserts: "The prima donna sang extremely well, but her
gesticulation is intolerable. The buffo bore away the palm for natural
acting. The other performers are unworthy of notice."[25] The next
opera, by Cimarosa, "L' Italiana in Londra" (May 5), was not so well
received; but on the other hand Sarti's opera, "Fra due Litiganti il
Terzo Gode" (May 25) excited extraordinary enthusiasm.[26] Schroder
writes on July 26, 1783: "The Italian opera is much sought after, and
the German



theatre is empty."[27] Earnestly as Mozart desired to be employed upon
a German opera, he could not fail to be excited by the performances and
success of the Italian opera, and his overpowering love of the drama
urged him again to employ his genius in the field best fitted for its
efforts. He writes to his father (May 7, 1783):--

The Italian opera has recommenced, and pleases very much. The buffo,
named Benucci, is particularly good. I have looked through at least a
hundred (indeed more) ibretti, but cannot find one satisfactory--that
is, unless much were to be altered. And a poet would often rather write
a new one than alter--indeed the new one is sure to be better. We have
here a certain Abbate da Ponte as poet; he is driven frantic with
the alterations he has to make for the theatre; he is, _per obligo_,
employed on a new libretto for Salieri, and will be at least two months
over it;[28] then he has promised to do something new for me. But who
knows whether he can or will keep his word? You know how fair-spoken the
Italians are! If he tells Salieri about it, I shall get no opera as long
as I live--and I should like to show what I can do in Italian music.
Sometimes I have thought that if Varesco does not bear malice on
account of the Munich opera he might write me a new book for seven
characters--but you know best if that can be done. He might be writing
down his ideas, and we could work them out together in Salzburg. The
essential point is that the whole thing should be very comic and, if
possible, that it should have two good female parts--one seria, the
other mezzo carattere, but both equal in importance. The third female
might be quite buffa, and all the male parts if necessary. If you think
anything can be done with Varesco, please speak to him very soon.

By way of inducement to Varesco, he sent him word that he might reckon
on a fee of four or five hundred gulden, for that it was customary in
Vienna to give the poet the receipts of the third representation. Some
time after he asks again (June 7, 1783)

Do you know nothing of Varesco? I beg you not to forget; if I were in
Salzburg we could work at it together so well, if we had a plan ready

Before Mozart went to Salzburg he had an instance of what he might
expect in the opposition made to the insertion of his two airs for
Adamberger and Madame Lange in

{L' OCA DEL CAIRO, 1783.}


Anfossi's "Curioso Indiscreto" (Vol. II., p. 326). On his arrival
in Salzburg at the end of July, he found Varesco quite ready for
the undertaking, which was to begin at once, and to be completed in

Among Mozart's remains were found in Varesco's handwriting the first act
complete, and the prose table of contents in detail of the second and
third acts of the opera "L' Oca del Cairo" ("The Goose of Cairo"). The
_dramatis personæ_ are as follows:--

The contents are briefly these:--

Don Pippo, Marchese di Ripasecca, a vain and haughty fool, has by his
ill-treatment forced his wife, Donna Pantea, to leave him; he believes
her dead, but she is living, concealed at a place over the seas.
Biondello, hated by him, loves his daughter Celidora, whom he intends to
marry to Count Lionetto di Casavuota; he himself has fallen in love with
her companion Lavina, who has come to an understanding with Calandrino,
Biondello's friend and Pantea's relative. The two maidens are confined
in a fortified tower and closely guarded. In full conviction of his
security, Don Pippo has been induced to promise Biondello that if he
succeeds in gaining access to Celidora within the year, her hand shall
be his reward. Hereupon, Calandrino, a skilful mechanic, has constructed
an artificial goose large enough to contain a man, and with machinery
capable of motion; this is conveyed to Pantea, who, disguised in Moorish
costume, is to display it as a show; it is hoped that Pippo may consent
to its exhibition before the two maidens, and that Biondello may thus
be conveyed into the tower. As a condition Calandrino exacts from his
friend a promise of Lavina's hand.

The opera begins on the anniversary of the wager. Don Pippo is about
to marry Lavina, and awaits the arrival of Count Lionetto; his house is
filled with preparations for festivity. The curtain rises on the whole
household, including the coquettish maid Auretta and her lover the
house-steward, Chichibio, having their hair dressed. Calandrino



enters in much perturbation; Pantea has not arrived, and a violent storm
gives rise to the fear that she may fail altogether; some other device
must be hit upon. He promises marriage to Chichibio and Auretta, if
they can succeed in abstracting Don Pippo's clothes, and preventing his
leaving the castle, which they undertake. The scene changes: Celidora
and Lavina are conversing on a terrace on the fourth story of the tower,
to which they have obtained access in secret; the lovers appear below on
the other side of the moat, and a tender quartet is carried on. The new
plan is to throw a bridge across the moat and scale the tower. Workmen
arrive and the task is eagerly commenced; but Chichibio and Auretta,
chattering about their marriage, have failed to keep watch, and now
announce that Don Pippo has gone out; he himself speedily appears,
summons the watch, stops the work, and drives away the lovers.

In the second act Pantea lands with the goose in a violent storm. It
is a fair-day, and the assembled people are full of amazement at the
natural and rational movements of the goose, which is supposed to come
from Cairo. Auretta and Chichibio inform Don Pippo of the wonderful
sight. He causes Pantea to come forward, and she informs him that the
goose having lost its speech from fright during the storm can only be
restored by the use of a certain herb growing in a lonely garden. Don
Pippo, delighted, commissions Calandrino to take Pantea and the
goose into the pleasure-garden, that so the two maidens may enjoy the
spectacle. The finale represents the fair close to the tower, the two
ladies looking on from the window. A dispute arises, in which Biondello
takes part; Don Pippo, as magistrate, is called on to do justice; some
ridiculous action is carried on, ending in a general tumult. Pantea then
puts Biondello into the goose and enters the garden, while Calandrino
informs Don Pippo that Biondello, in despair, has set out to sea in a
small boat, which is confirmed by the weeping Auretta. Don Pippo, in
high delight, forms a ludicrous wedding procession and proceeds to the
tower, where Celidora and Lavina stand at the window while the goose
makes various antics for the amusement of the crowd. Finally, Don Pippo
appears in the great hall of the tower, accompanied by the two maidens
and the goose, in full confidence of his triumph, and only waiting the
arrival of Count Lionetto to celebrate the wedding. Chichibio enters
with an uncourteous refusal from the Count. As Don Pippo is in the act
of giving his hand to Lavina, Pantea advances in her true person, the
goose begins to speak, opens, and Biondello steps out; Don Pippo is
beside himself, and is ridiculed by them all; he ends by promising to
amend his ways, and the three couples are made happy.

No doubt this summarised account has omitted to take note of many comic
and effective touches; but on the other hand it has suppressed many
absurdities--the general impression of a fantastic and senseless plot
not being affected

{L'OCA DEL CAIRO, 1783.}


by the treatment of the details. In the first glow of delight at having
a new libretto, Mozart set to work composing at once in Salzburg,
and after his return to Vienna he anticipated different scenes that
interested him; but he was soon seized with misgivings that the opera
could not be put on the stage without important alterations. He wrote on
the subject to his father (December 6, 1783):--

Only three more airs, and the first act of my opera is finished. With
the aria buffa, the quartet, and the finale I can safely say I am
perfectly satisfied--in fact, quite delighted. So that I should be
sorry to have written so much good music in vain, which must be the case
unless some indispensable alterations are made. Neither you, nor
the Abbate Varesco, nor I, reflected that it would have a very bad
effect--indeed, would ruin the opera--if neither of the two principal
female characters were to appear on the stage until the last moment,
but were to be always wandering about on the ramparts or terraces of
the tower. One act of this might pass muster, but I am sure the audience
would not stand a second. This objection first occurred to me in Linz,
and I see no way out of it but to make some scenes of the second act
take place in the fortress--_camera della fortezza_. The scene where
Don Pippo gives orders to bring the goose in might be the room in which
Celidora and Lavina are. Pantea comes in with the goose. Biondello pops
out; they hear Don Pippo coming. In goes Biondello again. This would
give an opening for a good quintet, which would be all the more comic
because the goose sings too. I must confess to you, however, that my
only reason for not objecting to the whole of the goose business is that
two men of such penetration and judgment as yourself and Varesco see
nothing against it. But there would still be time to think of something
else. Biondello has only undertaken to make his way into the tower;
whether he does it as a sham goose, or by any other trick, makes no
difference at all. I cannot help thinking that many more comic and more
natural scenes might be brought about if Biondello were to remain in
human form. For instance, the news that Biondello had committed himself
to the waves in despair, might arrive quite at the beginning of the
second act, and he might then disguise himself as a Turk, or something
of the kind, and bring Pantea in as a slave (Moorish, of course). Don
Pippo is anxious to purchase a slave for his wife; and the slave-dealer
and the Mooress are admitted into the fortress for inspection. This
leads to much cajoling and mockery of her husband on the part of Pantea,
which would improve the part, for the more comic the opera is the
better. I hope you will explain my opinion fully to the Abbate Varesco,
and I must beg him to set to work in earnest. I have worked hard enough
in the short time. Indeed, I should have finished the first act, if I
did not require some alterations made in some of the words; but I would
rather you did not mention this to him at present.



In the postcript he again begs his father to consult Varesco, and hurry
him on. On further consideration, however, he thought he had still
conceded too much, and a few days afterwards he wrote (December 10,

Do all you can to make my book a success. I should like to bring the
ladies down from the ramparts in the first act, when they sing their
airs, and I would willingly allow them to sing the whole finale

Varesco was quite willing to make the alteration, which was easily to be
effected by a change of scene. The altered version exists, together with
the original text; but we know nothing further on the subject. Mozart
seems to have made more extensive demands. He wrote to his father
(December 24, 1783):--

Now, for what is most necessary with regard to the opera. The Abbate
Varesco has written after Lavina's cavatina: "A cui serverà la musica
della cavatina antecedente"--that is of Celidora's cavatina--but
this will not do. The words of Celidora's cavatina are hopeless and
inconsolable, while those of Lavina's are full of hope and consolation.
Besides, making one character pipe a song after another is quite an
exploded fashion, and never was a popular one. At the best it is only
fitted for a soubrette and her lover in the _ultime parti._ My idea
would be to begin the scene with a good duet, for which the same words,
with a short appendix for the coda, would answer very well. After the
duet, the conversation could proceed as before: "E quando s' ode il
cam-panello della custode." Mademoiselle Lavina will have the goodness
to take her departure instead of Celidora, so that the latter, as prima
donna, may have an opportunity of singing a grand bravura air. This
would, I think, be an improvement for the composer, the singers, and
the audience, and the whole scene would gain in interest. Besides, it
is scarcely likely that the same song would be tolerated from the second
singer after being sung by the first. I do not know what you both mean
by the following direction: At the end of the interpolated scene for the
two women in the first act, the Abbate has written: "Siegue la scena
VIII che prima era la VII e cosi cangiansi di mano in mano i numeri." This
leads me to suppose that he intends the scene after the quartet, where
the two ladies, one after the other, sing their little songs from the
window, to remain. But that is impossible. The act would be lengthened
out of all proportion, and quite spoiled. I always thought it ludicrous
to read: _Celidora_. "Tu qui m' attendi, arnica. Alla custode farmi
veder vogl' io; ci andrai tu puoi." Lavina: "Si dolce arnica, addio."
(Celidora parte.) Lavina sings her song. Celidora comes back and says:
"Eccomi, or vanne," &c.; and then out goes Lavina, and Celidora sings
her air; they relieve one another, like soldiers on guard. It is much
more natural

{L'OCA DEL CAIRO, 1783.}


also that, being all together for the quartet, to arrange their
contemplated attack, the men should go out to collect the necessary
assistants, leaving the two women quietly in their retreat. All that can
be allowed them is a few lines of recitative. I cannot imagine that it
was intended to prolong the scene, only that the direction for closing
it was omitted by mistake. I am very curious to hear your good idea for
bringing Biondello into the tower; if it is only comical enough, we will
overlook a good deal that may be unnatural. I am not at all afraid of
a few fireworks; all the arrangements here are so good that there is no
danger of fire. "Medea" has been given repeatedly, at the end of which
half the palace falls in ruins while the other half is in flames.

Whether Varesco refused to give up the "goose business," whether he was
afraid of further endless emendations, or what his reasons were, who
can tell? In any case no radical change was made in the text, and, much
against his will, Mozart was forced to lay the opera aside. Besides a
recitative and the cursory sketch of a tenor air, six numbers of the
first act are preserved in draft score (422 K.), with, as usual, the
voice parts and bass completely written out, and the ritornelli
and accompaniment more or less exactly indicated for the different
instruments. Four numbers belong to Auretta and Chichibio; the
comparison with "Figaro" is an obvious one, and though Chichibio is
far from being a Figaro, Auretta approaches much nearer to Susanna. The
situation of her air (2) is not badly imagined. Calandrino, hearing from
Auretta that Chichibio is very jealous, embraces her in jest and says,
"What would Chichibio say if he saw us?" Thereupon that personage
enters, and Auretta, pretending not to observe him, sings:--

     Se fosse qui nascoso
     Quell' Argo mio geloso,
     O, poverina me!

     Direbbe: "O maledetta,
     Pettegola, fraschetta!
     La fedeltà dov' è?"

     Pur sono innocente,
     Se fosse presente,
     Direbbe tra se:

     "O qui non c' è pericolo,
     Un caso si ridicolo
     Goder si deve affè."



The musical apprehension of the contrasts contained in the words is
remarkably humorous and graceful, and especially the point to which
the whole tends. "O qui non cè peri-colo" is as charmingly roguish as
anything in "Figaro." Chichibio's comic air (3) is in the genuine
style of Italian buffo, and consists of a rapid _parlando_; after the
direction to close with the ritornello it acquires some originality of
colour from the instrumentation. In the shorter of the two duets
between Auretta and Chichibio, the orchestra was also intended to play a
prominent part. The first duet (1), however, is more important and
more broadly designed; Auretta provokes Chichibio's jealousy in the
traditional manner, and then seeks to appease it. The whole piece, with
its shifting humours, is lively and amusing, and the subject--[See Page

carried out by the orchestra and toyed with by the voice-parts, is of
a mingled grace and intensity truly worthy of Mozart. Then there are
sketches of two great ensembles. The quartet (6) in which the lovers
converse from afar has less of a buffo character and more true
feeling; the two pairs of lovers are clearly distinguished, and their
characteristics sharply defined. The finale (7), on the other hand, is
altogether in the liveliest buffo tone. At the beginning the lovers are
full of eagerness and hope at the building of the bridge, then follows
the excitement of suspense, and when Don Pippo actually appears a
general tumult breaks out. It does not lie in the nature of this
situation to make the same display of rich variety, nor of the dignity
of deep emotion, which we admire so much in other finales; it is
calculated rather to excite wonder at the long continuation of spirited
movement and ascending climax. In the last presto, especially, this is
quite extraordinary; here the chorus (contrary to custom in comic opera)
is independent and full of effect, yielding to no later work of the same
kind. A proof of the figure Don Pippo is intended to cut is given in



finale. The short andante maestoso, "Io sono offeso! La mia eccellenza,
la prepotenza soffrir non de," indicates a grand buffo part such as
never occurs in any other opera. We have, it is true, but a weak and
shadowy outline of all these movements. Let the experiment be made of
imagining corresponding numbers of "Figaro" and "Don Giovanni" deprived
of all their orchestral parts except the bass, and a few bars to suggest
the different motifs, and how much weaker and more colourless will be
the image that remains! So, also, we can scarcely arrive at even an
approximate idea of the life which Mozart would have thrown into
these sketches when he came to work them out in all their detail and
brilliancy of colouring. They betray, in common with all the works of
this period, the firm touch of a master, and possess a singular interest
to the student, even in their incomplete form. Who can say that Mozart,
if he had finished the opera, would not have succeeded in overcoming the
weaker points of the libretto? And yet he scarcely seems to have hoped
as much himself, seeing that he finally laid aside the work, begun with
so much eagerness and carried on so far. But he was far from abandoning
his design, and seeing no immediate prospect of a new libretto, he
selected from among the numerous books which he had collected one that
he might at least hope to see put on the stage. This was "Lo Sposo
Deluso" ("Der gefoppte Brautigam"), probably the same opera which was
produced at Padua in the winter of 1787, with music by Cav. Pado.[29]
That it was a libretto which had already been made use of follows
from the fact that Mozart made some corrections from the original of
inaccuracies as to names committed by the ignorant Italian copyist.
It is not necessary for the comprehension of the portions composed by
Mozart (430 K.) to transcribe the whole of the complicated contents of
the book; the list of characters, with the names of the singers to whom
Mozart alloted the various parts, will suffice to show the drift of the

The _dramatis personæ_, then, are as follows:--[See Page Image]



The time at which Mozart was at work on this libretto falls within that
during which Nancy Storace performed as Signora Fischer. She had been
induced to marry an English violinist, a Dr. Fisher, at Vienna, who
ill-treated her, and was thereupon sent out of the country by the
Emperor. This was in the year 1784,[30] and as Nancy Storace never
afterwards bore the name of her husband, she could only have been so
described by Mozart shortly after her marriage. As the opera begins,
Bocconio, awaiting his bride, is discovered giving the finishing touches
to his toilet; his friend Pulcherio, the woman-hater, is present, and
jeers at him; so do Don Asdrubale and Bettina, who declares that if her
uncle does not provide her with a husband without delay, she will give
him and his wife no peace. While he is defending himself, the arrival
of the bride is announced; the confusion increases, for he is not yet
ready, and the others all torment him the more. Mozart has connected
this quartet with the overture, which leads into the first scene without
a break. We have a merry flourish of trumpets and drums, taken up by the
whole orchestra, and at once we are in the midst of wedding festivities
and joyous excitement. The plan of the



overture, though without any actual allusion, reminds us of that to
"Figaro," but falls short of it in spirit and refinement. The merriment
is interrupted by a tender andante 3-8, in which strings and wind
instruments alternate, prefiguring the amorous emotions which are to
have a place in the drama. The flourish is heard again, the curtain
rises, and the andante is repeated in its main points, the instrumental
movement serving as a foundation for the free motion of the voices. The
different points are more sharply accented, and the hearer's enjoyment
is intensified by the richer and more brilliant working out of the
movement, which shows itself, as it were, in an altogether new light.
The ensemble is inspired with cheerful humour, full of dramatic life,
and showing distinctly Mozart's own art of giving independence and
freedom to the voices and orchestra, as members of one perfect whole.
The draft is worked out somewhat beyond the first design, the stringed
instruments being almost written in full, and the principal entrances of
the wind instruments at least indicated. We are thus enabled to form
a sufficient idea of the movement, which, had it been completed, would
have been so brilliant an introduction to the opera. Two airs are
preserved in the customary sketch form--voices and bass entire, and
detached indications for the violin. In the soprano air (3), however,
the outline is so characteristic that but a small effort of imagination
suffices to endow it with the effect of full instrumentation. The
caricatured haughtiness of the Roman lady Eugenia is shown in the very
first words:--

The contrast between pomposity and volubility is given at once; the
object is to balance one with the other, so that they may appear natural
displays of a consistent character.

The moderation of tone thus obtained is all the more necessary from the
character being a female one, since a woman cannot be caricatured to
the point of being revolting, as a man can, without injury to the comic

     Nacqui all' aura trionfale,
     Del Romano Campidoglio
     E non trovo per le scale,
     Che mi venga ad incontrar?



Caricature, which emphasises certain characteristic features of an
individual at the cost of others less striking must always be an
objectionable mode of musical representation. The external features
which can be exaggerated by the musician are limited and soon exhausted,
the exaggeration of emotional expression to produce a comic effect is
a very dangerous device, because music does not possess the resources
which enable poetry and the formative arts to represent disproportions
of caricature as amusing and comical rather than distorted and hideous.
Mozart takes as the foundation for his musical representation a genuine
pride, which is only led by chance impulses to express itself in
an exaggerated and distorted manner, and it is this temporary
self-contradiction which produces the comic effect. The musical
device he employs for the purpose is the composition of the air in
the traditional heroic form of opera seria, which is opposed to the
situation of the moment as well as to the fault-finding words. The
compass and employment of the voice show that Mozart had Storace in
view, for whom he afterwards composed Susanna. Pulcherio's second air
(4) is much more sketchily delineated. Eugenia and Bocconio, after
their first meeting, are not on very good terms with each other, and the
obliging friend seeks to reconcile them; he draws Bocconio's attention
to Eugenia's beauty, and hers to Bocconio's amiability, and as he goes
first to one and then to the other with his appeals, he pictures to
himself the misery which is sure to follow the union of the two. The
contrasting motifs to which the situation gives rise are arranged
in animated alternation. The sketch, however, shows only the general
design; and the share taken in it by the orchestra, doubtless a very
important one, cannot be even approximately arrived at. A terzet (5
cf., Vol. II., p. 424) between Eugenia, Don Asdrubale and Bocconio is
completely worked out, and causes regret that it was not inserted in
a later opera, that so we might have heard it from the stage. Don
Asdrubale coming to greet Bocconio's bride, the lovers in amazement
recognise each other. Eugenia, who had been informed of Don Asdrubale's
death in battle, falls half-swooning on a couch, and Bocconio hastens
off to fetch



restoratives. Asdrubale, who is on the way to Rome that he may wed
Eugenia, overwhelms her with reproaches, and throws himself on a couch
in despair. Eugenia has risen, and before Asdrubale can explain himself,
Bocconio returns, and to his astonishment finds the scene completely
altered. At this point the terzet begins, and expresses most charmingly
the confusion and embarrassment of the three personages, who are all in
the dark as to each other's conduct, and who put restraint on themselves
even in their extremity of suspense. The orchestra carries on the
threads independently, joined by the voices, sometimes apart and
interrupted, to suit the situation, sometimes together. An excellent
effect is given by the sharply accented expression of involuntary
painful emotion contrasting with the reserve which otherwise prevails
in the terzet. The whole tone of the piece is masterly; while never
overstepping the limits of comic opera, it successfully renders the deep
agitation of mind of all the three characters. This is contrived, not
by the mixture of a comic element in the person of Bocconio, who rather
approximates to the frame of mind of the other two, but by the cheerful
tone which penetrates the whole without any loss of truth of expression.

This opera again stopped short of completion, and a third seems to
have had the same fate. A terzet for male voices, which is preserved in
duplicate draft, was intended for the first scene of a comic opera. An
opera by Accoromboni, "Il Regno delle Amazoni," was, according to Fétis,
performed at Parma in 1782, as well as elsewhere,[31] with success, and
the words of the terzet leave little doubt that this, too, was among the
"little books" Mozart had looked through, and that it suggested to him
an experiment which must almost have coincided in point of time with the
two just mentioned. It can scarcely have been the imperfections of the
libretti alone which caused Mozart to leave these operas unfinished,
but also the improbability of ever bringing them to performance.
The brilliant reception accorded to the Italian maestri, Sarti and
Paesiello, in Vienna, only caused



the German masters to fall more into the background. The extraordinary
success of Paesiello and Casti with "Il Re Teodoro'' (Vol. II., p. 344),
alarmed even Salieri. He had himself begun an opera, "Il Ricco d' un
Giorno," but laid it aside rather than enter into competition with the
"Re Teodoro." He was always skilful in turning circumstances to account.
When his "Rauchfangkehrer" failed in 1781, and Mozart's "Entführung" was
rousing great expectations, he received in the nick of time a commission
from Munich to write the opera "Semiramide," which was performed during
the Carnival.[32] He then set out, recommended and patronised by Gluck,
to produce "Les Danaides" in Paris. Crowned with new laurels, by reason
of the success which it there met with, he returned to Vienna and
completed his opera, after the first enthusiasm for his rivals had died
out. It was given on December 6, 1784, but without success.[33] Mozart's
prospects for the year 1785 were not any more favourable, when suddenly
help appeared from an unexpected quarter.

Lorenzo da Ponte (1749-1838),[34] a native of Ceneda, was exiled from
the republic of Venice, where he had been schoolmaster, on account of
his opinions and manner of life. After a short stay in Gorz and Dresden,
he came to Vienna, warmly recommended to Salieri by the poet Mazzola,
just as the Italian opera was in process of being established. Through
Salieri's influence he was appointed a theatrical poet by Joseph II.,
who continued to befriend him; he had thus every reason to be beholden
to Salieri. His first attempt was this opera, "Il Ricco d' un Giorno,"
which he did not himself consider a success; Salieri ascribed its
failure, which he felt the more keenly in contrast to Paesiello's
success, solely and entirely to the poet, and swore that he would sooner
cut off his hand than set to music another word of Da Ponte's. He had no
difficulty in obtaining a libretto



from Casti, "La Grotta di Trofonio"; and this opera, which was first
given on October 12, 1785, was a great success.[35] Da Ponte now saw
himself threatened in his position, for Casti was his declared rival and

Casti had long been famous as a witty and gallant verse-maker; he was
acquainted with the most influential men of the day, and was ambitious
of succeeding Metastasio as _poeta Cesareo_. The rise of Da Ponte, who
had to some extent taken Metastasio's place in the theatre, would be
altogether against his interests; he sought therefore both by praise and
blame to bring his rival into discredit, and ridiculed him personally
in his operetta, "Prima la Musica" (Vol. III., p. 47). Casti carried his
vanity and self-complacency to such a pitch that Kelly mimicked him on
the stage in his own opera ("Demo-gorgone"), to the intense delight of
the public.[36] It was plainly Da Ponte's interest to gain the favour of
composers who might do credit to his operatic libretti.

Vincent Martin (1754-1810), born in Valencia, and therefore called "Lo
Spagnuolo," had produced some operas in Italy with success since 1781;
Storace had made a furore in one of them at Venice.[37] This caused him
to repair to Vienna in 1784, where the wife of the Spanish Ambassador
took him under her powerful protection. At the command of the Emperor
Da Ponte adapted for him the opera, "Il Burbero di Buon Core," after
Goldoni's comedy, which was performed for the first time on January
4, 1786, with complete success; but his next operas, "Il Finto Cieco,"
composed by Gazzaniga, and "Il Demogorgone," composed by Righini, were
not particularly successful. Not satisfied with these composers, he cast
his eyes on Mozart, to whom he had promised a libretto as early as 1783.
Da Ponte positively affirms[38] that it was owing to his readiness and
decision that Mozart was enabled to place his masterpiece on the stage
in defiance of all the cabals and intrigues of his enemies; and he
expresses the



hope that an impartial and truthful account of the affair will make this
evident. We shall therefore follow his account, but shall correct and
modify it in its details by means of other available information.[39]

Baron Wezlar, a great lover of music, in whose house Mozart had lived
for a time (Vol. II., p. 304), had brought about the acquaintance
between the latter and Da Ponte, and proved himself a munificent patron
on the occasion. On Mozart's expressing anxiety lest an opera composed
by him should not be allowed to appear, Wezlar engaged to pay the
librettist a suitable fee, and to bring about the performance of
the opera in London or Paris if the obstacles in Vienna proved
insurmountable. Confiding in the favour and discernment of the Emperor,
Da Ponte declined this offer. In discussing a suitable subject Mozart
expressed the wish that Da Ponte would adapt Beaumarchais' comedy, "Le
Mariage de Figaro," which, after a prolonged struggle, had been given
for the first time on April 27, 1784, and was now occupying public
attention. The adaptation would be an easy matter, but the Emperor had
forbidden the production of the piece at the National Theatre on account
of its freedom of tone. Da Ponte, however, hoped to overcome this
difficulty; he agreed with Mozart to keep.the undertaking a secret.
They set to work, Da Ponte writing the libretto, and Mozart composing
it gradually as he received it: _in six weeks the whole was finished_.
Fortunately there was a dearth of new operas at the time. Da Ponte,
without consulting any one, went straight to the Emperor, and told him
what had happened. The Emperor had misgivings both as to Mozart, who,
though an excellent instrumental composer, had written an opera which
was no great success ("non era gran cosa"), and as to the piece which
he had already suppressed. Da Ponte declared that he would be answerable
for Mozart as well as for the piece, which he had adapted in such a
manner as to be perfectly fit for representation. The Emperor gave way,
summoned Mozart before him with the score, and after



hearing some portions of it, commanded that it should be performed and
put into rehearsal at once. This caused much displeasure to Mozart's
opponents, Casti and Count Rosenberg, "a sworn enemy of the Germans, who
would listen to nothing that was not Italian,"[40] and who made as many
difficulties as he could. Da Ponte relates one instance of the kind. The
manager, Bussani (the singer who was cast for the part of Bartolo), told
Count Rosenberg that in the third act of "Figaro," during the wedding
festivities, while Susanna is conveying the letter to the Count, a
ballet was to be introduced. Rosenberg sent for the poet, reminded him
that the Emperor would not allow a ballet, and turning a deaf ear to
his remonstrances, tore the scene out of the book. Mozart was furious;
wanted to call the Count to answer, to horsewhip Bussani, to appeal to
the Emperor, to take back the score--in short, he could with difficulty
be pacified. At the full rehearsal the Emperor was present. In obedience
to Rosenberg's order the ballet was omitted, and in dead silence Susanna
and the Count made their now meaningless gestures. The Emperor, in
amazement, asked what it all meant, and on Da Ponte's explanation of
the affair, ordered a proper ballet to be at once arranged. This story,
although Da Ponte may have exaggerated the importance of his own share
in it, doubtless gives a fair idea on the whole of the circumstances
under which Mozart's "Figaro" was produced. Kelly's assertion that
Mozart was commissioned by the Emperor to write an opera, and selected
"Figaro," accords very well with Da Ponte's account. Mozart began his
work in the autumn of 1785, as we learn from a letter of his father's to
Marianne (November 11, 1785):--

At last, after six weeks' silence, I have received a letter from your
brother of November 2, containing quite twelve lines. His excuse for not
writing is that he has been over head and ears at work on his opera,

"Le Nozze di Figaro." He has put off all his pupils to the afternoon, so
that he may have his mornings free. I have no fear as to the music;



but there will no doubt be much discussion and annoyance before he can
get the libretto arranged to his wish; and having procrastinated and let
the time slip after his usual fashion, he is obliged now to set to work
in earnest, because Count Rosenberg insists upon it.

This contradicts Da Ponte's account of the secrecy with which the opera
was prepared; and it may be doubted also whether it was really written
in six weeks. The date in Mozarts own catalogue,-April 29, 1786, only
proves that he closed his work by writing the overture immediately
before the first performance (May 1).[41] Da Ponte may have exaggerated
somewhat tor the sake of effect. Mozart's Thematic Catalogue shows what
he was capable of accomplishing even while at work upon "Figaro." There
is a hiatus in the catalogue from July 5, 1785, to November 5. It is
possible that he was busy with the opera during this interval; but
during the time immediately following, when he was working at it in real
earnest, we find the following compositions entered:--

1785. November 5. Quartet to the "Villanella Rapita" (Vol. II., p.

November 21. Terzet I (479, 480 K.).

December 12. Sonata for piano and violin in E flat major (481 K.).

December 16. Pianoforte concerto in E flat major (482 K.).

1786. January 10. Pianoforte rondo in D major (485 K.).

January 18. Terzet from the "Schauspieldirector."

February 3. "Schauspieldirector" (486 K.).

March 2. Pianoforte concerto in A major (488 K.).

March 10. Duet and air for the private performance of "Ido-meneo" (489,
490 K.).

March 24. Pianoforte concerto in C minor (491 K.).

April 29. "Le Nozze di Figaro" (492 K.).

To these may be added the Lent Concerts, which were also then
occupying him. There were other difficulties to be overcome before
the performance, of which we hear nothing from Da Ponte, but which are
related by Kelly:--

There were three operas now on the _tapis_, one by Righini ("ü
Demo-gorgone"), another by Salieri ("La Grotta di Trofonio"), and one



by Mozart, by special command of the Emperor. Mozart chose to have
Beaumarchais' French comedy, "Le Mariage de Figaro," made into an
Italian opera, which was done with great ability by Da Ponte. These
three pieces were nearly ready for representation at the same time, and
each composer claimed the right of producing his opera for the first.
The contest raised much discord, and parties were formed. The characters
of the three men were all very different. Mozart was as touchy as
gunpowder, and swore that he would put the score of his opera into the
fire if it was not produced first; his claim was backed by a strong
party. Righini, on the contrary, was working like a mole in the dark to
get precedence. The third candidate was Maestro di Capella to the court,
a clever, shrewd man, possessed of what Bacon called "crooked wisdom";
and his claims were backed by three of the principal performers, who
formed a cabal not easily put down. Every one of the opera company took
part in the contest. I alone was a stickler for Mozart, and naturally
enough, for he had a claim on my warmest wishes, from my adoration
of his powerful genius and the debt of gratitude I owed him for many
personal favours. The mighty contest was put an end to by his majesty
issuing a mandate for Mozart's "Nozze di Figaro" to be instantly put
into rehearsal.

A slight error has crept in here, for Salieri's opera was given first
on October 12, 1785; but this account confirms the fact of the Emperor's
interference. Mozart's claims were supported by the distinguished
company of amateurs who arranged a representation of "Idomeneo" at the
Auersperg Theatre in March (Vol. II., p. 289). The fact that his friends
Count Hatzfeld (Vol. II., p. 291) and Bridi (Vol. II., p. 359) took his
part in the dispute shows that it was intended to put Mozart forward as
a composer of Italian operas, and that powerful support was considered
necessary for the purpose. His father had cause therefore to write to
his daughter (April 18):--

On the 28th, "Le Nozze di Figaro" is to be put on the stage for the
first time. It will mean much if it succeeds, for I know that there
has been a surprisingly strong cabal against it. Salieri and all
his adherents will move heaven and earth against it. Duschek told me
lately[42] that my son met with such violent opposition because of his
extraordinary talent and cleverness.



Niemetschek (p. 37) goes so far as to assert that it was commonly
reported that the Italian singers did all they could to ruin the opera
on its first performance by intentional mistakes and carelessness, and
that they had to be sternly reminded of their duty by the Emperor, to
whom Mozart appealed in despair at the end of the first act. Kelly says
nothing of this; he maintains, on the contrary, that never was opera so
strongly cast, and that all the subsequent performances he had seen
were no more to be compared to the original one than light is to

All the original performers had the advantage of the instruction of the
composer, who transfused into their minds his inspired meaning. I never
shall forget his little animated countenance, when lighted up with the
glowing rays of genius; it is as impossible to describe it as it would
be to paint sunbeams. I remember at the first rehearsal of the full band
Mozart was on the stage with his crimson pelisse and gold-laced cocked
hat, giving the time of the music to the orchestra. Figaro's song "Non
più andrai" Benucci gave with the greatest animation and power of
voice. I was standing close to Mozart, who, (_sotto voce_), was repeating:
"Bravo! bravo, Benucci!" and when Benucci came to the fine passage,
"Cherubino, alla vittoria, alia gloria militar!" which he gave out with
stentorian lungs, the effect was electricity itself, for the whole of
the performers on the stage, and those in the orchestra, as if actuated
by one feeling of delight, vociferated: "Bravo! bravo, maestro! viva,
viva, grande Mozart!" Those in the orchestra I thought would never have
ceased applauding, by beating the bows of their violins against the
music-desks. The little man acknowledged by repeated obeisances his
thanks for the distinguished mark of enthusiastic applause bestowed upon

The following was the cast of the first performance, according to
Mozart's Thematic Catalogue--the original libretto is unfortunately
lost:[44]--[See page images]



The reception of the opera by the public on its first performance (May
1, 1786) was such as to justify the most favourable anticipations.[45]
"Never was anything more complete," says Kelly, "than the triumph of
Mozart and his 'Nozze di Figaro.'" The house was crowded, and many
pieces were encored, so that the opera lasted twice the usual time;
but that did not prevent long-continued applause and repeated calls for
Mozart at the close of the performance. L. Mozart wrote to his daughter
on May 18: "At the second performance of your brother's opera (May 3)
five pieces were encored, and on the third (May 8) seven; one little
duet had to be sung three times."[46] The opera, therefore, was a decided
success; too much so, indeed, for many people, and the Emperor was
persuaded, after the first performance, to forbid any piece to be
encored, under the pretence of sparing the singers and the conductor.
Kelly narrates how the Emperor, after issuing this prohibition,
addressing himself at a rehearsal to Storace, Mandini, and Benucci,
said:[47] "I



dare say you are all pleased that I put a stop to encores; it must
be fatiguing and distressing to you to repeat so many songs." Storace
replied: "It is indeed, sire, very distressing." The other two bowed,
as if in assent; but Kelly, who was standing by, said boldly to the
Emperor: "Do not believe them, sire, they all like to be encored; at
least I am sure I always do"; whereupon the Emperor laughed. Mozart's
enemies found it impossible to drive the opera completely from the
stage, but they took care that it should not be given often enough
to take firm hold of the public favour. Nevertheless, it reached nine
performances within the year, though with long intervals between them
(May 1, 3, 8, 24, July 4, August 28, September 22, November 15, December
18). On November 17 Martin's "Cosa Rara" (after so strong an opposition
on the part of the singers, that the Emperor was obliged to compel them
to sing)[48] achieved an unprecedented success. This threw "Figaro"
somewhat into the shade, both in the public estimation and in the
Emperor's opinion; the latter told Dittersdorf that Mozart overweighted
the singers with his full accompaniments;[49] Martin's easy and taking
melodies were far more to the royal taste. During 1787 and 1788 "Figaro"
was not given at all in Vienna,[50] and was not reproduced until August
29, 1789.


[Footnote 1: For the history of opera in Vienna I am much indebted to an article
written with full knowledge of the subject (A. M. Z., XXIV., p. 2651)
and still more so to the careful and accurate communications which I
owe to the courtesy of my friend Dr. Leop. von Sonnleithner; these two
accounts form the groundwork of the present chapter, even where I have
not expressly referred to them.]

[Footnote 2: Müller (Abschied, p. 263) does not indeed mention the younger
Stephanie by name, but other accounts explain his allusions. Schroder
wrote to Dalberg (January 19, 1782): "I'm insisting upon the removal of
young Stephanie from all concern in the affair, but there is no one bold
enough to propose to the Emperor to dismiss a man whom he has appointed,
and who will certainly be the ruin of the theatre."]

[Footnote 3: Meyer, L. Schroder, I., p. 358. A. M. Z., XXIV., p. 265. Nicolai
heard a performance of Gluck's "Orpheus" there in 1781 (Reise, IV., p.

[Footnote 4: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 194.]

[Footnote 5: A. M. Z., XXIV., p. 269. Schroder wrote to Dalberg (October 21,
1782): "German opera is abolished here, and comedy has been strengthened
by Reineke and Opiz."]

[Footnote 6: The new operas were: January 10--Gassmann, "Die Unruhige Nacht" (La
Notte Critica), performed three times; February 9--Gallus, "Rose," or
"Pflicht und Liebe im Streit," performed twice; February 23--J. Weigl,
"Die betrogne Arglist," performed three times.]

[Footnote 7: On January 20, 1781, Klein submitted his opera "Kaiser Rudolf von
Habsburg" to the Electoral German company; a short notice (Rhein.
Beitr. z. Gelehrs., 1781, I., p. 383) gives it extraordinary praise. He
afterwards turned the same subject into a tragedy with similar title,
which appeared in 1787.]

[Footnote 8: The letter was published in facsimile by Gassner (Zeitschr. f.
Deutschlands Musikvereine, II., p. 161), and has often been printed.]

[Footnote 9: The new German original operas which were performed were: 1785--"Die
Dorfhandel," or "Bunt über Eck," by Rupprecht; "Die Dorfdeputirten,"
by Teyber. 1786--"Die glücklichen Jager," by Umlauf; "Der Alchymist," by
Schuster; "Doctor und Apotheker," by Dittersdorf; "Robert und Hannchen,"
by Hanke; "Betrug und Aberglauben," by Dittersdorf; "Zemirens und Azors
Ehestand," by Umlauf. 1787--"Die Liebe im Narrenhause," by Dittersdorf;
"Das wüthende Heer," by Rupprecht; "Im Finstern ist nicht gut tappen,"
by Schenk; "Die Illumination," by Kürtzinger.]

[Footnote 10: Wien. Ztg., 1786, No. 11. L. Schneider, Cäcilia, XXIV., p. 148. R.
Hirsch, Mozart's "Schauspieldirector," Leipz., 1859.]

[Footnote 11: "Der Schauspieldirector." Ein Gelegenheitsstück in einem Aufzuge.
Wien, 1786. Printed, according to Schneider, in Stephanie's Vaudevilles.]

[Footnote 12: Mosel, Salieri's Leben u. Werke, p. 90.]

[Footnote 13: Wien. Ztg., 1786, No. 13 Anh.]

[Footnote 14: Goethe, Tag-Vund Jahreshefte, 1791 (Werke, XXI., p. 12).]

[Footnote 15: Goethe, Ital. Reise (Werke, XIX., p. 360).]

[Footnote 16: A. M. Z., 1864, pp. 465, 649.]

[Footnote 17: The text is printed in Diezmann's Goethe-Schiller-Museum, p. 15.
Goethe can scarcely have had a greater share in it than the insertion
of the songs "An dem schönsten Frûhlingsmorgen" and "Bei dem Glanz der
Abendröthe" (Neues Verz. e. Goethe-Bibl., p. 37). The words of Mozart's
pieces are only somewhat improved in unimportant particulars, being, as
a whole, very poor and insipid.]

[Footnote 18: Theaterbriefe von Goethe, p. 32.]

[Footnote 19: Hirsch, Mozart's Schauspieldirector, p. 18.]

[Footnote 20: Printed in the German Bühnenalmanach, 1861.]

[Footnote 21: Besides the Bandlterzett (441 K., Vol. II., p. 362), and the air
"Manner suchen stets zu naschen" (433 K., Vol. III., p. 44), the two
songs "An Chloe" (524 K.) and "Die betrogene Welt" (474 K.) are also

[Footnote 22: Reichardt (A. M. Z., XV., p. 665. Schletterer, Reichardt, I., p.
324): "Opera buffa was at that time (1783) far better appointed there,
and followed its own bent with far more earnestness and consistency than
anywhere in Italy. The orchestra was also first-rate--full of fire and
discretion." Cf. Musik. Wochenbl., p. 66. Car. Pichler, Denkw., I., p.

[Footnote 23: Berl. Litt.-u. Theat.-Ztg., 1784,1., p. 14. Opera seria was only
given as an exception. When the celebrated male soprano Luigi Marchesi
(Cramer, Magaz. f. Mus., I., p. 559) passed through Vienna on his
journey from St. Petersburg, in August, 1785, the Emperor directed him
to appear in Sarti's "Giulio Sabino," which was played six times to
overflowing houses (Muller, Abschied, p. 7).]

[Footnote 24: Berl. Litt.--u. Theat.-Ztg., I., pp. 14,19.]

[Footnote 25: Berl. Litt.--u. Theat-Ztg., I., p. 313.]

[Footnote 26: Cramer, Magaz. f. Mus., II., p. 185.]

[Footnote 27: Meyer, L. Schröder, I., p. 345.]

[Footnote 28: This was the opera "Il Ricco d'un Giomo," which was produced with
little success on December 6, 1784 (Mosel, Salieri, p. 86).]

[Footnote 29: Mus. Real-Ztg., 1789, p. 85.]

[Footnote 30: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 231. Pohl, Mozart u. Haydn in London, p.

[Footnote 31: Cramer, Magaz. f. Mus., II., p. 556.]

[Footnote 32: Mosel, Salieri, p. 74.]

[Footnote 33: Mosel, Salieri, p. 79. Da Ponte, Mem., I., 2, p. 50.]

[Footnote 34: L. Da Ponte's "Memorie" appeared in New York, 1823 (2nd edition,
1829-30), and a translation at Stuttgart, 1847. Cf. A. M. Z., X., p.
679; XLI., p. 788; XLIV., p. 769.]

[Footnote 35: Schink, Dramaturg. Monate, II., p. 539.]

[Footnote 36: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 235.]

[Footnote 37: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 189.]

[Footnote 38: Da Ponte, Mem., I., 2, p. 68.]

[Footnote 39: Kelly (Reminisc., I., p. 257) gives some interesting notices on the
history of "Figaro."]

[Footnote 40: Berl. Mus.-Ztg., 1793, p. 141.]

[Footnote 41: An account of the fate of the autograph score, which came into the
possession of N. Simrock, of Bonn, in 1864, is given in the N. Ztschr.
fur Mus., XXXVI., p. 261. Cf. XXXV., pp. 65, 77.]

[Footnote 42: Duschek and his wife had arrived at Salzburg from Prague at the
beginning of April, after a short stay in Vienna.]

[Footnote 43: Ulibicheff's opinion that, fortunately for the music, Mozart had
to do with mediocre singers (II., p. 40), is unfounded. Cf. A. M. Z.,
XXIV., p. 270.]

[Footnote 44: It is remarkable that none of the German vocalists, neither Madame
Lange nor Cavalieri nor Teyber, on whom Mozart had himself reckoned
for his "Sposo Deluso" (Vol. III., p. 60), were employed; a result, no
doubt, of operatic factions. We know from Da Ponte (Mem., I., 2, pp.
109, no, 135) that Cavalieri was highly favoured by Salieri (Mosel,
Salieri, p. 184), whose pupil she was.]

[Footnote 45: So Mozart writes the name. Kelly was, as he says himself
(Reminisc., I. p. 139), called Okelly in Italy.]

[Footnote 46: She afterwards saog Pamina in the "Zauberflote."]

[Footnote 47: The Wiener Zeitung (1786, No. 35) contained only the following
brief notice: On Monday, May 1, was performed lor the first time in the
National Theatre a new Italian opera in four acts, entitled 'Le Nozze di
Figaro,' adapted from the French comedy of Mons. de Beaumarchais by
Herr Abb. da Ponte, theatrical poet; the music is by Herr Kapellmeister
Mozart. La Sign. Laschi, who has lately returned here, and La Sign.
Bussani, a new vocalist, made their first appearance as the Countess and
the page."]

[Footnote 48: Da Ponte, Mem., I., 2, p. 90.]

[Footnote 49: Dittersdorf, Selbstbiogr., p. 237.]

[Footnote 50: In, June, 1787, Balzer announced (Wien. Ztg., 1787, No. 46, Anh.)
that the unanimous approbation with which Mozart's masterpiece, "Die
Hochzeit des Figaro," had been received in Prague, had induced him
to publish a pianoforte arrangement by Kucharz; he also advertised
arrangements for wind instruments, and a version of the work as a
quintet by Abbé Vogler(I).]





THE choice of Beaumarchais' comedy "Le Mariage de Figaro, ou La Folle
Journée," as a subject for operatic treatment, was deliberately made by
Mozart himself.[1] The



play had excited unusual interest, both on account of the name and
political position of the author and of the curious circumstances
under which it had been produced in Paris. Beaumarchais had offered his
comedy, towards the end of 1781, to the Théätre-Français, where it was
readily accepted. But rumours prejudicial to the piece led Louis XVI. to
have it read aloud in his presence; he was horrified at its freedom of
tone, and declared that he would never consent to its performance. This
only served to stimulate curiosity, and people thronged to hear the
reading of the manuscript; a strong court party interested themselves
for its production, the actors pressed for it, the public insisted
upon it. Beaumarchais knew well how to turn all these circumstances to
account; in June, 1783, his comedy was on the point of performance at
the court theatre; the audience was actually assembled, when, just as
the curtain was about to rise, a fresh prohibition arrived, from the
King. Complaints of tyranny and oppression now became audible, and the
affair assumed a political aspect. At length the King was prevailed upon
to countenance a private representation at a festival given by M.
de Vaudreuil to the Comte d'Artois in September, 1783. Beaumarchais
contrived that this should lead to a public performance, which took
place in April, 1784.[2] The unheard-of success of the play caused its
reputation to spread rapidly, and Mozart's attention could not fail to
be attracted to it, the more so as Paesiello's "Barbiere di Seviglia,"
founded on Beaumarchais' earlier comedy, had been well received in
Vienna. Mozart's search for a suitable libretto among the Italian ones
already published, and his attempt to produce a new one with. Varesco,
were equally unsuccessful. The accepted form of opera buffa, relying
for effect solely on broadly comic situations and caricature, did not
satisfy Mozart's conditions of dramatic reality in the development of
an interesting plot and a consistent delineation of character. Both
conditions were amply fulfilled by Beaumarchais. "Le Nozze di Figaro"
is well known to be in a certain sort a continuation of the "Barbiere di



The majority of the characters appear in both pieces, events belonging
to the plot of "Figaro" are grounded on the previous play, and it is
necessary for a proper appreciation of the motives and characterisation
to bear the connection of the two in mind:--

Count Almaviva having, with Figaro's help, gained the hand of Rosina,
the charming ward of Doctor Bartolo, takes Figaro and Marcellina,
Rosina's duenna, into his service, and retires to his castle, attended
also by Basilio, the music-master. He soon wearies of his wife's
society, and seeks distraction in the company of Susanna, the Countess's
maid and Figaro's affianced bride. Basilio is again made to act the
part of a go-between. The piece begins on the day appointed for Figaro's
wedding. Figaro, having learnt the Count's designs from Susanna,
determines to outwit his master, and to prevent the success of his
scheme for delaying the wedding. In this scheme the Count is offered
assistance by Marcellina, who is in love with Figaro, and possesses his
written undertaking to marry her should he fail in repaying her by a
certain day a sum of money she has lent him. Her dread of losing all
chance of Figaro, by his union with Susanna, induces her to call Bartolo
to her assistance, and the latter is the more ready to do what he
can, both that he may revenge himself on Figaro, and free himself from
Marcellina's claims upon him. It appears that years ago she bore him a
son, who was kidnapped as a child. While this danger is hanging over
the heads of the lovers, Susanna is sought in her room by the page
Cherubino, a heedless and beautiful youth, just budding into manhood.
The Count has surprised him with Fanchette, daughter of his gardener
Antonio, with whom he is himself flirting, and has discharged him from
his service; he begs Susanna to intercede for him with the Countess, his
godmother, for whom he entertains an ardent passion. As they converse,
they hear the Count approaching, and Cherubino hides behind a large
arm-chair; the Count has come to offer Susanna a dowry if she will
consent to meet him the same evening; she, however, vigorously repulses
him. Basilio enters: the Count hides behind the same arm-chair, and
Cherubino slips round to the front, and covers himself with a cloak
which lies upon the chair. Basilio reiterates to Susanna the Count's
proposals, and, on her continued refusal, makes malicious allusions to
the page, who is paying court not only to Susanna, but to the Countess.
The Count comes forward in a fury, orders the immediate dismissal of
the page, tells how he found him concealed in the gardener's house, and
discovers him in the arm-chair. But Cherubino has been a witness to all
that has passed, and, in order to conciliate and get rid of him at the
same time, the Count gives him a commission in his regiment, ordering
his immediate departure for Seville, to join the garrison there. At this
point Figaro enters at the head of the villagers in holiday attire. The
Count, at his marriage, had



renounced his seignorial rights, and, instigated by Figaro, his grateful
subjects come to petition him to honour the first wedding which has
since been celebrated by himself placing the wreath on the head of the
bride. The Count cannot refuse the petition, but begs for a few hours
delay, in order that the ceremony may be rendered more brilliant.
Figaro in the meantime is plotting a double intrigue against the Count,
with the co-operation of the Countess, who has been kept informed of
all that is going on by her devoted Susanna. Her relations to Figaro and
Susanna, and her ready acquiescence in a design to recall her husband
to a sense of his duty by means of a trick, keep us in mind that the
Countess Almaviva is the Rosina of the "Barber of Seville." She loves
her husband, and has a full consciousness of her own dignity; but
the circumstances of her early life, and of her marriage with Count
Almaviva, have left their indelible impress upon her. Figaro warns the
Count, who has gone hunting, by an anonymous letter that a rival has
made an assignation with the Countess; he hopes that jealousy will
divert his mind from the wedding. On the other side he assures him of
Susanna's intention to keep her appointment in the garden; Cherubino,
who has been allowed to delay his departure at Figaro's intercession,
is to be disguised so as to take Susanna's place at the interview. |The
page comes to be dressed; all at once the Count knocks, having hurried
home in jealous haste. Cherubino slips into the inner room, of which the
Countess locks the door; as the Count is plying her with angry questions
Cherubino throws down a chair; the Countess explains that Susanna is
within, but refuses to allow her to come out, or even to answer, and
will not give up the key. The Count, enraged, secures all means of
egress, and drags the Countess away with him to fetch an axe and break
the door open. Susanna, who has been concealed in an alcove during
this scene, proceeds to liberate Cherubino; he, finding no other exit
available, springs through the window into the garden, and Susanna
takes his place in the cabinet. The Count returning with the Countess,
determined to employ force in opening the door, she confesses that the
page is in the inner chamber, whereby his rage is still further excited;
to the astonishment of them both Susanna steps forth. The Countess soon
collects herself, and explains that their only intention has been to
punish him for his want of faith, and that Figaro wrote the letter as a
preliminary to the trick; the Count is forced to sue for pardon, which
he obtains with difficulty. Figaro now enters with the information that
all is prepared for the wedding, and being taxed by the Count with the
letter, denies all knowledge of it, and is with difficulty brought to
understand the position of affairs. This danger is hardly over when the
gardener enters, half tipsy, with the complaint that some one has just
jumped from the window of the cabinet upon his flowers; Figaro declares
that he was there with Susanna, and had jumped into the garden from fear
of the Count's fury. The gardener says that he thought he had recognised
Cherubino, but hands Figaro a paper which



had been dropped in the garden. The Count, his suspicions newly
awakened, demands the contents of the paper; the Countess recognises
in it the page's patent, and whispers through Susanna to Figaro, who is
able to ward off this fresh danger. Marcellina now appears supported
by Bartolo, and makes known Figaro's promise of marriage; the Count, in
high delight, promises to support her claims in a court of justice, and
by dismissing Basilio, who puts forward his claims to Marcellina's hand,
revenges himself for the letter which Basilio had presented to him.

Before the sitting of the court the Countess conceives the design of
herself taking Susanna's place at the rendezvous with the Count. The
trial which takes place results in Figaro's being ordered to pay his
debt to Marcellina, or in default to marry her. The Count appears at the
goal of his wishes, but Figaro's evasion--that he must have the consent
of his parents--leads to the discovery that he is the long-lost son
of Bartolo and Marcellina, who thereupon decide to celebrate their
espousals together with his; Susanna, entering with money obtained
from the Countess to redeem Figaro, is indignant at finding him in
Marcellina's arms, but her anger is speedily turned to delight at
hearing the true position of affairs.

During the solemn wedding ceremony--at which Cherubino, disguised as
Fanchette, appears among the village maidens and is recognised--Susanna
gives the Count a letter dictated by the Countess, in which she appoints
the place of rendezvous; a pin which is stuck into the letter is to be
returned as a token of understanding. Figaro sees that the Count reads
the letter and pricks himself with the pin, without noticing that
Susanna has given it to him; hearing afterwards from Fanchette that
she is commissioned by the Count to convey the pin back to Susanna, he
easily surmises what it means. Beside himself with jealousy, he stations
his parents and friends in the neighbourhood of the appointed place, and
repairs thither himself to surprise and punish the guilty pair.

In the darkness of night the Countess and Susanna, having exchanged
clothes, come to put their husbands to the proof; Susanna has been
warned by Marcellina of Figaro's designs. Scarcely is the Countess
alone, when she is alarmed by the approach of Cherubino, who presses
a kiss on the supposed Susanna; the Count, entering on the instant,
salutes the page with a box on the ear, which is received instead by the
listening Figaro. Alone with the Countess, the Count addresses her in
the most endearing terms, presents her with money, and with a costly
ring, and endeavours to go off with her; she escapes him in the
darkness, and he seeks her in vain.

In the meantime Susanna, as the Countess, comes to the enraged Figaro,
but forgetting for a moment to disguise her voice, he recognises her,
and turns the tables by proposing to her to revenge herself for her
lord's want of faith by her own, whereupon she makes herself known by



boxing his ears. Peace is easily restored by his explanation, and as
the Count approaches, seeking his Susanna, they continue to counterfeit
love. The Count in a rage calls for his people with torches, Figaro's
friends hasten in, and with them the Countess. The Count, to his
shame, discovers that it was his wife who accepted his presents and
declarations of love, and the pardon which she accords to him brings the
confusion to an end.

Such is a mere outline of this amusing play of intrigue, where one knot
twisting in with another, one embarrassment growing out of another, call
forth ever and again fresh contrivances, while an abundance of effective
situations and characteristic detail make the witty and satirical
dialogue one of the most graphic character pictures of the time.[3]
Da Ponte has arranged his libretto with much skill, having no doubt
received important aid from Mozart himself. The progress of the piece
is left almost unaltered, the necessary abbreviations being judiciously
made.[4] Thus, the lengthy trial scene is omitted, and only the result
in its bearing on the plot is communicated. Sometimes an under-plot is
added, such as Basilio's appearance as Marcellina's lover. The
clearness of the plot is not often endangered, as it certainly is by the
alteration which omits all mention of a son of Bartolo and Marcellina
previous to their recognition of Figaro as their offspring. The musical
pieces are introduced with admirable discrimination in such positions
as to allow free and natural scope to the musical rendering of each
situation without hindering the progress of the plot, and this is no
small praise in such a piece as "Figaro." The whole scheme of the drama
demands that quite as much attention shall be given to the ensemble
movements and finales as



the solo airs; and this is of great advantage to the musical
construction. The definite and prearranged progress of the action
fulfils all the conditions of operatic representation with regard to the
position and diversity of the musical pieces; the poetical conceptions
are clever and appropriate, a suggestion of Beaumarchais being often
amplified in the musical working-out. The French comedy was of wonderful
advantage in maintaining the dialogue; and, shortened and modified as
it was of necessity, it retained far more of the spirit and life of the
original than was usual in the recitatives of opera buffa. This is
not indeed the case as far as the German adaptations of the opera are
concerned. I am not aware whence proceeded the first translation made
use of in Berlin in 1790.[5] In 1791 Knigge adapted the opera for
Schroder in Hamburg;[6] in 1792 it was given in Vienna, translated by
Gieseke; and in 1794 Vulpius's translation appeared. A new translation,
giving not only Da Ponte's verses, but Mozart's improvements on them, is
a pressing necessity. The vast superiority of "Le Nozze di Figaro," in
characterisation, plot, and dialogue, to the very best of opera buffa
libretti may be easily discerned by comparing it with other famous
operas, such as Casti's "Re Teodoro" or "Grotta di Trofonio." In many
essential points "Figaro" overstepped the limits of opera buffa proper,
and brought to view entirely new elements of dramatic construction. The
political element indeed, on which perhaps most of the effect of the
comedy depended, was altogether omitted from the opera. Not only does
the dialogue receive its essential character from the satire and scorn
which it freely casts upon the abuses of political and social life--the
whole tendency of the play is to depict the nobleman of the period, who,
himself without truth and honour, demands both from others, indulges
his lust without scruple, and thereby causes his dependents, injured in
their moral rights, to turn against him their intellectual superiority,
so that he is finally



worsted and disgraced. This conception of the nobility and their
position in relation to the citizen class is expressed with energy and
malice, and found such a response in the prevailing opinions of the
time, that the production of the piece against the expressed will of
the King appeared to be a public confirmation of the principles which
inspired it; and Napoleon might with justice say of "Figaro": "C'était
la révolution déjà en action."[7] Every trace of these feelings has
vanished in the opera, as will be clearly perceived by a comparison of
the celebrated "Frondeur-monologue" of Figaro in the fifth act with
the jealous song in the opera. The omission was made not so much in
deference to the Emperor Joseph's scruples as with the right conviction
that the political element is altogether out of place in music.

The omission of political satire is the more serious because it leaves
as the central point of the plot an immorality which is not exactly
justified, but not by any means seriously punished; only treated with
a certain frivolity. The noble libertine is opposed by true and upright
love, honest devotion to duty and honourable conduct; but these moral
qualities are not made in themselves effective; the true levers of the
plot are cunning and intrigue employed as weapons of defence. The whole
piece appears in a doubtful light, the atmosphere surrounding Count
Almaviva is impure, and the suppression of those circumstances which
could alone make the phenomenon natural affects more or less the whole
spirit of the plot, and deprives the dialogue of much of its point and
double meaning.

Beaumarchais might fairly plead that, having undertaken to give a true
picture of the manners of his time, absolute truth of conception and
detail was necessary to insure the right moral effect; it was for
a later age to perceive how completely the author of the satire was
himself under the influence of the time which he depicts and would fain
improve. This justification is denied to the opera. It has no title to
be considered as a picture of morals, neither can it pretend to exercise
any direct influence, whether moral or



political, on the minds of men. The dialogue is undoubtedly in many
respects purer than in the comedy; but the plot and its motives, the
chief situations, the whole point of view, become all the more decidedly
frivolous. How came it, then the Mozart could choose such a subject for
his opera, and that the public could accept it with approbation? It must
in the first place be borne in mind that the facts on which the plot is
founded, and the point of view from which these facts are regarded,
had at that time substantial truth and reality; men were not shocked at
seeing on the stage that which they had themselves experienced, and
knew to be going on in their own homes. A later age is disgusted by the
contrast between semblance and reality, and at the representation of
immorality in all its nakedness; the taste of the time demands that
it shall be shown after another form and fashion. A glance at the
entertaining literature, and even at the operas of the last half of
the eighteenth century, shows clearly that representation of immorality
plays an important part therein in a form which bespeaks the temper and
spirit of the time; and further, that a desire for the representation
of moral depravity is an infallible symptom of moral disease. It cannot,
therefore, be wondered at that a picture of the moral corruption which
penetrated all classes, from the highest to the lowest, and which had
brought all social and political relations to the verge of dissolution,
should have been regarded with eager approbation and enjoyment. The
age which produced and enjoyed "Figaro" took a lighter view of sensual
gratification and the moral turpitude connected therewith than that
which seems right to a generation grown serious by reason of higher aims
and nobler struggles. It need not here be discussed how far manners
and opinions which change with the times are to be regarded as absolute
morality; the point we are proving is undeniable, and is apparent,
often painfully so, in all the light literature and memoirs of the day.
Caroline Pichler writes in reference to this very period:[8]--



There prevailed a taste for all that was beautiful and pleasant in
Vienna at that time. The mind had freer movement than at present, and
anything might be written and printed which was not in the strictest
sense of the word contrary to religion and the state. There was not
nearly so much stress laid upon _good manners_. Plays and romances of
a tolerably free tendency were admitted and discussed in good society.
Kotzebue was very much thought of. His pieces, as well as Gemmingen's
"Deutscher Hausvater," Schroder's "Ring," and many others which are sunk
in oblivion, together with a number of tales and romances (Meissner's
sketches above all) were founded on indecent subjects. They were read
without scruple or concealment by all the world, and every young girl.

I myself saw and read them all repeatedly; "Oberon" I knew well, and
Meissner's "Alcibiades." No mother felt any scruple at allowing her
daughter to become acquainted with such works; and indeed living
examples of what we read moved before us with so little concealment of
their irregular and immoral doings, that it would not have been possible
for any mother to keep her daughter in ignorance on these points.

It is sufficient to refer to the reading of Wieland's works.

What can be more repugnant to our ideas than to find a young girl
writing to her lover:--

I hope you will soon get the new "Amadis"; it is the funniest, most
whimsical book. I wonder how you will like Olinda! Master Amadis is a
little too like butter--he melts in every sunbeam.

Our wonder increases when we reflect that this young girl is Caroline
Flachsland, and her lover is Herder.[9] There can be no doubt that in
this respect Mozart was a child of his time; that he willingly allowed
himself to glide along the pleasant stream of life in Vienna, and that
his merrier moods were often productive of free and even coarse jests.
The frivolous element in Beaumarchais' comedy was not, therefore, likely
to repel him, although it would be unfair to assert that it mainly
attracted him; he accepted it, as others did, as the sauce which was
most likely to be of acceptable flavour.

His chief concern was doubtless the gradual unfolding and continual
interest of the plot, and the graphic delineation of character,
qualities which were entirely overlooked by the ordinary opera buffa.
Any approach to probability or analogy with actual life was not thought
of, and was



not often replaced even by a fanciful poetic vein of humour; attempts to
give consistency to the caricatures of individuals and situations only
served to bring their irreconcilable contrasts into stronger relief.
In "Figaro," on the contrary, the interest depends upon, the truth the
representation of actual life. The motives of the actors are serious,
they are carried out with energy and intellect, and from them the
situations are naturally developed; only the light in which they are all
portrayed is that of Beaumarchais' strongly accented "gaieté," which is
by no means innocent, and in its essence nothing less than musical. It
is one of the strongest proofs of Mozart's genius that he should have
undertaken, moved as he was by the dramatic signification of the piece,
to infuse a new soul into it by his musical treatment; so sure was
he that whatever came home to his mind might be used as the germ of a
living creation. The musical representation, however, could only be a
true one by relying entirely on the emotions which alone are capable
of being expressed in music.[10] The whole piece is raised to a
higher sphere by the subordination of the powers of understanding and
intellect, which Beaumarchais had made the chief factors in his design.
Beaumarchais' aim was to preserve his plot and characters from vulgarity
or caricature; the point of view whence the musical reconstruction
proceeded led inevitably to an ennobling of the whole representation.
In depicting emotions, whether as the impulse to action, or as giving
significance even to the least commendable promptings of the mind, the
musician was in his own element, and the



wealth of dramatic situations and characters was a pure gain to an
artist who knew how to turn it to account. The piercing eye of genius
finds materials for its finest performance where a more superficial view
reveals nothing but difficulties. If each of the characters, pursuing
the interests they have at heart, are to express their inner sentiments
at every point in conformity with their nature, it follows that the
aim of dramatic characterisation in its true sense must be the
representation of individuality, sharp and precise in form, true and
pure as to its source; thus only will the exaggeration of caricature be
avoided. This holds good of all the chief characters in "Figaro"--of the
Count and Countess, Figaro, Susanna, and Cherubino. They are so entirely
governed by their emotions and passions, so completely involved in the
complications proceeding therefrom, that an artistic representation must
depend on the depicting of these emotions in their fullest truth.

Bartolo and Marcellina seem to invite a treatment in caricature. In the
"Barber of Seville" we find the same Bartolo as a buffo character. This
is made impossible here by the fact that they are to appear afterwards
as Figaro's parents, and ought not, therefore, to cut grotesque figures
in our eyes. Beaumarchais' point, that Marcellina gives herself airs
of superiority to Susanna, "parce qu'elle a fait quelques études
et tourmenté la jeunesse de Madame" is not available for musical
characterisation, but Mozart brings it out skilfully in another way. In
the duet (Act I., 5), in which Susanna and Marcellina vie with each other
in impertinence and provocation, the expression is toned down by the
actual, disputing being left to the orchestra, and the two women are put
quite on an equality. Susanna prevails over Marcellina only by reason
of her youthful grace, and the whole appears an outbreak of that jealous
susceptibility which is said to be an attribute of the female sex.
Nobler women would not yield to such impulses, but these two belong to
no exalted sphere, and give the rein to their angry humours. But they
never forget themselves so far as to offend delicacy, and the general
tone is a gay one, Marcellina being shown in no way inferior to



Susanna.[11] Afterwards, when graver matters engage her, when she
asserts her claims upon Figaro in the first finale, or recognises him as
her son in the sestet, the musical expression is sustained and full of
true feeling. A singer who was able to form her conception of the part
from these touches of character would make of Marcellina something quite
different from the ordinary old housekeeper, whom we have unhappily been
used to see and hear, no doubt from a mistaken endeavour to render the
illusion that Figaro's mother must be an old woman, and sing like an
old woman. Marcellina's air (Act IV., 2)," on the other hand, does not
assist the characterisation, and is the only piece in the whole opera
which fails of its effect. The whole style of it, even to the passages,
is old-fashioned, like the traditional air for a seconda donna; it
appears to have been a concession made to the taste of the singer.
Basilio, the man of cold intellect and malicious cunning, is not a
figure which can be made comic by caricature. Mich. Kelly (1764-1825),
for whom it was written, was an Irishman, who had studied in Naples, and
was highly successful as a tenor in Italy and Vienna; his powers as a
mimic fitted him especially for comic parts.[12] Basilio's malice
and scorn are expressed in the terzet (Act I., 7) with delicacy and
character, and, in contrast with Susanna's painful excitement and the
Count's anger, they give to the piece an irony, such as has seldom found
expression in music. The point justly noted by Ulibicheff (II., p. 45 )
that Basilio, in his attempts to pacify the Count after finding the page
in the arm-chair, repeats the words: "Ah, del paggio quel ch' ho detto
era solo un mio sospetto," a fifth higher, brings out in a striking
degree his character of refined malice. The effect is heightened by the
use of the same motif by the Count, when he is



telling how he found the page with Barberina; and it is attained in the
simplest manner by the natural development of the musical structure.
Basilio falls into the background in the course of the opera; the comic
way in which Beaumarchais makes him banished by the Count, and his
courtship of

Marcellina, would have afforded good operatic situations, but
abbreviation and simplification were absolutely necessary, and much
that was not essential had to be sacrificed. The air which is given to
Basilio in the last act (Act IV., 3) scarcely affords compensation. Da
Ponte, deprived of Beaumarchais' guidance in this place, makes Basilio
illustrate by the fable of the asses' skin that those who can flatter
and deceive succeed in the world. The musical rendering follows the
story, the orchestra giving the characteristic detail. The expression
of ease and self-complacency, and above all the incomparable idea,
deservedly noticed by Ulibicheff, of turning the last sentence of the
heartless poltroon: "Onte, pericoli, vergogna e morte col cuojo d' asino
fuggir si puö," into a sort of parody of a triumphal march, give the air
a character of its own". Executed with humour and delicate mimicry it
becomes in fact an epitome of Basilio's character, with its utter want
of genial qualities. But tone-painting occurs only in such touches as
those of the storm, the yelping dog, the hurried retreat, and never
comes to the foreground. This means of effect, elsewhere so favourite a
device in opera buffa, is always sparingly used by Mozart. The "Din
din, don, don," in the duet between Susanna and Figaro (Act I., 2) can
scarcely be called tone-painting any more than it can be said to be
word-painting; it is hardly more than an interjection, which has the
advantage in its musical rendering of being incorporated as a motif in
the structure of the piece. Nor can the term be justly applied to the
march like tone of Figaro's "Non più andrai" (Act I., 9). Certain forms
and phrases have developed themselves in music as expressions of warlike
ideas, and they are employed as a matter of course where these ideas
occur; Figaro, describing to the page the military life before him, has
it mirrored as it were by the orchestra. Mozart wisely guards against



upon any musical details in the picture, which would have led to a
distorted tone-painting; he confines himself to the barest and most
general allusions produced by association of ideas. It is often
difficult to decide how far the association of ideas contributes to
the partly involuntary, partly conscious construction of the musical
expression. For instance in the first duet between Figaro and Susanna
(Act I., 1), the motif for the bass--[See Page Image]

with the corresponding one for the first violins, goes very well with
Figaro's measuring of the room, the diminutions expressing clearly
enough his repeated stretches. It cannot be doubted that the situation
has suggested the motif, but whether Mozart intended to express the
action of measurement is far less certain, and any idea of tone-painting
is out of the question. The subordinate characters of the drunken
gardener Antonio and the stuttering judge Don Curzio might under other
circumstances have been made into caricatures in the sense of opera
buffa, but they appear in situations which have so decided a character
of a totally different kind that they could not have departed from it
without serious injury to that harmony of the whole which none knew
better than Mozart how to preserve. The little cavatina (Act IV., 1)

for Barbarina, (Fanchette in Beaumarchais) is very significantly not
exactly caricatured, but drawn in stronger colours than is elsewhere
the case. This little maid, in her liking for Cherubino, and with an
open-hearted candour which makes her a true _enfant terrible_ to the
Count, is altogether childish, and not only naïve but unformed. It is,
therefore, natural that she should express her grief for the lost pin,
and her fear of punishment, like a child; and when we hear her sobbing
and crying over it we receive the same ludicrous impression which
grown-up people rarely fail to feel at the sight of a child expressing
the sorrow of his heart with an energy quite out of proportion to the
occasion. The fact that the strong accents which Mozart here multiplies
to produce the effect of the disproportion of childish



ideas are afterwards made use of to express real emotion does no injury
to the truth of his characterisation. In a similar way the expression
of sentiment is exaggerated when it is represented as feigned; as,
for instance, the last finale, when Figaro makes love to the supposed
Countess, whom he has recognised as Susanna, and grows more and more
vehement in order to excite the Count's jealousy. Here we have a parody
of the accents of strongest passion (Vol. II., p. 427). How differently
does the same Figaro express his true feelings! How simple and genuine
is the expression of his love in the first duet (Act I., 1), when
he interrupts his measurements to exclaim to his pretty bride, with
heartfelt joy: "Si, mio core, or è più bello!" and in the last finale,
when he puts an end to pretence and, in an exalted mood, with the
feeling of his newly won, safely assured happiness fresh upon him,
exclaims: "Pace! pace, mio dolce tesoro!" Equally true is Figaro's
expression of the jealousy which results from his love. At first indeed
this feeling is a curiously mingled one. Warned by Susanna herself, he
has full confidence in her, and feels all his intellectual superiority
to the Count; he contemplates his situation with a humour which is
admirably rendered in the celebrated cavatina (Act I., 3). Cheerfully
as it begins, the expression of superciliousness and versatility has a
tinge of bitterness and resentment, betraying how nearly he is touched
by the affair which he affects to treat so lightly. Afterwards, when he
believes himself deceived, grief and anger are strongly expressed in the
recitative preceding his air (Act IV., 4). But his originality asserts
itself even here. The consciousness of what his situation has of the
ludicrous never forsakes him, and his anger against the whole female
sex, which he works up more and more, involuntarily assumes a comic
character. Here we have one of the many points which Mozart added to the



The somewhat unflattering description of womankind runs--

     Queste chiamate dee
     Son streghe che incantano per farci penar,
     Sirene che cantano per farci affogar,
     Civette che allettano per trarci le piume,
     Comete che brillano per toglierci il lume--

and so on, until at the end--

     Amore non senton, non senton pietà--
     Il resto non dico, già ognuno lo sà.

He has no sooner pronounced the fatal "il resto non dico," when he seems
unable to get out any more; and so it runs--

     Son streghe che incantano--il resto non dico
     Sirene che cantano--il resto non dico, &c.--

giving, opportunity for a corresponding musical treatment of the words.
At last Mozart makes the horns strike in unexpectedly and finish the
phrase for him in a manner full of musical fun. As the consciousness
grows upon Figaro that he is himself the injured party, his signs of
grief and pain grow stronger and more animated. The blending of warm
feeling with the involuntarily comic expression of intellectual reaction
is psychologically true, and in such a character as Figaro's inevitable;
it is embodied in the music in a form very different to that of an
ordinary buffo aria. Not less true to nature is Figaro's resigned
expression of disappointed love further on, when, having the evidence of
his own senses that Susanna has been unfaithful to him, he ejaculates:
"Tutto è tranquillo." But such a mood as this could not be a lasting one
with Figaro, and changes at once upon Susanna's entrance. Benucci, for
whom Mozart wrote Figaro, possessed an "extremely round, full, fine bass
voice." He was considered a first-rate actor as well as singer, and
had the rare merit of never exaggerating.[13] The individual
characterisation is still more sharply defined when several personages
appear together in similar situations. Immediately upon the air where
Figaro declares war upon the Count (Act I., 3) follows Bartolo's air
(Act I., 5) [14] in which the latter announces his approaching victory
over Figaro. He also is altogether in earnest; Figaro has cruelly
deceived him, and the long-looked-for



opportunity of vengeance is close at hand: "Tutta Sevilla conosce
Bartolo, il birbo Figaro vinto sarà." He is full of pride and

    La vendetta è un piacer serbato ai saggi,
    L' obliar l' onte, gl' oltraggi
    E bassezza, è ognor viltà--

and the air begins with the forcible and impulsive expression of this
self-consciousness enhanced by rapid instrumentation; Bartolo feels the
injury done to him, and his obligation in honour to avenge himself,
and the sincerity of this feeling invests him with a certain amount of
dignity. But--his character has none of the elements of true greatness;
as soon as he begins to descant on the way in which he is to outwit
Figaro, his grovelling spirit betrays itself; he excites himself with
his own chatter, and complacently announces his own triumph beforehand.
Bartolo's dignity is not, however, a parody on his true self; the
comic element consists in the contrast of the pride which lays claim to
dignity and the small-mindedness which unwittingly forfeits the claim.
The German translations lose the chief point of the characterisation.
Capitally expressed is the original: "coll' astuzia, coll' arguzia, col
giudizio, col criterio, si potrebbe----" here the orchestra takes up the
motif of the words "è basezza," as if to edge him on, but soon
subsides, as he recollects himself: "si potrebbe, si potrebbe"--suddenly
interrupted by "il fatto è serio," to which the whole orchestra responds
with a startling chord; thereupon he resumes with calm self-confidence:
"ma, credete, si farà," and then launches into the flood of trivialities
with which he seeks to bolster up his courage.

Steffano Mandini, the original Count Almaviva, was considered by Kelly
as one of the first buffos of the day,[15] and Choron used to hold him
up to his scholars as his ideal of a singer.[16] At the moment when
Susanna has hearkened to; his suit, he infers from a word let fall by
her that she has



deceived him. Injured pride, disappointed hope, and jealousy of his
happier rival, excite him to a pitch of passion which breaks out in
true cavalier fashion with the words (Act III., 2).: "vedrò, mentr' io
sospiro, felice un servo mio!" What a world of expression Mozart has
thrown into these words! While disappointed but unvanquished passion
presses its sting deep into his heart, injured pride flares up prepared
to give place to no other feeling than that of revenge. In the wonderful
passage which follows with renewed force upon the immediately preceding
tones of sharp complaint--[See Page Image] the change from major to
minor brouight about by the chromatic passage in the middle parts is
of inimitable effect.[17] We have before us the nobleman, feeling
his honour affronted because he is not allowed to injure that of his
servant, and there is in the expression of his revengeful desires and
his certainty of victory no tinge of Figaro's cunning or Bartolo's
meanness; the stream of passion flows full and unmingled, and the
noble position of the Count gives it a certain amount of composure;
his weakness excites regret rather than contempt or even ridicule. The
expression of this air corresponds to the musical conception of the
Count throughout the opera, in making his feelings of injured pride
outweigh those of disappointed desire. Pride, jealousy, or anger,
unjustifiable as they may be in their outbreaks, are always more
dignified and nobler motives than a love-making whose only foundation
is licentiousness, and its only excuse frivolity. He gives free play to
this feeling in



the enchanting duet with Susanna (Act III., 1); but the situation
is rendered endurable to the audience by the knowledge that Susanna
is playing a part to please the Countess. Mozart has given this little
duet a title to be placed in the first rank of musical works of art by
the delicacy with which he has rendered the mixture of encouragement and
coyness in Susanna's demeanour, her true motives being as clear to the
audience as is the misunderstanding of the Count. The harmonic turns of
her evasive answer to his passionate request, "Signor, la donna ognora
tempo ha di dir si," are masterpieces of musical diplomacy. Even the
piquant conceit by which she answers his urgent questions, "Verrai? non
mancherai?" with "si" instead of "no," and _vice versa_, to his great
perplexity, has something more than a merely comic signification.[18] It
characterises most strikingly the security with which she plays with
his passion as expressed in these eager, flattering requests. Even here,
delight at his hard-won victory predominates over his sensual impulses.

The sensual element of love plays far too great a part in "Figaro,"
however, to be altogether disregarded in its musical rendering. It would
be a difficult matter to determine how far and in what way music
is capable of giving artistic expression to this side of the tender
passion; but it cannot be disputed that Mozart has in this respect
competed successfully with the sister arts of painting and poetry.
In Susanna's so-called garden air (Act IV., 5) her longing for her
betrothed is expressed with all the tender intensity of purest beauty;
but the simple notes, cradled as it were in blissful calm, that seem to
be breathed forth "soft as the balmy breath of eve," glow with a mild
warmth that stirs the heart to its depth, entrancing the mind,
and intoxicating the senses like the song of the nightingale. The
_pizzicato_ accompaniment of the air fitly suggests a serenade. It gives
the voice free scope, and the sparely introduced wind instruments, as
well as the tender passage for the first violin towards the close, only
serve to give a finer emphasis to the



full body of the voice. The impression of longing delight is intensified
by the simplicity of the harmonies, as if from fear of disturbing by any
sudden change the calm bliss of the passing moment. But what analysis
can penetrate these mysteries of creative genius[19] Mozart was right to
let the feelings of the loving maiden shine forth in all their depth
and purity, for Susanna has none but her Figaro in her mind, and the
sentiments she expresses are her true ones. Figaro in his hiding-place,
listening and suspecting her of waiting the Count's arrival, throws,
a cross light on the situation, which, however, only receives its full
dramatic signification by reason of the truth of Susanna's expression
of feeling. Susanna, without her sensual charm is inconceivable, and a
tinge of sensuality is an essential element of her nature; but Mozart
has transfigured it into a noble purity which may fitly be compared with
the grandest achievements of Greek sculpture.

Nancy Storace (1761-1814), "who possessed in a degree unique at that
time, and rare at any time, all the gifts, the cultivation, and the
skill which could be desired for Italian comic opera,"[20] seems to have
been a singer to whom Mozart was able to intrust the rendering of this
mixture of sentiment and sensuality. When "Figaro" was reproduced in
July, 1789, he wrote for Adriana Ferrarese del Bene,[21] a less refined
and finished singer, the air "Al desio di chi t'adora" (577 K.),
retaining the



accompanied recitative.[22] The words of this song--

     Al desio di chi t' adora
     Vieni, vola, o mia speranza,
     Morirö, se indarno ancora
     Tu mi lasci sospirar.
     Le promesse, i giuramenti
     Deh! ramenta, o mio tesoro!
     E i momenti di ristoro
     Che mi fece amor aperar.
     Ah! che omai più non resisto
     All' ardor, che il sen m' accende.
     Chi d' amor gli affetti intende,
     Compatisca il mio penar.

with the reference to vows and hopes unfulfilled seem better suited to
the Countess than to Susanna, though the air is clearly indicated for
the latter. Apparently the song was intended to strengthen Figaro in the
delusion that it was the Countess he saw before him. The device
might intensify the situation, but it was a loss to the musical
characterisation, for the air was not altogether appropriate either to
Susanna or the Countess. The singer had evidently wished for a grand,
brilliant air, and Mozart humoured her by composing the air in two
broadly designed and elaborately executed movements, allied in style to
the great airs in "Cosi fan Tutte," and in "Titus." The bravura of the
voice and orchestra is as entirely foreign to "Figaro" as is the greater
display of sensual vigour with which the longing for the beloved one
is expressed. Apart from its individual characterisation, the air has
wonderful effects of sound and expression, greatly heightened by the
orchestra. Basset-horns, bassoons, and horns are employed, occasionally
_concertante_, giving a singularly full and soft tone-colouring to the
whole. A draft score, unfortunately incomplete, in Mozart's handwriting,
testifies to a later abandoned attempt for a similar song. The
superscription is "_Scena con Rondo_"[23] the person indicated, Susanna.
The beginning of the recitative, both in words and music, is like that
of the better-known



song, and it expresses the same idea somewhat more diffusely as it
proceeds, closing in B flat major. The solitary leaf preserved breaks
off at the eighth bar of the rondo; only the voice-part and the bass are
given--[See Page Image]

but even this fragment of text and melody suffices to show a complete
contrast to the air just mentioned. A little ariette preserved in
Mozart's original score and marked "Susanna" (579 K.), has still less
of the delicate characterisation which we admire so much in the
opera.[24]The words--

     Un moto di gioja
     Mi sento nel petto,
     Che annunzia diletto
     In mezzo il timor.
     Speriamo che in contento
     Finisca l' affanno,
     Non sempre è tiranno fato ed amor--

are trifling, and so commonplace that they suggest no particular
situation. Even the music, hastily thrown together and light in
every respect, expresses only a superficially excited mood. If, as is
probable, the air was intended for the dressing scene,[25] the want of
individual characterisation



becomes all the more observable. It would be a great mistake to consider
the character of Susanna as a mere expression of amorous sensuality.
This side of it is judiciously displayed first without any reserve,
in order to throw into relief her not less real qualities of devoted
affection, faithful service, and refined and playful humour. The very
scene, not in itself altogether unobjectionable, in which the ladies
disguise the page, is turned into an amusing joke by Susanna's innocent
and charming merriment. Susanna's air in this scene (Act II., 3)
is, technically speaking, a cabinet piece. The orchestra executes an
independent piece of music, carefully worked-out and rounded in most
delicate detail, which admirably renders the situation, and yet only
serves as a foil to the independent voice-part. A tone of playful humour
runs through the whole long piece from beginning to end; it is the
merriment of youth, finding an outlet in jest and teasing, expressed
with all possible freshness and grace. But the high spirit of youth does
not exclude deeper feelings where more serious matters are concerned; in
the terzet (Act II., 4) where Susanna in her hiding-place listens to the
dialogue between the Count and Countess, she displays deep emotion, and
expresses her sympathy with truth and gravity. Mozart has indeed grasped
this painful situation with a depth of feeling which raises the terzet
far above ordinary opera buffa.[26] In her relations to Figaro, Susanna
displays now one, now the other side of her nature. It is judiciously
arranged that immediately succeeding her first heartfelt, though not
sentimental expression of love (Act I., 1), the second duet (Act I., 2),
should display her merry humour. Her consciousness of superiority over
Figaro, who learns the Count's designs first through her, combined with
the ease of her relations towards them both, resulting from the honesty
of her love, enable her to carry off the difficult situation with



a spirit and youthful gaiety which contrast with Figaro's deeper
emotions. He begins indeed with unrestrained merriment, but the same
motif, mockingly repeated by Susanna, becomes a warning which has so
serious an effect upon him that not even her endearments can quite
succeed in chasing the cloud from his brow.[27] The ground-tone of the
duet, the intercourse of affianced lovers, is expressed with the utmost
warmth and animation, and places us at once in the possession of the
true state of affairs. Before the end comes, however, we see the couple
testing each other's fidelity and measuring their intellectual
strength against each other, as when in the last finale Susanna, in the
Countess's clothes, puts Figaro to the proof, and he, recognising her,
takes his clue accordingly. This duet sparkles with life and joviality,
rising, after the explanation, to the most winning expression of tender

The characters of the Countess and Cherubino are much less complicated
than that of Susanna. The Countess is represented as a loving wife,
injured by a jealous and faithless husband. The musical characterisation
gives no suggestion of any response, however faint and soon stifled, to
the page's advances, but is the most charming expression of ideal purity
of sentiment. She suffers, but not yet hopelessly, and the unimpaired
consciousness of her own love forbids her to despair of the Count's.
Thus she is presented to us in her two lovely songs. The calm peace of
a noble mind upon which sorrow and disappointment have cast the first
light shadow--too light seriously to trouble its serenity--is expressed
with intensest feeling in the first air (Act II., 1). The second (Act
III., 4),

when she is on the point of taking a venturous step to recall the
Count to her side, is more agitated, and, in spite of the melancholy
forebodings which she cannot quite repress, gives expression to a joyful
hope of returning happiness. There is no strong passion even here; the
Count's affronts



excite her anger, and the dilemma in which she is, placed awakens her
youthful pleasure in teasing. This reminiscence of Rosina in earlier
years, combined with the consciousness of her true feeling, so finely
expressed by the music, may in some measure supply the motive for the
deceit which she thinks herself justified in using towards the Count.
Signora Laschi, who took the part of the Countess, was highly esteemed
in Italy, but was not a great favourite in Vienna.[28] Signora Bussani,
on the other hand, who appeared for the first time as the page, although
not a singer of the first rank, was much admired by the public for her
beautiful figure and unreserved acting,[29] or as Da Ponte says, for her
_smorfie_ and _pagliacciate_.[30] "Cherubino is undoubtedly one of the
most original of musical-dramatic creations, Beaumarchais depicts a
youth, budding into manhood, feeling the first stirrings of love, and
unceasingly occupied in endeavouring to solve the riddle which he is to
himself. Count Almaviva's castle is not a dwelling favourable to virtue,
and the handsome youth, who pleases all the women he meets, is not
devoid of wanton sauciness: "Tu sais trop bien," he says to Susanna,
"que je n'ose pas oser." To Susanna, with whom he can be unreserved, he
expresses the commotion of his whole nature in the celebrated air (Act
I., 6) which so graphically renders his feverish unrest, and his deep
longing after something indefinable and unattainable. The vibration of
sentiment, never amounting to actual passion, the mingled anguish and
delight of the longing which can never be satisfied, are expressed with
a power of beauty raising them out of the domain of mere sensuality,
Very remarkable is the simplicity of the means by which this
extraordinary effect is attained. A violin accompaniment passage, not
unusual in itself, keeps up the restless movement; the harmonies make no
striking progressions, strong emphasis and accents are sparingly used,
and yet the



soft flow of the music is made suggestive of the consuming glow of
passion. The instrumentation is here of very peculiar effect and of
quite novel colouring; the stringed instruments are muted, and clarinets
occur for the first time and very prominently, both alone and in
combination with the horns and bassoons.[31] The romanze in the second
act (2) is notably different in its shading. Cherubino is not here
directly expressing his feelings; he is depicting them in a romanze, and
he is in the presence of the Countess, towards whom he glances with all
the bashfulness of boyish passion. The song is in ballad form, to suit
the situation, the voice executing the clear, lovely melody, while the
stringed instruments carry on a simple accompaniment _pizzicato_,
to imitate the guitar; this delicate outline is, however, shaded and
animated in a wonderful degree by solo wind instruments. Without
being absolutely necessary for the progress of the melodies and the
completeness of the harmonies, they supply the delicate touches of
detail reading between the lines of the romanze, as it were, what is
passing in the heart of the singer. We know not whether to admire most
the gracefulness of the melodies, the delicacy of the disposition of the
parts, the charm of the tone-colouring, or tenederness of the
expression--the whole is of entrancing beauty.

Unhappily we have lost a third air written for Cherubino. After the
sixth scene of the second act, in which Barberina requests the page to
accompany her, the original draft score contains the remark: "_Segue
Arietta di Cherubino; dopo l'Arietta di Cherubino viene scena 7, ma ch'
è un Recitativo istromentato con Aria della Confessa_," This arietta is
not in existence, and probably never was, a change in the arrangement
of the scenes having rendered it superfluous. This is to be regretted;
Cherubino's intercourse with Barberina would have supplied an essential
feature which is now wanting in the opera. But even as it is, the image



Cherubino is so attractive, so original, that it must unquestionably be
reckoned among the most wonderful of Mozart's creations.

Thus we see all the _dramatis personæ_ live and move as human beings,
and we unconsciously refer their actions and demeanour to their
individual natures, which lie before us clear and well-defined. So great
a master of psychological characterisation was under no necessity of
calling accessories of costume or scenery to his aid, and declined even
to remind us by the use of peculiar musical forms that the action was
laid in Spain. This device is only once resorted to. The dance which is
performed during the wedding festivities in the third act (Act III.,
8, p. 377) reminds us so forcibly of the customary melody for the
fandango,[32] that there can be no doubt this dance was known in Vienna
at the time. Gluck has employed the same melody in his ballet of "Don
Juan," produced at Vienna in 1761. If Mozart's adaptation be compared
with the other two, it will be perceived that he has formed a free and
independent piece of music out of some of the characteristic elements
of the original, combining dignity and grace in a singular degree; the
treatment of the bass and middle pans, and the varied combinations u of
the wind instruments heighten the effect of the unusual colouring. At
the exclamation of the Gotmt, who has pricked himself with a pin the
bassoon strikes up in plaintif tones:--[See Page Image]

which are comically appropriate. But they are not primarily introduced
to express pain; they belong to the dance music, and recur at the same
point later on in the dance; the point of the joke is the apparently
chance coincidence of the dance music with the situation of the moment.
The fine march preceding the ballet, the gradual approach of which
produces a very effective climax (Vol. II., p. 154, note), takes its



peculiar colouring from the constant transition to the minor in the wind
instruments--[See Page Images]--without having any very decided national
character. Neither are the choruses sung on the same occasion by female
voices, or male and female together, particularly Spanish in tone, any
more than the chorus in the first act (Act I., 8); they are gay, fresh,
very graceful, and exactly fitted to the situation.

Hitherto we have attempted an exposition only of the musical-dramatic
characteristics of the opera, the psychological conception which makes
the actions of the characters correspond with their individual nature...
Not less important are the events and circumstances which give rise to
the _combined action_ of the different characters; in the opera this is
displayed in ensemble movements. The prevailing principle is here
again truth in the expression of feeling; but the juxtaposition of
the different characters necessitates a greater stress to be laid on
individual peculiarities;

and again, these characteristics of detail must be subordinated to the
main idea of producing a well-formed whole. A due balance of parts can
only be produced by compliance with the conditions of a musical work of
art. The substance and form of these ensemble movements are of course
subject to many modifications; many of them are nothing more than a
detailed and fuller exposition of some definite situation or mood;
and their whole design is therefore simple. Such are the duets between
Figaro and Susanna (Act I., i, 2), between Susanna and Marcellina (Act
I., 5), the writing duet (Act III., 5), and the duet between the Count
and Susanna (Act III., 1); they are distinguished from airs more by
their form than their nature. If during the dressing scene Cherubino
were to chime in with Susanna's remarks, the Countess were also directly
to interpose, such a duet or terzet would represent the situation in
greater variety of detail, the form would become richer by means of



elements, but the musical matter would not differ essentially from that
to which we are accustomed in solo airs. The terzet in the second act
is of this character; a situation or a mood is maintained, and only
variously mirrored in the various personages. Here, then, is the point
of departure for unity in the grouping of the whole; and the ordinary
resources of musical construction, such as the repetition of a motif in
different places, the elaboration and combination of the motifs, for the
most part lend themselves to the situation.

The difficulty of the task increases in proportion as the music forms
part-of the plot. We have an instance of this in the duet between
Susanna and Cherubino (Act II., 5); when the latter tries to escape, and
finally jumps out of the window. The simple situation gives rise to an
expression of fear and disquiet in short, interrupted motifs, and the
prevailing characteristic is an agitation almost amounting to action__in
progress. The agitation, however, is so characteristically rendered by
the music, that, while appearing to flow from an irresistible impulse,
it is in reality only an effect of a definite musical formula fitly
working out a given motif. The orchestral part forms a separate piece of
music of very varied character.[33]

The terzet of the first act comes in the very middle of the action (Act
I., 7). Here we have not merely three persons of dissimilar natures
thrown together, but at the particular point in the plot their interests
and sentiments are altogether opposed, and each of them is influenced by
different suppositions. The plot proceeds, however, and the discovery
of the page in the arm-chair gives a turn to affairs which changes the
position of each person present. We are struck in the first place with
the striking, delicately toned musical expression, especially when the
voices go together, as at the beginning, when the Count's anger: "Tosto
andate e scacciate il



seduttor!" Basilio's lame excuse: "In mal punto son qui giunto," and
Susanna's distress: "Che ruina, me meschina!" are all blended into a
whole, while preserving throughout their individual characters. The same
is the case at the end also, when the Count, taken by surprise, turns
his displeasure against Susanna in ironical expressions: "Onestissima
signora, or capisco come và"; while she is anxious on her own account:
"Accader non puo di peggio!" and Basilio gives free expression to his
malice: "Cosi fan tutte le belle!" But while the music appears only to
follow the plot, we cannot fail on closer examination to perceive that
I we have before us a work constructed and carried out I according to
the strictest laws of musical form. It is all so naturally and easily
put together that what is really owing to deep artistic insight might be
considered by the uninitiated as the result of a fortuitous coincidence
of dramatic and musical effects. The intensely comic effect produced by
Basilio's repetition of his previous sentence, a fifth higher is brought
about of necessity by the musical form. A similar effect is produced
when, at the point where a return to the original key leads us to expect
a recurrence of the principal subject, the Count, with the same notes
in which he had exclaimed, full of resentment at Susanna's intercession;
"Parta, parta il damerino!" now turns to Susanna herself with the words:
"Onestissima signora, or capisco come và," the point being brought out
by the change from _forte_ to _pianissimo_. Traits like this of
delicate dramatic characterisation proceed immediately from the musical
construction, and are to be ascribed solely to the composer; the text
does not by any means directly suggest them.

The dramatic interest reaches a far higher level in the two great
finales. The finale to the second act is judiciously constructed, as
far as is compatible with musical exigences, out of the elements
already existing in Beaumarchais. The dramatic interest rises with the
increasing number of persons taking part in the action, and grows to a
climax, while new developments proceeding from the unravelling of each
complication bring the actors into ever-varying relations with each
other. The different situations afford the most



animated variety, moving onwards in close connection, but each
one keeping its ground long enough to give ample scope for musical
elaboration.[34] The situations thus give rise to the eight movements,
distinct in design and character, which form the finale. The masterly
combination of the different movements is more effective than would be
any amount of emphasis laid on particular points of characterisation.
The finale opens with a manifestation of intensest passion--the Count
glowing with rage and jealousy, the Countess, wounded to the heart,
trembling at the consequences of her imprudence.

In no other part of the opera is the pathetic element express so
prominent, the conflict being so strongly expressed that a serious
catastrophe appears inevitable. But Susanna's unexpected appearance
brings about an explanation, which could not be more aptly expressed
than by the rhythmical motif of the second movement.[35] Susanna's
mocking merriment, which for a moment rules the situation, is in some
degree moderated by the uncertainty of the two others. The want of
repose of the following movement alters the character again, while the
chief characters have to adapt themselves to their change of relative
position. The Count has to propitiate his wife, without being altogether
convinced himself; the Countess's anger and forgiveness both come from
the heart, but she feels that she is not now quite in the right. Susanna
is exerting herself to bring about explanation and reconciliation,
and in so doing takes involuntarily, as it were, the upper hand of the
Countess. It is a mimic war, carried on in the most courteous manner;
every emotion is broken and disturbed.

Now let us turn to the music. A succession of short motifs, each of
which characterises a particular element of the situation, are loosely
put together, none of them independently worked out, one driving out the
other. But the



motifs occur in every case just where dramatic expression demands,
and each repetition throws a new light upon the situation, turning the
apparent confusion into a well-formed musical whole. Figaro brings
an element of unrestrained gaiety into the midst of this troubled
atmosphere; the G major following immediately on the E flat major breaks
away from all that has gone before. His merriment is truly refreshing,
but even he feels some constraint knowing that his secret is betrayed,
without being aware of what has led to it. The eagerness with which the
Count interrupts him, the anxiety with which the women seek to put him
in the right way, his alternate holding back and yielding, give the
scene a diplomatic sort of tone, wonderfully well-rendered by a tinge of
dignity in the music, which only here and there betrays, involuntarily
as it were, more animation. The closing ensemble gives to each of the
four voices a mysterious character which is quite inimitable. A complete
contrast to this delicate play is afforded by the half-drunken gardener
with his denunciation; this opponent requires quite a different
treatment. The musical characterisation becomes more lively and broader,
the different features more strongly marked. As soon as the Count begins
his examination of Figaro, the tone alters again. The remarkable andante
6-8 in which the beating motif--[See Page Image] is hurried through
the most varied harmonic transitions expresses an impatience which is
scarcely to be kept from violent explosion, quite in accordance with the
suspense with which the progress of the explanation is followed by
all present without arriving at any satisfactory solution. Finally
Marcellina enters with her confederates. The firm, bold pace which is at
once adopted by the music marks the commencement of a new struggle; the
peril becomes serious, and the change of situation brings about a new



disposition of the characters. Marcellina, Basilio and Bartolo range
themselves on one side, the Countess, Susanna and Figaro on the other,
both parties aggressive and prepared for the fight, the Count between
them turning first to the one side and then to the other. When the
crisis is over, and Marcellina's claim acknowledged, the previous
positions are reversed; Marcellina's party has the advantage, Figaro's
is defeated. The vanquished party now lose self-command and become
violently agitated, while the victors express their triumph with mocking
composure. The finale ends in doubled tempos with a diffuse but decided
expression of those discordant moods on both sides, bringing the long
strife and confusion to an end.[36] The plan of the second finale
is quite different; we plunge at once into the midst of an animated
intrigue, one misapprehension and surprise following close upon another.
The Countess, disguised as Susanna, awaits the Count; Figaro, and
Susanna listen concealed; first the page enters, then the Count, and the
play proceeds, every one getting into the wrong place, receiving what
is not meant for him, and addressing himself to the wrong person. Mozart
has only grasped the amusing side of the complication, and the music
maintains a cheerful, lively character, without leaving room for any
expression of deeper feeling. By this means whatever is objectionable in
the situation seems to spring unavoidably as it were from the facts of
the case, on which the play is founded and developed. It is sufficiently
astonishing that the music should succeed in following this development
step by step in all its turns; the higher art of the master is displayed
in his power of representing dramatic life and reality in all its
perfection within the limits of a musical movement of scientific
conception and form. Nowhere perhaps is the style of intrigue which
Zelter praises as the special quality of the opera[37] brought



so prominently forward as in this ensemble. It consists in the art of
making each character express himself naturally and appropriately, at
the same time rendering the due meaning of the situation and throwing
the right light on every separate utterance, while giving the whole a
brighter colouring. As soon as Figaro and Susanna are opposed to each
other, the tone and style are altered. Serious genuine feeling breaks
through the mask of deception, and asserts its sway. Not until the
Count enters does the trickery begin again, leading to a succession of
surprises which find their climax in the appearance of the Countess. The
music renders so bewitchingly the impression of her pardoning gentleness
and amiability that we are forced to believe in the sincerity of the
reconciliation, and to share in the rejoicings which follow on so many
troublous events.[38]

Next to these two finales a prominent position is assigned to the sestet
(Act III., 3) which according to Kelly was Mozart's favourite piece in
the whole opera.[39] This partiality is characteristic, for his amiable
nature finds fuller expression in this piece than in any other. The
trial scene is omitted in the opera, but the recognition of Figaro
by Marcellina and Bartolo is brought into the foreground. The cool
sarcastic tone of Beaumarchais gives this scene something unpleasant;
but the musical version even here allows human sentiment to assert
itself; if it were not for the extraordinary circumstances on which the
scene is founded it would be quite pathetic. Both the parents and the
son are in the act of expressing the tenderest affection and delight
when Susanna hastens in to redeem Figaro. The violence with which she
manifests her anger at Figaro's apparent want of constancy is meant
quite seriously, and is necessary in order to show how deeply her heart
is affected. Amid the caresses of her supposed rival she learns the
truth, the charming melody to which Marçellina had made herself known to



son being transferred to the orchestra while she acquaints Susanna of
her relationship to Figaro. Susanna, incredulous of the wonderful story,
demands confirmation from each person present in turn, and the situation
assumes a comic character, consisting however only in the unexpected
turn of events, not in the sentiments of the persons interested, who
only wish to be quite sure of their facts before giving themselves up
to unmitigated delight. Once assured of their happiness, it overflows in
fervent gratitude with an enchanting grace that invests the happy lovers
with a sort of inspired and radiant beauty. Mozart has added very much
to the effect by keeping the whole passage _sotto voce_, a device which
he always employs with deep psychological truth.[40] But the lovers are
not alone, and the contrast afforded by the other personages present
prevents the purely idyllic character which would be incongruous in this
scene. One of these is the Count, who with difficulty restrains his rage
so far as not to commit himself. The other is the stupid, stuttering
judge, Don Curzio, who has pronounced judgment as the Count's tool, and
is now amazed at what is passing before him; incapable of an idea,
he says first one thing and then another, and finally takes refuge in
obsequiously following the opinions of his lord and master. The striking
musical effect of the high tenor going with the Count's deep bass gives
an expression of cutting irony, and emphasises the stupidity of the
judge who chimes in with the Count, without in the least entering into
the passions which agitate him. Don Curzio serves here the same purpose
as Basiliain the terzet of the first act, mingling a comic element with
the expression of a deeper emotion, and modifying, without injuring,
the serious ground-tone of the piece. This mode of construction is
altogether Mozart's own, and is a striking testimony to his power of
grasping and delineating dramatic truth.

Kelly narrates that Mozart begged him not to stutter



while he was singing lest the impression of the music should be
disturbed. He answered that it would be unnatural if a stutterer should
lose his defect as soon as he began to sing, and undertook to do no harm
to the music. Mozart gave in at last, and the result was so successful
that the sestet had to be repeated, and Mozart himself laughed
inordinately. He came on the stage after the performance, shook Kelly
by both hands and thanked him, saying: "You were right and I was
wrong."[41] This was doubtless very amiable of Mozart, but his first
view was the right one, nevertheless. The artifice might succeed in a
master of mimicry, but Don Curzio ought certainly not to be made the
principal person in the sestet. On the contrary, he might well be
omitted altogether as a musical pleonasm; at least, if Basilio were to
be brought in and made to take the same part in the action.

The sestet may be taken as an excellent example of the manner in which
Mozart turned his means of representation to account. We are struck
first of all with his power of grouping so as to produce a clear and
distinct whole. The effect and appreciation of music depends, like
architecture, on symmetry. Even though a strict parallelism of the
different component parts may be in all but certain cases inapplicable,
yet their symmetry must be always present to the apprehension of the
hearers. In the musical drama the characterisation of the situation
dominates the construction side by side with the laws of musical form.
In the sestet before us Marcellina, Bartolo, and Figaro form a natural
group, announcing themselves at once as connected from a musical point
of view, Marcellina and Bartolo closely corresponding, Figaro forming
the uniting member of the little group. Opposed to them we have the
Count and Don Curzio, who also keep together, but with greater freedom
of independent movement. Susanna's entry introduces a new element. At
first she opposes Figaro, and allies herself to the Count, and we have
then two strongly characteristic groups of three persons, each with a
construction and



movement of its own. The explanation which ensues necessitates the
dissolving of the ensemble into a monologue, after which the situation
is changed. Susanna goes over to Figaro, Marcellina, and Bartolo, and
fresh group is formed, with Susanna as the chief member, though the
others do not by any means renounce their independence. Against this
concentrated force the discontented minority gives expression to
additional energy and resentment, coming to an end in unison. These
hints will suffice to show with what a firm mind of the hearers an
impression of the perfect freedom of dramatic action, within the limits
of strict and simple musical form.

The great stress laid upon dramatic reality necessitated in general
simple forms and moderate execution in the musical part of the work.
In the airs the traditional form of two elaborate movements is only
exceptionally employed the cavatina or rondo form being in most cases
preferred and treated freely, although with considerable precision the
majority of the duets are similar in design, Mozart having usually
written over them _duettino, arietta_, But neither confined limits
nor dramatic interest have been made a pretext for the neglect of
well-constructed, well-rounded form;

he never fails to hit upon the right point, whence a whole may be
organised. Thus, every separate passage in the finale heightens the
contrast, and leads by a 'natural process of development to a conclusion
for which '+ helps to prepare the way. What has been said in general terms
may be applied to the treatment of details, and primarily of the voices.
The dramatic characterisation necessitates perfect freedom in the
employment of every source of effect; long-drawn cantilene shorter
melodious phrase; well-marked motifs requiring elaborate working-out,
declamatory delivery merging into an easy conversational tone--all are
employed in their right place, often in rapid alternation and varied
combination. It is not sufficient, however that each separate device
should be employed effectively the essential point is that they should
be placed in right relations with each other, and with the whole of
which hand the musical edifice is put together so as to leave on the



they form parts. The unhesitating use of the resources of the voice,
and the harmony of the effect, are admirable alike in the great ensemble
movements and in the smallest passage to be sung; the sestet and the
second duet may be brought forward as essentially differing in style and
subject, yet each in its place distinguished by delicacy of detail and
striking effect. Great simplicity in the treatment of the voices is
a noteworthy consequence of this tendency. Song is merely the means
adopted for expressing emotion of different kinds. Homely simplicity
not only corresponds to truth of expression--it is necessary for
the combination of heterogeneous motives, which would otherwise be

This simplicity, however, is not of the kind that reduces all expression
to the same level, and abjures ornament and grace; rather is it the
simplicity of a nature which draws its inspiration from the depths of
the heart, and excludes all merely virtuoso-like displays which would
serve but to glorify the singer.[42]

An important aid to characterisation and colouring was found by Mozart
in the orchestra. We know by what means he had prepared and cultivated
every part of a full orchestra as a means of characteristic expression
and euphonious charm. His contemporaries were particularly impressed
by his use of wind instruments, and in point of fact they were little
likely ever to have experienced before the sensations produced by the
tender interweaving of the wind instruments in Cherubino's romanze (Act
II., 2), or their soft, melting sounds in his air (Act I., 6). In these
days we should, indeed, appreciate rather Mozart's moderation in the
employment of wind instruments. Trombones are never used, and trumpets
and drums only in the overture the march with a chorus (Act III., 7),
the closing passages of the finales, and in three airs: those of Bartolo
(Act I., 4), Figaro (Act I., 9), and the Count (Act III., 2). This is
not saying much; true moderation consists, not so much in



abstaining from certain methods, as in the way in which those which are
employed are held in check. Equally admirable is the masterly treatment
of the stringed instruments which form the groundwork of the orchestra,
at the same time that the independent movements of the separate
instruments develop a fresh and ever-varied vivacity. Mozart has striven
above all to preserve a healthy balance of sound effects, and a unity of
treatment which never aims at brilliant effects brought about either by
an ostentatious extra vagance or an exaggerated economy in the use of
his resources; the right effect is produced at the right point, and in
the simplest manner, regard being always had to the laws of climax. The
simplicity of the voice parts necessitates a corresponding simplicity
in the instrumental parts! most distinctly appreciable where they occur
obbligato. A comparison with "Idomeneo" and the "Entführung" in this
respect will bring out the difference very strongly. The orchestra in
the "Entführung" is treated more easily and simply than in "Idomeneo";
in "Figaro" the highest degree of clearness is united with abundant
fulness and intensive force of instrumental colouring.

The position here accorded to the orchestra may be regarded as not
so much an improvement on earlier operas as an essentially new
conception of its powers and functions.[43] The orchestra appears For
the first time not only as an integral part of the whole, but as
one with equal rights, taking an independent and active part in the
musical-dramatic representation. Such a conception could only be
realised when the orchestra and instrumental music had been developed
and cultivated as they were by Haydn and Mozart. In this independent
position it is neither above nor in opposition to the voices, but each
is indispensable to the due effect of the other.

The orchestra is no longer to be looked upon as a mere accompaniment
to the voices, but as an independent and co-operating means of
representation. And as such we find it in "Figaro." In many passages
the orchestra seems to take the lead--as, for instance, in the dressing
scene (Act II., 3), when the animated,



delicately worked-out orchestral passages not only hold the threads
together, but develop the characterisation. At other times the orchestra
forms the foundation in the working-out of motifs upon which the
voices are suffered to move freely, as in the duet between Susanna and
Cherubino (Act II., 5) and in different passages of the finales, the
andante 6-8 of the first finale and the first passage of the second.
There are, indeed, few numbers in which the orchestra does not
temporarily undertake one or the other office, in order to assist the
characterisation. The orchestra is never employed in this way with
better effect than in the so-called "writing-duet" (Act III., 5). At
the close of the recitative the Countess dictates the title, "canzonetta
sull' aria," and as soon as Susanna begins to write, the oboes and
bassoons take up the ritornello, and undertake to tell, as it were, what
Susanna is writing when she is silent and the Countess dictates.[44]
There is a trace here of a subsequent editorial alteration. Instead
of the present closing bars of recitative, which are inserted in the
original score by a strange hand, there were originally quite
different ones, to which the little duet in B flat major could not have
immediately succeeded. They probably served as an introduction to
a lively scene between the Countess and Susanna, similar to that in
Beaumarchais' dialogue. This is confirmed by the first sketch of the
writing-duet, which, with the title "Dopo il Duettino," only prefixes
the words of the Countess as recitative: "Or via, scrivi cor mio,
scrivi! gia tutto io prendo su me stessa." So close an approximation of
two duets was most likely the cause of the rejection of the first, with
the words of the recitative which called it forth.

Detached features of the orchestral treatment, important as they may be,
however, do not constitute its peculiar character; many of them had been
previously and successfully attempted by other musicians. The essential
point consists in the orchestra taking part, as it were, in the action,
so that more often than not the instrumental parts would



form a complete and satisfying whole without any voice parts at all.
The orchestra, of course, frequently executes the same melodies as the
voices, but it treats them in an original manner, producing a constant
flow of cross effects with the voices. Sometimes again it works out
its own independent motifs, and adds shading and detail to the outlines
furnished by the voices. It is not possible to over-estimate the share
thus taken by the orchestra in maintaining the main conception of the
situation, in increasing the dramatic reality and interest of the plot,
and in strengthening the impression made upon the audience.

The capabilities of instrumental music in this direction are most
strikingly displayed in the overture, in composing which Mozart appears
to have kept before him the second title of Beaumarchais' play, "La
Folle Journée." He has made one very characteristic alteration in
the course of the overture. At first the rapid impetuous presto was
interrupted by a slower middle movement. In the original score the point
where the return to the first subject is made (p. 13) is marked by a
pause on the dominant-seventh, followed by an andante 6-8 in D minor of
which, however, only one bar is preserved:--[See page image]



The leaf on which its continuation and the return to the presto was
sketched is torn out, and the portion between _vi_ and _de_ crossed
through.[45] It is plain that Mozart altered his mind when he came to
the instrumentation of the overture, which he had sketched in the usual
way. Perhaps a middle movement beginning like a Siciliana did not please
him; in any case, he thought it better not to disturb the cheerful
expression of his opera by the introduction of any foreign element.
And in very truth the merry, lively movement pursues its uninterrupted
course from the first eager murmur of the violins to the final flourish
of trumpets. One bright, cheerful melody succeeds another, running
and dancing for very lightness of heart, like a clear mountain stream
rippling over the pebbles in the sunshine. A sudden stroke here and
there electrifies the motion; and once, when a gentle melancholy shines
forth, the merriment is as it were transfigured into the intensest
happiness and content. A piece of music can hardly be more lightly and
loosely put together than this; there is an entire want of study or
elaboration. Just as the impulses of a highly wrought poetic mood exist
unobserved, and pass from one to the other, so here one motif grows out
of the other, till the whole stands before us, we scarce know how.

A not less important office is undertaken by the orchestra in assisting
the psychological characterisation, not only by giving light and shade
and colouring through changes of tone-colouring and similar devices
unattainable by the voices, but by taking a positive part in the
rendering of emotion.

No emotion is so simple as to be capable of a single decided and
comprehensive expression. To the voices is intrusted the task of
depicting the main features, while the orchestra undertakes to express
the secondary and even 'the contradictory impulses of the mind, from
the conflict of which arise emotions capable of being expressed in music
alone of all the arts. We can scarcely wonder that Mozart's



contemporaries, surprised at the novelty of his orchestral effects,
failed to appreciate their true meaning,[46] nor that his imitators
confined themselves to the material result, and failed to perceive
the intellectual significance of the improved instrumentation.[47] The
freedom with which Mozart employs voices and orchestra together or
apart to express dramatic truths can only exist as the highest result of
artistic knowledge and skill. The independence with which each element
cooperates as if consciously to produce the whole presupposes a
perfect mastery of musical form. True polyphony is the mature fruit of
contrapuntal study, although the severe forms of counterpoint are seldom
allowed to make themselves visible.

To sum up, there can be no doubt that Mozart's "Figaro" must be ranked
above the ordinary performances of opera buffa on higher grounds than
its possession of an interesting libretto, a wealth of beautiful melody,
and a careful and artistic mechanism. The recognition of truth of
dramatic characterisation as the principle of musical representation was
an immense gain, and had never even been approached by opera buffa, with
its nonsensical tricks and caricatures.

Rossini himself said that Mozart's "Figaro" was a true _dramma giocoso_,
while he and all other Italian composers had only composed _opere
buffe_.[48] Even though we acknowledge the influence of French opera
on Mozart (Vol. II., p. 342) as formed by Gluck,[49] and still more by
Grétry (Vol. II., p. 15),[50] the first glance suffices to show
that Mozart's superior musical cultivation enabled him to employ the
resources of his art to



a far greater degree than Grétry. Granting also Grétry's undoubted
powers of dramatic characterisation and expression of emotion, Mozart's
nature is also in these respects far deeper and nobler. Nothing can be
more erroneous than the idea that Mozart's merit consisted in taking
what was best from Italian and French opera, and combining them into
his own; it was solely by virtue of his universal genius' that he
was enabled to produce an opera which is at once dramatic, comic,
and musical. Chance has decreed that "Figaro" should be an Italian
adaptation of a French comedy, set to music by a German; and this being
so serves only to show how national diversities can be blended into a
higher unity.

A glance by way of comparison at the Italian operas which competed
in some respects successfully with "Figaro," such as Sarti's "Fra due
litiganti il terrzo godef" Paesiello's.

"Barbiere di Seviglia" and "Re Teodoro," Martin's "Cosa Rara and "Arbore
di Diana," or Salieri's "Grotta di Trofonio," may at first excite
surprise that they contain so much that reminds us of Mozart, and which
we have learnt to identify with Mozart, knowing it only through him. But
a nearer examination will show that this similarity is confined to form,
for the most part to certain external turns of expression belonging to
the time, just as certain forms of speech and manner belong to different
periods. In all essential and important points, careful study will serve
only to confirm belief in Mozart's originality and superiority. All the
operas just mentioned have qualities deserving of our recognition.
They are composed with ease and cleverness, with a full knowledge
of theatrical effect and musical mechanism, and are full of life and
merriment, of pretty melodies, and capital intrigue. But Mozart fails in
none of these qualities, and only in minor matters do these other works
deserve to be placed side by side with his. None of them can approach
him even in some matters of detail, such as the treatment of the
orchestra, or the grouping of the ensembles. What is much more
important, however, they fail altogether in that wherein consists
Mozart's true pre-eminence: in the intellectual organisation, the
psychological depth, the

{VIENNA, 1786.}


intensity of feeling, and consequent power of characterisation, the
firm handling of form and resource, proceeding from that power, and
the purity and grace which have a deeper foundation than merely sensual
Beauty. Those operas have long since disappeared from the stage,
because no amount of success in details will preserve in being any work
uninteresting as a whole. Mozart's "Figaro" lives on the stage, and in
every musical circle; youth is nourished on it, age delights in it
with ever-increasing delight. It requires no external aid for its
apprehension; it is the pulse-beat of our own life which we feel, the
language of our own heart that we catch the sound of, the irresistible
witchery of immortal beauty which enchains us--it is genuine, eternal
art which makes us conscious of freedom and bliss.


[Footnote 1: Confirmed by Kelly (Reminisc., I., p. 257).]

[Footnote 2: L. de Lomenin, Beaumarchais et son Temps, II., p. 293.]

[Footnote 3: The piece in various translations was soon familiar on every
stage in Germany. A. Lewald has lately issued a new translation of it
(Beaumarchais, Stuttg., 1839).]

[Footnote 4: In Paris (in 1793) the unfortunate idea was conceived of performing
Mozart's music with Beaumarchais' complete dialogue (Castil-Blaze,
L'Acad. Imp. de Mus., II., p. 19). Beaumarchais was pleased with the
representation, though not with the adaptation (Lomenin, Beaumarchais,
II., p. 585). A notice of the performance says: "The music impressed us
as being beautiful, rich in harmony, and artistically worked out. The
melodies are pleasing, without being piquant. Some of the ensemble
movements are of extreme beauty."]

[Footnote 5: Schneider, Gesch, d. Oper in Berlin, p. 59.]

[Footnote 6: Aus einer alten Kiste, p. 177. Meyer, L. Schroder, II., p. 55.]

[Footnote 7: Sainte-Beuve, Causeries du Lundi, VI., p. 188.]

[Footnote 8: Car. Pichler, Denkw., I., p. 103.]

[Footnote 9: From Herder's Nachlass, III., p. 67.]

[Footnote 10: The intellectual transformation which the French comedy underwent
at Mozart's hands has often been insisted upon, e.g., by Beyle (Vies de
Haydn, Mozart et de Métastase, p. 359), who, while recognising Mozart's
excellence, is yet of opinion that Fioravanti or Cimarosa would perhaps
have succeeded better in reproducing the easy cheerfulness of the
original. Rochlitz also (A. M. Z., III., pp. 594, 595) and Ulibicheff
(II., p. 48) appear to consider the remodelling of the piece as not
altogether perfect. On the other hand, an enthusiastic article in the
Revue des Deux Mondes (XVIII., p. 844, translated in A. M. Z., XLII.,
p. 589), extols Mozart as the master who has given to Beaumarchais' work
that which Mozart alone could have detected in the subject of it, viz.,
_poetry_. Cf. Hotho Vorstudien fur Leben und Kunst, p. 69.]

[Footnote 11: In the very characteristic and amusing duet for the two quarrelling
women in Auber's "Maurer" the realism of the musical representation is
of some detriment to the grace of expression and delivery.]

[Footnote 12: He declares that he so astonished Casti and Paesiello by his power
of mimicry that, although he was very young, they intrusted him with the
difficult part of Gafforio in the "Re Teodoro," in which he made a great
sensation (Remin., I., p. 241).]

[Footnote 13: Berl. Mus. Ztg. 1793, p. 138.]

[Footnote 14: Bussani, who sang Bartolo and Antonio, had been in the Italian
Opera in Vienna in 1772 but left it the following year. He was noted for
his "resonant barn voice" (Müller, Genaue Nachr., p. 73).]

[Footnote 15: Kelly, Reminisc., I., pp. 121, 196.]

[Footnote 16: P. Scudo, Musique Ancienne et Moderne, pp. 22, 23.]

[Footnote 17: Thus in Bartolo's air the close juxtaposition of major and minor
at the words "è bassezza è ognor viltà," exactly expresses the
intensification of his feeling of annoyance.]

[Footnote 18: Rochitz, A. M. Z., III., p. 595.]

[Footnote 19: A hasty sketch of the voice part shows only trifling alterations in
the later melody. It is noteworthy that Mozart made many attempts before
hitting upon a satisfactory conclusion.]

[Footnote 20: A. M. Z., XXIV., p. 284.]

[Footnote 21: She first appeared October 13, 1788, as Diana in Martin's "Arbore
di Diana" (Wien. Ztg., 1788, No. 83, Anh.).]

[Footnote 22: Wien. Ztg., 1789, No. 76, Anh., announces, "Neues Rondeau von Mme.
Ferrarese aus Le Nozze di Figaro, Giunse alfin Rec. Al desio Rondeau."
The air is published with the character given, "La Contessa," without
any further intimation. Mozart's autograph has disappeared, but André
has a copy of the air with the recitative from Mozart's remains,
both marked for "Susanna." This increases the difficulty which exists
respecting it (Sonnleithner, Recensionen, 1865, p. 721).]

[Footnote 23: In the original score of "Figaro" the conclusion of the secco
recitative is followed by the words, "Segue Recit. instrumental con
Rondo di Susanna." The present garden aria could scarcely be called a
rondo, and this probably refers to another air, the design of which was

[Footnote 24: It is printed in a pianoforte arrangement among the songs (Ouvr.,
V., 20).]

[Footnote 25: Written above it in a strange hand is, "Le Nozze di Figaro. 13
Atto 2do," and the cue, "e pur n' ho paura." Counting the pieces this
air is in the second act, No. 13, in G major, like the preceding one;
if it is assumed that the opera is divided into two acts, the garden air
would be No. 13 in the second act. The cues are not to be found in both
places, so that an alteration must have been made in the dialogue. The
cue agrees in sense with the words of the Countess before the dressing
song, ( Miserabili noi, se il conte viene).]

[Footnote 26: In the original terzet, when the parts went together, the highest
was given to the Countess; Mozart afterwards altered it, wherever
dramatic expression allowed, so that Susanna should sing the highest
part; this has necessitated trifling modifications here and there in
the disposition of parts. This alteration was no doubt undertaken with
a view to the singers. In the two finales their relative position was
settled before he proceeded to the working-out.]

[Footnote 27: According to Beyle, it is only in this duet that Mozart has
rendered the character of French comedy, and even here he takes Figaro's
jealousy too seriously (Vies de Haydn, Mozart et de Métastase, p. 361).]

[Footnote 28: Cramer, Magaz. f. Mus., 1788, II., p. 48. She first appeared on
September' 24, 1784, with success (Wien. Ztg., 1784, No. 79, Anh.), and
she appeared again after a pause in "Figaro" (Wien. Ztg., 1786, No. 35,

[Footnote 29: Berl. Mus. Ztg., 1793, p. 134.]

[Footnote 30: Da Ponte, Mem., I., 2, p. 111; cf. p. 135.]

[Footnote 31: The fragment of a sketch in score for this air is identical in the
first division; the words "solo ai nomi d'amor, di diletto," are
treated differently. A pianoforte arrangement of the air with violin
accompaniment, entirely in Mozart's handwriting, is in Jules Andre's

[Footnote 32: Dohrn, N. Ztschr. Mus., XL, p. 168.]

[Footnote 33: The duet has undergone three unnecessary abbreviations in the
printing. The sketch of a few bars to serve as an introduction to
another duet has the superscription "Atto 2do, Scena 3, invece del
Duetto di Susanna e Cherubino." This was apparently never continued.]

[Footnote 34: This connected construction of the different sections of the finale
is seldom found; they are generally merely successive scenas, as, for
instance, in Casti's "Re Teodoro."]

[Footnote 35: Mozart has written above it, "Andante di molto," and not "Andante
con moto" as it is printed; and it may further be noted that Susanna
comes out of the closet "tutta grave."]

[Footnote 36: Holmes says (Life of Mozart, p. 269) that Mozart wrote this finale
in two nights and a day, without stopping; in the course of the second
night he became unwell, and was obliged to desist when there only
remained a few pages to instrumentalise.]

[Footnote 37: Zelter, Briefw. m. Goethe, V., p. 434.]

[Footnote 38: Basilio and Don Curzio being intrusted to one singer, as well
as Bartolo and'Antonio, the score contains the names of the four
characters, but only two musical parts; supernumeraries were brought on
the stage in similar costumes when required.]

[Footnote 39: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 260.]

[Footnote 40: At first he gave Susanna's charming melody to the bassoon and flute
as well, but afterwards struck out both instruments, in order to allow
the voice full play. The instrumentation throughout the sestet is very
moderately treated.]

[Footnote 41: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 260.]

[Footnote 42: The running passages at the close of the air for the Countess (Act
III., 2) were not originally written by Mozart, but were added later,
probably at the wish of the singer.]

[Footnote 43: Cf. Kossmaly to Ulibicheff, Mozarts Opern, p. 368.]

[Footnote 44: This exquisite touch is completely lost in the German translation,
where the Countess only begins to dictate after the ritornello.]

[Footnote 45: A writer in the Deutsch. Mus. Ztg., 1862, p. 253, conjectures that
an orchestral piece in D minor (101, Anh., K.) included among Mozart's
remains, but unfortunately lost, may have been this middle movement.]

[Footnote 46: The Emperor Joseph's remark has been already mentioned. Carpani
(Le Haydine, p. 49; cf. p. 35) is of the same opinion. Grétiy's shrewd
criticism in answer to a question by Napoleon: "Cimarosa met la statue
sur le théätre et le piédestal dans l'orchestre; au lieu que Mozart met
la statue dans l'orchestre et le piédestal sur le théätre," has been
justly praised by Fétis (Biogr. Univ., IV., p. 106).]

[Footnote 47: Carpani, Le Haydine, p. 202. Beyle, Vies de Haydn, Mozart et de
Métastase, p. 362. Stendsal, Vie de Rossini, p. 40.]

[Footnote 48: Südd. Zeitg. f. Mus., 1861, p. 24.]

[Footnote 49: H. Berlioz (Voy. Mus., II., p. 267) characterises Mozart as the
master who, above all others, followed in Gluck's footsteps.]

[Footnote 50: Tieck, Dramaturg. Blatter, II., p. 325.]





THE success of "Figaro" did not materially improve Mozart's position in
Vienna. He lived, it is true, in very pleasant intercourse with a large
circle of friends, especially with the members of the Jacquin family
(Vol. II., p. 357), but the necessity he was under of earning his living
as a music teacher and virtuoso was very galling to him. "You happy
man!" said he to Gyrowetz, who was setting out on a journey to Italy;
"as for me, I am off now to give a lesson, to earn my bread."[1] A
glance at the Thematic Catalogue of his compositions succeeding "Figaro"
shows that they were probably suggested by his position as a teacher and
in musical society:--

1786. June 3. Quartet for piano, violin, viola, and violoncello, in E
flat major (493 K.).

June 10. Rondo for piano in F major (494 K.).

June 26. Concerto for the French horn for Leutgeb in, E flat major (495

July 8. Terzet for piano, violin, and violoncello, in G major (496 K.).



1786. August 1. Piano sonata for four hands in F major (497 K.).

August 5. Terzet for piano, clarinet, and violin, in E flat major (498

August 19. Quartet for two violins, viola, and violoncello, in D major
(499 K.).

September 12. &Twelve variations for the piano in B flat major (500 K.).

November. Variations for the piano for four hands in G major (501 K.).

November 18. Terzet for piano, violin, and violoncello, in B flat
major(502 K.).

Then follow three compositions intended for the winter concerts:--

1786. December 4. Pianoforte concerto in C major (503 K.).

December 6. Symphony in D major (504 K.).

December 27. Scena con rondo with pianoforte solo, for Mdlle. Storace
and myself, in E flat major (505 K.).

We cannot wonder that he turned a willing ear to the entreaties of his
English friends, that he would leave Vienna in the autumn of 1786 (his
wife having presented him on October 27, 1786, with their third son,
Leopold, who died the following spring) and visit England; this plan
was seriously considered, and only abandoned upon his father's strong
opposition to it (Vol. II., p. 274). There soon after reached him
an invitation from another quarter, giving still greater prospect of
success and encouragement. "Figaro" made its way but slowly to most of
the other great towns of Europe,[2] but in Prague, where the "Entführung"
had left a very pleasing impression, it was performed at once, and with
the greatest success.

The national taste for music which early distinguished



the Bohemians, and which they retain to the present day, arrived at
a high stage of development during the last century.[3] The zealous
attention bestowed upon church music both in town and country, and the
cultivated taste of the nobility, gave to talent an easy recognition,
and no available forces, either vocal or instrumental, were suffered to
remain in neglect. It was the "custom and obligation" for every head of
a school to write at least one new mass during the year, and to perform
it with his scholars. Any youth who distinguished himself was placed
in an institution where he was able to continue his musical education;
there was no lack of patrons ready to support him until he found a
situation in the musical establishment of a prince, a prelate, or a
monastery.[4] "The families of Morzini, Hartiggi, Czemini, Mannsfeldi,
Netolizki, Pachta, &c., were the patrons of many young men; they took
them from the village schools on their territories and brought them to
the capital to swell the ranks of their private musical establishments;
they wore a livery, and formed part of their retinue of servants.
Riflemen were not allowed to wear a uniform until they could blow the
bugle perfectly. Many noble families in Prague required their livery
servants to have a knowledge of music before being considered competent
for service." Under these circumstances, music and all connected with it
must have been held in high estimation at Prague, where the aristocracy
were wont to congregate during the winter. A permanent Italian opera,
especially intended for opera buffa, was founded by Bustelli, who had
also obtained a license in Dresden in 1765. From that time until 1776 he
gave performances at both places with a select



company, and acquired great fame thereby.[5] His successor was Pasquale
Bondini, who afterwards gave performances in Leipzig during the
summer,[6] and who was able to uphold the ancient fame of the Italian
opera in Prague. First-rate artists, such as Jos. Kucharz and Jos.
Strobach were engaged as operatic conductors; and other distinguished
musicians were engaged, as, for instance, Joh. Kozeluch (a relation of
Mozart's opponent living in Vienna, Leopold Kozeluch), Wenzel Praupner,
Vincenz Maschek, &c. There was, however, one artistic couple in Prague
of peculiar interest from their influential position and their intimate
friendship with Mozart. These were the Duscheks, whose name we have
already had frequent occasion to mention.[7]

Franz Duschek (born 1736 in Chotinborek), while still a poor peasant
lad, attracted the notice of his feudal lord, Count Joh. Karl von
Spork, by his uncommon talent. He was first sent to study at the Jesuit
seminary at Königgràtz, but being obliged to give up study owing to an
unfortunate accident, he devoted himself entirely to music, and was
sent by the Count to Vienna, where he was educated into an accomplished
piano-forte-player by Wagenseil.[8] As such he had long held the first
rank in Prague, and not only did much by his excellent teaching to
advance the art of pianoforte-playing, but exercised a decided and
beneficial influence on musical taste in general. He was universally
esteemed as an honest and upright man, and his influence with
distinguished connoisseurs made him a powerful patron of foreign artists
visiting Prague. His hospitable house formed a meeting-point both for
foreign and native talent, and concerts were regularly given there on
certain days in the week. The animating spirit at all these meetings was
Duschek's wife Josepha (neé Hambacher),[9] who had received her musical
education from



him. She played the pianoforte well enough to pass for a virtuoso, and
made some not unsuccessful attempts as a composer; but her forte lay in
singing. Her beautiful, full, round voice was admired equally with her
delivery, which was especially fine in recitative; she accomplished the
most difficult bravura passages with perfect ease, without neglecting
the effect of a perfect _portamento_; she united fire and energy with
grace and expression--in short, she maintained in every respect her
claim to be ranked with the first Italian singers of her time. This
claim was not, it is true, acknowledged by Leopold Mozart; when she was
in Salzburg with her husband, in 1786, he wrote to his daughter (April)--

Madame Duschek sang; but how? I cannot but say that she shrieked out an
air of Naumann's with exaggerated expression, just as she used to do,
only worse. Her husband is answerable for this; he knows no better, and
has taught her, and persuades her that she alone possesses true taste.

Her appearance did not please him either. "She seems to me to show signs
of age already," he writes (April 13); "she has rather a fat face, and
was very carelessly dressed." Schiller's unfavourable remarks upon her
in Weimar, where she was in May, 1788, are quite in accordance with
this.[10] She displeased him by her assurance (Dreistigkeit)--he would
not call it impudence (Frechheit)--and her mocking manner, which
caused the reigning Duchess to observe that she looked like a discarded
mistress.[11] By favour of the Duchess Amalie she was allowed to
give three concerts for the display of her talent and the general
edification; Korner answers Schiller's account of her:[12]--

The Duchess is not so wrong in what she said of her. She did not
interest me very greatly. Even as an artist, I consider her expression
caricatured. Gracefulness is, in my estimation, the chief merit of song,
and in this she seems to me entirely wanting.



Reichardt, who became acquainted with the Duscheks in 1773,[13] writes
in 1808 from Prague:[14]--

I have found a dear and talented friend of those happy youthful days in
Madame Duschek, who retains her old frankness and love for all that is
beautiful. Her voice, and her grand, expressive delivery, have been a
source of true pleasure to me,

She was a true friend also to Mozart. In 1777 the Duscheks were in
Salzburg, where they had family connections who were acquainted with the
Mozarts. Wolfgang took great pleasure in the society of the young lively
singer, and if she showed a disposition to hold aloof from Salzburg folk
in general, he too was "schlimm," as he called it, in this respect. Of
course he composed several songs for her (Vol. I., p. 234). The Duscheks
discovered Wolfgang's uncomfortable position in Salzburg; and the
intelligence that he intended shortly to leave the town drew from
them, his father says (September 28, 1777), expressions of the warmest
sympathy. They begged Wolfgang, whether he came to Prague then or at
any other time, to rely upon the most friendly welcome from them. In
the spring of 1786 they came to Vienna, and were witness of the cabals
against which Mozart had to contend before the performance of his
"Figaro." They were quite able to judge for themselves what the
opera was likely to be, and after the success which had attended the
performance of the "Entführung" in Prague they found no difficulty in
rousing interest there in the new opera:--

"Figaro" was placed upon the stage in 1786 by the Bondini company, and
was received with an applause which can only be compared with that which
was afterwards bestowed on the "Zauberflote." It is a literal truth that
this opera was played almost uninterruptedly during the whole
winter, and that it completely restored the failing fortunes of the
entrepreneur. The enthusiasm which it excited among the public was
unprecedented; they were insatiable in their demands for it. It was
soon arranged for the pianoforte, for wind instruments, as a quintet for
chamber music, and as German dance music; songs from "Figaro"



were heard in streets, in gardens; even the wandering harper at the
tavern-door was obliged to strum out "Non più andrai" if he wanted to
gain any audience at all.[15]

Fortunately this enthusiastic approbation was turned to the profit of
the one whom it most concerned. Leopold Mozart wrote to his daughter
with great satisfaction (January 12, 1787):--

Your brother is by this time in Prague with his wife, for he wrote to me
that he was to set out last Monday. His opera "Le Nozze di Figaro" has
been performed there with so much applause that the orchestra and a
number of connoisseurs and amateurs sent him a letter of invitation,
together with some verses that had been written upon him.

He conjectured that they would take up their abode with Duschek, whose
wife was absent on a professional journey to Berlin; but a greater
honour was in store for them. Count Johann Joseph Thun, one of the
noblest patrons of music in Prague, had placed his house at Mozart's
disposal. He accepted the offer gladly, and on his arrival at Prague, in
1787, he found the public enthusiastic for his music, and well-disposed
towards himself. The account which he addressed to Gottfried von Jacquin
(January 15, 1787) is written in the highest spirits:--

Dearest Friend!--At last I find a moment in which to write to you; I
intended to write four letters to Vienna immediately on my arrival, but
in vain! only a single one (to my mother-in-law) could I attempt, and
that I only wrote the half of; my wife and Hofer were obliged to finish
it. Immediately upon our arrival (Thursday, the 11th, at noon) we had
enough to do to be ready for dinner at one. After dinner old Count Thun
regaled us with music performed by his own people, and lasting about
an hour and a half. I can enjoy this true entertainment daily. At six
o'clock I drove with Count Canal to the so-called Breitfeld Ball, where
the cream of Prague beauty are wont to assemble. That would have been
something for you, my friend! I think I see you after all the lovely
girls and women--not running--no, limping after them. I did not dance,
and did not make love. The first because I was too tired, and the last
from my native bashfulness; but I was quite pleased to see all these
people hopping about to the music of my "Figaro" turned into waltzes and
country dances; nothing is talked of here but



"Figaro," no opera is cared for but "Figaro," always "Figaro"--truly a
great honour for me. Now to return to my diary. As I returned late from
the ball, and was tired and sleepy from my journey, it was only natural
that I should sleep long; and so it was. Consequently the whole of the
next morning was _sine linea_; after dinner we had music as usual; and
as I have a very good pianoforte in my room, you can easily imagine that
I did not allow the evening to pass without some playing; we got up a
little quartet _in caritatis camera_ (and the "schone Bandl hammera,"
[Vol. II., p. 362] ) among ourselves; and in this way the whole evening
again passed _sine linea._ I give you leave to quarrel with Morpheus on
my account; he favoured us wonderfully in Prague; why, I cannot tell,
but we both slept well. Nevertheless, we were ready at 11 o'clock to go
to Pater Unger, and to give a passing glance at the Royal Library and
at the Seminary. After we had looked our eyes out, we felt a small
menagerie in our insides, and judged it well to drive to Count Canal's
to dinner. The evening surprised us sooner than you would believe, and
we found it was time for the opera. We heard "Le Gare Generose" (by
Paesiello). As to the performance, I can say little, for I talked all
the time; the reason I did so, against my usual custom, must have been
because--but _basta_--this evening was again spent _al solito_. To-day
I am fortunate enough to find a moment in which to inquire after your
welfare and that of your parents, and of the whole family of Jacquin.
Now farewell; next Friday, the 19th, will be my concert at the theatre;
I shall probably be obliged to give a second, and that will lengthen my
stay here. On Wednesday I shall see and hear "Figaro"--at least if I
am not deaf and blind by that time. Perhaps I shall not become so until
_after_ the opera.

At the performance of "Figaro" Mozart was received by the numerous
audience with tumultuous applause; he was so pleased with the
representation, especially with the orchestral part of it, that he
expressed his thanks in a letter to Strobach, who conducted it. The
Prague orchestra was not strongly appointed,[16] nor did it shine
through the names of celebrated virtuosi; but it contained clever and
well-schooled musicians, full of fire and of zeal for what was good--the
best guarantee of success. Strobach often asserted that he and his
orchestra used to get so excited by "Figaro" that, in spite of the
actual labour it entailed, they would willingly have played it all over
again when they came to the end.[17]



The two concerts which Mozart gave in Prague were also highly

The theatre was never so full, and delight was never so strongly and
unanimously roused as by his divine playing. We scarcely knew which
to admire most, his extraordinary compositions or his extraordinary
playing; the two together made an impression on our minds comparable
only to enchantment.[18]

We have already given an account of the enthusiasm excited by Mozart's
extemporising (Vol. II., p. 438); the other compositions which he
performed were all loudly applauded, especially the lately written
symphony in D major. The pecuniary gain corresponded to the warmth of
this reception, and Storace was able to announce to L. Mozart that his
son had made 1,000 florins in Prague. The social distractions which
Mozart describes so graphically to his friend appear to have continued;
at least, he accomplished no musical work except the country dances
which he improvised for Count Pachta (510 K.; Vol. II., p. 436), and
six waltzes (509 K.), composed for the grand orchestra, probably for a
similar occasion (February 6, 1787).[19] When, however, in the joy of his
heart Mozart declared how gladly he would write an opera for an audience
which understood and admired him like that of Prague, Bondini took him
at his word, and concluded a contract with him by which Mozart undertook
to compose an opera



by the beginning of the next season for the customary fee of one hundred


[Footnote 1: Gyrowetz, Selbstbiogr., p. 14.]

[Footnote 2: "Figaro" was first performed in Berlin, September 14, 1790
(Schneider, Gesch. d. Oper, p. 59), and praised by the critics as a
masterpiece, while the ordinary public preferred Martin and Dittersdorf
(Chronik von Berlin, VIII., pp. 1229, 1244. Berl. Mus. Monatsschr.,
1792, p. 137). "Figaro" had no greater success in Italy than others of
Mozart's operas: "Mozart's operas, at the hands of the Italian comic
singers and the Italian public, have met with the fate which would
befall a retiring sober man introduced to a company of drunkards; the
rioters would be sure to treat the sober man as a fool" (Berl. Mus.
Ztg., 1793, p. 77). Thus, failure was reported from Florence (A. M. Z.,
III., p. 182) and Milan (A. M. Z., XVII., p. 294). "Figaro" has
lately been on the repertory of the Italian Opera in Paris; since the
unfortunate experiment in 1792 (p. 77, note), the opera has been given
in French at the Théätre Lyrique (1858), with the most brilliant success
(Scudo, Crit. et Litt. Mus., II., p. 458). "Figaro" was first performed
in London in 1813 (Catalani sang Susanna--Parke, Mus. Mem., II., p. 82),
and kept its place as one of the most favourite of operas.]

[Footnote 3: Jahrb. d. Tonk., Wien u. Prag, 1796, p. 108. A. M. Z., p. 488.
Reichardt, Br. e. aufm. Reisenden, II., p. 123.]

[Footnote 4: Gyrowetz, in his Autobiography (Wien, 1848), gives a description of
such an education.]

[Footnote 5: A. M. Z., I., p. 330; II., p. 494.]

[Footnote 6: [Blümner], Gesch. des Theaters in Leipzig, p. 203.]

[Footnote 7: Particulars concerning him and his wife may be found in Cramer's
Mag. Mus., I., p. 997. Jahrbuch der Tonkunst, 1796, p. 113. A. M. Z.,
I., p. 444.]

[Footnote 8: Reichardt (Briefe eines aufmerks. Reisenden, I., p. 116) includes
him among the best pianoforte-players of the time (1773): "who, besides
a very good execution of Bach's music, has a particularly elegant and
brilliant style."]

[Footnote 9: She was born in Prague in 1756, and died there at an advanced age.]

[Footnote 10: Schiller, Briefw. m. Körner, I., p. 280. She had given a concert in
Leipzig on April 22 (Busby, Gesch. d. Mus., II., p. 668.)]

[Footnote 11: We learn from L. Mozart's letters to his daughter, that Count
Clamm, "a fine, handsome, amiable man, without cavalier pride," was the
"declared lover" of Frau Duschek, and "kept her whole establishment."]

[Footnote 12: Schiller, Briefw. m. Körner, I., p. 294.]

[Footnote 13: Schletterer, Reichardt, I., p. 134.]

[Footnote 14: Reichardt, Vertr. Briefe, I., p. 132.]

[Footnote 15: Niemetschek, p. 34.]

[Footnote 16: The violins were trebled, the violas and basses doubled (A. M. Z.,
II., p. 522).]

[Footnote 17: Niemetschek, p. 39. Holmes says (p. 278) that he heard the same
remark made by the first bassoonist after a performance of "Figaro."]

[Footnote 18: Niemetschek, p. 40.]

[Footnote 19: Every "Teutsche" has its "Alternativo," and they are united into a
connected whole, as Mozart especially remarks in a description of them.
The close is formed by a somewhat lengthy coda, and they are for the
most part lightly thrown together, with no pretension but to incite to
the dance. He remarks at the end, "As I do not know of what kind the
Flauto piccolo is, I have put it in the natural key; it can at any time
be transposed." A pianoforte arrangement in Mozart's handwriting is in
André's collection.]

[Footnote 20: Niemetschek, p. 96. 1]





MOZART had been so well satisfied with Da Ponte's libretto for "Figaro"
that he had no hesitation in intrusting the new libretto to him, and
immediately on his return to Vienna they consulted together as to the
choice of subject. Da Ponte, fully convinced of the many-sidedness of
Mozart's genius, proposed "Don Giovanni," and Mozart at once agreed to
it. Da Ponte relates,[1] with an amusing amount of swagger, that he was
engaged at one and the same time on "Tarar" for Salieri, on the "Arbore
di Diana" for Martin, and on "Don Giovanni" for Mozart. Joseph II. made
some remonstrance on this, to which Da Ponte answered that he would do
his best; he could write for Mozart at night and imagine himself
reading Dante's "Inferno"; for Martin in the morning, and be reminded
of Petrarch; and in the evening for Salieri, who should be his Tasso.
Thereupon he set to work, a bottle of wine and his Spanish snuffbox
before him, and his hostess's pretty daughter by his side to enact the
part of inspiring muse. The first day, the two first scenes of "Don
Giovanni," two scenes of the "Arbore di Diana," and more than half of
the first act of "Tarar" were written, and in sixty-three days the
whole of the first two operas and two-thirds of the last were ready.
Unfortunately we have no certain information either of the share taken
by Mozart in the construction of the text, nor of the manner in which
his composition was carried on. The warmth of his reception at Prague
made the contrast of his position in Vienna all the more galling to
him. On the departure of Storace, Kelly, and Attwood for England, in
February, 1787, he had seriously entertained the idea of following them
as soon as they had found a situation worthy of his acceptance



in London. The bass singer Fischer, who was visiting Vienna,[2] wrote in
Mozart's album on April 1, 1787, the following verses, more well-meaning
than poetical:--

     Die holde Göttin Harmonie Der Tone und der Seelen,
     Ich dächte wohl, sie sollten nie
     Die Musensöhnen fehlen,
     Doch oft ist Herz und
     Mund verstimmt;
     Dort singen Lippen Honig,
     Wo doch des Neides Feuer glimmt--
     Glaub mir, es gebe wenig Freunde die den
     Stempel tragen Echter Treu, Rechtschaffenheit.

The lines throw a light on Mozart's relations to his fellow-artists,
and the hint contained in Barisani's album verses, written on April 14,
1787, that the Italian composers envied him his art (Vol. II., p. 306),
leaves no doubt as to whose envy, in the opinion of himself and his
friends, he had to dread. A musical connoisseur, visiting Vienna on his
return from Italy in the spring of 1787,[3] found everybody engrossed
with Martin's "Cosa Rara," which, Storace's departure having rendered
its performance in Italian impossible, was being played in a German
adaptation at the Marinelli theatre with success. Dittersdorfs success
in German opera had also the effect of throwing Mozart completely into
the shade.

Dittersdorf (1739-1799)[4] came to Vienna during Lent, 1786,[5] to
produce his oratorio of "Job" at the concerts of the Musical Society,
and he afterwards gave two concerts in the Augarten, at which his
symphonies on Ovid's "Metamorphoses" were performed. The genuine success
of these compositions led to his being requested to write a German
opera. Stephanie junior, theatrical director at the time, provided him
with the incredibly dull libretto of the "Doctor und Apotheker," which
was played for the first



time on July 11, 1786, and twenty times subsequently during the year.
That which had not been attained by the success of the "Entführung,"
happened in this case. Dittersdorf was at once requested to write a
second opera, "Betrug durch Aberglauben," which was performed on October
3, 1786, with not less applause than the first; it was followed by a
third "Die Liebe im Narrenhause," also very well received on April 12,
1787. On the other hand, an Italian opera by Dittersdorf, "Democrito
Corretto," first performed on January 2, 1787, was a complete failure.
Dittersdorf's brilliant triumph over such composers as Umlauf, Hanke,
or Ruprecht, is not to be wondered at; his operas rapidly spread from
Vienna to all the other German theatres, and he acquired a popularity
far in excess of most other composers.[6] True merit was undoubtedly at
the bottom of this; he was skilful in appropriating the good points both
of opera buffa and of French comic opera, and his finales and ensemble
movements are specially happy in effect; he was not only thoroughly
experienced in the management of voices, but, being a fertile
instrumental composer, he had learnt from the example and precedent of
Haydn to employ his orchestra independently, and with good effect.
His easy flow of invention furnished him with an abundance of pleasing
melodies, a considerable amount of comic talent showed itself in
somewhat highly flavoured jokes, and his music had an easy-going,
good-tempered character, which, though often sinking into Philistinism,
was, nevertheless, genuinely German. Far behind Grétry as he was in
intellect and refinement, he decidedly excelled him in musical ability.
Life and originality were incontestably his, but depth of feeling or
nobility of form will be sought for in vain in his works. Each new
opera was a mere repetition of that which had first been so successful,
affording constant proof of his limited powers, which were rightly
estimated by some of his contemporaries.[7] Joseph II.



shared the partiality of the public for Dittersdorf's lighter style of
music, and rewarded him munificently when he left Vienna in the spring
of 1787. But the Emperor took no real interest in German opera--the
company received their dismissal in the autumn of 1787, and the
performances ceased in February, 1788.[8]

Mozart's autograph Thematic Catalogue contains few important works
between his return to Vienna and his second journey to Prague:--

1787. March 11. Rondo for pianoforte, A minor (511 K.).

March 18. Scena for Fischer, "Non sö d'onde viene" (512 K.).

March 23. Air for Gottfried von Jacquin, "M entre ti lascio" (513 K.).

April 6. Rondo for the horn, for Leutgeb (514 K.).

April 19. Quintet for two violins, two violas, and violoncello, C major
(Vol. III., p. 19) (515 K.).

May 16. Quintet, G minor (Vol. III., p. 20) (516 K.).

May 18, 20, 23, 26. A song on each (517-520 K.).

May 20. A piano sonata for four hands, in C major (521 K.).

June 11. A musical jest (Vol. II., p. 367, 522 K.).

June 24. Two songs (523, 524 K.).

August 10. Serenade (525 K.).

August 24. Pianoforte sonata with violin, in A major (526 K.).

These were probably all composed for social or teaching purposes; even
the two quintets, which are worthy of the first rank, were no doubt
written to order for a particular musical circle. Nor were these
compositions to the taste of the Viennese public of the day. The
traveller already mentioned notes as follows:[9]--

Kozeluch's works hold their ground, and are always acceptable, while
Mozart's are not by any means so popular. It is true; and the fact
receives fresh confirmation from his quartets dedicated to Haydn, that
he has a decided leaning to what is difficult and unusual. But on the
other hand, how great and noble are his ideas--how daring a spirit does
he display in them!

The amount of industry with which Mozart worked at "Don Giovanni" is
unknown to us. We may conclude that, if he followed his usual habit,
he plunged eagerly into his new libretto at first, and afterwards
procrastinated over



the actual transcription of his ideas. The received tradition represents
him as bringing the unfinished opera to Prague in September, 1787,[10]
and completing it, incited by intercourse with the intended
performers and the stimulating society of his enthusiastic friends and
admirers.[11] The impresario, who was bound to provide accommodation for
the composer until after the performance, had lodged Mozart in a house,
"bei drei Löwen" (on the market-place).[12] He preferred, however,
the vineyard of his friend Duschek at Kossir (Kosohirz); and the
summer-house and stone table are still shown at which he used to sit
writing his score, with lively talk and bowl-playing going on round
him.[13] All such stories as those of the delicate diplomacy with
which Mozart apportioned the several parts to the satisfaction of the
performers, of his having been obliged to appease L. Bassi, indignant at
Don Giovanni having no proper grand air to sing; of his having
composed "La ci darem la mano" five times before he could satisfy the
singers,[14] repose on the same foundation as those of his



love-making with the female performers.[15] As to this, we know his
relations with the Duscheks; Teresa Saporiti is said to have expressed
her surprise that so great an artist should be so insignificant in
appearance; whereat Mozart, touched on his weakest point, diverted his
attentions from her and bestowed them on Micelli or Bondini--there were
no other female artists in Prague at that time. We are unfortunate in
having no information as to the influence exerted on the details of
the composition by the idiosyncracies of the singers and other
circumstances. Two anecdotes obtained credence at the time, both
relating to the rehearsals for which Da Ponte had also come from
Vienna;[16] he was lodged at the back of the inn "Zum Platteis," and the
poet and composer could converse with each other from their respective

In the finale of the first act Teresa Bondini as Zerlina failed to utter
the cry for help in a sufficiently spontaneous manner. After many vain
attempts, Mozart went himself on to the stage, had the whole thing
repeated, and at the right moment gave the singer so unexpected and
severe a push that she shrieked out in alarm. "That's right," he
exclaimed, laughing, "that is the way to shriek!" The words of the
Commendatore in the churchyard scene were originally, it is said,
accompanied only by the trombones. The trombone-players failing to
execute the passage, Mozart went to the desk, and began to explain how
it might be done, whereupon one of them said: "It cannot be played in
that way, nor can even you teach us how to do it." Mozart answered,
laughing: "God forbid that I should teach you to play the trumpet; give
me the parts, and I will alter them." He did so accordingly, and added
the wood wind instruments.[17]



A good omen for the reception of the new opera was afforded by a
brilliant performance of "Figaro" on October 14,[18] under Mozart's
direction, in honour of the bride of Prince Anton of Saxony, the
Archduchess Maria Theresa of Toscana, who was passing through Prague on
her wedding tour.[19] Nevertheless, Mozart himself felt far from secure
of the success of "Don Giovanni"; and after the first rehearsal, while
taking a walk with the orchestral conductor Kucharz, he asked him in
confidence what he thought of the opera, and whether it was likely to
achieve so decided a success as that of "Figaro." Kucharz answered that
he could entertain no doubt of the success of such fine and original
music, and that anything coming from Mozart would meet with ready
recognition from the Prague public. Mozart declared himself satisfied
with such an opinion from a musician, and said he was ready to spare
neither pains nor labour to produce a work worthy of Prague.[20]

Thus approached the day of performance, October 29 (not November 4),
1787; and on the previous evening the overture was still unwritten, to
the great consternation of Mozart's assembled friends. We have already
told (Vol. II., p. 414) how he parted late from the merry company, and
sat down to write with a glass of punch before him, and his wife telling
him stories by his side; how sleep overcame him, and he was obliged
to lie down for several hours before completing his task; and how the
copyist was sent for at seven o'clock in the morning, and the overture
was ready at



the appointed time.[21] There was barely time to write out the parts
before the beginning of the opera, which indeed was somewhat delayed
on this account. The well-drilled and inspired orchestra played the
overture at sight so well that, during the introduction to the first
act, Mozart observed to the instrumentalists near him: "Some of the
notes fell under the desks, it is true, but the overture went capitally
upon the whole." The success of the first representation was brilliant.
The theatre was full to overflowing, and Mozart's appearance as
conductor at the piano was the signal for enthusiastic clapping and
huzzas. The suspense with which the overture was awaited found vent in
a very storm of applause, which accompanied the opera from beginning to
end. The cast of this performance was as follows:--[See Page Images]

The performance, though not including any virtuosi of the first rank or
fame, was considered an excellent one; the inspiring influence of
the maestro and the elevated mood of the public united to induce
the performers to put forth all their powers, and stimulated them to
extraordinary efforts. Guardasoni, who was associated with Bondini in
the management of the theatre,[22] was so delighted with the success of



the opera that he announced it to Da Ponte (who had been obliged to
hurry back to Vienna to put "Axur" upon the stage) in the words: "Evviva
Da Ponte, ewiva Mozart! Tutti gli impresari, tutti i virtuosi devono
benedirli! finchè essi vivranno, son si saprà mai, cosa sia miseria
teatrale."[23] Mozart also communicated to' Da Ponte the happy result
of their joint labours, and wrote to Gottfried von Jacquin (November 4,

Dearest Friend,--I hope you have received my letters. On October 29,
my opera, "Don Giovanni," was put in scena, with the most unqualified
success. Yesterday it was performed for the fourth time, for my benefit.

I intend to leave here on the 12th or 13th, and as soon as I arrive in
Vienna you shall have the airs to sing. N.B.--Between ourselves--I only
wish my good friends (particularly Bridi and yourself) could be here for
a single evening to share in my triumph. Perhaps it will be performed in
Vienna. I hope so. They are trying all they can here to persuade me to
remain two months longer, and write another opera; but flattering as the
proposal is, I cannot accept it.[24]

Mozart met with constant and unequivocal proofs of esteem on all sides
during his visit to Prague; an esteem, too, not of mere fashion or
prejudice, but founded on a genuine love of art; he gave himself up
unreservedly to the pleasure afforded him by intercourse with his
friends and admirers; and many of these retained long after, as
Niemet-schek says (p. 93), the memory of the hours passed in his
society. He was as artless and confiding as a child, and overflowing
with fun and merriment; it was difficult for



strangers to realise that they were in the society of the great and
admired artist.

Mozart had promised his friend, Madame Duschek, that he would compose a
new concert air for her; as usual, however, he could not be brought to
the point of transcribing it. One day she locked him into a summer-house
on the Weinberg, and declared she would not let him out until he had
finished the air. He set to work at once, but having completed his task,
retorted that if she could not sing the song correctly and well at first
sight, he would not give it to her.[25] In truth, the words: "Quest'
affanno, questo passo è terribile," in the andante of this song ("Bella
mia fiamma," 528 K., part 2) are rendered after a highly characteristic
manner; and the intervals for the voice, not easy in themselves,
become, by their harmonic disposition, a severe test of pure and correct
intonation. Altogether, this is one of the most beautiful of Mozart's
concert airs; it makes no great claims on the singer's powers of
execution, but it requires a soprano voice of considerable compass and
power, and a grand and expressive delivery. It is interesting to observe
how this song, animated and energetic as it is in expression, yet
differs essentially from the properly dramatic music of "Don Giovanni."
Unconnected with any plot, and not designed for the stage, the situation
adopts a modified character, the concert singer being in a totally
different position from the actor; and the form in which the composer
clothes his conception is suitably modified also. On November 15, 1787,
immediately after Mozart's return to Vienna, Gluck died; and the success
of "Don Giovanni" in Prague may have contributed to induce Joseph II.
to retain Mozart in Vienna by appointing him Chamber-Musi-cian
(Kammermusikus) on December 7, 1787. For the present, however, there was
no prospect of a performance of "Don Giovanni" in Vienna.

Salieri had produced his opera of "Tarar" in Paris, in June, 1787,
Beaumarchais having spared no pains to create



an effect by a lively and exciting plot, by lavish decorations and
costumes, and by political and philosophical allusions. The public was
at first somewhat disappointed, and the music was considered inferior
to that of the "Danaides," produced in 1774; but the extraordinary piece
made in the end a great effect, and attracted large audiences.[26] The
Emperor was exceedingly pleased with the music, and commissioned Da
Ponte to prepare Italian words for it upon the occasion of the marriage
of the Archduke Francis with the Princess Elizabeth. This Italian opera
of "Axur" retained only the groundwork of the original, both the words
and the music being completely remodelled. Da Ponte gave fresh proof
of his dexterity, and Salieri, finding his task far more congenial than
before, did not grudge the trouble of recomposition.[27] On January 8,
1788, the Festival opera "Axur" was performed as a "Freispektakel," the
betrothal of the distinguished pair by the Archduke Maximilian having
taken place on January 6.[28]At first the audience were somewhat taken
aback by the traces of the French "Tarar" in the Italian "Axur," but
very soon they felt the lively, brilliantly appointed plot, and the
freer development of musical forms to be additional charms bestowed on
the essentially Italian music. Several representations, following in
quick succession, increased the favour in which this opera came to be
held in Vienna,[29] especially by the Emperor Joseph,[30] and very soon
on every stage in Germany.[31]

The present, therefore, was no time for "Don Giovanni." Mozart catered
for the amusement of the Viennese by the dances (534-536 K.), which
he wrote in January, 1788, for the balls in the Redoutensaale, and he
indulged his patriotic feelings by a song on the Turkish war, which
Baumann sang at the theatre in the Leopoldstadt (539 K.). He



appears also to have given a concert during Lent, for which he wrote his
pianoforte concerto in D major (537 K.). But Joseph II. commanded the
production of "Don Giovanni," and there was no more to be said; it
was given on May 7, 1788,[32] and was a failure. Everybody, says Da
Ponte,[33] except Mozart, thought it a mistake; additions were made,
airs were altered, but no applause followed. Nevertheless Da Ponte
took Mozart's advice, and had the opera repeated several times in quick
succession, so that people grew accustomed to what was unusual, and the
applause increased with every representation.[34] The cast of the opera
in Vienna was as follows:--[See Page Image]

There was no reason, as will be acknowledged, to ascribe the tardy
success of "Don Giovanni" to the inferiority of its performance.[35] Da
Ponte appears also to have



exaggerated with respect to the frequent alterations. Mozart's Thematic
Catalogue contains three pieces for insertion written _before_ the
first performance (April 24, 28, 30) and incorporated in the book of
words.[36] Mdlle. Cavalieri, of whom it was said at the time[37] that,
deserving to be placed in the first rank of Italian singers, and almost
deified as she was in Italy, not a word in her praise was ever uttered
in Vienna, insisted on having a grand scena in the part of Elvira, in
order to maintain her reputation as a singer. This gave rise (April 30)
to the magnificent air "Mi tradi quell' alma ingrata" (527, 25 K.).[38]
Mozart could not indeed persuade himself to sacrifice so much to the
"voluble organ of Mdlle. Cavalieri" as he had formerly done in the
"Entführung" (Vol. II., p. 235), but even as it is, the dramatic
interest has to yield to the vocal--the character of Elvira to the
individuality of the singer. The tenor singer, Signor Francesco
Morelia,[39] on the contrary, seems to have found Ottavio's grand air
too much for him, and the air in G major "Della sua pace" (527, 27 K.),
composed for him is more modest in every respect.

A stronger effort after popularity was made by the duet between Zerlina
and Leporello, "Per queste tue manine" (527, 28 K.). The situation is
broadly comic, and has no proper connection with the plot; Leporello
is roundly abused, and finally tied hand and foot by Zerlina. It was
probably intended as a sacrifice to the taste of the audience, who
expected an opera buffa to make them laugh heartily. We know that
Benucci was an excellent comedian in every branch of his art, and this
duet leads to the conclusion that Signora Mombelli's forte was buffa.
Zerlina expresses her anger and revenge volubly enough, but her own
special grace



and roguery have quite deserted her here. In a true opera buffa the
duet would have been quite in keeping; but it is out of place in "Don
Giovanni," because it brings Leporello and Zerlina to the foreground in
a degree which does not accord with the plot, and places them both in a
harsh light, false to their character as elsewhere displayed. Mozart was
right, then, in his opinion that additions and alterations were not the
means to make his opera gain favour; it was altogether too unusual a
phenomenon to take immediate effect upon a Viennese audience. We have
already seen how Haydn was constrained to put to silence the adverse
criticisms of musicians and connoisseurs assembled at Count Rosenberg's,
by declaring his conviction that Mozart was the greatest composer in the
world. "Don Giovanni" first made its way upon the stages of Germany in
German adaptations. It was given at Mannheim with extraordinary success
in October, 1789,[40] and Schroder produced it in Hamburg at about the
same time; Schink, while severely criticising the libretto of the opera,
expresses himself enthusiastically in praise of the music--

How can this music, so full of force, majesty, and grandeur, be expected
to please the lovers of ordinary opera, who bring their ears to the
theatre with them, but leave their hearts at home? The grand and noble
qualities of the music in "Don Juan" will appeal only to the small
minority of the elect. It is not such as to tickle the ear of the crowd,
and leave the heart unsatisfied. Mozart is no ordinary composer. His
music has been profoundly felt and thought out in its relation to the
characters, situations, and sentiments of his personages. It is a
study in language, treated musically. He never decks out his songs
with unnecessary and meaningless passages. That is the way in which
expression is banished from music: expression consisting not in
particular words, but in the skilful and natural combination of sounds
as a medium of real emotion. Of this method of expression Mozart is
a consummate master. Each sound which he produces has its origin in
emotion, and overflows with it. His expression is glowing with life and
picturesqueness, yet without the taint of voluptuousness. He has the
richest, and at the same time the most temperate imagination. He is a
true virtuoso, never allowing his creative impulse to run away with his
judgment; his inspiration is guided by reason, his impersonations are
the result of calm deliberation.[41]



The Berlin criticism was not quite so favourable, the opera having
been there performed for the first time in the presence of the King on
December 20, 1790:[42]--

If ever an opera was looked forward to with curiosity, if ever a
composition of Mozart's was lauded to the skies before its performance,
it was surely this "Don Juan." Every one will allow that Mozart is a
great and admirable composer, but that nothing good or great has been
written before this opera, or will be written after it, is a point on
which we may be allowed to doubt. Theatrical music admits of no rules,
of no appeal but to the heart, and its worth is in proportion to its
effect thereon. No amount of art in heaping up instrumental effects will
make a great musician or render his name immortal, unless he can give
utterance to the passions and emotions of the heart. Grétry, Monsigny,
and Philidor are instances to the point. Mozart has aimed at writing
something extraordinary, something inimitably grand in his "Don Juan";
the extraordinary is there, certainly, but not the inimitably grand.
Vanity, eccentricity, fancy, have created "Don Juan," not the heart;
and we should have preferred being called upon to admire the highest
capabilities of music in one of his oratorios or solemn church
compositions than in his "Don Juan."[43]

The extraordinary success of the opera[44] is attested by a notice of
it[45] which proceeds to prove that this musical drama satisfies the
eye, enchants the ear, does violence to the intellect, offends against
morals, and suffers vice to trample upon virtue and good feeling. The
author of the criticism accounts for the popularity of the opera by the
quality of the music, which is beyond all expression grand:--

If ever a nation might be proud of one of its children, Germany may be
proud of Mozart, the composer of this opera. Never was the greatness of
the human mind more perceptible, never did music reach so high a level!
Melodies which an angel might have conceived are accompanied by divinest
harmonies, and those whose souls are in any degree susceptible to what
is truly beautiful will agree with me in saying the ear is bewitched.

At the same time he cannot refrain from the pious wish:--[See Page



Oh, that he had not so wasted the energies of his mighty mind!--that his
judgment had been brought to the aid of his imagination, and had shown
him a less miry path to fame! How can it please him that his name should
appear set in diamonds upon a golden tablet, and the tablet suspended on
a pillory?

Spazier, who acknowledged Mozart's "true, unborrowed, unartificial
wealth of ideas,"[46] and said of "Don Giovanni" that some of its single
airs were worth more than whole operas by Paesiello,[47] remarks on
another occasion:[48]--

The pleasure of seeing a genius strike out a new path with ease, which
one feels would possess insurmountable obstacles to others, becomes pain
and grief, which can only be turned to enjoyment again by minute study
of the work, when such an artist puts forth his whole strength as Mozart
has in "Don Juan," where he overwhelms his hearers with the vastness of
his art, giving to the whole an almost boundless effect.

His promise of a more minute description remained unfulfilled. The
various notices of the work which followed its performance in other
places were all of the same kind, both praise and blame recognising the
fact that a novel and important phenomenon was being treated of.[49]
After the performance in Weimar, Goethe wrote to Schiller (December 30,
1797) ^

Your hopes for the opera are richly fulfilled in "Don Juan"; but the
work is completely isolated, and Mozart's death frustrates any prospect
of his example being followed.[50]



The popularity of the opera with the general public spread rapidly,
and very soon there was no stage in Germany where "Don Juan" had not
acquired permanent possession. According to Sonnleithner's calculation,
"Don Giovanni" had been performed 531 times at Vienna at the end of the
year 1863; at Prague, Stiepanek asserts that 116 representations took
place during the first ten years, and 360 before 1855;[51] at the
celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of "Don Giovanni" at Berlin,
in 1837, more than 200 performances were calculated to have taken
place;[52] similar celebrations took place at Prague[53] and
Magdeburg.[54] The opera was first introduced at Paris in 1805, in
a fearfully distorted and mangled version, by C. Kalkbrenner; a
characteristic instance was the masque terzet, where the words "Courage,
vigilance, adresse, défiance, que l'active prudence préside à nos
desseins" were sung by three gendarmes. Kalkbrenner also interpolated
some of his own music, and, spite of it all, the fabrication pleased
for a time.[55] In the year 1811 "Don Giovanni" was first given in its
original form by the singers of the Italian opera, and ever since the
most distinguished artists have retained Mozart's masterpiece upon
this stage in an uninterrupted succession of performances.[56] A French
translation of "Don Juan," by Castil-Blaze,[57] was given at Lyons in
1822, at the Odéon in Paris in 1827, and at the Académie de Musique in
1834, admirably cast and brilliantly appointed, besides being more true
to the original;[58] a still newer adaptation has been performed at the
Théätre Lyrique.[59] In London the great success of "Figaro" had paved
the way for "Don Giovanni," which has ever since its



first performance, in April, 1817, occupied a prominent place at the
Italian opera of that city. The applause which followed the first
Italian representation was so great that the lessee of Covent Garden
theatre produced an English version in May of the same year, which was
excellently performed, and with considerable success.[60]

While "Don Giovanni" was thus becoming familiar to opera-goers in the
north, and even in Petersburg, Stockholm, and Copenhagen, it had not met
with any very warm or general sympathy in Italy, where repeated attempts
to introduce it to the public had resulted only in a certain amount of
respectful recognition from connoisseurs. "Don Giovanni" was first given
in Rome in 1811, no pains having been spared in the rehearsals, and
few alterations made in the opera. The audience was very attentive, and
applauded loudly; the music was termed "bellissima, superba, sublime,
un musicone"--but not altogether "del gusto del paese"; the many
_stranezze_ might be "belissime," but they were not what people were
accustomed to.[61] A more successful attempt was made in Naples in the
following year, although not on so grand a scale; the audience were
attentive, and seemed to accustom themselves to the _musica classica_,
but even here the success was not lasting.[62] The first representation
at Milan in 1814 provoked quite as much hissing as applause, but
subsequent performances were more successful.[63] At Turin the
opera appears to have pleased in 1815, in spite of its wretched
performance.[64] A mangled version of "Don Giovanni" was given at
Florence in 1818, and failed, but it was afterwards very well received
in its true form;[65] in 1857, as a friend wrote to me, "the antiquated
hyperborean music" was so emphatically hissed that it could not be
risked again. In Genoa, too, in 1824, "Don Giovanni" pleased the
learned, but not the public;[66] and at Venice, in 1833, it gained some



little popularity by slow degrees.[67] Quite lately a celebrated Italian
singer exclaimed angrily at a rehearsal of "Don Giovanni": "Non capisco
niente a questa maledetta musica!"[68] Against all this must be placed
Rossini's charming answer when he was pressed to say which of his own
operas he liked best: one person present suggested one, another the
other, till at last Rossini exclaimed: "Vous voulez connaître celui de
mes ouvrages que j'aime le mieux; eh bien, c'est 'Don Giovanni.'"[69]
The fame of "Don Giovanni" did not long remain confined to the old
world. When Garcia and his daughters were giving Italian operas at New
York in 1825, at Da Ponte's suggestion they produced

"Don Giovanni."[70] At the conclusion of the first finale everything
went wrong; Garcia, who was playing Don Giovanni, exerted himself in
vain to keep the singers and orchestra in time and tune, until at last,
sword in hand, he came forward and, commanding silence, exclaimed that
it was a shame so to murder a masterpiece. They began again, collected
themselves and took pains, and the finale came happily to an end.[71]
The applause of the public renewed Da Ponte's youth; he recounts the
satisfaction with which he heard the assurance of a friend, whose custom
it was to go regularly to sleep at the opera, that such an opera as that
would keep him awake all night.[72] "Don Giovanni" brought him still
further good fortune; he placed his unexpectedly large profits obtained
therefrom in the lottery, and for the first time drew a prize.[73] "Don
Giovanni," once having made its way, was soon unanimously pronounced
first among all, Mozart's operas; he was said to have declared that he



it not at all for Vienna, a little for Prague, but mostly for himself
and his friends.[74] It is true that the libretto was formerly
considered as a bungling fabrication only tolerated for the sake of the
music; nevertheless, and especially after Hoffmann's clever vindication
of its poetical meaning,[75] "Don Giovanni" gradually became the
accepted canon of dramatic music, and the subject of wide-reaching
discussion.[76] In "Figaro" Da Ponte had opened a new field to opera
buffa, by representing the actual life of _bourgeois_ society; in "Don
Giovanni" he raised opera buffa in another direction to an altogether
higher sphere.[77] The legend on which the opera is founded had reached
the people through the tradition of centuries, and, familiar upon every
stage in Europe, it held the same place in the popular mind as the myths
of Greek tragedy. The facts, in spite of their wonderful and fantastic
character, offered a good groundwork to the dramatist, and the main
conception and essential elements of the situations and characters being
given, the fullest freedom of construction and development was permitted
in the treatment of the legend.[78] Whether the legend current in



of Don Juan Tenorio,[79] who invited to supper the statue of a warrior
slain by him in a duel, and who, warned in vain to repent, was doomed to
everlasting perdition, is of ancient origin or not, would be difficult
to determine from the contradictory accounts given of it.[80] It is said
to have been performed in monasteries from an early date, adapted by an
unknown writer with the title of "El Ateista Fulminado:"[81] the first
authentic dramatic version of the story being that by Gabriel Tellez,
contemporary of Lope de Vega, monk and prior of a monastery in Madrid.
His active ecclesiastical life did not prevent his acquiring, under the
name of Tirso de Molina, an honourable place in Spanish literature as
a dramatic poet.[82] His "Burlador de Sevilla y Convidado de Piedra"
belongs, according to Schack, both in design and workmanship to his
most fugitive pieces, but contains portions which could only have
been written by a poet of the first rank.[83] The plot is briefly as

First Day [The scene is laid in Naples].--The Duchess Isabella is having
a parting interview with her lover, Duke Ottavio, when she discovers
that Don Juan has stolen into her apartment in Ottavio's stead. Her
cries for assistance bring the King, who gives Don Juan into the custody
of his uncle, Don Pedro Tenorio, the Spanish



Ambassador; the latter, discovering his relationship with his prisoner,
allows him to escape, and denounces Don Ottavio to the King as
Isabella's seducer. Don Pedro is thereupon commanded to arrest Don
Ottavio, to whom, however, he declares that a man having been found with
Isabella, she reported him to be Ottavio; the lover believes himself to
be deceived and betrayed, and Don Pedro connives at his escape.
[Coast scene in Tarragona.] Catalinon, Don Juan's servant, bears his
shipwrecked master lifeless to shore, where they are discovered by
Tisbea, a fisher-girl; Don Juan awakes to consciousness upon her bosom,
and they fall violently in love with each other.[84] Their love-making
is interrupted by a scene in which the Commandant, Don Gonzalo de Ulloa
gives Don Albeso, King of Castile, an account of his diplomatic mission
to Portugal. Then the story returns to Tisbea, who is deceived and
deserted by Don Juan, and left to her passion of despair.

Second Day [The scene is in Seville].--Don Diego Tenorio, Don Juan's old
father, acquaints the King with the crime which his son has committed
in Naples against Isabella and Ottavio; the King banishes Don Juan from
Seville until he shall make reparation by marrying Isabella. Ottavio
enters and puts himself under the protection of the King, who promises
to demonstrate his innocence in Naples, and to give him the hand of
Donna Anna, Ulloa's daughter, and Don Juan's fiancée. Don Juan appears,
greets Ottavio in friendly fashion, and enters into a long conversation
with the Marquis de la Mota, wherein they discuss the beauties of the
day like the regular roués they are; finally the Marquis declares his
love for Donna Anna. He has no sooner departed than a note is brought to
Don Juan to be conveyed to the Marquis; he opens it, and finding that in
it Donna Anna appoints an interview, determines to keep the appointment
himself; and he acquaints De la Mota, who returns, with the invitation,
but names a later hour. He is as indifferent to his father's sentence of
banishment as to his repeated exhortations, and upon the arrival of the
Marquis to serenade Donna Anna, he borrows his mantle, ostensibly to
enable him to visit one of his many sweethearts, but really that he may
gain access to Donna Anna herself. Discovering the deceit, she cries for
help; her father stops Don Juan's way with drawn sword, and falls by
his hand. The murderer flies; De la Mota enters for the rendezvous;
the King, hurrying in with his guards, takes him for the murderer,
and delivers him to judgment, commanding a magnificent funeral for
the Commandant, and the erection of a monument in his honour. [Country
scene.] Patricio is celebrating his wedding with Aminta, when Don Juan,
journeying through, mingles with the guests, and placing himself close
to the bride, excites the jealousy of the bridegroom.

Third Day.--Don Juan prevails upon the jealous Patricio to renounce



Aminta by falsely representing that she was formerly seduced by him, and
had summoned him to interrupt the wedding; he gains the consent of
her father by means of a solemn promise of marriage, and after a long
resistance, Aminta gives way. [The Sea-coast.] Isabella, arriving at the
King's summons for her espousals with Don Juan, falls in with Tisbea,
who complains of Don Juan's treachery, and repairs with Isabella to
Seville to seek justice from the King. [Seville.] Don Juan, informed by
Catalinon of how his victims are united to revenge themselves on him,
sees the statue erected to the Commandant, with an inscription calling
for vengeance on his murderer. This rouses his haughty insolence; he
plucks the statue by the beard, and invites it to supper, that it may
execute his vengeance. While Don Juan is entertaining his followers at
table, the statue appears, to the consternation of all but Don Juan,
and remains silent until the meal is over. Left alone with Don Juan,
the Commandant invites him to supper in the chapel, and he accepts the
invitation, after repressing an involuntary shudder. [The Palace.] The
King promises Don Diego that he will create Don Juan Count of Lebrija,
and bestow Isabella upon him, at the same time pardoning the Marquis
at Donna Anna's request, and uniting the two in marriage. Don Ottavio
requests the King's permission to fight a duel with Don Juan, his father
proposing to judge between the two; the King commands a reconciliation.
As he goes out, Aminta enters with her father, to acquaint the King with
her claims on Don Juan's hand, and Ottavio promises her his support.
[The Street.] Don Juan, pardoned by the King, and on the point of
wedding Isabella, prepares to keep his appointment with the Commandant,
and enters the church where Ulloa has spread a meal for him and
Catalinon. The dishes contain scorpions and snakes, the wine is gall and
verjuice, and the table music is a penitential psalm. After the meal,
the Commandant grasps Don Juan's hand with a grip which cannot be shaken
off;[85] "Thou art summoned to the eternal judgment-seat" exclaims the
Commandant; "thy reward shall be fitted to thy deserts." Don Juan falls
down lifeless and sinks below with the statue. [The Palace.] The King
wishing to see the nuptials celebrated, Isabella, Aminta, and Tisbea
come forward to make good their claims to Don Juan's hand, and the
Marquis reveals the treachery practised on him by Don Juan. The King is
in the act of promising justice, when Catalinon enters and makes known
Don Juan's dreadful end. Thereupon Ottavio and Isabella, De la Mota and
Donna Anna, Patricio and Aminta, are severally united, and "the story of
the Marble Guest comes to an end."



The drama, necessarily, in this rapid sketch, stripped of all the
elegance and brilliancy of its poetical rendering, bears to an
extraordinary degree the stamp of the time and nation to which it
belongs. The freedom and unreserve with which the various love intrigues
are treated and described are certainly peculiar to the age, and the
story is distinguished by a dash of chivalric bravery all its own; the
audience, while recognising a faithful representation of their own
state of morals, were little inclined to take umbrage at the summary
punishment of the sinner before them.[86] This point is, indeed,
emphasised by various observations made in a truly catholic spirit; for
instance, when Don Juan says to his stony guest, after having mockingly
invited him to sup: "What will'st thou, vision, ghost? Dost thou suffer
still the pains of purgatory? Dost thou demand satisfaction? What is
thy will? I pledge my word to do as thou com-mandest. Why hast thou left
God's throne? Do thy sins cause thee still to wander?" The effect is
greatly heightened again by the reply of the statue when Don Juan is
about to light him out: "Let be; God lights my path." And when Don Juan
sees that all is over, he begs for a confessor, and the statue answers,
"Too late, too late is thy contrition!" and Don Juan falls dead. The
intricate plot is very unequally treated, and so indeed are also the
characters. Among the female characters, Tisbea as a type of passion,
and Aminta as a type of naïve simplicity, are both attractive and
original; and among the men Don Juan, boldly and freely sketched, and
his servant Catalinon, the inevitable "Gracioso" of the Spanish drama,
are most remarkable. Catalinon in particular is treated with moderation
and delicacy; neither his cowardice, his moralising, nor his wit is
brought too prominently forward, and he always appears as the shadow of
his master. Even in the spectre scenes he fails to rise to any grandeur
of character. The influence of Spain upon the Italian drama[87]



brought Tirso's "Don Juan" to Italy. According to Ricco-boni, it first
appeared upon an Italian stage soon after 1620.[88] The first printed
translation known is that by Onofrio Giliberti, entitled "ü Convitato
di Pietra," performed in 1652 at Naples; others followed with the same
title by Giacinto Andrea Cicognini (1670) and Andrea Perucci (1678);[89]
the subject was familiar on the Italian stage, and unfailingly

The Italian dramatic company, who were naturalised in Paris at the
theatre of the Hötel de Bourgogne, were accustomed to appoint one of
their number to arrange the plan of the pieces which they performed, but
the actual performance was improvised. In this fashion they played an
improvised version of Giliberti's "Convitato di Pietra," which had an
extraordinary run.[91] The chief situations of the Spanish drama, much
simplified and coarsened, are compressed into five acts, and Arlecchino,
who appears here as Don Juan's servant, is brought into the foreground
and made the mouthpiece of a great deal of very questionable badinage:--

The first act represents Isabella's seduction in Naples. Don Pedro, her
father and Don Juan's uncle, agrees with her to denounce Ottavio, her
lover, as her seducer, which causes the latter to take flight.[92] In
the second act Don Juan and Arlecchino swim to shore [a very favourite
scene, richly garnished with jokes], and Don Juan's love passages with
the lovely fisher-maiden Rosalba take place. On her claiming his promise
of marriage, he mockingly refers her to Arlecchino, who unrolls the long
list of his master's mistresses. It was customary to allow the end
of the roll to fall, as if by chance, into the pit, and the audience
delighted themselves by looking for the names of their friends or
connections in the list. Rosalba, in despair, casts herself into the



The third act shows Ottavio in great favour at the court of Castile, on
the point of marriage with Donna Anna. He is attended by Pantaloon, who
carries on the usual by-play with Arlecchino. Don Juan intercepts the
letter in which Donna Anna summons Ottavio, steals in to her, Arlecchino
keeping watch outside, and slays the Commandant, her father, who
surprises them. In the fourth act Donna Anna demands justice from the
King; a reward of 6,000 thalers is placed upon the head of the murderer,
and Arlecchino is greatly tempted to gain it, which gives rise to
much jesting between him and Pantaloon. In the fifth act Don Juan
is discovered before the statue of the Commandant, which he mocks.
Arlecchino is made to invite it to supper, whereupon it nods, and,
upon Don Juan's repetition of the invitation, answers him in words. Don
Juan's supper gives opportunity for much comic display of greediness and
cunning on the part of Arlecchino, continuing even after the appearance
of the Commandant, who invites Don Juan and departs. The King, made
acquainted with Don Juan's crimes, commands him to be seized and brought
to justice. Before escaping he keeps his appointment with the Commandant
in the church, and is dragged below by the spectre. The closing tableau
shows Don Juan burning in hell, and expressing his torment and his

To which the demons answer: "Mai!"[94]

This extravaganza was extraordinarily successful. In 1673 a second
version, with additions and new scenery ("Aggiunta al Convitato di
Pietra"), was announced.[95] The new Italian company of the Duke of
Orleans replaced the improvised "Convitato di Pietra" upon the stage in
1717, and it was revived in 1743.[96] This gave rise to a dispute with
the French actors, who were not willing to renounce their claim to so
taking a piece.[97] Dorimon first produced a translation of Giliberti's
piece with the title of "Le Festin de Pierre,[98] ou le Fils Criminel,"
at Lyons in 1658, when



Louis XIV. met the Princess of Savoy there, and it was performed again
at the Théätre de la Rue des Quatre Vents, in Paris, during 1661. But
De Villiers had been beforehand with him here, having produced his
_tragi-comédie_ with the same title and almost verbal identity in 1659
at the theatre of the Hötel de Bourgogne.[99] Don Juan's afflicted
father, exposed to the insolence of his son and the mockery of the
servant, appears quite at the beginning of the piece. Afterwards Don
Juan changes clothes with his servant Philippin in order to elude
justice, robs a monk of his cowl, and in this disguise slays Don
Philippo (Ottavio), the lover of Amarillis (Donna Anna). After the
Commandant has supped with him and invited him, Don Juan again seduces a
newly married woman, and then repairs to the chapel, where he is struck
by lightning as he sits at table.

Molière did not neglect so promising a subject for the use of his
company, and his "Don Juan, ou le Festin de Pierre" was first performed
at the Palais-Royal on February 15, 1665. In contrast with the
buffoonery of the Italians he has tried to raise the subject into the
sphere of genuine comedy, and has thereby obliterated the last trace of
the national-historical character of the drama in its Spanish form. Both
sensual passion and chivalric boldness have disappeared. Molière's "Don
Juan" is a cold-blooded egotist in his love and his want of faith, an
enlightened rationalist, even when preserving his honour as a cavalier
with personal bravery; his servant Sganarelle reasons as morally as his
master immorally, but is quite as great an egotist, and a coward into
the bargain. The striking situations, in which the original was so rich,
are either merely related, as in the case of the seduction of Donna Anna
and the murder of the Commenda-tore, or they have lost all their lively
colouring by a new turn, as in the case of the adventures with the
fisher-girl and the peasant; everything that might shock or injure the



refined tone of comedy was omitted. On the other hand, the interests of
morality required that every opportunity for repentance and amendment
should be given to Don Juan; the more he is preached at from every
quarter, the more obstinate he becomes in his evil courses. The
truthfulness of psychological development thus striven after makes the
catastrophe all the more glaringly absurd; such a sinner as this could
not be carried off by a ghost. As a compromise, Molière makes Don Juan
to be warned by a spirit in the form of a woman, who is transformed into
an appearance of Time with his scythe; this was an allegory quite after
the taste of the time, and rendered the marble guest a superfluity. Some
of the situations, such as the adventure in the country, or the scene
with the merchant, are excellently rendered, and delicate traits of
characterisation are always to be found; in fact, the better a point
is, the less it is found to have to do with the original "Don Juan."
Molière's "Don Juan" was not printed during his life, and was only
played fifteen times. A versified adaptation of it by Thomas Corneille,
given in 1677, was well received, and kept the stage until 1847, when
Molière's comedy was again substituted.[100]

Incited by Molière's example, Goldoni produced the "mauvaise pièce
espagnole," which he could not contemplate without horror, at Venice in
1736, in the worthier form of a regular comedy entitled "Don Giovanni
Tenorio, ossia il Dissoluto":--

In the first act, Donna Anna obeys her father against her will, and is
betrothed to Don Ottavio. The second act shows Elisa, a peasant girl,
taking leave of her lover Carino. Immediately after Don Juan appears,
plundered by robbers, and gains her favour. Carino surprises them
bidding farewell, but Elisa appeases his jealousy. Isabella, who has
been deserted by Don Juan in Naples, follows him disguised as a man. In
the third act she enters Seville with Ottavio, whom she has delivered
from the hands of robbers on the way hither. When Donna Anna discovers
her sex, she makes it the excuse for renouncing Ottavio's hand.
Isabella, meeting Don Juan, forces him to fight with her; but, refusing
from shame to give the standers-by any account of herself, she is
pronounced by Don Juan to be a maniac. Elisa also



pursues Don Juan, but he is warned against her by Carino, to whom she
has been faithless. Don Juan declares himself ready to give her up,
but Carino will have none of her. In the fourth act, Don Juan makes
declaration of love to Donna Anna, who is not unfavourably disposed
towards him, but refers him to her father for consent. He seeks,
however, with drawn sword to gain her favour on the spot; she calls for
help; her father hastens in, and is slain by Don Juan, who then escapes.
It is resolved to pursue him and to seek redress against him from the
King. In the fifth act Elisa promises to liberate him, having relatives
among the guards, if he will marry her. Isabella interposes and renews
her challenge to him to fight. Donna Anna, in mourning robes, calls
for vengeance, but Don Juan displays so much passion for her that she
relents and pardons him. Thereupon comes a letter from the King of
Naples, demanding Don Juan's punishment, and disclosing Isabella's
secret. Don Juan, seeing himself hopelessly lost, beseeches Carino to
slay him. A thunderbolt from the mausoleum of the murdered Commendatore
strikes him dead.

Goldoni asserts[101] that the public were astonished at first, and did
not know "Ce que voulait dire cet air de noblesse que l'auteur avait
donné à une ancienne bouffonnerie." But it soon became known that
the coquettish Elisa was an actual portrait of the actress, Elizabeth
Passalacqua, who played the part, and that Goldoni had chosen this way
of being revenged on her for bestowing her favours simultaneously on
him and on the actor Vitalba. This roused interest in the piece, and
convinced people "que le comique raisonné était préférable au comique
trivial." Rosimond looked at the subject from quite another point
of view in his _tragi-comédie_ "Le Festin de Pierre, ou l'Athéiste
Foudroyé," produced in 1669 at the Théätre du Marais. This theatre was
then noted for its brilliant decoration and spectacle pieces, which
often necessitated high prices of admission. Such a piece was this of
Rosimond's, and he had been careful to lay the plot in heathen times,
that his atheism might vaunt itself with impunity.[102] Again, in 1746,
"Le Grand Festin de Pierre" was given in Paris as a pantomime,[103] and
has always been popular on village and marionette stages.



In England also "Don Juan" was put on the stage at about the same time.
Whether in his "Libertine Destroyed," which was produced in 1676, Thomas
Shadwell followed the Spanish original or the French or Italian version,
I cannot pretend to determine. The piece was very successful, but Don
Juan's villainy was so dreadful, and the piece altogether so horrible,
"as to render it little less than impiety to represent it on the
stage."[104] In 1725 Antonio de Zamora, Chamberlain to King Philip V. of
Spain, adapted the same subject under the title, "Non hay deuda que
no se pague y convi-dado de piedra." "This adaptation, displaying much
talent and skill, is cast almost in the same form as the opera; the
earlier adventures of Don Juan in Naples are omitted, and Zamora,
like the author of the libretto, begins with the murder of the
Commandant."[105] In Germany, "Don Juan, oder das Steinerne Gastmahl,"
belonged to the standing repertory of the improvising actor from the
beginning of the eighteenth century. Prehauser, the celebrated buffoon
of the Vienna Theatre, made his first dramatic attempt in 1716 as Don
Philippo in the "Steinerne Gastmahl."[106] Schroder appeared in
Hamburg, in 1766, as Sganarell in "Don Juan," and "surpassed all
expectation."[107] This may have been a version of Molière's "Don Juan,"
but as early as 1746 an afterpiece entitled "Don Juan" was on the
repertory of Ackermann's Company,[108] and in 1769 the pantomime
ballet of "Don Juan" was given by them.[109] At Vienna, up to 1772, an
improvised "Steinerne Gastmahl" was regularly given during the octave of
All Souls;[110] a proof that Don Juan's dissolute life was contemplated
with pleasure, and that morality was considered as abundantly vindicated
by his being carried off by the devil after a long penitential



speech.[111] The traditions of this burlesque degenerate into a mere
puppet-show. "Hanswurst" becomes the chief personage, and Don Juan's
love adventures are made subservient to his deeds of blood; both the
names and situations point to the French version of the Italian piece as
the principal source, but many additions have been made, and these, for
the most part, not happy ones.[112]

It was in Paris that the first attempt was made to treat "Don Juan"
operatically. In the year 1713, Le Tellier produced "au jeu d'Octave,"
a comic opera "Le Festin de Pierre," in three acts, and "en vaudevilles
sans prose" at the Théätre de la Foire Saint-Germain.[113] It was well
received, but exception being taken to the representation of hell at the
conclusion of the opera, it was suppressed; but a few days after, we are
told, "Le magistrat, mieux informé, révoqua cette sentence."[114] The
piece followed the old lines, only a few new jokes were introduced; and
the language of the couplets, judging by the specimens which are given,
must have been tolerably free.

A ballet of "Don Juan," with music by Gluck, was performed in Vienna
in 1761.[115] The programme indicates four divisions, each of them
containing an important situation, worked out and enlivened by means of
different dances.



Unfortunately we have no hints as to the details of the music, which
consists for the most part of short and unelaborated dance melodies:--

In the first division, Don Juan serenades his mistress, Donna Anna, and
is admitted by her; surprised by her uncle, he escapes into the street,
and slays his pursuer. In the second division, Don Juan is giving a
feast, at which Donna Anna is present, and dances, a _pas de deux_ with
him; the appearance of the statue scares away the guests. After a short
stay, the Commendatore invites Don Juan, who accepts, and conducts him
to the door. In the meantime the guests reassemble, but seized with
fresh terror, rush from the house; Don Juan prepares to seek the
Commendatore alone, his servant, spite of threats and persuasions,
refusing to accompany him. The third part takes place in the mausoleum;
the Commendatore tries vainly to bring Don Juan to repentance, and
finally plunges him into the abyss. In the last division, Don Juan is
tormented by demons in the lower world; he strives in vain to escape or
to resist, and at last, in despair, he resigns himself and is devoured
by the flames.[117]

Ten years before Mozart's "Don Giovanni," a _dramma tragicomico_,
entitled "ü Convitato di Pietra, ossia il Dissoluto," was performed
both at Vienna (first on August 21,1777) and at Prague; the composer was
Vine. Righini.[118] The plot is briefly as follows:[119]--

The fisher maiden Elisa, and her lover Ombrino, save Don Giovanni and
his servant Arlechino from the waves. Don Giovanni, who has betrayed
Isabella, daughter of the Duca d'Altamonte, in Naples, and is a fugitive
in consequence, readily wins the love of the too-confiding Elisa. The
Commendatore di Loioa, returning from victorious war, is greeted by Don
Alfonso in the name of the King of Castile, who has erected a statue
to his honour, and promises to wed his daughter Donna Anna to the Duca
Ottavio. Donna Anna, in defiance of her father's threats, refuses the
honour. Don Giovanni, whose crime and flight have been made known to
Don Alfonso, enters with Arlechino the house of the Commendatore, where
Donna Anna, having dismissed her maid Lisette, is preparing to retire
to rest. He offers her violence, which she resists, and recognises him;
thereupon enters the Commendatore and falls in



combat with Don Giovanni. Donna Anna vows vengeance on the murderer. In
the second act Don Giovanni determines to flee, and orders Arlechino to
be ready in the tavern, and to order a meal. Isabella, who has pursued
Don Giovanni, extorts from Don Alfonso a promise of reparation. Don
Giovanni, seized with remorse, takes refuge in the mausoleum, and falls
asleep near the statue of the Commendatore. There he is found by
the sorrowing Anna, whose love and pity he seeks in vain to kindle.
Arlechino summons him to the tavern, where all is prepared; he invites
the statue to be his guest, and is sorely perplexed by the answer given.
Arlechino in the tavern makes love to the hostess Corallina. Donna
Anna receives from Don Alfonso the assurance of the speedy pursuit and
punishment of Don Giovanni. The latter sups with Arlechino, waited upon
by Corallina and Tiburzio; he toasts the approving audience, Arlechino
and the pretty maids, in German verse! The statue appears, but does not
eat, invites Don Giovanni and disappears; the meal is continued with
the utmost composure. In the third act, Don Giovanni is the guest of the
Commendatore in the mausoleum; he refuses to repent, and is cast into
the abyss. Don Alfonso and Donna Anna are acquainted by Arlechino of
this consummation. Don Giovanni is seen tormented by demons.

The libretto differs neither in design nor execution from that of an
ordinary opera buffa.

In 1787 "Il Convitato di Pietra," by Gius. Gazzaniga, was given in
Venice at the Teatro di S. Mosè, and was received with much applause.
The opera was given in Ferrara, Bergamo,[120] and Rome, "every evening
for a month, till no one was satisfied who had not seen Don Juan
roasting in hell, and the late lamented Commandant rising to heaven as a
disembodied spirit";[121] it was played in Milan, 1789; in Paris, 1791,
where, however, in spite of the brilliant concluding scene, it was only
moderately successful,[122] and in London (notwithstanding Da Ponte's
contradiction) in 1794.[123] The libretto is lost, but fragments of a
score which Sonnleithner discovered in Vienna[124] show that Da Ponte



must have made liberal use of this libretto,[125] if, indeed, the two
have not a common source:--.

Pasquariello is reluctantly keeping watch before the house of the
Commandant, when Don Giovanni rushes out, and strives to free himself
from Donna Anna, who snatches the mask from his face and calls her
father to help; he appears and falls in combat, a terzet for the men
closing the introduction [there is no overture]. After some little talk,
Don Giovanni flies with Pasquariello. Donna Anna hastens in with her
betrothed Duca Ottavio, and finds to her horror the corpse of her father
[accompanied recitative]; more composedly she acquaints him with Don
Giovanni's villany, and declares her intention of retiring to a
nunnery until Ottavio shall have discovered and punished the murderer
[air],[126] to which he consents sorrowfully [air]. Don Giovanni,
waiting for Donna Eximena in a casino, converses with Pasquariello,
when Donna Elvira enters in travelling guise; she has been deceived and
deserted by Don Giovanni in Burgos, and has followed him hither [air].
They recognise each other, Don Giovanni refers her to Pasquariello for
the motives of his departure, and goes out. Pasquariello gives her the
list of his master's mistresses [air]; she vows to gain justice or
be avenged. Don Giovanni enters in loving converse with Eximena, and
satisfies her jealous doubts of his fidelity [air]. A peasant couple,
Biagio and Maturina, are celebrating their wedding [chorus and
tarantella]. Pasquariello pays court to the bride, but on the entrance
of Don Giovanni retires; and Don Giovanni treats the bridegroom so
rudely that he finally goes off in dudgeon [air]. Don Giovanni befools
Maturina by flattery and a promise of marriage. Two scenes are wanting
here (14 and 15). Biagio enters in jealous mood, but is appeased by
Maturina [scena and rondo]. Eximena questions Pasquariello concerning
his master, and rejoices to learn that he is constant to her [air].
Don Giovanni is besieged with questions by Donna Elvira, Eximena, and
Maturina all at once, and satisfies each in turn by assuring her that
love for him has turned the brains of the other two.[127] Duca Ottavio
is discovered in the mausoleum adding the inscription to the statue
which the Commandant had erected to himself in his lifetime. Don
Giovanni enters with Pasquariello to view the monument, and obliges
the latter to invite the statue [duet]. The cook Lanterna attends Don
Giovanni; Elvira comes and meets him returning with Pasquariello; she
exhorts him earnestly to repent, but he scornfully refuses, whereupon
she leaves him



and retires to a nunnery. Don Giovanni proceeds to sup merrily
[concertino]; Pasquariello eats with him, and Lanterna wait upon them;
they toast the town of Venice and its lovely women.[128] A knock is
heard, and, to the horror of the two servants, the Commandant appears.
Don Giovanni bids him welcome, and orders Pasquariello to serve him;
he accepts the Commandant's invitation, giving him his hand on it, but
rejects his exhortation to repentance, and is delivered over to the

A "Convitato di Pietra," by Tritto, is known to me only through Fétis,
who places it in the year 1783.[130]

A wealth of material, which made the task of selection difficult, left
Da Ponte no necessity to task his invention for his libretto.[131]
We have no means of ascertaining how deep or how extensive were his
previous studies,[132] but even compared with Gazzaniga's libretto,
which he closely followed for the greater part of the first act and
the second finale, we cannot fail to recognise his superiority in the
arrangement of the plot, in the delineation of character, and in
the grouping of situations for musical treatment, especially in the
ensembles. His discrimination in the selection of material was also very
just. He saw clearly that if the spectral apparition was to have its
due effect it must be set in vivid contrast with the representation
of actual life, with all its impulses of passion, of love, hate, or
despair, of humour and merriment. He cannot be said to have cast the
magic of true poetry over his work, nor has it the knightly tone of the
Spanish original, but he has endowed



his characters with the easy pleasure-loving spirit of the time; and the
sensual frivolity of life at Venice or Vienna is mirrored in every
page of his "Don Giovanni." The language displays a versatility almost
amounting to gracefulness; and, remembering to what a low level of
vulgarity the treatment of the subject had been brought, we shall be
the more ready to recognise the effort to raise the dialogue to a more
sensible and refined standard. Da Ponte was right in placing the main
points on which the action turns upon the stage, and in furnishing the
composer with a number of musically effective situations, in which the
elements of tragedy and comedy, of horror and merriment, meet and
mingle together. This curious intermixture of ground-tones, which seldom
allows; expression to any one pure and unalloyed mood, is the special
characteristic of the opera. Mozart grasped the unity of these contrasts
lying deep in human nature, and expressed them so harmoniously as
to open a new province to his art, for the development of which its
mightiest forces were henceforward to be concentrated. Great as has been
the progress of music in the expression of this inner life of man since
Mozart's time, he has not yet been surpassed in his power of creating
living forms instinct with artistic beauty, and endowed with perfect
dramatic truth. When Goethe declared that Mozart would have been the man
to compose his "Faust,"[133] he was thinking of "Don Giovanni"; but it
could scarcely have been the merely external manipulation of the plot,
however skilful, which directed his opinion. With the instinctive
certainty of genius he felt the universality of Mozart's conception and
representation of humanity, and acknowledged him as his equal on what
was, in his judgment, a far more extensive field than this.

The commencement of the opera[134] sets us at once in the midst of the
action: the passionate intensity of the first



scene, the villainy which is practised before our eyes, prepare us
for the deep shadow which is to fall on the picture of reckless
pleasure-seeking, and for its horrifying conclusion; nor is the humorous
element altogether absent:--

Leporello is discovered keeping impatient watch for his master, who soon
appears, pursued by Donna Anna, and vainly striving to break loose
from her. Her cries for help bring the Commendatore, her father, who
challenges the insolent intruder to fight, and falls by Don Giovanni's
sword, to the consternation of the latter and of Leporello. Neither
scorn nor mockery are expressed in the words, "Ah! gia cade il
sciagurato," and the music is as far from such sentiments as the words.
Da Ponte has sagaciously shown traits of natural human sentiment in Don
Giovanni, and Mozart has not let these escape him. But he has no time to
waste in regrets; he takes to flight, and immediately after Donna Anna
returns with her affianced lover, Don Ottavio; she swoons at sight of
the corpse, and as soon as she returns to herself makes Don Ottavio
swear vengeance on the murderer.

Don Giovanni, deaf to Leporello's reproaches, is confiding to him that
he is in pursuit of a new adventure,[135] when a lady enters. This is
Donna Elvira, whom he has deceived and deserted in Burgos, and who has
followed him to claim his promise of marriage; he approaches her, and is
consternated on seeing who she is. She overwhelms him with reproaches,
and he refers her to Leporello for explanations and excuses, taking the
opportunity of slipping away himself; Leporello, for her consolation,
displays a list of his master's love intrigues, which he carries about
with him. Enraged at this fresh insult, she resolves to sacrifice her
love for her unfaithful lover to her thirst for vengeance.

Masetto and Zerlina, with their village friends, are celebrating their
wedding in the neighbourhood of Don Giovanni's casino, whither he
has repaired by preconcerted arrangement. Zerlina's fresh loveliness
attracts him; and, making acquaintance with the bridal party, he invites
them all into his casino, but soon drives out Masetto, whose jealousy he
has excited; and is on the point of winning Zerlina by his flattery and
declarations of love when Elvira steps between them, warns Zerlina,
and (spite of Don Giovanni's whispered protestation that she is a poor
maniac in love with him and mad with jealousy) carries off the peasant
maiden.[136] To Don Giovanni, thus left alone, enter Donna Anna and
Ottavio, who greet him as a friend of the family, and claim his



assistance in discovering the murderer and bringing him to justice;
while he is conversing with Donna Anna, Elvira again interposes and
warns her that he is a hypocrite. He again secretly represents her as
a maniac who must be humoured,[137] and goes out with her. Donna
Anna's suspicions are aroused, and observing Don Giovanni closely, she
recognises her father's murderer in him, acquaints Don Ottavio with the
circumstances, and urges him to avenge her father's death. Unwilling
to give easy credence to such a grave accusation, he decides to examine
thoroughly into the affair, and to clear up the doubts as to Don
Giovanni. The latter, disembarrassed of Donna Elvira, commands a banquet
to be prepared in honour of the bridal party. Masetto, whom Zerlina has
with difficulty appeased by her coaxing endearments, conceals himself
when he sees Don Giovanni approaching; after some demure behaviour on
Zerlina's part, Masetto comes forward, and Don Giovanni, with quick
presence of mind, persuades them both to accompany him into the house
for the banquet. Donna Anna and Don Ottavio enter with Elvira, who has
explained everything to them, and at her instigation they all put
on masks, in order to observe Don Giovanni without being recognised;
Leporello, perceiving them, conveys the expected invitation to enter,
which they accept. It was at that time customary in Venice to go about
masked, and strangers thus disguised were invited to enter where
any festivities were going on, thus heightening the frolic of the
masquerade. As they enter the hall, there is a pause in the dance; the
guests take refreshment, Don Giovanni devotes himself to Zerlina, and
Masetto, his jealousy again aroused, seeks to warn her; then the masked
strangers become the centre of observation, are politely greeted, and
the dance begins again. Donna Anna and Don Ottavio tread a minuet, the
dance of the aristocracy;[138] Donna Anna with difficulty restrains her
conflicting emotions, which vent themselves in occasional interjections,
while Don Ottavio exhorts her to remain calm. Elvira follows every
movement of Don Giovanni; the latter invites Zerlina to dance, and
Leporello forces Masetto to dance with him in order to distract his
attention from Zerlina. At the right moment Don Giovanni carries off
Zerlina. Leporello hurries after to warn him; her cries for help are
heard, and all rush to her rescue. Don Giovanni meets them, dragging
in Leporello, whom he gives out to be the culprit, and threatens with
death; but he is surrounded on all sides, the masks are thrown off, and
he finds himself in the midst of his victims,



intent on revenge. For one moment his presence of mind forsakes him
and he is at a loss how to extricate himself, but his courage speedily
returns, and he boldly and irresistibly makes his way through his

This momentary dismay and confusion is psychologically correct, and
brings an important feature into the situation, which Mozart has
effectively seized in his musical characterisation of it. Don Giovanni
and Leporello, with the storm of voices surging round them, sing _sotto
voce_; and highly characteristic is the submission to Leporello's
opinion to which Don Giovanni here condescends. Only with the words
"Ma non manca in me corraggio" does he gather his senses together,
and strike at once a different key, in which Leporello cannot follow

The first act must be allowed to have a well-constructed and interesting
plot, but the second consists of situations without cohesion or
connection, although capable of being made musically very effective. It
wants a leading motive to hold the parts together, the incessant pursuit
of Don Giovanni not by any means answering the purpose; the comic tone
also degenerates into coarseness:--

Don Giovanni, having appeased the incensed Leporello with money and
fair words, confides to him that he is courting Elvira's pretty
wait-ing-maid, and changes clothes with him in order to gain easier
access to her. This is scarcely accomplished when Elvira appears at
the window. In order to get out of the affair with a good grace, Don
Giovanni renews his addresses to her with pretended passion, and she is
weak enough to give ear to him. Leporello, in his disguise, accepts and
answers her protestations of love, until Don Giovanni, making a noisy
entrance, drives them both away; then with a tender song he strives
to entice the waiting-maid to appear. Masetto then enters armed, with
several friends, to call Don Giovanni to account; the supposed Leporello
undertakes to put them on the right track, but cleverly contrives to
disperse and dismiss them, wheedles Masetto out of his weapons, beats
him soundly, and escapes. Masetto's cries bring Zerlina to the spot, and
she seeks to console him with loving caresses.

In the meantime Leporello and Elvira have taken refuge in an
antechamber; Leporello tries to slip away, while Elvira beseeches him
not to leave her alone in the dark. He is on the point of escaping when



Don Ottavio enters with Donna Anna, endeavouring to calm her sorrow;
Elvira and Leporello each try to escape unobserved, but Zerlina and
Masetto intercept them. The supposed Don Giovanni is taken to account
on the spot; in vain does Elvira petition for him, to the general
astonishment; at last Leporello discovers himself, and after many
excuses and explanations makes good his escape. Don Ottavio, now no
longer doubting that Don Giovanni is the murderer of the Com-mendatore,
announces his intention of proceeding against him in a court of justice,
and begs his friends to console his betrothed until he shall have
accomplished his design.

Don Giovanni awaits Leporello's arrival at the foot of the monument
erected to the Commendatore, and laughingly relates his latest
adventure; an invisible voice twice utters words of warning. He becomes
aware of the presence of the statue, and makes Leporello read the
inscription on it: "I here await the chastisement of my ruthless
murderer." In arrogant contempt of Leporello's horror he forces the
latter to invite the statue to supper; the statue nodding its head. Don
Giovanni calls upon it to answer, and on its distinctly uttering the
word "Yes" he hastens away in consternation.

Don Ottavio strives anew to console Donna Anna, and at last begs for her
hand in marriage: she explains that, though her heart consents to
his prayer, her mourning for her father compels her to postpone its
fulfilment. This scene gives rise to a suspicion of having been inserted
in Prague after the completion of the opera, in order to give the singer
a final air. The situation is repeated at the close of the finale, and
is not here in accordance with Don Ottavio's previous appearances. Don
Giovanni, seated at his richly appointed table, eats and jokes with the
greedy Leporello. This scene, which was always made the occasion for
broad jesting between master and servant, has been turned by Mozart into
musical fun and by-play. Don Giovanni's private musicians play favourite
airs from the newest operas. At the first bar Leporello cries "Bravi!
'Cosa Rara!'" It is the last movement of the first finale from Martin's
"Cosa Rara": "O quanto un si bel giubilo," which was then in every one's
mouth; and the parody was a very happy one. Just as in Martin's opera
the discontented lovers are contrasted with the more favoured ones, on
whom their mistresses have been bestowed before their eyes, so here the
hungry Leporello contrasts with the gormandising Don Giovanni, and the
music might have been made for them. The second piece is greeted by
Leporello with "Evvivano! 'I Litiganti!'" It is Mingone's favourite air
from Sarti's opera, "Fra Due Litiganti il Terzo gode" (Act I., 8), the
same on which Mozart had written variations (Vol. II., p. 345), the then
familiar words of which--

     "Come un agnello,
     Che va al macello,
     Andrai belando
     Per la città"--



were comically appropriate to the snuffling Leporello.[140] The apparent
malice which induced Mozart to parody favourite pieces from operas
which were avowedly rivals of his own (the impression being immensely
heightened by the humorous instrumentation caricaturing arrangements
for harmony music), is rendered in some degree excusable by his having
included himself in the joke. When the musicians strike up "Non più
andrai," Leporello exclaims: "Questa poi la conosco pur troppo!"
Thus Mozart expressed his gratitude to the people of Prague for their
enthusiastic reception of "Figaro."[141]

To this merry pair enters Elvira. She has overcome her love, and intends
entering a cloister, but wishes to make one more effort to bring Don
Giovanni to repentance; but her representation being met only with
easy contempt, she angrily leaves him. She is heard to utter a shriek
without. Leporello hastens after her, and returns in horror: the statue
of the Commendatore is at the door; it knocks, and Don Giovanni has to
go himself to open it, and to conduct his marble guest to a seat. The
statue rejects all hospitality, and asks Don Giovanni if he is prepared
to return the visit; on his answering in the affirmative, he grasps him
by the hand, and calls upon him to repent. Don Giovanni repeatedly and
defiantly refuses, and the statue leaves him; night comes on, flames
burst from the earth, invisible spirit voices are heard, demons surround
Don Giovanni, who sinks into the abyss. Don Ottavio and Donna Anna,
Elvira, Masetto and Zerlina enter to drag the offender to justice,
but find that human revenge has been anticipated; Leporello, who has
witnessed the dreadful scene with every sign of horror, relates his
master's fearful end. Relieved from anxiety, and restored to their
natural relations, they unite in the words of the "old song"--

     "Questo è il fin di chi fa mal,
     E de' perfidi la morte
     Alla vita è sempre ugual!"

No doubt the serious moral appended to the gay and easygoing tone of
the opera was a reminiscence of the custom of considering the piece,
on account of its ready practical application, as a sort of religious
drama; the music takes the same tone towards the end. We can scarcely
conceive that it was with a view to the moral effect alone that Da Ponte
so contrived the plot that Don Giovanni should fail in each



of the love adventures in which he engages; there can be no question
that the cheerful tone which runs through the whole opera depends
chiefly on the repulses with which the hero is continually met on the
field of his heroic deeds. It is true that some of the passionate force
which distinguishes the Spanish drama is thereby sacrificed, but, on
the other hand, the murders and low crimes which were heaped up in
the German burlesques of "Don Giovanni" also disappeared, and the
concentration of the action dispensed with a number of ill-connected
and licentious scenes. Unfortunately the German adaptations have made
a concession to the popular taste in retaining the accustomed Carnival
frolic, which has nothing whatever in common with Da Ponte's "Don
Giovanni"--to say nothing of Mozart. Only of late has this deformity
been occasionally removed by the introduction of the original recitative
in its stead.[142] But, apart from this, the current German version not
only misses the easy, often striking and graceful style of the Italian
verses, and spoils the melodious flow of the words; it even distorts the
sense, and puts into the mouths of the singers sentiments foreign alike
to the situation and to the music.[143]

But whatever merit Da Ponte's libretto may claim, it claims chiefly as
having given occasion to Mozart's music; (527 K.). One is accustomed to
consider the libretto of an opera as the canvas on which the composer is
to work



his embroidery; it might in this case almost be compared to the frame
on which the sculptor erects and models his statue, so completely is the
endowment of the opera with body and soul the actual and exclusive work
of Mozart.[144] The very overture[145] shows at once that something more
is to be expected than the usual fun of opera buffa. Mozart must have
strongly felt the necessity for a grave and solemn introduction, and has
therefore selected the usual French form of overture, consisting of a
slow introduction followed by an allegro. The andante is taken from the
opera itself. We have the principal subjects of the spectral apparition
(as it were, the musical expression of the old title "Il Con-vitato di
Pietra"), indicating at the very commencement the culminating point of
the opera, and fixing its ground-tone.[146] After a few introductory
chords, clear, solemn sounds are heard like an apparition from heaven,
spreading around a feeling of disquiet and strangeness, swelling
into fear and horror. It is interesting to note how the ascending and
descending scales, which, like the mysterious rustling of the



breeze, produce a kind of cold shudder in the hearer, were first brought
clearly before Mozart's mind during the performance of the ghost scene.
In the finale, where they first occur (p. 271), they were wanting in
the original score; Mozart inserted them subsequently, and, room being
scarce, wrote them in diminutive little notes, which often extend into
the following bar; but the second time they occur, and in the overture,
they are duly written down. The allegro is exclusively suggestive of the
main features of the story; and an eager, irrepressible force, "which
is intoxicated with the lust for enjoyment, and in enjoyment pines for
lust," penetrates the whole, sometimes in accents of keen pain--[See
Page Images] and hot desire, sometimes with exultation and wild
delight.[147] The grave cry of warning which interrupts the eager
movement--is answered, as if in frivolous mockery, by an easy playful
passage--[See Page Images]

and then the contrasting elements are worked out with a wealth of
harmonious and contrapuntal detail. Mozart is said to have borrowed both
the subject and its imitation from



a canon by Stölzel.[148] But a glance at the bars which are adduced to
prove this--[See page Image]

will show what a keen hunt after plagiarism is required to find any
borrowed idea in this imitative disposition of parts, common to many
old church compositions. But here again Mozart has turned one of the
resources of musical construction into a development of a psychological
idea. How deeply suggestive it is that the warning cries should be
heard woven into the imitations, dying into tender, almost melancholy
entreaty, and finally, as the mocker seems determined to treat it all
as a jest, rising into an awful call to repentance, sounding again and
again with a force that penetrates into the very marrow of one's bones!
Again, how truly conceived is the harmonic transition at the close,
by means of which this warning motif cuts short with the seventh the
jubilation at its very highest pitch, then dies away into gentle notes
of remonstrance, and so gradually calms the hearer, and prepares him for
what is to follow![149]

The opera begins by introducing us to the only really comic character it
contains, and thus in a measure fulfils the anticipations excited by
the overture. The typical character of the comic servant, which in "Don
Juan" had passed through the successive stages of Gracioso, Arlecchino,
Sganarelle, Hanswurst, and Kasperle, here attained to perfection as far
as opera buffa is concerned. Leporello is a creation unique of its kind;
but since in every branch of art gifted minds, however original, draw
from a common source, so Leporello,



striking as is his individuality, is developed out of the traditions
of opera buffa. The distinctive character of the opera depends upon
his intimate connection with all the situations and all the persons. It
would not suffice for the due blending of the contrasting elements that
Leporello should scatter jests in season and out of season on every
conceivable topic; it was only by rendering all his acts and expressions
consistent with his character that they could be made to react upon
the situations and persons which brought them forth. He has a distinct
personality, with his own way of thinking and feeling, and his own way
of expressing himself. The boldness with which his essentially comic
nature is brought into conflict with passions and events which sound the
very depths of the human heart transports us to the highest province of
humour. This is especially observable in his relations to his master,
with whom he is at once in sympathy and in striking contrast.

He has the same desire for enjoyment and display, the same laxity of
moral judgment, the same tendency to treat serious matters in a mocking
spirit; he does not want ability either, but fails altogether in just
those qualities which keep alive our interest in Don Giovanni--in
strength and courage: his cowardice betrays itself on every occasion.
While Don Giovanni is on the look-out for every adventure, however
daring, and extricates himself from every peril, however imminent,
Leporello is always pressed into the service, is utterly helpless in any
contingency, and escapes finally only by virtue of his cowardice. This
contradiction between his nature and his surroundings is all the more
entertaining since he himself is perfectly aware of it. We learn his
character from the very first. He is in high dudgeon at being forced
to mount guard outside while his master is enjoying himself within, and
marches impatiently up and down; but as he marches, proud thoughts
of future grandeur take possession of his soul. "Voglio far il
gentiluomo"--he might almost be taken for a cavalier. Suddenly he hears
a noise. He is no longer the grand gentleman, but gives vent to abject
fear in his terrified babble, as Don Giovanni wrestles with Donna Anna.
When the danger grows serious, and the Commendatore falls, he is seized
with horror, but



although the moral shock is great it is with actual physical fear that
his teeth chatter. The whole sequence of characteristic expression
in the scene receives its full significance only by contrast with
Leporello's cowardice. Donna Anna's passion, which Don Giovanni is
constrained to oppose with a force equal to her own; the dignified
bearing of the Commendatore, forcing Don Giovanni at length reluctantly
to draw the sword;[150] the duel[151] with its horrifying result--all
these afford a rapid succession of exciting and harrowing points,
scarcely leaving room for the comic element, which nevertheless is
there, and kept actively before us without doing injury to the harmony
of the whole. What a force of artistic expression is displayed in the
eighteen bars of andante which close the introduction! The death which
ends the pain of the Commendatore, the mingled pity and triumph of
Don Giovanni, the horror and fear of Leporello, are blended into such
harmony as to leave the mind--relieved from suspense--full of true
emotion. The unusual combination of three bass voices seems as though
expressly chosen for the serious tone of the situation; the stringed
instruments accompany the voices in the simplest manner, with a few
sustained notes for the horns and bassoons, and only in the concluding
symphony do the oboes and flutes enter with a plaintive chromatic
passage. Here burns truly the inextinguishable flame of genius![152]

To return to Leporello. The various ways in which his timorous nature
expresses itself in different situations give occasion for the most
interesting characterisation. He has least to do in the first finale,
but he stands close by his master, who shields him in their common
danger; in the



sestet, however, he shows himself in his full proportions. Willing as he
is to take his master's place with Elvira, his fears do not suffer him
to do it; and when he finds himself alone in the dark with her, in spite
of her entreaties not to be left alone, his one anxiety is to escape.
The contrast is excellently expressed between the bashfulness of Elvira
and the terror of her cowardly interlocutor. Just as he is making off,
Don Ottavio and Donna Anna enter, and he conceals himself. A rapid
transition to another key, emphasised by the unexpected entry of drums
and trumpets, transports us to a higher region, and an affectingly
beautiful expression is given to the sorrow of a noble mind and the
consolation of a loving heart. Elvira again takes part in the situation;
she is full of anxiety for the supposed Don Giovanni, and the expression
of her fear becomes more material, lowering her to the level of
Leporello, who seeks anew to escape, and repeats his former motif, but
more despondently, and in the minor key. Then Zerlina and Masetto enter
and run against him, Don Ottavio and Donna Anna also become aware of his
presence; and, to their intense surprise, Elvira interposes a petition
for Don Giovanni. Her former motif expressive of anxiety is taken up and
maintained by the orchestra, becoming the nucleus of the situation, the
surprise of the other serving only to give light and shade. When her
petition is finally rejected, Leporello throws off his disguise. His
timidity has become mortal fear, he knows that his insignificance alone
can shield him, and he cannot reiterate too strongly that he is in very
truth Leporello, and not Don Giovanni. The general surprise at this
discovery is of course expressed in far stronger fashion than that at
Elvira's sudden change of mind. What is to be done? At first they are
all at a loss. With regard to Leporello, though he has more or less
injured some of them, their position is in common; he is not the Don
Giovanni on whom they have vowed vengeance; their indignant amazement
at the deceit practised on them unites them into a compact body, more
occupied with their own feelings than anxious to punish Leporello. The
latter thinks only of the



danger which threatens him, and, try as he may to collect himself, fear
gets possession of him; he mumbles to himself, cries aloud, and makes a
final appeal for mercy before he runs away. The perplexity which seizes
them all at the discovery of Leporello is the point of union of the
situation; the truth and energy with which the nature of each person
is expressed giving it the stamp of life and power.[153] Leporello's
position is totally different when Don Giovanni arrogantly orders him to
invite the statue of the Commendatore to sup with them (Act II., 9).
The mysterious sounds which he has just heard, and the marble figure,
terrify him; but his master threatens with drawn sword; one fear
overmasters the other, and he now persuades himself to address the
statue--now turns in terror to his master. The musical expression of
fear by means of intervals of sevenths--[See Page Image]

but how characteristic is the difference between this cringing appeal
for pity, and the former energetic cry extorted, as it might be, on the
rack! The terror increases at each successive attempt to address the
statue, while the energy of each address decreases, and dies away at
last into a plaintive parlando. The orchestra at the same time adds the
expression of insolent mockery, which is not less characteristic of the
situation, in a playful but sharply accented



passage, wherein the flutes are made especially effective.

As soon as Leporello's fears are verified and the statue actually moves,
he succumbs to his terror, and Don Giovanr^ steps forward. Fear is a
stranger to him; he sees the statue nod its head, and demands a more
distinct answer; he puts his question plainly and decidedly; the statue
answers by "Si." Leporello behaves as though struck by a thunderbolt,
and has no idea but flight; even Don Giovanni is affected, and feels
the supernaturalness, but he retains his self-possession; and, in the
expression of trembling haste with which it hurries on the conclusion,
the orchestra mingles something of the humorous impression which is
given by the unexpected _dénouement_ of the situation. The harmonic
construction is here masterly in the extreme. From the beginning ^ to
this point only the principal key and the one next related to it have
been used; but now the interrupted cadence upon C major transports us
to another atmosphere, and the altered movement of the orchestra is
expressive of energetic activity.

A few chords, however, lead Don Giovanni's questions at once back to the
dominant of the principal key, and the forcible "Si" of the Commendatore
answers with the tonic, the clear calm of which is destroyed at once by
Leporello's C: the real conclusion is only arrived at circuitously. Very
different in effect on both occasions is the occurrence of the same C in
the bass. The first time, when C major follows decidedly on B major, it
makes a fresh, elevating impression; the second time, when C follows the
sustained E as the third below, and forms the basis for the chord of the
third, fourth and sixth, it gives a shock to the ear. The vivid reality
with which the two contrasting individualities are made to express
themselves in so unusual a situation has necessitated the free form of
the duet. Detached musical phrases, complete in themselves, follow the
play of the emotions without the elaboration or repetition of any of
the subjects; only Leporello's cry of terror recurs several times, and
serves to a certain extent as a connecting link. Mozart has judiciously
refrained from bringing the horror of a spectral apparition objectively
before his hearers. Their imagination has been sufficiently worked upon
by the



awful and imposing words of the Commendatore,[154] and their attention
ought not to be diverted from Don Giovanni and Leporello. The freedom
which permits of a playful treatment of Leporello's double fear and of
Don Giovanni's consternation reposes mainly on the half-light in which
the ghostly element is viewed. The spectator is impelled to accept the
mixture of the horrible as a flavouring to the humorous; he is not in
the least absorbed by horror. As soon as the ghost appears bodily, he
comes to the foreground and gives tone and colour to all the rest; it
is of advantage to the effect that none of the resources of musical
delineation are employed to heighten this point. The true economy of an
artist not only concentrates his resources on one point, but finds its
truest expression in his appearing to disdain their use at another. The
main point here was the audible voice of the statue, and Mozart gave
it no support but the vibration of the horn note; this necessitated the
greatest simplicity in the whole musical rendering of the situation.

The appearance of the Commendatore in the last finale is led up to
in truly masterly fashion. First we have the display of the luxurious
living which has erased from Don Giovanni's mind all remembrance of what
has passed. Leporello's greediness, with the jests upon it which were
customary in this part of the piece, are made subservient to the more
delicate humour of the table music. The entrance of Elvira heightens
the situation, and the contrast of her deeply moved feelings and Don
Giovanni's frivolous excitement introduces a new turn, and prepares for
the catastrophe. Leporello feels, indeed, that Elvira is in the right,
but dares not oppose his master, and so introduces no dissonant
tone into the strongly marked character of this scene. But when the
catastrophe draws near it is Leporello who, as he opened the action at
the beginning of the opera, now announces the dread apparition at its
close. All the



terror he has hitherto been a prey to is as nothing compared with
his mortal anguish at the sight of the marble guest, and even to the
commands of his master he answers only with cries of terror; we feel
that, ludicrous as the gestures of the cowardly fellow may be, something
must have happened that would have alarmed any one, however courageous.
Then there enters the Commendatore, accompanied by! soul-harrowing
sounds.[155] No human passion, no anger, no pity speaks from his awful
tones: the inflexible decree of an eternal law is embodied in all its
sublimity in music. The warning words pursue their measured course,
now tarrying upon one note with varied chords, now moving in forcible
intervals, the heavy weight accumulating till it threatens to annihilate
the culprit. The orchestra is calmer and quieter even than before, but
adds many finely shaded touches to the image of the apparition. At one
time it strengthens the weighty tread of the sustained sounds by the
sharp rhythm of dotted notes--then again it falls in dissonant chords
upon strongly accented notes, or gives expression to the curdling horror
which seizes the hearer, by means of rapid ascending and descending
scales. In face of this dread apparition Don Giovanni summons all
his strength together. At first, indeed he is consternated, and the
orchestra gives expression to his horror; but he soon collects himself,
becomes more and more decided as the Commendatore continues to urge him,
the call to repentance serving merely as a challenge to his defiance:
his fall is inevitable. Again, as at the first, the two stand opposite
each other in deadly struggle, but now it is Don Giovanni who is forced
to yield, powerless against the forces of the unseen world. Mozart has
endued the awe-struck sublimity



of this scene with noble beauty and force of climax, and has even
ventured to invest it with something of a comic tone. Leporello's abject
fear during such a conflict was a matter of course, but it would be
foreign to his nature even under these circumstances, to be altogether
silent. When, with chattering teeth and shaking limbs, he sings his
triplets when, upon the Commendatore's question "Verrai?" he calls in
deadly fear to his master--[See Page Image]

every one must feel how wofully in earnest the poor wretch is, and how
he is ludicrous not of his own free will, but because he cannot help it.
Every-day life shows how easily the sublime or the awful passes into
the ridiculous, and how the incongruous emotion thus produced only
strengthens the impression of horror; the blending of these contrasting
elements into a true and living representation in art can only be
accomplished by a great genius. There is scarcely anything in dramatic
music which can compare in this respect with this scene of "Don

Leporello is not conscious of the ridicule he incurs by his cowardice,
and in truth it forms but one feature in his character. His air (Act
II., 7) following the sestet, in which he seeks to justify himself on
all sides, looking out at the same time for an opportunity of escape,
makes his cunning more apparent than his fear. He has collected his
senses, and, convinced that once recognised he has nothing more to fear,
he only seeks to fortify himself with excuses until he can escape.
The air is therefore lighter and easier in tone, in strong contrasts,
varying according to the quarters to which he addresses himself, but in
no way elaborated, and coming to an end with a musical point charmingly
expressive of the words. The moderated tone of the piece is of very
good effect after the ponderous length of the sestet. Leporello is a
dissipated, insolent fellow, but, little as his principles can stand
before a threat or a bribe, he has not so completely emancipated himself
from all moral restraint



as has his master. He has little scruple, however, in accepting his part
in the villainies planned by Don Giovanni, who makes use of him chiefly
to get rid of Elvira. In the celebrated air (Act I., 4) in which,
professedly by way of consolation, he unrolls the list of his master's
amours, he does not conceal the pleasure which the remembrance of the
love adventures and the thought of the trick he is playing on Elvira
afford him. In the first part the enumeration of the long list is made
parlando, only here and there the accent is somewhat raised for effect,
as at the famous "Ma in Ispagna son già mille e trè"; but the orchestra,
in lively motion all the time, betrays the reminiscence of jovial and
licentious adventures which is passing through the mind of the speaker.
He grows warmer over his description of his master's tastes and habits,
and gives full expression to every detail, until his final malicious
apostrophe, "Voi sapete quel che fa," is given with undisguised mockery.

Those who have heard how Lablache sang--[See Page Image]

Quel che fa under his breath, and a little through his nose, with an
indescribable side glance at Elvira, can have an idea of the comic
ill-nature which Mozart meant to throw into this conclusion.

The characterisation, appropriate in every detail and inimitable in its
rendering of Leporello's secret complacency,[156] can only be rightly
appreciated with the Italian words; the German translation is most
faulty where the musical treatment demanded the strictest accuracy;
the mode of expression, too, is purely Italian, sometimes only
comprehensible in conjunction with Italian pantomime. When indeed he
extols "nella bionda la gentilezza, nella



bruna la costanza, nella bianca la dolcezza," the expression is
universally applicable, and the _grande maestoso_ rises plainly before
the minds of all; but when we come to--[See Page Image]

the proper effect cannot be rendered in German. In the streets of any
town in Italy it may be observed how, when anything is to be described
as small, the person describing it repeats the word eight or ten times
with great rapidity, lowering the hand by degrees nearer and nearer to
the ground; and the action could not possibly be better indicated than
in this place by Mozart. There is a similar effect in the terzet (Act
II., 2) where Leporello cannot contain his laughter--[See Page Image]

Se se-gui-ta-te ri-do, ri-do, ri-do, ri-do, ri-do, ri-do, ri-do,
ri-do, ri-do, ri-do, and the silent internal chuckle of the Italian
is musically expressed to perfection. More especially has the rapid
utterance, one of the principal devices of opera buffa, a totally
different signification in Italian and German. It is not natural to the
German, and appears either exaggerated or vulgar; it should therefore
be seldom and carefully employed as a means of characterisation. For
an Italian, on the contrary, rapid speech, for which his language is
so well adapted, is the natural expression of excitement, and the
only question for him is whether he shall give vent to his feelings or
exercise control over them. In Italian opera it is used without
scruple, and without in itself aiming at making a comic impression; the
circumstances, persons engaged, and manner employed give the character
of the piece. In the part of Leporello the rapid parlando has a
very different expression in different situations, and can always be
justified on psychological grounds. But it is by no means exclusively
the characteristic of comic persons. In the first finale (Act I., 13)
Masetto's rapid outpouring of jealous rage, Zerlina's fear and distress,
are not intended to move the



audience to laughter; they merely give natural expression to their
feelings, and it is the situation which produces the comic effect.
These characters, it is true, belong to the lower classes, to whom some
indulgence might be accorded in respect of good manners; but even Don
Giovanni makes free use of his tongue when he ceases to exercise control
over himself. In his intercourse with Leporello especially he allows
much freedom to his servant, and lowers himself to the same level; this
is of course made apparent in the musical expression, and various
small indications of a free and easy tone of conversation have an
extraordinary effect on the free and vivid conception of the whole. In
the short duet (Act II., 1) in which he appeases the incensed Leporello,
he expresses himself altogether after the manner of the latter, but it
must be remembered that Leporello is really highly indignant, while Don
Giovanni is only in joke all the time; in this contrast consists the
comic point of the situation. Again, too, in the first finale, when he
loses presence of mind for a moment, he falls into this rapid utterance
with the words: "È confusa la mia testa," which, as soon as he has
collected himself, ceases again with the words "ma non manca-in me
coraggio." In the quartet (Act I.) the danger threatening him
through Elvira excites him so greatly that in counselling her to be
careful--"Siate un poco più prudente"--the rapidity of his address
betrays his own loss of self-control. There is something of a comic tone
in this, but the gravity of the situation does not allow it to go beyond
a mere shade, and even this rapid parlando ought not to assume a really
buffo character. Elvira herself, with the unbridled passion of her
nature, gives vent to her anger in winged words, which are certainly not
calculated to produce a comic effect. Donna Anna, on the other hand,
and Don Ottavio, persons of high birth and breeding, never so far lose
command over themselves as to fall into this hurried speech. The quartet
just mentioned is one of the finest instances of the quality and extent
of Mozart's genius. The conversation between Donna Anna, Don Ottavio,
and Don Giovanni is most unexpectedly interrupted by the warnings of
Elvira; the two first are amazed, and uncertain what to make of it,



while Don Giovanni, alarmed, seeks by deception to keep them in
uncertainty, and to silence Elvira. All this gives rise to a genuinely
musical variety of mood tinged with melancholy by the grief of Donna
Anna and Don Ottavio. A most prominent feature of the whole is the
skilful grouping. Donna Anna and Don Ottavio are inseparable, and form
the nucleus of the piece; Elvira and Don Giovanni, though in opposition,
are sometimes together, and sometimes in conjunction with the other two.
The situation demands that Elvira shall be most frequently isolated,
in contrast with the three remaining characters; and as her passionate
excitement keeps her in the foreground, she gives the tone to the whole
piece, and Don Giovanni is constrained to follow her, while Don Ottavio
and Donna Anna only occasionally emerge from their mood of anxious
contemplation. A touch of dramatic truth is the adoption by the
orchestra and other voices of Elvira's motif to the words--[See Page

so that it seems to be the key to the riddle forcing itself on the
ear and betraying Don Giovanni's guilt. The motif recurs after all the
reproaches, questions, and appeals, and dies away in gentle but pained
reproach when the true position of affairs is left unexplained. The
suspicion which here enters the mind of Donna Anna prepares the way for
the conviction which forces itself upon her that Don Giovanni is the
murderer of her father. The grouping of the voices is treated primarily
as a means of psychological characterisation. The entrance of Elvira
in the second finale gives Leporello a moral shock which brings him
musically _en rapport_ with Elvira, and their parts are therefore in
correspondence; indeed, towards the end they are in close imitation[157]
and opposed to that of Don Giovanni. In the



terzet again (Act II., 2), Leporello is first associated with Don
Giovanni and afterwards with Elvira, whom he begins by reviling, but
who later arouses his sympathy, while Don Giovanni holds aloof from
them both. This power of grouping the parts so that they shall serve the
purposes of psychological and dramatic characterisation as well as of
musical construction, is observable in every one of the ensemble pieces.

L. Bassi (1766-1825), who is described as an excellent and well-trained
singer, and as a man of fine exterior and pleasing manners,[158] was, we
are told, very much annoyed that, as the chief personage of the opera,
he had no grand air to sing; this was probably felt by others as a
blemish in the work. If the nature of Don Giovanni had at all resembled
that of Faust, he could not have failed to give some expression to the
mental conflict between sensuality and misanthropy on the one hand,
and the impulses of his higher moral nature on the other; and such a
conflict would have lent itself readily to musical representation.
But Don Giovanni has no scruples of the kind; the gratification of his
desires is his sole object, and to this he devotes himself in all the
consciousness of his own strength. Danger entices him as calling forth
his powers; he delights in jests which demonstrate his superiority to
his victim, and sensual enjoyment is his only real object in life. He
pursues it neither with the lust of a fiend nor with the passion of
a strongly moved nature, but with a reckless abandonment to sensual
impulses taking absolute possession of all his faculties, and so coming
into momentary contact with the nobler capabilities which exist in every
soul. Imposing strength, external refinement, a jovial and even humorous
manner are, indeed, far from ennobling or dignifying such a character;
but they render it less despicable, and reflect line for line the
manners of the age which produced Tirso's "Don Juan" and Da Ponte's
"Don Giovanni." Music, which in its very nature gives preference and
expression to the emotional element of the human mind,



was the only fitting exponent of such a creation in the world of
art.[159] A nature such as that of Don Giovanni does not express itself
in monologue, but in action, and we learn to know him almost exclusively
in his relations to others. It is only when he is directing Leporello to
prepare a costly banquet, and abandoning himself to the anticipation of
the enjoyment it will afford him, that he gives musical expression to
his excitement in an air, or rather in a _Lied_ (Act I., 11). His mind
is engrossed with the idea of the ball, and he predicts the situation
which actually occurs in the finale; even the three different dances are
mentioned by name:--

     Senza alcun ordine
     La danza sia
     Chi l' minuetto
     Chi la follia
     Chi 1' alemanna
     Farai ballar.

Starting with this idea, Mozart has given him a simple and very lively
dance song to sing, in which nothing of the higher passions and still
less either of demoniacal lust or noble sentiment can be traced, but
only a very powerful expression of sensual impulse in a sort of fleeting
paroxysm. The very pleasing and impressive melody, the simple harmony,
the marked rhythm, and especially the instrumentation, all combine to
produce a happy effect. The flutes and violins, which lead the melody
almost without interruption, maintain the dance-like character of the
song, and the uniformly rapid movement of the accompaniment produces
a singular degree of excitement, enhanced by the strong accents of the
wind instruments. So again, the digression into the minor key, making
the sting of



unbridled passion to be felt in the very indulgence of it, is of very
striking effect. The serenade (Act II., 3) is of a totally different
character; Mozart has written _Canzonetta_ against it. Don Giovanni here
pours out the whole warmth of his feelings towards the fair one whose
heart he hopes to win. The Italian version of the song has a national
character both in rhythm and language; it is of little consequence
whether Don Giovanni is supposed to be singing a well-known song, or
improvising one. The irresistible, insinuating flattery of this song,
the state of voluptuous longing which it expresses, have the same sort
of effect upon us as the dazzling colour and intoxicating perfume of
some rare exotic flower; there is nothing, even in Mozart, which can
be compared to it. The effect of the charming melody, and of the
well-chosen harmonies, is much enhanced by the _pizzicato_ mandoline
accompaniment supported by the stringed instruments. The tender,
curiously vibrating tone of the metal strings of the mandoline seems
inseparable from the sweet gracefulness of the song; the instrument was
then in common use (Mozart has written several songs to the mandoline,
Vol. II., p. 371, note), and its effect was thus all the more

The only real air which Don Giovanni sings, he sings not as Don
Giovanni; disguised as Leporello, he is giving Masetto and his
companions directions for catching himself, and the musical
characterisation must therefore approach burlesque. This air (Act II.,
4), "Metà di voi qua vadano," belongs undoubtedly to those original
conceptions which one admires without exactly understanding how they
have been brought about. The situation in itself affords no proper
musical impulse; it treats merely of the posting of scouts, of
communication by signals, the speaker himself being thrown into a
dubious light by reason of his disguise, and none



but a great genius could have found in this place a nucleus round which
to develop a musical masterpiece. The character of the piece is of
course buffo, not only because Don Giovanni is playing the part of
Leporello, but because he is himself thoroughly enjoying the trick he
is playing Masetto; these motives must therefore be blended. It is only
necessary to compare this song with those of Leporello (Act I., 4; II.,
7), to appreciate the essential difference in their style. The
rapidly spoken passages give a tone of vulgarity, which is relieved by
occasional involuntary expressions of greater dignity; passages such
as--[See Page Image]

could not have been sung by Leporello; they show us the cavalier
beneath his disguise. In accordance with the situation the voice is
kept parlando; and the orchestra to which the constructive detail is
intrusted is so independently treated that it might without injury
dispense with the voice, although each is in fact the necessary
complement of the other. The mysterious importance and the apparent
confidence of Don Giovanni, which form the fundamental motif of the
situation when contrasted with the earnest attention and curiosity of
the country people, are humorously conceived and the orchestra renders
every turn of what is passing in the minds of all concerned. But, in
spite of this, the musical characterisation can only be made fully
effective by suitable pantomime on the part of all the characters, even
of those who do not speak, except through the orchestra. Don Giovanni's
true character, however, is not displayed until he comes in contact with
the other, and more especially with the female, characters of the
opera. His seductive powers are first practised towards Zerlina. She is
represented as a simple village



maiden; and the little duet (Act I., 5) which she sings with her
affianced lover amid the joyful acclamations of their friends, expresses
innocent gladness in the simplest possible manner and with quite a
popular tone.[161] Don Giovanni is the first to arouse sentiments which
have hitherto slumbered unsuspected in her bosom. The simple peasant
girl becomes an easy prey to the elegant man of the world; her vanity
is flattered by his condescension, and his way of expressing the tender
emotions excited in him by sensual gratification impresses Zerlina's
innocent mind with a conviction of truthfulness, and rouses so
irresistible a love towards him that all other considerations are cast
into the shade. This is the main idea expressed in the duet (Act I.,
6), wherein Don Giovanni makes speedy conquest of Zerlina's heart. The
feeling of mutual satisfaction to which they both yield, as it has
been preceded by no strife of passions, gives rise to an expression of
unalloyed happiness cradled in softest, warmest sunlight. The second
part was indeed required to contain more of fire and passion, but the
truth of the characterisation has probably suffered thereby. Zerlina's
nature is neither deep nor passionate, but light and impressionable; and
Don Giovanni's chief weapon is his power of assimilating himself to the
woman whom he designs to attract. This point has been made admirable use
of by Mozart.[162] Such a broad psychological fact is, however, easy
to represent; that which can neither be analysed nor reproduced is the
effect of the tender intensity of the simple notes, which penetrate the
soul like the glance of a loving eye.

At the second interview between the two the state of affairs is
considerably modified. Zerlina has been warned by Elvira; she has just
calmed Masetto's jealousy with some difficulty, and is aware that he
overhears; she seeks, therefore, to repel



Don Giovanni, though conscious that he has lost none of his old
attraction for her. He knows this, and answers her petition for
mercy with her own motif, whereby the love-making is as delicately
characterised as immediately afterwards his astonishment at finding
Masetto in ambush, and the quick presence of mind with which he
ceremoniously greets him, whereupon Don Giovanni's own phrase is
mockingly repeated by Masetto. The orchestra, after accompanying the
lovers with strains as tender as their own, here gives inimitable
expression to suppressed scorn and resentment. The dance music is heard,
however, and relieves the strain; all except Zerlina feel the relief,
and hasten within. As the festivities proceed, and Zerlina, watched by
Masetto's jealous eyes, endeavours to elude Don Giovanni's pursuit of
her until he leads her to the dance and then carries her off,[163]
the complicated situation is characterised, as a whole, with firm and
distinct touches, and the individual points are allowed to fall into the
background. When she has been delivered from Don Giovanni's hands her
feelings for him have undergone a revulsion, and henceforward she is
found among the number of his pursuers. Her passing inclination for the
libertine has, however, roused into life a germ which is fostered and
developed by her relations towards Masetto. At first her intercourse
with her lover is unreserved and entirely happy. Masetto is represented
as a course, jealous, but good-natured clown, and appears at a
disadvantage when compared with Zerlina, Don Giovanni, or even with
Leporello. Mozart has sketched his figure for us in simple graphic
lines, never bringing him to the foreground, but always giving him his
right place in the ensemble movements, to which he contributes his share
of life and colour. He only asserts himself once in an air, when Don
Giovanni is sending him away in order to be alone with Zerlina. This is
of a decidedly buffo character, and, compared with the



airs of Don Giovanni and Leporello, affords a totally distinct but
equally faithful picture of character; His indignation, only restrained
from respect for the great man, which would fain vent itself in ironical
bitterness, his coarse sarcasm, which he intends to be so delicate
and biting, are admirably characterised. The very first motif of the
orchestra, where the ominous horns are again distinctly heard--[See Page

at which he exclaims, "Ho capito, signor si," shows by the monotonous
repetition of increasingly emphatic bars how engrossed he is in the one
idea which has taken possession of his mind. The two motifs with which
he sarcastically addresses Zerlina and Don Giovanni are also admirably
characteristic; and equally so the conclusion, where he does not know
how to stop; and the syncopated rhythm adds not a little force to the
expression of his perplexity.

Zerlina's two airs are in vivid contrast to the coarse and boorish,
but honest character of her lover. They express neither affection nor
tenderness, but rather the consciousness of her own superiority, which
her intercourse with Don Giovanni has revealed to her. Hers is one of
those easy natures which are volatile without being actually untrue,
whose feelings are the children of the passing moment, and whose charm
is enhanced by the excitement of the moment. The master has inspired
this lovely and graceful form with a breath of warm sentiment, without
which she would be cold; and her roguish smile saves her from the
reproach of mere sentimentality. The first air (Act I., 12) takes its
tone from Zerlina's desire to pacify Masetto; but there is no trace of
a need for forgiveness--of the consciousness of an unlawful love; she
disarms her lover's wrath with caressing tenderness, and gives him
glimpses of bliss which he is far too weak to resist.

It would be impossible to conceive a more charming love-making, and no
false note of sentimentality mars the graceful picture. The obbligato
violoncello lends itself in a singular degree to the individual
characterisation, its restless



movement and soft low sound standing in happiest contrast to the clear
fresh voices; the accompaniment completes what the singer leaves unsaid.
It portrays the anxious hesitation in the minds of both the lovers; and
not until the second part does the motion flow free and full, till all
resentment dies away in gentle murmurings. The second air (Act II.,
5), corresponds to a different situation. Masetto has been beaten,
and Zerlina tries to console him; if she were to put on an air of
sentimental gravity it would appear absurd; the roguish playfulness with
which Mozart has endowed the broader merriment indicated by the words is
far more appropriate here, and gives the expression of pure and tender
grace, which renders this one of the most attractive of songs. The
clearness and brightness of the instrumentation compared with that of
the first air is very striking.

Very different is Don Giovanni's behaviour towards Elvira.

This ungrateful part of a deserted mistress has for the most part been
neglected. If a great artist, such as Schroder-Devrient, had conceived
the idea of embodying on the stage the dignified character of Elvira
as Mozart created it, the representation of the opera would have been
placed on an altogether different footing. Elvira is in an outward
position of equality with Don Giovanni. She is his superior in nobility
of mind, and she has been deeply injured by him. Her first air (Act I.,
3)[164] shows her as a woman of strong character and passionate feeling,
as far from the ladylike reserve of Donna Anna as from the youthful
grace of Zerlina. As unreservedly as she had given her love to Don
Giovanni does she now yield to her thirst for revenge, and even this
proceeds not so much from injured pride as from disappointed love,
ready to burst in new flames from its ashes. The tone-colouring of the
instrumentation in this air is in very striking contrast to that of
the previous songs; clarinets are used for the first time, and with the
horns and bassoons (no flutes) give a full and brilliant effect. Don
Giovanni overhearing her, and sympathising with her while



not recognising her, together with the running comments he makes on her
to Leporello, add a mixture of humour to the scene which could not
be more gracefully expressed. The laugh is unsparingly turned against
Elvira, and is occasioned by the passionateness with which she has
compassed her own discomfiture. The musical rendering clearly shows that
in her proper person she remains unaffected by it. Resolved to pursue
Don Giovanni, and defeat his machinations, she intercepts him as he
is hastening into his casino with Zerlina, and exclaims to the deluded

     Ah! fuggi il traditor!
     Non lo lasciar più dir;
     Il labbro è mentitor
     E falso il ciglio!
     Da' miei tormenti impara
     A creder a quel cor
     A nasca il tuo timor
     Dal mio periglio!

This air, unlike the rest of the opera, retains the form of the older
school, then still frequently heard in church music.[165] Apparently
Mozart made use of the severe, harsh form which at once suggests the
idea of sacred music to the hearer, in order to give the impression of a
moral lecture, and to emphasise the contrast with the "gay intoxication
of self-forgetfulness" of the rest of the scene.[166] This mode of
address was appropriately and suggestively employed towards the peasant
maid; but Elvira adopts quite another tone when she returns and finds
Don Giovanni in close converse with Donna Anna. In the quartet (Act I.,
8) (likely 9, DW) her warning, in accordance with the exalted rank of
the mourners, takes a plaintive tone, and her passion only flares up
again when roused by Don Giovanni's duplicity. Then she comes forward,
and her energetic tone predominates in the ensemble movements, although
the silent power of true nobility and grief exerts a moderating
influence on her expressions of passion. She makes a similar impression



in the first finale (Act I., 13). She has explained herself to Donna
Anna and Don Ottavio, and they are leagued together to watch and to
expose Don Giovanni. When they appear masked in front of the casino she
encourages them to act boldly; Don Ottavio chimes in with her, but Donna
Anna is seized with maidenly fears face to face with such an adventure.
All this is expressed in the most admirable manner, and a few touches
suffice to place the two women before us in all the dissimilarity of
their natures. The accompaniment, too, is unusually characteristic.
In sharp contrast to the cheerful excitement in which Don Giovanni,
Zerlina, and Masetto make their exit stands the mournful accompaniment
to Elvira, while Don Ottavio's powerful tenor notes are infused with
additional energy by the accented passage? for the wind instruments. The
accompaniment, without altering its essential character, adopts at Donna
Anna's entrance an anxious plaintive tone expressive of the purity
and elevation of her mind. After a short colloquy with Leporello, who
invites them to enter, the three, confident in the justice of their
cause, prepare for their difficult enterprise. After the restless energy
of the previous scene this clear and composed expression of a deeper
emotion diffuses a sense of calm beneficence. The construction of the
movement places Donna Anna and Don Ottavio in close juxtaposition;
Elvira is placed in opposition to them and, in accordance with her
character, she is more animated and energetic. Here again the desired
effect is much strengthened by the support of the orchestra. It was
unusual to make use of the wind instruments alone in accompaniments; and
in addition to this the full soft sound of the extended chords contrasts
strikingly with the deep tones of the clarinets, heard now for the
first time. What a contrast it forms, too, to the tone-colouring of
the preceding movement; one feels for the moment transported to another
world. Scarcely have the last echoes died away when the sharp attack of
the orchestra on the following movement brings us down to earth again.
In the scene which follows it is Elvira who is ever on the watch--who
with Don Ottavio intercepts and



unmasks Don Giovanni; after that she falls into her place with the rest.
Implacable as Elvira shows herself in her pursuit of revenge on Don
Giovanni, her love for him has taken such deep root in her heart, his
personality exercises such a magic power over her, that she is ready to
forget all that is past, and to trust herself to him again. Poetry could
only make this visible by means of a chain of connecting links; music
is happier in its power of rendering the most hidden springs of human
action; once let the right key be struck, and the state of mind to be
represented is there. And seldom has a frame of mind incapable of verbal
description been so truly and beautifully expressed as in this terzet
(Act II., 2). A short ritomello places the hearer in a frame of mind
which enables him to give credence to what he is about to learn. Elvira,
alone in the twilight, comes to the window; old memories awaken old
feelings, which, while she deplores them, she cannot escape. Don
Giovanni, who is present, resolves to turn this softened mood to
account; he wishes to drive Elvira away, and a fresh triumph over her
affections is a satisfaction to his arrogant vanity. Leporello in his
master's hat and cloak is made to advance, and Don Giovanni, concealed
behind him, addresses Elvira tenderly in the very notes which have just
issued from her mouth. Don Giovanni's appeal comes to her like an echo
of her own thoughts. She interrupts him with the same lively reproaches
which she has already uttered to herself, while he prays for her pity
with the most melting tenderness. Elvira is overcome, and thereupon very
appropriately the motif occurs with which Leporello first expressed his
consternation at Elvira's appearance. Don Giovanni persists all the more
urgently in the same tone, and the turn of expression just alluded to
is developed, with a startling impetus produced by the transition to the
key of C major, into a cantilene of entrancing beauty.[167]



He answers Elvira's violent reproaches ("con transporto e quasi
piangendo," Mozart has noted them) with exclamations of increasing
passion, and threatens to kill himself if she does not grant his prayer.
The feeling that Elvira must yield to so passionate an outburst of
the love towards which her heart impels her is mingled with a sense of
Leporello's ludicrous situation, and we feel no incongruity in his fit
of laughter. But when Elvira actually yields, even Leporello cannot
withhold his sympathy from her, while Don Giovanni mockingly triumphs
in his victory. In a certain sense the two have exchanged their parts as
well as their clothes. This terzet may safely be cited as an example of
how simplicity of design and regularity of construction may unite with
perfect beauty and truth of expression into a piece of genuine dramatic
characterisation; but who can express in words the tender fragrance of
loving desire which breathes from the music like the perfumes from an
evening landscape? If we are to infer Don Giovanni's character from
the duet with Zerlina (Act I., 6), the serenade (Act II., 3), and this
terzet, we have the picture of an engaging and amiable personality which
strikes every tone of affection and desire with bewitching grace and
delicacy, and with an accent of such true feeling that it is impossible
for the female heart to withstand him. This is not the whole of Don
Giovanni's character, however. When Elvira's weakness has betrayed her
into an equivocal position, Don Giovanni's heartless insolence places
her in a situation which only Leporello's comic character prevents from
becoming an exceedingly painful one. The fear which takes undisputed
possession of him during the interview reflects a comic light upon
Elvira, but without interfering with her preconceived character. Mozart
has succeeded admirably in the sestet (Act II., 6) in maintaining
Elvira's dignity of deportment both towards the craven Leporello and her
former allies; she never sinks below herself; but the consciousness of
her weakness and of the dastardly trick played upon her has broken
her spirit. There is no trace of the energetic, flaming passion of the
earlier Elvira; Donna Anna's pure



form rises high above her, and she no longer takes the lead in the
expression of astonishment and indignation. After the sestet, when
Leporello had escaped from the hands of Zerlina, there was inserted
in Vienna an air for Elvira, in which the violence of her passion is
moderated to a degree almost incredible. The softened mood in which the
feeling of her inextinguishable love is expressed no longer as anger
against the traitor, but as pity for the lost sinner, is, when rightly
delivered,[168] most admirably represented; but the dignity and
nobleness which have stilled the waves of sorrow and revenge are not
really consistent with the fire and force of the true Elvira. Then,
also, the accents of disappointed love, which Mozart knew how to evoke
with such masterly insight, are scarcely present at all in this air.
Nevertheless, considered musically it is of great beauty, and the voices
are most effectively supported by obbligato solo instruments, which are
never elsewhere used in exactly the same way by Mozart. This charming
piece is not inappropriate in its own place, but it does not render
either situation or character with the same breadth or accuracy which
Mozart elsewhere displays in "Don Giovanni." Any idea of a closer
connection with Don Giovanni being now out of the question, Elvira,
feeling also that her own existence is rendered worthless, resolves to
enter a convent. But her character and her undying affection forbid her
to part for ever from Don Giovanni without calling him to repentance and
amendment. Her entrance in the second finale interrupts the merriment of
Don Giovanni and Leporello at table, and, like a landscape in changing
lights, the whole tone of the music is altered at a stroke.[169] Her
warning here is very different to that which she addressed to Zerlina.
A stream of glowing words comes from the very depths of her love-tossed
heart, and beats in vain against the overweening pride of her heartless
betrayer. At first he seeks to treat her appeal as a jest, which may be
humoured; and when her prayers, her tears, her dismay are thereby



redoubled, he mocks at her with all the frivolity of his
pleasure-seeking nature. This is too much even for Leporello: he
sympathetically approaches Elvira; and the effect is very fine, when
the same notes which seemed to threaten annihilation by their weight at
Elvira's entrance are heard from the mouth of Leporello. Don Giovanni's
overbearing insolence increases and calls down upon him the fate to
which, now that even Elvira has left him, he is doomed to hasten.
This scene is again a very masterpiece of high dramatic art. A flow of
passionate emotion, like a lava stream down the mountain side, succeeds
to the loosely connected musical jests of the supper-table. The very
change of tone-colouring is of the greatest significance. The first
noisy and brilliant movement, with its trumpets and drums and lively
passages for the stringed instruments, is succeeded by the arranged
harmony music, against which the full orchestra, with the combined
strength of wind and stringed instruments, stands in bold relief. Don
Giovanni and Elvira are here for the first time opposed on equal terms.
Her passionate emotion is purified and ennobled without any loss of
strength or reality; and he displays an energy and keen enjoyment of
life which would have something great in it if it were directed to
higher aims, but which here excites only horror. It prepares us for
the resistance which he is to make to the spectral apparition; but the
insolent scorn with which he hardens himself against Elvira's prayers
is more shocking to the feelings than his determined resistance to
the horrors of the nether world, wherein we cannot but grant him our
sympathy. Sharply accented as are the mocking tone of mind and the
sensuality of Don Giovanni, we never find him vulgar or revolting. This
is due to the combination of strength and boldness with beauty of form
in the music allotted to him. What can be more impressive than the
oft-repeated motif given to Don Giovanni:--[See Page Image]



with no support but a simple bass, in strong contrast to the rich
accompaniment elsewhere employed? His good breeding is as characteristic
of him as his love of enjoyment, and is shown at his first entrance
in his behaviour towards Donna Anna and the Commendatore. There is no
roughness in his struggle with her, and he would fain avoid violence, as
also in the combat with her father; not until his honour as a cavalier
has been touched to the quick does he draw his sword, and the result of
the duel causes him genuine emotion. True, his nobler impulses are not
of long duration; he is destitute of generosity or nobility of mind, and
his highest quality is mere brute courage. In the churchyard scene, when
his arrogance has brought matters to a crisis, and Leporello has
made his terrified exit, the horror of his situation rouses all Don
Giovanni's determination, and he passes the bounds of foolhardiness in
his defiance of the spectre. This scene, however, in which the defiance
of a mortal is forced to yield to the higher powers, is a necessary
sequel to the preceding one with Elvira, in which the moral conflict has
just been fought out. Its pathos redeems it from burlesque, and spreads
an impression of horror which overmasters human reason. Mozart's success
in the combination of these qualities into a whole of harmonious beauty
has already been admired by us as the work of a genius. Gracious and
winning manners and overflowing strength and animal spirits, combined
with the refinement of good birth and breeding and the frankness of a
jovial temperament, produce a picture of a man richly endowed by nature,
but requiring to bend to moral restraint before he can be called great
or noble. He attracts liking, he rouses sympathy, but he is doomed to
final overthrow.

Donna Anna,[170] as the representative of intellectual elevation and
moral purity, is placed in strong contrast to this seductive being, who
attracts and degrades all with whom he comes in contact. She triumphs
over him from the first,



the magic of his presence being powerless to affect her pure spirit.
But her maidenly pride resents his unworthy advances; the idea that an
insult so great should remain unpunished rouses such passion within her,
that she loses sight of all save her just revenge. The music gives a
tone of nobility and elevation to her passionate excitement, stamping
her at once as the superior nature to which Don Giovanni yields, not
only that he may escape recognition, but because he cannot help himself.
Her relation to him preserves this tone throughout, and there is no
subsequent suggestion of any closer or more personal interest.

Hoffmann's infelicitous idea that Donna Anna had been dishonoured by Don
Giovanni is contradicted by Da Ponte's libretto, which emphasises
her affection for Don Ottavio as repeatedly and decidedly as does the
high-pitched ideality of the music. It is a grievous error to suppose
that her "high-tragedy manner" towards her betrothed arises from the
consciousness of shame and from falsehood and hypocrisy, and not rather
from an elevated sense of pride and pure morality and from filial
grief for her murdered father. Hoffmann's conception of the two
chief characters, and their; relations to each other, though often
quoted,[171] is in many respects a misleading one. A Don Giovanni, a
very demon, who seeks in sensual love to satisfy his cravings for the
supernatural; who, weary and satiated with earthly pleasures, despising
mankind, and in utter scorn against nature and his Creator seeks to
compass the ruin of every woman he meets, is as foreign to the age,
the character, and the music of Mozart as a Donna Anna who, loving
the greatness which originally existed in Don Giovanni, yields to him
without resistance, only to feel doubly conscious of her abasement and
absorbed in the desire for revenge.

Upon her return with Don Ottavio she finds her father a corpse, and,
after making the most pitiful lamentations, she becomes insensible.
Coming to herself her first



half-unconscious exclamation is for her father; she imagines that the
murderer is before her, and beseeches him to slay her also. When the
dread certainty has brought her to full consciousness, she collects
all her forces for revenge. She makes Ottavio swear vengeance on the
murderer, and her excitement rises to an unnatural joy at the prospect
of the fulfilment of their gloomy task. The musical rendering of
this state of mind is perfect. The high-pitched mood of Donna Anna is
characterised with so much precision and delicacy, and the continuous
climax is so consistent and well connected, chiefly by virtue of the
musical construction, that we feel ourselves taken captive and prepared
to accept what we hear as the involuntary outbursts of passion.[172]
Even Don Ottavio's consolatory words, sharply as they contrast in their
cantilene-like delivery with Donna Anna's broken interjections, betray
in their restless accompaniment and changing harmonies the inner
disquiet from which he cannot free himself. As soon, however, as the
thought of revenge has been grasped, the two go together, and the voices
are in close connection, while the orchestra (a chief factor in the
musical rendering of the whole scene) contrasts with them in sharpest
accents, now urging, now restraining; the long suspense of the detached,
disconnected phrases is relieved by the stream of passion which seems to
raise the weight from the hearts from which it flows. Don Ottavio, owing
partly to the libretto, has acquired an unfavourable reputation that
can scarcely be entirely overcome, even if the exaggerations which have
become customary in his part should be discarded.[173] In real life we
feel the highest esteem for a character which preserves calmness and
clearness in the midst of heaviest trials,



and stands loyally and tenderly by the side of the afflicted; but we
seldom find a poetic or passionate side to such a nature. Such an one
is Don Ottavio. He preserves his composure amid the whirlwind of
passion around him; his love imposes upon him the task of consoling and
supporting his beloved one under the loss of her father, and he performs
it in a manner at once tender and manly. He rises to greater strength
in the summons to vengeance, when he shows himself in no way inferior
to Donna Anna; and when the two next come upon the scene, it is he who
exhorts Donna Anna to stifle her grief and to dream only of revenge. The
unexpected appearance of Elvira, and Don Giovanni's behaviour inspire
him with some degree of suspicion; but he and Donna Anna preserve in the
quartet (Act I., 8) a dignified reserve towards the strangers, which
has a depressing effect when united with their mournful contemplation of
their own sorrow. Here they are entirely at one with each other, and so
the music renders them; their superiority of birth and demeanour has its
effect on the other two characters, and gives the tone to the whole. Don
Giovanni's entrance, his glance and tone, inspire Donna Anna with the
certainty of his being her father's murderer; the memory of that fearful
event flashes across her, and the tumult of feeling which it arouses is
expressed by the orchestra in pungent dissonances by means of opposing
rhythm and harsh sounds produced especially by the trumpets, which have
been silent since the overture until now. It is with difficulty that she
composes herself sufficiently to acquaint her lover with the cause of
her agitation.

When she has told him all, she urges him again to revenge her father's
death, in an air (Act I., 10) of which the delicate characterisation
completes the perfect image of Donna Anna. This air, in comparison with
the preceding recitative and with the duet, is temperate in tone. The
renewed appeal for revenge is not the same involuntary outburst of
passion which it was; it is the expression of conviction, and is
therefore more composed, though not less forcible than before. A high
and noble pride speaks in the first motifs (Vol. 11., p. 428)--[See Page



with inimitable dignity and force, while the plaintive sextoles of the
violins and violas, the urgent figure for the basses, which turns to
imitation at the second motif, and the gentle admonitory dialogue of the
wind instruments represent the restless anxiety which has called forth
her determination.[174]

Donna Anna's elevation of mind raises the man of her choice, and her
maidenly bashfulness gives her confidence a lover-like character.
Ottavio, who has not been inspired with the same instinctive certainty
of Don Giovanni's guilt, finds it hard to convince himself that a
nobleman, and his friend, can be capable of such a crime; but he is
quite ready to acknowledge the necessity for closely observing him. It
was at this point that the air composed in Vienna was inserted (Anh. 3)
to express Ottavio's devoted love for Donna Anna. It depicts exclusively
the tender lover, and the heroic impulses which might be supposed to
belong to the situation will be sought for in vain; the contrast with
Donna Anna's high-spirited air is very striking. No doubt the insertion
of the song was, in some measure at least, a concession to the
individual singer and to the preference of the public for sentimental
lovers. Granting this, however, it is simple and true in sentiment,
tender without sickliness, and of purest melody. Besides the clear and
lovely chief melodies, parts here and there, such as the transition to B
minor and the return to D major at the words, "E non ho bene s' ella non
l' ha," have a very striking effect. But the song



is below the level of the situation, and, for want of a counterbalancing
force, it injures the conception of Don Ottavio's character. The masque
terzet expresses in a very pure and noble manner the contrast between an
affection based on moral constancy, such as that of Donna Anna and Don
Ottavio, and the unwholesome passions of the other characters. Donna
Anna, entering masked to play the spy on Don Giovanni, is seized
with alarm at the danger which threatens them all, especially her
lover--"Temo pel caro sposo" she sings with her own melting, plaintive
tones--and she calms her fears with difficulty. In the ball-room, where
noisy merriment is at its height, their dignified appearance gives the
assembly a certain air of solemnity. Leporello and Don Giovanni greet
them respectfully; they answer somewhat ceremoniously, and join in
the cry: "Viva la libertà!" but with a sort of dignified reserve which
stamps them as of superior rank to the crowd of country people round
them. This is a faithful reflection of the manners of the time; so also
is the subordination of the chorus in this scene: it was customary for
country people to keep at a respectful distance before persons of
rank. When the dance recommences, it is Donna Anna again who finds her
feelings so hard to master that she almost betrays herself. Zerlina's
cry for help is the signal for an outbreak of general excitement;
and henceforth they are all avowedly ranged against Don Giovanni. Don
Ottavio acts as the mouthpiece and champion of the women, and calls Don
Giovanni to account for the murder of the Commendatore. But he makes no
attempt to take the punishment of the crime into his own hands, and Don
Giovanni is allowed to beat a retreat from the presence of his former
friends and now determined opponents. No chorus is introduced in the
last movement of the first finale, and indeed none is conceivable.[175]
What would be gained in material sound-effects would be lost in true
dramatic effect. The "buona gente" do not presume to take part in the



dispute of their lords; and, as the affair grows serious, the dancers
and musicians leave the ball-room hastily, and the principal characters
remain in possession of the scene.[176]

Hitherto Don Ottavio has shown himself as a man deserving of Donna
Anna's affection and confidence, loyal and devoted, cautious and
determined, and preserving throughout the lofty demeanour which
distinguishes him from Don Giovanni. But from this point we are in
expectation that he will put his resolutions into action, and that the
second act gives him no opportunity of doing so is a serious blemish.

The loose and disconnected plot of the second act sacrifices Donna Anna
and Don Ottavio in especial; Elvira, Zerlina, and Masetto are woven not
unskilfully into its intricate meshes, but the other two are altogether
left out. In the sestet (Act II., 6) the earlier motif of consolatory
assurance is repeated without any definite occasion, and only the
exalted purity of the music can cover this defect. Their presence is in
no way necessary either to the exposure of Leporello's trickery; it is
amply justified from a musical point of view, however, for the noble and
dignified tone, which contrasts with Leporello's comic fright and gives
the character of the ensemble, is the result of their participation.

Don Giovanni's new villainy having removed all doubt of his guilt
from Don Ottavio's mind, the latter no longer hesitates to call him to
account. His conduct has rendered him unworthy of giving the ordinary
satisfaction of a nobleman, and Ottavio resolves to deliver him over
to justice, taking upon himself the risk of encountering so bold and
formidable an adversary. As he turns to depart his thoughts naturally
turn to Donna Anna, who has left the scene after the sestet, and he
entreats his friends to console her during his absence, until he shall
return with the tidings of a completed revenge. This feeling is natural
and true, and the air (Act II., 8) expressing it is in every way

His appeal for the consolation of Donna Anna is made in one of the
loveliest cantilene which has ever been written for a tenor voice; but
the second part is not quite on the



same level. Mozart has rightly refrained from expressing the desire for
revenge in a grand heroic movement, which would have introduced a false
tone, but has limited it to a middle movement, rendered characteristic
mainly by the rapid and forcible motion of the orchestra. The purely
musical effect of this part is excellent, but the voice part has not
force or brilliancy proportionate to the sweetness and fulness which it
has just displayed. The idiosyncracies of the singer Baglione may, in
some degree, have occasioned this treatment; he was specially celebrated
for his artistic and finished delivery.[177]

The course of the plot justifies Don Ottavio in his conduct towards Don
Giovanni, and when the reprobate has been called before a higher than
any earthly tribunal, Ottavio claims Donna Anna's hand, not as a tender
lover, but as a faithful protector summoned by fate to her side. Donna
Anna's postponement of their union until the year of mourning for
her father shall have expired is a realistic trait, and reflects
the ordinary rules of society and mode of thought then in vogue too
faithfully to be at all poetic. But there can be no doubt of the
intention to represent the love of Donna Anna and Don Ottavio as deep
and sincere; and it argues a misapprehension of tragic ideality to
consider the postponement either as an excuse to conceal her aversion
to her lover, or as the result of her determination to renounce earthly
love and seek refuge in a convent or the grave.[178] It is to the
disadvantage of Don Ottavio, however, that he is made to re-enter
and entreat Donna Anna to consent to an immediate union, without any
previous intimation that he has carried out his design of bringing Don
Giovanni to justice. This is uncalled for, and shows him in the light
of an amorous weakling destitute of energy.[179] The scene was probably
inserted later in order to separate the



churchyard scene from the supper, and chiefly, no doubt, to supply
Donna Anna with another air; the characterisation of Don Ottavio and
the natural progress of the plot are sacrificed to these objects. On
the other hand, the air itself (Act II., 10) is a grateful task for
the singer; and affords important aid to the musical-dramatic
characterisation of Donna Anna. Hitherto grief and revenge have inspired
her utterances; her affection to Don Ottavio has been indicated by her
intrusting to him her most sacred interests and duties. Here, at last,
her love breaks forth without reserve, and although she still rejects
his petition, it is with a maidenly coyness and an expression of regret
which add a new and individual interest to her character. The air is
introduced by a recitative, and consists of two independent movements in
different tempi. In form and treatment, especially in the employment of
wind instruments almost solo, and in the bravura voice passages, it more
closely resembles the traditional Italian aria than any other of the
original songs in Don Giovanni; but, in spite of this, it renders
important service to the characterisation.[180] The regularity of the
musical form corresponds very well to the refined and not only noble but
well-bred demeanour of Donna Anna. Deep and sincere emotion is expressed
with maidenly tenderness, infused with just the tinge of melancholy
which invests the whole representation of her character.

The characters which have been occupying our attention are so accurately
and minutely delineated, and every detail is so admirably blended into
the conception of the whole, that though a comparison with "Figaro"
may doubtless show many superficial points of resemblance, a closer
examination reveals the complete independence of the two works. No one
figure resembles another even distantly; each has its own life, its own
individuality, preserved in the minutest particulars, as well as in the
general conception. Not less remarkable than this is the art with which
the different



elements, in all their force of energy and truth, are combined into an
harmonious and comprehensive whole.

As regards the dramatic force and reality of the situations, especially
in the ensembles, "Figaro" has the advantage over "Don Giovanni." The
introduction to the first act is admirably planned, both musically and
dramatically; in the quartet (Act I., 8) and terzet (Act II., 2) the
situation and prevailing tone are simple, but well chosen and sustained;
and the idea of giving Don Giovanni and Leporello a share in Elvira's
first air (Act I., 3), is productive of excellent effect. The sestet
(Act II., 6), on the other hand, is very loosely put together; the
characters are grouped round Leporello suitably enough, it is true,
but their encounter is not the natural result of the situation, and
the climax is a purely external one. The finales in "Don Giovanni" are
indeed far superior to the ordinary run, which even in good operas often
consist of loosely strung scenes which might just as well be spoken
as sung, but they are inferior to the well-combined, consistent*
development of the plot which delights us in the finales in "Figaro."
The first finale begins in lively style with the quarrel between
Masetto, whose jealously is newly awakened, and the terrified Zerlina,
who seeks to avoid an outbreak. The insidious ever-recurring motif for
both voice and orchestra--[See Page Image]

in contrast with the quickly uttered notes and sharp accents of anger,
is highly expressive of suspicion. Suggestive in another way are the
beating notes for the trumpets--

which are interposed in Masetto's speech, and afterwards taken up by the



when Zerlina asserts herself, rising gradually to impatient quavers for
the violin--[See Page Image]

while the principal subject pursues its quiet course. They are
interrupted by the noisy merriment of Don Giovanni and his companions,
who are repairing to the merry-making in the casino; the gradual dying
away of the song of the retreating guests prepares us for the singularly
tender and lovely scene between Zerlina and Don Giovanni, which,
contrasted with the preceding duet with Masetto, first clearly shows
the dangerous fascination of the seducer. After the inimitably expressed
start of surprise at Masetto's reappearance the music alters altogether
in character, and Don Giovanni assumes a cordial hospitality and
cheerful gaiety which is partly accounted for by the sound of the dance
music from the casino; this is made also a musical prophecy of what is
to ensue, for the eight bars that are heard are taken from the second
of the dances afterwards combined, and Mozart has omitted the two first
bars, in order to put the hearer at once in the midst of the dance (Vol.
II., p. 154 note). A lively figure for the violin expresses the desire
of the three to join in the merriment. The figure is continued when
Elvira, Donna Anna, and Don Ottavio appear, and several accompaniment
figures are also retained, with important modifications. The minor key
for the first time occurring, and the totally different treatment of the
orchestra give an impression of a mysterious and gloomy shadow cast upon
the noisy merriment of the scene. Leporello, opening a window by chance,
sees the masks, and is ordered by his master to invite them to enter.
The open window causes the dance music to be more plainly heard, and
prepares for what is to follow; this time a minuet is played, which is
heard entire, for as long as the window remains open the orchestra is
silent, and conversation is carried on parlando. The unusual treatment
of this scene prepares the way for the ball; but it is quite as
consistent with the adagio which intervenes with surprising and profound



The grave and elevated tone betokening the presence of higher moral
forces is additionally impressive after the unquiet, passionate activity
which precedes it. For the first time in this finale the voices put
forth all their power and beauty, and they receive powerful assistance
from the accompanying wind instruments. The voices seem to stand out
from the dark background of the peculiarly deep notes of the clarinets,
but the chords which follow are like gleams of light cast upon them, and
the whole movement appears transfigured in the glory of a higher region.
The scene changes, as was not unusual in finales, and we find ourselves
in the ball-room. The dance ended, the guests disperse for refreshment,
and Don Giovanni and Leporello, as hosts, Zerlina unable to escape Don
Giovanni's observation, and Masetto, jealously watching her, come to the
front. The orchestra plays the principal part in the lively movement,
6-8, which portrays this situation. Rhythm, melodies, and instrumental
colouring, all are stamped with voluptuous excitement, and we seem to
breathe the heated air of the ball-room. The voices move freely, either
joining in the orchestral subjects or going their own way in easy
parlando or prominent melodies, grouped according to the requirements
of the situation. The entrance of the masks gives, as has already
been observed, a different tone to the scene; the stranger guests are
courteously greeted, and Don Giovanni's summons to the dance places
fully before the spectators the ball-room scene, which has so often
been suggested. The real motive of the scene being musical, the dramatic
representation is skilfully made the object of the musical construction.

The company is a mixed one, and different dances are arranged to suit
the taste of all; thus also Don Giovanni is provided with the means of
freeing himself of those persons who come in the way of his design. His
distinguished guests tread a minuet, he himself joins in the country
dance with Zerlina, while Leporello whirls Masetto in the giddy waltz.
The musical representation of the situation in the three different
dances is thus made the chief point of the scene, the plot moving
rapidly onward; none of the characters



are in a position to express themselves fully, and the dance alone
preserves the continuity of the whole. The combination of three dances
simultaneously in varied rhythm and expression, offered to Mozart a
task in counterpoint which he has accomplished with so much ease and
certainty, that the untechnical listener scarcely believes in its
difficulty. The arithmetical calculation that three bars in 2-4 are
equal to two bars in 3-4, and one bar 3-8 represents a crotchet in a
triplet, is easily made, and the system presents no difficulty. But the
problem really consists in concealing the system beneath the melody
and rhythm, and in causing the necessary coincidence of the phrasing
to appear a natural and unstudied one, dependent on the individual
character of each dance. One dance follows another as a matter of
course. The minuet begins--the same which has been heard before. At the
repetition of the second part, the second orchestra prepares to strike
up, the open strings are struck in fifths, touched _pizzicato_, and
little shakes tried, the violoncello joins in in the same way--and all
falls naturally into the minuet, as it pursues its even course.[181] At
last a gay country dance (2-4) strikes up, as different in melody and
rhythm from the minuet as can be, although it is of course constructed
on the same fundamental bass. At the second part, the third orchestra
proceeds to tune up as the second had done before, and falls in with
a fresh and merry waltz (3-8).[182] Before the minuet recommences,
Zerlina's cry for help is heard, both dances and music break off
suddenly, and the orchestra, which has hitherto been silent, strikes
in with full force.[183] Zerlina's cry for help brings about a complete
change of



mood and tone. All present, except Don Giovanni and Leporello, are
inspired by one sentiment, and form a compact and solid mass opposing
the two, either in unison or by means of a purely harmonious treatment
of the voices. Only pit particular points, such as the unmasking, do the
different characters stand out, and the imitation by means of which the
parts are again united emphasises the impression of strict connection
between them. This kind of grouping requires a broad, grand treatment,
and a more forcible one both for the voices and the orchestra. Mozart
has nevertheless happily avoided the adoption of a tragic tone, which
would have been unsuited to the situation. The case is not, after
all, too grave to allow of Don Giovanni and Leporello expressing their
confusion and dismay comically, after their manner, and the humorous
character of the opera is thereby preserved.[184] Still more simple is
the construction of the second finale. The introduction of table music
taken from different operas renders the supper scene a very masterpiece
of musical fun; but the episode has no direct connection with the
action.[185] This begins with the entrance of Elvira, with a gravity and
an impulse which have been wanting since the beginning of the opera.
In opposition to Elvira's glowing passion, to which her higher resolves
lend nobler impulse than before, so that even Leporello is carried away
by her energy, Don Giovanni's sensuality stands out in stronger
relief, until it outrages man's noblest and most sacred feelings; the
contradiction develops a depth of pathos



which prepares for the approaching catastrophe. The force and fulness of
musical expression in this scene are as remarkable as the deep truth of
its characterisation. Compare the passionate expressions of Donna Anna
with this outbreak of Elvira, and the fundamental difference of the two
characters is clear; so also it is plain that, inimical to each other
as they may be, Elvira and Don Giovanni are creatures of the same
mould, having the same easily excited sensual impulses. Leporello's
terror-stricken announcement of the Commendatore's approach comes as a
relief to this highly wrought scene. In point of fact, the comic tone
increases the suspense more than even Elvira's piercing cry; ludicrous
as is the fear of Leporello, the main impression it produces is one
of horror at its cause. The first fear-struck tones of the orchestra,
collecting their forces for what is to come, the first simple, firm
tones of the spectre's voice[186] transport us to the sphere of the
marvellous. This sense of the supernatural is preserved by Mozart
throughout the scene, and the hearer seems to himself to be standing in
breathless suspense at the very verge of the abyss. It is produced by
an uninterrupted climax of characteristically shaded movement; and the
object which the master has kept steadily before him has been to produce
at every point the expression of a grandeur and sublimity surpassing
that of earth. To accomplish this, external means, such as the
disposition of harmonies and instrumental colouring are employed with
equal boldness and skill, but the true conditions of its extra-ordinary
effect are the high conception and powerful inspiration which animate
the whole. When to this it is added that Don Giovanni and Leporello,
although under the spell of the supernatural apparition, act freely,
each according to his individual nature, without for an instant
prejudicing the unity of tone, it must be acknowledged that the union
of dramatic truth and lofty ideal is here complete. After this prolonged
and painful suspense the breaking of the storm



which is to deliver Don Giovanni into the power of the internal spirits
comes as a long-expected catastrophe. The spirits themselves Mozart has
wisely kept in the background. Invisible in the darkness, they summon
their victim in few, monotonous, but appalling notes. This allows of
a more animated expression to the torture of despair which seizes Don
Giovanni, and to the terror of Leporello; while the orchestra depicts
the tumult of all the powers of nature. This scene can only attain to
its full effect when theatrical managers can make up their minds to
allow the music to work on the imagination and feeling of the audience,
unimpeded by a display of fireworks and demoniac masks.[187] This
finale, after all that has preceded it, does not certainly produce a
calming effect, but it relieves the suspense, and virtually brings the
plot to an end. The entrance of the other characters to learn the fate
of Don Giovanni from Leporello, and to satisfy the audience as to their
own fate, is chiefly a concession to the custom of assembling all the
chief persons on the stage at the close of the opera, which in this case
seems justified by the necessity of concluding with a composing and
moral impression. It is not, however, the true close of the plot, and
the audience have already been quite sufficiently informed as to the
fate of the characters.

Regarded from a musical point of view, Leporello's
narrative--interrupted by exclamations of astonishment from the
others--is very fresh and spirited, and the surprise well and delicately
expressed; the movement would be most effective in another place, but
here it falls decidedly flat. The larghetto in which the duet between
Don Ottavio and Donna Anna, with the short remarks of the others, is
brought to a close is lovely, but not so weighty in substance as the
situation demands. The closing movement is very fine, and Mozart has
imparted such a clear and tender radiance to the church-music sort of
form in which he has embodied the moral maxims, that a flush like that
of dawn seems to rise



from the gloomy horror which has buried the gay life of the drama in
deepest night. It was soon felt that to preserve the interest of
the audience after the spirit scene was impossible. An attempt at
abbreviation was annexed to the original score, omitting the larghetto
so far as it referred to personal circumstances. Whether this experiment
was made in Prague or Vienna,[188] it appears not to have sufficed, and
at the performance in Vienna the opera closed, as it almost invariably
has later, with Don Giovanni's descent into the lower regions. At
his fall all the characters enter and give a cry of horror, which is
inserted in the score on the chord of D major. A few attempts have been
made later, either on theoretical or practical grounds, to restore the
original closing scene.[189] Attempts at a modification such as
have been made are very objectionable. At a performance in Paris Don
Giovanni's disappearance was followed by the entry of Donna Anna's
corpse borne by mourners, and the chanting of the "Dies iræ" from
Mozart's Requiem.[190] This idea suggested to Kugler[191] the further
one of changing the scene after Don Giovanni's fall to the mausoleum
of the Commendatore, and introducing the funeral ceremonies, the chorus
singing from Mozart's Re-queim, "Lux perpetua luceat ei" (not _eis_,
"because it is only for one person"), "Domine, cum sanctis tuis quia
pius es," to be followed by the "Osanna in excelsis" as an appropriate
conclusion. It is as difficult to comprehend how these two movements
can be thus combined, as how reverence for the master can allow of his
sacred music being thus tacked on to an opera without any regard to
unity of style and workmanship. Viol,  supported by Wolzogen,
adopted this idea so far as, instead of the usual conclusion, to insert
the funeral service in the mausoleum, and have the closing movement of
the opera sung there; but it appears



altogether out of place. Nothing can be more objectionable than to make
use of separate parts of a work of art in a different sense to that
intended by the master; omission is, on the whole, a less hurtful

A consideration of the finale proves what is borne out by the whole
opera, that, though inferior in artistic unity of plot to "Figaro," it
excels that work in the musical nature of its situations and moods. In
"Figaro" we are amazed to find how, within the narrow limits of emotion
presented to us, seldom rising to passion, never to a higher pathos, our
minds are entranced by the grace and spirit of the representation.
In "Don Giovanni," on the contrary, there is scarcely a side of human
nature which is not expressed in the most varied shades of individuality
and situation; through the checkered scenes of daily life we are led to
the very gates of the spirit world, and the light of original wit and
humour shines upon the work from beginning to end. The difficulty for a
dramatically gifted author lay in moderation. Da Ponte having placed his
"Don Giovanni" in the present, Mozart with ready wit draws upon reality
where-ever possible for matters of detail and colouring. This freshness
and fulness of realism distinguishes "Don Giovanni" from "Figaro,"
without entailing any loss of ideality, for every subject drawn from
real life is turned to the service of the artistic conception of the
whole. The statues of the Parthenon or the figures of Raphael teach how
the great masters of the formative arts follow nature in all and each
of their creations; they teach, too, how the treasure which the eye of
genius descries in the depths of nature must be first received into a
human heart, thence to emerge as a complete and self-contained whole,
appealing to the sympathies of all mankind. Nor is it otherwise with
the great masters of sound, whatever be the impulse which urges them to
expression, whether the words of the poet, the experiences of life, the
impressions of form, colour, or sound;

the idea of the whole, which inspires it with life and endows it with
form and meaning, must come from the depths of his own spirit, and is
the creative force, which is unceasingly active until the perfect work
of art is produced. The ideal



of such a work is the perfection which is conceivable and visible to
mankind in art alone; in it that which elsewhere appears as contrast or
opposition rises to the highest unity. This once attained, we experience
the satisfaction which for mortals exists in art alone. But our delight
and admiration rise still higher when this harmony is maintained
throughout a varied and many-sided composition, containing a wealth of
interests and motives appealing to our most opposite sympathies, and
stirring the very depths of our being--then it is that we feel the full
and immediate inspiration of that Spirit Who looks upon the universe as
the artist looks upon his work.


[Footnote 1: Da Ponte, Mem., I., 2 p. 98.]

[Footnote 2: Mozart wrote the beautiful air "Non sö d'onde viene" for him on
March 18 (512 K., Vol. I., p. 422).]

[Footnote 3: Cramer, Mag. Mus., 1788, II., p. 47.]

[Footnote 4: His naïve and highly entertaining autobiography appeared in Leipzig
in 1801.]

[Footnote 5: Dittersdorf, Selbstbiogr., p. 228.]

[Footnote 6: Gerber, A. M. Z., I., p. 307; ibid, III., p. 377. Cf. Biedenfeld,
Die Komische Oper, p. 60.]

[Footnote 7: Berl. Mus. Wochenbl., 1791, pp. 37, 54, 163.]

[Footnote 8: Müller, Abschied, p. 277.]

[Footnote 9: Cramer, Magaz. f. Musik, 1788, II., p. 53.]

[Footnote 10: "Mozart auf der Reise nach Prag" is the title of a novel by Eduard
Möricke (Stuttgart, 1856), written with the author's usual grace and
delicacy. At the same time it is to be regretted that he has laid so
much stress on the lighter, more worldly side of Mozart's character; and
it is scarcely conceivable that a poet could have ascribed to Mozart a
manner of composition which was as far as it was possible to be from his
nature as an artist.]

[Footnote 11: Particulars concerning this visit to Prague are given by J. R.
Stiepanek in the preface to his Bohemian translation of "Don Giovanni"
(Prague, 1825, German translation by Nissen, p. 515)* The Prague
reminiscences are revived also in the "Bohemia" (1856, Nos. 21-24).
Heinse gives some details communicated by L. Bassi (Reise--u.
Lebensskizzen, I., p. 208), and J. P. Lyser draws from the same source
in his Mozart-Album (Hamburg, 1856). These accounts are, however,
wanting, not alone in aesthetic culture, but in the discernment of what
is historically true. On a lower level still must be placed Herib. Rau's
"Cultur-historischer Roman" "Mozart" (Frankfort, 1858), which has little
in common either with culture or history; his description of the visit
to Prague is in especial a more appalling calumny on Mozart's moral and
artistic character than has been ventured on by any of his opponents.]

[Footnote 12: Ost und West, 1839, No. 42, p. 172. A memorial tablet was
afterwards placed on this house.]

[Footnote 13: The vineyard is called Petranka (Smichow, No. 169), and belongs,
according to the "Bohemia" (1856, p. 118), to the merchant Lambert

[Footnote 14: In the autograph score the duet is written on smaller paper, and
somewhat more hastily than the other numbers, as was the case with
Masetto's air.]

[Footnote 15: Castil-Blaze has accepted these professional fables as literal
truth (Molière Musicien, I., p. 310).]

[Footnote 16: Da Ponte, Mem., I., 2, p. 103.]

[Footnote 17: The recitative and these two passages are omitted from the
autograph score, which prevents any identification of the alterations.
In "Idomeneo" the Oracle is accompanied only by trombones and horns.
Gugler throws doubt on the anecdote (Morgenbl., 1865, No. 33, p. 777).]

[Footnote 18: At the wedding festivities in Vienna, on October 1, Martin's
"Arbore di Diana" was performed (Wien. Ztg., 1787, No. 79, Anh.), and
was repeated nine times in the same year.]

[Footnote 19: Wien. Ztg., 1787, No. 84. "Don Giovanni" was to have been played
for the first time on this occasion, and Sonnleithner informs me that
a book of the words had actually been printed, with the title-page,
"Da rappresentarsi nel teatro di Praga per l'arrive di S. A. R. Maria
Teresa, Archiduchessa d' Austria, sposa del Ser. Principe Antonio di
Sassonia l'anno 1787." Here the first act closes with the quartet
(8); the second act is intact. The performance did not take place, the
Princess leaving Prague on October 15.]

[Footnote 20: Niemetschek, p. 87.]

[Footnote 21: In Mozart's Thematic Catalogue the subject of the overture is
entered under date October 28, with the title, "Il Dissoluto Punito,
o il Don Giovanni: Opera buffa in 2 Atti--Pezzi di Musica 24." The
overture is, as usual, written as a separate piece, hastily, but with
scarcely any alterations.]

[Footnote 22: A very unfavourable account of his greed for gain and
unscrupulousness is given in the A. M. Z., II., p. 537.]

[Footnote 23: Da Ponte, Mem., I., 2, p. 103. The fee which he received was fifty

[Footnote 24: Wien. Ztg. (1787, No. 91): "On Monday, October 29, Kapellmeister
Mozart's long-expected opera, 'Don Giovanni, das steinerne Gastmahl,'
was performed by the Italian opera company of Prague. Musicians and
connoisseurs are agreed in declaring that such a performance has never
before been witnessed in Prague. Herr Mozart himself conducted, and
his appearance in the orchestra was the signal for cheers, which were
renewed at his exit. The opera is exceedingly difficult of execution,
and the excellence of the representation, in spite of the short time
allowed for studying the work, was the subject of general remark. The
whole powers, both of actors and orchestra, were put forward to do
honour to Mozart. Considerable expense was incurred for additional
chorus and scenery, which has been generously defrayed by Herr
Guardasoni. The enormous audience was a sufficient guarantee of the
public favour."]

[Footnote 25: So the story was told on the authority of Mozart's son, in the
Berl. Musikztg. Echo (1856, No. 25, p. 198).]

[Footnote 26: L. de Loménin, Beaumarchais et son Temps, II., p. 399.]

[Footnote 27: Da Ponte, Mem., I., 2, p. 98. Mosel, Salieri, pp. 98, 128.]

[Footnote 28: Wien. Ztg., 1788, No. 3. Müller, Abschied v. d. Bühne, p. 277]

[Footnote 29: Da Ponte, Mem., I., 2, p. 108. A. M. Z., XXIV., p. 284. In 1788
"Axur" was performed twenty-nine times.]

[Footnote 30: Mus. Korr., 1790, p. 30.]

[Footnote 31: Berlin. Musik. Wochenbl., p. 5.]

[Footnote 32: Wien. Ztg., 1788, No. 38. My friend Gabr. Seidl informs me that
in the accounts of the theatre for 1788-1789 is the entry (pp. 45,127):
"Dem da Ponte Lorenz fur Componirung der Poesie zur Opera il Don
Giovanni, 100 fl."; and pp. 47, 137: "Dem Mozart Wolfgang fur
Componirung der Musique zur Opera il Don Giovanni, 225 fl."]

[Footnote 33: Da Ponte, Mem., I., 2, p. 104.]

[Footnote 34: "Don Giovanni" was performed fifteen times during this year.
Lange's assertion, therefore, that it was withdrawn after the third
representation rests upon an error. But after 1788 it was removed from
the stage, and did not reappear until November 5, 1792, in a miserable
German adaptation by Spiess. According to Da Ponte the Emperor
exclaimed, after hearing "Don Giovanni": "The opera is divine, perhaps
even more beautiful than 'Figaro.' but it will try the teeth of my
Viennese." To which Mozart answered, on hearing the remark, "We will
give them time to chew it." Joseph went into head-quarters on February
28, 1788, and did not return to Vienna till December 5 (Wien. Ztg.,
1788, No. 18); he can only, therefore, have been present at the last
performance of the year, on Dec. 15.]

[Footnote 35: A. M. Z., XXIV., p. 284.]

[Footnote 36: The different pieces are numbered in the same order in the
announcement of the pianoforte score (Wien. Ztg., 1788, No. 42, Anh.).]

[Footnote 37: Cramer, Magazin d. Mus., July, 1789, p. 47.]

[Footnote 38: Cavalieri wished to sing it in E major instead of E flat
major, and Mozart therefore made a transition into E at bar 19 of the
recitative, and wrote over the air itself, "in E."]

[Footnote 39: He first appeared at Easter, 1788, in the "Barber of Seville"
(Wien. Ztg., 1788, No. 34, Anh.).]

[Footnote 40: Journal der Moden, 1790, p. 50.]

[Footnote 41: Schink, Dramaturgische Monate (1790), II., p. 320.]

[Footnote 42: Schneider, Gesch. d. Berl. Oper, p. 59. A notice from Berlin in the
Journal der Moden (1791, p. 76) says: "The composition of this opera is
fine, although here and there it is very artificial, heavy, and overladen
with instruments."]

[Footnote 43: Chronik v. Berlin, IX., p. 132. Cf. XI., p. 878.]

[Footnote 44: "Don Giovanni" was given five times within ten days.]

[Footnote 45: Chronik v. Berlin, IX., p. 316.]

[Footnote 46: Mus. Wochenbl., p. 158.]

[Footnote 47: Mus. Monatsschr., p. 122.]

[Footnote 48: Mus. Wochenbl., p. 19.]

[Footnote 49: Jacobi wrote to Herder, in July, 1792: "We were terribly bored by
yesterday's opera; it is an insupportable affair, this 'Don Juan'! A
good thing that it is over." (Auserl. Briefw., II., p. 91.)]

[Footnote 50: Briefw., 403,1., p. 432. Schiller had written (402, I., p. 431):
"I have always had a certain amount of hope that the opera, like the
choruses of the old hymns to Bacchus, would be the means of developing a
nobler conception of tragedy. In the opera, a mere servile following of
nature is forsaken, and the ideal, disguised as indulgence, is allowed
to creep on the stage. The opera, by the power of music and by
its harmonious appeal to the senses, attunes the mind to a higher
receptivity; it allows of a freer play of pathos, because it is
accompanied by music; and the element of the marvellous, which
is suffered to appear in it, makes the actual subject a matter of

[Footnote 51: Bohemia, 1856, No. 23, p. 122.]

[Footnote 52: A. M. Z., XXXIX., p. 800.]

[Footnote 53: A. M. Z., XL., p. 140.]

[Footnote 54: A. M. Z., XXXIX., p. 810.]

[Footnote 55: Castil-Blaze, L'Acad. Impér. de Mus., II., p. 98.]

[Footnote 56: Castil-Blaze, Molière Musicien, I., p. 321. Cf. Siever's Càcilia,
IX., p. 208. A. Schebest, a. d. Leben e. Künstlerin, p. 202.]

[Footnote 57: Castil-Blaze, Molière Musicien, I., pp. 268, 323. L'Acad. Impér. de
Mus., II., p. 241.]

[Footnote 58: Leipzig, A. M. Z., 1866, p. 192.]

[Footnote 59: "Don Juan," opéra en 2 actes et 13 tableaux. Édition du Théätre

[Footnote 60: Pohl, Mozart und Haydn in London, p. 149.]

[Footnote 61: A. M. Z., XIII., p. 524. Stendhal, Vie de Rossini, p. 6.]

[Footnote 62: A. M. Z., XIV., p. 786; XV., p. 531.]

[Footnote 63: A. M. Z., XVI., p. 859.]

[Footnote 64: A. M. Z., XVIII., p. 232.]

[Footnote 65: A. M. Z., XX., p. 489.]

[Footnote 66: A. M. Z., XXVI., p. 570.]

[Footnote 67: A. M. Z., XXV., p. 639.]

[Footnote 68: Scudo, Crit. et Littêr. Mus., I., p. 121. For similar remarks on an
older Italian singer, see A. M. Z., XXV., p. 869.]

[Footnote 69: Viardot, Manuscr. Autogr. du D. Giov., p. 10. It must be remembered
that Rossini's arrival in Paris, in 1823, was the signal for a party
warfare between the Mozartists and Rossiniists, similar to that waged
by the Gluckists and Piccinnists. Cf. A. M. Z., XXV., p. 829.]

[Footnote 70: Da Ponte, Mem., III., p. 43. Scudo, Crit. Littér. Mus., I., p. 178.]

[Footnote 71: Castil-Blaze, Molière Musicien, I., p. 329.]

[Footnote 72: Da Ponte, Mem., III., p. 54.]

[Footnote 73: Da Ponte, Mem., III., p. 58.]

[Footnote 74: Rochlitz, A. M. Z., I., p. 51.]

[Footnote 75: E. T. A. Hoffmann's "Don Joan, eine fabelhafte Begebenheit, die
sich mit einem reisenden Enthusiasten zugetragen," written in September,
1812 (Hitzig Hoffmann's Leben, II., p. 35), appeared in the first volume
of his "Phantasie-stücke in Callot's Manier" (Bamberg, 1813). The novel
and striking ideas contained in the article made a great impression at
the time, and to Hoffmann is due the merit of adducing from the music
the poetical and psychological truth of the opera.]

[Footnote 76: I will here only mention H. G. Hotho, Vorstudien fur Leben und
Kunst (Stuttgart, 1835), p. 1; Victor Eremita, Det Musikalsk-Erotiske,
in Enten-Eller (Copenhagen, 1849), I., p. 25; and P. Scudo, Crit.
et. Littér. Music., I., p. 150. Others will occur later on; but a
compilation of all that has been written, to the purpose or not, on the
subject of Don Juan would be a very tedious and not a very profitable

[Footnote 77: The usual title of opera buffa is given to "Don Giovanni" by
Mozart in his Thematic Catalogue; in the libretto it is called "dramma

[Footnote 78: On the adaptations of this subject cf. Cailhave, De l'Art de la
Comédie (Paris, 1785), III., ix t.; II., p. 175; Kahlert, Die Sage
vom Don Juan (Freihafen, 1841), IV., 1, p. 113. Much serviceable
information, together with some nonsense, may be found in Castil-Blaze,
Molière Musicien, I., p. 189. A collection of Don Juan literature in the
Russian language, by C. Swanzow, has been sent to me by the author.]

[Footnote 79: The name and arms of the family of Tenorio (once distinguished in
Seville, but long since died out) are given by Castil-Blaze (p. 276),
from Gonzalo Argole de Molina's Nobleza de Andaluzia (Seville, 1588),
p. 222. According to Favyn (Théätre d'Honneur et de Chevalerie, Paris,
1620) Don Juan Tenorio was the companion of King Pedro (1350-1369) in
his cruelties and lusts.]

[Footnote 80: The legend is told by Castil-Blaze (p. 221), after Puibusque, Hist.
Comparée des Littér. Espagn. et Franç. (Paris, 1843). Schack asserts
that it is still current in Seville, and sold in the streets on loose
sheets, in the form of a romanze.]

[Footnote 81: Castil-Blaze, p. 222. Arnold (Mozart's Geist, p. 298) says that
the true source is a political romance by a Portuguese Jesuit, entitled
"Vita et mors sceleratissimi principis Domini Joannis."]

[Footnote 82: Schack, Gesch. der dram. Litt. u. Kunst in Spanien, II., p. 552. L.
Schmidt, Die vier bedeut Dramatiker der Spanier, p. 10. Tellez died
in 1648, seventy-eight years old; in 1621 he had already written three
hundred comedies.]

[Footnote 83: An epitome of the piece, published in Eugenio da Ochoa's Tesoro del
Teatro Espaniol (Paris, 1838, IV., p. 73), was given by Cailhava,
II., p. 179. Kahlert and Castil-Blaze. It is now accessible in the
translations of C. A. Dohrn (Spanische Dramen, I., p. 1) and L.
Braunfels (Dramen aus u. n. d. Span., I., p. 1).]

[Footnote 84: The part of Tisbea is very charmingly treated; Byron has made use
of this part of the subject.]

[Footnote 85: When Don Juan swears to marry Aminta, he says, with ambiguous

     "Wird mein Wort je im geringsten
     Falsch befunden--nun so mag mich
     Eine Leichenhrnd vernichten."]

[Footnote 86: Schack (II., p. 569), quoting from a license to publish Tirso's
works, says that they contain nothing which could offend good manners,
and that they present admirable examples to youth.]

[Footnote 87: Schack (II., p. 679).]

[Footnote 88: Riccoboni, Hist. du. Théätre Ital., I., p. 47.]

[Footnote 89: Castil-Blaze (p. 263) has a list of the editions.]

[Footnote 90: Goldoni, Mém., I., p. 163. Eximeno, L'Orig. d. Musica, p. 430.]

[Footnote 91: Cailhava, in an analysis of the Convitato (II., p. 186), remarks
that he has observed trifling alterations in different performances,
but that in essentials the piece is always the same. A more detailed
analysis of a later piece, differing somewhat in detail, is given by
Castil-Blaze (I., p. 192).]

[Footnote 92: Castil-Blaze's piece omits this adventure, and begins with Donna
Anna and the murder of the Commendatore.]

[Footnote 93: Castil-Blaze's sketch inserts the peasant wedding here.]

[Footnote 94: This piece alone was in writing, all the rest was improvised.]

[Footnote 95: Castil-Blaze, I., p. 243.]

[Footnote 96: Dictionnaire des Théätres de Paris, II., p. 539.]

[Footnote 97: The French pieces are enumerated in the Dictionnaire des Théätres
de Paris, II., p. 540.]

[Footnote 98: This absurd title, arising from an error of translation (Convitato
Convié), not only held its ground in France, even after its exposure
by De Visé (Mercure Galant, 1677, I., p. 32), but it was rendered still
more nonsensical in its German form, "Das steinerne Gastmahl," which was
the usual title in the last century.]

     "Placatevi d'Averno
     Tormentatori etemi!
     E dite per pietade
     Quando terminaran questi miei guai?"]

[Footnote 99: In the same year, 1659, Tirso's drama was played in Paris by
Spanish actors (Castil-Blaze, p. 247).]

[Footnote 100: Castil-Blaze, I., p. 246.]

[Footnote 101: Goldoni, Mém., I., 29, p. 163.]

[Footnote 102: Cailhava, II., p. 193.]

[Footnote 103: Dictionnaire des Théätres, II., p. 542.]

[Footnote 104: Dav. Erskine Baker, Biographia Dramatica (London, 1782), II., p.
188. Th. Shadwell, Poeta Laureatus under William III., lived 1640-1692.]

[Footnote 105: Schack, III., p. 469.]

[Footnote 106: Müller, Abschied, p. 63.]

[Footnote 107: Meyer, L. Schroder, I., p. 153; Cf. II., 2, pp. 55, 144.]

[Footnote 108: Meyer, II., 2, p. 44.]

[Footnote 109: Meyer, II., 2, p. 179. Schütze, Hamburg. Theatergesch., p. 375.]

[Footnote 110: [Oehler] Geschichte des ges. Theaterwesens zu Wien, p. 328.]

[Footnote 111: Sonnenfels, Ges. Schr., III., p. 139. Pohl showed me a printed
table of contents, without date or place: "Das steineme Gastmahl, oder
die redende Statue sammt Arie welche Hanns-Wurst sin get, nebst denen
Versen des Ere-miten und denen Verzweiflungs-Reden des Don Juans bey
dessen unglücksee-ligen Lebens-Ende."]

[Footnote 112: Three puppet plays from Augsburg, Strasburg, and Ulm have been
published by Scheible (Das Kloster, III., p. 699); they are very
mediocre. Molière's "Don Juan," as an opera for puppets, was played in
Hamburg in 1774 (Schletterer, Deutsch. Singsp., p. 152).]

[Footnote 113: Dictionnaire des Théätres, II., p. 540.]

[Footnote 114: Mém. sur les Spectacles de la Foire, I., p. 153.]

[Footnote 115: Schmid, Gluck, p. 83. Castil-Blaze conjectures (I., p. 265) that
this ballet was written in Parma, in 1758. Sara Goudar, in her Remarques
sur la Musique Italienne et sur la Danse (Paris, 1773), writes about
Gluck: "Gluck, Allemand comme Hasse, l'imita [Jomelli]; quelquefois
même le surpassa, mais souvent il fit mieux danser que chanter. Dans
le ballet de Don Juan, ou Le Festin de Pierre, il composa une musique
admirable" (Ouvr. Mèl., II., p. 12). Printed before Wollank's pianoforte
score, and in Lobe's Flieg. Blàtt. f. Mus., I., p. 122.]

[Footnote 117: A ballet, "II Convitato di Pietra," was given in Naples in 1780
(Signorelli, Stor. Crit. d. Teatri, X., 2, p. 172).]

[Footnote 118: This opera was also performed in Braunschweig in 1782 (Cramer,
Mag. f. Musik, I., p. 474).]

[Footnote 119: The book of the words printed in Vienna has on the title-page "da
rap-presentarsi ne' teatri privilegiati di Vienna l' anno 1777.]

[Footnote 120: Castil-Blaze, I., p. 267.]

[Footnote 121: Goethe, Briefw m. Zelter, II., p. 160.]

[Footnote 122: Musik. Monatschr., p. 122.]

[Footnote 123: Da Ponte, Mem., II., 1, p. 28.]

[Footnote 124: The manuscript (perhaps autograph) in the archives of the Society
of Musicians in Vienna bears the title, "ü Convitato di Pietra, Atto
solo del Sgr. Giuseppe Gazaniga. In S. Moisè, 1787." The greater part of
the recitative, five pieces in score, and four airs with voice part and
bass, are preserved.]

[Footnote 125: Recensionen, 1860, No. 38, p. 588.]

[Footnote 126: The fact of her non-reappearance is proved by the same singer
taking the part of Maturina.]

[Footnote 127: Here, doubtless, was inserted the quartet, "Non ti fidar o
misera," composed by Cherubini for the performance in Paris in 1792
(Scudo, Crit. et Litt. Mus., I., p. 181). Not. de Manuscr. Autogr. de
Cherubini, pp. 12, 101.]

[Footnote 128: For a performance at Ferrara, Ferrara is substituted for Venezia.]

[Footnote 129: _Atto solo_ is on the title-page instead of secondo, which is
struck out; on the second scene is _Atto secondo_, and the finale
is superscribed _Finale secondo._ On the other hand, the scenes are
continuously numbered from 1 to 24. I can only suppose that an earlier
version has been abridged for representation.]

[Footnote 130: A "Don Giovanni" ascribed to Cimarosa is the result of a mistake;
his opera, "ü Convito," composed in 1782, is an adaptation of Goldoni's
"Festino," and has nothing to do with Don Juan (Castil-Blaze, p. 267).]

[Footnote 131: When Sonnleithner had succeeded in obtaining the books of the
words printed for the first performances in Prague and Vienna, he
published a reprint of the first with the alterations and omissions of
the second, together with all the scenic remarks written by Mozart on
his score. "ü Dissoluto Punito, ossia il Don Giovanni. Dramma giocoso.
Poesia di Lorenzo da Ponte." Leipzig, 1865.]

[Footnote 132: I have, unfortunately, been unable to obtain Zamora's drama.]

[Footnote 133: Eckermann, Gespräche mit Goethe, I., p. 64.]

[Footnote 134: The scenic order, for which the books of the words give important
data, has been the subject of much recent controversy. Cf. Recensionen,
1859, No. 25. A. von Wolzogen über d. seen. Darstellung von Mozart's
"Don Giovanni" (Breslau, 1860). Bitter, Mozart's "Don Juan," p. 62.
Sonnleithner, Recensionen, 1865, No. 48. Woerz, Wien. Ztg., 1866, No.
293, &c.]

[Footnote 135: Gazzaniga's "Eximena" is wisely omitted.]

[Footnote 136: Zerlina owes to Goldoni's "Elisa" a strong tinge of frivolity; and
the credulity and inexperience of the peasant maid are not without an
alloy of sensuality. She is, however, at the same time endowed with a
natural charm that enables Mozart to represent her with full consistency
as a very lovable creature.]

[Footnote 137: This shows the progress made upon Gazzaniga's work. That which
was a mere comic by-play is here used as a motive for giving a common
interest to the characters, and leads to the recognition of Don
Giovanni, and to the climax of the finale.]

[Footnote 138: At Hamburg, members of noble families required that minuets should
be played alternately with the country dances, "that they might not be
obliged to mix with the crowd" (Meyer, L. Schroder, I., p. 150).]

[Footnote 139: Gugler's idea (Morgenbl., 1865, p. 775) that Don Giovanni feigns
his alarm, as if saying to his captors, "Your unexpected and unfounded
accusations have altogether upset me," has not convinced me.]

[Footnote 140: The air is given in the Niederrhein. Mus. Ztg., II., p. 413.
Mozart has changed the original key (A major) and somewhat condensed the
whole, to its decided advantage.]

[Footnote 141: How far superior to the senseless toasts in Righini's and
Gazzaniga's versions.]

[Footnote 142: O. Gumprecht, Deutsch. Theater-Archiv, 1859, Nos. 2, 3.]

[Footnote 143: The earliest translation is that by Bitter, mentioned by E. G.
Neefe (1789). Don Giovanni is called Herr von Schwänkereich; Leporello,
Fickfack. It circulated in manuscript, and was the foundation of most
of the earlier German versions, as well as of those by Schroder and
Rochlitz (Leipzig, 1801), which cannot be adjudged free from the faults
of their predecessors. Kugler showed by his own attempt how difficult a
task it was (Argo, 1859, p. 353). A great advance has been made in the
recent versions of W. Viol ("Don Juan": Breslau, 1858); L. Bischoff, in
Simrock's pianoforte score (Cf. Niederrh. Mus. Ztg., 1858, p. 397; 1859,
p. 88); A. von Wolzogen (Deutsche Schaub., IX., 1860); C. H. Bitter
(Mozart's "Don Juan" u. Gluck's "Iphigenia in Tauris," Berlin, 1866).
Lyser's announcement of a translation by Mozart himself (N. Ztschr.,
XXI., p. 174), of which he quoted fragments, was unquestionably the
result of a mystification, in spite of Lyser's repeated declaration that
he had copied from the autograph original in the possession of Mozart's
son (Wien. Mus. Ztg., 1845, p. 322), where Al. Fuchs did not find it
(Ibid., p. 343).]

[Footnote 144: G. Weber makes a statement with regard to Mozart's autograph
score (Cäcilia, XVIII., p. 91) which places the question of the inserted
pieces in a very clear light. The treasure, which could find no place
in any public collection of Germany, came into the possession of
Madame Pauline Viardot; a new account of it is given by Viardot in the
"Illustration" of the year 1855 (Deutsch. N. Wien. Mus. Ztg., 1856, V.,
No. 9). He relates at the close that Rossini called upon him saying: "Je
vais m'agenouiller devant cette sainte relique"; and after turing over
the score exclaimed: "C'est le plus grand, c'est le maître de tous;
c'est le seul qui ait eu autant de science que de génie et autant de
génie que de science."]

[Footnote 145: The character and meaning of this remarkable and much-discussed
piece of music are so distinctly marked that they cannot fail to be
apprehended. CL Hoffmann's suggestions (Fantasiestücke, I., 4,
Ges. Schr., VII., p. 92), Ulibicheff (Mozart, III., p. 105), Krüger
(Beitrage, p. 160), and the elaborate analysis by Lobe (A. M. Z.t XLIX.,
pp. 369, 385, 417, 441), where the effort to trace everything back to a
conscious intention has led to some singular mis* apprehensions.]

[Footnote 146: In the overture to "Cosi fan Tutte" also, Mozart has made a
humorous use of a motif from the opera; and in both cases has made
it introductory to the principal subject of the overture, which is an
altogether independent composition. The superficial device of making
the whole overture an embodiment of different subjects from the opera, a
custom introduced by Weber, would not occur to artists whose aim was to
produce a consistent whole, working from within outwards.]

[Footnote 147: In the printed score, the B of the last bar is B flat; the
original has this B flat only in the last bar but one. The position
of this chord with C sharp above B natural is unusual, but not
unprecedented. Mozart has left the chief melody undisturbed to the first
violins, the B flat of the second violins corresponding to the C of the
flutes. The repetition of the passage in the second part of the overture
is not written out.]

[Footnote 148: Marpurg, Von der Fuge, II., p. 77. Kirnberger, Kunst des reinen
satzes, II., 2, p. 18. It will be found in the Kyrie of Stolzel's Missa

[Footnote 149: Nägeli, who finds great fault with Mozart's "exaggerated and
licentious contrasts" (Vorlesungen, pp. 157, 160), asserts that the
allegro of the overture contains a bar too much, and that the rhythm is
thereby destroyed; a reproach which was thoroughly refuted by Kahlert
(N. Ztschr. f. Mus., XIX., p. 97).]

[Footnote 150: Mozart has suggested this train of ideas independently of Da
Ponte. To the Commendatore's reproach: "Cosi pretendi da me fuggir?" Don
Giovanni answers in the act of going, _sotto voce_, "Misero!" then to
the renewed exclamation, "Battiti!" he repeats, _piu voce_, "Misero!"
and not until the Commendatore has come close to him does he break out
with "Misero attendi!"]

[Footnote 151: The duel is simply and appropriately rendered by the answering
_whizzing_ passages for the violins and bass; very similar to Gluck's
ballet, only more elaborated.]

[Footnote 152: Gazzaniga has made a tolerably long piece of it, not without
expression, and the best in his opera--but how far apart from Mozart!]

[Footnote 153: Schaul (Briefe üb. d. Geschmack in der Musik, p. 51) cites this
sestet as an instance of Mozart's sins against sound sense, because it
is written in tragic instead of melodramatic style.]

[Footnote 154: The musical treatment of the words of the Commendatore has been
visibly influenced by Gluck's "Alceste." A comparison of the two will
show how skilfully Mozart introduced more delicate touches of detail
without injuring the imposing effect of the whole.]

[Footnote 155: A force and brilliancy are given to the wind instruments by means
of the trombone such as was never before dreamed of. Mozart's sheet with
the wind instruments is lost, but an old copy has the trombones.
They are not used in the overture, because he meant it to be merely
suggestive, and wished neither to lessen the impression of the actual
apparition, nor to disturb the tone character of the overture. Gugler
seeks to prove that the trombones were added later by Süssmayer
(Leipzig, A. M. Z., 1867, No. 1-3), which I am not prepared to allow.]

[Footnote 156: An instance is Leporello's confidential whisper to Elvira
(intensified in effect by the interrupted cadence on B flat and
the wonderful bassoon notes): "Sua passion predominante è la giovin

[Footnote 157: The distinguishing form of imitation appears to be always
justified psychologically by its appropriateness to the particular
character; in the quartet, for instance, Donna Anna and Don Ottavio have
the imitation; in the first finale it is given to Zerlina and Masetto.]

[Footnote 158: A. M. Z., II., p. 538.]

[Footnote 159: Beethoven declared he could not write operas like "Figaro' and
"Don Juan"; they were repulsive to him (Rellstab, Aus meinem Leben, II.,
p. 240. Cf. Beethoven's Studien, Anh., p. 22). The pure morality of
the great man, both in his life and his art, must be reverently
acknowledged; at the same time, without allowing art to stray beyond
the bounds of morality, we would not willingly see it excluded from the
representation of this phase of human nature.]

[Footnote 160: There is no truth in the remark in the Fliegende Blättem f. Musik
(I., p. 184) that the song shows Don Giovanni as he wished to appear,
while the accompaniment indicates what he really was. Don Giovanni
expresses his real feelings, and the song is not mere hypocrisy. The
peculiar character of the accompaniment is brought about simply by the
nature of the instruments.]

[Footnote 161: This little duet and chorus is written on different paper, like
Masetto's air (Anh. 2). The two were not inserted later, but written in
Prague, during the rehearsals, when the whole of this part seems to have
been revised.]

[Footnote 162: In the autograph score the second part has no new tempo marked;
Mozart intended to denote the climax by the change of beat; not by
accelerated tempo. The chromatic interlude, which Ulibicheff looks
upon as a moral warning (Vol. II., p. 125), gives me the impression of
sensual longing.]

[Footnote 163: The words which are given to Don Giovanni after the recommencement
of the minuet, "Meco tu dei ballare, Zerlina vien pur qua," are not in
the original score, nor in the libretto; later on, when he leads her to
the country dance, he says: "Il tuo compagno io sono, Zerlina vien pur

[Footnote 164: Mozart rightly calls the piece not terzetto, but aria, for Don
Giovanni's and Leporello's interruptions are only peculiarly constructed
ritornellos, and do not alter the very simple aria form of the piece.]

[Footnote 165: The assertion that Mozart wrote above the air "Nello stile di
Haendel" (Rochlitz, A. M. Z., I., p. 116) is unfounded.]

[Footnote 166: Ambros, "Grànzen der Musik und Poesie," p. 61.]

[Footnote 167: In the Fliegenden Blättern fur Musik (III., p. n.) it is pointed
out that the beginning of this melody is identical with the serenade,
and this is adduced as an instance of refined characterisation, meant
to indicate Don Giovanni's treachery to Elvira, whom he is addressing,
while he is thinking of the waiting-maid; there is no foundation for the
idea, however.]

[Footnote 168: Gumprecht's remarks on this are instructive (Klass. Sopran-album,
p. 8).]

[Footnote 169: Gazzaniga places it in recitative before the finale.]

[Footnote 170: It is an oft-repeated mistake that this part was written by Mozart
for Campi, who was born in Lublin, 1773, and had been a main support to
Guardasoni's company since 1791 (A. M. Z., II., p. 537).]

[Footnote 171: Marx, Berl. Mus. Ztg., I., p. 319. Rellstab, Ges. Schr., VI., p.
251. Genast says (Aus d. Tageb. e. alten Schausp., III., p. 171)
that Bethmann rendered Donna Anna in this sense, and that upon his
representation Schröder-Devrient copied it. Cf. A. von Wolzogen, Wilh.
Schroder-Devrient, p. 163.]

[Footnote 172: It is a great improvement on Gazzaniga's libretto that Donna Anna
does not disappear after her first entrance, but takes the place in the
plot of the meaningless Eximena; but to invent new motives for her was
beyond Da Ponte's power.]

[Footnote 173: Ulibicheff (III., p. 113), Lobe (Flieg. Blätt. f. Mus., I., p.
221), Vincent (Leipz. Theat. Ztg., 1858. Cf. Deutsche Mus. Ztg., 1860,
pp. 222, 231), have taken a right view of Don Ottavio's character.]

[Footnote 174: Marx considers the voice parts and the whole spirit of the aria
powerful and grand, but the instrumentation trivial (Kompositionslehre,
IV., p. 529); he conjectures that it may have been worked out by
Sussmayer. This conjecture is contradicted by the autograph score; and
we may rather believe that Mozart was actuated by consideration
for Saporiti's voice, and refrained from overpowering it by the

[Footnote 175: Even at the beginning of the finale there is no chorus of
villagers. Don Giovanni enters with several servants, who echo his
greeting to the guests: "Su corraggio, o buona gente!"]

[Footnote 176: Cf. Gugler, Morgenbl., 1865, No. 32, p. 749.]

[Footnote 177: Da Ponte, Mem., III., i p. 80. A. M. Z., XXIV., p. 301. Cf. A.
Schebest, Aus d. Leben e. Kunstlerin, p. 203.]

[Footnote 178: Bitter, Mozart's "Don Juan," p. 82.]

[Footnote 179: The substitution of a letter in his stead, written by him to Donna
Anna, confuses the situation without helping out Don Ottavio. Gugler,
Morgenbl., 1865, No. 33, p. 780.]

[Footnote 180: Whoever has heard this air sung by a true artist will have been
convinced that the often-abused second movement of it is a necessary
element of the characterisation.]

[Footnote 181: The same jest has been introduced by Weber in the first act of
"Der Freischütz," when the village musicians fall into the ritornello
after the mocking chorus.]

[Footnote 182: The second and third orchestra consist only of two violins and
bass, the wind instruments of the first doing duty for all; Mozart
apparently wished to avoid a multiplication of effects.]

[Footnote 183: It is remarkable that there is in the music of "Don Giovanni" no
trace of national characterisation. In this dance-music, where it
might have occurred, in the table music of the second finale and in
the serenade, Mozart has drawn his inspiration from his immediate
surroundings, and has reproduced this directly upon the stage.]

[Footnote 184: The first idea which must occur to them on the breaking out of the
storm: "How differently this fête began," is humorously suggested in
the words--[See Page Image] an echo of Don Giovanni's exclamation: "Sù
svegliatevi da bravi!"]

[Footnote 185: It has been said that the whole of the table music was inserted in
Prague during the rehearsal, and it bears all the traces of a happy and
rapidly worked-out inspiration.]

[Footnote 186: A musical friend in 1822, forestalling Meyerbeer, proposed to
sing the part of the Commendatore through a speaking-trumpet behind the
stage, while an actor was going through the gestures on the stage. A. M.
Z., XXIV., p. 230.]

[Footnote 187: At Munich the close of the finale was formerly followed by the
chorus of Furies from Vogler's "Castor und Pollux," which is in the key
of A flat major! (A. M. Z., XXIII., p. 385.)]

[Footnote 188: Gugler conjectures that the abbreviation proceeds from Sussmayer
(Leipzig, A. M. Z., 1866, p. 92), which appears to me improbable.]

[Footnote 189: Gugler, Morgenbl., 1865, No. 32, p. 745.]

[Footnote 190: Castil-Blaze, Molière Musicien, I., p. 338.]

[Footnote 191: Argo, 1854, I., p. 365. Cf. Gantter, Ulibicheff, Mozart, III., p.
361. Viol, "Don Juan," p. 25.]





FROM a practical point of view, Mozart's "Don Giovanni" did no more
than his "Figaro" towards improving his position in Vienna. His painful
pecuniary circumstances may be gathered from his letters to Puchberg
in June, 1788. A glance at the catalogue of his compositions after his
return from Prague is sufficient to indicate the fact of their having
been produced at the pleasure of pupils or patrons:--

1787. December 11. Lied, "Die kleine Spinnerin" (531 K.).

1788. January 3. Allegro and andante for pianoforte in F major (533 K.).

January 14, 23, 27. Tänze (534-536 K.).

February 24. Pianoforte concerto in D major (537 K., part 20). March
4. Air for Madame Lange, "Ah se in ciel" (538 K.). March 5. Teutsches
Kriegslied for Baumann (539 K.).

March 19. Adagio for pianoforte, B minor (540 K.).

March 24, 28, 30. Pieces for insertion in "Don Giovanni" (525, 527, 528

In May. Arietta for Signor Albertarelli, "Un bacio di mano" in the opera
of "Le Gelosie Fortunate" (541 K.).

June 22. Terzet for piano, violin, and violoncello, E major (542 K.).



1788. June 26. Symphony, E flat major (543 K.).

A short march for violin, flute, viola, horn, and violoncello, in D
major, unknown (544 K.).

A short pianoforte sonata for beginners in C major (545 K.).

A short adagio for two violins, viola, and bass, to a fugue in C minor
(546 K.).

July 10. Short pianoforte sonata for beginners, with violin, F major
(547 K.).

July 14. Terzet for piano, violin, and violoncello, in C major (548 K.).

July 16. Canzonette a 2 soprani e basso, "Più non si trovano" (549 K.).

July 25. Symphony in G minor (550 K.).

August 10. Symphony in C major (551 K.).

August 11. Ein Lied beim Auszug ins Feld, unknown (552 K.).[1]

September 2. Eight four-part and two three-part Canoni (553-562 K.).

September 27. Divertimento for violin, viola, and violoncello, in E flat
major (563 K.).

October 27. Terzet for piano, violin, and violoncello, in G major (564

October 30, December 6, December 24. Tänze (565, 567, 568 K.).

1789. January. German air, "Ohne Zwang aus freiem Triebe" (569 K.).

February. Pianoforte sonata in B flat major (570 K.).

February 21. Tänze (571 K.).

The symphonies in E flat major, G minor, and C major, written in the
three summer months of 1788, show that the inner strength was not
slumbering; but Mozart's appointment as chamber-composer to the Emperor
gave him no impulse to composition, and his official duties were
limited to the preparation of music for the masked balls in the imperial

These Redoutensale are situated in the wing of the Hof-burg, which forms
the right side of the Josephsplatz, and originally contained a theatre,
where, upon festive occasions, operas and ballets were performed before
the court; after the erection of the Burgtheater, in 1752, the old
Hoftheater was



converted into the large and small Redoutensaal now existing, and
concerts, balls, and other entertainments given there. The balls were
masked, and took place on every Carnival Sunday, on Shrove-Tuesday, and
on the three last days of Carnival. Joseph II. favoured them as a means
of drawing different classes together, and frequently appeared at them
with his court; all ranks mixed freely, and considerable license was
allowed. The usual dances were minuets, country dances, and waltzes,
in the last of which only the lower classes joined, on account of the
crowding--just as is the case in "Don Giovanni" (p. 163). The
management of the Redoute was generally in the same hands as that of the
Opera-Theatre, the two being farmed out together. The court monopolised
the Opera-Theatre in 1778 and the Kàrnthnerthortheater in 1785, and kept
the control over them until August, 1794. Thus it came about that the
court theatrical-director ordered the dance music, and although the
pay was only a few ducats for a set of dances, the services of good
composers were claimed for the purpose; Haydn, Eybler, Gyrowetz, Hummel,
and Beethoven all composed for the Redoute, as well as Mozart.[3] During
the years succeeding his appointment--1788, 1789, 1791--Mozart composed
a number of different dances for the masked balls:--

1788. January 14. Country dance "Das Donnerwetter" (534 K.).

January 23. Country dance, "Die Bataille" (535 K.).

January 27. Six waltzes (536 K.).

October 30. Two country dances (565 K.).

December 6. Six waltzes (567 K.).

December 24. Twelve minuets (568 K.).

1789. February 21. Six waltzes (571 K.).

December. Twelve minuets (585 K.).

Twelve waltzes. N.B.--A country dance, "Der Sieg vom Helden Coburg"
(against the Turks, October, 1789) (586, 587 K.).

1791. January 23. Six minuets for the Redoute (599 K.).

January 29. Siz waltzes (600 K.).

February 5. Four minuets and four waltzes (601, 602 K.).

Two country dances. (603 K.).



1791. February 12. Two minuets and two waltzes (604, 605 K.).

February 28. Country dance, "II. Trionfo delle Donne" (607 K.).

March 6. Country dance, "Die Leyer" (610 K.).[4]

Waltz with Leyer-trio (611 K.).[5]

No dances are chronicled in 1790, the illness and subsequent death of
the Emperor (February 20) having doubtless put a temporary stop to such
entertainments. Those in the list are for the most part composed for
full orchestra, and those with which I am acquainted make no claim to be
considered otherwise than as actual dance music, with pleasing melodies
and fresh rhythm--innocent recreations, betraying the master's hand in
touches here and there.[6] As the only musical task imposed upon him
by virtue of his office, they might well give rise to his bitter remark
that his salary was too high for what he did, too low for what he could
do (Vol. II., p. 276).

A commission more worthy his fame was intrusted to him by Van Swieten,
who, having brought with him from Berlin an enthusiastic admiration for
Handel's oratorios, sought to introduce them in Vienna. He not only gave
frequent concerts at his residence in the Renngasse, for the exclusive
performance of classical music, but he arranged grand performances of
Handel's oratorios, supported by all the vocal and instrumental forces
at his command. He induced several art-loving noblemen (among them the
Princes Schwarzen-berg, Lobkowitz, and Dietrichstein, Counts Appony,
Batthiany, Franz Esterhazy, &c.) to cover by a subscription the cost of
these performances. They took place generally in



the great hall of the Court Library (of which Van Swieten was chief
director); sometimes at the palace of one or other of the patrons, and
always in the afternoon, by daylight. There was no charge for admission,
the audience being invited guests. The performances were arranged
according to circumstances, taking place generally in the spring, before
the nobility left Vienna for their country estates. The performers were
principally members of the Court-Kapelle and of the operatic orchestra,
and the preparation was undertaken entirely by Van Swieten, in whose
house the rehearsals took place. He himself arranged "Athalia," and very
probably also "The Choice of Hercules," for a performance after Mozart's
death. The conductorship was at first intrusted to Joseph Starzer, who
had arranged "Judas Maccabæus";[7] after his death, on April 22,
1787, Mozart took his place, and young Joseph Weigl accompanied on the

"Acisand Galatea" was first performed, Mozart's arrangement of it
appearing in his own catalogue, in November, 1788; Caroline Pichler
retained in her old age a lively recollection of the impression made on
her by this performance.[9] It was followed by the "Messiah," in March,
1789.[10] Great expectations were excited by this oratorio, by reason
of the magnificent performances of it which had been given at the London
Handel festivals in 1784 and 1785,[11] at the cathedral



in Berlin, by Hiller, on May 19, 1786 (with Italian words),[12] at the
University Church in Leipzig,[13] on November 3,1786, and May 11,1787,
and at Breslau[14] on May 30,1788. Finally, in July, 1790, Mozart
arranged the "Ode for St. Cecilia's Day" and the "Feast of Alexander."
It was considered necessary, in order not to distract the attention of
the public by the unusual effects of Handel's orchestra, to modify
the instrumentation.[15] Even Hiller remarks (Nachricht, p. 14), "Many
improvements may be made in Handel's compositions by the employment of
the wind instruments, according to the fashion of the present day. In
the whole of the 'Messiah,' Handel appears never to have thought of the
oboes, flutes, or French horns, all of which are so often employed to
heighten or strengthen the effect in our present orchestras. I need not
remark that the alterations must be made with care and discretion." But
he went far beyond these "innocent" views; he shortened and altered the
composition itself, especially in the airs and recitatives, and wrote
"an entirely new score, as far as may be what Handel would himself have
written at the present day" (Betracht-ungen, p. 16). He was convinced
that "only a pedantic lover of old fashions, or a pedantic contemner
of what is good in the new ones" would find fault with this proceeding
(Betracht-ungen, p. 18). The object with which Mozart undertook to
rearrange the instrumentation of Handel's works was the strengthening
and enriching of the orchestra to enable it to dispense with the organ
or harpsichord, to which the working-out of the harmonies had originally
been intrusted. This was principally effected by the introduction of



instruments. Mozart's autograph scores of "Acis and Galatea" (566 K.),
of "The Ode for St. Cecilia's Day" (592 K.),[16] and of the "Feast of
Alexander" (591 K.),[17] preserved in the Royal Library in Berlin, show
how he set about his task. The voice parts and stringed instruments have
been transferred to his score, and left as Handel wrote them, with the
exception that where Handel has provided a violin part, Mozart
employs the second violin and viola to fill in the harmonies. The wind
instruments have been altogether omitted by the copyist in order
to leave Mozart free play. Wherever Handel has employed them
characteristically, they are so preserved, but when, as often happens,
the oboes are the sole representatives of the wind instruments, Mozart
has proceeded independently, sometimes replacing them by other single
instruments, frequently clarinets--flutes only very occasionally,
sometimes introducing the whole body of wind instruments. This he does
also in some places where Handel has not even employed oboes, if it is
needed to give force or fulness to the whole.

The frequent introduction of the clarinets replaced the full and
powerful organ tones, but without any express imitation of that
particular sound-effect by Mozart. The whole character of the
instrumentation was necessarily modified, and even the portions which
were literally



transcribed from Handel's original have a very different effect in their
altered surroundings. Mozart has proceeded quite as independently in
dealing with the harpsichord parts. Not content with filling in the
prescribed or suggested harmonies and regulating the due succession of
chords, he has also made an independent disposition of the middle
parts and given them free movement. The subjects employed by Handel are
further developed, and sometimes a new motif has occurred to him as
an enlivenment to the accompaniment, in which case the additional wind
instruments are employed to advantage. The harpsichord is treated, in
the main, as might be expected from a first-rate organist of that time,
and it is difficult at the present day to reproduce what so much depends
upon the free co-operation of the performer.[18] The objection
which may be raised against the alteration and partial remodelling of
a carefully thought-out and finished work by a strange hand is
unanswerable. The most loving and intelligent treatment cannot avoid
inequality and incongruity; compared with what has been literally
transmitted, every modification reflects, both in kind and degree, the
individual learning and taste of the adapter. On the whole, however,
Mozart's arrangements evince the greatest reverence for Handel, combined
with a masterly use of all available resources, and they afford a
proof as interesting as it is instructive of the study which Mozart had
bestowed upon Handel, of the spirit in which he undertook his task, and
of his thorough and delicate apprehension of foreign creations.

Mozart had heard the "Messiah" in 1777 at Mannheim, but apparently it
had made no more lasting impression upon him than upon the public. Now,
however, he approached the masterpiece with far other predilections,
and the adaptation opened to him many points of interest. The three
oratorios already mentioned were so moderate in length as to be suited
for performance entire, but the greatly



disproportionate length of the "Messiah" made its curtailment a
necessary part of its adaptation (572 K.). Several pieces were omitted,
and others were shortened; but a proof that other and more important
alterations were contemplated is afforded by a letter from Van Swieten
to Mozart (March 21, 1789), given by Niemetschek (p. 46): "Your idea
of turning the words of the unimpassioned air into a recitative is
excellent; and in case you should not have retained the words, I have
copied and now send them to you. The musician who is able to adapt and
to amplify Handel's work so reverently and so judiciously, that on
the one side he satisfies modern taste, and on the other preserves the
integrity of his subject, has appreciated the great master's work, has
penetrated to the source of his inspiration, and will doubtless draw
from the same well himself. It is thus that I regard what you have
accomplished, and I need not therefore again assure you of my entire
confidence, but only beg you to let me have the recitative as soon as
possible." Nevertheless, this idea, judging from the published score,
was not carried out. In the arrangement of the orchestra, Mozart has
gone further than in the previous works. Sometimes there has been an
external necessity for altering even characteristic instrumentation,
as in the air, "The trumpet shall sound" (No. 44). There were no solo
trumpeters such as existed in Handel's time, and an attempt was made to
preserve the effect as far as possible by rearrangement. He has altered,
however, even without such occasion as this, and many instances of
instrumental arrangement might be cited as far transgressing the bounds
within which interference with a work of art is justifiable.[19]
In themselves these same portions are admirable alike in their
sound-effects and musical treatment, and in the delicate discrimination
with which Mozart has made his additions appear as the natural
development of Handel's ideas; we can see how the fascination of
continuing the weaving of the threads from the master's hands has



him to overstep the boundary. In doing so, however, the connection of
the parts has been lost, and the unity of the whole has been disturbed.
One of the most remarkable examples is the air, "The people that walked
in darkness," in which the wind instruments added by Mozart are foreign
to Handel's purpose, but nevertheless of very fine effect, and certainly
not deserving of the reproach of "doleful sound-painting" ("betrübter
Malerei").[20] It was to be expected that Mozart's adaptation should
attract both praise[21] and blame,[22] while those, such as Rochlitz[23]
and Zelter,[24] who went deeper into the subject found much that was
excellent and also much that was faulty in the work, at the same time
that they gave due consideration to the occasion that called it forth
and the design with which it was undertaken.

It must not be forgotten that these adaptations were undertaken by
Mozart solely for Van Swieten's performances, and that his individual
taste and the exigences of the representation must have exercised
considerable influence upon them. He must certainly not be credited with
the wish to improve upon Handel;[25] his intention has rather been so to
popularise his works as to bring them home to the



public, without altering any of the more important parts. That the
adaptations should have been published and accepted as regular improved
editions of the original was not his fault, though he has often had to
do penance for it. It must be remembered also that the historic theory
which holds that every work of art should be carefully preserved in the
form wherein its author has embodied it was then non-existent.

The majority of compositions have been directly the result of
circumstances determining the direction of the artist's energies; they
laboured for the future while seeking to satisfy the present. They
therefore made free use of their works for subsequent elaboration,
altering what was needful, and adapting them to the particular occasions
on which they were performed by means of additions, omissions, and
alterations. The same freedom was thought allowable with the works of
other masters, especially those of an earlier time, so that the public
might the more easily and comfortably enjoy what was set before it. A
knowledge of what was then thought excusable in this direction[26] will
serve to increase our respect for the artistic spirit in which Mozart
performed his task.[27] The scientific and historic ideas which have
permeated the cultivation of our times require the enjoyment of a work
of art to be founded upon historical insight and appreciation, and to
this end it must be represented exactly as the artist has produced it.
But this principle, true as it is in itself, can only be applied with
considerable practical limitations, and it is doubtful how far the
general public is capable of apprehending and approving it; in any case
it is much to be desired that the fashion in such matters should not be
set by pedants.[28]


[Footnote 1: Wien. Ztg., 1789, No. 69, Anh., advertises Frûhlingslied and
Kriegslied by Mozart.]

[Footnote 2: In the grand pasticcio arranged by Da Ponte, "L'Ape Musicale," a
couple of airs by Mozart are inserted (Wien. Ztg., 1789, No. 23, Anh.).]

[Footnote 3: I owe these particulars to the courtesy of Sonnleithner.]

[Footnote 4: Wien. Ztg., 1791, No. 44, Anh., announces thirteen German
waltzes, thirteen trios and coda, among which are the "Leyer" and

[Footnote 5: André's Catalogue includes, besides five minuets signed "Di
Wolfgango Amadeo Mozart, Vienna, 1784" (461 K.), and the Prague
"Teutschen" (509 K.) already mentioned (Vol. III., p. 125), several
other dances, certainly belonging to an earlier date. Printed and
written collections of dances in the most varied arrangements have been
circulated under Mozart's name, although of very doubtful authenticity.]

[Footnote 6: Under Mozart's name an "Anleitung soviel Walzer oder Schleifer
mit zwei Wurfeln zu componiren, soviel man will, ohne musikalisch zu
verstehen," was published in four languages by Hammel (Amsterdam, Berlin
and elsewhere). I am not aware whether he had any share in it.]

[Footnote 7: The often-expressed opinion that Mozart arranged "Judas Maccabæus"
(A. M. Z., XXII., p. 30) has been corrected by Sonnleithner (Cäcilia,
XVIII., p. 242). "Judas Maccabæus" was performed as early as 1779, at
the Concert for the Pensionsinstitut (Wien. Mus. Ztg., 1842, p. 70).]

[Footnote 8: These particulars, communicated to me by Sonnleithner, rest partly
on the testimony of the University Apparitor, Joh. Schönauer, who had
assisted at these performances as a boy.]

[Footnote 9: Car. Pichler, Denkw., IV., p. 21. Schönauer said that Mozart gave
a benefit performance of "Acis and Galatea" in Jahn's Hall, at which
Mdlle. Cavalieri, Adamberger, and Gsur sang the solo parts.]

[Footnote 10: Carpani mentions a performance of the "Messiah" in the
Schwarzenberg Palace; perhaps a later one (Hayd., p. 64).]

[Footnote 11: Burney's "Nachricht," translated by Eschenburg (Berlin, 1785). The
first time there were over 500, the second time over 660 performers. In
consequence of this the "Messiah" was performed in Copenhagen in March,
1786. (Cramer, Mag. f. Mus., II., p. 960.)]

[Footnote 12: J. A. Hiller, Nachricht von der Auftuhrung des Händelschen Messias
(Berlin, 1786, 4), with Hiller's portrait. There were about 300

[Footnote 13: This again gave rise to some explanatory pamphlets from Hiller:
Fragment aus Handel's Messias; Ueber Alt und Neu in der Musik; Der
Messias von Handel nebst angehängten Betrachtungen darûber. On this
occasion there were more than 200 performers; the enthusiasm of the
audience was great, as was testified by a then youthful member of it
(Reichardt's Mus. Ztg., I., p. 126. Cf. Rochlitz, Für Freunde der Tonk.,
I., p. 22. A. M. Z., XXX., p. 491).]

[Footnote 14: Hiller gave explanatory comments on the words. They were published
in the Schles. Provinzial-Blätter, 1788, p. 549. Particulars are given
by Baumgart, Abh. d. Schles. Ges. Phil. hist. Abth., 1862, I., p. 46.]

[Footnote 15: The pastoral, "Acis and Galatea," was composed by Handel at Cannons
in 1720 (Chrysander, Handel, I., p. 479).]

[Footnote 16: In pursuance of an old custom of celebrating St. Cecilia's Day by
music, a musical society had been founded in London, which instituted
a grand performance on that day; the music and words were expressly
written for the occasion, and the praise of music formed the subject. A
long list of celebrated poems and compositions by the first masters was
the result. W. H. Husk (An Account of the Musical Celebrations on St.
Cecilia's Day, London, 1857. Chrysander, Handel, II., p. 412. Pohl.
Mozart u. Haydn in London, p. 12). Dryden's Song for St. Cecilia's Day,
"From harmony, from heavenly harmony, this universal frame began," was
written in 1687, and set to music by Draghi; Handel composed the same
poem in the autumn of 1739. (Chrysander, Handel, II., p. 430.)]

[Footnote 17: Dryden's "Alexander's Feast" was written in 1697, and performed
with Jer. Clark's music. Handel composed it in 1736; at the second
performance in 1737, a duet and chorus, the words by Newburgh Hamilton,
were added, but are not included in Mozart's arrangement. (Chrysander,
Handel, II., p. 413).]

[Footnote 18: The excellent pianoforte arrangement, which is published by the
German Handel Society with the score of "Acis and Galatea," shows
throughout a similar working-out and arrangement.]

[Footnote 19: Mozart is not answerable for all that stands in the printed score.
The air, "If God is for us" (No. 48), with bassoon accompaniment, is, as
Baumgarten has proved (Niederrh. Mus. Ztg., 1862, No. 5, p. 35), taken
from Hiller's arrangement.]

[Footnote 20: Thibaut, Ueb. Reinheit d. Tonk., p. 66.]

[Footnote 21: In Fr. Th. Mann's musik. Taschenb. for 1805, we read (p. 3): "Der
genielle Mozart erhob jene bis zur Manier getriebene Simplicitat, jene
lang-weilige ermüdende Leere durch Ausfullung der Begleitung. Göttliche
Zierden sind es, die Mozart aus der Fülle seiner Harmonie hier zusetzte,
die aber bei diesem fur solche Schönheit unorganisirten Werk so isolirt
stehen, dass sie einen zweiten Bestandtheil ausmachen!"]

[Footnote 22: A notice from Hamburg (Reichardt's Mus. Ztg., I., p. 197) says
of Mozart's arrangement: "Michel Angelo's Gemälde muss kein David
über-malen wollen." Setzte doch Handel zu Mozart's Opern keine Orgel u.
s. w. oder vielmehr strich keine--weg"; whereupon Reichardt remarks that the
omitted word is illegible in the "esteemed correspondent's" handwriting.]

[Footnote 23: Jen. Allg. Litt. Ztg., 1804, I., p. 601. Rochlitz names himself as
the author of the detailed review (Fur Freunde der Tonk., I., p. 259).
Cf. A. M. Z., IX., p. 476; XV., p. 428; XXIX., p. 692.]

[Footnote 24: Reichardt's Mus. Ztg., I., p. 41. Zelter, who owns to this review
to Goethe (Briefw., II., p. 302; III., p. 418), used to perform the
"Messiah" in Mozart's version, with alterations and omissions (Berl.
Allg. Mus. Ztg., 1824, p. 427).]

[Footnote 25: Cf. Parke, Mus. Mem., II., 76.]

[Footnote 26: Thus Hiller not only rearranged the instrumentation of Pergolese's
"Stabat Mater," but adapted it partially as a four-part chorus; J. A.
Schulze turned six instrumental adagios, by J. Haydn, into a cantata,
"Der Versöhnungstod," for chorus and orchestra. And how was Mozart's
church music treated! (App. 2.)]

[Footnote 27: Gerber undertook, in all seriousness, to perform the choruses of
the "Messiah" in Mozart's version, but to have all the airs recomposed
by approved composers (A. M. Z., XX., p. 832).]

[Footnote 28: The conclusion to Gluck's overture to "Iphigenie in Aulis," which
has been, without proof, ascribed to Mozart, is, according to Marx
(Gluck, II., p. 71), by J. P. Schmidt.]





MOZART'S unsatisfactory position in Vienna, both from a pecuniary and a
professional point of view,[1] doubtless inclined him for a professional
tour, to which the immediate inducement was an invitation from Prince
Karl Lichnowsky, husband of the Countess Thun, a zealous musical
connoisseur and a pupil and ardent admirer of Mozart. His estates
in Schleswig and his position in the Prussian army necessitated his
residence from time to time in Berlin; and, being on the point of
repairing thither in the spring of 1789, he invited Mozart to accompany
him. The musical taste and liberality of Frederick William II. augured
well for the expedition, and Lichnowsky's support was likely to prove a
valuable aid. Accordingly on April 8, 1789, they set out.[2] At Prague,
where they remained only one day, a contract with Guardasoni for an
opera to be written in the autumn was "almost settled"; unfortunately
only _almost_, for it does not appear to have gone further. Mozart was
especially delighted with the news brought to him from Berlin by his old
friend Ramm, that the King, having been informed of his intended visit,
had asked repeatedly if the plan was likely to be carried out.

At Dresden, where they arrived on April 12, Mozart's first care was to
seek out his friend Madame Duschek, who was visiting the Neumann family;
he was soon quite at home with these "charming people." Joh. Leop.
Neumann, Secretary to the Military Council, was highly esteemed for his
literary and musical activity. He translated for his intimate friend
Naumann the operas "Cora" and

{DRESDEN, 1789.}


"Amphion," and in 1777 he founded a musical academy;[3] his wife was
considered a first-rate pianoforte-player.[4] Through them Mozart was
introduced to the musical world of Dresden--among others to Körner,
an interesting proof of whose friendship remains in a crayon sketch
of Mozart drawn by Komer's sister-in-law, Dora Stock, in 1789.
Kapellmeister Naumann--a Mass composed by whom he heard and thought very
"mediocre"--inspired him with instantaneous dislike; and the feeling
appears to have been mutual, if, as tradition reports, Naumann used to
call Mozart a musical _sans culotte_.[5]

A summons to play before the court on April 14 was regarded as an
unusual honour, and was followed by a present of 100 ducats.[6]
Elsewhere he played with his usual readiness and good nature; and the
interest which was felt in him was increased by a competition in which
he came off with flying colours. His rival was Hàssler of Erfurt,[7] who
happened to be in Dresden at the time, and was considered a pianoforte
and organ-player of the first rank. Much was said in praise of his
astonishing executive powers, of his brilliant and fiery delivery,[8]
of his singular gift "of putting expression into the most rapid
prestissimo--so that in softness and pathos it was equal to an
adagio"[9]--and of his wonderful memory, enabling him to play the
most difficult compositions without the notes. As an organ-player his
dexterity with the pedal was specially admired.[10] He had an



excellent opinion of himself; and when in the summer of 1788 he was in
Dresden, "exciting the liveliest astonishment in all who heard him
by his inexpressibly affecting playing," he let it be known that he
intended to proceed to Vienna, "in order to prove to the Vienna public
in competition with the great Mozart, that strong as the latter may be
upon the pianoforte, he cannot play the clavichord."[11] To Mozart he
appeared no formidable antagonist; he gave him credit for his dexterity
in the use of the pedal, but placed him below Albrechtsberger as an
organ-player, and compared him to Aurnhammer as a pianist.

Mozart's visit to Leipzig left behind a strong and pleasant impression.
Fr. Rochlitz, then a young man, became intimate with him at the house
of their common friend Doles,[12] and preserved a number of interesting
traits, characteristic both of the man and the artist. He was cheerful
and amiable in society, outspoken in his judgments of art and artists,
and responsive to any display of interest in music; "not niggardly of
his art, as so many musicians are." Almost every evening during his stay
in Leipzig he took part in musical entertainments at different houses,
and when quartets were played he took the piano or tenor part. The
violinist Berger, who was generally of the party, used, as an old man,
when any of these pieces were brought forward, to whisper to a friend
with tender emotion, "Ah, I had once the honour of accompanying the
great Mozart himself in that piece."[13] An ear-witness gave the
following account:--

On April 22 he played the organ of the Thomaskirche, without previous
notice, and gratuitously. He played very finely for an hour to a large
audience. The then organist, Gorner, and the cantor, Doles, sat near
him and pulled the stops. I saw him well; a young, well-dressed man
of middle height. Doles was quite delighted with the performance, and
declared that his old master, Sebastian Bach, had



risen again. Mozart brought to bear all the arts of harmony with the
greatest ease and discrimination, and improvised magnificently on every
theme given--among others on the chorale, "Jesu meine Zuversicht."[14]

Doles in return made his Thomaner scholars sing for Mozart Bach's
motett, "Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied," and we have already seen
how intensely delighted he was, and how eagerly he at once set about
studying Bach's other motetts (Vol. II., p. 416). Shortly after this,
and apparently without having given a concert, Mozart continued his
journey to Berlin, and thence immediately proceeded to Potsdam, where
Lichnowsky presented him to the King. Frederick William II. possessed
remarkable talent and love for music. He played the violoncello
well, not only as a soloist, but frequently also in the orchestra
at rehearsals.[15] Even before his accession to the throne he had
maintained a well-appointed and excellent Kapelle under the leadership
of the violoncellist Duport senior (1741-1818); concerts were regularly
performed before him, and he was fond of hearing foreign virtuosi.[16]
Reichardt credits him with great universality of taste,[17] which was
of special advantage to music after Frederick the Great's bigoted
prejudice. It was at the King's instigation that Reichardt organised his
Concerts Spirituels, at which the older Italian music was principally
performed; he esteemed highly both Handel and Gluck, and both at his
concerts and on the stage showed equal favour to Italian, French, and
German music; the improved instrumental music called into being by Haydn
found a sympathetic patron in him. After his accession, in 1786, musical
enterprise had still more cause to rejoice in the royal favour.
He united his own with the royal Kapelle and placed Reichardt as
Kapellmeister at their head. The grand Italian opera given at the
Carnival was brilliantly appointed, and Naumann's services as a composer
were retained, together with those of Alessandri



and Reichardt. The hitherto little-esteemed German drama was elevated to
the rank of a national theatre, and a regular support was secured to it,
which had great weight in the elevation of German opera. Nor were opera
buffa or the French opera neglected; on one evening, during a court
festival, in the summer of 1789, Cimarosa's "Falegname," Dalayrac's
"Nina," and Reichardt's "Claudine von Villa-bella" were performed. The
King's concerts were conducted in the same manner as before, remaining
under Duport's leadership.

The King welcomed foreign artists not only liberally in point
of payment, but with the utmost kindness and freedom of personal
intercourse, so that it is not surprising that they should have held
him in great reverence, and approached him with large expectations.[18]
Mozart's best introductions to the King's favour were his instrumental
compositions, especially his quartets, and the very successful
performance of his "Entführung" which had taken place in Berlin; there
can be little doubt that he confirmed the good opinion conceived of him
by his accomplishments as a virtuoso and by his general demeanour. But
he found a powerful opponent in the haughty and intriguing Duport.[19]
At Mozart's first visit he insisted on speaking French, which Mozart,
although familiar with the language, decidedly declined doing. "The
grinning mounseer," said he, "has been long enough making German money,
and eating German bread, to be able to speak the German language, or to
murder it as best he may, with his French grimaces."[20] Duport did not
forgive him, and did all he could to prejudice the King against him,
although Mozart paid him the compliment of composing variations (573
K.) to a charming minuet of Duport's (April 29, 1789), and of performing
them himself. But the King was proof against



Duport's ill-nature, invited Mozart regularly to his concerts, and
was fond of hearing him play. When he asked him what he thought of the
Berlin Kapelle, Mozart answered frankly, that it contained the best
performers in the world, but that if the gentlemen would play together
it would be an improvement.[21] This implied disapprobation of the
Kapellmeister Reichardt, whose direction had indeed been found fault
with by others.[22] We hear of no intercourse between the two artists;
perhaps some such sharp expressions as the above were the cause of
the grudging notices of Mozart by Reichardt and the journals under his
influence, which we cannot fail to remark.[23] No two natures could well
be more dissimilar. Reichardt was undoubtedly a distinguished man; he
had musical talent, a keen intellect, varied cultivation, and great
energy; but ambition, vanity, and a passionate temper seldom allowed him
to arrive at a calm judgment, and he was in continual search of some new
way in which to bring himself forward. The journalist and the musician,
the critic and the composer, trod close on each other's heels; and while
always seeking to gain credit for originality of style, his greater
compositions are in truth uncertain and unequal, and seldom produce the
desired effect. No wonder that he failed to understand a nature such as
Mozart's, which, undisturbed by external considerations, followed its
creative impulses from sheer inner necessity; no wonder, either, that so
failing, he should have sought to justify his aversion to his rival on
polemical grounds.[24] Mozart's remark must have made some impression
on the King, since he soon after offered him the post of Kapellmeister,
with a salary of 3,000 dollars. This offer, however, consideration for
the Emperor Joseph induced Mozart to decline.[25]



During his stay in Potsdam, Mozart resided in the house of the
well-known hom-player Thùrschmidt, with whom he had become acquainted in
Paris; he was a constant guest also of the hospitable and music-loving
Sartory, an artist of architectural ornament, who had been much in
Italy, and welcomed all who took interest in his favourite art; Mozart's
playing and sociability made him, as may be imagined, the centre of this
cheerful society.[26] Another of his friends was the charming singer
Sophie Niclas, sister to the Kammer-musikus Semler, who had made a very
successful appearance as Constanze in the "Entführung" in 1784:[27]--

On one occasion, at her house, he was asked to improvise something.
Readily, as his custom was, he complied, and seated himself at the
piano, having first been provided with two themes by the musicians who
were present. Madame Niclas stood near his chair to watch him playing.
Mozart, who loved a joke with her, looked up and said, "Come! haven't
you a theme on your mind for me too?" She sang him one, and he began the
most charming fantasia, now on the one subject, now on the other,
ending by bringing them all three together, to the intense delight and
amazement of all who were present.[28]

Arrangements were made during Mozart's stay in Berlin for a return visit
to Leipzig, where in the meantime a concert for his benefit was being
organised; he arrived there on May 8. At the rehearsal for this concert
he took the tempo of the first allegro of his symphony so fast that the
orchestra was very soon in inextricable confusion. Mozart stopped, told
the players what was wrong, and began again as fast as before, doing all
he could to keep the orchestra together, and stamping the time with his
foot so energetically that his steel shoe-buckle snapped in two.[29] He
laughed at this, and as they still dragged, he began a third time; the



grown impatient, worked in desperation, and at last it went right. "It
was not caprice," he said afterwards to some musical friends, whom he
had lectured only a short time before on the subject of too rapid tempo,
"but I saw at once that most of the players were men advanced in years;
there would have been no end to the dragging if I had not worked them up
into a rage, so that they did their best out of pure spite." The rest
of the symphony he took in moderate time, and after the song had been
rehearsed he praised the accompaniment of the orchestra, and said
that it would be unnecessary to rehearse his concerto: "The parts are
correctly written out, you play accurately, and so do I"; and the result
showed that his confidence was not misplaced.[30]

The concert[31] was poorly attended, and scarcely paid the expenses of
Mozart's journey to Leipzig. Almost half the audience had free tickets,
which, with his usual liberality, Mozart gave away to every one he
knew. He required no chorus, and the fairly numerous chorus-singers
were therefore excluded from their usual free admission. Some of them
inquired at the ticket-office whether this was really to be the case;
and as soon as Mozart heard of the inquiry he gave orders that the
good folks should all be admitted: "Who would think of enforcing such
a rule?" The poor audience had not the effect of damping his musical
enthusiasm or good humour. His own compositions only were performed; he
conducted two symphonies, as yet unpublished, and then Madame Duschek
sang the air composed for Storace with obbligato pianoforte (505 K.); he
himself played two concertos, one of them the great C major (467 K.), as
usual without notes. He complied with ready goodwill to the request for
an improvisation at the close of the concert; and after it was over, as
though he were then just warming to



his work, he took his friend Berger into his room and played far into
the night.[32]

Mozart returned to Berlin[33] on May 19, and his "Entführung" was
performed the same evening "by general desire."[34] He went to the
theatre, seated himself close to the orchestra, and attracted the
attention of his immediate neighbours by his _sotto voce_ remarks on
the performance. In Pedrillo's air at the words "nur ein feiger Tropf
verzaget," the second violins played D sharp instead of D, whereupon
Mozart angrily exclaimed, "Damn it, play D, will you!" Every one looked
round astonished, and the orchestra recognised him. Madame Baranius, who
was playing Blondchen, refused to make her exit until Mozart went on
to the stage, complimented her, and promised to study the part with her
himself.[35] This promise, according to old tradition in Berlin,[36]
involved him in a questionable adventure. Henriette Baranius (_née_
Husen) made her appearance at a very early age in Berlin in 1784, and
became the darling of the public, more from her remarkable beauty and
grace than from her talents as an actress and a singer, although these
were by no means inconsiderable.[37] She was much talked of, and the
theatrical critics of the time were never tired of admiring her costly
and tasteful dresses, which in defiance of all precedent she insisted
upon wearing in parts to which they were unsuited.[38] She was accused
of making the most of her attractions in private as well as in public,
and Mozart, it was said, became so deeply involved with her that it
cost his friends much trouble to extricate him. His letters to his wife
during this period make the story almost incredible.

Another and more innocent encounter took place in the



theatre. Ludwig Tieck, as a youth, was frequently at the house of
Reichardt, and there first began "to divine the mysteries of music in
classical works":--

Led by his own inclination, and in opposition to the prevailing taste,
he addicted himself to Mozart's great compositions, uninfluenced by
contemporary critics, or even by so powerful an opinion as that of
Reichardt. Mozart's victorious rival was Dittersdorf, whose comic operas
were played in Berlin to crowded audiences. The "Doctor und Apotheker"
was preferred to "Figaro" or "Don Juan," and "Die Liebe im Narrenhause"
was in the public estimation the greatest of musical works. Ludwig's
veneration for Mozart was destined to receive an unexpected reward. One
evening during the year 1789, entering the theatre, as his custom was,
long before the performance began, and while it was still empty and
half-lighted, he perceived a strange man in the orchestra. He was
short, quick, restless, and weak-eyed--an insignificant figure in a grey
overcoat. He went from one desk to another, and appeared to be hastily
looking through the music placed on them. Ludwig at once entered into
conversation with him. They spoke of the orchestra, the theatre, the
opera, the public taste. He expressed his opinions without reserve, and
declared his enthusiastic admiration of Mozart's operas. "Do you really
hear Mozart's works often, and love them?" asked the stranger--"that is
very good of you, young sir." The conversation continued for some time
longer; the theatre began to fill, and at last the stranger was called
away from the stage. His talk had produced a singular effect upon
Ludwig, who made inquiries concerning him, and learnt that it was Mozart
himself, the great master, who had conversed with him, and expressed his
obligation to him.[39]

Hummel, who, as Mozart's pupil, had played in Dresden on March 10 with
great success,[40] was giving a concert in Berlin, without being aware
of Mozart's presence. When the boy descried him among the audience, he
could scarcely contain himself, and as soon as his piece was ended, he
pushed his way through the audience and embraced him with the tenderest
expressions of joy at seeing him.[41] During this



second visit to Berlin, on May 26, Mozart played before the Queen, which
was considered a politic step, without any expectation of a handsome
present in return. Following the advice of his friends, he did not
attempt a public concert, seeing that there was no chance of a large
profit, and the King was averse to it. The latter, however, sent him
a present of 100 friedrichsdor, and expressed a wish that Mozart would
write some quartets for him. This was the whole result of the tour,
diminished by a loan of 100 florins which Mozart thought it incumbent on
him to make to a friend; he might well write to his wife that she must
be glad to see him, not the money he was bringing.

Very different was the career of Dittersdorf, who came to Berlin in July
of the same year. He had chosen the time when the visit of the Governess
of the Netherlands occasioned festivities of every kind, and he
refreshed the memory of the King, who had seen and invited him at
Breslau, by the presentation of six new symphonies. Immediately upon
his arrival he managed to ingratiate himself with Reichardt, was by him
presented to Madame Rietz, afterwards Countess Lichtenau, and was
very soon commanded by the King to put his "Doctor und Apotheker" in
rehearsal, and to conduct it at a court festival at Charlottenburg;
he also received permission to produce his oratorio of "Job" in the
opera-house (hitherto only used by the court), with the resources of the
royal Kapelle at his disposal. This, with additions from other sources,
increased his _personnel_ to 200, and the performance was highly
successful, Dittersdorf quitting Berlin rich in money and honours.[42]

On May 28 Mozart set out on his homeward journey by way of Dresden and
Prague, where he made a stay of a few days.


[Footnote 1: A proof of this is a note of hand for 100 florins, dated April 2,
1789. Cf. O. Jahn, Ges. Aufs., p. 234.]

[Footnote 2: The principal sources of information for this journey are Mozart's
letters to his wife.]

[Footnote 3: Heymann, Dresden's Schriftsteller u. Kunstler, p. 280. Meissner,
Biqgr. Naumanns, II., p. 267.]

[Footnote 4: Cf. Goethe's Br. an Frau v. Stein, II., p. 280.]

[Footnote 5: And yet Mannstein says (Gesch. Geist u. Ausübung des Gesanges, p.
89) that when Naumann heard the passage "Tu sospiri, o duol funesto" in
the air composed for Storace (505 K.), he exclaimed: "That is a divine
idea I Who has taught this man to express sympathy with the sorrows of
others as well as those of his own heart in these few notes?"]

[Footnote 6: Wien. Abendpost, 1866, p. 835. Cf. Mus. Real-Ztg., 1789, p. 191.]

[Footnote 7: Joh. Wilh. Hassler (1747-1822) has prefixed his autobiography to the
second part of his six easy sonatas (Erfurt, 1786).]

[Footnote 8: Cramer, Mag. f. Mus., II., p. 404. Schiller, Briefw. m. Körner, I.,
p. 154. Car. v. Wolzogen, Litt. Nachl., I., p. 203.]

[Footnote 9: Meyer, L. Schroder, II., 1., p. 360.]

[Footnote 10: Musik. Wochenbl., p. 71.]

[Footnote 11: Mus. Real-Ztg., 1788, p. 56.]

[Footnote 12: Doles dedicated his cantata "Ich komme vor dein Angesicht" (1790),
"to two of his most esteemed patrons and friends, Herr Mozart and Herr
Naumann, as a token of his distinguished regard."]

[Footnote 13: Rochlitz, Fur Freunde der Tonk., III., p. 222..]

[Footnote 14: Reichardt, Mus. Ztg., I., p. 132.]

[Footnote 15: Naumann's Leben, p. 183. Meissner, Biogr. Naumanns, II., p. 199;
cf. 212.]

[Footnote 16: Wolf, Auch eine Reise, Weim., 1784, p. 10.]

[Footnote 17: Reichardt, Musik. Monatsschr., p. 70. Mus Ztg., I., p. 2. Cf.
Schletterer, Reichardt, I., p. 453. Schneider, Gesch. der Oper, p. 52.]

[Footnote 18: The accounts of Dittersdorfs (Selbstbiogr., p. 248) and Naumann's
(Meissner's Biogr., II., p. 189; Naumann's Leben, p. 267) personal
intercourse with Frederick William II. are very interesting.]

[Footnote 19: Mus. Monatsschr., p. 20. Cf. Schletterer, Reichardt, I., p. 457.
Schneider, Gesch. der Oper Beil., XXXVI., pp. 15, 16.]

[Footnote 20: So says the Berlin musical Veteran (Neue Berl. Mus. Ztg., 1856, p.

[Footnote 21: Rochlitz, A. M. Z., IM p. 22.]

[Footnote 22: Dittersdorf, Selbstbiogr., p. 267.]

[Footnote 23: Cf. Rochlitz, A. M. Z., XXX., p. 491.]

[Footnote 24: Cf. Schletterer, Reichardt, I., p. 638.]

[Footnote 25: My researches in the Royal Library and archives for some trace
of négociations accompanying this offer have proved fruitless. It must
therefore have been at once refused at Mozart's personal interview with
the King; the way in which Mozart writes to his wife, that she has cause
to be satisfied with the favour in which he stands with the King, seems
to refer to some definite proposal.]

[Footnote 26: So ways the Veteran. The tradition, according to which Mozart wrote
the "Ave verum" in Potsdam, is quite untrustworthy.]

[Footnote 27: Berl. Litt. u. Theal.-Ztg., 1784, II., p. 160.]

[Footnote 28: So says Semler, Voss. Ztg., 1857, March xi; Beil., p. 7.]

[Footnote 29: The scene made such an impression that a viola-player marked the
place on his part where Mozart stamped the time till his shoe-buckle
snapped. Griel, the old orchestra attendant at Leipzig, had picked it up
and showed it as a token.]

[Footnote 30: A. M. Z., I., pp. 85, 179.]

[Footnote 31: The notice in the Leipz. Ztg., 1789, Nos. 91 and 93 runs; "Heute
als den Mai wird Herr Capellmeister Mozart, in wirklichen. Diensten Sr.
K. K. Maj. eine musikalische Akademie in dem grossen Conzertsaale zu
seinem Vortheil geben. Die Billets sind fur 1 Gulden bei Hrn. Rost in
Auerbachs Hofe und bei dem Einlasse des Saales zu bekommen. Der Anfang
ist um 6 Uhr."]

[Footnote 32: On May 17, at Leipzig, he composed the charming little Gigue (574
K.) for the court-organist, Engel.]

[Footnote 33: He stayed in the house at the Gensdarmenmarkt with Moser, to whom
he presented an elegant copy of the six quartets (421 K.).]

[Footnote 34: Journ. d. Moden, 1789, p. 394.]

[Footnote 35: Rochlitz, A. M. Z., I., p. 20.]

[Footnote 36: N. Berl. Mus. Ztg., 1856, p. 36.]

[Footnote 37: An enthusiastic description of her beauty is given by Rahel (I., p.

[Footnote 38: Meyer, L. Schroder, II., 1, p. 93. Schletterer, Reichardt, I., p.

[Footnote 39: Köpke, L. Tieck, I., p. 86. It is well known that in 1789 the
"Entfuh-rung," alone of Mozart's operas, was given in Berlin, "Figaro"
and "Don Giovanni" not appearing on the stage there until November and
December, 1790. This is a fresh proof of how youthful memories are
confounded with later reminiscences.]

[Footnote 40: Mus. Real-Ztg., 1789, p. 156.]

[Footnote 41: So Hummel's widow told me at Weimar, in 1855.]

[Footnote 42: Dittersdorf, Selbstbiogr., p. 253. Cf. Mus. Monatsschr., p. 41.]





UPON his arrival in Vienna on June 4, Mozart at once set to work upon a
quartet for Frederick William II.; the Quartet in D major (575 K.) was
completed in the same month, and in return for it, according to
the Berlin Veteran, he received a valuable gold snuff-box with
100 friedrichsdor, and a complimentary letter.[1] But this did not
materially affect his embarrassed circumstances; the precarious state
of his wife's health kept him in a state of perpetual anxiety, and the
expenses it involved brought him into serious difficulties: "I am most
unhappy!" he wrote on July 17 to his friend Puchberg. The confident
expectation of a permanent improvement in his outward position, which he
expressed in his letters to this constant friend, were grounded, as it
seems, upon the overtures which had been made to him in Berlin; he had
informed the Emperor of them, and thought himself entitled to look for
a compensation for his refusal. But circumstances were not then
favourable, and Mozart was not the man to push a claim of the kind.
The effect of his depression is clearly visible in the want of musical
productivity during this period. His own catalogue contains only the
following compositions belonging to this year:--

1789. June. A quartet for his majesty the King of Prussia, in D major

July. Sonata for pianoforte alone, D major (576 K.). Rondo in my opera
of "Figaro" for Madame Ferraresi del Bene, "Al desio (577 K.).

August. Aria in the opera "I Due Baroni," for Mdlle. Louise Villeneuve,
"Alma grande e nobil core" (578 K.).

September 17. Aria in the opera "Der Barbier von Seviglien," for Madame
Hofer, "Schon lachtder holde Frühling" (580 K.). (575 K.).



September 29. Quintet for clarinet, two violins, viola, and violoncello,
in A major (581 K.); first played in public at the concert for the funds
of the Pension, December 22, 1789.[2]

October. Aria in the opera "ü Burbero," for Mdlle. Villeneuve, "Chi sà,
chi sà quai sia" (582 K.).

Ditto, "Vado! ma dove?" (583 K.).

December, An air which was intended for Benucci in the opera "Cosi fan
Tutte," "Rivolgete à me lo sguardo" (584 K.). Twelve minuets (585 K.)
and twelve waltzes (586 K.).

The prospect which was known to have been opened to him in Berlin may
have had some effect in causing "Figaro" to be again placed on the stage
in August. At the request of the prima donna, Madame Adriana Ferraresi
del Bene, who had made her first appearance on October 13, 1788, Mozart
wrote the grand air (577 K.).[3] For Louise Villeneuve he composed,
during the following month, three airs for insertion in different operas
(578, 582, 583, K.), perhaps with some view to his own new opera, in
which Mdlle. Villeneuve was to appear. The approbation with which the
revival of "Figaro" was received[4] no doubt suggested to the Emperor to
commission Mozart to write a new opera. "It was not in his power," says
Niemetschek (p. 43), "to decline the commission, and the libretto was
provided him without consultation of his wishes."[5] It was "Cosi fan
Tutte, osia la Scuola degli Amanti," by Da Ponte.[6] Mozart was busily
engaged on it in December, 1789; and in January, 1790, it is entered in
his catalogue as completed; it was first performed on January 26, with
the following cast:[7]--



It appears to have been successful,[8] although it did not remain long
on the repertory.[9] Unfortunately, we have no detailed information as
to the preparation and performance of this opera. Da Ponte's achievement
as the writer of an original libretto[10] serves to show more clearly
than ever how much he had hitherto owed to his predecessors. Neither
invention nor characterisation are anywhere visible, only a certain
amount of dexterity in the handling of his subject.

The plot in its main points is as follows:--

Two young Neapolitan[11] officers--Ferrando (tenor) and Guillelmo
(bass)--who are betrothed to the sisters Dorabella and Fiordiligi, are
discovered seated in a _café_ in lively dispute with their friend Don
Alfonso, an old cynic, who maintains that their two _fiancées_ would
fail under any trial of their constancy. Upon their challenge to
make good his words at the point of the sword he retorts with the old
proverb, that woman's faith is like the phoenix--never seen.[12] Each of
the lovers



declares his bride to be the phoenix. At last they agree to a wager. The
two lovers promise on their word as officers to do nothing during the
next four-and-twenty hours but what they are directed by Don Alfonso,
who thereupon undertakes within that time to prove the fickleness of the
two maidens. The young men, confident beforehand of victory, determine
on celebrating it by a grand banquet in honour of their mistresses.

Fiordiligi and Dorabella are discovered in their garden by the seashore,
awaiting the arrival of their lovers and lovingly contemplating their
portraits; each declares her lover to be the handsomest and best.
Alfonso entering, brings the direful news that Ferrando and Guillelmo
have been ordered to proceed at once to the field with their regiment.
The lovers enter with melancholy mien to bid adieu, and the two ladies
give vent to heartrending expressions of grief and love. The lovers
express satisfaction thereat to Don Alfonso, who bids them wait for the
end. A military march with a lively chorus is heard in the distance;[13]
the lovers yield themselves to a last fond embrace with sobs and tears,
at which Don Alfonso can hardly keep his countenance. The march again
summons the officers to depart, and the two ladies join with Don Alfonso
in waving their adieux to the retreating bark.

Despina, the waiting-maid of the two ladies, waits for them impatiently
with their chocolate.[14] She is amazed at their entrance in a condition
of violent sorrow, which is expressed by Dorabella more especially in
high tragic style. Her astonishment increases on hearing the cause, and
she advises her mistresses to take the matter easily, and do all they
can to divert their thoughts. The serious reproof with which this
advice is met is answered by her in a tirade on the fickleness of men
in general, and soldiers in particular, whom she declares to deserve no
better treatment.

Don Alfonso, in pursuance of his design, now seeks to gain over Despina.
A few gold pieces and the prospect of a rich reward speedily gain her
promise to admit two friends whom he declares to be madly in love with
her mistresses. He at once introduces Ferrando and Guillelmo in the
garb of wealthy Albanians, and so disguised by great beards as to be
unrecognisable by Despina, who regards them as veritable "antidoto d'
amor." While they are ingratiating themselves with the waiting-maid the
two ladies enter. Their consternation at the presence of strangers turns
to violent indignation when the pretended Albanians proceed without
preface to fall on their knees and make declarations of



love. Don Alfonso, entering to prevent actual scandal, feigns to
recognise old friends in the Albanians, and endeavours to act as
mediator. The strangers continue their bold suit, but Fiordiligi proudly
declares her faith as firm as a rock, and is immovable. The consequence
is that upon Guillelmo renewing his entreaties the two ladies decline to
hear him out, and make their exit. No sooner are they gone than the two
break into loud laughter, which Don Alfonso with difficulty induces
them to moderate. The first attack, which was to carry all by storm, has
failed, and Don Alfonso retires to concoct a new plot with Despina.

Fiordiligi and Dorabella are again discovered in the garden lamenting
bygone happy hours, when the two Albanians rush in. They declare their
resolution to take poison, spite of Don Alfonso's earnest dissuasions.
Before the eyes of the cruel fair ones they swallow the contents of two
vials, and sink in convulsions upon a bank of turf. The two horrified
ladies call for Despina, who hurries off with Don Alfonso in search of
a doctor, enjoining the ladies to support the sufferers during their
absence. This, however, they dare not do, but contemplate the men from
a distance in great agitation, which causes intense amusement to the
disguised lovers. They gradually come nearer, and begin to express an
interest which turns the amusement into disquiet. Don Alfonso returns
with Despina, disguised as a doctor, a charlatan of the latest fashion,
_à la_ Mesmer, who promises to work miracles by means of magnetism. The
terrified maidens are forced to submit to his behests, and to hold the
heads of the sufferers, while he magnetises them back to life.
Finding themselves in the arms of the fair ones, they begin to rave
ecstatically; the ladies, regarding this as the commencement of the
cure, allow it to continue, though not without uneasiness, until the
patients demand a kiss from them. This rouses the pride of the ladies,
and they break into a rage so violent in its demonstrations that the
others begin to be doubtful of their sincerity; the first finale closes
amid general confusion.

At the beginning of the second act, Despina seeks to reason her ladies
out of their exaggerated ideas of constancy and their dread of a
love-adventure such as offers itself; she places before them the image
of a maiden who treats men lightly for her amusement, and remarks with
satisfaction that her words have made some impression. In fact, when
the sisters are left alone, Dorabella first declares her inclination to
hearken to Guillelmo's suit, and Fiordiligi pronounces herself ready to
put the new ideas into practice with Ferrando. In this favourable mood
Don Alfonso invites them to a garden-party, where the lovers receive
them with a serenade. They now show themselves as bashful and modest as
they were formerly urgent and bold; Don Alfonso has to speak for them,
Despina answers for the ladies, and reconciliation is sealed by a
pressure of the hand. After some general conversation Ferrando and
Fiordiligi go off together. Guillelmo expresses himself



more tenderly to Dorabella, and offers her a valuable gold heart as a
gift; she takes it without more ado, declares that she cannot offer
him her heart in exchange, since he already possesses it, allows him
to loosen Ferrando's portrait from her bosom, and gives way to the
tenderest endearments. Ferrando returns with Fiordiligi, who rejects him
with apparent severity, but lets it be felt that she is not altogether
indifferent to his suit; he ventures upon a tender declaration of love,
and, finding it still unheeded, goes out in despair. Left alone, she
declares her heart to be affected, but adheres to her resolve to resist
the temptation and keep faith with her lover.

Ferrando joyfully communicates Fiordiligi's steadfastness to Guillelmo,
but is consternated to hear from him how easily Dorabella has been won,
and has to submit to some triumph on the part of his friend. He feels
all the acuter pain that his love to the faithless one is not yet
stifled. Guillelmo now regards the wager as lost, but Don Alfonso
demands that one more attack shall be made on Fiordiligi.

Fiordiligi reproaches her sister in unmeasured terms for her
thoughtlessness, whereupon the latter with extreme frankness declares
that she neither can nor will control her inclinations. Horrified at
this, Fiordiligi determines upon escaping from her own weakness by
donning man's attire and following her lover to the wars. She has a
uniform brought in, puts on the helmet, takes the sword in her hand,
when Ferrando rushes in and conjures her to slay him rather than desert
him. This is too much; she cannot withstand his anguish, and sinks upon
his breast overcome. It is now Guillelmo's turn to be beside himself.
The two are bent upon forsaking their faithless mistresses, until Don
Alfonso gradually succeeds in making them regard the affair from his own
philosophical point of view: "Cosi fan tutte!" They decide therefore on
espousing their brides, but not before they have punished them for their
want of faith. Despina enters with the news that the two ladies have
determined to wed their new lovers the same evening, and have sent her
to fetch the notary. The two couples enter the gaily decorated room, and
are received by Despina and Don Alfonso and the congratulatory chorus
of friends and servants. Amid cheerful converse they place themselves at
table. Despina enters as a notary, and reads the marriage contract. It
is scarcely subscribed when the chorus and march of the first act are
heard in the distance. Don Alfonso enters terrified with the news
that the regiment has been suddenly recalled, and the old lovers
are approaching the house. The Albanians and the notary are hastily
concealed, and the ladies, in mortal fear and embarrassment, receive
their lovers returning full of joy. Don Alfonso, acting as mediator,
causes the notary to be discovered; but Despina declares herself, and
asserts that she is returning from a masked ball. But the marriage
contract falling into the hands of Guillelmo, the ladies are obliged
to confess their guilt to their enraged lovers, whereupon the latter
discover themselves as the Albanians, while Guillelmo returns the



portrait to Dorabella, mockingly repeating the melody of the duet.
Confessions ended, Don Alfonso exhorts them to make peace, and brings
the couples together; finally, they all unite in the moral:--

     "Fortunato l' uom, che prende
     Ogni cosa pel buon verso,
     E tra i casi e le vicende
     Da ragion guidar si fà.
     Quel che suole altrui far piangere
     Fia per lui cagion di riso,
     E del mondo in mezzo i turbini
     Bella calma troverà."

The opera was not again performed in Vienna in Italian until 1858, but
it was produced at the Theater an der Wien in a German translation by
Gieseke, in 1794, with the title of "Die Schule der Liebe"; in 1804 it
was played at the Imperial Hoftheater as "Màdchentreue"; again at
the Theater an der Wien in 1814, in Treitschke's adaptation, "Die
Zauberprobe"; in 1819 and 1840 at the Hoftheater in the earlier
translation, and in 1863 in Schneider's adaptation. In Berlin also,
where it was first given on August 6, 1792, with the title "Eine machts
wie die Andere,"[15] it was again attempted in 1805 in the translation
by Bretzner, "Weibertreue, oder die Mädchen sind von Flandem" (Leipzig,
1794),[16] followed in 1820 by Herklot's adaptation "Die verfängliche
Wette." Nevertheless the older adaptation was preferred for the revival
of the opera in 1826 at the Königstadt theatre;[17] this gave way to
one by an anonymous author in 1831,[18] which was employed for the
representations of 1832 and 1835, but abandoned for L. Schneider's
adaptation in 1846.[19] At Prague, Guardasoni at once placed "Cosi
fan Tutte" on his repertory; and in 1808[20] it was performed there
in German as "Màdchentreue," in 1823 as "Zauberprobe,"[21] in 1831 in
Bohemian,[22] and in 1838 in Italian by the



pupils of the Conservätorium.[23] Guardasoni also introduced the opera
at Leipzig, where it was several times performed in German during
1805,[24] and by the Dresden Italian opera company in 1830.[25]
Curiously enough "Cosi fan Tutte" was the first opera by Mozart
performed in Dresden, in 1791, and kept its place in the repertory,
although in 1812 it was still the only one.[26] In Italy it took no
firmer hold than the others, and was only given on single occasions at
Milan in 1808 and 1814,[27] and at Turin in 1816.[28] In Paris "Cosi
fan Tutte" was given by the Italian opera company at the Odéon in 1811,
1817, and 1820;[29] and in London it was first played in an English
translation by Arnold in 1811,[30] and again in 1828; in 1842 it was
included among the Italian operas, and received with great applause.[31]

The wide-spread reputation of "Figaro" and "Don Giovanni" had prepared
the public mind to receive Mozart's music to this opera (588 K.)[32]
with the favour which it deserved;[33] but the libretto was universally
pronounced to be one of the worst of its kind;[34] nor has the judgment



posterity reversed the verdict passed upon it.[35] Two reproaches were
more especially brought forward. One was the extreme improbability
that neither the lovers nor Despina in their disguises would have been
recognised by the two ladies, and the other the outrage committed on the
moral sense by the frivolity of the test imposed, and if possible still
more by the ease with which, after the unfortunate issue of the trial,
the lovers all adopt a philosophic toleration towards each other. These
two blemishes, however, will scarcely account for the fact that, even
where attempts have been made to remove them by adaptation, the opera
has never maintained its place on the stage.[36] Unquestionably,
the device of the disguise is trivial, and in itself not at all
entertaining, but the number of popular comedies the main point of which
consists in disguise prove that the public in this respect is not hard
to please. It makes no undue call on the imagination of the spectators
to proceed on this supposition, although in every drama deviations more
or less important must thereby be made from reality. But the imagination
refuses to accept these improbabilities unless they are made to serve
as external manifestations of events and actions which seem thus to be
taking their regular course. If they are made the foundation for events
which are manifestly false to nature, the revulsion in the spectator's
mind is extended to the improbable representation itself. Treitschke
hit upon the most unfortunate device for obviating the difficulty, by
turning Alfonso into a magician and Despina into a sprite, and thereby
not only producing glaring inconsistencies, but completely nullifying
the musical characterisation. Another attempt was made by Krebel in
an adaptation called "Màdchen sind Màdchen," performed in Stuttgart in
1816, where the lovers return home after a lengthened absence and



before appearing to their brides undertake and carry out the trial of
their constancy; Despina undertakes the cure in her own person, and
in the last finale a real notary is brought on, whom she afterwards
declares to be her lover. The progress of the plot is completely
changed, almost all the songs are transformed and taken from their
proper connection. Herklot's alterations in "Die verhangnissvolle Wette"
went still deeper.[37] The ladies are not put to the test by their own
lovers, but, with the connivance of the latter, by two of their friends,
whose servant Pedrillo takes part in the intrigue as the doctor and the
notary. Not to mention the injury which the musical characterisation
suffers thereby, the clumsiness of the test imposed is made still
more apparent, and the final reconciliation becomes more unreal and

Da Ponte has made no effort to soften the awkwardness of the situation;
it is indeed very much increased by the exchange of lovers made during
the trial, as if the right choice was that which is then made. G.
Bernhard (Gugler), who has done honour both to words and music by
his excellent edition of the opera,[38] removed this obstacle in his
adaptation, "Sind sie treu?" (Stuttgart, 1858). Here each lover
proves his own mistress, and the plot and its development are modified
accordingly.[39] Da Ponte sacrificed the excuse this would have afforded
to the two ladies--who might be supposed unconsciously drawn towards
the true object of their affections--to the dramatic effect of the
embarrassing position of the men on either side. Attempts to remedy this
defect led to other and greater ones.[40] In an old adaptation, "Die
Wette, oder Màdchen-List und -Liebe," the author



(whose name is unknown to me) has hit upon the device of making the
waiting-maid betray Don Alfonso's plot to the sisters before the
entrance of the pretended friends, so that they are supposed to be
hoaxing their lovers all the time, and the latter have to sue for pardon
at the end. Despina's disguise as the doctor is retained, but a real
notary is brought in for the last finale. Arnold proceeded similarly in
his English version, "Tit for Tat."[41] L. Schneider, too, has made the
same alteration, with the difference that Despina does not betray to her
mistresses the plot against them until the second act, from which time
they feign the weakness with which they mean to chastise their lovers.
But this alteration implies a coarseness of conduct in the two sisters
which is scarcely less reprehensible than their fickleness. The musical
characterisation also is destroyed, since they are now supposed to feign
the sentiments which they were originally intended to express in all
seriousness; the inconsistency is sometimes unendurable. Added to this,
the second finale is nullified by the altered catastrophe, and the
charming part omitted where the men recall the characters assumed by

It would have been necessary to bring the psychological interest of the
drama into the foreground in order to conceal what was objectionable in
the situations. Ingenuity and delicacy of invention might have turned
the subject into an interesting drama, with the guilt and mishaps so
evenly balanced that the whole might naturally come to a cheerful
and pacifying conclusion. Da Ponte's text in no way fulfils these
requirements; he takes his stand on the level of the ordinary opera
buffa, and demands to be measured by that standard. He makes some
attempt at more delicate characterisation in his Fiordiligi, in which
Ferrando partakes, but the remaining characters are all of the usual
opera buffa type, and only receive their individual stamp by virtue of
the music. Nor do the situations



display much more of original invention. The only animation afforded
to the play, consisting of the pretended poisoning and the entrance of
Despina as doctor, is neither new nor refined, and the plot proceeds
without exciting either interest or suspense. But it gives occasion for
a succession of musical situations which, considered apart, have been
skilfully treated by Da Ponte. The parting scene, the sestet, and
especially the first finale, are thoroughly musical in design, and
Da Ponte's verses are easy and flowing, often not devoid of wit.
Unfortunately his energies are almost all exhausted in the first act.
While this contains a wealth of ensemble movements and contrasting
situations scarcely to be found in any other opera, the monotony of the
second act is strikingly apparent. It does not seem to have occurred
to Da Ponte to develop his plot by means of an artistic arrangement of
ensemble pieces. His sole care has evidently been to apportion the airs
and duets indispensable to the chief characters in opera buffa with a
due regard to dramatic contrast.[43]

Mozart therefore found himself once more engaged upon an opera buffa
in the strict sense of the term. The plot is without meaning, the
characters without individuality, deriving what effect they have by
means of the ordinary resources of low comedy and exaggeration. Passion
and feeling rarely assert themselves without the disturbing elements
of hypocrisy and deceit; and thus the source of Mozart's own peculiar
conception of musical representation is virtually closed to him.
Then, in addition, the demands of the artists had to be taken into
consideration. We can only wonder, under the circumstances, at Mozart's
power of seizing every point which could be turned to the service of his
artistic conceptions; the work reveals a side of his nature which has
not hitherto appeared.[44]

The unreserved expression of emotions throughout the



opera affords a not ungrateful field for musical representation. The
awkwardness of having three terzets for male voices following each other
disappears under Mozart's treatment, since he makes each the natural
outcome of the situation, and they serve as joint members of one
organism to produce a natural climax. The first terzet takes its tone
from the excited mood of the young officers, which Don Alfonso seeks
with easy playfulness to moderate. In the second, Don Alfonso comes to
the foreground with his old song about the phoenix and woman's faith,
which he sings in a tone of good-humoured irony, exceedingly well
supported by the orchestra, while the other two try mainly to interpose
and stop him; it is a most original piece of music, full of excellent
humour. The third terzet displays the high spirits of the lovers, raised
to a pitch of great excitement, and the music brings the merry feast
to which they are already looking forward vividly before the mind. The
light and cheerful, somewhat superficial tone which here prevails, fixes
the ground-tone of the opera. The young men are characterised generally,
without accentuating their individualities; they stand opposed to Don
Alfonso, whose contrasting character comes out all the more sharply. The
duet for the two sisters (4) is more elevated in tone, to accord with
the situation. They are melting in tender emotion as they gaze on the
images of their lovers, and the expression of the music is full of
life and sensuality, but more animated than warm, with no echo of those
gentle accents in which Mozart elsewhere so inimitably characterises
the hidden longings of the soul. The unanimity of sentiment here again
obscures individual character, and the modifications are more musical
than dramatic in their nature. Don Alfonso's



short air (5), where he appears to urge composure, characterises not
his true nature, for he is feigning all the time, but the situation, and
that with a degree of exaggeration which comes out in striking relief to
his otherwise calm and equable nature. The tone and delivery of the
air are correctly indicated by Don Alfonso's words: "non son cattivo
comico"; the deceit is conscious and evident throughout, and it is
rendered easy for the performer to let an ironical tone occasionally
peep through. The following quintet (6) carries us to a height hitherto
unsuspected. The grief of the sisters at the prospect of separation from
their lovers is expressed with ever-increasing passion, while conscious
dissimulation imposes a certain restraint on the men, though the emotion
they express is in itself genuine enough; the softer nature of Ferrando
betrays itself in his gradually increasing sympathy with the sorrowing
women. The ironical element introduced by Don Alfonso, just at the point
when the passionate lamentation of the sisters is making the greatest
impression on their lovers, prevents the situation from passing
altogether into the pathetic vein. This quintet undoubtedly belongs in
every respect to Mozart's highest achievements. The short duet (7) on
the other hand, in which Ferrando and Guillelmo seek to console
their trembling fair, ones is poor both in musical substance and
characterisation, being an easily constructed piece of the kind which
the general public loved. The march with chorus (8), which comes next,
is simple, but very fresh and pretty, well suited both to the situation
and the character of the opera. The farewell scene (9) takes place
at the same time--indicated in the autograph score as "Recitativo
coi stromenti"--and is a perfect masterpiece of beauty and delicate
characterisation. The broken sobs of the afflicted women have something
of the same comic effect as the infinite sorrow of childhood, and the
men seem, half involuntarily, to imitate them; but when the last adieux
have been exchanged they give vent to such a sweet and touching sound of
lamentation that even the lovers are touched by it, and Don Alfonso
is silenced. The repetition of the chörus interrupts the tender
leave-taking just at the right time, and endows the scene with fresh
life and animation. It finds an appropriate conclusion in the



tones and gestures of the two maidens as they wave their adieux from the
shore, while Don Alfonso appears to share their feelings with a sort of
ostentation of sympathy. This terzettino (10) shows Mozart's power of
displaying endless shades of one and the same feeling. The farewells
wafted from the shore are more composed than the lamentations called
forth by the idea of separation, or even by the separation itself; they
are more pure also, more intense, and transfigure all that has gone
before with the light of a tender and harmonious grace finding its
expression in separate sharp suspensions, and especially in the
unexpected dissonance which occurs upon "desir--[See Page Image]

The murmuring accompaniment of the muted violins, combined with the
soft full chords of the wind instruments, suggesting the idea of
the sea-voyage, contribute to the colouring of this gem of musical
expression. The instrumentation throughout this first division of the
opera is carefully and admirably managed. The first terzet is simple,
the lively figures for the stringed instruments denoting its character,
while the oboes, bassoons, and horns strengthen the lights and shades;
it is quite otherwise in the second, where the stringed instruments have
a gentle accompanying passage, while a flute and a bassoon carry on
the melody of the song; the third is brilliant with trumpets and drums,
shrill oboes and rapid violin passages. During the whole of the love
scene the clarinets are kept in the foreground, the combined orchestra
is full and soft, but milder and more sparkling in the last terzet,
where flutes come in; the contrasting clang of the lively and vigorous
march is highly effective. Thus far all has taken a natural course, and



have met with no unusual characters, no startling situations; the
emotions represented have been true and simple, and have been the
necessary consequences of the events composing the easily comprehended
plot. The musical depicting of such emotions is a grateful task; if it
is true in itself and a faithful rendering of the given situation
it cannot fail of its effect. And Mozart has here combined truth of
characterisation with a beauty of form and a charm of sweet sound which
almost overpower the ear, and are scarcely to be found in such fulness
in any other of his operas. The further development of the plot leads to
a sharper characterisation of individuals. Dorabella first unfolds her
grief in a grand air (n) introduced by an accompanied recitative.
It consists of one movement (allegro agitato) which receives its
distinctive character from the sextole passage for the violins--[See
Page Image] which does not cease for one bar until just before the end;
an unsteady trembling movement is imparted to it by varied harmonic
transitions, and an occasional sharper accentuation by the full chords
of the wind instruments. The simple sustained voice-part moves above
this accompaniment in short expressive phrases, rising now and then to
a tone of passionate appeal, and at the close to an unexpected pathos.
Both in musical treatment and emotional expression the air takes a high
rank; but none the less is it in striking contradiction to the character
of Dorabella as it is afterwards developed. It is she who proposes to
her sister to coquet with the new lovers, and in the duet (20) in which
they agree to do so it is she who takes the initiative. In the duet with
Guillelmo (23)[45] she shows herself so easily persuaded and so full of
amorous passion that it appears the revelation of her true nature. It
renders superfluous her subsequent expression of opinion in an air (28)
that love rules over all hearts, and it is but folly to resist his sway.
This air has a certain resemblance to the first in the simplicity of the



voice-part and the moderation of the expression, although the feelings
inspiring it are of such a different nature. The accompaniment again
bestows upon the song its peculiar colouring; and the great prominence
given to the wind instruments adds an insinuating and specious tone to
the whole. But a closer examination reveals the evident contrast of
the two songs. Dorabella is a woman of lively but not deep feeling;
excitement is necessary to her, even though it may be of a painful
nature--she cannot live without it. Her expressions of sorrow increase
in intensity, and the orchestra is markedly toned down to allow her to
display her true, somewhat shallow nature. Besides this, the exaggerated
tone of her grief, displaying its want of perfect sincerity, is strongly
marked by the words, e.g.--

     Esempio misero d' amor funesto
     Darö all' Eumenidi, se viva resto,
     Col suono orribile de' miei sospir--

and the music takes the cue therefrom. While borrowing the pathetic tone
and form of the opera seria, she turns them into a parody like that
of the text, invoking the furies with all the rhetorical apparatus of
tragedy; this is especially noticeable towards the close:--[See Page



The parody facilitates the difficult task of carrying the musical
expression of emotion to an exaggerated degree without making it ugly
and unnatural. The refined delivery of the vocalist, and the ready
apprehension of the audience, must always be presupposed. In the
character of Fiordiligi Da Ponte has unquestionably kept Ferraresi del
Bene in view; he was said to stand in tender relations towards her.[46]
According to him she had a fine voice and an original and affecting
delivery, and this opinion was confirmed by the London critics, although
she was never considered there as a true prima donna;[47] and Mozart
himself remarked that it was not saying much to pronounce Allegrandi
far superior to Ferraresi. She had not a good figure, and was but an
indifferent actress; but she had beautiful eyes and a charming
mouth, and was in great favour with the public. It is not surprising,
therefore, that Fiordiligi should have been placed on a higher level
than her sister, both musically and dramatically.[48] Her very first air
(14) places her in a far more favourable light. The disguised lovers,
after a decided repulse, renew their shameless attack. Fiordiligi's
condescending to answer them and to assert her inflexible constancy may
not, indeed, be a proof of fine feeling on her part, but it demands an
energetic and emphatic tone and strong and appropriate colouring. We
therefore have a bravura air in two movements, an andante and allegro,
closed by a long coda in accelerated tempo. The comic effect again rests
on the element of parody, which is even more strongly marked than in
Dorabella's air; the bravura passages, intervals of octaves, tenths and
twelfths, the roulades which she flings at her opponents, the bass-like
passages in the deeper register of the voice, all characterise
Fiordiligi's Amazon-like haughtiness in an exaggerated manner.
Afterwards, it is true, she



is induced by her more thoughtless sister to coquet with the new lover,
but Dorabella's lover presents himself after a fashion calculated to
make a strong impression upon her. Guillelmo is always light-hearted and
cheerful; while, even in the parting scene, Ferrando has shown himself
to be a man of softer mould. His air (17), after the first repulse
of his suit, leaves no doubt as to his nature. It renders the vapid
sentimentality of the words with remarkable tenderness and delicacy, but
this kind of sentimentality being quite foreign to the southern nature,
the portrayal of it would rouse more ridicule than sympathy. Such a
character cuts a comic figure upon the 'stage--a circumstance which must
be borne in mind in considering this opera. Even in his feigned wooing
he expresses his feelings with warmth and animation, his eccentricities
being indeed heightened by the difficulties of the situation. This is
just the demeanour calculated to make an impression on Fiordiligi, and
she soon begins to waver. Perceiving this, he expresses his delight
with an extravagance which a man of calmer temperament would have been
incapable of dissembling;[49] it is evident that his fancy gets the
better of his excited feelings. So apprehended, this air (24) not only
entrances our minds by its continuous flow of lovely melody, but gives
us a sense of natural fitness for the situation and characters. It would
have been an impossible task for music to represent Ferrando as singing
this song with coolly calculated dissimulation; for the exaggeration
of caricature is only appropriate when no conviction is required to
be brought home to us, whereas here the impression experienced
by Fiordiligi must be shared by the audience before it can become
intelligible. The music must therefore express a feeling by which a man
of excitable nature would be likely to be carried away.

In this way only can we justify the deep impression made upon the
equally excitable Fiordiligi, when, left alone, she reproaches herself
doubly for having coquetted with Ferrando, and been false at heart to
her lover. The feeling



of remorse, and of newly strengthened fidelity which the memory of her
absent lover inspires, is charmingly expressed in the lovely air (25),
"Per pietà, ben mio, perdona." This is genuine emotion, springing from
the heart, and the music expresses it with all the charm of pure
melody. This important air, in two elaborate movements--adagio and
allegro--gives ample opportunity for display to the singer and an
independent part to the wind instruments, especially the horns, without
doing injury to truth of expression. It is undeniably akin to the great
air in "Figaro" (p. 92) composed for the same Ferraresi, although they
differ both in tone and colouring. Probably the individuality of the
singer, distinctly recognisable in the three songs, exerted considerable
influence over their composition; and it may also be remarked that too
vivid a representation of such a mood as this would have exceeded the
limits of opera buffa; even as it is it suggests almost too serious a
complication and solution of the situation. Ferrando, on learning
the faithlessness of his Dorabella, breaks at first into violent
indignation; but this soon gives way to softer feelings, which he cannot
overcome. In his lovely cavatina (27)--so Mozart has entitled it--his
anger is only faintly suggested, while the memory of his still-loved
Dorabella shines forth from the darkness of the soul.[50] While he is
yet in this sentimental mood he is urged by Don Alfonso to make one more
attack upon Fiordiligi's heart. With this intent, he surprises her in
the act of putting into effect her romantic determination to escape from
her own weakness by donning man's attire and following her lover to the
wars. The duet which ensues (29) is of singular design and unusually
rich elaboration. In contrast with Fiordiligi's grandiloquent
sentiments, as she fancies herself again by the side of her lover, comes
the melancholy plaint, the urgent petition of Ferrando; her resistance
grows weaker as his entreaties grow more earnest--until at last she
sinks into



his arms. This scene consists of a regularly worked-out duet in two
movements, but the long suspense requires a corresponding length of
reaction from it, and we have to all intents and purposes a second duet,
with two movements expressive of the happiness of the lovers. Here
again the expression of feeling is so direct and true that we cannot
but imagine Ferrando carried away by the impulse of the moment. In fact,
these two characters and their relations to each other are somewhat out
of keeping with the rest of the opera. Da Ponte failed in giving due
effect to the deeper psychological interest of the characters; Mozart
has clothed them in flesh and blood, but even he has failed to endow
them with the distinct and vivid personality which is to be found in
"Figaro" and "Don Giovanni."

No doubt the idiosyncrasies of the performers, who were for the most
part more of singers than actors, and had apparently not much talent
for comedy, had considerable influence on the plan of the piece;[51]
the part of Guillelmo was written for the excellent buffo Benucci (Vol.
III., pp. 51, SS).[52] He first comes forward independently, when, in
his disguise as an Albanian, his first attack has been repulsed and,
Fiordiligi having expressed her haughty indignation, he boldly ventures
on a fresh declaration of love. Here he had originally an air (584 K.)
of the most decided buffo type, which opposed to the exaggerated pathos
of Fiordiligi an extravagance of a different kind, and expressed in
strong caricature the confidence of the new wooers in the ultimate
success of their

     (To Fiordiligi.)

     Rivolgete à lui lo sguardo
     E vedete come stà;
     Tutto dice, io gelo, io ardo,
     Idol mio, pietà, pietà.



     (To Dorabella.)

     E voi, cara, un sol momento
     Il bel ciglio à me volgete,
     E nel mio ritroverete
     Quel che il labbro dir non sà.
     Un Orlando innamorato
     Non è niente in mio confronto,
     Un Medoro il sen piagato
     Verso lui per nullo io conto.
     Son di foco i miei sospiri,
     Son di bronzo i suoi desiri.
     Se si parla poi di merto,
     Certo io son ed egli è certo,
     Che gli uguali non si trovano
     Da Vienna al Canadà.
     Siam due Cresi per richezza;
     Due Narcissi per bellezza;
     In amori i Marcantoni
     Verso noi sarian buffoni;
     Siam più forti d'un Ciclopo,
     Letterati al par di Esopo;
     Se balliam, il
     Pick ne cede,
     Si gentil e snello è il piede,
     Se cantiam, col trillo solo
     Facciam torto al uscignolo,
     E qualche altro capitale
     Abbiam poi, che alcun non sà.

Mozart has turned this into a comic air in the grand style, worthy
to rank with those of Leporello, although the delicate malice which
characterises the latter would be out of place here. The various points,
not only where the mention of dancing and singing suggest musical
freaks, but throughout, are made effective in the happiest musical
contrasts, without disturbing the flow and consistency of the whole
song. Towards the close especially, the climax is inimitable. After the
transition into D minor on "trillo" and "uscignolo"--[See Page Image]



the wind instruments sound a mocking fanfare to the violin quavers on
"qualch' altro capitale"--[See Page Image]



whereupon Guillelmo, after the exit of the sisters, breaks out with the
whole strength of his voice into a triumphant allegro molto--[See Page

but stops suddenly, as if afraid of being overheard, and sings his joy
sotto voce to Don Alfonso. This air, which afforded abundant opportunity
for the display of voice and art to the happiest advantage, was laid
on one side, no doubt with the conviction that so evident a caricature
could not be maintained throughout the love-test without wedding
internal to external improbabilities, and displaying Guillelmo in
two distinct characters. Another air (15) was therefore substituted,
expressing Guillelmo's character as a cheerful man of the world who
takes serious matters lightly, and comports himself with ease and
freedom. He turns half confidently, half jokingly to the ladies, the
secret pleasure which their rejection of his suit affords him increasing
his cheerfulness, and even giving it a tinge of irony. The music is
quite simple, tuneful, light and pleasing, in direct contrast to the
previous grand air. His second air (26) in which, after his adventure
with Dorabella, his good opinion of women is considerably modified, is
in perfect harmony with the first. The feeling that he has the advantage
over Ferrando, the



assurance of Fiordiligi's unalterable faith, give him an air of
overweening security, and cause him to express himself with a lightness
which he would certainly have refrained from had he known how nearly the
matter affected himself. This is a truly comic situation, and Mozart
has given effect to it mainly by the tone of easy merriment which he
has caught so admirably, and which never passes the bounds of friendly
good-humour. The air is long, singer and orchestra vying with each other
in rapid animation, and the jovial, easy character of the man is fully
and pleasantly expressed.[53] His intercourse with Dorabella corresponds
with this view. The easy, half-jesting gallantry with which he
approaches her in the duet (23) belongs to his nature, and the part he
is playing is no effort to him. It is more than once made plain that
Dorabella is more strongly affected than he; after she has once met his
advances with favour he merely seconds her, as being pledged to do so;
but he does it with the same ease and confidence that he has displayed

Mozart has shown correct judgment in making Guillelmo' a natural,
good-humoured character, instead of a caricatured buffo figure. But
a motive seems to have been at work here which appears throughout the
whole of "Cosi fan Tutte." It is evident that Mozart has sought to clear
himself from the reproach that his music was too heavy, too serious for
a comic opera, and to satisfy the taste of the public for what was light
and entertaining. This demand was met in the two male duets, the first
(7) being light and superficial, and the second a serenade (21), which
(accompanied, according to custom, only by wind instruments) follows
a striking chorus with a melodious and pleasing effect, but without
individual character. The same motive is even more evidently at work in
the character of Despina. She never betrays a particle of true feeling.
She has no sympathy



either for her mistresses, or for their lovers, or for Don Alfonso, and
she has no love affair of her own. The only visible motive of action
with her is selfishness, which triumphs even over her love of intrigue;
every expression of hers shows giddy thoughtlessness, not always of the
most refined kind. Her two songs are both addressed to her ladies. The
first (12) is in answer to Dorabella's pathetic burst of sorrow, and
scoffs at her belief in the constancy of men, while urging her to
reward inconstancy with inconstancy. The second (19) exhorts the still
undecided fair ones to adopt coquetry as the true rule of life for the
female sex. In the first air the gaiety, lightly tinged with humour
in the short introductory allegretto, is light and easy, and has a
forwardness about it not quite maidenly, but so pretty and winning that
the whole person is invested with a certain interest and attractiveness.
In the second air Despina appears as the temptress; therefore the action
is more careful, the expression more delicate; insinuating persuasion
takes the place of her former pertness, and the comic element only
asserts itself once in the strongly accented:--

    E qual regina
    Dali' alto soglio
    Coll posso e voglio
    Farsi ubbidir.

This air reminds us in many points of Zerlina, but it serves also
to prove how many touches of detail and delicate shades of musical
expression are wanting when true feeling is not at the root of the
conception. Spite of its commonplace tone, its lively gaiety gives it
a certain charm, just as in everyday life we often meet with people
commonplace in their nature, but attractive from their youthful
freshness and cheerfulness. But Despina is in her element when she
herself is playing some extravagant prank, and she adopts her various
disguises with much boldness and gay humour. The scene where she enters
as a doctor in the first finale belongs indisputably to the wittiest
performances of comic music. After the long suspense, the animation
caused by the entrance of the doctor has an excellent effect, and the



boastful loquacity and solemn conceit of the charlatan stand out from
the surroundings without the need of any special medium for their
expression. Every phrase is pronounced simply but with telling effect;
exaggeration, which at this point of the situation would only do harm,
is carefully avoided, and the general impression of unclouded gaiety
is heightened by the intensity with which the other characters express
their feelings.[54] The notary in the second finale is quite as
humorously depicted. After an elaborate greeting, the polite elegance of
which is mockingly expressed by the figure in the accompaniment, given
to the second violins, the notary begins to read the marriage contract
in a monotone (_pel naso_, Mozart directs), which is the most comic
imitation of reality in its five times repeated phrase--[See Page Image]
twice with additional emphasis:--

The accompaniment of the violins is different for each clause (the
basses remaining the same), and increases in speed, thus producing a
climax provoked by the impatient exclamations of the bridal party.
The whole conception of the part of Despina may be referred to the
individuality of its first performer, Signora Bussani, whose reputation



rather for spirit and audacity than for delicacy of expression (Vol.
III., p. 97). Another example of perfect gaiety is the terzet for the
three male voices (16). After the angry exit of the sisters, Guillelmo
and Ferrando begin to laugh,[55] thereby increasing the discomfiture of
Don Alfonso, who with difficulty persuades them to desist. The merriment
of the young men, the annoyance of the old one, the laughter which
they vainly endeavour to suppress, are so admirably expressed, and the
triplet passage of the accompaniment adds so strikingly to the effect,
that we feel the same irresistible inclination to merriment that is
inspired by the countenance of an antique laughing satyr.

The counterpart to Despina is Don Alfonso,[56] who displays throughout
the plot no single impulse of sympathy or good-nature, and at the same
time fails to inspire interest as a purely comic character. Paltry
scepticism without humour or good-temper, cold rationalism without
any tinge of geniality, are not attractive in themselves, and are
essentially unmusical; they can only be effective by virtue of contrast,
and Don Alfonso therefore appears principally in ensembles. In the first
male terzet his cool demeanour stands in excellent relief against the
excitement of the young men, and Mozart has given an irresistibly droll
expression to the little ballad which he mockingly sings to them (2).
His sympathy in the parting scene has more delicacy of characterisation;
here he keeps in the background, but the quiet remarks which he
interposes add just the ingredient to the melting sentiment of the
ladies which is required for the production of the right effect on the
audience. As a rule, however, Don Alfonso does not express his true
sentiments, and his dissimulation induces an exaggeration which is not
without comic effect, but requires great refinement of delivery. It
belongs to the conception of such a character that he should abstain
from asserting himself independently, and therefore



no grand air is assigned to him; this may be partly owing, however, to
the deficiencies of the first performer, for Bus-sani does not appear to
have been much of a singer.

His two most important solo pieces are purposely so arranged as to admit
of an amount of sentiment which is foreign to his true character. In
the first he expresses with evident exaggeration the consternation which
fills him at the afflicting intelligence which he is bringing to the
sisters; it is as characteristic of the person as of the situation, and
expresses at once the state of excitement which prevails throughout the
following scene. Of more original design is the short ensemble
movement (22) in which Don Alfonso and Despina bring the two couples
together.[57] By undertaking to be the mouthpiece of the bashful
lovers, Don Alfonso gains an opportunity of expressing himself with more
feeling, and yet his position does not admit of any very deep or serious
expression on his part. The device of making the two lovers strike
in like an echo is a happy one; but Da Ponte has not turned it to the
advantage of which it was capable. It is quite right that Fiordiligi and
Dorabella should not join in in the same way when Despina answers for
them; but to leave them quite out of the question, and to make the
interest of the situation centre in the by-play of Don Alfonso and
Despina, destroys the significance which this scene might have had.
A teasing, jesting tone predominates throughout the movement, and is
indeed in keeping with the whole opera; but we long for a little more
energy and fulness of expression at the more important points. In order
to place Don Alfonso in the right light, he should be shown in real
perplexity, and brought thereby into the



foreground. The laughing terzet passes too quickly to make this motive
effective. Besides the terzet, he has only two short movements wherein
to express his views on the inconstancy of women, and these in a sort
of accompanied recitative suggest very vividly his exalted and pedantic
turn of mind. In the latter of the two he proceeds through a very simple
but suggestive climax to point his closing moral--[See Page Image] and
the converted but appeased lovers join in at his desire:--

As has already been remarked, Mozart took this phrase as the motto for
his overture. It is introduced by a short andante, which, after
two quick chords, begins with a tender motif for the oboe; this is
interrupted by repeated chords, but starts again, whereupon first the
bass, and then the full orchestra, give out the "Cosi fan tutte" as
above,[58] and immediately lead into the presto which is to demonstrate
the significance of the phrase. A short cursory phrase--rises in rapid
crescendo for the violins through two octaves; and then all the parts,
in syncopated rhythm--[See Page Image]



seem to stop the way for some moments, only to give place to a light
running passage--[See Page Image]

which the wind instruments take up by turns. These are the elements
which in rapid and incessant alternation chase each other through the
overture like feather balls tossed from hand to hand, until the merry
game is interrupted by the phrase which gave birth to it: "Cosi fan
tutte!" Again the crescendo rises to its highest pitch, and closes
with a few powerful chords. The gay and wanton tone of the opera could
scarcely be better suggested, the overture being in very truth the most
perfect expression of careless gaiety. In the clear flow of its lively
frolic we see some resemblance to the overture to "Figaro," but the
deep, fine feeling which shines through the tumult of the earlier work
would be out of place, and may be sought for in vain in the overture
before us.

The characters presented to us in this opera lend themselves best to
musical treatment when they join in ensemble pieces.[59] The definite
situations give strength to the characterisation, which is further aided
by the contrast of the persons concerned; and the dramatic motive adds
variety and energy of expression. The sestet in the first act (13) is
very simple in design, but effective from its well-placed contrasts
and judicious climax. The introduction of the friends has a marchlike
character. Don Alfonso recommends them to Despina's favour, and they
add more lively entreaties, in accordance with their assumed characters;
Despina's mirth



is excited by the extraordinary figures before her, while they are
delighted to find that she does not recognise them.

The action begins with the entrance of the two ladies. The urgent suit
of the lovers is now opposed to the strong displeasure of the sisters,
Despina making common cause with the former. The declaration of love is
emphasised in an unusual fashion by the transition of the harmony into
a minor key,[60] by the chromatic movement of the parts, and by the
clarinet, bassoon, and violoncello accompaniment. The astonishment of
the two ladies at first gives a painful tone to the expression, but
as soon as they have recovered sufficiently to give vent to their
indignation the situation changes. The lovers rejoice in silence over
this proof of fidelity, while Despina and Don Alfonso affect to find
some grounds for suspicion in the very violence of the resentment
displayed by the sisters. The grouping of the characters is also
changed. Fiordiligi and Dorabella, divided between anger at the
intruders and the remembrance of their absent lovers, stand together;
on the other side the lovers join issue, and Despina and Don Alfonso
observe the course of affairs together; it is with right judgment
that the two latter are put prominently forward, especially at the
passage--[See Page Image] for they command the situation, and this
passage throws a light upon the tumult and confusion which prevail.
Mozart's temperate discrimination in the use of means has here again
enabled him to mould all this into a musical whole of perfect unity. The
situation of the first finale is nearly allied to this, but more vividly
characterised in the details, and more elaborately worked out. It begins
with a very amorous



duet for the forsaken fair ones, introduced by a long ritornello and
worked out in independent style; a counterpart to the first duet, only
that here the expression is naturally more fond and languishing. The
sensual, dreamy mood thus represented is broken in upon by the harsh
dissonances and disjointed rhythm of the poisoning scene, and ends with
a pathetic ensemble and the swooning of the lovers. During the absence
of Don Alfonso and Despina in quest of aid, a calmer tone is adopted,
which grows gradually more animated as the sisters express their terror
and anxiety, and the lovers their satisfaction at the state of affairs,
and enjoyment of the comic scene in which they are playing the chief
parts. But when the sympathy displayed by the ladies at the sight of
their apparent sufferings gradually becomes so demonstrative that there
seems some danger of pity being transformed to love, the tables are
turned, the lovers begin to be anxious, and a state of painful suspense
overmasters them all. At this point there occurs one of those deeper and
more delicate psychological manifestations which Mozart so well knew how
to render, and in which, as usual, the orchestra co-operates. At first,
two characteristic motifs which go through the whole movement, a triplet
figure--[See Page Image] and an interrupted one of quite a different
character-- combine together, but then there enter two others-- to
express the painful sensations of the poisoned lovers. The orchestra
carries this idea out in manifold combinations, and thus affords a
characteristic groundwork for the expressions of gradually augmenting
compassion. The lovers, become suspicious, now express their anxiety,
and they finally all concur in a distrustful uncertainty, plaintively



rendered by imitative chromatic passages. The entertaining and truly
comic element of the situation consists in the fact that the merry trick
which Ferrando and Guillelmo hoped to play takes so doubtful a turn,
and that the emotions, on both sides genuine, spring from quite other
sources, and take quite different directions from those which are
outwardly indicated. Mozart has seized the situation with ready humour,
and, as usual, the right apprehension of the dramatic part of the work
has improved the conception and treatment of the musical element; this
movement is in every respect a masterpiece, and belongs to Mozart's most
exquisite compositions. The scene changes completely with the entrance
of the disguised physician, and the key of the dominant G major,
following the close in C minor, makes the same impression of freshness
as the introduction of an entirely new element.[61] All is now animation
and life--question and answer are rapidly exchanged, help is asked for
and given, and in the midst stands the charlatan playing out the farce
with due solemnity, and infusing the whole scene with wit and humour.

After the completion of the pretended cure, the lovers again come to
the foreground and express their passion in extravagant ravings; the
reluctance of the ladies, in spite of Despina's and Don Alfonso's
persuasions, again gives a comic tone to the situation, contributing to
the production of an ensemble singularly rich in contrasting sentiments.
The orchestra again serves as a groundwork, and an original and
persistent violin figure gives the andante a strange, somewhat solemn
character, with which the voices frequently contrast in a manner highly
suggestive of the situation. The instrumentation also lends its aid. Not
only are the stringed instruments here employed so differently to the
preceding movement that they scarcely seem the same instruments; but,
whereas oboes with flutes and bassoons



predominated in the former case, here clarinets and bassoons are
reinforced by trumpets with highly original effect. The tone-colouring
alters completely at the commencement of the allegro. The flutes in
unison with the violins, and the tremolo quaver accompaniment, express
a decree of sensual excitement which contrasts strikingly with the calm,
exalted tone of the andante. The lovers awaking from their trance and
demanding a kiss, the sisters are transported with an indignation far
more intense than that excited by the first encounter. Don Alfonso and
Despina seek to pacify them, and an unwilling suspicion that the
very violence of the resentment argues against its absolute sincerity
modifies in the minds of the lovers the comic impression of the whole
scene. The dramatic characterisation of all these opposing elements, the
well-defined grouping of the characters, the force and fire with which
the climax is worked up, and the tumult of excited emotions with which
the finale ends, give it a place above the corresponding first finale in
"Figaro," and on a level with that in "Don Giovanni."

The second finale begins with the wedding ceremony, which is charmingly
and graphically depicted. Despina, who is joined by Don Alfonso, gives
directions to the servants for the reception of the bridal party, and
the whole of the first movement sparkles with life and gaiety, preparing
the way for the festive chorus in which the two couples are presently
welcomed. Then follows the endearing talk of the lovers, who seat
themselves at table, drink to each other, and finally join in an amorous
canon. This is a trait taken from the social manners of the time (Vol.
II., p. 362), just as the independent treatment of the wind instruments
during the whole scene represents the customary table music.[62]
A startling enharmonic transition (from A flat major to E major)
transports us out of this lovesick mood, and the scene which follows
with the notary is as full of humour as that with the physician,
although the context



necessitates greater moderation of tone; it is effectively interrupted
by the distant chorus proclaiming the return of the warriors. The
consternation and confusion which ensue have no real interest for the
audience, who are aware of what the issue must be; the plot is therefore
hurried rapidly to an end, and does not admit of any connected musical
treatment. The composer has been forced to content himself with bringing
out certain points, such as the feigned terror of Don Alfonso, the real
alarm of the ladies, and the joyful greetings of the returning lovers.
The situation becomes more piquant when Despina unmasks, and when the
lovers discover themselves as the pretended Albanians; and Mozart has
rendered both these points with true musical humour. But the purely
musical interest does not reassert its sway until the reconciliation has
taken place, and a feeling of peace and happiness is diffused around.
The last movement more especially is full of such calm and melodious
beauty that we feel lifted above the vanity and triviality of so much
that has gone before, and left with an impression of heartfelt gaiety
and satisfaction.

A nearer examination of the opera shows that the libretto, never rising
above the ordinary opera buffa, has not seldom dragged the music down
to its own level. The caricature and exaggeration indispensable to
this species of comic drama have indeed been made by Mozart, as far as
possible, the natural outcomes of the situations and characters, and are
thus justified as an artistic element of the work, but he has not been
able altogether to avoid the substitution of external stage devices for
psychological truth. The attempt is more visible in this work than in
any other to render the meaning of the words through the senses; the
accompaniment is especially rich in detail-painting, instead of being,
as in Mozart's other works, called upon to add the more delicate
shades of emotional characterisation. In the duet between Guillelmo and
Dorabella (23) the orchestra gives the heart-beats which are made the
chief point of the words; in the lovely terzet (10) the raging of wind
and waves, and in the preceding quintet (9) the sobs, are distinctly
expressed. Even subordinate ideas are represented



after the same realistic manner, as, among others, the drawing of the
swords in the first terzet, the flourish of trumpets and clinking of
glasses in the third, the piping and cannon reports in the war chorus
(8), the beating of the heart in Dorabella's air (28) suggested by the
quavers on the oboe, and the general clinking of glasses in the last
finale by the pizzicato of the violins.[63] These are all pleasing
touches, introduced without injury to more important features, but they
do not reach to the same height of psychological characterisation which
we are wont to admire in Mozart's operas. Other devices of opera buffa
are more constantly employed here than elsewhere, especially rapidity
of speech; but, on the other hand, there is no trace of any attempt at
imitating national peculiarities, even when the disguises assumed might
have given rise to it; Mozart could not but feel that a musical disguise
of the kind would very soon, fatigue the audience. The effort to cater
to the taste of the public goes hand in hand with submission to the
dictates of the singers, and we find their influence far more visible in
"Cosi fan Tutte" than in "Figaro" or "Don Giovanni." There is an evident
effort to please individual taste in the concerted airs, and in the
unusually light and pleasing melodies; such concessions cause this
opera, more than any other, to resemble the best works of Italian

The peculiar qualities of Mozart's nature, his refinement and nobility
of thought, his wealth of productivity, and his marvellous technical
knowledge, are as distinctly marked in this opera as elsewhere. The
planning, the construction, the grouping of parts, are so firm, so
transparently clear, that we follow even the most complicated movements
with ease. The freedom and pliancy of the disposition of parts, where
there occurs a combination of different characteristic melodies, the
easy dexterity displayed in the employment of contrapuntal forms,
co-operate to excite and rivet the attention of the hearer, without
causing him any sense of effort.

The quality, however, which delights us more than any other in this
opera is its delicate sense of beautiful sound,



and the ease with which this sense is made evident throughout. It is
a quality, no doubt, inseparable from inventive power and a talent for
construction, but it is not universally effective in the same degree,
and it is rare to find such a union of the forces which regulate the
impression made by musical beauty upon the senses. Even the orchestra,
although deficient in the delicate detail of "Figaro" and "Don
Giovanni," is in other respects fuller, more brilliant, and richer in
separate instrumental effects. The wind instruments are brought more
forward, in more varied combinations and finer shades of tone-colouring.
The clarinets are made effective, and a characteristic distinction made
between their employment and that of the oboes. An original use is
made of the trumpets: apart from drums they are not trumpet-like in the
ordinary sense, but are used in place of the horns (not in combination
with them), and mostly in the lower registers, in order to give
freshness and force to the tone-colouring. Similar observations might
be extended to show in detail with what refined penetration and correct
judgment of effect the forces of the orchestra are made to conduce to
the euphonious charm of the opera. That "Cosi fan Tutte," considered as
a whole, and in respect of importance and detail of characterisation, is
inferior to "Figaro" and "Don Giovanni," no competent critic will deny.
Nevertheless many separate portions of the work, and the large majority
of the characters, display Mozart's genius and mastery of his art in
full measure of originality and brilliancy, and in many respects this
opera may be held to indicate an important step in advance of all that
has gone before it.


[Footnote 1: N. Berl. Mus. Ztg., 1856, No. 5, p. 35.]

[Footnote 2: N. Wien. Mus. Ztg., 1852, No. 35.]

[Footnote 3: Wien. Ztg., 1788, October 15, No. 83, p. 2,541.]

[Footnote 4: From August 29, when "Figaro" was first placed on the stage, it was
given eleven times (August 31; September 2, 11, 19; October 3, 9, 24;
November 5, 13, 27); fifteen times in 1790, and three times in 1791.]

[Footnote 5: Fr. Heinse (Reise-und Lebensskizzen, I., p. 184) mentions a rumour
that a story current in Vienna at the time concerning two officers and
their mistresses furnished the subject for the opera, which was adopted
by the express desire of the Emperor.]

[Footnote 6: Da Ponte mentions it only briefly (Mem., II., p. 109).]

[Footnote 7: In the Wien. Ztg., 1790, No. 9, Anh., the date is printed,
"Mittwoch, 16 Januar."]

[Footnote 8: Joum. des Luxus u. d. Moden, 1790, p. 148: "I have again to announce
a new and excellent work by Mozart acquired by our theatre. It was
performed yesterday for the first time at the Imp. Nat. Theatre. It is
entitled,'Cosi fan Tutte, osia la Scuola degli Amanti.' Of the music, it
is sufficient to say that it is by Mozart."]

[Footnote 9: It was repeated after the first performance, on January 28,30;
February 7, 11. After the death of Joseph II. (February 20) the theatre
was closed until April 12; Mozart's opera was given again June 6, 12;
July 6, 16; Aug. 17; in all, therefore, ten times; then it was allowed
to drop.]

[Footnote 10: The first book of the words, "Cosi fan Tutte, osia la Scuola degli
Amanti. Dramma giocoso in due atti, da rappresentarsi nel Teatro di
Corte l' anno 1790," was shown to me by Sonnleithner.]

[Footnote 11: In the original recitative (Act I., sc. 9), Trieste was written,
and altered into Naples; Venezia is in the printed score.]

[Footnote 12: The words with which Don Alfonso begins the second terzet-- "È la
fede delle femine Come l' Araba fenice: Che vi sia, ciascun lo dice Dove
sia, nessun lo sà"--are borrowed from Metastasio's "Demetrio" (Act II.,
sc. 3), and were composed by himself as a canon (where it runs, "La fede
degli amanti, &c.). It is therefore an old familiar song that Alfonso
sings to them.]

[Footnote 13: According to the original score the march is first played by the
orchestra alone, piano at the beginning, and _crescendo_ from the second
part; at the repetition the chorus joins in _forte_.]

[Footnote 14: This scene was originally introduced by a Cavatina for Despina;
after the recitative is written, _Dopo la cavatina di' Despina._ Mozart
afterwards crossed out these words, probably because a better place was
found for Despina's air.]

[Footnote 15: Schneider, Gesch. d. Oper, p. 61.]

[Footnote 16: Schneider, Ibid., p. 76.]

[Footnote 17: A. M. Z., XXVIII., p. 26. Berl. Mus. Ztg., III., p. 12.]

[Footnote 18: A. M. Z., XXXIII., p. 550.]

[Footnote 19: A. M. Z., XLVIII., p. 870.]

[Footnote 20: A. M. Z., X., p. 409.]

[Footnote 21: A. M. Z., XXV., p. 428.]

[Footnote 22: A. M. Z., XXXIII., p. 222.]

[Footnote 23: A. M. Z., XL., p. 440.]

[Footnote 24: A. M. Z., VII., p. 240.]

[Footnote 25: A. M. Z., XXXII., p. 375. Fr. Heinse, Reise-und Lebensskizzen, I.,
p. 183.]

[Footnote 26: A. M. Z., XIV., p. 189. Cf. XVI., p. 154.]

[Footnote 27: A.M.Z., XII., p. 500; XVI., p. 451.]

[Footnote 28: A. M. Z., XVIII., p. 895.]

[Footnote 29: A. M. Z., XIII., pp. 526, 720; XIX., p. 550; XXII., p. 813.]

[Footnote 30: Pohl, Mozart u. Haydn in London, p. 146. Parke, Mus. Mem., II., p.

[Footnote 31: A. M. Z., XLIV., p. 750.]

[Footnote 32: The autograph score is arranged and written quite in Mozart's usual
manner. The recitative of the scena (XI. and XII.), [the duet (29),
completed by a strange hand, exists in Mozart's manuscript], the
serenade (21), the accompanied recitative for Fiordiligi before the air
(25), and the whole of scena (XIII.) of the second act, besides some
extra sheets for the wind instruments, are wanting.]

[Footnote 33: B. A. Weber declared after the performance in Berlin (Mus.
Monatsschr., 1792, p. 137): "After the 'Marriage of Figaro,' this opera
is indisputably the finest. The concerted pieces more especially have a
beauty and an expression which can be rather felt than described."]

[Footnote 34: Journ. d. Mod., 1792, p. 504: "The opera in question is the most
absurd stuff in the world, and only sought after on account of the
excellence of the music."]

[Footnote 35: In a Musikalischer Briefwechsel (Berlin Mus. Ztg., 1805, p. 293)
the opera, both words and music, are severely criticised by "Arithmos,"
who is then in his turn ridiculed as a Philistine by "Phantasus," and
the opera praised as a model of genuine irony. E. T. A. Hoffmann, too,
who places the essence of comic opera in the fantastical, considers
that the much-abused text of "Cosi fan Tutte' is genuinely operatic
(Serapionsbrüder, I., 2, 1, Ges. Schr., I., p. 120).]

[Footnote 36: Cf. A. von Wolzogen, Deutsche Mus. Ztg., 1861, p. 137.]

[Footnote 37: In this form the opera was performed in Berlin, and again in 1822
at Braunschweig (A. M. Z., XXIV., p. 378), in 1823 at Cassel (A. M. Z.,
XXV., p. 450), and in 1824 at Munich (A. M. Z., XXVI., p. 588).]

[Footnote 38: Morgenblatt, 1856, No. 4, p. 75.]

[Footnote 39: This has occasioned the displacement of some of the songs, not
always to their disadvantage. This version is not only far superior to
all that preceded it, but is excellent in itself by reason of its taste
and cleverness and careful regard for musical requirements.]

[Footnote 40: A Danish translation by Oehlenschläger, with which I am
not acquainted, appears to have altogether transformed the plot
(Oehlenschläger, Lebenserin-nerungen, I., p. 121; IV., p. 43).]

[Footnote 41: Hogarth, Mem. of the Opera, II., p. 188.]

[Footnote 42: These pseudo improvements have been adopted at the more recent
performances of the opera at Leipzig, Dresden, Munich, Vienna, and even
at Karlsruhe,by Ed. Devrient (1860).]

[Footnote 43: In the second act there are six airs, four duets, the so-called
quartet and Alfonso's short scena; in the first there are six airs, two
duets, five terzets, and one quintet, besides a sestet and the great
scena with the chorus.]

[Footnote 44: "Oh, how inexpressibly I prize and honour Mozart," says Richard
Wagner (Oper u. Drama, I., p. 54), "in that he found it impossible to
write the same kind of music for 'Titus' as for 'Don Juan,' for 'Cosi
fan Tutte' as for 'Figaro' I How music would have been debased thereby!
A sprightly, frivolous poet handed him his airs, duets, and ensembles
to compose, and according to the warmth with which they inspired him, he
set them to the music which would endow them with the fullest amount of
expression that they were capable of." Hotho (Vorstudien f. Leben und
Kunst, p. 76) is of opinion that in "Cosi fan Tutte" the female parts
are thrown into the shade by the male, while the contrary is the case in
"Figaro" and "Don Giovanni," and accounts for this fact by saying that
Mozart was always attracted by that side of his subject which was mostly
suggestive of melody.]

[Footnote 45: It is advertised in the Wien. Ztg., 1790, No. 16, Anh., as the most
beautiful duet of the new opera.]

[Footnote 46: Da Ponte, Mem., II., pp. 108,117.]

[Footnote 47: Parke, Mus. Mem., I., p. 48.]

[Footnote 48: The first part was originally given to Dorabella, the second to
Fiordiligi, as far as the first finale; this was afterwards altered by
Mozart. It can only have arisen from an exchange of names, for that the
first part was always intended for Ferraresi is clear from the manner in
which the low notes are made use of, evidently to suit her voice.]

[Footnote 49: It is suggestive for the execution that _lietissimo_ is the
direction at the beginning of the voice part.]

[Footnote 50: An excellent effect is given by the alternations of the keys of
E flat major and C major in the second theme, and the interchange of
clarinets and oboes connected therewith.]

[Footnote 51: The tenor, Vincenzo Calvesi, who made his first appearance with his
wife in April, 1785 (Wien. Ztg., 1785, No. 33, Anh.), is the same for
whom, in 1785, the inserted piece, "Villanella rapita," was written
(Vol. II., p. 331), and who, in 1786, took the part of one Antipholus in
Storace's "Gli Equivoci," while Kelly took the other (Kelly, Reminisc.,
I., p. 237).]

[Footnote 52: Bassi distinguished himself subsequently in Dresden in the part of
Guillelmo (A. M. Z., X., p. 410; XIII., p. 730; XIX., p. 649).]

[Footnote 53: Here again an alteration must have been made. The preceding
recitative ended originally after Ferrando's words, "Dammi consiglio!"
in C minor, whereupon the direction follows: _Segue Varia di Guillelmo_.
Afterwards the two last bars were crossed out, and the recitative
was continued on another sheet, as it is now printed, with the same
direction at the end.]

[Footnote 54: The repetition by the wind instruments of the passage of such
irresistibly comic gravity--[See Page Image] is wanting in the original
score, and is written by the hand of a copyist on a separate sheet for
flutes and bassoons only; nor do the references appear to me to be by
Mozart. The insertion, however, was unquestionably in accordance with
his intentions.]

[Footnote 55: In both versions, Guillelmo's air breaks off on the chord of the
seventh, and is immediately followed by the terzet. At the beginning of
the latter is written _ridono moderatamente (not fortissimo_).]

[Footnote 56: Rochlitz, A. M. Z., III., p. 592.]

[Footnote 57: This appears to be a later alteration. The preceding recitative
ended originally at--[See Page Image] and the direction followed _Segue
V aria di Don Alfonso;_ the d was crossed out, and attacca written
against it. Even if Mozart did not look upon the ensemble as a regular
quartet, he could scarcely have denominated it "Aria di Don Alfonso";
such an aria must therefore have been projected, and afterwards changed
for the ensemble.]

[Footnote 58: Rochlitz, A. M. Z., III., p. 593. Cf. Ambros, Culturhistor.
Bilder., p. 191.]

[Footnote 59: One can hardly credit Schroder's remark, on seeing the opera,
rechristened by Stegmann "Liebe und Versuchung," May 1, 1791, at
Frankfort: "Wretched! Even Mozart's music is only good in the second
act." (Meyer, L. Schroder, II., i., p. 68.)]

[Footnote 60: The minor key is employed only in Don Alfonso's caricatured air (5)
in the poisoning scene of the second movement of the first finale, and
very cursorily in Ferrando's air (27).]

[Footnote 61: The change of key, simple though it is, is more marked than in the
first finale of "Figaro " and "Don Juan." G minor follows D major, then
E flat major, C minor, G major, then immediately B flat major, and again
without transition D major.]

[Footnote 62: The canon was originally more spun out, and Guillelmo, having
vented his wrath in parlando, was to take up the theme against
Dorabella; but Mozart rightly gave up the idea, and struck out the bars
he had already written.]

[Footnote 63: Cf. Gugler, Morgenblatt, 1856, No. 4, p. Si.]





THE accession of Leopold II. to the Imperial throne (March 13, 1790) was
not an event of good omen for music and the opera. Up to the month of
July he had not entered the theatre, nor had any private concerts, nor



displayed any sort of partiality for music; his consort, the Empress
Louise, visited the opera and laid claim to some musical knowledge,
although she expressed herself dissatisfied with the state of music
in Vienna; the young princes, too, were instructed in music.[1] The
difference between Joseph and his successor in point of taste was very
soon manifested by the reintroduction of ballets, and by the favour
bestowed on opera seria as well as opera buffa. It was rumoured that
a new court theatre was to be built, in which the boxes were to
be arranged for card-playing, and that Salieri had determined in
consequence to resign his post, which was to be filled by Cimarosa.[2]
Those individuals who had enjoyed the esteem of Joseph had little favour
to hope for from Leopold; a fact which soon became evident in matters
theatrical. Count Rosenberg was removed from the management, which was
intrusted to Count Ugarte;[3] Da Ponte and Madame Ferraresi fell
into disfavour;[4] Salieri thought it advisable to retire from the
conductorship of the opera, and his place was filled by Jos. Weigl,
"that the master might be reverenced in the pupil."[5] Mozart had stood
too high in the favour of Joseph to be able to expect much from Leopold
II.; his candidature for the post of second kapellmeister was as little
successful as his request to be honoured with the musical instruction
of the princes. Proof positive of the low esteem in which he was held
by the court was afforded to him on the occasion of the visit of King
Ferdinand of Naples, who came to Vienna (September 14) with his Queen,
Caroline, to celebrate the marriages of his daughters, Maria Theresa and
Louise, with the Archdukes Francis and Ferdinand. Ferdinand's



two passions were music and the chase;[6] and the instrument which he
most affected was the lute. In his honour a new opera by Weigl ("La
Cafetiera Bizarra") was performed (September 15);[7] the Emperor made
his first appearance at the opera with King Ferdinand, when Salieri's
"Axur" was played (September 21); in honour of the weddings, open table
was held in the great Redoutensaal, and a concert performed in the
gallery under Salieri's direction, in which Cavalieri and Calvesi and
the brothers Stadler took part, and a symphony by Haydn was performed
which the King knew by heart, and sang out loud as it was played; Haydn
was introduced to him, invited to Naples, and honoured with commands for
compositions;[8] and all this time Mozart remained unnoticed, and was
not even summoned to play before the King of Naples, a neglect which
wounded him deeply. His condition was painful in the extreme; his
wife's delicate health showed no signs of improving; and as his expenses
increased his income gradually diminished. In May he had only two
pupils, and was obliged to appeal to his friends to assist him in
raising the number to eight. His continual and pressing embarrassments
exhausted even the resources of his ever-generous friend Puchberg, and
he was obliged to apply to money-lenders, and to embark in speculations
which did but hasten his financial ruin (Vol. II., p. 301). The weight
of these cares crippled his energies for work, as he himself complains,
and no period of his life is so poor in artistic production as this
year. His own catalogue contains, after the completion of "Cosi fan
Tutte" in January, 1790, only:--

May. Quartet for two violins, viola and violoncello in B flat major (589

June. Quartet in F major (590 K.).

July. Handel's "Cecilia" and "Alexander's Feast," arranged (591, 592



In the hope of improving his circumstances, Mozart resumed his plan of
taking a professional tour; the coronation of Leopold II. in Frankfort,
on October 9, attracted a large number of strangers to that city, and
seemed to render it a favourable place for the experiment. Salieri, as
court kapellmeister,[9] Ign. Umlauf as his deputy, and fifteen chamber
musicians, were sent to Frankfort among the retinue of the Emperor.[10]
Mozart was not included among the number, and thus was deprived of the
advantage of the imperial patronage. On September 23 he set off, after
pawning his silver plate to defray the expenses of his journey (Vol.
II., p. 301) in company with his brother-in-law, the violinist Hofer,
whom he took with him out of compassion, and with the intention of
sharing the expected profits together; they travelled in their own
carriage, and, arriving in Frankfort on the 23rd, had considerable
difficulty in finding a lodging, owing to the overflow of strangers
into the town. On October 14, at noon, Mozart gave a concert in the
Stadt-theater.[11] The contrabassist Ludwig, long since dead, who took
part in the concert, used to tell how the piano stood upon the stage,
and how during the rehearsal the restless, agile little man was
continually leaping over the prompter's box into the orchestra to chat
in a friendly way with the various performers, and then climb back again
on to the stage. Mozart's own compositions were exclusively performed
at this concert; he played the concertos in F major (459 K.) and D major
(537 K.). Margarethe Hamel, afterwards Frau Schick, was the vocalist,
and so charmed Mozart by her voice and delivery that he is said to have
exclaimed repeatedly: "I never wish to hear any other singing



than this."[12] It is also said that he played a pianoforte concerto as
a duet with old "Papa Beecké" (Vol. I., pp. 151,368), whom he met again
here.[13] He acquaints his wife with the friendly reception accorded
him, and tradition has it that he struck up a friendship with the
concertmeister Hoffmann, and generally spent the evening with him
at Gran's tavern in the Bleidenstrasse. Hesse became acquainted in
Frankfort, as he tells us,[14] with an old superannuated organist of the
Katharinenkirche, who in 1790 had been the pupil of his predecessor; the
old man said:--

One Sunday, after service, Mozart came into the choir at St Katharine's,
and begged the old organist to allow him to play something. He seated
himself on the stool and gave the reins to his fancy, when the organist
suddenly pushed him off the stool in the rudest manner, and said to the
pupil standing by: "Mark that last modulation which Herr Mozart made;
how can he profess to be a musician and commit such grave offences
against correct composition?"

The pupil had remembered the modulation, and Hesse thought it a fine
one, and not even unusual.

From Frankfort Mozart proceeded to Mayence. Here rumour assigned him a
touching love intrigue, which was supposed to have suggested the
song "Io ti lascio," the said song having been in reality composed by
Gottfried von Jacquin in Vienna, and not by Mozart at all (Vol. II.,
p. 361). On his way back to Frankfort, Mozart stayed at Mannheim, and
renewed the memory of former days with as many of the old friends as
still survived. He arrived just in time for the first performance of his
"Figaro," which took place on October 24. The actor Backhaus notes in
his Tagebuch der Mann-heimer Schaubühne: "I got into great disgrace with
Mozart. I was standing at the door while our rehearsal was going on. He
came and asked me about it, and whether he might hear it. I took him for
a little journeyman tailor, and refused to let him in. 'You will surely
allow Kapellmeister Mozart to hear the rehearsal?' So I was in a scrape
most decidedly."[15]



The late organist of the Trinitatiskirche, Schultz, delighted as an
octogenarian to recall how Mozart, who visited his father and played the
organ with him, censured the slow tempi of the Kapellmeister Fränzel at
the rehearsal in the theatre, and gave it himself with more animation.
Otherwise, Mozart pronounced himself highly satisfied with the cast and
the performance.[16]

At Munich, where Mozart arrived on October 29, and took up his quarters
with his old friend Albert,[17] he found still more of the old set, and
his letters to his wife show the pleasure he took in their society. Here
at last he had the gratification of being requested by the Elector to
play at the concert which was given at court to the King of Naples,
who was staying at Munich for two days[18] on his return journey from
Frankfort. "Highly creditable to the Vienna court," he writes, "that the
King should hear me in a foreign country." Shortly after Mozart's return
to Vienna Salomon arrived from London, and made what might at that time
be considered brilliant proposals to Haydn to accompany him to England,
and produce that series of compositions for the Philharmonic Society
which were destined to lay the foundation of Haydn's fame and
prosperity. Salomon made repeated propositions to Mozart also to
undertake the journey to London under similar conditions, as soon as
Haydn should return. It was with a heavy heart that Mozart bade adieu to
his dear "Papa Haydn," the only artist in Vienna who really understood
him and wished him well.

It may safely be asserted that Mozart did not return to Vienna with a
full purse, nor did his other financial operations secure for him that
for which he so touchingly expresses to his wife his ardent longing:
a mind free from anxiety, and permission to work--only to work. He did
work, though,



after his return, and the last year of his life displays an activity
which passes belief. His own list contains:--

1790. December. A quintet for two violins, two violas, and violoncello D
major (593 K.).

1791. January 5. A pianoforte concerto, B flat major (595 K.).

January 14. Three German songs (596 K.).

January 23, 29; February 5, 12, 28; March 6. Dances (599-607, 609-611

March 3. A piece for clockwork, in F minor (608 K.).

March 8. A bass air with obbligato double-bass, for Hrn. Görl and
Pischlberger, "Per questa bella mano" (612 K.). Variations for the piano
on the song "Ein Weib ist das herrlichste Ding" (613 K.).

April 12. A quintet for two violins, two violas, and violoncello, in E
flat major (614 K.).

April 20. Final chorus in the opera "Le Gelosie Villane," by Sarti, for
amateurs, "Viviamo felici in dolce contento" (615 K., unknown).

May 4. Andante for a waltz on a small barrel-organ, in F major (616 K.).

May 23. Adagio and Rondo for harmonica, flute, oboe, viola and
violoncello in C minor (617 K.).

June 18. In Baden "Aveverum corpus" (618 K.).

July. A short German cantata for solo voice and pianoforte, "Die ihr des
unermesslichen Weltalls Schopfer" (619 K.).

A glance at this catalogue is sufficient to prove that he wrote whatever
he was requested, either by commission or to please his friends.

For his own playing, no doubt at a concert, he wrote the pianoforte
concerto in B flat major, which like most of the compositions of this
period, is distinguished by its mild and earnest tone and charming
euphony. The two fine quintets for stringed instruments were written "at
the earnest solicitation of a musical friend" (Vol. III., p. 18) who
was no doubt acquainted with Mozart's poor circumstances, and wished
to afford him a worthy opportunity of turning his art to account. The
spirit in which Mozart undertook commissions which were often of a very
subordinate nature may be best seen in his composition for a mechanical
timepiece which was ordered by Count Deym for Müller's art-collection,
then attracting great attention. The serious temper which it displays,

{BADEN, 1791--STOLL.}


the thoroughly technical treatment of the composition, betray no
evidence of a work merely done to order. Another occasional composition
is the beautiful chorus with stringed quartet accompaniment, "Ave verum
corpus." Mozart's wife was staying at Baden for the waters in the summer
of 1790, and again in 1791, in company with her sister Sophie. There
Mozart became acquainted with the schoolmaster and choirmaster Stoll, an
ardent admirer, who took pleasure in making himself useful to Mozart
and his wife. That Stoll could appreciate the fun of Mozart, in his
unrestrained moods, is shown by the superscription of a note (July 12,

     Liebster Stoll!
     Bester Knoll!
     Grösster Schroll!
     Bist Stemvoll!
     Gelt das Moll!
     Thut dir wohl!

or by his assurance in another letter: "This is the stupidest letter
which I ever wrote in my life; but it is just fitted for you." On the
other hand, Mozart was of use to him with his compositions, and lent
him, among others, his Masses in B flat major (275 K.) and C major (317
K.) for performance. On one of these occasions the soprano singer turned
obstinate, and would not obey Mozart's directions. He sent her away, and
gave the part to his little favourite, Antonia Huber, a child of ten or
eleven years old, who was often with her brother-in-law Stoll and met
Mozart at his house. He practised with the child for a week, and her
industry and attention were so great that she performed her part to
admiration, and was rewarded by Mozart with "Brav, Tonerl, recht brav!"
together with a kiss and a ducat. He used to say to her, "Tonerl, make
haste and grow big, and I will take you with me to Vienna."[19] The "Ave
verum corpus" was no doubt composed at Stoll's suggestion during one
of these visits to Baden. It bears tokens of haste, but is so full of
childlike piety, winning simplicity, and entrancing harmony,



that one seems for the moment transported from all earthly doubts and
cares into a region of heavenly calm and peace.

A very different impression is made by the bass air with obbligato
double-bass, composed by Mozart for two professional friends. The
celebrated double-bass player, Pischlberger, was in Schikaneder's
orchestra, and Gerl and his wife (formerly Mdlle. Reisinger) sang at
the same theatre. Contemporaries affirmed that the very pretty and
attractive woman had completely entangled Mozart in her coils. Be that
as it may, this composition was the cause of a connection between Mozart
and Schikaneder which was fertile in results to the former.

Emanuel Schikaneder was born in poor circumstances at Regensburg
in 1751. He was obliged as a boy to earn his living as a wandering
musician, and in 1773 was so inspired by the performances of a wandering
troupe of actors at Augsburg that he joined them. He afterwards married
Eleonore Artim, the adopted daughter of his manager, and undertook the
management. He had considerable skill and audacity, not only as an actor
and singer, but also as a dramatic poet. His company visited by turns
Inspruck, Laibach, Gratz,[20] Pressburg, Pesth, and Salzburg, where he
had become acquainted with the Mozarts in 1780, and had suggested some
compositions to Wolfgang (Vol. II., p. 102). His want of refinement in
the choice of means of attraction is sufficiently proved by his having
on one occasion at Salzburg, when "Agnes Bernauer" was performed, made
the public announcement: "The Vidame will this day be thrown over the
bridge "--which concession to the moral feelings of his audience was
duly made the same evening.[21] He acquired a considerable competence,
but an unlucky speculation in Pressburg ruined him. He had written a
piece in which a goose played the principal part, and all the others
were cocks and hens. The expenses for scenery and costumes were very
great, and, as it was a complete failure, his finances were



irretrievably injured. In November, 1784, he gained access for his
company to the stage of the Karnthnerthortheater in Vienna, where he
gave German operas and plays, at which the Emperor was occasionally
present.[22] He appeared on April 1, 1785, in the part of Schwindel in
Gluck's "Pil-grimmen von Mecca"; but attempting greater parts in serious
drama, he was hissed off the stage, and in February, 1786, was forced
to leave Vienna.[23] He then took the town theatre in Regensburg, and
endeavoured to satisfy the taste of the populace for low comedy; but
this did not last long, and in the summer of 1787 he threw up the
undertaking[24] and returned to Vienna. His wife had in the meantime
remained at the theatre in the "Freihause auf der Wieden,"[25] and
had taken the management of it from Friedel. This now passed into
Schikaneder's hands, and in these confined premises--little better than
a barn--he succeeded in delighting the Viennese public with performances
expressly designed to attract them, especially comic operas, of which
many were highly successful.[26] What he wanted in cultivation (he could
barely write or reckon) he made up for in sound mother-wit, practical
experience, and knowledge of stage routine. His audacity was equal to
his frivolity, and he found a way out of every dilemma. He was addicted
to sensual gratification, a parasite and a spendthrift; and in spite of
his large income was often hard pressed by his creditors.[27]

During one of these periods of embarrassment, in the spring of 1791[28]
(May 7 is given as the date), he had recourse



to Mozart, with whom he had renewed the old acquaintance, and
representing to him that he was lost unless he could produce an opera
of great attractive power, he assured him that he had discovered an
excellent magic subject for an opera, which Mozart was just the man to
compose. Mozart's irresistible inclination for operatic composition, his
natural good-nature and regard for a brother Freemason, and, as it was
said, the influence of Madame Gerl, all combined to induce him to make
the attempt: "If we make a fiasco, I cannot help it, for I never wrote
a magic opera in my life." Schikaneder gave him the first sketch of the
"Zauberflöte," and, knowing how difficult it was to bring Mozart to the
point of writing, he arranged a little garden-house in the courtyard of
the Freihaus for his use, so as to keep him under his own eye. Here, and
in Josephsdorf, on the Kahlenberg (where his room in the casino is
still shown),[29] Mozart wrote the greater part of the "Zauberflöte";
Schikaneder was at hand to discuss points of detail, to make necessary
alterations, and above all to have his own part written to his mind. He
had a poor bass voice, was uncultivated, but not unmusical, and could
execute his songs in a dashing and effective manner. He knew perfectly
in what consisted his best effects, and insisted on having simple,
popular melodies, which Mozart was compliant enough to go on altering
until Schikaneder was satisfied. The song "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen,"
after many attempts, was, it is said, suggested by a melody hummed
by Schikaneder himself. It has been remarked that the beginning is
identical with the seventh and eighth lines of Scandelli's (d. 1580)
chorale, "Nun lob mein Seel den Herren"--[See Page Image] is sung to the
same melody[30]--a sure proof of its popularity. The duets "Bei Männern
welche Liebe fühlen," and



"Papageno" were repeatedly rearranged in deference to Schika-neder's
wish. His want of any hesitation in the matter is proved by the
following note from him, preserved by Al. Fuchs in his collection:--

Dear Wolfgang,--Herewith I return your "Pa-Pa-Pa-," which I like fairly
well. It will do, at any rate. We shall meet this evening at the usual
place.--Yours, E. Schikaneder.

But Schikaneder took care to keep his composer in good humour by
frequent invitations to his table; where both eating and drinking were
of the best, and by introductions to the jovial and free-living society
in which he himself moved, and which also included A. Stadler, the man
who so shamefully abused Mozart's good nature (Vol. II., p. 309). The
pressure of external circumstances, of growing domestic troubles, and
the bitter feeling of failure and disappointed hope, combined with
his own excitable nature to cause Mozart to seek for distraction and
forgetfulness in the whirl of a pleasure-loving life. His wife was at
Baden, where his youngest son Wolfgang was born on July 26; her absence
deprived his home life of any comfort, and drove him to take refuge
among his theatrical friends. Folly and dissipation were the inevitable
accompaniments of such an existence, and these soon reached the public
ear, combining with the exaggerated accounts current of the loose life
led by Schikaneder and his associates to cover Mozart's name for several
months with an amount of obloquy beyond what he deserved (Vol. II., p.
270). While the "Zauberflöte" was in course of composition, Da Ponte,
who was obliged to leave Vienna, tried to persuade Mozart to accompany
him to London, and there take an active part in the production of
Italian opera. Mozart turned a favourable ear to the project, but
demanded a delay of six months for the completion and performance of his
opera, to which Da Ponte could not agree.[31] In July, 1791, the
work was so far advanced that he was able to insert the opera in his
catalogue as virtually complete; the rehearsals had begun as



soon as the voices and bass parts were ready, the working-out of the
instrumentation being left, as usual, to the last.

It was at this juncture that Mozart received an unexpected commission in
a very singular manner.[32] A stranger, a tall, thin grave-looking
man, dressed from head to foot in grey, and calculated from his very
appearance to make a striking and weird impression, presented him one
day with an anonymous letter begging him with many flattering allusions
to his accomplishments as an artist to name his price for composing a
Requiem, and the shortest time in which he could undertake to complete
it. Mozart acquainted his wife with the circumstance, and assured her
that it gave him great satisfaction, since he had long wished to try his
powers once more on this species of composition, and to produce a work
that both friends and foes might admire and study after his death. The
innovations in church music introduced by the Emperor Joseph had been
swept away by his successor, and the services of the Church were once
more performed after the old fashion. Mozart was anxious therefore
to impress upon the Emperor Leopold II., as the supreme arbiter, his
familiarity with the orthodox church style, and the present seemed a
favourable opportunity for the purpose. After consultation with his
wife he announced his readiness to undertake the commission, but without
fixing a term for its completion, and naming as his price 50 (some say
100) ducats; whereupon the messenger again appeared, paid the stipulated
sum, and promised an addition on the delivery of the finished work.
Mozart was enjoined to compose the Requiem according to his own will and
pleasure, and to make



no endeavour to discover his mysterious patron, an endeavour which would
certainly prove in vain.

It is now proved beyond doubt that Count Franz von Wal-segg of Stuppach
was the patron in question, and that he ordered the Requiem in memory
of his late wife, Anna Edlen von Flammberg; the mysterious messenger was
his steward Leutgeb, whose personal appearance has been described to
me by Grillparzer. Count Walsegg was a zealous lover of music, a good
flautist, and a moderately good violoncello-player; he had quartet
parties every Tuesday and Thursday, and theatrical performances every
Sunday, in which his family and retainers took active part. But he was
also ambitious to figure as a composer. He used to order quartets from
different composers, always anonymously and with the offer of handsome
payment;[33] these he would then copy with his own hand, and have the
parts written out from this score. After performance he would set the
players to guess the composer; they, fully aware of the mystification,
invariably flattered his weakness by guessing himself, and he with a
deprecating smile would tacitly admit the imputation. This explains the
mysterious origin of the Requiem. He rewrote Mozart's score, gave
the parts to be copied from his duplicate (with the title of "Requiem
composto del Conte Walsegg"), and himself directed the performance of it
on December 14, 1793.

Before Mozart had set himself in earnest to this task, he received in
the middle of August a fresh commission which brooked of no delay. A
festival opera was to be performed at the approaching coronation
of Leopold II. as King of Bohemia in Prague. The subject chosen was
Metastasio's "Clemenza di Tito," and again it was the people of Prague
who made good the deficiencies of the Viennese: the States called upon
Mozart to compose the opera. For reasons which do not appear their
decision was so long delayed that there remained only a few weeks for
the composition and rehearsal



of the opera. After making all preliminary arrangements, Mozart set
out for Prague. As he was in the act of stepping into the
travelling-carriage with his wife, the mysterious messenger appeared,
and touching his wife on the arm, asked how it would fare with the
Requiem now. Mozart excused himself by alleging the necessity of his
present journey, and the impossibility of acquainting his unknown patron
with it, and promised that it should be his first work on his return
if the delay were granted him; with this the messenger declared himself

Mozart worked at his opera during the journey, making sketches in the
carriage, and working them out at the inn where they stopped for the
night. He must have intended the part of Sextus to be taken by a tenor,
for in two sketches of the duets with Vitellia (i) and Annius (3) Sextus
is a tenor, which of course necessitated a plan and treatment altogether
different. He cannot have received definite instructions as to the cast
of the opera until he was in Prague; but then he set to work with so
much ardour that in the course of eighteen days the opera was finished
and in rehearsal.[34] He called in the assistance of a young composer
named Franz Süssmayr, one of his pupils, who is said to have written the
secco recitatives; what makes this the more probable is the fact that in
the original score there is no secco recitative at all. But the further
assertion that Süssmayr composed the airs for Servilia, Annius, and
Publius, and arranged the instrumentation of some other pieces,[35]
is disproved by the existence of almost all the numbers in Mozart's



The opera was performed with great magnificence[37] on September 6,
the coronation day, after the banquet, before the royal family and
an invited audience, in the National Theatre.[38] The cast was as
follows:--[See Page Image]

The Empress is said to have expressed herself very disdainfully
concerning the "porcheria" of German music; and it is certain that
the first performance of "Titus" was far from being a success.[39]
Niemetschek is of opinion (p. 112) that the public were too excited
by the gorgeous coronation festivities to be disposed to listen to
the calmer beauties of Mozart's music. Mozart, accustomed to find
consolation for so much slighting indifference in the enthusiastic
applause of the Prague audiences, was thoroughly cast down by his
failure; the more so as he was unwell when he arrived, and his
indisposition had been increased by his extraordinary exertions. He was
continually taking medicine and looked pale and depressed, although, as
Niemetschek says, his gaiety shone forth bright as ever in the congenial
society of his Prague friends; at his parting from the familiar circle
he was so overcome as to shed tears.[40]



If it be true that "Cosi fan Tutte" is in all essential points an
opera buffa, it is no less certain that "Titus" may take its stand as a
veritable opera seria. Metastasio wrote "La Clemenza di Tito" in 1734,
and it was performed with Caldara's music on the name-day of Charles
VI.; it was subsequently set to music by several distinguished
composers.[41] It is true that the public taste had so far altered that
it was scarcely feasible to present it in its original form; but the
improvements in the libretto, made by Caterino Mazzola, the Saxon court
poet,[42] did not affect the character of the opera in any important
degree. The principal change was the compression of the original three
acts into two, and the omission of a not very happy episode, in which
Annius, by a change of mantle, is taken for the guilty person. The
course of the plot is thereby simplified; but it would be impossible by
means of alterations to endow it with any lively dramatic interest. Nor
is it rich in good musical situations; of all the characters Vitellia is
the only one who displays the least passion; and the excessive amount
of virtue and generosity depicted affords no field either for musical or
dramatic interest. Further condensations were made of the numerous and,
for the most part, rhetorically sententious solo airs, and ensemble
movements were introduced at suitable points. This was accomplished
with all possible deference to the original design and to Metastasio's
verses, so that the character and colouring proper to a court festival
piece was well preserved.[43] The following is a brief abstract of the
plot:--(23); the duets (1, 3, 7), terzets (10, 14,18), the quintet (12),
sestet (26), and the chorus (15); they retain for the most part
Metastasio's ideas, and often his verses and turns of expression.



Vitellia, daughter of Vitellius, who has been deposed by Vespasian,
has nourished the hope of a union with Titus, but finding herself
disappointed, she wishes young Sextus, who is passionately in love with
her, to form a conspiracy against his friend Titus, and by his overthrow
to gain her hand. At the beginning of the opera she is urging her
wavering lover to action, when Annius brings the unexpected tidings that
Titus has banished his mistress Berenice from Rome. He entreats Sextus
to obtain the consent of Titus to his union with Servilia, the sister of
Sextus, who willingly promises his aid. After a magnificent assembly of
the people, in which the generosity of Titus is publicly displayed, the
Emperor himself demands from Sextus the hand of his sister Servilia;
Sextus is confused and silent, but Annius, by his generous praise of the
virtues and beauty of Servilia, strengthens the Emperor in his decision.
Servilia, however, informed by Annius of the honour in store for her,
assures him of her unalterable love, and, hastening to Titus, confesses
to him the whole truth, whereupon he generously resigns her, and unites
her to Annius. Vitellia, incensed to the highest degree by the proposed
elevation of Servilia, directs Sextus and his coconspirators to proceed
at once to action. He obeys, but has scarcely left her presence, when
Publius, leader of her body-guard, enters, and summons her to the palace
to bestow her hand upon Titus; she hastens to the palace in the utmost
dismay and consternation. There is a general encounter in front of
the capitol, which has been set on fire by the conspirators; great
excitement prevails, and turns to grief and horror at the tidings
brought by Sextus of the death of the Emperor, whom he believes himself
to have slain.

In the second act, Sextus, a prey to remorse, confesses his guilt to
Annius, who counsels flight, and is supported by Vitellia with an eye
to her own safety; Publius enters and arrests Sextus on the testimony of
some imprisoned conspirators. At a meeting of the senators, who bewail
the death of Titus, the latter steps forth from among the people, throws
off the disguise in which he had saved himself, and is recognised amid
general rejoicings.[44] He knows that Sextus intended to assassinate
him, and has been condemned to death by the senate, but summoning him
to his presence, he offers him a free pardon in return for a full
confession. Sextus, unwilling to inculpate Vitellia, maintains an
obstinate silence, and Titus finally ratifies the sentence of death.
Vitellia yields to the entreaties of Servilia to intercede with the
Emperor for Sextus, renounces her hopes, and resolves to save him by
confessing her own guilt. All being prepared in the amphitheatre for the
execution of Sextus, it is about to take place, when Vitellia rushes in,
and denounces herself as the originator of the revolt; Titus pardons her
a well as Sextus and the conspirators; all present extol his clemency.



Both the plot and the characters are absolutely devoid of dramatic
interest. The abstract goodness of Titus, who is ready on every occasion
to pardon and to yield, rouses no sympathy,[45] and is dramatically
mischievous in its effects, since it destroys any sort of suspense.
Publius, Annius and Servilia are mere props in the plot, characters
without any individuality. Sextus is a purely passive instrument,
wavering between love and remorse, without force or decision. We should
sympathise with him if his love for Vitellia were returned, and if a
healthy passion gave an impulse to his crime; but his weakness, which
prevents his being aware that he is only the instrument of her selfish
passion, deprives him of all sympathy, while Vitellia repels us by her
barefaced ambition, to which she is ready to sacrifice every sentiment
and every duty; her remorse comes too late to appear anything but
a dissonance leading to the inevitable conclusion of the plot. This
internal weakness in the characters is emphasised by Metastasio's
poetical treatment of the plot. His dainty style was specially suited
for court poetry and its corresponding musical expression, and his
dexterity in the handling of the accepted forms of composition made his
task a comparatively easy one. But even without taking into account
the revolution which had taken place in the drama, we may judge from
"Figaro" and "Don Giovanni" that what in Metastasio's time was of
advantage to the composer had now become fetters binding him to forms
and dogmas which were virtually obsolete. We find traces throughout of
the opera seria, which Mozart had abandoned long ago, but which he was
constrained here to resume. Metastasio's graceful daintiness of style,
too, was even more injurious in the taste it encouraged for mere
amusement of the trifling kind that was looked for at the opera at that
time, giving an unseemly effeminacy of tone to the opera seria, and
running an equal risk of degenerating into mere trifling or empty
pomp and show. If, in addition to this, it be remembered that Mozart's
express directions were to compose an occasional, a festival opera, for
which two singers had



been summoned from Italy, and would demand to be shown at their best,
and that he composed the opera against time, and struggling with
illness, it will scarcely be expected that an unqualified success should
follow such a combination of untoward circumstances. The character of
a brilliant festal piece is at once suggested by the overture, which
begins appropriately by a solemn intrada, with a long-drawn climax.
The first bars recall the overture to "Idomeneo," which, however, in
earnestness and dignity of tone, and originality of invention, far
surpasses that to "Titus." The second theme so announced falls short of
expectation, being weak and trifling,[46] and even the subject selected
for harmonic contrapuntal treatment--[See Page Image] skilful and
brilliant as the treatment is, has in itself no special interest,
so that when the prelude recurs to form an effective conclusion, the
principal impression remaining is one of brilliant display.

The march (4) and the choruses (5, 24) as well as the finale (26)
_Sestetto con coro_, in which short solo passages alternate with the
chorus, maintain this festive character. They are brilliant and flowing,
pleasing and melodious, and answer for their purpose and the situation
without laying claim to original invention or characterisation. Only the
chorus with which Titus is received before he pronounces judgment upon
Sextus (24) has a fine expression of solemn dignity, suggested not so
much by the words, which are trivial enough, as by the character of the
situation. It was a happy touch to make the chorus, after the unexpected
deliverance of Titus (15), express delight, not with jubilant outcries,
but with the suppressed joy of bewildered amazement. Nevertheless this
chorus is too light and fugitive for the situation.



The tenor part of Titus displays most clearly the influence of the old
opera seria, Metastasio's words, consisting of general axioms, being
retained for all his three airs (6, 8, 20). The two first are short and
melodious, but not deeply suggestive;[47] the last retains the old
aria form with a long middle movement and return to the first allegro,
together with bravura passages quite in the old style. The report that
the tenor Baglione found that Mozart and not an Italian composer
had been engaged to write the opera, and that they quarrelled in
consequence,[48] is the more improbable since Baglione was the same
singer for whom Mozart had written Don Ottavio.

Servilia's air (2) indicated, after the old style, with tempo di
menuetto, the two airs for Annius (13, 17)[49] and that for Publius
(16), are all both in design and treatment proper to secondary parts,
without musical significance or individual characterisation. The main
weight, therefore, fell according to custom upon the two prime donne,
who played Sextus and Vitellia. The fact that the parts of the lovers,
Sextus and Annius, were soprano, was an objectionable relic of the old
opera seria, and that Sextus should have been played by a female and
not a male soprano was a progress indeed for humanity, but not for the
drama. True characterisation is impossible when a woman in man's clothes
plays the lover, and the case is not improved by the weak, womanish
character of Sextus. His passion for Vitellia becomes a thing contrary
to nature, and the deeper the dramatic conception of the part the more
repulsively does this appear. Of necessity, therefore, vocal execution
comes to the foreground. The first air of Sextus, "Parto I" (9), fails
at once in dramatic interest from his having already repeatedly assured
Vitellia of his blind obedience, if she will only bestow upon



him one glance of love. The musical design and working-out are those of
a grand bravura air. Tenderness, tinged with only an occasional dash of
heroism, prevails throughout the two movements (adagio 3-4 and allegro
4-4). An obbligato clarinet goes with the voice, and the strictly
concertante treatment of this instrument gives its chief interest to
the musical working-out of the song. Considered as a concert air
which treats the given situation only as a general foundation for
the development of musical forces, it is of extraordinary beauty, the
melodies being noble and expressive, the sound-effects of the voice and
clarinet admirable, and the only concessions to brilliancy of effect the
triplet passages and the long-drawn-out conclusion.

The second air (19) is more definitely characterised by the situation.
Sextus, having with difficulty withstood Titus's friendly entreaties,
is overpowered by his feelings when the Emperor turns coldly away, and
leaves him to be led to death. This air is also in two movements; Sextus
expresses his grief for the loss of Titus's confidence in an adagio, and
his despair at the death awaiting him in an allegro. Metastasio's text
expressed only the latter feeling, and Mazzola formed the first part
of the air out of the words of the dialogue.[50] The expression of the
first movement is fervent and true, and the softness characterising
it belongs to the character and the situation; the second movement
expresses a certain amount of passion in some parts, but is as a whole
wanting in energy, and its chief motif, even for a female Sextus, is
too soft and tender. Schaul adduces as a proof of Mozart's frequent sins
against good sense that Sextus, tortured by remorse, should express
his agony to Titus in a rondo.[51] "If it were a rondo by Pleyel or
Clementi," remarks C. M. von Weber in answer,[52] "it might indeed
produce a ludicrous effect; but let the critic only note the heartfelt
fervour of the song, the depth and beauty of expression in such places
as 'pur saresti men



severo, se vedesti questo cor, and all such petty fault-finding will
cease to be heard." Mozart had originally sketched another allegro,
the first bars of which, still existing in autograph, are rather more
decided in character:--[See Page Image]

The page ends here, and the present allegro is begun on a fresh one;
it cannot be determined whether the first allegro was finished or only
commenced, but in any case the instrumentation was not worked out.

Vitellia is the only character in the opera displaying anything like
passion or strength of feeling. The singer Maria Marchetti (b. 1767),
married to the tenor Fantozzi in 1788, had acquired great renown in
Italy and Milan, whence she was summoned to Prague; she possessed a
fine, full voice, and excellent execution and action, enhanced by a
pleasing exterior and dignified bearing.[53] In her first air (2) there
is indeed no passion, Metastasio's words, consisting of frigid
moral observations, scarcely allowing of any characteristic musical
expression. The air is divided into the traditional two movements,
neither of them distinguished by originality,



and even the bravura part is insignificant; the whole effect is so dry
and commonplace as involuntarily to suggest Süssmayr. Vitellia's
second air, on the contrary (22, 23), is the gem of the opera, and
incontestably one of the most beautiful songs ever written. At the
decisive moment Vitellia rises to the resolution of renouncing her
dearest hopes, of sacrificing her very life to the nobler instincts
of her soul, which have too long been made to yield to her ambitious
striving after false greatness.

The musical characterisation grasps this situation, and develops from it
a psychological picture complete in itself, and only loosely connected
with the earlier conception of Vitellia's character in the opera. The
song seems thus to be detached from the framework of the opera, and
to belong rather to the province of concert music. This idea is
strengthened by the design, treatment, and compass of the two movements,
as well as by the introduction of the obbligato basset-horn, which
is treated so as to accord with the voice part, without any brilliant
bravura.[54] Every element of the song is blended into such perfect
unity, such charm of melody, such beauty of musical form; the sharp
contrasts of the different motifs are so admirably expressive of the
general character of which they form the details, and the whole work is
so permeated by the breath of poetic genius, that our satisfaction in
contemplating a perfect work of art leads us to forget how it stands
forth as something foreign to the context.

Even the introductory recitative is a masterpiece of telling expression,
and in the air itself the noble beauty of the different motifs is tinged
with a sadness amounting to gloom, but so sublime as to inspire the same
emotions with which we gaze at the Niobe. The ensembles with which the
opera is provided are only in part of any dramatic significance, and
where this is wanting the musical interest also suffers; the duets
especially are not important either in length or



substance. Passing over the duettino (3) between Sextus and Annius,
which became popular owing to its easy and pleasing tone, but which in
no way corresponds to the character of an heroic opera, we may notice
the first duet between Sextus and Vitellia as better defined, especially
in the first movement; although even here the wish to attract is very
apparent, and gains quite the upper hand in the triplet passages and
easy imitations of the allegro. An expression of tender feeling is
more appropriate to the short duet between Annius and Servilia, and the
loveliness of the music makes up for the absence of tragic seriousness.

The three terzets are better placed, and more suitable to their dramatic
situations, but even they fail to elicit dramatic contrasts by giving to
each character an equal and characteristic share in the piece. Thus, in
the first terzet, Vitellia alone is inspired with lively emotion, Annius
and Publius being mere passive spectators. It is at the moment When she
has dispatched Sextus to the murder of Titus that she is informed of the
Emperor's choice of her as his consort; in vain she strives to recall
Sextus, she feels that she herself is the destroyer of her happiness.
An agitated violin passage, with rapid changes of harmony intensified
by suspensions, expresses the excitement and consternation to which she
gives vent in detached and broken exclamations; but the calm observation
of the two others--

     Ah, come un gran contento,
     Come confonde un cor!--

chills the expression of Vitellia's emotion, so that the combination
of the voices, instead of producing a climax as it ought, weakens the
passion of the movement and prevents its rising to more than a
momentary prominence. The second terzet (14) was suggested by an air
of Metastasio, "Se mai senti spirarti sul volto," which was a favourite
subject with the old composers.[55] It begins with the tender



farewell of Sextus to Vitellia, stricken with shame and dismay. This
contrast would have made an excellent opportunity for musical effect if
Publius had supplied the connecting link by the addition of a new and
important element in the situation; instead of this, he remains a mere
passive spectator, and does not increase the pathos of the situation at
all. Sextus gives the tone here, as Vitellia in the previous terzet, and
the tender softness of his farewell scarcely allows expression to the
true significance of the situation; otherwise, however, this terzet is
superior to the first in the freer development of the voice parts.'" The
third terzet (18) has a beautiful and expressive first movement, but its
second movement is too slight in design and too little worked out for
its situation.

The opera contains one movement, however, altogether worthy of Mozart,
and this is the first finale. It is true that even this is far from
possessing the greatness of design or the wealth of elaboration of the
finales of the earlier operas; it does not pretend to be more than a
representation of the situation; but it is earnest and weighty in
tone, and possesses features of unsurpassed loveliness. The finale is
introduced by a soliloquy for Sextus, in which he pours out the doubt
and self-reproach which torture his mind; an unaccompanied recitative
expresses this condition with an amount of truth and energy elsewhere
entirely wanting to the part of Sextus. When he sees the capitol in
flames, and is convinced that his repentance comes too late, he becomes
more collected, and the quintet begins with his finely expressed wish
to save Titus or to die with him; then he has to evade the questions of
Annius, who hurries in full of sympathy--Servilia, Publius, and Vitellia
enter in quick succession, full of anxiety and horror; a characteristic
orchestral motif gives the clue to the development of the movement, and
the separate exclamations of the invisible chorus interposed in rising,
dissonant chords, form the pivots on which the progressive harmonies
turn; the re-entry of Sextus brings the symmetrically constructed
movement to a close. A short recitative, in which Sextus announces the
assassination of Titus, leads into the andante, which ends



the finale. All present are united in one feeling of sorrow and horror
at the crime which has been committed, and the chorus has approached
near enough to join in lamentation with the solo voices; the impression
thus produced is dignified and beautiful in the extreme. Here we may
perceive to what a height opera seria was capable of rising by a liberal
development of its original elements; but unfortunately this movement
is the only one of the kind in "Titus." A backward glance of comparison
upon "Idomeneo"[56] results to the advantage of the earlier opera in
many and important points. It is true that the conventional forms of
the opera seria are there more strictly preserved, but a fresh vigorous
effort is at the same time made to give them meaning and substance,
and pass their narrow bounds wherever possible,. while in "Titus" the
composer has been content to compromise the matter by preserving the
semblance of form, but no more. Thus forms intended to be largely
treated, such as the division into two movements, are often so lightly
and vaguely treated as to lose all dramatic interest, and still more
marked is the tendency of the tragic and serious conception of the opera
to degenerate into mere pleasing gracefulness. The advantages of the
later work in a freer and easier flow of melody, in a more mature and
cultivated taste, were more than counterbalanced by the loss of
depth and force of musical construction, a loss which is all the more
perceptible from the grandeur of the background afforded by a subject
taken from the Roman imperial age, which even in Metas-tasio's
adaptation was not wholly obscured, and under happier circumstances
would have sufficed to inspire Mozart to a nobler creation. The
treatment of the orchestra is indicative of the whole tone of the opera,
displaying occasionally the full splendour with which Mozart has endowed
it, and raising and supporting the musical representation wherever it
attains to dramatic significance, but for the most part not going beyond
an easy accompaniment of the voices.



In brilliancy and delicacy of orchestral treatment "Titus" can sustain
no comparison with "Idomeneo," or even with "Cosi fan Tutte."

Opinions on this opera were widely diverse. According to Niemetschek
(p. 111) "Titus" ranks from an aesthetic and artistic point of view as
Mozart's most perfect work:--

Mozart mentally grasped the simplicity, the quiet dignity of the
character of Titus and of the whole plot, and embodied them in his
composition. Every part, even the very moderate instrumental parts, bear
this stamp, and combine into perfect unity.

He is of opinion that full maturity of taste is nowhere more finely
displayed than in this opera (p. 105), which is also the best example of
Mozart's admirable dramatic characterisation (p. 72). An article showing
the shortcomings of Metastasio's libretto praises the excellence of the
musical characterisation which endows Titus with the character of gentle
amiability, Vitellia with force and dignified purity, and the friendship
between Sextus and Annius with quite an ideal tenderness.[57] Schaul, on
the contrary (Brief üb. d. Gesch-mack, p. 59), maintains that with the
exception of a few pieces the opera is so dry and tiresome that it might
rather be taken for the first attempt of budding talent than for
the product of a mature mind. He quotes the criticism of an Italian,
considered one of the best judges in Naples, that flashes of genius
shone out here and there in the more serious airs, which showed what
Mozart would have been capable of under happier guidance. "Titus" was
criticised in Berlin, in 1796, with the greatest harshness and
severity in two articles which excited indignation on account of
their disrespectful tone, although the blame bestowed was not without
foundation.[58] With a juster regard to circumstances Rochlitz



Being only human, he was constrained either to produce an altogether
mediocre work, or one of which the principal movements were very good,
and the minor ones light and easy, and suited to the taste of the
multitude; with right judgment he chose the latter.

It was perhaps this accommodation of the music to the taste of the
public, and the concessions made to the popular love of gorgeous scenery
and spectacular effects, which gained for "Titus" an enduring place on
the German stage, although it was never received with the same favour as
"Don Giovanni," "Figaro," and the "Zauberflöte." The opera was
produced for the first time in London in 1806 for the benefit of Madame
Billington, being the first of Mozart's operas performed in England;[60]
it was given successfully in Paris in 1816,[61] and in Milan at the
Teatro Rè in the following year.[62]


[Footnote 1: Mus. Corresp., 1790, p. 30.]

[Footnote 2: Mus. Wochenbl., p. 15. Cf. Lange, Selbstbiogr., p. 167.]

[Footnote 3: Muller, Abschied, p. 286.]

[Footnote 4: Da Ponte, Mem., I., 2, p. 114.]

[Footnote 5: Mosel, Salieri, p. 138. Mus. Wochenbl., p. 62. Leopold's most severe
remarks upon Salieri are quoted by Da Ponte (Mem., II., p. 135):
"So tutte le sue cabale e so quelle della Cavalieri. É un egoista
insopportabile, che non vorrebbe che piacessero nel mio teatro che le
sue opere e la sua bella; egli non è solo nemico vostro, ma lo è di
tutti i maestri di capella, di tutte le cantanti."]

[Footnote 6: An official table was published, showing that during the King's stay
in the imperial dominions, from September 3,1790, to March 18,1791, he
followed the chase thirty-seven times, and himself shot 4,110 head of
game (Wien. Ztg., 1791, No. 29).]

[Footnote 7: Wien. Ztg., 1790, No. 75, Anh.]

[Footnote 8: Mus. Corresp., 1790, p. 145. Griesinger, Biogr. Not., p. 36.]

[Footnote 9: Mus. Corresp., 1790, p. 146. Mosel, Salieri, p. 138.]

[Footnote 10: Wahl-und Krönungs-Diarium, 2 Anh., p. 5.]

[Footnote 11: In the Councillors and Deputy-Councillor's Register for the
imperial town of Frankfort on the election and coronation of the Emperor
Leopold II., is the following entry (p. 400): "Mittwoch, 13 October,
1790. Als vorkame, dass der Kayseri. Conzert-Meister Mozart um die
Erlaubniss nachsuche Morgen Vor-mittag im Stadtschauspielhaus ein
Concert geben zu dörfen: sol le man ohne Consequenz auf andere Falle
hierunter willfahren." I am indebted for this, as for other information,
to my friend W. Speyer.]

[Footnote 12: Lewezow, Leben und Kunst der Frau Schick, p. 14.]

[Footnote 13: Lipowsky, Baier. Mus. Lex., p. 16.]

[Footnote 14: Breslau Ztg., 1855, No. 240, p. 1366.]

[Footnote 15: Nohl, Musik. Skizzenb., p. 190.]

[Footnote 16: Koffka, Iffland und Dalberg, p. 185.]

[Footnote 17: So it is stated in the Kurfürsl. gnädigst privil., Münchner
Wochen-und Anzeigeblatt, 1790, No. 44.]

[Footnote 18: According to the Kurfürstl. gnädigst privil. Münchner Ztg., 1790,
Nos. 173-175, the arrival of the King of Naples, on November 4, was
celebrated by a court gala and concert, and on the following day by a
court hunt, and a theatrical performance and supper.]

[Footnote 19: The story rests on the authority of Tonerl herself, now Frau
Haradauer of Graz (Wien. Fremdenbl., January 22, 1856).]

[Footnote 20: At this place he had a performance of "Count Waltron" upon the
ramparts, in a camp of 200 tents (Wien. Ztg., 1782, No. 68).]

[Footnote 21: Berliner Litt. u. Theat. Ztg., 1783, I., p. 94.]

[Footnote 22: Wien. Ztg., 1784, No. 102, Anh.]

[Footnote 23: Müller, Abschied, p. 273. Berl. Litt. und Theat. Ztg., 1785, I., p.

[Footnote 24: Mettenleiter, Musikgesch. d. Stadt Regensburg, p. 265.]

[Footnote 25: Hormayr, Wien., VI., p. 75. Castelli, Memoiren, I., p. 46.]

[Footnote 26: Journal der Moden, 1790, p. 149. Theaterkal., 1789, p. 202. Cf.
Varn-hagen, Denkw., VIII., p. 57.]

[Footnote 27: Seyfried gives this description, which can scarcely be exaggerated,
since it has an apologetic tendency (N. Zeitschr. fur Mus., XII., p.
380). Schikaneder died in poverty, and insane, 1812 (Südd. Mus. Ztg.,
1860, p. 21).]

[Footnote 28: Treitschke gives many particulars of the composition and first
performance of the "Zauberflöte" (Orpheus, Mus. Taschenb., 1841, p. 242)
in the Illustr. Familienbuch des österr. Lloyd (1852, II., p. xig), and
in the Monatsschrift fur Theater und Musik (September 1857, p. 444);
valuable old traditions are paixed with demonstrable falsehoods.]

[Footnote 29: Allg. Wiener Mus. Ztg., 1841, p. 128.]

[Footnote 30: C. F. Becker, N. Ztschr. fur Mus., XII., p. 112.]

[Footnote 31: Da Ponte, Mem., I., 2, p. 124.]

[Footnote 32: The story of the Requiem is familiar in all its details, and has
been deprived of every trace of mystery or uncertainty. Niemetschek's
simple account (p. 40), and Rochlitz's more highly coloured one (A. M.
Z., I., pp. 149, 177), are both founded on statements by Frau Mozart.
Full light has been thrown on the other side by the communications of
the musicians J. Zawrzel (André, Vorber. zu Mozarts Requiem, Cäcilia,
VI., p. 212), Krüchten (Cäcilia, VI., p. 217), Herzog (Köchel,
Recensionen, 1854, No. 48, p. 753), who were all acquainted with Count
Walsegg, and are trustworthy on the whole, although they differ from
each other in matters of detail. Some facts, which it was thought
unadvisable to publish, were vouched for to me in Vienna by A. Schmid
and Al. Fuchs.]

[Footnote 33: Niemetschek (p. 52) saw a short note from the Unknown, in which
Mozart is urged to send the Requiem, and to name a sum for which he
would undertake to supply annually a certain number of quartets.]

[Footnote 34: The entry in the Autograph Catalogue is as follows: "September 5
(performed in Prague, September 6), La Clemenza di Tito, opera seria in
due atti, per I' incoronazione di sua Maestà l' imperatore Leopoldo II.,
ridotta a vera opera dal Sgre Mazzoli, poeta di sua A. S. l' Elettore di
Sassonia--24 pezzi." (In the printed score there are twenty-six pieces,
not counting the overture; but the obbligato recitatives are counted
separately here, and not in the original score.)]

[Footnote 35: Seyfried, Càcilia, IV., p. 295.]

[Footnote 36: Nothing is omitted but the duettino (3) (which, however, is
included in "A Revised Copy of Mozart's Original," by Abbe Stadler) and
the accompanied recitative (25).]

[Footnote 37: The first three scenes were by P. Travaglia, in the service of
Prince Ester-hazy, the fourth was by Preising of Coblenz, and the
costumes were by Chérubin Babbini of Mantua.]

[Footnote 38: J. Debrois, Urkunde uber die Krönung Sr. Maj. des Königs von
Bohmen, Leopolds II., p. no.]

[Footnote 39: Musik. Wochenbl., pp. 70, 94.]

[Footnote 40: According to an anecdote in the Bohemia (1856, No. 23, p. 122)
there was in Prague an old harpist named Hoffman, a familiar figure in
every coffee-house. Mozart had him up in his room when he was living at
the "Neuwirthshaus" (now "Der goldene Engel"), and played an air to him
on the pianoforte, desiring him to improvise variations upon it. This he
did, to Mozart's satisfaction. Ever after, this theme was the show-piece
of the harpist, and he would never play it except by special desire;
then he would go off into reminiscences of Mozart, and nothing would
shake his firm persuasion that the great man must be a native of

[Footnote 41: It was composed, among others, by Leon. Leo, 1735; by Hasse, 1737;
by Jomelli; by Perez, 1749; by Gluck, 1751; by Jos. Scarlatti, 1760; by
Nau-mann, 1769.]

[Footnote 42: It would be ascribing to Mozart a merit to which he has no claim
to credit him with the reconstruction of the libretto (A. M. Z., I., p.
151. Cäcilia, XX., p. 191).]

[Footnote 43: The numbers taken unaltered from Metastasio are: 2,5, 6, 8,
9,11,16, 20, 21, 25, and the obbligato recitatives, n, 17, 22, 24. Those
for which new words were written are the songs for Annius (13, 17), for
Sextus (19), and for Vitellia]

[Footnote 44: This scene is all Mazzola's invention, but it does not form one of
the longer ensemble movements.]

[Footnote 45: Zelter, Briefw. m. Goethe, III., p. 26.]

[Footnote 46: Curiously enough this very motif has become a type for a long list
of overtures and symphonies by Mozart's immediate successors, and
may even be recognised in Beethoven's first symphony and Prometheus

[Footnote 47: The second air (8) is apparently of later composition, for it is
not included in the consecutive numbering, and the score is written
on the same paper as the march (3), the obbligato recitative, and the
overture, all composed after the completion of the other pieces, which
are written on one kind of paper.]

[Footnote 48: Seyfried, Càcilia, XX., p. 193.]

[Footnote 49: The second air (17), with Mazzola's words, was inserted
subsequently, and numbered 13 1/2.]

[Footnote 50: The ritomello is added on a separate page by a copyist; so is
the concluding ritornello. Probably the air originally passed into an
accompanied recitative for Titus, which is not preserved.]

[Footnote 51: Schaul, Briefe üb. d. Geschmack, p. 51.]

[Footnote 52: C. M. von Weber, Lebensbild, III., p. 4.]

[Footnote 53: Gerber, N. Lex., II., p. 75. Cf. A. M. Z., IV., p. 318. Reichardt,
Mus. Ztg., 1805, I., p. 112. In a notice from Berlin of the year 1799 it
is described as a caricature (A. M. Z., I., p. 348).]

[Footnote 54: The fact that the clarinet and basset-horn alone were employed as
obbligato instruments, and that with an evident supposition of great
proficiency, would lead to the inference that Stadler had come to Prague
for the coronation.]

[Footnote 55: A striking organ point in Gluck's composition gave rise to much
debate; he employed it afterwards in "Iphigenie en Tauride," in the last
air of the second act (Schmid, Gluck, pp. 48, 353).]

[Footnote 56: The alleged reminiscence in the first finale in "Titus" of the
great scene in "Idomeneo" (24) (A. M. Z., I., pp. 54, 152) is not
supported by a closer examination.]

[Footnote 57: A. M. Z., IV., p. 822.]

[Footnote 58: Deutschland, I., p. 269; II., p. 363. Reichardt, to whom this
article was ascribed (Mus. Ztg., 1805, I., p. 6), declared that the
criticism on Mozart's arrangement of the "Messiah," which had been
attributed to Reichardt, was no more by him than many other reviews of
Mozart's works for which he had been attacked during many years past
with great acrimony.]

[Footnote 59: A. M. Z., I., p. 154.]

[Footnote 60: Reichardt, Mus. Ztg., II., p. 123. Parke, Mus. Mem., II., p. 3.
Pohl, Mozart u. Haydn in London, p. 145.]

[Footnote 61: A. M. Z., XVIII., p. 463.]

[Footnote 62: A. M. Z., XIX., pp. 174, 190.]





DISAPPOINTED and suffering, Mozart returned to Vienna in the middle of
September. While his wife again repaired to Baden, he divided his time
between the labours involved in the completion and scenic arrangements
of the "Zauberflöte" (620 K.) and the Requiem. The chorus "O Isis und
Osiris," Papageno's song, which Schikaneder had stipulated for, and
the second finale, must have been written after September 12;[1] on
September 28 he completed the overture and the march which formed
the introduction to the second act. After many rehearsals under the
conductorship of the Kapellmeister Henneberg, then still a very



young man, the first performance took place on September 30. Mozart
conducted at the piano, and Süssmayr turned over for him. The playbill
ran as follows:[2]--[See Page Image]

This day, Friday, September 30, 1791, the Company of the Imperial
Theatre auf der Wieden have the honour of performing for the first time
Die Zauberflöte.

Grand Opera in Two Acts, by Emanuel Schikaneder.

The music is by Herr Wolfgang Amade Mozart, Capellmeister and Imperial
Chamber Composer. Esteem for an appreciative public and friendship
for the author of the work have induced Herr Mozart to consent on this
occasion to conduct the orchestra in person.[3]

Books of the opera, with two copper-plate engravings, representing
Herr Schikaneder in his actual costume as Papageno, may be had at the
box-office, price thirty kreutzers.

The scenery and stage accessories have been intrusted to Herr Gayl and
Herr Nessthaler, who flatter themselves that they have performed their
task with all due regard to the artistic requirements of the piece.



The success was not at first so great as had been expected, and after
the first act Mozart rushed, pale and excited, behind the scenes to
Schikaneder, who endeavoured to console him. In the course of the second
act the audience recovered from the first shock of surprise, and at the
close of the opera Mozart was recalled. He had hidden himself, and when
he was found could with difficulty be persuaded to appear before the
audience, not certainly from bashfulness, for he was used by this time
to brilliant successes, but because he was not satisfied with the way in
which his music had been received. The story that Haydn consoled Mozart
by his approbation is untrue,[4] for he was in London at the time. But
Schenck relates in his manuscript autobiography that he had a place in
the orchestra at the first performance, and that after the overture,
unable to contain his delight, he crept along to the conductor's stool,
seized Mozart's hand and kissed it; Mozart, still beating time with his
right hand, looked at him with a smile, and stroked his cheek. At
the second performance on the following day he again conducted, but
afterwards resigned the conductorship to Henneberg. On October 9 notice
was sent to Berlin:--

The new spectacular drama, "Die Zauberflöte," with music by our
kapellmeister, Mozart, has been performed at great expense and with much
magnificence of scenery, &c.; but it has not attained the success
hoped for, owing to the inferiority of the subject and diction of the

Schikaneder, however, persevered, and with every repetition the applause
increased; Mozart's pleasure thereat, and more especially at the
approbation expressed by Salieri and Cavalieri, may be gathered from his
letters to his wife. The "Zauberflöte" soon became the most popular of
operas. It was performed twenty-four times in October; on November 23,
1792, Schikaneder announced the hundredth, and on October 22,1795, the
two hundredth performance of the opera.[6]



Schikaneder[7] had long varied his favourite farcical pieces by the
production of operas, either adaptations of earlier ones or works
expressly composed for him,[8] and in 1791 he had achieved a great
success with the romantic-comic opera "Oberon, König der Elfen," adapted
by Gieseke from Wieland, and composed by Wranitzky (1756-1808).[9]
The brilliant appointments of scenery, costume, and machinery, and the
satisfaction with which the dramatisation of Wie-land's universally
popular poem was viewed by the public, heightened the interest in the
opera to a degree far beyond the deserts of the light and popular music.
It was first performed in Frankfort during the coronation festivities
in 1790, and, rapidly spreading over the whole German stage, shared, and
for a short time rivalled, the popularity of the "Zauberflöte."[10] In
order to assure himself of a repetition of this success, Schikaneder
selected as a subject for his new opera the tale of Lulu, oder die
Zauberflöte, from Wieland's Dschinnistan.[11] The story is briefly as

In the kingdom of Chorassan there dwelt in an old magician's castle
the good fairy Perifirime, called the "radiant fairy." Hunting in the
neighbourhood, Prince Lulu, son of the King of Chorassan, enters the
usually avoided castle, and the fairy, appearing to him in her full
radiance, promises him rich reward if he will obey her behests. She
discloses to him that the wicked magician Dilsenghuin, with the help of
her faithless



attendant Barsine, has deprived her of her precious talisman, a golden
fire-steel, which is obeyed by the spirits of the elements and of all
earthly regions, every spark struck from it becoming a powerful spirit,
subject to the possessor; none but a youth whose heart is as yet
untouched by love can regain the talisman for her by stratagem. She
designates Lulu as her deliverer, and promises him the best gift that
she has if he will undertake the task. This is none other than the
beautiful Sidi, daughter of Perifirime and Sabalem, King of Cashmere,
whom the magician keeps in his power, making tender advances to her
which she is only able to resist owing to her magic power of repelling
attacks so long as her heart is untouched by love. The fairy dispatches
Lulu with two magic gifts--a flute which has the power of winning all
hearts, and of exciting and appeasing every passion at will; and a ring,
by turning which the wearer can assume any form, and by throwing it away
can summon the fairy herself to his aid.

Thus provided, Lulu approaches the magician's stronghold in the form of
an old man, and by his flute-playing entices first the forest beasts,
and then the magician, who takes him into the fortress to try his art
upon the obdurate beauty. Lulu gains the confidence of the magician and
his son, with Barsine and the dwarf Barka; the love of the beautiful
Sidi is also soon his. He succeeds in throwing the magician and his
companions into a deep sleep during a banquet, and possesses himself of
the talisman. By the aid of the genü now subject to him, and finally by
the appearance of the fairy, he overcomes all the dangers and obstacles
prepared for him by the magician, who is finally changed into an owi,
and flies away with his son, similarly transformed. The fairy
destroys the fortress and carries the lovers to her castle upon her
cloud-chariot; there the Kings of Chorassan and Cashmere bless their

This story was treated as follows in Schikaneder's opera:--

The "Japanese" Prince, Tamino, while hunting, is pursued by a great
serpent, and falls in a swoon; three ladies of the Queen of Night slay
the monster.. On the awaking of the Prince there enters the bird-catcher
Papageno, the comic character of the opera, contrasting in the
traditional manner with the grave heroic lover (who does not,
however, display any great daring here). Papageno is a good-tempered,
pleasure-loving, loquacious poltroon, whose feather costume is a sort
of reminiscence of Schikaneder's bird comedies. He gives himself out to
Tamino as the slayer of the dragon, but is punished for his boasting by
the veiled ladies, who reappear and fasten up his mouth with a padlock,
at the same time presenting the Prince with the portrait of a beautiful
damsel, of whom he instantly becomes deeply enamoured. Hearing that the
original of the portrait is Pamina, daughter of the Queen of



Night, and that she has been carried away by a wicked demon, he swears
to free her from the power of the enemy, whereupon the Queen herself
appears and promises him the hand of her daughter as the reward of his
success. The ladies then command Papageno, from whose mouth they remove
the padlock, to accompany Tamino to the castle of the magician Sarastro,
which he is reluctantly obliged to do. They provide Tamino with a magic
flute, Papageno with a chime of bells, and promise that "three boys,
young, beautiful, pure, and wise," shall hover round them as guides.[13]

In Sarastro's castle Pamina, who has endeavoured by flight to escape
the hated advances of her jailer and tormentor, the Moor Monostatos, has
been recaptured and is kept in bondage. Papageno makes good his entry;
he and the Moor are mutually alarmed at each other's appearance, and run
away in opposite directions. Papageno, venturing in again, finds Pamina
alone, and acquainting her with Prince Tamino's commission from her
mother to liberate her, they hasten to seek for him together.

So far the original story has been followed in its essential parts. The
modifications which have been made in the characters and situations to
enhance the dramatic interest are such as would occur naturally in the
development of the story. But when Schikaneder had proceeded thus far
in his adaptation he learnt that an opera founded on the same story was
finished and about to be produced at the Leopold-stàdter Theatre, which
often placed itself in competition with his.

It was in 1781 that Marinelli opened his newly erected theatre in the
Leopoldstadt.[14] He produced operas, among which the "Sonnenfest der
Braminen" had a great run, and after the brief span of popularity which
German opera had enjoyed at the National Theatre, the suburban theatre
became a formidable and finally a successful rival. But the proper
element of this theatre was in popular farces. The comic actor Laroche
had created the part of Kasperl, the direct descendant of Hanswurst,
and the people were never tired of seeing him play his coarse tricks and
antics in the most widely different situations. It had been the custom
to bring Hanswurst into contact with witches and magicians,



and Kasperl was consequently introduced to the same society, with some
differences in colouring, due to French taste and to the Eastern fairy
tales disseminated mainly by Wieland. Popular songs played their part in
these "Kasperliads," and out of modest vaudevilles, such as "Kasperl's
Ehrentag," a fairy tale by Hensler (1789), in which the music was
confined to some short choruses and an accompaniment to the supernatural
apparitions, arose gradually comic magic operas. The Leopoldstàdter
Theatre had possessed since 1786 a fruitful composer in Wenzel
Müller,[15] whose place as a comic popular musician was somewhat
similar to that of Laroche as an actor. On May 3, 1791, "Kasper der
Vogelkràmer," by Hensler, was performed with his music, followed on
June 8 by "Kasper der Fagottist, oder die Zauberzither," a vaudeville in
three acts, the words adapted from "Lulu" by Joach. Permet.[16] The piece
follows the plot of the original pretty closely, and the dialogue is as
far as possible verbally transcribed; nevertheless the whole effect is
that of a travesty, and the text of the "Zauberflöte" displays a decided
superiority in comparison with it:--

Prince Armidoro, attended by Kaspar Bita, loses himself in the chase,
and comes upon the fairy Perifirime, who despatches them to the magician
Bosphoro, bestowing on the prince a guitar with the same virtues as
the magic flute, and on Kaspar (through the little sprite Pizichi,
who frequently reappears in time of need) a magic bassoon, which gives
occasion to some very questionable pleasantry. The magic power of the
ring, which enables the Prince to assume at will the form of an old man
or of a youth, is very naively employed, the fancy of the audience
being alone called in to represent the metamorphosis. The magician has a
swaggering boon companion, Zumio, who guards the damsels and is in love
with Palmire, playmate of the beautiful Sidi, afterwards in a similar
relation with Kaspar. Having conciliated Bosphoro and Zumio by means of
their magic instruments, and gained entrance into the castle, they
win the love of the damsels, but not without exciting the mistrust
and jealousy of the magician and his companion, who seek to possess
themselves of the instruments. They are saved by Perifirime from a storm
raised by the spirits subject to Bosphoro; an attempt to poison them
fails through Pizichi's warning; finally they are all put to sleep at



supper by the magic instruments, and Armidoro possesses himself of the
talisman which makes the spirits subject to him. Perifirime appears,
punishes Bosphoro, and carries the lovers back to her palace.

Apart from Kaspar's broad jokes, the opera is not wanting in effective
situations, both dramatic and comic, and now and then the music takes
a more ambitious flight. Thus, the opera opens with a grand hunting
chorus, and the first act closes with the sprites tormenting the
followers of the Prince, who are in search of him; the spinning song,
the boat scene with the storm, and the sprites playing at ball with
Zumio, all form good musical situations. The composer rises above the
level of the librettist. In some of the songs and dances he has caught
the popular tone very well, but has failed in the fresh humour which he
elsewhere displays. In spite of all defects, or rather in great
measure because of them, the opera, the music, and the _mise en scène_
completely hit the popular taste, and 125 representations took place in
the course of a very few years. As a consequence of this success
there appeared in 1792 "Pizichi," or the continuation of "Kaspar der
Fagottist," by Perinet and Wenzel Müller, which had an equally brilliant
reception, and was dedicated by the author "To the illustrious public,
as a token of gratitude." Schikaneder could not hope to rival such a
success as this with an opera on the same subject. He resolved therefore
to transform the piece as much as possible, while utilising what had
already been done on it, and to turn the wicked magician into a noble
philosopher who wins Tamino to be his disciple, guides him to higher
wisdom and virtue, and rewards him with the hand of Pamina. The idea was
capable also of being turned to account in the interests of Freemasonry.
The change in the political views of the government under Leopold II.
had been unfavourable to Freemasonry, which began to be regarded with
much distrust as the organ of political and religious liberalism. A
glorification of the order upon the stage, by a performance which would
place its symbolical ceremonies in a favourable light and justify its
moral tendency, would be sure to be well received as a liberal party
demonstration compromising neither the order as a body nor



its individual members. The effect was heightened by the consciousness
of a secret understanding among the initiated, while the uninitiated
could not fail to suspect a deeper meaning behind the brilliant
display of spectacular effects.[17] Whether Schikaneder, himself a
Freemason,[18] was the author of this idea, or whether it was suggested
by the order, we have no means of ascertaining; the execution of it
was principally due to Joh. Georg Karl Ludw. Gieseke. He was born
in Braunschweig, studied at the university of Halle, and joined
Schikaneder's troupe to earn his living as an actor and a chorus-singer.
He had tried his hand already as an author, having prepared the text for
Wranitzky's "Oberon," and enriched Schikaneder's repertory with a number
of pieces in part translated and in part original. Schikaneder, never
averse to accepting foreign aid,[19] made use of Gieseke's labours as
a groundwork, which he altered to suit his purpose, inserting, for
instance, the characters of Papageno and Papagena, and giving
himself out as the sole author of the piece.[20] We have no means of
ascertaining how far this alteration in the plan of the opera affected
the first part; points here and there may have been retouched, but no
important corrections were made, or some very striking contradictions
would certainly have been removed. With the first finale we find
ourselves in an altogether new new world:--

The three boys lead Tamino into a thicket, where stands the temple of
wisdom, knowledge, and nature, exhort him to be steadfast, enduring,
and silent, and leave him alone. He learns from a priest that Sarastro
reigns in the temple of wisdom, and that Pamina has been taken from



her mother for certain good reasons, which must remain concealed from
him until all shall be revealed--

     "Sobald dich fuhrt der
     Freundschaft Hand
     Ins Heilightum zum ew' gen Band."

After being encouraged by invisible voices, and assured that Pamina
still lives, he joyfully seizes his magic flute, whose tones have power
to draw all living beings to him. At Papageno's signal he hastens
in search of him. Papageno enters with Pamina; they are surprised by
Monostatos and his slaves; Papageno has recourse to his bells, which set
all who hear them singing and dancing. Scarcely are they free from the
intruders when Sarastro is heard returning from the chase in his chariot
drawn by six lions, and accompanied by a solemn march and chorus.
Pamina, kneeling, informs him that she seeks to escape the love advances
of the Moor, and implores him to allow her to return to her mother; this
Sarastro refuses, but pardons her with the aphorism:--

     "Ein Mann muss eure Herzen leiten,
     Denn ohne ihn pflegt jedes
     Weib Aus ihrem Wirkungskreis zu schreiten."

In the meantime Monostatos enters, having captured Tamino; as soon
as the latter perceives Pamina, he rushes to her, and they embrace
tenderly. The Moor, to his consternation, is rewarded by Sarastro
with "seventy-seven strokes of the bastinado," and the strangers are
conducted into the temple of expiation, that their heads may be covered
and they may be purified.

Here we may still trace the original design, for the magic instruments,
the wicked Moor, and the chariot drawn by lions, have little affinity
with the temple of wisdom; but with the second act we set forth on
altogether fresh ground:--

In the assembly of the eighteen (3x6) attendants dedicated to the great
gods Isis and Osiris,[21] Sarastro announces that the virtuous Prince
Tamino stands at the gate of the temple, seeking permission to gaze
on the "great lights" of the sanctuary; questioned by the devotees, he
assures them of the Prince's virtue, discretion, and benevolence; and,
on the assembly giving their consent with a thrice-repeated blast of
trumpets, he thanks them with emotion in the name of humanity. For,



when Tamino, united with Pamina, shall become one of the devotees of
wisdom, he will destroy the empire of the Queen of Night,[22] who by
superstition and imposture seeks to undermine their power; and virtue
shall triumph at the overthrow of vice. The Orator warns him of the
severity of the probation that he must pass through--but he is a prince,
"nay more, he is a man"; he is able to endure all, "and once devoted
to Osiris and Isis, he will feel the joys of the gods sooner than we."
Tamino and Papageno are to be led into the antechamber of the temple,
and there the Orator, in virtue of his "holy office" as "dispenser of
wisdom," shall acquaint them both with the duty of man and the power
of the gods. A solemn appeal to Isis and Osiris to endow the pair with
wisdom, and to strengthen and protect them in the hour of trial closes
this scene, which bears the impress of Freemasonry throughout.

The tests begin, after Tamino has declared that, impelled by love, he is
ready for any trial to acquire wisdom and gain Pamina, and Papageno has
agreed to make the attempt to win the love of Papagena, a pretty little
woman, just suited to him. The impression here intended to be conveyed
is evidently that of the higher nature and strivings of man in Tamino
and of the limited and purely sensual side of his nature in Papageno.
The first trial is that of silence. They are scarcely left alone in the
darkness when the three Jadies of the Queen of Night enter and strive to
excite their terrors, which is easily accomplished as far as Papageno is
concerned, the steadfast Tamino with difficulty restraining his cries.
The ladies disappear upon the summons of the priest; the Orator praises
Tamino, and again covers his head that he may continue his "pilgrimage."
Monostatos finds Pamina asleep in the garden, and is on the point of
kissing her, when the Queen of Night appears, gives Pamina a dagger, and
commands her to avenge her wrongs on Sarastro, to whom Pamina's father
had bequeathed the omnipotent talisman which she had hoped to possess;
by Sarastro's death Pamina will gain her freedom, Tamino's life, and
her mother's love. Monostatos, who has overheard, takes the dagger from
Pamina, and threatens to betray her unless she will grant him her love;
on her refusal, he tries to kill her, when Sarastro enters, liberates
Pamina, and promises to wreak a noble vengeance on her mother by
securing her daughter's happiness.

Tamino and Papageno are conducted into a hall, to remain there in



silence until they hear a trumpet sound. Papageno cannot refrain from
chattering to an old woman who brings him a glass of water and, to his
horror, claims him as her lover; a fearful thunder-clap terrifies him,
and he only recovers when the three boys bring him a richly furnished
table, and, reiterating the warning to silence, restore the magic
instruments. While they are eating, Pamina enters, and construes
Tamino's silence into a proof of his want of love for her; not even
her lamentations, however, can tempt him to speak. After this proof of
steadfastness, he is conducted to the assembly, and informed by Sarastro
that two paths of danger still remain to be trodden; Pamina is brought
in to bid him farewell, and, to her despair, he still refuses to utter a
word to her.

Papageno is informed by the Orator that he shall be excused the
punishment for his loquacity, but that he is never to feel "the divine
joys of the initiated." He declares himself quite content, and only
wishes for a cup of wine and "ein Mädchen oder Weibchen"; the old woman
appears, and is changed into the youthful Papagena, but only to vanish
again the same instant.

Pamina, plunged in deep melancholy by Tamino's apparent aversion, is on
the point of stabbing herself, but is restrained by the three boys, who
promise to restore Tamino to her. Tamino is just then conducted to the
gates of horror by two men in armour, with the injunction--

     "Der welcher wandelt diese Strasse voll Beschwerden,
     Wird rein durch Wasser, Feuer, Luft und Erden;
     Wenn er des Todes Schrecken überwinden kann,
     Schwingt er sich aus der Erde himmelan.
     Erleuchtet wird er dann im Stande sein,
     Sich den Mysterien der Isis ganz zu weihn"--

and left to tread the path of danger through fire and water, when Pamina
rushes in, resolved to endure this trial in company with him. They
sustain it happily to the sound of the magic flute, and are received
with solemn rejoicings by the assembly in the temple. Papageno, in
despair at the loss of his Papagena, whom he calls in vain to return, is
about to hang himself, when the three boys appear, and remind him of
his bells: at the sound of them Papagena returns, and his happiness
is complete. In the meantime the Queen of Night, with her ladies, has
gained admittance into the sanctuary by the help of Monostatos, and
promises him her daughter's hand, if he aids her to victory; but a
fearful storm drives them back, and Tamino and Pamina are united with
priestly pomp by Sarastro in the circle of the temple votaries:--

     "Die Strahlen der Sonne vertreiben die Nacht,
     Zernichten der Heuchler erschlichene Macht."

It would be superfluous to criticise this libretto. The small interest
of the plot, the contradictions and improbabilities in the characters
and in the situations, are clear



to all; the dialogue is trivial, and the versified portions wretched
doggerel, incapable of improvement by mere alteration. Nevertheless, a
certain amount of stage dexterity is not to be denied to it. Schikaneder
knew how to excite and sustain the interest of his audience by
theatrical effects of combination and alteration. On this point the
testimony of Goethe[23] is added to the lasting and wide-spread
approval of the public; he declares that the "Zauberflöte" is "full of
improbabilities and of jokes that it is not easy to appreciate or to
enjoy; but it must be allowed that the author has thoroughly grasped
the idea of contrast and of producing grand theatrical effects"; he
undertook a translation of the piece, and was for some time seriously
occupied with it.[24] Undeniable as it is that the opera owes to
Mozart's music the charm that it exercises over young and old,
cultivated and uncultivated, it must be acknowledged that the piece,[25]
poor from a dramatic point of view, affords many and good opportunities
for the production of musical effects.[26] Whether



we think much or little of the Masonic views which are here seen
embodied in the mysteries of Isis,[27] Mozart at any rate was inspired
by the zeal of a partisan in giving them utterance.

The dignity and grandeur with which the music reveals the symbolism of
these mysteries certainly have their root in his intense devotion to the
Masonic idea.

A clear indication of this devotion was given to the initiated in the
overture,[28] but in a way that showed how well he distinguished Masonic
symbolism from artistic impulse. It opens with a short adagio,
whose solemn accents raise the expectation of an apparition of grave
importance, The trumpets, which are added to the full choir of wind
instruments, give a fulness and brilliancy to the chords which had not
at that time been heard before. The allegro; begins with a regular fugue
on the theme--[See Page Image] the first bars reminding us of dementi's
sonata, played before the Emperor Joseph (Vol. II., p. 199):--

The reminiscence may have been conscious or unconscious.



But the first glance at the subject of an overture to J. H. Collo's
cantata, "Lazarus Auferstehung" (Leipzig, 1779)--[See Page Image] shows
a considerable similarity to the motif of the overture before us,[29]
with which it cannot have had anything to do, since Mozart in all
probability never knew the cantata.

After the regular fourth entry of the whole motif, a free fantasia
begins with the separate parts of it and the counter motif, in the
most varied shades of expression, with an ease and elegance which lets
nothing appear of the technicalities of counterpoint, and displays an
animation and liveliness of truly sparkling brilliancy. After the close
of the movement on the dominant with a marvellous crescendo, there
follow three chords three times repeated, with pauses between, given out
by the wind instruments alone, with powerful effect of climax:[30]--[See
Page Image]

They are the same that occur in the temple assembly as a sign that
Tamino is accepted and appointed to undergo the itests, and were
suggested by the knocking or other rhythmical sounds to which members
were admitted to be initiated in the mysteries of the Masonic lodge.
This does away with the frequent suggestion that the second and third
chords are



intended to baboimd,[31] indeed André declares in the preface! to his
edition that this solemn introduction, "uncomprehended of a profane
public," to the mystic work which follows would be quite spoilt by the
binding of these chords! Winter has accentuated the rhythm still more
sharply in the "Labyrinth," the second part of the "Zauberflöte," the
overture of which begins with the chords--[See Page Image] which are
repeated several times. The chords suggest to the musical mind only the
solemn warning sound calling attention to what is to follow, but to the
initiated they recall the probation which must be undergone by those who
engage in the search for a higher light. In the allegro which follows
the first theme is taken up again, not in regular fugal form, but
working out the different motifs with unusually elaborate contrapuntal
treatment, for the most part in the stretto. The very form of thematic
treatment gives an impression of force, but of force opposed by many
obstacles and hard to overcome; this is strengthened by the use of the
minor key and by the startling harmonic progressions which intensify the
character of gloom, until it amounts to horror. Serenity returns only
with the recurrence of the principal key, and gradually rises to a
glorious radiance, troubled only towards the close by a few startling
chords, and shining out again with all the purer beauty, till one seems
to float in a very sea of light.[32] Let the contrapuntist admire in this
inimitable masterpiece of German instrumental music the science and
intellectual mastery which it displays; let the Freemason delight in the
refinement with which his mystical ideas are clothed in a musical dress;
the true triumph of genius consists in having created a work which,
quite apart from



scholarship or hidden meaning, produces by its perfection an effect
on the musical mind which is quite irresistible, animating it to
more active endeavour, and lifting it to an atmosphere of purest

The belief that Mozart selected the severer musical forms for his
overture in order to prefigure the serious mood in which he approached
the opera, obtains confirmation from his employment of them again at the
solemn moment of trial. The entrance of the men in armour, who fortify
Tamino with the words quoted above, before he proceeds on his dangerous
voyage through the elements, is announced by an imitative passage for
the strings--[See Page Imge] following a few solemn introductory bars,
and retained in the subsequent working-out as a figured accompaniment to
the song of the two men. The Cantus firmus, however, which they sing in
unison, in octave, supported by flutes, oboes, bassoons, and trombones,
is the old chorale "Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein,"[34] unaltered
except in the division of the crotchets into quavers, where the words



require it, and in the closing line added by Mozart.[35] He learnt the
melody no doubt from Kirnberger, who often made use of it as an example,
and twice worked it into a Cantus firmus.[36] This may be gathered from
the fact that Kirnberger as well as Mozart raised the second line by
a third, and that a motif interwoven with it by Mozart is an evident
reminiscence[37] of one employed by Kirnberger in the working out of the
chorale "Es woll uns Gott genàdig sein":--[See Page Image]

The attraction which the melody had for him as a Cantus firmus for
contrapuntal elaboration is proved by a sketch preserved in the Imperial
Library at Vienna, which contains the beginning of another four-part
elaboration of the theme, adhering still more closely to Kirnberger.
According to Al. Fuchs,[38] this was the first of Mozart's drafts for
the opera, to which it can only be said that in that case he made use
of an earlier contrapuntal study. In the autograph score the movement
is written continuously in connection with the whole finale, but the
handwriting, at first neat, afterwards more and more hasty, shows
clearly that it was copied from an earlier sketch.[39] Even those who
are incapable of appreciating the contrapuntal art with which this
movement is worked



out,[40] and who have no suspicion that they are listening to an old
church melody,[41] will receive an impression of mystery and solemnity
admirably expressive of the dramatic situation to which Mozart strove to
give effect.

Mozart has throughout the opera given to the music which touched on the
mysteries and the initiation into them a peculiarly solemn character,
and this is consistently maintained through every shade of feeling, from
mild gravity to inspired ecstasy. To this sphere belong the three boys,
who, although emissaries of the Queen of Night, are represented in
the course of the plot as the visible genü of the secret bond. In the
quintet (6) the announcement of the guidance they offer to Tamino and
Papageno is accompanied by a peculiar fexpression in the music, produced
by a change in the harmonic and rhythmic construction[42] and in the
instrumentation. The marchlike movement to which they lead Tamino to the
gates of the sanctuary fulfils to admiration the expectation which has
been raised. The sound-effects also are very uncommon. The clear boys'
voices, supported by the stringed instruments without the double-bass,
are sustained by the full, lightly touched chords of the trombones and
muted trumpets and drums; and a long-sustained G for the flutes and
clarinets sheds a mild radiance like a nimbus over the whole. The
thrice-repeated warning "Sei standhaft, duldsam und verschwiegen," taken
up by the firm tones of the wind instruments, raises the march whose
solemn course it interrupts to a higher dignity and force; the few bars
sung by Tamino throw into greater prominence the unusual character of
the apparition, and the repetition of the boys' song strengthens the
impression which has been given of the higher world to which we now have
access. Such an introduction as this was essential to give the right
tone and



groundwork for the long recitative which follows, in which Tamino,
prejudiced against Sarastro's wisdom and virtue, is gradually confounded
and half-convinced by one of the priests of the temple. In liveliness
of dramatic expression and successful rendering of the contrasts of
animated conversation, combined with the seriousness proper to the
surroundings and to the dignity of the priest, this recitative stands
alone. The climax of the scene is reached in the consolatory assurance
of the priest that all shall be made plain--[See Page Image] which is
twice repeated by invisible male voices, accompanied by trumpet chords.
A solemn expression, in which emotion and exaltation are united,
betokens the announcement of an oracle. The requirements of musical
climax, of dramatic effect, and of mystic symbolism are here again at

Meanwhile we are conducted to the temple portals; Tamino is consoled and
reanimated by the intelligence that Pamina still lives, and, still far
from having attained the philosophic calm of the votaries, he has no
thought but for his love. As soon as he begins to express this purely
personal and human emotion, the music becomes freer and lighter, and
solemn seriousness gives place to cheerful geniality. The part taken
at this juncture by the magic flute in assembling the listening animals
round Tamino has no connection with the situation nor with the symbolism
of the piece; it is a relic of the old fable. It was probably owing
to Mozart's aversion to the flute (Vol. I., p. 385), as well as to the
moderate proficiency of the tenor Schack, who played it himself, that
the flute is brought so little forward as a solo instrument; another
reason being that, as Tamino played it himself, it could only be
inserted in the pauses of his songs. In this place it is a ballad-like
cantilene to which the flute supplies the prelude and interlude;
afterwards, during the visit to the dark cave, Mozart has left the flute
part to the fancy of the flautist. During the fire and water ordeal, the
flute has the melody of a slow march, and the peculiar accompaniment of
low chords for the trombones,



horns, trumpets and drums give it a curious, weirdlike character.[43]

The three boys, or genü, in accordance with the numerical symbolism
pervading the whole, appear three times. After acting as guides to
Tamino, they appear to him and Papageno as they wait in silence within
the gloomy cavern, and bring them for their consolation meat and drink,
as well as the magic flute and bells. The musical characterisation is
therefore lighter and more cheerful. Mozart, hopeless of making
anything out of the nonsensical words, has kept to the delineation of
an attractive ethereal apparition, and has created a short movement of
marvellous grace and charm (17) endowed, as it were, with wings by the
lovely violin passage which accompanies it.

The third appearance is again of a solemn character. The boys announce
that soon "superstition shall disappear and wisdom shall triumph."
The character of the melody and rhythm approaches that of the first
movement, the instrumentation, as befits the situation, being less
brilliant, although the tone-colouring of the combined clarinets, horns,
and bassoons has a significance all its own.[44] The object here is to
restrain Pamina from suicide and to offer her consolation; thus, while
the boys are interwoven in the plot, they stand necessarily outside of
the narrow circle of allegorical personages, and become, as it were,
human; besides this, the exigences of the music require that they should
be subordinate to Pamina. In the course of this scene, therefore, they
lay aside their proper character to some extent, and become more pliant
and less reserved. Mozart has rightly avoided too close an adherence to
any external characterisation of the boys, and has adopted such means
of expression as were best suited to each situation, not forgetting,
however, to assert their individualities at every appropriate point.
Pamina, on her side, is brought



into closer contact with the boys from the moment when she yields to
their persuasions, and thus the ensemble with which the scene closes is
endowed with a nobler, more exalted expression than that of the purely
subjective emotion of Pamina's longing for her lost lover. A solemnity
of a more exalted order belongs to those scenes in which Sarastro and
the temple priests take part. This is at once manifest in the first
finale, which has an altogether exoteric character. The march and chorus
with which Sarastro is received, the closing chorus which celebrates his
virtue and justice, combine force and dignity with a perfect radiance
of beauty; they correspond to the choruses at the end of the opera when
Tamino and Pamina, having withstood every ordeal, are welcomed within
the temple and crowned with glory and wisdom. They are distinguished
above the ordinary operatic choruses of the day as much by their dignity
of expression as by their construction and mode of treatment; and the
wealth of the instrumentation, more especially the introduction of the
trumpets, gives a character of solemnity and magnificence then unknown
in operatic music. Nevertheless they do not obtrude beyond the natural
framework of the opera, and the limits of a work of art are never
exceeded in the effort to express a higher meaning in the music. The
analogy of the choruses with those in "König Thamos" has already been
pointed out (Vol. II., p. 111). There they are treated very elaborately
as independent pieces of music, while here the greater concentration of
musical forces and the maturer, more elevated forms of beauty, display
the mastery of a finished artist.

The esoteric character of the mysteries is brought to view in the second
act. A solemn, slow march (10) introduces. the assembly of the priests
in the most appropriate manner. It is said that in answer to the
accusation of a friend that he had stolen this march from Gluck's
"Alceste" (Act I., sc. 3), Mozart laughingly replied that that was
impossible, as it still stood there. It was perhaps the best answer to
such an impertinence. The similarity to Gluck's march, as well as to
the last march in "Idomeneo" (25), consists entirely in the fitting
expression of closely related moods.



But the special points in the conception are altogether new and
original. A presageful mood, tinged with a gentle melancholy, rising to
greater energy towards the close, transfuses this wonderful movement,
the very tone-colouring of which is affecting. The soft muted tones of
the basset-horn and bassoons are made clearer and purer by the addition
of a flute, while the full chords of horns and trombones and the
stringed instruments bind these elements into unity. The same
tone-colouring, only several shades deeper (the flute being omitted, and
of the strings only violas and violoncelli retained), is continued
in the prayer (11) which follows, addressed to Isis and Osiris in a
mysterious twilight, from which the simple impressive melody for
the bass voice sounds forth with majestic and soothing effect. The
repetition of the closing passage by the male chorus is of quite
indescribable effect, when Sarastro's characteristic passage--[See Page
Image] is given an octave higher. The earnest religious conception which
underlies this prayer shows the spirit in which the symbols and rites of
Freemasonry were approached by Mozart, who once thanked God that
through Freemasonry he had learnt to look upon death as the gate of true
happiness (Vol. II., p. 323).

The duet for the two priests (12)--a warning against feminine
malice--does not come up to the same high standard, and only becomes at
all imposing at the closing bars, "Tod und Verzweiflung war sein Lohn."
The words could not be delivered with gravity without producing too
comic an effect; Mozart has therefore treated them as a piece of
friendly counsel, not as a priestly admonition, The second chorus of
priests (19), which greets Tamino at the successful issue of his first
trial, has, on the other hand, quite the dignity and solemnity of the
first; although doubt and anxiety are for the present at an end, there
is as yet none of the jubilant delight with which the victor is hailed
at the final victory. A character of purity and elevation is expressed
with a manly confidence differing from the



intense sympathy of the first chorus, and the instrumentation is
modified accordingly. Trombones and horns give an imposing tone,
lightened by trumpets, flutes and oboes, instead of basset-horns, while
the prevailing low position of the stringed instruments supplies force
and gravity to the movement. The moderate length of this chorus, as of
all the movements which have the same solemn and mystic tone, is a fresh
proof of Mozart's sure insight. The powerful impression is made, the
excited mood is appeased, without fatiguing the mind or dulling the
charm of the unusual characterisation.

Sarastro never descends altogether from his high priestly eminence, but
he shows a genial side to his character, and sometimes, as on his first
appearance in the finale, a fatherly one. This more genial nature is
expressed in the air (16),

"In diesen heiligen Hallen," which, as with so many other pieces
from the "Zauberflöte," we have first to forget having so often heard
maltreated before we can realise the original impression made by it. The
simple instrumentation and the easy treatment of the cavatina shows at
once that the priestly character is not meant to be maintained here:
it is the paternal friend speaking words of comfort to the maiden who
confides in him.[45] Mozart, convinced that Freemasonry is the key to
true philanthropy and friendship, has not contented himself with merely
setting the trivial words before him to music, but has given expression
with all the warmth and intensity of his nature to the highest and
noblest feelings of the human heart. The beautiful terzet (20) gives a
peculiarly elevated calm to Sarastro's sympathy in a situation which is
more dramatic and musical than almost any other in the opera. Pamina
is led in to bid farewell to Tamino before he sets forth for his final
ordeal. This in itself is a test of his fortitude, for he is constrained
to oppose reserve to her excitement, and to endure her reproaches
for his apparent want of tenderness in silence. Between them stands
Sarastro, consoling and



exhorting them, like a higher power holding the fate of them both in his

It was Mozart's task to blend into one these conflicting elements of
passionate grief, of deep emotion restrained by an inflexible will,
and of unyielding earnest exhortation. It was comparatively easy
to accentuate the contrasts. Pamina and Sarastro are in absolute
opposition, and Tamino, joining issue now with one, now with the other,
forms a natural middle point. It is fortunate, from a musical point of
view, that the arrangement of the parts falls in with these conditions,
land that the natural course of the emotions depicted lends itself to a
musical climax. The simplicity of the orchestral means here made use
of by Mozart shows how much he was able to accomplish with very little,
especially in the accompaniment passage, which renders so marvellously
the agitation of the situation.[47] It may at first sight appear
fcommonplace; but the unusually low position of the violas, violoncelli,
and bassoons gives it a striking expression of power and of breathless

The part of Sarastro taxed all the resources of a deep bass voice, such
as that for which Franz Gerl, the original supporter of the part, was
celebrated.[49] It was in another way as original a conception as that
of Osmin. The latter may be said to have had a predecessor in the buffo
of the Italian opera, but Sarastro is the first of his kind, and can
as little be compared to the regulation bass parts of Italian opera as
Almaviva and Don Giovanni to the baritones. The dignity and calm of
the philosopher to whom passion is unknown would have afforded little
opportunity for musical characterisation had not Mozart's genuinely
German nature gone down to the intellectual depths of the character. For



Sarastro's good temper and amiability, which might so easily do violence
to the idealism of the conception, show their German origin unaffected
by the symbolism around them. Mozart sought and found in the powerful
sonorous tones of the bass voice the musical organ for the expression of
a nature passionless indeed, but open to all that is good and noble,
and possessing the benevolence and truthfulness of a mind matured in the
graver experiences of humanity.

The intrusion of Masonic mysteries into the plot has had a bad effect
upon the treatment of the characters, Tamino especially being injured by
it. At first he scarcely presents an heroic appearance--rather that of
a susceptible and generous youth longing to meet danger and strife that
the right and his love may prevail. The original course of the plot
leads him into dangers which he has to overcome by strength and courage;
here, for some incomprehensible reason, he is to be converted to a
belief in Sarastro. The fact of his probation taking place for the most
part in silence is of disadvantage to him, both as a tenor and a
lover; the dark cave and the wandering through fire and water are
not particularly terrifying to the spectators, and his praiseworthy
endeavours after virtue are too abstract to be interesting. And yet
Mozart has filled in this colourless outline with the warm tints of
youthful enthusiasm for all that is noble in life and in love. The first
air (4) strikes the tone which is to prevail throughout. We may trust
the word of the poet, that the sight of a lovely woman is sufficient to
inspire the heart with a love that is irresistible, and to rouse it to
a new and blissful life; but the musician alone has the power of so
realising the miracle to the mind of the hearer that he feels it working
in himself; and such a musician is Mozart. After a twice-repeated sort
of sigh from the orchestra, there streams forth from an overflowing
heart:--[See Page Image]

More agitated feelings follow this first glad expression of love,
and the development of strong emotion is expressed by the form of the
musical representation which follows every



turn of thought, breaking off the threads and joining them again without
any connected flow of melody. The whole piece is a well-constructed
cantilene, formed from separate symmetrical phrases, and recurring at
the close with the words, "und ewig ware sie dann mein," to the same
melody which followed the first exclamation with "mein Herz mit neuer
Regung füllt."

Stormy passion and fierce longing are the proper accompaniments to all
youthful love, and the moderation with which Tamino keeps them in check
gives at once the keynote to his character. His enthusiasm for an
ideal, and his noble and intelligent mind, are opened to us in the fine
recitative, and the calmer expression of love which follows completes
the picture of character.

Benedict Schack, the original Tamino (b. 1758) was both musically and
intellectually a cultivated man. He was a good flautist, and composed
several operas for Schikaneder's company, which he joined as a vocalist
in 1784. He had become very intimate with Mozart in Vienna. When the
latter called for him, as he often did, to take a walk, he used, while
Schack was dressing, to seat himself at his writing-table and compose
little bits of the opera which lay there. Schack was equally famed for
his flexible and metallically pure tenor voice and his artistic and
refined execution, but he.was a very inferior actor.[50]

As the piece proceeds the love intrigue takes a peculiar tone from its
association with the mysteries and with the ordeals belonging to them.
Many allusions are made to the dignity of marriage as the consummation
of righteous love, and this is apparently the sense intended to be
conveyed by the oft-quoted ludicrous doggerel:--

     Ihr (der Liebe) Zweck zeigt deutlich an,
     Nichts edlers sei als Weib und Mann;
     Mann und Weib, und Weib und Mann,
     Reichen an die Gotter an.

The main points, how Tamino is to win Pamina by his



initiation into the mysteries, and how Pamina comes to share his ordeals
with him, are not made clear, since the love intrigue has originally
nothing to do with them. Pamina,[51] at first contrasting with Papagena
only as a gay, lively young girl whose higher nature has had no
opportunity for development, shows herself in her true proportions when
she approaches Sarastro with the pride and self-possession which denote
her as his equal in dignity and sentiment. It is but for one short
moment that the lovers first see each other, and by an irresistible
impulse rush into each other's arms. This outbreak of passion falls so
naturally into the rest of the movement, essentially different as it is
in tone, that one is amazed that such simple notes can give so powerful
an impression of jubilant emotion. Tamino and Pamina are separated at
once, and are not reunited until near the end of the opera.

If Tamino may be said to be the expression of the enthusiasm of love
as it awakes in the bosom of youth, Pamina may, on the other hand, be
considered as the embodiment of the torment excited in a loving heart
by doubt of the loved one's constancy. The spark which is kindled in her
bosom by the sight of Tamino rises into an inextinguishable flame, and
when his obstinate silence causes her to doubt his love, every hope of
joy vanishes from her breast. It is not a difficult task for music to
render the anguish of a broken heart, and the keener the pangs to be
conveyed the easier it becomes. But to express with the utmost truth
and intensity the deep grief of a maiden who has learnt to know her own
heart by the first mighty pulsation of love, at the very moment when her
hope is to be rudely dashed to the ground--this is the work of such a
master only as the composer of the air (18) "Ach ich fühls."[52] Bitter



speaks here--pain without hope of solace; the memory of a vanished
happiness has not yet softened into regretful melancholy, nor is it
sharpened by the lingering pangs of conflict and torment overcome; it is
a pain as yet unconscious of its own force and intensity. All feelings
are swallowed up in the one: "He loves me not, and happiness is flown!"
When to this open and truthful expression of the anguish endured by
an innocent heart is united the charm of budding maidenhood, we feel
ourselves in the presence of a beauty which moves our inmost being, and
which Mozart alone of all musicians is capable of rendering in song. The
form and means of effect employed are of the simplest kind. The music
follows the course of the emotions in a continuous flow, without
allowing any definite motif to predominate. It is a very delicate touch
which makes the same expressive phrase occurring in the major to the
words, "nimmer kehrt ihr Wonnestunden meinem Herzen mehr zurück," recur
in the minor at the close to the words, "so wird Ruh im Tode sein." The
voice part is put very prominently forward, the stringed instruments
maintaining the harmonies and the rhythm in the simplest manner, while
different wind instruments (flutes, oboes, bassoons) give a sharper
accent here and there. The orchestra becomes independent only in the
closing symphony, expressing deep sorrow very effectively by means of
its syncopated rhythm and chromatic passages. This air forms a decided
contrast to the garden air in "Figaro" (Vol. III., p. 91), and yet there
is a deep-seated relationship apparent in them. In "Figaro" we have the
purest expression of happy love, flowing from a human heart without a
disturbing thought. Here it is the unmingled expression of sorrow for
departed love. The one has the soft warm glow of a fragrant summer
night; the other is like moonlight shining on rippling waters; but
in truth, purity, and beauty of musical rendering, the two songs
unmistakably betray the mind and hand of one and the same musician.

Before the painful impression has had time to die away there follows the
brief interview of the lovers in presence of Sarastro and the Initiated,
as represented in the terzet (20).



Pamina, in her anxiety and doubt as to whether Tamino's love will stand
the test imposed upon it, gives the tone to the whole piece. Her concern
is not appeased by Sarastro and Tamino's consoling assurances, and not
until the time for farewell has really arrived do the two lovers' parts
unite and contrast with that of Sarastro. Then the expression of emotion
is raised and purified, and indicated by touches of extraordinary
delicacy and depth, as when Pamina's passionate outbreak--[See Page

deprives Tamino of self-control, and he too gives vent to the anguish
of parting, while she appeals to him in mingled joy and sorrow, and
Sarastro remains inexorable; or when at the inimitably beautiful passage
at the close the hearts as well as the voices of the lovers seem to
mingle and flow into one. Here again we may admire the skill with which
the ordinary resources of musical representation are employed to produce
extraordinary effects.[53] Instead of feeling her anxiety set at rest by
this interview, Pamina is more violently agitated than before. She now
no longer doubts that Tamino has ceased to love her, and, deprived of
all hope, she seizes the dagger which her mother has given to her to
murder Sarastro, and prepares to plunge it in her own bosom. Thus, at
the beginning of the second finale, we find her "half-frantic" under the
protection of the three boys. Their presence has a moderating effect on
her passion of despair, and Mozart has carefully refrained from giving
to the thoughts of suicide excited in a maiden's breast by her first
disappointment in love the same kind of expression as would belong to
one who, exhausted by long strife with the world, had resolved to rid
himself of life and his sorrows



together. Thus, bold and energetic as the musical expression is, it
never causes any distortion in the picture of a charming innocent girl,
and this has a more tranquillising effect on the minds of the audience
than the support of the three boys. In accordance with the situation
the movement of the voices is quite free, generally declamatory, the
interjections of the three boys holding the whole movement firmly in
its groove. Pamina gives ready ear to the reassurance of the three boys,
but, instead of breaking into loud exultation, her mind recurs lovingly
to Tamino, and the music gains that soft pathetic tone which belongs
to modern music. The supernatural element of the scene idealises it, and
prepares the way for the solemn ordeal which is immediately to follow.
Tamino, who has determined to tread the path of danger, but has believed
he was to tread it alone, is agreeably surprised to find Pamina at his
side. The reunion of the lovers is deprived, in face of the dangers
which they are to overcome together, of every trace of sensual passion.
Not until they are initiated into the mysteries for which they are
undergoing probation can their love be justified or its enjoyment
assured. The tone of the scene therefore is a serious one, rendered even
solemn by the participation of the grave guardians of the sanctuary,
who have just enunciated its ordinances. But the human emotion which
irresistibly breaks forth adds a pathos to the solemnity and a charm
to the youthful pair, filling us with renewed admiration for the genius
which blends all these diverse elements into a living and harmonious

Such a pair of lovers as this, so ideal, so sentimental (schwarmerisch)
in their feelings and mode of expression, betray at once their German
origin and character; there is nothing analogous in Mozart's Italian
operas; even Belmont and Constanze, though of the same type, display
more human passion. To the representatives of noble humanity, Sarastro,
Tamino, and Pamina, stands opposed the antagonistic and vindictive
principle, in the person of the Queen of Night. The manner of her
representation leaves distinct traces visible of the different part she
was originally intended to fill. At the beginning, when she appears as



deeply injured mother, with all the magnificence of her regal state,
there is nothing in the musical characterisation to indicate her
gloomy and vindictive nature, which is thus proved to have been an
afterthought. A solemn introduction, rising into a powerful crescendo,
announces the coming of the Queen, while "the mountains are cleft
asunder." It has been pointed out[54] that this ritornello has
considerable resemblance to the passage in Benda's "Ariadne," which
accompanies the setting of the sun:--[See Page Image]

Mozart knew and admired Benda's "Ariadne," and this passage may have
been in his mind; but it is scarcely to be imagined that he consciously
imitated it, and in any case he has rendered it far more effectively.
A short recitative is followed by an air in two movements (5), the only
one so



elaborate in form of the whole opera, the result doubtless of the
traditional conception of the character of the Queen. The first movement
expresses a mother's grief simply and pathetically, but without any
tinge of the supernatural to characterise her either as the good fairy
or as the Queen of Night. The allegro is far weaker, going off after
a few energetic bars into long runs and passages quite instrumental in
character, with nothing striking in them but the presupposition of an
extraordinary soprano voice in the high--[See Page Image]
to which they rise. This is apparently another concession made by Mozart
to the "voluble throat" of his eldest sister-in-law, Madame Hofer (Vol.
II., p. 330). There can be no difficulty in accrediting a sister of
Aloysia Weber with the possession of a fabulously high voice; but it is
remarkable that Schroder, who saw her in the same year (1791) as Oberon,
should have said of her (Meyer, L. Schroder, II., 1, p. 85): "A very
unpleasing singer; her voice is not high enough for the part, and she
squeaks it, besides which she opens her mouth with a gape like the elder
Stephanie." Nevertheless, she set no small store on herself, and must
have been admired by a portion of the public; Mozart has made a still
greater sacrifice to her in the second air, in which the Queen of Night
commands her daughter to wreak vengeance on Sarastro. In design it is
free and bold, in passionate expression of resentment very powerful; the
two chief parts are both musically and dramatically striking, the close
is genuinely pathetic, and the uniformly high position of the voice
in conjunction with the forcible and somewhat shrilly toned
instrumentation, is of very singular effect. All this notwithstanding,
Mozart has allowed himself to be persuaded to ruin an aria which
might have been a model of pathetic declamation by two long ornamental
passages inserted between the parts of the air, which are not only
destructive of proper effect, but also unnatural, and wanting in taste
themselves. The Queen is attended by three ladies, who, however, have
none of the vindictive qualities which distinguish her. Not



only do we find unmistakable proofs of their original conception as good
fairies, but the way in which they are treated in the opera has a spice
of the drollery of Musäus or Wieland, although without their grace and
refinement; the merit which they possess is entirely due to Mozart.
They show themselves in their true colours from the first introduction.
Tamino enters in terrified flight from a serpent,[55] which is
well-expressed by the orchestra; at the moment when he is falling into a
swoon, the three ladies appear and slay the monster. As they gaze on the
beautiful youth, tender promptings fill their breasts; each wishes to
remain with him and to send her companions with tidings to the Queen;
a dispute arises which ends by their all three going, after a tender
farewell to the insensible Tamino. The situation is represented with
vivacity and humour in three well worked-out and varying movements, and
although the ladies never display any lofty emotions, they move with
so much natural grace that the not very refined situation makes an
impression of unclouded cheerfulness. A long cadenza for the three
voices, with which the movement originally closed, was judiciously
struck out by Mozart himself.[56]

The ladies express themselves in similar fashion, though not quite so
openly, seeing that they are not alone, in the quintet (6) when they
deliver Papageno from his padlock, present him and Tamino with the flute
and bells, and promise the companionship of the three boys. Here
too, they are benevolent beings, bringing miraculous gifts, but not
displaying any higher nature except when they mention the three boys,
and even then the mysterious tone adopted belongs rather to the latter
and the mysteries connected with them. Indeed, the teasing familiarity
of the ladies to Papageno, and their coquettish politeness to Tamino,



give them quite a _bourgeois_ character, supported by the genial, jovial
tone of the music, which is fresh, natural, and full of euphonious

In the second quintet (13) the same ladies appear as opponents of the
initiated, but their character has been already so clearly indicated
that they cannot consistently turn into vindictive furies. They have
the appropriate feminine task of inveigling Tamino and Papageno into
breaking the silence which has been imposed on them, and, while easily
accomplishing this, as far as Papageno is concerned, they find that
Tamino is inflexible himself, and recalls Papageno to his duty. The
object of the music, therefore, is not to bring a dismal or gloomy
image before the mind, but to emphasise, without exaggerating, the comic
element of the situation. The central point of interest is of course
Papageno, who displays all the cowardice and loquacity of his nature to
the ladies, and is only kept within bounds by his respect for Tamino;
the ladies treat the interview almost as a joke, and even Tamino's
steadfast determination acquires from its surroundings an involuntarily
comic tone. The whole quintet is light and pleasing, destitute of any
higher feeling, such as that of the first quartet; all the more striking
is the effect of the powerful closing chords, to which the ladies,
pursued by the initiated, depart with a cry of terror, while Papageno
falls to the ground. The peculiar musical effect of this piece depends
mainly upon the skill with which the female voices are employed;[57]
where the male voices come in they are made to add to the combinations
partly in contrast and partly in union with the female voices. The
instrumentation is for the most part easy; in order to afford a firm
foundation the two violins frequently go with the third voice instead
of the bass, while wind instruments support the upper voices, which
produces a clear, light, and yet powerful tone-colouring. The allegretto
(6-8) in the introduction, in comparison with the two other movements of



same, or the passages in the first quintet, "bekamen doch die
Lügner allé," "O so eine Flöte," "Silberglöckchen," and finally the
announcement of the three boys may serve as examples of the union of
orchestra and voices to produce a climax of novel and melodious effect.

The Moor Monostatos may also be considered as a follower of the Queen of
Night, only left in attendance on Sarastro through the inconsistency
of the adaptation, and made a renegade in order that the figure of a
traitor to the order might not be omitted. He is never brought to the
front, neither in the terzet, where he threatens Pamina and then runs
away from Papageno, nor in the first finale, where he is made to dance
by Papageno, and then bastinadoed by order of Sarastro. But in the
second act, when he surprises Pamina asleep, he has a little song to
sing (14) which is a miniature masterpiece of psychological dramatic

The kingdom of Night is most strikingly characterised when the Queen and
her ladies are introduced into the sanctuary by Monostatos to plot their
revenge. The motif on which the movement rests--[See Page Image]

is graphically descriptive of the stealthy entry; the summons to the
Queen of Night takes an expression of gloomy solemnity which stands in
characteristic contrast to the dignified gravity of the priests.

Papageno adds a third element to the temple priests and the kingdom of
Night. Even the inevitable character of the comic servant received
a novel colouring from the introduction of Masonic relations. The
qualities of sensuality, cowardice, and loquacity, on which the comic
effect depends, are here made typical of the natural man, who, destitute
of the nobler and more refined impulses of the initiated, aspires to
nothing beyond mere sensual gratification. This it maybe which causes
Papageno to appear far less vulgar and offensive



than most of his fellows. It is true that his wit is destitute of
refinement or humour, but his jokes, though silly, are healthy and
natural to one side of the German character, which explains the fact
of Papageno having become the favourite of a large part of the public.
Although Schikaneder had doubtless a share in this popularity (he made
the part to his own liking, and when he built his new theatre with the
proceeds of the "Zauberflöte," he had himself painted on the drop-scene
as Papageno), all the essential merit of it is Mozart's own. To whatever
extent Schikaneder may have helped him to the melodies, that he came to
the aid of Mozart's inventive powers will be imagined by none, least of
all by those who know that the simplest song requires science for its
perfection, and that truth and beauty are made popular, not by debasing,
but by simplifying them.

Papageno's songs are genuine specimens of German national music--gay and
good-humoured, full of enjoyment of life and its pleasures. The first
song (3), "Der Vogel-fänger bin ich ja," is unusually simple, with an
extremely happy, sympathetic melody; the addition of horns, with
the tones and passages natural to them, gives a freshness to the
accompaniment; and the by-play on the reed-pipe (ever since called
Papageno's flute)--[See Page Image]

with the answer of the orchestra, has a really funny effect. The second
song (21) is in two parts, differing in time and measure, but resembles
the first in the tone of merry content which lies at the root of its
popularity. Schikaneder may have given just the suggestion to the
musical conception (Vol. III., p. 284), but the precise and well-rounded
working-out is due to Mozart alone. Papageno's bells give a peculiar
tone to the accompaniment, "eine Maschine wie ein holzemes Gelàchter,"
they are called in the libretto, and "istromento d' acciajo" by Mozart
in the score; they were brought in for the ritornellos and interludes
with easy variations in the different verses. The celebrated double-bass
player Pischl-berger or, according to Treitschke, Kapellmeister



Henneberg "hammered" the instrument behind the scenes. Mozart wrote to
his wife at Baden how he had once played the bells himself behind the

I amused myself by playing an arpeggio when Schikaneder came to a pause.
He was startled, looked round, and saw me. The second time the pause
occurred I did the same; then he stopped and would not go on; I guessed
what he was after, and made another chord, upon which he tapped the
bells and said: "Hold your tongue!" ("Halts Maul!"), whereupon everybody
laughed. I fancy this was the first intimation to many people that he
did not play the instrument himself.

The instrument occurs first in the first finale, when Papageno makes the
slaves of Monostatos dance and sing to it.

Here it is brought prominently forward, supporting the melody alone,
accompanied only _pizzicato_ by the stringed instruments, and in a
measure by the chorus; the whole is most innocently simple, and of
charming effect.[59] The bells exercise their power a third time (the
magic flute is also; played three times) in the last finale, where the
magic instrument aids the despairing Papageno to recall his Papagena,
and is treated simply as befits its nature.[60]

Papageno's chief scene is in the last finale, when he resolves to die
for the love of his lost Papagena, and it forms a counterpart to the
pathetic scene of Pamina's despair. An expression of good-humour and of
true, if not very elevated, feeling prevents the comic situation from
becoming farcical.



Papageno's grief is like that of a child, expressed in genuine earnest,
yet of a nature to raise a smile on the lips of grownup people.
This double nature is well expressed, for example, in the violin
passage--[See Page Image]nwhich has something comic in its very accents
of grief. The form of this lengthy scene is altogether free. Without
alteration of time or measure the music follows the various points of
the scene, declamatory passages interrupting the long-drawn threads of
melody sometimes with great effect, and descriptive phrases repeated
at suitable places to keep the whole together. Thus the characteristic
passage--occurs three times to the words: "Drum geschieht es mir schon
recht!" "Sterben macht der Lieb' ein End," and "Papageno frisch hinauf,
en.de deinen Lebenslauf!" At the close, when he seems really on the
point of hanging himself, the time becomes slower, and a minor key
serves to express the gloom of despair. But the three boys appear and
remind him of his bells; at once his courage rises, and as he tinkles
the bells he calls upon his sweetheart to appear with all the confidence
and joy of a child. At the command of the boys he looks round, sees her,
and the two feather-clothed beings contemplate each other with amazement
and delight, approaching nearer and nearer, until at last they fall
into each other's arms. The comic point of the stammering "Pa-pa-pa-,"
uttered by them both, slowly at first, then with increasing rapidity
until they embrace with the exclamation, Papageno!" and "Papagena!" was
due to Schickaneder's



suggestion.[61] That the happiness they feel at their reunion should
find expression in anticipating the advent of numerous little
Papagenos and Papagenas is not only intended as a trait of human nature
unrestrained and unrefined in thought and word, but serves to point
to the parental joys springing from wedlock as "the highest of all
emotions." The duet originally ended with the words (which Mozart did
not set to music):--

     Wenn dann die Kleinen um sie spielen
     Die Eltern gleiche Freude fühlen,
     Sich ihres Ebenbildes freun
     O, welch ein Gluck kann grosser sein?

The words with which the boys lead Papagena to Papageno--

     Komm her, du holdes, liebes Weibchen!
     Dem Mann sollst du dein Herzchen weihn.
     Er wird dich lieben, süsses Weibchen,
     Dein Vater, Freund und Brader sein
     Sie dieses Mannes Eigenthum!

were also omitted by Mozart, because serious exhortations and moral
reflections would have been out of place here. He has instead succeeded
in producing so lively and natural an expression of childlike delight,
untouched by any taint of sensual desire, that the hearer feels his own
heart full of happiness for very sympathy. The companion piece to this
duet is that which Papageno sings with Pamina, after informing her that
Tamino, fired with love, is hastening to her release (8). There can be
no doubt that Mozart's wish has been to express the loftiest conception
of the love of man and wife as an image, however faint and imperfect, of
heavenly love; but here again Schikaneder has interposed, and insisted
on something popular. We cannot blame him, for Papageno's sphere is that
of natural, simple sentiment, not of enlightened morality, and Pamina is
an inexperienced girl, who follows her own feelings, and is ready enough
to fall into Papageno's vein.



Mozart did not find it easy to satisfy Schikaneder, who called each
fresh attempt fine, but too learned; not until the third, or as some
say, the fifth version,[62] did Mozart hit on the simple tone of warm
feeling which Schikaneder believed would win every ear and every heart.
His judgment proved correct; at the first performance this was the
first piece applauded, and an angry critic complained in 1793 that the
"Mozartites" were passing all bounds, and that "at every concert the
ladies' heads went nodding like poppies in the field when the senseless
stuff was sung: 'Mann und Weib, und Weib und Mann (which makes four, by
the way), reichen an die Gottheit an.'"[63] According to Kapellmeister
Trüben-see, of Prague, who was engaged as oboist in Schikaneder's opera,
a rejected composition of this duet in the grand style was afterwards
made use of alternately with that now known, and indicated on the
playbill, "with the old duet" or "with the new duet."[64] At the first
performance of the "Zauberflöte" in the new Theater an der Wien in 1802,
Schikaneder' made the following announcement on the bill:--

Having been so fortunate as myself to possess the friendship of Mozart,
whose affection for me led him to set my work to music, I am in a
position to offer the audience on this occasion a gratifying surprise
in the form of two pieces of Mozart's composition, of which I am sole

One of them may have been the duet in question; what the other was we
cannot even conjecture.[66] An individuality such as Papageno's is
sure to impart some of its naïve good humour and joviality to the other
characters with whom he comes in contact, and the impression thus made



fail to appear in the music; whenever Papageno enters, whether he is
merry or whether he is sad, an irresistible tone of good humour takes
possession of the stage. Next to him in want of reserve and self-control
stands Pamina, who only gradually attains a consciousness of her higher
and nobler nature. Neither in the duet nor in the flight does her
expression of the feelings they are both experiencing differ in tone
from Papageno's; any marked distinction here would have marred the total
impression without assisting psychological truth. But on the approach
of Sarastro they draw apart; Pamina entrenches herself in proud reserve,
while Papageno gives vent to his terror with the same energy as in the
first quintet (6) when he is ordered to accompany Tamino to the castle.
In the second quintet (13) his fright is kept in check by Tamino's
presence, and his disgust at not daring to speak, and not being able
to keep silence, gains the upper hand and gives the tone to the whole

Such a consideration as we have given to the principal characters of the
"Zauberflöte," to its intellectual and musical conception, and to the
prevailing freedom of its form, serves to stamp its character as a
genuinely German opera. What was begun in the "Entführung," which
undertook to raise German vaudeville to the level of opera proper,
is carried further in the "Zauberflöte," which succeeds in gaining
recognition for the simplest expression of feeling, and for full freedom
of form of dramatic characterisation. The opera contains no airs of
the traditional stamp, except the two airs of the Queen of Night; and
a comparison of the way in which the aria form is treated in "Cosi fan
Tutte" and "Titus" will show an organic change in the airs, now that
they are developed from the simple Lied. This freedom of construction is
still more apparent in the ensembles, in the beautiful terzet (20), and
more especially in the first quintet (6). The second quintet (13) is
more precise in form, the ladies tempting Tamino and Papageno to break
silence forming the natural middle point of the musical construction.
But the freedom of movement strikes us most of all in the finales, which
are admirable examples of



the art, so praised by Goethe, of producing effect by means of contrast.
In dramatic design they are inferior to the finales of "Figaro," "Don
Giovanni," or "Cosi fan Tutte." Instead of a plot proceeding from one
point, and developing as it proceeds, we have a succession of varied
scenes, lightly held together by the thread of events, and interesting
us more from their variety than their consistent development. In order
to follow this rapid movement great freedom of musical construction was
necessary; opportunities of carrying out a definite motif till it forms
a self-contained movement, which are so frequent in Italian finales,
occur here but seldom, one instance being the allegro of the first
finale, when Monostatos brings in Tamino, and the movement of the second
finale to which the Queen of Night enters. This essential difference of
treatment fills us with renewed admiration of Mozart's fertility in the
production of new suggestive and characteristic melodies, which seem
ready at command for every possible situation. Those who descend to
details will be amazed to find how seldom Mozart is satisfied with
a mere turn of expression, how lavish he is of original fully formed
musical subjects, and how all the details of his work are cemented into
a whole by his marvellous union of artistic qualities.

This leads us to the consideration of a second point in which the
"Zauberflöte" surpasses the "Entführung." The latter is confined to a
narrow circle of characters, situations, and moods, while the former has
a large and varied series of phenomena. The story from which the plot is
derived opens the realm of fairies and genü, personified in the Queen
of the Night and her ladies, and, as regards his outward appearance, in
Papageno. In addition to this there is the mystical element which
takes the first place both in the dramatic conception and the musical
characterisation of the opera. Mozart had no intention of representing
a fantastic fairy land, such as was called into existence by Weber and
Mendelssohn. The fabulous was not then identified with the fantastic,
but was often consciously made a mirror for the reflection of real life,
with its actual sentiments and views. Therefore the Queen of Night is
depicted as a queen,



as a sorrowing mother, as a revengeful woman; her ladies have their
share of coquetry and gossip, and these feminine qualities predominate
over the supernatural. The musical task of combining three soprano
voices into a connected whole, while preserving their individuality,
calls for great peculiarity of treatment, entailing further a special
turning to account of the orchestral forces at command, at the same time
that no special forms of expression are made to serve as typical of the
fairy element of the piece.

On the other hand the apparition of the three boys is accompanied by
every means of musical characterisation. They form the link with the
region of mysticism indicated awkwardly enough in the libretto. We
recognise something more than individual taste and inclination in
Mozart's efforts to invest them with a character of grave solemnity. A
universal and deep-rooted sympathy with Freemasonry was a characteristic
sign of the times, and the German mind and disposition are well
expressed in the efforts that were made to find in Freemasonry that
unity which intellectual cultivation and moral enlightenment alone could
bestow. Mozart was therefore at one in intention and aim with all that
was highest and noblest in the nation, and the more deeply his own
feelings were stirred the more sure he was to stamp his music with all
that was truly German in character. It was not without design that he
selected an old choral melody to mark a point of most solemn gravity, or
that he treated it in the way with which his fellow-countrymen were most
familiar. This passage is also significant as showing the marvellous
element in a symbolic light, and bringing the supernatural within the
domain of the human sphere. In this respect the representation of
the marvellous in the "Zauberflöte" differs widely from that in "Don
Giovanni." There the appearance of the ghost is a veritable miracle, a
fact which must be believed to be such, and rendered to the minds of
the spectators by means of the musical representation of terror in the
actors. In the "Zauberflöte," on the contrary, the marvellous element is
suggested only by the mystery hidden beneath it, and the mind is attuned
to a mood of awe-struck wonder.



It cannot be denied that the deeply rooted symbolism of the opera has
dulled the edge of individual characterisation. Actions lose their
reality and become mere tests of virtue; the choruses of the priests
express generalities; neither the three ladies nor the three boys are
independent characters, but each group forms an individual, which
again represents an idea; even the principal characters, owing to the
concentration of all upon one idea, have more of a typical character
than is desirable in the interests of dramatic characterisation.[67]
In spite of these drawbacks Mozart has depicted both his situations and
characters naturally and vividly. No one will attempt to deny that both
the subjects and treatment of "Figaro" and "Don Giovanni," and in some
degree also of "Cosi fan Tutte," present far more occasions for the
expression of passion, for delicate detail, and for the emphasising of
special features, than is the case with the "Zauberflöte," where the
effect depends mainly on the general impression left by the whole work;
but that this is the case affords only another proof of Mozart's power
of grasping the strong points of every problem that was set before him.
"In Lessing's 'Nathan,'" says Strauss,[68] "we are as little disposed
to complain of the want of that powerful impression produced by his
more pungent pieces, as we are to wish the peaceful echoes of Mozart's
'Zauberflöte' exchanged for the varied characterisation and foaming
passion of the music of 'Don Juan.' In the last work of the musician, as
in that of the poet, wide apart as they stand in other respects, there
is revealed a perfected spirit at peace with itself, which having fought
and overcome all opposition from within, has no longer to dread that
which comes from without."

The fact that the words of the opera were in German had doubtless an
important influence on the musical expression. Wretched as the verses
are, so much so that it is difficult sometimes to find the sense
necessary for the proper understanding of Mozart's rendering of them,
they nevertheless



form the basis of the musical construction. Italian operatic poetry,
long since stereotyped in form, fettered the composer's fancy, while the
German verses, from their very want of finish, left him freer scope
for independent action. It is worthy of note that instrumental
tone-painting, so frequently employed in Italian opera as a means of
giving musical expression to the poetry, is but little resorted to in
the "Zauberflöte." Apart from the difference of poetical expression in
Italian and German, the sensuous sound of the Italian language was far
more provocative of musical expression; and the declamatory element of
correct accentuation and phrasing was at the root of the correct musical
expression of German words. In this respect also the "Zauberflöte" is
far superior to the "Entführung." A comparison of the text with the
music will show what pains Mozart has taken to declaim expressively
and forcibly. Sometimes the effort is too apparent, as in Sarastro's
well-known "Doch"; but as a rule Mozart's musical instinct prevents
the declamatory element from intruding itself to the detriment of the

In the treatment of the orchestra also the "Zauberflöte" stands alone
among Mozart's operas. It is not, as in "Figaro" and "Don Giovanni,"
employed for delicate details of characterisation, nor is it, as in
"Cosi fan Tutte" replete with euphonious charm. It has here a double
part: in that portion of the opera which represents purely human emotion
the orchestra is free and independent in movement, but easy and simple
in construction; while for the mystic element of the story it has quite
another character: Unusual means, such as trombones and basset-horns,
are employed for the production of unusual and weird effects, while
through all the delicate gradations of light and shade, from melancholy
gravity to brilliant pomp, the impression of dignity and solemnity is.
maintained, and the hearer is transported to a sphere beyond all earthly
passion. Not only are the hitherto unsuspected forces of the orchestra
here brought into play, but its power of characterisation is for the
first time made _fully_ manifest, and the "Zauberflöte" is the point of
departure for all that modern music has achieved in this



direction. It must not, however, be forgotten that instrumental
colouring is always to Mozart one means among many of interpreting
his artistic idea, and never aspires to be its sole exponent, or to
overshadow it altogether.

That which gives the "Zauberflöte" its peculiar position and importance
among Mozart's operas is the fact that in it for the first time all the
resources of cultivated art were brought to bear with the freedom of
genius upon a genuinely German opera.[69] In his Italian operas he had
adopted the traditions of a long period of development, and by virtue
of his original genius had, as it were, brought them to a climax and a
conclusion; in the "Zauberflöte" he stepped across the threshold of the
future, and unlocked the sanctuary of national art for his countrymen.
And they understood him; the "Zauberflöte" sank directly and deeply
into the hearts of the German people, and to this day it holds its place
there. The influence which it has exerted in the formation of German
music can be disregarded by no one who has an eye for the development of

Evidence of the rapid popularity of the "Zauberflöte" is afforded by the
imitations of it which were produced at the theatres Auf der Wieden and

Everything is turned to magic at these theatres; we have the magic
flute, the magic ring, the magic arrow, the magic mirror, the magic
crown, and many other wretched magic affairs. Words and music are
equally contemptible (except the "Zauberflöte"), so that one knows not
whether to award the palm of silliness to the poet or the composer.
Added to this, these miserable productions are still more miserably

Schikaneder's opera, "Babylons Pyramiden," the first act composed by
Gallus, the second by Winter, first produced October 23, 1797, bore a
striking resemblance to the



"Zauberflöte."[71] In the following year appeared "Das Labyrinth,
oder der Kampf der Elemente," announced as a continuation of the
"Zauberflöte," by Schikaneder and Winter;[72] it was performed in Berlin
with great magnificence in 1806.[73] Goethe's design of continuing the
"Zauberflöte" has been already mentioned (Vol. III., p. 314, note). It
would be superfluous to enumerate the performances of the "Zauberflöte"
in Germany. It soon took possession of every stage in Vienna. In 1801 it
was given at the Karnthnerthortheater with new scenery by Sacchetti.[74]
Schikaneder was not mentioned, which gave rise to some coarse pamphlets
in doggerel verse.[75] Schikaneder's answer was a brilliantly appointed
performance of the "Zauberflöte" in his new theatre An der Wien, which
he recommended to the public in some doggerel lines as Papageno, not
failing also to parody the defective machinery of the other theatre.[76]
The run was extraordinary,[77] but he had taken so many liberties with
the work--omitting the quintet, for instance, and inserting an air
for Mdlle. Wittmann--that he did not escape criticism in more doggerel

From Vienna the opera spread rapidly to every theatre in Germany, great
and small.[79] In Berlin it was first given on May 12,1794, with a
success[80] that testified to the preference for German rather than
Italian opera there;[81] the jubilee of this performance was celebrated
on May 12, 1844.[82]



At Hamburg "the long-expected 'Zauberflöte'" was first put on the stage
on November 12,1794, and soon usurped the popularity of "Oberon" and
"Sonnenfest der Braminen."[83] It may be mentioned as a curiosity
that the "Zauberflöte" was played in a French translation[84] at
Braunschweig* and in Italian at Dresden,[85] until the year 1818,[86]
when C. M. von Weber first produced it in German with great care, and
quite to his own satisfaction.[87]

The "Zauberflöte" rapidly gained popularity for Mozart's name,
especially in North Germany. How universal was the favour with which
it soon came to be regarded may be testified by Goethe, who makes his
Hermann, describing a visit to his neighbour in their little country
town, say:--

     Minchen sass am Klavier; es war der Vater zugegen,
     Hörte die Tochterchen singen, und war entzückt und in Laune.
     Manches verstand ich nicht, was in den Liedern gesagt war;
     Aber ich hörte viel von Pamina, viel von Tamino,
     Und ich wollte doch auch nicht stumm sein! Sobald sie geendet,
     Fragt' ich dem Texte nach, und nach den beiden Personen.
     Aile schwiegen darauf und lächelten; aber der Vater
     Sagte: nicht wahr, mein Freund, er kennt nur Adam und Eva?!!!

Even to this day Sarastro and Tamino are regular starring and trial
parts; unhappily, so is the Queen of Night for singers who possess the
high F; and though the novelty and splendour of the scenery and
stage accessories have been long since surpassed, and the interest in
Freemasonry has died away, yet the "Zauberflöte" is still popular in the
best sense of the word. It has been successfully performed in Dutch,[88]
Swedish,[89] Danish,[90] and Polish;[91] but, as might have been
expected, the "_musica scelerata_ without any melody" was even less to
the taste of the Italians than Mozart's



other operas.[92] It is not surprising either that it was only
moderately successful in London, where it was first performed in
Italian[93] in 1811, then in English in 1837,[94] and in German by a
German company in 1840;[95] but the songs and other pieces of the opera
have always been well known and popular.[96]

The "Zauberflöte" was given in Paris in 1791 curiously transformed by
Lachnith under the title of "Jes Mystères d'Isis."[97] The piece was
irrecognisable; everything miraculous, including the magic flute itself,
and everything comic was omitted, Papageno being turned into the wise
shepherd Bochoris; this, of course, involved the parodying of a great
part of the music, and much was omitted even without this excuse. The
omissions were made good by the insertion of pieces out of other operas
by Mozart, e.g., the drinking-song from "Don Giovanni" arranged as a
duet, an air from "Titus," also as a duet, and more of the same kind.
Great liberties were taken with the music itself. The closing chorus,
with Sarastro's recitative, formed the beginning of the opera; then
followed the terzet "Seid uns zum zweiten-mal willkommen," sung by six
priestesses; then a chorus from "Titus" (15); and then the original
introduction. Monostatos' song was given to Papagena (Mona), the first
air of the Queen of Night to Pamina, and the duet "Bei Mannern" was
turned into a terzet. It can easily be imagined how distorted Mozart's
music was by all these additions, erasures, and alterations. The
performance called forth lively protests from the critics and
connoisseurs,[98] French as well as German;[99] its defence was
undertaken, curiously



enough, by Cramer.[100] The opera was nicknamed "Les Misères d'Ici," and
"l'opération" of the "dérangeur" Lachnith was discussed.[101] But all
were agreed as to the excellence of the scenery and ballet, of the
arrangement of particular scenes, and of the admirable performance
of the orchestra and chorus, which may account for the fact that this
deformity was one hundred and thirty times performed in Paris up to
1827.[102] On February 23, 1865, the unmutilated "Zauberflöte" was, for
the first time, placed on the stage of the Théätre-Lyrique, translated
by Nuitter and Beaumont, and had a brilliant success.[103]


[Footnote 1: Treitschke, Orpheus, 1841, p. 246. Monatsschr. f. Theat. u. Music,
1857, p. 445.]

[Footnote 2: Al. Fuchs, Wien. Mus. Ztg., 1842, p. 57. A. M. Z., XLIV., p. 366.]

[Footnote 3: The three Genü were played by Nanette Schikaneder, afterwards Madame
Eikof (Südd. Mus. Ztg., 1866, p. 191), Matth. Tuscher and Handlgruber,
but Frz. Maurer appeared instead of the second, the same who sang
Sarastro four years afterwards. The names in brackets rest on a
communication from Treitschke (Orph., p. 246); apparently these parts
were sometimes changed.]

[Footnote 4: Wien. Mus. Ztg., 1842, p. 58.]

[Footnote 5: Mus. Wochenbl., p. 79. This must have been the fault of the
performance; at least, in 1793, "Mozart's admirable music was so mangled
at Schikaneder's theatre, that one would fain have run away." (Berlin,
Mus. Ztg., 1793, p. 142).]

[Footnote 6: Treitschke (Orph., p. 248) remarks that, at the time he wrote, the
"Zauberflöte" had been performed for the hundred and thirty-fifth time.]

[Footnote 7: I have to thank my friend Dr. L. von Sonnleithner for much
information on these points.]

[Footnote 8: The new operas for Schikaneder's theatre were: 1789, "Una Cosa
rara," second part, music by B. Schack; "Das unvermuthete Seefest,"
music by J. Schenck; 1790, "Das Schlaraffenland," music by Schack
and Gerl; "Das Singspiel ohne Titel," music by J. Schenck; "Die
Wienerzeitung," music by Schack; 1791, "Oberon," music by Paul
Wranitzky; "Der Erndtekranz," music by Joh. Schenck; "Die Zauberflöte."]

[Footnote 9: Cf. Riehl, Mus. Charakterköpfe, I., p. 244.]

[Footnote 10: Schroder saw this opera during his tour in the spring of 1791, at
Frankfort, Mannheim, and Vienna; and it was given at Hamburg in October
(Meyer, L. Schröder, II., pp. 64, 76, 85, 97). In Berlin it was put
upon the stage in February, 1792, and was severely criticised (Mus.
Wochenbl., p. 157). It was sometimes performed later, and older
dilettanti preferred it to Weber's "Oberon" (A. M. Z., XXXI., p. 643).]

[Footnote 11: The third volume of this collection of tales appeared in 1789. The
preface declares the author of "Lulu" and the "Palmblatter" to be the
same, and consequently (since it cannot be Herder) Liebeskind.]

[Footnote 12: The tale was afterwards turned into a Danish opera, "Lulu," by
Güntel-berg, and composed by Kuhlau (A. M. Z., XXX., p. 540).]

[Footnote 13: These three helpful boys, with their aphorisms, are borrowed from
another tale in the third part of the Dschinnistan, "Die klugen Knaben."]

[Footnote 14: Devrient, Gesch. der deutschen Schauspielkunst, III., p. 141.]

[Footnote 15: Riehl, Musik. Charakterköpfe, I., p. 3.]

[Footnote 16: Castelli, Memoiren, I., p. 111.]

[Footnote 17: Goethe says of his "Helena" (Gespr. m. Eckermann, I., p. 317):
"Granted that the majority of spectators care for nothing but what meets
the eye, the initiated will not fail to grasp the higher meaning, as is
the case with the 'Zauberflöte' and some other works."]

[Footnote 18: Lewis, Gesch. d. Freimaur. in Oesterreich, p. 40.]

[Footnote 19: Pater Cantes is said to have composed the songs to Schikaneder's
operas from friendship (Monatsschr. f. Theat. u. Mus., III., p. 444).]

[Footnote 20: Gieseke himself told Cornet that he had the principal share in
the words of the "Zauberflöte" (Die Oper in Deutschl., p. 24. Illust.
Familienbuch des öst. Lloyd, II., p. 19); and Neukomm confirmed his
statement to me, having known Cornet as an actor at the Theater auf der

[Footnote 21: The most important features of the ceremonial, the tests of secrecy
and silence, the wandering through fire and water, &c., are to be found
in Apuleius' account of the initiation of Lucius into the mysteries of
Isis (Met., IX., 21). It is well known that the origin of Freemasonry
has been found in the Egyptian mysteries, and various symbols have
thence made their way into some of the lodges (Cf. Born in the Journal
fur Freimaurer, 1784, I., 3. Berlioz, Litt. u. Theater-Zeitg., 1783, p.

[Footnote 22: The Masonic tendencies are visible in the frequent allusions to the
opposition between light and darkness, and in the subordinate
position of the women, who are "not to pry into mysteries which are
incomprehensible to the female mind," and which can only be solved under
the guidance of wise men. Cf. a "treatise on the uses of secrecy" read
at a lodge held for women, setting forth why the order was, and must
remain, closed to them (Teutsch. Mercur, 1786, III., p. 59).]

[Footnote 23: Eckerxnann, Gespräche mit Goethe, III., p. 17.]

[Footnote 24: Goethe made the following announcement on the subject to Wranitzky
(January 24, 1796): "The favour with which the 'Zauberflöte' has been
received, and the difficulty of writing a piece which could compete with
it, have suggested to me the idea of finding in itself the subject of
a new work, so as to meet the preference of the public half way, as it
were, and to simplify the performance of a new and complicated piece
both to the actors and the theatrical management. I believe I shall best
attain this object by writing a second part to the 'Zauberflöte' the
characters are all familiar, both to the public and to the actors, and
it will be possible, having the earlier piece before one, to heighten
the climax of the situations and events without exaggerating them, and
to give life and interest to the whole piece." He writes to Wranitzky,
further, that it will please him to be associated with so talented a
man, and that he has endeavoured to "open a wide field to the composer,
and to touch upon every department of poetry, from the most elevated
emotions to the lightest pleasantry" (Orpheus, 1841, p. 252. Cf. Briefw.
zw. Schiller u. Goethe, 468. Briefw. m. Zelter, I., p. 16; II., pp. 93,

[Footnote 25: Herder lays stress on the predominating idea of the struggle
between light and darkness as a main reason for the great success of the
"Zauberflöte" (Adrastea, II., p. 284).]

[Footnote 26: Reichardt writes to Tieck (March 17, 1812): "Thus numberless
mongrel and prodigious creations have taken form, round which music has
been developed and almost perfected. Mozart's highest performances owe
their existence to Schikaneder and Co. Without the 'Zauberflöte' and
'Don Juan,' one side of Mozart's genius would have remained unknown to
us" (Briefe an L. Tieck, III., p. no).]

[Footnote 27: An interpretation from the Masonic point of view is given by L. v.
Batzko (Journ. d. Lux. u. d. Mod., 1794, p. 364). A ludicrous allusion
to the Revolution was imputed to the "Zauberflöte" by a pamphlet,
Geheime Gesch. d. Verschworungssy stems d. Jacobiner in d. österr.
Staaten, 1795.]

[Footnote 28: André has published the score of the overture, so that the
alterations and additions can be recognised as such. The autograph of
the opera is complete (N. Ztschr. fur Mus., XLV., p. 41).]

[Footnote 29: Cäcilia, XX., p. 132.]

[Footnote 30: Cf. Marx, Lehre v. d. mus. Kompos., IV., p. 181.]

[Footnote 31: Allg. Wiener Mus. Ztg., 1842, p. 521. Niederrh. Mus. Ztg., 1856,
pp. 68,89. N. Ztschr. f. Mus., XLV., p. 41.]

[Footnote 32: Ulibicheff, who has devoted careful study to this overture,
continually, and with justice, recurs to the idea of light and
brilliancy, which is irresistibly brought home to the hearer, as Mozart
no doubt fully intended.]

[Footnote 33: Koch, Journal der Tonkunst (1795, I., p. 103).]

[Footnote 34: The use made of the old choral melody was first remarked by
Rochlitz, but he calls the chorale, "Aus tiefer Noth schrei ich zu dir"
(A. M. Z., I., p. 148), while Gerber (N. Lex., III., p. 496) calls it,
"Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam," and Zelter (Briefw., III., p.
415; IV., p. 354), "Wenn wir in hochsten Nöthen"--variations which are
capable of explanation, and sometimes of justification (Càcilia, VIII.,
p. 134. A. M. Z., XLVIII., p. 481).]

[Footnote 35: The antiquated melody treated by Mozart is the song, "Ach Gott vom
Himmel sieh darein," in use from 1524 (Winterfeld, Evang. Kirchengesang,
I., Beil. 14; II., p. 7. Tucher, Schatz des evang. Kirchengesanges Mel.,

[Footnote 36: Kirnberger, Kunst d. reinen Satzes, I., p. 237.]

[Footnote 37: Kirnberger, I., p. 243. Cf. Stadler, Nachr., p. 12.]

[Footnote 38: Wien. Mus. Ztg., 1842, p. 58.]

[Footnote 39: Two choral melodies, "O Gottes Lamm," and "Als aus Egypten," with
partially figured bass, are written by Mozart upon one sheet (343 K.),
perhaps with a similar object.]

[Footnote 40: Cf. Marx, Lehre v. d. mus. Kompos., II., pp. 536, 568.]

[Footnote 41: Whether any special Masonic wisdom lurks in the choice of this song
I cannot say; it is worthy of remark that even in the Masonic funeral
music a figured Cantus firmus is made use of (Vol. II., p. 411).]

[Footnote 42: The resemblance traced by C. F. Becker (Hausmusik, p. 37) to a
passage from Joh. Kuhnau's "Frisch e Clavierfrüchte".(1696) has been
proved illusory by Faiszt (Cäcilia, XXV., p. 150).]

[Footnote 43: This curious combination recalls to mind the piece for trumpets and
flutes which Mozart formerly wrote in Salzburg (Vol. I., p. 308).]

[Footnote 44: It is not without purpose that they are made to accompany Tamino's
words, "Der Lieb' und Tugend Heiligthum" in the recitative of the
first finale where Mozart first selected flutes, but then changed to
clarinets, which only recur in this place.]

[Footnote 45: This is pointed out in an article on the characteristics of
different keys (A. M. ZM XXVII., p. 228).]

[Footnote 46: The last words which Mozart wrote to his wife at Baden contained
an allusion to this terzet: "Die Stunde schlägt--leb wohl--wir sehen uns

[Footnote 47: Mozart, as an ear-witness noted (A. M. Z., XVII., p. 571), accented
the first quaver of this figure, and took the tempo of the terzet almost
as quick as it has since been played, following the direction _andante
moderato_. In Mozart, as in other older composers, andante ("going") by
no means exclusively implies a slow tempo.]

[Footnote 48: Siebigke gives an elaborate analysis of this terzet (Mozart, p.

[Footnote 49: Meyer, L. Schroder, II.; I., p. 85.]

[Footnote 50: Lipowsky, Baier. Musik-Lex., p. 297. A. M. Z., XXIX., p. 519.
Meyer, L. Schroder, II.; I., p. 85.]

[Footnote 51: Anna Gottlieb, born in Vienna, 1774, sang Barberina in "Figaro"
in 1786, and was then engaged by Schikaneder; in 1792 she went as prima
donna to the Leopoldstadt Theater. She took part in the Mozart Festival
at Salzburg in 1842, and in the Jubilee of 1856, and died there soon

[Footnote 52: G. Weber's remark (A. M. Z., XVII., p. 247) that the tempo of this
air is generally taken too slow, is confirmed by the contemporary of
Mozart already mentioned, with a reference to his own directions (Ibid.,
p. 571). Here again the direction andante was misleading.]

[Footnote 53: It is interesting to note how the rhythmic movement of the
beginning--[See Page Image] gives the impulse to the whole of the music.]

[Footnote 54: Cäcilia, XX., p. 133.]

[Footnote 55: The original words were: "Dem grimmigen Löwen zum Opfer
erkoren--schon nahet er sich." Mozart substituted the poisonous serpent
later. In the Fliegende Blatter fur Mus. (I., p. 441), the description
of this serpent is compared with that in Weber's "Euryanthe."]

[Footnote 56: The autograph score shows traces of abbreviation, the complete
cadenza having been made known by Al. Fuchs from an old copy (Allg.
Wien. Mus. Ztg., 1841, p. 244).]

[Footnote 57: The parts of the three boys are treated in similar fashion, only
that the working-out is appropriately much simpler.]

[Footnote 58: Marx, Kompositionslehre, IV., p. 541.]

[Footnote 59: In the Parisian travesty of the "Zauberflöte" the virtuous shepherd
Bochoris sings this song to induce the guard to liberate Pamina, and
by this means gradually works up the twelve Moorish slaves and the guard
into such a state of comic and exhilarated emotion that they form
round him during his song, and execute an exceedingly characteristic
pantomimic dance, expressive of curiosity and delight. Then the chorus
of the guard falls in, interspersed with Lais' lovely singing,
which continues until the chorus sink at his feet in delight. "It is
impossible," adds Reichardt, in describing this scene (Vertraute Briefe
aus Paris, I., p. 438), "to imagine anything more piquant or perfect.
It made such an impression that it had to be repeated, a thing which had
never happened there before" (A. M. Z., IV., p. 72). The rearrangement
of the music necessitated is described in A. M. Z., IV., Beil. I.]

[Footnote 60: At a performance of the "Zauberflöte" at Godesberg, in June, 1793,
a steel keyed instrument was substituted for the bells with good effect
(Berl. Mus. Ztg., 1793, p. 151).]

[Footnote 61: Castelli (111. Familienbuch, 1852, p. 119), quoting from the
bass-player Seb. Mayer.]

[Footnote 62: "Herr Schikaneder has made it his habit to dabble in all the operas
composed for him, altering the keys and sometimes striking out the
best-passages and substituting bad ones. Even Mozart had to submit to
his criticism in the composition of the 'Zauberflöte,' and underwent not
a little annoyance in consequence. For instance, the duet 'Bei Männern'
had to be composed five times before it pleased him" (A. M. Z., I., p.

[Footnote 63: Berl. Mus. Ztg., 1793, p. 148.]

[Footnote 64: N. Ztschr. fur Mus., XLV., p. 43.]

[Footnote 65: Allg. Wien. Mus. Ztg., 1842, p. 58.]

[Footnote 66: A duet composed by Mozart (625 K.) for Schikaneder's "Stein der
Weisen," performed in 1792, is not known.]

[Footnote 67: Cf. Hotho, Vorstudien, p. 79.]

[Footnote 68: Strauss, Lessing's Nathan d. Weise, p. 77.]

[Footnote 69: Beethoven, according to Seyfried (Beethoven's Studien, Anhang, p.
21), declared the "Zauberflöte" to be Mozart's greatest work, for in it
he first shows himself as a _German_ composer. Schindler adds (Biogr.,
II., pp. 164, 322) that he thought so highly of it because it contained
every species of song, even to the chorale and the fugue. If we reflect
that this praise from Beethoven can only refer to the intellectual power
which succeeded in combining the most varied forms into an artistic
whole, born of one conception, we shall be convinced how deep was his
appreciation of that power.]

[Footnote 70: Berl. Mus. Ztg., 1793, p. 142.]

[Footnote 71: A. M. Z., I., pp. 73, 447.]

[Footnote 72: A. M. Z., II., p. 811.]

[Footnote 73: A. M. ZM V., pp. 778, 794. Zelter, Briefw., I., p. 74.]

[Footnote 74: A. M. Z., III., p. 484. Ztg. fur d. Eleg. Welt, 1801, No. 40, p.

[Footnote 75: Mozart und Schikaneder, ein theatralisches Gespräch uber die
Auffuhrung der Zauberflöte im Stadttheater, in Knittelversen von * *.
Wien, 1801 (Ztg. fur d. Eleg. Welt, 1801, No. 41, p. 326). Mozart's
Traum nach Anhörung seiner Oper die Zauberflöte im Stadttheater,
Jupitern und Schikanedem erzahlt im Olymp in Knittelversen von F. H. von
TZ. Wien, 1801.]

[Footnote 76: Treitschke, Orpheus, p. 248. A. M. Z., III., p. 484.]

[Footnote 77: Jupiter, Mozart und Schikaneder nach der ersten Vorstellung der
Zauberflöte im neun Theater an der Wien (Wien, 1802).]

[Footnote 78: A. M. Z., XII., p. 1057.]

[Footnote 79: A. M. Z., XIV., p. 558. Treitschke, Orpheus, p. 249.]

[Footnote 80: Reichardt, Vertr. Briefe aus Paris, I., p. 163.]

[Footnote 81: Schneider, Gesch. d. Oper, p. 63.]

[Footnote 82: A. M. Z., XLVI., p. 443. Rellstab, Ges. Schr., XX., p. 379.]

[Footnote 83: Meyer, L. Schroder, II., i, p. 115.]

[Footnote 84: A. M. Z., VII., p. 208.]

[Footnote 85: A. M. Z., I., p. 341.]

[Footnote 86: Treitschke, Orpheus, p. 250.]

[Footnote 87: A. M. Z., XX., p. 839. Cäcilia, VIII., p. 170.]

[Footnote 88: A. M. ZM XIV., p. 239.]

[Footnote 89: A. M. Z., XIV., pp. 593, 804, 864.]

[Footnote 90: A. M. Z., XXXI., p. 820.]

[Footnote 91: A. M. Z., XIV., p. 327.]

[Footnote 92: An attempt at Milan, in 1886, had a doubtful success (A. M. Z.,
XVIII., pp. 346, 485), and a second in Florence, 1818, was a decided
failure (A. M. Z., XXI., p. 42).]

[Footnote 93: Pohl, Mozart u. Haydn in London, p. 147.]

[Footnote 94: Hogarth, Mem. of the Opera, II., p. 193.]

[Footnote 95: A. M. Z., XLII., p. 736; XLIV., p. 610.]

[Footnote 96: A. M. Z., III., p. 335.]

[Footnote 97: A closer analysis by a German musician is to be found in A. M. Z.,
IV., p. 69.]

[Footnote 98: A. M. Z., IV., p. 47.]

[Footnote 99: Reichardt, Vertr. Briefe aus Paris, I., pp. 162, 457. Solger,
Nachgel.Schr., I., p. 69. Engel, Journal de Paris, 1801, No. 346.
Schlegel, Europa, II., I., p. 178.]

[Footnote 100: Cramer, Anecd. sur Mozart, p. 18. Cf. Ztg. f. d. eleg. Welt, 1801,
No. 101.]

[Footnote 101: Castil-Blaze, L'Acad. Imp. de Mus., II., p. 86.]

[Footnote 102: A. M. Z., XX., p. 858; XXXIII., pp. 82, 142. In the year 1829, the
German performance of the "Zauberflöte" was very successful in Paris.
(A. M. Z., XXXI., p. 466.)]

[Footnote 103: Niederrhein. Mus. Ztg., 1865, p. 68. Berl. Mus. Ztg., Echo, 1865,
p. 73. Henry Blaze de Bury, Revue des Deux Mondes, 1865, LVI., p. 412.]





NO sooner was the "Zauberflöte" completed and performed than Mozart set
to work with restless eagerness upon his still unfinished Requiem.[1]
His friend, Jos. von Jacquin, calling upon him one day to request him to
give pianoforte lessons to a lady who was already an admirable performer
on the instrument, found him at his writing-table, hard at work on the
Requiem. Mozart readily acceeded to the request, provided he might
postpone the lessons for a time; "for," said he, "I have a work on hand
which lies very near my heart, and until that is finished I can think of
nothing else."[2] Other friends remembered



afterwards how engrossed he had been in his task up to a very short time
before his death.[3] The feverish excitement with which he laboured at
it increased the indisposition which had attacked him at Prague. Even
before the completion of the "Zauberflöte" he had become subject to
fainting fits which exhausted his strength and increased his depression.
The state of Mozart's mind at this time may be gathered from a curious
note in Italian, written by him in September, 1791, to an unknown friend
(Da Ponte? cf.,

Affmo Signore,--Vorrei seguire il vostro consiglio, ma come riuscirvi?
ho il capo frastemato, conto a forza e non posso levarmi dagli occhi
1' immagine di questo incognito. Lo vedo di continuo, esso mi prega,
mi sollecita, ed impaziente mi chiede il lavoro. Continuo perché il
comporre mi stanca meno del riposo. Altronde non ho più da tremere. Lo
sento a quel che provo, che l' ora suona; sono in procinto di spirare;
ho finito prima di aver goduto del mio talento. La vita era pur si
bella, la camera s' apriva sotto auspici tanto fortunati, ma non si puö
cangiar il proprio destino. Nessuno micura [assicura] i propri giomi,
bisogna rassenarsi, sarà quel che piacerà alla providenza, termino ecco
il mio canto funebre, non devo lasciarlo imperfetto.

It was in vain that his wife, who had returned from Baden, sought to
withdraw him from his work, and to induce him to seek relief from gloomy
thoughts in the society of his friends.[5] One beautiful day, when they
had driven to the Prater, and were sitting there quite alone, Mozart
began to speak of death, and told his wife, with tears in his eyes,
that he was writing his Requiem for himself. "I feel it too well," he
continued; "my end is drawing near. I must have taken poison; I cannot
get this idea out of my mind."[6] Horrified at this disclosure, Frau
Mozart sought,



by every possible argument, to reason him out of such imaginations.[7]
Fully persuaded that the assiduity with which he was working at the
Requiem was increasing his illness, she took the score away from him and
called in a medical adviser, Dr. Closset.

Some improvement in Mozart's state of health followed, and he was able
to compose a cantata written by Schikaneder for a Masonic festival (623
K.), which was finished November 15, and the first performance conducted
by himself. He was so pleased with the execution of this work, and
with the applause it received, that his courage and pleasure in his
art revived, and he was ready to believe that his idea of having taken
poison was a result of his diseased imagination. He demanded the score
of the Requiem from his wife, who gave it to him without any misgiving.
The improvement, however, was of short duration, and Mozart soon
relapsed into his former state of melancholy, talked much of having been
poisoned, and grew weaker and weaker. His hands and feet began to swell,
and partial paralysis set in, accompanied by violent vomiting. Good old
Joseph Deiner (Vol. II., p. 300) used to tell how Mozart had come to
him in November, 1791, looking wretched, and complaining of illness.
He directed him to come to his house next morning to receive his wife's
orders for their



winter supply of fuel. Deiner kept the appointment, but was informed by
the maid-servant that her master had become so ill during the night that
she had been obliged to fetch the doctor. The wife called him into the
bedroom where Mozart was in bed. When he heard Deiner he opened his
eyes and said, almost inaudibly, "Not to-day, Joseph; we have to do with
doctors and apothecaries to-day."[8] On November 28 his condition was
so critical that Dr. Closset called into consultation Dr. Sallaba, chief
physician at the hospital. During the fortnight that he was confined to
bed consciousness never left him. The idea of death was ever before his
eyes, and he looked forward to it with composure, albeit loth to part
with life. The success of the "Zauberflöte" seemed likely at last to
open the door to fame and fortune; and during his last days of life he
was assured of an annual subscription of one thousand florins from
some of the Hungarian nobility, and of a still larger yearly sum
from Amsterdam, in return for the periodical production of some few
compositions exclusively for the subscribers.[9] It was hard to leave
his art just when he was put in a position to devote himself to it,
unharassed by the daily pressure of poverty; hard, too, to leave his
wife and his two little children to an anxious and uncertain future.[10]
Sometimes these ideas overpowered him, but generally he was tranquil and
resigned, and never betrayed the slightest impatience. He unwillingly
allowed his canary, of which he was very fond, to be removed to the next
room, that he might not be disturbed by its noise. It was afterwards
carried still farther out of hearing. Sophie Haibl says:--

When he was taken ill we made him night-shirts which could be put on
without giving him the pain of turning round; and, not realising how
ill he was, we made him a wadded dressing-gown against the time that he
should be able to sit up; it amused him very much to follow our work as
it proceeded. I came to him daily. Once he said to me,



"Tell the mother that I am going on very well, and that I shall be
able to come and offer my congratulations on her fête-day (November 22)
within the week."

He heard with intense interest of the repetition of the "Zauberflote,"
and when evening came he used to lay his watch beside him, and follow
the performance in imagination: "Now the first act is over--now comes
the mighty Queen of Night."[11] The day before his death he said to
his wife: "I should like to have heard my 'Zauberflote' once more,"
and began to hum the birdcatcher's song in a scarcely audible voice.
Kapellmeister Roser, who was sitting at his bedside, went to the piano
and sang the song, to Mozart's evident delight.[12] The Requiem, too,
was constantly in his mind. While he had been at work upon it he used to
sing every number as it was finished, playing the orchestral part on the
piano. The afternoon before his death he had the score brought to his
bed, and himself sang the alto part.[13] Schack, as usual, took the
soprano, Hofer, Mozart's brother-in-law, the tenor, and Gerl the bass.
They got as far as the first bars of the Lacrimosa when Mozart, with
the feeling that it would never be finished, burst into a violent fit of
weeping, and laid the score aside.[14]

When Frau Haibl came towards evening her sister, who was not usually
wanting in self-control, met her in a state of agitation at the door,
exclaiming: "Thank God you are here! He was so ill last night, I thought
he could not live through the day; if it comes on again, he must die in
the night." Seeing her at his bedside, Mozart said: "I am glad you are
here; stay with me to-night, and see me die." Controlling her emotion,
she strove to reason him out of such thoughts, but he answered: "I have
the flavour of death on my



tongue--I taste death; and who will support my dearest Constanze if you
do not stay with her?" She left him for a moment to carry the tidings to
her mother, who was looking anxiously for them. At her sister's wish she
went to the priests of St. Peter's, and begged that one might be sent
to Mozart as if by chance; they refused for a long time, and it was
with difficulty she persuaded "these clerical barbarians" to grant her
request. When she returned she found Süssmayr at Mozart's bedside in
earnest conversation over the Requiem. "Did I not say that I was writing
the Requiem for myself?" said he, looking at it through his tears. And
he was so convinced of his approaching death that he enjoined his wife
to inform Albrechtsberger of it before it became generally known, in
order that he might secure Mozart's place at the Stephanskirche, which
belonged to him by every right (Vol. II., p. 277, note). Late in the
evening the physician arrived, having been long sought, and found in
the theatre, which he could not persuade himself to leave before the
conclusion of the piece. He told Süssmayr in confidence that there was
no hope, but ordered cold bandages round the head, which caused such
violent shuddering that delirium and unconsciousness came on, from which
Mozart never recovered. Even in his latest fancies he was busy with
the Requiem, blowing out his cheeks to imitate the trumpets and drums.
Towards midnight he raised himself, opened his eyes wide, then lay down
with his face to the wall, and seemed to fall asleep. At one o'clock
(December 5) he expired.[15]

At early morning the faithful Deiner was roused by the maid-servant
"to come and dress" her master; he went at once and performed the last
friendly offices for Mozart. The body was clothed in a black robe and
laid on a bier, which was carried into the sitting-room and deposited
near the piano. A constant flow of visitors mourned and wept as they
gazed on him; those who had known him intimately loved him; his fame as
an artist had become universal, and his sudden death brought home to all
men the extent of their



loss. The "Wiener Zeitung" (1791, No. 98) made the following

We have to announce with regret the death of the Imperial Court
Composer, Wolfgang Mozart, which took place between four and five
o'clock this morning. Famous throughout Europe from earliest childhood
for his singular musical genius, he had developed his natural gifts,
and by dint of study had raised himself to an equality with the greatest
masters; his universally favourite and admired compositions testify
to this fact, and enable us to estimate the irreparable loss which the
musical world has sustained in his death.

A letter from Prague, of December 12, 1791, announced:[16]--

Mozart is--dead. He returned from Prague in a state of suffering, which
gradually increased; dropsy set in, and he died in Vienna at the end of
last week. The swelling of his body after death led to the suspicion of
his having been poisoned. His last work was a funeral Mass, which was
performed at his obsequies. His death will cause the Viennese to realise
for the first time what they have lost in him.[17] His life was troubled
by the constant machination of cabals, whose enmity was doubtless
sometimes provoked by his _sans souci_ manner. Neither his "Figaro" nor
his "Don Juan" were as enthusiastically received in Vienna as they were
in Prague. Peace be to his ashes!

Mozart's wife, who had been so unwell the day before his death that the
physician had prescribed for her, was rendered completely prostrate in
mind and body by his death. In her despair she lay down upon his bed,
desiring to be seized with the same illness, and to die with him. Van
Swieten, who had hastened to bring her what consolation and assistance
he could, persuaded her to leave the house of death, and to take up her
abode for the present with some friends living near. He undertook the
care of the funeral, and having regard to the needy circumstances of
the widow, he made the necessary arrangements as simply and cheaply
as possible. The funeral expenses (on the scale of the third class)
amounted to 8 fl. 36 kr., and there was an additional charge of 3 fl.
for the hearse. Rich man and distinguished patron



as he was, it seems never to have occurred to Van Swieten that it would
have been becoming in him to undertake the cost as well as the care of
a fitting burial for the greatest genius of his age. At three o'clock
in the afternoon of December 6 the corpse of Mozart received the
benediction in the transept chapel on the north side of St. Stephen's
Church. A violent storm of snow and rain was raging, and the few friends
who were assembled--among them Van Swieten, Salieri, Süssmayr, Kapellm.
Roser, and the violoncellist Orsler[18]--stood under umbrellas round
the bier, which, was then carried through the Schulerstrasse to the
churchyard of St. Mark's. The storm continued to rage so fiercely
that the mourners decided upon turning back before they reached their
destination,[19] and not a friend stood by when the body of Mozart was
lowered into the grave. For reasons of economy no grave had been bought,
and the corpse was consigned to a common vault, made to contain from
fifteen to twenty coffins, which was dug up about every ten years and
filled anew: no stone marked the resting-place of Mozart. Good old
Deiner, who had been present at the benediction, asked the widow if she
did not intend to erect a cross to the departed; she answered that there
was to be one. She no doubt imagined that the priest who had performed
the ceremony would see to the erection of the cross. When she was
sufficiently recovered from her first grief to visit the churchyard, she
found a fresh gravedigger, who was unable to point out Mozart's grave;
and all her inquiries after it were fruitless. Thus it is that, in spite
of repeated attempts to discover it, the resting-place of Mozart remains



Poor Constanze and her two children were now placed in the saddest
possible position. Not more than sixty florins of ready money were
available at Mozart's death; to this might be added 133 fl. 20 kr. of
outstanding accounts, the furniture, wardrobe, and scanty library, which
were valued at less than 400 florins. But there were debts to be
paid, not only to generous creditors like Puchberg, who rendered every
assistance in settling the affairs of his deceased friend without any
thought of his own claim, but to workmen and tradesmen, who must be paid
at all costs; the doctor's bill alone amounted to 250 florins.[21]
In this emergency, Constanze appealed first to the generosity of the
Emperor. One of Mozart's attached pupils informed her that the Emperor
had been very unfavourably disposed towards her, in consequence of
the calumnies spread abroad by Mozart's enemies to the effect that his
dissipation and extravagance had involved him in debts amounting to
more than 30,000 florins; and she was advised to make her application
in person, so as to persuade the Emperor of the falsehood of such
reports.[22] At the audience which was granted to her, she boldly
declared that Mozart's great genius had raised up enemies against him,
who had embittered his existence by their intrigues and calumnies. These
slanderers had multiplied tenfold the amount of his debts, and she was
prepared to satisfy all claims with a sum of 3,000 florins. Even this
amount of liability was not the result of thoughtless extravagance,
but had been inevitably incurred by the uncertainty of their income, by
frequent illnesses and unforeseen calls on their resources. Appeased by
Frau Mozart's representations, the Emperor encouraged her to give a
concert, in which he took so generous an interest that the proceeds
enabled her to pay all her husband's debts.


[Footnote 1: The narrative which follows is founded chiefly upon the widow's
statements in Niemetschek (p. 50. Nissen, p. 563), which agree with
those made by her to an English lady at Salzburg in 1829 (The Musical
World, 1837, August and September. Hogarth, Mem. of the Opera, II., p.
196), and upon a letter from Sophie Haibl (April 7, 1827), extracts from
which are given by Nissen (p, 573), and of which Köchel has sent me a
copy in full.]

[Footnote 2: Mosel, Ueb. d. Orig. Part, des Requiem, p. 5.]

[Footnote 3: Stadler, Nachtr., p. 17.]

[Footnote 4: In the possession of Mr. Gouny [? Young], of London, copied from the
original by Köchel.]

[Footnote 5: A. M. Z., I., p. 147.]

[Footnote 6: This idea was very prevalent, and was not altogether rejected by
Niemetschek, who, remarking on his early death, adds: "if indeed it was
not purposely hastened" (p. 67). Detouche relates it to Sulp. Boisserée
(I., p. 292. Mar. Sessi was convinced of its truth. N. Berlin Mus.,
1860, p. 340). Even the widow says in a letter to Reg. Rath Ziegler, of
Munich (August 25, 1837', that her son giving no signs of his father's
greatness, would therefore have nothing to fear from envious attempts on
his life. p. 285):[4]--]

[Footnote 7: Mozart's diseased fancies were made the grounds for shameful
suspicions of Salieri, who was said to have acknowledged on his deathbed
having administered poison to Mozart (cf. A. M. Z., XXVII., p. 413).
Carpani exonerated Salieri in a long article (Biblioteca Italiana,
1824), and brought forward medical testimony that Mozart's death was
caused by inflammation of the brain, besides the assertions of Salieri's
attendants during his last illness, that he had made no mention of any
poisoning at all. Neukomm also, relying on his intimacy both with the
Mozarts and with Salieri, has energetically protested against a calumny
(Berlin, allg. mus. Ztg., 1824, p. 172) which no sane person would
entertain. The grounds on which the rumour was discredited by
Kapellmeister Schwanenberg of Braunschweig, a friend of Salieri, are
peculiar. When Sievers, then his pupil, read to him from a newspaper
the report of Mozart's having been the victim of the Italian's envy, he
answered: "Pazzi! non ha fatto niente per meritar un tal onore" (A. M.
Z., XXI., p. 120. Sievers, Mozart u. Sussmayr, p. 3). Daumer has striven
to support the untenable conjecture that Mozart was poisoned by the
Freemasons (Aus der Mansarde, IV., p. 75). Finally, the report of the
poisoning furnished the subject of a dreary novel, "Der Musikfeind," by
Gustav Nicolai (Arabesken für Musikfreunde, I. Leipzig, 1825).]

[Footnote 8: Wiener Morgen-Post, 1856, No. 28.]

[Footnote 9: This is on the authority of the widow's petition to the Emperor.]

[Footnote 10: He had prophesied of his little son Wolfgang at four months old
that he would be a true Mozart, for that he cried in the same key in
which his father had just been playing (Niemetschek, p. 41).]

[Footnote 11: A. M. Z., I., p. 149.]

[Footnote 12: Monatsschr. für Theat. u. Mus., 1857, p. 446.]

[Footnote 13: He had a tenor voice, gentle in speaking, unless when he grew
excited in conducting; then he spoke loud and emphatically (Hogarth,
Mem. of the Opera, II., p. 198).]

[Footnote 14: So says the unquestionably trustworthy account of Schack (A. M. Z.,
XXIX., p. 520. Nissen, Nachtr., p. 169).]

[Footnote 15: So also says the Joum. d. Lux. u. d. Mode, 1808, II., p. 803.]

[Footnote 16: Mus. Wochenbl., p. 94.]

[Footnote 17: A contemporary musician (Salieri must be meant) did not scruple to
say to his acquaintance: "It is a pity to lose so great a genius, but a
good thing for us that he is dead. For if he had lived much longer,
we should not have earned a crust of bread by our compositions"
(Niemetschek, p. 81).]

[Footnote 18: Monatsschr., 1857, p. 446. Schikaneder was not present; the news
of Mozart's death had affected him most deeply; he walked up and down,
crying out: "His spirit follows me everywhere; he is ever before my
eyes!" (Nissen, p. 572).]

[Footnote 19: Wiener Morgen-Post, 1856, No. 28.]

[Footnote 20: Journ. d. Lux. u. d. Moden, 1808, II., p. 801. Al. Fuchs related
the negative result of his careful inquiries in Gräffer's Kl. Wiener
Memoiren (I., p. 227). Ritter von Lucam has at last (Die Grabesfrage
Mozart, Wien, 1856) elicited by inquiries from two old musicians who had
known Mozart, Freystadter and Scholl, that the grave was on the right of
the churchyard cross, in the third or fourth row of graves. This agrees
with the statement of the gravedigger in Nissen (p. 576), and inquiries
officially set on foot in 1856 make it probable that it was in the
fourth row to the right of the cross near a willow-tree (Wien. Blatter
Mus. Theat. u. Kunst, 1859, No. 97).]

[Footnote 21: The list of effects--which owing to the kindness of my friends,
Karajan and Laimegger, lies before me--is copied in the Deutsche Mus.
Ztg., 1861, p. 284. It is affecting to see from it how simple, even
poverty-stricken, was the whole _ménage_. The collection of books and
music is valued at 23 fl. 41 kr.; and among the bad debts is one of
300 fl. to Frz. Gilowsky, who was advertised in July, 1787, as having
absconded insolvent; 500 fl. are put down as borrowed by Ant. Stadler
(Posttägl. Anzeig., 1787, No. 35).]

[Footnote 22: On a malicious rumour of the kind see O. Jahn, Ges. Aufs. über
Musik, p. 230.]





NO sooner was the "Zauberflöte" completed and performed than Mozart set
to work with restless eagerness upon his still unfinished Requiem.[1]
His friend, Jos. von Jacquin, calling upon him one day to request him to
give pianoforte lessons to a lady who was already an admirable performer
on the instrument, found him at his writing-table, hard at work on the
Requiem. Mozart readily acceeded to the request, provided he might
postpone the lessons for a time; "for," said he, "I have a work on hand
which lies very near my heart, and until that is finished I can think of
nothing else."[2] Other friends remembered



afterwards how engrossed he had been in his task up to a very short time
before his death.[3] The feverish excitement with which he laboured at
it increased the indisposition which had attacked him at Prague. Even
before the completion of the "Zauberflöte" he had become subject to
fainting fits which exhausted his strength and increased his depression.
The state of Mozart's mind at this time may be gathered from a curious
note in Italian, written by him in September, 1791, to an unknown friend
(Da Ponte? cf.,

Affmo Signore,--Vorrei seguire il vostro consiglio, ma come riuscirvi?
ho il capo frastemato, conto a forza e non posso levarmi dagli occhi
1' immagine di questo incognito. Lo vedo di continuo, esso mi prega,
mi sollecita, ed impaziente mi chiede il lavoro. Continuo perché il
comporre mi stanca meno del riposo. Altronde non ho più da tremere. Lo
sento a quel che provo, che l' ora suona; sono in procinto di spirare;
ho finito prima di aver goduto del mio talento. La vita era pur si
bella, la camera s' apriva sotto auspici tanto fortunati, ma non si puö
cangiar il proprio destino. Nessuno micura [assicura] i propri giomi,
bisogna rassenarsi, sarà quel che piacerà alla providenza, termino ecco
il mio canto funebre, non devo lasciarlo imperfetto.

It was in vain that his wife, who had returned from Baden, sought to
withdraw him from his work, and to induce him to seek relief from gloomy
thoughts in the society of his friends.[5] One beautiful day, when they
had driven to the Prater, and were sitting there quite alone, Mozart
began to speak of death, and told his wife, with tears in his eyes,
that he was writing his Requiem for himself. "I feel it too well," he
continued; "my end is drawing near. I must have taken poison; I cannot
get this idea out of my mind."[6] Horrified at this disclosure, Frau
Mozart sought,



by every possible argument, to reason him out of such imaginations.[7]
Fully persuaded that the assiduity with which he was working at the
Requiem was increasing his illness, she took the score away from him and
called in a medical adviser, Dr. Closset.

Some improvement in Mozart's state of health followed, and he was able
to compose a cantata written by Schikaneder for a Masonic festival (623
K.), which was finished November 15, and the first performance conducted
by himself. He was so pleased with the execution of this work, and
with the applause it received, that his courage and pleasure in his
art revived, and he was ready to believe that his idea of having taken
poison was a result of his diseased imagination. He demanded the score
of the Requiem from his wife, who gave it to him without any misgiving.
The improvement, however, was of short duration, and Mozart soon
relapsed into his former state of melancholy, talked much of having been
poisoned, and grew weaker and weaker. His hands and feet began to swell,
and partial paralysis set in, accompanied by violent vomiting. Good old
Joseph Deiner (Vol. II., p. 300) used to tell how Mozart had come to
him in November, 1791, looking wretched, and complaining of illness.
He directed him to come to his house next morning to receive his wife's
orders for their



winter supply of fuel. Deiner kept the appointment, but was informed by
the maid-servant that her master had become so ill during the night that
she had been obliged to fetch the doctor. The wife called him into the
bedroom where Mozart was in bed. When he heard Deiner he opened his
eyes and said, almost inaudibly, "Not to-day, Joseph; we have to do with
doctors and apothecaries to-day."[8] On November 28 his condition was
so critical that Dr. Closset called into consultation Dr. Sallaba, chief
physician at the hospital. During the fortnight that he was confined to
bed consciousness never left him. The idea of death was ever before his
eyes, and he looked forward to it with composure, albeit loth to part
with life. The success of the "Zauberflöte" seemed likely at last to
open the door to fame and fortune; and during his last days of life he
was assured of an annual subscription of one thousand florins from
some of the Hungarian nobility, and of a still larger yearly sum
from Amsterdam, in return for the periodical production of some few
compositions exclusively for the subscribers.[9] It was hard to leave
his art just when he was put in a position to devote himself to it,
unharassed by the daily pressure of poverty; hard, too, to leave his
wife and his two little children to an anxious and uncertain future.[10]
Sometimes these ideas overpowered him, but generally he was tranquil and
resigned, and never betrayed the slightest impatience. He unwillingly
allowed his canary, of which he was very fond, to be removed to the next
room, that he might not be disturbed by its noise. It was afterwards
carried still farther out of hearing. Sophie Haibl says:--

When he was taken ill we made him night-shirts which could be put on
without giving him the pain of turning round; and, not realising how
ill he was, we made him a wadded dressing-gown against the time that he
should be able to sit up; it amused him very much to follow our work as
it proceeded. I came to him daily. Once he said to me,



"Tell the mother that I am going on very well, and that I shall be
able to come and offer my congratulations on her fête-day (November 22)
within the week."

He heard with intense interest of the repetition of the "Zauberflote,"
and when evening came he used to lay his watch beside him, and follow
the performance in imagination: "Now the first act is over--now comes
the mighty Queen of Night."[11] The day before his death he said to
his wife: "I should like to have heard my 'Zauberflote' once more,"
and began to hum the birdcatcher's song in a scarcely audible voice.
Kapellmeister Roser, who was sitting at his bedside, went to the piano
and sang the song, to Mozart's evident delight.[12] The Requiem, too,
was constantly in his mind. While he had been at work upon it he used to
sing every number as it was finished, playing the orchestral part on the
piano. The afternoon before his death he had the score brought to his
bed, and himself sang the alto part.[13] Schack, as usual, took the
soprano, Hofer, Mozart's brother-in-law, the tenor, and Gerl the bass.
They got as far as the first bars of the Lacrimosa when Mozart, with
the feeling that it would never be finished, burst into a violent fit of
weeping, and laid the score aside.[14]

When Frau Haibl came towards evening her sister, who was not usually
wanting in self-control, met her in a state of agitation at the door,
exclaiming: "Thank God you are here! He was so ill last night, I thought
he could not live through the day; if it comes on again, he must die in
the night." Seeing her at his bedside, Mozart said: "I am glad you are
here; stay with me to-night, and see me die." Controlling her emotion,
she strove to reason him out of such thoughts, but he answered: "I have
the flavour of death on my



tongue--I taste death; and who will support my dearest Constanze if you
do not stay with her?" She left him for a moment to carry the tidings to
her mother, who was looking anxiously for them. At her sister's wish she
went to the priests of St. Peter's, and begged that one might be sent
to Mozart as if by chance; they refused for a long time, and it was
with difficulty she persuaded "these clerical barbarians" to grant her
request. When she returned she found Süssmayr at Mozart's bedside in
earnest conversation over the Requiem. "Did I not say that I was writing
the Requiem for myself?" said he, looking at it through his tears. And
he was so convinced of his approaching death that he enjoined his wife
to inform Albrechtsberger of it before it became generally known, in
order that he might secure Mozart's place at the Stephanskirche, which
belonged to him by every right (Vol. II., p. 277, note). Late in the
evening the physician arrived, having been long sought, and found in
the theatre, which he could not persuade himself to leave before the
conclusion of the piece. He told Süssmayr in confidence that there was
no hope, but ordered cold bandages round the head, which caused such
violent shuddering that delirium and unconsciousness came on, from which
Mozart never recovered. Even in his latest fancies he was busy with
the Requiem, blowing out his cheeks to imitate the trumpets and drums.
Towards midnight he raised himself, opened his eyes wide, then lay down
with his face to the wall, and seemed to fall asleep. At one o'clock
(December 5) he expired.[15]

At early morning the faithful Deiner was roused by the maid-servant
"to come and dress" her master; he went at once and performed the last
friendly offices for Mozart. The body was clothed in a black robe and
laid on a bier, which was carried into the sitting-room and deposited
near the piano. A constant flow of visitors mourned and wept as they
gazed on him; those who had known him intimately loved him; his fame as
an artist had become universal, and his sudden death brought home to all
men the extent of their



loss. The "Wiener Zeitung" (1791, No. 98) made the following

We have to announce with regret the death of the Imperial Court
Composer, Wolfgang Mozart, which took place between four and five
o'clock this morning. Famous throughout Europe from earliest childhood
for his singular musical genius, he had developed his natural gifts,
and by dint of study had raised himself to an equality with the greatest
masters; his universally favourite and admired compositions testify
to this fact, and enable us to estimate the irreparable loss which the
musical world has sustained in his death.

A letter from Prague, of December 12, 1791, announced:[16]--

Mozart is--dead. He returned from Prague in a state of suffering, which
gradually increased; dropsy set in, and he died in Vienna at the end of
last week. The swelling of his body after death led to the suspicion of
his having been poisoned. His last work was a funeral Mass, which was
performed at his obsequies. His death will cause the Viennese to realise
for the first time what they have lost in him.[17] His life was troubled
by the constant machination of cabals, whose enmity was doubtless
sometimes provoked by his _sans souci_ manner. Neither his "Figaro" nor
his "Don Juan" were as enthusiastically received in Vienna as they were
in Prague. Peace be to his ashes!

Mozart's wife, who had been so unwell the day before his death that the
physician had prescribed for her, was rendered completely prostrate in
mind and body by his death. In her despair she lay down upon his bed,
desiring to be seized with the same illness, and to die with him. Van
Swieten, who had hastened to bring her what consolation and assistance
he could, persuaded her to leave the house of death, and to take up her
abode for the present with some friends living near. He undertook the
care of the funeral, and having regard to the needy circumstances of
the widow, he made the necessary arrangements as simply and cheaply
as possible. The funeral expenses (on the scale of the third class)
amounted to 8 fl. 36 kr., and there was an additional charge of 3 fl.
for the hearse. Rich man and distinguished patron



as he was, it seems never to have occurred to Van Swieten that it would
have been becoming in him to undertake the cost as well as the care of
a fitting burial for the greatest genius of his age. At three o'clock
in the afternoon of December 6 the corpse of Mozart received the
benediction in the transept chapel on the north side of St. Stephen's
Church. A violent storm of snow and rain was raging, and the few friends
who were assembled--among them Van Swieten, Salieri, Süssmayr, Kapellm.
Roser, and the violoncellist Orsler[18]--stood under umbrellas round
the bier, which, was then carried through the Schulerstrasse to the
churchyard of St. Mark's. The storm continued to rage so fiercely
that the mourners decided upon turning back before they reached their
destination,[19] and not a friend stood by when the body of Mozart was
lowered into the grave. For reasons of economy no grave had been bought,
and the corpse was consigned to a common vault, made to contain from
fifteen to twenty coffins, which was dug up about every ten years and
filled anew: no stone marked the resting-place of Mozart. Good old
Deiner, who had been present at the benediction, asked the widow if she
did not intend to erect a cross to the departed; she answered that there
was to be one. She no doubt imagined that the priest who had performed
the ceremony would see to the erection of the cross. When she was
sufficiently recovered from her first grief to visit the churchyard, she
found a fresh gravedigger, who was unable to point out Mozart's grave;
and all her inquiries after it were fruitless. Thus it is that, in spite
of repeated attempts to discover it, the resting-place of Mozart remains



Poor Constanze and her two children were now placed in the saddest
possible position. Not more than sixty florins of ready money were
available at Mozart's death; to this might be added 133 fl. 20 kr. of
outstanding accounts, the furniture, wardrobe, and scanty library, which
were valued at less than 400 florins. But there were debts to be
paid, not only to generous creditors like Puchberg, who rendered every
assistance in settling the affairs of his deceased friend without any
thought of his own claim, but to workmen and tradesmen, who must be paid
at all costs; the doctor's bill alone amounted to 250 florins.[21]
In this emergency, Constanze appealed first to the generosity of the
Emperor. One of Mozart's attached pupils informed her that the Emperor
had been very unfavourably disposed towards her, in consequence of
the calumnies spread abroad by Mozart's enemies to the effect that his
dissipation and extravagance had involved him in debts amounting to
more than 30,000 florins; and she was advised to make her application
in person, so as to persuade the Emperor of the falsehood of such
reports.[22] At the audience which was granted to her, she boldly
declared that Mozart's great genius had raised up enemies against him,
who had embittered his existence by their intrigues and calumnies. These
slanderers had multiplied tenfold the amount of his debts, and she was
prepared to satisfy all claims with a sum of 3,000 florins. Even this
amount of liability was not the result of thoughtless extravagance,
but had been inevitably incurred by the uncertainty of their income, by
frequent illnesses and unforeseen calls on their resources. Appeased by
Frau Mozart's representations, the Emperor encouraged her to give a
concert, in which he took so generous an interest that the proceeds
enabled her to pay all her husband's debts.


[Footnote 1: The narrative which follows is founded chiefly upon the widow's
statements in Niemetschek (p. 50. Nissen, p. 563), which agree with
those made by her to an English lady at Salzburg in 1829 (The Musical
World, 1837, August and September. Hogarth, Mem. of the Opera, II., p.
196), and upon a letter from Sophie Haibl (April 7, 1827), extracts from
which are given by Nissen (p, 573), and of which Köchel has sent me a
copy in full.]

[Footnote 2: Mosel, Ueb. d. Orig. Part, des Requiem, p. 5.]

[Footnote 3: Stadler, Nachtr., p. 17.]

[Footnote 4: In the possession of Mr. Gouny [? Young], of London, copied from the
original by Köchel.]

[Footnote 5: A. M. Z., I., p. 147.]

[Footnote 6: This idea was very prevalent, and was not altogether rejected by
Niemetschek, who, remarking on his early death, adds: "if indeed it was
not purposely hastened" (p. 67). Detouche relates it to Sulp. Boisserée
(I., p. 292. Mar. Sessi was convinced of its truth. N. Berlin Mus.,
1860, p. 340). Even the widow says in a letter to Reg. Rath Ziegler, of
Munich (August 25, 1837', that her son giving no signs of his father's
greatness, would therefore have nothing to fear from envious attempts on
his life. p. 285):[4]--]

[Footnote 7: Mozart's diseased fancies were made the grounds for shameful
suspicions of Salieri, who was said to have acknowledged on his deathbed
having administered poison to Mozart (cf. A. M. Z., XXVII., p. 413).
Carpani exonerated Salieri in a long article (Biblioteca Italiana,
1824), and brought forward medical testimony that Mozart's death was
caused by inflammation of the brain, besides the assertions of Salieri's
attendants during his last illness, that he had made no mention of any
poisoning at all. Neukomm also, relying on his intimacy both with the
Mozarts and with Salieri, has energetically protested against a calumny
(Berlin, allg. mus. Ztg., 1824, p. 172) which no sane person would
entertain. The grounds on which the rumour was discredited by
Kapellmeister Schwanenberg of Braunschweig, a friend of Salieri, are
peculiar. When Sievers, then his pupil, read to him from a newspaper
the report of Mozart's having been the victim of the Italian's envy, he
answered: "Pazzi! non ha fatto niente per meritar un tal onore" (A. M.
Z., XXI., p. 120. Sievers, Mozart u. Sussmayr, p. 3). Daumer has striven
to support the untenable conjecture that Mozart was poisoned by the
Freemasons (Aus der Mansarde, IV., p. 75). Finally, the report of the
poisoning furnished the subject of a dreary novel, "Der Musikfeind," by
Gustav Nicolai (Arabesken für Musikfreunde, I. Leipzig, 1825).]

[Footnote 8: Wiener Morgen-Post, 1856, No. 28.]

[Footnote 9: This is on the authority of the widow's petition to the Emperor.]

[Footnote 10: He had prophesied of his little son Wolfgang at four months old
that he would be a true Mozart, for that he cried in the same key in
which his father had just been playing (Niemetschek, p. 41).]

[Footnote 11: A. M. Z., I., p. 149.]

[Footnote 12: Monatsschr. für Theat. u. Mus., 1857, p. 446.]

[Footnote 13: He had a tenor voice, gentle in speaking, unless when he grew
excited in conducting; then he spoke loud and emphatically (Hogarth,
Mem. of the Opera, II., p. 198).]

[Footnote 14: So says the unquestionably trustworthy account of Schack (A. M. Z.,
XXIX., p. 520. Nissen, Nachtr., p. 169).]

[Footnote 15: So also says the Joum. d. Lux. u. d. Mode, 1808, II., p. 803.]

[Footnote 16: Mus. Wochenbl., p. 94.]

[Footnote 17: A contemporary musician (Salieri must be meant) did not scruple to
say to his acquaintance: "It is a pity to lose so great a genius, but a
good thing for us that he is dead. For if he had lived much longer,
we should not have earned a crust of bread by our compositions"
(Niemetschek, p. 81).]

[Footnote 18: Monatsschr., 1857, p. 446. Schikaneder was not present; the news
of Mozart's death had affected him most deeply; he walked up and down,
crying out: "His spirit follows me everywhere; he is ever before my
eyes!" (Nissen, p. 572).]

[Footnote 19: Wiener Morgen-Post, 1856, No. 28.]

[Footnote 20: Journ. d. Lux. u. d. Moden, 1808, II., p. 801. Al. Fuchs related
the negative result of his careful inquiries in Gräffer's Kl. Wiener
Memoiren (I., p. 227). Ritter von Lucam has at last (Die Grabesfrage
Mozart, Wien, 1856) elicited by inquiries from two old musicians who had
known Mozart, Freystadter and Scholl, that the grave was on the right of
the churchyard cross, in the third or fourth row of graves. This agrees
with the statement of the gravedigger in Nissen (p. 576), and inquiries
officially set on foot in 1856 make it probable that it was in the
fourth row to the right of the cross near a willow-tree (Wien. Blatter
Mus. Theat. u. Kunst, 1859, No. 97).]

[Footnote 21: The list of effects--which owing to the kindness of my friends,
Karajan and Laimegger, lies before me--is copied in the Deutsche Mus.
Ztg., 1861, p. 284. It is affecting to see from it how simple, even
poverty-stricken, was the whole _ménage_. The collection of books and
music is valued at 23 fl. 41 kr.; and among the bad debts is one of
300 fl. to Frz. Gilowsky, who was advertised in July, 1787, as having
absconded insolvent; 500 fl. are put down as borrowed by Ant. Stadler
(Posttägl. Anzeig., 1787, No. 35).]

[Footnote 22: On a malicious rumour of the kind see O. Jahn, Ges. Aufs. über
Musik, p. 230.]





ONE of the first cares of Mozart's widow was the Requiem (626 K.).[1]
Mozart having left it unfinished, she could not but fear that the
Unknown would not only refuse to complete the stipulated payment, but
would demand the return of what had been already paid. In this dilemma,
she called various friends into counsel, and hit upon the idea of
continuing such portions of the work as Mozart had left, and of
presenting it entire to the Unknown. The completion was first intrusted
to Joh. Eybler;[2] witness the following certificate from him:--

The undersigned hereby acknowledges that the widow Frau Konstanze
Mozart has intrusted to him, for completion, the Requiem begun by her
late husband. He undertakes to finish it by the middle of the ensuing
Lent; and also gives his assurance that it shall neither be copied nor
given into other hands than those of the widow.

Joseph Eybler.

Vienna, December 21, 1791.

He began his task by filling in the instrumentation in Mozart's
manuscript as far as the Confutatis,



and writing two bars of a continuation of the Lacrimosa,[3] but he then
abandoned the work in despair. Other musicians seem to have declined
it after him until it finally fell to the lot of Süssmayr. He had been
Mozart's pupil in composition, had lent a hand in "Titus" (p. 288),
and had often gone over the parts of the Requiem already composed with
Mozart, who had consulted him as to the working-out of the composition
and the principal points of the instrumentation. The widow, at a later
time, said to Stadler:

As Mozart grew weaker Süssmayr had often to sing through with him and
me what had been written, and thus received regular instruction from
Mozart. I seem to hear Mozart saying, as he often did: "Ah, the oxen are
on the hill again! You have not, mastered that yet, by a long way."[4]

This expression was also well remembered by her sister Sophie, and we
can enter into it, remembering the manner in which Mozart himself wrote
and developed his compositions (Vol. II., p. 423).

The first two movements, Requiem and Kyrie, were finished and written
out in full score by Mozart; there can be no question about them.[5] The
Dies iræ was sketched out in his usual way, the voice parts completely
written out, together with the fundamental bass--sometimes figured--and
the instrumental parts where they had to go without the voices; where
the accompaniment was at all independent the subject was indicated
sufficiently clearly to be carried on and filled in subsequently. The
score was left in this state as far as the last verse of the Dies iræ;
Mozart stopped at the words:--

     Qua resurget ex favilla
     Iudicandus homo reus.



He had not set himself, however, to compose the Requiem straight
through, but had thrown off different parts of it according to the
mood he happened to be in. Thus before the Dies iræ was finished he
had composed the Offertorium, of which the two movements, Domine Jesu
Christe and Hostias, were left virtually complete in the same state as
those mentioned above.

It will now be understood how Mozart, going through the score, either
at the piano or the desk with his pupil Süssmayr, would discuss the
various points of the instrumentation, would encourage him to make
suggestions, and explain his own ideas and intentions, so that Süssmayr
would in many respects have formed a lively image in his mind of what
the completed score would be, and would often be able faithfully to
reproduce Mozart's own intentions. Of the remaining movements, Sanctus,
Benedictus, and Agnus Dei, there were no such sketches in existence.

Süssmayer's first care was to copy out all that Mozart had left
imperfect, "that there might not be two handwritings together," as the
widow wrote to André (Càcilia, VI., p. 202)--she must have had Eybler's
promised completion in her mind--and then to fill in the instrumentation
according to Mozart's apparent design. Pages 11-32 of Mozart's original
manuscript, containing the Dies iræ as far as the Confutatis, fell
into the hands of the Abbé Stadler, and were by him bequeathed to the
Imperial Library in Vienna. The remaining sheets (33-45) containing the
Lacrimosa, Domine, and Hostias, belonged to Eybler, who presented them
to the same library. That Mozart had contemplated carrying them out, and
uniting them into one score with the Requiem and Kyrie is proved by the
continuous numbering of the pages in his own handwriting; there is no
instance to be found of his having recopied a score so sketched out when
filling it in.[6]



Süssmayr's appointed task, therefore, was the composition "from his own
head" (ganz neu) of the concluding part of the Lacrimosa, the Sanctus,
Benedictus, and Agnus Dei; only "in order to give the work more unity"
he repeated the fugue of the Kyrie with the words "cum sanctis." The
Requiem thus completed--the two first movements in Mozart's handwriting,
the remainder in Süssmayr's--was delivered over to the owner.[7] If it
was intended that the latter should accept the whole composition as by
Mozart, appearances were certainly not calculated to undeceive him. The
score in question passed in 1838 into the possession of the Imperial
Library.[8] The first impression of every one who sees it, and who is
familiar with Mozart's handwriting, must be that the whole of it was
written by him, and that the autograph of Mozart's Requiem in its
entirety is before him.[9] Closer examination and comparison raise
suspicion, many discrepancies are discovered, although perhaps only
trifling ones, and the fact must be borne in mind that, to a question
addressed to her on the subject, Mozart's widow answered (February 10,
1839) that a full score of the Requiem in Mozart's handwriting could not
exist, since it was finished not by him but by Süssmayr.

A comparison of the manuscript with several scores undoubtedly written
by Süssmayr--a terzet and bass air, composed by him in 1793 for
insertion in the "Serva Padrona"--solved the riddle. It was the same
handwriting, closely resembling that of Mozart, with the same deviations
from it which had been pointed out in the Requiem. There could



no longer be any doubt that Süssmayr had written the score from the Dies
iræ--the paging begins afresh, starting with page 1 at the Sanctus. In
one place the transcriber betrays himself by a mistake. The closing bars
of the Tuba mirum are noted for the stringed instruments by Mozart, as
follows:--[See Page Image]

In his copy Süssmayr has omitted the octave passage for the violins, and
the characteristic instrumentation for the violas, and has filled up the
omission in a way which is certainly no improvement on the original.[10]

Süssmayr, it is clear, had so modelled his handwriting on that of Mozart
that the two could only be distinguished by trifling idiosyncrasies.
There are other instances of the same kind--Joh. Seb. Bach's second
wife, for instance, writing a hand which only an expert could
distinguish from her husband's, and Joachim's manuscript being, at one
time at least, almost identical with Mendelssohn's. As far as the score
of the Requiem was concerned, the wish to persuade the owner of the
Requiem that he was possessed of a composition exclusively by Mozart may
have come to the aid of



custom and natural aptitude. There is no doubt that Count Walsegg
accepted the score as having been completed and written by Mozart at
least as far as the Sanctus.[11] Whether this was expressly stated, or
merely taken for granted by him, does not appear, and the fact that
the composition had been ordered by him with a view to a deception of
another kind is a curious coincidence, but does not make the case any
the better.

Under these circumstances it was to the interest of the widow to
maintain that the Requiem had been completed by Mozart. This explains
the assertion of Rochlitz[12] (who according to his own account had
questioned Mozart's widow at Leipzig in 1796 concerning the whole
story of the Requiem) that Mozart had completed the Requiem before his
death.[13] But a secret known to so many could hardly be long kept.
The widow had retained a copy of the work, and a performance of it
took place soon after in Jahn's Hall at Vienna, the hall being densely
crowded. It was pretty well known to the performers what portions were
by Mozart and what by Süssmayr,[14] and the knowledge was not slow to
spread. It reached Munich[15] and Prague, where at the first performance
of the Requiem no secret was made of the fact that the Sanctus was
composed by Süssmayr.[16] The widow sold manuscript copies of the
Requiem to various noblemen,[17] and allowed others to make copies of
it;[18] Hiller copied the



score note for note with his own hand, and wrote on the title-page
"Opus,summum viri summi," expressing no doubt whatever as to the
whole work being that of Mozart.[19] Not content with the profits thus
accruing from the Requiem, the widow turned her attention towards
its publication. The idea occurred to her that a public appeal to the
Unknown might induce him to forego his claim on the composition.[20] The
appeal, however, was not made, for the publishers, Breitkopf and Hàrtel,
not conceiving themselves to be bound by the agreement made with Mozart,
resolved on bringing out the work from the several transcripts of it
which had fallen into their hands. Desirous, however, that the work
should be produced with all possible correctness, they applied to the
widow for her copy, with which, having no power to stop the publication,
she saw no objection to furnishing them. To their question (prompted
by the reports current as to the authorship of the work) whether
the Requiem was wholly and solely composed by Mozart, she answered
explicitly as follows (March 27, 1799):--

As to the Requiem, it is true that I possess the celebrated one, written
shortly before his death. I know of no Requiem but this, and declare all
others to be spurious.[21] How far it is his own composition--it is
so to near the end--I will inform you when you receive it from me. The
circumstances were as follows: Seeing his end approaching, he spoke with
Herr Süssmayr, the present Imperial Kapellmeister, and requested him, if
he should die without completing it, to repeat the first fugue in



the last part, as is customary; and told him also how he should develop
the conclusion, of which the principal subjects were here and there
already carried out in some of the parts. And this Herr Süssmayr
actually did.

On being pressed for further information she referred the publishers to
Süssmayr himself, who answered in the letter already mentioned (February
8, 1800). He nowhere asserts having received a decided commission from
Mozart, nor does he mention the concluding fugue, so that it is plain
that the widow turned her not very clear recollection of the transaction
as far as possible in favour of the integrity of the Requiem. Count
Walsegg, who had already given himself out as the composer of the
Requiem, must have felt considerable annoyance at its wide dissemination
as Mozart's work; but as yet he had made no sign. When however, in
1799, Breitkopf and Hàrtel announced the publication of the Requiem
from the manuscript in the possession of Mozart's widow, he thought it
time to put forward his claim. He sent his own copy of the score to his
advocate, Dr. Sortschan, at Vienna, and through him demanded explanation
and compensation from the widow. Stadler and Nissen negotiated with the
advocate in her name. Stadler pointed out which parts had Mozart and
which Süssmayr for their author, and the advocate wrote down all that
he said for the information of the Count, to whom he returned his
score.[23] As to compensation, the widow wrote to Hàrtel (January 30,
1800) that the Count had demanded the restitution of fifty ducats, but
that he would perhaps be satisfied with receiving a number of copies of
the work. Nissen at length induced the Count "with much difficulty
and after many threats" to accept as payment transcripts of several
unpublished compositions by Mozart,[24] and even to allow the widow to
revise the printed score by a comparison of it with his own.[25]



As the result of this unsatisfactory transaction to all concerned in it,
we may conclude that the Requiem and Kyrie are the work of Mozart as we
have them, that the movements from the Dies iræ to the first eight bars
of the Lacrimosa, also the Domine Jesu and Hostias, were finished by
Mozart in the voice part and the bass, and that the principal points of
the instrumentation were also indicated by him, leaving only the details
to be elaborated. This, however, is not by any means so easy and purely
mechanical an undertaking as has been supposed, and Mozart's verbal
suggestions must not be underrated. As regards the last three numbers,
Süssmayr's statement that they had been "composed (verfertigt) entirely
afresh" by him offers no decided testimony on the point. Stadler's
account[26] ("the widow told me that after Mozart's death a few scraps
of paper with music on them had been found on his writing-desk, and
had been handed over to Herr Süssmayr; what they contained, or what use
Süssmayr made of them, I do not know") admits the possibility, but
only the possibility, that these scraps were sketches for the last
movements.[27] The repeatedly expressed doubt as to whether "these
flowers really grew in Süssmayr's garden" can only be supported upon
internal evidence.

The serious spirit in which Mozart undertook the composition of his
Requiem, the intensity of his absorption in it, and the artistic labour
which he bestowed upon it, are best evidenced by the work itself.[28]
It is remarkable that towards the close of his life, when increasing
illness disposed his mind to serious reflection, his musical labours
should have been calculated to turn his thoughts upon death and the
grave. On the one hand his views as a Freemason, which were both earnest
and sincere, found their expression in the "Zauberflote"; and, on the
other, his religious convictions



asserted for the last time in the Requiem the sway over his mind
and conscience which they had never lost.[29] The two sets of mental
activities thus roused found their common centre in Mozart's mind, and
impelled him to the production of his most powerful and most important
works. The similarity of thought and tendency displayed in the Requiem
and the "Zauberflöte" is observable even in the combinations of external
means in corresponding parts of the two works. The combination of
basset-horns, bassoons, and trombones, and here and there of trumpets
and drums, with the stringed instruments, which gave so singular
an expression of earnest solemnity to the tone-colouring of the
"Zauberflöte," is made use of again in the Requiem.

But the tone-blending of the latter work is nevertheless limited,
the clearer wind instruments--flutes, oboes, clarinets and the
softer horns--being left out altogether, and the frequent orchestral
characterisation depending altogether upon the varied combinations of
the instruments named above.

The view upheld in the opera that serious ideas must be expressed in
corresponding severity of form is even more decided in the Requiem,
in so far as Mozart must have regarded as natural and inevitable the
identification of certain fixed forms with the musical expression of
religious emotion in an act of worship. The praiseworthy feeling which
leads an artist, who believes himself to be offering his work for the
service of the Most High, to bestow his best thoughts and his best
workmanship upon it, cannot fail also to have influenced him. The
pleasure which, after his study of Handel's oratorios and the strong
impression made on him by Bach's motetts, Mozart took in the severely
contrapuntal style of composition is evinced both in the "Zauberflöte"
and in the two organ pieces composed in December, 1790, and March, 1791.
But the main inducement to this form was doubtless the facility with
which it expressed a serious, controlled and concentrated frame of mind,
allowing at the same



time much freedom of characteristic and individual expression. The chief
significance of the Requiem rests herein, that it proves these forms,
with their fixed laws and strongly marked features, to have more than a
merely abstract or historical value; it proves them to be in fact, when
artistically conceived and scientifically handled, capable of giving
appropriate expression to the deepest emotion in which the human heart
finds vent.[30]

In considering the Requiem, a distinction must be made between the
different parts of this kind of Mass and the different degrees of
importance which they receive in relation to the act of worship with
which they are associated.

The Kyrie is preceded by the Introitus, beginning with a prayer for the
departed. The bassoons and basset-horns, in successive imitation, give
utterance to the soft, sustained melody of the prayer, supported by a
simple accompaniment on the stringed instruments; it is interrupted by
four clashing trumpet chords announcing the approach of judgment, and
not again recurring until the day of doom is there. Thereupon the voices
immediately enter, falling in from the bass upwards; but a syncopated
figure for the violins gives the petition for repose an expression
of painful unrest, called forth by the contemplation of death and the
coming judgment; soon, however, the clouds are pierced by the divine
light which is finally to disperse them, and the movement comes to a
peaceful end after an outburst of confidence and strength rendered by
the orchestra. After a short transition passage come the words of the
psalm, "Lord, we will magnify Thee upon Zion, and pay our vows unto
the Most High." In order to emphasise these as the words of Scripture,
Mozart has set them to an old chorale melody and given them to a soprano
voice, which utters them in clear, pure tones, like consolation from
above. The chorale, as has been already remarked (Vol. I., p. 200), is
the two-part _tropus_ of the ninth church mode to the psalm "In exitu
Israel de Ægypto," and had previously been made use of by Mozart as a
Cantus firmus



in his "Betulia Liberata"; but what a difference between the work of the
youth and that of the matured master![31] While the soprano chorus takes
up the same melody firmly and forcibly with the words "Thou that hearest
prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come!" the other voices fall in in
animated movement, and an energetic figure for the violins increases the
force of the expression. Then the petition for eternal rest is renewed
with a stronger expression of confidence, but still with the ground-tone
of painful agitation, rendered, by the union with the first motif of a
second, more animated and more forcible. This second subject has already
been hinted at in the transition passage to the psalm texts, from which
also the passage accompanying the texts is taken, and here first fully
asserts itself, the psychological development thus coinciding with the
musical climax. The climax reaches its highest point in the petition for
eternal light, which the divided voices utter alternately and repeat in
concert with tender, pleading supplication.

The ejaculations "Kyrie eleison!" and "Christe eleison!" are bound
together as the two themes of a double fugue (the first strong and firm,
the second agitated and impulsive), which are carried out together in
inextricable entanglement--their expression heightened by the chromatic
construction towards the close, until in constantly increasing climax
they come to a pause on a harshly dissonant chord, and then, as it were,
collect themselves and unite in quiet composure. This fugue[32] has
given rise to the extremes of criticism, laudatory and the reverse;[33]
G. Weber could not bear to believe that Mozart



could have written such "Gurgeleien" as the chromatic passages of
the Christe eleison,[34] and others have looked in vain for the pious
humility of expression proper to such a solemn appeal to the mercy of
the Redeemer.[35] Whether the treatment of the keys adopted in this
movement is in accordance with the requirements of a strict fugue, must
be decided by the masters of the school; it is undeniable that on it
depends the character and effect of the movement, and that the essential
laws of counterpoint are here apprehended and turned to account with
deep insight into their true nature.[36]

The execution of the chromatic passages is difficult certainly; but,
apart from the fact that both older and contemporary masters, who
wrote for trained choirs--Bach, for instance, or Handel, or Haydn--made
similar demands on the skill of their performers, they are perfectly
possible if taken in the right time, and the effect produced by them is
probably that which Mozart intended. The conception of the movement is
clearly expressed, and requires neither explanation nor apology.[37]
The exclamation, "Lord, have mercy upon us!" is capable of very varied
expression; in the mouth of one in the agony of death, burdened with sin
and about to appear before the Judge of all men, it becomes an agonising
appeal for mercy. This state of mind has already been expressed, and
rises at the close of the Requiem into such an intensity of longing
after eternal light, that the anguished yet not despairing cry of the
Kyrie is perfectly naturally led up to. The two feelings are expressed
in the two themes of the fugue, although, in accordance with the
character of the



Mass, even the confidence is penetrated with a feeling of grief. In such
a mood the element of agitation naturally rises higher and higher, until
at length the anguish of suspense finds vent in the heartrending cry for
mercy which leads to composure and resignation. The two movements of the
Requiem and the Kyrie are thus formed into a whole of perfect harmonic
unity, and lead the way to the Dies iræ.

In view of this unmistakable unity of conception and construction it
appears strange that decided traces of Handel's influence should appear
in the principal subjects. Stadler remarks that Mozart has borrowed
the motif of the Requiem from the first motif of Handel's "Dirge on
the death of Queen Caroline"--"as some loose sheets among his retrains
show"--and has worked it out after his own manner.[38] This can only
allude to the preliminary sketches of this portion of the Requiem such
as Mozart was accustomed to make for contrapuntal work before writing
the score (Vol. II., p. 433), and of such there must have been a great
number during the composition of his Requiem. Stadler's conjecture that
they were vestiges of Mozart's youthful studies is unfounded; he was
not acquainted with Handel's works in his youth, nor until they were
introduced to him by Van Swieten (Vol. II., p. 386), under whose
direction he rearranged Handel's oratorios between 1788-1790 (p. 218).
Before this, the anthem in question cannot have been known to him. In
this beautiful work, composed in December, 1737,[39] Handel has taken
the Chorale, "Herr Jesu Christ, du wahres Gut," or, "Wenn mein Stündlein
vorhanden ist',[40] as Cantus firmus to the first chorus, and has made
further use of the same theme in the fugued concluding chorus. It is
very unlikely that Mozart deliberately chose out the subject in order
to work it out in a different way to Handel; it was more probably so
stamped on his memory as to have suggested itself naturally as suited to
the words before him, and to have then



been quite independently worked out by him. Stadler also points out that
Mozart has taken the motif to the Kyrie from one of Handel's oratorios.
The chorus "Halleluja! we will rejoice in Thy salvation." from Handel's
"Joseph," contains both the themes of Mozart's Kyrie, but in the major
key; again, the principal subject of the Kyrie eleison has been carried
out as a fugue in the minor in the well-known and beautiful chorus of
the Messiah, "By His stripes." A comparison of this fugue with that of
the Requiem, shows that the adaptation has not merely consisted in the
change from a major to a minor key, and that the actual motif, a very
favourable one for treatment in counterpoint--[See Page Image]

and one constantly occurring in the fugal movements of every age, here
serves only as a nucleus from which the master proceeds to develop his
own independent creation. The essential principle in the construction
of a double fugue is the combination of two themes, each bearing a
necessary relation to the other. In the chorus in "Joseph" are two
motifs exactly answering to each other; and it can scarcely be doubted
that Mozart was struck with the combination and adopted it, although,
as the examples adduced will show, his working-out of the motifs
is essentially his own. Handel only really worked out the second
motif--one, by the way, which often recurs in others of his works--and
this in very free treatment; the first only occasionally emerges from
the passages which play around it, like a huge rock almost overwhelmed
by the billows. Mozart has undertaken such a fugal elaboration of both
motifs as presupposes a radically different treatment impossible
without a new intellectual conception of the task before him. Still more
essential does this reconception appear when it is remembered that the
supplication of a sinner for mercy was to take the place of a joyful
offering of praise and thanksgiving. The transposition to a minor key
involves at the outset so complete a reconstruction of the harmonic
treatment as to point to a new creation



rather than an adaptation. We here stand in the presence of one of
the mysteries of music; how it is that one and the same musical idea,
embodied in one definite form, should be capable by means of artistic
arrangement of expressing different and even totally opposite emotions.
It is true, doubtless, that invention is the characteristic gift of
genius, but absolute novelty is not to be considered as altogether
indispensable to invention. In music, as in every other art, the
creation of an individual becomes common property for his successors,
whose task it is so to develop and carry it on as in their turn to
create and construct an original and undying work. Richly endowed
natures, in the consciousness of their power of producing what is
perfectly original from?any given point, often undisguisedly follow the
impulse given by a predecessor to their imagination. A striking proof
of this is given by Haydn, who has written a double fugue as the last
movement of his Quartet in F minor, which might appear a deliberate
attempt at rivalry, but which has in reality every claim to
independence. To what extent Handel himself has employed, retouched,
and re-elaborated melodies, not only of previous occurrence in his own
works, but borrowed from other musicians, has lately been pointed out
by Chrysander; and one of the most striking examples of such musical
plagiarism is Gluck's expressive air from "Iphigenie in Tauris," "Je
t'implore, et je tremble," which was unmistakably suggested by the
beautiful Gigue in Seb. Bach's Clavier Studies (I., part I.).[41]
Neither of these two great masters could be suspected of borrowing ideas
for lack of invention.[42]

A curious part of the Requiem, of special prominence in the musical
construction of the Mass, is the old Latin hymn,



Dies iræ, which is generally not quite accurately described as a
Sequence.[43] It had grown into a custom in the service of the Mass that
at the Alleluja of the Gradual in High Mass, which was repeated by the
congregation, and then again by the choir, the last syllable "ja"
should be extended into a jubilus, upon which long-drawn-out florid
progressions (_sequentæ_) were sung, of different forms for different
festivals. Gradually these became so elaborate as to offer great
difficulties in execution and to require special practice, and the
idea arose of providing these merely vocalised melodies (_neumæ_, or
divisions) with words which were called _prosæ_, because they were
confined to no particular metre or rhythm, but followed the melody, a
syllable to every note. The greatest development of these _prosæ_, which
were now called _sequentiæ_, was made in the ninth century by Notker the
Stammerer for his scholars and successors in the musical school of
St. Gall.[44] If he did not actually invent them, he gave them their
essential form. Proceeding from the old alleluja jubilation, he founded
upon it a fixed form, consisting partly in regularly recurring cadences,
partly in the twofold repetition of each melodic progression, with
the frequent employment of a kind of refrain. This gave to the words a
certain amount of regularity, still however far from any strictness of
rhythm or metre. These Sequences introduced a fresh element of animated
movement into the rigid uniformity of the ritual, and, coming in the
place of the responses, gave the congregation an effective share in the
service. They had therefore a reciprocal effect on the national poetry,
and were developed side by side with it. In process of time rhyme, at
first only occasionally appearing, became general. The two lines set to
the corresponding melodic choral progressions were connected by rhyme,
as well as the lines of the refrain. Then they were united into



verses, and gradually the number of syllables in each line was made
equal. The Sequences, which allowed of very great variety of form, were
extremely popular in Germany, France, and England--less so in Italy; and
so many were written, often set to well-known melodies, that they seemed
to imperil the strictly conventional character of the Mass. The Church
therefore forbade the use of all but three--"Victimæ Paschali," "Veni,
sancte Spiritus," and "Lauda Sion salvatorem"--which alone are included
in the revised Breviary after the Council of Trent in 1568.

There can be no Sequence properly so-called in a Requiem, because there
is no Alleluja to which it can serve as the supplement; but, following
the analogy of the Sequence, a hymn on the last judgment was added to
the Tractus, which follows the Gradual, as a preparation for the reading
of the Gospel. The date of the introduction of this hymn is uncertain,
but it is mentioned as an integral portion of the Requiem by Barthol.
Albizzi in 1385, and was acknowledged and retained as such, together
with the three Sequences named above. The author of the hymn is not
certainly identified, but it was most probably the Franciscan Thomas, of
Celano, who was living in 1255.[45]

The importance of the Dies iræ from a musical point of view is
determined by the fact that it takes the place of the Gloria and
the Credo, which are not sung in the Requiem. Instead of the joyful
confidence of these movements, the reflections of sinful man in the
presence of judgment here find their expression, and this obviously
determines the tone of the whole. The euphonious force and beauty of the
hymn, which have not been attained in any of the numerous translations
made of it, distinguish it as made for music,[46] the subject being
also very favourable to composition. With graphic force the terrors of
judgment are painted with all ecclesiastical severity, and with constant
reference to the actual words of Scripture, while the mercy and



loving-kindness of the Redeemer are dwelt on with equal emphasis. The
fear of damnation is tempered by the hope of salvation, and from the
waitings of remorse rises the prayer of the trusting believer. Intense
and varied emotions are thrown into relief by strong contrast. Brief
but pregnant suggestions give occasion for powerful musical
characterisation, favoured also by the isolated position of the hymn in
the service. Just as the preacher addresses his solemn warning to the
congregation with more of individual emphasis than the priest who offers
the sacrifice of the Mass, so the composer who depicts the terrors of
the last judgment, so as to bring them home to the imagination of his
hearers, has freer individual scope than if he were merely following the
different acts of worship. In the Dies iræ, therefore, we have a freer
style, a more vivid expression than elsewhere. Nor is it so bound by the
usages of tradition as the other parts of the Mass, although a division
of the hymn into particular sections is indicated by the arrangement of
the subject, and necessitated by the conditions of musical construction.

The hymn begins by representing the destruction of the world, which is
to precede the coming of the Lord, and the expression must therefore be
forcible and animated even to excess. Here, then, for the first time
the chorus enters as a compact mass, only dividing once, when the
basses exclaim: "Quantus tremor est futurus!" the only attempt at
tone-painting, while the other voices wail: "Dies iræ! dies illa!" until
they all unite to express the fearful majesty in which the Judge shall
appear. The effect of this chorus in contrast to what has gone before
rests in great measure on the high position of the voices; their shrill,
clear tone, heightened by the string accompaniment of semiquavers or
syncopated notes, is expressive of strong agitation. Without having
recourse to any new devices--trombones are omitted here that the shrill
effect may not be impaired--an altered tone-colouring transports the
hearer to an altogether new region of ideas. The harmonising adds to
the effect by the occurrence of harsh, rugged chords--especially by the
transition from E major to C minor at the repetition of the "Quantus



tremor" and the return to A major; not to mention other striking
features, such as the imitative passage for the tenor at the first
"Quantus tremor," which expresses amazement in the most vivid manner.

After bringing before the mind of the hearers the tumult and horror of
the destruction of the world, the judgment begins--the trumpets call all
created beings before the throne of the Judge. A tenor trumpet makes the
announcement in a simple passage, which is taken up by a bass voice,
and the two unite with a solemn and dignified effect.[47] Then one after
another a tenor, alto, and soprano voice describe the judgment and its
unmitigated severity, and at last combine in trembling supplication at
the words, "Cum vix iustus sit securus." Mozart has here, apparently,
intentionally refrained from emphasising the terrors of judgment,
wishing to heighten the contrast of the destruction of the world with
the appearance of the Judge, and its effect on the conscience as well as
the senses of mankind; he aimed at expressing this effect by means of
a soul-elevating calm; but he has fallen short of his endeavours. The
movement is in itself expressive, dignified, and full of euphonious
beauty, especially towards the close, but it fails to rouse in us a
sense of the grandeur and elevation which belong to the subject.[48]

The idea that no created being is justified before God recalls the
conception of the Judge throned in His awful glory, which is expressed
with terrible force in the chorus that follows. The plan of it shows
clearly the influence of the words on the musical conception. The
thrice-repeated exclamation "Rex!" and then "Rex tremendæ majestatis,"
makes, even when spoken, a strong impression, but when sung by the whole
strength of the chorus in simple, powerful chords, supported by the wind
instruments, the effect is almost overpowering, and is heightened by the



punctuated passage for the strings, sinking, as it were; into terrified
silence at each recurrence of the exclamation. The idea of the mercy of
the Redeemer is at first subordinate to this impression: while sopranos
and altos in strict imitation repeat the "Rex tremendae majestatis," and
the stringed instruments elaborate their figure in two-part imitation,
the tenors and basses announce "Qui salvandos salvas gratis" with a
characteristic motif, also in strict imitation; and this is repeated,
with alternations of the upper and lower parts, until they all four
unite in the whole sentence, forming a movement of concisest strength
and severity. The declaration of mercy calls forth the prayer, beginning
with the single appeal, "Salva me!" repeated to the gradually dying
passage for the stringed instruments, and finally concentrating all its
strength and intensity of emotion in the prayer:[49] "Salva me, Fons

And now the idea gains ground of the merciful Saviour and His work in
reconciling mankind with God; Him we beseech to intercede for souls
conscious of their sinfulness. The verses which are devoted to this
division of the subject are given to a quartet of solo voices, as
appropriate to the gentler and more individual tone of the emotions
depicted. The quartet in question is one of the longest and most
elaborate movements of the Requiem, and in its plan and arrangement, in
the wealth and importance of its different motifs, in the delicacy of
its detail, and the spirit which breathes from it throughout, it is
perhaps the finest of them all; nor is it too much to say that no more
beautiful and noble piece of music of the kind has ever been written.
Mozart himself recognised the fact, telling his wife, after writing down
the Recorders, that if he were to die before finishing the Requiem it
was of the greatest importance that



this movement should have been completed.[51] The chief part of the
movement, after its introduction by the ritornello, is formed by a motif
given by two voices in imitation at the beginning, the middle, and
again towards the close, the fervent expression of which is tinged with
severity by means of suspensions of the second. It is supported by a
figured bass, the first bar of which--[See Page Image]

contains the germ from which most of the motifs of the accompaniment
and the interludes are developed, and finally winds up the ritornello in
two-part canonic imitation on the violins, with a figure for the
violas in counter-movement to an organ point on the bass. This two-part
movement having been executed first by the alto and bass, then by the
soprano and tenor, the four unite in free movement to bring the whole
to an expressive close with the supplicating appeal, "Ne me perdas illa
die!" In the first episode the parts are at first divided into short
responding phrases, held together by the figured bass, and coming to a
close together, whereupon the first movement, abbreviated, is repeated.
Then there occurs a new motif of essentially harmonic character, the
effect of which depends upon the thrice-heightened climax of the chords,
intensified by the contrast of the high and low voices. Then the parts
divide again and lead the way for the last entry of the first movement,
which is repeated with a short parenthesis inserted; the final close is
brought about in a very interesting and satisfying manner by the fine
successive or parallel motion of the different parts. But we despair of
reproducing in words anything but a mere skeleton of the beauty of this
wonderful quartet--a beauty whose peculiar charm consists in the union
of loveliest grace with chaste severity and earnest depth of thought.
This charm it owes to the simplicity and truth of feeling which led the
master to seek and to find the best expression



for what was in his mind; and never in any art, be it what it may, has
the comforting feeling of pious trust in the mercy of God, arising from
the consciousness of human weakness, been more truly and beautifully
expressed than in this Recordare.

The verse which follows contrasts the torments of the damned with the
hopes of believers, and could not therefore be suitably rendered with
the same composure of tone. It had become customary to emphasise the
contrast very strongly, depicting the torments of hell as graphically as
the joys of Paradise. In this movement, therefore, the men's voices are
opposed to the women's, and describe the torments in short, imitative
phrases, emphasised when repeated by rapid changes from major to minor
and sharp suspensions and rendered still more forcible by a frequent
pregnant rhythmical figure borne by the stringed instruments in unison.
The women's voices, supported only by a quiet violin passage, express
a low and fervent appeal for redemption, intensified upon repetition by
some suspensions.[52] All the emotions and reflections represented so
far have tended to turn the thoughts inwards, with such feelings of
remorse and repentance as alone can lead to the trust in divine mercy,
and it is with the feeling of deep self-abasement that the supremest
point of the hymn is approached. The voices unite soft and low in a
succession of harmonies such as no mortal ear had ever heard:--[See Page



Involuntarily we bow before the declaration of a mystery which no mouth
may utter; irresistibly impelled by the stream of harmony, we feel our
spirits loosed from the bondage which has held them, and born again to
life and light; we feel a breath of the immortality which had already
touched the brow of the master as he wrote. To the contrite and broken
spirit the Day of Wrath becomes a day of mourning, and so the "Lacrimosa
dies illa" begins with a gentle plaint hushed by the terrifying
representation of the rising of the dead from their graves, which is
grandly expressed in a powerful crescendo, brought about by the rising
climax of the melody and the onward motion of the harmonies. With the
anguished cry of "Homo reus!" the pen dropped from the hand of the
master; the emotion which shook his whole being was too strong for
expression: "Huic ergo parce Deus, pie Jesu Domine!"

How far Süssmayr's continuation has fulfilled Mozart's intentions cannot
of course be absolutely decided; he has rightly taken up and carried out
the suggestion of the first few bars, and his conclusion has an imposing
solemnity. It is worthy of note that henceforward the trombones are much
more frequently employed than heretofore. When we compare the scanty and
peculiar use made of them in the Requiem and the Tuba mirum, with their
characteristic occurrence in the "Zauberflote," it appears doubtful
whether Mozart himself would so often have introduced them as supports
to the voices; although this was no doubt the custom in contemporary
church music.

The Offertorium belongs again to the service, and requires on that
account another and a more conventional character in the music than the
Dies iræ. It falls into two sections, of which the first (Domine Jesu
Christe) prefers the petition that the soul of the departed may not go
down into hell, but



may be carried into light by the Archangel Michael. The earnest and
affecting character of the music is tinged with a certain amount of
harshness and unrest, arising from the constant recurrence of the
mention of hell and its torments, which distinguishes the movement from
the otherwise similar one of the Requiem. The vivid contrasts of the
words are accentuated by the music, and the result is a succession of
short phrases, combining into larger groups, which correspond with each
other. The words "ne absorbeat eas Tartarus" are worked out into a short
fugue, which has an unusually harsh effect owing to the characteristic
sevenths of the theme and the powerful semiquaver passage carried out by
the stringed instruments in unison. The gentle melody, supported by the
solo voices in canonic imitation, "sed sanctus signifer Michael," has,
on the contrary, a soothing effect, and is the only ray of light which
is allowed to shine through the surrounding gloom. The whole movement
closes with the words "Quam (lucem sanctam) olim Abrahæ promisisti"
in an elaborate fugue, the effect of which is heightened by the
accompaniment which carries out a motif of its own in close imitation.
G. Weber found fault with this fugue, with its aimless elaboration of
a subordinate idea and superfluous repetition of the same unimportant
words;[53] and Seyfried defended it on the ground that a fugue was
considered indispensable at this point,[54] and indeed was not unsuited
to it. The idea is, in truth, not a subordinate one, it is the ground
of the confidence with which the prayer is offered, and so becomes
the basis of the whole movement. The fugue is the form best fitted for
short, pithy sentences, and the one in question has the same singular
mixture of trust in the divine mercy and tortured anxiety at the thought
of death which was expressed in the first movement of the Requiem,
although it there assumed a milder form. Separate passages are of great,
though somewhat rugged beauty, as befitted the movement; more especially
the closing passage, "de profundo lacu, in obscurum, et semini eius."



The second part (Hostias et preces) has a much more composed character,
as becomes the offering by the spirit of its sacrifice to the Almighty.
The idea, therefore, of still lingering disquiet is left to be expressed
by the syncopated passage for the violins, the voices going together
almost throughout the movement, and declaiming the words with strikingly
appropriate expression. The very simplicity of this movement reveals the
hand of the master, and gives it an individuality especially noticeable
at the words "tu suscipe pro animabus illis, quarum hodie memoriam
facimus." Thus far a reference to Mozart's own manuscript suffices
to determine how much was left to Süssmayr's carrying out. Although
sufficient indications were given even of the more elaborate and
independent instrumental parts to serve as a guide to a well-educated
musician, yet the example adduced above shows how much freedom in
matters of detail was left for the further elaboration; and, not to
mention various oversights, it is probable that had Mozart completed
the composition many delicate touches would have been added to the
accompanying parts which cannot now be even conjectured. Very few
indications are given for the wind instruments, and even if Mozart gave
verbal instructions concerning them, much must still remain in doubt. It
must be allowed, however, that Süssmayr's share in the work has been on
the whole successfully performed; it is quite in keeping with the
rest, and he has plainly refrained from making any alterations or
surreptitious interpolations. With the last three movements we enter
the domain of conjecture, if we are to reject the positive testimony of
Süssmayr, supported by Mozart's widow, as to the share of the former in
the work. Rochlitz, reviewing Süssmayr's letter on the subject, remarks
that "the works already known to be by Herr Süssmayr subject his
claim to an important share in this great composition to considerable
doubt";[55] and he expressed his suspicions more decidedly at a later
time.[56] G. Weber, who failed to recognise Mozart in many



parts of the first movements, has, on the contrary, assigned to him a
distinct share in the last movements.[57] Marx emphatically expressed
his conviction that the principal subjects throughout showed traces of
Mozart's handiwork.[58] This view is founded on the assumption that the
movements are worthy of Mozart, and are such as Süssmayr himself could
not have produced; but the critic must be careful not to bring forward
on aesthetic grounds alone accusations which involve so much of grave
moral delinquency.

Seyfried's assertion that,[59] according to the generally accepted
opinion in Vienna, Süssmayr found note-books containing sketches of
these movements, and showing Mozart's intention of elaborating the
Osanna fugue after the Benedictus, as well as the new theme for the
concluding fugue, Cum sanctis, has scarcely been investigated with the
care which it demands. One circumstance has, as far as I know, been
left altogether out of account. If the last three movements had been
altogether wanting at Mozart's death, it would have appeared, one would
think, both easier and simpler to supply them from one of his manuscript
Masses, which were entirely unknown, than to commission Süssmayr to
write them afresh; and such a proceeding would doubtless have been
far more capable of justification to the owner of the work. But the
confusion and embarrassment in which Mozart's death threw his widow and
her affairs may have occasioned many things to be done which would not
otherwise have taken place.

Frz. Xav. Süssmayr, who, as a young man of twenty-seven, enjoyed the
friendship of Salieri[60] and Mozart, became so intimate with the
latter[61] that he was, as Seyfried



expresses it, "the inseparable companion of the immortal Amphion." He
adopted Mozart's style of writing with such success that, although his
ideas often fell far short of his master's, many of his works in the
serious style might, Seyfred maintains, be taken for Mozart's, did we
not know that they were Süssmayr's;[62] Hauptmann has informed me of
instrumental works by him which show quite Mozart's manner of work, and
might pass for lighter compositions by the latter.

Sievers, who warmly espoused Süssmayr's cause, speaks of his "Spiegel
von Arkadien," which he ranks with the "Zauberflote,"

and of various pieces which may serve as models of the graceful
and characteristic as well as of the tragico-serio styles of
composition.[63] I have carefully examined his operas, "Der Spiegel
von Arkadien" (1794) and "Soliman II." (1800), as well as some of his
lighter church compositions, and find nothing in them beyond an easy but
superficial inventive power, a smooth practised workmanship, and almost
throughout an obvious imitation of Mozart's manner.

The Sanctus and Osanna are scarcely of a kind to admit of a decided
opinion as to their authorship. The brevity and conciseness of the
Sanctus do not by any means prove it not to have been by Mozart, for all
the movements of the Requiem, when not lengthened by a fugal treatment,
are similarly compressed. Nor must an unpleasing progression for the
violins be taken as decisive against his authorship, for the working-out
is in any case not his. On the other hand, it must not be concluded that
because the movement has a general character of dignified grandeur, and
the commencement of the Pleni sunt is truly majestic, that therefore
Süssmayr could not have written it. It is not on the whole equal to
the best of the preceding movements. The short fugue of the Osanna is
animated, vigorous, and faultlessly concise; there is nothing against
the supposition that Mozart might have written it; but, on the other
hand, it would be difficult to prove with certainty that it might not
have been



the work of a musician with the amount of talent and cultivation
unquestionably possessed by Süssmayr.

The case is somewhat different with the Benedictus, where, according to
custom, solo voices are introduced in a long and elaborate quartet of
pleasing character. Zelter says of it: "The Benedictus is as excellent
as it can be, but the school decides against it being by Mozart.
Süssmayr knew Mozart's school of music, but had not been trained in it
from early youth, and indications of this may be found here and there
in the beautiful Benedictus."[64] He is doubtless right. The first motif
for the alto, and the idea of making the several voices reply to each
other, might very well be Mozart's; but certainly not the working-out.
The motion is obviously interrupted when the soprano, after the alto,
again enters in the tonic; and the passage into the dominant is very
lame. Still lamer, after the conclusion of the first part, are the
laborious continuance in F major, and (instead of the development
naturally expected here) the immediate return by the chord of the
seventh to the first part, which is then repeated in its entirety.
Neither the design nor the execution is worthy of Mozart; nor is
it credible that in the interlude he would have copied the "et lux
perpetua" from the Requiem in such a strange fashion as it has here been
done, without any reason for an allusion to that place.

The abnormally thick and full instrumentation must also be taken into
consideration. The instrumentation has, it is true, not been worked out
by Mozart in the other movements, but here it can scarcely be separated
from the general design, and it is distinguished from that of all the
other movements by the use of two trombones, which Mozart never employed
elsewhere, and which here supply the place of horns. Finally, the
character of the movement is in many passages soft and effeminate,
contrasting in this respect with the earnestness of the other movements,
even of the Tuba mirum.[65] The



Osanna is, according to custom, an exact repetition of the previous one,
only that the voices are transposed on account of the altered key.

The Agnus Dei transports us to quite a different region. Here we find
the depth and intensity of feeling, the noble beauty and the originality
of invention, which we admire in the first movements of the Requiem. The
fine expressive violin figure of the first period--[See Page Image]
is full of vigour, and is admirably enhanced by its harmonic treatment,
and the gentle counter-phrase in its peaceful motion brings about a
soothing conclusion. The twofold repetition is effectively varied,
and the close is emphasised by a novel and beautiful turn. The whole
displays the perfect mastery of a musician. "If Mozart did not write
this," says Marx,[66] "well, then he who wrote it is another Mozart!"

I have seen nothing in Süssmayr's works which can justify me in
ascribing to him the conception of this movement; much, on the contrary,
to convince me that the chief ideas at least are Mozart's, and that
Süssmayr can hardly have had a more important share in this movement
than in the earlier ones. His whole statement loses, no doubt, its full
credibility if a well-grounded doubt can be thrown on any one point;
but I should not like to assert with confidence that in the Sanctus and
Benedictus Süssmayr must have availed himself of sketches by Mozart.

The repetition of the first movement at the conclusion of the Mass was
not unusual at the time. Hasse in his Requiem intones the Lux æterna to
the same chorale as the Te decet, and then repeats the Requiem; Zelenka
does the same; Jomelli repeats the Requiem, but adds a fresh conclusion
to it. Contemplating that portion of the Requiem which Mozart completed,
or which he left in such a state that to the initiated it is easy to
distinguish his handiwork,



we have no hesitation in placing this work on the pinnacle of that
artistic perfection to which the great works of Mozart's later years
had attained.[67] We see revealed the depth of feeling, the nobility
of beauty, the mastery of form, the complete spiritual and mental
absorption in the task before him which have combined to produce this
marvellous creation. A comparison of the Requiem with other similar
compositions, both by Mozart himself and his contemporaries, serves to
emphasise the vast superiority of the former;[68] for Mozart even here
does not absolutely reject the forms hallowed by long tradition; he
shows his individual genius all the more strongly by keeping within
them. Still less does he run counter to the views which the Requiem, by
virtue of its position in the Catholic ritual, is meant to express,
by any endeavour of his own to go further or to introduce something
peculiar to himself; that full, unfettered devotion which is the
indispensable condition of genuine artistic production is never
disturbed, but human emotion, religious belief, and artistic conception
go hand in hand in fullest harmony. On this unity rests the significance
of the Requiem, for on this ground alone could Mozart's individuality
arrive at full expression, and--working freely and boldly, yet never
without consciousness of the limits within which it moved--produce the
masterpiece which reveals at every point the innermost spirit of its
author. In this sense we may indorse his own expression, that he wrote
the Requiem for himself; it is the truest and most genuine



expression of his nature as an artist; it is his imperishable

The Requiem met with immediate recognition and approval. "If Mozart had
written nothing except his violin quintets and his Requiem," Haydn used
to say, "they would have rendered his name immortal."[70] It was more
especially received with enthusiasm in North Germany, where church
music, unmindful of J. S. Bach, had degenerated into all the triviality
and insipidity which a slavish adherence to form could produce. It was
with delight and astonishment that men recognised the union of classical
severity of form with depth of poetic feeling--an oasis in the desert
to those who had long wandered in a waste of sand. The old organist,
Kittel, at Erfurt, a pupil of Sebastian Bach, received one day the organ
part of a Requiem which he did not know; the further he proceeded in it,
the more entranced he became, and on inquiring the composer's name, and
hearing that it was Mozart, he could scarcely believe his ears, having
been accustomed to regard Mozart only as the composer of popular operas
which he knew nothing about. He procured the operas however, and was
unprejudiced enough to recognise and admire in them the composer of the
Requiem. So I was told by my music-master, Apel, Kittel's pupil.

Hiller, grown grey in reverence for Hasse and Graun, lifted his hands
in amazement on first hearing the Requiem, and soon brought it to
performance at Leipzig.[71] At Berlin the Singakademie produced the
Requiem at their first public performance, October 8; 1800,[72] in
memory of their founder, Fasch, who had lately died; it has ever since
been chosen, both there[73] and elsewhere, when it is sought to honour
the memory of great men, especially of musicians,[74] and Zelter



expressed his opinion that the Requiem would never be brought into
disfavour either by adverse criticism or mediocre performance.[75]
Cherubini[76] produced the Requiem in Paris in the year 1804,[77] and
it has comforted and sustained innumerable mourners,[78] not only
throughout Europe, but in the New World.[79]


[Footnote 1: The more detailed accounts of the composition and completion of the
Requiem have been given chiefly on the authority of Süssmayr (A. M.
Z., IV., p. 2) and Stadler (Vertheidigung der Echtheit des Mozartschen
Requiems, mit zwei Nachtr.; Wien, 1827), and they have been verified
and elucidated by the discovery of the score delivered over to Count
Walsegg. Cf. Deutsche Mus. Ztg., 1861, p. 380. The narrative in
the text, therefore, is given without regard to the dust-clouds of
controversy in which a dispute carried on with so much animosity on all
sides was sure to envelop the facts of the case.]

[Footnote 2: Mozart made the following declaration, May 30, 1790: "I, the
undersigned, hereby declare that I consider the bearer of this,
Herr Joseph Eybler, to be a worthy pupil of his famous master,
Albrechtsberger, a thoroughly learned composer both in chamber and
church music, experienced in the art of composition, and also an
accomplished organ and pianoforte-player; in short, it is only to be
regretted that young musicians of his talents and attainments are so
seldom to be met with" (N. Berl. Mus. Ztg., 1858, p. 244).]

[Footnote 3: Köchel, Recensionen, 1864, p. 753.]

[Footnote 4: Stadler, Nachtr., p. 40.]

[Footnote 5: These two movements are written on five sheets of twelve-line
Italian music-paper in quarto, which Mozart generally used, and are,
according to his custom _folioed_, not _paged_, from one to ten, the
last three pages being left blank. The signature is "Di me W. A. Mozart,
1792." This mistake, or anticipation of the date, was destined to give
rise to much confusion.]

[Footnote 6: An accurate copy of these sheets by Mozart was published by André
in 1829, with the title: "Partitur des Dies iræ welche Abbé Stadler bald
nach Mozart's Tode fur sich copirt hatte,--Hostias von W. A. Mozart's
Requiem, so wie solche Mozart eigenhändig geschrieben und Abbé Stadler
in genauer Uebereinstimmung mit dem Mozartschen Original copirt hat,
nebst Vorschrift und Anhang." The "Anhang" is a similar sketch of the
Requiem and Kyrie, evolved by André himself--a curious idea and a very
useless labour.]

[Footnote 7: Stadler, Vertheidigung, p. 13.]

[Footnote 8: The sister and heiress of Count Walsegg, the Countess Sternberg,
sold his collection of music to his steward, Leitner, from whom the
score of the Requiem was obtained by his clerk, Karl Haag; it was
bequeathed by the latter to Katharina Adelpoller. Commissary Novak, of
Schottwien, who had formerly been steward to Count Walsegg, drew the
attention of Count Moritz von Dietrichstein, Imperial Librarian, to the
existence of the treasure, and it was purchased for fifty ducats and
placed in the Library.]

[Footnote 9: A. M. Z., XLI., p. 81. N. Ztschr. f. Mus., X., p. 10. Cäcilia, XX.,
p. 279.]

[Footnote 10: J. F. von Mosel, Ueber die Original-Partitur de Requiem von W. A.
Mozart (Wien, 1839). Cf. A. M. Z., XLI., p. 317.]

[Footnote 11: Niemetschek, who had his information from the widow, says that
directly after Mozart's death the messenger demanded and received the
work, "incomplete as it was" (p. 52). The Count himself signified that
the Requiem was only Mozart's as far as the Sanctus.]

[Footnote 12: Càcilia, IV., p. 288.]

[Footnote 13: A. M. Z., I., p. 178.]

[Footnote 14: Stadler, Nachtr., p. 6.]

[Footnote 15: A. M. Z., XXIX., p. 520.]

[Footnote 16: Càcilia, IV., p. 308. The singer, Mariottini, of Dresden, made a
copy of the Requiem, Kyrie, and Dies iræ, and appended the following
observation: "L' Offertorio, il Sanctus e l' Agnus Dei non gl' ho
transcritti, perche non mi anno parso essere del valore del precedente,
ne credo ingannarmi nel crederli opera di un' altra penna" (Càcilia,
VI., pp. 303, 310).]

[Footnote 17: Frederick William II. paid her 100 ducats for one (Càcilia, VI., p.

[Footnote 18: Hàfer relates that a "Thomaner" Jost, who wrote music very
well, copied the score twice for the widow during her stay in Leipzig
(Càcilia, IV., p. 297).]

[Footnote 19: Rochlitz, Für Freunde der Tonk., I., p. 25.]

[Footnote 20: In a letter to Härtel (October 10, 1799) she sends him a draft of
such an appeal: "The noble Unknown, who, a few months before Mozart's
death, commissioned him to compose a Requiem, not having declared
himself during the seven years which have elapsed since that time, the
widow of the composer gratefully accepts this silence as a permission
to her to publish the work to her own advantage. At the same time she
considers it as safer for herself, and more in accordance with the
sentiments inspired in her by the noble patron of her late husband, to
call upon him to express his wishes on the subject to her within three
months through the Wiener, Hamburger, or Frankfurter Zeitung, at
the expiration of which time she will consider herself justified in
publishing the Requiem among the collected works of her late husband."]

[Footnote 21: The "Requiem Brevis" in D minor (237, Anh., K.), published by
Simrock, of Bonn, under Mozart's name, may be at once pronounced
spurious, having neither external nor internal credibility.]

[Footnote 23: A. M. Z., I. Int. Bl., p. 97. Stadler, Vertheidigung, p. 14.]

[Footnote 24: Nissen, Nachtrag, p. 169.]

[Footnote 25: There were only a few emendations in the score published by
Breitkopf and Hàrtel in 1800, and these had been communicated to Hàrtel
by the widow (August 6, 10, 1800; cf. A. M. Z., IV., p. 30). The revised
copy served as a foundation for André's pianoforte arrangement, and his
edition of the score (1827). In this the letters M. and S. distinguish
what is Mozart's and what Sussmayr's. The preface was reprinted in the
Càcilia (VI., p. 200).]

[Footnote 26: Stadler, Vertheidigung, p. 46.]

[Footnote 27: Even Seyfried only conjectures this (Càcilia, IV., p. 296).]

[Footnote 28: A searching notice, written by Schwencke and revised by Rochlitz,
appeared after the publication of the score (A. M. Z., IV., p. 1). It
was soon after translated into French in the Journal de Paris, and then
noticed in the German papers as an example of French criticism (A. M.
Z., XXX., p. 209).]

[Footnote 29: The minor compositions of the "Ave verum corpus" (Vol III., p. 281)
and the Freemasonic Cantata (Vol. II., p. 408) complete this parallel.]

[Footnote 30: Cf. Lorenz, Deutsche Mus. Ztg., 1861, p. 257. A. Hahn, Mozart's
Requiem (Bielef., 1867). Kriebitzsch, Fur Freunde d. Tonk., p. 61.]

[Footnote 31: Mich. Haydn has introduced the same into his unfinished Requiem, at
the words "Te decet hymnus"; according to Rochlitz (A. M. Z., IV., p.
7) and Zelter (Briefw. m. Goethe, IV., p. 353 ) the chorale "Meine
Seel erhebet den Herrn," is sung to this melody. The treatment of this
passage is decided by the ritual. In Jomelli's Requiem both verses of
the Psalm are intoned, in Hasse and Zelenka the first ("Te Jerusalem"
in Asola; Proske's Musica Divina) only the words "Te decet hymnus in
Sion in Pitoni both verses are freely composed.]

[Footnote 32: Rochlitz, Fur Freunde der Tonknnst, I., p. 159. A detailed analysis
is given by Lobe (Compositionslehre, III., p. 195).]

[Footnote 33: According to Kàgeli the violent changes of key and arbitrary
alternations of major and minor have turned the fugue into a barbarous
confusion of sounds (Vorlesungen üb. Musik., p. 99).]

[Footnote 34: Cäcilia, III., p. 216.]

[Footnote 35: Schwencke, A. M. Z., IV., p. 8.]

[Footnote 36: The theme stands with its counter-theme in doubled counterpoint of
the twelfth. It is perhaps worthy of note that the Christe begins in
the minor passages a third above the Kyrie, and in its major passages a
third below the Kyrie--an arrangement not wanting in original effect.]

[Footnote 37: Marx remarks, in answer to Weber's criticism (Lehre v. d. Mus.
Compos. III., p. 500), that "here--following the whole spirit of the work--the
point to be considered was not so much a literally faithful expression
of the words as a thoroughly religious and solemn rounding and balancing
of a whole section of the service, the prayer for the departed in all
its amplitude of detail" (Cf. Berl. Mus. Ztg., 1825, p. 881).]

[Footnote 38: Stadler, Vertheidigung, p. 17.]

[Footnote 39: Chrysander, Händel, II., p. 436.]

[Footnote 40: Tucker, Schatz d. evang. Kirchenges., II., p. 151, No. 282.]

[Footnote 41: This has been already pointed out by Cramer (Anecd. sur Mozart, p.
26), whose attention was drawn to it by J. A. P. Schulz.]

[Footnote 42: G. C. P. Sievers says (Mozart u. Süssmayr, p. 15) that a
kapellmeister at Ferrara told him that in one of Mozart's Masses a whole
piece was copied from an early Italian master, which was confirmed by
Santini; Sievers had forgotten the key of the Mass and the name of the
ill-used composer. That Mozart should have inserted a strange piece in
a Mass written for Salzburg Cathedral under the eye of his father is
incredible. A. Schiffner asserted (A. M. Z., XLV., p. 581) that Handel
and Mattheson, Telemann and Mozart, had all stolen from Reinhard Keiser.
Al. Fuchs (Cäcilia, XXIII., p. 95) called on him for proof; Schiffner,
who probably knew as little of Reiser's scores as did Mozart, made no
response to the challenge.]

[Footnote 43: Ferd. Wolf, Ueb. die Lais, Sequenzen und Leiche, pp. 29, 76, 91.]

[Footnote 44: Schubiger, Die Sàngerschule St. Gallens, p. 39.]

[Footnote 45: Mohnike, Kirchen-u. litterar-histor. Studien u. Mittheilungen, I.,
p. 3.]

[Footnote 46: The translations have been collected by F. G. Lisco (Dies iræ,
Hymnus auf das Weltgericht, Beitrag zur Hymnologie. Berlin, 1840).]

[Footnote 47: Hiller, in consequence of the unsatisfactory trombone-players,
transposed the solo after bar 5 to the bassoons, which was copied in the
printed score (Cäcilia, VIII., p. 54. Cf. A. M. Z., IV., p. 10).]

[Footnote 48: In this a very enthusiastic admirer of the Requiem (A. M. Z., XVI.,
p. 617) and (as to the close) Ulibicheff agree (I., p. 252).]

[Footnote 49: Indescribably beautiful is the occurrence here of the chord of the
minor sixth on G, instead of the minor common chord which one expects.]

[Footnote 50: The close in D minor of the movement in G minor appeared so
striking to Schwencke (A. M. Z., IV., p. 11), that he conjectured that
Mozart must have intended a further revision of these choruses. But
the different movements of the Sequence, although detached, are yet in
immediate relation with each other; and Mozart made the transition into
D minor because the following movement is in F major.]

[Footnote 51: Hogarth, Mem. of the Opera, II., p. 199.]

[Footnote 52: G. Weber could not bring himself to attribute to Mozart a treatment
which "emphasises, _con amore_, the egotistical baseness of the words,
and by the ferocious unison of the stringed instruments maliciously
incites the Judge of the World to hurl the cursed crowd of sinners into
the deepest abyss, and then to call the singers to all the joys of the
blessed" (Càcilia, III., p. 220). He has clearly misunderstood both
the words and the intention of the composer so to bring before the
imagination the torments of the damned as to lead to an intenser longing
for the mercies of Redemption.]

[Footnote 53: Cäcilia, III., p. 222.]

[Footnote 54: Cäcilia, IV., p. 296.]

[Footnote 55: A. M. z., IV., p. 4.]

[Footnote 56: Cäcilia, IV., p. 289. A. M. Z., XXV., p. 687.]

[Footnote 57: Cäcilia, III., p. 226; IV., p. 279.]

[Footnote 58: Berl. Mus. Ztg., 1825, p. 378.]

[Footnote 59: Cäcilia, IV., p. 307.]

[Footnote 60: The Wiener Zeitung announces that the music of the opera "L'
Incanto Superato," first performed July 8,1793, is arranged by Herr
Franz Siessmayr, "pupil of Herr Salieri."]

[Footnote 61: Jahrb. d. Tonk., 1796, p. 61: "It is no small recommendation to him
that he was a pupil of Mozart, and very highly thought of by him. He has
also completed some works left unfinished by this great genius"--which
can only refer to the Requiem.]

[Footnote 62: Cäcilia, III., p. 295.]

[Footnote 63: G. L. P. Sievers, Mozart u. Sussmaier, p. 8.]

[Footnote 64: Zelter, Briefw. m. Goethe, IV., p. 353.]

[Footnote 65: A correspondent of G. Weber had heard that André possessed MSS.
which would prove that every note of the Benedictus was an adaptation of
an earlier and favourite air of Mozart (Cäcilia, IV., p. 292). It need
scarcely be said that there is not a word of truth in this.]

[Footnote 66: Berl. Mas. Ztg., 1825, p. 379.]

[Footnote 67: Zelter (Briefw. m. Goethe, IV., p. 353) pronounces the Requiem to
be "disjointed, unequal; some of the pieces might be inserted, and it
would be a mistake to consider it as a whole; the same thing is the case
with many excellent composers; and though the Requiem consists entirely
of detached pieces, it is the best production that I know of the last
century." The story of the Requiem may have had some influence on this

[Footnote 68: A. M. Z., XVI., p. 812: "Mozart has disclosed his whole inner being
in this one sacred work, and who can fail to be affected by the fervour
of devotion and holy transport which streams from it? His Requiem is
unquestionably the highest and best that modern art has to offer for
sacred worship." Unfavourable criticism was not wanting. "I should be
without feeling," says Ernst, in Tieck's Phantasus (Schriften, IV., p.
426), "if I failed to love and honour the marvellous depth and richness
of Mozart's mind--if I failed to be carried away by his works. Only, let
me have none of his Requiem."]

[Footnote 69: Cf. O. Lindner, Zur Tonkunst, p. 176.]

[Footnote 70: Stadler, Vertheidigung, p. 27.]

[Footnote 71: Rochlitz, Für Freunde d. Tonk., I., p. 25. Häser, Cäcilia, IV., p.

[Footnote 72: Zur Geschichte der Singakademie, p. 15.]

[Footnote 73: It was performed in memory of the Queen in 1805; of the
Akademie-director Frisch in 1815; of Prince Radziwill in 1833; of Count
Brühl in 1837; of Frederick William III. in 1840; and of Frederick
William IV. in 1861.]

[Footnote 74: At Leipzig, in memory of Schicht, in 1823; at Berlin, in memory of
Andr. Romberg, in 1821; of Bemh. Klein, in 1832; of Ludwig Berger, 1839;
in Vienna, in memory of C. M. von Weber and Beethoven; and in Munich,
1867, in memory of P. von Cornelius.]

[Footnote 75: Zelter, Briefw. m. Goethe, VI., p. 243.]

[Footnote 76: Rochlitz has attempted to prove (A. M. Z., XXV., p. 685) how
Vogler, in composing his Requiem, had Mozart's always in view, in order
to avoid imitating it; a similar negative influence is apparent in
Cherubini's magnificent Requiem in C minor, with which the second in D
minor is quite in keeping (Cf. Gum-precht, Recensionen, 1864, No. 21).]

[Footnote 77: Berl. Mus. Ztg., 1805, p. 26.]

[Footnote 78: A lover of music in Venice left a considerable legacy for the
performance annually of three Requiems, of which one was to be Mozart's
(A. M. Z., XLII., p. 54). A society was founded at' Senftenberg in
Bohemia, 1857, in order to perform Mozart's Requiem annually on June 18
(N. Wien. Mus. Ztg., 1857, p. 167; Niederrh. Mus. Ztg., 1857, p. 343).]

[Footnote 79: Neukomm mentions an excellent performance in Rio Janeiro in 1819
(A. M. Z., XXII., p. 501).]





MOZART'S early and unexpected death, removing him from the eyes of the
world at the moment when he might seem to have attained the height of
his artistic greatness, had the effect of silencing the detractions and
the envy of the few who were blinded by jealousy to his merits, and
of exalting his works in the minds of those who felt his loss to be
an irreparable one. Public feeling took the form of sympathy for his
bereaved family, who were left in pressing need; and they found generous
support, not in Vienna and Prague alone, but in many other places to
which the widow made professional visits. When she was in Berlin, in
1796, Frederick William II. allowed her the use of the opera-house and
the royal musicians for a benefit concert, at which she



appeared as a vocalist (February 28). The King, as was stated in the
programme (Niemetschek, p. 63), "took great pleasure in thus proving to
the widow how highly he esteemed the talent of her late husband, and how
much he regretted the unfortunate circumstances which had prevented his
reaping the due reward of his labours." But such efforts as these
could not assure her a livelihood for any length of time; nor would the
manuscripts left by Mozart realise, as matters then stood, anything like
a sum sufficient for her future needs. His compositions might be spread
abroad, either in MS. or in print, without her consent or authorisation.
Indeed, when reference was made to her, she considered it as a
favour,[1] and was well pleased when, in 1799, André purchased from her
all the manuscripts in her possession for a sum of one thousand ducats.

Some of Mozart's manuscripts had been lost before his death, others have
been made over to other people by André himself, and the remainder are
included in the "Thematic Catalogue of Mozart's Original Manuscripts
in the Possession of Hofrath André of Offenbach" (Offenbach, 1841).
Unhappily, no public library has been able to obtain this most important
collection, and its dispersion, owing to testamentary dispositions, must
be a source of regret to all musicians.

Mozart's widow found a means of secure and untroubled existence in her
second marriage. Georg Nic. Nissen (b. 1765) made her acquaintance,
in 1797, at Vienna, where he was attached to the diplomatic service
of Denmark, and rendered her great service in the arrangement of her
affairs, as the numerous letters written by him in her name sufficiently
show. He appears to have been a tiresome, but an upright and honourable
man, and to have acted well towards Constanze and her children from the
time of their marriage in 1809. After resigning his state service, in
1820, he lived with her in Salzburg, where also Mozart's sister resided
(App. I.). He died in 1826, and was followed by his widow on



March 6, 1842, a few hours after the arrival of the model for Mozart's
statue; after Nissen's death she had lived with her widowed sister,
Sophie Haibl.[2]

Karl, the elder of Mozart's two surviving sons, began life as a
merchant, then tried music,[3] and finally embraced an official career.
He was a good pianist, and conducted musical performances, first at
the house of Colonel Casella, afterwards at his own;[4] he died in a
subordinate official post at Milan in 1859. The younger son, Wolfgang,
became a musician. He first appeared in public in 1805,[5] made repeated
professional tours, and after 1814 lived as musical director, first
at Lemberg, afterwards in Vienna; he died at Carlsbad in 1844. He was
esteemed both as a pianist and composer, but the greatness of his name
prevented his attaining to more.[6]

Appreciation and honour had not been wanting to Mozart in his lifetime,
but they had been far from unalloyed; after his death they were showered
in fullest measure on his memory.[7] His loss was commemorated in many
places by the performance of his own works or of specially composed
funeral cantatas,[8] and the anniversaries of his birth and of his death
are still kept, both in private musical circles[9] and publicly, by
concerts. The hundredth anniversary of his birth, which in 1856 caused
all Germany to ring with Mozart's name and Mozart's music, united every
voice into a chorus of praise and honour, and gave a new impulse to the
study of his works.[10]

Mozart's personal appearance has become so familiar by means of
well-known portraits that he may in this respect



be compared to Frederick the Great or Luther; his music and his
countenance have alike become common property (App. III.).

In the year 1799 the Duchess Amalie of Weimar placed a memorial of
Mozart in the park of Siefurt; it is in terra cotta: a lyre on a
pedestal, and leaning on it a tragic and a comic mask.[11] Bridi (Vol.
II., p. 359), in the "Temple to Harmony" which he erected in his garden,
has given to Mozart the first place among the seven musicians there
represented, and has placed a monument dedicated to him in a melancholy
grotto, with the inscription, "Herrscher der Seele durch melodische
Denkkraft."[12] The same inscription is on the reverse of a medal by
Guillemard together with a muse playing a lyre and a Cupid with a flute;
the other side has a portrait of Mozart. A medallion by Bàrend has also
a portrait in front, the reverse representing Orpheus and a captive
lion, with the inscription, "Auditus saxis intellectusque ferarum
sensibus." The design for a medallion by Böhm, which was never struck,
was shown to me by my friend Karajan. It consists of a refined and
intellectual representation of Mozart's profile.

In 1835 the idea took shape of erecting a statue to Mozart in Salzburg.
An appeal for subscriptions was made in September, 1836,[13] and the
cast of the statue was completed on May 22, 1841. The ceremony of
unveiling the figure took place on the Michaelsplatz, September 4,
1842.[14] Unhappily it cannot be said that Schwanthaler has succeeded
in investing the accepted idea of Mozart as an artist and a man with any
ideal force and dignity. He is represented clothed in the traditional
toga, standing with his head turned sidewards and upwards, and in his
hand a scroll with the inscription, "Tuba mirum." In bas-relief on
the pedestal are allegorical representations of church, concert, and
dramatic music, and an eagle flying heavenwards with



a lyre. The simple inscription is "Mozart."[15] In 1856 the city of
Vienna determined upon erecting a monument to Mozart in the churchyard
of St. Mark's. It was designed by Hans Gasser, and solemnly unveiled
December 5, 1859. A mourning muse reposes on a granite pillar, holding
in her right hand the score of the Requiem, and resting her left, with a
laurel wreath, on a pile of Mozart's works. On the pedestal are Mozart's
portrait and the Vienna arms, with a short inscription.[16]

Mozart's name has been more worthily honoured by the foundation of
various institutions. The Salzburg Mozarteum, founded in 1842, not only
preserves the most important family documents and interesting relics
which were in the possession of Mozart's sons; it has the further aim
of fostering and advancing music, and more especially church music, in
Mozart's native town.[17] The Mozart Institution at Frankfort, founded
in 1838, encourages talent by means of prizes and scholarships;[18]
and a Mozart Society, founded in 1855, undertakes to assist needy

But after all that may be accomplished in honour of Mozart by the most
enthusiastic of his admirers, his true and imperishable fame rests upon
his works. A history of modern music will be concerned to show how his
influence has worked upon his successors, displaying itself sometimes
in conscious or slavish imitation, sometimes in the freer impulse it has
given to closely allied natures; and it may truly be said that of all
the composers who have lived and worked since Mozart there is not one
who has not felt his inspiration, not one who has not learnt from him,
not one who at some time or another has not encroached upon his domain.
Like all great and original geniuses, he belongs to two ages which it
was his mission to bring together; while quickening and transforming all
that his own age can offer him as the



inheritance of the past, he leaves to posterity the offspring of his
individual mind to serve as a germ for new and more perfect life.

It would be presumptuous to attempt to summarise in a few phrases the
result of a life of ceaseless mental activity, and of strongly marked
individuality. In view of this difficulty many biographers take refuge
in a comparison of the subject of their work with other great men, and
thus emphasise the points of resemblance or divergence which exist in
their natures. No such parallel appears to me more justifiable than one
between Mozart and Raphael.[20] The majestic beauty which appears to
absorb all the other conditions of art production, and to blend them
into purest harmony, is so overpoweringly present in the works of both
masters that there is no need to enforce the comparison by dwelling on
the many points of resemblance in their career both as men and artists,
and in their moral and intellectual natures. Such a comparison, however,
is not profitable unless it can be shown how and under what conditions
this beauty, so varied in its manifestations, so similar in its effects,
is produced.[21] Although it will readily be acknowledged that Mozart is
closely related to Shakespeare[22] in fertility, force, and reality
of dramatic invention and in breadth of humour, and to Goethe[23] in
simplicity and naturalness of human sentiment and in plastic clearness
of idea, yet here again we are confronted with the distinguishing
qualities of great artists in different provinces of art, and Mozart's
individuality in his own art is as far as ever from explanation. The
frequently attempted parallels with great



musicians, with Haydn[24] or Beethoven,[25] bring out still more clearly
the characteristics which distinguish him from all others; and it is to
be feared that the more ingeniously these comparisons are carried out in
detail the more the images are distorted and the judgment biassed.

With whatever feelings, and from whatever point of view, we regard
Mozart, we are invariably met by the genuine purity of an artist's
nature, with its irrepressible impulses, its inexhaustible power of
production, its overflowing love; it is a nature which rejoices in
nothing but in the manifestation of beauty which is inspired by the
spirit of truth; it infuses all that it approaches with the breath of
its own life, and, while conscientious in serious work, it never ceases
to rejoice in the freedom of genius. All human emotions took a musical
form for him, and were by him embodied in music; his quick mind grasped
at once all that could fittingly be expressed in music, and made it
his own according to the laws of his art. This universality, which is
rightly prized as Mozart's distinguishing quality, is not confined to
the external phenomena which he has successfully portrayed in every
region of his art--in vocal and instrumental, in chamber and orchestral,
in sacred and secular music. His fertility and many-sidedness, even from
this outward point of view, can scarcely indeed be too highly extolled;
but there is something higher to be sought in Mozart: that which makes
music to him not a conquered territory but a native home, that which
renders every form of musical expression the necessary outcome of his
inner experience, that by means of which he touches every one of his
conceptions with the torch of genius whose undying flame is visible to
all who approach his works with the eyes



of their imagination unbound. His universality has its limits only
in the limits of human nature, and consequently of his own individual
nature. It cannot be considered apart from the harmony of his artistic
nature, which never allowed his will and his power, his intentions and
his resources, to come into conflict with each other; the centre of his
being was the point from which his compositions proceeded as by natural
necessity. All that his mind perceived, or that his spirit felt, every
experience of his inner life, was turned by him into music; from his
inner life proceeded those works of imperishable truth and beauty,
clothed in the forms and obedient to the laws of his art, just as the
works of the Divine Spirit are manifested in the forms and the laws of
nature and history.[26]

And, while our gaze is lifted in reverence and admiration to the great
musician, it may rest with equal sympathy and love upon the pure-hearted
man. We can trace in his career, lying clear and open before us, the
dispensation which led him to the goal of his desires; and, hard as
he was pressed by life's needs and sorrows, the highest joy which is
granted to mortals, the joy of successful attainment, was his in fullest

"And he was one of us!" his countrymen may exclaim with just pride.[27]
For, wherever the highest and best names of every art and every age are
called for, there, among the first, will be the name of Wolfgang Amade




OLFGANG MOZART'S sister, Maria Anna Walburga Ignatia, known to her
family and friends as Nannerl, was born July 30, 1751, and was thus
five years older than her brother. She early showed a decided talent for
music, and made extraordinary progress under her father's tuition. She
made her appearance as a clavier-player during the early professional
tours of the Mozart family in 1762, 1763-1766, and 1767, competing
successfully with the first performers of the day, and overshadowed
only by the accomplishments of her younger brother. Her father writes
(London, June 8, 1764): "It suffices to say that my little lass at
twelve years old is one of the most accomplished players in Europe";
and independent accounts which have come down to us coincide in this
expression of opinion. During their stay at the Hague in October, 1765,
she was seized with a serious illness and brought to the brink of the
grave; her recovery, which had been despaired of by her parents, was
hailed by them with delight. In November, 1767, she and Wolfgang were
both struck down by smallpox at Olmütz; this also she happily recovered.

She did not accompany her father and brother in their subsequent
journeys to Italy, but remained at home with her mother. Nevertheless
she continued her studies as a clavier-player, and made good her claim
to be considered a virtuoso; as such she was recognised by Burney's
informant in 1772 (Burney, Reise, III., p. 262). She owed much, as she
was the first to acknowledge, to the example and instruction of her
brother, who threw himself eagerly into her studies whenever he was
in Salzburg. Leopold writes to his son (January 26, 1778) that the
violinist Janitsch and the violoncellist Reicha of the Wallerstein
Capelle, who were giving a concert in Salzburg, "absolutely insisted
upon hearing Nannerl play. They let out by their great anxiety to hear
your compositions that their object was to judge from her _gusto_ of
your way of playing. She played your Mannheim sonata excellently well,
with charming expression. They were delighted both with her playing and
with the composition. They accompanied Nannerl in your trio in B flat
(254 K.) exceedingly well." He goes on to tell Wolfgang of the high
opinions formed by these musicians both of his compositions and of
Nannerl's style of playing; and how she always repeated: "I am but
the pupil of my brother." Wolfgang used in after years, when they were
separated, to send her his pianoforte compositions, and set great store
on her



judgment, frequently also giving her his own opinions and criticisms on
music and musicians--as, for instance, on Clementi.

Marianne made some few attempts at composition; a song which she sent to
her brother in Rome excited Wolfgang's astonishment at its excellence,
and she wrote exercises in thorough-bass which were quite free from
mistakes, and gave him great satisfaction. Her father remarks at a later
date (February 25, 1778) that she had learnt to play thoroughbass and to
prelude exceedingly well, feeling that she would have to support herself
and her mother after his death. Once (July 20, 1779) when Wolfgang
sent her from Paris a prelude--"a sort of capriccio to try the piano
with"--as a birthday greeting, she jokingly put her father to the test.
She received it at four o'clock in the afternoon, and at once set to
work to practise it till she knew it by heart. When her father came
in at five she told him that she had an idea, and that if he liked
she would write it down, and thereupon began the prelude. "I rubbed my
eyes," says Leopold Mozart, "and said, 'Where the deuce did you get that
idea?' She laughed and drew the letter from her pocket."

She early began to give lessons on the clavier, her father writing from
Milan (December 12, 1772): "Tell Nannerl that I wish her to teach
little Zezi carefully and patiently; it will be to her own advantage to
instruct another person thoroughly and with patience; I know what I am
saying." These lessons afterwards became a source of income which could
hardly have been dispensed with in the needy circumstances of the Mozart
family; they enabled her to support herself as long as she lived at
home, and thus lightened her father's pecuniary anxieties. She was
considered even by her own family as somewhat parsimonious, and her
father was agreeably surprised at hearing her exclaim, when told of
Wolfgang's difficulties on his Parisian journey: "Thank God that it is
no worse!" although she well knew that her own interests would have to
be sacrificed to help her brother out of his scrape. But there is in
fact every reason to believe that her heart was a tender one, and
easily touched; she felt the loss of her mother very deeply, and had the
warmest sympathy for her brother; sometimes indeed this took a livelier
form than he cared for, and we find him once writing with ill-humour
(Mannheim, February 19, 1778): "My best love to my sister, and pray tell
her not to cry over every trifle, or I shall take good care never to
come back"--an expression which did not fail to call down a reproof from
his father. The relation of the brother and sister to each other was
from childhood of the tenderest and closest description. The severe
discipline to which they were both subjected, the journeys they took
together, and above all the concentration of all the thoughts and
energies of both upon music, increased their natural affection, in
which there was not a trace of envy or jealousy on either side. Wolfgang
vented his love of joking and teasing upon his "Schwester Canaglie";
and the letters which he wrote to her while on his Italian tour give
abundant proofs of their unrestrained and innocent intercourse. The
joking tone of



Wolfgang's correspondence with his sister was not entirely dropped even
when they had passed their childhood, but they also shared the more
serious concerns of life together in fullest sympathy. We have seen how
unendurable life at Salzburg became to Wolfgang as he grew up, and his
sister's position was in no way a more enviable one. When her mother and
brother left home for their journey to Paris, she remained to keep
house for her father, who praised her for her attention, economy, and
industry, and for her good management of the maid-servant, who was both
dirty and untruthful. After her mother's death she continued her care
of the household, which was occasionally increased by their receiving
boarders. Pianoforte practice, generally with her father for some hours
in the evening, and lessons to various young ladies, filled up her time.
She was much liked as a teacher, and her pupils were distinguished for
precision and accuracy of playing. When Wolfgang was at home, the house
was full of life, her father was cheerful, and she had a companion with
whom to share her joys and sorrows; but if he was away, the father, who
could scarcely live without him, was often gloomy and preoccupied, and
not even her tender ministrations could compensate him for the absence
of his son. Marianne had but few distractions from her quiet domestic
life in the form of gaiety or company; she took a lively interest in
the persons and concerns of her few acquaintances, an interest which
was shared by Wolfgang even when he had left Salzburg. "Write to me
often--that is, of course, when you have nothing better to do," he
writes from Vienna (July 4, 1781) "for a bit of news is a great treat
to me, and you are the veritable Salzburg Intelligencer, for you write
about everything that ever happens, and sometimes, no doubt to please
me, you write the same thing twice over." Their father had impressed
upon them the importance of keeping a regular diary, and this Wolfgang
did in his earlier years; Marianne continued the habit much longer.
Fragments of her diary still exist, and among her letters to her brother
are two which contain very detailed accounts of the performances of
Schikaneder's theatrical company at Salzburg.

Towards the end of 1780, while Wolfgang was at Munich busy with his
"Idomeneo," Marianne was seized with an illness which for a time
threatened to turn into consumption; it was long before she completely
recovered. It appears probable that an attachment which did not turn out
happily had something to do with this illness. Marianne, who had been
a pretty and attractive child, became, as the family picture in the
Mozarteum shows, a handsome woman, to whom suitors would not be
wanting. Wolfgang's jokes about Herr von Mölk, an unfavoured admirer of
Marianne's, as well as other mysterious allusions in his letters, prove
that the brother and sister shared with each other their tenderest
feelings. When Mozart was finally settled in Vienna, he lost no
opportunity of being useful to his sister: "Ma très chère soeur,"
he writes (Vienna, July 4, 1781)--"I am very glad that you liked the
ribbons, and will inquire as to the price of them; at



present I do not know it, since Fr. von Auerhammer, who was so kind as
to get them for me, would accept no payment, but begged me to say all
that was nice to you from her as a stranger, and to assure you that
it gives her very great pleasure to be of any service to you; I have
already expressed your acknowledgments to her for her kindness. Dearest
sister! I have already told our father that if you would like anything
from Vienna, whatever it may be, I will get it for you with the utmost
pleasure; this I now repeat to you, with the addition that I shall be
extremely vexed if I hear that you have intrusted your commissions to
any one else in Vienna." Constanze was always ready at a later time to
perform the same sort of service for her sister-in-law. But Wolfgang's
sympathy with his sister was displayed in more serious matters. On July
4, 1781, he writes: "And now I should like to know how it stands with
you and our very good friend? Write and tell me about it. Or have I lost
your confidence in this affair?" This good friend was Franz D'Yppold,
captain in the imperial army, who came to Salzburg as Governor to
the Pages, and was made Councillor of War in 1777. He conceived an
attachment to Marianne, which she returned, but his circumstances did
not allow him to marry. Mozart, seeing that his sister's health and
happiness were at stake, represented to her that there was nothing
to hope for in Salzburg, and begged her to induce D'Yppold to try his
fortune in Vienna, where he, Wolfgang, would do his utmost to advance
his prospects. She would be able to earn far more by giving lessons in
Vienna than in Salzburg, and there could be no doubt they would soon be
able to marry; then the father would be obliged to give up his service
at Salzburg, and join his children in Vienna. Unfortunately these
promising plans remained unfulfilled; and as there appeared to the
lovers no prospect of a possible union, the connection between them
ceased. D'Yppold never ceased to be on friendly terms with L. Mozart,
and always testified great sympathy and esteem for Marianne herself. He
was very fond of her little son, who lived with his grandfather; and,
during an absence from home of L. Mozart, he came to the house every day
to see how the child was getting on.

Marianne returned in kind her brother's interest and sympathy in her
love affairs. To her he poured out his complaints of the hard fate of
himself and his Constanze, and the latter began a correspondence with
her long before her father had reconciled himself to the connection.
Correspondence between the brother and sister naturally flagged somewhat
when Wolfgang became engrossed in his life and occupation at Vienna. He
justifies himself against her reproaches (February 13, 1782): "You must
not think because I do not answer your letters that I do not like to
have them. I shall always accept the favour of a letter from you, my
dear sister, with the utmost pleasure; and if my necessary occupations
(for my livelihood) allow of it, I will most certainly answer it. You do
not mean that I never answer your letters? You cannot suppose that



I forget, or that I am careless--therefore they must be real hindrances,
real impossibilities that come in the way. Bad enough, you will say!
But, good heavens I do I write any oftener to my father? You both know
Vienna t How can a man without a penny of income do anything here but
work day and night to earn a living? My father, when his church service
is over, and you, when you have given a couple of music lessons, can
sit down and write letters all day if you choose; but not I.... Dearest
sister, if you could imagine that I should ever forget my best and
dearest father or yourself, then--but no! God knows, and that is enough
for me--He will punish me if it should ever happen."

In 1784 Marianne married Johann Baptist, Baron von Berchthold, of
Sonnenburg, councillor of Salzburg and steward of St. Gilgen. Wolfgang
wrote on her marriage (August 18, 1784): "Ma très chère soeur,--_Potz
Sapperment!_ it is time that I write to you if my letter is to find you
still a virgin! In a couple of days it will be all over! My wife and I
wish you all manner of happiness and good fortune in your new life, and
are full of regret that we cannot be present at your wedding; but we are
in hopes of meeting you and your husband next spring at Salzburg, and
perhaps also at St. Gilgen. We regret nothing now but the solitude in
which our father will be left. True, you will be near him, and he
can often walk over to see you, but he is so tied to that confounded
Kapelle! If I were in my father's place, this is what I should do: I
should ask the Archbishop in consideration of my long service to set
me free--and I should take my pension and go and live quietly with my
daughter at St. Gilgen; if the Archbishop refused, I should hand in my
resignation and join my son in Vienna. And to this I wish you would
try every means of persuading him. I have written the same thing in my
letter to him to-day. And now I send you a thousand good wishes from
Vienna to Salzburg, summed up in the hope that you two may live as
happily together as we two. Your loving brother, W. A. Mozart."

A long list of letters from L. Mozart to his daughter testify to his
care for her welfare. He is indefatigable in his attention to household
matters, and occasionally receives from her presents of game or fish; he
also keeps her constantly informed of what is going on in town. He is,
as may be supposed, always ready with advice or remonstrance, both to
his daughter and her husband, whom he considers "too absorbed in the
spirit of economy"; he makes plenty of sarcastic remarks, but is, on
the whole, under more restraint with them than with Wolfgang. His
keen glance and shrewd sense never fail him. His son-in-law's hasty
application for the stewardship of Neumark drew from him serious advice
to weigh everything well beforehand, and then to be resigned to what
should happen. "I write all this," he adds (November 20, 1786), "because
I can easily imagine how many useless and vexatious ideas and remarks
will be let fall upon the subject; whereas, if it is to be, the course
of Providence cannot be withstood." Report said that Marianne



had not always an easy time of it with her husband; and five
stepchildren cannot have left her much leisure for repining. L. Mozart
describes them as naughty, ill brought up, and ignorant; one of the
boys, Wolfgang, was heard to boast that "he had got the better of his
second mamma, and, when he was naughty, papa always laid the blame on
her and the servants, and blew them up."

In June, 1785, she came to Salzburg to be confined in her father's
house. As her health long remained delicate, L. Mozart kept his little
grandson, bestowing upon it the tenderest care, and informing his
daughter of the child's well-being in every letter. "I can never look at
the child's right hand without emotion," he writes (November 11,1785);
"the cleverest pianist could not place his hand upon the keys more
charmingly than he holds his little hand; whenever he is not moving his
fingers they are all in position for playing, and when he is asleep the
tiny fingers are bent or stretched exactly in the right proportion,
as if they were resting on the keys; in short, it is the most charming
sight in the world. It often makes me sad to see it, and I wish he were
three years old, so that he might begin to play at once." He could not
persuade himself to part with the child, and although he often abused
the father for never coming to see it, he declared himself: "I tell you
I mean to keep little Leopold as long as I live."

After their father's death Wolfgang wrote to Marianne (June 16, 1787):
"Dearest Sister,--I am not at all surprised at your not writing to me
yourself the sad and totally unexpected news of our dear father's death;
I can readily imagine the cause of your silence. May God receive him to
Himself! Be assured, my darling, that if you are in need of a faithful,
loving brother, you will find one in me. My dearest sister, if you were
still unprovided for, there would be no need of all this. I would, as
I have intended and said over and over again, have left all to you with
the greatest pleasure; but as it is, one may almost say, useless to you,
while to me, on the contrary, it would be of the greatest advantage, I
think it my duty to consider my wife and child."

This letter affords no clue to the share of his father's inheritance
claimed by Mozart, and it is not known how the matter was arranged. It
was doubtless not without some reference to this that a letter written
soon after by Mozart to his sister (August, 1787) treated of his
pecuniary position. "In answer to your question as to my service," he
says, "the Emperor has taken me into the household, and I am formally
appointed, but have only 800 florins--this is more, however, than any
other member of the household. The announcement of my Prague opera 'Don
Giovanni' (which is to be given again to-day) ran: 'The music is by Herr
Mozart, Kapellmeister in the actual service of his Imperial Majesty.'"

I do not know of any later letters. Marianne kept up no correspondence
with her brother's widow; from a letter to Sonnleithner (July 2, 1819),
we gather that she had not heard from her sister-in-law



since 1801, that she knew nothing of the children, and had only heard of
her second marriage by chance.

In 1801 the Baron von Sonnenburg died, and his widow retired with her
children to Salzburg, where she lived in comfort, if not in wealth.
She returned to her old occupation, and gave music lessons--for money
certainly, but not from need, since her simple and frugal way of life
enabled her even to lay by a portion of her income. She was always much
respected and liked in Salzburg. In 1820 she became blind, a misfortune
which she bore with equanimity, and even cheerfulness, as the
following anecdote will show: Receiving a visit from a lady whom she
disliked--people who were fond of her paid her frequent visits to afford
her amusement in her misfortune--she exclaimed, when at last the visitor
had departed, "What an infliction to be obliged to converse with that
person! I am glad that I cannot see her!"

She died at an advanced age in her native town, October 29, 1829.


EVEN cantatas which appeared under Mozart's name (Leipzig: Breitkopf and
Hartel, and elsewhere) are perhaps, after his operas, the most widely
known of his works, and upon them in a great measure rests his fame as
a composer of church music. Of these cantatas, however, only one, the
second (and that with altered words), was left in its present state by
Mozart; the others were all put together after his death from separate
portions of various church compositions, often widely differing in
the time, the object and the style of their composition, and having
undergone arbitrary alterations and additions. Nothing but the newly
adopted words holds them together, and these are generally trivial,
often in direct contradiction to the spirit of the original words.

The parody of Goethe's song "Der du Leid und Sehnsucht stillest," which
in Cantata III. replaces the original "Alma redemptoris," may serve as
an example. This double injustice done to the composer may be explained
as arising from the tendency of an age which turned to its own immediate
convenience any music which came to hand, with little feeling for the
work of art as a whole and little respect for the right of the author to
the integrity of his work or for the claims of historical accuracy.

The following is the result of a survey of the cantatas and their
component parts (Anh., 124-130 K.):--[See Page Image]



Cantata I. consists of the Kyrie (p. i), Panis omnipotent!ae (p. 10),
Viaticum (p. 15), and Pignus futurz gloriae (p. 16) of the Litany 125 K-

Cantata II. is the Litany 109 K.

Cantata III. is pot together from the Sanctus of the Mass 259 K. (p. 3);
the Benedictus of the Mass 220 K.; the Gloria of the Mass 259 K. (p. 9);
the Offertorium 72 K. (p. 15); and the Credo of the Mass 259 K. (p. 25).

Cantata IV. consists of the Kyrie and Gloria of the Mass 220 K. (p. 3);
Motetto 277 K. (p. 12); Gratias (p. 19); and Domine (p. 21) of the
Mass in C minor 427 K. [employed in the "Davidde Penitente" 469 K. as
Chorus 4» "Si pur sempre," and Duet 5, "Sorgi o Signore **]; Magnificat
of the Vesper 193 K. (p. 26).

Cantata V. is formed of the Kyrie (p. 1), Et incarnatus, to the close of
the Credo (p. 6), Benedictus (p. 12), Agnus Dei (p. 20), and Gloria (p.
25) of the Mass 258 K.

Cantata VI. contains the Dixit of the Vesper 193 K. (p. 1); Laudate
Dominum (p. 13) and Magnificat (p. 20) of the Vesper 321 K. Cantata VII.
is put together from the Kyrie (p. 1) and Benedictus (p. 5) of the Mass
259 K.; an air from "Davidde Penitente" (469 IL, 3) "Lungi le cure
ingrate" (p. 14); the Agnus Dei (p. 26) and Dona nobis (p. 29) of the
Mass 259 K.; and the Dixit of the Vesper 321 K. (p. 33).

After this, it was not surprising that the choruses from "Konig
Tham os" should have been used as sacred music, or that the
"Frei-maurercantaten" (429,471 K.) should have been treated in the same
way (Vol. II., p. 407). Nor was it unusual to find an altered text
(church-like in character) supplied to sacred compositions. But secular
music was also appropriated by the Church. The beautiful adagio of the
grand serenata for wind instruments (361 K.) has been turned into an
offertory, "Quis te comprehendat" (Anh., 110 K.). The air for Nancy
Storace (405 K.),"Ch' io mi scordi di te," has been fitted to the
words "In te domine speravi," and the obbligato piano part transferred
to the organ (Anh., 120 K.). The air from "Titus" (19),"Deh per
questo istante," with the words "O Deus, ego te amo" (Anh., 112 K.),
and Adamberger's air, "Per pietà non ricercate" (420), with the words
"Omni die die Mariae" (Anh., hi K.), are both used as offertories. V.
Novello published the wonderful ensemble from the second finale in
"Figaro" "Più docile io sono e dico di si," with the words "O Jesu
mi, miserere nobis!" as a motett with organ accompaniment, and has
appended the remark: "This motett may be used at Benediction." It is to
be hoped that there is no truth in the report that Leparello's "Notte
e giorno faticar" and Don Giovanni's "Fin che dal vino," have been
travestied as a "Docti sacris" and a "Lauda Sion."



Further than this, however, whole Masses have been arranged from
Mozart's operas; and at the beginning of this century a "Missa di
Figaro. Don Giovanni" was not unknown to church choirs. One example of
the kind may be described as evidence of the fact. In the collection
of K. Zulehner of Mayence there was preserved a "Coronation Mass" in C
major, with Mozart's name as composer, of which a copy was sent to me
by Herr Schott of Mayence. All the movements, with the exception of the
Credo, are identical with whole movements or smaller portions of "Cosî
fan Tutte," with alterations of key and instrumentation, and here and
there the addition or omission of a part, as follows:--

The Kyrie is the terzet (10) "Soave sio il vento," transposed into C
major and turned into a four-part chorus by the addition of a tenor
part, and with two flutes to fill in the harmonies. Christe eleison is
the first movement of the duet (4), "Ah guarda sorella," transposed into
G major, for soprano and tenor, with two oboes and two horns, shortened
here and there, and the ritomello placed at the end. At the beginning
of the Gloria, after a few unimportant bars by the adapter, the motif
of the first chorus of the second finale is made use of (p. 230); then
follow for the Gratias agimus the first seventy bars of the air (11)
"Smanie implacabile" as a soprano solo in F major. The Qui tollis
consists of seven bars not borrowed, but at the Miserere occur four bars
from the first finale (p. 115), "Ed il polso," and after the repetition
of the original Qui tollis at the word "suscipe," the first finale (p.
115), "Ah se tardo," is continued to the end of the movement. "Quoniam
tu solus" to the end of the Gloria is the terzet (3) "Una bella
serenata," unaltered up to the addition of the fourth part in the tutti
passages; the closing ritornello is omitted. In the Gloria, flutes,
oboes, horns, and drums and trumpets are employed in the customary
alternations. Sanctus and Osanna are the andante of the first finale
shortened by six bars, transposed into C major, and the parts rather
differently arranged to suit the words. Benedictus is the duet and
chorus (21) "Secondate," transposed into F major, and accompanied by
stringed instruments flutes, and oboes; the chorus enters at "Osanna."
Agnus Dei begins with eleven original bars, then follows "Idol mio" from
the second finale, with the part of Despina omitted. Dona nobis is the
closing ensemble of the opera. I gather from a letter addressed to G.
Weber that Zulehner was of opinion that Mozart wrote the Mass before
the opera; that, on the contrary, the Mass was pieced together from
the opera by some church musician, no external evidence is required to


HE earliest portrait of Mozart, a half-length in oils, now in the



Mozarteum, lithographed in Nissen, represents him as a boy of seven
years old, standing near the clavier, clad in the violet gold-laced
court dress of the Archduke Maximilian, which had been presented to
him in 1762 (Vol. I., p. 28). His hair is frizzed and powdered, his hat
under his arm, his sword by his side; his left hand is thrust into his
vest; his right on his side. The round good-humoured boyish face, with
its candid eyes, looks out as if from a disguise. During the stay of
the Mozart family in Paris in 1763, an accomplished admirer, L. C.
de Carmontelle, painted them in a group; the picture was engraved by
Delafosse in small folio, with the title under:--

"LEOPOLD MOZART, Père de MARIANNE MOZART, Virtuose ägée de onze ans, et
de J. G. WOLFGANG, Compositeur et Maître de Musique ägé de sept ans."

Wolfgang, finely dressed and frizzed, is sitting at the harpsichord in
a pillared hall, apparently open to the air, and playing from some open
music. The little head is evidently a good likeness, and there is a
charming expression of earnest attention. His father stands close behind
him, and accompanies on the violin; the sister is standing on the other
side of the harpsichord, turning towards her brother and singing from
some music. In the same year a small oil picture, containing many
figures, was painted; it was formerly in the gallery of the Duke of
Rohan-Chabot at Schloss-Rurik, and is now in the Museum at Versailles.
Mozart is seated at the clavier, on which a "basse de viole" is lying,
and playing or singing; he is accompanied on the guitar by the opera-singer
Veliotte. The Prince de Beauveau, in a cherry-coloured coat
decorated with the blue Grand Cross, is seated behind the young
musician, glancing absently at a paper which he holds in his left hand.
The Chevalier de la Laurency, gentilhomme to the Prince de Conti, is
standing in a black velvet coat behind Mozart's chair; the Prince de
Conti is talking to M. de Trudaine; Mdlle. Bagaroty is standing before
a group of ladies, viz.: Madame la Maréchale de Mirepoix, Madame de
Viervelle, Madame la Maréchale de Luxembourg, and Mdlle. de Boufflers,
afterwards Duchesse de Lauzun. The Prince d'Henin is preparing tea,
while listening attentively to Mozart's music. In another group are
Dupont de Velse, brother to M. d'Argentai; the Countesses Egmont, mother
and daughter, and President Henaut at the fireplace.



The last group shows us the Comtesse de Boufflers standing before a
well-spread table; by her side is the Comte de Chabot (Duc de Rohan)
in conversation with the Comte de Jarnac. The Maréchal de Beauveau is
pouring out a glass of wine for Bailli de Chabrillant; Meyrand, the
famous geometrician, stands sidewards. The picture is full of life and
expression. All the company are listening in amazement and delight to
Mozart's bewitching tones. He is in an apple-green silk coat with knee
breeches, and his feet do not touch the floor. His countenance is fresh,
his look full of expression, and the little powdered perruque gives him
a somewhat pedantic look, at which the spectators are evidently amused.

Wolfgang was painted several times during his Italian tour. At Verona
Lugiati made a life-size portrait of him in oils, in two sittings,
as his father writes home. "La dolce sua effigie mi è di conforto ed
altresi di eccitamento a riprendere qualche fiata la musica," he writes
to the mother (April 22, 1770). Sonnleithner, who discovered the picture
by the aid of the Imperial Sectionsrath W. Booking, gives a detailed
account of it. Mozart is seated playing the clavier, somewhat to
the left of the spectator, in a carved arm-chair; his youthful and
intellectual countenance is turned towards the spectator. He wears a red
court dress embroidered in gold, and has a diamond ring on the little
finger of his left hand. Upon the clavier, above the keyboard, is
written: "Joanni Celestini Veneti, MDLXXXIII." Upon the open music-book
can be distinctly read:--[See Page Image]



This piece, therefore, must have possessed some peculiar interest for
the Veronese. Below, in the centre of the narrow, beautifully carved
gold frame, there is a white plate with the following inscription:--

Amadeo Wolfgango Mozarto Salisburgensi puero duodenni

In arte musica laudem omnem fidemque prætergresso eoque nomine Gallorum
Anglorumque regi caro Petrus Lujatus hospiti suavissimo effigiem in
domestico odeo pingi curavit anno MDCCLXX.

In the same year the celebrated artist Pompeo Battoni of Rome painted a
life-size head of Mozart, which came into the possession of Mr. Haydon
of London; it is now the property of J. Ella, who has placed it in the
South Kensington Museum, and rendered it familiar in an engraving by H.
Adlard. The head is turned almost full-face towards the spectator, the
right-hand holding a roll of music-paper. The animated countenance has
an évident resemblance to the Verona portrait, but with more of a view



effect, being in fact what is called idealised. After his return from
Italy in 1772, a portrait of Wolfgang was painted which his sister
possessed; it is the one of which she wrote to Sonnleithner (July
2, 1819) that he looked yellow and sickly in it, having only lately
recovered from a severe illness. Before Mozart left Salzburg in 1777, a
portrait was painted which, according to his father (November 27, 1777),
was highly successful. Padre Martini, having begged for a likeness of
Wolfgang for his collection, the father had a copy of this one made and
sent it to him in the beginning of December, 1777, "in a black frame,
with a handsomely gilt edge." "I delayed complying with your request
until now," he writes to the Padre (December 22,1777), "for want of a
skilful artist. There is, in fact, none such residing in our town; and
I have always been in hopes that, as does sometimes happen, a clever
artist might visit Salzburg--I therefore postponed it from time to time.
At last, however, I was forced to commission a local artist to undertake
the portrait. As a painting it is of little worth, but, as regards the

I assure you that it resembles him exactly. I have written his name
and age behind the picture." In the library of the Liceo Filarmonico
at Bologna there is an oil picture from Padre Martini's collection, of
which Dr. Zangemeister sent me a photograph and a minute description. At
the top of the frame, in white letters, stands:--



On the back is written (probably by an Italian, not by L.
Mozart):--Joannes Crisostomus Wolfgangus Amadeus Mozart Salisburgensis
Teuto, auratæ Militiæ Eques

Bonnoniensis Veronensisque Accademicus Natus 27 Ianuarü 1756: Ætatis suæ

The portrait represents a man in a brown coat, with the gold cross on
a red ribbon round his neck; to the right is a stool, to the left a
clavier with black under notes and white over notes; on the desk is
a piece of music. But it is impossible to recognise Wolfgang in the
portrait; it is that of a man of middle age, stiff in demeanour, and
with no resemblance to Mozart. It might be meant for his father, who had
promised (August 21, 1778) to send Padre Mardini his own portrait; but
this is contradicted by the cross of the order. Probably some confusion
has taken place in the arrangement of the collection. Wolfgang took with
him on his journey a little medallion as a present to his cousin, among
whose remains it was pointed out to me. He is in a red coat, his hair
simply arranged, and the very youthful face with its



intelligent eyes has an open light-hearted expression. Before Mozart
went to Munich in 1780 the painter Della Croce at Salzburg began a large
family group, and Wolfgang's portrait was fortunately finished before
his departure. This large oil-painting, now in the Mozarteum at
Salzburg, represents the brother and sister seated at the harpsichord
playing a duet. Wolfgang is in a red coat with a white vest and
neckcloth, Marianne in a dark rose-coloured dress trimmed with lace, and
a red ribbon in her high coiffure; the father, in black, with a white
vest and neckcloth, is seated behind the harpsichord, his left hand
holding a violin, his right with the bow resting on the harpsichord.
On the wall hangs an oval portrait of the mother, with a blue
neckhandkerchief, and a blue ribbon in her hair. Wolfgang's sister
considered this portrait very like him; and it does in fact give one an
impression of individuality. The face is young for his age, but not
so gay and animated as in earlier pictures; it has rather a depressed
expression, corresponding very well to his mood at the time. After
his marriage he had himself painted with Constanze, and sent the two
miniatures to Salzburg. "I only hope," he writes (April 3, 1783), "that
you may be pleased with them; they seem to me to be both good, and all
who have seen them are of the same opinion." Mozart's brother-in-law,
the actor Lange, who was an enthusiastic artist, began a portrait of
him, seated at the piano, in a light brown coat and white neckcloth, and
strove to render the expression of the artist absorbed in his reveries.
The picture was only finished as far as the bust, and is now in the
Mozarteum at Salzburg; Carl Mozart considered it very like. Mozart's
short stay in Dresden in April, 1789, was utilised by Dora Stock,
Korner's talented sister-in-law, in taking his portrait in crayons
with much delicacy and animation; it was engraved in Berlin by E.
H. Schroder, and published by Ed. Mandel. The conception of Mozart's
appearance, which afterwards became typical, was formed from a small
medallion carved in boxwood in relief by Posch, and now preserved in the
Salzburg Mozarteum. This was engraved in octavo by J. G. Mans-feld, 1789
(Viennæ apud Art aria Societ.) with the inscription: "Dignum laude virum
Musa vetat mori." On the lower edge of the medallion, among instruments
and laurel branches, is a sheet of music with "An Chloe" written on
it. This engraving is the foundation of most of the later ones; it was
engraved afresh from the medallion by Thäter (Leipzig: Breitkopf und

The last portrait of Mozart is a bust, life size, painted by Tischbein
during his stay in Mayence in October, 1790. C. A. André discovered and
obtained possession of it at Mayence in 1849; it was among the remains
of the Electoral court violinist Stutzl. Two men who had themselves seen
Mozart--Professor Arentz, of Mayence, and the former court organist,
Schulz, of Mannheim, on being shown the picture, and asked whom
it represented, recognised their beloved Mozart without a moment's
hesitation. At the same time this likeness differs



considerably from the others current, and it can scarcely be doubted
that Tischbein has idealised the features, especially the nose; but the
expression of the eyes and mouth has a mixture of sensuousness, roguery,
and gentle melancholy, which testify to the artist's intellectual
apprehension; while Posch is probably more accurate in outline, but
more Philistine in conception. It has been engraved by Sichling in the
"Bildnissen berühmter Deutschen" (Leipzig: Breitkopf und Hàrtel), and
afterwards diminished for this book.

I consider as apocryphal a small medallion in the possession of Karajan,
representing a slender well-dressed youth, inscribed as "Mozart's
Portrait;" also a round miniature, belonging to Frz. Henser, of Cologne,
of a full-grown man in a grey coat, his hand in his vest, which seems
to me to have no resemblance to Mozart. It is signed "Jac. Dorn, pinx.,

APPENDIX IV. (To the English Edition.)






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[Footnote 1: Breitkopf and Hartel's edition of the "Ouvres" was prepared in
concert with the widow, and from the autograph originals furnished by
her; concerning which the entire correspondence lies before me.]

[Footnote 2: Wien. Mus. Ztg., 1842, p. 150.]

[Footnote 3: Reichardt, Briefe aus Wien., I., p. 244.]

[Footnote 4: A. M. Z.f XX., p. 512.]

[Footnote 5: A. M. Z., VII., pp. 427, 502.]

[Footnote 6: Cf. N. Ztschr. fur Mus., XXI., p. 169.]

[Footnote 7: A solemn funeral mass was celebrated at Prague, December 14, 1791
(Wien. Ztg., 1791, No. 103).]

[Footnote 8: Wessely in Berlin (Mus. Wochenbl., p. 191), and Cannabich in Munich,
composed funeral cantatas on Mozart's death (Niemetschek, p. 66).]

[Footnote 9: A. M. Z., II., p. 239.]

[Footnote 10: It does not appear that any complete statement of all the
ceremonies by which this jubilee was kept has been made.]

[Footnote 11: Journ. d. Lux. u. d. Mod., November, 1799. A. M. Z., II., pp. 239,

[Footnote 12: Bridi, Brevi Cenni, p. 63. A. M. Z., XXVI., p. 92.]

[Footnote 13: A. M. Z., XXXIX., p. 309.]

[Footnote 14: Cf. L. Mielichhofer, Das Mozart-Denkmal zu Salzburg und dessen
Enthüllungsfeier (Salzburg, 1843). The amount subscribed was nearly
25,000 fl.]

[Footnote 15: The monument is familiar in Amsler's fine engraving.]

[Footnote 16: Zellner, Blätt. f. Mus., Theat. u. Kunst, 1859. No. 97.]

[Footnote 17: Since 1843 the Mozarteum has issued annual reports of its doings.]

[Footnote 18: A. M. Z., XLII., p. 735. The Mozart Institution also issues regular

[Footnote 19: Niederrh. Mus. Ztg., 1855, p. 398; 1856, pp. 296, 303; 1857, p.232.]

[Footnote 20: Rochlitz, Raphael u. Mozart (A. M. Z., II., p. 641). Alberti,
Raphael u. Mozart: eine Parallele (Stettin, 1856).]

[Footnote 21: The different conceptions that are here possible is seen from
Carpani's having bracketed in a comparison of Painters and Musicians (Le
Haydine, p. 215) Pergolese and Raphael, Mozart and Giulio Romano. Beyle
compares Mozart with Domenichino (Vie de Haydn, p. 260).]

[Footnote 22: Fr. Horn, A. M. Z., IV., p. 421.]

[Footnote 23: Th. Kriebitzsch, Poeten u. Componisten (A. M. Z., L., p. 545; Für
Freunde d. Tonk., p. 52). He puts down the "Messiah" as Mozart's--no
doubt without reflection.]

[Footnote 24: [Arnold] W. A. Mozart u. J. Haydn. Versuch einer Parallele (Erfurt,
1810). G. L. P. Sievers, Characteristik d. deutschen. Mus., A. M. Z.,
IX., p. 698.]

[Footnote 25: Graham, Account of the First Edinburgh Musical Festival, p. 121
(A. M. Z., XVIII., p. 635. My readers will be familiar with Reichardt's
comparison of the three masters as quartet composers: Haydn, he says,
built a charming fanciful summer-house, Mozart transformed it into a
palace, and Beethoven crowned the edifice with a bold defiant tower
(Briefe aus Wien., I., p. 231). E. T. A. Hoffmann finds in Haydn's
instrumental works a childlike gaiety, while Mozart leads him into the
depths of the spirit-world, and Beethoven into the region of prodigies
and boundless space (Phantasiestucke, I., 4 Ges. Schr., VII., p. 55).]

[Footnote 26: O. Lindner, Zur Tonk., p. 173.]

[Footnote 27: Oehlenschläger, Erinnerungen, IV., p. 225.]

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