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Title: Life Of Mozart, Vol. 1 (of 3)
Author: Jahn, Otto, 1813-1869
Language: English
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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. 1 (of 3)" ***

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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. I.




Preface to the English Edition.


Introduction to the Second Edition Translator's Note.........


II.--Early Journeys.....

III.--Study in Salzburg......

IV.--The First Opera in Vienna

V.--The Italian Tour.....

VI.---Works in Germany.....

VII.--Opera Sbria........

VIII.--Mozart's Early Operas


X.--Opera Buffa........

XI.--Mozart's "Re Pastore"..

XII.--Sonos ...........

XIII.--Church Music........

XIV.--Instrumental Music.....

XV.--Early Manhood.....

XVI.--Munich and Augsburg




I HAVE been asked to say a few words by way of welcome to the
translation of Jahn's Life of Mozart, and I do so with pleasure. The
book has been long familiar to me, and I regard its appearance in an
English dress as an event in our musical history. It will be a great
boon to students and lovers of music, and it shows how much the study
of music has advanced among us when so large and serious a work is
sufficiently appreciated to repay the heavy expense attendant on its
translation and publication. The book itself is what the Germans call an
"epoch-making work." The old biographies of musicians, such as Forkel's
Life of Bach (1802) and Dies's of Haydn (1810), are pleasant gossipy
accounts of the outward life of the composers; but they concern
themselves mainly with the exterior both of the man and his productions,
and there is a sort of tacit understanding throughout that if the reader
is a professional musician he will know all about the music, if he is
an amateur it is altogether out of his reach. Characteristic traits and
anecdotes there are in plenty, but as to how the music was made or came
into being, what connection existed between it and the circumstances
or surroundings of the composer, what relation it had to that of his
predecessors or contemporaries, how far the art was advanced by the
labours of this particular composer or player--all that is outside the
province of the book. Schindler's Life of Beethoven (Münster, 1840--a
much smaller book than it afterwards became) was hardly more


than this, and in addition is so deformed by want of method and by
faults of style as to be very uninviting to the reader. A step in the
right direction was taken in Moscheles' English translation (or rather
adaptation) of Schindler (1841). Moscheles' residence in London had
shown him that there was even then a public outside the professional
musician to whom such works would be interesting, and he accordingly
took pains, by inserting musical examples and other means, to make
his edition attractive to this class. But the inherent defects of the
original work prevented more than a moderate success.

The first real attempt at a biography of a composer that should interest
all classes was the work of an Englishman. Edward Holmes was not only a
musician, but a cultivated man with a good literary style, and his Life
of Mozart, including his Correspondence (1845), was very nearly all that
such a book should be. It was derived from original sources, it was full
and yet condensed, it blended admirably the portrait of the man with
the portrait of the musician, it contained for that time a considerable
amount of musical illustrations, and lists of the works; and in addition
to this it was written in a style attractive to the amateur, and even to
the ordinary reader. It was largely read, and has long since been out
of print.* More than this, it extorted praise from a German writer, and
that a German should praise any English work on a musical subject is
indeed an event. The terms of warm commendation in which Jahn mentions
it in his introduction are in striking contrast to

     * A new edition, with notes by Ebenezer Prout, B.A., was
     published in 1878 by Novello, Ewer & Co.


those which he employs over some other German works. He calls it an
"interesting and readable biography," "a trustworthy and, as far as
was then possible, exhaustive account... the most trustworthy and
serviceable that could be produced by skilful use of the materials
generally accessible" (pp. ix., x.). In fact, it has been said with
truth that whole pages may be found in which the two works are so
closely alike that the one might be thought to be a translation of the
other, the probability being that both Holmes and Jahn were borrowing
from the same sources.

Jahn himself enjoyed even higher advantages for his task than Holmes
had done. He was not only a thorough practical musician, a careful and
sympathetic critic, and a learned musical bibliographer, but he was a
skilled _littérateur_; an adept in philology and archaeology and in
the history of art and literature; the author of many original works on
these subjects, and of innumerable editions of the classics, ancient
and modern; and imbued with the true spirit of patient investigation
and accurate research. His position, and the esteem in which he was held
throughout Germany, gave him command of all the materials necessary for
his work, even of the most private kind. How he entered on his task,
with what true modesty and determination he pursued it, from its first
suggestion, during the funeral of Mendelssohn in 1847, down to
its completion in 1855,* may be seen from his own interesting and
characteristic introduction (pp. i.-xxiv), as well as the pains which he
took to revise his work for the second edition,** twelve years later,

     * W. A. Mozart, von Otto Jahn (Leipzig, 1856-59). 4 vols.,

     ** Zwcite durchaos umgearbeitete Auflage (Leipzig, 1867). 2
     vols., royal 8vo.


and utilise the additional information acquired in the interval (pp.

The book which is the result of this combination of toil, intelligence,
ability, knowledge, and affectionate devotion, could only have been
successful by the addition to these qualities of a remarkable amount of
literary tact and skill. The plan of the work is one which few English
authors could by any possibility adopt. It is immense; at first sight
its plan is bewildering. The book is not a Life of Mozart so much as
an Encyclopaedia of musical art and biography. It opens with a minute
account of Mozart's father, and of his method and his works, amounting
to sixteen pages. Not only have we the narrative of the life of Mozart
himself from his cradle to his grave in the smallest particulars, with
a detailed examination of each work-in the case of the operas, both text
and music, amounting in single operas to forty, fifty, and even ninety
pages--but we have the history of the rise and progress of each branch
of music that Mozart touched--and he touched them all--up to the date
of his life. Witness the long notices of the Opera, the Oratorio, and
Church music, and the chapter on Instrumental music in Vol. I.; the
account of the French Opera, and of Lully, Rameau, Gluck, and Piccinni,
in Vol. II. We have also full accounts of the social and musical
condition of the various cities visited by Mozart, such as Paris,
Mannheim, Salzburg, Munich, and Vienna; and biographical notices, longer
or shorter, of every person with whom Mozart came into contact, or whom
his biographer has occasion to mention.

Such a work may well be called an Encyclopaedia; and to have steered
through this ocean of material as Jahn has


done, never losing the thread of the narrative, and maintaining the
interest in the hero throughout, implies no ordinary tact and skill; for
the book is remarkably readable, and there are few pages which are not
enlivened by some anecdote or lifelike touch. Nor is it less remarkable
for accuracy than for the other qualities already mentioned. The writer
has used it constantly for many years, and has never yet discovered
a mistake of any moment. Perhaps it would have been better if the
secondary treatises of which we have spoken had been relegated to
Appendixes; but this is directly opposed to the German method, and we
must accept the work as we have it. There are indeed already nineteen
Appendixes to the original work, as follows i. Family documents. 2.
Marianne Mozart. 3. Testimonials, eulogistic poems, articles, &c. 4.
Dedications. 5. Mozart's letters on his journeys. 6. Text of his church
music. 7. Arrangements and adaptations of ditto. 8. His cousins. 9.
Mozart as a comic poet. 10. Mozart and Vogler. 11. A letter of Leopold
Mozart's. 12. Mozart's letters on the death of his mother. 13. The
choruses for "King Thamos." 14. The text of "Idomeneo." 15. Alterations
in that opera. 16. Mozart's letters to his wife. 17. The Requiem. 18.
Mozart's residences in Vienna. 19. Portraits. Of these it has been
considered necessary to retain only Nos. 2, 7, and 19, which form
Appendixes 1, 2, and 3 of the present edition. Another has been added:
namely, a classified list of the whole of his works, according to the
complete edition now in course of publication, with the references to
the invaluable Catalogue of Köchel. With these exceptions the English
translation is exactly in accordance with the German original.


A word of special praise is due to Miss Townsend, the translator, who
has performed her laborious task with great accuracy and intelligence,
and has established an additional claim on the gratitude of the student
by her exhaustive Index, in which the original work is very deficient.

The new branch of musical literature, founded by Holmes and Jahn,
already shows some considerable monuments. Passing by the voluminous and
accurate thematic catalogues of Mozart by the Ritter von Köchel (1862),
of Weber by Jahns (1871), and of Beethoven and Schubert by Nottebohm
(1868 and 1874), works which properly belong to a separate department of
the subject--we already possess the Life of Handel by Chrysander (vol.
i., 1858; II., 1860; III., 1867), that of Beethoven by A. W. Thayer
(vol. i., 1866; II., 1872; III., 1879), that of Haydn by C. F. Pohl
(vol. i., 1875; II., 1882)--all three still in progress--and that of
Bach by Spitta (vol. i., 1873; II., 1880). But these laborious and
conscientious works, while they rival and even surpass Jahn in their
wide range and the manner in which they embalm every minute particular
relating to the subject, are far behind him in lucidity, and in the ease
with which he handles his vast materials. In these respects, as might
be expected from his literary position, Otto Jahn stands hitherto quite


February 23, 1882.


To Professor Gustav Hartenstein.

MY DEAR FRIEND,--I have little doubt that the afternoon of November 7,
1847, is as fresh in your memory as in my own. We had assembled in the
Johan-niskirche to accompany the remains of Mendelssohn on their last
sad journey, and by chance (for I had not been long in Leipzig, and my
acquaintance with you was slight) we walked side by side in the long
line of mourners. From grief at the early loss of a master, whose
cultivation, self-discipline, and endeavours after the good and the
beautiful had exercised a truly beneficial influence over the art of our
age, our grave talk turned to the more particular consideration of music
in itself, and to the great masters of the past! This led us to the
interchange of many ideas, and to a conviction of our unanimity of
principle and sentiment on most subjects. Thus, for instance, we
coincided in our experience that at a certain period of our mental
development Mozart's music had seemed cold and unintelligible to our
restless spirits, ever soaring into the unknown, and incapable of
appreciating a master whose passions in their workings are not laid bare
to view, but who offers us perfect beauty victorious over turbulence and
impurity. Turning to him again in later years, we are amazed alike at
the wondrous wealth of his art, and at our former insensibility to it.
For my own part, I confided to you how, after severe illness, which had
debarred me from music for many years, it was Mozart who first gave me
courage and interest to turn to it again. We agreed, also, that minds
which are able to receive and appreciate art for its own sake, must
yield themselves captive to Mozart, but without sacrificing their
freedom to recognise all that is grand and beautiful elsewhere.



This conversation was the beginning of a more constant intercourse,
leading to a friendship founded on such close agreement of principle
in all matters of importance as to render it indissoluble: I have
ever since, in joy or sorrow, been assured of your hearty sympathy and

I should be perfectly justified in offering you this book as a testimony
of my love and gratitude, even if its contents concerned you less. But
music has ever played so important a part in our intercourse, whether I
sat beside you at the piano, or stood behind your chair, or we wandered
into talk; so great a share in the book belongs to you, who have ever
urged me forward with the work, sometimes (I may acknowledge it now)
even unmercifully, that I can offer it in its completed form to none
with more pleasure and confidence than to yourself.

And now you must give me leave to lay before you much that is on my mind
concerning it. Let me imagine that I have come as of old to you and your
wife for comfort and encouragement, and prepare for a long talk.

You are aware, my dear friend, how this biography originated, and how
it has gradually increased to an extent which has alarmed even myself.
Occupied at first only with the biography of Beethoven, I soon saw that
it would be impossible to do full justice to his great and original
creations without a clear survey of the life and works of Mozart, the
pioneer of the musical future, as whose natural heir Beethoven attained
his pre-eminent position in the history of music. The exposition would
have been too comprehensive for an introduction, and I determined to
arrange the ill-digested and unreadable mass of biographical material
which Nissen had collected into a readable treatise on the life of
Mozart, to serve as a foundation for the observations which I meant to
deduce therefrom. With this end in view, I gradually amassed so large a
store of materials for the story of his life and the appreciation of his
works, that there rose before me the duty of erecting a new structure
upon a new foundation. But before I proceed to specify the sources
whence I have drawn my materials,



allow me to glance over all the biographies of Mozart hitherto
published, so far as they are known to me.

Soon after Mozart's death there appeared a biographical article upon him
in Schlichtegrolls Nekrolog for 1791. This is precise and trustworthy
so far as it relates to the period of his childhood, and rests on
the testimony of his sister; but the notices of his later years are
superficial; and the judgment passed upon him as a man rests upon a
preconceived and unfavourable opinion which then prevailed in Vienna
partly on professional grounds, and which took such deep root that even
at the present day I know not if I shall succeed in establishing the
truth. It was not surprising that Mozart's widow, in order to stop
the circulation of such injurious representations, should buy up an
impression of this article which appeared under the title of Mozart's
Life (Jos. Georg Hubeck: Gratz, 1794).

A biography which appeared the same year in Sonnleithner's Vienna
Theater-Almanach (p. 94) is only an abridgment of the article in the
Nekrolog; and a French translation was made by Beyle, under the _noms de
plume_ of Bombet and Stendhal, as "Lettres sur Haydn suivies d'une vie
de Mozart" (Paris, 1814). An English translation of the article appeared
in London, 1817, and a revised French version in Paris, 1817.

A "Life of the Imperial Kapellmeister Wolfgang Gottlieb Mozart, compiled
from original sources by Franz Niemet-schek" (Prague, 1798), is founded
partly on communications by the family, especially the widow, partly on
personal acquaintance with Mozart: I have made use of the second edition
of this work (1808). Unfortunately it does not enter into details so
much as might be wished, particularly in its later portions; but all
that this excellent, well-informed, and devoted friend records of Mozart
is trustworthy and accurate.

Something more was to be expected from Friedrich Rochlitz, who busied
himself for a considerable time in writing a biography of Mozart. He
had become acquainted with him during his stay in Leipzig in 1789, and
moving much in musical circles with Doles and Hiller, he was so charmed
with the genius and amiability of the master,



that he even then carefully noted whatever appeared remarkable in their

When he afterwards proposed to prepare a life of Mozart, both the widow
and the sister supplied him with anecdotes and traits of character, and
the widow further (as I gather from their letters) allowed him to make
use of Mozart's correspondence.

Some of the anecdotes and particulars supplied by the widow and sister
or resulting from his own observation were published in the "Allgemeine
Musikalische Zeitung" (A.M.Z., Vol. I., pp. 17,49,81,113,145,177,480;
Vol. II., pp. 450, 493, 590), and Rochlitz often alluded in later issues
to his acquaintance with Mozart; but there it remained, and I have
failed to discover why he abandoned his idea of a biography. When
Nissen's biography appeared he complained that he had not been called
into counsel by Mosel, and was of opinion that "the widow must have
changed very much in her old age, if she was not proved to have acted
shabbily in this affair" (Vienna, A.M.Z., 1848, p. 209). I set on foot
investigations as to whether Rochlitz had left behind any records or
communications which, springing from now exhausted sources, might be of
service to me in my work. This led to a discovery which, painful as it
is to me to cast a slur on the memory of an otherwise deserving man, I
must yet, in the interests of truth, reveal; I could not fail to observe
that those particulars of Mozart's life which Rochlitz gives as the
result of his own observation or as narrated to him by Mozart, are
peculiar to himself in form and colouring, and that many of the
circumstances which he relates with absolute certainty are manifestly
untrue. I sought to account for these facts as slips of memory or
the result of that kind of self-deception which confounds a logical
inference with a fact springing from it. But my search led to the
further discovery of a parallel (also printed in the A.M.Z.) between
Mozart and Raphael, giving a detailed account of the circumstances of
Mozart's marriage, and with express reference to Mozart's own narrative
of the affair which Rochlitz was supposed to have written down the same
night. Now for the period which is here treated of, that



is, between 1780 and 1783, Mozart's entire correspondence is preserved,
and any error upon essential points is, as you will readily grant,
impossible. All the statements of Rochlitz as to time, place, persons,
and events are completely false. You will remember my consternation
at this unwelcome discovery; no poetical license could account for it;
unpleasant as it is, I consider it my duty to expose the affair,
partly that it may teach caution, and partly that tedious and vexatious
discussion may be avoided, should the narrative in question ever be

These anecdotes from the A.M.Z., together with the information of
Schlichtegroll and Niemetschek have formed the chief material for the
more or less complete accounts of Mozart which afterwards appeared; what
was added consisted partly of anecdotes, generally badly authenticated
and often ill-turned, such as gain currency among artists, and partly of
phrases, or turns of speech which, as Zelter says, every one makes for
himself. I must not spare you the enumeration of some of the works of
this class.

Cramer's "Anecdotes sur Mozart" (Paris, 1801), is a mere translation of
the anecdotes; some of them, together with a general account, are also
given by J. B. A. Suard,

"Anecdotes sur Mozart," in his "Mélanges de Littérature", (Paris, 1804),
Vol. II., p. 337, as well as by Guattani, in the "Memorie Enciclopediche
Romane" (Rome, 1806) Vol. I., pp. 107, 134. A work of more pretension is
"Mozarts Geist. Seine kurze Biographie und äthetische Darstellung seiner
Werke. Ein Bildungsbuch für junge Tonkünstler" (Erfurt, 1803). Zelter
asked Goethe to tell him who was the author of this "short biography
half dedicated to Goethe," which was "neither short nor aesthetic, nor a
good likeness of the man," and was not a little surprised to learn that
Goethe knew nothing either of the work or its author ("Correspondence,"
Vol. I., pp. 56, 67,65). It was, however, by J. E. F. Arnold, of
Erfurt, whose subsequent publication, "Mozart und Haydn. Versuch einer
Parallele" (Erfurt, 1810), was scarcely calculated to draw a more
favourable expression of opinion from Zelter.

Of no greater intrinsic value are Hormayr's statements:



in the "Austrian Plutarch" (VII., 2, 15; Vienna, 1807), or Lichtenthal's
"Cenni biografici intorno al celebre Maestro Wolfgango Amadeo Mozart"
(Milan, 1816). I have not been able to procure the "Elogio' storico
di Mozart del Conte Schizzi" (Cremona, 1817). The articles in Gerber's
"Tonkünstlerlexicon" are carefully compiled, but not complete; and
"Mozarts Biographie," by J. A. Schlosser (Prague, 1828; third edition,
1844), is a compilation altogether wanting in judgment.

An unsuspected wealth of fresh resources was brought to light by the
"Biographie W. A. Mozarts," by G. N. v. Nissen. Leipzig, 1828 (with an
appendix). In order to estimate this book justly, and to make a right
use of it, it is necessary to ascertain how and whence it proceeded, a
task of considerably more difficulty than merely mocking and railing at

Nissen, who came to Vienna, after Mozart's death, as a Danish
diplomatist, became acquainted with his widow, and interested himself in
her unprotected condition. He had a great turn for business matters, and
was fond of arranging papers, writing letters, and even copying, without
understanding what it was that he was occupied about. He therefore
willingly undertook to put Mozart's effects in order, to assist
the widow in all her business arrangements, and to carry on her
correspondence. A long series of letters which he wrote in her name
show him to have been a well-meaning, sensible man, somewhat
over-circumstantial in his style of writing. After his marriage with
Mozart's widow he felt it his duty to labour with the same conscientious
care for his memory as he had formerly done for his property, and
he employed the leisure of his remaining years, which were spent at
Salzburg, in carrying out this design.

We ought to own ourselves deeply indebted to him, for without his care
the most important documents and traditions would have been hopelessly
lost. Mozart's sister was then living at Salzburg; her recollections,
and those of his wife, afforded an abundance of characteristic traits,
and the carefully preserved papers and family correspondence, were a
rich mine of authentic documents.



Besides a number of separate deeds, letters, and memoranda, he had at
his disposal: Leopold Mozart's letters to Hagenauer during the journey
to Vienna (September, 1762, to January, 1763); during the great
journey (from June, 1763, to November, 1766); during the Vienna journey
(September, 1767, to December, 1768); letters both of the father and son
to their family during the Italian journey (December, 1769, to March,
1771; from August 13, 1771, to December, 1771; from October, 1772, to
March, 1773); from Vienna (July, 1773, to September, 1773); from Munich
(December, 1774, to March, 1775); Wolfgang's and his mother's letters
home, together with the answers of Leopold and his daughter during
the journey to Paris (September, 1777, to January, 1779); Wolfgang's
correspondence with his father and sister during his journey to Munich
and residence in Vienna. Wolfgang's letters come down to 1784, his
father's to 1781.

Nissen possessed both the industry and the goodwill to turn these
treasures to account; unhappily these qualities do not suffice for such
an undertaking. Not to mention that he has no idea of adaptation or of
description, he had neither taste nor cultivation in music, nor tact to
distinguish what was trivial from what was important; nor was he capable
of accurately conveying an idea. Having had at my service a portion of
the documents made use of by him, I have been able to check him, and
to form an idea of his mode of proceeding. He is never dishonest, never
alters with intent to deceive; but he deals with his documents in the
most summary manner possible. He seldom gives them entire, but only so
much of them as he considers of interest. Unfortunately he is no judge
either of what is musically important nor psychologically interesting,
and thus his selection is often singularly unhappy. He was influenced,
too, by consideration for distinguished living personages, and by the
prejudices of his wife, who naturally wished many family circumstances
to remain untouched; his sins, however, are always those of omission.
But silence, by obscuring the connection of events, and by concealing
the motives of actions, may be as prejudicial as actual



misstatement to historical accuracy, and the sufferer by a too tender
consideration for the feelings of others is invariably the person whose
character it is attempted to depict. Fortunately, for the most important
years of Mozart's life from 1777 onwards, I have been able myself to
make use of the family correspondence; you will see what a different
conception I have thereby been enabled to form of this period. It is of
less importance, but nevertheless a drawback, that Nissen has thought
good to alter the details of style and expression in many of the
letters. Neither father nor son were in need of such emendations, both
writing clearly and shrewdly, and with an individuality all their own;
but even were this not the case, and Nissen the man (which he was not)
to correct their defects, such an effacement of individual character
would remain altogether inexcusable.

Had Nissen confined himself to the publication of the letters and
extracts, together with such information as he could gather from
Mozart's wife and sister, or from other credible witnesses, he would
have done posterity important service. But in attempting more than this
he verified the saying of Hesiod that "the whole is less than the
part." Many manuscripts, newspapers, journals, &c., treating of Mozart's
professional doings, had been preserved among the family archives;
not content with these, Nissen has taken incredible pains to collect
whatever else had been written concerning Mozart; he has then copied
out all that appeared to him important, and has arranged these extracts
categorically as seemed to him good, putting together, for instance, all
that related to one particular work; finally, he has huddled
together these heterogeneous fragments without design, connection, or
explanation. If this confused and ill-proportioned mass is to be made
use of at all, it must be separated into its component parts, and these
must be restored to their proper place and connection; it may fairly be
taken for granted that where any idea or judgment is expressed, Nissen
is not speaking in his own person. He has, however, simplified the task
of restoring each fragment to its proper position by a catalogue of the



writings in which Mozart is mentioned; and although some documents made
use of by him have since disappeared,

I have been able in almost every case to discover his authorities. In
most cases these are of little value; but among much that is worthless,
there are here and there communications resting on family traditions,
which Nissen has tacitly appropriated with but slight alterations; it
is undoubtedly desirable to be able to appeal to the original in such
cases, but for the most part they speak for themselves, and are seldom
of importance.

The statements I have made were necessary for the proper use of Nissen's
work; but you must not, therefore, imagine that I am unjust towards
him. True the mass of printed matter is enough to drive one to absolute
despair; but when it is remembered that a large proportion of the
documents he embodies have since dissappeared, we must be grateful to
the man who has enabled us to take so comprehensive a glance into
an artist's life, and who has laboured with unselfish reverence for
Mozart's memory, while a succeeding generation did not think it worth
while even to preserve the documents which Nissen made use of.

It must not be lost sight of either, that Nissen did not see his work
through the press; he died on March 24, 1826, before it was put in hand,
and it is quite possible that he would have improved it in many ways
upon final revision.

It is significant that although all were agreed that Nissen's book
was unreadable without alteration and adaptation, no writer in Germany
undertook the task, and that it was left to foreigners to turn the
treasure to account. Fétis undertook

it in his "Biographie Universelle des Musiciens," IV., p. 432 (Brussels,
1840), VI., p. 222 (2nd edit., Brussels, 1864), so far as it could be
done within the narrow limits of a general work of the kind.

But the obvious task of compiling an interesting and readable biography
by means of an orderly arrangement of the really interesting portions of
Nissen's materials was first undertaken by Edward Holmes, in his "Life
of Mozart, including his Correspondence" (London, 1845).

Holmes has arranged the essential portions of the



correspondence with intelligence and discrimination, and has connected them
by a narrative built upon previous notices; he has thus produced a
trustworthy and, as far as was possible, an exhaustive account of
Mozart's life. Holmes has, moreover, made use of André's published
Catalogue of Mozart's Works, and the indications there given of their
date of appearance. He undertook a journey through Germany to inspect
the original manuscripts in André's possession, and to collect stray
oral traditions. He took care to make himself acquainted with musical
literature, and the result is a work which must be considered as the
most trustworthy and serviceable biography that could be produced by a
skilful employment of the materials generally accessible. Holmes has not
attempted to draw from hitherto unknown sources; he neither carries
his researches to any depth, nor offers any original opinions or

The letters of both Mozarts, father and son, were edited by J. Goschler
in a spirit which is indicated clearly enough by the title of his book,
"Mozart; Vie d'un Artiste Chrétien au XVIII. siècle." Paris, 1857.

Alexander Ulibichefï proceeded from quite another point of view in his
work, "Nouvelle Biographie de Mozart, suivie d'un aperçu sur l'histoire
générale de la musique, et de l'analyse des principales ouvres de
Mozart" (Moscow, 1843), in three parts, which is generally known in
Germany in the translations of A. Schraishuon (Stuttgart, 1847), and of
L. Gantte (Stuttgart, 1859). The enthusiastic reverence of the author
for Mozart speaks from every page, and involved many years of study and
many real sacrifices; but this must not blind our judgment as to the
intrinsic value of his work. I do not fear your reproaching me in
the words of the old proverb about the kettle reproving the pot, if
I express myself freely as to what I consider the weak points of this
book. Ulibicheffs main object has been a critical and aesthetic analysis
of Mozart's later works, on which his fame mainly rests, and which
bear the most perfect impress of his genius. The author's
observations, therefore, are confined to a definite portion of Mozart's
compositions--the best known, because the greatest--and any idea of



them does not seem to have occurred to him. Anything further in his
works is meant to serve only as a foundation for those observations.
He does not fail to perceive that the greatness of perfected genius
can only be apprehended by a knowledge of the gradual stages of its
achievement, and that, since Mozart takes his place in the history of
music by something more than mere chance, the whole process of musical
development is necessarily incorporated in his progress.

Ulibicheff is content to extract all that seems to point to his
conclusions from Nissen's account of Mozart's development. He makes up
for his reticence in this direction by expatiating freely on the general
history of the art. In fact, his review of the whole history of music
results only in the observation that since any exceptional phenomenon is
the sum and crown of all that has gone before, therefore the development
of modern music in every direction, from Guido of Arezzo, onwards, has
its _raison d'etre_ in the production of Mozart, who is to be considered
as its perfect expression.

No one knows better than yourself, my friend, the false conclusions to
which this exaggeration of an idea, true and suggestive in itself, has
led. The partiality of enthusiasm and dilettantism join issue here. It
needs no great penetration to discover that Ulibicheffs epitome of
the history of music is not the result of impartial research, or of a
practical knowledge of even the more important works of past ages, but
that it is compiled from a few easily recognised works with the express
object of demonstrating that all that has gone before has its end and
consummation in Mozart. An author who can seriously maintain that the
great masters of counterpoint, Palestrina, Bach, and Handel were only
called into being in order that the Requiem might be produced, an author
who can only grasp and develop the idea of natural progress up to a
certain point and no further--that author has surely mastered neither
the idea of progress, nor the nature of the art, nor the work of
the master whom he seeks to honour. Such a partial and exclusive
appreciation of any artist may satisfy individual taste, for which it is
proverbially impossible to account; but scientific investigation,



which can always be accounted for, seeing that it proceeds from a
rational basis, rejects it at once and altogether. You will, I know,
agree with me that the critic who, like Ulibicheff, depreciates
Beethoven in order to maintain Mozart on his pedestal, does not
understand Mozart. The distortion and exaggeration of such an idea
leads further to the neglect of those clues to a right understanding of
Mozart's development which exist in the circumstances of his life, in
his youthful works, and in the conditions of his age and surroundings.
These had all direct effect upon his genius, and, in so far as they are
disregarded, our conception of the man and the artist will be defective.

I am, of course, far from denying that Uübicheff has brought to the
performance of his task considerable power of delicate aesthetic
analysis, together with much spirit and ingenuity. But his analysis of
particular works does not start from artistic form, the specific basis
of all works of art; he never seeks to demonstrate how the universal
laws of art, under certain conditions, govern all concrete forms
according to the individuality of the artist (a difficult task in music,
but still essential to its true understanding); instead of this he
contents himself with giving us his own reflections on the various
compositions he analyses, and the feelings and ideas which they suggest
to himself. Such reflections are pleasant and entertaining when they
proceed from a clever and cultivated mind; but they are usually more
characteristic of the author than of his subject, and are mainly
satisfactory to those who fail to grasp the substance of a work of art,
and are fain to content themselves with its shadow.

Uübicheff invariably displays both intellect and cultivation, but it is
the cultivation of a man of the world, not that of a musician, which has
no bias of enthusiasm or dilettantism; his remarks seldom reach the
root of the matter, and are often deceptive in their brilliancy, thus
accomplishing little for a better appreciation of his subject.

Do not be alarmed, my dear friend, at the invidious position in which I
place myself and my work by my want of reserve as to others. My cause
is that of knowledge, and I must have a clear understanding as to my



and the means at my disposal, for accomplishing the task before me;
least of all would I appear to deprecate censure on my own work by
sparing it to that of others. You are aware that music has, from my
youth up, occupied a large share of my time and thoughts, so much so,
that my elders were in the habit of shaking their heads and auguring
ill for my philological studies. They may have been right; I must at any
rate acknowledge that music has ever been to me quite as serious a study
as philology, and that I have striven to acquire such a thorough and
scientific knowledge as should give me an insight into its nature and

I considered it therefore as a duty to myself to turn to account the
labour that had occupied a good share of my life, and I embraced with
eagerness the opportunity of dedicating my researches to the great
masters, to whom I owed so much. I believed myself justified in
considering that a representation of the life and works of a great
master offers so many sides, and makes so many demands, that only united
forces can prove themselves fully equal to the task. If, therefore, I
was obliged, perforce, to leave much that was essential to the musician
by profession, my greater practice in scientific method might advance
the undertaking in other and not less important directions. Consoled by
these reflections, I set to work.

The task I proposed to myself was a thorough investigation of the
sources available for a trustworthy and exhaustive account of Mozart's
life, with special reference to all that was calculated to affect his
moral and musical development in the general conditions of his time, and
in the local and personal circumstances which influenced him; and,
in addition, a history of his development as an artist, and a
characterisation of his artistic performances as comprehensive as a
thorough study and appreciation of his compositions could make it. No
side of this task could be treated altogether independently, both the
researches and the remarks resulting from them, touching now one, now
the other; in the biography as in the individual, the artist and the man
are indissolubly united

I soon became painfully aware of the insufficiency of my



materials, and the scattered additions to Nissen's collection which
came in from time to time were but scanty gleanings; it was essential to
reach the original sources. My journey to Vienna in 1852 was undertaken,
as you know, chiefly with the object of collecting such traditions of
Beethoven as might remain there; I did not hope to find much which might
lead to a closer knowledge of Mozart.

Living testimony as to his life, person, or circumstances was almost
extinct, little of what I learnt was from impressions at first hand, and
it was generally necessary to guard against such communications as the
result of book knowledge distorted by verbal transmission.

Nevertheless, my visit was an instructive one even as concerned Mozart.
Widely different as was the Vienna of 1852 from the Vienna of 1780 to
1790, yet much was gained by actual observation and impressions, which
could not be given by books, and which operates more in the colour and
tone of the whole representation that in any precise details.

Intercourse, also, with accomplished friends led to much which would
otherwise have remained untouched.

My valued friend Karajan in particular, with his musical knowledge and
his intimate acquaintance with Vienna, rendered my stay in that city
as instructive as it was agreeable. He had a good opportunity of
experiencing how much trouble one is capable of giving to a friend who
is always ready with explanations, and willing to enter on the driest
search into matters of detail, if he can thereby help forward another.
At the Imperial Library I found not only the different manuscripts of
the Requiem which serve as the surest testimony on the much debated
question of its authorship, but many other important manuscripts and
rich material of all kinds, my access to which I owe to the unfailing
courtesy of the custodian, A. Schmid.

But the most important aid came from Aloys Fuchs. With extraordinary
perseverance he had collected every writing that in any way related to
Mozart, and with a disinterested liberality, rare among collectors, he
placed at my service all that he possessed and all that he knew.



His chronological catalogue of all Mozart's works, published and
unpublished, was of the greatest service to me, as well as the long list
of documents, newspapers, journals, and pamphlets, which he had either
in the original or copies.

I sometimes regretted, however, that the collection was made more in
the spirit of a collector than in the interests of science; so that, for
example, he has scarcely ever noted the source of his extracts; but much
was brought to my notice which would scarcely otherwise have occurred to
me, much trouble was spared, and a number of Mozart's letters were
made known to me for the first time. I was unfortunately prevented
from thoroughly examining Fuchs's valuable collection of Mozart's
compositions in their different editions and copies; my time was short,
and I hoped to be able to avail myself of a future opportunity for doing
so. This hope was frustrated by the death of Aloys Fuchs a few months
after I left Vienna. It has been a painful feeling to me not to be able
to express my gratitude for so much friendly service by offering to him
the book in which I know he would have taken pleasure.

The greatest service which he rendered me, however, was the intelligence
that all that were preserved of Mozart's letters had been presented to
the Mozarteum in Salzburg by the Frau Baroni-Cavalcabo, to whom they
were bequeathed by Mozart's son Wolfgang. In November of the same year I
repaired, therefore, to Salzburg. I here found the only remains of
that complete correspondence which Nissen had edited, viz., the letters
between 1777 and 1784, just as he had made use of them; fortunately they
embraced the most important period of the biography. A cursory glance
convinced me that Nissen had been not only inexact and arbitrary in his
selections in matters of detail, but that he had altogether suppressed
the most important events affecting the proper understanding of the
period. Here, then was much to be done; but it was richly worth the
trouble. Through the kind assistance of the secretary of the Mozarteum,
Dr. v. Hilleprandt, and of the custodian, Jelinek, I was enabled to
give my whole attention to the work. I collated the letters printed by
Nissen, like an



old schoolman, copying them entire or making voluminous extracts. One
may boast of one's industry, and I can offer an unimpeachable witness of
mine in old Theresa at the Golden Ox, who afterwards forgot my name, but
remembered me as the professor who sat in his room for more than three
weeks writing from morning to night. Fortunately, it was bad weather, or
it would have been too hard a trial, even for a professor, to sit in his
room all day at Salzburg. But the usually hateful task of transcription
was on this occasion a real enjoyment. I could fancy myself in
intercourse with the man himself as I lived his life again letter by

I could realise the emotions of joy or sorrow which had prompted his
words, the impressions which they had made on the recipients, and even
the variations in the handwriting grew to have their own significance.
It is my most earnest wish that some breath of this feeling may have
passed into my own performance, but it would scarcely be possible
to' reproduce the inspiration which contact with the letters awoke in

On the completion of this task, I made researches for any of Mozart's
compositions which might still remain in Salzburg; I failed, however,
to discover any. Although Mozart's sister, his widow, and her sister had
lived in Salzburg within the last ten years, it had occurred to no one
to make inquiries concerning their great countryman, or to preserve to
posterity the rich treasures of family tradition which encircled
his whole life; I found, when I inquired, that all was as completely
forgotten, as irrecoverably lost as his grave. Nor had anything further
been preserved in the way of family papers and documents. (After
the death of Mozart's eldest son Carl, all that he possessed of
letters--written during the journeys of 1762 to 1775--and other
documents, were placed in the Mozarteum.)

Treasure such as that correspondence I could scarcely expect to excavate
elsewhere; but through the kindness of friends and well-wishers
many letters have been placed at my disposal which have added to the
interest, more particularly of Mozart's later years. I have no doubt
that many



documents are still hidden in autograph collections and elsewhere;
perchance my book may open the eyes of the possessors to the true value
of their treasures, and I shall consider it as a rich reward of my
labours if they aid in bringing to light any such relics of Mozart.

Assistance of another kind, not less important than the foregoing,
came from André's collection. It is well known; that the Hofrath André
purchased from Mozart's widow the entire collection of Mozart's original
manuscripts, of printed and unprinted works, and this collection,
with the exception of a few pieces disposed of at an earlier date, was
preserved in Frankfort entire, in the possession of André's heirs, as
denoted by a "Thematic Catalogue of the original manuscripts by Mozart
in the possession of Hofrath André" (Offenbach, 1841). Leopold Mozart
carefully preserved all Wolfgang's youthful works, and at his death they
came into the son's possession: although not by any means so careless
about his compositions as he has been represented, he, nevertheless,
lost or gave away a considerable number. After his death, however, it
was found that his works previous to %his residence in Vienna had been
preserved almost entire, and by far the greater number of those of later
years. André's collection contains further the enumeration, in Mozart's
own handwriting, of his works from his earliest years in almost unbroken
succession to his death. The more important and greater number of his
compositions previous to 1780 are still unprinted, and many of the
printed ones are so carelessly edited that a comparison with the
original is indispensable. The importance of André's collection is
manifest, and it is probable that none of equal value, historical
and artistic, exists for any other great master, whatever be his art.
(Unhappily, the apprehension that Germany could conceive no worthier or
more lasting way of honouring Mozart than by the erection of statues and
busts has been fulfilled, and Mozart's manuscripts have already been in
great measure dispersed.)

Convinced that a review of Mozart's musical development would be
impossible without an exhaustive knowledge of his youthful works, I
repaired to Frankfort in the summer



of 1853, in order to examine this remarkable collection. The brothers
Carl and Julius André granted me ready access to it, and kindly prepared
me an apartment in their house, where I had full liberty to study the
MSS. and make what notes and extracts I pleased; a task which occupied
five weeks. As it proceeded, I could not but feel that the most accurate
notices could not give the fresh impression of the actual work. Here
again, the brothers André came to my aid, displaying throughout a warmth
of interest in my work, and a liberality which I could not have ventured
to expect; they provided me, as my work progressed, with each particular
manuscript on which I was engaged, so that my remarks could be grounded
on the actual examination of every composition. Without the confidence
and aid of these gentlemen, my book could not have succeeded in
attaining that wherein I place its essential value. It is owing to
their courtesy and kindness that I may boast, not only of a perfect
acquaintance with all Mozart's works, with few and unimportant
exceptions, but also of having enjoyed the singular happiness and
advantage of studying the greater number of them in his own handwriting.

You will perceive, my dear friend, that all this led, of necessity, to
fresh disclosures, to a fuller and more accurate insight into that which
had hitherto been only partially known; and you will further take for
granted that I, as a "philolog," would not neglect such researches into
the literature of my subject as should bring together the scattered
materials available for my task. But you must keep in mind that
musical literature is not so accessible as philological; and that many
expedients, which lighten our labours in the latter path, are wholly
wanting in the former. I am, therefore, far from flattering myself that
I have even approached a complete study of the literature of my subject.
I only aimed at such a study so far as it concerned main principles; for
to become acquainted with, or even to quote, everything that has been
thought, dreamt, or raved concerning Mozart's music was as far from my
intention as from my desire. I was more than satisfied with what came in
my way of this kind in the course of my reading, and my



readers will be more than satisfied with what I offer them of it by way
of example.

My first aim, then, was the verification and authentication of facts,
and their unbiassed statement, so far as this was of interest. The
written or authentic verbal traditions of Mozart and his family were
here my chief dependence, and, except where some special authority is
adduced, Nissen's correspondence forms the basis of my narrative. But
since it was my wish to bring together all that appeared of lasting
interest, and to dispense with Nissen's collection, for all readers who
do not desire to search and prove for themselves, I have, therefore,
quoted verbally from the letters wherever it was feasible, and have
not hesitated to displace them where it answered my purpose in the
narrative. I have in every case indicated the letters by their date,
without mentioning whether they have been printed by Nissen or not.
(They may be readily referred to in the careful collection of L. Nohl,
"Mozarts Briefe": Salzburg, 1865.)

I must remark, by the way, that my version cannot be verified by Nissen,
since his is neither accurate nor entire; and in order to avoid any
misunderstanding, I may also mention, that besides the collections
referred to above, many single letters of Leopold and Wolfgang Mozart
have come to hand, to which I was able to make more exact reference. As
a matter of course, I have made use of originals whenever they were to
be had, and of Nissen's version only when they were wanting. From you,
my dear friend, I need only request confidence in my scrupulous honesty
as to these matters, and I have hope that my book may inspire the reader
with a belief in the accuracy of my rendering. It need scarcely be
said that I have not made the slightest alteration in the style and
expressions of the letters. I have only taken a few liberties with
the orthography in order not to distract the reader's attention
unnecessarily from the characterisation. I have accurately indicated any
reference to authorities other than the letters.

It has been my aim to represent, not only what immediately concerns
Mozart, but also the time in which he lived, his circumstances, and the
persons with whom he came in



contact, so far as all these affected the development of his genius. And
here again I found the need of trustworthy information. Well informed
as we may be on the history of literature and culture during the latter
half of the eighteenth century, yet our information as to musical events
and persons is meagre and obscure, and we know least of those regions
which are of the greatest interest in the history of music. I doubt not
that an historian, occupied with the study of this age, would discover
much that has escaped me of interest, although I have heard even such
complain of the poverty of material.

I have striven with a certain amount of zeal to bring together all that
appeared to render my narrative more graphic and lifelike, and have not
refrained from adducing my authorities, partly for the sake of accuracy,
partly to point the way to those who find the subject of interest. I
have gone even further than this, and have added to the names of many
persons, principally musicians, of whom mention had to be made, a short
notice of their life and sometimes an epitome of their performances. It
is probable that the minority of my readers will already have such facts
in their minds, and they are essential to a clear perception of the
whole work: I have been anxious to spare them the trouble of continual
reference to a biographical dictionary.

I have confined myself to the accessible and, of its kind, excellent
Dictionary of Musicians by Gerber and Fétis, but my own investigations,
leading me into the detailed history of this time, have not seldom
supplied additional data for such notices; I remark this not to
depreciate the merit of those works, but that it may not be supposed
that my statements can always be verified by a reference to accessible

You may perhaps smile at the zeal of the "philolog" betraying itself in
such minute particulars. Be it so. I hold to my craft, and occasionally
you will not find it amiss that I do so.

I may remark besides, not to you, but to those who hold in horror notes,
digressions, quotations, and references as the merciless weapons of
pedantry, that they need not for this



reason at once reject my book. I have striven so to write that the text
is complete in itself and requires no notes for its comprehension; and
those who do not desire the information they contain, may contentedly
pass them over. On the other hand, I hope that you will uphold my
opinion that the application of the scientific method even to these
researches, cannot but be to their advantage. This is perhaps most
strikingly evident in the chronological notification of each separate

We are well supplied with chronological information as to Mozart's
compositions. From 1784 onwards we possess his own carefully compiled
thematic catalogue which André has edited (Offenbach, 1805 and 1828).

On earlier compositions the data is generally correctly given with the
autograph signature, and the list of authentically dated works comprises
by far their greater number. But not quite all; the autograph is wanting
to many, and they are not all dated. It thus becomes necessary to
resort to classification resting on the external evidence of paper and
handwriting, and the internal evidence of style and technical treatment,
as well as on the testimony of witnesses.

Hofrath André compiled for his own use a chronological catalogue coming
down to the year 1784, of which I have made use. It contains many
suggestive remarks, and did me good service, although, of course, it
could not spare me my own investigations, by means of which I have, in
most cases, come to a solution of my difficulties. The catalogue which I
have compiled with considerable pains will, I hope, recommend itself by
its brevity, clearness, and trustworthiness. I was obliged to give up
the idea of noting what had been already printed, where, and how often;
to do this with completeness and exactitude would require an amount of
time and study which it was out of my power to bestow.

The treatment of historical facts, both in detail and as a whole, has
its own secure and beaten path. Its final object is truth, and my sole
concern has been to discover and set forth the truth. No consideration
for others has led me to conceal what was essential or important for the
due understanding of Mozart as a man and an artist; neither have I



been tempted to silence on points which were to his disadvantage.
Public opinion on his achievements as a fully developed artist is firmly
established, and is perhaps only susceptible of modifications of detail
and degree; but my work is the first attempt that has been made towards
a correct judgment of Mozart as a student and as a man. It has been a
pleasure to me to find that as I proceeded, my admiration, esteem, and
love for Mozart were constantly on the increase; but not on any account
would I have my representation of his character considered in the light
of an apology. It is my firm conviction that injustice is done to great
men by concealing or slurring over their failings; we serve them best by
seeking to make them understood just as they were.

An attempt to lay Mozart's individuality before the reader seemed hardly
complete without some presentation of his outward appearance. You will
find, therefore, in this book, the charming picture of Mozart as a boy,
engraved from the portrait in oils, painted in Verona in 1770; also
the characteristic portrait from the family group in the Mo-zarteum at
Salzburg, which was painted in 1780, and an engraving of Tischbein's
portrait, painted at Mayence in 1790. I have thought it right, further,
in a work which is intended to transmit traditions, to preserve the
well-known profile of Posch's medallion, which served as a model for
all early portraits, more and more unlike in every copy, and yet always
like. Various fac-similes of Mozart's handwriting are also given, and
I do not fear that you will find out of place a portrait of his father,
also taken from the Salzburg family picture.

May I add one word on the musical criticism contained in my work? I am
quite aware that it must stand on its own merits, and I am only anxious
to express my full consciousness of the difficulty of my undertaking.
That the substance of a musical work cannot be verbally represented,
and that its effect on the hearer is incapable of being reproduced
by description, least of all by a climax of high-sounding adjectives,
admits of no dispute. Properly speaking, as Schumann once wished for the
musical critic, when a



composition is discussed, there should be singers and instrumentalists
ready at hand to perform it. But this being scarcely feasible, we are
driven to a verbal attempt at reproducing the essence of the work. Such
an attempt can only succeed by starting from artistic form, and
showing how its laws and types, its technical conditions, its manifold
application and development, are all represented in the most individual
modifications. A general idea of the work, however, is all that can be
arrived at by this means; the immediate impressions made upon the mind
by its performance cannot be reproduced; neither can the attempt to
express in words the artistic frame of mind which finds its expression
in the forms of the work be altogether successful, and it is impossible
to apprehend the degree in which the artistic mood imbues the artistic
form otherwise than by observation of the work itself.

Descriptions of musical works, therefore, since music cannot, like
painting, borrow analogies from visible nature, must remain mere
approximations of the original; they become more definite in proportion
as they fall in with the reader's own experiences, and find in these
analogies and, as it were, precedents for the new ideas it is sought
to convey. The main difficulty consists in the fact' that among a large
circle of readers (which I know you wish for me) the degrees of musical
cultivation to which appeal may be made are necessarily very varied. It
would be impossible, on this account, to treat the subject in the purely
technical manner which would be the shortest and most convenient were
musicians only addressed; neither can every separate point be treated
from its very beginning, without a presupposition of some knowledge and
comprehension on the part of the reader. There only remains then, as it
seems to me, such a consideration of musical form from varied points of
view, and proceeding in varied directions, yet always with reference
to some particular case, as shall bring into play the reader's special
musical experiences and assist him to a true understanding of the
subject. If he should be struck with only one particular point and
should feel it become a reality for



him, he will henceforward have a clue to the mastery of the rest. To
this end I hope that my historical survey of the development of musical
forms, and my general observations concerning the laws of the art, may
tend. And here I must remark that I have had no intention of providing
the technical musician with a theoretical analysis of separate works,
but that my characterisation has been limited by the position of its
object in the whole representation. I leave you to judge, my dear
friend, how far, under these difficult circumstances, I have succeeded
in expressing myself clearly and forcibly; I can only affirm with
confidence that all that I have said has been realised and experienced
by myself.

The sympathy and assistance of my honoured friend Hauptmann has been a
source of great gratification to me during the publication of my book.
I do not desire to impose upon him any share of responsibility in it,
by thanking him for the care with which he has overlooked the author
as well as the compositor; but you will understand how I have been
encouraged and refreshed during my labours by continual proofs of
his friendly sympathy, and how sorely I miss my pleasant personal
intercourse with him.

The hour is late, my dear friend, later than it was our wont to separate
after our musical revels, which, in the opinion of your amiable wife,
often lasted far too long.

Farewell, and accept my book with the same cordial sympathy and
indulgence which I have hitherto found so invaluable.


Bonn, November 30, 1855.


MY DEAR FRIEND,--I can scarcely describe to you the depression of
spirits with which I laid aside my pen at the close of my foregoing
letter to you. When I looked at the thick volume before me, which had
grown so wonderfully under my hands, and reflected that several others
were to follow, I felt a misgiving amounting to certainty that my work
was ill-planned, badly executed, or altogether out of place. I should
not have believed any one who had prophesied the result that was
actually to follow. The gradual conviction that I had been mistaken,
that the book was a success beyond anything I had dared to expect, the
many proofs I received of acknowledgment and sympathy, were my best
encouragement to apply my whole energies to the completion of my arduous

When it became necessary to prepare a second edition, I rejoiced at
the prospect of revising the whole work in the light of my acquired
experience, and hoped that this labour of love would recompense me
for all my pains. In this expectation I was, however, deceived; the
revision, which I now lay before you, assumed the proportions of a heavy
task, requiring the exertions of all my powers for its accomplishment.

The gloom of the last few years cast its shadows even over my work, as
you, who seek and recognise the living author behind his words, will
not fail to discover; I trust that you will also find traces of the
conscientiousness with which I have striven to perform my appointed

You will agree with me in thinking that it would have been unadvisable
to subvert the whole design of the book in substance and form, and that
I must content myself with such improvements in matters of detail as
would bring me



somewhat nearer to the end I had in view. It was, of course, my first
endeavour to rectify such errors and remove such blemishes as had been
observed either by myself or others, and I then proceeded to turn to
account all the materials that had come to hand for the completion or
enrichment of my narrative. I had become the fortunate possessor of
copies of Mozart's complete correspondence, so far as I know it to
exist. If, as I trust was the case, the extracts already before the
public had been found useful and trustworthy, there could be no doubt
that the completed version would render my narrative more accurate and
lifelike. In addition, I had now Mozart's entire compositions, either
autograph or copied, so that I could confirm my account and my criticism
of each work by direct reference.

Besides these efficient materials for the confirmation of my main
authorities, I had received numerous separate communications, partly
from friends to whom I owe much gratitude, partly from publications of
the last ten years bearing upon my subject, some of which have been of
great service to me.

The most important aid, both to myself and to the readers of this
edition, has been afforded by Ludwig v. Köchel's "Chronologischthematisches
Verzeichniss sammtlicher Tonwerke W. A. Mozarts" (Leipzig,
1862). The necessity for such a catalogue had so strongly impressed me
that I had resolved on compiling it myself, when I fortunately learned
that Köchel was at work upon it. I was speedily convinced that it was in
far better hands than mine, and it gave me genuine pleasure to afford
it such assistance as was in my power. Unexampled assiduity, sparing
neither sacrifice nor exertion, has produced a work which, from the
completeness of its research and the accuracy of its execution, may
serve as a model. A few addenda and corrections were indeed unavoidable:
Kochel has himself indicated some (Allg. Mus. Ztg., 1864, p. 493),
and you will find two or three trifling ones in my book. The fact that
Köchel's catalogue contains a complete chronological and biographical
account of all Mozart's compositions freed my book from all the notices
and references found necessary



in corroboration of my statements. A reference to the number in Köchel's
catalogue became, in most cases, sufficient; and I was able also to omit
notices of errors in the published works which Köchel had remarked upon.
These, as far as the great operas are concerned, will soon be rendered
still more superfluous by the projected new edition of the scores from
the autograph originals. Köche's friendship, which I regard as the
greatest gain of our common labours, has aided and supported me
throughout the preparation of this edition. I will not attempt to
enumerate all that he has communicated, verified, and brought into
agreement for me: he knows the amount of his aid and of my gratitude.
Sonnleithner, Karajan, Pohl, Jul. André, have been equally obliging in
satisfying my demands and inquiries. Special thanks are due to them
if my book attains that accuracy of detail, wherein I place its chief
value. I may claim to have made tolerably exhaustive use of all that has
been published concerning Mozart during the last ten years, but you will
scarcely expect me to enumerate all my corrections and improvements.
It has been my aim to retain all that had been proved good in my work,
while making such additions as served to place my subject more clearly
and fully before my readers.

If a perusal of my second edition should leave you with the impression
that the task of revision and correction has been an easy one, I shall,
whatever my convictions to the contrary, congratulate myself on having
approached the object which I have kept steadily in view.

Accept my book, then, in its new dress, with the old spirit of
friendship, and gladden the heart of its author once more by the
sympathy he has never yet found wanting.


Bonn, March 6, 1867.


CONSIDERABLE doubt has existed in the mind of the translator as to the
proper English equivalent for the word "clavier" throughout this work.
Clavier is a generic term in German, and is used to denote any keyed
instrument, whether harpsichord, clavichord, or pianoforte. Mozart's
compositions for the clavier are equally available for all these
instruments, and in his early years he performed indifferently on the
harpsichord or clavichord. His first introduction to the pianoforte was
at Augsburg, in 1777, and he did not become familiar with the instrument
until after his settlement in Vienna in 1781. It has been thought best,
therefore, to leave the word _clavier_ untranslated up to this date,
after which it is translated _pianoforte_, whether it is applied to
Mozart's performances or to his compositions.

It has not been thought advisable to give in the English edition of the
work all the Appendixes which appear in the German. Many of them are of
interest only in the original, others have already been translated
among Mozart's correspondence. Those which seemed likely to interest
the English reader have been translated. The musical Appendixes have all
been omitted as bulky and unnecessary.

The only part of Herr Jahn's work against which the charge of
incompleteness can fairly be brought is the Index; an entirely new one
has therefore been made for the English edition, and will, it is hoped,
be found minute and accurate.



WOLFGANG AMADE MOZART came of a family belonging originally to the
artisan class. We find his ancestors settled in Augsburg early in the
seventeenth century, and following their calling there without any great
success.[1001] His grandfather, Johann Georg Mozart, a bookbinder, married,
October 7, 1708, Anna Maria Peterin, the widow of another bookbinder,
Augustin Banneger.2 From this union sprang two daughters and three sons,
viz.: Fr. Joseph Ignaz, Franz Alois (who carried on his father's trade
in his native town), and Johann Georg Leopold Mozart, bom on November
14, 1719, the father of the Mozart of our biography.8 Gifted with a
keen intellect and firm will he early formed the resolution of raising
himself to a higher position in the world than that hitherto occupied by
his family; and in his later years he could point with just elation to
his own arduous efforts, and the success which had crowned them, when he
was urging his son to the same steady perseverance.

When Wolfgang visited Augsburg in 1777, he gathered many particulars of
his father's youth which refreshed the recollections of Leopold himself.
We find him writing to his son (October 10, 1777) how, as a boy, he had
sung a cantata at the monastery of St. Ulrich, for the wedding of the
Hofrath Oefele, and how he had often climbed the broken steps to the
organ loft, to sing treble at the Feast



of the Holy Cross (November 29, 1777). He afterwards became an excellent
organist: a certain Herr von Freisinger, of Munich, told Wolfgang
(October 10, 1777) that he knew his father well, he had studied with
him, and "had the liveliest recollections of Wessobrunn where my father
(this was news to me) played the organ remarkably well. He said: 'It
was wonderful, to see his hands and feet going together, but exceedingly
fine--yes, he was an extraordinary man. My father thought very highly
of him. And how he used to jeer at the priests, when they wanted him to
turn monk.'" This last must have been of peculiar interest to Wolfgang,
who knew his father only as a devout and strict observer of the Catholic
religion. But Leopold remembered the days of his youth, and wrote to
his wife (December 15, 1777): "Let me ask, if Wolfgang has not of late
neglected to go to confession? God should ever be first in our thoughts!
to Him alone must we look for earthly happiness, and we should ever keep
eternity in view; young people, I know, are averse to hearing of these
things; I was young myself once; but God be thanked, I always came to
myself after my youthful follies, fled from all dangers to my soul, and
kept steadily in view God, and my honour, and the dangerous consequences
of indulgence in sin."

Long-continued exertions and self-denial laid the foundation of Leopold
Mozart's character in a conscientious earnestness and devotion to duty
in great things as in small; they had the effect also of rendering his
judgment of others somewhat hard and uncompromising. This is observable
in his relations as an official, and as a teacher, and in his dealings
on matters of religion. He was a strict Catholic, and feared nothing
so much for his children as the influence which a prolonged stay in
Protestant countries might exert on their faith; he remarked with
surprise that his travelling companions, Baron Hopfgarten and Baron
Bose, had often edified him with their discourse, although they were
Lutherans (Paris, April 1, 1764).

When in London, he became acquainted with the excellent violoncellist
Siprutini, son of a Dutch Jew, who had broken loose from Judaism and
"was content to believe in



one God, to love Him first, and his neighbour as himself, and to live
an honest life"; L. Mozart gained an acknowledgment from him that of all
the Christian creeds the Catholic was the best, and was not without hope
of converting him altogether (September 13, 1764).

He fulfilled all the duties which the Church requires of her children
with conscientiousness and zeal; we find him ordering masses to be said,
buying relics, &c., whenever occasion offers.

The strictly orthodox, almost ascetic, rules of life which the reigning
archbishop, Sigismund, followed and enforced in his court and in all
Salzburg must have had the effect of deepening this side of L. Mozart's
character; while the greater freedom in church matters enjoyed under
Sigis-mund's successor, Hieronymus, was not without its influence,
evinced by his becoming late in life a freemason. There can be no doubt
that L. Mozart was a man of genuine piety, which stood firm amid strong
temptations and the most trying circumstances. It was in accordance
with his education and position in life that this piety found no better
justification and expression than those provided by his Church. His
performance of his duties to God and the Church was undertaken in the
same rigorous spirit which characterised him in all the relations of
life. But he was too sensible not to remonstrate with his daughter when
she chose rather to endanger her health than to be absent from mass
(July 28, 1786). He was entirely free from superstition, and when some
one wrote to him of a ghost-story he declared that "it must be only
an hysterical illusion of the maid-servant." Again, he had "invariably
found that begging sisterhoods were the signs of much moral degradation
concealed under the cloak of hypocrisy" (December 16, 1785). It would be
a great mistake to consider the elder Mozart as a narrow-minded bigot.
United to a shrewd, clear intellect, for the cultivation of which he
made extraordinary efforts, he possessed a decided turn for raillery
and sarcasm. His painful endeavours to work himself free of his petty
surroundings, his habit of looking beyond the narrow horizon which
encircled him, encouraged in him a cynical



turn of mind. It grew to be a settled conviction with him that
selfishness is the only motive of human action on which we can safely
reckon, and which, therefore, we must strive to turn to account: a
belief in disinterested philanthropy or friendship is a folly which
seldom goes unpunished. Nor should we have any faith in an innate love
of truth. "Take it as an universal truth," he writes (October 6, 1785),
"all men tell lies, and add to the truth, or take away from it, just
as it suits their purpose. Especially must we believe nothing which,
if known, would add to the reputation of the speaker or flatter his
interlocutor, for that is sure to be false." This distrust of mankind he
sought to implant in his son, but with very little success. Nor did his
gloomy views of life stifle, even in himself, all emotion and sentiment.
His theory, as so often happens, went farther than his practice. When
Leopold Mozart analysed the conduct of men, his criticism was sharp and
cutting, but he was always ready with counsel and assistance when they
were needed. Notwithstanding his piety he expressed bitter contempt for
the priesthood and priestcraft: he had occasion to know both intimately.
He was never dazzled by the distinctions of birth and position. He
judged those nearest and dearest to him, not excepting his beloved son,
as severely as the rest of the world. It had the most wholesome effect
on the development of Mozart's character and genius that his father, who
loved him as only a father can love, who justly estimated and admired
his artistic genius, was never dazzled by it, never ignored nor
concealed his weaknesses, but warned and blamed him, and strove to bring
him up with a conscientious fidelity to duty.

Leopold Mozart was aware that the education of his son was the highest
and greatest task of his life; but this absorbing care did not narrow
his breadth of sympathy, nor lessen his consideration for others bound
to him by natural ties; he proved himself always a devoted friend as
well as, for one of his means, a liberal benefactor.

The exertions which it had cost him to attain to even a moderate
position, the unceasing thought which he was obliged to take for the
supply of his daily needs gave him



a high appreciation of the value of a secured worldly position, and as
he became gradually convinced that his son was not likely to attach the
same importance to this, he strove the more by his wisdom and experience
to help to secure it for him. This care for economical details has been
unjustly condemned. We may grant that a somewhat exaggerated anxiety
increased by the hypochondria of old age was the natural result of the
struggle with narrow circumstances which he had carried on all his
life; but this is far more than counterbalanced by the singular union of
general and of musical culture, of love and severity, of just judgment
and earnest devotion to duty, which Leopold Mozart developed in the
education of his son. Without them, Wolfgang would certainly not have
been the man he became by their help.

We have no detailed information of L. Mozart's youthful life. His
recollections of his position at Augsburg are bitter and sarcastic.
Even with his brothers and sisters, whom he accused of having turned
the weakness of their mother to his disadvantage, he had no close or
intimate connection, although they had never any scruples in applying
for his support.

"When I thought of your journey to Augsburg," he writes to Wolfgang
(October 18, 1777), "Wieland's 'Abderiten' always occurred to me. One
ought to have the opportunity of seeing in its naked reality that of
which one has formed an ideal conception."

After passing through school life in his native town, he went to
Salzburg to study jurisprudence. The monastery of St. Ulrich belonged
to the community of the Benedictines, which had founded and still partly
maintained the university of Salzburg;[1004] this connection may have
given Leopold a reason for going thither. But as he did not obtain
employment, he was constrained to enter the service of Count Thurn,
Canon of Salzburg. From his youth up, he had cultivated his musical
talent with assiduity, and was a



thoroughly practical and well-informed musician. He had chiefly
maintained himself in early youth by his singing, and afterwards by
giving lessons, and had gained considerable reputation as a violinist,
so much so that Archbishop Leopold took him into his service in the year
1743. He afterwards became court composer and leader of the orchestra,
and in 1762 was appointed Vice-Kapellmeister by Archbishop Sigismund.

The pay of the choir was scanty, though their duties were heavy. Leopold
Mozart submitted to these demands with his accustomed conscientiousness,
and Schubart points him out as the man whose exertions had placed music
in Salzburg on its then excellent footing.[1005] His official position
necessitated his appearing as a composer; in this respect, too, he was
indefatigable, and won for himself an honourable reputation.

A list of his compositions compiled in 1757, no doubt by himself, gives
an idea of his industry as a composer.[1006] We find a large proportion
of church music. A Mass in C major is in the library at Munich, Julius
André possesses a Mass in F major, the Credo of a "Missa brevis" in F
major lies before me; a "Missa brevis" in A major is preserved in
the cathedral of Salzburg, together with the Offertory, "Parasti in
conspectu meo," three Loretto Litanies (in G, F, and E flat major),
and a Litany "De venerabili" in D major, composed in 1762. This last,
a carefully finished work, was sent by L. Mozart in December, 1774,
to Munich, together with a grand Litany by his son. It is written for
solos, chorus, and the usual small church orchestra of the day, and
shows throughout the learning of a musician skilled in the use of
traditional forms. The harmony is correct, the disposition of the parts
skilful, and the contrapuntal forms are handled boldly; nor does the
composer fail to introduce regular, well-worked-out fugues in the proper
places; "Cum Sancto Spiritu," and "Et



vitam venturi sæculi" in the Mass, "Pignus futuræ gloriæ" in the Litany.

But there is no originality or inventive power either in the
compositions as a whole, or in isolated passages. Leopold Mozart's
sacred music gives him a right to an honourable place among contemporary
composers, but to no higher rank. Schubart, who prefers his church music
to his chamber music, says justly, that his style was thorough, and
showed great knowledge of counterpoint, but that he was somewhat
old-fashioned.[1007] When Wolfgang was busy composing church music with
Van Swieten at Vienna, he wrote to his father (March 29, 1783): "Some of
your best church music would be very useful to us; we like to study
all masters, ancient and modern, so please send us some as soon as
possible." But to Wolfgang's regret this request was refused, for his
father was quite aware of the change of taste in such music that had
taken place since his day.

Nothing certain is known of twelve oratorios composed according to
custom for Lent,[1008] nor of "a host of theatrical pieces, as well as

L. Mozart was an industrious instrumental composer. He enumerates
upwards of thirty serenades, "containing instrumental solos," and a
long list of symphonies, "some only quartets, others for all the usual
instruments"; of



these, eighteen are thematically catalogued,[10010] and one in G major
is by mistake attributed to Wolfgang, and printed in score. Very curious
are the "Occasional Pieces" which are characteristic of the times, in
their odd instrumental effects, and somewhat heavy touches of fun. Among
these are a pastoral symphony with shepherds' horns and two obbligato
flutes; a military piece with trumpets, drums, kettle-drums, and fifes;
a Turkish and a Chinese piece; a pastoral, representing a rural wedding,
and introducing lyres, bagpipes, and dulcimers; during the march, after
each huzza, there was a pistol-shot, after the custom of rural weddings,
and L. Mozart directed that whoever could whistle well on his fingers,
was to whistle during the huzzas.

But the musical "Sledge Drive" seems to have gained most applause;
a pianoforte arrangement was afterwards printed, the effect being
heightened by the accompaniment of five differently toned harness-bells.
The following programme was printed by L. Mozart, for a performance of
the Collegium Musicum in Augsburg, December 29, 1755:--


Introduced by a prelude, consisting of a pleasing andante and a splendid

Then follows:

A prelude, with trumpets and drums.

After this:

The Sledge Drive, with the sledge-bells and all the other instruments.

After the Sledge Drive:

The horses are heard rattling their harness.

And then:

The trumpets and drums alternate agreeably with the oboes, French horns,
and bassoons, the first representing the cavalcade, the second the

After this:

The trumpets and drums have another prelude, and

The Sledge Drive begins again, but stops suddenly, for all the party
dismount, and enter the ball-room.

Then comes an adagio, representing the ladies trembling with cold.



The ball is opened with a minuet and trio.

The company endeavour to warm themselves by country-dances.

Then follows the departure, and, finally:

During a flourish of trumpets and drums, the whole party mount their
sledges and drive homewards.

In consequence of the performance of these occasional pieces in
Augsburg, L. Mozart received the following anonymous letter:

"Monsieur et très cher ami!

"May it please you to compose no more absurdities, such as Chinese and
Turkish music, sledge drives, and peasant weddings, for they reflect
more shame and contempt on you than honour, which is regretted by the
individual who herewith warns you and remains,

"Your sincere Friend.

"Datum in domo verae amicitice."

Leopold Mozart was not a little annoyed by this act of friendship,
which he was inclined to ascribe to the Kapellmeister Schmidt or to the
organist Seyffert. It need scarcely be said that this "programme-music"
is innocent either of originality or of instrumental colouring. Short
characteristic pieces, such as Couperin and Rameau wrote, were composed
by L. Mozart, in common with Eberlin, for a kind of organ with a
horn stop, which had been erected by Joh. Roch. Egedacher on the
fortifications above the town. Once a month, morning and evening, a
piece was played on this instrument; in February it was the Carnival, in
September a hunting song, in December a cradle song.[10011]

Besides all this, L. Mozart wrote many concertos, particularly for
the flute, oboe, bassoon, French horn, or trumpet (one of these is in
Munich), innumerable trios (he offered a flautist, named Zinner, in
Augsburg, fourteen trios for flute, violin, and violoncello), and
divertimenti for various instruments,[10012] marches, minuets,
opera-dances, &c. Three clavier



sonatas are printed,[10013] of which Faiszt remarks that they might well
be the work of Leopold's great son, so strong is their similarity in
form and spirit.[10014] is compositions were for the most part only in
manuscript, as was almost all the music of that day.[10015] By way of
practice in engraving, he engraved three trio sonatas himself in 1740,
and revived the old accomplishment in 1778, when he engraved some
variations for his son.

In later years he composed little or nothing; his position in Salzburg
was so little to his mind that he did not feel himself called on to
do more than his duty required; besides, the education of his children
engrossed his whole time, and when his son had come forward as a
composer, he would on no account have entered into competition with
him.[10016] L. Mozart was proud of the estimation in which his works
were held abroad, as the following extract from a letter to his friend
Lotter shows:

November 24, 1755.

I may tell you in strict confidence that I have received a letter from
a distant place inviting me to become a member ------ don't be
alarmed--or--don't laugh ---- a member of the Corresponding Society of
Musical Science.[10017] Potz Plunder! say I. But do not tell tales out
of school, for it may be only talk. I never dreamt of such a thing in my
life; that I can honestly say.

But the elder Mozart acquired his chief reputation as a musician by the
publication in 1756 of his "Attempt towards a Fundamental Method for the
Violin."[10018] This work was



spread abroad in numerous editions and translations, and was for many
years the only published instruction on the art of violin-playing;
proof enough that it rendered important service in its day, as far as
technical knowledge was concerned. What makes the book still interesting
to us is the earnest, intelligent spirit which speaks from it, and
shows us the man as he was. He sought to impart to his pupils a sound,
practical musical education; they were not only to practise their
fingers, but were always clearly to, understand _what_ they had to
execute and _why_: "It is dispiriting to go on playing at random,
without knowing what you are about" (p. 245); a good violinist should
even be practised in rhetoric and poetry to be able to execute with
intelligence (p. 107). He insists strongly that the pupil should not
advance until he is quite able for what he has to learn: "In this
consists the gravest error that either master or pupil can fall into.
The former often lack patience to wait for the right time; or they let
themselves be carried away by the pupil, who thinks he has done wonders
when he can scrape out a minuet or two. Often, too, the parents or
guardians of the beginner are anxious to hear him play some of these
imperfect tunes, and think, with satisfaction how well their money has
been spent on the lessons. How greatly they are mistaken!" (p.57,
cf. 121.)

The study is not to be made too easy or simple; the learner must exert
himself and work hard. Thus he writes at the beginning of the exercises
(p. 90): "These are the passages for practice. The more distasteful they
are, the better I shall be pleased; I have striven to make them so";
that is, to guard against their being played from memory.

The same ability is displayed in his principles of taste.

He exacts above all a "straightforward, manly tone"; "nothing can be
more absurd than to seem afraid even to grasp the violin firmly; or just
to touch the strings with the bow (held perhaps with two fingers), and
to attempt such an artistic up-bow to the very nut of the violin that
only a note here and there is heard in a whisper, without any idea what
it means, it is all so like a dream" (p. 101).



Simple, natural expression is the highest aim of the violinist, so that
the instrument may imitate as far as possible the art of song (p. 50);
"who does not grant that to _sing_ their music has been the aim of all
instrumentalists, because they have ever striven after nature?" (p.
107.)[10019] He is severe on performers who "tremble upon every long
note, or cannot play a couple of bars simply without introducing their
senseless and ridiculous tricks and fancies" (p. 50). They are blamed
the more as they are for the most part wanting in the necessary
knowledge where to bring in their ornamentation without involving errors
in the composition (pp. 209, 195). Other faults of the virtuoso are
equally severely dealt with, such as the _tremolo_ of the player "who
shakes away on every note as if he had the ague" (p. 238), or the
constant introduction of the so-called "flageolet tones" (p. 107), or
the alternate hurrying and dragging of the "virtuoso of imagination."
"Many," says he (p. 262), "who have no conception of taste, disdain to
keep uniform time in the accompaniment of a concerted part, and strive
to follow the principal part. That is accompanying like a bungler, not
like an artist. It is true that in accompanying some Italian singers,
who learn everything by heart and never adhere to time or measure, one
has often to pass over whole bars to save them from open shame. But
in accompanying a true artist, worthy of the name, not a note must be
delayed or anticipated, there must be neither hurry nor dragging, so
that every note may have proper expression, otherwise the accompaniment
would destroy the effect of the composition. A clever accompanist should
also be able to judge of the performer. He must not spoil the _tempo
rubato_ of an experienced artist by waiting to follow him. It is not
easy to describe this 'stolen time.' A 'virtuoso of imagination' often
gives to a semiquaver in an adagio cantabile the time of half a bar,
before recovering



from his paroxysm of feeling; and he cares nothing at all for the time:
he plays in recitative."

Technical instruction and skill are to him only the means to a higher
end. The performer must be capable of expressing all the pathos of the
piece before him, so as to penetrate to the souls and stir the passions
of the audience (pp. 52, 253).[10020] As the most important requisite to
the violinist for attaining this, he indicates the stroke of the bow
(p. 122) as "the medium by the judicious use of which we are able to
communicate the pathos of the music to the audience." "I consider," he
adds "that a composer attains his highest aim when he finds a suitable
melody for every sentiment, and knows how to give it its right
expression." "Many a second-rate composer," he says (p. 252), "is full
of delight, and thinks more than ever of himself when he hears his
nonsensical music executed by good artists, by whose artistic expression
even such miserable trash is made intelligible to the audience."

It is plain that he was a sworn enemy to smatterers and pretenders.
Thorough technical study and an intellect trained to clear and rational
thought he considered absolutely indispensable to a true artist. He
grants, indeed, that genius may atone for the want of learning, and that
a man highly gifted by nature may lack the opportunity of studying his
art scientifically. But this does not detract from the main proposition
nor make his demands less just.

The extracts given above illustrate the principles and the views with
which L. Mozart undertook the musical education of his son, and these
being united to a correct appreciation of the freedom and indulgence
due to great natural powers, it must be acknowledged that no genius
could have been trained under happier auspices.!

This work, so remarkable for the age, met with suitable recognition.
Marpurg, to whose judgment L. Mozart had



submitted it in his preface, speaks of it as follows: [10021] "The
want of a work of this kind has been long felt, but hitherto in vain.
A thorough and skilled performer, a sensible and methodical teacher,
a learned musician, a man possessing all those qualities which singly
command our respect, are here to be found united in one individual--the
author. What Geminiani did for the English nation, Mozart has
accomplished for the German, and their works are worthy to live side by
side in universal approbation."

After this it is not surprising that the first of the critical letters
on music which were published under Marpurg's direction at Berlin in
1759 and 1760 should be addressed to L. Mozart, with the declaration
that the society which proposed to address each letter to some person
of distinction, could not make a fitter commencement than with him.
Schubart says,[10022] "He gained great reputation through his 'Method,'
which is written in good German, and with admirable judgment. The
examples are well chosen, and the system of fingering not in the least
pedantic; the author doubtless inclines to the school of Tartini, but he
permits greater freedom in the management of the bow." Zelter expresses
himself in the same spirit:[10023] "His 'Violin Method' is a work
which will be of use as long as the violin is an instrument. It is well
written, too."

The praise of the author's style of writing is characteristic and well
deserved; it was then a far rarer distinction among artists than at
present. L. Mozart's style is sharp and clear; his sarcastic turn of
mind is so prominent that he apologises for it in the preface, although
it is not unusual in the musical literature of the time. Both in
this book and in his letters he proves himself a man who has not only
acquired cultivation by intercourse with the world and by travel,
but who is well acquainted with literature, has read with taste and
discernment, and has well-defined and judicious opinions



both on aesthetic and moral subjects. He addressed to the poet Gellert a
letter so full of veneration that Gellert replied in the warmest terms,
as the following extract will show:--

I should be insensible, indeed, if the extraordinary kindness with which
you honoured me had left me unmoved, and I should be the most ungrateful
of men if I could have received your letter without acknowledgment. I
accept your love and friendship, my dear sir, with the same frankness
with which they are offered. Do you, indeed, read my works and encourage
your friends to do the same? Such approbation, I can truly say, was more
than I could have dared to hope from such a quarter. Does my last poem,
"Der Christ," meet with your approval? I venture to answer myself in the
affirmative. To this I am encouraged by the subject of the poem, your
own noble spirit, as unwittingly you display it in your letters, and by
my consciousness of honest endeavour.

Baron von Bose presented "the little Orpheus of seven years old,"
when in Paris, with Gellert's songs, recommending him to borrow their
irresistible harmonies, "so that the hardened atheist may read and mark
them, may hear them and fall down and worship God." Perhaps this gift
gave occasion to the letter. Wolfgang informs his sister at a later
date, from Milan, of the death of Gellert, which took place there.

With this amount of cultivation, and the pretensions consequent on
it, it is not surprising that Leopold Mozart felt himself isolated
at Salzburg. He had his duties to perform at court, and the more
contemptible their remuneration was, the more he and the other officials
were made to feel their dependent position. He was employed as a teacher
in most of the families of rank at Salzburg, for his instruction was
justly considered as the best that could be had; but this did not imply
any degree of friendly intimacy. He was too proud to ingratiate himself
with them by flattery or obsequiousness, although, as a man of the
world, he knew how to moderate his satirical humour, and was always
affable and well-bred. He seems to have had little intercourse with his
colleagues. This was partly owing to circumstances, but partly also to
their want of musical proficiency or mental cultivation, joined to their
looser, less earnest mode of life.



The social relations of the Mozart family were, however, cheerful and
unconstrained; their intercourse with their friends had more of innocent
merriment than of intellectual enjoyment. "The Salzburg mind," says
Schubart,[10024] "is tuned to low comedy. Their popular songs are
so drolly burlesque that one cannot listen to them without dying of
laughter. The clownish spirit[10025] shines through them all, though
the melodies are often fine and beautiful." This tendency would scarcely
please so serious and critical a man as L. Mozart, whose humour was
caustic, but not broad, and who appears to have entered with constraint
into the ordinary tone of conversation.

On November 21, 1747, Leopold Mozart married Anna Maria Pertlin (or
Bertlin), daughter of the steward of the Convent of St. Gilgen. "To-day
is the anniversary of our wedding," wrote L. Mozart (November 21, 1772);
"it is, I believe, exactly twenty-five years since we were struck with
the good idea of getting married, or rather it had occurred to us many
years before. But good things take time."

They were reputed the handsomest pair of their time in Salzburg, and
their existing portraits do not contradict this. Frau Mozart was, as
far as she can be represented by letters and descriptions, a very
good-tempered woman, full of love for her family, but in no way
distinguished; and the often verified experience that great men owe
their gifts and their culture principally to their mothers was not
proved to be true in the case of Mozart. She submitted willingly to the
superiority of her husband, and left to his care and management with
absolute confidence all that lay outside the sphere of the actual
housekeeping. The possession by



each of those qualities necessary for the happiness of the other lay at
the root of the heartfelt love and affection which bound them to each
other and to their children, and the latter were provided with the
surest foundation for their moral culture in the influence of a pure
and harmonious family life. They were deeply attached to their cheerful,
happy-tempered mother; but that she failed in authority was clear when
she accompanied her son in his ill-considered visit to Paris. In spite
of her better judgment she was unable either to control his impetuosity
or to withstand his endearments.

Though far inferior to her husband in cultivation, she was not without
understanding, and had a turn for the humorous, which characterised her
as a native of Salzburg. In this respect Wolfgang was her true son.

Of seven children resulting from this union, only two survived: a
daughter, Maria Anna (called Marianne or Nannerl in the family), born
July 30, 1751, and a son Wolfgang, born January 27, 1756.[10026] His
birth almost cost his mother her life, and her lingering recovery
occasioned much anxiety to her friends.

The daughter showed so decided a talent for music, that her father early
began to give, her lessons on the clavier. This made a great impression
on her brother, then but three years old; he perched himself at the
clavier, and amused himself by finding out thirds, which he struck
with much demonstration of delight; he also retained the more prominent
passages in the pieces which he heard. In his fourth year his father
began, in play, to teach him minuets and other pieces on the clavier;
in a very short time he could play them with perfect correctness and in
exact time. The impulse to produce something next awoke in him, and in
his fifth year he composed and played little pieces,



which his father then wrote down.[10027] A music-book which was intended
for Marianne's exercises, and preserved by her as a precious relic,
was in 1864 presented by the Grand Duchess Helene to the Mozarteum
in Salzburg.[10028] It contains minuets and other little pieces, and
further on longer ones, such as an air with twelve variations, and is
partly filled with passages by the composers Agrell, Fischer, Wagenseil,
&c., of increasing difficulty, for the purpose of instruction, in the
handwriting of the father and his musical friends. Wolfgang learned from
this book. The following note is appended by his father to the eighth
minuet: "Wolfgangerl learned this minuet in his fourth year." Similar
remarks occur repeatedly; e.g., "This minuet and trio were learned by
Wolfgangerl in half-an-hour, at half-past nine at night, on January 26,
1761, one day before his fifth year." They are simple, easy pieces in
two parts, but requiring an independence of the hands, not possible
without a degree of musicial comprehension which is surprising in so
young a

The first of Wolfgang's compositions have his father's superscription:
"Di Wolfgango Mozart, May 11, 1762, and July 16, 1762," little pieces
modelled on those he had practised, in which of course originality
of invention cannot be looked for; but the sense of simple melody and
rounded form so peculiar to Mozart are there already, without any trace
of childish nonsense.

The book went with them on their travels, and Mozart used the blank
pages to write down pieces, which afterwards appeared in the first
published sonatas (1763).

Most of the anecdotes of Mozart's childhood which testify to his
wonderful genius, are contained in a letter from



Schachtner, which is here given entire, as the direct testimony of a

Joh. André Schachtner (died 1795) had been court trumpeter at Salzburg
from 1754, for which post a higher degree of musical attainment was
necessary then than at the present day. He was not only a skilled
musician, but displayed considerable literary cultivation, which he
had obtained at the Jesuit school of Ingolstadt. The translation of a
religious drama, "The Conversion of St. Augustine" from the Latin of
Father Franz Neumayer, gained him the somewhat ambiguous praise of
Gottsched, who writes: "We may even say that he wrote good German, nay,
almost that he wrote good German poetry."[10029] We shall find him later
acting as librettist to Mozart.

He was intimate in Mozart's home, and his warm attachment is proved by
the following interesting letter, written soon after Mozart's death to
his sister.[10030]

Dear and honoured Madam,--

Your very welcome letter reached me, not at Salzburg, but at Hammerau,
where I was visiting my son, who is coadjutor in the office of
Oberwesamtmann there.

You may judge from my habitual desire to oblige every one, more
especially those of the Mozart family, how much distressed I was at the
delay in discharging your commission. To the point therefore!

Your first question is: "What were the favourite amusements of your
late lamented brother in his childhood, apart from his passion for his
music?" To this question no reply can be made, for as soon as he began
to give himself up to music, his mind was as good as dead to all
other concerns,[10031] and even his childish games and toys had to be
accompanied by music. When we, that is, he and I, carried his toys from
one room into another, the one of us who went empty-handed had always to
sing a march and play the fiddle. But before he began to



study music he was so keenly alive to any childish fun that contained a
spice of mischief, that even his meals would be forgotten for it. He was
so excessively fond of me--I, as you know, being devoted to him--that he
used to ask me over and over again whether I loved him; and when in joke
I sometimes said "No," great tears would come into his eyes, so tender
and affectionate was his dear little heart.

Second question: "How did he behave to great people when they admired
his talent and proficiency in music?" In truth he betrayed very little
pride or veneration for rank,[10032] for, though he could best have
shown both by playing before great people who understood little
or nothing of music, he would never play unless there were musical
connoisseurs among his audience, or unless he could be deceived into
thinking that there were.

Third question: "What was his favourite study?" Answer: In this he
submitted to the guidance of others. It was much the same to him what
he had to learn; he only wanted to learn, and left the choice of a
field for his labours to his beloved father.[10033] It appeared as if
he understood that he could not in all the world find a guide and
instructor like his ever memorable father.

Whatever he had to learn he applied himself so earnestly to, that he
laid aside everything else, even his music. For instance, when he was
learning arithmetic, tables, stools, walls, and even the floor were
chalked over with figures.[10034]

Fourth question: "What particular qualities, maxims, rules of life,
singularities, good or evil propensities had he?" Answer: He was full
of fire; his inclinations were easily swayed: I believe that had he been
without the advantage of the good education which he received, he might
have become a profligate scoundrel--he was so ready to yield to every
attraction which offered.

Let me add some trustworthy and astonishing facts relating to his fourth
and fifth years, for the accuracy of which I can vouch.

Once I went with your father after the Thursday service to your house,
where we found Wolfgangerl, then four years old, busy with his pen.



Father: What are you doing?

Wolfg.: Writing a concerto for the clavier; it will soon be done.

Father: Let me see it.

Wolfg.: It is not finished yet.

Father: Never mind; let me see it. It must be something very fine.

Your father took it from him and showed me a daub of notes, for the most
part written over ink-blots. (The little fellow dipped his pen every
time down to the very bottom of the ink-bottle, so that as soon as it
reached the paper, down fell a blot; but that did not disturb him in the
least, he rubbed the palm of his hand over it, wiped it off, and went
on with his writing.) We laughed at first at this apparent nonsense, but
then your father began to note the theme, the notes, the composition;
his contemplation of the page became more earnest, and at last tears of
wonder and delight fell from his eyes.

"Look, Herr Schachtner," said he, "how correct and how orderly it
is; only it could never be of any use, for it is so extraordinarily
difficult that no one in the world could play it."

Then Wolfgangerl struck in: "That is why it is a concerto; it must be
practised till it is perfect; look! this is how it goes."

He began to play, but could only bring out enough to show us what
he meant by it. He had at that time a firm conviction that playing
concertos and working miracles were the same thing.

Once more, honoured madam! You will doubtless remember that I have
a very good violin which Wolfgangerl used in old times to call
"Butter-fiddle," on account of its soft, full tone. One day, soon after
you came back from Vienna (early in 1763), he played on it, and could
not praise my violin enough; a day or two after, I came to see him
again, and found him amusing himself with his own little violin. He
said directly: "What is your butter-fiddle about?" and went on playing
according to his fancy; then he thought a little and said:

"Herr Schachtner, your violin is half a quarter of a tone lower than
mine, that is, if it is tuned as it was, when I played on it last."

I laughed at this, but your father, who knew the wonderful ear and
memory of the child, begged me to fetch the violin, and see if he was
right. I did, and right he was, sure enough!

Some time before this, immediately after your return from Vienna,
Wolfgang having brought home with him a little violin which some one in
Vienna had given him, there came in one day our then excellent violinist
the late Herr Wentzl, who was a dabbler in composition.

He brought six trios with him, composed during the absence of your
father, whose opinion on them he came to ask. We played these trios,
your father taking the bass part, Wentzl playing first violin, and I

Wolfgangerl begged to be allowed to play second violin, but your father
reproved him for so silly a request, since he had never had any



instruction on the violin, and your father thought he was not in the
least able for it.

Wolfgang said, "One need not have learnt, in order to play second
violin," whereupon his father told him to go away at once, and not
interrupt us any longer.

Wolfgang began to cry bitterly, and slunk away with his little violin. I
interceded for him to be allowed to play with me, and at last his father
said: "Play with Herr Schachtner then, but not so as to be heard, or you
must go away at once." So it was settled, and Wolfgang played with me.
I soon remarked with astonishment that I was quite superfluous; I put my
violin quietly down, and looked at your father, down whose cheeks tears
of wonder and delight were running; and so he played all the six trios.
When we had finished, Wolfgang grew so bold from our applause that he
declared he could play first violin. We let him try for the sake of the
joke, and almost died of laughter to hear him play, with incorrect and
uncertain execution, certainly, but never sticking fast altogether.

In conclusion: Of the delicacy and refinement of his ear.

Until he was almost ten years old, he had an insurmountable horror of
the horn, when it was sounded alone, without other instruments; merely
holding a horn towards him terrified him as much as if it had been a
loaded pistol. His father wished to overcome this childish alarm, and
ordered me once, in spite of his entreaties, to blow towards him; but,
O! that I had not been induced to do it. Wolfgang no sooner heard
the clanging sound than he turned pale, and would have fallen into
convulsions, had I not instantly desisted.

This is, I think, all I can say in answer to your questions. Forgive my
scrawl, I am too much cast down to do better.

I am, honoured Madam,

With the greatest esteem and affection,

Your most obedient Servant,

Andreas Schachtner,

Court Trumpeter.


24 April 1792


[Footnote 1001: An artist named Anton Mozart is mentioned by P. v. Stetten as
settled in Augsburg, in the seventeenth century (Kunstgesch d. Stadt
Augsburg, p. 283).]

[Footnote 1002: An oil portrait, preserved in the Mozarteum at Salzburg, shows
him to have been a tall, handsome man, but with no resemblance either to
his son or grandson.]

[Footnote 1003: A description of Leopold Mozart is given by Hamberger
(Christenthum u. moderne Cultur, p. 25).]

[Footnote 1004: R. P. Hist. Univ. Salisb., pp. 29, 90 (s. Meyer d. ehem. Univ.

[Footnote 1005: Schubart's Aesthetik der Tonkunst, p. 157.]

[Footnote 1006: Marpurg, Hist. krit. Beitr., III., p. 183.]

[Footnote 1007: Schubart's Aesthetik d. Tonk., p. 157.]

[Footnote 1008: "Have you a good subject for an oratorio?" writes L. Mozart to
Lotter (December 29, 1755). "If I had it in time I would compose
another for Lent. Have you the one which I composed last year, Christus
begraben? We have to produce two Oratoria every Lent, and where are
we to find subjects enough? It must not be de passions Christi, but it
might be some penitential story. Last year, for instance, we produced
one on Peter's Repentance, and another is now being composed on David
in the Wilderness." He must have composed the above-mentioned oratorio
twice, for as early as 1741 it had been printed in Salzburg as "Christus
begraben; Cantata for three voices: Magdalena, Nicode-mus, Joseph von
Arimathaea. Chorus of disciples and friends of our Lord. Words by S. A.
Wieland. Music by J. G. L. Mozart]."]

[Footnote 1009: Gerber includes among these "Semiramis," "Die verstellte
Gartnerin," "Bastien und Bastienne," compositions of Wolfgang's, of
which the scores were left in his father's possession. "La Cantatrice ed
il Poeta," an intermezzo mentioned by Gerber, is quite unknown to me.]

[Footnote 10010: Catalogo delle sinfonie che si trovano in manuscritto nella
officina musica di G. G. J. Breitkopf in Lipsia, P. I. (1762), p. 22.
Suppl. I. (1766), p. 14. Suppl. X. (1775),p. 3.]

[Footnote 10011: Mozart published it in 1759 with the title "Der Morgen und
Abend den Inwohnern der hochfurstl. Residenzstadt Salzburg melodisch
und harmonisch angekündigt." A notice of it is to be found in Marpurg's
Histor. krit. Beitr., IV., p. 403.]

[Footnote 10012: A "Divertimento à 4 instr. conc., Viol., Violone., 2 Co.," is
included in Breitkopfs Cat., Suppl. II. (1767), p. zi.]

[Footnote 10013: Haffner's Ouvres mêlées (Würzb.), V. 4, VI. 5, IX. 4.]

[Footnote 10014: Cacilia, XXVI., p. 82.]

[Footnote 10015: A Max d'or (about thirteen shillings) was paid to him for copies
of four flute concertos, a ducat for a pastoral symphony, and a florin
for two shorter ones.]

[Footnote 10016: A. M. Z., XXIII., p. 685.]

[Footnote 10017: This was the Society of Musical Science, founded at Leipzig
in 1738 by Mag. Lor. Mitzler; s. Mitzler's Musik Bibl., III., p. 346;
Musik. Almanach, 1782, p. 184. In his Violin Method, p. 7, L. Mozart
praises this Society, and hopes that it will direct its scientific
researches to questions of practical interest in music]

[Footnote 10018: A long series of letters to his friendly publisher J. J. Lotter,
at Augsburg, written during 1755 and 1756, when his work was in
the press, testify to L. Mozart's care for accuracy of expression,
orthography, and printing.]

[Footnote 10019: Ph. Era. Bach advises clavier-players to hear as much good
singing as possible; "it gives the habit of thinking in song, and it
is well always to sing a new idea aloud to oneself, so as to catch the
right delivery" (Versuch über die wahre Art das Klavier zu spielen, I.,
p. 90).]

[Footnote 10020: "Wherein consists good execution?" says Ph. Em. Bach (Versuch
über die wahre Art das Klavier zu spielen, I., p. 86). "In the power
of expressing musical ideas to the ear correctly and with full effect,
whether singing or playing."]

[Footnote 10021: Marpurg's Hist. krit. Beitr., III., p. 160.]

[Footnote 10022: Schubart's Aesth. d. Tonk., p. 157.]

[Footnote 10023: Briefw. m. Goethe, V., p. 191.]

[Footnote 10024: Schubart's Aesth. d. Tonk., p. 158.]

[Footnote 10025: Stranitzky, who introduced the buffoon (Hanswurst) on the Vienna
stage, gave him the Salzburg dialect (Sonnenfels ges. Schriften, VI.,
p. 372), and the buffoon was ever afterwards a native of Salzburg. The
people of Salzburg were credited not only with boorish manners, but with
a dulness of intellect amounting to stupidity. Mozart complains of it,
and there was a proverb in Salzburg itself: "He who comes to Salzburg
becomes in the first year stupid, in the second idiotic, and in the
third a true Salzburger."]

[Footnote 10026: The full name in the Church Register is Joannes Chrysostomus
Wolfgangus Theophilus (Gottlieb, the father writes), and in his earlier
letters he adds his "Confirmation name" Sigismundus. On several of his
early works and on the Parisian engraving of 1764 his signature is J. G.
Wolfgang, but afterwards he always signed Wolfgang Amade.]

[Footnote 10027: I have taken this account from Schlichtegroll's Nekrolog, which
is founded on communications from Wolfgang's sister.]

[Footnote 10028: Recensionen, 1864.x., p. 512. The exercise-book is a square
folio, with the title "Pour le Clavecin. Ce livre appartient à Marie
Anne Mozart. 1759." It was perfect when Fröhlich saw it (A. M. Z., XIX.,
p. 96); now, unfortunately, a number of leaves are wanting. Nissen has
given specimens from this book, some of the earliest compositions.]

[Footnote 10029: Das Neueste aus der anmuth. Gelehrs., 1761, p. 60.]

[Footnote 10030: The original is in the possession of Aloys Fuchs, who
communicated it to me. Schlichtegroll and Nissen have both made use of

[Footnote 10031: "Both as a child and a boy you were serious rather than
childish," writes L. Mozart, February 16, 1778, "and when you were at
the clavier, or otherwise engaged with music, you would not suffer the
least joking to go on with you. Your very countenance was so serious
that many observant persons prophesied your early death on the grounds
of your precocious talent and serious expression."]

[Footnote 10032: "As a boy, your modesty was so excessive that you used to weep
when you were overpraised," writes L. Mozart (February 16, 1778).]

[Footnote 10033: He was so docile, even in trifles, that he never received
corporal punishment. He loved his father with unusual tenderness. The
latter reminds him (February 12, 1778) how, every evening at bedtime, he
used to make him sit on a stool by his side and sing with him a melody
of his own finding with nonsensical words, Oragnia figa taxa, &c., after
which he kissed his father on the tip of his nose, promised to put him
in a glass case when he grew old, and give him all honour, and went
contentedly to bed.]

[Footnote 10034: Upon a separate scrap of paper.]





It was in January of the year 1762 that L. Mozart first turned to
account the precocious talent of his children in an expedition to
Munich. Their visit extended over three weeks, and both Wolfgang and his
sister were summoned to play before the Elector, and were well received
everywhere. Their success encouraged their father to a bolder attempt,
and on September 19, of the same year, they set out for Vienna.[2001]

Their journey was made by easy stages. At Passau they remained for five
days, at the request of the Bishop, who wished to hear the boy-prodigy,
and having done so, rewarded him with--one ducat! Thence they proceeded
to Linz. Canon Count Herberstein travelled with them, and Wolfgang's
distress at seeing an old beggar-man fall into the water impressed him
so much that, as Bishop of Passau, in 1785 he reminded L. Mozart of
it. At Linz they gave a concert, under the patronage of Count Schlick,
Governor-General of the province. Count Palfy, a young nobleman who was
paying his respects to the Countess Schlick on his way through Linz,
heard from her such a glowing account of the boy-prodigy that he left
his travelling-carriage at the door of her residence and went with her



the concert; his amazement was unbounded. From Linz they continued
their journey by water. At the Monastery of Ips, while their travelling
companions, two Minorite monks and a Benedictine, were saying mass,
Wolfgang mounted to the organ-loft, and played so admirably that the
Franciscan friars, and the guests they were entertaining, rose from
table and came open-mouthed with astonishment to listen to him.

On their arrival at Vienna, Wolfgang saved his father the payment of
customs duties. He made friends with the custom-house officer,
showed him his harpsichord, played him a minuet on his little fiddle,
and--"That passed us through!" Throughout the journey Wolfgang showed
himself lively and intelligent, readily making friends, especially with
officials; his engaging manners attracted as much love as his playing
excited admiration.

The fame of the two children had preceded them to Vienna. Count Schlick,
Count Herberstein, and Count Palfy had raised expectation to the highest
pitch, and the children were assured of a good reception at court
and among the nobility, who vied with each other in their devotion to
everything connected with art.

The imperial family took more than a passive interest in musical
affairs.[2002] Charles VI. was an accomplished musician, and used to
accompany operatic or other performances at court upon the clavier,[2003]
playing from the figured bass, according to the custom of conductors at
the time. He caused his daughters to study music, and the future Empress
Maria Theresa displayed at an early age both taste and talent. In 1725,
when only seven years old, she sang in an opera by Fux, at a fête given
in honour of her mother, the Empress Elizabeth. It was in allusion
to this that she once, joking, told Faustina Hasse that she believed
herself to be the first



of living virtuose.[2004] In 1739 she sang a duet with Senesino so
beautifully that the celebrated old singer was melted to tears.[2005] Her
husband, Francis I., was also musical, and gave his children a musical
education.[2006] The Archduchesses appeared frequently in operatic
performances at court, acquitting themselves "very well for

The Emperor Joseph sang well, and played the harpsichord and the

Anecdotes of Mozart's genius had excited much interest at court, and
on September 13, before he had even solicited the honour, L. Mozart
received a command to bring his children to Schönbrunn. A quiet day was
chosen, that the children might be heard without fear of interruption.
Their playing surpassed all expectation, and they were afterwards
repeatedly summoned to court. The Emperor took special delight in the
"little magician" and enjoyed inventing new trials of skill for him.
He jestingly told him that playing with all his fingers was nothing;
playing with one finger would be true art; whereupon Wolfgang began to
play charmingly with only one finger. Another time he told him that
it would be true art to play with the keyboard covered; and Wolfgang
covered the keys with a cloth, and played with as much decision and
vivacity as if he could see them. This _tour de force_ was often
repeated on subsequent occasions, and always received with great

But music was, generally speaking, a serious matter to Wolfgang, and
even at court he refused to play except before connoisseurs. Once,
seeing himself surrounded by a fashionable assemblage, he said before he
began: "Is Herr Wagenseil here? Let him come; he knows something about
it." (Georg Christoph Wagenseil--born in Vienna, 1688; died, 1779)--was a
pupil of Fux, and one of the first



clavier-players and composers of his time: he taught the Empress and afterwards
her children.[2008] The Emperor moved aside to let him come near Mozart,
who exclaimed: "I am going to play one of your concertos; you must turn
over for me." At court, as elsewhere, Mozart was a bright, happy child.
He would spring on the Empress's lap, throw his arms round her neck and
kiss her, and play with the princesses on a footing of perfect equality.
He was especially devoted to the Archduchess Marie Antoinette. Once,
when he fell on the polished floor, she lifted him from the ground and
consoled him, while one of her sisters stood by: "You are good,"
said Wolfgang, "I will marry you." The Empress asked him why? "From
gratitude," answered he; "she was good to me, but her sister stood by
and did nothing."[2009] The Emperor Joseph reminded him in after years of
his playing duets with Wagenseil, and of Mozart's standing in the
antechamber among the audience, calling "Pfui!" or "Bravo!" or "That was
wrong!" as the case might be.[20010]

The favour of the court was further displayed in substantial honours and
rewards. In addition to a gift of money Marianne was presented with
a white silk court dress, belonging to one of the Archduchesses, and
Wolfgang with a violet coloured suit, trimmed with broad gold braid,
that had been made for the Archduke Maximilian. His father had his
portrait painted in this magnificent attire. As might have been
expected, the children became the rage in society; "all the ladies
fell in love with the lad." The music-loving Prince von Hildburghausen,
Vice-Chancellor Count Colloredo, Bishop Esterhazy, all invited the
Mozarts; and before long they were indispensable at every fashionable
assembly. They were generally carried to and fro in the carriage of
their entertainers, and received many handsome presents of money and
trinkets. This prosperous course



was, however, suddenly interrupted by an attack of scarlet fever, which
kept Wolfgang in bed for a fortnight. The dangerous part of his illness
was soon over, and the greatest sympathy was everywhere expressed for
him; but the fear of infection was then very great, and the interest
taken in his convalescence was accompanied by considerable reluctance to
his society.

An invitation from the Hungarian magnates induced L. Mozart, although he
had already exceeded his leave of absence, to undertake an expedition
to Pressburg on December 11. The weather was very unfavourable, and
made the return journey through roadless Hungary not a little dangerous.
Their stay in Vienna was not much further prolonged, and early in
January, 1763, they found themselves once more in Salzburg.

Having once tested the powers and popularity of his children, Leopold
Mozart could not settle contentedly in Salzburg again, and he soon
determined on the bolder venture of making their talents known beyond
Germany. Paris was his ultimate goal, but he intended to exhibit the
children at any of the German courts which did not lie too far out of
their way. The class from which at the present day the musical public,
properly so called, is drawn was then altogether uncultivated; and even
where there were no courts, as in the imperial towns, the nobles and
rich merchants kept up similar distinctions of rank.

L. Mozart lays complacent stress upon the fact that throughout their
tour, their intercourse was confined to the nobility and distinguished
persons, and that both for their health's sake and the reputation of
their court, they were obliged to travel _noblement_. Being summer,
therefore, the travellers avoided the capitals and visited the country
seats to which, at this season, the courts were wont to repair.[20011]



The journey began on June 9, and not prosperously; for in Wasserbrunn
the carriage broke down, necessitating the delay of a whole day. "The
last new thing is," writes the father, "that in order to pass the time
we went to look at the organ, and I explained the pedal to Wolferl. He
set to work to try it on the spot; pushed aside the stool, and preluded
away standing, using the pedal as if he had practised it for months. We
were all lost in astonishment. What has caused others months of
practice comes to him as a gift of God." Wolfgang performed on the organ
constantly throughout the journey, and was, his father says, even more
admired as an organist than as a clavier-player.

Arrived at Munich on June 12, 1763, they proceeded at once to
Nymphenburg, the summer residence of the Elector. Here the introduction
of the Prince von Zweibrücken gained them a favourable reception,
and they played repeatedly before the Elector and Duke Clement; it is
specially mentioned that Wolfgang executed a concerto on the violin with
cadenzas "out of his own head." Here they fell in with two travellers
from Saxony, the Barons Hopfgarten and Bose, with whom they formed a
cordial friendship, cemented during their stay in Paris. At Augsburg
they took up their abode for a fortnight with the Mozart family, and
gave three concerts, at which the audience were almost exclusively
Lutherans. The Salzburg "Europàische Zeitung" (July 19, 1763) reports
from Augsburg, July 9:--

The day before yesterday, Herr Leopold Mozart, Vice-Kapellmeister
at Salzburg, left this place for Stuttgart, with his two precocious
children. The inhabitants of his native town have fully appreciated
the privilege accorded them in witnessing the manifestation of the
marvellous gifts bestowed by Providence on these charming children; they
recognise also how great must have been the paternal care, the result
of which has been the production of a girl of eleven and, what is still
more incredible, a boy of seven years old as ornaments to the musical
world. The opinion pronounced on these prodigies by a correspondent from
Vienna, which will be found on another page, enthusiastic as it appears,
will be confirmed by all musical connoisseurs.

At Ludwigsburg, the summer residence of the Wurtemburg court, they did
not succeed in obtaining audience of the Duke, although they had brought
introductions from



Canon Count Wolfegg, both to the Master of the Hunt, Bar. v. Pölnitz,
and to Jomelli. L. Mozart was inclined to ascribe this to the influence
of Jomelli, who figured as Kapellmeister from 1754 to 1768,[20012] with a
salary of 4,000 fl. (more correctly 3,000 fl.), the keep of four horses,
fuel and lights, a house in Stuttgart and another at Ludwigsburg, and
2,000 fl. pension for his widow. Leopold Mozart announces all this
to Hagenauer, with the question: "What do you think of that for a
Kapellmeister's pay?" He maintained that all native artists had to
suffer from Jomelli's influence, who spared no trouble to drive Germans
from the court and to admit none but Italians; this was the more
possible, as he was in high favour with the Duke.

He and his countrymen, of whom his house was always full, were reported
to have said that it was incredible that a child of German birth could
have such musical genius, and so much spirit and fire. _Ridete Amici!_
he adds. Granted, however, that musical taste in Ludwigsburg had been
thoroughly Italianised by Jomelli's influence and position,[20013] there
is no doubt that this account of him is prejudiced and exaggerated.
Metastasio pictures him as courteous and affable,[20014] and in Stuttgart
he had the reputation of giving all due credit to German artists,[20015]
so that L. Mozart's accusation is probably without much foundation. He
himself acknowledges that Jomelli's unlimited power had been principally
the cause of the excellence of musical performances in Ludwigsburg;
though here again, Schubart complains that the orchestra was spoilt by
the numerous amateur members who could not agree, and who were fond
of introducing ornamentations in their separate parts, quite out of
character with the whole.[20016]

Of the really superior amateurs who were then at



Ludwigsburg L. Mozart mentions only Tartini's pupil, P. Nardini (died
1793) who "was unsurpassed in taste, purity, and delicacy of tone, but
not by any means a powerful player."

From Ludwigsburg they proceeded to Schwetzingen, and presenting
recommendations from the Prince von Zweibrücken and Prince Clement of
Bavaria, were well received by the Elector Palatine Karl Theodor. On
July 18 the court assembled to hear them from five to nine o'clock; the
children set all Schwetzingen in commotion, and the electoral household
were enchanted with them. L. Mozart praises the admirable flute-playing
of Wendling, and speaks of the orchestra as the best in Germany,
being entirely composed of young men of good birth, who were "neither
tipplers, nor gamblers, nor miserable ragamuffins" (a hit at Salzburg),
and who were as estimable in their private as in their professional
capacity. He goes on to inform pious Frau Hagenauer, that since they
left Wasser-burg they had found no holy water, and rarely a crucifix
in their bedrooms, and that they found it difficult to procure fast-day
meals: "Everybody eats meat, and perhaps so have we, without knowing it.
After all, it is no fault of ours!"

Making an excursion to Heidelberg, Wolfgang played the organ in the
Church of the Holy Spirit, and so astonished his audience that the Dean
ordered his name and the particulars of his visit to be inscribed as a
memorial of it on the organ. Unfortunately no trace of the inscription

At Mayence, owing to the illness of the Elector, Joseph Emnrerich (von
Breidtbach), they could not appear at court, but made 200 florins at
three concerts. Here they met the singer, Marianne de Amicis, who was
returning with her family from London.

At Frankfort, which they went out of their way to visit, Mozart's first
concert, on August 18, was so successful that they decided on giving
three more. The newspaper announcement, of August 30, 1763, shows
what an astonishing performance was offered to the public. It runs as



The universal admiration excited in the minds of the audience by the
astounding genius of the two children of Herr L. Mozart, Kapellmeister
at the Court of Salzburg, has necessitated the threefold repetition of
the concert which was announced to take place on one occasion only.

In consequence, therefore, of this universal admiration, and in
deference to the desire of many distinguished connoisseurs, the next
and positively the last concert will take place this evening, Tuesday,
August 30, in the Scharfischen Saal, on the Liebfraoenberge.

The little girl, who is in her twelfth year, will play the most
difficult compositions of the greatest masters; the boy, who is not yet
seven, will perform on the clavecin or harpsichord; he will also play a
concerto for the violin, and will accompany symphonies on the clavier,
the manual or keyboard being covered with a cloth, with as much facility
as if he could see the keys; he will instantly name all notes played at
a distance, whether singly or in chords on the clavier, or on any
other instrument, bell, glass, or clock. He will finally, both on the
harpsichord and the organ, improvise as long as may be desired and in
any key, thus proving that he is as thoroughly acquainted with the
one instrument as with the other, great as is the difference between

Here, too, Goethe heard him. "I saw him as a boy, seven years old," he
told Eckermann, "when he gave a concert on one of his tours. I myself
was fourteen, and I remember the little fellow distinctly with his
powdered wig and his sword."[20019]

At Coblenz, Mozart was presented to the Elector of Treves, Johann
Philipp (von Walderdorf), by Baron Walderdorf and the Imperial
Ambassador, Count Bergen, and appeared at court on September 18. He was
also frequently invited by the Privy Councillor and Imperial Knight von
Kerpen, whose seven sons and two daughters all either sang or played
some instrument. At Bonn, the Elector of Cologne, Maximilian Freidrich
(Count of Konigseck-Rothenfels), being absent, they only remained long
enough to see and admire the splendours of the residential palace;
the magnificent beds, the baths, the picture galleries, concert halls,
decorations, inlaid tables, chairs, &c.; also the numerous curiosities
at Poppelsdorf and Falkenlust. At Cologne, on the other hand, they only
note the "dingy cathedral." At Aix, the Princess Amalie, sister



to Frederick the Great, and a zealous lover and patroness of music, was
taking the waters. She endeavoured to persuade L. Mozart to take his
children to Berlin, but he would not alter his plans.

"She has no money," writes the practical man. "If the kisses she bestows
on my children, particularly on Master Wolfgang, were each a louis
d'or, we should be well off; as it is, neither our hotel bill nor our
post-horses can be paid with kisses." At Brussels, where Prince Charles
of Lorraine, brother of the Emperor Francis I., resided as Governor
and Captain-General of the Austrian Netherlands, they were delayed some
time, but succeeded in giving a grand concert.

Thence they proceeded direct to Paris, where they arrived on November
18, and were kindly received and hospitably entertained by the Bavarian
ambassador, Count von Eyck. His wife was a daughter of the high
chamberlain at Salzburg, Count Arco. Mozart was furnished with
introductions to the most distinguished persons then in Paris; but
all these were worth nothing, L. Mozart writes, in comparison with one
letter given to him by a merchant's wife at Frankfort, and addressed
to Grimm. Friedrich Melchior Grimm, the pupil and disciple of
Gottsched,[20020] had lived in Paris since 1749. As secretary to Count
Friesen, and afterwards to the Duke of Orleans, he had admission to the
highest circles of society. His amiable disposition and the important
share he took in the literary struggles of the encyclopedists gained
him a still more exalted position as a sort of literary and artistic
arbiter. His judgment on musical matters was eagerly sought after, and,
as it came within his special province to bring to light anything out
of the common way, he was of all others most fitted to appreciate
Wolfgang's performances. He had genuine sympathy with his countrymen,
too, and could understand such a nature as L. Mozart's. He had not yet
been created baron and ambassador, was still active and energetic, and
exerted all his personal and literary influence for the Mozart family.
Leopold ascribes


( 35)

all their subsequent success to this "powerful friend." "He has done
everything--opened the court to us, managed the first concert, and is
going to manage the second. What cannot a man do with sense and a kind
heart? He has been fifteen years in Paris, and knows how to make things
fall out as he wishes."

Their first object was the introduction at court. The most important
personage at that time at Versailles was, of course, Madame de
Pompadour. "She must have been very beautiful," writes L. Mozart to
Madame Hagenauer, "for she is still comely. She is tall and stately;
stout, but well proportioned, with some likeness to Her Imperial Majesty
about the eyes. She is proud, and has a remarkable mind." Mozart's
sister remembered in after days how she placed little Wolfgang on the
table before her, but pushed him aside when he bent forward to kiss her,
on which he indignantly asked: "Who is this that does not want to kiss
me?--the Empress kissed me."[20021] The King's daughters were much more
friendly, and, contrary to all etiquette, kissed and played with the
children, both in their own apartments and in the public corridors. On
New Year's Day the Mozart family were conducted by the Swiss guard to
the supper-room of the royal family. Wolfgang stood near the Queen,
who fed him with sweetmeats, and talked to him in German, which she was
obliged to interpret to Louis XV. The father stood near Wolfgang, and
the mother and daughter on the other side of the King, near the Dauphin
and Madame Adelaide.

Once having played at Versailles, they were sure of access to the most
distinguished society.[20022]A small oil painting, now in the Museum at
Versailles, shows little Wolfgang at the clavier in the _salon_ of
Prince Conti, the centre of an assemblage of great people. Finally,
having established their



position in private society they gave two great concerts (on March 10
and April 9, 1764) in the rooms of a certain fashionable M. Felix, who
had built a little theatre for private representations. The permission
to give these concerts was a favour obtained with difficulty, as they
infringed the privileges both of the Concert Spirituel and of the
French and Italian theatres. The result was in every respect a brilliant
success. Marianne Mozart played the most difficult compositions of the
musicians then living in Paris, especially of Schobert and Eckart, with
a precision and correctness that could not have been surpassed by the
masters themselves.

Schobert was a native of Strasburg, cembalist to the Prince de Conti;
as a composer he was famous for his grace and fire, especially in
allegros,[20023] but as a man he was not all he should have been, according
to L. Mozart. He was a false flatterer, his religion was _à la mode_,
and his envy was often so ill-concealed as to excite ridicule. Eckart,
on the contrary, was a worthy man, and quite free from jealousy; he
had come from Augsburg to Paris in 1758, and was highly esteemed as a
clavier-player and teacher.

Wolfgang's performances on the clavier, organ, and violin, extraordinary
as they were, were thrown into the shade by the proofs he gave of almost
incredible musical genius.[20024] He not only accompanied at sight Italian
and French airs, but he transposed them [prima vista].

At that time, accompanying meant more than the playing of prepared
passages for the piano or clavier; it involved the choice at the moment
of a fitting accompaniment for the



several parts of the score, or the supplying of harmonies to the bass.

On the other hand, the simplicity of the harmony, and the adherence to
certain fixed forms, gave to such exercises facilities not afforded
by the license and want of form of modern music. Grimm relates in
his correspondence a truly astonishing instance of the boy's genius.
Wolfgang accompanied a lady in an Italian air without seeing the music,
supplying the harmony for the passage which was to follow from that
which he had just heard. This could not be done without some mistakes,
but when the song was ended he begged the lady to sing it again, played
the accompaniment and the melody itself with perfect correctness, and
repeated it ten times, altering the character of the accompaniment for
each. On a melody being dictated to him, he supplied the bass and the
parts without using the clavier at all; he showed himself in all ways
so accomplished that his father was convinced he would obtain service at
court on his return home. Leopold Mozart now thought the time was come
for introducing the boy as a composer, and he printed four sonatas for
the piano and violin, rejoicing at the idea of the noise which they
would make in the world, appearing with the announcement on the
title-page that they were the work of a child of seven years old.
He thought well of these sonatas, independently of their childish
authorship; one andante especially "shows remarkable taste." When it
happened that in the last trio of Op. 2, a mistake of the young master,
which his father had corrected (consisting of three consecutive fifths
for the violin), was printed, he consoled himself by reflecting that
"they can serve as a proof that Wolfgangerl wrote the sonatas himself,
which, naturally, not every one would believe." The little composer
dedicated his first printed sonatas (6, 7, K.), to the good-natured
Princesse Victoire, both she and her sisters being very fond of music.
The next (8,9, K.), were dedicated to the amiable and witty Comtesse de
Tessê, lady-in-waiting to the Dauphiness.

Grimm had written a dedication in Mozart's name, in which both he and
the Dauphiness were well touched off.



To L. Mozart's vexation she declined it as too eulogistic, and a simpler
one had to be substituted.

The prodigies were overwhelmed with distinctions, complimentary verses,
and gifts. M. de Carmontelle, an admirable amateur portrait painter,
made a charming picture of the family group;[20025] it was engraved by
Delafosse at Grimm's instigation.

The unprecedented success of the two children was the more significant
since musical culture was not nearly so predominant in Paris as in most
of the German courts. "It is a pity," says Grimm, "that people in this
country understand so little of music."

L. Mozart notes the standing war between French and Italian music, and
the position which Grimm took up on the side of the Italians served to
confirm him in his preconceived opinions. According to him none of
the French music was worth a groat; in church music all the solos and
everything approaching to an air, were "empty, cold, and wretched,
in fact French." But he did justice to the choruses, and lost no
opportunity of letting his son hear them.[20026] In instrumental music
the German composers, among them Schobert, Eckart, and Hannauer, were
beginning to make their influence felt, so much so that Le Grand[20027]
abandoned the French style and composed sonatas after German models.
The revolution to be wrought by Gluck, was as yet, indeed, not to be
foreseen; but L. Mozart hoped that in ten or fifteen years the French
style would be extinguished.

On April 10, 1764, the Mozart family left Paris. At Calais, Marianne
notes in her diary, "how the sea runs away and comes back again." Thence
they crossed to Dover in a small vessel, the packet being over full, and
were very sea-sick; an experienced courier, whom they had brought with
them from Paris, arranged the journey direct

{LONDON, 1764-65.}


to London.[20028] They were heard at court on April 27, and their reception
surpassed all expectation. "The favour shown to us by both royal
personages is incredible," writes L. Mozart; "we should never imagine
from their familiar manner that they were the King and Queen of England.
We have met with extraordinary politeness at every court, but this
surpasses them all. A week ago we were walking in St. James's Park; the
King and Queen drove past, and although we were differently dressed,
they recognised us, and the King leant out of the window smiling and
nodding, especially towards Wolfgang."

George III. was a connoisseur and passionate admirer of Handel's music,
and Queen Charlotte sang and played; both had German taste, and
gave special honour to German artists, as Jos. Haydn found in later
years.[20029] The Mozarts were summoned to court on May 19, and played
before a limited circle from six to ten o'clock. Pieces by Wagenseil,
Bach, Abel, and Handel were placed by the King before the "invincible"
Wolfgang, who played them all at sight; he surpassed his clavier-playing
when he sat down to the King's organ; he accompanied the Queen in a
song, a flute-player in a solo, and, finally, he took the bass of an
air by Handel and improvised a charming melody to it. None took more
interest in the young musician than the Queen's music-master, Joh.
Christian Bach,[20030] the son of Sebastian Bach, settled in London since
1762, and the author of several popular operas and numerous pianoforte
compositions. He looked upon his art after an easy careless fashion;
but his kindness and goodwill won Wolfgang's heart for ever. He liked to
play with the boy; took him upon his knee and went through a sonata with
him, each in turn playing a bar with so much precision that no one would
have suspected two performers. He began a fugue, which Wolfgang took up
and completed when Bach broke off.



At last L. Mozart thought the time had come to introduce to the public
"the greatest wonder of which Europe or the world can boast," as the
grandiloquent announcement ran. Not without due calculation, the concert
was fixed for June 5, the King's birthday, which was sure to bring a
large public to London. The speculation succeeded, and L. Mozart "was
terrified" by taking one hundred guineas in three hours--a satisfactory
sum to send home. On the 29th Wolfgang played at a concert given
at Ranelagh Gardens, with a charitable object, and "astonished and
delighted the greatest connoisseurs in England." This prosperous career
was, however, temporarily cut short; Leopold Mozart was seized with
dangerous inflammation of the throat, and retired with his children to
Chelsea, where they remained seven weeks before his cure was completed.
During this time Wolfgang, out of consideration for his father, left his
instrument untouched; but he set to work to write orchestral symphonies,
and his sister tells[20031] how he said to her, sitting near: "Remind me
to give something really good to the horn." The horn was at that time
a favourite instrument in England, and in many of Wolfgang's youthful
compositions it has a prominent part. The first symphony, in E flat
major (1 K.), in the three usual movements, has many corrections which
the boy made, partly to improve the instrumentation, partly to moderate
the too rapid transition to the principal theme of the first movement.
Originality is scarcely to be expected, but it is something that a due
regard to form and continuity should be everywhere apparent. He worked
so diligently that at the next concert it was announced that all the
instrumental pieces were of Wolfgang's composition. Three symphonies
(17,18,19, K.), in B flat major (with two minuets, the instrumentation
not quite complete), in E flat major (with clarinets, instead of oboes,
and bassoons), and in D major (Londra, 1765), which all fall within the
London visit, show marked progress. The subjects are better defined,
the disposition of the parts is freer and more orchestral, and some
instrumental effects

{LONDON, 1764-65.}


begin to be heard. On October 29, they were in town again, and invited
to court to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the King's accession. As
a memento of the royal favour, L. Mozart printed six sonatas for piano
and violin or flute, composed by Wolfgang, and dedicated to the Queen on
January 18, 1765, which dedication she rewarded with a present of fifty
guineas.[20032] The opening of the Italian Opera House on November 24,
1764, had no small influence on Wolfgang's genius; here, for the first
time, he heard singers of note. Giovanni Manzuoli (born in Florence,
1720),[20033] whose singing and acting were then exciting the London public
to the highest enthusiasm,[20034] became acquainted with the Mozart family,
and gave Wolfgang lessons in singing. His voice was, of course, a boyish
treble; his style that of an artist. The following year, in Paris, Grimm
declared that he had so profited by Manzuoli's instruction as to sing
with extreme taste and feeling, notwithstanding the weakness of his
voice. Thus early did Mozart acquire, as if by natural instinct, all the
requisites for a great composer which are, to most men, the result of
years of painful study.

During Lent, he enjoyed the opportunity of hearing Handel's Oratorios,
but we hear nothing of any special influence which they may have had
on his mind; indeed, he knew little of Handel in later years, until Van
Swieten made him acquainted with his works.

On February 21, the "Wonder of Nature" reappeared in public at a concert
which had been often postponed. The political situation and the illness
of the king made the time an unfavourable one, and the receipts were not
so great as had been expected.

Another concert, on May 13, took place only after repeated announcements
of the approaching departure of the Wonder of Nature, and at a reduced
rate. "It was quite enchanting," declares the "Salzburger Zeitung"[20035]
"to hear the sister



of twelve years old play the most difficult sonatas on the harpsichord,
while her brother accompanied her impromptu on another harpsichord."
Wolfgang performed on a harpsichord with two manuals and a pedal which
the musical instrument maker Tschudi had constructed for the King of
Prussia;[20036] Tschudi "rejoiced that his extraordinary harpsichord should
be played for the first time by the most extraordinary performer in the
world." After this, L. Mozart repeatedly invited the public to hear and
test the young wonder in private daily from twelve to two o'clock; at
first these performances took place in their own lodging, afterwards
in a tavern, not of the first rank. It was promised as something
extraordinary that the two children should play a duet on the same
clavier with the keyboard covered. It was for these occasions that
Wolfgang composed his first duet, according to L. Mozart, the first
sonata for four hands ever written.

The Hon. Daines Barrington, a man highly esteemed as a lawyer and a
philosopher, undertook a repeated and searching trial of the boy's
skill, and has left a circumstantial report of the result.[20037] He
obtained a copy of Wolfgang's registry of baptism, in order to be sure
of his age, and made other minute inquiries concerning him. Besides the
usual tests of playing difficult pieces at sight, and of singing and
accompanying with proper expression a score hitherto unknown to him, he
demanded an improvisation. He told Mozart to improvise a love-song such
as Manzuoli might sing in some opera. The boy at once pronounced
some words to serve as a recitative, then followed an air on the word
_affetto_ (love) of about the length of an ordinary love-song in the
regulation two parts. In the same way he composed a song expressive of
anger on the word _perfido_ which excited him so much, that he struck
the clavier like one possessed, and several times sprang up from his
seat. Barrington remarks that these improvised compositions, if not very
astonishing, are

{HOLLAND, 1765.}


yet far above the ordinary run, and give proofs of decided inventive
power. Not only has Mozart's technical education so far advanced, that
he handles freely the forms and rules of composition; he begins now to
display the inspired imagination of an artistic genius.

It is interesting to note the first stirrings of the dramatic element
in Mozart, and how he was able already to give articulate expression to
various passions as they were suggested to him.

An instance of this is a tenor song, "Va dal furor portata" (21 K.),
composed in London, 1765, in which the Da capo form is rigorously
adhered to, and which, though wanting in originality displays much sense
of characteristic expression.

Before the end of their London stay they visited the British Museum,
the natural history and ethnographical curiosities being duly noted
by Marianne. In deference to an expressed wish, Wolfgang presented the
Museum with his printed sonatas and with a manuscript composition (20
K.), consisting of a short madrigal in four parts, "God is our Refuge,"
the melody being possibly suggested.[20038] Notwithstanding this, the
treatment of it is an extraordinary proof not only of the boy's skill,
but of his readiness in apprehending and adhering to an unaccustomed

On July 24, 1765, they left London, remained one day in Canterbury, and
passed the rest of the month at the country seat of Sir Horace Mann.
In obedience to the repeated and earnest solicitations of the Dutch
Ambassador, speaking as the mouthpiece of the Princess Caroline, of
Nassau-Weilburg, L. Mozart, contrary to his original plan, consented to
visit the Hague. He probably lays stress on this pressing invitation to
excuse his lengthened absence from Salzburg. His leave of absence had
long ago expired,



and he was repeatedly urged to hasten his return; but he was firmly
resolved with God's help, to carry out what he had begun. They had
proceeded as far on their journey as Lille, when Wolfgang was seized
with an illness which necessitated a delay of four weeks, and from which
he had not quite recovered when he was in Ghent playing on the great
organ of the Church of St. Bernard. They reached the Hague in the
beginning of September, and met with a very gracious reception from
the Prince of Orange and his sister the Princess of Weilburg. But now,
Marianne, in her turn fell dangerously ill; was delirious for a week
together, and received the last sacrament. "No one," writes the father,
"could have heard unmoved the interview between myself, my wife, and
daughter, and how we convinced the latter of the vanity of the world and
the blessedness of early death, while Wolfgang was amusing himself with
his music in another room." They did not neglect to have masses for
Marianne's recovery said in Salzburg.

On the Sunday that she was at her worst, Leopold opened the Gospel at
the words: "Lord, come down, ere my child die;" but a new treatment of
the case by Herr Schwenckel, physician to the Princess of Weilburg,
was so successful, that he was soon able to acknowledge the prophetic
significance of the words: "Thy daughter sleeps; thy faith hath saved

Scarcely was the father relieved from this anxiety when he was subjected
to a still greater trial. Wolfgang was seized with a violent attack of
fever, which reduced him to extreme weakness for several weeks. But even
illness did not cripple the boy's mental activity. He insisted on having
a board laid across his bed, on which he could write; and even when his
little fingers refused their accustomed service he could scarcely be
persuaded to cease writing and playing.

In January, 1766, we find him composing a song, "Conservati fedele" (23
K.), for the Princess of Weilburg, which consists of a pleasant, flowing
melody, and here and there characteristic touches, happily expressed by
changes of harmony.

{HOLLAND, 1765-66.}


He was able before the end of this month to go on to Amsterdam, where
they spent four weeks. Wolfgang gave two concerts at which all the
instrumental pieces were of his own composition. Among them was a
Symphony in B flat major (22 K.), in three movements, which had been
written at the Hague, and which contains noteworthy instances of
thematic elaboration and well-rounded phrasing. Although it was Lent,
and all public amusements were strictly forbidden, these concerts were
permitted because the "exhibition of the marvellous gifts of these
children redounds to the glory of God," a resolution which, though it
was formulated by Lutherans, was nevertheless cordially accepted by so
devout a Catholic as L. Mozart.

On March 8, 1766, they travelled back to the Hague, to assist at the
festivities given in honour of the Prince of Orange, who came of age
on that day. Wolfgang was ordered to compose six sonatas for piano
and violin for the Princess of Weilburg, which were printed with a
dedication (26 to 31, K.). In addition, he wrote several songs for the
same princess, and other "trifles," which were also printed, among them
pianoforte variations on an air composed for the occasion (24 K.),
and upon another air, "which is sung, played, and whistled all over
Holland." This was the song, "Wilhelmus von Nassau,"[20040] written and
composed by Philipp von Mamix (d. 1598), on the Prince of Orange (d.
1584), which soon spread far and wide[20041] and became the national song
of Holland. Mattheson cites it as an instance of a national war-song,
which had inspired a whole people to great deeds, and had played an
important part in the war and in the celebration of peace, in 1749.[20042]
For one concert, Wolfgang composed an orchestral piece after the manner
of a "Concerto grosso," in which a clavier obbligato was introduced with
the other instruments and called it a "Galimathias musicum." Sketches
for this in Wolfgang's handwriting, with his father's corrections here
and there, have



been preserved (32 K).[20043] After an easy andante, which serves as an
introduction, come thirteen movements, generally only in two parts,
varying both in measure and time. There is a variety of instrumentation
unmistakably present, and the horns are specially favoured; there is one
passage which imitates the bagpipes.

[See Page Image]

The whole winds up with an elaborate movement on the first part of the
national song--

which is partly fugued, partly worked out in a free imitation, showing,
as one might expect, the uncertain hand of a boy. But it is plain that
he was considered as an established composer. His father's talent, too,
met with flattering recognition; his Violin Method was translated into
Dutch, and dedicated to the Prince of Orange on his accession.[20044] The
publisher brought it to Leopold Mozart, accompanied by the organist, who
invited Wolfgang to play on the great organ at Haarlem, which he did on
the following day. At length they travelled by way of Mechlin to Paris,
where they arrived on May 10, and established themselves in a lodging
provided by their friend Grimm. The progress made both by Wolfgang
and his sister was acknowledged by all; but the public are more easily
excited by the phenomenal performances of an infant prodigy than by the
incomparably more important development of an extraordinary genius, and
the interest in the children does not appear to have been so great as on
their former visit. Nevertheless, they played repeatedly at Versailles;
the Princess of Orleans, afterwards Duchess of Condé, thought herself
honoured in presenting Wolfgang with a little rondo for piano and
violin of her own composition.[20045] Prince Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand von
Braunschweig, the Braunschweig Achilles, as Winckelmann calls him,[20046]



had won his laurels in the seven years' war, sought them out in Paris.
"He is pleasant, handsome, and amiable," writes L. Mozart, "and as soon
as I went in, he asked me if I were the author of the Violin School." He
had not only intelligence and good taste in music, but played the violin
himself so well "that he might have made his fortune by it."[20047] He said
of Wolfgang that many a kapellmeister had lived and died without having
learnt as much as the boy knew now. He entered into competition with the
most distinguished artists on the organ, the piano, or in improvisation,
and either came off victor or with abundant honour. On June 12, he
composed a little Kyrie for four voices with stringed accompaniment (33,
K), that is precise and simple, but in style and form, and in the purity
of its melody, approaches nearer to the Mozart of after life than any
other composition of his boyhood.

Leaving Paris on July 9 they obeyed the summons of the Prince of Condé
to Dijon, where the Estates of Burgundy were assembled. Next they stayed
a month at Lyons, and made the acquaintance of a certain Meurikofer,
a merchant, who was never tired of the joke of making Wolfgang sing an
Italian song with spectacles on his nose. At Ghent, where they found
everything in confusion, they made no stay; at Lausanne they remained
five days at the request of several distinguished persons, especially of
Prince Louis of Wurtemberg, brother of Duke Charles; they were a week
at Berne, and a fortnight at Zurich; guests of the Gessner family, from
whom they received much kindness, and parted with regret. Among other
books presented to them as keepsakes, Salomon Gessner gave them a copy
of his works, with the following inscription:--

Accept this gift, dear friends, in the same friendly spirit in which I
offer it. May it preserve my memory fresh among you. May you, venerable
parents, long enjoy the sight of the happiness of your children wherein
consists the most precious fruit of their education; may they be as
happy as their merit is extraordinary! In the tenderest youth



they are an honour to their country and the admiration of the world.
Happy parents! happy children! Never forget the friend whose esteem and
love for you will never be less lively than at this moment.

Salomo Gesner.

Zurich, August 3, 1766.

Taking Winterthur and Schafhausen by the way, they journeyed to
Donaueschingen, where they were expected by Prince Joseph Wenzeslaus von
Fürstenberg. They remained here twelve days, and played every evening
from five to nine o'clock, always producing some novelty; they
were richly rewarded by the Prince, who was moved to tears at their
departure. At Biberach, Count Fugger von Babenhausen arranged an organ
competition between Wolfgang and Sixtus Bachmann, who was two years
older than Wolfgang, and had attracted great admiration by his musical
performances. "Each tried his utmost to surpass the other, and the
competition increased the fame of both."[20048] Then they went by way of
Ulm, Günzburg, and Dillingen to Munich. Arriving here on November 8,
they dined with the Elector on the following day. Wolfgang sat next to
him and composed a piece in pencil, taking for theme a few bars which
the Elector hummed to him; this piece he played after dinner to the
astonishment of all the party.

An indisposition with which Wolfgang was here seized seems to have put
a stop to a journey to Regensburg which had been planned, and about the
end of November, 1766, the Mozart family re-entered Salzburg.


[Footnote 2001: We have a somewhat more detailed account of this journey from
letters of L. Mozart to the merchant, Lorenz Hagenauer, in whose house
he was living when Wolfgang was born (opposite the tavern "Zu den
Allürten"). Hagenauer proved himself a true friend; always ready with
support and counsel in business matters, even to the extent of making
considerable loans, so that it was natural that Mozart should keep him
informed as to the pecuniary results of his journey. Many characteristic
traits are given by Schlichtegroll, probably derived from Wolfgang's
sister, and confirmed after examination by Niemetschek (p. 8).]

[Footnote 2002: Cf. L. v. Köchel's Die Pflege der Musik am österr. Hofe vom Schlusse
des 15, bis zur Mitte des 18. Jahrh. Wien, 1866.]

[Footnote 2003: Apostolo Zeno, Lettere III., p. 447. Oehler's Gesch. des
Theaterwesens zu Wien, II., p. 4.]

[Footnote 2004: In the year 1735 the Archduchess again appeared in an opera on the
Empress's birthday. Metastasio, who wrote it, and rehearsed it with her,
is enthusiastic in his praises of her grace and cleverness (Opp. post.,
I., p. 175).]

[Footnote 2005: Burney, Reise, II., p. 186.]

[Footnote 2006: Metastasio's Opp. post., I., p. 401.]

[Footnote 2007: Burney, Reise; II., p. 187.]

[Footnote 2008: Metastasio's Opp. post., II., p. 31. Bumey, Reise, II., p. 241.
Marpurg's criticism is not favourable (Krit. Briefe, II., p. 141).]

[Footnote 2009: So Nissen relates the anecdote. Niemetschek, doubtless from respect
to the Royal Family, says nothing about the marrying.]

[Footnote 20010: A. M. Z., I., p. 856.]

[Footnote 20011: Chief sources of information are L. Mozart's letters to Hagenauer
(of which only a few are preserved) and some family reminiscences given
by Nissen. L. Mozart's memoranda made on the journey are interesting, as
containing addresses of people whom they met, remarks on the inns and
on the various sights they visited. They display a habit of close
observation. There are some few similar notes made by Marianne still in

[Footnote 20012: P. Alfieri's Not. biogr. di Nic. Jomelli, p. 15.]

[Footnote 20013: Schubart's Aesthetik, p. 150. Selbstbiographie, I., 12, p. 122.]

[Footnote 20014: Metastasio, Lettere (Nizza, 1787), IV., p. 185. Cf. Opp. post, I.,
pp. 35g, 386; II., pp. 129, 320. Burney, Reise, I., p. 137.]

[Footnote 20015: Schubart's Aesthetik, p. 78. Selbstbiogr., I., 12, p. 126.
Betracht. d. Mannh. Tonsch., I., p. 153.]

[Footnote 20016: Schubart's Aesthetik; p. 156. Selbstbiogr., I., 12, p. 127.]

[Footnote 20017: Belli-Gontard Leben in Frankfurt, V., p. 25.]

[Footnote 20018: To this is added: "Each person pays half-a-dollar. Tickets may be
had at the Golden Lion."]

[Footnote 20019: Eckermann's Gespräche mit Goethe, II., p. 180.]

[Footnote 20020: Danzel's Gottsched, p. 343.]

[Footnote 20021: He was particularly proud of the Empress's notice. When they were
encouraging him to play at a small German court, where there were to
be some persons of high rank, he answered that he had played before the
Empress, and was not at all afraid.]

[Footnote 20022: L. Mozart made a list "a page long" of the persons of rank and
distinction with whom they had come in contact.]

[Footnote 20023: Hiller's Wöchentl. Nachr., I., p. 135. Schubart's Aesthetik, p.
230, Junker's Zwanzig Componisten, p. 89. He died from eating poisonous
mushrooms in 1767 (Goethe's Briefe an Leipziger Freunde, p. 242).]

[Footnote 20024: Suard gives the following notice (Mél. de Litt., II., p. 337): Il
avait 6 à 7 ans. Je l'ai entendu jouer du clavecin au Concert Spirituel
et dans des maisons particulières. Il étonnait tous les amateurs par sa
facilité et la précision avec laquelle il exécutait les pièces les
plus difficiles. Il accompagnait sur la partition à la première vue.
Il préludait sur son instrument et dans des capricci improvisés, il
laissait échapper les traits du chant les plus heureux et montrait déjà
un sentiment profond de l'harmonie.]

[Footnote 20025: Mme. du Deffand, Lettres, I., p. 207.]

[Footnote 20026: Compare with this what Burney (Reise, I., pp. 12,16) says on the
same side in 1770 upon French contemporary music in relation to Italian.]

[Footnote 20027: Cf. Schubart's Aesthetik, p. 270.]

[Footnote 20028: The most authentic account is given by F. Pohl, Mozart und Haydn in
London. Vienna, 1867.]

[Footnote 20029: Griesinger's Biogr. Notizen über Haydn, p. 57.]

[Footnote 20030: Parke's Mus. Mem., I., p. 347. Reichardt's Mus. Aim., 1796.]

[Footnote 20031: A. M. Z., II., p. 301.]

[Footnote 20032: The sonatas were advertised as for sale on March 20, 1765.]

[Footnote 20033: Metastasio's Opp. post., II., p., 272.]

[Footnote 20034: Burney's History of Music, IV., p. 485. Kelly's Reminiscences, I.,
p. 7.]

[Footnote 20035: Europ. Zeitg., 1765, No. 63, Aug. 6.]

[Footnote 20036: Burney, Reise, II., p. 104.]

[Footnote 20037: Philosophical Transactions, 1770, Volf XL.; repeated in
Barrington's Miscellanies on Various Subjects (London, 1781), p. 279.]

[Footnote 20038: F. Pohl (A. M. Z., 1863, p. 853).]

[Footnote 20039: The letter of thanks runs as follow: July 19, 1765. Sir,--I am
ordered by the standing committee of the trustees of the British Museum
to signify to you, that they have received the present of the musical
performances of your very ingenious son, which you were pleased to make
them, and to return you their thanks for the same.--M. Maty, Secretary.]

[Footnote 20040: Hoffmann von Fallersleben, Horæ belgico, II., p. 96.]

[Footnote 20041: Grenzboten, 1864, III., p. 128.]

[Footnote 20042: Mattheson, Mithridat, p. 12, published in Weimar. Jahrb., IV., p.

[Footnote 20043: The identical compositions are said to have been lately discovered
in Paris.]

[Footnote 20044: Mozart Grondig Onderwys in het behandelen der Violin met 4
Konst-plaaten en een Tafel. Harlem, 1766, 4.]

[Footnote 20045: So says Nissen, p. 114.]

[Footnote 20046: Winckelmann's Briefe, III., pp. 95,98,104. Cf. Goethe, Briefe an
Fr.v. Stein, III., p. 96.]

[Footnote 20047: Burney, Reise, III., p. 258.]

[Footnote 20048: "Christmann Musik. Corresp.", 1790, p. 164.]



By Author




LEOPOLD MOZART had every reason to be satisfied with the result of
his tour; the extraordinary talents of his children had been duly
appreciated,[1] honours of every kind had been heaped upon them, and
the three years exertions had produced a not inconsiderable pecuniary
gain.[2] In spite of repeated, and sometimes severe, attacks of illness,
the children returned to Salzburg in full health and vigour, and, what
was of not less importance, with their childlike simple minds unspoiled
by the exceptional degree of notice and admiration they had everywhere
excited. The little Orpheus rode round the room on his father's stick,
and sprang up to play with his favourite cat, in the middle of his
improvisations on the clavier.

During the journey he had amused himself by constructing an imaginary
kingdom, which he called Rücken; it was inhabited by children, of whom
he was king, and his invention of fresh gifts and qualities for his
kingdom and subjects was inexhaustible. So vividly was it impressed
on his imagination, that he made a servant, who was something of a
draughtsman, draw a map of it, to which he supplied the names of the
places.[3] A very favourite idea of his was to compose an opera, to be
performed entirely by young Salzburgers, of whom he drew up a list
with his father. His tenderness of heart was constantly displayed. One
morning on awaking, he began to cry bitterly, and



being asked the reason, answered that he longed to see his friends in
Salzburg, all of whom he then mentioned by name. When he heard that
Hagenauer's son Dominicus had entered the Monastery of St. Peter's
he burst into tears, imagining that he should never see him again.
Reassured on this point, he planned a visit to St. Peter's immediately
on his return home, and talked of the games that he and his friend would
play together.

Occasionally, Wolfgang displayed a considerable amount of
self-assertion. A gentleman of rank in Salzburg was uncertain how to
address the boy in conversation. The formal pronoun _Sie_ appeared
unbefitting a child, while _Du_ was too familiar for so celebrated an
artist; he took refuge in _Wir_, and began: "So _we_ have been in France
and England"--"_We_ have been introduced at court"--"_We_ have been
honoured"--when Mozart interrupted him hastily: "And yet, sir, I do not
remember to have seen you anywhere but in Salzburg."

But L. Mozart's satisfaction was not entirely without alloy. He was
too intimately acquainted with the Salzburg court to feel certain of
obtaining such a position as would enable him to educate his children
in a way befitting their talents. On this point he had written to
Hagenauer, shortly before their return:--

Everything depends on my having a position at home which is suitable to
my children. God (all too merciful to me, miserable sinner) has endowed
my children with such genius that, laying aside my duty as a father, my
ambition urges me to sacrifice all else to their education. Every moment
lost, is lost for ever, and if I never realised before how precious
the time of youth is, I know it now. You know that my children are
accustomed to work; if they once had an excuse for idleness, such as an
inconvenient house, or want of opportunity for study, my whole fabric
would fall to the ground. Custom is an iron path, and Wolfgang has still
much to learn. But how shall we be treated in Salzburg? Perhaps we shall
be only too glad to take our knapsacks on our backs and be off again.
At any rate, I offer my children to my country. If it will have none of
them, that is not my fault, and will be my country's loss.

So shrewd a man of the world had no idea of burying the pound that might
produce such excellent interest.



The uneventful stay of nearly a year which L. Mozart made with his
children in Salzburg was employed in mechanical practice, and perhaps
still more in the study of composition. A detailed account of these
studies is not obtainable; but L. Mozart's wise and earnest views, his
clear apprehension that genius entails twofold labour and exertion on
its possessor, leave no doubt as to the severity and thoroughness of
his instruction to his son. An exercise book containing exercises
in thorough-bass and counterpoint is preserved in the Mozarteum at
Salzburg, bearing no date, but evidently falling within this period. The
intervals and scales are followed by a long list of short lessons on a
given melody generally in three parts, to be worked out harmonically and
according to the different kinds of simple counterpoint. (_Nota contra
notam; duoy quatuor nota contra notam; cum ligaturis; floridum_.) The
choral tunes which serve as Cantus firmus are taken from Fux's Gradus
ad Pamassum, which was no doubt employed as a textbook.[4] The lessons,
corrections, and brief notes are generally in the father's writing, the
working out and the fair copies of the corrected lessons are of course
made by Wolfgang; on one occasion he jokingly notes the different parts
as _Il Sign. d'Alto, il Marchese Tenore, il Duca Basso_. An observation
of the compositions of this period, which are still preserved, will show
us the result of the studies.

Archbishop Sigismund, incredulous of Wolfgang's powers, caused him, so
Barrington says, to be locked up for a week, seeing no one, during which
time he was to compose an oratorio, for which the Archbishop provided
the subject. Wolfgang stood the test triumphantly, and the oratorio was
publicly performed, with great success, during Lent, 1767.

This composition (35 K.) was printed in Salzburg (1767) with the



The Obligation of the First and Greatest Commandment, Mark 12, v. 30:
Thou shalt love the Lord Thy God with all thy hearty with all thy mind,
with all thy soul, and with all thy strength.

[See Page Image]

After this preface, the declaration "that there is no more dangerous
state for the soul than lukewarmness in the work of salvation" is given
as a reason for this musical representation "by which it is intended not
only to delight the mind but to elevate the soul."

In the first part the understanding and judgment of the lukewarm
Christian are stirred by the loving and indefatigable zeal of the
Christian Spirit, with the assistance of Divine Mercy and Justice. In
the second part, right



judgment is victorious, the will is prepared for surrender, to be
finally and completely freed from fear and wavering in the third and
last part.

The verses, richly garnished with Latin texts, have quite the prosaic
bombastic character of the period.

Mozart's original score[6] has the title in his father's writing:
"Oratorium di Wolfgango Mozart composto nel mese di Marzo, 1766." As
they were then in the Netherlands, we must suspect an error. But the
date 1766 is established by the "10 years old" on the title-page; he
must have set to work immediately after his return, quite at the end
of 1766, and the representation must have taken place in March of the
following year.

The score, which fills 208 pages, bears unmistakable traces of boyish
workmanship in the blotted notes, and in the uncertain writing and
spelling of the text of the songs (that of the recitatives is in another
and a firmer handwriting), but there is not a sign of boyishness in the
music itself. The whole composition is modelled on the Italian oratorio,
and shows a complete mastery of its forms. The introductory symphony is
an allegro in the usual two parts, simple in its execution, and with no
actual thematic elaboration, but precise and well rounded. The dialogue
is in recitative, and maintained throughout with correct declamation,
here and there displaying a fine sense of fitting expression, which
tells more for the independent power of comprehension than even
the surprising technical skill exhibited. Here and there comes an
accompanied recitative, with an effort after originality, depending
chiefly on the expression of the words, which are poor stuff in most
cases. For instance, after the lines--

     Und der Verkehrte will sich bald ergeben,
     Wenn ihnen fühlbar sollte vor ihnen schweben
     Das Pein-und Schreckenbild des offnen Höllengrund,



which have been given in secco-recitative, comes the strongly accented

[See Page Image]



They are in the usual form, the principal subject elaborated and
repeated after a short intermediate subject, with ritornellos differing
in length and character, according to the commonly accepted varieties.
The perfect decision of style and composition leaves the inexperienced
hand of the scholar hardly visible, and it is plain that the boy has
taken in and turned to account all that he has heard. But although the
work may be considered on a level with most of the similar compositions
of the time, it cannot be said to be distinguished from them by
individual character. It conforms on all important points to the Italian
style, although there is now and then a sentimental colouring suggested
by Graun's German verses.

The melodies are simple and good, with here and there a pure and
dignified phrase, and a delicate expression of deep feeling. Witness
the passage in the second soprano air, "Du wirst von deinem Leben genaue
Rechnung geben," which is afterwards well made use of in the recitative.
The very moderate embellishment of the whole work is in great measure
the father's addition. The third tenor air rises above the level of the
rest; the words, although themselves certainly not inspired, have given
opportunity for the expression of a tender earnest mood in a charming
flowing melody whose well-chosen harmonies and admirable instrumentation
shadow forth unmistakably the later Mozart. He must himself have felt
the charm of this air, for, as we shall see, he repeated it in his first
opera. The finale of the oratorio is a pleasing terzet for two soprani
and tenor, with the parts in easy imitation. The orchestra is the
usual one of the day, stringed instruments, bassoons, seldom used
independently, two horns, and two oboes, sometimes replaced by two
flutes. The parts are, as was usual, carefully put together, but without
any pretence to more than technical skill; only the second tenor air has
an obbligato alto trombone accompaniment suggested by a reference in the
text to the trump of doom.[7]



A little cantata for two voices was also evidently composed for this
Lent. It bears the title "Grab-Musik, 1767" (42 K.), and is a dialogue
between the Soul and an Angel, the verses having a decided smack of the
local poet of Salzburg. The Soul is intrusted to a bass voice, which
was not employed in the oratorio. The cantata begins at once with a
Recitative for the Soul:

     Meines Jesu gottlichs Herz
     Das reget sich nicht mehr,
     Und ist von Blut und Leben leer.

     Was für ein hartes Eisen
     Konnt dieses süsseste und allerliebste
     Herz zerreissen!

Then follows the air--

     Felsen spaltet euren Rachen, &c.

Here Wolfgang has striven to express the somewhat whining pathos of the
text both by the voice and the instruments, and the result is a bravura
song, handled with great skill. There can be no doubt that this song
made a great effect at the time, though its want of good taste shocks
us now. The succeeding soprano air, on the other hand, which closes with
the warning--

[See Page Image]

{GRAB-MUSIK, 1767.}


[See Page Image]

expresses a soft, not unpleasing sentimental mood, which is still
more toned down in the concluding duet. Yet even here we have fanciful
passages--accepted at the time as legitimate both in music and poetry,
as corresponding to a complex state of feeling.

For a later performance, probably before 1775, Mozart added a final
chorus, introduced by a short recitative, in unjson throughout, thus
bringing the whole piece simply and melodiously to a conclusion. A
little song (146 K.): "Kom-met her, ihr frechen Sünder, seht den Heyland
aller Welt," not in any way remarkable, belonging probably to the
beginning of 1770, was also intended for a Lenten performance.

Not long after Wolfgang's return from Paris, he paid a visit to the
Monastery of Seeon, where he was on friendly terms with the monks.
During dinner the abbot expressed his regret that no offertory had been
composed for the festival of St. Benedict. Wolfgang took advantage of
the first pause



to leave the dining-hall, and leaning on the ledge of the window
opposite the door, he wrote his offertory "Scande coeli limina" (34
K.). It begins with a pleasing soprano solo, a gentle flowing melody
accompanied by the violins; then comes a lively chorus with drums
and trumpets, somewhat cramped in style and pedantic in the imitative
arrangement of its parts.

Among the monks was a certain Herr v. Haasy, called Father Johannes,
who was very fond of Wolfgang. The boy sprang towards him as soon as
he entered the monastery, climbed on his neck and stroked his cheeks,
singing the while:--

[See Page Image]

This scene excited great amusement, and the monks were never tired of
teasing him about his tune. When the fête-day of Father Johannes came
round, Wolfgang presented him with an offertory (72 K.). It begins in a
joyous burst with the words (Matth. xi. 11), "Inter natos mulierum non
surrexit maior"; then with the words "Ioanne Baptista" he introduces
the above melody as a birthday greeting to his friend. Apart from this
charming display of childish affection, the offertory, which in any
case belongs to his early boyhood, is a beautiful piece of music. The
subject, which is pursued throughout with a natural, easy movement of
the parts, has the caressing little melody running through it, and is
twice interrupted by the words (S. John i. v. 29), "Ecce Agnus Dei qui
tollit peccata mundi," given in a quiet, serious manner, that has a
charming effect. The greeting breaks out once more in the "Alleluia,"
which ends the piece.[8]

In the spring of 1767, Wolfgang again came forward as a composer in his
native town.

It was the general custom at the university to celebrate the close of
the scholastic year by a dramatic representation



among the students. In the year 1661, a large theatre, supplied with
twelve scenes, was built to replace the smaller one hitherto used, and
excited great admiration.[9] According to custom, a Latin play, written
by the Professor of Poetry, or some other ecclesiastic, was represented
by the "Benedictine Muses," i.e., by the students. The subject was taken
from the Old or New Testament, more rarely from heathen mythology, and
was always intended to point some particular moral.[10] Following an old
usage, musical portions were interspersed through the tragedy or comedy,
as they were also in the Italian spoken drama, so that a short Latin
opera of a congenial tendency, with one part serving as a prologue, was
introduced between the acts of the drama, just as in the opera seria
the intermezzi or ballets came between the acts. Members of the
chapel undertook the composition, and some of the singers assisted the
performance by taking the more difficult parts.

On May 13, 1767, the Syntax, that is, the students of the second
class, performed the tragedy, "dementia Croesi." This time the
musical supplement was entitled "Apollo et Hyacinthus seu Hyacinthi
Metamorphosis," and composed by Wolfgang, who is set forth in the
printed text-book thus: _Auctor operis musici nobilis dominus Wolfgangus
Mozart, un-decennis, filius nobilis ac strenui domini Leopoldi Mozart,
Capello Magistri._

The old myth is treated with considerable freedom, after the manner of
an Italian opera; for the edification of pious youth Melia becomes the
beloved of Apollo and Zephyrus, Hyacinthus a comparatively insignificant
personage. The piece ends _en règle_ with a betrothal. A regular
dramatic treatment is not even attempted, only long detached airs and
duets, old-fashioned in style and form, and adapted of necessity to
the Latin text. The dialogue is in Iambics, the choruses and songs are
rhymed. The text is correct enough, but devoid of taste, and imitates in
some particulars the



libretti of the Italian opera. After a short overture in two parts,
simple and well put together, the action begins with a recitative
between Hyacinthus and Zephyrus, who betrays his love for Melia and
jealousy of Apollo; Æbalus and Melia appear and sacrifice to Apollo,
who is invoked by the chorus:--

     Numen o Latonium
     Audi vota supplicum,
     Qui ter digno te honore
     Certant sancte colere.
     Nos benigno tu favore
     Subditos prosequere.

The sacrifice is not accepted; a thunderbolt scatters them all, and
Æbalus tries to reassure Hyacinthus in an air:--

     Sæpe terrent numina,
     Surgunt et minantur,
     Fingunt bella
     Quae nos angunt
     Mittunt tela
     Quae non tangunt;
     At post ficta nubila
     Rident et iocantur.

Then Apollo appears, and begs for the protection of Æbalus, Jupiter
having banished him; after many civilities on either side, Apollo
returns thanks in an air. Hereupon follow the two first acts of the
tragedy. Then Æbalus informs his daughter that Apollo demands her
in marriage; she willingly consents, and expresses her delight in an
elaborate air.

     Lætari, iocari
     Fruique divinis honoribus stat,
     Dum hymen optimus
     Tædis et floribus Grata, beata
     Connubia iungit et gaudia dat?

But now comes in Zephyrus with the tidings that Hyacinthus is slain by
Apollo. Melia thereupon declares that she cannot accept him, OEbalus
wishes to banish him, and Zephyrus expresses in an air the hopes to
which these



events give birth. Then enters Apollo, overwhelms Zephyrus with abuse,
and causes him to be borne away by the winds; Melia, enraged by this
fresh deed of violence, reproaches Apollo, and a duet follows, in
which she rejects and dismisses him, while he bewails his love and her

Hereupon follow the third and fourth acts of the tragedy. Then
Hyacinthus is borne in dying, and declares in an accompanied recitative
that Zephyrus is his murderer, which gives occasion to Æbalus to rage
duly in an air, followed by a duet between him and Melia, dreading the
anger of the offended god. But Apollo appearing, changes Hyacinthus into
a flower, extends his forgiveness to Æbalus and Melia, and betrothes
himself to the latter.

A concluding terzet expresses the general satisfaction.

This composition manifests throughout great decision of style, and in
many respects a very marked progress. The songs--in the old-fashioned
aria form--are more freely treated, the handling of the parts is more
independent, and a disposition to the imitative form is more marked than
heretofore. In the duet between Melia and Æbalus, for instance, and in
the first chorus, where the voices are treated harmonically, the violins
have an imitative phrase in the accompaniment.

Mistakes here and there in the text prove Wolfgang's Latin to be still
that of a learner. A droll little note written in 1769, to Madame
Hagenauer, shows that he was then working hard at it. The note runs as

Dear Friend,--I hope you will excuse the liberty I take in troubling
you with these few lines; but since you told me yesterday that you
understood everything, and that I might write Latin to you as much as I
chose, I cannot refrain from sending you at once some Latin lines, and
when you have read them please send the answer back by one of your own
servants, for our girl cannot wait. (But you must send me the answer in
a letter.)

Cuperem scire, de qua causa, à quam plurimis adolescentibus ottium usque
adeo æstimetur, ut ipsi se nec verbis, nec verberibus, ab hoc sinant

Even if the text were translated and explained to him, it would have
been strange if he had found no difficulty in the



language; and it is only another proof of the boy's musical apprehension
that his setting of the familiar German sacred texts has a more
distinctive character than that of this piece of declamatory school
rhetoric; the mere fact of being set to produce a brilliant work as
a task had its influence on the music, which is cold and stiff, and
sometimes devoid of taste. No doubt the long passages, the peculiar
turns given to the pompous or amorous melodies, all that appears to us
most tiresome was then most loudly applauded, and the truly surprising
ability shown in the working out may have passed at that time for
original productive power, which is just what we cannot grant it to have
been. Still, there are not wanting signs even of this, and the young
artist asserts his individuality at once whenever he has to express a
simple emotion, such as he can comprehend and enter into.

There is a little solo in the first chorus (G major, 3-4) which, in its
expressive simplicity, almost reminds us of Gluck. Again, in the duet
between Melia and Obalus there is a long well-worked-out cantilene,
which is not without beauty and expression, and is further distinguished
by original instrumentation. In this the first violins (muted) lead the
melody, the second violins and bass accompany _pizzicato_, two tenors
_coll' arco_, and two horns are introduced; a very striking variation on
the otherwise simple orchestral accompaniment, consisting of the string
quartet, two oboes, and two horns.

The duet between Melia and Apollo shows most dramatic talent, being the
only expression of an exciting situation and contrasting emotions. The
recitatives are not distinguished by characteristic expression in the
same degree as those of the sacred pieces; they are easy and flowing,
but quite in the style of the ordinary recitative of Italian opera; no
doubt because Mozart felt that such an expression of feeling as suited
the elevated, lyrical emotions of the cantata was unsuited to the
dialogue of an opera.

It is an astonishing proof of the productiveness and constant industry
of the young composer that, between December and May, three important
works were completed and performed. In the summer of 1767 we find him

{VIENNA, 1767.}


[See Page Image]

for a journey to Vienna, and composing four clavier concertos (37,39-41
K.), in F (April), B flat ( June), D and G major ( July), with the usual
orchestral accompaniment; once, only, trumpets are added. The form is
the usual one in three movements, like the symphony. The compositions
are not above the ordinary level, and have little either of original
or technical interest. It is noteworthy that even in these works, which
were to serve as show pieces, we can trace no signs of boyish pleasure
in odd or artificial effects; the love of tuneful melody, and the
endeavour to blend the orchestra and the solo part into an harmonious
whole, are as observable in his first compositions as in his last.


[Footnote 1: A marvellous account is given in the Historisch moralischen
Belustigungen des Geistes (Hamb., 1765), Stüclc VII. Aristide ou le
Citoyen, XVI. discours du 11 Octobre, 1766 (Lausanne). Hiller wöch.
Nachr., 1766,1., p. 174.]

[Footnote 2: Those who please can make an approximate calculation from L.
Mozart's different entries, of the whole sum received and expended
on the tour. The children received so many presents in jewellery and
trinkets that they might have set up a shop with them.]

[Footnote 3: So says Marianne Mozart (A. M. Z., II., p. 300).]

[Footnote 4: L. Mozart, who was well versed in theoretical literature, possessed
the original edition in Latin. (Vienna, 1725.)]

[Footnote 5: According to Kochel's probable conjecture, Joh. Adam Wieland was
born 1710; Curate in 1734; Vicar of Gotting and Anthering, 1766; Pastor
of Friedorfing, 1767; and died, 1774.]

[Footnote 6: The autograph was found by F. Pohl, in the Royal Library at Windsor,
A. M. Z., 1865, p. 225.]

[Footnote 7: The Agnus of L. Mozart's Lauretanian Litany in E flat major is a
solo, with obbligato alto trombones.]

[Footnote 8: These traditions, resting on the authority of Max Keller, the
Hofkapell-organist at Altötting, are alluded to by Prof Schafhutl in
his preface to the Offertorium, published at Munich, 1851.]

[Footnote 9: Hist. Univ. Salisb., p. 110.]

[Footnote 10: A list of the pieces produced from 1621 to 1727 is given in Hist.
Univ. Salisb., p. 112.]



By Author


THE approaching marriage of the Archduchess Maria Josepha with King
Ferdinand of Naples furnished Leopold Mozart with a pretext for
repairing to Vienna with his whole family; this he did in the beginning
of September,

1767, with every expectation that the public of that brilliant capital
would recognise the progress made by Wolfgang since their former

They travelled quickly; were invited to dine with the Bishop at Lambach;
and at the Monastery of Mölk, where Wolfgang tried the organ, his
playing was at once recognised by the organist.

Misfortune awaited them at Vienna. The charming and universally beloved
Princess Josepha fell ill of the small-pox, which carried her off in
less than a month. This, of course, put a stop to any appearance at
court, or at the houses of the nobility.

Leopold Mozart had been advised when in Paris to follow the example of
the Duke of Orleans, who had set the fashion



of inoculation with his own children in 1756, and to "graft the
small-pox" in his little boy. "But I prefer," he wrote (February 22,
1764), "to leave it all in God's hands; let Him, in His divine mercy,
dispose as He will of the life of this wonder of nature." Now, however,
he took instant flight to Olmütz with his children, but they did not
escape; first Wolfgang sickened, then Marianne. Count Leopold Anton von
Podstatzky, Dean of Olmütz and Canon of Salzburg (which would account
for his acquaintance with Mozart), out of compassion to the distracted
father, took the whole family into his house, making light of the risk
of infection. In the deanery, well cared for, and skilfully doctored,
the children passed through all stages of the disease, which, with
Wolfgang at least, was so severe, that he lay blind for nine days.

"Again is the saying proved true," writes L. Mozart: "In Te Domine
speravi, non confundar in æternum." "What extraordinary and unexpected
good fortune it was that Count P. should have been willing to receive
a child with the small-pox! I cannot tell you with what kindness and
goodness we were treated; who else would have received a family under
such circumstances, and that from an impulse of pure humanity? This good
deed shall redound to the honour of the Count in the biography of our
little one which I intend to publish some day, for I consider that it is
the commencement of a new epoch in his life."

He endeavoured also to bring about an expression "of gratitude, or at
all events of approbation" on the part of the Archbishop towards the
Count. For several weeks after his recovery, Wolfgang was obliged to
be very careful of his eyes, and his daily visitor, the Archbishop's
chaplain, Hay, afterwards Bishop of Konigsgràz (brother to Frau von
Sonnenfels),[2] strove to relieve the tedium of his enforced idleness by
teaching him card-games, in which the boy soon became as great an adept
as his instructor. He threw himself with the same zeal into the practice
of fencing,



having at all times a great love of exercises demanding bodily
activity.[3] When his recovery was complete, he composed an aria for the
little daughter of his physician, Wolf, of which her father reminded him
in later years (May 28, 1778).

On their return journey to Vienna they stayed for a fortnight at Brunn,
where they were received with great kindness by Count Franz Anton
Schrattenbach, brother to Archbishop Sigismund, of Salzburg: all the
nobility residing at Brünn treated them with the "highest distinction."

But at Vienna, which they re-entered at the beginning of January, 1768,
difficulties crowded thick upon them. At court, indeed, their reception
took place sooner than they had dared to hope. The Empress Maria Theresa
had scarcely recovered from the small-pox, when she remembered her
admiration of the children, and sent for the family.

The Emperor himself came into the ante-chamber, and conducted them
to his mother, no other person being present but Duke Albert of
Sachsen-Teschen, and the Archduchesses. They passed two hours in the
midst of this family circle. The Empress, a motherly woman, conversed
intimately with Frau Mozart, and questioned her on all details of
the children's illness, pressing her hands and stroking her cheeks
compassionately, while the Emperor discussed musical and other matters
with Wolfgang and his father, and "made Nannerl blush very often."

This unusual condescension was gratifying to the patriotic feelings
of the Mozart family, but it was not directly profitable. The Empress
presented them with a pretty medal of small value; but as she had
visited neither the opera nor the theatre since the death of her
consort, and had discontinued all musical parties, a summons to play
at court could only come from the Emperor. But Joseph showed little
inclination to liberality in the cause of art, and others, besides L.
Mozart, complained of his parsimony.



The nobility followed the example of the court, and avoided any
appearance of extravagance in order to ingratiate themselves with
the Emperor. Dancing was the only amusement during the carnival,
but, whereas, formerly the nobles vied with each other in costly
entertainments, at which distinguished artists were nearly always
present, they now gave their balls in public rooms and at small
expense. L. Mozart suspects that the court made its advantage by this,
contracting for all dances, masquerades, and balls, and sharing the
profits with the contractor. Under these circumstances, the good
recommendations Mozart had brought with him were of little use. He had
letters to the Master of the Horse, Count von Dietrichstein, who was
high in the Emperor's favour, to Fräulein Josepha Guttenberg, "the
Empress's right hand," and to the court physician, L'Augier,[4] a
travelled and accomplished man of considerable talent, and excellent
judgment in music; all that was refined and cultivated in Viennese
society flocked to his assemblies. Among Mozart's patrons was also Duke
Joh. Carl v. Braganza, a man of the first importance, who had proved his
spirit and courage at the earthquake of Lisbon, and as a volunteer in
the Austrian army;[5] frequent travels had increased his knowledge and
enlarged his views;[6] he was an excellent companion and a thorough
musical connoisseur.[7]

Gluck dedicated to him his "Paride ed Elena" (1770), and in the
well-known dedication explained that he sought in the Duke, not so much
a patron as a judge, of thorough knowledge, fine taste, and unprejudiced

The Mozarts were further favourably noticed by Prince Kaunitz, an
elegant connoisseur, but a man of such exaggerated anxiety on the
subject of his health, that he would not admit Wolfgang into his
presence as long as the traces of the small-pox remained on his face.



But the Viennese generally were not enthusiastic for art. Leopold Mozart
gives the following account of them:--

The Viennese public, as a whole, has no love of anything serious or
sensible; they cannot even understand it; and their theatres furnish
abundant proof that nothing but utter trash, such as dances, burlesques,
harlequinades, ghost tricks, and devil's antics will go down with them.
You may see a fine gentleman, even with an order on his breast, laughing
till the tears run down his face, and applauding with all his might some
piece of senseless buffoonery; whilst in a most affecting scene, where
the situation and action are alike irresistibly fine and pathetic, and
where the dialogue is of the highest order, he will chatter so loud with
a lady that his better-informed neighbours can scarcely hear a word of
the play.

Recollecting the efforts that were being made just at this time
by Sonnenfels and his colleagues to introduce a higher style
of entertainment in Vienna,[8] this description will not appear
exaggerated. Indeed, L. Mozart fails to animadvert on the main
entertainment of the Viennese, the barbarous baiting of wild animals.
Under these circumstances, it is conceivable that the same people who
raved about the performances of the little prodigy, felt little interest
in the development of an artist's genius. To this passive indifference
on the part of the public was added the active opposition of envious
musicians living by their profession, who had been ready to applaud the
precocity of a child, but who saw with quite other eyes the arrival in
their midst of an accomplished musician ready to meet them on their own

L. Mozart says of them:--

I soon found that all the clavier-players and composers in Vienna were
in opposition to us, Wagenseil only excepted, who, being ill, could be
of little use to us. The plan adopted by these people was to avoid
all opportunities of seeing us or of learning the extent of Wolfgang's
attainments. Why was this? In order that when they were asked whether
they had heard the boy, and what they thought of him, they might reply
in the negative, and deny the possibility of what they were told; that
they might assert his performances to be impostures and



mere buffoonery, got up beforehand, and all that he pretended to compose
to have been previously learnt. Now you see why they avoided us. They
knew very well that if they saw and heard they would not have a word to
say without the risk of losing their honour. But I set a trap for one
of these good folks. I persuaded some one to give me quiet notice of
his presence, and to induce him to bring an extraordinarily difficult
concerto, which was to be laid before Wolfgang. This all took place, and
he had the satisfaction of hearing his concerto played by Wolfgang as
if he knew it by heart. The astonishment of this composer and
clavier-player, the expressions of which he made use in his admiration,
let us all into the secret of what I have told you above. He ended
by saying: "I must honestly declare my opinion that this boy is the
greatest musician in the world; I could not have believed it."

But a solitary triumph of this sort could not do much against the secret
enmity of an envious cabal. The Emperor himself furnished a better
weapon by a proposal which was calculated to display Wolfgang's powers
in the most brilliant light. He ordered him to compose an opera, and
intimated a wish that the boy should himself conduct the work at the

Both father and son eagerly seized on this proposal, the more so as
success would not only insure their position in Vienna, but would pave
the way for the young artist to Italy and the Italian stage.

The Emperor announced his wish to the theatrical manager, Affligio.
Leopold Mozart, knowing that the fate of an opera greatly depends on the
performers, strove to win the goodwill of the artists, male and female;
this was not difficult to accomplish, for it was felt that unusual
applause would be given to the work of so young an artist, and Affligio
was urged on all sides to undertake the production of the work. He was
ready enough to consent; and concluded a contract to produce the opera,
with an honorarium to the composer of 100 ducats.

The singers available for opera seria were not by any means of the first

On September 29, 1767, L. Mozart gives as his opinion that Hasse's
opera ("Partenope") is fine, but the singers, considering the occasion,
indifferent; Tibaldi was the tenor; Rauzzini, of Munich, the best male
soprano; the



prima donna was Elizabeth Deiberin (Teyber), daughter of a Viennese
court violinist, and pupil of Tesi and Hasse. Gluck had not been willing
to entrust his "Alceste" to these singers. "Alceste" was brought out
in Vienna on December 16, 1767; Bemasconi made a great sensation as
Alceste, but Tibaldi took Admetus. The Mozarts were then at Olmtitz, but
they had an opportunity on their return of hearing what L. Mozart calls
"Gluck's melancholy 'Alceste.'"

It is a remarkable coincidence, that in the act of writing his first
opera, Wolfgang should have witnessed in Gluck's "Alceste" the most
marked attempt yet made for the reform of dramatic music; and it is not
unlikely that early association may have been partly the cause that he
afterwards studied "Alceste" with unquestionable partiality.

L. Mozart's ideas were too firmly rooted in the tradition of Italian
music to enable him to appreciate Gluck's innovations. That the public
in general were of his opinion is evident from Sonnenfels' mimicry of
the gossip, not of the gallery, but of the boxes of the nobility:--

"This is edifying! Nine days without a play, and on the tenth we get a
De profundis--What? This is meant to be pathetic? Well, perhaps we shall
shed a few tears presently--from _ennui_."

"Come, this is throwing money away! It is too absurd, a fool of a woman
dying for her husband!"

The members of the Opera Buffa, on the contrary, were of first-rate
excellence;[9] the die was cast, therefore, for an opera buffa. The text
was furnished by Marco Coltellini, who had been "Theatrical Poet" in
Vienna since 1764, and in 1772 was made "Imperial Poet" at the court
of St. Petersburg. He wrote after the manner of Metastasio, who
complimented him highly;[10] his principal libretti were for Gassmaun



Psiche"), Hasse ("Piramo Tisbe"), Salieri ("Armida"),[11] and for
Mozart "La Finta Semplice," in three Acts (51 K). Wolfgang set to work
at once in order that the opera might be ready by Easter. As soon as
the first act was completed it was distributed among the singers, who
expressed their entire satisfaction and admiration. But delay was caused
by the poet, who proceeded so leisurely with the alterations in the text
required both by composer and performers, that he had not finished
them until after Easter. Mozart, nothing daunted, composed eagerly and
industriously, wrote new airs whenever they were demanded, and had soon
completed the score of 25 numbers and 558 pages, in three parts. In
the meantime intrigues were set on foot from all sides to hinder the
production of the opera. Advantage was taken of a natural feeling of
repugnance at seeing a boy of twelve years old conducting in the place
usually occupied by Gluck. Leopold suspected Gluck of being concerned
in these intrigues. It is true he wrote at first: "I have brought Gluck
over to our side, and even if he is not quite sincere, he has to keep it
to himself, for his patrons are also ours;" but later he says, in plain
language: "So far, all the composers, with Gluck as their leader,
have left no stone unturned to hinder the progress of this opera." The
decision with which Gluck proceeded on the path he had marked out for
himself may have caused him to take less interest in Mozart's youthful
genius than seemed to the father right, and the latter may have been
still further repelled by Gluck's unsociable manners;[12] but envy and
intrigue directed against struggling talent are inconsistent with the
composer's proud and upright character. Nevertheless, the music was
condemned beforehand as being "not worth a groat, suiting neither the
words nor the metre, in consequence of the boy's not understanding
Italian sufficiently well." Thereupon Leopold caused Hasse, a man
honoured for his reputation, beloved for his gentle disposition, and
justly called the "father of music,"[13] and Metastasio, as the



highest authority, to pronounce their opinion in opposition to Gluck and
Calsabigi,[14] that of thirty operas produced in Vienna Wolfgang's was
incomparably the best, and worthy of the highest admiration.

Then the mode of attack was changed. The composition, it was said, was
not Wolfgang's at all, but his father's. This assertion also could be
disproved. At a large assembly, where there were present Prince
Kaunitz, Duke of Braganza, Bono, Kapellmeister to the Prince von
Hildburghausen,[15] Metastasio, and Hasse, a favourite volume of
Metastasio was opened, and a song taken at random was given to Mozart to
compose and write down with orchestral accompaniments--a proof which
at least left no doubt of the boy's technical skill and readiness.
Niemetschek confirms this through the testimony of "credible persons,"
who had been present at similar tests.

In spite of all L. Mozart's exertions the unceasing slanders issuing
from "the stirred-up hell of music" reached at last the artists who
were to represent the opera. The orchestra were encouraged to resent the
leadership of a boy; the singers, although they had one and all declared
themselves fully satisfied with the music, now that they saw the
strength of the opposition, began to fear the effect of the opera before
the public. It became their interest to postpone its production, and
to shrug their shoulders over the composition whenever they saw an

L. Mozart complains bitterly of the duplicity of the singers, some of
whom scarcely knew their notes, and had to learn everything by ear,
and assures Count Zeil, who thought that all the musicians were in
Wolfgang's favour, that he must not judge from the outside, but must
learn the "innate malice of the creatures."

Soon the impresario, who had undertaken the production of the opera
chiefly on account of the effect likely to be produced by the boyish age
of the composer, began to reflect on



the risk he was running, and to draw back. Affügio was an adventurer and
a gambler, who had procured an officer's commission by swindling, and
had risen to be lieutenant-colonel; his utter want of sympathy with art
was illustrated by the anecdote that being present at a bull-baiting
where two dogs were pitted against a Hungarian ox, he remarked to a
friend, "Believe me, I prefer these dogs to Aufrene and Neuville" (two
excellent actors, then high in favour with him).[16] His name acquired
an unhappy immortality by the share which he took more than once in the
struggle of the legitimate drama against the buffoonery of the age.[17]
He was at last sent to the galleys for forgery, and there ended his

With such a man as this had Mozart to do. He postponed the opera on
every possible pretext from Easter to Whitsuntide, then to the Emperor's
return from Hungary, and so on continually, putting one opera after the
other into rehearsal, and as often as L. Mozart wrung from him the
order to copy and rehearse Wolfgang's opera, so often was it secretly
recalled. The Emperor's interest in the work remained unabated, and
he frequently inquired after its progress from Wolfgang; but even his
influence could not prevail against Affligio, who held his position
quite independent of the court. He had the theatre on a lease, and
bore all the expenses, the imperial family having the privilege of free

Affligio had promised the nobles, and especially Prince Kaunitz, to
revive the French drama, discarded in 1766. He accomplished this in
1768, but, according to L. Mozart, at a cost of 70,000 gulden and a
great loss to himself; Prince Kaunitz strove to make the loss good by an
appeal to the Emperor to share in the expenses; but this attempt failed
signally. Under these circumstances, no influence from this quarter
could be brought to bear on Affligio, and nothing remained for L. Mozart
but to overcome his evasions step by step. When at last Affligio was
driven to bay he declared



that he would give the opera if L. Mozart insisted on it, but that it
should not benefit him much, for he would take care that it was hissed
off the stage. After this threat, which would certainly have been
fulfilled, nothing remained but to give up the production of the opera.
On September 21, L. Mozart justified himself to the Emperor by a formal
complaint against Affligio, which was intrusted for delivery to the
Court Director of Music (Hof und Kammer-Musik-director), Count Joh.
Wenzel Spork, a zealous musical friend; but, as might have been
foreseen, it was without result.

For nine months the affair had thus dragged on, during which time L.
Mozart had been living with his family at Vienna almost entirely on the
proceeds of their previous tour. His receipts at Vienna could not but be
insignificant, and the salary which he drew at Salzburg as professor
of the violin in the Royal Chapel, and leader of the orchestra, was
withdrawn in March of this year with the observation that he might
remain away as long as he chose, but that he would not be paid during
his absence.

He was too proud to use the influence of his patron, Count
Schrattenbach, brother to the Archbishop, in soliciting the continuance
of a salary which, "in the firm opinion of most of the court officials,"
he did not deserve.

But he could no longer count with certainty on the future security of
his position at Salzburg, and a rumour even reached him that this
was imperilled by the gossip which represented his gains in Vienna as
enormous, and fixed on 2,000 gulden as the sum which had been paid for
Wolfgang's opera.

L. Mozart sought to justify himself with the Archbishop by a reference
to Affligio's want of faith, which it had been impossible to foresee;
and by declaring that had the work been an opera seria instead of an
opera buffa, requiring all the strength of the Viennese company, he
would not have hesitated to shake the dust of Vienna from his feet, and
lay his son's first important composition at the feet of his rightful
and gracious lord. The honour of the Archbishop himself Mozart
considered to be concerned, that artists employed



and recommended by him should not be treated as "charlatans, liars, and
impostors, who go abroad with his permission to throw dust in people's
eyes like common conjurors"; and the Archbishop was implored to
undertake Wolfgang's cause as identical with his own against people,
who "because they sniff the air of the town where the Emperor happens to
reside, look with disdain on those who serve foreign princes, and speak
disrespectfully of the foreign princes themselves."

Nay, he calls upon him as a Christian to convince the unbelievers
that the Almighty has worked a miracle in the birth of this prodigy at

If ever I considered it my duty to convince the world of this miracle
I do so now, at a time when every effort is made to bring miracles into
disrepute and ridicule. What greater joy and triumph could I enjoy than
to hear the astonished exclamation of a follower of Voltaire (Grimm):
_Now for once in my life I have seen a miracle; it is the first._ But
because this marvel is too patent and too open to be denied, every
effort is made to suppress it, and to deprive the Lord of the glory due
to Him. There is an idea that in a few years the wonder will cease and
will fall back into the natural. So it is to be hidden away from the
eyes of the world; for what could manifest it more openly than a public
performance in a large and populous city?

This tone was undoubtedly adopted as an appeal to the Archbishop's
bigoted piety.

In spite of all discouragements, L. Mozart never swerved from his main
object. He had an immovable faith in the Providence which had "so often
and so evidently urged him on or held him back, and always led him in
the right way." Just as firm was his confidence in the artistic gifts
of his son, for whose glorious future he considered it his mission to
prepare the way. His conviction that the opera in Vienna would be the
pioneer on the road to Italy made him ready to sacrifice to it even his
official position in Salzburg:--

I reckon upon this as a means of extorting permission for the journey to
Italy, a journey which, all things considered, cannot be long delayed,
and for which the Emperor himself has given me every possible assistance
in the imperial towns, and in Florence and Naples. Failing



this, we must pine at Salzburg in the vain hope of better fortune,
until I shall have grown too old to make the journey at all, and until
Wolfgang has grown up, and his performances are deprived of everything
marvellous. Can it be that the first step of this opera in Vienna shall
have been made in vain, and that my son is not to advance with rapid
strides along the path so plainly marked out for him?

However bitterly he felt that ill-will and disappointment pursued him
in Vienna as they had never done abroad, and that his opponents were
Germans seeking to oppress a German, whom foreigners had treated with
justice and liberality, yet intrigues and slanders never deprived him of
patience and self-command:--

It is just the way of the world; if a man has no talent he is unhappy
enough, but if he has talent, then envy follows him in proportion to his
ability. All we can do is by patience and perseverance to convince the
world that our adversaries are malicious liars, slanderers, and covetous
wretches, who would laugh in their sleeve if we allowed them to frighten
or weary us.

It is impossible to withhold our sympathy from L. Mozart's shrewd and
patient endeavours to bring to light his son's work, in the full
belief of its worth; but we must ascertain also how far this belief
is justified by the work itself. The opera is preserved in Mozart's
handwriting, and a detailed examination of it serves to confirm the
judgment of contemporary critics, that it is not only on a level with
the numerous comic operas of the time, but far superior to the majority
of them.[19]

The text goes far to justify Coltellini's want of success as a
librettist. The poverty of the plot, the unreality of the characters,
and the stupidity of the jokes, all prove the truth of Nicolai's severe
criticism of the "outlandish musical zany in Vienna, whose pieces are as
poor as those of any mountebank."[20]

The plot is somewhat as follows:--



Fracasso, a Hungarian officer, is quartered with his servant Simone
in the house of two rich bachelors, Cassandro and Polidoro, who have a
beautiful sister Giacinta. Fracasso and Simone are of course carrying
on a love intrigue with Giacinta and her maid, Ninetta, of which the
brothers know nothing. The latter are broad caricatures. Polidoro, the
younger of the two, is simple and timid, but amorous by nature, which
he does not dare to betray to Cassandro, who, by virtue of his wealth,
talent, and good looks, of which he is inordinately vain, tyrannises
over his household, and though not less amorous than his brother, feigns
a contempt for women. In order to outwit the brothers and force them
into a consent to their union, the two pair of lovers plot that Rosine,
Fracasso's sister, who is expected on a visit, shall, under Ninetta's
instruction, make both brothers in love with her. Rosine enters with
'feigned simplicity,' and with a marvellous show of _naïveté_ throws
herself at the head of the two brothers. Each of them, delighted at her
demonstration of love, wishes to marry her at once. The tricks which she
plays on them, the Complications which ensue when each brother in turn
surprises her with the other, their attempts to ingratiate themselves
with her, and their awkward manners form the main subject of the opera,
which is devoid of dramatic action, and consists of detached burlesque
scenes. We will note a few characteristic traits. At their first
meeting, after a very few words, Polidoro proposes marriage on the spot
to Rosine. She shows herself not averse but _"domanda un matrimonio i
passi suoi, s' am a da prima, e poiche qualche visita almeno, qualche
gentil biglietto, qualche bel regalo."_ He is nothing daunted; as for
love he declares, it exists already; for the visits, he has just paid
one. Ninetta shall write a love-letter for him, and, by way of present,
he thrusts a purse of gold into her hand. In a subsequent scene he is
formally instructed in the duties of a husband.

Cassandro fares no better. At their first interview, Rosine begs for a
ring which he wears, and, on his refusal, she teases him into lending
it, whereupon he plainly expresses his doubt of ever receiving it back
again. In the following act he comes in intoxicated and is consequently
forced by Rosine to converse with her from the opposite corner of the
stage; she expresses herself in pantomine, which he misunderstands, and
at last goes to sleep. Then she puts the ring on his finger again and
leaves him.

Fracasso enters, and Cassandro complains that his sister has kept the
ring; but as it is shown to be on his finger, a duel is the consequence,
in which Cassandro makes full display of his cowardice. To bring matters
to a point the brothers are informed that Giacinta and Ninetta have
decamped with gold and jewels, and are induced to promise the hands
of these young ladies to whomsoever shall bring them back. Fracasso and
Simone are happy enough to accomplish this; Rosine having given her hand
to Cassandro, clears up all misunderstandings, and the piece ends amid
general rejoicings.



The noble and refined genius of young Mozart now, as ever, raising to a
higher sphere all with which it came in contact, was able to transform
and quicken even such miserable trash as this. The jesting is confined
to the dialogue; the songs have a higher tone, and in the finales, which
are unquestionably burlesque in their situations, the poor fun of the
text is made subordinate to the strongly marked individuality of the
composer. A talent for musical delineation of character is clearly
visible in this work, and must be entirely ascribed to the genius of the
youthful composer, who had no help from the poet. The part of Polidoro
is the most favourable instance of dramatic power. It was written for
Caribaldi, whose beautiful voice was very telling in slow movements, but
who had a poor execution, and strove unsuccessfully to imitate Caratoli
in his acting.[21] Mozart has contrived to give a simple, noble
expression to the genuine feeling of love which invests even the poor
simple dupe with a certain dignity; and yet the comic element is never
lost sight of. His first air (7), in which he describes the impression
made on him by Rosine, is the crown of the whole opera. The naïve
emotion of a youth, who is as yet unconscious of the strength of his own
passions, is so naturally and heartily expressed, that we may well ask
how the boy had acquired such a degree of psychological insight. We are
reminded of Cherubino in "Figaro," but Polidoro is not to be compared
to the Page in fire and spirit. All Mozart's later characteristics,
the quiet beauty and easy flow of the melodies and harmonies, the
symmetrical blending of the details into a whole, and the intrinsic
unity of style, are already to be traced, and we may fairly rank this
song with those of his maturer works.

The instrumentation is carefully and effectively worked out. The first
violins and the voice go together, the second violins have a simple
accompaniment, the basses



play _pizzicato_. Two tenors and bassoons, generally in unison, supply
the shadows to this outline (as it may fairly be termed), and two oboes
let in the appropriate lights; the horns, made use of only in long-drawn
notes, keep the whole together. The skilful employment of these simple
means produces an effect of light and shade which is at once striking
and beautiful.

As we have already observed, this air was taken, with slight
modifications, and with the omission of the middle movement in G minor,
and of the Da capo, from Mozart's earlier oratorio (p. 55). This species
of borrowing was common enough at the time, but Mozart never made use of
it except in this instance; his having done so here proves how strongly
the young composer himself felt the beauty of his music.

Polidoro's air in the second act (17) has far more of dramatic energy.
Rosine, insulted by Cassandro, bursts into tears; Polidoro, indignant
with his brother, but more than half-frightened at his own temerity,
seeks to console her. The contrast between his strong feeling of
attraction to Rosine and the effort which he makes to overcome his fear
of his brother is well marked by modulations of time and measure, and by
the instrumentation; the accelerated part has much of the ordinary buffo

Next to Polidoro we may rank Rosine. The part was publicly announced for
Clementine Baglioni, whose voice "had a silvery tone, was as easy and
fluent as could be desired, and carried admirably"; she sang "without
audacity and correctly; her gestures were easy and becoming."[22] "The
same simplicity and truthfulness of expression is observable here as
in the part of Polidoro. The first song (6) in which she undertakes to

     Che si puö senza rossore

Gradir tutti ed un solo amar, is fresh and lively, and the passages are
so natural and graceful, that even in the present day it does not sound



antiquated. The first part of the second song (9) is especially
beautiful, and the principal melody reminds us, in dignity and
expression, of the Countess in "Figaro." The words--

     Senti I' eco, ove t' aggiri,
     Susurrar tra fiori e fronde
     Ma se gridi, o se sospiri
     Quello sol 1' eco risponde,
     Che ti sente à ragionar.

give opportunity for descriptive music, the _susurrar_ being expressed
by a phrase for the violins, while a solo oboe enacts the part of Echo,
repeating the end of each phrase.

But this trifling is kept in the background, and does not in the least
interfere with the tender character of the air. The second part (Allegro
grazioso, 3-4), although light and cheerful, does not approach the first
in originality and depth. The cavatina in the second act (15) expresses
a simple, fervent emotion in a beautiful melody; the whole piece, both
in design and execution, shows Mozart's manner most unmistakably; and
is marked by a certain individuality of conception which transcends all
technical readiness and skill. On the other hand, the song (17) which
Rosine sings in her _rôle_ of affected simplicity, is cheerful and
fresh, but not particularly striking.

The part of Cassandro is not on a par with the two we have been
considering. Caratoli, for whom it was written was past his best days
as a singer, but he was an excellent actor, and "knew how to dispense in
some measure with singing"; he generally played old men, and his desire
to please the multitude led him into occasional extravagances.[23] His
part is specially adapted to the peculiarities of the Italian buffo; it
contains rapid declamation, well-applied pauses, strong contrasts, and
other similar conventional effects; but not much original conception of



comic character. In one song, indeed, we have a clever expression given
to the not over-refined words:--

     E son come un can barbone,
     Frà la carne ed il bastone,
     Vorrei stender lo zampino
     E al baston più m' avvicino
     E abbaiando, mugilando
     Piglio il porco e me ne vö.

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[See Page Image]

We must not indeed compare such jesting as this, however it may have
been applauded at the time, with the delicate humour of Figaro. The
composer is not at his best; but much of the blame lies at the door of
the poet who wrote such trash, and of the performer who would accept
only slight indications of the music to be sung, that he might win
applause by his own elaboration of it. But youthful inexperience and
ignorance of the minds of men must also naturally have narrowed the
boy's ideas. It is a sufficient proof of his thoroughly artistic nature
that his fun was exempt from childish extravagance.

The two pairs of lovers are not of equal prominence. The somewhat timid
and indolent Giacinta is a difficult subject for musical representation.
In her first song she declares(3)--

     Mari to io vorrei, ma senza fatica,
     Averlo, se commoda, lasciarlo, se intrica;



the husband is to be--

     Un uoroo d' ingegno
     Ma fatto di legno.

This is not exactly the state of mind for a prima donna. The music that
she sings is harmonious and pleasing, but, with the exception of a happy
turn here and there, not above the average. Only the song in the third
act (24) expresses dismay at the pretended flight with a tragic pathos,
which, though of course exaggerated, is well sustained, both by the
voice and the accompaniment. The conception of this part was doubtless
influenced by the individuality of the singer for whom it was written.
According to Sonnenfels this was Signora Eberhardi.

"She has an agreeable contralto voice, and a style which pleases
universally. Her shakes certainly degenerate sometimes into a quake, and
if the tempo is taken very fast she fails to keep pace with it. In her
acting she suffers the natural to pass into the artificial, and her
conventional gestures are often constrained."[24]

Fracasso is a lover of the usual type, rough and impetuous as becomes a
Hungarian officer, quarrelsome with the two brothers, but without marked
individuality. This it was impossible for so young a composer as Mozart
to evolve out of such commonplace and insignificant materials. The part
was cast for Laschi, whom Sonnenfels[25] praises as a cultivated artist,
and a buffo actor of the most refined and intelligent type. He still
played first lover's parts, but was much commiserated on account of the
loss of certain notes of his voice, a defect which he sought to hide by
transposing airs and passages.

Simone is an ordinary valet, blunt rather than rude, and merry, all
which is well represented by the music, the part seldom rising,
however, above the ordinary buffo level. Most genial and telling is the

     Con certe persone Vuol esser bastone--



and the concluding refrain "Madama, bastone!" is pretty and comical.
Poggi, who took the servants' and peasants' parts, possessed a fine bass
voice and correct execution, together with a charming style of acting,
and was the favourite of connoisseurs.[26]

The character most devoid of colour is that of Ninetta, and we find
in it no foretaste of a Susannah or a Despina. It can only have been
intended for Bemasconi, who had made a great sensation as Sandrina in
Piccini's "Buona Figliola," and in Sacchini's "Contadina in Corte."[27]
It is indicative of the healthiness of Mozart's genius that some of the
songs for these less important personages were rewritten several times,
no doubt at the request of the performers.[28] Where any natural emotion
or characteristic situation is to be represented, his judgment is at
once correct and decided; but in unimportant matters he is ready to
yield to the wishes of the singers and the public, and to attempt
various modes of expression in search of what is pleasing and

In accordance with the prevailing fashion, solo songs abound in this
opera; each character has two or three, Rosine has four, and the total
number amounts to twenty. The majority are formed on the same model, the
usual one of the day.

They have a long ritomello, and consist of two movements, differing in
time, measure, and key, which are generally both repeated; each movement
is woven into one long thread, the motifs being sometimes repeated, but
never really worked out. This clumsy form gives few opportunities
for dramatic effect, and is especially adapted for the singer who is
desirous of displaying his own,

As a matter of course, those songs which have most originality disregard
such rules, and their form is rounder,



more self-contained and complete. In these, little opportunity is given
for a display of execution; the melodies are simple, ornamental passages
and runs few in number,[29] and little beyond the cadenzas is left to
the singers' discretion. The natural expression of feeling in the songs
is never inconsistent with the style of an opera buffa; all is cheerful,
light, and easy of apprehension.

By the side of these numerous airs, there is only one duet between
Fracasso and Cassandro (19), of a purely comic character; Cassandro
assumes an air of arrogant importance, but, terrified in reality, seeks
by any means to escape from the proposed duel. This is animated, and
must have been very effective at the time; but it is in reality a solo
for the bass buffo, for Fracasso has only detached ejaculations, and the
two voices never go together.

Each act of the opera ends with a finale, in which the action,
increasing in intensity through the several scenes, is wound up and
represented to the audience in a connected and coherent form. Clearly
defined rules left little scope for originality in the arrangement and
composition of these finales. Changes of time, measure, and key took
place according to rule with every change of situation; and each
movement formed a complete and detached whole. When the action becomes
animated, or the dialogue rapid, the orchestra, by means of retaining
and developing a characteristic motif, supplies a framework from which
individual dramatic features can be detached without risk of the whole
falling asunder.

The skilful modelling of a composition from its purely musical aspect,
is as important to true artistic workmanship as is the vivid delineation
of individual character; only a consummate master of his art can
be expected to bring both these elements to perfection. The first
predominates in these finales.

The design and modelling of each subject is firm and



flowing. The voices are not artificially involved, but free and
independent throughout; the orchestra is cleverly handled and treated
with due consideration, whether it comes to the front, or remains as an
accompaniment in the background.

The instrumentation is rich, and even where the rapid progress of the
action causes difficulties, it is full of effects of light and shade.

The wind instruments are frequently employed independently; and there
is already visible the germ of Mozart's inimitable art of combining
orchestra and voices with mutual independence into perfect unity. The
situations and characters are fitly and dramatically expressed by the
orchestra, though not in so striking a degree as in the airs. Creative
power is not so prominent here as the dexterity with which the various
parts are moulded together. Even with his extraordinary gifts, such a
mere boy could not satisfy in an equal degree the very great and varied
demands made upon him face to face with such a task as this; the only
wonder is that Mozart did not yield to the temptation of producing
brilliant effects at the cost of artistic unity.

These finales make a perfectly harmonious effect, and wanting as they
are in depth and vigour, preserve throughout the genuine character of an
opera buffa. The last movement of each finale is for four voices, and is
sung by all the personages present; a similar movement opens the opera.
They are very simple, the voices in harmony, to a varied figure on the
violins, generally only a sort of paraphrase of the principal subject;
the other instruments fill in the harmonies, so that the whole has a
rapid, busy effect.

The overture (Sinfonia) is, according to established custom, in three
movements, the two first being in two divisions. It is a symphony,
composed previously on January 16 (45 K.), and prefixed to the opera
with the omission of the minuet. There are a few minor alterations,
chiefly in the instrumentation. The symphony had originally trumpets
and drums, which were omitted in the overture, while flutes and bassoons
were added. This is unquestionably the weakest part of the opera, and
the middle movement is



especially poor; but little importance was then attached to the
overture, and it is not worse than others of its day.

To sum up our criticism, the opera was a worthy rival to those already
in possession of the stage, and portions of it may fairly be said
to surpass them in nobility and originality both of invention and
execution, while it points unmistakably to a glorious future for its
composer. Surely this is extraordinary praise for the work of a boy!

The manuscript score is clearly a fair copy, but not without
corrections. Some of these are of mistakes in the copying; others,
although seldom, are alterations probably demanded by the performers,
either curtailments or additions. The additions are for the most part
to the closing phrases, which Mozart, as a rule, cut very short; the
singers, mindful of a good exit, demanded their prolongation. The hand
of L. Mozart is discernible throughout; the indications of the tempo,
of the persons, instruments, &c., the minute directions as to execution,
are almost all in his handwriting.

There are also some indications of his having revised the composition in
unimportant trifles. But this score, being a copy, can offer no evidence
as to the influence of L. Mozart's advice and corrections on the
compositions of his son; we can well understand that at the time this
influence was thought to be overpowering; now that Wolfgang's career and
development lie open before us, we rate it at next to nothing.

Although L. Mozart was denied the satisfaction of witnessing the public
recognition of his son's genius by the performance of this opera, yet
a good opportunity was afforded him of asserting his dramatic talent
before a small circle of connoisseurs. The Mozarts became acquainted
with a Dr. Messmer,[30] who had married a rich wife, and who kept



open house for a select and cultivated circle. Heufeld was among the
number of his friends. Dr. Messmer was musical, and had built an amateur
theatre; here was performed, a little German opera composed by Wolfgang,
with the title "Bastien und Bastienne" (50 K.).

We must here revert to J. J. Rousseau's intermezzo, "Le Devin du
Village," the origin of which he describes in the eighth book of his
"Confessions."[31] The pleasure which he had derived during his stay
in Italy from the performances of the opera buffa was revived in 1752 at
Passy, where he encountered a zealous musical friend, Musard, who
shared the same tastes. This suggested to Rousseau the idea of placing
something of the same kind on the French stage; in a few days the plan
of the piece, the text, and some of the music were sketched out, and
within six weeks, the poem and composition were complete. At a private
rehearsal, which Duclos arranged, the operetta made a great sensation,
and attracted the attention of the manager _des menus plaisirs_, De
Cury, who ordered and directed a performance of it at court.

It was twice (on October 18 and 24,1752) performed before the King at
Fontainebleau, Mdlles. Fel and Jeliotte singing Colette and Colin, with
great applause. Then it was given publicly in Paris before the Académie
Royale de Musique on March 1, 1753, and met with great and universal
approbation.[32] From the King, who, "with the worst voice in his whole
kingdom," sang "J'ai perdu mon serviteur," downwards, the couplets
of the operetta were in every one's mouth, and it became popular to
a remarkable degree. In 1774 it received almost as much applause as
Gluck's "Orpheus,"[33]



and even in 1819 and 1821 German musicians were astonished at its
popularity. It did not finally disappear from the stage until 1828.[34]
The plot could not be simpler:--

Colette, a village maiden, is inconsolable for her faithless swain,
Colin, and goes to a soothsayer for advice and assistance. He informs
her that the lady of the manor has entangled Colin in her toils, but
that he is still faithful at heart, and will return to his first love;
she must punish him by pretended indifference, so as to inflame his
desires afresh; this she promises. Colin then enters; he is healed
of his madness, and returns to his Colette. On being informed by
the soothsayer that she loves another, he, too, begs for help; the
soothsayer undertakes to summon Colette by magic, but Colin must himself
do the rest. Colette appears, and somewhat unsuccessfully plays the
prude; her lover thereupon rushes off in despair, she calls him back,
and then follow reconciliation and renewed assurance of love and
constancy. The soothsayer receives thanks and reward, and the assembled
villagers take part in the joy of the lovers.

The simplicity and naïve sentiments, which atone for the poverty of
the plot, are also characteristic of the music. A certain inequality
in technical details, and here and there gross errors, betray the
amateur;[35] but there is a natural feeling in the melodies, and a
playful tenderness in the whole composition, which must have had an
extraordinary effect at the time of its production. Rousseau, who
aimed at unity of tone before all things in this little sketch, was not
satisfied with furnishing the couplets with easy flowing melodies,
but bestowed great care on the recitatives, which, in imitation of
the Italian, were intended to be pieces of artistic and studied
declamation.[36] The minute care with which he indicated the smallest
detail in the delivery of his recitatives is almost incredible; it is
plain that he gave credit to the performers for no musical feeling or
power of expression whatever.

Rousseau's opera coincided in point of time with the first



appearance of Italian opera buffa in Paris; and though he had avowedly
taken, this as his model, comparison serves only to prove the complete
originality of his work. It bore unmistakable traces of its nationality,
and was French in feeling and tone.[37] The abiding impression created
by it is best shown by the innumerable operas of the same kind, which
followed closely in its rear,[38] such as "Rose et Colas," "Annette et
Lubin," "La Clochette." The Comédie-Italienne ratified the success of
the "Devin du Village" in yet another way. According to the custom, by
which every piece of any importance was parodied as soon as it appeared
on the stage, a parody of Rousseau's intermezzo appeared at the
Italiens, September 26, 1753, with the title: "Les Amours de Bastienet

It was composed by the witty and agreeable Madame Favart and Hamy,[40]
and, without attempting to disparage the original, it transforms the
Arcadian idealism of Rousseau's shepherds into the unromantic realism of
country life. Genuine French peasants express appropriate sentiments in
their patois, and the whole piece is rustic and natural.

The dialogue is strung together by well-known melodies, as was always
the case in vaudeville. The piece was highly applauded, owing its
success in great measure to the lively and natural acting of Madame
Favart. She was the first actress who ventured to appear in the genuine
simple costume of a peasant woman, and her appearance in sabots created
a great sensation. Her portrait was painted in this



character, and it had much to do in laying the foundation of her

The parody was elaborated into a German operetta. In Vienna, low comedy
had never entirely renounced the aid of music; Haydn composed his
operetta "Der neue Krumme Teufel" for Kurz-Bemardon. When the more
refined comic opera was introduced by Hiller, it was accepted and
imitated in Vienna. In 1764 Weiskem translated Madame Favart's parody
with some slight alterations,[42] and to this text Mozart composed the
music.[43] The piece is a continuous dialogue, interrupted by isolated
songs and duets at appointed places. These, consisting of eleven solo
songs, three duets, and one terzet do not always correspond to those
of Rousseau's opera, which was unknown to the adapter; many songs have
several verses, of which Mozart has only transcribed the first.

The French parody has been most unskilfully travestied, as will be seen
by a comparison of the first song in its various forms.


     J'ai perdu tout mon bonheur;
     J'ai perdu mon serviteur:
     Colin me délaisse.
     Hélas! il a pu changer!
     Je voudrois n'y plus songer:
     J'y songe sans cesse.


     (Air: J'ai perdu mon äne.)
     J'ons pardu mon ami!
     Depis c' tems-là j'nons point dormi,
     Je n' vivons pû qu'à d'mi.
     J'ons pardu mon ami,
     J'en ons le cour tout transi,
     Je m' meurs de souci.




     Mein liebster Freund hat mich verlassen,
     Mit ihm ist Schlaf und Ruh dahin;
     Ich weiss vor Leid mich nicht zu fassen,
     Der Kummer schwächt mir Aug' und Sinn.
     Vor Gram und Schmerz Erstarrt das Herz,
     Und diese Noth Bringt mir den Tod.

The verses are equally tame and clumsy all the way through; and even
taking into account the prevailing low standard of cultivation and
taste, it is difficult to believe that this operetta could have been
produced at a private house of any importance.[44]

Mozart has given his music a strictly pastoral character, indicated,
wherever possible, by its outward form. The orchestral introduction
(Intrada) an Allegro (3-4) of about seventy bars, begins with a pastoral

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interrupted by quick passages for oboes and horns, plainly intended to
express a disturbance of the peaceful shepherd's life; this passes into
a tender pianissimo, prefiguring Bastienne's song. Holmes remarks that
the subject reminds one of Beethoven's Sinfonia Eroica, and still more
so as the overture proceeds; but no one, it is to



be hoped, would think of an actual reminiscence. Both the melody and
its accompaniment, particularly the holding down of the bass note or the
fifth, often of both, are meant to suggest bagpipes.

Only the stringed instruments are employed; and a curious effect is
produced by the first violins giving the fundamental note to the melody
on the open string of G or D. The bagpipes are imitated again in a
little passage, with which Colas enters, playing the bagpipes:--

[See Page Image]

In this passage Mozart has jokingly introduced a G sharp to imitate the
sound between G and G sharp, which wind instruments sometimes emit,
when unskilfully handled.[45] All these little tricks had already been
brought in to his "Galimathias" (p. 45).

Comparing this operetta with the "Finta Semplice," we find that the
former is as distinctively German in execution and colouring as the
latter is Italian. What amount of direct influence Hiller's operas had
upon "Bastien and Bastienne"

(Op. 30, 5), and others in Mendelssohn's "Midsummer Night's Dream."



it is difficult to say, but there can be no doubt that the intention of
both composers was the same.

Simplicity and directness of expression being essential, the songs are
destitute both of runs and florid passages, and the fashioning of the
melodies is decidedly German, generally taking the ballad form; where
a more elaborate working is attempted, we may indeed trace Italian
influence, but the style is invariably simplified.

The conventional form of the aria in two parts, with the repetition of
the first or both, and the usual variations, is not adhered to: and
when an aria consists of two parts, it has no Da capo.[46] So, too, the
cadence, which had become almost a rule in Italian songs--is employed
only once or twice.

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The whole composition displays little inventive faculty,. and there
are no pieces of the same significance as some of those in the Italian
opera; here and there is a slight uncertainty of rhythm or harmony, and
occasionally also obsolete turns of expression.

On the other hand', there are not wanting passages full of grace and
tenderness, the harmony is often well chosen and even bold, and the
operetta is so far Mozart's best expression of simple sentiment coming
direct from the heart.

His dramatic talent again asserts itself unmistakably; the three
characters are boldly sketched, and many little comic touches are
thrown into relief, as, for instance, the song in which Colas practises
hocus-pocus, the duet in which Bastienne to all Bastien's despairing
resolutions answers only: "Viel Glück!" and others. The technical
working-out is very simple. Neither in the duets nor in the closing
terzet are the voices interwoven; but they



alternate with each other, or proceed together in simple harmony;
only in one instance does there occur a short imitative passage. The
orchestra usually goes with the voice, to which a simple, well-arranged
bass is provided, the other parts filling in the harmonies. An
accompaniment with any independent phrasing is rarely met with.
The accompaniment is mainly intrusted to the stringed instruments,
strengthened by oboes (on one occasion by two flutes) and horns, but
only to fill in the harmonies. Horns are also employed obbligato, and
with charming effect, in Bastienne's second song, "Ich geh jetzt auf die

It says much for the artistic feeling and true discrimination of a boy
of twelve years old, that he not only displays a mastery of operatic
form, and a rare dramatic and inventive genius, but that he is able
to grasp and appreciate the essential differences, both artistic and
national, between German and Italian opera.

It is noteworthy that his first dramatic attempts should, so to
speak, touch the two extremes, which it was to be his mission to bring
together. One song of Bastien's (10), with slightly altered words
and clavier accompaniment, "Daphne, deine Rosenwangen," and another,
"Freude, Königin der Weisen" (52, 53, K.), were printed in a musical
serial,[47] the editor, no doubt, thinking to make his profit with the
name of the youthful prodigy.

Among the occasional compositions, which were numerous during Mozart's
stay in Vienna, two symphonies must be mentioned. The first, in F major
(43 K.), falling within the year 1767, is only noticeable for its middle
movement, which is an elaboration of the duet in "Hyacinthus," already
mentioned (p. 62 ). The second, in D major, dated December 13,1768 (48
K.), is very animated, and has some striking features.

Considerable doubt still exists on the subject of a quintet, in B flat
major (46 K.), which, according to Kochel's unimpeachable authority is
preserved in Mozart's boyish



hand-writing in the archives of the Austrian Musikverein; it has many
corrections, and the date appended, in a strange hand certainly,
but coinciding with the composition, is "d. 25 Januar (Mozart writes
Janner), 1768." This quintet, for two violins, two tenors, and
violoncello, contains the four principal movements (omitting the second
minuet, the romance, and the variations) of the great serenade for wind
instruments belonging to the year 1780 (361 K); the substance is here
in its integrity, with only the necessary alterations to adapt it for

Close examination leaves hardly any doubt that the composition was
originally intended for wind instruments; finer effects are produced in
the serenade, and are obviously not interpolated; the quintet betrays
itself as an arrangement by evident efforts to bring out given effects.

Accordingly the serenade must be considered also as a very early work,
and the omission of the three movements in the quintet affords no reason
for ascribing them to a different period. Nevertheless, the conception
and workmanship of these movements, and the scientific mastery of the
art therein displayed, belong to the maturity of manhood, and make it
difficult to give credence to the handwriting of the manuscript rather
than to this internal evidence.

L. Mozart's hope of seeing an opera by Wolfgang on the Vienna stage was,
as we have seen, destroyed; but he was not altogether deprived of the
satisfaction to be afforded him by a public display of his son's genius.
They had become acquainted with the celebrated Father Ign. Parhammer, a
Jesuit, who had been especially zealous in purifying the land since
the emigration of the Protestants from Salzburg in 1733; [48] he took a
prominent position in Vienna, and became father confessor to the Emperor
Francis I. in 1758. In the following year he was made director of
the Orphan Asylum, which he extended and reorganised with remarkable
activity, making it at length one of the most noted of such
institutions.[49] In all similar institutions conducted by the Jesuits
in Germany, the musical education of the orphans was



considered next in importance to their religious duties,[50] and in this
case the result was so striking that the Emperor intended employing them
in his operatic company.[51] Parhammer sometimes invited the Mozarts;
and when the foundation stone of a new chapel was laid in the summer
they were present and met the Emperor, who conversed with Wolfgang about
his opera. Soon after he was commissioned to prepare the music for the
mass to celebrate the dedication of the chapel, with the addition of an
offertory and a trumpet concerto, to be performed by one of the boys.
The latter is not preserved; the Mass in G major (49 K.), the first
which Mozart had written, betrays, as might be expected, the uncertainty
of boyish workmanship more than any previous work. It is written for
chorus and solos which do not merely alternate with the chorus in short
phrases; "Et in Spiritum Sanctum" is an independent solo for the bass;
Benedictus, a solo quartet. The plan, modelling, and execution of the
music are quite of the conventional type of a Missa brevis; it is almost
devoid of original invention, and bears no signs of those stirrings of
genius which we have remarked in previous works. This want has not
been without influence on the working-out of the music. The imitative
phrasing is stiffer and less free than elsewhere; only the little
regulation fugue "Et vitam" shows the result of study; and the impetuous



[See Page Image]

is vigorous and well finished. The Offertory, "Veni, Sancte Spiritus"
(47 K.), in C major is lively and brilliant, with trumpets and drums.
The closing "Alleluia" is almost too gay, but it is pretty and fresh,
reminding one of Caldara's easier pieces.

The performance, which Wolfgang conducted, took place on December 7,
1768, in the presence of the imperial court, and confirmed, as the
father writes home, that which their enemies by opposition to the opera
had sought to disprove; convincing the court and the numerous audience
assembled, of Wolfgang's right to a place of honour among composers.

The following is the testimony of a contemporary journal:[52]

On Wednesday, the 7th, his Imperial Majesty, with the Archdukes
Ferdinand and Maximilian, and the Archduchesses Maria Elizabeth and
Maria Amelia were pleased to repair to the Orphan Asylum on the Rennweg,
in order to be present at the first festival service and dedication of
the newly erected chapel.

On either side of the entrance to the chapel were stationed the
companies of body guards with their bands. The royal party were received
by his Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop of this place with his attendant
clergy, amid the flourish of trumpets and drums, and the discharge of
guns and cannons. The service of the dedication was conducted by his
Eminence, and the mass by the suffragan Bishop Marxer, with repeated
discharge of fire-arms.

The entire music, sung by the choir of orphans, was composed for the
occasion by Wolfgang Mozart, son of Dr. L. Mozart, Kapellmeister at
Salzburg, a boy twelve years of age, well known for his extraordinary
talent; it was conducted by the composer with the utmost precision and
accuracy, and was received with universal applause and admiration.


[Footnote 1: The extracts from L. Mozart's letters given by Nissen are almost our
only sources of information for this journey.]

[Footnote 2: G. Forster, Schriften VII., p. 270.]

[Footnote 3: A.M. Z., II., p. 301.]

[Footnote 4: Burney, Reise, II., p. 182. Duten's Mém., I., p. 353.]

[Footnote 5: Garat. Mém. sur Suard, II., p. 218. Duten's Mém., I., p. 347.]

[Footnote 6: Zimmermann, Briefe, p. 96.]

[Footnote 7: Burney, Reise, II., p. 189.]

[Footnote 8: Gervinus, Gesch. der poet. National-Litteratur, IV., p. 384.
Devrient, Gesch. der deutschen Schauspielkunst, II., p. 191; and see
also how Sonnenfels expresses himself (Ges. Schr., V., pp. 157, 191, or
in a letter to Klotz, I., p. 2) in the same year, 1768.]

[Footnote 9: Sonnenfels gives a detailed description of the company (Ges. Schr.,
V., p. 290).]

[Footnote 10: Metastatio, Opp. post., II., pp. 278, 290, cf. Arteaga, Le
rivoluzioni del teatro musicale Italiano, III., p. 126 (II., p. 397).]

[Footnote 11: Cramer, Magasin d. Mus., I., p. 365. Metastatio, Lettere ined.
(Nirza, 1796), p. 46.]

[Footnote 12: Burney, Reise, II., p. 188.]

[Footnote 13: Mane ini, Rifless. prat, sul canto fig., p. 30.]

[Footnote 14: Burney, Reise, II., p. 172.]

[Footnote 15: Dittersdorff, Selbstbiographie, p. 7.]

[Footnote 16: Muller, Ab8chied v. d. Bühne, p. 72.]

[Footnote 17: Müller, zuverl. Nachr., I., p. 13.]

[Footnote 18: Carpani, Le Haydine, p. 82. Kelly, Remin., I., p. 103.]

[Footnote 19: It is mentioned only, so far as I am aware, by Biedenfeld. Die
Komische Oper., p. 69.]

[Footnote 20: Nicolai, Reise, IV., p. 574.]

[Footnote 21: Sonnenfels, Ges. Schr., V., p. 296. He reappeared in Rome in 1780,
a toothless old man. (Teutsch. Merc., 1789, III., p. 210.)]

[Footnote 22: Sonnenfeu, Ges. Schr., V., p. 300.]

[Footnote 23: Sonnenfels, Ges. Schr., V., p. 291. Burney, Reise, I., p. 63.
Müller zuverl. Nachr., I., p. 73. He died at Vienna in 1772, at the age
of sixty-seven. (Ibid. II., p. 132.)]

[Footnote 24:Sonnenfels, Ges. Schr., V., p. 301.]

[Footnote 25: Sonnenfels, Ges. Schr., V., p. 293.]

[Footnote 26: Sonnenfels, Ges. Schr., V., p. 293. Müller, zuverl. Nachr., I., p.
73. Kelly, Remin., I., p. 66.]

[Footnote 27: Sonnenfels, Ges. Schr., V., p. 299.]

[Footnote 28: One of Fracasso's songs was twice composed, so was the middle
movement of another, and an inserted song for Ninetta.]

[Footnote 29: In the beautiful aria for Polidoro, before described, a tedious
passage was afterwards judiciously struck out by Mozart.]

[Footnote 30: Nissen has incorrectly given the idea that "the well-known Dr.
Messmer, the friend of the Mozarts," was the celebrated magnetiser of
that name. Helfert (Die österr. Volkschule, I., p. 132.) identifies
Mozart's Messmer, who became a member of the medical faculty in 1767.
In 1773 his wife inherited a half share in a house on the Landstrasse,
consistently with which L. Mozart writes to his wife from Vienna
(August) that Fr. v. Messmer has come into considerable property since
the death of her mother. A "young Herr. v. Messmer," a cousin, was
director of the Normal School in 1773.]

[Footnote 31: E. Schelle, Berl. Mus. Ztg. Echo, 1864, No. 38.]

[Footnote 32: "'Le Devin du Village' est un intermède charmant dont les paroles
et la musique sont de M. Rousseau," writes Grimm (June 23, 1753) to
Gottsched (Danzel, Gottsched, p. 351). He speaks of it again on December
15, 1753 (Corr. Litt., I., p. 92), as an "intermède agréable, qui a eu
très-grand succès à Fontainebleau et à Paris;" and again, in February,
1754, as an "intermède français très-joli et très-agréable" (Ibid.,p.
112). He passes it over, however, in his account at a later date of
Rousseau's musical works, and mentions only his unsuccessful opera, "Les
Muses Galantes."]

[Footnote 33:La Harpe. Corr. Litt., II., p. 59.]

[Footnote 34: A. M. Z., XXI., p. 841. XXIII., p. 141. Berlioz, Voy. Mus., I., p.

[Footnote 35: Adam (Souv. d'un Music., p. 198), suggests that Rousseau's score
may have been revised by Francoeur.]

[Footnote 36: On the subject of recitative, Rousseau speaks exhaustively and to
the point, both in his Dictionnaire de Musique, and in the Lettre sur la
Musique Française. (Ouvres, XI., p. 296.)]

[Footnote 37: It was maintained by some that Rousseau only wrote the words, and
intrusted the composition to a musician in Lyons (A. M. Z., XIV., p.
469; Castil-Blaze; Molière Musicien, II., p. 409), an accusation which
Grétry contradicted. Rousseau tried to refute it by a second opera,
which, however, did not succeed. (La Harpe, Corr. Litt., II., p. 370.
Adam, Souv. d'un Mus., p. 202.)]

[Footnote 38: An English adaptation by Burney failed in London in 1766 (Parke,
Mus. Mém., II., p. 93). German versions were produced by Leon (Teutsch.
Merc., 1787, II., p. 193) and C. Dielitz (Berlin, 1820).]

[Footnote 39: Théätre du Favart, V., 1 (Paris, 1763). A book of the words,
printed at Amsterdam in 1758, has the remark: "Représenté à Bruxelles,
Nov., 1753, par les Comédiens François sous les ordres de S. Alt. Roy."]

[Footnote 40: Grimm, Corr. Litt., IV., pp. 400, 417.]

[Footnote 41: Dictionn. d. Théätre, VI., p. 228; Theaterkal. 1776.]

[Footnote 42: "Bastienne, eine französische opéra-comique. Auf Befehl in einer
freien Uebersetzung nachgeahmt von Fr. W. Weiskern. Wien, 1764." The
French melodies were retained for some of the songs, and new ones
composed for others. The piece was produced at Vienna (Müller, Zuverl.
Nachr., I., p. 31), also in 1770 at Brünn (Ibid., II., p. 213), in
177a at Prague (Ibid., II., p. 163), and in 1776 at Hildesheim (Müller,
Abschied v. d. Bühne, p. 137).]

[Footnote 43: Nissen gives Schachtner as the librettist. His co-operation was
probably confined to the versification of the prose dialogue, a few
scenes of which Mozart afterwards composed in recitative; a useless
labour, never completed.]

[Footnote 44: A comparison of the examples which Hiller (über Metastasio, p. 17)
quotes from a translation of Metastasio, which appeared in Vienna in
1769, will show some similarity.]

[Footnote 45: A similar instance may be found in Weber's composition of Voss's

[Footnote 46: This is noticed also by Hiller as especially characteristic in
style (Wöehentl. Nachr., I., p. 376; II., p. 118).]

[Footnote 47: Neue Sammlung zum Vergnügen und Unterrich (Wien, R. Graffer, 1768),
IV., pp. 80, 140.]

[Footnote 48: Nicolai, Reisc, IV., p. 648.]

[Footnote 49: Nicolai, Reise, III., p. 228.]

[Footnote 50: Burney, Reise, II., p. 107.]

[Footnote 51: Müller, Abschied v. d. Bühne, p. 237.]

[Footnote 52: "Wien. Diarium," 1768, 10 Christmon. No. 99.]





THE Archbishop could not but feel flattered at the accomplishments of
the young Salzburger, and he endeavoured, as far as lay in his power,
to complete the partial success of the visit to Vienna by ordering a
performance of Wolfgang's opera in Salzburg, notwithstanding that it was
"an opera buffa,



requiring performers of a buffo character." The programme, recovered by
Köchel[1] gives the following [See Page Image] [2]cast:--

The performance must have taken place on the fête-day of the Archbishop
or some similar festive occasion, and upon a stage specially erected in
the archiepiscopal palace.



1748, "La Clemenza di Tito" was given by the Signori Paggi di Corte, who
played even the female parts, or of the chapel.

It was the custom on such occasions at the close of the performance to
address the person in whose honour it was given, generally in the form
of an air with recitative, concluding with a chorus; this peroration,
which had no connection with the body of the opera, was called
_licenza_) Two such, composed by Wolfgang for Archbishop Sigismund,
are still preserved; a tenor air (36 K.) and a soprano air (70 K.), both
with long recitatives, giving testimony to increasing dexterity in the
treatment of form.

The performance of the opera was followed on the side of the Archbishop
by the announcement of Wolfgang's appointment as Concertmeister, and he
was accordingly so entered in the Court Calendar of 1770.

The greater part of the year 1769 was spent quietly at Salzburg in
studies of which we know but little. The only compositions which can
certainly be ascribed to this year are seven minuets for two violins and
bass, composed January 26, 1769,[3] and two masses; they are all of the
nature of studies. The first of the masses, in D minor, dated January
14, 1769 (65 K.), noteworthy on account of the minor key, is a missa
brevis, and keeps strictly to that form, both in choruses and solos; in
the Credo the words "Genitum, non factum--consubstantialem Patri--per
quem omnia facta sunt," are distributed to three voices, and sung
together. The different phrases, though well formed, have a certain
abruptness, showing that the skill to continue and develop the
suggestions of the mind was still wanting. But the ordering of the
details and the counterpoint are both excellent, and bear many marks of

As an example the fugue--



is unusual, but has a striking effect in this place. Mozart evidently
enters more into the spirit of his work as the mass proceeds, and
gives his impulses freer play. The Benedic-tus apparently gave him some
trouble. First, it was written for all four voices, then for soprano
solo, and lastly as a duet for soprano and alto, this last arrangement
being twice elaborated. The alterations in the details show how precise
he was in this work. [See Page Image]

The beginning of the Dona--

Do - na, do - na no - bis



promises well, but fails to maintain the same level to the end. [See
Page Image]

The second mass, in C major (66 K.), the "Pater Domini-cus Mass," was
composed in October, 1769, on the occasion of the first celebration of
mass by Hagenauer's son, whose entrance into a monastery had formerly
caused Wolfgang to shed tears (p. 50).[4] The young composer put forth
all his powers to produce a truly grand and brilliant festival mass.

Every part is well conceived and worked out, and considerable progress
is observable in the mechanical details of the whole. The subjects
are more important, and the passages for the violins, which are very
prominent, have more distinct character; the different parts, too, have
freer play. But it is at the same time to be noted that the substance of
the work is not yet on a level with its broader scheme. A succession of
independent solos, which evidently served as the special embellishment
of the mass, show a considerable effort to avoid a light operatic tone,
and to combine dignity with easy and attractive grace.

Mozart's unequalled talent for pure and noble melody is as discernible
here as elsewhere, though it is crippled by a certain amount of
confusion of ideas. Curiously enough the Benedictus, a solo quartet, is
accompanied only by the first violin, which plays round the voices with
a continuous running passage. There is a good effect in the Dona nobis,
where the chorus answers the short solo phrases--



with changes of lead and harmony. [See Page Image]

This mass serves as a proof that L. Mozart did not confine himself to
educating his son as an operatic composer, but that he made him pass
through a course of severe study in every branch of his art, with the
just conviction that his genius, when fully trained and developed, would
mark out a line for itself.

L. Mozart's intention of taking Wolfgang to Italy remained firm as ever,
and he considered their stay in Vienna as the first step towards its
accomplishment. At that time, Italy was to musicians what she now is
to painters and sculptors; a residence there was necessary to give the
finishing touches to their education, and _éclat_ to their reputation.

Music in Italy was not only an art universally diffused and esteemed, it
was _the_ Art _par excellence_. All classes shared the insatiable desire
for music everywhere--in the churches, the theatres, the streets, and
their own homes; and the delicate appreciation and enthusiasm for what
was excellent were increased by practice and education. So in Italy
a national tradition for production as well as for taste had been
gradually formed, a sort of musical climate, in which artists found
it easy to breathe. They knew that they might rely confidently on the
appreciation of the public, whose attention and intelligence urged
them to fresh efforts, while rewarding each success with sympathetic

Opera and church music were almost in equal favour, and afforded mutual
support to each other. It was accordant with the brilliancy of royal
courts and rich cities to give operatic performances either at Carnival
time or on special festive occasions; no expense was spared to
engage the most famous singers, male and female, and for every season
(_stagione_) new operas were written, if possible by famous and
favourite composers. Again, the dignity of the Church required, at least
on great holy days, that the musical part of the worship should be grand
and imposing; and the more



richly endowed churches and monasteries were quite able to rival the
theatres. There was on every side a steady demand for musical production
and execution, which offered abundant opportunity for the exercise of
every kind of talent.

The musical education of youth was principally intrusted to the Church.
Monasteries and religious institutions were careful to train the musical
strength, which was later to be at their disposal; special
institutions were founded, which were in part the origin of the future
Conservatoires, whose mission it was to train their scholars as
singers, instrumentalists, or composers, and in every case as thoroughly
cultivated musicians. In Venice there were four such foundations in
which boys, and more especially girls, received musical instruction,
preparatory to devoting themselves to the service of the Church: the
Ospidale della Pietà, intended for foundlings; Ospedaletto, where
Sacchini was kapellmeister at this time; Gli Mendicanti, and Gli
Incurabili, then under Galuppi's direction.[5] In Naples were similar
establishments, De Poveridi Gesù-Christo; Della Pietà de' Turchini; S.
Onofrio; Loretto. Though all were originally intended as nurseries
for church music, yet they were of almost equal service to music of a
secular nature; indeed, the most highly gifted among the scholars were
likely to prefer the more brilliant and profitable career of the opera
stage. But the separation was never complete; operatic composers for
the most part worked also for the churches, where opera singers and
even professional instrumentalists were often heard. Ecclesiastics,
too, practised music in various branches, often with zeal and success.
Although this union of musical forces, through the overpowering
influence of the opera, worked in time prejudicially on the dignity and
purity of church music, yet there can be no doubt of its good effect on
the study of form and musical science. The result was all the greater,
since the almost instinctive steadfastness of the national taste
preserved musicians from aberrations which are only to be checked by
rigid limitations as to style and form. An art so formed,



with so one-sided a cultivation, must of course die out in the end; but
the extraordinary accomplishments of numerous Italian masters cannot
fail to impress us with admiration of the share which Italian music,
in its fulness of life and activity, had in producing a true musical
atmosphere. It was indeed, this firm foundation of scientific knowledge
which made possible a liberation of music from its confined Italian
limits without abandoning the laws of artistic formation.

Under these circumstances Italy enjoyed undisputed and unlimited
sovereignty in all matters relating to music. Spain and England
acknowledged it almost without reserve; in France, where the impulse
proceeding originally from Italy, had been modified by national
characteristics, the influence of Italy was now beginning to reassert
itself. In Germany alone, the works of great masters (we need only
remind our readers of the Bach family as representatives of German
church music; of Keiser, the creator of German opera in Hamburg) bore
witness to an independent development of music. Even here it was not as
"German as the German oaks," and bore many traces of Italian or French
influences; but the comprehension and cultivation of form, the substance
and spirit of the music, are purely German. This German music, however,
was principally confined to Protestant North Germany; it was nourished
by no favour from the great, and the colder artistic mind of North
Germany hindered it from attaining the popularity which was enjoyed
by music in Italy. At all the German courts, Protestant as well as
Catholic, the opera was Italian; the Catholic church music was under the
exclusive sway of Italian composers; all singers, male and female, were
either born or educated in Italy, and so, for the most part, were the
instrumentalists, although it was in instrumental music that Germany
first challenged the supremacy of Italy.

The curious attraction of Germans to Italy, which has existed in all
ages under different manifestations, must have worked with peculiar
power on musicians.[6] The German



composers of the last century (with the exception of the North German
Protestant church composers) all studied and laid the foundation of
their fame in Italy, even those who, like Handel and Gluck, possessed
original power enough to enable them later to strike out a path for

It may be said that, in this sense, Mozart's pilgrimage to Rome was the
last of its kind; to him it was accorded, not, only to attain to the
highest aim of Italian opera but to break the bonds of nationality, by
lending depth and substance to the Italian perfection of form, while,
with the wealth of knowledge acquired in Italy, he furnished artistic
form and expression to the national opera of Germany.

In taking his son to Italy, L. Mozart had a twofold end in view.
Wolfgang was not so much to continue his scholastic training (that he
could have done at home) as to emerge from a narrow provincial existence
into the great world of art, and by extended experiences to gain the
refined taste of a cultivated man of the world. He was also to gain
fresh laurels, and to prepare the way for a prosperous and glorious
future. L. Mozart expected from the excitable Italians special interest
and applause on account of Wolfgang's youth; and in this he was
not disappointed. But he soon found that no pecuniary gain was to be
expected from this journey, since all concerts (_accademie_) were given
by exclusive companies, or by a public institute without entrance money;
so that the artist could count on no receipts but a voluntary fee from
the _entrepreneur_, which was not usually large. Soon after his arrival
in Italy L. Mozart remarks to his wife, a remark often repeated, that
although not rich he has "always a little more than is absolutely
necessary"; and so bearing his main object in view, he is quite content.



Considering the constant fulfilment of duty as the most important factor
in education, he insisted on Wolfgang's continuing his regular studies
during their journey. A long list of compositions, partly suggested by
passing events, partly set studies, bear witness to this. Wolfgang,
who was very fond of arithmetic (p. 22), asks his sister to send his
arithmetic book after him, so that he may go on with his sums. In Rome
he had a present of an Italian translation of the "Arabian Nights,"
which amused him very much. Soon after we find him reading "Telemachus."
L. Mozart was too well informed himself to look upon this journey as
instructive merely from a musical point of view. His letters show
that he took interest in politics and social life, in nature, art, and
antiquity; he sends home long descriptions of the journey, which are
to serve as preliminaries to future conversations over the books and
engravings he is collecting. Wolfgang evinced the same fresh interest in
everything he saw, and offered no opposition to the care his father
took of his health. "You know that he can be moderate," writes L. Mozart
(February 17,1770), and I can assure you that I have never seen him so
careful of his health as in this country. He leaves alone all that he
does not think good for him, and many days he eats but little; yet he
is always fat and well, and merry and happy the whole day long. And from
Rome he writes (April 14, 1770), that Wolfgang "takes as much care of
his health as if he were a grown man."

Neither the honours with which he was everywhere overwhelmed, nor
his performances as a musician, had any effect in spoiling the
unsophisticated nature of the boy; he was always bright and animated,
full of jokes and merry absurdities, and retaining a strong attachment
to home and the home circle amid all the distractions of the journey. In
his letters to his sister, he falls into a ludicrous jargon, composed of
any number of different languages, and of childish jokes and teasings,
after the manner of brothers and sisters who have grown up together and
are under no sort of restraint in their intercourse.

But whenever the subject is connected with music, through all the joking
tone can be traced a lively interest and a



decided and impartial judgment; and the whole tone of his letters
breathes hearty sympathy and amiability. Fortunate circumstances and a
sensible education had combined with the happiest result; and there can
be no doubt that the concentration of Mozart's early training on one
object had the indirect effect of keeping at a safe distance much that
might have been hurtful to his disposition.

The father and son left Salzburg at the beginning of December, 1769.[8]
Many threads of personal recommendation stretched thence into the Tyrol
and upper Italy, partly from mercantile connections, partly through the
noble families belonging to the Cathedral Chapter, and the travellers
had introductions which gained them admittance into widely different
circles. Their first stay was at Inspruck, where they were well received
by Count Spaur, brother to the Salzburg Capitular. On December 14, at
a concert given by the nobility at the house of Count Künigl, Wolfgang
played a concerto at sight, which had been put before him as a test of
his skill; at the close he was presented with it, and twelve ducats
in addition. The Inspruck newspaper testified (December 18) that "Herr
Wolfgang Mozart, whose extraordinary musical attainments have made him
famous alike in the imperial court, in England, France, Holland, and
throughout the Holy Roman Empire," had given in this performance the
most convincing proofs of his marvellous skill. "This youthful musician,
who is just thirteen years old, has added fresh brilliancy to his
fame, and has commanded the unanimous approbation of all musical

As soon as they entered Italy the marks of honour with which the young
artist was received became more animated and enthusiastic. At Roveredo
the nobles arranged a concert at the house of Baron Todeschi, who
had known Mozart at Vienna. "There is no need to say how Wolfgang is
received," writes his father. When he wanted to play the organ at the
principal church, the report of it spread through



the town, and the church was so full that it took two strong men to
clear the way to the choir, and then it was a quarter of an hour before
they could get to the organ, they were so besieged by the audience.

The enthusiasm in Verona was still greater. As there was an opera every
evening, a week elapsed before a concert could be arranged; but in the
meantime invitations poured in from the Marchese Carlotti, Count Giusti
del Giardino, Locatelli, &c.

Wolfgang performed a symphony of his own composition before a select
assembly of connoisseurs, besides playing difficult pieces at sight, and
composing a song to some dictated words, which he afterwards sang. The
scene at Roveredo was repeated when he went to play the organ at St.
Thomas's Church. The press was so great that they were obliged to get
into the church through the monastery, and even then they could hardly
have reached the organ had not the monks formed a ring round them, and
so made a way through the crowd. "When it was over, the noise was still
greater, for every one wanted to see the little organist."

Newspapers and poets vied with each other in extolling the marvellous
apparition. The Receiver-General, Pietro Lugiati, chief among
intellectual dilettanti, caused a life-size portrait of Wolfgang at
the clavier to be painted in oils, and acquainted his mother with this
honour in a long letter which contained warm expressions of admiration
for the "raro e portentoso giovane."[9]

On January 10 they entered Mantua well and hearty in spite of the cold;
but Wolfgangerl looked, his father said, owing to the fresh air and
the heat of the stove, "as if he had gone through a campaign, a sort of
reddish brown, particularly round the eyes and mouth, something like
his Majesty the Emperor." Here too, they were warmly received by all the
distinguished dilettanti of the place; Signora Bettinelli in especial
lavished all a mother's care on



the boy, and wept at parting from him. A Signora Sartoretti invited
them to dine with her, and sent by her servants a vase with a beautiful
bouquet tied with red ribbon, and in the middle of the ribbon a piece of
four ducats folded in a poem addressed by the Signora to Wolfgang.

On January 16, the concert of the Philharmonic Society was given
in their capital hall, Wolfgang being the principal performer. The
programme, which we append, gives some idea of Wolfgang's performances
in Italy.

Serie delle composizione musicali da eseguirsi nell' accademia pubblica
filarmonica di Mantova la sera del di 16 del corrente Gennajo, 1770.

In occasione della venuta del espertissimo giovanetto

Sign. Amadeo Mozart.

1. Sinfonia di composizione del Sign. Amadeo.

2. Concerto di Gravecembalo esibitogli e da lui eseguito all im

3. Aria d'un Professore.

4. Sonata di Cembalo all improwiso eseguita dal giovine con variazioni
analoghe d'invenzione sua e replicata poi in tuono diverso da quello in
cui è scritta.

5. Concerto di Violino d'un Professore.

6. Aria composta e cantata nell' atto stesso dal Sign. Amadeo all'

improwiso, co' debiti accompagnamenti eseguiti sul Cembalo, sopra parole
fatte espressamente; ma da lui non vedute in prima.

7. Altra sonata di Cembalo, composta insieme ed eseguita dal medesimo
sopra un motivo musicale propostogli improwissamente dal primo Violino.

8. Aria d'un Professore.

9. Concerto d'Oboè d'un Professore.

10. Fuga musicale, composta ed eseguita dal. Sign. Amadeo gul Cembalo;

e condotta a compiuto termine secondo le leggi del contrappunto, sopra
un semplice tema per la medesima presentatogli all' im-prowiso.

11. Sinfonia dal medesimo, concertata con tutte le parte sul Cembalo
sopra una sola parte di Violino postagli dinanzi improwisamente.

12. Duetto di Professori.

13. Trio in cui il Sign. Amadeo ne suonerà col Violino una parte all

14. Sinfonia ultima di composizione del Suddetto.



The result was brilliant, the applause indescribable, and, according to
a newspaper account, the musicians in Mantua were unanimous in declaring
that this youth was born to surpass the most accomplished masters of the

This notice and others dwell chiefly on the precocious performances of
the youthful prodigy. But wonderful as were Wolfgang's accomplishments
as a clavier-player, violinist, and vocalist, they were thrown into the
shade by his talents as a composer. Even in his public performances the
prominence given to improvisation is remarkable, and the readiness
with which he adapted the most varied subjects, always fulfilling the
conditions of musical art, presupposes not only great liveliness of
imagination, but a perfect mastery of mechanical form. In estimating
Mozart's early acquirements, the most impressive fact to be noticed is
the absence of any exaggeration of feeling or over-cultivation; all is
natural and unstrained. His talent was no forced exotic, which springs
up quickly and as quickly withers away; it was a plant of healthy
growth, coming gradually to maturity; and the mechanical skill acquired
in youth was the best foundation for the free creative power of manhood.

Father and son arrived at Milan before the end of January, and found a
safe and comfortable lodging in the Augustine monastery of San Marco. A
lay brother was appointed to wait on them, even to the warming of their
beds, which attention caused Wolfgang to be "delighted when bedtime
came." Their warm friend and patron was the Governor-General, Count Carl
Joseph von Firmian (b. 1716). He had been partly educated at Salzburg
(where his elder brother Joh. Bapt. Anton was Archbishop until 1740),
and had there founded a literary society, whose earnest endeavours after
a freer method of scientific inquiry had led to many hard struggles with
authority.[10] He afterwards studied at Leyden, and acquired cultivation
and taste by frequent travels in France and Italy. As Ambassador at
Naples, he won the heart of Winckelmann, who speaks of

{MILAN, 1770.}


him as one of the greatest, wisest, most humane, and most learned men of
his time and country.[11] Count Firmian was appointed Govemor-General
of Lombardy in 1759, and spared no efforts to promote the material
well-being as well as the intellectual and artistic improvement of his

Like Münchhausen,[12] he was not only a patron, but an accomplished
judge of science and of the arts, and his support and hospitality were
freely bestowed on artists and scholars. The Mozarts found a ready
sympathiser in him, and his introduction to families of rank obtained
for them all the pleasures of the Carnival; they were invited to balls
and masquerades, and were obliged to follow the fashion, and order
dominos and _bajuti_ (caps, which covered the face to the chin and fell
back over the shoulders).[13] L. Mozart thought they were exceedingly
becoming to Wolfgang, but shook his head over his own "playing the fool
in his old age," and consoled himself with the thought that the things
"could be used for linings afterwards."

At the opera, where they were often present, they made the acquaintance
of the Maestro Piccinni, who was producing his "Cesare in Egitto."
Wolfgang's performances at a public concert excited here as elsewhere
the wondering admiration of artists and amateurs. "It is the same
in this place as in others," writes L. Mozart, "I need not
particularise."[14] The friendship which Wolfgang struck up with two
clever young singers, of fourteen and fifteen years old, led to his
composing for them two Latin motetts.

But Count Firmian imposed a severer task on the young musician. He gave
a brilliant soirée at his Palace, graced by the presence of the Duke of
Modena and his daughter, and the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan. Wolfgang
was commissioned to prepare for this soirée three songs to Metastasio's
words as a proof of his power to produce serious dramatic music.



The principal piece was a grand aria with an accompanied recitative from
"Demofoonte," the celebrated and often-composed "Misero pargoletto"
(77 K.). The recitative is very elaborate, in high tragic style; its
forcible character is rendered chiefly by the orchestra.

The air consists of an Adagio with a Poco allegro interposed in the
same tone throughout. The two other songs (78, 79 K.) from Metastasio's
"Artaserse," "Per pietà bel idol mio" and "Per quel paterne amplesso,"
have each only one movement; the last song has a short introductory
recitative. In the two latter songs the simple Cantabile is embellished
by bravura passages, which are wanting altogether in the first. They
are all written for a soprano voice,[15] and stood the test as
representative of the dramatic song of the time. Count Firmian presented
Wolfgang with a snuff-box and 20 gigliati,[16] together with a copy of
Metastasio's works. But the most important result of this soirée, and of
their stay in Milan, was that Wolfgang was commissioned to write the new
opera for the next season; the first singers--Gabrielli, with her sister
and Ettore--were to be engaged for it, and the remuneration was fixed at
100 gigliati and free quarters in Milan during their stay. The libretto
was to be sent after them, so that Wolfgang might make himself familiar
with it, the recitative was to be forwarded to Milan in October, and the
composer to be there himself at the beginning of November, to complete
the opera in the neighbourhood of the singers, and to rehearse it
for production at Christmas. These conditions were both agreeable and
convenient, as they did not interfere with the journey through Italy,
and allowed Wolfgang ample time to complete the opera quietly.

Mozart's first quartet was composed on the way from Milan to Parma, and
dated Lodi, March 15, 7 o'clock in the evening (80 K.). At Parma the
celebrated singer Lucrezia Agujari, called "la Bastardella," invited
them to sup with her, and sang so as to justify the reports they had
heard of



her execution and the fabulous compass of her voice. "I could not have
believed that she could sing to C in altissimo," writes L. Mozart, "had
I not heard it with my own ears. The passages which Wolfgang has written
were in her song, and she sang them somewhat softer than the deeper
notes, but as clearly as an octave pipe in an organ. In fact, the trills
and all were note for note just as Wolfgang has written them down.
Besides this she has good alto notes, as low as G. She is not handsome,
but certainly not ugly; has a wild look in her eyes at times, like
people who are subject to fits, and she limps with one leg. She has
always conducted herself well, and has therefore a good name and

On March 24 they arrived at Bologna. Here they were received by Field
Marshal Count Pallavicini in a way that reminded them of Count Firmian.
"They are two noblemen," writes L. Mozart, "who possess identical tastes
and modes of thought, and are equally amiable, generous, and dignified."
The Count arranged a brilliant concert in his own house, attended by
150 persons of the high nobility, among them the Cardinal Legate Antonio
Colonna Branci-forte, and the chief of connoisseurs--Padre Martini.
The company assembled at 8 o'clock, and did not disperse until near

L.. Mozart considered that Wolfgang made a greater effect in Bologna
than elsewhere, that city being the seat of so many artists and learned
men. Here they met the celebrated Spagnoletta (Gius. Useda), from Milan,
the kapellmeister, Vincenzo Manfredini, known also as an author, who had
visited them at Salzburg, on his journey from St. Petersburg in 1769,
and the famous alto, Gius. Aprile.[17] Bologna, the father thought, and
thought rightly, was the best centre whence Wolfgang's fame could spread
over Italy, since he had there to stand the severest tests from Padre
Martini, the idol of the Italians, and the acknowledged arbiter in all
matters of art. The Franciscan Giambattista Martini[18]



(born 1760) was esteemed not only as the composer of short, concise,
artistically worked-out sacred pieces, but, from his thorough and
comprehensive researches, as unquestionably the most learned theoretical
musician of his day. Only one volume of his pedantic "Storia della
Musica" had as yet appeared, and his classical work on counterpoint was
only in preparation;[19] but he was already considered infallible on
all musical questions, both in Italy and abroad. His possession of
an unequalled musical library[20] placed him in correspondence with
numerous musicians, scholars, and princes. Disputed points were
submitted to his arbitration, and his advice was sought in the bestowal
of official places. A recommendation from Padre Martini was the
best possible key to success. His authority was the more readily
acknowledged, since he united to his rare attainments a singular degree
of modesty, and a ready alacrity to afford instruction, counsel,
or assistance whenever required. He preserved, even in his learned
disputes, invariable dignity and amiability,[21] with a certain amount
of cautious reserve. L. Mozart might well be anxious to win the favour
of such a man for his son. Whenever they visited him Padre Martini
gave Wolfgang a fugue to work out, which was always done to the great
contrapuntist's entire satisfaction.

The companion figure to this learned monk was a musical celebrity of
quite another kind, whose acquaintance Mozart also made in Bologna.
Farinelli (Carlo Broschi, b. 1705), a pupil of Porpora, first appeared
in 1722 in Metastasio's "Angelica," and an intimacy resulted between
the singer and the poet (who called him his _caro gemello_) which had an
important effect on the development of Italian opera. Farinelli's career
in Italy was an unbroken success, and he was enthusiastically received
in Vienna and London.[22] Arriving in Spain in 1736, his singing had
power to dispel the



melancholy of Philip V.; he was summoned daily to the king's presence, and
became his acknowledged favourite, a position which he retained under
Ferdinand VI. and Queen Barbara. On the accession of Charles III., in
1761, Farinelli was obliged to leave Spain, and living in wealthy ease
at Bologna, indulged his tastes for art and science. He practised the
amiable and refined hospitality of a cultivated man of the world in his
beautiful villa, and took peculiar interest in his fellow-artists, who
never failed even in his old age to be charmed with his singing.[23]

The reports that have come down to us concerning the compass and beauty
of his voice, concerning his way of taking breath, his _portamento_,
his declamation,[24] are as wonderful as was the success of this king
of artists both in public and at court. He appears almost as a
personification of the greatness and power of song in the last century,
of which we can scarcely form a true conception, and which cause the
history of music in that age to be mainly a history of song and singers.
The period of Mozart's musical education was still under this influence,
and, although the absolute sovereignty of song was soon to decline, the
impression made on him in his youth by Farinelli and other great singers
was not likely to be forgotten.[25]

On March 30 the travellers reached Florence. Their Austrian
introductions secured them a most favourable reception in this city.
The imperial ambassador, Count Rosenberg, immediately made known their
arrival at court, where they were very graciously received by the
Archduke Leopold, He recollected their former stay at Vienna, and
inquired after Nannerl. Wolfgang played at court on April 2, accompanied
by Nardini, the celebrated violinist; the Marquis de Ligniville,
director of music, laid the most difficult fugues before Wolfgang to
work out; he accomplished everything "with as much ease as eating a
piece of bread."



The Marquis de Ligniville, Duca di Conca, &c., was considered one of the
most thorough masters of counterpoint in Italy. As a proof of his skill
he had written a "Salve Regina"[26] and "Stabat Mater" for three parts,
in the form of different kinds of canon. To the latter work is prefixed
a long treatise (dated April 11, 1767) for the Philharmonic Society in
Bologna, of which he was a member; the object of the treatise was to
show that in accurate contrapuntal works the traditions of the old
Roman school were preserved. In accordance with this view Ligniville
apologises ironically to followers of the gusto moderno for the disuse
of drums and trumpets, and for the simple old modulations to which
he confines himself as being ignorant of the new lights. He allowed
Wolfgang to study his works; and the latter copied neatly nine movements
of the thirty canons of the "Stabat Mater." (Anh. 238 K.) Not satisfied
with this, Wolfgang aimed at himself becoming a master of counterpoint.
A "Kyrie a cinque con diversi canoni" in three five-part canons in
unison was evidently an imitation of Ligniville's compositions, and
was only one of many studies in the same difficult art.[27] A loose sheet
contains besides the first canon of the Kyrie, a design for a four-part
canon, and five close canons or riddle canons, the first part and the
number of parts only being given, [See Page Image] expressly noted di



2. Canon.--Ter temis canite vocibus. [See Page Image]

3. Canon.--Ad duodecimam: clama ne cesses.

Con - fi - te - bor ti bi Do - mi-ne in gen - ti -bus et no -mi - ni to
- o can - ta -. - - - - - bo.



4. Canon.--Tertia pars si placet.

Con - fi - te.. bor ti-biDo - - - - - mi-ne in gen- ti-bu« et no -mi-ne
tu - o can - ta bo.

5. Canon.--Ter voce ciemus.

[See Page Image] Nos. 1, 3, 4 of these are copied from the vignettes
with which Padre Martini's "Storia Universale" is adorned. [28] He had
made Wolfgang a present of his book, and the latter probably set to work
at once to find out the knack of writing canons. We can see the ease
with which he mastered his task.

At Florence, they fell in with their old London acquaintance Manzuoli,
and Wolfgang was rejoiced to hear that there was a probability of his
being engaged to sing in his opera at Milan.

In order to incite Manzuoli's ardour, Wolfgang gave him all his songs to
sing, including those he had composed in Milan.

At Florence, too, Wolfgang formed a tender friendship with Thomas
Linley, a boy of fourteen, the son of an English composer; he was a
pupil of the celebrated violin-player Nardini, and played so exquisitely
as almost to surpass his teacher. The two boys met at the house of
Signora Maddalena Morelli, who was famous as an improvisatrice, under
the name of Corilla,[29] and had been crowned as a poetess on the
capitol in 1776;[30] during the



few days that the Mozarts stayed in Florence the boys were inseparable,
and performed together or by turns, "more like men than boys." They
parted with many tears, and Tommasino, as Linley was called in Italy,
brought to Wolfgang, as a parting gift, a poem which Corilla had written
for him.

According to Burney,[31] Tommasino and little Mozart were talked of
throughout Italy as two geniuses of the greatest promise, and in later
life at Vienna, Mozart spoke with warmth of Linley,[32] and the hopes
which had been frustrated by his early death.[33]

It was with regret that they left Florence; Leopold Mozart wrote to his
wife: "I wish that you could see Florence, its neighbourhood, and the
situation of the city; I am sure you would say that it is a place to
live and die in." But time pressed, if they were to be in Rome for the

They had a fatiguing journey, in dreadful weather, that reminded them
of Salzburg rather than of Rome, and passed through uncultivated country
with wretched inns containing plenty of filth but little to eat, except
perhaps a couple of eggs and some cabbage. They arrived in Rome
about midday on Wednesday in Holy Week, amidst a storm of thunder and
lightning, "received like grand people with a discharge of artillery."
There was just time to hurry to the Sistine Chapel and hear Allegri's
Miserere. It was here that Wolfgang accomplished his celebrated feat of
musical ear and memory.[34]

It was the custom on Wednesday and Friday in Holy Week for the choir
of the Pope's household to sing the Miserere (Ps. 50), composed by Dom.
Allegri, which was arranged alternately for a four and five-part chorus,
having a final



chorus in nine parts.[35] This performance was universally considered
as one of the most wonderful in Rome; the impression made by it in
conjunction with the solemn rites it accompanied was always described
as overpowering.[36] "You know," writes L. Mozart, "that this celebrated
Miserere is so jealously guarded, that members of the chapel are
forbidden, under pain of excommunication, to take their parts out of
the chapel, or to copy or allow it to be copied.[37] We have got it,
notwithstanding. Wolfgang has written it down, and I should have sent
it to Salzburg in this letter, were not our presence necessary for
its production. More depends on the performance than even on the
composition.[38] Besides, we must not let our secret fall into other
hands, _ut non incurramus mediate vel immediate in censuram ecclesiæ_."
When the performance was repeated on Good Friday, Wolfgang took
his manuscript with him into the chapel, and holding it in his hat,
corrected some passages where his memory had not been quite true. The
affair became known, and naturally made a great sensation; Wolfgang
was called upon to execute the Miserere in presence of the Papal singer
Christofori, who was amazed at its correctness. L. Mozart's news excited
consternation in Salzburg, mother and daughter believing that Wolfgang
had sinned in transcribing the Miserere, and fearing unpleasant
consequences if it should become known. "When we read your ideas about



Miserere," answered the father, "we both laughed loud and long. You need
not be in the least afraid. It is taken in quite another way. All Rome,
and the Pope himself, know that Wolfgang has written the Miserere, and
instead of punishment it has brought him honour. You must not fail to
show my letter everywhere, and let his Grace the Archbishop know of it."

The Mozarts prepared at once to take part in all the festivities of Holy
and Easter weeks. "Our handsome dress," writes L. Mozart, "our German
speech, and the want of ceremony with which I call to our servant to
order the Swiss guard to make way for us, help us through everywhere."
He appears to have been flattered that Wolfgang was sometimes taken for
a German nobleman or prince, and he for his tutor. At the cardinals'
table Wolfgang stood near the seat of Cardinal Pallavicini, who asked
him his name. On hearing it he inquired in surprise, "What! are you the
famous boy of whom I have heard so much?" talked to him kindly, praised
his Italian, and spoke broken German to him.

At the conclusion of the Easter festivities they set to work to present
their numerous letters of introduction, and were warmly received by the
noble families of Chigi, Barberini, Bracciano, Altemps, and others: one
assembly followed another, all in Wolfgang's honour. The astonishment
at his performances increased, according to L. Mozart, the farther
they proceeded into Italy; "but Wolfgang," he adds, "does not remain
stationary; his acquirements increase day by day, so that the greatest
masters and connoisseurs cannot find words for their astonishment." For
the Academies he appears to have written a Symphony (81, K.) and two
soprano songs (82, 83, K.)from Metastasio's "Demo-foonte,"[39] "Se ardire
e speranfca" and "Se tutti i mali miei." In the midst of more serious
study he found time to send his sister a new country dance, in return
for which she was to send him some new minuets by Haydn. About this time
they fell in with Meissner, who was on his way from Naples to Salzburg;
Wolfgang appeared with him at the German Jesuit College, where Herr v.
Mölk, of Salzburg, was studying.



On May 8, they quitted Rome, where their stay had been in every way
agreeable; they had been comfortably lodged in the house of the Papal
courier Uslinghi, on the Piazza del Clementino; their hostess and her
daughter treated them with every attention and kindness, making them
feel quite at home in the house, and refusing to hear of payment when
they left. The journey to Naples was one not to be undertaken without
some apprehension. The roads were unsafe, a merchant had lately been
assassinated, and "sbirri and bloodthirsty Papal soldiers" were in
pursuit of the murderer; L. Mozart hoped that similar measures would
be taken in Naples. He thought it well, therefore, to travel with four
Augustine monks, which was further an advantage, as it assured them a
friendly welcome and hospitality in all the monasteries which lay on
their way. In Capua, they were allowed to be present as guests at the
taking of the veil by a nun of high rank.

Naples, where they remained from the middle of May to the middle of
June, impressed our travellers with the irresistible charm of beautiful

At first they suffered from cold, but this soon turned to excessive
heat, and Wolfgang, who had always longed to look brown, saw his wish
in a fair way to be accomplished. They had good recommendations to the
court from Vienna. Queen Caroline, whom Wolfgang had lately seen in
Vienna, received them graciously, accosting them whenever they met;
but Wolfgang was not summoned to play at court. The King, although not
unmusical, cared for nothing that required any cultivation; "what
he is," writes L. Mozart, "can be better told than written." The
all-powerful minister Tanucci, placed his major-domo at their service,
to show them all that was worth seeing. Other nobles followed this
example; and every evening a magnificent equipage was placed at their
service, in which they joined the brilliant _passeggio_ of the nobility
on the Strada Nuova or on the quay, clad in elegant summer costumes. L.
Mozart had ordered for himself a coat of maroon-coloured watered silk
with sky blue velvet facings, and Wolfgang rejoiced in an apple-green
coat with rose-coloured facings and silver



buttons. Among Wolfgang's patrons was the old Princess Belmonte, the
friend of Metastasio, and interesting to musicians as having been roused
from deep melancholy by the singing of the tenor Raff.

The rendezvous of artists and scholars was the house of the British
ambassador, Sir Wm. Hamilton, whose acquaintance the Mozarts had made in
London. He himself was a violin-player, and pupil of Giardini; and his
charming first wife was not only a cultivated judge of music, but was
considered the best pianoforte-player in Naples; her "brilliant shakes
and turns" were not less admired than the touching expression of her
playing, which was in accord with her gentle nature.[40] It was not
without triumph that L. Mozart narrated her having trembled at playing
before Wolfgang.

They found other old friends in the Swiss Tschudi, from Salzburg, and in
a Dutchman named Doncker, who had been kind to them in Amsterdam; every
one pressed forward to offer hospitality and assistance. Under these
favourable circumstances, a public concert was given on May 28, with
the most brilliant success; a success the more welcome, as they were
not likely to find their tour a profitable one for some time to come.
L. Mozart was delighted with the situation, fertility, animation, and
curiosity of Naples; but he was shocked by the wretchedness of the
population, and above all by the superstition which prevailed not
only among the lazaroni, but also in the higher ranks of society. He
witnessed an example of it when Wolfgang played at the Conservatorio
della Pietà; the skill with which he used his left hand suggested to the
audience that there was magic in a ring he wore; when he drew it off and
played without it the wonder and applause were redoubled.

The time of their stay in Naples was favourable to musical interests.
Simultaneously with the excellent representations of comic opera in the
Teatro Nuovo, there was opened on May 30, the King's fête-day, the Grand
Opera in San Carlo,



for which Jomelli, Caffaro, and Ciccio di Majo were engaged; Anna de
Amicis was prima donna, Aprile principal male singer. By a curious
coincidence, Wolfgang was a witness of the first attempt made by
Jomelli, who had left Stuttgart for Naples in 1768, to regain the favour
of his countrymen. De Rogatis' opera "Armida Abbandonata," in which
he made his reappearance, was designed to satisfy the higher claims
of dramatic music, and to bring the results of his studies in Germany
before the Italians, who were, however, slow to appreciate them.
Wolfgang thought the opera fine, but too pedantic and old-fashioned for
the theatre. This seems to have been the universal opinion; and later
the increasing distaste to Jomelli's operas obliged the withdrawal
of his "Iphigenia in Aulide," and the substitution of "Demofoonte"
(November 4, 1770).[41]

The Mozarts found Jomelli polite and friendly. Through him they
became acquainted with the impresario Amadori, who offered Wolfgang a
_libretto_ for San Carlo; but this, owing to his previous engagement in
Milan, he was obliged to refuse, together with similar offers which had
been made to him in Bologna and Rome.

On June 25, they travelled with post-horses back to Rome. Through the
fault of a clumsy postilion their carriage was upset; Leopold saved
his son by springing out before the danger came; he himself sustained
considerable injury to his leg. Wolfgang was so tired by the journey
(they had driven twenty-seven hours without a stop), that after he had
eaten a little he fell asleep in his chair and was undressed and put to
bed by his father, without waking.

This stay in Rome, during which they were present at the illumination
of St. Peter's, at the delivery of Neapolitan tribute, and other
ceremonies, brought Wolfgang a new distinction; he was invested by the
Pope, in an



audience of July 8, with the order of the Golden Spur, which the father
announces, not without pride, as "a piece of good luck."[42] "You
may imagine how I laugh," he writes, "to hear him called _Signor

The honour apparently made little impression on Wolfgang. For some years
his father insisted on his signing his compositions "Del Sign. Cavaliere
W. A. Mozart," and advised him to wear his order in Paris; but later he
let it drop, and one never hears of _Ritter Mozart_, whereas Gluck,
who like Klopstock, wished to be outwardly recognised as the prophet of
higher culture, was very tenacious of his dignity as a _Ritter_. Mozart
was too simple-natured, and too essentially a musician, to set any store
by outward distinctions.

On July 10, they left Rome, where Pomp. Battoni had painted a
fine portrait of the young maestro, and travelled by way of Cività
Castellana, Loretto, and Sini-gaglia to Bologna. They arrived on July
20, intending to remain here quietly until the completion and rehearsal
of his opera should render Wolfgang's presence in Milan indispensable.
L. Mozart's injured leg was still troublesome, and he was otherwise
unwell, so that the friendly invitation of Count Pallavicini, to pass
the hot season at his country-house in the neighbourhood of Bologna, was
joyfully accepted. They found the coolest, best-appointed rooms prepared
for them; couriers and servants were placed at their disposal, and their
intercourse with the noble family was pleasant and unrestrained.
The father was most carefully tended, and Wolfgang struck up a firm
friendship with the young Count, who was just his own age, played
the piano, spoke three languages, had six tutors, and was already a



Wolfgang composed industriously, and writes to his sister about four
Italian symphonies, five or six songs, and a motett, which he had
written. His only distress was that he had lost his singing voice; he
had not five clear notes left, either high or low, and could no longer
sing his own compositions. At Bologna they made the acquaintance of the
operatic composer, Joh. Misliweczeck (1737-1781), who was finishing an
oratorio for Padua, and was to write the opera in Milan for 1772. "He
is an honest man," writes L. Mozart, "and we have become great friends."
But their principal intercourse was with Padre Martini, with whom they
became very intimate, visiting him daily, and holding long musical
discussions. The discourse and instruction of the great contrapuntist
could not be without influence on Wolfgang's work. A list of sketches in
difficult contrapuntal forms, which according to the handwriting belong
to this time, must have been studies suggested by Padre Martini. Of
peculiar interest is a three-part Miserere for alto, tenor, and bass,
with figured Continuo, superscribed _Del Sigr. Caval. W. A. Mozart, in
Bologna_, 1770 (85 K.). It is evidently written under the influence of
Allegri's Roman Miserere, generally harmonic, with some few imitative
introductory passages, simple and very beautiful. The three last
movements, Quoniam, Benigne, Tunc acceptabis, are written by another
hand, and evidently not composed by Mozart; the subjects are severer and
more simple. Probably Padre Martini wound up the youth's exercises by
these movements of his own composition.[43]

The Philharmonic Society of Naples, whose festival performance Mozart
had attended in company with Burney,[44]



honoured him with a signal proof of admiration and esteem. This famous
society, founded in 1666, upon the presentation by Wolfgang of a
memorial, and his accomplishment of a prescribed task, elected him a
member of their body as _Com-positore_. This honour was eagerly sought
after by the most distinguished composers. For composers of church music
it was important, since Benedict XIV., in a bull of 1749, had given a
kind of overseership to the Philharmonic Society; only its members could
become kapellmeisters to churches in Bologna, and by a Papal decree this
membership was allowed to take the place of any examination.[45] The
distinction was the greater since members were required[46] to be twenty
years old, to have been admitted into the first class of compositore,
and to have been a year in the second class of cantori and sonatori.
Leopold describes the election as follows:--

At 4 o'clock in the afternoon of October 9 Wolfgang was required to
appear at the hall of the society. There the Princeps Academiæ and the
two censors (who are old kapellmeisters) gave him an antiphon from
the Antiphonary; he was then conducted by the verger to a neighbouring
apartment and locked in, there to set it in three parts. When it was
ready it was examined by the censor, and all the kapellmeistem and
composers, who voted on it by means of black and white balls. All the
balls being white he was called in, and amid clapping of hands and
congratulations the Princeps Academiæ in the name of the society
announced his election. He returned thanks, and the thing was over.
I was all the time on the other side of the hall cooped up in the
Academical Library. Every one was astonished that he was ready so
soon, for many have spent three hours over an antiphon of three lines.
N.B.--You must know that it was not an easy task, for this kind of
composition excludes many things of which he had been told beforehand.
He finished it in exactly half an hour.

The task was, according to the old statute, a Cantus firmus from the
Gregorian Antiphonary, to be elaborated contrapuntally for four, five,
or eight voices _a capella_ (in duple time); it was to be executed
strictly according to rule, adhering to the singular treatment of the
harmonies belonging to the old



style of church music. After 1773, the examination became more
severe,[47] and an Italian who stood the test at the beginning of this
century, speaks of it as consisting of three separate compositions.
First, the given subject was to be arranged for four voices in
_falsobordone_, i.e., in plain harmonics, after the fashion of our
congregational chorales. The second test consisted of a _disposizione di
parte_. One voice retained the Cantus firmus, the others were to be set
to it in canonic or imitative mode. The motifs were often taken from the
Cantus firmus itself, in a rhythmical, diminished form. Strict imitation
was not enjoined; it sufficed that the voices should follow each other
with similar passages. The third task was a _fuga reale_, a perfect
fugue, according to the rules of the church mode of the Cantus firmus,
in which one phrase is carried through as a theme, the other parts
serving as intermediate phrases.

Wolfgang did not go through this examination without preparation. An
elaboration in his boyish handwriting of the Cantus firmus "Cibavit eos
in adipe" (44 K.) is probably an exercise made under Padre Martini's
directions. His trial work was a Cantus firmus from the Roman
Antiphonary, a freely imitative contrapuntal arrangement of the
accompanying parts overlying the Cantus firmus of the bass, which is
only to be adhered to in its melodic progressions, and may be modified
in its rhythmical divisions. The original from Mozart's hand is in the
archives of the Philharmonic Society, where it was found by Gaspari in a
volume of various test works chiefly by Martini's pupils.[48] Next to it
among the documents was a second elaboration written by Padre Martini,
and copied by Wolfgang. Of this a second copy is in the Mozarteum, from
Wolfgang's hand, with his father's subscription: _Dal Sigr. Cavaliere
Amadeo Wolfgango Mozart di Salisburgo, Scritto nella sala dell'
accademia filarmonica in Bologna li 10 d' Ottobre, 1770_. This was
published as Wolfgang's own test work (86 K.).[49] Probably Padre
Martini went



through the boy's work, which was not free from faults, and was entered
in the protocol as "satisfying the conditions," and showed him how
the task might have been executed; he took the copy of the corrected
exercise to Salzburg when he returned there.

On October 18 they arrived at Milan, and set vigorously to work on
the completion of the opera. The subject chosen was "Mitridate, Re
di Ponto," opera seria in three acts, versified by Vittorio Amadeo
Cigna-Santi of Turin, where it had already been produced in 1767 with
the music of the kapellmeister Quirico Gasparini. It was first necessary
to finish the recitatives begun in Bologna, and Wolfgang worked so hard
at them that he excused himself to his mother for not writing: "His
fingers ached so from writing recitatives." Every air in the opera was
written after consultation with the singers, male and female, as to what
was best suited to their voice and style. By studying the taste of
the vocalists and so engaging their zeal, the composer found the best
security for the favourable reception of his work. If he were not
fortunate enough to please his singers, either the whole must be
rewritten to suit them, or he must be prepared to hear his music fall
flat before the audience, if indeed something quite different were not
substituted by the performer. When the composer possessed true talent
and judgment, this co-operation was less detrimental to the work than
if it had been left altogether to the discretion of the performers;
nevertheless, the danger of undignified subjection to their caprices was

Wolfgang strove to extricate himself, as best he might, from the
difficulties and intrigues which hindered his work. These were the more
vexatious, as the singers arrived in Milan so late as to give him little
time for composition. His father was careful not to allow him to overtax
his strength, and especially insisted on his not working immediately
after eating, unless under the pressure of great necessity; they usually
went for a walk first. The mental strain of so important a task had
a sobering effect on the boy's spirits, and he repeatedly enjoins his
mother and sister to pray for the success of the opera, "so that we may
all live happily



together again." Leopold begs his friends in Salzburg to be charitable
enough to write them cheerful, jocular letters, to distract Wolfgang's
mind, There was, of course, the usual petty spite of the "Virtuosen
canaille" to combat; they were not likely to leave unmolested a
kapellmeister at once "a youth and a foreigner"; but the father shrank
from no difficulties which could be overcome by "presence of mind and
good sense," and declared they would gnaw through them all, "as the
Hanswurst did through the Dreckberg."

The prima donna was not Gabrielli, but Antonia Bernasconi, daughter of
a valet of the Duke of Wurtemberg, who had been educated as a singer
by her stepfather, Andrea Bernasconi (kapellmeister at Munich since
1754).[50] With her was "the first battle to fight," for it was through
her that the envious cabal sought to overthrow the young composer. An
unknown opponent of Wolfgang tried to persuade her to reject the songs
and duets which he had composed for her, and to substitute those
of Gasparini. But Bernasconi withstood this infamous proposal. She
declared, on the contrary, that she was "beside herself with joy" at the
songs which Wolfgang had written "according to her will and desire"; and
the experienced old maestro Lampugnani, who rehearsed her part with
her, was never tired of praising the compositions. Another cloud in the
theatrical heavens appeared in the person of the tenor, the Cavalier
Guglielmo d' Ettore, who had performed with great success at Munich and
Padua.[51] This storm, too, was happily allayed, but it must have been a
threatening one, for L. Mozart reminds his son of it later, to encourage
him, in Paris. The last arrival was the primo uomo--not Manzuoli, but
Santorini, who had lately been singing at Turin, and had known them in
Bologna. He was not at Milan till December 1, and the representation was
to take place on the 26th.

The rehearsals began under favourable circumstances; even the copyist
had performed his task so well that he



had made only one mistake in the recitatives, and the singers proved
excellent. "As far as I can judge, without fatherly partiality," wrote
L. Mozart on December 8, "I believe that Wolfgang has written the opera
well and with spirit." On December 17 the first rehearsal with full
orchestra[52] took place in the Redoutensaal, and the second two days
later in the theatre; the verdict was altogether in favour of the new

Before the first rehearsal with the small orchestra, there were not
wanting people who condemned the music beforehand as youthful and poor;
they prophesied, as it were, declaring it impossible that so young
a boy, and a German to boot, could write an Italian opera;[53] they
acknowledged him to be a great performer, but denied that he could by
any means understand the _chiaro ed oscuro_ needed in the drama. But
since the first rehearsal these people are all dumbfoundered, and have
not another word to say. The copyist is delighted, which is a good sign
in Italy, for when the music pleases, the copyist often gains more by
distributing and selling the songs than the kapellmeister by composing
them;[54] the singers, male and female, are highly satisfied, and the
duet between the primo uomo and prima donna is especially praised."

The _professori_ (instrumentalists) in the orchestra were pleased, and
declared that the music was clear, distinct, and easy to play. Mozart's
friends were as cheerful as his detractors were gloomy, and the most
noted musicians, such as Fioroni, Sammartini, Lampugnani, and Piazza
Colombo were decidedly in favour of the opera. Under these circumstances
(although the first opera of the season was usually



the least esteemed) they could look forward with calmness to the
representation. This took place on December 26, under Wolfgang's
conductorship, and the result surpassed all expectation. Every song,
except those of the subordinate personages, was received with deafening
applause, and with the cry "Evviva il maestro! evviva il maestrino!"
Contrary to all custom at a first representation a song of the prima
donna's was encored. At the second performance the applause was still
greater, two songs and a duet being encored; but as it was Thursday, and
the audience wished to go home to supper before midnight, so as not to
encroach on Friday (fast day) the performance was cut short; it lasted,
however, including the ballets at the end of each act, six good hours.
On January 5, 1771, L. Mozart wrote home to his wife:--

Our son's opera is received with general approbation, and may be
considered, as the Italians say, _dalle stelle_. Since the third
performance we are alternately in the pit and the boxes, hearing or
seeing, and every one is curious to talk with or look closely at the
Signor Maestro, for the maestro is only bound to conduct the opera three
evenings; Lampugnani accompanied at the second pianoforte, and now that
Wolfgang does not play, he takes the first, and Melchior Chiesa the
second. If any one had told me fifteen or eighteen years ago, when
I heard so much of the opera songs and symphonies of Lampugnani in
England, and Melchior Chiesa in Italy, that these two men would perform
your son's music, and take his place at the piano to accompany his
opera, I should probably have directed such a person to the madhouse as
an idiot. We see by this how the power of God works in us men when we do
not bury the talents that He has graciously bestowed on us.

The opera was repeated twenty times, and always with growing applause
and a full house. The "Milan News," (January 2, 1771) assures its
readers, that the youthful composer "studia il bello della natura e ce
lo rappressenta adomo delle più rare grazie musicali." Wolfgang received
from the public the appellation of the "Cavaliere Filarmonico," which
was confirmed by the Accademia Filarmonica at Verona, who elected him as
their kapellmeister on January 5, 1771.

Professional cares [55]did not engross all Mozart's time and attention. They
became on intimate terms with the young



difficult concerto at sight. They had a trip to Turin, saw a splendid
opera, and were back in Milan on January 31,[56] leaving again shortly
for Venice, where they arrived on the Monday in Carnival week. They
were hospitably received by a merchant, Wider, a business friend of

They enjoyed in all comfort the pleasures of a Venetian carnival,
and, having introductions to all the nobility, splendidly appointed
gondoliers were always at their service; one invitation followed
another, and almost every evening was passed at the opera, or at some
other place of amusement. A concert was given by Mozart with brilliant

On the return journey, undertaken on March 13, they stayed one day
in Padua, visiting the musical celebrities Franc. Ant. Ballotti
(1697-1780), one of the first organ-players in Italy, and almost as
good a theorist and contrapuntist as Padre Martini himself,[57] and the
composer and Munich kapellmeister, Giov. Ferrandini[58]--Tartini had
died the year before. Wolfgang played on the excellent organ in Santa
Giustina. At Padua, too, he received a commission to write an oratorio
to be completed at home as opportunity offered. At Vicenza they remained
some days at the request of the Bishop, a Cornero, who had made their
acquaintance at Venice; and at Verona they stayed with their old friend
Luggiati, who gave a brilliant reception in Wolfgang's honour.

On March 28, 1771, Wolfgang was in Salzburg again, enriched with many
experiences and loaded with honours, his talents matured and his tastes
improved; but his nature as simple, modest, and childlike as when he had
set out. The most direct result of the great success of his opera was
a commission from the impresario in Milan for the first opera of the
Carnival of 1773, with an increased remuneration of 130 gigliati.



At Verona, L. Mozart had already heard rumours of a document on its way
from Vienna to Salzburg, which was to bring his son "immortal honour."
They had scarcely arrived in Salzburg, when Count Firmian commissioned
Wolfgang, in the name of the Empress Maria Theresa, to compose a
theatrical serenade or cantata in celebration of the marriage of the
Archduke Ferdinand with the Princess Maria Ricciarda Beatrice, daughter
of the hereditary Prince Ercole Rainaldo, of Modena. As the marriage was
to take place in October of the year 1771, it follows that the stay in
Salzburg was not of long duration. During this interval he composed,
principally no doubt to satisfy the demands of his official position, a
"Litany" (109 K.), and a "Regina Coeli" (108 K.) in May, and a Symphony
(110 K.) in July. Leopold Mozart had little hope that even Wolfgang's
success in Milan would serve to advance his cause with the Archbishop in
case of any more lucrative post becoming vacant. Such considerations did
not trouble Wolfgang himself so much as his father; he took advantage
of this interval to fall in love for the first time. His letters to his
sister are full of hints of a nameless beauty, of unspeakable emotions;
and the fact that the young lady married about the same time makes the
picture complete of the first love of a boy of sixteen, which had, as
might be expected, no lasting effect on his natural good spirits.

On August 13 they left Salzburg, and after a short stay in Verona
arrived at Milan on August 21. The marriage was fixed for October 15,
but the libretto had not yet been returned from Vienna, where it had
been sent on approbation; in those days it was considered that a maestro
should be so sure of his art that it should stand him in stead at all
times and seasons.[59] Wolfgang was under no apprehension on this score;
he was delighted with his gracious reception by the royal bride, and
enjoyed the delicious fruit, eating a double share of it, as he says,
out of brotherly love to his



sister. When at last the book arrived at the end of August it was
detained some days longer by the poet to make the numerous alterations
required, and not until the beginning of September was it finally
delivered over to Wolfgang. Then he set to work, composing so vigorously
that on September 13 the recitatives and choruses were finished, and
his father was of opinion that the whole opera with the ballet would be
ready in twelve days, which indeed it was; and no wonder that Wolfgang
complained that his fingers ached. In the room above that where he wrote
was a violinist, in the room below another; a singing master lived
next door, and an oboist opposite. "It is capital for composing," says
Wolfgang; "it gives one new ideas."

During this visit to Milan they made the acquaintance of the great
soprano, Catarina Gabrielli, famed for her intrigues no less than
for her musical genius. The impression made by her on Wolfgang may
be gathered from a letter to his father written later from Mannheim
(February 19, 1778):--

Those who have heard Gabrielli must and will acknowledge that she is a
mere executant; her peculiar style of delivery excites admiration, but
only for the first three or four times of hearing her. In the long
run she is not pleasing; one gets tired of passages, and she has the
misfortune of not being able to sing. She cannot sustain a note in
tune; she has no _messa di voce_; in a word, she sings with art, but no

The intercourse of the Mozarts with their fellow-artists, "really good
and famous singers, and sensible people," was cordial, and undisturbed
either by intrigues or cabals. Wolfgang's assured position with regard
to the public, as well as the favour in which he was held at the
imperial court, doubtless contributed to preserve harmony. The tenor
Tibaldi and Manzuoli, who was really engaged this time, came almost
daily at 11 o'clock, and remained sitting at the table till one;
Wolfgang composing all the time.

But the most satisfactory connection was that with Hasse, who was
composing an opera on Metastasio's "Ruggiero," for the same festive
occasion.[60] It was of no small significance



that men like Hasse and Metastasio, who had brought Italian opera to its
highest point, and a famous poet, such as Gius. Parini, in Milan,[61]
should have been content to place themselves on a level with young
Mozart. It was momentous in the history of music, this handing over of
the sceptre by the man who had ruled the Italian stage throughout his
long career to the youth, who was not indeed destined to acquire equal
fame living, but to whom posterity was to allot a far more glorious
place. Hasse himself is said to have exclaimed: "This boy will throw us
all into the shade."[62] It was like him to recognise without envy the
artistic greatness of Mozart; all young artists[63] found him ready to
appreciate and help forward their efforts,[64] and Mozart himself had
been grateful for his support when fighting with the musical cabal in

The festivities[66] which had attracted a crowd of strangers to Milan
began with the triumphant entry of the Duke, followed by the marriage
ceremony in the cathedral; then came a concert and reception at court.
On the 16th a public banquet was given to more than four hundred bridal
couples, to whom the Empress had given dowries, and in the evening
Hasse's opera "Ruggiero" was performed in the newly decorated theatre,
with two gorgeous ballets in the _entr'actes_, "La Corona della gloria,"
by Pick, and "Pico e Canente," by Favier.

On the 17th, after a splendid procession on the Corso, Wolfgang's
serenata "Ascanio in Alba" (111 K.), an allegorical pastoral play in
two acts, with choruses and dances, (by Favier) was produced. After the
first rehearsal, L. Mozart had been able to predict to his wife that the
success of the work was assured. "Because, to begin with,



not only are Signor Manzuoli and the other vocalists in the highest
degree pleased with their songs, but they are as anxious as ourselves to
hear the serenata with the full orchestra; secondly, because I know what
he has written, and the effect it will have, and am quite convinced that
it is excellent, both for the singers and the orchestra." He had not
deceived himself, the applause was extraordinary; the serenata was
repeated the next day, and until the close of the festivities was more
frequently given than "Ruggiero." "I am sorry," writes L. Mozart, "that
Wolfgang's serenata should have so entirely eclipsed Hasse's opera."

He refers his home circle to the judgment of a young Salzburg merchant,
Kerschbaumer, "who, on the 24th, was a witness how the Archduke
and Archduchess not only applauded two of the songs until they were
repeated, but leaning from their box, both during and after the
performance, they bowed towards Wolfgang, and testified their approval
by cries of

'Bravissimo! maestro,' and clapping of hands, an example followed by all
present." This time, too, Wolfgang received more substantial marks of
favour; besides the stipulated fee, the Empress presented him with a
gold watch set with diamonds, having on its back an admirably executed
miniature of herself in enamel.[67]

Among the festivities, which lasted until the end of the month, were a
splendidly appointed masked procession of _facchini_, in the costume of
the surrounding peasantry, on the 19th; races for horses (barberi) on
che 27th, for chariots (calessetti) on the 28th, and the _cuccagna_
on the 24th, when masses of viands were given up to the plunder of the
people, and fountains of wine were opened.[68] On this occasion the
Mozarts narrowly escaped a great danger. One of the great scaffoldings
erected for spectators fell, and more than fifty persons were killed or
injured. It was only an accidental delay which had prevented Wolfgang
and his father from taking the seats which had been allotted them on



erection, and had caused them to seat themselves in the court gallery.

After the close of the opera, Mozart wrote a symphony (112 K.) and a
divertimento (113 K.), probably for a concert, but at all events to
order. During this stay in Milan a contract was entered into with the
theatre of S. Benedetto in Venice, by which Wolfgang was commissioned to
write the second opera of the Carnival of 1773. How this was possible,
since the contract stipulates for residence in Venice at the same time
as it had been already promised in Milan, it is not easy to see, unless
some indulgence on the part of the Venetian impresario was looked for,
perhaps even promised.[69] The contract, however, was never fulfilled;
Nau-mann became Mozart's substitute, arriving in Vienna just in time
to undertake the opera. He produced his "Soliman" with very remarkable

The return of the Mozarts to Salzburg was delayed until the middle of
December, on the 30th of which month Wolfgang composed a symphony (114
K,), and was soon after seized with severe illness.[71]

Their arrival at home coincided with the death of Archbishop Sigismund,
which took place after a lingering illness on December 16,1771. His
successor was elected on March 14, 1772, in the person of Hieronymus
Joseph Franz v. Paula, Count of Colloredo, Bishop of Gurk; to the
universal surprise and grief of the populace, who had little prosperity
to hope for under his rule.[72] An opera was required to form



part of the festivities accompanying his installation, and this Wolfgang
was commissioned to compose.[73] The subject chosen was "Il Sogno di
Scipione" (126 K.), an allegorical _azione teatrale_, by Metastasio,
which had been performed with music by Predieri on the birthday of the
Empress Elizabeth, October 1, 1735. It was written with reference to the
unfortunate military events in Italy, and stress was laid on the bravery
and steadfastness of a great general, even in defeat. How far this
subject was applicable to the circumstances of Bishop Hieronymus does
not seem to have been inquired; even the words of the Licenza were left
unaltered, except that the name of Girolamo was substituted for Carlo.
It is amusing to note that Mozart composing from his Metastasio, writes
the words under his score: "Ma Scipio esalta il labbro e _Carlo_ il
cuore," then effaces the name and writes _Girolamo_.

We do not know how far indifference towards the person of the new
Archbishop is responsible for the fact that this opera betrays more of
the character of an occasional piece written to order than any other
composition by Mozart. It was probably produced in the beginning of May,

The remaining compositions which fall authentically within this period
are a symphony (124 K.), composed on February 21, and a litany, "De
Venerabile" a very important work (125 K.), in March. January was lost
by illness, and in April, Mozart was busy with his opera; but in May, a
"Regina Coeli" (127 K.) and no fewer than three symphonies (128-130 K.)
were ready; in June, a great divertimento (131 K); in July and August
three more symphonies (132-135 K.); three quartets, or divertimenti
(136-138 K.), fall also within the year 1772. These clearly identified
compositions can scarcely be all that belong to this period. If the fact
surprises us that Mozart, instead of



making studies for the new opera which he was to produce in the autumn,
employed this interval almost entirely on church and instrumental music,
we must look for an explanation of it in his position at Salzburg, from
which we cannot doubt that he felt an intense longing to free himself.

A correspondent of Burney who was at Salzburg in the summer of 1772
informs him that he has visited Mozart the father, and heard Wolfgang
and his sister play duets together; Wolfgang, he says, is undoubtedly
a master of his instrument, but he appears to have reached his climax,
and, judging from his orchestral music, he affords another proof
that premature fruits are more rare than excellent.[75] It would be
unreasonable to take this false prophecy amiss, for it no doubt reflects
something of the state of opinion in Salzburg at the time.

On October 24 they set forth once more on the journey to Milan, in order
to be there in good time for the new opera. On the way, "to make time
pass," Wolfgang composed a pianoforte duet; his fête-day was merrily
kept with the brothers Piccini, in Ala (October 31); and after the usual
stay with Luggiati in Verona, they arrived at Milan on November 4. L.
Mozart, who had lately been very well, appeared to profit by the change
and irregularity of a travelling life, but at Milan the old complaint
reappeared. Giddiness and numbness in the head, attributable to a bad
fall, seized him more especially when he had been composing, and he
could not free himself from "Salzburg thoughts," in which he would be
unconsciously plunged for some time, and only with an effort banish them
from his mind "like the wicked thoughts with which the devil used to
tempt him in his youth." They were no doubt the reflection of his almost
unendurable relations with the new Archbishop. He foresaw a troubled
future, unless he could succeed in extricating Wolfgang from his
undefined position in Salzburg, and placing him on a secure footing; and
to this end he bent all his endeavours.

The opera which Wolfgang was to compose was "Lucio



Silla," the words by Giovanni da Camera, a poet of Milan. This time
Wolfgang brought part of the recitative with him, but he did not gain
by so doing; for the poet had in the meantime submitted his text to
Metastasio, who made many alterations, and added a new scene.

He had plenty of time, however, to rewrite the recitatives and to
compose the choruses and the overtures, for of the singers only Signora
Félicita Suarti (who sang in Parma in 1769, and now took the part of
secondo uomo), and the ultimo tenore had appeared. They found Milan very
empty, every one still in the country; only the D'Aste family received
them into the same intimacy as before.

Next arrived the primo uomo Venanzio Rauzzini (b. 1752), an excellent
singer, an accomplished pianist, and a not inconsiderable composer. He
had been in Munich since 1776, when Burney made his acquaintance, and
learned that he was to sing in Mozart's opera.[76] His first song
was soon ready; L. Mozart thought it incomparably beautiful, and that
Rauzzini sang it "like an angel."[77] At last the prima donna De Amicis
arrived, after a tedious journey from Venice. It was time, for the
representation was fixed for the 26th December, and there were still
fourteen pieces to be composed, among them the terzet and the duet,
"which might be reckoned as four."

"I cannot possibly write you a long letter," wrote Wolfgang on the 5th
December, "for I have nothing to say, and do not know what I am writing;
my thoughts are always in my opera, and I am in danger of writing you a
whole song instead of words."

Maria Anna de Amicis (born about 1740), a pupil of Tesi, had been
brought from the opera buffa as prima donna to the opera seria by Chr.
Bach in London (1762). She had been married five years to Buonsolazzi,
an official in Naples,



and she brought her little daughter Sepperl with her to Milan.[78]
Although the Mozarts had made her acquaintance during their Parisian
tour, she was at first a little inclined to create difficulties; but the
most friendly relations were soon established between them.

When she had mastered her three songs she was "in high delight, because
Wolfgang had suited her so wonderfully well." He had furnished the
principal song with some new and marvellously difficult passages.[79] L.
Mozart wrote after the rehearsals, that she both sang and acted like an
angel, and all Salzburg would be amazed to hear her.

There was still wanting the tenor Cardoni, and news at length arrived
that he was so seriously ill he could not appear. Suitable messengers
were at once despatched to Turin and Bologna, to seek for another good
tenor, who was to be not only a good singer, "but especially a good
actor, and a person of presence, to represent Lucio Silla with proper
dignity." But such an one was not to be procured, and there was nothing
for it at last but to take a church singer from Lodi, Bassano Morgnoni,
who had occasionally sung in the theatre there, but never on a larger
stage. He arrived on December 17, when the rehearsals were going on, and
the following day Wolfgang wrote two of the four songs allotted to him.
On December 21, 22, and 23 there were large parties of the nobility at
Count Firmian's, at which vocal and instrumental music was performed
from five o'clock in the evening until eleven. Wolfgang played each
time, and was favourably noticed by all the great people.

The grand rehearsal passed off well; and the first representation on
December 26, in spite of some drawbacks, was a great success. The opera
began, according to custom, an hour after Ave Maria, and at half-past
five the theatre was



quite full. Just before Ave Maria the Archduke had risen from table, and
retired to despatch five autograph congratulations on the New Year to
Vienna; as might be expected, this took some time. The performers, male
and female, in all the agitation of a first performance, and the hot
impatient public were obliged to wait the arrival of the court until
past eight o'clock. Unhappily the Lodi tenor had to express his anger by
gestures during the prima donna's first song; in his efforts to surpass
himself he gesticulated so wildly, "that he appeared to wish to box her
ears, or hit her in the face with his clenched fist." Thereupon a laugh
broke out; this confused De Amicis, who did not know for whom it was
intended, and she sang ill the whole evening, especially after Rauzzini
had been received on his first entry with applause from the Archduchess.
Rauzzini had contrived to inform the Archduchess that he should be
nervous at singing before her, and so had assured himself of the
applause of the court. De Amicis was consoled by an invitation to court
the next day, and then the opera went altogether well.

It was given more than twenty times to houses so full "that one
could scarcely squeeze in." Each time some of the songs were encored,
generally the prima donna's, which had "the upper hand."[80]

Wolfgang wrote a motett, "Exultate," for Rauzzini, (165 K.), which was
performed before the actors on January, 1773. It is on the plan of a
great dramatic scene, and maintains that style throughout. To a long and
elaborate allegro succeeds a short recitative leading to a long, simple
slow movement. The finale is an animated "Alleluia," cheerful and
brilliant. Later (February 6) his father says he is busy with a quartet.

L. Mozart continually postponed their departure, at first with the
expectation of seeing the second opera, which was much later than usual,
owing to the many representations of "Lucio Silla," and afterwards under
the pretext of an attack



of rheumatism, which confined him to bed. In point of fact he had, with
the powerful support of Count Firmian, proferred a request to the Grand
Duke Leopold at Florence that the latter would attach Wolfgang to his
court. The Grand Duke at first showed gracious dispositions, and L.
Mozart must have wished to continue the negotiations from Milan. Even
after their ultimate failure he thought he might count on powerful
recommendations from Florence, and his thoughts turned again on a great
professional tour. "Only be economical," he wrote, "for we must have
money if we are to undertake a tour; I grudge every penny spent in

Towards the close of their stay a colleague from the Salzburg chapel,
the horn-player Leutgeb, came to Milan, and was well received there.

At the beginning of March they really set out; for they might not be
absent from their places on the anniversary of the Archbishop's election
(March 14).

The remarkable success of the opera, and the lively interest excited by
Wolfgang's person, leaves scarcely any doubt that further overtures were
made to him in Italy; their non-acceptance must have been owing to the
Archbishop's refusal of an extended leave of absence.


[Footnote 1: A. M. Z., 1864, p. 495. "La Finta Semplice," dramma giocoso per
musica, da rappresentarsi in corte per ordine di S. A. Rev. Monsigr.
Sigismondo Conte di Schrattenbach,Arcivescovo di Salisburgo, &c.
Salisb., 1769.]

[Footnote 2: Metastasio speaks of the different ways of delivering these. (Opp.
post, I., p. 300.)]

[Footnote 3: Communicated to me by Köchel, from the autograph in the possession
of R. v. Pfuesterschmied, at Vienna.]

[Footnote 4: Dominicus Hagenauer became "Prälat des St. Peterstifts," in 1786.
[Footnote Koch-Sternfeld.] Die letzten dreiss. Jahre., pp. 78, 299, 326.]

[Footnote 5: Burney, Reise, I., p. 101. Cf. the extracts from Th. Fr. Maier's
description of Venice. I., 1787, in the Musik. Realzeitung, 1788, p.

[Footnote 6: Zelter Briefw. mit Goethe, II., p. 177.]

[Footnote 7: A remarkable exception, and a fortunate one for the development of
German music, was Joseph Haydn, although even he was initiated into the
Italian school through his lessons from Porpora, and his intercourse
with Metastasio. But his numerous Italian operas, which he himself
considered as equal to the works of any of his contemporaries, brought
him no renown. His fame always rested on his instrumental compositions,
which were thoroughly German; and his two great oratorios were composed
at a time when Italian music was on the decline.]

[Footnote 8: L. Mozart's letters during the tour, of which Nissen gives extracts,
are almost all in the Mozarteum. at Salzburg.]

[Footnote 9: The portrait has been recovered by Sonnleithner's exertions, and in
now in his possession.]

[Footnote 10: S. Mayr, Die ehem. Univ. Salzburg, p. 12.]

[Footnote 11: Winckelmann, Briefe, pp. 271,279, 324; II., p. 48.]

[Footnote 12: Schlozer's Life, I., pp. 96, 276, 313. Cf. Duten's Mém., I., p.
327. Teutsch. Mercur, 1789, III., p. 301.]

[Footnote 13: Teutsch. Mercur, 1775, III., p. 247.]

[Footnote 14: Griesinger, Biogr. Not., p. 15. Carpani, Haydine, p. 56.]

[Footnote 15: The song "Misero tu non sei" (Anh. 2 K.), which Wolfgang composed
in Milan, is from Metastasio's "Demetrio" (Act i, sc. 4), which he had
heard shortly before in Mantua; it has not been preserved.]

[Footnote 16: A gigliato, Florentine goldgulden, was about equal to a ducat.]

[Footnote 17: Cf. Kelly's Remin., I., p. 74.]

[Footnote 18: G. Gaspari, La Musica in Bologna, p. 19.]

[Footnote 19: Esemplare osia saggio fondamentale pratico di contrappunto. Bol.,

[Footnote 20: Burney, Reise, I., p. 144.]

[Footnote 21: This was shown in his conduct to Grétry (Mém., I., p. 91), Naumann
(Meissner, Biogr., I., p. 150), and Burney (Reise, I., p. 142).]

[Footnote 22: Chrysander, Handel, II., p. 378.]

[Footnote 23: Burney, Reise, I., p. 150.]

[Footnote 24: Mancini, Rifless. sul Canto Figurato, p. 152.]

[Footnote 25: Dittersdorfs account in his Autobiography of his stay at Bologna in
1762, and his intercourse with P. Martini and Farinelli, will be found
interesting (p. 110).]

[Footnote 26: Burney, Reise, I., p. 149.]

[Footnote 27: A short Osanna in four parts, with accompaniment for strings, in
complicated canon form (223 K.) shows the same tendency.]

[Footnote 28: Cf. for the mottoes of these, Padre Martini, Esemplare, II., p.

[Footnote 29: Cf. Barthold, Die geschichtl. Persdnl., in Casanova's Memoiren,
II., p. 177.]

[Footnote 30: Cf. Schubart, Deutsche Chron., 1776, pp. 499, 554, 613.]

[Footnote 31: Barney, Reise, I., p. 185.]

[Footnote 32: Kelly, Remin., I., p. 225.]

[Footnote 33: He was drowned at a water party (Parke, Mus. Mem., I., p. 204).
Holmes says that his brother Ozias Linley preserved an Italian letter
from Mozart to Thomas Linley.]

[Footnote 34: Rochlitz (Für Freunde d. Tonk., II., p. 284), highly coloured as

[Footnote 35: On Holy Thursday, the Misereres of Anerio, Naldini, and Scarlatti
were performed in turns, until in 1714 Bai's Miserere displaced them.
Since 1821 Allegri's Miserere has only been sung once. Baini, Mem. Stor.
Crit., II., p. 195. Kandler, G. Pierluigi da Palestrina, p. 96.]

[Footnote 36: Cf. Burney's more critical account (Reise, I., p. 203) and
Mendelssohn's (Reise-briefe, pp. 122, 163).]

[Footnote 37: So at least it was said; but Burney says that the Pope had copies
made for the Emperor Leopold, the King of Portugal, and Padre Martini,
and that the Papal kapellmeister, Santarelli, gave him a copy, which he
had printed in London, 1771 (Reise, I., pp. 202, 208): he heard it
again in Florence, and was offered a copy. In face of these statements,
Baini's assurance (Cäcilia, II., p. 69) that no copy or score of the
Miserere had ever been made, must be held to be exaggerated.]

[Footnote 38: Metastasio declares (Lett., I., p. 99) that the Miserere, which had
thrown him into ecstasies in Rome, made no impression at all in
Vienna, performed by singers who were _secondo il corrente stilo

[Footnote 39: Metastasio, Opp. post., III., p. 258.]

[Footnote 40: Burney, Reise, I., p. 241. Cramer, Magaz. d. Mus., I., p. 341.
Kelly, Remin., I., p. 29.]

[Footnote 41: Burney, Reise, I., p. 252. L. Mozart writes (December 22, 1770)
from Milan, "Jomelli's opera has so completely fallen to the ground,
that it is to be withdrawn. This is the celebrated maestro about whom
the Italians make such an astounding fuss. But he was a little foolish
to undertake to write two operas in the year for the same theatre,
particularly as he might have seen that the first was no great success."]

[Footnote 42: Dittersdorf, Selbstbiographie, p. 84: "The order is bestowed in
Rome, and the members bear the title of 'Comités Palatina Romani.' They
receive a diploma written on parchment, and authenticated by a great
seal. They enjoy all the rights of the nobility in Rome and the Papal
States, have free entry into the Papal palace, and hold the same
position there as the kammerherren of other reigning courts. Their
insignia is a yellow enamelled gold Maltese cross. They wear it round
the neck with a purple ribbon, and sometimes a smaller one of plain
gold, with a red ribbon on the breast."]

[Footnote 43: Three short movements in counterpoint for four voices, with a
figured bass. "Adoramus" (327 K.), "Justum deduxit Dominus," and
"0 sancte fac nos captare" (326 K.), are preserved among Wolfgang's
sketches in L. Mozart's handwriting. They may be examples, perhaps
by Padre Martini, copied for study. Not even a conjecture can be made
concerning two four-part movements, "Salus infirmorum," and "Sancta
Maria" (324, 325, K.), of which only the commencing bars are preserved
by André.]

[Footnote 44: Burney, Reise, I., p. 166: "I must not neglect to inform my musical
readers that I recognise in the son of Mozart the musician, that little
German, whose precocious and supernatural talent amazed us all in London
some years ago, when he was a mere child. He has been much admired, both
in Rome and Naples."]

[Footnote 45: Grétry, Mém., I., p. 91. Kandler, G. A. Hasse, p. 21.]

[Footnote 46: Statuti ovyero costituzioni de' Signori Accademici Filarmonici di
Bologna. Bologna, 1721.]

[Footnote 47: Gaspari, La Musica in Bologna, p. 27.]

[Footnote 48: Gaspari, p. 28. Fétis, Biogr. Univ., VI., p. 226. Köchel, A.M.Z.,
1864, P- 495.]

[Footnote 49: Nissen, p. 226. A. M. Z.. XXII., Beil. I.]

[Footnote 50: Rudhart, Gesch. d. Oper zu München, I., p. 138.]

[Footnote 51: Burney, Reise, I., p. 96.]

[Footnote 52: It consisted, according to L. Mozart, of 14 first and as many
second violins, 2 claviers, 2 double-basses, 6 violoncelli, 2 bassoons,
6 viols, 2 oboes, and 2 "flautraversen," "which always play with 4 oboes
when there are no flutes," 4 corni di caccia, and 2 clarini, in all, 60

[Footnote 53: A Bolognese exclaimed of Dittersdorf's playing, "Come è mai
possibile, che una tartaruga tedesca possa arrivare a tale perfezione!"
(Selbstbiogr., p. III.)]

[Footnote 54: The score remained in Milan after their departure, for the copyist
had orders for five complete copies, besides single songs.]

[Footnote 55: L. Mozart here relates a musical event that seemed to him hardly
credible in the Italy of that day: "We heard two beggars, man and wife,
singing in the street, and they sang in fifths without missing one note.
I never heard the like in Germany. In the distance I thought it was two
persons, each singing a song; but as we came nearer we found it was a
duet in exact fifths."]

[Footnote 56: L. Mozart here relates a musical event that seemed to him hardly
credible in the Italy of that day: "We heard two beggars, man and wife,
singing in the street, and they sang in fifths without missing one note.
I never heard the like in Germany. In the distance I thought it was two
persons, each singing a song; but as we came nearer we found it was a
duet in exact fifths."]

[Footnote 57: Burney, Reise, I., p. 94.]

[Footnote 58: Meissner, Biographie Naumanns, I., p. in.]

[Footnote 59: Hasse declared that six months were necessary for a good opera
(Man-fredini reg. armon., p. 134), that was plenty of time; Naumann
writes, that in Venice an opera had to be written, learnt, and produced
within a month.]

[Footnote 60: Metastasio, Opp. post., III., pp. 116, 164.]

[Footnote 61: Orelli, Beitr. z. Gesch. der Ital. Poesie, II., p. 3.]

[Footnote 62: Carpani, Le Haydine, p. 83. Kandler, Cenni int. alia vita del G. A.
Hasse, p. 27: "Questo ragazzo ci farà dimenticar tutti"]

[Footnote 63: Marpurg, Krit. Beitr., I., p. 227.]

[Footnote 64: Meissner, Biogr. Naumanns, I., pp. 120, 227, 283.]

[Footnote 65: Cf. Betrachtungen d. Mannh. Tonsch, I., p. 307.]

[Footnote 66: Parini's Descrizione delle feste celebrate in Milano per le nozze
delle L.L.A.A.R.R. l'arcid. Ferdinando e l'arcid. Maria Beatrice. Milan,

[Footnote 67: Mozart bequeathed this watch to Joseph Strebl, a Vienna merchant,
with whom he used to play bowls.]

[Footnote 68: Teutsch. Mercur, 1775, III., p. 240.]

[Footnote 69: L. Mozart writes to Breitkopf (February 7, 1772): "We arrived at
home from Milan on the 15th of December, and my son, having gained
great credit by the composition of his dramatic serenata, has been
commissioned to write the first Carnival Opera for Milan next year, and
the second opera for the same Carnival at the Theatre of S. Benedetto,
in Venice. We shall, therefore, remain in Salzburg until the end of next
September, and then for the third time repair to Italy."]

[Footnote 70: Meissner, Biographie Naumanns, I., p. 279.]

[Footnote 71: This is inferred from a statement made by his sister to
Regierungsrath Sonnleithner (Salzburg, July 2, 1819) about a portrait of
Mozart, that "it was painted when he returned from the Italian tour, at
sixteen years of age; but as he was just recovering from severe illness,
the picture is sickly and yellow."]

[Footnote 72: [Koch-Sternfeldj Die letzten dreissig Jahre des Hochstifts und
Erzbisthums Salzburg (1816), p. 36.]

[Footnote 73: Leopold Mozart had ordered new oboes and bassoons from Dresden in a
great hurry, when the election of an archbishop was imminent.]

[Footnote 74: It would almost appear that it was performed a second time later
on, at least the songs of the "Licenza" occur in a second composition,
which may be referred to a later period, and is far superior to the
first; but it might be that they were used for an altogether different

[Footnote 75: Burney, Reise, III., p. 263.]

[Footnote 76: Burney, Reise, II., pp. 93, no.]

[Footnote 77: Naumann, also, in whose "Armida" he appeared in Padua, says of him,
"he has every good quality, sings like an angel, and is an excellent
actor." From the year 1778 he lived in England as a singer, and then as
a teacher till 1810. Kelly, Remin., I., p. 10. Parke, Mus. Mem., II., p.
51. Rudhart, Gesch. d. Oper. zu München, I., p. 149.]

[Footnote 78: Afterwards she sang only in private society. Berl. Musik.
Wochenblatt, p. 4.]

[Footnote 79: The Abbé Cardanelli, a contemporary of Mozart, relates that de
Amicis required Wolfgang to submit the sketches of his songs for her
approval, but that he brought her a finished song, which she found
excellent; and he then composed the same words again twice over, and
placed them at her disposal (Folchino, Elogio Stor. di W. A. Mozart.
Cremona, 1817, p. 26). A. M. Z., XX., p. 93. Not very likely!]

[Footnote 80: The result of the opera appears to have been the subject of great
anxiety. Naomann notes in his Diary for January 2, 1773: "I went to
Colloredo, to hear the news of the Milan opera."]



By David Widger


AT Salzburg during May, 1773, Wolfgang composed a symphony (181 K.), a
concertone for two violins (190 K.), and a mass (167 K.) in June.

In the summer of this year the Archbishop repaired to Vienna, and
Leopold Mozart seized the opportunity of following him thither with
Wolfgang. He looked forward only to a short absence, but when they
presented themselves before the Archbishop in Vienna he gave them
permission to extend their stay, as he intended himself to go into the
mountains and to Gmünd.

Of the precise object of this tour we know nothing, only that L. Mozart
hints mysteriously that he cannot tell his



plans to every one, and that he must avoid anything that would excite
attention either at Vienna or Salzburg, and cause obstacles to be thrown
in their way. When the good people of Salzburg connected the illness of
the kapellmeister Gassmann with his journey, he answered indignantly:
"Herr Gassmann was ill, but is now better. I do not know what connection
this may have with our journey to Vienna; but fools will be fools, all
the world over."[1] There can be no doubt, however, that he was anxious
that Wolfgang should be permanently attached to the court, either at
Vienna or elsewhere. The Empress, of whom they immediately sought an
audience, was very gracious, but that was all. The Emperor only returned
from Poland towards the end of their stay, and they do not appear to
have spoken to him at all.

They arrived on the 18th of July, and went straight to their old
lodgings, where they surprised old Frau Fischer at supper; she was
delighted to see them, and to provide them once more with comfortable
apartments. Many old friendships were renewed: L'Augier, Martinez,
Novarre, honest old Bono, Stephanie and his lovely wife, Dr. Auerbrugger
and his two daughters, Franziska and Mariane, "who played charmingly and
were thorough musicians,"[2] all welcomed the Mozarts eagerly; Wolfgang
had grown so as never to be recognised unless his father were with him.

But their warmest welcome was from the Messmers, who only regretted that
they had come without Frau Mozart and Marianne. Since the Mozarts' last
visit, they had decorated their garden with statues, &c., and had built
a theatre, an aviary, a dovecot, a summer-house looking over the
Prater, and they were now turning their house into a comfortable winter
residence. The whole family were together, including Fräulein Franzl,
who was seriously ill, and Fräulein Sepperl, an inveterate match-maker,
interesting herself in the love affairs even of the cook and the
footman. Here they met their old friends Heufeld, Greiner, Steigentesch,



Grill, Bono, &c.; and music was the invariable theme of conversation.
Messmer had learned to play the harmonica from Miss Davis, and had an
instrument made at a cost of 50 ducats, which was finer than that used
by Miss Davis. He played it very well, and so did his little son, who
showed considerable talent; Wolfgang tried the harmonica, and "wished he
had one too." The Messmers soon after went farther into the country to
Rothmühl, which interrupted this pleasant intercourse.

The great public event of the day during their stay in Vienna was the
suppression of the order of Jesuits. L. Mozart, who followed their
expulsion with great interest, thought that many good Christians would
consider the Pope had only jurisdiction in matters of faith, and that
the Jesuits would probably have been left unmolested if they had been
as poor as the Capucines. In Rome the property of the Jesuits had been
seized ad pias causas, which was easily done, since all that the Pope
appropriated was ad pias causas; the Emperor thought differently, and
had reserved to himself the right of dispensing the property of the
Jesuits. Mozart thinks, too, that the millions taken from the Jesuits
will awaken the appetite for more of such confiscations.[3]

Wolfgang had taken some work with him. A grand serenata for some fête in
the family of their friend Andretter was sent from Vienna and performed
at Salzburg in the beginning of August under Meissner's conductorship
(145 K.). Then he set to work to write six quartets (168-173 K.),
whether by order or not is uncertain; nothing more important, however,
came to hand. The Jesuits performed the P. Dominicus Mass (66 K.) at
court during the Octave of S. Ignatius' day; L. Mozart conducted, and
the applause was great. The Theatin monks invited them to their service
and banquet on the feast of S. Cajetan, and, the organ not being
available, Wolfgang had the boldness to execute a concerto on a violin
borrowed from his young friend Teyber. This made such an impression that
in 1782 a lay brother, to whom Wolfgang



remarked that he had eight years before played a violin concerto in the
choir, at once addressed him by his name. Of money receipts during this
visit to Vienna we hear little or nothing; on the contrary, L. Mozart
writes to his wife that his body grows fat in proportion as his purse
grows thin; and he consoles her for the fact that he has had to borrow
money by declaring that it only proves his having need of money, but
not of a doctor. Notwithstanding, he considered he had good reasons for
remaining in Vienna. "Things must and will mend; take courage, God will
help us!"

With the end of September they were again in Salzburg, and in December
Wolfgang wrote a quintet for stringed instruments (174 K.) and a
pianoforte Concerto in D major (175 K.), the first of the long list
after his early attempts. Almost the whole of the year 1774 was passed
quietly at home; Wolfgang wrote some important church music, two Masses
in F and D major (192,194, K.), a great litany (195 K.), two psalms
for a Vesper (193 K.), various symphonies (199-202 K.), two complete
serenatas (203, 204, K.), and an interesting divertimento (205 K.). Then
came a commission from Munich to write a comic opera for the Carnival
of 1775. It is probable that the influence of the Prince Bishop of
Chiemsee, Count Ferdinand von Zeil, an enthusiastic patron of Mozart,
had been exerted on his behalf. The Elector Maximilian III. had also
shown great interest in Mozart in former years, and on this account it
was impossible for the Archbishop of Salzburg to refuse Wolfgang leave
of absence. The Elector had a decided talent for music, which he had
cultivated by study; he composed church music, and played the bass-viol,
as Naumaun wrote to a friend, "divinely"; Burney declared he had heard
no such bass-viol-player since the celebrated Abel. The Elector's sister
also, the widowed Electress of Saxony Maria Antonia Walburga, known as
a poetess, was then on a visit to Munich; she both composed and sang
operas for which she had written the verses.[4] It followed, therefore,



that much was done in Munich for orchestra and singers both in the
opera and the churches, although the performances fell short of those in

On December 6 Wolfgang set out with his father for Munich, where they
found a small but comfortable lodging with a _Chanoine et grand custos
de Notre Dame_; this good man showed them honour and hospitality
above their deserts, as they considered, and often sacrificed his own
convenience to theirs from sheer friendliness. The intense cold of the
journey had, in spite of precautions, brought on Wolfgang's habitual
malady, severe toothache, and he was confined to his room with a swelled
face for several days. As soon as possible they made the acquaintance
of those with whom they were to be associated, and were well received

The opera "La Finta Giardiniera" is very rich in airs, and Mozart,
finding a wealth of resources in Munich ready to hand, went to work more
seriously, both with the voices and the orchestra, than was customary
with an opera buffa. It is impossible to ascertain how much of the opera
he brought with him, or how much was altered or composed in Munich. The
first rehearsal did not take place till near the end of December, and
the performance was consequently postponed to January 5, 1775, so that
the singers might be more sure of their parts than could have been the
case had they played, as intended, on December 29.

"You must know," writes L. Mozart, "that the maestro Tozi, who is this
year writing the opera seria ('Orfeo ed Euridice'), wrote last year at
this time an opera buffa, and exerted himself to the utmost in order
that it might surpass the opera seria of Sales (of Trier): he succeeded
in quite eclipsing Maestro Sales' opera.[6] Now it so turns out that
Wolfgang's opera is ready just before Tozi's, and all those who heard
the first rehearsal are saying that Tozi is paid back in his own coin,
since Wolfgang's opera will



throw his quite into the shade.[7] I do not like this sort of thing,
and have tried all I can to put an end to the gossip; but the whole
orchestra, and all who heard the rehearsal, declare that they
never heard more beautiful music; all the songs are beautiful." The
performance on January 13,1775, was a brilliant success; the court and
the public overwhelmed the composer with applause and honours, as he
himself informs his mother.

The Secretary of Legation, Unger, notes in his journal (January 15,
1775): "_Vendredi L.A.R.E., assistèrent à la première représentation
de Vopera buffa, 'La Finta Giardiniera'; la musique fut applaudie
généralement; elle est du jeune Mozart de Saltzbourg qui se trouve
actuellement ici. C'est le même qui à l'äge de huit ans a été en
Angleterre et ailleurs pour se faire entendre sur le clavecin, qu'il
touche supérieurement bien_."[8] And Schubart writes in the "Teutsche
Chronik" (1775, p. 267): "I also heard an opera buffa by the wonderful
genius Mozart; it is called "La Finta Giardiniera." Sparks of genius
flash out here and there, but it is not yet the calm flame from the
altar, rising to heaven in clouds of incense--a perfume meet for the
gods. If Mozart does not turn out to be a hothouse-reared plant, he will
undoubtedly be one of the greatest composers that has ever lived."

It was said of the performers that Rossi and Rosa Manservisi were
specially suited for opera buffa. Rossi was as good as his brother in
Stuttgart in merry, waggish parts; Manservisi was above the average of
singers in voice, execution, and personal appearance.[9]

This time Wolfgang's sister enjoyed the pleasure of witnessing his
triumph. During her visit to Munich she was placed under the care of
a certain Frau v. Durst, a sensible well-educated widow, who provided
Marianne with a room to herself and a piano, on which her father took
care she should practise diligently. Other Salzburg friends arrived for



Carnival, Eberlin Waberl, Fräulein v. Schiedenhofen, And-retter, and
young Molk, who went into such raptures over the opera seria, it was
plain that he had heard nothing outside Salzburg and Inspruck.

Another involuntary witness of Mozart's triumph was the Archbishop of
Salzburg. He had occasion to pay a visit to the Elector of Bavaria
in January, 1775,[10] and though he arrived in Munich after the
representation of the opera, and had left before its repetition, he
was forced, as L. Mozart remarks with satisfaction, to listen to the
eulogies pronounced by the electoral suite and all the nobility, and to
receive the congratulations which were poured on him. He was so taken
aback that he could only answer by shaking his head and shrugging his
shoulders. It was little likely that such a scene should have raised
Mozart in the favour of a man like Hieronymus.

The repetition of the opera, which could only be given on Fridays,
brought difficulties, inasmuch as the seconda donna, who was wretched
even at her best, fell seriously ill, and the opera had to be
considerably curtailed, in order to dispense with her. It took place on
Wolfgang's birthday, and he thought it indispensable that he should
be present at the performance, as otherwise his opera might not
be recognised. The orchestra was in great confusion, since it was
shamefully neglected by the director Tozi, who was at that time enacting
the romance in real life with the Countess Törring-Seefeld, of which L.
Mozart writes to his wife:--

Signor Tozi has gone. He had an old-standing love intrigue with
the Countess v. Seefeld, in which her brother, Count Sedlizky, was
implicated, as well as a certain tenor, Signor Guerrieri. The Countess
left Munich six weeks ago on pretence of visiting her estates, but she
has quite deserted her husband and children, and carried off money
and jewels. The complicity of her brother and the two Italians was
discovered by a letter; Count Sedlizky was placed under arrest,
Guerrieri thrown into prison, and Tozi took refuge with the Theatin
monks. The Elector sent him an assurance that he should not be
imprisoned if he would submit to an examination. He issued from his
hiding-place, but

{MUNICH, 1775.}


immediately took flight to Italy. Count Sedlizky confessed everything;
Guerrieri denied everything, but to little avail, since the jewels
were found in Guerrieri's lodgings, sewed up in an old cushion. It is
suspected that the Countess is in Holland; there she sits forlorn, since
her projected escort has not joined her.

L. Mozart writes to his wife to tell this story, "just to show people
that Italians are rascals all the world over."[11]

The opera did not put a stop to Wolfgang's church music. His Grand
Litany (125 K.) in B major was performed at the court chapel on New
Year's day, as well as one of his father's; and later on two small
Masses, no doubt those in F and D major (192, 194 K.). A few days
before their departure, as Wolfgang writes to Padre Martini, the Elector
expressed a wish to hear an offertory, contrapuntally worked out, which
was to be composed, copied, and practised before the following Sunday.
It was the "Misericordias Domini," to which Padre Martini accorded
great praise.[12] As a matter of course, Wolfgang made his mark also as a
clavier-player; with this object he had taken his concerto with him,
and his sister was to bring some of his sonatas and variations. Schubart
writes in his "Teutsche Chronik" (1776, p. 267): "Only think, my
friends, what a treat! Last winter, in Munich, I heard two of the
greatest clavier-players, Herr Mozart and Herr v. Beecke. My host, Herr
Albert, who is enthusiastic for all that is great and beautiful, has an
excellent pianoforte in his house. So these two giants strove together.
Mozart can play any difficulties, and whatever is laid before him at
sight. But nevertheless, Beecke far surpasses him--winged speed, grace,
melting sweetness, and a marvellous amount of taste, are weapons which
none can wrest from the grasp of this Hercules."

The great and universal applause bestowed on Wolfgang inspired his
father with the hope that he would be intrusted



with the opera seria for the next year; why this was not the case we
are not aware. The rumour current in Salzburg that Wolfgang was about to
enter the Elector's service, L. Mozart ascribes to his enemies, and to
those whose consciences told them what good cause he had for taking
such a step; he was used to such childish folly, and did not allow it to
trouble him in the least. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that nothing
would have pleased him more; but, as a prudent man, he did not wish to
cut himself adrift from Salzburg before having secured a safe anchorage
at Munich.

After enjoying to their close the pleasures of the Carnival, which
lasted too long for the father, they returned to Salzburg on March
7,1775. In April the Archbishop of Salzburg was honoured by a visit
from the Archduke Maximilian, youngest son of Maria Theresa (b. 1749),
afterwards Archbishop of Cologne; he had been spending the Carnival
in Paris, where his want of tact had placed the Queen in considerable
embarrassment,[13] and had also paid a short visit to Munich. Court
festivities were arranged, chiefly consisting of musical performances,
for which the singer Consuoli and Becke, the flautist, were summoned
from Munich. A serenata by Fischietti was performed on April 22, and on
the following day Mozart's "Re Pastore," which had been very hurriedly
composed. On April 24, according to the report of one of the Archduke's
suite, "Music was the entertainment provided, as on the preceding days;
at the conclusion of the performance, young Mozart placed himself at
the piano and played various pieces from his head, with equal skill and
grace." Whether he appeared as a violinist we do not know; he had, at
any rate, composed his first violin concerto on April 14 (207 K.), and
the fact that this was followed by four others in the same year (211,
216, 218, 219, K.) is a proof that he was applying himself energetically
to the violin; possibly because it would be easier to find a good
situation if he were an accomplished violin-player.

The next two years passed quietly and busily at Salzburg. Extracts from
a diary kept by young Schiedenhofen show how



limited their circle of friendly intercourse was, and Wolfgang's
authentically dated compositions afford proofs of his activity and

The year 1776 was especially rich in church music; four masses (257,
258, 259,261, K.) fall in this year, three of them in its last quarter,
while in March a Grand Litany in E flat major (243 K.) was written,
besides an Offertory, "Venite populi," for two choirs (260 K.). To
1777 belong a Mass (275 K.), and a Graduale, "Sancta Maria" (273 K.). A
series of organ sonatas were furnished for the services of the church,
and for the court a number of divertimenti for wind instruments,
probably as table music. In other respects, doubtless in consequence of
the ill-will of the Archbishop, Wolfgang appears to have held aloof from
the court concerts; no symphonies belong to this time. The serenatas
were written for other occasions. On wedding-days, fête-days, or the
like, these nocturnal pieces were usually performed in the street, not
excepting the solos;[14] they were introduced by a march, in which any
of the company who could handle a bow might take part; the rest listened
from the windows above. Such music was either ordered and paid for, or
offered as a tribute of esteem.

On the wedding-day of the Salzburg citizen F. X. Spath with Elise
Haffher, daughter of the worthy merchant and Bürgermeister Sigmund
Haffner[15] (July 22,1776), a serenata by Mozart was performed,
afterwards known as the "Haffner-musik" (249, 250, K.). Another
opportunity offered in the fête-day of the Countess Antonia Lodron, for
whom in 1776 and 1777 Wolfgang wrote several specified nocturnes;[16]
Schiedenhofen was present at the rehearsal of one of them, and he tells
us also that on July 25, 1777, there was a



rehearsal of a serenata at the house of the grocer Gusetti, composed by
Wolfgang for his sister's fête-day; it consisted of a symphony, a
violin concerto played by himself, and a flute concerto played by Cosel.
Probably the divertimento composed in July, 1776 (251 K.) was also
intended for his sister's fête-day. A Finalmusik (185, 215, K.) produced
on August 23, 1775, and a "Serenata Nottuma" (239 K.) in January, 1776,
are both for unknown occasions.

The clavier compositions were also mainly written for pupils or
amateurs; for example, the Concerto in C major (246 K.) for the Countess
Litzow or Lützow, wife of the Commandant of Hohen-Salzburg; that in E
flat major (271 K.) for a Madame Jenomy (January, 1777), whom Wolfgang
had met in Paris; the Concerto for three pianofortes for the Countesses
Antonie, Luise, and Josepha Lodron (242 K.), February, 1776. While the
Mozarts were at Munich, in 1775, a landed proprietor, Buron Dümitz, had
ordered some pianoforte sonatas, which were duly forwarded (279-284 K.);
but he altogether forgot to send the promised payment in return. Two
four-hand sonatas, mentioned by his father (December 8, 1777), were
probably intended for Wolfgang and his sister; Schiedenhofen heard them
play a duet on August 15, 1777.

Having taken this biograpical survey, it is now time to bestow a closer
inspection on Wolfgang's compositions.


[Footnote 1: After Gassmann's death in 1774, Jos. Bono (1710-1788) was appointed
kapellmeister (Dittersdorf Selbstbiogr., p. 209).]

[Footnote 2: Nicolai, Reise, IV., p. 554. Cramer, Magaz. f. Mus., I., p. 928.]

[Footnote 3: Cf. K. L. Reinholds Leben, p. 5, and the description by Car. Pichler
(Denkw., I., p. 36),]

[Footnote 4: Fürstenau, Beitr. z. Gesch. d. sächs. Kap., p. 151. Zur Gesch. d.
Mus. in Dresden, II., p. 183. Rudhart, Gesch. d. Oper zu München, I., p.

[Footnote 5: Burney, Reise, II., p. 90. Schubart, Leben, Abschn. 16, I., p. 196.
Rudhart, Gesch. d. Oper zu München, I., p. 129.]

[Footnote 6: A favourable criticism was given by Schubart, Teutsche Chronik,
1774, p. 100 (Rudhart, p. 157).]

[Footnote 7: Calsabigi's words were adapted by Coltellini, and an act was added.
Schubart gave a severe criticism (Teutsche Chronik, 1775, p. 239), which
he afterwards modified (Ibid., p. 265). Rudhart, I., p. 163.]

[Footnote 8: Weber, Marie Antonie, II., p. 43.]

[Footnote 9: Rudhart, I., p. 161.]

[Footnote 10: [Koch-Stemfeld] Die letzten 30 Jahre d. Hochst. Salzburg, p. 348.]

[Footnote 11: It is noticed anonymously in Schubart's Teutsche Chronik, 1775, p.
324, Cf. Rudhart, I., p. 102.]

[Footnote 12: "Nissen is mistaken in saying that it was composed in Munich in
1781. The "Offertorium in Contrapunkt in D minor," of which Mozart had
a copy made at Augsburg in 1777, was, according to a letter from his
father (December n, 1777), this same "Misericordias Domini."]

[Footnote 13: Mdme. Campan, Mém. sur Marie Antoinette, V., p. 107. Ires, III., p.

[Footnote 14: Sammartini's Serenate were performed in the open air at Milan
(Carpani, Le Haydine, p. 58).]

[Footnote 15: [Koch-Sternfeld] Die letzten 30 Jahre, pp. 30,187.]

[Footnote 16: Mozart mentions the "zwei Caesationen fur die Grafin," which his
father calls the Lodron Nocturnes. The "last Cassation in B," which
Wolfgang played at Munich (October 6, 1777), is the divertimento (287
K.) for quartet and horns; the earlier one is a similar divertimento in
F major, composed in June, 1776 (247 K.).]



By David Widger


THE OPERA[1] owes its rise to the attempt which was made in Florence at
the beginning of the sixteenth century to discover the musical method of
ancient tragedy and to reproduce it in conformity to the spirit of the



In opposition to the predominant madrigal style of part-singing, worked
out in counterpoint, there arose strivings after a method which should
give freedom and independence to the solo singer, and which should
render the poet's words comprehensible and sympathetic to the hearer.
The conviction that this was accomplished to perfection in ancient
tragedy led to a search after lost musical traditions, traces of which
are observable in the opera seria, even in its latest development.
First, recitative was introduced as a middle course between song and
ordinary speech, distinguished by accent and rhythm, and sustained by
a simple harmony, which emphasised the dialogue. Time and effort were
needed to establish this compromise between song and speech, and to
convert recitative into the pliable, expressive instrument of musical

The first attempt to place an opera in this _stilo rappresentativo_
on the stage was made by Jac. Peri with Ottavio Rinuccini's "Dafne,"
performed in 1594 at the Palazzo Corsi;[3] the same poet's "Euridice"
followed in 1600, publicly performed on the occasion of the marriage
of Henry IV. with Marie de Medicis. The whole dialogue is rendered in
a simply accompanied recitative, without the introduction of anything
resembling an air; to this are added choruses, after the example of the
old tragedies, not worked out in contrapuntal form like madrigals, as
was already the custom with the intermedii of spoken tragedies, but in
simple harmonies, and in a key corresponding to the recitatives.

A similar experiment was made in Rome in 1600 by Emilio de' Cavalieri
with his oratorio "Dell' Anima e del Corpo," and in Florence the same
year by Giulio Caccini with another, "Euridice," which displayed the art
of the singers by its numerous embellishments and passages.

Musical language, however, could only attain its full effect when
the more elevated sentiments received their due expression in an air,
independent in character and



perfect in form. The development of solo singing released from its
contrapuntal bondage, and made expressive by melody, was largely due
to Caccini. The merit of connecting the air with the recitative
in opera--for which a precedent was found in the monody of ancient
tragedy--belongs to Claudio Monteverde, who also made use of the whole
available instrumental wealth of the time. His operas of "Orfeo,"
composed in Mantua (1607), and "Arianna" (1608) were followed in Venice,
where he was appointed kapellmeister (1613), by "Proserpina rapita"
(1630), "Adone" (1639), &c. Here, then, were the elements of the opera
seria. To follow its continuous development step by step would require
such a searching study of details as has not yet been undertaken. The
majority of existing accounts are made apparently at random, and without
any idea of connection or dependence. A sketch of the leading points in
the progress of this development will suffice for our purpose.[4]

Ancient tragedy being taken as a model, it followed that the stories of
ancient mythology or history (they were always considered on the same
level) were almost exclusively chosen, although treated for the most
part in a widely different spirit.

Opera soon formed an important feature in court festivals, and it
became customary to give the text a reference to the festival or person
honoured by turning it into an allegory, in which poetical fancy vied
with personal flattery.[5] In imitation of ancient tragedy mimic dances
were connected with the singing, but the union of the arts tended more
to sensual enjoyment than to poetical effect. The naïve freedom with
which the ancient myths were handled gave ample license for gaudy
costumes, scenery, and decorations, and the same taste was carried into
the fantastic outcome of these festival representations known as the
German magic opera.

The courts of Italy and France vied with each other in



the costly splendour lavished on the opera by scene-painters,
decorators, and costumiers; and Vienna, Munich, Dresden, and Stuttgart
were not slow to follow their example. The elegantly printed books of
the words, adorned with careful copper-plate engravings, which were
distributed for these performances, give some idea of the style in which
they were put on the stage, and of the dazzle and glitter in the midst
of which the music became a very secondary consideration.

Such operas as we have described could, on account of the expense, only
be given at royal courts on special occasions; but the general public
soon began to demand a share in the entertainment and a regular
repetition of it. It became the established custom to make the opera the
main festivity of the Carnival, and although generous patrons were
not wanting, prepared to support the managers (_impresarii_), yet the
latter, who naturally wished to make a profit by the opera, generally
found it necessary to reduce the cost of the representations. The
libretti, which sought to excite interest by showy scenery, and a
mixture of pathetic and burlesque situations, without the least regard
to consistency or psychological accuracy, were far from satisfactory to
any cultivated taste. But the cultivation of the art of song exercised
the highest of all influences on operatic music. It had reached a height
from which it was able to govern the musical public, and to render the
pleasure of the eye subservient to that of the ear. In proportion as the
vocal art asserted its superiority, it exacted a simplification of all
other means of attraction, and the universal striving after regularity
was materially assisted by the necessity for clear and decided forms in
vocal music.

This transformation of the opera, which took its final form from
poet and composer under the quickening influence of great singers,
is commonly ascribed to Alessandro Scarlatti (1659-1725). He was the
disciple, although perhaps not the pupil, of the Roman kapellmeister,
Giacomo Carissimi (who was nearly ninety in 1672), who did such good
service to the development of recitative and dramatic solo singing, that
he may be considered the founder of modern song.

Scarlatti, excellent alike from his thorough musical



knowledge, and from the wealth and grace of his invention, displayed
astonishing fertility in the different departments of musical art.
In the year 1715, according to his own account, he had composed 106
operas.[6] At Naples, where he passed the greater part of his life,
he founded the school from which (more especially under his successor
Francesco Durante, 1693-1755) a long list of composers issued, who for
the most part wrote admirable church music, but whose chief mission it
was to maintain throughout the last century an uninterrupted succession
of operatic music. If we glance down the long list of the more
famous--Nic. Porpora (1685 or 1687-1767), Dom. Sarri (1688-1732), Leon.
Vinci (1690-1734), Franc. Feo (1694-1740), Leon. Leo (1694-1756?),
Ad. Hasse (1699-1783), Terradeglias (17...-1754), Nic. Logroscino
(17...-1763), Pergolese (1707-1739), Pasq. Cafaro (1708-1787), Duni
(1709-1775), Dav. Perez (1711-1778), Nic. Jomelli (1714-1774), Rinaldo
da Capua (b. 1715), Tom. Traetta (1727-1779), Guglielmi (1727-1804),
Nic. Piccinni (1728-1800), Sacchini (1735-1786), Pasq. Anfossi
(1736-1797), Giac. Paisiello (1741-1816), Franc, de Majo (1745-1774),
Dom. Cimarosa (1754-1801)--we shall be astonished to find that of the
numerous members of the Neapolitan school only four were born out of the
kingdom of Naples,[7] viz., Hasse, Terradeglias, Pergolese, and Guglielmi.
The rest of Italy was quite unable to compete with this wealth.

Venice, however, took an important place in the development of Italian
opera, both by the splendour of the performances given in the theatre,
which was erected in 1637,[8] and by excellent institutions for musical
education. The fame of the Venetian school was upheld by many celebrated
composers, among them Carlo Pallavicini (16...-1688), Agost. Steffani
(1655-1730). Franc. Gasparini (1665-1737), Ant. Lotti



(1667-1740), Giov. Porta (16...-1740), Ant. Caldara (1678-1763), Buranello
(1703-1785), Ferd. Bertoni (1725-1813).

Bologna too had its share in the history of the opera, maintaining
a firm tradition of careful performances,[9] and excellent schools for
singing and composition; Giov. Buonon-cini (1672-1752) and Gius. Sarti
(1729-1802) were trained here.

Rome was looked upon as the city where the keenest enthusiasm either
of applause or adverse criticism was to be expected, consequently where
artistic reputations were most often made or destroyed;[10] but Rome was
neither the birthplace nor the seminary of any famous operatic masters.

It is not necessary here to inquire into the details of the part taken
by Scarlatti in the erection of Italian opera as it now exists. His
operas are truly epitomes of the history of musical development, and
his many imitators and successors pass before us like the shadows of the
Homeric shades; but we have only to do with him or with them in so far
as concerns the main features of that form of operatic composition which
Mozart found ready to hand.[11]

The stability with which operatic development kept close to the path
which had at first been marked out was due partly to circumstances and
the influence of public opinion, partly to the character of the Italian
people. Beauty, appealing immediately and directly to their lightly
kindled imaginations, required that its sensual charm should be clearly
and unreservedly expressed; and for this they were willing to sacrifice
novelty and characterisation. Again, the art of music was developed in
accordance with natural laws; and having once acquired forms indicative
of its essential elements, it grasped these firmly, and refused to
abandon them until they had become completely obsolete. It was the task
of the great masters of the eighteenth century to



maintain this course of steady imperceptible progress, and, by raising
to successive stages each hardly won step towards perfection, to
establish in the end a new and more admirable whole.

The chief component parts of the opera were the recitative and the song,
or aria.[12] Recitative, intended for the rendering of conversation,
approaches in rhythm and intervals as near as possible to ordinary
speech, and leaves the singer ample scope for an animated and expressive
delivery. This is assisted by a simple harmonious accompaniment, the
basses giving the fundamental, the clavier the harmony. The simplicity
of the musical treatment lends itself to characteristic declamation, and
impressive situations are thrown into relief generally by sudden changes
of harmony; numerous instances show the importance that was attached to
this mode of delivery. But very soon it became the fashion to treat this
_recitativo secco_ as subordinate, and the composer strove to do away
with it as far as possible. Certain turns, certain harmonic progressions
and interrupted cadences, were as indispensable to recitative as many
turns of speech are to social intercourse. As the course and development
of the action of the piece depend almost entirely on the recitative,
it follows that any neglect of the latter must affect one of the most
important elements of the opera. The need for attaining the power of
expressing a momentary passion or inspiration which would not admit of
an elaborate representation led to the introduction of the so-called
accompanied (obligate) recitative. For this the orchestra (at first only
the whole body of stringed instruments) was made use of, and accompanied
the alternations of emotion with corresponding musical phrases
or interludes. Recitative, without abandoning its distinctive
characteristics, became more strongly accentuated, and in process of
time passed over into song. Such vocal melodies as seemed thus to be
called forth by the emotions of the situations were called _cavata_ or
_cavatina_. At first they were



considered as an ingredient or embellishment of the recitative, but later
on they were treated independently. _Arioso_ in the recitative indicates
an interpolated passage of vocal melody. A rapid alternation of varied
or contending emotions in monologue or dialogue called for accompanied
recitative, which generally passed into a song, where a definite emotion
might find its due expression. It was here that singers and composers
sought to accomplish the highest degree of dramatic expression, and
although in the aria they might be tempted to an undue regard for
musical display, to the neglect of dramatic effect, here at least they
strove for a faithful portrayal of human sentiment.

The aria was the almost exclusive form given to regular artistic song.
Choruses, which formerly concluded every act, were afterwards only
exceptionally employed, generally when the occasion, being a court
festivity, required additional outward show; they very seldom formed
an integral part of the performance.[13] Ballets, which were originally
combined with the choruses, became by degrees quite distinct, and
were given between the acts of the opera. Concerted vocal pieces were
confined within limits more and more strictly defined, until the rule
came to be that in every opera there should be a duet for the prima
donna and the primo uomo, and a terzet in which the primo tenore also
took part; even the places for these, at the end of the second and third
acts, were appointed. Further restrictions were imposed on the character
of these concerted pieces by the necessity of giving all possible effect
to the voices. They do not pretend to represent a conflict of struggling
passions, pressing onward to the catastrophe; rather does some definite
mood, the natural result of the situations which have preceded it, find
its fitting expression in their regular concerted form, which affords
ample scope for the display of varieties in quality and style of the
individual voices.

The aria, which gave expression to a fixed lyrical mood, was seldom
the culminating point of a dramatic situation; its connection with the
action of the piece was, for the most



part, only sufficient to give it a certain local colour. It was the task
of both composer and singer to make the aria fit in to the drama; but
the claims of the vocalist were paramount in its composition. As the
canons of operatic construction became more and more strictly defined,
distinctions arose between different kinds of arie, each having its
own character and form; the _aria cantabile_ was for sentimental
declamation, _di portamento_ for long drawn-out tones, _di mezzo
carattere_ for dramatic expression, _aria parlante_ or _agitata_ for the
expression of passion, _aria di bravura (agilità)_ for the display of
artistic skill of every kind.[14] The poet and composer had only to be
careful to suit the arie to the performers, and so to distribute them
through the opera that their variety should place the performances of
each character in their most favourable light.[15] But a certain
fixed form served as a groundwork to all arie, and kept them within
well-defined bounds. It is easy to trace the simple expressive phrase as
it is extended and rounded into a well-formed melody, and then to
follow the different subjects so obtained until, by progressions and
interludes, they are welded into a whole. But this led to a petrifying
formalism, and to a tedious lengthening of the aria, which sacrificed
character to vocal display.

An aria regularly consists of two parts differing in key, time, and
measure. An allegro in common time usually begins, introduced by a
slower passage in triple time; but as to this there is no fixed rule,
and free scope as to details is given to the composer. The first
movement is broadly conceived, always with a view to the skill of the
performer; he repeats one or more of the principal melodies in different
positions, but without thematic elaboration, and inserts runs and

In the second part the composer, granting some repose to the singer,
made a display of his own art by selected harmonies, elaborate
accompaniments, and so forth. It was



essential to the singer's reputation as an artist that he should be
able to vary the modulation and embellishment of the melody each time
it recurred, the composer supplying a mere outline, and leaving the
execution of the cadenzas entirely to the discretion of the performer.
This task became more difficult as the custom grew of repeating the
whole of the first part at the close of the second, thus turning the
latter into a middle movement; for no singer would be deterred from
enhancing the interest of each repetition by a fresh mode of delivery.
So that the public performers of that day displayed their taste and
cultivation not only, as at present, by execution and declamation; they
worked of necessity side by side with the composer, whose special glory
it was to inspire his singers with a spark of his own creative genius.

The influence thus exerted by the executive artist could not fail
to determine, to a great extent, the path of development in operatic
composition. The great names of the more celebrated singers are to us
indeed but names, for contemporary notices give us no clear idea of
their performances,[16] and the music written for them, deprived of
the direct charm of their personal impression, affords a most imperfect
standard of judgment.

From the middle of the last century the tendency to sacrifice all
consideration to execution (bravura) became more and more marked; until
at last, dramatic propriety, and the soul-inspiring calm of beautiful
song, were alike buried beneath the weight of ornamentation and
exaggerated flourishes,[17] serving only to display the pretensions of
the vocalist and the dexterity of the composer. In this way the dramatic
element of the opera became more and more neglected, until at last
it was regarded as a superfluous and disturbing adjunct to the



The public too grew accustomed to confine their attention to the
individual exploits of their favourites;[19] and the composer, unwilling
to waste his energy on thankless parts, followed the example, and
devoted his whole powers to a few individuals.[20]

The enormous salary paid to celebrated singers, male and female, had the
effect of limiting the number of principal parts to three or four, each
distinguished as primo.[21] The remaining parts were treated by both
the poet and the composer as subordinate, not only on account of the
mediocre powers available for their representation, but also and chiefly
because it would have been against the interests of the great singers
that secondary characters should attract notice or applause. They
controlled all secondary parts, suppressing or appropriating any song
which they considered too brilliant, and leaving the author to arrange
the piece as best he might.[22] There was a fixed code of etiquette in
all stage arrangements. The prima donna, for instance, was entitled to
have her train borne by one, or if a princess, by two pages; she took
the place of honour at the right of the stage, being, as a rule, the
most important personage of the piece. When Faustina Hasse played
Dircea, in "Demofoonte" (1748), who is not recognised as a princess
until late in the piece, she claimed precedence over the acknowledged
Princess Creusa, and Metastasio himself was obliged to interfere in
order to induce her to yield the point.[23]

Thus all influences combined to mould the opera seria into a narrow
conventional form, in which all other considerations were sacrificed
to executive effect, and the display of skill and sensibility in the
rendering of the music.

We can form no clear conception whatever of the operatic



orchestra in its earliest form; both the use and the effect of various
instruments are very imperfectly known, and the instrumentation is
consequently more or less incomprehensible. But here too development
proceeded in the way of simplification, and at the time of Scarlatti
the treatment of instrumental accompaniment and the disposal of the
orchestra was determined as to essentials for all future times.

In the plain recitative of the dialogue, the fundamental note was
given by the bass, and the chord was struck on the piano (at which the
composer or kapellmeister conducted) and repeated as often as necessary.
In the songs and _ensembles_ the instruments came in as accompaniments,
freed from the obligation of following a given melody step by step with
a given bass, according to the rules of thoroughbass for filling up
harmonies. Scarlatti and the earlier masters kept this accompaniment
very simple, seldom introducing more than one part in addition to the
bass and the voice. But, as practised contrapuntists, they could handle
the accompanying parts broadly and freely, and could give animation
by simple means. This art gradually decreased, and the accompaniment,
although fuller, became more mechanical and dependent, Only here and
there suggesting contrapuntal elaboration. The orchestra was used
independently only in the symphonies which repeated the motifs of the
songs, in the short interludes of accompanied recitative, and finally in
the introductory overture or sinfonia.

Italian operatic composers began by making use of the form of overture
which Lully had established in France, beginning with an adagio,
followed by a quick movement, often in the form of a fugue, and passing
again into an adagio, which concludes the overture. Later, the form
was determined which has remained ever since, of three movements:
an allegro, a slower, shorter movement contrasting in time,
instrumentation, and expression, and a concluding allegro, animated and
often noisy.

These main features were capable of rich and varied development, were it
not that in Italy little importance was attached to the overture, which
was commonly regarded as a



means of reducing the audience to silence and attention. The three
movements, therefore, generally preserved their gradations without
marked characteristics, and the attempt to express the effect of the
first scene by means of the overture was soon abandoned.[24]

The grouping of Scarlatti's orchestra was in its main points identical
with that of the present day. The stringed instruments, violins, tenors,
and basses formed its main strength; but their application was very
simple. The violon-celli go regularly with the double-basses, and the
tenors serve generally only to strengthen the bass; where they are
independent they are often divided, like the violins, which however
frequently go together. The oboe has the chief part among the wind
instruments, the flutes serving mainly for variety and special
characteristics; the bassoons strengthen the bass, and are rarely used
independently. Soon horns were employed, and drums and trumpets when
special splendour was required; trombones were used in the churches,
never in the opera.

In this manner even the largest orchestras were arranged down to the
close of the last century; an example is afforded by the construction
and arrangement of the Dresden orchestra by Hasse, which was considered
as a model.[25] [See Page Image]



The well-appointed bass parts are the most striking, intended as a firm
foundation for the vocal melody, which is not seldom strengthened by the
violins and oboes or flutes. But to avoid any effect of poverty, it
must not be forgotten that the accompanist at the piano filled in the
harmony. To strengthen this, and to give variety to the intonation, was
the task of the wind instruments. But when the orchestra was treated
as a whole there was seldom any attempt to render lights and shades
by alternations of the instruments; to attain this end, concerted solo
instruments were employed.

Italy was, during the eighteenth century, at once the mother and
the nurse of instrumental musicians. A succession of first-rate
violinists--Arcang. Corelli (1653-1713), Franc. Geminiani (1680-1762),
Ant. Vivaldi (16...-1743), Gius. Tartini (1692-1770), Pietro
Nardini (1722-1793), Gaet. Pugnani (1727-1803), Ant. Lolli
(1733-1802)--established the glory of violin-playing, and raised it to
an extraordinary height of excellence; while as oboists the brothers
Besozzi, Alessandro (1700-1775), Antonio (1707-1781), Gaetano
(1727-1793) were performers of the first merit. Trumpets were at that
time more especially considered as solo instruments.

Not until later could Germany compete successfully with Italy, as far
as the orchestra was concerned; in France, although the precision
of Parisian orchestras was always remarkable, the development
of instrumental music was longest delayed. Scarlatti introduced
instrumental soloists in the operatic orchestra, and the effect was the
same as on the stage; it worked against the careful striving after a
perfect whole, and the tendency of the instrumental artists to enter
into competition with the vocalists led in no small degree to that
treatment of the voice as a mere instrument which was so much to be
deplored. Notably Farinelli in 1722 established his reputation in Rome
by a contest with a wonderful trumpeter, whom he twice vanquished in the
sustenance and artistic delivery of a long note, and in the execution of
difficult passages.[26]



The first step towards simplifying opera seria in its new form was made
in the diction and treatment of the plot. The subject-matter continued
to be taken from the stories of mythology or ancient history; but
effects of magic and show were abolished, and a connected well-developed
plot was substituted, simple in action, and confined to a small number
of personages. Next, the previous mixture of the tragic and comic
elements was abolished, and everything approaching to burlesque strictly
interdicted. The chief efforts in this direction were made by the Roman
Silvio Stampiglia (d. 1722), to whom Apostolo Zeno awards more of genius
and spirit than thorough cultivation,[27] and whom Arteaga calls dry and
unmusical.[28] Apostolo Zeno himself (1688-1750) followed in the
same path as court poet to Charles VI. He was a man of education and
learning, and as such sought to model the opera on ancient tragedy in
its best and most manly form, and strove for a naturally developed plot,
correct delineation of character, and simplicity of language. He proved,
said Metastasio,[29] that the opera and good sense are not absolutely
contradictory terms. The fact that his operas were often and
successfully performed during the first half of the century bears
testimony to the simplicity and earnestness of the musical taste of the
time; later on, as the field of music extended its limits, his text was
found pedantic.[30] His indisputable merit[31] was thrown into the
shade by Metastasio's works;[32] these denote in a remarkable degree the
spirit of the time which produced them, a spirit that they themselves
fostered and encouraged.

Metastasio (Pietro Trapassi, 1698-1782) distinguished himself as a
boy by his talent for improvisation; he received a thorough learned
education from the celebrated Roman



jurist Gravina, which led to his adoption of classical antiquity as his
model; while his connection with the singer Marianna Bulgarini early
gave him an insight into the technical requirements of the opera. He
began his career as a librettist in 1724 with "Didone" at Naples; in
1730 he went to Vienna as court poet, where he lived on the best
of terms with the Imperial family,[33] and highly esteemed by the
cultivated public. Following Apostolo Zeno, he sought to supply his
operas with a true dramatic form, and he made it his chief aim to
portray the effect of different characters and passions upon the
development of the action. Metastasio had no large or powerful
conceptions, nor could he grasp strong passions; his psychological
vision is clear and cool, but limited, just as his sentiments are
correct and good, but neither wide nor free. In his dramas, therefore,
the representation of character and the plot are well-considered,
suitable, and consistent, but with a certain mediocrity running through
the whole; he chiefly concerns himself with the exemplification of
principles and experiences, and individualises but little.[34] He makes
love the animating element of his drama, and the starting point of his
psychological study of motives. His characters want neither life nor
passion, but softness and veiled sensuality are the characteristic
features of what he endeavoured to make an imitation of actual life. The
public were gratified at recognising themselves and their love affairs
glorified on the stage, and were grateful to Metastasio for allowing
them to enjoy themselves in their own way, and not preaching moderation
and self-control. They admired his language too, which is correct, and
charmingly melodious and natural in expression, not more rhetorical
than the Italian language and poetry demands, and never overlaid with

To these qualities of a dramatic poet, Metastasio joined that of an
operatic composer; he was a musician. He had cultivated his musical
talent by intercourse with singers and



composers, and had a ready perception of what was necessary to a work
written for composition. He sang "come un serafino" (as he writes
jokingly to Farinelli),[35] played the clavier, and composed a little
himself;[36] he found it a pleasant incitement to poetical activity to
seat himself at the clavier and improvise. He said himself he had
never written a song without composing it himself, according to his own
conception of its musical character.[37]

Metastasio confines the development of the plot as a rule to the
recitative and the arie (or duet, or terzet), expressing at the close
of each scene the sentiment which is the result of the previous action.
This they always did so clearly and precisely that the composer had both
incentive and scope for musical treatment.

The too numerous figures and metaphors (which he was fond of borrowing
from the sea) express the taste of the time, and so far from troubling
the musician, gave him opportunities for musical painting which was sure
to be admired. The melodious language met the music half way, while the
simple yet varied rhythm, the contrast of ideas, and the construction
of the verse, aided the composer, without fettering him, in the musical
phrasing of his work.

It was no wonder that Metastasio reigned supreme over the stage and its
composers, and that he was the model of the later operatic poets; they
succeeded best in imitating his defects, and gave Naumann occasion to
say with justice, "The oldest of Metastasio's operas is more pleasing to
me than any written by our present poets."

Metastasio was well aware that the poet only supplies a stem to the
opera, which the composer clothes with foliage and blossom;[38] but he
was far from allowing the composer absolute dominion over the poet, and
prided himself on the



fact that his operas had been played with applause as tragedies without
music both in France and Germany.[39]

He chose to consider the composer as the interpreter of the poet, and
bound to follow his indications of character and style.[40] This was in
his opinion the chief merit of the old composers, and in his later years
he was never weary of deploring the decline of music, which was the
consequence of the license taken by vocalists, destroying alike truth
and beauty of expression.[41]

The poet not less than the composer found himself hemmed in by
conditions as well as by traditional formulas. He too performed his task
to order, and was hampered by circumstances, and by the limited means at
his command in his choice of subject and characters.

It was in no way favourable to Zeno and Metastasio that they received
their commissions from the court;[42] besides the direct influence
of the taste of the _somme padrone_, the whole atmosphere tended to
effeminacy and a uniform level in style. The impresarii chose the
libretti for the composers they had engaged, partly according to the
applause the subjects had already received, but more to suit the singers
they had at command. They were altered to suit the occasion sometimes by
the poet himself, but more often some local poet undertook the necessary
curtailments and additions, whereby the work seldom profited.[43]



The absolute monarchy of Zeno and Metastasio, whom all other poets
slavishly imitated, would alone suffice to explain the fact that in
the course of the last century opera seria received the fixed and
unalterable form it still retains; we have seen that the tendency was
the same as regards the music. This makes it comprehensible that in
reading the text or the scores in the present day we have so lively an
impression that they are but copies of one original. In no art does the
feeling for what is enduring pass so easily and quickly into the taste
for what pleases the age as in music. What affords most delight to the
present often expresses only a transitory mood with a momentary
truth, and when the smoke and the fragrance which surrounded it have
disappeared, only an empty form remains; just as a mask keeps the
impression of the features without the play of the muscles, which alone
give life and expression.


[Footnote 1: It is not known when this term came into use--both before and after
others were customary: Dramma musicale, dramma per musica, melodramma
[Footnote Menestrier]. Des représentations en musique (Paris, 1684), p. 248.]

[Footnote 2: Rochlitz, Für Freunde d. Tonk., I., p. 262. Winterfeld, Gabrieli,
II., p. 12. Kiesewetter, Schicks. d. welt. Gesanges, p. 24. E. O.
Lindner, Zur Tonkunst, p. 1.]

[Footnote 3: "Daphne" was adapted by Opitz, and composed by H. Schütz as the
first German opera; it was performed in Torgau, 1627 (Fürstenau, Zur
Gesch. d. Musik in Dresden, I., p. 97).]

[Footnote 4: Æsthetic criticism forms the chief part of Steff. Arteagas'
well-known work, Le Rivoluzioni del Teatro Musicale Italiano (Bologna,
1783-88. Ven., 1785, three vols.; translated by Forkel. Leipzig, 1782.
8). Less authentic are G. W. Fink, Wesen u. Gesch. d. Oper (Leipzig,
1835), G. Hogarth's Memoirs of the Opera (Lond., 1855), S. Edwards'
History of the Opera (London, 1862).]

[Footnote 5: Cf. Winterfeld, Zur Gesch. heil. Tonkunst, II., p. 337,]

[Footnote 6: An old copy of his Telemacco indicates it as "opera centesima nona,
recitata in Capranica l'anno 1718."]

[Footnote 7: Villarosa, Memoria dei Compositori di Musica del Regno di Napoli
(Neap. 1840).]

[Footnote 8: Ant. Groppo, Catal. di tutti Drammi per Musica recitati ne' Teatri
di Venezia dell' a 1637-1745 (Ven., 1745).]

[Footnote 9: [Al. Machiavelli] Serie cronologica dei Drammi recitati su de' publ.
Teatri di Bologna dell' a 1600-1737 (Bol.f 1737).]

[Footnote 10: Burney, Reise, I., p. 293. Cramer, Magaz. f. Mus., II., p. 50.
Kelly, Remin., I., p. 65.]

[Footnote 11: An account of the scheme of Italian opera is given in the Lettre
sur le Mécanisme de l'Opéra Italica (Naples, 1756).]

[Footnote 12: Many interesting remarks may be found in Vine. Manfredini's Regole
Armoniche (Veo., 1797), IV., 6, p. 119, dello stile serio.]

[Footnote 13: Metastasio, Opp. post., I., p 357.]

[Footnote 14: J. Brown, Letters upon the Poetry and Music of the Italian Opera
(Edinb., 1789), p. 29.]

[Footnote 15: Goldoni enumerates the practical directions given to him for
writing an operatic libretto. Mém., I., p. 102.]

[Footnote 16: Mancini gives an account of the more important among them. Rifl.
prat, sul canto fig., p. 14.]

[Footnote 17: Even in 1752 Metastasio bitterly complains of this perversion of
dramatic] Binging (Opp. post., II., pp. 94, 99, 215, 330).]

[Footnote 18: Grétry declares that he once saw a singer go behind the scenes to
suck an orange, while another on the stage continued to address him as
though he were present (Mém., I., p. 119).]

[Footnote 19: Grétry, Mém., I., p. 114.]

[Footnote 20: Arteaga (cap. 12) gives a graphic account of the downfall of the
opera, which had been incessantly bewailed ever since the publication of
Marcello's bitter satire, Il Teatro alla modo (Ven., 1722, 1738). Cf. Le
Brigandage de la Musique Italienne (Amst., 1780).]

[Footnote 21: Raguenet (Parallèle des Italiens et des François, 1702, § 26, in
Mattheson's Musik. Kritik, I., p. 141).]

[Footnote 22: Metastasio, Opp. post., II., p. 145.]

[Footnote 23: Metastasio, Opp. post., I., p. 282.]

[Footnote 24: Arteaga, Rivol., 13 t., II., p. 172 (II., p. 239, trans.),
contradicted by Manfredini (Dif. d. Mus. Med., p. 128. Cf. Rousseau,
Dictionn. de Mus., Ouverture. Weber, Hinterl. Schr., I., p. 68).]

[Footnote 25: Rousseau, Diet, de Mus., Orchestre. Kandler, Vita di Hasse, I.
Furstenau, Zur Gesch. d. Mus. in Dresden, II., p. 290.]

[Footnote 26: Sacchi, Vita di C. Broschi (Ven., 1784), p. 8. Burney, Reise, I.,
p. 153.]

[Footnote 27: Ap. Zeno, Lettres, IV., p. 21.]

[Footnote 28: Arteaga, Rivol., 10, I., p. 67 (II., p. 56).]

[Footnote 29: Metastasio, Opp. post., II., p. 409.]

[Footnote 30: Grétry, Mém., I., p. 114.]

[Footnote 31: Cf. Arteaga, I., p. 69 (II., p. 58). Goldoni, Mém., I., p. 176.]

[Footnote 32: Arteaga's criticism (Le Riv., c. 11) is in the main correct.
Hiller's (Ueber Metastasio u. seine Werke. Leipzig, 1786) is far more
partial. See also Rousseau, Dictionn. de Mus., Génie; Jacobs Nachtr. zu
Sulzer, III., p. 95; Herder, Briefe z. Bef. d. Hum., VII., p. 117; A W.
Schlegel, Vorles, 16 W, V., p. 350.]

[Footnote 33: Karajan, Aus Metastasio's Hofleben (Vienna, 1861).]

[Footnote 34: Burney remarks how the character of Metastasio is 'displayed in all
his works (Reise, II., p. 170).]

[Footnote 35: Metastasio, Opp. post., I., p. 384.]

[Footnote 36: He mentions trifling compositions (Opp. post., I., pp. 386, 402);
some are printed--e.g., 36 Canoni (Vienna Artaria, 1782).]

[Footnote 37: Metastasio, Opp. post., I., p. 384.]

[Footnote 38: Metastasio, Opp. post., II., p. 47.]

[Footnote 39: Metastasio, Opp. post., II., p. 329. Cf. Mancini, Rifl. prat,
sul canto fig., p. 234. Goldoni, Mém., I., 20, p. 110. Hagedom was of
opinion that some of Metastasio's operas were perfect tragedies (Werke,
V., p. 113), and Bodmer agreed with him (Ibid., p. 184).]

[Footnote 40: Metastasio, Opp. post., II., p. 355. In an interesting letter to
Hasse (Opp. post., I., p. 344), he dissects his Attilio Regolo,
which Hasse was about to compose, so that he may grasp the musical
characteristics; he enters into detail so minutely as to leave no doubt
of his familiarity with musical technicalities.]

[Footnote 41: Metastasio, Opp. post., II., pp. 38, 355.]

[Footnote 42: Ap. Zeno writes in his own justification (Lett., III., p. 91):
"Ho caricata poi l' opera di sentiment!, poichè questi sono ciö che più
piace alla Corte e mas-simamente al Padrone." Metastasio complains of
Farinelli's writing an opera for the court ladies, who would only play
virtuous parts (Opp. post., II., p. 39).]

[Footnote 43: Zeno (Lett., II., p. 413; VI., pp. 100, 194, 287) and Metastasio
(Opp. post., II., III., p. 164) complain bitterly of this.
As an instance: to a finished opera for five characters a sixth was
required to be added (Opp. post., II., p. 37).]





MOZART found rules as to the form and technicalities of the opera[1]
seria rigidly laid down even to the minutest details, and he was the
less tempted to disregard these, since the extraordinary ease of
his invention prevented his ever finding a prescribed form to be a
burdensome restriction. Mozart's mission was not to overstep the bounds
of custom, but quietly and gradually to bring to perfection all that was
genuine and true in the diverse elements of his time. He found the opera
already in the hands of the vocalists, and execution had by this time
asserted its victory over characterisation. He did not attempt to
enter the lists against singers and public, but contented himself
with striving for fair conditions. He was willing to write to the
satisfaction of the singers, and for the display of their powers, but he
saw no necessity for



sacrificing to this object either musical beauty or dramatic force. At
times the dramatic situations in Mozart's early operas are true and even
striking; but the dramatic element yields on the whole to execution and
euphony. It must not be overlooked that the apprehension of dramatic
truth and character varies with different times and different nations,
and that the genius of first-rate artists could inspire life into what
now appears a lifeless assemblage of notes. But it must at the same time
be allowed that Mozart's operas of this period come under the influence
of a taste perverted in many respects, which the youthful master had not
yet overcome; and his forced compliance with many purely conventional
demands must of necessity have left traces on his work as deep and
lasting as those of his creative genius.

The opera of "Mitridate, Re di Ponto" (87 K.) was first adapted from
Racine by the Abbé Parini, and revised by Vitt. Am. Cigna-Santi. The
dramatis persona are as follows:--[See Page Image]

On the news of the death of Mithridates the inhabitants of Nymphæa
deliver up the keys of the town to his son Sifares. Aspasia seeks his
protection against the suit of his brother Pharaaces, thereby betraying
her partiality for Sifares, which he secretly returns. Pharaaces
attempts to force his hand on Aspasia, whereupon Sifares throws himself
between them; Arbates separates the contending brothers with



the news of the landing of Mithridates; they are reconciled, and agree
to keep secret from their father what has passed. Marzio promises to the
ambitious Phamaces the help of the Romans against his father.

Mithridates enters, proud and courageous in spite of the defeat he has
just suffered, and is received by his sons; he introduces to Pharnaces
his destined bride Ismene, who regards Pharnaces with little favour.
The demeanour of his sons awakens the suspicions of Mithridates, and on
Arbates revealing to him the passion of Pharnaces for Aspasia, he falls
into an extravagant rage. Pharnaces acknowledges to Ismene that he no
longer loves her; whereat, wounded alike in her pride and her love,
she complains to Mithridates. The latter resolves to punish him, and
suspecting from Aspasia's cold demeanour towards himself that she
returns the love of Pharnaces, he sets Sifares to watch her. The lovers
of course now come to an understanding, but Aspasia virtuously commands
Sifares to leave her for ever to the fulfilment of her duty.

Mithridates, in order to test the fidelity of his sons, consults with
them on the prosecution of the war; he discovers the complicity of
Pharnaces with the Romans, and orders his imprisonment; Pharnaces
acknowledges his çuilt, but accuses Sifares of the greater guilt
of complicity with Aspasia. In order to try her, Mithridates offers
generously to resign her hand to Pharnaces, which draws from her the
confession of her love for Sifares; this so infuriates Mithridates that
he resolves to slay his two sons and Aspasia. This is the crisis at
which the second act is brought to a conclusion by a duet, in which the
lovers declare death preferable to separation.

In the third act, Ismene, repenting her resentment, strives to soften
Mithridates, and Aspasia solicits Sifares' life with an assurance of
his innocence; but, as she refuses to give her hand to Mithridates, he
maintains his resolve, and the triple execution is to take place during
a sally which he makes on the Roman host besieging the city. Aspasia is
on the point of emptying the fatal bowl, when Sifares, who has been
set free by Ismene, snatches it from her, and rushes against the enemy.
Pharnaces, who has been released from his dungeon by the besieging
Romans, is seized with compunction and returns to his obedience, setting
fire to the Roman fleet. The Romans are defeated, but Mithridates is
mortally wounded; before he dies he unites Aspasia and Sifares, and
pardons Pharnaces, who has made his peace with Ismene.

The opera consists of twenty-four numbers without counting the overture;
they are all solo songs, except one duet and the concluding quintet.[2]
The original score appears to be lost; but several detached numbers of
this opera are



preserved in different forms of composition, showing that Mozart had
made various experiments, more, doubtless, to please the singers than
himself. Of the first air of Mithridates (7), "Se di lauri il crino
adomo," there are four different sketched studies; Aspasia's song (13),
"Nel grave tormento," is begun in a different form, but breaks off at
once; five other numbers are completely worked out, but have given place
to later arrangements.[3]

This opera comes in all respects within the rules of the existing opera
seria. Musical etiquette is strictly adhered to; the principal and
secondary parts are divided in the usual way; the secondary parts are
easier (not always simpler), and their character is tamer and less
important, so that they may act as foils and connecting links to
the principal parts. The chief singers had to be furnished with
opportunities for making effect as soon as they appeared; and must have
at least one great aria in each act. All this is carefully provided
for. The compass and executive skill of the artists, more especially of
Bernasconi and d' Ettore, must have been extraordinary. The division of
the aria into two movements, which prevails here as elsewhere, favours
the elaboration of details by affording more than one principal subject.
We must not expect to find a uniform florid song, the ornamental
passages growing out of and entwining the chief melody, like an
architectural ornamentation; they form an integral part of the
composition. The taste in such passages is essentially



fleeting, for it depended chiefly on the skill of the individual
performer; what is most admired in one age is least pleasing to the
next. The same dismemberment made itself apparent too, in the cantilene.
The various vocal tricks, long notes, sustained melodies, long jumps,
syncopated passages, &c., to which due effect had to be given, could
not be thrown together without some connecting principle. For this
the subjects of the songs were made use of, but the effect was still
disjointed and inartistic. The detached phrases were usually still
further separated by a full or a half cadenza, to which an instrumental
interlude was often attached. No doubt this wealth of variety was then
considered a great charm; now we miss unity of form and conception.
The turns of harmony are generally monotonous and poor, the form of the
cadenza with its trills is just as stereotyped as that of the present
day with its suspended sixth, and both the singer and the public
expected and required that this should be so. No doubt the freedom which
was allowed to the singer in delivery often gave quite a different
form to the cadenza, but the want of conception could at best but be

These shortcomings are not to be ascribed in Mozart's case to youthful
immaturity, but to the musical conditions of the time at which he
wrote; they are equally observable in the works of the most experienced
contemporary musicians, and were indeed hardly regarded as blemishes.
The question involuntarily arises what there was in these early operas
which could so enchant the public and draw from a master like Hasse the
prediction that this youth would eclipse them all. A witty artist once
declared that the public always requires novelty, but it must be novelty
that they are acquainted with; anything really new demands too great an
effort of comprehension from them. In this case, no doubt, the public,
agreeably prepossessed by the readiness with which the work complied
with all existing conditions, were quick to appreciate the skill and
taste which were manifest, as well as a certain youthful freshness, and
here and there traits more significant still of genius; traits in which
Hasse recognised the germ of future development. We, who know Mozart in
the full perfection of his powers, seek eagerly in



these earlier works for such indications as there are of his future
greatness. Sometimes, even in the bravura songs, pure, grand touches of
melody light up their conventional surroundings; these are usually
in the second part, and in the minor key. The more dramatic
"situation-songs" in which the composer made fewer concessions to the
singers, are not only conciser in form, but more pregnant and original
in expression.

The most striking among them is the song of Aspasia (4). Upon the
news of the arrival of Mithridates, whereby she knows Sifares to be
in danger, and her love for him rendered hopeless, she utters these

     Nel sen mi palpita dolente il core
     Mi chiama a piangere il mio dolore,
     Non resistere, non so restar.

     Ma se di lagrime umido è il ciglio
     È solo, credimi, il tuo periglio
     La cagion barbara del mio penar.

Grief, which seems too deep for words, here breaks forth in such an
uncontrollable flood of song, expressed with so much truth and nature,
that a dramatic artist like Bernasconi would be sure to make an
extraordinary effect by it. The simple, purely musical means
employed, the expressive flowing melodies, rich harmonies, suitable
accompaniments, and charming moderation of expression--all these show us
the genuine Mozart.

Should it be objected that the milk-and-water heroism of the piece
is still further debased by gallantry in powder and gold lace, we can
nevertheless claim for it, after all deductions made, a certain amount
of stateliness and dignity. These qualities are indeed displayed more
according to court etiquette than to classical antiquity, but they
are unmistakably there, conformably to the manners of the time and the
nation, and their artistic significance is not small. Mithridates,
who has most of individual character after Aspasia, never forgets, as
Sonnleithner justly observes, that he is first tenor as well as king;
but on the other hand he always remembers that he is king as well as
first tenor.



The text of the opera "Lucio Silla," composed in 1772 (135 K.), was
written by Giovanni da Camera, and according to the preface, revised by
Metastasio. The programme runs:--[See Page Image]

Cecilio, a senator, banished by Silla, has secretly returned to Rome to
learn the fate of his betrothed Junia, daughter of C. Marius; his friend
Cinna warns him that Silla has spread the rumour of his death in
order to win the hand of Junia; Cinna counsels him to meet her in a
burial-place. Silla, whose suit has been repulsed by Junia, resolves
to slay her. Cecilio awaits his betrothed in the dusky burial-place,
surrounded by the trophies of Roman heroes. She enters, accompanied by
noble youths and maidens, who call for vengeance on Silla, and lament by
the urn of her father. When she is alone, Cecilio reveals himself. She
takes him at first for a ghost, and they then express their joy in a

In the second act Aufidio, Silla's evil counsellor, advises him publicly
to declare Junia as his betrothed, and thereby reconcile the contending
factions; she will not be able to oppose the universal wish. Celia, his
sister, who always counsels well, informs him of the ill-success of her
appeal to Junia; he promises to unite Celia to her lover Cinna. Silla
has scarcely departed, when Cecilio rushes in to murder him in obedience
to a vision; Cinna counsels postponement, to which Cecilio at last
consents. Ciàna is now so engrossed in his plans for revenge that he
scarcely heeds Celia, who tells him of their approaching happiness, and
tries to persuade Junia to a feigned submission, and the murder of Silla
in his bed-chamber. But she refuses to be guilty of high treason, and he
resolves to slay Silla himself.

Junia, who declares that she will never give her hand to Silla, is
threatened with death, but nevertheless counsels Cecilio, who wishes to
avenge her, to remain in concealment. Celia seeks in vain to persuade
her by the portrayal of her own happiness, but cannot stifle gloomy



anticipations. Silla announces from the capitol his intended union with
Junia, and is answered by acclamations, but Junia endeavours to stab
herself, which is prevented. Cecilio rushes in with drawn sword, is
disarmed, and his death on the following day decreed by Silla; Cinna,
entering also with drawn sword, sees that his plot has failed, and
feigns to have come to Silla's protection. A terzet between Junia,
Cecilio, and Silla concludes the act.

In the third act Cecilio in fetters is informed by Cinna of the
ill-success of his plot, and calls on him for vengeance. Junia declares
her resolve to slay herself before Cecilio. Aufidio comes to fetch him,
and the lovers take leave.

Silla declares before the assembled people that this day shall give him
vengeance and his heart's desire. Junia accuses him as the mur» derer of
her betrothed, and calls on the people to avenge her. Silla pardons her
and Cecilio, and unites the loving pair. Seized with compunction Cinna
reveals his plot against Silla; he, too, receives pardon and the hand of
Celia. Finally Silla forgives Aufidio his evil counsels, lays down the
dictatorship, and restores freedom to Rome.

The consideration of such a libretto as this renders comprehensible
the esteem in which Metastasio's texts were held. There is no trace
of psychological study of motive; Silla, a sort of distorted Titus,
alternates between cruelty and remorse, and finally empties a perfect
cornucopia of generosity on to the stage; Junia too is unequal and
weak. The situations are one and all as if purposely arranged to lead to
nothing; the poet has with difficulty disposed the numerous scenes so
as to introduce the necessary songs in their proper order. And the verse
itself is very far removed from the grace and melody of Metastasio.

The score of the opera is preserved entire in Mozart's handwriting; it
is in three parts, and has 610 pages. It contains besides the overture
twenty-three numbers, among them three choruses (6, 17, 23), one duet
(7), and one terzet (18). No wonder that the composer paid court to
the singers! The mishap that deprived the opera of its tenor has been
already narrated (p. 142). As the part devolved in the end on a very
unpractised singer, the greater part of it was omitted, leaving only
what was necessary for the coherence of the plot. The two songs (5, 13)
are written for a singer whose voice and execution do not rise above the
average, without any passages, and with a



moderate compass; the more elaborate instrumentation alone betrays that
they are intended for a principal performer. Two other songs for Silla
which are in the libretto were not composed at all, in order, no doubt,
as Sonnleithner conjectures, to give the tenor as little as possible to

All the more stress is laid on the parts of De Amicis and Rauzzini.
Junia has four songs, which are all for a singer of the first rank.
The special bravura song (II) is in the second act, "Ah, se il crudel
periglio del caro ben ramento." Long passages of varied structure are
here the chief considerations. One example among many will serve to show
that Mozart was right in afterwards calling them "dreadful":--[See Page

Notwithstanding the bravura character of this song, its style is far
from well defined; that of the entering song, "Della sponde tenebrose"
(4), and of the third aria (16) is more marked. This last, "Parto, m'
affretto, ma nel partire il cor si spezza, mi manca la anima," consists
of a continuous and progressive allegro assai. An agitated phrase for
the first violins--supported by an accompaniment for the second, runs
through it almost without intermission; the harmonising is interesting



and varied; particularly effective is the immediate juxtaposition of
major and minor keys; the whole song is strikingly expressive of an
unsettled wavering mood.

Passages such as--[See Page Image] are brilliant, but not, properly
speaking, characteristic. At least they do not stamp the actual
situation with individuality; they seem designed only to define the
character and mood of the acting personage in their main features, like
the masks of ancient tragedy. The more detailed analysis was left to
the art and individuality of the performer, to whom the composer offered
only the means of combining dramatic force with song. We can still
recognise the essential features of the characters; but we are quite
unable to realise either the animation with which great artists inspired
them, or the effect they produced on the minds of contemporaries. It
is a mistake to consider bravura and character as opposite terms;
ornamental passages are quite susceptible of characteristic expression,
if they are delivered at the right time and in the right way. Junia's
songs express the character of a proud strong Roman woman, and an
opportunity for dramatic analysis is offered to the performer even in
the more florid songs. But the true dramatic expression is undisturbed
in Junia's last song (22), "Fra i pensier più funesti di morte veder
parmi l' esangue consorte." The long adagio, followed by an allegro,
is a distinct foreshadowing of the later form. The treatment of the
orchestra too is significant. The flutes, oboes, and bassoons are in
unison, and contrast with the stringed instruments, after a fashion not
usual at the time: and in the allegro the orchestra is in significant
opposition to the voice part, which is simple and unadorned, although
calculated to give due effect to a fine voice; its dramatic expression
is quite excellent.



In the part of Cecilio, written for Rauzzini, the regard paid to
the singer is very apparent both in the compass of the voice, which
comprises two octaves, and in the style. He was what may be called a
scholarly singer, theoretically educated, and a composer himself, and
difficulties are introduced evidently with a view to this. Thus, for
instance, the recitative preceding his second aria is full of curious,
sometimes harsh, turns and transitions in the harmonies; in the third
aria such jumps as the following occur--[See Page Image] requiring no
small certainty of execution. The first song (2), introduced by a fine
expressive recitative, begins, as these male sopranos loved, with a
long-sustained note, and'contains various brilliant passages; but it is
quite without original invention. The second song (9) expresses a
proud, free mood with strength and animation; the last (21) can only be
explained as a freak of the performer. Cecilio, in the act of being led
to execution, moved by Junia's tears, turns to her with the words--

     Pupille amate
     Non lagrimate!

These tender, trifling words, are treated by Mozart with an exquisite
grace which is quite foreign to the character and the situation of
Cecilio, and, as Sonnleithner observes, would be much more suitable to a
soubrette. Probably Rauzzini chose this way of ingratiating himself with
the public.

Besides the solo songs the opera contains a duet for J unia and Cecilio,
and a terzet for the same and Silla, which are cleverly constructed,
but not otherwise remarkable. The duet (7) consists of an andante and a
somewhat tedious allegro, in which the voices go together for the most
part in thirds or sixths, with little attempt at imitation. The terzet



is well conceived. Each of the three voices has a characteristic motif,
which is not elaborated, but set in contrast with the others; afterwards
the lovers are set in opposition to Silla, and the expression is
heightened by occasional use of the three voices together; in short,
some traces are here discernible of the talent for musical architecture
which Mozart afterwards displayed is so remarkable a degree.

The scene which precedes the close of the first act deserves special
notice; it is both conceived and executed with true dramatic force. In
a hall (atrium), decorated with the trophies of his ancestors, Cecilio
awaits in the twilight the coming of Junia. The varied emotions roused
in him by the contemplation of the graves of departed heroes, and
the yearnings of love, are graphically expressed in an accompanied
recitative. Junia appears, escorted by noble Romans of both sexes. The
chorus calling on the spirits of the heroes for support and vengeance
is serious to solemnity, with striking harmonies and an independent
treatment of parts, giving animation to the whole--an altogether
excellent piece of music, with much dramatic effect. Junia joins in with
a prayer to the shade of her father. The pain of a proud, strong spirit
is expressed in a simple and dignified adagio, which gives a fine
soprano voice full scope for the display of its capabilities. The prayer
is followed by a curse pronounced on Silla by the chorus, powerful and
animated, and a fitting close to this truly dramatic musical scene.
A resemblance to the first chorus in Gluck's "Orfeo," pointed out
by Sonnleithner, is too slight to be considered more than a mere

Among the secondary parts that of Celia has the most independence of
character. Her two first songs (3 and 10) are, on the whole, simple and
graceful, especially the second. Passages in Cinna's three songs (1,
12, 20) and in the air for the second tenor, Aufidio, are calculated
to display the powers of the artists, but the songs, as a whole, have
little or no individuality.

There are two choruses besides that which we have noted, but neither
of them are so impressive. In the second act Silla's appearance on the
capitol is greeted by a chorus which



is powerful, and supported by a running accompaniment. The last act is
brought to a conclusion by a chorus, alternating with the solo voices,
but the movement is unimportant.

The overture consists of the usual three movements (Molto allegro 4-4,
Andante 2-4, Molto allegro 3-8), and pretends to no connection with the
opera itself, being altogether after the ordinary pattern. The treatment
of the orchestra is not unusual. Trumpets are frequently used, and
sometimes kettledrums; but this is of little moment--more interesting is
the fact that the wind instruments are often freer and less subordinate
to the strings than usual. An attempt is evident to render the
accompaniment full and lively; the second violins have characteristic
and occasionally imitative passages. But these are merely attempts;
the influence of the traditional form overpowers all endeavours after
a freer method; it displays itself in many mechanical habits, as, for
instance, in the harmonic turn which almost invariably precedes the
singers' cadenzas:--[See Page Image]

The two festival operas composed in 1771 and 1772 belong in essentials
to the opera seria, but were subject to certain special rules. The festa
(azione) teatrale, also called serenata, were arranged with immediate
reference to the person in whose honour they were given. They were
usually also allegorical, the advantage of this kind of poetry being
that it was capable of expressing more or less open flattery. A pastoral
character was almost always given to the treatment of the old myths,
so that the dramatic element was thrown into the background, and the
brilliancy of the entertainment was left to depend principally on the
magnificent costumes and scenery. The musical treatment became more
openly and unreservedly undramatic, and the composer was satisfied with
affording a means of display to the singers. The serenata was in the
traditional three acts, but not bound by the scenic divisions of the

{"ASCANIO IN ALBA," 1771.}


seria; as it originally served as an interlude to other festivities,
it was usually also shorter. As a rule, it was only performed once; and
took the second rank after the opera seria.[4] It was on this account
that the festival piece was intrusted to young Mozart, the opera to

In "Ascanio in Alba" (111 K.) Parini[5] had endeavoured to produce
a work worthy of a festivity such as the marriage of the Archduke
Ferdinand with the Duchess Marie Beatrice d'Este. Divinities, heroes,
and shepherds form the dramatis persona, and there are abundant
choruses, ballets, and spectacular effects, with no lack of flattering
by-play. The programme will serve to show what distinguished artists[6]
were engaged to represent this piece:--[See Page Image]

Venus, preceded and accompanied by a chorus of genü and graces, descends
from heaven with her grandson Ascanio, and informs him that she desires
to unite him with Silvia, a lovely and virtuous nymph of this her
beloved land. Silvia is of the race of Hercules, and Cupid having caused
her to see Ascanio in a vision, she already glows with secret love for
him. Ascanio is filled with joy, and being counselled by Venus to
prove Silvia's constancy before declaring himself to her, he expresses
impatience at this postponement of his happiness. Fauno comes to the
sacrifice with a chorus of shepherds, and reverently extols the
goodness of Venus to the country and the people. Silvia then draws near,
accompanied by Aceste and a chorus of nymphs and shepherds. The priest
Aceste informs Silvia, whom he has brought up, that Venus herself
intends to unite her to Ascanio, and to found a new city with their
progeny, and expresses his



joy in a long aria. Silvia is amazed, and declares her love for the
youth whom she has seen in her dreams; Aceste consoles her by saying
that Venus must have sent the dreams, and she in her turn sings a long
song denoting her joy. After all have retired to prepare the sacrifice
Ascanio declares in an aria his delight with the charming Silvia; but
Venus exacts that he shall yet make trial of her virtue.

A ballet follows this act, in which the nymphs and graces astonish
the shepherds by changing the grove into a splendid temple, the first
building of the newly founded city.

Silvia beholds this new erection with admiration, and utters her longing
for the yet unknown beloved, in which she is supported by a chorus of
shepherdesses. When Ascanio appears she recognises her lover in him; but
as he feigns not to know her, she remains doubtful, and Fauno confirms
her in the error that it is not he; she swoons. Ascanio laments that
he cannot show himself in his true form, and departs, whereupon she
revives, and makes known her anguish and determination to remain true
to her duty in a long recitative and aria. Then he returns, and throws
himself at her feet. She repulses him with the words, "Io son d'
Ascanio," and flees, which gives him opportunity for a song full of
tender admiration. Aceste, to whom she confides all, praises her for
her virtue. Venus appears with the chorus of nymphs and shepherds, and
presents Ascanio to Silvia as her spouse. After the lovers and Aceste
have announced their joy in a terzet, Venus exhorts the young rulers to
fulfil their duties faithfully to their subjects, and ascends to Olympus
among the expressions of gratitude uttered by Aceste in the name of the
people; and a joyful chorus brings the whole to a conclusion.

The description which Fauno gives of the guardian divinity of the
country, and the address of Aceste to Venus as she departs, contain so
many allusions to Maria Theresa that non-recognition was impossible.
Silvia too, of the race of Hercules (the name of Ercole was common in
the family of D'Este), the pupil of Minerva and the muses, the pattern
of virtue and modesty, is undoubtedly the Princess Beatrice, whose
intellect, literary cultivation, and amiability were universally
admired.[7] There was less to be said of the Archduke Ferdinand; nothing
could be made of him but a fair youth with rosy cheeks. It is worthy
of note that although mutual liking founded on beauty and spiritual
endowments is highly extolled, yet, as became a royal wedding, the
subjection of inclination to duty is made the

{"ASCANIO IN ALBA," 1771.}


theme of highest praise. The union had not been consummated without
difficulty,[8] and some anxiety was felt as to the relations of the
young couple.

"The Archduke and his wife are well and very happy," writes L. Mozart,
"which must be a great satisfaction to Her Majesty the Empress, because
it was feared that he would not think much of his wife, she not being
beautiful; but she is uncommonly amiable, pleasant and virtuous,
consequently beloved by every one, and she has quite captivated the
Archduke, for she has the best heart and the most engaging manners in
the world."

The original score, in two volumes of 480 pages, is preserved: it
contains twenty-two numbers. At the close of the first act we have
the bass part of the ballet in nine numbers, written by a copyist,
and affixed, doubtless as a guide to the conductor. L. Mozart writes
expressly that the ballet which connects the two acts was to be composed
by Wolfgang (September 7, 1771); there must have been a special score
for the manager of the ballet which has not been preserved.

We cannot help wondering that Hasse should have founded his prophecy
of Mozart's future greatness on this opera, for it seems to us less
original than its predecessors. It certainly displays talent and
assurance, but there is not an original idea in any of the fourteen
songs to be compared with those of the former operas. The accompanied
recitatives do not arrest attention, the most animated among them being
the recitative (13) in which the lovers, seeing each other for the first
time, express their agitation in asides. Contrary to custom, the wind
instruments are employed in the recitative; but otherwise the treatment
of the orchestra calls for no remark. One song of Silvia's (11) is
accompanied by four horns (two in G, two in D) without any singular
effects; the last song of Ascanio (18) has, besides horns, bassoons and
flutes, two serpentini (in F), instruments which, Schindler suggests,
resembled the English horn.

The most prominent among the singers was Manzuoli, for whose part Mozart
now applied the instruction he had



formerly received from him in London (p. 41). It is written for a
mezzo-soprano, keeps always to the middle notes, and has no passages
at all; only here and there easy embellishments. The simple lingering
melody is not without feeling, which, however, never rises to passion.
The first song (2) begins with a long-sustained note, whilst the last
resembles those in "Lucio Silla" in its tender playful grace.

There is more variety in the part composed for Maria Ant.
Girelli-Aguilar, who sang in Gluck's "Aristeo" and "Orfeo" in Parma
(1769). The first cavatina (7) is simple, graceful, and complete
in design and treatment; two others (8, 11) are bravura songs, with
brilliant passages, the melody having an air of dignity, which is also
apparent in the last song (16), both in the adagio and the allegro.

Gius. Tibaldi, whom Gluck had summoned to Vienna, where in 1767 he sang
the part of Admetus[9] in "Alceste," was already in years, and his voice
past its prime; his two songs (6, 19) are adorned with long passages,
which imply a very fluent singer.

In the closing terzet (21) the voices are at first contrasted in
detached characteristic motifs; but afterwards the soprano and tenor
are grouped together with alternating passages, while Manzuoli's part
retains its simplicity of character.

Of the two secondary characters, to each of whom two songs were
assigned, it is to be noted that they have a higher compass than the
principal singers. Their songs, too, are richly provided with passages;
but their character is perceptibly subordinate.

The choruses, seven in number, were a great ornament to the piece.
They do not interfere with the action, and five are in connection with
dances. Also in the overture, on the conclusion of the first animated
allegro, the second movement changes into a dance "of eleven females,"
as L. Mozart writes, "either eight nymphs and three graces, or eight
graces and three goddesses," and instead of the third



movement[10] a chorus of nymphs and graces with corresponding ballet is
introduced, the orchestra retaining the character of a third movement
of the overture, and the voices (four or two-part) filling out the
harmonies after the manner of wind instruments, but in a freer, more
flowing style. The chorus is repeated on both occasions when Venus
ascends to heaven. Most of the other choruses are also repeated like
refrains on appropriate occasions; the second (3) is given six times.
It is in two parts, for tenor and bass, and remarkable for its
accompaniment of 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons (and violon-celli), 2
horns, and double-bass, but not otherwise original. The following chorus
(5), introduced by a short intrada, which announces Silvia's approach
(four-part, but interrupted by two short three-part movements) is
blithe and animated. The accompaniment has an independent passage in
dance-measure for the violins; the voices move with spirit and freedom.
The second act begins with two female choruses. The first, two-part
(12), acquaints Silvia of the approach of her lover, and is lively and
fresh; the two voices alternate easily in imitative phrases.

Still more animated is the next three-part chorus (17), when, Silvia
having repulsed Ascanio and fled, the chorus express surprise in a short
imitative movement addressed to Venus. The following chorus (20), which
is repeated three times, has simple harmonies, but is powerful and
effective. The concluding chorus (22) is effectively worked up after the
manner of the first into a quick animated movement, followed by a full

The choruses, heightened by the scenic arrangements, must have
contributed greatly to the success of the opera. They display so much
freedom and assurance, such perfect mastery of method in order to attain
the truest effect, that perhaps it was here that Hasse recognised the
footprints of the lion.

The second festival piece, composed in honour of the



newly elected Archbishop Hieronymus in 1772, was Metas-tasio's "Sogno
di Scipione" (126 K.), an allegorical poem in one act, on a classical

To the younger Scipio, asleep in the Palace of Massinissa, appear
Steadfastness (Costanza) and Fortuna, and require him to decide which of
the two he will choose for his guide through life. On his demanding
time for consideration, Fortuna depicts in a song her fleeting, unstable
nature. Costanza answers his question as to where he is by telling
him he is in heaven, instructs him on the harmony of the spheres, and
informs him that he is in that region of heaven where his departed
ancestors abide. These approach him in a chorus, and from their midst
steps out the elder Scipio Africanus, who acquaints him with the
immortality of the soul, and the reward of the good in another life.
Then Scipio's father, Emilius Paulus, draws near; he shows him the earth
as a little point in boundless space, and warns him of the nothingness
of all earthly things in comparison to the heavenly. Struck by this,
Scipio wishes at once to leave earth and remain with his forefathers,
but Africanus refuses, telling him that he is destined to save Rome, and
that he must therefore tarry on earth, and earn by his great deeds the
reward of immortality. Africanus refuses also to influence by his advice
Scipio's choice between the two goddesses, who now demand his decision.
Fortuna, who has more than once expressed her impatience, again depicts
her omnipotence, which Costanza opposes with a representation of her
victorious strength. On Scipio's declaring himself in favour of the
latter, Fortuna threatens him with her heaviest penalties, the dazzling
apparition disappears, a tremendous storm breaks forth, and Scipio
awakes in the Palace of Massinissa, and declares himself true to

The allusions to the circumstances under which the piece was first
produced on October 1, 1735--the birthday of Charles VI., who had
suffered severe defeats in Italy--are evident enough, especially in the
speeches of Africanus and Costanza. Nevertheless, the Licenza comes at
the conclusion, making a direct address to the hero of the occasion,
and winding up with a formal congratulation in the form of an aria and



This occasional piece was considered by the Salzburg authorities to be
a suitable greeting to the new Archbishop without any alteration,
apparently on account of its philosophic moral reflections, and it may
indeed be considered as a good example of the dramatic treatment of such
reflections.[12] Dramatic the treatment can hardly be called; it is a
kind of concert in costume. It is difficult to comprehend how Scipio can
act or sing songs while he is supposed to be dreaming; yet Metastasio
makes him awake from his dream at the end of the piece.[13]

Mozart's composition, of which the original score, in one volume of 315
pages, is preserved, has more of a concert character than any other of
his dramatic works of the period. It keeps strictly within the customary
limits, and is poor in original invention, giving just the impression of
work done to order; the score bears traces also of great haste.

The overture closes with the second and slower movement, which prepares
the scene for the slumbering Scipio by a change from the principal key
of D major to E major, and a _decrescendo_ to _pp_.[14] This, and the
accompanied recitative, that closes with the storm in the midst of
which Scipio returns to earth, are the only dramatic or characteristic
movements. It is curious that the opportunity for an obbligato
recitative (for instance, at the description of the harmony of the
spheres) is never taken advantage of; the long speeches are all in plain

Not one of the ten songs has any dramatic characterisation; even the
parts of Fortuna and Costanza do not offer any marked contrast. Each
of them has two songs--one freely conceived in a broad style, with full
orchestral accompaniments, the other of smaller design, and both richly
provided with high passages. First, Fortuna sings her principal song
(2), and Costanza her shorter one (3); afterwards the case is



reversed (8, 9); but the character, pitch, and formation of the songs
differ so little that apart from the words they might easily be mistaken
the one for the other. There is a second composition of the Licenza
in existence, pointing by its handwriting, firm structure, and the
independence and delicate treatment of the orchestra, to a considerably
later date.

The three Roman heroes all sing tenor. Africanus has a great bravura
song (5), with passages as high as C in alt; his second is quieter and
simpler, and makes an attempt at characterisation; the image of the
rock, standing immovable in the sea, is sketched in sober colours. The
song of Emilius Paulus has a kind of dance measure, not very lively, and
reminding us of a polonaise; the words "un fanciullin che piange" are
illustrated by a chromatic scale. Finally, Scipio has two bravura songs
(1, 10) with many passages, the second being remarkable for its length.

But, indeed, most of the songs are of great length, and introduced by
long ritomelli. Where there is no distinct second part, the Da capo
comes into use; the middle movements are short and lightly treated. The
orchestra displays some freedom and independence, but is not equal to

The two choruses are of the usual opera type. The first (4), in which
Scipio is greeted by his ancestors, is not without power and dignity,
but it has no characterisation, and is almost throughout in harmony;
only once the voices make an attempt during a few bars at independent

In the concluding chorus (12) the voices complete the harmony in the
usual way to a running accompaniment.


[Footnote 1: Leop. v. Sonnleithner has treated thoroughly and well of Mozart's
earlier operas. (Càcilia, XXIII., p. 233; XXIV., p. 65; XXV., p. 65).]

[Footnote 2: The quintet is omitted in the copy at the Paris Conservatoire, but
is present in that at the British Museum (A. M. Z., 1864, p. 495).
A song in the third act of the libretto, for Aspasia, is altogether

[Footnote 3: They are as follows:--]

(1) Aria for Aspasia, "Al destin che la minnacia," in G major, elaborate
and rather stiff.

(8) Aria for Ismene, "In faccia al oggetto," in B major 3-4., with
a middle movement, in G minor 2-4, Allegretto; pretty but not very

(12) Aria for Sifare, "Lungi da te mio bene," in D major, Adagio; a
long-sustained but somewhat spiritless cantilene. It breaks off in 'the
middle movement in G major 3-4.

(17) Duet in E flat major, much more elaborate; both the Adagio and
Allegro are repeated. The duet has many passages in thirds, but is also
somewhat stiff.

(19) Aria for Mitridate "Vado incontro al fato estremo," in F major.
The rhythm is forcible and haughty, the harmonies unusually bold and
striking. Perhaps this led to its rejection by the singer; the aria
which was inserted in its stead doss not rise above the average in these

[Footnote 4: Marpurg, Krit. Beitr., III., p. 44.]

[Footnote 5: Opere 41 Gius. Parini publicate ed illustrate da Franc. Reina
(Milan, 1802).]

[Footnote 6: The three chief characters had already appeared together at
Bologna in 1762, in Gluck's "Trionfo di Clelian Bologna" (Dittersdorf,
Lebensbeschr.,p. 108).]

[Footnote 7: Björnstahl, Briefe, II., p, 296. Teutsch. Mercur, 1789, III., p.

[Footnote 8: Erinnenmgen an Meyer, I., p. 77.]

[Footnote 9: Hiller, Wöch. Nachr., III., p. 132.]

[Footnote 10: André conjectures that a separate last movement of a symphony (120
K.) which is identical in paper and writing with the score of Ascanio,
was intended to serve as a conclusion to the overture when it was
performed independently.]

[Footnote 11: The subject is taken from Cicero's Somnium Scipionis, which is
followed even in details; Metastasio has incorporated the myth of Silius
Italicus, who in the fifteenth book of his "Punica" makes Virtus and
Voluptas appear to Scipio, that he may choose between manly courage and
sensual enjoyment; Metastasio makes the apparitions Costanza and Fortuna
ta suit the occasion.]

[Footnote 12: G. A. Moreschi, Riflessioni intorno le feste ed azione teatrali
(vor Metastasio, Opp., XII., p. IV.).]

[Footnote 13: Metastasio recommends this ending to Farinelli's imitation. (Opp.
post, I., p. 301).]

[Footnote 14: This overture has also been prepared for independent performance by
the addition of a closing movement (161 K.).]





THE commonly received opinion[1] that the oratorio originated in the
devotional exercises held in the oratories of monasteries,



and thrown into the form of a musical drama by Filippo Neri (1515-1595),
is without foundation. All that can confidently be asserted is that he
caused _laudi spirituali_, a kind of motett,[2] to be sung by way
of recreation, and that he organised carnival performances
("rappresentazioni") which withdrew the mind from worldly follies;[3]
whether, and in what degree, music had to do with these we do not

The "Rappresentazione dell' Anima e del Corpo," by Emilio de' Cavalieri,
who sought to reproduce the old tragedy on the same principles as Peri
in the opera, was arranged for representation on a stage ("palco"),
with scenery, costumes, and dances, and contained recitatives and
choruses.[5] One performance took place, according to the preface to the
score, in February, 1599, in the oratorium of the church of S. Maria,
in Vallicella,[6] and this Della Valle remembered having attended when a
boy.[7] Henceforward sacred dialogues and



dramas set to music were frequent in Rome and elsewhere, and were given
not only before the congregation _dell' oratorio_,[8] but in churches,
monasteries, and palaces. The history of the development of these
rappresentazione or azione sacra, also called oratorio,[9] has not yet
been traced in detail.[10]

In time the performances were confined to Lent, when no opera was
given, and although action and costume gradually disappeared from the
churches,[11] and the whole assumed more and more the form of a concert,
yet the dramatic element, or at least the dialogue, always remained.

The connection with the service of the church was so far maintained that
a mass and an address from a boy preceded the oratorio, and a sermon was
delivered between its two parts.[12]

The growth of the azione sacra kept pace with that of the opera seria.

Apostolo Zeno defined the form of the oratorio by giving it unity of
action, time and place, and strict dramatic treatment, and Metastasio
carried on and completed the work just as he had done in the opera.
Its division was into two, not three parts, otherwise the arrangement
corresponded altogether with that of the opera. The characters enter
speaking; recitative is employed for the dialogue, and the airs serve



to express the higher emotions; concerted songs occur but seldom, but
the choruses are frequent, and more often form a part of the action than
in the opera.

The subject-matter is borrowed from the Bible, generally the Old
Testament, or from some old legend; but both persons and plot must of
necessity be devised, so as to represent the story in a succession of
dialogues. An effort is made to preserve the biblical diction in the
poetry, but the animated rhetorical style of Italian poetry decidedly
gets the upper hand. Moral and religious reflections are the almost
invariable themes of the songs and choruses, which have rarely any
individual character. In this respect, as well as in the dearth of
dramatic action, the azione sacra comes nearer to the so-called azione
teatrale than to the genuine opera seria.

The legend of Judith is treated as follows by Metastasio, in his
oratorio "La Betulia Liberata," which has often been composed.[13]The
_dramatis persona_ ("interlocutori") are:--[See Page Image]

Ozia reproaches the desponding inhabitants of Bethulia for their
cowardice, and declares his resolution not to give up the city to the
enemy. Amital and Cabri oppose him, describing the sufferings of the
people from famine and sickness. In vain he reminds them how the Lord
has helped their fathers, they demand admission to Holofernes, and it is
with difficulty that he obtains a delay of five days, and calls upon God
for help, with the chorus. Then Judith enters; horrified at



the decision, she upbraids them for their cowardice which dares to doubt
God's mercy and set a limit to His power: "il primo è vile, temerario
il secondo." Her song (5) may serve as a standard for the style of this

     Del pari infeconda
     D' un flume è la sponda,
     Se torbido eccede,
     Se manca d' amor.
     Si acqaista baldanza
     Per troppo speranza,
     Si perde la fede
     Per troppo rumor.

She exhorts the trembling people to trust and patience, and informs them
that she has formed a great resolve, which as yet she can communicate
to no one; while she prepares herself, all are to unite in prayer;
the former chorus is repeated. Carmi brings Achior as a prisoner, who
relates that, having told Holofemes of the courage of the Israelites and
the wonderful power of their God, who renders them invincible as long
as they trust in Him, he has been sent into the city to share its
destruction. Judith approaching, is left alone with Ozia, who is
surprised to see her richly adorned; she demands egress from the town
with her maid, and departs, the chorus (in the distance) expressing
astonishment at her enterprise.

In the second part Ozia seeks to convince the heathen Achior that there
is but one God. Before his arguments have been quite successful Amital
enters and describes the death-stillness, expressive of the extreme
of need and despair, which hangs over the city. Shrieks and tumult
interrupt him; Judith returns, and relates how she has slain Holofernes;
she holds the decapitated head before the incredulous Achior, who swoons
for fear. After Judith's song, he comes to himself and declares his
conversion to the faith of the God of Abraham. Carmi enters, and relates
that at Judith's bidding they had raised a war-cry; the Assyrians,
discovering the death of Holofernes, were seized with terror and fled

A song of thanksgiving to God, in which Judith leads the chorus, forms
the conclusion.

The composers treated the oratorio in the same way as the opera
seria,[14] only that the want of dramatic variety favoured the adoption
of the concert style of music. In its form there was no important
difference; we find the same treatment of the recitatives, secco and
obbligato, of the songs and of all important parts, including the
choruses; only



that the bass voice is made use of in solo singing. We might expect to
find the musical conceptions inspired by earnestness and reverence;
and this was so far the case that the oratorio excluded all that was
trifling, voluptuous, or that related to the passion of love. But a
religious tone was entirely wanting, and the operatic style was only
modified, not essentially altered. Every song in an oratorio would have
been quite in place at a corresponding point in an opera seria, and many
operatic songs might have been transferred to an oratorio with perfect
propriety. The bravura of the vocalists was considered as appropriate in
the churches as on the stage, only that a certain amount of moderation
was becoming.

During Lent, when the opera was closed, the public looked for
entertainment to the oratorios, and flattered themselves that they were
at the same time fulfilling a religious duty, because the performance
took place in a church.

Mozart's music to "Betulia Liberata" (118 K.) is quite on this level.
There are unfortunately no indications of time or place on the original
score, which exists in two volumes of 382 pages and fifteen numbers; the
handwriting and composition place it undoubtedly between 1770 and 1773.
As we know that Mozart received a commission for an oratorio at Padua
in March, 1771, it may safely be conjectured that this was the "Betulia
Liberata," and that it was performed in Padua in 1772.[15]

The three movements of the overture in D minor are quiet and more
concentrated than usual; the arrangement of the parts is more
independent, with attempts at imitative treatment. Besides oboes and
bassoons, there are four horns (in D and F), and trumpets (in D), used
frequently and in the same manner as at present.



A secco recitative follows the overture; the music never rises above the
dialogue, with its long, sermonising speeches and rhetorical bombastic
reflections. There are only two accompanied recitatives: the first
occurs when Judith upbraids the people; short and skilfully modulated
instrumental phrases interrupt the animated declamation, and the whole
is lively and expressive. Later on Judith delivers the long narrative
of her adventure with Holofemes (II) in an accompanied recitative.
The stringed instruments strike the chord in a high pitch, with which
Judith's alto voice strongly contrasts. There are but few agitated
passages; but, indeed, even in stirring moments the music never reaches
anything like characterisation. The prayer of Judith at the most
critical point of the piece is not conspicuous either for tunefulness or
varied accompaniment.

The solo parts are distributed among all the four voices: for Amital,
Cabri and Carmi are soprani, Judith alto, Ozia tenor, and Achior bass;
they are never united in an ensemble, and there is not one duet.

Judith has three airs, besides a solo with chorus. The first (5)
approaches as near as possible to a bravura song. The words are
expressed with grace and animation. The passages are neither predominant
nor tedious, which is doubtless due in part to the singer for whom the
part was composed, for the second song (7), powerful and dignified as
it is, is also without passages; it begins with the favourite
long-sustained note. The chief movement of the last song (11)--a long
adagio with a carefully composed accompaniment--is finely descriptive
of Judith's mood, but there is no appeal to the feelings by beautiful
melody. The whole part is not bravura in the strictest sense; the deeper
alto notes are only occasionally employed.

That this moderation of style was not inseparable from the character
of oratorio music, may be seen from the parts of Amital and Ozia. The
second song for Amital (10) and the first for Ozia (1) are regular
serious bravura songs, with passages, long-sustained notes, and florid
accompaniments. Amital's last song (13) is solemn and earnest, to suit
the words, but still keeps the performer well in view; Ozia's



second song is soft and graceful, and the first which reminds us of
Mozart's later style.

The bass part of Achior is less carefully written, and not nearly so
bravura in style. The first song (6) is more noisy than vigorous, both
in voice and accompaniment. This boisterous treatment of the bass voice
was then common, and it was on that account excluded from the opera
seria.[16] In this place it accords with the dread apparition of
Holofernes which is described. The second song of Achior, after his
conversion (12), is very simple and insignificant; the accompaniment is
partly imitative.

The two airs of Cabri (2) and Carmi (14) are, as usual with secondary
parts, simple, and not without expression, but in no way original.

The traditional aria form is adhered to in almost all the songs. The
second part, distinct from the first in composition if not in time and
measure, is short and superficially treated; generally only the last
part of the first movement is repeated. The latter is broadly conceived,
with long ritomelli; the invariable cadenza is brought in in the usual
way. The accompaniment resembles that of operatic songs, but is
more carefully worked out. Original passages for the second
violins--sometimes, too, for the violas--occur, here and there, as well
as attempts at imitation; and the wind instruments are occasionally
employed independently. All these attempts show decided talent, but
they are few and far between, and the orchestra has not the stamp of
independent vigour.

The choruses, although occupying more space in the composition, do not
materially differ from those of the opera. The concluding chorus of the
first part (8) is like a study for a recitative, turned into a chorus
by means of the accompaniment, which consists of two alternate strongly
marked subjects. The elaboration is not contrapuntal, but



harmonic, and a simple but rich modulation gives significance to the
movement. The voices give the full harmony, and a moderate amount of
agitation in the melody and rhythm appears when the declamation demands
it. The favourable pitch, the interesting modulation, the characteristic
accompaniments, and the dignified seriousness which runs through the
whole, all combine to make this chorus effective and excellent of its

The two other choruses are prayers connected with solos. The first (4)
is very simple. Ozia sings a melodious, beautifully conceived cantilene,
full of feeling, which is accompanied by the violins pizzicato, and the
chorus ends with a repetition of the two last lines. The second verse,
with a change of composition, preserves the same character; after which
the first is repeated, and leads with effective climax to a full close.

The last chorus is more grandly conceived. Judith answers the
thanksgiving of the chorus in two strophes descriptive of the victory,
and then the chorus falls in again; this is repeated three times, and
a moral reflection follows as a closing chorus. Mozart has chosen an
ancient church melody for the refrain of the chorus:--[See Page Image]

The melody is four-part, the partially varied harmony dignified and
powerful, and interesting in its simplicity; the voices are well treated
and animated. At the fourth



repetition Mozart has assigned the Cantus firmus, somewhat altered in
the second part, to the tenor voice:--[See Page Image]

Thence he passes to the closing chorus. The solo part of Judith, simple,
dignified, and earnest, resembles a regular song; but the declamatory is
more prominent than the melodious element. Although somewhat overpowered
by the chorus, the character of Judith is here most significantly
expressed. Whenever Mozart allows himself free play, he exhibits
originality, truth, and earnestness.

The closing chorus is lively and brilliant, but kept in moderation, and
its character is not without strength and dignity.

That this conception of the oratorio was not peculiar to Mozart, but was
the then commonly received one, is plain from a comparison of this with
other contemporary oratorios--with those, for instance, by Hasse, which
are reckoned among his most important works. Whoever should form, on
the strength of the eulogies pronounced by Hiller on the oratorio
"Sant-Elena al Calvario,"[17] a conception of this



and similar pieces founded on our present ideas of sacred music, would
find himself much deceived. Here, as in all Hasse's oratorios, the
art of the vocalist is the determining element, and the expression of
emotion coincides in essentials with that of the opera. The differences
in Mozart's oratorio are unimportant, and are founded on variations in
the taste of the time and of the composer.

Hiller speaks with great admiration of the pilgrims' chorus, to which
Hasse has set the chorale "O Lamb of God" in such a way "that its whole
attraction consists in the alternation of the voices and of the various
instruments among whom the melody is divided; the bass and violin are
in unison throughout, and give animation to the whole, with a simplicity
that is worth more than ten fugues, and which betrays more insight into
the true beauty of song than the most artistic counterpoint." It almost
seems as if Hiller wished to point at J. S. Bach, and remembering some
of the marvellous creations of Bach--for instance, the first chorus in
the St. Matthew "Passion Music"--the contrast between different artistic
tendencies and personalities can hardly be better exemplified than by
comparing him and Hasse. Hasse has succeeded in bringing the chorale
into accordance with the Italian style of his oratorio, but he loses
thereby the proper significance and effect of the chorale. The way in
which Mozart has introduced the Catholic church melodies unaltered is,
from this point of view, grander and more striking. And Hasse was looked
upon in Mozart's day as a representative of the good old times in the
traditions of which he had been educated.


[Footnote 1: Winterfeld, Gabrieli, II., p. 146. Kiesewetter, Schicks. d. weltl.
Ges., p. 58.]

[Footnote 2: P. J. Bacci, vita di S. Filippo Neri (Rom., 1646), I., 19,4 p. 81:
Che si cantasse ordino qualche laude spirituale per sollevamento degli
animi degli ascoltanti.]

[Footnote 3: Bacci, II., 7,11: Nel tempo del camevale per levar loro 1' occasione
di andar al corso o aile commedie lascive era solito far fare delle

[Footnote 4: Menestrier (Des Reprès. en Musique, p. 191)--followed by Bonnet,
Hist.de Musique, p. 373, or Bourdelot, Hist, de Mus. I., p. 295--ascribes the
introduction of "musique dramatique" to Filippo Neri: "faisant composer
par les plus habiles maîtres de musique des récits et des dialogues sur
les principaux sujets de l'écriture sainte, il faisoit chanter par les
plus belles voix de Rome ces récits dans son église," and brings forward
as examples "Jesus and the Samaritan Woman," "Job and his Friends," "The
Annunciation," &c. But he seems to have forestalled later performances.]

[Footnote 5: Burney,Gen. Hist, of Mus., IV., p. 96. Kiesewetter, Schicks d.
weltl. Ges., p. 44.]

[Footnote 6: Schelle thought that the vastness of the oratorium of the Chiesa
Nuova was unsuited for such performances (N. Zeitschr. f. Mus., LX., p.
79); but there is decided testimony against this view.]

[Footnote 7: P. delle Valle, in a letter written 1640. Doni, Opp., II.]

[Footnote 8: The celebrated male soprano, Vittorio Loreto, who entered the Papal
Kapelle in 1620 (Lindner zur Tonkunst, p. 43), enchanted the public with
a Magdalene's song, probably by Dom. Mazocchi (Kircher, Musurg., VII.,
9 t. I., p. 674), which he executed in sacello patrun congregations
oratorü (Erythräus, pinac. II., 68).]

[Footnote 9: According to Quadrio (Stor. di ogni poes., V., p. 425) the term
oratorio was first used by Franc. Balducci (d. 1642); in Allacci's
Dramaturgia (Ven., 1755) it often occurs after 1659; historians of
literature, such as Muratori (d. Perfetta Poesia, III., 5) or Apostolo
Zeno (Fontanini, Bibl. d. Eloq. Ital., I., p.489) use it as the
customary one.]

[Footnote 10: The treatises of Fink (in Ersch and Gruber's Encyclopédie, III., 4
p. 405) and Keferstein (A. M. Z., XLV.,p. 873) are very unsatisfactory,]

[Footnote 11: During Lent oratorios were performed in the theatres even at
a later date. Goethe (Werke, XIX., p. 182) saw "The Destruction
of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar" in Naples. Cf. Dittersdorfs
Lebensbeschreibung, p. 144. Teutsch. Mercur, 1789, III., p. 218.]

[Footnote 12: Hiller, Wöchentl. Nachr., I., p. 47. Burney, Reise, I., p. 276. At
Vienna oratorios were regularly performed in the Imperial Chapel, and
afterwards in the theatre, for charitable objects.]

[Footnote 13: It was first brought out at Vienna in 1734, with music by Reutter;
afterwards composed by Flor. Gassmann (Dittersdorfs Selbstbiogr., p.
203), and partially adapted by Salieri in 1821 (Wiener mus. Ztg., V.,
p. 294). It was also composed by Jomelli, Cafaro, Bernasconi in
Munich, 1754, Sales in Coblenz, 1783, Schuster and Naumann in Dresden
(Reichardt, Berl. mus. Ztg., I., p. 171), and by Mussini in Berlin
(Ibid., II., p. 39), &c.]

[Footnote 14: Scheibe, Krit. Musi eus, 22, p. 216.]

[Footnote 15: André informs me that, according to a book of words with which I
am unacquainted, this oratorio was performed in Lent of 1786 (not at
Vienna, as Sonnleithner inferred), and Mozart appears to have composed
another introductory chorus, "Qual fiero caso," and a quintet, "Te solo
adoro," which André conjectures to be in Berlin; they have not been
found, however (Nohl, Musiker-briefe, pp. 335, 337)]

[Footnote 16: Mattheson, Critica Musica, I., p. no: "Dass die tiefen Singbässe
einer Harmonie viele Majestät, viele Harmonie und force geben, ist
unstreitig; ob aber allemahl etwas agréable, und nicht vielmehr sehr
oft was rude und entsetzliches dabei vermacht sey, will dem Zuhörer

[Footnote 17: Hiller, Wöchentl. Nachr., I., pp. 326, 343, 353.]





OPERA BUFFA was a gradual outgrowth from the opera seria, in which
originally comic characters took part in burlesque scenes.



Even so late as 1718, when Scarlatti's "Telemacco" was produced,
there were scenes of coarse humour between Tersite and Silvina in
this otherwise conventionally correct opera.[1] When, however, the
discrepancy between these and the dignity and purity of the opera seria
came to be fully felt, the comic scenes were detached, generally
without much difficulty, and given as independent additions, between the
acts.[2] It had long been the custom to interpose between the acts of
the spoken drama--tragedies as well as comedies--musical representations
which had no connection with the piece itself, and were called intermedi
or intermezzi, and in the opera both the comic scenes and the ballets
were gradually loosed from their connection with the main body of the
work and placed between the acts. The relish of the audience for these
comic interludes soon led to the production of independent comic pieces
called intermezzi, which took the place of the disjointed scenes from
the opera. As a rule there were but two characters, one male and one
female, and there was no continuous plot even when the same characters
appeared in the different intermezzi. The dialogue was carried on in
plain recitative, and there were neither solo songs nor duets



to interfere with the main opera. In the intermezzi which Metastasio
himself composed for his "Didone Abbandonata" in 1724, the characters
are Ribbio, a poet, composer, singer, and impresario, who is desirous
of establishing a theatre on the Canary Islands, and Dorina, the prima
donna whom he wishes to engage; after many affectations she sings a song
before him, whereupon he produces others, of his own composition, and
they vie with each other in mutual compliments. In the second intermezzo
Dorina, dressed for the stage, displays her tragic powers to Ribbio as
Cleopatra; finally they conclude a romantic contract, which includes a
prospect of tender relations between the two.

Great effect was caused by the caricaturing and ridiculing of the opera
seria, and by the exposure of the personal relations of stage heroes and
heroines; elements which have always played a great part in opera buffa.

The intermezzo gives, as it were, the back view of the opera seria,
not with the intention of destroying the ideal effect by sarcastic
criticism, but rather in order to heighten it by force of contrast. Even
the independent opera buffa preserved much of this parodying reference
to the opera seria.

Pergolese's "Serva Padrona" which was first produced in Naples in 1730,
was another example of an intermezzo for two characters; it met with
great success not only in Italy, but in France[3] and Germany,[4]
and set the fashion for similar pieces. Very soon an intrigue was
introduced, a connected plot was supplied, and the number of characters
increased first to three, then to four.[5] The development of the
intermezzo was rapid, and before long the inconvenience of carrying on
two independent dramas simultaneously caused the complete emancipation
of opera buffa from opera seria.[6] Equal rank with the latter it never
attained. It came to



maturity on the boards of the smaller theatres ("teatrini"), and was
long in gaining admission into the larger theatres. Even then it was
only exceptionally introduced during the season or stagione, side by
side with the opera seria, although in the German court theatres an
opera seria and a buffa were not seldom played alternately during the
carnival. In Italy comic operas were only admitted in summer, and
at those times when there was no grand opera. They did not pass for
exhibitions of perfect vocal art, and fewer calls were made on the
powers of the singers apart from their comic talent in delivery and
action. There is no doubt that this external subordination was of
inestimable value to the development of the opera buffa.

It received a firm foundation of musical configuration--recitative,
aria, ensemble--without the necessity of submitting to limitations and
laws so fixed as to have become absolute. The bass voice, which was
considered most suitable to comic characters, and had already been
appropriated to them in the old opera, was made the chief vehicle for
comic effects in the intermezzo. Volubility of utterance, mimicry, and
comic action were as necessary as a fine voice. The highly paid male
soprano might therefore be dispensed with in opera buffa; the unnatural
conventionality of the opera seria would have been insupportable in
representations of daily life. By this means the voices were brought
into their proper relations; the lover's part was allotted to the
tenor, and the performance generally gained in variety and in the natural
grouping of the parts.

The distinction of primary and secondary parts was disregarded, as well
as the limitation to a small number of vocalists; though these seldom
went beyond seven.[7] There were usually three female parts; the most
decidedly comic was the sly, pert waiting-maid (a standing figure of the
opera buffa), or a scolding old woman, an unsophisticated peasant-girl,



The tenor part was usually the sentimental, unhappy lover, and required
most from the singer, but there were often two tenor parts, in which
case one was comic; the buffo tenor was not however nearly so well
defined a part as the buffo bass. The bass parts were decidedly comic;
a blustering old man and a cunning or a stupid servant were seldom
wanting. When the lover was a bass, he was either jovial or comical.

In spite of all this freedom, certain typical features were formed that
recur in all the varieties of grouping and disguise. The opera buffa was
far from adopting in dialect or costume the well-defined character, of
the Italian popular comedy, but the resemblance in form is unmistakable.
It was in imitation of the popular plays that the comic parts were made
caricatures, the effect of which depended on striking but exaggerated
peculiarities. The music was made to display these,[8] and there can
be no doubt that the want of individual character in the opera seria
favoured the passage to the opposite extreme in the opera buffa. As a
relief to the caricatures, _mezzo carattere_ were invented, in which the
purely musical element was more pronounced.

Intermezzi required an easy and loosely connected plot; the popular
jokes would not have come out so well from a studied, well-connected
drama, as from effective situations where favourite characters could
follow their bent. If the situations were of ample variety, lively and
humorous in their rendering, the audience was quite ready to forget how
weak the thread was which held them together. The opera buffa was always
written for a specified company, and the



poet, limited both as to characters and effective situations, found his
labour simplified by such a skilful use of the conditions ready to hand
as should secure him applause and success.[9] Opera buffa, being held in
little esteem, was seldom taken in hand by poets of note; even
Goldoni's texts are, as he acknowledges himself,[10] unworthy of esteem.
Goethe,[11] when he was studying the comic opera in Rome with the
composer Kayser, remarked, that "there were a hundred things to be
observed, to which the Italians sacrificed the spirit of the poetry; for
instance, each character was to be brought forward in a certain order
and a certain degree--each singer must have pauses, &C."[12] His own
experience gave him a very just judgment on opera texts, and he rightly
ascribed a certain amount of simplicity, which, apart from the music,
made them appear poor and meagre, to a tendency to treat the subject
fancifully, like a child's fairy story.[13] But the majority of comic
libretti are disconnected and absurd, without spirit or delicacy,
depending entirely on the effect of humorous exaggeration; and the
universal opinion was a just one, that the words of the comic opera were
as poor as the music was charming.[14]

The musical forms of the opera seria were modified and remodelled by
the comic composers with very unequal skill and success. The recitative
needed little transformation; the more trivial treatment of the dialogue
suggested itself, and the accompanied recitative was only varied to suit
the comic situations. The aria, on the contrary, belonged essentially to
musical art, and had been developed at the cost of dramatic truth; opera
buffa did not concern itself with either of these facts. It adopted
the forms of the opera seria (unless when it parodied them) only in the
parts _di mezzo car ottere_ which it had appropriated from the opera



The contrasting of different motifs was preserved as an essential
condition of musical composition, but the rules as to method and
succession were no longer regarded as binding. The subjects were more
slender and fugitive, so as to be more easily united, and they profited
thereby in freedom of movement and form. In many airs which have only
one tempo, the constituent parts of the original aria can be clearly
recognised, but the subjects are arranged and repeated according to
circumstances, the subordinate subjects are more important and longer,
and the means at command are more freely used. Piccinni was the first to
introduce the rondo form, which repeats the main subject several times
with freely treated intermediate movements. It met with great applause,
and was variously developed, being at last adopted in opera seria.[15]
But the simpler form of the cavatina was more usual, and received many
modifications; the ballad style was also not infrequent.

This freedom and many-sidedness of treatment was more especially
favourable to the dramatic aspect of the piece, and brought the plot
into closer relationship with the music, particularly in the ensembles.
Duets, terzets, and quartets were introduced wherever the situation
required, and this musical dramatic character reached its highest point
in the finales, which are true musical representations of a dramatic
climax ascending to a catastrophe. These finales, products of the
continual struggle to render music not the ornament but the helpmeet of
the drama, are the property of the opera buffa.

Nic. Logroscini, who was considered as the inventor of comic opera, and
the deity of the _genre bouffon_,[16] is said to have written the
first finale, the main subject of which was developed in one continuous
movement. Nic. Piccinni (whose "Buona Figliuola" was so well received in
Rome in 1761, that it may serve as a date for the recognition of opera



buffa as a distinct branch of the art) treated each scena of the finale
as a separate movement, and displayed far greater variety and more
effective working-up.

Many of the deficiencies of the text must have had considerable
influence on the music. The latter was constantly striving after
dramatic effect and characteristic situations, and was as constantly
dragged back by caricature and absurdity. The custom also arose of
providing unworthy comic effects for the buffo characters, such as the
mimicry of natural sounds, quick speaking, and others that have become
gradually extinct. On this point the severe mentorship of the opera
seria exerted a wholesome influence in preventing the complete sacrifice
of form to fun; so that, to the observer of the present day, regularity
of form is more observable in comic opera than freedom of treatment.

From opera seria too the comic opera received its main principle, viz.:
that the essence of the opera is in music, and more especially in song,
on the suitable treatment of which it depends for all its effect.

The majority of dramatic composers have tried their hand at opera buffa;
besides Nic. Logroscini (17...-1763), Bald. Galuppi (1703-1765),
Nic. Piccinni (1728-1800), we may particularly note Pietro Guglielmi
(1727-1804), Pasq. Anfossi (1736-1797), Giov. Paisiello (1741-1816),
Domen. Cimarosa (1754-1801), all men of prominent parts and thorough
musical training. Add to this the innate love of the Italians for beauty
of form, and it will be easily comprehensible that in spite of many
excrescences opera buffa should have blossomed into a musical art, which
in creative genius and intellectual power soared far higher than its
elder sister, whom it soon surpassed in the favour of the public.[17]

The greater freedom of style was of advantage also to the instrumental
parts, which took an independent share in the characterisation. Many
situations were heightened by the orchestra coming to the foreground--as
for instance during the frequently recurring _parlando_ where it falls
to the instruments to give the clue to the intended expression.



The instrumental scores which Piccinni was blamed for overloading
and making unnecessarily prominent appear to us indescribably
poverty-stricken.[18] But it was thus that the orchestra gradually
developed into such an independence as makes it capable of following the
rapid emotions of the actors, and of serving at the same time as a firm
foundation for the whole artistic organism.

The overture in three movements was not the only one permissible;
symphonies in two parts were frequent, as also a somewhat more elaborate
allegro movement, which served as an instrumental introduction.

Anfossi's "Finta Giardiniera" had met with great success in Rome in
1774, whilst Piccinni's opera was hissed off the stage. In spite of its
miserable text it was produced in 1775 at Vienna,[19] and in 1778 at
Paris;[20] and at Munich Mozart received the libretto to compose for the
Carnival of 1775--

The dramatis persona are as follows:--[See Page Image]

The Marchesa Violante Onesti has been wounded by her lover Conte
Belfiore in a fit of jealousy, and he, believing that he has slain her,
flees. She sets forth in disguise to seek him, accompanied by a faithful
servant, Roberto; they both enter the service of Don Anchise, Podestà of
Lagonero, as gardeners, she under the name of Sandrina and he as



Nardo. The Podestà falls in love with Sandrina and neglects for her the
waiting-maid Serpetta, to whom he has been paying his addresses. Nardo
strives in vain for Serpetta's favour; the two intruders are equally
obnoxious to her. Ramiro, Don Anchise's guest, and the accepted lover of
his niece Arminda, is deserted by the latter, who becomes affianced to

At the opening of the opera the inhabitants of Lagonero are busily
employed decorating the garden for the reception of the betrothed
couple; Ramiro informs the Podestà that an unhappy love torments him,
and departs. The Podestà sends Nardo and Serpetta to a distance, in
order that he may declare his love to Sandrina; this she seeks to
evade, while Serpetta continually contrives to interrupt them, so giving
occasion for a comic aria from the Podestà. Thereupon Sandrina announces
to Nardo her intention of leaving the place to escape the attentions of
the Podestà, and complains of the faithlessness of men; Ramiro entering,
bewails the inconstancy of women, and Nardo the cruelty of Serpetta.
Arminda, who has just arrived, behaves whimsically to the Podestà and
Serpetta; Conte Belfiore enters, greets her as his bride, and comports
himself like a vain affected fop, boasting to the Podestà of his
nobility, his wealth, his good looks, his conquests, and his love for

Serpetta and Nardo having quarrelled, we next find Sandrina busy in the
garden. Arminda informs her that she is about to wed Conte Belfiore;
upon which Sandrina swoons. Arminda calls Belfiore, and leaves
the unconscious Sandrina to his care while she runs for her
smell-ing-bottle; when she returns Ramiro enters, and the four lovers
recognise each other in extreme confusion; the Podestà, entering, seeks
in vain for a solution of the mystery; they all go out, and leave him
alone. Before he can recover from his astonishment, Serpetta, to excite
his jealousy, relates that she has seen Belfiore and Sandrina holding
tender intercourse, and he withdraws in order to watch them. Belfiore
tries to extort from Sandrina the confession that she is Violante; at
first she denies it, but then forgets herself and reproaches him for
his infidelity. As he falls repentant at her feet, Arminda enters
with Ramiro, all the rest rush in, overwhelm him and Sandrina with
reproaches, and the act closes amid universal confusion.

The second act opens with Ramiro reproaching Arminda for her
inconstancy, while she does the same to Belfiore; then Serpetta makes
fun of Nardo. Sandrina, who, in her own despite, still loves Belfiore,
is surprised by him in the garden, forgets herself again, and overwhelms
him with reproaches; when he remorsefully sues for her love again, she
recollects herself, and explains that she has known Violante, and has
only been giving expression to her feelings. Quite confused, he makes
her tender excuses, and tries to kiss her hand, but seizes instead that
of the Podestà, who has drawn near unobserved, and goes out confounded.



The Podestà first reproaches Sandrina, then makes her a formal
declaration of love, which she seeks in vain to evade. Ramiro enters
with a letter, wherein Belfiore is denounced as the murderer of the
Marchesa Onesti, and requires the Podestà to institute a formal inquiry;
to Arminda's disgust the Podestà declares the marriage postponed, and
Ramiro is filled with fresh hope. The Podestà interrogates Belfiore,
who, in spite of the whispered hints of Arminda and Serpetta, becomes
confused, and draws great suspicion on himself; then Sandrina appears,
and explains that she is the Marchesa Violante who was wounded, not
killed; they do not believe her, and treat her with contempt. When she
is alone with Belfiore, and he in delight renews his expressions of
love, she tells him she is not Violante, but has only impersonated her
to save him. Amazed and horrified, he loses his senses and begins to
rave, but soon comes to himself.

Serpetta informs the Podestà and Ramiro that Sandrina has fled, but when
they have hurried forth to seek her, betrays to the listening Nardo that
Arminda has had her rival conveyed to a hiding-place in the neighbouring
wood, in order to prevent any interference with her union to Belfiore.

Next we see Sandrina left alone in darkness, want, and despair; in
quick succession there enter Belfiore led by Nardo, the Podestà seeking
Sandrina, and Arminda and Serpetta to make sure that she is secure; in
the darkness the Podestà declares himself to Arminda, and Belfiore
to Serpetta, both believing that they are addressing Sandrina, to the
delight of Nardo, who now enters, followed by Ramiro with torches,
calling upon Belfiore to renounce the hand of Arminda. When the party
recognise each other there is first great consternation; then all break
into abuse and reproaches; Sandrina comes to an understanding with
Belfiore, they both imagine themselves shepherds, and amid the universal
hubbub sing pastoral ditties; then she enacts Medusa, he Hercules, and
at last they dance with delight, while the others are beside themselves
with anger and astonishment.

In the third act, Nardo is again scorned by Serpetta, then Belfiore and
Sandrina attack him, making passionate love to him in their madness, and
he escapes with difficulty. The Podestà is beset by Serpetta, whom he
repulses, by Arminda, who wants to wed Belfiore, and by Ramiro, who
demands Arminda's hand, though she again declares that she detests him.

Belfiore and Sandrina having fallen asleep in the garden, awake to soft
music, cured of their madness; they recognise each other, and after some
resistance she listens to his suit. Upon this Arminda resolves to bestow
her hand on Ramiro, and Serpetta on Nardo, and only the Podestà remains

It was no easy task even to follow these clumsily connected situations,
too incoherent to be called a plot; and it



would have taxed the efforts of any composer to save such a work from
utter oblivion.

Only the second and third acts of Mozart's original score (196 K.) are
preserved, in two volumes, containing together 344 pages; the first
is lost, and there is no known copy of the Italian score, so that the
recitatives of the first act are unknown.

The opera was later produced in German; the German text is inserted in
the original score by L. Mozart, with trifling alterations of a note
here and there to suit the declamation. Besides these there are numerous
abbreviations, both in the recitatives and in some of the songs (13,
17, 19, 25), which were made for the first performance at Munich, and
indicated by rough chalk strokes and erasures; with the same end, Mozart
recomposed the whole of an abridged scene.

The abridged songs are adopted in the German version, but one air (20),
which was marked in chalk "to be omitted," is retained. That Wolfgang
was himself concerned in this adaptation is proved by the fact that on
certain pages the accompanied recitatives which were retained in the
German opera are rewritten in his own hand. Spoken dialogue takes the
place of the plain recitatives, and the German cues are inserted by
a third hand. In Rei-chardt's "Theaterkalender," the operetta, "Das
verstellte Gartner-Madchen" has been included among Mozart's works since
1781, and it was performed under this title at Frankfort in 1789.
Mozart probably undertook the adaptation after his return from Paris to
Salzburg, when he busied himself with the improvement of German opera.
The translation may safely be ascribed to Schachtner. The score is
preserved in duplicate; and a selection of the songs was printed by
André under the title "Die Gärtnerin aus Liebe."[21]



This opera takes an unquestionably higher rank both as to originality,
technical skill, and vivid characterisation than any that had preceded
it. The seven personages, all drawn in firm outline with a sure hand,
are not all comic characters.

The part of Ramiro is avowedly written for a male soprano, probably for
the celebrated Tomm. Consoli (b. 1753), who entered the Munich Kapelle
in 1744, and was summoned to Salzburg for the approaching festival
performance. The part is throughout a serious one; Ramiro is the
sentimental unfortunate lover, who only becomes comic by his alternate
hopes and fears, as, true to his first inclinations, he opposes
Arminda's jealous resentment.

In his first unimpassioned song (2) he declares that, being scarcely
healed from his first unhappy attachment, he recoils from all fresh
enticements; he has not yet seen his faithless beloved again, the sight
of whom afterwards causes him to forget all in the desire to win her.
The cavatina (18) renders the sentiment of true and hopeful love simply
and tenderly. Finally, resentment against his faithless mistress is
expressed in an agitated air (21) with strongly accentuated declamation
and rapid changes of harmony. All three songs render consistently the
exalted mood of a man of sentiment, whose passions, nevertheless, are
not consumed by their own intensity; the individuality of the singer
may doubtless have lent itself to this treatment of the part. This
individuality is also evident in the fact that Ramiro's songs pay chief
regard to the singer in the passages, and adhere closely to the older
forms. But there is unmistakable progress in the richer and freer
grouping of the subjects, and in the delicate feeling with which the
digression in the middle movement is treated, and gradually led back to
the main subject.

Arminda stands next to Ramiro. As an imperious, passionate girl, who
ill-uses her faithful lover, and runs after another man, she is more
repulsive than comic. Musical characterisation, by giving to her
violence an air of pettishness, has introduced a comic element into her
first air (7) which brings the noble lady very near the soubrette. The
air (13) in which she threatens the Count with vengeance for



his inconstancy has a caricatured expression of the pathetic, which
parodies the manner of the opera seria, and might, therefore, produce a
comic effect. The absence of all bravura in this part, in spite of the
style of the songs, which seems to call for it, was no doubt to suit the
particular singer--a seconda donna.

The part of Sandrina was expressly written for Rosa Manservisi, who
was highly thought of, both as a singer and an actress.[22] It is comic
neither in intention nor fact. An unhappy woman, of deep and
delicate feelings, injured and deceived, is forced by adverse fate to
dissimulate; the difficulties into which she is led by her disguise are
not ludicrous, but painful, and excite only sympathy. It was common at
the time to introduce persons and situations of a sentimental character
into opera buffa, without any regard to the incongruity of different
styles.[23] The principal scena given to Sandrina at the close of the
second act quite oversteps the boundary of opera buffa. Left deserted
in the dark and gloomy forest, she gives vent to her despair in a song
(21), which strikingly expresses the breathless anguish of a tender,
timid maiden, in the face of unknown dangers.

A characteristic passage for the violins--[See Page Image]

the agitated nature of which is increased by syncopated notes in the
accompaniment, and by the strong accent thrown on the last fourth of
every bar--goes through the whole movement of the allegro agitato in
varied modulation; the voice comes in with detached exclamations, and
once a melodious phrase silences the accompaniment for a moment, until
the orchestra again takes up its restless movement. The song passes
immediately into an expressive accompanied



recitative, in which Sandrina becomes calmer, and assures herself,
by looking round, of her forsaken condition. This is followed by the
cavatina (22)--

     Ah dal pianto, dal singhiozzo
     Respirar io posso appena,
     Non ho voce, non ho lena,
     L' alma in sen mancando và--

which carries the expression of long-restrained feeling to its highest
point. Throughout a restless, hurrying Allegro agitato (6-8) the voice
has almost always interrupted passages, and seldom tries its powers in a
sustained note or a melodious phrase. The orchestra remains in continual
motion; at first a tender violin passage is introduced, then the oboes
and bassoons alternate with each other, and with the voice. The whole is
a single continuous thread of lovely melody and richly varied harmony,
with one fundamental idea as its starting-point, and upon it rests the
magic of grace and beauty. To the expression of excited passion follows
that of resignation; both are manifestations of a nature tender and
noble indeed, but neither grand nor strong.

Mozart's correct judgment led him to moderate the expression of passion
in Sandrina to a degree befitting the heroine of a comic opera, while
giving due prominence to her dignity and grace when she appears as the
gardener's girl. She displays her true self most unreservedly in the
cavatina (11) in which she bewails her unhappy love:--

     Geme la tortorella
     Lungi dalla compagna,
     Del suo destin si lagna
     E par, che in sua favella
     Vogli destar pietà.
     Io son la tortorella, &c.

Sonnleithner has noted the happy effect produced by the entrance of the
voice, not at the beginning of the theme, but a little behind it, as if
roused from abstraction:--



[See Page Image] A gentle spirit, not altogether lost in sadness, yet
not able entirely to throw it off, is in Sandrina united to tender
womanly grace, and both find due expression in the music. Even when she
plays the gardener's girl, she does it with pleasant mirth never sinking
to vulgarity. The air (4) in which she undertakes the defence of women
against men to Ramiro (a rondo with a lively coda, 6-8), is gay and
sparkling, but not very pronounced in tone.

When she seeks by her cajoleries to appease the sulky Podestà without
exactly telling him that she loves him, she reveals a certain amount
of coquetry, and in her exaggerated expressions of dismay at his
reproaches, approaches the buffo character; but even here the
moderation, delicacy, and grace of Sandrina's character is in strong
contrast to that of Serpetta.

Both the comic and the pathetic aspects are combined in the Contino
Belfiore, whose burlesque character appears to have been excellently
represented by the buffo Rossi. His attempt on Violante's life sets him
before us as a man of passion; the wavering of his inclinations between
Arminda and Violante is the less comical, since he expresses his
admiration of Arminda's beauty with simple and manly



dignity (6), but gives vent to his love for Sandrina, whom he recognises
as Violante, in a fine outburst of true emotion. The conclusion of this
song (15), being buffo in character, readjusts the situation. He has not
remarked that Sandrina has gone out, and the Podestà taken her place,
and he seizes the hand of the Podestà to kiss it; his confusion and
annoyance required comic expression. He takes part elsewhere in comic
scenes and situations; but his first appearance as a vain, supercilious
coxcomb is misleading and inconsistent, and only intended to give
occasion for a grand buffo air (8). The pride and loquacity with which
Belfiore details his genealogy are wittily rendered by Mozart; but as
a buffo song this evident concession to the taste of the singer and the
public is without marked individuality. Still less happy is the idea of
making the Contino, and afterwards Sandrina, go crazy. Madness is only
representable in music in so far as sympathy with it as a misfortune can
be aroused, which deprives it of any comic effect; the absurdities which
excite to laughter cannot be rendered musically, and only in rare
cases can music produce an analogous effect. In the second finale, when
Sandrina and Belfiore, surrounded by bitter enemies, suddenly imagine
themselves Arcadian shepherds, and sing shepherd songs, a contrast might
be produced which would at least support the idea of insanity. But
their mythological illusions: "Io son Medusa orribile! Io son Alcide
intrepido!" could not be expressed by the music. In the terzet (24)
Nardo, in order to escape the importunities of the crazy pair, points
towards heaven, and tells them with increasing animation how the sun and
moon quarrel, and the stars engage in love adventures; when he has set
the pair gazing fixedly upwards, he makes off. Broadly represented,
this gay, lively terzet must have made an effect, but it would have been
equally comic had Nardo fixed their attention on anything else, since
the effect depends on the vivacity and humour with which the composer
grasps the situation, and withdraws the attention of the audience from
the nonsense which the poet has put into the mouths of the characters.

But even this was impossible in the accompanied recitative during which
Belfiore loses his senses before the eyes of the



audience (19). At first, when he is beset by contending emotions, music
is in its place; when he believes himself to be dead and in Elysium,
Mozart has certainly constructed a characteristic, well-rounded
movement, but a specific expression of the illusion it is not and cannot
be. The song in which, restored to his senses, he expresses his joy at
still living (in tempo di minuetto) is lively, and appeals to the senses
like dance music, but after what has gone before it makes no comic

The first bar of this--[See Page Image] reminds us, as Sonnleithner has
remarked, both of the minuet and trio of the Symphony in D major (385
K.), and of a couple of bars in the first allegro of the Symphony in E
flat major (543 K.).

The Podestà is a genuine buffo, proud, amorous, consequential in virtue
of his office, easily excited, easily perplexed, but good-natured
at bottom; the genuine type of a comic old man; there was probably a
personal reason for making this character tenor instead of bass, though
the course was not an unusual one.[24] The musical conception of the
character is that of the traditional buffo. The first air (3) depicts,
according to a fashion of the time, different instruments which are
heard in the orchestra in a concerted accompaniment. This song has
nothing in common with the situation or with the character of the
Podestà, and is an interpolation for the German version.

The Italian text contains a song for Sandrina, "Dentro il mio petto io
sento," which Mozart composed, as we learn from a letter of his father's
(December 2, 1780), who had it copied for Schikaneder. The other two
songs (17, 25) are genuine buffo--lively, rapidly uttered--a continual
struggle between false dignity, anger, vexation, and perplexity.

The servants are also, according to custom, comic



personages. Serpetta contrasts with Sandrina in want of refinement;
disappointed in her hopes of the Podestà, she becomes envious and
spiteful to every one, and especially to her lover, Nardo. Besides a
neat, pretty little song, of which each character sings a verse (9),
she has two songs (10, 20) of a distinctly soubrette character, gay and
pleasing, not without grace, but as yet without the delicate wit with
which Mozart later endowed his soubrettes.

Nardo, as the attached and faithful servant of Violante, displays an
address which is inconsistent with his röle of the simple lover who
pursues Serpetta in spite of all her ill-treatment. The first words of
the mock-heroic air (5), "A forza di martelli il ferro si riduce," have
suggested an accompaniment--[See Page Image] which gives the song a
peculiarly rhythmical character. In the second air (14) the rondo form
is employed with striking effect. Nardo seeks to win Serpetta's hand by
compliments in different languages and styles, which form alternating
interludes to the main theme; this is pretty enough, but the other jokes
are obsolete.

The ensembles are of a far higher character than the solos, both as
regards characterisation and musical execution.

The introduction is immediately connected with the overture, and borrows
its lively chorus from the third movement, but its development is
completely independent. The overture itself consists of an Allegro
molto, precise in its subjects and execution, but fresh and cheerful,
and of a somewhat tedious Andante grazioso.

Sandrina, Serpetta, Ramiro, the Podestà, and Nardo, are discovered
in the garden, awaiting the arrival of the wedding guests, and their
festive mood is expressed by a joyous choral movement. Then each
character in a short soliloquy explains the position of affairs, and
indicates the main elements of the plot. In these soli, which pass from
one to the other in the same tempo, and without a pause, Mozart



has displayed his rare power of individualisation, and without the
sacrifice of interdependence in the parts of a great whole. The
moonstruck Ramiro, the amorous Podestà, the excitable, prying
Serpetta--each is admirably touched off, without any disregard to
unity of tone. The repetition of the first chorus, with which the piece
concludes, is led up to by the accompaniment, and the whole forms as
complete a musical rendering of the text as was possible.

The later ensembles belong immediately to the action of the piece. At
the close of the third act Sandrina and Belfiore awake from refreshing
sleep healed of their madness. Belfiore seeks acceptance of Sandrina,
who now acknowledges herself to be Violante, but she, abashed at his
declarations of love, bids him depart, and prepares to go herself.
Neither, however, can summon resolution to part, and after several
attempts, they sink at last in one another's arms, forgetful of all but
their newly found happiness. This situation, somewhat coarsely rendered
by the poet, has been transformed by the composer into an admirable
piece of character-painting (27). A long accompanied recitative passes
into an elaborate and effective Adagio, in which professions of love
alternate with reproaches. The Andantino (3-8), which follows is lighter
in tone, and well expresses alternations of repulsion and attraction.
The oboes are employed with a charming effect of longing appeal to
the words: "_Cont_. Lei mi chiàma?--_Sandrina_. Signor, nö. Lei
ritoma?--_Cont._ Oibö, oibö!" Finally, the joy of the united pair flows
forth in an Allegro, which gives full opportunity for display on the
part of the singers. Especially to be admired is the art with which the
intense and genuine expression of emotion is tempered by the timidity of
the Count and the coquetry of Sandrina, in a happy union of the pathetic
and the comic which keeps the whole within the limits of' opera buffa.
The rapid winding-up of the plot in the recitative dialogue, and the
short animated ensemble with which the opera concludes (28) are no doubt
intended not to weaken the effect of the great duet.

The finales (12, 22) of the first and second acts are masterpieces; the
separate characters act and react on each other



in a way which is admirably true to life. Two conditions are essential
to the elevation of such pieces into musical works of art; important
points in the action or the characters must be brought out by prominent
motifs, and the fundamental idea of the situation must be grasped and
maintained in one motif which shall serve as a clue to the whole.

The task of the musician is the combination and elaboration of the
detached elements into an interdependent whole, in which the laws of
musical and dramatic art are in unconscious harmony; the master makes
good his claim to the title by the depth with which he grasps the idea,
by the delicacy with which he apportions the claims of individuals to
independence, and by the strength and truth with which he gives life
to his creations. Mozart's genius amply satisfies all these conditions.
When there are few characters, and they are consequently brought nearer
together, the characteristics of each are sharper and more detailed; but
when the relations of the characters to each other are more involved,
the musical grouping becomes more careful, so that, just as in an
architectural masterpiece, the parts are merged in the whole. Each motif
has its own peculiar expression, but is capable of such manifold effects
of light and shade, that an oft-used motif in a new combination is as
effective as if it appeared for the first time.

The form and style of opera buffa are maintained in all essential
points, but with great freedom of treatment. The usual means are
employed of the repetition of a short phrase with increasing intensity,
the _parlando_ while the orchestra carries on the motif, the comic
effect produced by rapid speaking, sudden pauses, strong contrasts, &c.;
but to these are added many traits of original invention.

In the earlier operas the boy's skill in the management of accepted
forms was what we had chiefly to notice; here for the first time we
are amazed at the originality of his musical powers. The wealth
of characteristic, well-moulded, well-rounded melodies is quite as
surprising as the organic dependence in which they mutually stand
related to each other, not merely joined together. This fertility is of



more prominent as the development of the plot renders the musical
elements more complicated; especially admirable is Mozart's power of
giving character and suggestiveness to his melodies in their first and
simplest form. One subject from the last Allegro but one of the first
finale--[See Page Image] will not fail to remind the reader of one
almost identical from the first finale of "Figaro." But if the mode of
treatment of the simple motif in the two instances be compared, it will
be clearly seen that inventive power does not consist merely in the
combination of notes. That of the later opera is of course by far
superior, but even the earlier leaves little to wish for in its wealth
of harmonic variety, in its union with other subjects, and in the effect
of climax produced by imitation in the several parts.

It may finally and with justice be maintained of the melodies of this
opera that they, as well as the whole intellectual conception, are high
above the ordinary level; their grace, delicacy, and purity--in short,
their beauty--belongs to Mozart, and to him alone.

The orchestra is treated quite otherwise than in the opera seria. The
individual peculiarity of each instrument is



brought out, and tone-colouring as a means of characterisation is
delicately and skilfully employed. In Sandrina's cavatina (22), for
instance, the fine effect of the oboe and bassoon in contrast to the
violin is due to the individualities of the instruments; in Ramiro's
song (18) the treatment of the bassoon is original; and in the first
finale an oboe solo comes in with startling effect (the Munich oboist,
Secchi, was very famous).[25] The horns are also frequently made
the means of effective tone-colouring; twice (13, 26) four horns are
employed in a minor key to heighten the effect of a dramatic climax.
More important than these detached instances is the altered relation
of the orchestra to the whole work.[26] It no longer serves as an
accompaniment in the sense of sustaining the voices and filling up
necessary pauses; it is no longer a mere adjunct to the vocal parts,
but takes its share in the effective working of the whole, filling out
details which the vocal parts leave imperfect, and obeying not so
much the requirements of the vocalist as the conditions of artistic
perfection. This altered relationship required an altered organisation;
each component part of the orchestra must have a distinct existence,
so that each, according to its place and kind, might contribute to the
general effect. The single example of the treatment of the basses will
serve to make this clear. Hitherto the basses had served merely as the
fundamental of the melody, indispensable indeed, but often clumsy
and insignificant; but here, without losing their character as the
ground-work of harmonic elaboration, they have an independent movement;
they serve not only to support the superincumbent mass, but their
quickening power sets in motion and gives the impulse to its formation.

By the side of these many excellencies the too great length of most of
the pieces, especially of the songs, is felt as a defect throughout; a
defect due, no doubt, to the taste of the time and to the youth of the
composer. The influence of the broader form of the opera seria, and the
pleasure of the

{"IL RE PASTORE," 1775.}


public in the mere hearing of music, were combined with the fact that
Mozart was not yet capable of that self-criticism which rejects all that
is superfluous, even when it is good in itself.

It may well be conceived that the opera was performed with extraordinary
success in Munich (1775), and that it soon attained pre-eminence among
the most admired contemporary comic operas. Nissen informs us that it
made little effect in Frankfort (1789); the clumsy German adaptation may
have been in part to blame for this; but the chief cause was doubtless
the altered taste of the public, brought about by the French operettas
and Mozart's "Entführung."


[Footnote 1: Opitz's "Dafhe" (1627) follows Rinuccini's original in fidelity to
the ancient style; a second adaptation, performed in 1672 and 1678, with
music by Gius. Peranda and G. A. Bontempi (Fürstenau, Zur Gesch. d. Mus.
in Dresden, I., pp. 234, 251, 254), is enlarged, chiefly by comic scenes
of great coarseness between Jakels the piper, Käthe the peasant-girl,
and her father Chremes. It was similarly treated in Hamburg. (Lindner,
Die erste Deutsche Oper, p. 52).]

[Footnote 2: There are two thick volumes in the collection of the King of
Saxony, containing comic scenes from nineteen operas by Al. Scarlatti,
Gasparini, Giovanni Buononcini, Luigi Manci, Gius. Aldovrandini, and
Severo de Luca.]

[Footnote 3: Grimm, Corresp. littM I., p. 203.]

[Footnote 4: Goethe, Werke, XIX., p. 421.]

[Footnote 5: Goethe's Scherz, List und Rache, is an intermezzo thus increased
(Werke, XIX., p. 421.).]

[Footnote 6: Rousseau, Dictionn. de Mus., Intermidd. C£ Hiller, Wöch. Nachr., I.,
p. 145.]

[Footnote 7: The opera bnffa had no strict rule even as to its divisions. Either
the two acts of the intermezzi were preserved, or the opera might be
divided into three or four acts.]

[Footnote 8: Mattei (Riforma del Teatro vor Metastasio, Opp. III., p. xix.): Le
com-medie (per musica) presso di noi son piene di caratteri caricati,
e la lingua specialmente Napoletana non è altro che un ammasso di
espressioni caricate; non ci è aria, in cui non si esprime o il cane, o
la gatta, o gli uccelli, o la ruota che gira o il cannone che spara, e
altre cose simili; qui troverete un ubbriaco, là un matto; qui un che
parla e sconnetta, là un che balbuttisce ec. Quelle cose son facilissime
ad esprimersi in musica (se ben gl' ignoranti le ammirano e restano
attoniti) in quella maniera stessa, ch' è facile a un pittore esprimere
un volto caricato: poichè comunque riesca il ritratto, basta, che vi
si vegga quel lungo naso, o quel occhio Iosco del principale: ognuno lo
conosce, ognuno giura chè desso.]

[Footnote 9: Arteaga's recipe for an opera buffa (Rivol., c. 15, III., p. 140.;
Part II., p. 440) may be recognised in the majority of comic opera

[Footnote 10: Goldoni, Mém., II., p. 226.]

[Footnote 11: Goethe, XIX., p. 420.]

[Footnote 12: Goethe, XIX., p. 443.]

[Footnote 13: Goethe, XIX., p. 451. Briefw. m. Zelter, II., p. 19.]

[Footnote 14: Goldoni, Mém., II., p. 305. Arteaga.]

[Footnote 15: Arteaga, Rivol., c. 13, II., p. 298; Part II. p. 263. Manfredini,
Difesa d. Mas. Mod., p. 194. Mattei, Rif. del Teatro vor Metastasio,
Opp. III., p. 37.]

[Footnote 16: Laborde, Essai, III., p. 198.]

[Footnote 17: Arteaga, c. 15, III., p. 138; Part II., p. 409.]

[Footnote 18: Burney, Reise, I., p. 229.]

[Footnote 19: Sonnleithner has furnished me with a book of the words, published
in Vienna.]

[Footnote 20: Castil-Blaze, L'Opéra Ital., p. 242.]

[Footnote 21: Director Franz Hauser possesses the copy of a score of the first
act as far as the beginning of the finale, with German words, in
which the music has undergone numerous alterations, especially with a
reference to the stronger orchestras of the present day. It is not known
by whom this arrangement was undertaken.]

[Footnote 22: Schubart, Teutsch. Chron., 1775, p. 267. Burney, Reise, II., p.
109. Mozart met her again in 1789, in Dresden, where she died at an
advanced age.]

[Footnote 23: Arteaga, Riv. del Teatro, 15, III., p. 143; Part II., p. 412.]

[Footnote 24: Arteaga, Riv. del Teatro, c. 15, III-, p. 415.]

[Footnote 25: One or two less important echoes of "Figaro" are also to be found.]

[Footnote 26: Rudhart, Gesch. d. Oper zu München, I., p. 159.]







THE last opera of the series we have been considering is the festival
opera, "Il Re Pastore," composed in honour of the Archduke Maximilian,
at Salzburg, in 1775, to the text of Metastasio (208 K.).

The characters and plot are as follows:[1]--

Alessandro, re di Macedonia.

Aminta, pastorello, amante d' Elisa, che, ignoto a se stesso, si scuopre
poi l' unico legittimo erede del regno di Sidone.

Elisa, nobile ninfa di Fenicia, dell' antica stirpe di Cadmo, amante d'

Tamiry principessa fuggitiva, figliuola del tiranno Stratone; in abito
di pastorella, amante di Agenore.

Agenore, nobile di Sidone, amico di Alessandro, amante di Tamiri.

Alexander having conquered Sidon and slain the tyrant Strabo, determines
to place on the throne Abdalonymus,[2] son of the last rightful king,
who has been secretly brought up as a shepherd under the name of Aminta,
by a faithful dependent of his father.

At the opening of the piece we find him in the midst of his flocks,
while Elisa brings him the joyful tidings of the probable consent of
her parents to their union. She has scarcely left him when Alexander,
conducted by Agenore, enters, in order to convince himself if Aminta
is worthy of the throne he intends to offer him; Aminta's virtuous
moderation stands every test. While he is watering his flocks there
enters Tamiri, Strabo's daughter, disguised as a shepherdess; Agenore
extols to her Alexander's generosity, and promises to intercede on
her behalf. The assurance of his faithful love consoles her, and she
resolves to await his answer, concealed by Elisa. Elisa now enters,
bearing to Aminta her father's full consent to their union; in the midst
of their transport, Agenore makes Aminta acquainted with his destiny,
hands him the crown, and summons him to the presence of Alexander. The
lovers pledge their faith anew with much rejoicing.

In the second act, Elisa and Tamiri come to the camp of Alexander,
in order to see their lovers. Tamiri, unable to overcome her fear,
withdraws; Elisa seeks in vain to speak to Aminta, Agenore informing her
that Aminta is occupied with more important concerns, at the same time
that he respectfully reminds Aminta, who is impatient to find Elisa,
of his duties as a monarch. At last Alexander appears and receives the
grateful homage of Aminta, who expresses most virtuous resolutions for
his future rule. On Alexander expressing regret that Tamiri should shun
his presence, Agenore takes the opportunity of acquainting Alexander
with her near approach. To Agenore's dismay Alexander resolves to unite
her with Aminta. With the idea, however, that this will conduce to
Tamiri's happiness, Agenore controls his desires, and counsels Aminta
to renounce Elisa. Before the unwilling lover is convinced, Tamiri and
Elisa enter, and, seeing their lovers stand confused and silent, believe
them to be faithless.

At the opening of the third act, Aminta, after many scruples, informs
Agenore of his determination to fulfil the duty which he believes
himself to owe to Alexander. These tidings are carried by Agenore to
Elisa, who refuses to doubt Aminta's truth, and will not be persuaded
that submission to her fate will best prove her love for Aminta.
Agenore's own constancy is put to a severer test when Tamiri vehemently
accuses him of having deserted her for Aminta's sake, but he remains

Then there appears before Alexander, who is preparing for the
celebration of the union, first Tamiri, who declares her love for
Agenore, and refuses to break her faith with him, even for the sake of a
throne; then Elisa, who tells the claims she has on Aminta's heart;
and finally Aminta himself, dressed as a shepherd, returns his crown
to Alexander, being unable to renounce Elisa's love. Moved by all this
nobleness and devotion, Alexander unites the lovers, reinstates Aminta
as King of Sidon, and promises to conquer another realm for Agenore.

{"IL RE PASTORE," 1775.}


Metastasio wrote this opera in 1751 for performance at court by four
maids of honour and a cavalier;[3] he paid due regard to fitting
costumes, and to the virtue and nobility of each character.[4] The
pains he took at the rehearsals were requited;[5] Bono's music was
excellent,[6] the scenery and costumes most brilliant, the noble
performers acquitted themselves to perfection, and all was applause and
approbation.[7] No wonder that he recommended the piece to Farinelli as
a suitable festival opera;[8] it has, in fact, been composed very often

It was considerably curtailed for representation at Salzburg. The
second and third acts were compressed into one, whereby not only was the
dialogue abridged, but several songs were omitted without serious injury
to the text. There were other small alterations and some few additions,
but nothing essential was disturbed. Instead of Aminta's first air (act
1, sc. 2) another was introduced with an accompanied recitative, and
before the duet at the end of the first act an accompanied recitative
was omitted. Instead of the short concluding chorus, a kind of finale
was inserted, in which soli and tutti alternate. The part of Agenore was
given to a tenor,[10] Aminta to the male soprano Consoli; beyond this we
know nothing of the cast or of the performance.

Mozart's composition, of which the original score in two volumes of 284
pages has been preserved, has the same finish of execution and invention
which was so marvellously seen in the "Finta Giardiniera"; but the
conventionalities of form are far more of a hindrance here than in the



work. No scope was allowed for dramatic force or true passion; the
work must be kept strictly within the limits of the festival opera. The
Salzburg singers too, seem to have preferred the beaten track to any
extraordinary displays of skill.

This is most apparent in the tenor part of Alexander. His three songs,
whose commonplace virtuous reflections give little scope for musical
treatment, have, like the regular bravura songs, a long ritornello,
bravura passages, the shake at the end, the usual cadenza. In details,
the effort to metamorphose the form is apparent; the second part appears
as a second subject, and the passages are made more interesting by their
harmonic treatment, and by the prominence given to the accompaniment.
The melodies are better built up, they have more musical substance;
the accompaniment takes up detached portions of the chief melodies, and
gives a firmer connection to the parts. The words of the first air
(4) give occasion for some of the then favourite musical painting;
lightning, thunder, and rain are depicted by the orchestra, but
without undue prominence. The second air (9) is interesting through the
obbligato treatment of the wind instruments, the flute competing with
the voice in passages. Joh. Bapt. Becke (b. 1743), who had been trained
under Wendling to become an admirable flautist, was summoned from Munich
for this performance. The third air (13) is in the serious conventional
style, not wanting in dignity.

More individuality is given to the parts of Aminta and Elisa; at first
the prevailing element is pastoral, as was usual in festival operas. The
overture, consisting of one movement (Molto allegro) leads directly to
Aminta's first song (1), by a pleasant pastoral melody. It is a simple
shepherd's song characterised by its 6-8 time, and by the flute and
horn accompaniment. For the better contentment of the singer (the
soprano Consoli from Munich), his second song is a genuine bravura (3).
In its division into a brilliant Allegro aperto (4-4), and an elegant
Grazioso (3-8), as well as in details, the old style is apparent; but
all is so much freer, fuller, and, in spite of its fragmentary



construction, so much more connected, that one feels a new spirit
floating through the obsolete forms. Aminta's last air (10), when he
declares himself true to his love, shakes itself quite loose from the
fetters. It has the rondo form; the principal theme, twice relieved by
an interlude, recurs three times, and winds up with a coda. The beauty
of this cantilene is enhanced by a violin solo (written doubtless
for Brunetti) equally simple and tuneful in style. The muted strings
accompany the principal subject with a slightly agitated passage; the
wind instruments (two flutes, two English horns, two bassoons, and two
horns) are treated independently, and as delicately and tenderly as the
tone of the piece requires.

Elisa's first song (2) unites in a singular degree the pastoral with the
bravura character: the noble lady depicts the happiness of living as a
shepherdess near her beloved Aminta. The traditional form has been
so skilfully modified, and an almost playful grace is so freshly and
charmingly expressed, that this song may justly be placed on a level
with some of Mozart's later concert songs. The second air (8) is more
strictly according to rule; the situation does not lend itself to
freedom of treatment, and Mozart has contented himself with composing a
harmonious and effective song.

The duet between Elisa and Aminta at the close of the first act (7) is
light and pleasing, surpassing former efforts of the same kind in its
clever management of the voices and in the originality of its subject.
It is a charming idea and an appropriate one, to carry on the subject of
the Andante with altered rhythm into the Allegro.

The parts of Tamiri and Agenore are quite secondary, scarcely more than
stop-gaps. Tamiri's first air (6) is a bravura song of the ordinary
type, the second (11) is almost soubrette-like in its airy lightness.
Agenore's first air (5) is tender and pleasing, not much in accord with
the situation. His second air (12) is pathetic, in a minor key, and
stands alone of its kind. Restless agitation is portrayed by a varied
and striking harmony, emphasised by



strongly accented chords for the wind instruments--four horns besides
oboes and bassoons. But neither the character of Agenore nor the
moralising words give any opening for pathos.

The finale consists of a brilliant four-part tutti movement, which is
repeated entire, or in part, several times; passages for single voices
are inserted, alternating cleverly and with a pleasing effect.

Mozart's evident longing to break loose from the fetters of
conventionality and tradition is nowhere more apparent than in the
accompaniment and in the orchestral movements, where we find a fulness
and freedom of thought hitherto only shown in detached passages. Even
when the old fashion is retained of employing only oboes and horns,
there is an evident appreciation of the special powers of the
instruments expressed, it may be, in a few notes. The orchestra has its
own significance, and Mozart turns to account his intimate knowledge of
the orchestra of opera seria. Trifling as these instrumental effects may
appear, the main point, that instrumental music was henceforth to
take an active part both in serious and comic opera, was one of great
importance in the history of their development.


[Footnote 1: Metastasio cites Justinian (XI., 10) and Curtius (IV., 3), who
relate that Alexander set on the throne of Sidon a distant descendant of
the royal house, Abdalonymus, who was living in poverty as a gardener,
but who was worthy of the honour by reason of his beautiful form and
noble mind.]

[Footnote 2: The care with which Metastasio avoids this discordant name (un nome
ipocondriaco) is characteristic. (Cf. Opp. post., II., pp. 12, 35.)]

[Footnote 3: Metastasio, Opp. post., II., p. 34.]

[Footnote 4: Cf. Grimm, Corresp. litt., VI., p. 17.]

[Footnote 5: Metastasio, Opp. post., II., p. 33.]

[Footnote 6: Metastasio, p. 31.]

[Footnote 7: Metastasio, p. 34, cf. p. 4.]

[Footnote 8: Metastasio, p. 30.]

[Footnote 9: By Sarti, 1752; Jomelli, 1755; Hasse, Gluck (Metastasio, lett. V.,
p. 35), 1756; Guglielmi, 1767.]

[Footnote 10: Metastasio himself counselled Farinelli to make this alteration.
(Opp. post., II., p. 31.)]





WE must here cast a glance at a number of separate songs composed by
Mozart, either for insertion in operas or for performance at concerts.

The earliest of them, composed for the two Licenze at Salzburg (p. 99),
and those belonging to the first Italian journey, call for no special
remark. Yet there occurs in the air composed at Rome, "Se tutti i mali
miei" (183 K.), a change of key produced by enharmomic progression which
deserves to be noticed:--

{BUFFO SONGS, 1775-76.}


[See Page Image] No such songs are known to belong to the years
immediately following, but in 1775 we find several composed at Salzburg,
probably for performance by foreign vocalists visiting the city. Two
tenor airs belong to May, 1775. In one of them, described as "Aria
buffa" (210 K.) the singer is supposed to be flattering some one to his
face with the greatest fluency, while he makes all sorts of rude remarks

     Con ossequio, con rispetto
     Io m' inchio e mi profondo
     A un sapiente si perfetto,
     Che l' egual non v' è nel mondo,
     E l' eguale non verrà--
     Per l' orgoglio e l' ignoranza e la gran bestialità.

The orchestra maintains a single theme (Allegro assai) without
intermission, and the voice is almost throughout _parlando_ in rapid
vivacity; the union of a certain amount of dignity with burlesque
fluency of tongue is very comical, the whole song being simply conceived
and easily and consistently worked out. This song could only have been
meant for performance on the stage, and the second (209 K.), "Si mostra
la sorte propizia all' amante," is scarcely of importance enough for a
concert-room. It is the complaint of a bashful lover, but has so little
pathos as to be only



suitable for opera buffa. It is simple both in design and execution, and
may have been inserted to suit the powers of some singer in the place of
another song. It was no doubt also for insertion in an opera buffa that
an air for Dorina (217 K.), "Voi avete un cor fidele," was composed
(October 26, 1775); it is in the style of a soubrette, superior to those
of its kind in the "Finta Giardiniera," and equal to Despina's songs
in "Cosi fan tutti." An Andantino grazioso and an Allegro, the latter
considerably elaborated, are both repeated, then a few bars of the
Andantino recur, and the whole is wound up by rather a long Coda in
allegro. The exact repetition of both movements makes the effect of
the whole somewhat stiff, but the details are fresh, animated, and very

The tone of melting tenderness at the beginning, the mocking _parlando_
of the questions, and finally the fervency of the words, "Ah! non
credo," are so strikingly expressed, and the whole effect is so cheerful
and even droll, that we cannot fail to recognise the hand of a master
of his art. The subjects and the passages in the allegro are neat and
graceful, and the orchestral parts are lively and appropriate.

A tenor song (256 K.), "Clarice cara mia sposa," composed for Signor
Palmini, September, 1776, is a true theatrical buffo air, and
bears lively testimony to Mozart's comic talent. A Capitano prates
nonsensically, with much swagger, of how he will have his own way in
spite of everybody; a Don Timoteo seeks in vain to interrupt the flow
of his talk, which seems to run over in an unintermittent succession of
triplets falling like heavy rain, and, as it were, drenching the hearer
in an instant.

The monotonous _parlando_ is provided with just so much of melody as
to indicate that it is sung, not spoken. The orchestra maintains a very
simple subject--[See Page Image] with varied harmonies, in a light, even
sketchy manner, but with considerable musical interest. Even the few
words in

{ALTO SONG, 1776.}


recitative, thrown in by Don Timoteo, do not allow the singer to take
breath, and only serve to make the next paroxysm still more comical.

Another song, composed in the same month for the alto Fortini, may have
been intended for performance at a concert. Mozart justly considered
this song worthy to live, for he writes from Vienna (April 12, 1783)
to beg that the rondo for an alto voice may be sent to him which he had
composed when the Italian troupe were at Salzburg. The idea is the usual
one of the leave-taking of a disconsolate lover. The introduction is a
not very long, but an expressive recitative. The transition from this
to the air itself is charming and very touching; it is the involuntary
expression of the pain of parting welling out from the innermost depths
of the heart:--[See Page Image]

Both the movements of the song, Andante moderato and Allegro assai,
are repeated; then the Andante recurs for the third time, makes its way
through an Allegretto to the Allegro assai, and from this a subject is
selected, which leads through an effective crescendo to a pause on the



seventh. Then the opening bars of the Andante are repeated, stop short,
and the song is rapidly concluded 'by the Allegro. The hesitation and
irresolution of the lover, who cannot bring himself to depart,
find ready expression in this change of movement. A deep, calm, and
restrained emotion, corresponding admirably to the character of an alto
voice, is well portrayed by the simple, unornamented song, interrupted
only by the stronger accents of intense grief. The orchestral
accompaniment is so managed as skilfully to heighten the peculiar effect
of an alto voice.

Repeated mention is made in the letters of the year 1777, and
afterwards, of a scena composed for Madame Duschek.[1] In the summer of
1777, Josepha Duschek, a singer and pianoforte-player of celebrity, and
a young, vivacious woman, came for a visit from Prague to Salzburg. The
foundation was laid of a friendship with Wolfgang, of which we shall
frequently have occasion to speak. The scena in question is probably the
grand aria of Andromeda (272 K.), "Ah, lo previdi," belonging to August,
1776, not long before his departure from Salzburg, and one of the
greatest compositions of the kind. An agitated recitative is followed
by a long, elaborate Allegro, expressive of the passion of a brave and
noble mind. Scorn for perfidy overpowers even pain at the loss of the
beloved one; tones which seem to scorch and wither pour forth like
glowing metal on the betrayer; then comes a subject which has already
made itself heard more than once in the orchestra as a cry of suppressed
pain, and this leads to a gentler mood; grief for the lost love is
expressed in a beautiful recitative, and dies away into calm and
composed melancholy with a Cavatina, which concludes the scena.

The psychological truth of the details, the blending of the transitions,
the unity of the tone, are qualities quite as much to be admired in this
song as the musical originality and skill



displayed in its composition. The last movement is perhaps a little
spun out; although the strain of long-continued violent emotion seems to
require a correspondingly gradual cessation.

The orchestra is as simply managed as in the earlier songs; for wind
instruments only horns, bassoons and oboes are employed, with,
more seldom, flutes; in the recitatives there are only stringed

It is indicative of the taste of the time that among so many vocal
compositions the song proper (_lied_) seldom or never appears. Five very
simple Lieder with clavier accompaniments belong to the earlier Salzburg
epoch (147-151 K.); they are more pedantic than any other of the
compositions, and interest us chiefly through the words by Günther and
Canitz, which Mozart has selected for composition.

HE years of Mozart's development at Salzburg were fruitful not only of
operatic compositions, but of others which arose from the circumstances
of his residence there. First among these stands church music.

Church music had long been fostered at Salzburg, and was especially
encouraged by Archbishop Sigismund; his severe and world-contemning
piety caused him to keep the service of the church continually before
the eyes both of singers and composers. The prospect of a moderate
pension induced many clever artists to settle in Salzburg, in spite
of the poor payment they received for their services. Sigismund's

Hieronymus, extended his parsimony even to the members of the Kapelle,
whom he estranged by his overbearing manners; on the whole, music rather
declined than advanced under his rule,[3] although he cared more than
Sigismund for the splendour of his court.[4]


[Footnote 1: His father tells him (December 15, 1780) that Fr. Duschek considered
herself indebted to him for the former song, and pressed for another,
which he had refused as impossible at that time.]

[Footnote 2: A song (119 K.) printed only with German words, "Der Liebe
himmlisches Gefuhl," is a bravura song in the old style, of undoubted
early Italian origin.]

[Footnote 3: [Koch-Stemfeld] Die leiten dreissig Jahre des Erzbisthums Salzburg,
p. 255. Cf. Burney, Reise, III., p. 260. Schubart, Aesthetik, p. 157.]

[Footnote 4: Cf. "Nachricht von dem gegenwartigen Zustande der Musik St.
Hoch-furstlichen Gnaden des Erzbischofs zu Salzburg im Jahre 1757,"
in Marpurg's Krit. Beitr., III., p. 183, probably by L. Mozart. Many
notices are given in the Mozart correspondence. Ben. Pillwein's
Lexikon Salzburgischer Künstler (Salzburg, 1821), and the Biographien
Salzburgischer Tonkünstler (Salzburg» 1845), are too superficial for





FIFTEEN choristers were maintained at the cost of the Archbishop in the
Kapellhaus, and educated by



special instructors. They afterwards entered the choir as singers or
passed into the service of the court; if they showed extraordinary
talent, they were sent to finish their training in Italy, and then took
their place as solo singers.[3] Archbishop Sigis-mund allowed the male
sopranos to die out, and did not replace them with others; on the other
hand he sent the daughter of the cathedral organist, Maria Magd. Lipp,
to be educated as a singer in Italy, and on her return in 1762 he
appointed her court singer; she soon afterwards married Michael Haydn,
lately arrived at Salzburg. In 1778 Hieronymus again took a male soprano
into his service, Ant. Ceccarelli, a singer of moderate powers and bad
moral character.

The orchestra belonging to the choir was an ample one for the time, and
was strengthened by a trumpet band for the support of the voices in the
church. There were further two bands of six trumpets and drums, which
did not properly belong to the court, but to the chamberlain's office,
and which ranked between the equerries and the lackeys.[4] But no one
was taken into this service who could not also, at need, strengthen the
stringed instruments.

In 1762, when Lolli was kapellmeister, and Leopold Mozart
vice-kapellmeister, Joh.Michael Haydn[5] (1737-1806), the younger
brother of Joseph, was appointed concertmeister and director of the
orchestra, on the recommendation of a



nephew of Archbishop Sigismund, at Grosswardein, where Haydn had been
kapellmeister since 1757. The personal intercourse between the families
of Haydn and Mozart was not over friendly. Haydn was fond of sitting
over a glass of beer or wine, which was all the more reprehensible in
the sight of the temperate and conscientious Mozart, since it caused
frequent neglect of duty.

"Who do you think," he writes to Wolfgang (December 29,1777), "is
appointed organist at the Holy Trinity? Herr Haydn! Every one laughs.
He is an expensive organist; after every litany he drinks a quartern of
wine, and he sends Lipp to the extra services, who drinks too." (June
29, 1778): "This afternoon Haydn played the organ for the litany and the
Te Deum (at which the Archbishop was present), but so badly that we were
all horrified.... Haydn will drink himself to death soon; or at least,
being lazy enough already, he will become still lazier the older he

The conduct of Frau Haydn also must have been objectionable. Wolfgang
writes mockingly to Bullinger (August 7, 1778): "It is quite true that
Haydn's wife is ill; she has carried her rigours too far; there are few
like her! I only wonder that she has not lost her voice long ago through
her constant scourgings, wearing of sackcloth, prolonged fasts, and
midnight prayers." Neither was Haydn's cultivation such as to cause L.
Mozart to wish for nearer intercourse between the families. "I should
like to hear him speak Italian in Italy," he writes (December 4,
1777); "the people would certainly say, 'Questo è un vero Tedesco!"'[7]
Personal difference and trifling jealousies, such as easily arise in
small communities, may have had some influence on this unfavourable
criticism of Michael Haydn; it did not extend, however, to his merits as
an artist. It is true that L. Mozart was of opinion when Michael Haydn,
in 1787, composed the opera "Andromeda e Perseo," that he had no talent



dramatic music, and that his principal songs might have been written for
a choir-boy. But he praised, in strong terms, the _entr'acte_ music
for Zaire, which Haydn had composed in 1777, and analysed it carefully,
telling his son that the Archbishop had done him the honour to say to
him at table, that he could not have believed Haydn capable of composing
such music; and that instead of beer he should drink nothing but
Burgundy. Haydn received a reward of six kronthaler (October 1 and
October 9, 1777). But when L. Mozart writes to his son: "Herr Haydn is a
man whose musical merits you will not deny" (September 24, 1778), he
is referring to his church music, which Wolfgang was in the habit
of copying for study. Writing from Vienna, he asks for "small paper,
Eberlin's Counterpoint, bound in blue, and some of Haydn's things";[8]
and shortly after (March 12, 1783): "The 'Tres sunt' (M. Haydn's) is
in score, in my handwriting." He wanted these things for the Sunday
performances at Van Swieten's, and asked also for Michael Haydn's latest
fugue. "The 'Lauda Sion,'" he writes (March 12, 1783), "was a great
success; the fugue, 'In Te Domine speravi,' was much admired, as also
the 'Ave Maria' and 'Tenebrae.'" Among Mozart's remains were found
two fugues, 'Pignus futuræ gloriæ,' copied by his own hand from Michael
Haydn's Litanies.



The cathedral organist, appointed in 1751, was Anton Cajetan Adlgasser
(1728--1777), a pupil of Eberlin, who had been sent by the Archbishop to
study in Italy, a first-rate organ-player and accompanist, whose
sacred compositions were afterwards performed and highly appreciated
at Salzburg. Less remarkable was the second organist, Franz Ign. Lipp,
Haydn's father-in-law.

The kapellmeister and organist did not confine themselves to conducting
performances of church music: they made it a point of honour to
provide suitable music for special festival occasions. At such time new
compositions were considered indispensable; indeed, throughout the year
a constant variety of music was sought to be provided. This activity in
church music was of the greatest service to young composers, who
never wanted an opportunity for bringing out new compositions, nor for
learning by hearing and comparing.

It was not the less beneficial in the way of training that they were
obliged to keep within the limits of certain clearly defined forms,
and to be content with the often scanty means which they found ready
to hand. Through the influence of transmitted customs and individual
peculiarities, as well as of the taste of those in authority, local
traditions grew up, whose narrow rules hindered freedom of development.
Such control is most irksome in church matters, wherein all, even
what is in itself unimportant, must be considered as partaking of the
sanctity of the whole. The counterbalancing gain of such training is
technical finish, the indispensable foundation for the development of
genius, with which alone can any effort to break loose from what is
false in tradition be successful.

Mozart found the rules and forms of church music as clearly defined as
those of the opera. Both had been formed in the Neapolitan school,
and the impulses given up each had been in the same direction. The
turning-point was the introduction of melodies which had their own
significance as expressions of emotion, without regard to their harmonic
or contrapuntal treatment. No sooner had melody gained recognition in
opera and cantata, as the natural and



legitimate form of musical expression, than it made a way for itself into the
church by means of oratorio. The simple grandeur of the older church
music (particularly that of the Roman school, with Palestrina as its
representative) depended chiefly on the fact that the chorus of
voices was treated as an organic whole, of which no one part could be
recognised as a distinct entity apart from the rest. The impression made
by such music resembles that of the sea. Wave follows upon wave, and
each one seems to be like the last; yet underlying the apparent monotony
there exists an ever-varied life, an invincible strength, manifesting
itself alike in peaceful calm and raging storm, and filling the mind
with a sense of sublimity and grandeur, without satiety and without
fatigue. But so soon as one melody was distinguished above the rest the
union and equality of the voices was disturbed. Separate voices became
more or less prominent as occasion required; and it could not fail to
follow that the other voices should be employed merely to fill up and
support the principal melody. A certain amount of independence and
character might indeed be given to the accompanying voices by skilful
management, but the principle remains unaltered, so long as a melody and
its accompaniment are in question.

The change became more marked when instrumental music gained admission
into the church. At first the organ and trumpets were employed merely to
support and strengthen the voices. But when stringed instruments, and by
degrees the various wind instruments of the orchestra, came into use
in churches, they gradually adopted in church music, as in secular, the
part of accompaniment to the voices. This tendency was most apparent of
course in solo singing; but a manner of orchestral accompaniment to the
choruses was gradually elaborated which could not fail to influence
the treatment of the voice parts. The use of the severest contrapuntal
method had hitherto been considered an essential condition and
embellishment of church music; but on this point also an alteration of
opinion and taste gained gradual ground.

The perfection of contrapuntal treatment, consisting in the absolute
freedom and independence of the several parts,



with their due correlation, can only be obtained by strict obedience
to well-defined laws; added to which must be a firm conception of some
simple fundamental idea whose many-sided development shall give unity
and cohesion to the whole work. This form of composition is therefore
peculiarly appropriate to the delivery of serious and weighty ideas; it
is however but a form, and can be endued with life and significance only
by the matter which it contains, and by the spirit which animates it.
In old times the madrigal served to illustrate contrapuntal forms in
secular music; and even in the present day canons and fugues, sometimes
with comic effect, sometimes giving expression to very varied emotions,
are often so skilfully constructed that the uninitiated have no
suspicion of the artistic learning with the effect of which they are
charmed. Although counterpoint is in itself neither spiritual nor
ecclesiastical, it is conceivable that in proportion as secular music
freed itself from the trammels, the error should arise of imagining
severity of form and structure to be peculiarly appropriate to church
music. This identification of counterpoint with ecclesiastical ideas
caused its development to proceed side by side with those other forms
which had made good their footing in church music. The opposition which
was felt to exist between severe methods and methods not severe led to
a compromise; certain parts of the liturgical text were treated
contrapuntally, and others freely. The proportions depended greatly on
personal and local influences, but the main points of the division were
decided by the Neapolitan school.

The moral tendency of this change of construction must not be
overlooked. The free treatment of melody gave to subjective emotion,
with its ever-varying alternations, a suitable method of musical
expression, and an art which was developing in this direction must have
had extraordinary influence. The effort to make church music subject to
this influence was the necessary consequence of a newly awakened life in
art. The musician felt himself impelled to represent religious emotion
in its full strength and truth, and with all the means at his command;
the liturgy called forth the expression of the liveliest and most
passionate emotion, it



offered opportunities for representing the most vivid dramatic
situations; even the glory of worship called on its votaries to bring
the splendour of music, as well as of painting and sculpture, into the
Divine service. But the direction taken by the intellectual progress
of that time, especially in Italy, was fraught with the dangers which
invariably threaten an art which is struggling to free itself from
tradition. The Church was tolerant towards the aspirations of art, so
long as they afforded an effective means for her glorification, but she
sternly repressed any efforts to break loose from the fetters of her
ordinances and customs. On the other hand, men rejoiced in what had
been so easily and rapidly gained, and satisfied themselves with the
superficial freedom which they had attained. Proportionally was the
development of a formalism in accordance with the Italian character,
which seeks for beauty always in set forms, and demanded the adoption of
such forms by church music. The opera was the model; thence sprang the
moral and artistic element which became manifest in the forms of church
music, appealing not so much to the faith of the congregation as to the
taste of musical connoisseurs. Any attempt to transport operatic forms
directly into church music was forbidden by the liturgical form
of Divine service, to which the music must be subordinate. But the
connection was severed with the old church modes from which ancient
church music borrowed its subjects, treating them after a long since
obsolete tone-system; and a merely devotional musical symbolism was
renounced for the freedom of original creation. For though subjects
were borrowed in later times from the old church modes, they lost their
significance when detached, and were, besides, treated according to the
new lights. Finally, the sway of the singer was mighty in church music
as elsewhere. The habit of delighting in the finished performances
of the vocalist was united with the idea that he who could most fully
satisfy the prevailing taste was also the most worthy to serve the Most
High and to exalt the glory of worship. We shall therefore find the
church music of the latter half of the eighteenth century composed
of the same materials as operatic music, and exercising much the same



The same influence which had been won by Italian operatic music in
Germany penetrated to the churches of Catholic Germany, and attained to
complete sovereignty. But there was a difference, important, though not
at the time generally or consciously felt. The conception and mode of
expression of Italian church music was, although secularised, yet in its
essence national, and in its appeals to religious emotion it might count
upon universal comprehension and sympathy.

But transplanted to Germany both the ideas and their mode of execution
were strange, and could only be adopted after a preliminary artistic
training; what in Italy had grown up in the course of national
development was transmitted to Germany as mere form. The delicate
sense of beauty and of grace, the excitable, passionate nature of the
Italians, could not be transplanted, and the external adjuncts were
even more superficially treated than on the soil from which they sprang.
Contrapuntal work, especially the fugue, was haunted by the school
traditions of church usages, which conduced to a spiritless formalism
of routine. Thus, carelessness and pedantry, superficiality and dulness
were combined, and church music declined more rapidly and visibly than
the opera. The difference between the true essence and its extinct form
is the more apparent and significant the deeper it lies; and to this
must be added the fact that the continuous demand for church music' gave
rise to the production of a mass of inferior work, from which the opera
was preserved in deference to the taste of the public. Under these
circumstances it was impossible even for a surpassing genius to do
more than distinguish himself in some particulars; the efforts of
an individual after thorough-going reform could only be successful
supported by the spirit of the age and of the nation.[9]

This general position held by church music was modified in different
regions by local peculiarities of the liturgy, by the tastes of church
authorities, and by the differences in the



musical forces at command. The peculiar circumstances under which Mozart
wrote in Salzburg are described by himself in a letter to Padre Martini
(September 4, 1776):[10]--

I live in a place where music prospers but little, although we have some
good musicians, and some especially good composers of thorough knowledge
and taste. The theatre suffers for want of singers; we have few male
sopranos, and are not likely to have more, for they require high pay,
and over-liberality is not our weak point. I busy myself with writing
church and chamber music, and we have two capital contrapuntists, Haydn
and Adlgasser. My father is kapellmeister at the metropolitan church,
which gives me the opportunity of writing as much as I like for the
church. But as my father has been thirty-six years in the service of the
court, and knows that the Archbishop does not care to have people of
an advanced age about him, he takes things quietly and devotes himself
chiefly to literature, which has always been his favourite study. Our
church music differs widely and increasingly from that of Italy.

A mass, with Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, the Sonata at the Epistle, the
Offertorium or Motett, Sanctus and Agnus Dei, must not last longer than
three-quarters of an hour, even on festivals when the Archbishop himself
officiates. This kind of composition requires special study. And yet the
mass must have all the instruments, trumpets, drums, &c. Ah, if we were
not so far from each other, how much I should have to tell you!

We have further information on the arrangements made for church music in
the cathedral.[11] "The cathedral contains a large organ at the back by
the entrance, four side organs in front of the choir, and a little choir
organ below the choir where the choristers sit. The large organ is only
used on grand occasions and for preludes; during the performance one of
the four side organs is played, generally that next to the altar on
the right side, where the solo singers and basses are. Opposite, by the
left-side organ, are the violinists, &c., and on the two other sides
are two choruses of trumpets and drums. The lower choir organ and
double-bass join in when required."[12]



Among Mozart's compositions for the Church, his masses.[13] by reason
of their importance in Divine service, take the first place.[14] In
the divisions of the several parts, we find him following in the beaten
track of the Neapolitan school. The different parts of the text coincide
with the prescribed pauses made by the officiating priest, but are
very differently worked out.[15] Where the composer has free scope,
the separate sections are usually treated as independent pieces, with
regular alternations of solo and chorus. But such elaborate masses
were only performed on solemn occasions (Missa solemnis) or through the
preference of an influential personage--they took up too much time for
the regular service.

In the short mass (Missa brevis) the larger divisions were treated in
the main as a connected musical movement of which the separate sections
were detached indeed, but not independent of each other; the degree of
connection is of course very varied.

The thrice-repeated cry, "Kyrie eleison! Christe eleison! Kyrie
eleison!" is regularly developed into a lengthy movement. It was
formerly the custom[16] to prefix a short, slow and solemn movement on
the words "Kyrie eleison," to an agitated more elaborate one[17] (49,
65,66, K.); but afterwards the whole became one movement. The prayer for
the mercy of God is animated, and though devoid of depth, never sinks to
mere trifling. A more serious mood is generally indicated by the severer
contrapuntal treatment of the voices (192, 194, 262, K). The words
"Christe eleison" are regularly accentuated, usually with an expression
of beseeching melancholy, and often by solo voices. The solo voices and
choruses generally alternate in the Kyrie.

The Gloria[18] is divided into several movements,



conformably to the successive invocations of which it consists. The
character of the whole is one of exulting praise, the tone being
indicated by the opening words, "Gloria in excelsis Deo." The effort to
express the solemn dignity of divine worship by external splendour, is
apparent in the animated, fervent, and often stately progress of this
movement. The opening subject is revived at appointed places, usually at
the Quoniam, and forms a connecting thread throughout the piece. A solo
is often introduced at the words "Lau-damus Te and, even without much
intentional expression, the four commas of the words, "Laudamus Te,
benedicimus Te, adoramus Te, glorificamus Te," form natural pauses, and
regulate the musical and rhythmical division of the passage.

But the contrast of solo and chorus is determined less by the sense of
the words than by the necessities of art, requiring variations of light
and shade. As a rule, the words of highest import are given to the
chorus; the solos serve for ornament, or as a preparation for a chorus
of renewed and increased strength.

The central point of this part of the mass is formed by the
thrice-repeated cry:--

    Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis!
    Qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram!
    Qui sedes ad dexteram patris, miserere nobis

Here we have a mood expressed of deep agitation, offering excellent
opportunity for musical treatment, both in feeling and form. The "Qui
tollis" is the nucleus of all Mozart's Glorias; he enunciates it simply
enough through the chorus, relying for effect on the charm of rich and
original harmonies, as bold in conception as they are clear and decided
in rendering. The words which follow, "Quoniam Tu solus sanctus, Tu
solus Dominus, Tu solus altissimus, Jesu Christe," are



treated as a song of praise,[19] in order to relieve the gloom of the
"Qui tollis," and to give stronger emphasis to what is to follow. For
the last words, "cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris, Amen," are
treated without regard to the context, as an independent fugue. In
Mozart's early masses the fugue is short (49, 65, K.), but they
soon became long and often elaborate (60,115,139,167,192, 262, K.).
Archbishop Hieronymus, however, had an aversion to fugues; and in
Mozart's later masses the Gloria came to an end in a short choral
passage (220, 257, 258, 259, K.).

The Credo offered the greatest difficulties to musical treatment. A long
movement, whose several parts are dependent on one emphatic verb placed
at the beginning, cannot be musically rendered in such a way that the
connection remains apparent to the hearer; each phrase disturbs the
grammatical construction of the period. In order to overcome this
difficulty the word "credo" was repeated at fitting points (192,257,
K).[20] But although logical requirements are thus to a certain degree
satisfied, the repeated "credo" does not fit into the grammatical
structure, and the contrast between the spoken and the musical
expression is in reality only intensified.

In close connection with this is the further difficulty that the
delarations of faith belong essentially to the domain of speculation,
and can rarely work directly on the feelings; neither does the form
into which they are thrown incite the fancy to musical expression.
These difficulties might be surmounted at a time when music with all
her powers and capacities placed herself unreservedly at the disposal
of worship, accepting the prescribed words with perfect faith in
their sanctity, and only anxious to give them their fullest and truest
expression. There was as little question of



individuality in art as in faith; the unquestioned law of ecclesiastical
infallibility impressed on every work the stamp of the subjection of
art to religion. Even the forms of the music followed the ancient and
hallowed traditions of the cultus, and embodied ecclesiastical formulas
in strict counterpoint. But as by degrees subjective emotion and
expression gained ground in church music, and as the old severity of
form gave place to a wealth of means and expedients, the ecclesiastical
text fell under the criticism of the musicians, who subjected it to the
test of the conditions required for the production of a perfect work of
art. Composers learned to look upon the Credo as material to be worked
up into an artistic musical form, even when it did not lend itself
easily to the process. A sort of type was gradually evolved, that was
closely adhered to in many particulars. One such, for instance, is the
strong accentuation of death in the words, "judicare vivos et mortuos,"
and "resurrectionem mortuo-rum," the tone-painting of the "descendit de
coelis," the repetition of the "non" in the words "cujus regni non
erit finis," and others of the same kind. Such an evident tendency to
emphasise details at the cost of the whole, only shows how composers
took refuge in whatever was capable of musical expression, in order to
extricate themselves as far as they could from the burden of the rest.

The main passages on which the musical strength of the Credo was
concentrated are those in which the mention of the incarnation,
crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ appeal most vividly to the
senses and the imagination. It had become customary to connect the
words, "Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de
coelis," whether made prominent by solo singing or not, with those which
preceded them, and to make a pause with "Et incarnatus."[21] These
words are generally rendered by a tender solo voice, as if they would
fain hover round the cradle of the heavenly Child, to express the
gratitude of mankind for his incarnation. Then solemnly and sadly the
chorus depicts



the deep pain of "Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus
et sepultus est," breaking out at "Et resur-rexit" &c., into joyful
trust in the resurrection. In all this Mozart's wonderful genius
succeeded in awakening imagination and emotion which, again, his
artistic moderation knew how to calm; his firm grasp of his art enabling
him to produce the most striking effect with the simplest means, and
to gather up the details, so that each sustains and elevates the other
without injuring the consistency of the whole Credo. This unusual
combination of qualities gives to this part of the mass a high degree of
artistic finish even when the treatment is most simple and confined.

The words "Et in Spiritum Sanctum" are usually given to a solo
voice,--more, however, from custom than for any special signification of
their own (49, 65, 139, K.); they are introduced by a long instrumental
prelude (262 K.). Apart from the interests of the Church, which might
have some influence here, the necessity could not but be felt for
a strong contrast between this and the following passages. For what
follows, "Et unam sanctam catholicam et apos-tolicam ecclesiam," &c.,
is given by the whole strength of the chorus. The last words, "et vitam
venturi saeculi. Amen," is again treated as a fugue. Here, again, we
find first a short fugued movement (49, 65, 192, K.), but later a long
and cleverly worked-out fugue (139, 167, 262, K.), until the influence
of Archbishop Hieronymus led to the conclusion of the Credo, like the
Gloria, in a short animated chorus (257, 258, 259, 275, K.).

Various methods were employed to gather the phrases of the Creed into a
consistent musical work. The repetition of the word "credo" (167,
257, K.), even in places where it somewhat disturbs the grammatical
construction, serves to combine the musical texture of the movements

The periodical recurrence of the musical phrase conduces to careful
mechanism, and gives opportunity for variety and increased intensity in
the treatment of the subject. Apart from this, unity is provided for
by a pregnant rhythmical passage or a carefully finished subject which
marks the beginning of the Credo, and underlies its several divisions,



forming a sort of background from which the more impressive images stand

The appropriate elaboration of this subject is the special task of the
artist, and the text is to be considered only as a _point de départ_
to it. The mode of treatment varies and is sometimes contrapuntal,
sometimes harmonic; in one part the voices predominate, in another the
instruments, in which latter case the then favourite running passage for
the violins is frequently employed.

The general character of church music was more prominently displayed
in the Creed than elsewhere. An animated and elevated frame of mind was
vividly portrayed, with more cheerfulness and brilliancy than solemnity
or earnest devotion, and only at moments does the music show a
consciousness of the deep significance of the text. Mozart pays tribute
to his time; but his artistic nature did not allow him to sink into
triviality or commonplace; symmetry, beauty, and delicacy are never
found wanting. The remaining sections of the mass lend themselves more
readily to musical treatment. They express deep and universal sentiments
in words as simple as those of the Kyrie, and musical both in sound and

The Sanctus falls naturally into three well-defined parts. The first
words, "Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth!" intended to convey an impression
of the most exalted sublimity, are generally treated as a solemn
introduction to the more animated and fervent words, "Pleni sunt coli et
terra gloria Tua." Agitation rises into joyful emotion in the Osanna, to
which the form of a short fugal movement is usually given.

The Benedictus,[22] on the other hand, strives to express the secret
thanksgiving of the heart at the coming of the Lord. A mild fervour
penetrates the simple words, which seem to cast illumining beams on
every side. Mozart's artistic originality has so clearly stamped the
impress of his genius on the traditional form of the Benedictus that
his interpretation of it has become the customary one. It is, as a rule,



to solo voices, to which more prominence is given here than elsewhere.
Now and then single voices (65,139,194, K.), but more often all
the four--now alternately, now in unison--announce the message of
consolation; obbligato organ accompaniments serve still further to mark
the prominence given to this movement (259 K.). It has a charming
effect (258 K.) when the chorus recurring at intervals during the solos
enunciates with sustained expression the word "benedictus." The Osanna
is usually repeated either entire or abridged from the Sanctus, but it
is sometimes interwoven into the Benedictus (139, 262, K.)

The last movement falls naturally into two strongly contrasting
sections. The first, expressing the sentiments of contrition, of
anguished appeal for mercy, was treated with great partiality. The cry,
"Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi," and the prayer, "miserere nobis,"
furnish a natural grouping not seldom employed for alternations of solo
and chorus; the mood expressed is very favourable to musical treatment.

The "Dona nobis pacem" is in complete contrast, and in no movement of
the mass is the alteration in the spirit of church music more apparent.
The peace which is prayed for is vividly represented, and just as vivid
is the tone of cheerful confidence with which the prayer is offered.
The devout hearer was to be dismissed with a pleasant impression on his
mind, and therefore the deep earnestness of this petition for peace was
sacrificed in order to produce a feeling of self-satisfied enjoyment.
The music of the Dona maintains throughout this cheerful tone, and
though Mozart's variety and grace are as marked and effective here as
elsewhere, even with him earnestness and depth are rarely to be met

We may now conclude this general description with a glance in detail
on Mozart's masses. We have already spoken of his first attempts. Some
unfinished masses, presumably the result of his studies under Padre
Martini, exist, bearing date 1771 and 1772. The furthest advanced, in
C major (115 K.), breaks off at the ninth bar of the Sanctus. It is
accompanied only by a figured organ bass,



and is strictly treated with the exception of the two fugues; it is
worked out in severe contrapuntal form almost throughout, as the Kyrie,
introduced by five bars of Adagio, will serve to show:--[See Page Image]

{MASS IN C MAJOR, 1772.}


The whole work reminds us forcibly of Padre Martini's church
compositions, and it is not surprising that the hand of a learner should
be here apparent. A Mass in F major (116 K.), which breaks off at the
words "sedet ad dexteram patris," is of the same kind, as well as a
Kyrie in C major (221 K.). An Osanna in C major (223 K.) and a Credo
("in remissionem" to "mortuorum") belonging to it seem also to have been
studies in counterpoint.

A Mass in C major (139 K.), probably belonging to the year 1772, is an
effort in quite another direction. Every means is employed to produce
an extraordinary effect, and it may be conjectured that this, like the
Pater Dominicus mass, was composed for some special occasion.[23] Every
section is treated as a detached independent movement.

The Kyrie begins with a slow pathetic passage in C minor, followed by
an animated allegro in C major 3-4, and by the Christe eleison as a solo
quartet, after which the Kyrie is repeated.[24] The solo voices are much
used in different combinations, apart from the short passages inserted
between the choruses. Laudamus is a duet for soprano and alto, Domine
a duet for tenor and bass, Quoniam a soprano solo, Et incarnatus a duet
for soprano and alto, Et in spiritum a tenor solo, and Benedictus a
soprano solo, to which the chorus sings Osanna. Even the Agnus Dei
begins with a tenor solo followed by a chorus; the last appeal before
the Dona is given to the solo quartet. These solo movements are well
rounded, and are both preceded and followed by long symphonies; the
effort to produce a pleasing effect is apparent in the whole work, and
a moderate amount of operatic bravura is not disdained. This brings into
stronger relief the pathos which is given to every passage capable of
it. The Qui tollis, Crucifixus, and Agnus, as well as the Kyrie, are in



minor key; striking harmonies are emphasised by means of the
accompaniment, and three trumpets contribute to the orchestral effects.
The solemn Crucifixus--[See Page Image]



follows in evident contrast immediately upon the soprano solo--[See Page
Image] whereupon the chorus and orchestra, with three trumpets, fall in.

But the youthful master does not neglect the display of his skill in
counterpoint. Besides some few instances of more or less elaborate
imitation, the two customary fugues, the first on the theme--[See Page
Image] the second "et vitam" are furnished with two subjects and every
requisite for complete fugues. It is true that the strongly contrasting
original ideas exist only as such, and form no united whole, so that
we are all the more struck by the conventional treatment of the greater
part of the work; but it must be conceded, notwithstanding, that
progress has been made, and that the power is making itself felt which,
with a wider field, shall produce better and more original work.

The mass composed in 1773 "In honorem SS. Trinitatis" (167 K.) is for
chorus alone, without any solo movements: it displays no very high aim,
but earnestness and ability throughout. The Kyrie is long and elaborate,
without any sustained subject. In the Gloria the voices sustain
the harmony, accompanied by a lively violin passage. The Credo is
interesting through the persistent attempt to mould it into a firm
musical organism. Three motifs occur quite at the beginning,
apportioned in different combinations to the voices, viz., a rhythmical,
characteristic passage--[See Page Image] a more melodious phrase--



and a running passage:--[See Page Image]



These three subjects form the essential substance of the Credo, the
first, with changing harmonies, forming the root whence the others
spring at fitting places, by which means the due expression of the words
and the musical exigences of the composition are alike provided for. The
continuous agitation is only once interrupted, at the short but grave
and dignified "Et incarnatus est," and at the words "Et in Spiritum
Sanctum." These points are emphasised by their separation from the rest
through a long symphony, and by a digressive mode of treatment which
reminds one of a solo. Towards the end of the broadly elaborated fugue,
"Et vitam," the violins return to the first motif of the Credo, the
voices take up the second motif with the "Amen," and the violins,
asserting the supremacy of the first, bring the whole to a conclusion.

The Benedictus is unusually grave for a chorus, but is relieved by
the easy grace of the violins. The thematic treatment of the principal
subject of the Dona--[See Page Image] gives it firmness and consistency;
the accompaniment becomes more prominent in the middle, and the
admirably well-sustained conclusion is dignified in mood and expression.

The Mass in F major (192 K.), composed on June 24,1774, is the work of a
finished artist, and has rightly been placed



next after the Requiem.[25] The whole mass, which reminds us of the
finest examples of the older Neapolitan school, is in the strictest
form of composition, none of the smaller sections forming an independent
movement; the most delicate use is made of the simplest materials. The
chorus and solos alternate throughout, the solo voices (never concerted)
supplying the finer shadows to the chorus, which in return serves for
response or repetition and conclusion. The accompaniment consists
only of a bass (figured for the organ) and two violins, but it is
independently worked out and effective both in tone-colouring and as a
contrast to the voices.

Every section of the mass is in counterpoint, and shows the firm hand of
a master. The unity of the whole and of the several parts, which is
the necessary consequence of this musical method, is apparent here to
a surprising degree. The parts combine to express and dilate upon
a well-defined idea, the separate features of which are not thrown
together arbitrarily or by chance. A subject which in one place is
merely indicated or foreshadowed becomes in another the main subject; in
short, the independence of each separate part produces the uniform clear
texture of the whole. Thus the Gloria begins with an important subject
for the soprano--[See Page Image]

{MASS IN P MAJOR, 1774.}


which is the groundwork of the whole movement, and--now entire and
unaltered, now abridged or modified--appears in different positions as
Cantus firmus; while the remaining parts, treated contrapuntally, give
due emphasis to each change of mood, until the whole concludes with a
grand Amen in unison. The same thing occurs in the Credo. The link here
is a motif--[See Page Image] which, borrowed from the intonation of the
Magnificat or of the Gloria in the third tone, has been often employed,
by Al. Scarlatti,[26] for instance, in a mass, and by Michael Haydn in a
gradual (Qui sedes, No. 3), as Alleluia. Mozart has made frequent use
of it. We find it again in the Sanctus of another mass (257 K.) in a
Symphony in B flat major (319 K.) composed in 1779, in a pianoforte
Sonata in £ flat major, composed in 1785, each time easily treated as
a connecting subject, until it finally appears as the theme of the last
movement of the Symphony in C major (551 K.) In the present work it
recurs again and again as Cantus firmus, or in imitation, always the
bond and support of the detached articles of faith. Then it becomes
the root of the subjects for single phrases, such as the magnificent
Crucifixus, the Confiteor and the fugued Et vit am. We scarcely
know whether to admire most the masterly skill which makes light of
difficulty, or the inventive imagination which can develop an idea from
so many and such varied-points of view, making the same subject express
calm faith in the Credo, bitter pain in the Crucifixus, and joyful
confidence in the Et vit am.

The Sanctus and Benedictus are short, fine contrapuntal movements, the
Benedictus especially simple and full of grace. The Agnus Dei is freer
in form. Three solo voices make the appeal, which the chorus answers
with "miserere nobis." The harmonic successions, and the beautiful
violin passage in the accompaniment, give a peculiarly affecting



character to this movement, which suggests a comparison with the
Requiem. The Dona is fine and pure, but the effort to give it a cheerful
and agreeable tone has robbed it of depth and significance.

Even the accompaniment of this mass has an importance of its own, and
there is more art and beauty contained in the two violin parts than in
many a fuller score. Not content with giving an independent course to
the voices, Mozart allows the accompaniment also to go its own
way, usually with a subject proper to it, treated freely, often in
counterpoint, and always with visible partiality.

Inventive genius, technical scholarship, and deep, clear comprehension,
are more evidently displayed by Mozart in this mass than ever before;
the subjects have an intensity, a charm of beauty which had scarcely
yet been suggested. Here, for the first time, we become aware of
that wonderful beauty, Mozart's most special endowment, which we
may designate sweetness, if we mean by that the perfect harmony of
a naturally developed artistic organism. The maiden freshness of its
manifestation here only increases the charm, and points to future

The Mass in D major (194 K.), composed on August 8, 1774, has been
rightly placed next to the one we have been considering.[27] The whole
plan, the strict form, the flowing treatment, contrapuntal throughout,
the mature beauty, offer many points of resemblance, but the effort
after gracefulness is more apparent in the later mass, and is achieved
at the sacrifice of gravity and ideality. The Kyrie displays a very
similar conception. With the opening words of the soprano--[See Page

the foundation is laid on which the whole structure of the movement is
built. In part in imitative combinations, in part extended into a longer
subject, and in part connected with opposing subjects for the voices and
the violins, this

{MASS IN D. MAJOR, 1774.}


short theme is elaborated into a fine long movement, as interesting as
it is expressive. The Gloria and the Credo do not reach the same height;
the contrapuntal elaboration is only apparent in isolated passages, the
solos are expressive, but over-graceful, the music proceeds in a fine
flow, and delights the listener, but only now and then stirs deeper
feelings. On the other hand, the Sanctus, Benedictus (a solo quartet),
Agnus (alternate solo and chorus), are highly finished and tersely
composed movements, in which beauty of form and sentiment combine.
The somewhat lengthy Dona preserves its pleasing character, without
degenerating into trifling. The effort to please by mere gracefulness is
most predominant in the Mass in B flat major (275 K.), the date of which
is not known. The commencement with a soprano solo[28]--[See Page Image]
is characteristic of the whole mass. The solo element pre-dominates,
and a wealth of lovely, seductive, and expressive melodies is scattered
around; but neither the conception nor the execution takes a deep hold
on the mind. The chorus is generally full, one might almost say merry;
where harmonic or contrapuntal treatment comes to the front, it is
executed with masterly ease; and such passages stand out in all the
clearer relief against their surroundings. The principal passage of the
Credo is striking:--[See Page Image]



According to Lorentz it is a reminiscence--perhaps an accidental one--of
a favourite Volkslied, "Bauer hang' den Pummerl an." The introduction of
the following theme--[See Page Image]

{LATER MASSES, 1775-77.}


after a highly original and striking harmonic progression, cannot
fail to injure the effect. The Sanctus is a short fugued movement,
the Benedictus an unusually melodious soprano solo with an original
accompaniment; the Agnus goes deepest, and is serious in feeling as well
as wonderfully sweet. Works like the Masses in F and D major prove what
Mozart was capable of in church music if his genius could have had free
scope. But the "rapid advance of ecclesiastical reformation in
Salzburg under the wise and immortal prince, Archbishop Hieronymus
von Colloredo,"[29] had its effect on the treatment of the mass. The
limitation of its duration and the abolition of solo singing proper and
of fugues might appear to be the result of ecclesiastical rigour. But
Hieronymus was far more inclined to favour secular taste in church
music; and he was fond besides of displaying a royal magnificence and
splendour. This external influence is apparent in the conception and
treatment of the later masses composed after 1775, more particularly
in one belonging to 1776 (262 K.), with a Kyrie in counterpoint and two
elaborate fugues. Especially earnest and beautiful, both as to technical
workmanship and expression, are the movements on which the musical
treatment was becoming more and more concentrated, the Qui tollis (of
which the accompaniment recalls the fugue, Quam olim Abrahæ in the
Requiem), the Et incarnatus est, and Agnus Dei. Even the Benedictus
(where the chorus answers the "Benedictus" of the solos by "Osanna")
and the Dona are sustained in style. How fundamentally this mass differs
from that in F major is clearly shown by the ground-tones of the
Gloria and the Credo, which are animated and brilliant, but without any
intensity or depth of meaning. The same tendency is still more marked in
the remaining masses (220, 257, 258, 259, K.).[30] Increasing maturity
is manifest in the



firm and skilful handling of all available means, and the subjects
display uncommon fertility of invention. But real creative inspiration
is crushed by the obligation to compose after a set fashion.

We do not need to look further than such church music to become aware
that the Archbishop loved to bring the pomp and glitter of his royal
station into the services of the church. Such a task obliges the artist
to use his art more and more consciously as a means to an end. The
inevitable result is inequality and exaggeration, his genius and his
work being often at variance; the charm of mere grace leads to the
danger of softness and effeminacy, and fluent animation becomes
meaningless superficiality. The effort to be light and pleasing is
manifest in these masses by their superfluity of detail. We find an
over-abundance of beautiful melodies and harmonies, combined with
great freedom in the treatment both of voices and orchestra, and in the
working-out of the subjects.

There are isolated instances of deeper sentiment and more poetic
conception which are heightened in effect by the earnest technical
skill displayed in their working-out, and which give glimpses of happy
inspiration, not belonging of necessity to the fundamental conception of
the work.

Unhappily it is on these masses, in the composition of which Mozart's
genius could only move within very confined limits, that his fame as a
composer of church music chiefly rests; and musicians who have taken
him as their model have striven most to imitate these, his least
satisfactory works.

The great resemblance in plan and mechanism of the masses of
contemporary composers, such as Hasse, Nau-mann, Joseph and Michael
Haydn, proves a strict adherence to the rules of composition then in
force. A consideration of their works serves to heighten the effect of
Mozart's higher and nobler conceptions, of his poetical sentiment, and
of that sense of proportion which regards a work of art as a whole,
and recognises the limits imposed on it from without as the necessary
conditions of artistic production. Many excellent qualities may be
conceded to these musicians, but none of them attained to the harmonious
beauty of Mozart.



The artists of a later age, who imitated and exaggerated the cramped and
obsolete forms, which had been the result of many circumstances, as
if they were in themselves an all-sufficient musical method, judged
Mozart's works by their own standard, and found them in many respects

Before condemning Mozart's readiness to adapt his compositions to
external conditions, we must consider the mode of thought of the time.
All art, more especially music, stood in the closest connection with
the ordinary affairs of life; operas, masses, instrumental works
were composed when, where, and how they were required, for particular
occasions, and particular performers. Occasions of the kind were eagerly
sought for, and furnished an impulse and incitement to the composer,
even when they somewhat hampered his productive powers. Exaggerated as
the reference to external circumstances and mechanical resources became,
it formed the groundwork, rightly understood, of thorough artistic

The demand for church music was one that came with peculiar authority
at Salzburg, since the priest who commanded it was considered as the
mouthpiece of the Church; he also stood in the place of the sovereign,
arranging the performances and paying for them: respect for his position
was both natural and proper. Mozart was by nature easily led, so long as
his deeper feelings of antagonism were not stirred; then he was firm and
decided. Trained under the discipline of his father to fulfil every
duty conscientiously, and to turn to the best account whatever was
inevitable, he endeavoured, as long as circumstances made it advisable,
to satisfy the demands of the archbishop, and to make them conducive to
his own improvement.



In this he was guided by a nature so completely that of an artist as not
to feel cramped or bound even by real restrictions. Composition was a
joy and necessity to him, and a trifling impulse only was needed to
set his poetical activity in motion; this once accomplished, external
conditions served him for tools, and their just and appropriate use soon
became second nature to him.

The statement often made, and for the most part with a very imperfect
knowledge of the subject, that Mozart's masses are his weakest
works,[32] cannot be accepted without large reservations; and we have it
in our power to give a decided contradiction to Thibaut's assertion[33]
that "Mozart thought little of his masses, and often when a mass was
ordered, he objected that he was only made for opera. But he was offered
one hundred louis d'or for every mass, and that he could not refuse;
only he used to say, laughing, that he would take whatever was good in
his masses and use it in his next opera."

The apparent particularity of this story is pure invention, employed, as
so often happens, to give a colour to mere conjecture; and the invention
is clumsy. Mozart only wrote for the church in Salzburg; in Vienna he
did not compose a single mass to order, and only one, the unfinished one
in C minor, on his own account. Such fees as that above mentioned never
put his constancy to the test; we know that he received one hundred
ducats for an opera. Again, thoughtlessness in the composition of church
music is imputed to Mozart. He had strongly biassed opinions, but
they were honest convictions; and his church work was always thoroughly
earnest. Rochlitz tells us that at Leipzig,



in conversation on church music, Mozart declared that a Protestant could
not possibly conceive the associations which the services of the Church
awoke in the mind of a devout Catholic, nor the powerful effect which
they had on the genius of an artist.[34]

Mozart's education was calculated to make him a good Catholic; a
conscientious observance of all that the Church prescribes and reverence
for her usages were combined in him with a clear and penetrating
intellect.[35] After his betrothal he wrote to his father (August 17,
1782), that he had heard mass and been to confession with his Constanze:
"It seems to me that I have never prayed so earnestly, or confessed
and communicated so devoutly as by her side--and it is the same with

I find no trace whatever of Mozart's having looked with disdain upon
church music. His way of expressing himself to Padre Martini directly
disproves the assertion; he took his church music with him on his
journeys, expecting to gain credit by it; and sent for some of it from
Vienna that it might be heard by Van Swieten, a severe critic.

So far from giving himself out as a mere operatic composer, who has a
mean opinion of church compositions, he recommends himself for the post
of under-kapellmeister, by saying, "The learned kapellmeister Salieri
has never devoted himself to church music, while I have made it my
peculiar study from my youth up."

It is an unjust reproach also that Mozart robbed his masses for his
operas. Among his numerous compositions of both kinds, a single Agnus
Dei (317 K.)--a soprano solo--contains in its opening bars a slight
suggestion of the aria "Dove sono," from "Figaro."

Next in importance to masses must be reckoned litanies and vespers; and
here we find the influence of the opera much more decided. The words
did not readily lend themselves to musical expression, nor to the
arrangement of



the movements. If the severity of ecclesiastical form was once relaxed,
the easier and more pleasing forms were most likely to be employed in
those places where the words were most opposed to musical expression.
The dissimilarity of the different parts was increased by the supposed
necessity of also representing the severe style, and of balancing a
_tour de force_ of counterpoint by a _tour de force_ of execution. In
this way certain conventional rules had become law, leaving little scope
for variety or originality.

Common to all litanies are the Kyrie with which they begin, and the
Agnus Dei with which they close; that which lies between (the petitions
varying according to the circumstances under which the litany was
composed) determines its musical character. In the Kyrie, other
petitions are added to the "Kyrie eleison" and "Christe eleison," which
give scope for a broader and more varied treatment, whereby the Kyrie
becomes one of the most important and impressive movements. The Agnus
Dei does not close with "Dona nobis pacem," but with "Miserere nobis,"
which prevents any suggestion of cheerfulness; the expression of anxious
beseeching was generally softened into deep solemnity at the close.

The invocations which form the substance of litanies are too numerous,
disconnected, and wanting in climax to be well adapted for composition;
and most of the petitions recited by the priest are equally incapable of
definite musical expression. The musical setting of the service, to
be appropriate, must be strictly liturgical, and the recurring refrain
stamps it with a typical formulistic character. Should this tradition
once be forsaken, its place must be taken by a setting full of lights
and shades, often heterogeneous in treatment, and accentuated in
accordance with form rather than reason. The distinguishing refrain
could only be used to link together conflicting elements, or else as a
vehicle for shades of sentiment, and a variety of expression would be
given to the simple petitions, "Ora pro nobis," "Miserere nobis," which
would be quite foreign to their nature.

The Litanies to the Virgin (Litaniæ Lauretanæ) were, on the whole,
cheerful and pleasing. When the devout



worshipper turned to the Virgin Mother, the image that rose to his mind
was that of a pure and holy maiden, and the veneration for all that
is womanly which her worship induced was apparent in the music as
elsewhere. The tone of the litanies sung in Italy before the images of
the Virgin in the streets is echoed in the compositions of most of
the Italian musicians, and is perceptible in many parts of Mozart's

The first Litany in B flat major (109 K.), composed in May, 1771,
is precise in form, and firmly and ably treated, although in no very
elevated strain. The Kyrie, as in short masses, is composed of a single
animated choral movement, without any definite development of the
subject. The first part of the litany proper is divided between the
chorus and solo voices, the soprano being most prominent; the whole
work is interesting, melodious, simple in its harmonies, and singularly
popular in tone. Upon the delivery of the solemn "Salus infirmorum"
by the chorus follows a quick, vigorous choral passage to the words
"auxilium Christianorum." The solo voices raise the appeal "Regina
angelorum" to the Queen of Heaven, who seems to shed the glory of her
manifestation upon the minds of her worshippers. In the last movement,
the chorus comes in with "Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi," the
solo voices answer with the prayer, and the chorus winds up with the
"Miserere nobis." The tone is composed, more serious than melancholy,
and rising in intensity towards the close. The actual mechanism is
simple; the voices are seldom in true counterpoint, the modulations are
freely and firmly handled: the accompaniment makes little attempt at
independent significance.

Far more important is the second Litany in D major (195 K.), belonging
to the year 1774, the same in which the Masses in F and D major and the
"Finta Giardiniera" were written; the maturity of its conception and the
carefulness of its execution make it worthy to take a place beside these
works. The Kyrie is a grand, lovingly elaborated movement, a solemn
Adagio, followed by a serious sustained Allegro. The parts are
throughout in strict counterpoint, principal and accessory subjects kept
well in hand



and carefully elaborated; the orchestra, too, is independently treated.
The expression is appropriate and dignified, and over the whole is
spread a peaceful calm, bespeaking the nature of the music to which it
forms the introductory movement.

The first section of the Litany proper gives us the impression of
a cheerful--one might almost say _sensuous_--spirit pervading each
petition, but always with a tone of delicate moderation. The musical
formation betrays the unmistakable influence of the opera, both in the
solo soprano passages and in the aria-like treatment of the principal
subject. Refrain is used with happy effect in the chorus, and the
accompaniment is easy and flowing throughout. The whole movement is
melodious, and full of tender grace and harmony. In quite another
style is the Adagio next following, where the words "Salus infirmorum,
refugium peccatorum, consolatrix afflictorum, auxilium Christianum,"
are taken together. The construction of this movement, the arrangement
and gradations of the details, the alternations of solo and chorus, the
characteristically careful elaboration of the accompaniment, are all so
admirably calculated and balanced, and the whole movement is pervaded
with so much earnestness and depth of sentiment, that beauty and
grandeur seem here indeed to be wedded together. The following section,
"Regina ange-lorum," is again in a lighter vein; the choruses are fresh
and animated, but the interpolated tenor solo is operatic in form and
weak in invention and expression. The "Agnus Dei" is divided between a
solo soprano and the chorus; the former, though evidently composed for
executive display, is not without feeling and dignity; the short choral
passages are excellent, both in workmanship and expression.

Very evident, also, is the loving care bestowed on the orchestral score;
its main strength lies in the delicately elaborated string quartet, but
the wind instruments are also effectively made use of to produce lights
and shadows. The mature and harmonious beauty of the numerous motifs and
characteristic passages conveys the unmistakable impression of Mozart's

Of a third Litany for four voices without accompaniment,



the opening bars of the Kyrie (340 K.) and Sancta Maria in C major (325
K.), and of the Salus infirmorum in C minor (324 K.) are unhappily all
that is preserved.

The Litany to the Holy Sacrament, (Litaniæ de venerabili altaris
sacramento), has a more serious character than the Litany to the Virgin.
But appeals to the holy sacrament being of necessity abstract and
dogmatic, are less suggestive of a musical rendering than those
addressed to the Virgin Mary. On this account an operatic style is
more avowedly employed; but it is combined with solemn dignity and
thoughtfulness, and the two Litanies of this kind by Mozart are largely
conceived and carefully executed compositions.[37]

The first in B flat major (125 K.), composed in March, 1772, after the
Italian tour, strikes throughout the tone of the heroic opera, elevated
by deep and earnest feeling. The Kyrie is introduced by an instrumental
passage, announcing the principal subject, which, after a short, solemn
Adagio, is taken up by the chorus in Allegro molto. The plan of the
whole movement, containing a second subject placed as contrast to the
oft-repeated principal one, and a running orchestral accompaniment,
follows the operatic mode of construction.

The first movement of the Litany proper, "Panis vivus," is a soprano
solo which might have been transferred bodily from an opera seria; the
chief passages are given to the word "miserere." The solemn chorus
which follows, "Verbum caro factum," interesting from its delicate
modulations, and a characteristic passage for the violins, serves as an
introduction to the agitated "Hostia sancta." Four solo voices give the
chief motif in succession, with different modifications, and unite at
last to rise to an appropriate climax; the chorus twice interposes with
a short but weighty rhythmical passage,



giving cohesion and dignity to the whole movement. A new climax occurs
in the Adagio, where the chorus repeats the word "Tremendum" with an
expression of solemn awe. The short, lively passage given to the next
words, "ac vivificum sacramentum," is only to serve as a contrast to the
"Tremendum." The movement which follows "Panis omnipotentia verbi caro
factus," is again nothing but an operatic tenor song, full of passages
and pleasing expression. The grave harmonies of a short Adagio in B
minor, "Viaticum in domino morientium," prepare the way for something
new.[38] It was the custom to write a movement in elaborate counterpoint
on the words of "Pignus futuræ gloriæ," and Mozart was not one to shrink
from such a task. The bass theme, answered by the wind instruments in
a passage afterwards much employed, is announced with the force and
decision of joyful confidence, and is then exhaustively worked out into
a long fugue.[39] The one theme, hardly ever abridged or altered, runs
through the whole, but it is developed with an amount of variety,
especially in the modulation and in the orchestral climax, and with so
much fresh tunefulness, that this work alone would prove the youth of
fifteen years old to be possessed of the genius of maturity.

The Agnus Dei is a soprano solo, ornamented with many passages, all
alike truly and simply conceived and full of grace.[40] The chorus takes
up the Agnus Dei at the third repetition, and brings the movement to a
calm conclusion, making use of the solo motif altered and simplified.
The "Finis, I.O.D.G.," inscribed by Mozart, contrary to his custom, at
the end of his score, show that he set considerable store by this truly
admirable work.

The second Litany in E flat major (243 K.), composed in



March, 1776, also a carefully worked-out piece of music, displays the
same arrangement. The operatic treatment of some of the parts is more
conspicuous, because its tinsel glitter is in more marked contrast to
the mature earnestness of the work as a whole. The Kyrie, expressive of
mild calm, relieved by the agitation of the accompaniment, is simple
in plan and execution. Solo and chorus alternate; the principal motif
recurs at the end, after a middle part of smaller motifs grouped
together. The Miserere is delicately shaded and finely expressed.
After such harmonious renderings of a calm and collected mood, we
are surprised by the words "Panis vivus" as an elaborate tenor song,
altogether in the style of opera seria. In the succeeding movements,
where the text seldom lends itself readily to musical adaptation, the
hand of the master is visible in the admirable grouping of the larger
sections and of the separate subjects, not less than in the true and
beautiful expression of sentiment, and in the finely graduated and
shaded unity of tone. The words "Verbum caro factum" are used as a
solemn introduction; the Miserere has-a fine effect, commencing without
an accompaniment, as if moaned forth from an overburdened breast, then
increasing in intensity to a cry of anguish, and gradually sinking back
into itself. The next succeeding Hostia sancta stands out against this
dark background, its general tone as mild and consolatory as that of the
Kyrie. Solemn grandeur predominates again in the Tremendum ac vivificum
sacramentum, where the words "Tremendum" and "vivificum" are not
separated, but are compacted into a connected, symmetrical movement with
the words "Panis omnipotentia verbi caro factus, incruentum sacrificium,
cibus et conviva." The disposition of the harmonies is in strongly
marked but cleverly arranged opposition, intensified by the orchestra;
the stringed instruments elaborate a forcible passage, opposed by the
united oboes, horns, bassoons, and trombones. This noble and deeply
impressive movement stands alone, both as to form and intention. The
next following, "Dulcissimum convivium," a soprano solo resembling a
cavatina, is soft and tender in expression, and pre-eminently operatic;
the charm



of style, displayed also in the careful accompaniment, does not
compensate for fundamental weakness.

The "Viaticum in Domino morientium" is full of earnestness, and very
original in treatment. The soprano voices give out as subject the
chorale of the hymn to the Holy Sacrament, "Pange lingua gloriosi," as
a Gregorian plain-chant, accompanied by the wind instruments (oboes,
horns, bassoons, and trombones), and two muted violas, while the violins
are occupied with a quaver passage in _pizzicato_, generally in divided
chords. The effect of the whole is surprisingly serious and dignified.
The Pignus futuræ gloriæ follows. It is in counterpoint, and of
complicated workmanship. The chief subject of six bars comprises the
words "Pignus futuræ gloriæ, miserere nobis," but in the third bar, at
the words "miserere nobis," the three remaining parts are added--[See
Page Image]

and the subject given to them is differently elaborated along with the
continuation of the chief theme. After the first working-out a second
independent theme occurs--[See Page Image]



and is thoroughly worked out, together with the first. We see more
of the actual workmanship in this than in others of Mozart's works
in counterpoint, and the voices are treated less as such and more as
abstract vehicles for contrapuntal development. The Agnus Dei is a
soprano solo; the passages for the voices, and the concerted treatment
of the accompanying instruments, give a uniform impression of grace and
elegance. This movement has a certain resemblance to many passages of
Mozart's later operas. At the close the chorus (as sometimes with Haydn)
takes up again the principal subject of the Kyrie, and works it into a
simple and appropriate ending to the Litany.

Mozart seems never to have composed an entire Vesper during this period,
but the two final movements of one, Dixit and Magnificat in C major
(193 K.), written in July, 1774, are preserved, and are serious works
in clever counterpoint. The Dixit is quite in the style of a short mass,
the different sections in counterpoint full of force and animation. The
Gloria Patri is an independent movement, with a slow introduction to
a short fugal movement on the words "et in sæcula saeculorum," with a
charming organ point. [See Page Image]

The Magnificat is grander in design and execution. The Virgin's song
of praise forms a grand movement (Allegro moderato), the theme of which
from the third plain-song tone of the Magnificat--



is introduced by the tenor, the bass immediately interposing a
counter-subject:--[See Page Image]

These give the groundwork of the whole movement, elaborated in various
forms of counterpoint, and bound together by other freely treated
episodical subjects. The Doxology is again independently treated in two
movements. The first is slow, and is animated by a varied accompaniment;
the second is a lively and conventional fugue.

First among minor church pieces we may consider the "Regina coeli." Two
of these works, belonging to May, 1771 and 1772 (108, 127, K.), are
of similar plan and treatment. The first line is made into an animated
chorus, with the constantly recurring Alleluia as a refrain; the second
is more moderate in tone, a soprano solo alternating with the chorus.
The "Ora pro nobis" is an Adagio for the solo soprano; the chorus chimes
in at the close with the Alleluia. The character of the whole is lively
and cheerful, almost merry, according to the prevailing tendency of the
age. Full opportunities for display are given to the solo voice, and
many of the turns and passages are operatic.[41] The earlier of the two
compositions, in C major, reminds us more of opera seria; the later,
in B flat major, is freer, and both voices and accompaniment have more
independent life. A third Regina coeli, evidently of later date (276
K.), in C major, combines the whole into a lively movement, in which the
solo voices interrupt the chorus. The claims of the vocalist are here
kept in abeyance, and the work is full of life and energy, with here and
there passages of a deeper significance, such as the beautiful "Ora pro



A "Tantum ergo" in B flat major (142 K.), for soprano solo, with a
responding phrase for the chorus, closing with a lively Amen, is not
remarkable. A second composition, in D major, (197 K.) for full chorus,
if by Mozart at all, must have been written very hurriedly.

A Motett in C major (117 K.) must, according to the handwriting, be
ascribed to a very early date.[43] A lively chorus Benedictus sit Deus,
without actual thematic elaboration but with a free arrangement of the
parts, forms the introduction to a soprano air, Introibo domum tuam
domine treated like a cavatina, simply, although not altogether with
out embellishment. The conclusion is formed by a second lively chorus,
Jubilate Deo, of which the second subject is the eighth psalm tone--[See
Page Image] supported by the four parts of the chorus in succession, to
a florid accompaniment of the orchestra, the full chorus each time
responding with a lively "Jubilate." [44]

An Offertorium of uncertain date, "Benedicite angeli" (342 K.), is
exclusively founded on the fifth psalm tone. The verse--[See Page
Image] is repeated in unison eight times by the whole chorus, while the
orchestra, consisting of stringed instruments with two



horns, keeps the whole together, and gives it intensified expression by
means of a lively and varied accompaniment.

Some smaller choral works are some of them harmonic, some in more or
less strict counterpoint. To the former belongs the "De profundis" (93
K.), in which the words of Psalm cxxix. and the appended doxology are
set to music without abridgment, with little more rhythmical flow than
the declamation of the words demands, and in the simplest harmonic
progressions. A symmetrical work, quiet and serious, though without
great depth of tone, is formed out of these very simple materials.

The "Te Deum" (141 K.) resembles in its first movements many of the
shorter masses; the words are sung once, without a developed theme
or well-defined passages. The essential character of the work is
modulatory, the connection depending on the arrangement of the harmonies
and the harmonic groups; the voices merely sustain the harmonies,
without any prominent melodic peculiarities. The conclusion forms an
exception, the words, "In Te Domine speravi, non confundar in ætemum"
being worked into a conventional, moderately long fugue, issuing into a
powerful and effective closing phrase.

A motett, "Misericordias Domini" (222 K.), which Mozart composed at
Munich in 1775 as an exercise, is in counterpoint throughout. Padre
Martini, to whom he sent it (September, 1776), pronounced, as his
judgment on it, that it contained all which modern music demands--good
harmonies, rich modulations, moderation in the violin passages,
a natural and good arrangement of the parts--and he added that he
congratulated the composer on the progress he had made. It was not
without intention that the representative of counterpoint on the
principles of the old Roman school emphasised modern music, the "buon
gusto" of which did not altogether content him.[45]

Mozart divided the sentence "Misericordias Domini cantabo in æternum"
(Psalm lxxxviii.). The first words,



"Misericordias Domini," are delivered in slow notes, the second half in
an agitated fugal passage, without change of tempo (moderato). The two
alternate, and are developed with much originality, especially the
first movement, where long-sustained notes for the voices serve as an
organ-point against a passage for the violins, and give rise to striking
harmonic transitions and progressions. The counterpoint of the second
part is artistic and elaborate; besides the principal subject of
the fugue there are two others leading out of it, treated in part
independently, in part in combination with the principal subject and
each other; the episodes are in strict counterpoint. The subject,
as Stadler remarked,[46] is borrowed from an offertory by Eberlin,
"Benedixisti Domine"; but Mozart's treatment, as a glance at the
opening will show, is thoroughly original.[47] This admirable work
has been overrated by Ulibicheff,[48] but very unfairly criticised by
Thibaut.[49] He says:--

The words are capable of division into two short sections: Misericordias
Domini (the mercy of the Lord), cantabo in æternum (I will sing for
ever), but the division is not a real one. For there can be only one
fundamental idea--either "Misericordias Domini" or "cantabo in æternum."
If the former, then the "cantabo" should be subordinate; if the latter,
the "Misercordias" must be included in the exultation. Mozart has so far
given way to the love of the picturesque, to which Handel also made
many sacrifices, that the "Misericordias" is to be sung softly, but the
"cantabe in æternum" energetically and in a lively fugued passage. When
the last motif has been worked out, the Grave is repeated, and then
again the fugue.

It is evident that the law by which thoughts are expressed in _speech_
does not altogether apply to _musical_ expression, but that with the
introduction of a new element new rules are



imposed. Since the words, intelligently interpreted, give the keynote to
the whole conception, it is the musician's task to embody the sentiments
inspired by them in such forms as he has at his disposal. The necessity
for avoiding contradictions or inconsistencies is no barrier, but rather
an incentive to his creative energy. But a contradiction may arise not
only from a misconception of ideas, but from the undue prominence of
some one point which, detached from the context, injures the effect
of the whole. This would be the case here, if, as Thibaut seems to
indicate, the idea of the mercy of God, and that of the praise offered
to it, were treated in absolute opposition and mechanical alternation
one with the other. But this is not so. The motifs given to the words
"cantabo in ætemum," both in themselves and in their working-out,
express nothing but firm conviction and desire to act upon that
conviction; we seem to view the spiritual condition of a human being
who, in spite of adverse fate and sorrowful experiences, is never weary
of praising the Lord. The "cantabo" is placed just as Thibaut demands
that it should be, as a contrast to the "Misercordias Domini and the
contrast is so harmoniously expressed and so consistently sustained as
in no way to injure the musical effect of the work as a whole.[50]

A very interesting composition, belonging to the year 1776, is the
Offertorium de Venerabili (260 K.), "Venite populi," for two choruses,
scored in eight parts.[51] It is imitative throughout, less strict in
form than usual; the voices seem to take actual delight in their free
movement; the two choruses and the separate parts are clearly divided
while maintaining natural relations with each other, and the whole work
is sharply cut and characteristic both in harmonies and in rhythm. The
principal movement is divided in the middle by a short, slow movement,
having the same motif, but in different combinations.



A "Sancta Maria, mater Dei" (273 K.), for chorus, composed in September,
1777, and an "Alma redemptoris mater" (277 K.), for solo and chorus,
of about the same date, judging by the style, are very differently
conceived: they are simple in design and in treatment, quiet and mild
in expression. Delicate lights and shades betray the hand of a master
conscious of his power to stir the feelings and satisfy the sense of
beauty of his hearers. Equal genius is displayed in the selection of
simple meins, and the ease with which the right effect is given at the
right moment; and every now and then a delicate harmonic inflection, or
a charming little motif in the accompaniment, leaves us in no doubt as
to Mozart's individuality.[52]

The survey we have taken of Mozart's church music will give some idea
of the industry with which he strove to master the various forms of his
art, as well as of the ease and fertility of his production, and the
truth of his artistic feeling. Remembering his activity in operatic
music, we are amazed at the wealth of his many-sided genius; but the
unceasing exercise of all his musical powers serves to explain in part
that marvellous acquaintance with all the technicalities and forms of
his art which not even the possession of great genius can account for in
so youthful a composer.

External circumstances influenced not only the conception and treatment
of church music, but the means at disposal for its performance. Mozart's
chief dependence in Salzburg was on the chorus, as is shown in a
letter (November 4, 1777), where he says that none of his masses can
be performed at Mannheim, because the chorus was bad, and the orchestra
must be the first consideration. This is confirmed by the works
themselves, of which the choruses are always the main substance; Mozart
found his materials ready to hand in the carefully instructed church
singers and chapel choir. He had himself received vocal training. Even
as a boy the correct delivery and good management of his voice excited



astonishment; and though he lost his voice on attaining manhood, his
intercourse with trained singers gave him an accurate knowledge of
the voice and its treatment. Careful as Mozart is to arrange each part
easily and conveniently for performance, yet he always reckons
on well-trained singers, and even exacts from the choristers, where
occasion requires, not a little skill in taking intervals and in
execution and intonation. Above all, he demands the intelligent delivery
of a singer who knows how much depends upon it.

The treatment of the solo voices as regards execution does not differ
in church and operatic music. Frau Haydn and Meissner, Marie Anna
Braunhofer and Jos. Spitzeder, had received good practical training,
but they were not such remarkable performers as to call forth new or
original creations. When the solo voices are not treated with a view to
executive display they are altogether in the style of chorus parts.

The organ, as the instrument appropriate to the church, invariably
accompanies the singing, so that in all Mozart's church compositions the
bass part is carefully figured, sometimes by his father's hand; it is
sometimes, but rarely, employed obbligato, as in the Benedictus (259
K.), and then treated in easy style. Next to the organ come three
trombones, essentially the support of the chorus, played in virtue of
his office by the "stadtthürmermeister" and two of his subordinates.

Following ancient tradition they sounded in the tutti in unison with
the three lower voices of the chorus; the trombones were generally left
unindicated in the score, and only the places marked where they were to
be silent. This curious prominence of the brass instruments, whereby the
soprano part is left unrepresented, was usual at that time, and
could not be dispensed with in the church. Trombones are seldom used
independently by Mozart, and then in the simplest manner.

The stringed instruments served as independent orchestra, and were
generally only two violins and violoncello; the



tenors strengthened the violoncello, which went with the organ bass. The
stringed instruments were strengthened as far as possible and treated
so as to counteract the disadvantage they were at in contrast with the
chorus, trombones and organ. When the violins are not with the voices,
the passages are disposed so as to have the best effect, and they
frequently play in unison; this explains the partiality for running
passages for the violins, which are not expressive in themselves, but
serve to amplify the rest. It was a higher task to give the violins a
character really independent of the chorus--to make them carry out their
own motif either in one part only, in opposition to the chorus, or in
joint development. In almost all Mozart's masses the effort is
visible, at any rate in some places, to treat the stringed instruments
independently; as his artistic sense matured, they were used more
freely, and with more careful reference to sound effects. As a variation
in later works, the damper was sometimes employed, and more rarely, the

Besides stringed instruments, trumpets and drums were generally used,
being almost indispensable for solemn high mass. The constant use of
trumpets, as of trombones (sackbuts), was founded on the Bible, which
speaks of their employment in the Jewish temple worship; and also
careful and highly elaborated trumpet music played so considerable a
part in court festivities, that it could not well be dispensed with in
church ceremonials. In two masses (139, 167, K.), Mozart has employed,
in addition to the two usual trumpets called "clarini," a tromba,
which has only to sound the low notes C and G, and to strengthen the
drums.[54] As regards other wind instruments, we know that in 1757,
"Oboes and German flutes were seldom heard in the cathedral, and the
French horn, never."[55]

This severity was afterwards relaxed, until the oboe was used alone or
as the principal wind instrument, generally to support the voice or to
strengthen the harmony. It was



allowed to assert its own individuality at a later time, but this could
only be when it retained its proper place among the different combined
wind instruments. Flutes were only rarely used to replace the oboe in
soft passages; there were no clarinets in Salzburg. Bassoons served, as
a rule, only to strengthen the bass; in various places where they, like
the violoncello, were treated with some degree of independence it was
so indicated in the score. Also when the tenors were associated with
the wind instruments to complete the harmony they were supported by
the bassoons. The horns at first closely followed the trumpets, but
gradually attempts were made, by the use of sustained notes, to produce
the sound effects peculiar to this instrument. The freer treatment of
the wind instruments passed to the church from the opera, and those
pieces which were altogether more freely treated than masses, prepared
the way for the change. The orchestra of Mozart's two last Litanies is
just as elaborate and careful as that of his operas, and the later one
does not only employ obbligato solo instruments, but in many of its
sections approaches modern instrumentation.

We are unfortunately in considerable ignorance as to what masters were
studied by Mozart. What has usually been said of his diligent study
of Bach, Handel, and the Italian masters, is neither demonstrable nor
probable. There would scarcely be much opportunity at Salzburg for the
study of any but Salzburg or south German musicians. It is well known
that some of these, such as Eberlin, Michael Haydn, and Adlgasser, were
earnestly studied and highly esteemed by Mozart. But he first became
acquainted with Sebastian Bach[56] through Van Swieten in Vienna,
although he may have come across detached organ or pianoforte
compositions in Salzburg. He heard Handel's oratorios as a boy in
London, but that was all, and even at Mannheim he took no great interest
in the "Messiah." It was again Van Swieten who led him to this master.

We may grant a stronger influence to the Italian masters,



although the older Italian church music was only exceptionally used at

Leopold Mozart speaks of a Gradual with which he had been much pleased
as being the work of "the celebrated long-since deceased Lotti"
(November 13, 1777). But we have seen with what zeal Mozart studied in
Italy; and a youth with his genius learned rapidly, and could at once
apprehend and retain whatever would be likely to benefit him. He must
also have taken home with him from Italy much material for future use,
as we have seen in the case of the compositions of Padre Martini. But
what direction these studies took, and how far they extended, we are not
informed. It is not probable that Mozart studied the old masters with
the intention of forming his own style on theirs, but rather that he
might gain that surer practice in technicalities which the tasks before
him required.


[Footnote 3: Schubart, Teutsch. Chron., 1775, p. 408; Dressier, Theaterschule, p.

[Footnote 4: J. E. Altenburg, Anleitg. zur heroisch-musik. Trompeter-
Pauker-Kunst. (Halle, 1795,1., p. 26).]

[Footnote 5: [Schinn und Otter] Biographische Skizze von Michael Haydn (Salzburg,

[Footnote 6: K. R[isbeck] expresses himself to the same effect, Briefe e. reis.
Franz, I. p. 357. Michael Haydn became very industrious later in life.]

[Footnote 7: Wolfgang says of Schweizer (December 3, 1777), that he is as "dry
and sleek as our Haydn, only his language is more refined."]

[Footnote 8: This book (mentioned in Cäcilia IV., p. 290) contains the following
scores, in Mozart's handwriting:--

M. Haydn, In Te Domine speravi, fuga, a 4 voci, 2 viol., org.

Eberlin, Missa canonica, a 4 voci, org.

Eberlin, Hymnus, Recessit Pater noster, a 4 voci.

Eberlin, Hymnus, Tenebræ factæ sunt, a 4 voci, org.

Eberlin, Graduale pro dominica in palmis, Tenuisti a 4 voci, org.

Eberlin, Offertorium pro dominica in palmis Improperium, a 4 voci, org.
Eberlin, Communio pro dominica in palmis, Pater si potest, a 4 voci,

M. Haydn, Tenebræ, a 4 voci, org.

Eberlin, Three Motetti. In nomine Domini; Christus factus est; Domine
Jesu, a 4 voci.

M. Haydn, Ave Maria, pro adventu Domini, a sopr. solo c. rip.

Eberlin, Benedixisti, a 4 voci, org.

Eberlin, Cum Sancto Spiritu, fuga, a 4 voci.

Eberlin, Kyrie, fuga, a 4 voci.

Eberlin, Cum Sancto Spiritu, fuga, a 4 voci.]

[Footnote 9: Frz. Lorenz's "Haydns, Mozarts und Beethovens Kirchenmusik und
ihre katholischen und protestantischen Gegner," is a plea for impartial
judgment. Breslau, 1866.]

[Footnote 10: Cf. A. M. Z., XXIII., p. 683.]

[Footnote 11: Marpurg, Krit. Beitr., III., p. 195.]

[Footnote 12: A similar disposition is described by Mattheson (Neu eröff. Orch.,
I., p. 158).]

[Footnote 13: A short account is given by L[orenz], Deutsche Mus. Ztg., 1862, p.

[Footnote 14: The text of the masses and of other important church compositions
is given in Appendix VI. [to the German original of this work].]

[Footnote 15: They are denoted in the text by large initial capitals.]

[Footnote 16: Biogr. Skizzen von Michael Haydn, p. 48.]

[Footnote 17: The beginning of such a Kyrie is preserved. (Anh. 18 K.).]

[Footnote 18: The first words "Gloria in excelsis Deo" are intoned by the priest
from the altar in the prescribed way, and the choir fall in with the
words "et in terra pax"; the same thing occurs at the beginning of the
Credo, which the choir takes up at the words "Patrem omnipotentem."
The first words are consequently frequently left uncomposed; sometimes,
however, the choir repeat the words intoned by the priest.]

[Footnote 19: In accordance with this, the word "quoniam" is repeated before each
comma in some masses. (257 K.)]

[Footnote 20: The Credo of this mass (257 K.) is mutilated in the printed score,
the repeated--[See Page Image] with all that belongs to it having been
struck out.]

[Footnote 21: In earlier times the chief emphasis was laid on the words "et homo
factus est," which Beethoven makes so emphatic in his Mass in D.]

[Footnote 22: Mozart writes from Mannheim (November 4, 1777): "It is not the
custom here to write a Benedictus, but the organist has to go on playing
all the time."]

[Footnote 23: L. Mozart mentions a mass for Count Spaur, which may be this.]

[Footnote 24: In Italy three independent movements were made of the Kyrie,
Christe, Kyrie, the last being an elaborate fugue. In Dresden also this
was customary, and is to be found in the masses of Hasse, Naumann, and
other Dresden composers, as also in Bach's B minor mass.]

[Footnote 25: A. M. Z., XIX., p. 368.]

[Footnote 26: A. Reissmann's Gesch. d. Mus., III., p. 39.]

[Footnote 27: A. M. Z., XI., p. 460.]

[Footnote 28: The date upon a copy at St. Peter's, in Salzburg, December 22,
1777, can only refer to the performance.]

[Footnote 29: Biogr. Skizze von Michael Haydn, p. 18.]

[Footnote 30: The Masses (220, 257-59,262, K.), were bound together in a little
blue book, with the title in the father's hand, "V. Missæ in C," and
a suggestion of the subjects. The first has been taken out, and was
evidently the one which Wolfgang gave to the Abbot of the Holy Cross at
Augsburg, as he writes to his father (November 20, 1777).]

[Footnote 31: Sometimes his church music was mutilated and distorted, sometimes
operatic and other compositions were arranged for church performance. A
great deal was given out with his name in which he had little part,
such as a Mass in G Major (Anh., 23a K.), rightly omitted by Seyfried
(Cäcilia, V., p. 77; cf. VI., p. 129), another doubtful Mass in B flat
major (Anh., 233 K.), and finally, an unauthenticated Mass in G major
(140 K.), which, in my opinion, is unworthy of Mozart, but which Köchel
and Lorenz consider to be genuine.]

[Footnote 32: A. M. Z., XVI., p. 612. The criticism of Rochlitz (fur Freunde
der Ton-kunst, IV., p. 237) is feeble and colourless. Thibaut does not
scruple to include Haydn and Mozart in his censure on those who write
"our new masses and other church music in a purely amorous style, giving
them an altogether operatic stamp, and imitating the most popular, and
therefore the least refined operas" (Ueber Reinheit der Tonkunst, p.
10). The tendency of the romantic school was to favour the early Italian
church music, very often ignorantly, and to the prejudice of Mozart. Cf.
Tieck Phantas., I., p. 468.]

[Footnote 33: Ueber Reinheit der Tonkunst, p. 11.]

[Footnote 34: A. M. Z., III., p. 494.]

[Footnote 35: A. M. Z., III., p. 493.]

[Footnote 36: A. M. Z.f I., p. 116.]

[Footnote 37: It is very interesting to compare Michael Haydn's Litaniæ de
venerabili sacramento in G minor (Leipzig: Breitkopf and Härtel), which
was written at the same time and under similar circumstances. It is an
excellent work, displaying the cultivation of a master both in design
and execution. The fact of its being on the whole less graceful, and
more serious, only shows the difference of the artistic nature of the
two masters; the general conception is not essentially different, and
Michael Haydn also yields to operatic influence.]

[Footnote 38: This movement ended originally in B flat major. Mozart rightly
preferred to close the introduction in the dominant (F major), and thus
gave greater breadth to the finale.]

[Footnote 39: Mozart has abbreviated it in three places, and has altered wherever
necessary. The shortened fugue is printed in Cantate I.]

[Footnote 40: L. Mozart wrote at the beginning: "The solo of the Agnus Dei is
written in the bass for Herr Meissner."]

[Footnote 41: One of these Regina coeli--we do not know which--was composed for
Frau Haydn, and afterwards sung, as L. Mozart writes (April 12,1778), by

[Footnote 42: I have grave doubts of the genuineness of a short Salve Regina for
solo voices and chorus (92 K.).]

[Footnote 43: Perhaps this is one of the motetts which Wolfgang composed in
Milan in 1771. A second aria in cavatina form, "Quaere superna," with
an introductory recitative, "Ergo, inter est," in G major (143 K.), was
evidently intended for an interpolation.]

[Footnote 44: When Mozart was travelling in 1777, his father wrote to him
(October 4): "I inclose the chorale, which may be useful and even
necessary to you at some time or other; you ought to know everything."]

[Footnote 45: P. Martini, Storia Univ., II., p. 281.]

[Footnote 46: Stadler's Defence of the Authenticity of Mozart's Requiem, p. 10.]

[Footnote 47: An analysis is given in A. M. Z., X., p. 43; cf. XIII., p. 305.]

[Footnote 48: Ulibicheff, II., p. 333: Pour rompre la monotonie que des paroles
tant de fois répétées sur le même sujet devaient introduire dans un
morceau de 160 mesures, d'un mouvement grave, le compositeur avait les
ressources inépuisables de la modulation et de l'analyse contrapontique.
Il les employa avec la science de Bach, avec la gravité onctueuse des
maîtres catholiques du XVIIme siècle, avec le sentiment profond et le
goût qui n'appartenaient qu'à Mozart.]

[Footnote 49: Thibaut, Ueber Reinheit der Tonkunst, p. 109.]

[Footnote 50: Zelter was not satisfied with Thibaut's judgment (Briefw. m.
Goethe, IV., p. 37). Rochlitz (A. M. Z., XXVII., p. 461) attempts a lame
apology for Mozart.]

[Footnote 51: Two violin parts, _ad libitum_, meant for support, are added.]

[Footnote 52: The Offertory, Sub tuum præsidium (198 K.), a duet for soprano and
tenor, is simple and melodious, and has the soft and tender character
appropriate to the worship of the Virgin.]

[Footnote 53: Marpurg, Krit. Beitr., III., p. 195.]

[Footnote 54: Altenburg, Anl. z. Tromp.-Kunst, p. 108.]

[Footnote 55: Marpurg, Krit. Beitr., III., p. 195.]

[Footnote 56: Rochlitz's remarks on Bach's influence over Mozart are unfounded
(A. M. Z II., p. 641).]





DURING the last half of the eighteenth century it had become the fashion
in Italy and elsewhere to perform detached instrumental pieces as
introductions or intermezzi during the pauses in Divine service.[1] They
were written in the then customary symphony form; music of a lively and
secular tone not being thought out of place in churches.[2] Brilliancy
of effect was provided for by doubling the orchestra and other
mechanical means,[3] besides forcible composition. Further innovations
were made in allowing solo vocalists an opportunity of displaying their
powers in church music;



and, as a necessary consequence, distinguished instrumental performers
also were allowed to add their share to the attractions of Divine
worship.[4] Instrumental concertos were played usually at the conclusion
of the service, without any regard to an ecclesiastical character.[5] We
gather from Dittersdorf's account[6] of his competition with Spagnoletti
at the festival of St. Paul at Bologna and its result, that fine
performances were thought as much of in the churches as in theatres and

At Salzburg, as Mozart tells Padre Martini (p. 244), a sonata was
introduced between the epistle and the gospel, until Archbishop
Hieronymus replaced it by a gradual in 1763.[7] Seventeen compositions
by Mozart of this kind are preserved. The earliest of certain date
belongs to 1775 (212 K.), and others to 1776 (241, 244, 245, 263, K.)
and 1777 (274, 278, K.), but there are several almost certainly of
earlier date. His sacred sonatas were performed even during his absence,
according to his father (September 25, 1777). After his return, he
composed three pieces of the kind, the last in March, 1780 (328, 329,
336, K.).

They are all inscribed as sonatas, and all consist of a lively movement
of moderate length in two parts, and in regulation sonata form. The
church sonatas (sonad di chiesa) differ, indeed, from chamber sonatas
(sonad di camera) in being serious, dignified, often fugued and in
counterpoint, but the style has nothing in it that suggests a sacred
performance. The tone is neither solemn nor devotional, nor is the style
severe. The tone and treatment of the commencement remind us of the
first movements of the smaller sonatas and quartets; the subjects are
small, sometimes very pretty'; the treatment is free and skilful, and in
the later pieces not without touches of Mozart's originality. They are
usually written for two violins and violoncello, to which the organ was
always added, but never



obbligato nor with any regard to executive display; it has often only
its customary office of accompaniment to the violoncello, in which case
a figured bass part is written. Even when the organ part is independent
it is for the most part limited to what the skilful organist can make
out of the _continuo;_ its independence is very modest, and it never
aspires to a solo or any passages. Sometimes trumpets and drums are
added (263 K.) as well as oboes (278 K.) and horns (329 K.). With the
extension of the orchestra the design and treatment became grander and
more impressive, but still kept within comparatively narrow limits.
Unhappily these organ sonatas give us not the faintest idea of Mozart's
much-admired organ-playing.

Not only were these compositions composed for special occasions, but
all instrumental music at that time was in this sense occasional music.
Orchestral compositions were, with few exceptions, written with a
definite aim and under given conditions.

Musical performances were the customary evening entertainments given
by distinguished or wealthy persons, in default of better, such as
the theatre. Those who maintained their own _Kapelle_ required
daily performances, and in the evening, whether they were alone or
entertaining company, a well-appointed concert. Sometimes noble gentler
men became so proficient on some instrument that it pleased them to take
personal part in such concerts. Not to mention the noted examples of
Frederick the Great and the Emperor Joseph, the Elector Maximilian III.
of Bavaria was a performer on the bass-viol, and took part in the court
concerts, where his sister, Maria Antonia of Saxony, appeared as a
singer; sometimes also he played the violin in the symphony.[8] The
flute was an instrument much in vogue with noble amateurs, and was
played by the Margrave Friedrich von Bayreuth,[9] Duke Karl von



Curland,[10] and Prince Joseph Friedrich von Hildburghausen;[11] the
Elector Karl Theodore, played the violoncello,[12] Prince Nicolaus
Esterhazy the baritone,[13] Archduke Maximilian the tenor.[14]
Archbishop Hieronymus adopted the violin[15] as his instrument, after
the example of the Emperor Peter III.[16] and the Crown Prince Karl
Wilhelm Ferdinand von Braunschweig, and he amused himself with it alone
after dinner;[17] in the evening he took part in the concerts given by
his choir.[18] L. Mozart writes to his son, who had a great dislike
to violin-playing in court music: "As a connoisseur, you will not be
ashamed of the violin-playing in the first symphony, any more than the
Archbishop and all the cavaliers who take part in it." The distinguished
amateurs did not indeed always improve the orchestra. On one occasion,
the Empress Maria Theresa having remarked in an undertone to Haydn
that she wondered what would become of four noble amateurs, who were
performing with him, if left to themselves, he played her the joke
of quietly absenting himself with his next colleague, and enjoyed the
complete discomfiture of the gentlemen. Brunetti, who always stood at
the Archbishop's side, used at difficult places quietly to take down his
viola and strike in; the Archbishop let it pass, and used even to say
when he came to these places, "now Brunetti will come in." Mozart had
not the most favourable opinion of the Archbishop's musical knowledge.
He writes to his father (Vienna, September 26, 1781) about the famous
bass singer, Fischer, "who has certainly an excellent bass voice,
although the Archbishop told him he sang too low for a bass, upon which
I assured His Grace that he would sing higher next time."



Public performers took the principal parts in these concerts, which fact
was taken into consideration in forming the choir; care was taken to
attract foreign artists, and in the larger towns many public performers
depended on the daily concerts for their means of subsistence.[19] The
performances were long, and included a great deal of orchestral music.
Count Firmian's musical soirées lasted from five to eleven o'clock, and
at one concert several symphonies by J. C. Bach and four symphonies
by Martini were played.[20] Dittersdorf produced twelve new violin
concertos by Benda on one evening;[21] at a concert given by the Elector
of Bavaria Burney heard two symphonies by Schwindl, a song by Panzacchi,
a scena by the Electress of Saxony, a trio for bass-viols by the
Elector, a song by Rauzzini, a song by Guadagni, and a bass-viol solo by
the Elector;, and at a private concert in Dresden both parts contained a
symphony, a violin concerto, a flute concerto, and an oboe concerto.[22]
The evening's amusement was generally further provided for by
card-playing and conversation. Archbishop Hieronymus limited the
duration of his concerts. L. Mozart wrote to his son (September 17,
1778) that they only lasted from seven to a quarter past eight, and
included only four pieces--a symphony, a song, another symphony or
concerto, another song, and then _addio_.[23] The court composer took
the direction of the court music in turn with the kapellmeister every
alternate week, and the director for the time being had the choice and



arrangement of the music[24] except so far as it was dictated by
superior authority.

The position of Mozart's father gave him constant opportunities of
bringing his son's instrumental compositions before the public. The
fame of the band was enhanced by the performance of works by one of the
members, and at every festival something new was performed. Dittersdorf
relates that for the fête-day of the Bishop of Grosswardein he composed
not only a grand cantata with choruses and a solo cantata, but also two
grand symphonies at the beginning and close, a middle symphony, with
obbligato wind instruments, and a violin concerto.[25] In a similar
position, under Prince Esterhazy, Josef Hadyn produced his incredibly
numerous instrumental compositions. Mozart's fertility during the period
of his independent activity at Salzburg, from 1770 to the autumn of
1777, was equally great, but the merit of industry and fertility was one
which these great masters shared with many contemporary lesser ones.

The skilful treatment of the orchestra rests mainly on the composer
being so imbued with the spirit of the work as a whole as to be able to
render the separate parts conducive to the general effect. This can only
be accomplished by continuous practical study.

Most especially fortunate was Mozart, whose numerous appointed tasks,
not being merely abstract exercises, served him as studies for his
works. The danger was indeed great that the influence of the schools and
the force of traditional forms would tend to mechanical routine, but
it afforded another proof of Mozart's creative nature, that his
unintermittent labour in mastering the technicalities of his art never
interfered with the spiritual side of his genius.

Many forms were in use for instrumental composition during the last
century, of which, at the present day, we can scarcely even distinguish
the names or define the limits. The so-called French symphony (or
overture) introduced by Lulli, and established through the school of



consists of a short slow movement preceding a longer and more varied
one, and repeated at the close. This was opposed to the Italian
symphony, which contained three movements: an allegro at the beginning
and another at the end, separated by a slow movement in effective
contrast to them both. The first and the last allegro were, however,
different in character, the second being the quicker and more cheerful
of the two.

It was easy to sever the slender connection between the symphony and
the opera; and operatic symphonies were soon performed alone, as may
be proved by the symphonies to the "Finta Semplice," the "Sogno di
Scipione" and "Lucio Silla."

The continual demand for new symphonies co-operated with the increasing
capacity of the instrumentalists, and the fuller appointments of the
orchestra, in developing their importance and independence. In Italy,
Sammartini, commissioned by the governor, Pallavicini, first wrote
symphonies for full orchestra; he divided the tenors from the
violoncelli, gave the second violins an independent part, and rendered
service also to the technicalities of playing.[26] In Germany the
composers of the Mannheim Kapelle, who were of the first rank,
introduced this kind of composition with great success;[27] but Jos.
Haydn, who surpassed them all in his inexhaustible wealth of productive
power and in his thorough knowledge of his art, threw them quite into
the shade, and may justly be considered as the creator of the symphony.

The three movements were originally connected; but when the symphonies
became independent of the opera, this was only exceptionally the case
(74, 181, 184, K.).

The last Symphony of the year 1773 shows that even in its maturity an
artistic mind may cling to long-established customs. The delicately
elaborated Andante, full of original



and tender sentiment, forms the climax of the work. The animated Allegro
which precedes it is, with just discrimination, toned down towards the
end to prepare for the Andante, whose yearning pathos leaves the mind
unsatisfied, and whose subjects are arranged to favour the transition
to the lively and restless concluding movement. As a rule, however, each
movement was treated as a self-contained whole, which gave freer scope
for the development of a definite idea.

In the formation of the separate movements the clavier sonata (in the
perfect form given to it by Ph. Eman. Bach, acknowledged as a master by
Haydn himself)[28] had a very considerable influence.

The first allegro was always in two parts; a short slow movement,
perhaps a reminiscence of the French symphony, was prefixed to it by
Haydn often, by Mozart rarely. A compact arrangement of well-defined
subjects takes the place of the long-drawn thread of loosely connected
phrases of the older symphonies. The first subject gives the tone of the
movement, a second follows, contrasting in expression and structure, and
generally a third is added; the connection is by means of free passages.
It was long held as a fixed rule that the first theme should close on
the subdominant, and that the second theme should be in the key of the
dominant, in which also the first part of the movement concludes. In the
second part the elaboration of the subjects begins. The composer might
please himself as to which of the subjects, or how many or in what new
combinations they were to be carried on; nor was there any definite rule
as to the method of elaboration, except that it always led back to the
principal key and the first theme, which closed on the dominant, and was
followed by the second theme, also in the principal key; the first part
might either be simply repeated with these modifications, or the change
of key might be thoroughly carried out. Sometimes the second part was
also repeated; and then followed the final winding-up by a coda, which
recurs to one or more of the chief subjects, and which was employed even
when the



second part was not repeated. The elements of this form had already been
given in the aria, with its one main idea and its contrasting
motifs; but the organic perfection of the form was first attained by
instrumental music.

Ph. Eman. Bach declared that the chief and best quality of music was
melody,[29] and this principle once recognised, the laws of song were
adopted by instrumental music, although with many modifications, to
suit the different characters of the instruments and the necessities of
thematic elaboration. The chief improvement was the spirited development
of one or more subjects to replace the tedious middle movement of the
aria. The artistic development of the separate elements, according to
their true significance, introduced both contrast and climax; unity was
assured, since nothing foreign either to the form or the substance
was admitted; while the repetition of the first part, like a dialectic
exposition of an argument, provided a clear and satisfying conclusion.
This working-out part did not always receive its due share of honour,
and was often treated as a form of harmonic transition; but it asserts
itself more and more as the proper nucleus of the whole movement, and
has an important reaction on the formation and phrasing of the first
part. This becomes, as it were, the foundation prepared for the future
development which first displays the whole extent of the conception.
The coda was usually confined to a lengthened development of the closing
phrase, and gathered to a point in pregnant brevity the most essential
elements of the movement. It had its counterpart in the cadenza of the
aria. After what manner great vocalists constructed their cadenzas we
are unfortunately ignorant, but instrumental cadenzas reproduced the
principal subjects of the movement, just as was the case in the coda.
Beethoven, who brought the coda to perfection, has himself worked out
the cadenzas in the Concerto in E flat major; the cadenza in the
first part is identical in mechanism with the coda of one of his great

The original middle movement has preserved a slower



tempo and a moderate tone, with simplicity both of design and
composition. The point of departure is the air (lied, romanze), or the
cavatine of operatic creation. Mozart, for instance, took a melodious
duet from his opera of "Hyacinthus," for the Andante of a symphony (p.
94). There is no question here of artistic symmetry or elaboration of
subjects; one main subject dominates the whole, often smothered with
embellishments, as the original stem of a tree is hidden by the creepers
which grow from its roots. The Andante is often, though not necessarily,
divided into two parts, one or both of them to be repeated, sometimes
with a coda added. In the second part a new statement of the subject
generally takes the place of its actual development, and the contrast
of major and minor keys is made use of. Frequent repetition of a simple
theme led to the introduction of variations, sometimes strict, sometimes
free in form, but in depth and originality always far inferior to
thematic elaboration in the proper sense of the term. The Andante,
therefore, long continued to be of minor importance, both as to length,
form, and substance.

It required not only the mastery of musical theory, but the complete
absorption of the individual in the artist before the innermost
sentiments of the human heart in all their depth and fulness could be
expressed in simple form, as the poet expresses them in lyric verse. The
Adagio of instrumental music is, in its most perfect form, essentially
a German creation, but it became what it is apart from the influence of
the newly awakened German poetry; each in its separate sphere felt the
vivifying spirit of the age like the fresh breath of spring, and awoke
together to life and beauty.[30] As the substance of the slow movement
grew in interest and importance, the form also became fuller and richer,
without, however, any essential alteration; the most magnificent of slow
movements have all the main points that we have



noticed above, and are only in details freer and more full of life and

The closing movement, generally in 3-8, 6-8, or 2-4 time, has something
of a dance tone, though not of set purpose. The rondo form, very
freely treated, soon became predominant. The impressiveness of frequent
repetition of the same melody, the freedom and ease with which the
connecting phrases could be treated, the surprises to which ingenious
returns to the theme gave rise, all made this easy form very appropriate
to a closing movement. What was demanded from instrumental music was
such a pleasant sense of enjoyment as should relax the mind without
straining the attention, and a cheerful conclusion was considered
essential. But by a singular inconsistency the last movement was
sometimes made the field for the display of skill in counterpoint;
masters of the art required that a genuine artist should know how
to render cheerfulness and whimsicality, spirit and fun, even in
the strictest forms. So it is customary to this day to introduce
contrapuntal work into the scherzo, the proper field for musical wit and
humour. This, too, is a production of German instrumental music.

To the three original movements of the symphony the minuet was added
as a fourth, suggested probably by the Suite. The Suite, whether for
orchestra or clavier, came to perfection in the seventeenth century, and
consisted of a succession of dances in the same key, but differing
in time, rhythm, and expression, and for the most part highly
characteristic. Mattheson enumerates them as follows: minuet, gavotte,
bourrée, rigaudon, gigue, polonaise, anglaise (country-dances, ballads,
hornpipes), passepied, sarabande, courante, allemande;[31] others give
allemande, courante, gigue, passa-caille, gavotte, minuet, chaconne,
the chief forms being allemande, courante, sarabande, and gigue. An
introduction, prelude, fantasia, or overture, preceded the dances,
consisting, after the French fashion, of a slow and a lively



movement, the latter generally elaborated, and returning to the former
as a conclusion.[32] It is evident that the suite was the foundation of
the Italian operatic symphonies--not of our modern symphony and sonata
forms--but much was doubtless borrowed from the long list of dances as
embellishment to the symphony proper. Whether or not Josef Haydn was the
first to introduce the minuet into the symphony, it was he undoubtedly
who gave it its peculiar and typical character. The minuet was the
dance of good society, affording opportunity for the display of dignity,
grace, and deportment. We cannot hear those minuets which best reflect
the character of the dance without thinking of powder and hoops; and
now that the manners it suggests have become obsolete, it can only be
humorously reproduced.[33] Haydn did not parody the minuet of his time,
but he divested it of its distinguishing dignity; he took it as it was
danced by the middle-classes, and filled it with national cheerfulness
and good-humour. He represented a certain amount of joviality and
rollicking fun which would have been inadmissible in the _salons_ of the
_noblesse_, and he was inexhaustible in witty suggestions and surprises,
without any taint of vulgarity or carelessness of musical treatment.
This was being popular in the best sense of the word; the spirit was
genuinely national, the form truly artistic; and so the minuet took its
place in the symphony, and kept it. The position given to it in relation
to the longer movements varied in early days; Mozart generally places it
after the andante.

Mozart's first symphonies have only three movements, and it is perhaps
not merely accidentally that the minuet is first introduced in the
symphonies composed at Vienna in 1767 and 1768, but it is sometimes
wanting in later works.

It is interesting to trace in his youthful works Mozart's



gradual progress in mechanism and practical skill. At first there is
little melodious invention, but a sense of effect and a knowledge
of form always exist, and by degrees the symphonies acquire body and
character. Command of the orchestra makes itself felt by degrees; first
the separate parts become free and independent, a special movement is
given to the second violins by characteristic passages and imitative
treatment, and the basses too gain life and independence; they are
in free imitation for the first time in a Symphony in G major (no K.)
belonging to the year 1771. As development proceeded the subjects became
fuller, and the whole work gained in consistency and substance, although
it still wanted finish and elaboration. The peculiar character of the
string quartet became more and more prominent; for a long time it formed
the nucleus of the symphony, the wind instruments strengthening
the harmonies and emphasising some particular melody, but only very
gradually contributing to effects of light and shade. Oboes and horns,
trumpets too (generally without drums), are combined according to rule,
and gave the orchestra a sharp clear tone, which was then admired;
flutes were employed in movements of a gentle character, usually with
muted stringed instruments. It was not until later that the bassoons
were made independent of the basses, and then they served, like the
tenors, for middle parts. Many and diverse experiments were made in the
employment of new instrumental forces before the various parts of the
orchestra were successfully combined into a self-contained and living

Nothing whatever is known of Mozart's models in his instrumental music.
We may take for granted that he knew Josef Haydn's symphonies, and
that they were not without some influence on his genius; but few actual
traces of them can be discovered, while his conception of the minuet was
altogether different, and remained peculiarly his own.[34]



The jovial humour and the delight in musical drollery which are Haydn's
characteristics are never predominant with Mozart; he preserves
a national tone, truly, but the interest it excites is due to the
ennobling and beautifying spirit which he throws into it. This side of
Mozart's nature appears even in his earlier works, and makes us the more
ready to ascribe any lapse into fun and drollery to the direct influence
of Haydn. The last symphony, in E flat major, which is avowedly
ambitious in conception, betrays undoubted external influence. Both
the minuet and the lengthy and elaborate concluding rondo are decided
imitations of Haydn. The andante is somewhat constrained ami unnatural,
but there is a second and later andante at the close, which is much

Mozart's instrumental compositions up to the year 1772 are only
interesting in so far as they show us how gradually and surely he gained
possession of all the means his art could place at his command;[35]
but from this date they begin to acquire an independent interest. It is
remarkable that we possess no symphonies composed by Mozart between 1775
and 1777. Reflecting how carefully all the compositions of this time
have been preserved, it is not probable that any can have been lost by
accident. On the other hand most of the great serenades and concertos
for violin and piano fall within these years; and it is quite possible
that Mozart's growing discontent with his position and the displeasure
of the Archbishop may have caused him to desist



from writing symphonies which were primarily intended for performance
at court concerts. We have further proof that Mozart wrote no symphonies
during these years in a letter from his father, on September 24, 1778,
where he says: "When a thing does you no credit, it is better that it
should be forgotten. I have sent you none of your symphonies because
I feel sure that when you have come to riper years, and have a clearer
judgment, you will be glad that they are forgotten, even though you may
be satisfied with them now."

Even the more important among the later symphonies are sparing in the
use of means, and precise in form, as indeed they were obliged to be,
considering that several symphonies were performed in one evening.

And yet Mozart writes to his father from Paris (September 11, 1778) that
he could not produce his symphonies there, since they did not suit the
French taste: "We Germans like long pieces, but in truth they are better
short and good." Progress is shown in greater freedom of treatment; the
first movement of a Symphony in D major (202 K.) and the last movement
of the Symphonies in G major (199 K.) and C major (200 K.), all
belonging to 1774, are full of life and vigour. These qualities
presuppose more individuality in the details, the interludes are
developed with more independence, and the loosely connected violin and
violoncello passages disappear altogether. Many of Mozart's special
characteristics exist side by side with turns of expression common to
the time; for instance, the second theme is sometimes an offshoot from
the first, and the introduction of a new subject at the close of the
part often gives a new impetus to the movement.

The Symphonies in G minor (183 K.) and in A major (201 K.) may serve as
very opposite examples of Mozart's works of the kind. The first has a
serious tone from the first subject onwards, the minuet and finale more
especially being almost gloomy in tone, and the andante the same, only
somewhat softened down. The second is full from beginning to end of
cheerful humour and tender grace, and may serve as an example of the way
in which a work of art



of perfect mechanism and delicate shading may be produced from the
simplest materials.

If the minuets alone of the two symphonies be compared, it will be
acknowledged that an artist who within such confined limits can produce
impressions of delicate wit and humour on the one hand, and of gloomy
discontent and agitation on the other, has a full mastery of the forms
and capabilities of instrumental music.

The symphonies of that time do not, as a rule, attempt to express
passion or tragic emotion. They were, with few exceptions, intended to
promote social enjoyment; consequently their essential characteristics
are animation and brilliancy, or else calm serenity. The composer
concentrated his efforts on the form and mechanism of his composition;
to express deep feeling or the secrets of his own heart would have been
alike impossible to him as an artist and contrary to the spirit of the
time. A sharp line of division was drawn in theory and practice between
human and artistic emotions, and any display of subjective emotion was
discouraged. In the year 1774 "Werther" appeared; the strivings and
conflicts of the time which produced it had their influence on music;
but music had to pass through a longer and more arduous struggle before
attaining to a like freedom of inspiration and expression.

The evident striving of the youthful Mozart to express himself and his
innermost feelings in his music affords a significant indication of his
development as an artist. Life had not taught him the lessons of passion
and disappointment, and his nature was too sound and healthy to attempt
to anticipate or represent emotions which had not touched him; he shows
himself to us as he is.

The symphony was not then, as it is now, the grandest and most
comprehensive form of orchestral music. The first place was given to
the so-called serenata, a name originating in the circumstances of its
composition, and scarcely applied to a fixed or well-defined form. The
serenata was distinguished from the symphony in its narrow sense by
greater variety and wealth of ideas and treatment. Several instruments
are often grouped together in different combinations,



and solo instruments are variously employed; also the number of separate
movements often reaches as many as eight.

For the arrangement and manipulation of the movements the perfected
forms of the symphony are employed, but with numerous modifications.

Serenades were introduced and sometimes also concluded by a march
(39, K.). This was concise in form and simple in treatment, very often
without even a trio; it was generally lively and cheerful. The detached
marches by Mozart which are preserved were doubtless intended for
introductions to serenades; they were often transferred from one to
another, and so were written separately.

The minuet is almost invariably inserted between each andante and
allegro, and therefore occurs two or three times in the symphony. The
omission of all the other forms of dance music, so amply represented
in the suite, is a proof that this form of instrumental music was not
intended for practical use, at least in this juxtaposition. Variations
were sometimes made in the character of the minuets by changes in
the instrumentation, more especially in the trio. Several trios were
frequently given to one minuet with appropriate instrumentation, making
use of obbligato violins (185, 203, 204, 250, K.), flutes (204 K.),
trumpets (250 K.), and sometimes the stringed instruments alone (100,
250, K.).

A grand allegro in two parts, as a commencement, and an allegro or
presto at the close, sometimes introduced by a short adagio, form the
main substance of the serenade as well as of the symphony, and the
movements are similarly treated. The slow movement between them is in
its turn between two minuets (62 K.), and there are sometimes two
slow movements, each with a minuet appertaining to them (99 K.), and
characterised by varied instrumentation. As time went on, an allegro was
inserted between the two slow movements, which, however, was rendered
distinct from the two principal quick movements by its lighter colouring
and tone; the instruments, too, are grouped with more diversity. For
instance (185 K.), the oboe and horn are employed obbligato in the first
andante and the



following allegro, and in the second andante flutes are combined with
the stringed instruments.

A singular use is sometimes made of obbligato violins in the serenade
(185,,203, 204, 214, 215, 237, 239, 250, K.). After the first allegro,
the solo violins lead in three movements, viz.: andante, minuet, and
allegro (rondo, 250 K.) which are in a measure complete in themselves,
and form, apart from their surroundings, a complete symphony. The
expression "finalmusik," which frequently occurs in Mozart's letters,
seems to prove that these lengthy compositions, with their concerted
solo instruments, formed the conclusion of the concert. The
"concertantsymphonie" of the two last serenades belonging to 1774
and 1775 (204, 250, K.), are conspicuous from their peculiar
instrumentation. In the other movements the usual oboes, horns, and
trumpets are used as accompaniment to the obbligato violins, flutes,
horns, and bassoons, and in the last movement especially the combination
and treatment are quite modern. These two serenades show altogether a
marked improvement on the earlier ones, which do not essentially differ
from symphonies. The orchestra is firmly handled, and the orchestral
subjects freely elaborated. Each of the many movements of the last
serenade is worked out as carefully and lovingly as if it were the
only one, and the ideas and motifs are so full of meaning and of jovial
good-humour that it is impossible not to feel that Mozart has here put
forth his best powers.

A short serenata (239 K.), consisting of a march, minuet, and rondo,
interrupted by a short adagio, was written in January, 1776, for
stringed instruments and drums only. A sort of chorus of two solo
violins, accompanied by violas and violoncelli, is opposed to another,
composed of two violins, viola, and violoncello, with the drums, all
treated as tutti parts. Such admirable use is made of the contrast and
combination of the two choruses, of the tutti parts and of varied sound
effects, such as _pizzicato, &.c_., and even the drum is so skilfully
employed, that this little work has taken a highly original colouring;
with true tact the separate movements are made short, in order that the



singular charm of the piece may not suffer from the fatigue of the

The same praise may be bestowed on a nocturne (286 K.) for four
orchestras, each consisting of a stringed quartet and two horns, so
arranged as to represent a threefold echo. When the first orchestra has
played a connected phrase the second orchestra falls in at the last bar
with the same, or with the four last bars of the same, the third follows
the second at the last bar with the three last bars, and the fourth
comes in in the same way with the two last bars; then the
first orchestra continues the theme. In this way all the three
movements--andante, allegro, and minuet--are managed, with but slight
modifications; only the trio of the minuet is played by one orchestra
alone, or by all together. It need scarcely be said that the omission of
the echoes does not affect the connection of the parts. The main point
in such a trifle as this is to carry it out with as little visible
constraint as possible.

There is an especially good effect in the minuet where short passages
follow each other in rapid succession, falling in at different parts
of the bars, and the way in which in the first part the horns alone
conclude a phrase with--[See Page Image] cutting each other short in
the most impatient manner, is truly comical.

Similar instrumental compositions to this are called by the name of
divertimento or cassatio (which last term has never been satisfactorily
explained), in which the various parts are simply arranged.[37] The
first of these (113 K.), composed in Milan in 1771, "Concerto ossia
Divertimento," has the four movements of the symphony, the last in rondo
form, and



resembles the symphonies of that time also in the brevity and
preciseness of its arrangement. The strings are not obbligato, the wind
instruments--two clarinets and two horns--although not concertante,
are more than usually independent. For a later performance, probably in
1773, two oboes, two English horns, and two bassoons were so added that
the clarinets might be omitted.[38] The stringed instruments were left
untouched; the strengthening of the wind instruments was utilised for
the alternations, with slight and clever modifications.

In the next divertimento, belonging to June, 1772 (131 K.), consisting
of seven movements, the combination of the different instruments (four
horns,[39] flutes, oboes, and bassoons) is varied with evident care. The
first adagio is for strings alone, the second for wind instruments; the
first minuet is for strings, the wind instruments alternate with each
other in the three trios, and all the instruments unite in the coda. In
the second minuet the four horns are especially prominent; in the
third movement, an allegretto, the flute is obbligato and the horns
are silent; in the first and last movements all the instruments work

A divertimento, singular in many respects, in six movements, for oboes
and two horns, together with stringed instruments, seems to have been
written quickly for some special occasion in July, 1776 (54 K.), and
then to have been laid aside. The score is hurriedly jotted down on
already used music paper of different shapes, with abbreviations,
directions for the copyist, and various corrections. The second minuet
has no trio, but is three times varied. The oboe is prominent and
striking, not in passages, but in sustained notes and tuneful melodies.
The stringed instruments, without being actually concertante, enliven
the whole

{DIVERTIMENTI, 1776-77.}


by their free arrangement of parts. The national German character of the
melodies is very noticeable; they remind us in style of popular German

The alliance of the horns with the strings was a favourite one at the
time, although the instruments do not readily blend. The freer the
thematic elaboration of the string parts the more difficult it became
for the horns to keep pace with them, although now and then fine effects
might be produced by their means.

The difficulty was so to engraft, as it were, the horns on the stringed
instruments as to leave them free play for their own natural effects,
and to produce a certain richness and depth of colouring not attainable
without their aid.

In a divertimento, written about 1773 or 1774 (205 K.), two horns are in
union with violin, tenor, and violoncello, strengthened by a bassoon.
It is short and precise, but cleverly written. The adagio is a duet for
violin and tenor, to a very simple bass, the horns being silent. It must
be remembered that such pieces as these were always accompanied on the

Two divertimenti or cassationi, as they are oftener called in the
letters, for string quartet, with two horns (247, 287, K.),[40] were
written in June, 1776 and June, 1777, for the fête-day of the Countess
Ant. Lodron; they are finished works of the genuine Mozart type. Both
have six elaborately worked-out movements, and abound in grace and
fertility of invention, and in skilful harmonic treatment. The style
is that of a true quartet, that is, the instruments have each their
independent part, but the first violin, as a solo part, is markedly
predominant; in the first divertimento, in F major (247 K.), it sustains
the melody in every movement, but is bravura and concertante only in the

In the second divertimento, in B flat major (287 K.), which is grand in
design and composition, the first violin is treated as a solo instrument
throughout, with a strong



tendency to bravura, the remaining instruments co-operating in such
a way as to display the creative spirit of an artist in every detail,
however delicate or subordinate. In the very first thematically
elaborated passage the solo passages for the violin occur, which it
is the chief concern of the second part to elaborate. The second
place--which in the former divertimento (247 K.) was given to a simple,
exceedingly graceful andante grazioso, a kind of song without words--is
occupied in the latter (287 K.) by an air with variations, in which all
the instruments take part, but the violin more prominently, and with
more of executive bravura than any of the others. This is most apparent
in the two minuets, but it is very decided also in the broadly conceived
adagio, where the second violin and tenor are muted, the violoncello
plays pizzicato, while the first violin leads a melody richly adorned
with figures and passages, and requiring the execution of a finished
performer. The use of muted strings, especially in slow movements, was
very frequent at that time in accompaniments, as well as in symphonies
and quartets, and was intended to produce variety of tone-colouring;
the violoncello not being muted, but _pizzicato_, afforded a contrast
of tone. The concluding movement is introduced by an andante with a
recitative for the first violin, not too long, and so worked out that
the whole compass of the instrument is characteristically displayed. A
long molto allegro follows this introduction, in 3-8 time, which keeps
the violinist in constant movement, and gives him an opportunity of
displaying the variety of his technical skill; but the movement is
carefully planned and composed, due consideration being given to each
part in its place. The recitative recurs at the end, followed by a short
and brilliant conclusion. The tone of this movement is not as cheerful
as usual; it is full of impulsive haste and changeful humour, and its
stronger accent betrays a certain intensity, even in the introductory

The third divertimento, in D major (334 K.), may be most fitly noticed
here, although it was not composed till 1779 or 1780, since it accords
in every respect with the two last



mentioned.[41] In breadth of conception and grandeur of composition, it
stands nearest to that in B flat major; the first violin is perhaps less
elaborately treated, and the tone of the whole is somewhat calmer and
more cheerful. Mastery of form in plan, grouping, and arrangement
is perfect in both compositions, as well as freedom and ease in the
elaboration of the subjects, as if they sprang spontaneously forth as
expressions of thought, each in its proper place and degree. Perhaps
the first movement is grander in design, and has broader motifs than the
later work; but the adagio is deeper and more elaborate, and the
last movement is more original in the B flat major divertimento. The
remaining movements are fairly equal.[42]

It was the B flat major divertimento that Mozart played at Munich in
1777, "as if he was the first violinist in Europe," so that "every one
stared." It is evident that difficulty of execution in his composition
for the violin, which is more noticeable after 1773, kept pace with
Mozart's progress as a violinist.[43]

A style of composition much in vogue at that time was the so-called
"harmoniemusik," for wind instruments alone. Sometimes it was used
as serenades, sometimes people of rank had performances of six- or
eight-part harmoniemusik morning and evening, during meals, in which
they were imitated by the more pretentious tavern-keepers. There
was opportunity enough for cultivating this branch of composition at

In form these compositions, which were generally called divertimenti or
partite (partie) resembled those just described. They consist of three,
four, or sometimes more movements, which were grouped without any fixed
rule. One



divertimento (186 K.) closes with a contredanse en rondeau; another (240 K.)
has an andante as first movement; then follows a minuet, and then a
polonaise; a third (253 K.) begins with an andante and variations.

The two first pieces of this kind are both scored for ten parts, two
oboes, two clarinets, two English horns, two French horns, and two
bassoons. Since one of the divertimenti (166 K.) was composed at
Salzburg on March 24, 1773, and the other probably at much the same
time; and since there were no clarinets in the usual Salzburg orchestra,
they must have been composed for some very special occasion. But neither
the plan nor the composition are on a larger scale than usual; the work
is wanting both in extent and expression, and the instrumentation is
neither free nor forcible.

There are two striking partites, one consisting of ten, the other of six
movements, which were written for two flutes, five trumpets (in C and
D), and four drums (in C, G, D, A) (187, 188, K.), about the year 1773
or 1774, apparently to employ the trumpet orchestra on some festival
occasion. Whether the union of flutes with trumpets was founded on
precedent or not I cannot say. The flutes lead the melody, and have
allotted to them musical passages, connected, but short and unimportant
in substance and style. The trumpets seldom take part in the melody,
but are for the most part employed either together or separately as
accompaniment; the object has apparently been to preserve the effect
of a body of sound in the trumpets as far as possible, while aiming at
giving them a definite musical form. In the earlier and more prosperous
times of the trumpeters' guild, accomplished masters of horn-playing
would not have needed the support of flutes.

It is of more interest to note how a great master works within narrow
limits, and with small means at his command, by a consideration of the
six divertimenti for two oboes, two bassoons, and two horns (213, 240,
252, 253, 270, 289, K.), which were composed between 1775 and 1777.

The destination of these trifling pieces, as table-music or such-like,
allows neither greatness of conception nor any



expression of deep feeling; all must be pleasing, cheerful, and quickly
over. But Mozart was not content with satisfying these conditions;
his harmonie-musik is full of delicacy and grace, tender and pure in
conception, and touched with the firm hand of a master. The details
are carefully and neatly handled, without any exaggeration; little side
touches are scattered freely about--here an imitation, there an original
passage or turn in the middle parts, making the whole interesting
and full of life; happy instrumental effects abound, and by varied
combinations and changes of tone-colouring the outline of the
symmetrical structure is thrown into clear relief, in spite of the
limited means at command; just as a painter in monochrome shades his one
colour with such skill as to give a plastic roundness to his forms.[44]

This species of instrumental composition as it developed became limited,
curiously enough, to stringed instruments, for the most part in quartets
for two violins, tenor, and bass (replaced by the violoncello), more
rarely in quintets, with either the tenor or the violoncello doubled, or
in trios. They were still called divertimento or cassation, and did not
originally differ from this class of composition, either in form or in
liberty as to the number and arrangement of movements.

The rule that the quartet (as the whole species came to be called)
should consist, like the symphony and the sonata, of four fixed
movements, was laid down by Joseph Haydn. It was his inexhaustibly
fertile invention and his freedom in the treatment of form which
nourished and developed the germ of this chamber-music, until it bore
the most beautiful blossoms of German musical art. Mozart, destined
later to surpass in this direction his freely acknowledged example,
displays evident tokens of Haydn's influence even in his youth. On the
whole, however, quartet music does not seem to have enjoyed much favour
in Salzburg; Mozart's



not very numerous attempts fall in earlier years, and were not all
written in Salzburg.

Mozart's first quartet, in G major (80 K.), was composed on the first
journey to Italy, at Lodi, on March 15, 1770, at seven o'clock in
the evening--a circumstance of which he preserved the memory long
afterwards. The concluding rondo is written in a later hand on different
paper; and perhaps the whole consisted originally of only three
movements--adagio, allegro and minuet.[45] A clear insight into the
essential conditions of quartet style, freedom and independence of all
the parts, a concentration of the whole work into a well-defined form,
together with a perfection of thematic elaboration, are all plainly
discernible in this first attempt, which, unimportant and wanting in
originality as it may be, yet gives the impression of a well-rounded
piece of workmanship. The second violin is worked out independently,
with special care, in which the tenor participates; less success has
attended the effort for a free movement for the bass. Attempts
in counterpoint--as, for instance, at the beginning of the second
part--are, as might be expected, learner-like, but they show that he
knew what he was about. The last movement betrays a firmer hand from the
very beginning.

Three short divermenti follow, in D, B flat, and F major (136-138, K.),
each having three movements, composed at Salzburg in 1772, precise and
fresh in treatment, but evidently only meant for exercises.

On the journey to Milan at the end of October, 1772, Wolfgang beguiled
the tedium of the way by composing a "quattro"; and in Milan he
was again (February 6, 1773) busy with a quartet under his father's
directions. This no doubt belongs to a succession of six quartets in
D, G, C, F, B flat, and E flat major (155-160, K.), which, judging from
style and handwriting, fall within this period. They consist each of
three movements, two closing with the minuet (156, 158, K.), while the
presto, 3-8, with which the first begins has quite the form of a closing
movement. The adagio

{QUARTETS, 1772.}


which follows it is unusually serious--a simple melody with a uniform
accompaniment in rich harmonies. This is erased and another substituted,
which is longer and more elaborate, with a freer movement of the parts
and a lighter expression. In other cases the andante begins (as in 137
K.), and is followed by the allegro. These quartets are not of wide
scope, nor are the different movements actually elaborated, but greater
practice in composition is evident throughout.

The different motifs are better adapted for elaboration, and there is
a remarkable increase of skill in dealing with the smaller divisions of
each part, on the working out of which depend the life and unity of the
whole conception. The opening phrases, repetitions, &c., are freer and
better fitted in; two-part imitation is sometimes neatly introduced and
fluently and gracefully carried out.

The composer's power has evidently grown as he worked, and the later
quartets are by far the most original. The second movement of the fifth
(159 K.), an allegro 3-4 in G minor, following an andante in B flat
major, has, through its rhythm and modulation, an expression of dry
humour that is quite suggestive of one of the later scherzos.

Six quartets, composed in August and September of the same year, at
Vienna, stand on a far higher level, and were probably written to order
(168-175, K.). The superscription of the first shows that the whole six
were planned together; they were written in quick succession, and their
variety represented the different tendencies of the quartet style.
In Vienna, of all places, the birthplace and domain of Haydn's
chamber-music, the ambitious youth would exert himself to satisfy the
demand for the highest class of compositions. Most of them have the
approved four movements, and the composer's invention and execution keep
pace with the more extended scope of the composition. The quartets are
manlier and more mature than in the earlier works of the kind; but the
singular beauty of form, the grace and freshness of Mozart in his full
development, only show themselves in momentary gleams of inspiration.

An effort to mould the raw material into form by means of skilful
workmanship, and to make it subservient to the



spirit, is apparent throughout. We can see traces already of the study
and preparatory work which resulted in the fine and serious compositions
of the following year--the Masses in F and D major, and the Litany in D
major. First and foremost is apparent the effort to analyse and vary the
musical materials ready to hand by means of counterpoint. The first
and last quartet end with a thoroughly worked-out fugue, complete with
stretto and inversions. The close of the first fugue ended abruptly;
Mozart has therefore erased the last four bars, and has substituted the
subject in unison, thereby producing a lengthened and very effective
conclusion. The second fugue is not by any means so fresh and lively
as the earlier one, but it is richer in artistic work. Nor are Mozart's
studies in counterpoint apparent here only. An adagio (168 JK.) begins
with a four-part canon and retains the same character, although not so
strictly carried out; in tone and substance this is one of the best
of the series. Imitation is the rule in the elaboration of the first
movements; and in the last quartet the whole of the first movement in
D minor is built upon one characteristic motif. A free movement of the
parts, a skilful employment of passages, variety of instrumentation,
and other such means for giving life and animation to the music, are
carefully provided, more especially in the minuets. An examination into
details will discover traces of careful and delicate handling throughout
the work.

There are more instances of fantastic ideas, generally rhythmical in
form, than are usually found in Mozart; this is owing, no doubt, to
Haydn's influence. The slow movements are for the most part expressive
of simple feeling, the andantino grazioso of the last quartet
being especially tender and graceful. The closing rondos are least
significant; they are not worked out, and the different parts are put
together without any true connection. The demands on the instruments are
increased in comparison to the earlier quartets, but there is still no
bravura; the first violin leads the parts, but is not treated as a solo
instrument. In fact all four instruments are treated in essentials as on
an equality, so that the tone and character of the

{QUINTET, 1772.}


whole regulate every detail, thus fulfilling a fundamental law in the
composition of quartets.

It must have been as a result of his Vienna studies that Mozart wrote a
quintet (174 K.) after his return in December of the same year; perhaps
the example of Michael Haydn had some influence. Mozart writes from
Munich (October 6, 1777) that he had invited Herr Dubreil, a pupil
of Tartini, and that they played "Haydn's two quintets." Joseph Haydn
declares, in answer to A. Romberg, who asked him why he has not written
any quintets, that he had never been commissioned to do so;[46] on the
other hand, three quintets by Michael Haydn in F, C, and G major,
dating between 1770 and 1780, now lie before me. Mozart's quintet shows
unmistakable progress; both the plan and execution are broader, and
there is more of the true Mozart spirit in the conception of the
motives. It is especially interesting to compare two different
elaborations of the finale which exist.[47] Mozart has taken the primary
subject of the first work, and treated it independently in the second,
thereby providing a just standard of criticism against himself. The
first theme in the later elaboration is quite new, and gives the key to
the character of the movement; then follows as a contrasting motif the
chief subject of the former work with suitable alterations. Originally
this consisted of eight bars, and was in three parts--[See Page Image]



but afterwards the two first bars form the subject, taken up by one
part after the other; while the minims, which are appended to the rapid
semiquavers, give an effect of rhythmical and harmonious climax:--[See
Page Image]

It results from this that the divisions next following are easier and
more flowing; while, on the other hand, the preparation for the third
principal motif is broader and calmer. This third motif gives occasion
for an especially happy modification. Originally it ran thus--[See Page

and was then repeated entire; but now only the first four bars are
retained, the four last are omitted, and movement and expression
are provided by a shake passage. The conclusion of the first part
is rendered more impressive by a new and broader motif, and more
homogeneous and concentrated by the recurrence of the first subject. The
working-out of the second part, which was confined to the elaboration of
the two first bars of the original motif, is partially retained; but it
is extended by the recurrence and elaboration of the



principal theme. Finally, a new and important climax is introduced in
the coda by the opposition of the two chief subjects.

This work may be taken to prove that Mozart was a severe self-critic,
and was not by any means always content with his first attempts. It can
only be by chance that no other example of remodelling a composition
has been preserved; the earlier attempts and studies would, no doubt, be
generally destroyed. The greater part of Mozart's works of this period
have been preserved in carefully written fair copies. We are amazed
at the vigour and ease with which he worked, but it would be wrong to
represent him as able to dispense with studies and preparatory sketches,
even for his great works. The creative power of genius is indeed a gift
of nature, but a mastery of art is only acquired by hard labour and
pains; strength to labour indefatigably and ability to make the labour
bear fruit are the prerogatives of genius. It would be doing Mozart an
injustice to deny him the reputation of true and conscientious industry;
the beauty of perfect work proves not that no labour has been bestowed
on it, but that the labour has been successful. Mozart's youth was
occupied with his endeavours to master the forms and materials which he
found ready to hand, and he would not be likely to neglect studies and
exercises to this end, though he might not think them worth preserving.

There must have been little encouragement accorded to quartet music in
Salzburg:[48] after 1773, Mozart composed none until 1784, when he was
in Vienna.[49]



There can be no doubt that the talent for violin-playing which Mozart
displayed at a very early age was carefully cultivated by his father.
He performed in public on his first journey and at the beginning of the
first Italian tour; but by the time they reached Rome he had ceased to
play in public, though he still continued his studies regularly. It
was part of his official duty in Salzburg to take the violin at court
concerts. His father admired Wolfgang's effrontery in taking a violin
from one of the orchestra at Vienna in 1773, and performing a concerto
upon it (p. 146). He afterwards devoted more serious attention to the
instrument, and became a first-rate performer on it, but evidently more
from his father's impulse than his own inclination. Not only was the
violin-playing at court a burden to him, but he seems to have had little
liking for the instrument, and no real confidence in his own powers of
execution. "You have no idea yourself how well you play the violin,"
writes his father (October 18, 1777); "if you only do yourself justice,
and play with fire, heartiness, and spirit, you may become the first
violinist in Europe." But, nevertheless, he practised regularly and
industriously, and his father wrote after he had left home (October 6,
1777): "I feel a little melancholy whenever I go home, for as I get near
the house I always imagine that I shall hear your violin going." After
1774, Mozart's violin compositions take more of the bravura type, and
afford a good standard of his technical development. He had as a
rival the well-established solo violinist, Brunetti, favoured by the
archbishop as being an Italian, but considered by L. Mozart as inferior
to his son. "He played your concerto very well," wrote L. Mozart
(October 5, 1777), "but was twice out of tune in the allegro, and once
almost stuck fast in a cadenza." When Brunetti's inconvenient rival
had left Salzburg, he was ready to do full justice to his performances.
"Brunetti cannot praise you enough," writes the father (October
9, 1777); "and the other day, when I said you played the violin
'passabilmente,' he cried out, 'Cosa? cazzo! se suonava tutto! questo
era del Principe un puntiglio mal inteso, col suo proprio danno.'"



After Mozart had left Salzburg in September, 1777, he played the violin
in public both at Munich and Augsburg, and was somewhat ironical over
his success. "They all stared," he writes from Munich (October 6, 1777);
"I played as if I were the first violinist in Europe." And from Augsburg
(October 24, 1777): "I played a symphony and Wanhall's Concerto in B
flat for the violin with universal applause. At supper-time I played
the Strasburg Concerto. It went like oil, and every one praised the
beautiful, pure tone." But these communications ceased later on, and
L. Mozart writes in anxiety (October 9, 1777): "Have you left off
practising the violin since you were in Munich? I should be very sorry."
(November 27, 1777): "Your violin hangs on its nail; of that I am pretty
sure." And so it must have been. He was obliged to play the violin
afterwards in Salzburg; but after his stay in Vienna he never made
proficiency on the instrument his primary object, and it is well known
that in later years, if he had to take part in a quartet or other
concerted piece, he selected the viola in preference.

Mozart's most important compositions in this department are of course
his violin concertos, which were doubtless written in the first place
for his own use. According to his custom, he went thoroughly into the
subject from its very foundation, gaining proficiency by continuous work
in the one direction; in 1775 he composed five concertos for the violin
(207, 211,' 216, 218, 219, K.), to which was added a sixth (268 K.), not
by any means slight, fugitive attempts, but carefully conceived works of
considerable compass in three movements, allegro, andante or adagio, and

The first movement, which was the most elaborate, is more suggestive
still of the aria than is the corresponding movement of the symphonies.
There is the same fixed alternation between solo and tutti passages, the
same adornment of the solo part with passages and cadenzas, and indeed
the whole movement is a reminiscence of the serious aria. On the other
hand, the structure is more condensed and more animated; the passages
grow out of the principal



subjects, connecting and adorning them. The movement falls usually into
three main divisions; the middle one, corresponding to the same division
in the symphony, passes into another key, and elaborates one or more
motifs more freely than in the symphony, and chiefly by changes of
modulation and modification of the passages, whereby the repetition of
the first division is effected. Abundant variety of detail is produced,
chiefly by the different combinations of the solo part and the
orchestral accompaniment; the solo passages are not usually of great
length, solo and tutti alternating often and quickly.

The second movement is simple, and rests essentially on the tuneful and
artistic delivery of the cantilene; embellishments are not excluded,
but they are kept in the background. The character of the movement is
generally light and pleasing, but a deeper, though always a cheerful
mood, sometimes makes itself felt. The tone is that of a romance; the
polonaise-like rhythm of the Concerto in D major (211 K.) is peculiar to
it; while the G major concerto (216 K.) has a regular and more broadly
conceived adagio. An adagio in E major (261 K)--composed for Brunetti
in 1776, because another, probably the interesting adagio of the A major
concerto (219 K.), was too "studirt," as L. Mozart writes (October
9,1777)--maintains a kind of medium; it is more serious in expression
and broader in conception than the romance-like andantes, but on the
whole it is pleasing and pretty rather than grand.

The last movement is, as a rule, in the form of a rondo,[50] in which
the solo part moves more freely, especially in the connecting middle
passages; the passages altogether have now scope for expansion, the tone
being light and cheerful, the form easy. It is not unusual for passages
in different time and measure to alternate in the rondo, as in the
D major concerto (218 K.), where an andantino grazioso, 2-4, and an
allegro ma non troppo, 6-8, alternate. In the G major



concerto (216 K.), a cheerful passage in 3-8 is interrupted by an andante
in G minor--[See Page Image] followed by an allegretto in G major--[See
Page Image] that leads back to the first subject. In the A major
concerto (219 K.), the chief subject is tempo di menuetto, interrupted
by a long allegro, 2-4, in A minor--[See Page Image]

In both these cases the clearly expressed popular tone of the
interpolated passages is remarkable, and has a striking and pleasing
effect. The allusion in the letters to the concerto, "with the
Strasburg" points to one of these passages: "The Strasburg dance, which
consisted merely in graceful movements of the arms and poses of the
body, was generally executed by a very youthful couple within the circle
of waltzers."[51]

A decided progress is observable in the concertante for violin and
viola[52] with orchestral accompaniment (364 K.), which was probably
written in 1780. It displays perfect finish in the conception of the
separate subjects and passages, power and melody in the development of
the orchestral accompaniments, and true artistic skill in the placing of
turns and phrases where they will be most effective. It is in the usual
three movements, but a more solid foundation and wider scope than usual
are given to the form, in order that the two solo instruments may have
free play; the



tutti passages are longer and more important, which entails more
participation by the orchestra in the solo portions. This gives a
symphony-like character to the whole, to which the solo instruments
add a peculiar brilliancy. In relation to each other they are simply
treated. They generally relieve each other, either repeating whole
phrases or sharing them between them; when together, they are mostly in
thirds and sixths, and there seldom occurs a true two-part passage in
which the two instruments move freely and independently.

In this respect the concertone composed in 1773 (190 K.) is more
artistic in design and in workmanship. Here the orchestra is in contrast
with two solo violins, to which the oboe is added as a solo instrument;
the violoncello, though not so freely treated as the others, is also
often solo. The usual concerto form is given to the three movements, the
middle movement being romance-like, but more elaborate than usual, to
give employment to the solo instruments. The violoncello, though it does
not take a leading part in this movement, has an independent passage
as accompaniment throughout. The last movement is "tempo di menuetto,"
resembling those in the violin Concerto in A major (219 K.), the bassoon
concerto (191 K.), the clavier concerto in C (246 K.), the triple
concerto (242 K.), and the clavier trio in B flat (254 K.); the form
of the minuet with several trios is treated with some freedom, and
approaches that of the rondo. The forcible and independent treatment
of the orchestra, both in the tutti and the solo passages, gives to
the whole of this composition the character of a symphony; but the solo
parts are grouped with greater variety, since there are four of them,
and they do not as a rule repeat the same passages or join in unison.
Sometimes the violins alternate with each other, sometimes the oboe
joins them or opposes them, sometimes the oboe and violoncello are both
in opposition to the violins, and sometimes all the four instruments
move independently side by side. A strict and ingenious fugal structure
was required to give unity to this manifold variety. In the first
allegro especially the motifs are chiefly imitatively treated, and



sometimes the varied rendering of a phrase necessitates a change
of instruments; the coming and going of the instruments and their
combinations are carefully planned, as well as the part taken by the
orchestra in producing the general effect. In the two last movements
alternation is the predominant principle, and the parts are only
ingeniously interlaced here and there. The work displays throughout more
of skilful mechanism and clever elaboration than of original invention
and beauty.

The judgment of connoisseurs on Mozart's technical treatment of the
violin tends to show that the difficulties even in solo parts are
comparatively small, but that an acquaintance with the idiosyncrasies
of the instrument, which could only be gained violin in hand, is always
apparent; all is made as smooth and easy as possible for the performer,
at the same time that effects of striking originality are produced. Our
idea of Mozart as a violin-player will gain in interest by a knowledge
of his judgment on other violinists. As a child, he had become
acquainted at Mayence with the violinist Esser, of whom the father
writes later from Salzburg (December 7, 1780): "Esser is a merry
old simpleton; but he plays (when he is in earnest) with a firm and
remarkable execution, and has a finer adagio touch than is the case with
most allegro players. But when he is in a joking mood he plays on the G
string alone with the greatest ease, and plays pieces with a lead pencil
on the strings wonderfully correctly and quickly.[53] He plays the viola
d'amour charmingly.[54] But what struck me as particularly childish was
his whistling of a recitative and aria equal to any singer, with all
the expression, flourishes, shakes, &c., in a truly marvellous manner,
accompanying himself on the violin _pizzicato_ At the same time he
laments that, like the rest of them, he cannot play without grimaces
and absurdities." On this point, little Wolfgang, unimpressed by Esser's
tricks and _tours de force_, had said that he played well, but made too
much of it, and would do better to stick to what was written.



Of Ign. Frànzl (b. 1730), whom he heard at Mannheim, he wrote to his
father (November 22, 1777): "I have had the pleasure of hearing Herr
Frànzl play a concerto on the violin. I was extremely pleased. You know
that I am no great lover of difficulties. He plays difficult passages
so that one does not know that they are difficult, and thinks one can
imitate him; which is true art. He has also a good round tone, every
note is correct and clear; he has a charming _staccato_ in one bow up as
well as down, and I never heard such a double shake before. In a word he
is, in my opinion, no juggler, but a very good substantial violinist."

Mozart wrote an oboe concerto for the celebrated oboist Gius. Ferlendi,
of Brescia, who was in the Salzburg band in 1775; it does not seem to
have been preserved. He tells his father (November 4, 1777) that he has
made a present of it to the oboist Ramm at Mannhein, who was wild with
delight, and played it five times with the greatest applause. He sent
from Vienna for the little book containing the Ferlendi concerto,
for which Prince Esterhazy had promised him three ducats. Another
composition of Mozart's was a concerto for the flute, which, according
to Schiedenhofen, was performed by Cosel in a serenade arranged by
Wolfgang for his sister; this may have been the Concerto in G major (313
K.), which evidently belongs to this period. A certain Baron Thad. von
Dümitz was an amateur on the bassoon; Mozart composed three concertos
for him, one in C and two in B flat major (191 K.), short and
unpretentious, as the instrument required; also a duet for bassoon and
violoncello (292 K.).[55]

Although from his earliest years Mozart had excited lively admiration
by his clavier and organ-playing, it will be better to consider his
performances on these instruments later on, when we shall have the
assistance of more direct testimony. We know little more of his
studies[56] than that he practised



the clavier much and diligently, which, indeed, requires no proof.
Compositions by Wagenseil, Paradies, Bach, and Lucchesi are incidentally
mentioned as subjects for home practice.

There now remains to consider only the compositions for the clavier, of
which there are curiously few known. Some may have been lost, but it
is a fact that after his first childish attempts Mozart composed
comparatively little for the clavier during his residence in Salzburg.
There was little opportunity of performing clavier compositions, the
instrument was not used solo in the court concerts, private concerts
were not profitable in Salzburg, and in society Mozart generally made
use of the clavier to improvise or prelude. The lessons which he gave to
ladies of rank afforded him an opportunity for composing, but for these
pupils he could only write show-pieces.

To the earliest authentic clavier compositions belong the variations
(179 K.) on a very popular minuet by the celebrated oboist Fischer,
a bravura piece for the time, full of what were then considered

He had them sent to Munich in 1774 in order to make a show with them,
and on the journey to Paris we hear that he had recourse to the Fischer
variations when he was obliged to play in polite society; proving that
he was not provided with many compositions of the kind.

There were some clavier sonatas written at that time too, which Nannerl
was instructed to bring to Munich (December 21, 1774), the result being
a commission from Baron Dürnitz for six sonatas (279-284 K.); they are
often mentioned by Mozart on the Paris journey of 1777, and he played
them frequently in Munich, Augsburg and Mannheim with great success.
They consist, after the old fashion, of three movements; the fourth
forms an exception to the general rule, containing a long adagio, two
minuets (the second instead of a trio), and an allegro; the last is
another exception, the first allegro being followed by a rondeau en
polonaise--like the violin concerto (218 K.)--ending with variations.



spoke of sonatas as difficult which are now given as lessons to
beginners (February 2, 1778). Nevertheless it is no small praise to him
that, after the lapse of ninety years, the judicious treatment of
the instrument, the healthy freshness and finished form of these
compositions entitle them still to be considered as the best foundation
for a musical education. Any one capable of appreciating a work of
art will find all its essential conditions fulfilled in these simple

L. Mozart mentions in a letter (December 8, 1777) two four-hand
sonatas, written by Wolfgang for himself and his sister. One may be
the well-known B flat major sonata (358 K.) which Mozart wrote for from
Vienna (June 27, 1781). The form is concise and little elaborated; the
essential condition that each player shall contribute his independent
share to the general effect is kept duly in view. A second sonata is not

A trio for clavier, violin, and violoncello (254 K.), belongs to August,
1776, which, according to Mozart's Munich letters (October 6,1777),
Nannerl played at Salzburg with Janitsch and Reicha. It displays, like
all the compositions of this period, completeness and roundness of form
with maturity and cleverness of conception, and surprises us by its
animation and the tender beauty of many of its turns of expression. The
clavier is the chief instrument, then the violin, more simply treated,
but independent. The violoncello does not yet receive full justice; it
is only used as a bass, often effectively, but never overstepping its
narrow province.

After the (violin?? DW) Concerto in D major (175 K.), composed in
December, 1773, and played with applause at Mannheim (February 14,
1778), and, with a new finale, at Vienna (March 22, 1782), Mozart
wrote no clavier music until January, 1776, when he composed a clavier
Concerto in B flat major (238 K.), another in April in C major for the
Countess Lützow (246 K.), and in January, 1777, one in E flat major for
Madame Jenomy (271 K.). This industry



was not the result of caprice or chance. Composition went hand in hand
with his development as a virtuoso, and we can measure his progress
by the increasing difficulty of his works. Unless he was to remain in
Salzburg all his life,[59] a professional tour, to make himself known to
the world, became more and more a necessity. Both brilliant execution
as a virtuoso and a supply of original compositions would be necessary
conditions for such a tour; Wolfgang's prudent, worldly-wise father took
care that he should be prepared on all points to insure the success of
the undertaking.

The most remarkable of the clavier concertos, which in form and
treatment resemble the violin concertos, is the last (271 K.), which,
in its freedom of form, breadth of design and passion of expression,
approaches very near to the divertimento in B flat major (287 K.), which
belongs to the same period. The very beginning is original, the clavier
striking in with the first bars, and so giving a peculiar tone to the
whole movement. Not less original is the entrance of the solo passage
proper, the clavier falling in to the last bars of the gradually
expiring tutti passage, with a shake of several bars length, out of
which the subject springs; the same turn is afterwards made use of
at the close of the first movement. The middle movement is called
andantino, but expresses deep and painful emotion, and the cantilene
repeatedly assumes a recitative-like character (in one beautiful climax
the violins are in imitation), ending with a perfect recitative.[60] The
last rondo (presto), a capital exercise for the fingers in its unceasing
rapid movement, has a far more important character than is usual with
concluding movements. A long cadenza leads back to the subject; the
second time, however, it does not lead to the subject, but to a



"menuetto cantabile," which, kept in check by an orchestral
accompaniment, has more and more the character of a free fantasia, and
at last goes back to the subject in a new cadenza, which leads to a
brilliant conclusion.

A concerto for three claviers, written in February, 1776, in F major
(242 K.), displays an increase in solo powers; a title-page, carefully
written by the father, announces it as "Dedicato al incomparabile merito
di S. Exc. la Sgra. Cont. Lodron, nata Cont. d* Arco et delle sue figlie
le Sgre. Cont. Aloisia et Giuseppa." We must not look for the same
contrapuntal independence of the three instruments which we find in
Bach's concertos, but there is no mistaking the cleverness and delicate
sense of effect which are displayed in the varied combinations of the
instruments--the doubling of parts, the strengthening of the melody or
of the bass, the position of the accompaniment, and the alternation of
the instruments. The main object of the first movement is to give equal
and yet individual effect to each of the three claviers, although the
third is hardly on a level with the other two; in the two last movements
the third instrument is still more in the background, being chiefly
confined to accompaniment, so that in the finale it does not even take
part in the cadenzas. This made it easier for Mozart to arrange the
concerto for two instruments; the solo parts, so altered, are preserved
in his handwriting. The tone of the concerto is lively and cheerful; the
whole is treated in an easy and happy vein of humour, which entertains
the players quite as much as the audience. Mozart seems to have been
fond of this concerto, and he informs his father with some satisfaction
that it had been successfully performed both at Augsburg (October 24,
1777), and at Mannheim (March 24, 1778).

The orchestra has a perfectly independent part in this composition; but
there is no very marked distinction between tutti and accompaniment; the
orchestra and clavier mutually support and further each other, and their
union results in a perfect work of art.

It is easy to estimate the claims made by Mozart upon the
clavier-player. The principal are simple and tuneful delivery of the
melody, clearness and precision in the



embellishments (which were more numerous than at the present day, to
suit the instrument then in use), skill and steadiness in the running
passages and shakes. Technical difficulties, such as passages in
octaves, thirds, or sixths, occur seldom or never at this period. The
use of the left hand is also limited; rapidity is only required in
accompaniment passages, and independence in the execution of left-hand
melodies. What the composer was able to accomplish with the limited
means at his command lies clear before us; the life which the virtuoso
threw into his works by performances full of spirit and genius cannot be
reproduced by any observation of form and mechanism.


[Footnote 1: Burney cites instances in Milan (I., p. 66), Bologna (I., p. 167),
Brussels (II., p. 43), Vienna (II., p. 239).]

[Footnote 2: Burney, Reise, I., p. 67; II., p. 276.]

[Footnote 3: Burney writes of a church symphony by Galuppi, which he heard
in Venice (I., p. 108): "In the symphony, which was full of charming
passages, the orchestra imitated an echo. There were two organs and two
pairs of French horns"; and of a similar one by Furlanetto (I., p. 126):
"Then followed a long symphony, in the form of a dialogue between two

[Footnote 4: Barney frequently mentions concertos at church performances (L, pp.
116, 177; II., p. 85).]

[Footnote 5: Dies, Jos. Haydn, p. 104.]

[Footnote 6: Ditteradorf, Selbstbiogr., p. iro.]

[Footnote 7: Biogr. Skizze von Mich. Haydn, p. 18.]

[Footnote 8: Schubart, Aesthetik, p. 123. Selbstbiogr., 14 I., j-. 20c.
Schlosser, Gesch. d. achtz. Jahrh., II., p. 252.]

[Footnote 9: Cramer, Magaz. f. Mus., I., p. 776; cf. p. 783.]

[Footnote 10: Reichardt, Briefe e. aufm. Reis., II., p. 121.]

[Footnote 11: Dittersdorf, Selbstbiogr., p. 13.]

[Footnote 12: Burney, Reise, II., p. 75.]

[Footnote 13: Dies, Biogr. Nachr., p. 55. Griesinger, Biogr. Not, p. 29.]

[Footnote 14: Cramer, Magaz. f. Mus., II., p. 959.]

[Footnote 15: Hiller, Wöch. Nachr., 1770, pp. 178, 207.]

[Footnote 16: Burney, Reise, III., p. 260.]

[Footnote 17: [Koch-Stemfeld] Die letzten dreissig Jahre des Erzstiftes Salzburg,
p. 3x4.]

[Footnote 18: The Elector Friedrich August of Saxony was so nervous at playing
before other people, that his wife scarcely ever heard him (Burney,
Reise, III-, p. 18).]

[Footnote 19: Characteristic traits are given in Dittersdorf 8 description of the
musical establishment of the Prince von Hildburghausen (Selbstbiogr., p.

[Footnote 20: Burney, Reise, I., p. 69.]

[Footnote 21: Dittersdorf, Selbstbiogr., p. 50.]

[Footnote 22: Burney, Reise, II., p. 102.]

[Footnote 23: Freiherr von Böcklin, who visited Salzburg in his eightieth year,
gave it as his opinion that though the church music was good, and some
of the wind instruments worth hearing: "the orchestra is not brilliant
on the whole; nevertheless there are some excellent and well-known
musicians among them, who soften the shadows by their enchanting playing
of concertos and sonatas, and even transmit so much of their own light
to their defective accompaniers as to give strangers a favourable idea
of the whole performance" (Beiträge zur Geschichte der Musik, 1790, p.

[Footnote 24: Marpurg, Beitr., III., p. 186.]

[Footnote 25: Dittersdorf, Selbstbiogr., p. 141.]

[Footnote 26: Carpanï, Le Haydine, p. 56.]

[Footnote 27: Burney (Reise, II., p. 73): "Here it was that Stamitz first
overstepped the usual limits of the opera overture, which hitherto had
only consisted of a sort of summons to silence and attention on the
entry of the singers."]

[Footnote 28: Griesinger, Biogr. Notizen, p. 15.; Dies, Biogr. Nachr., p. 37.]

[Footnote 29: Burney, Reise, III., p. 209.]

[Footnote 30: It may be considered characteristic of our times that modern
musicians so seldom excel in this particular direction. Schumann, who
repeatedly remarks on the phenomenon, considers that it is an extinct
branch of musical art, and that a new character must be invented for
middle movements (Ges. Schr., I., p. 283, 289).]

[Footnote 31: Mattheson, Vollk. Kapellmeister, p. 223; cf. Neu eroffnetes Orch.,
pp. 174, 184. Kircher gives a description of the dances with examples by
Capsberger (Mus., I., p. 586).]

[Footnote 32: Nottebohm, Monatschr. f. Theat. u. Mus., 1855, pp. 408, 456; 1857,
PP* 288, 341, 391.]

[Footnote 33: The minuet of Beethoven's eighth symphony is in slower tempo
than any other movement, and its solemn yet graceful dignity contrasts
humorously with the liveliness of the other movements. The charming
minuet of Mendelssohn's A major symphony again provokes an involuntary

[Footnote 34: The orchestral minuets written for dancing by Mozart, of which
there must have been more than the sixty known to exist (103,104, 105,
122, 164,176;), are, like the Contretanze (106,123,267, K.), very simple,
and practically arranged, with a few modest instrumental effects.]

[Footnote 35: I made acquaintance with them through André's autograph collection»
and also through three little blue books placed at my disposal by the
owner, A. Cranz, of Hamburg. (A. M. Z., XXXIII., p. 733.) The first
of these contains nine symphonies, the second a concertone and three
serenate, the third a serenata. The dates are erased, but Sonnleithner
has fortunately discovered and replaced them (Recensionen, 1862, Nr. 39,
p. 614). In Breitkopf and Härtel's old warehouse, twenty symphonies in
parts were also preserved. Since ten of these are among André's, and
two belong to "Lucio Silla" and "Sogno di Scipione," we may conclude the
rest to be equally genuine; and since none of those known belong to a
later date than 1772, and "Lucio Silla" was performed at the Carnival of
1773, the others can scarcely be put later. In confirmation of this
it will be remembered that on February 7, 1772, Leopold Mozart offered
Breitkopf some of his son's compositions, and among them symphonies.]

[Footnote 36: Still shorter and more precise is a serenade in four movements
that, according to the first superscription, was originally a

[Footnote 37: Where stringed instruments are employed the bass part is only
indicated as basso; and no hint is given as to whether the double-bass
or violoncello, or both together, were intended.]

[Footnote 38: The same five instruments were employed for two divertimenti for
wind instruments (166, 168, K.), of which one is dated 1773. The paper
and handwriting are identical.]

[Footnote 39: Mozart had employed four horns earlier, two being in another key,
in symphonies (130. 132, 183, K., and that to the "Betuüa Liberata"),
and in. operatic accompaniments ("Ascanio." ii; "Finta Giardiniera,"
13. 26; "Re Pastore," 12).]

[Footnote 40: To the first of these belongs the march written for the same
instruments (248 K.).]

[Footnote 41: Mozart, who, in October, 1877, mentions only two cassations, asks
from Vienna (July 4, 1781) for the three cassations in F, B, and D.]

[Footnote 42: Three pages of the first allegro of a similar divertimento in F
major are preserved (288 K.); since Mozart only mentions three
such pieces by name in Vienna, it is not probable that a fourth was

[Footnote 43: A scherzo-like pastorale (Anh., 294 K.), in which a corno
pastoriccio is added to the quartet, has been ascribed to Mozart without
sufficient grounds, and is more likely by his father.]

[Footnote 44: Mozart must have composed more than a few of such compositions,
which were always in request but many are included among his published
harmonie-musik, arranged in very arbitrary fashion, and altogether

[Footnote 45: The trio has been struck out and written again by the father, who
has transposed the first violins an octave lower throughout.]

[Footnote 46: n. Ztschr. f. Mus., XLV., p. 60.]

[Footnote 47: 'The trio of the minuet has also been written again, but here it is
an altogether new composition, far superior to the first.]

[Footnote 48: A little piece for two violins and bass (266 K.), consisting of a
polonaiselike movement following some slow introductory bars, and of a
minuet, is not of importance.]

[Footnote 49: When the Vienna quartets appeared, and Toricella announced "Six
quartets by Mozart at a low price," the publisher Artaria drew the
attention of the public to the fact that these quartets were old works
of Mozart's, written fifteen years previously (Wien. Ztg., 1785; Nr. 75
Anh.). To this Toricella replied in a fresh announcement: "Concerning
the quartets of fifteen years ago, I believe that they need no
recommendation but the name of their author, and I am equally convinced
that, being in their whole style completely new to many amateurs, they
may be considered as novelties, and as genuine compositions of Mozart."]

[Footnote 50: Mozart afterwards composed a rondo, mentioned by his father
(September 25, 1777), to the Concerto in B major (207 K.) for Brunetti.]

[Footnote 51: Car. Pichler, Zeitbilder, p. 149.]

[Footnote 52: The piece is in E flat major; the viola part is written in D major,
and was to be tuned half a tone higher, both to give it a clear sound
and to make the execution easier.]

[Footnote 53: Schubart, Aesthet. d. Mus., p. 233.]

[Footnote 54: Mus. Real-Ztg., 1789, p. 240.]

[Footnote 55: The musical collection of Baron von Dürnitz is in the possession of
Herr Oec. Rabl, at Münchshofen.]

[Footnote 56: Among these may be included an arrangement of three clavier
sonatas by Joh. Chris. Bach (p. 38) as a concerto (107 K.) with quartet
accompaniment. I cannot decide how much of this is Mozart's.]

[Footnote 57: Cf. Kelly, Remin., I., p. 9.]

[Footnote 58: An unfinished Sonata in G major (357 K.) was perhaps completed and
afterwards lost.]

[Footnote 59: Yet Dressier mentions in his Theaterschule in 1777 (p. 46):
"Die Hrn. Mozart und Schröder, zwei ausserordentliche Genies, Musici,
Klavierspieler, und Compositeurs der Deutschen," whose merit is
acknowledged in foreign countries.]

[Footnote 60: The close of the adagio in Beethoven's C major symphony will occur
to every musician; the opening of his E flat major concerto is also
founded on a similar idea to this of Mozart's.]





OUR examination of the development of Mozart's youthful genius, as it is
to be traced in the multiplicity and variety of his studies, may fitly
be concluded by a rapid survey of what he had accomplished and the
position which he held at his entry into manhood.

At twenty-one years of age he could hold his own with the first masters
of his time as a performer on the clavier, the organ, and the violin,
and his powers as an executant were far surpassed by his accomplishments
in every branch of composition. Remembering his numerous and successful
contributions to theatrical music in serious and comic operas, to
church music of every kind and description, to instrumental music,
both concerted and solo, we are amazed at the ease and fertility of
his producing powers not less than at the steady perseverance and
earnestness of his studies. He never begins at random and breaks off
short, never yields to chance impulses, to be abandoned before their
object is attained; his will is always consciously fixed on a definite
end, and to that end he bends all the force and energy of his mind.

No small share of the merit of this happy development



must be accorded to his father, whose careful and well-digested
educational plan, as earnest and conscientious as it was far-seeing
and full of love, counteracted the son's easy and excitable nature, and
concentrated his whole strength on his artistic cultivation. But the
greatest share, after all, falls to the admirable organisation of Mozart
himself. His nature was so genuinely artistic that musical perfection
was the very germ of that inner being of which his works were the
natural and inevitable expression.

The precocity of his talent, which had produced these works at an age
when most minds are only beginning to put their thoughts into articulate
form, had in it nothing forced, strained, or disturbed; he seized
instinctively on what was in harmony with his genius, absorbed it
completely, and made it the stepping-stone to his upward progress.

We have seen how he laboured to become absolute master of every kind of
form in his art, and how, step by step, his labours were rewarded. But
no amount of external readiness and skill would satisfy him unless he
could also give due expression to what moved his innermost soul, and
impelled him to production. And so it is that even in his earliest works
we find no opposition between their form and their substance; so it is
that they are always a _whole_--at first insignificant enough both in
substance and treatment, but still a whole--contained in a definite
expression of artistic form. Looking back at the history of an art
which has been begotten and fostered by any nation, we see how it is now
favoured, now hindered, by external circumstances, how it strives and
struggles through the long ages, possessing itself here by fits and
starts, there by easy transitions, of all the means and forms necessary
for its perfect practice. When at last the spiritual and intellectual
life of the nation has become free and impelled to artistic activity,
the great master arises, who, disposing at will of the inheritance of
knowledge and genius bequeathed to him by his fathers, accomplishes the
highest task of art in his representations of ideal beauty. The glorious
contemplation of the organic development of a gifted nature, turning all
to good account,



and rejecting what impedes its growth so soon as it has served its turn,
is open for us in Mozart. To him it was given to master the external
conditions of his art on every side without injury to his individuality
and creative force. Artist and man grew together; the deeper the passion
and the more intense the emotion, the more grand and impressive became
the forms in which they were embodied. And it is in this that consists
the successful cultivation of any art in youth: in this mastery of the
means whereby the man in his maturity makes his genius felt without
apparent effort. Whatever study and discipline could attain, Mozart had
attained before he left Salzburg; it was time that he should emerge from
his narrow surroundings, that he should win freedom and independence,
both as a man and an artist, by contact with the world.

The position held by Mozart at Salzburg, disproportionate alike to his
performances and their promise, could not but fail to satisfy him as
soon as he became aware of his own powers.

His life would have been simply unendurable had it not been for
the healthy family life which had been from earliest childhood the
foundation of his moral and social existence.

He grew up in an atmosphere of conjugal and parental affection, of
sincere religion and conscientious morality, and of well-ordered
economy, which could not fail in its effect on his character. "After
God, papa comes," was his motto as a boy and as a man; it was the
keynote of the _whole_ household, and we have seen, and shall see
further, how fully Leopold Mozart deserved the trust reposed in him.

It was absolute confidence, not timid fear, which bound wife and
children to him, and candour and truth ruled all the family intercourse.
Not only the parents and children, but the brother and sister, were
devoted to each other; the similarity of their talents, far from
exciting emulation or jealousy, only bound them closer together; the
sister witnessed the brilliant successes of her younger brother with
pure delight, and bore his teasing with unfailing good-humour, sure,
in her turn, of his ready and hearty sympathy in her joys and sorrows,
whether great or small. Such a true



family life as this, in which the servants[1] and even the pet
animals[2] had their share, became all the firmer and heartier in
proportion as circumstances narrowed the circle composing it.

The primary motive-power was the father's earnest devotion to duty,
and his example gave weight to his unsparing demands on the labour and
industry of his children. He considered the accomplishments of an
artist as no mere pastime for hours of recreation, no passing breath
of visionary inspiration; but as the ripe food of ceaseless labour,
of untiring progress in moral and artistic self-knowledge. He was not
content to recognise in the wonderful receptive and productive powers
of his son a passport to easy indolence, but strove to make him
consider them as deposits to be turned to the best account by study and
cultivation. He accustomed his children to work from their youth up, and
made it his first object that their outer circumstances should afford
them no excuse for idle hours. "Custom." said he, "is an iron path." For
this reason he gave up every occupation (except the duties demanded
by his official position) which might withdraw him from his children,
especially all lessons, thereby entailing a considerable pecuniary
sacrifice, for which the profits of his first professional journey could
only partially compensate. But he had so firm a confidence in Wolfgang's
future, and he kept this object so clearly and continually in view, that
nothing could divert him from it. In the boy himself there was no cause
for anxiety; his trust in his father was unbounded, his nature was
pliable, and his zeal for his art so great that it was never necessary
to incite him to industry; indeed, his father often praises his energy
and laboriousness. A further proof of the father's beneficial influence
is the fact that Wolfgang did not yield to the temptation common to
talented and lively youth in following



momentary and one-sided impulses; but that he advanced step by step in
a thorough and judicious cultivation of all his powers. The great number
of his compositions of every kind which we have already noticed gives
us no small idea of his industry; and we must remember that these
performances were only possible as the result of continuous study and
exercise, of which no outward sign remains. The father insisted on
Wolfgang's making clear copies on quarto music paper, both of his own
compositions and of examples of other composers. A long list of such
exercise-books, in gray-blue covers, with every kind of composition in
Mozart's handwriting, arranged and titled by his father, affords the
most speaking proof of the industry and regard for order and neatness in
which Wolfgang was trained.

Added to this was the continual hard practice on organ and clavier which
made him the finished performer he was, then his official duties at
court and church, his frequent engagements to play in private circles,
and finally the lessons which he was obliged to give--one wonders in
fact where he found time for it all in a day of only four-and-twenty
hours. Nothing but the anomalous union of extraordinary genius with
regularity and order could have produced so anomalous a result. Then
again, L. Mozart was too far-seeing and cultivated a man to be satisfied
with an exclusively musical education for his son. He took care that he
should attain proficiency in foreign languages; he had learnt Latin
in early youth (p. 61), and some knowledge of it was indispensable for
sacred composition, on which account his father enjoins him (October 15,
1777) always to use a Latin prayer-book. He learnt to speak French and
Italian fluently on his journeys, and his father was careful to keep up
his knowledge of them. No opportunity was lost of acquiring "any kind of
useful knowledge," as Leopold writes (December 18, 1777), "in order to
cultivate the understanding by the reading of good books in different
languages." Unfortunately we are not told what books Wolfgang read, nor
in what direction his literary taste lay. It is characteristic of the
father that both the children were obliged every evening to write a
short account



in a journal of what they had learnt and done throughout the day, in
order to cultivate their observation of themselves and the things around

L. Mozart knew well that hot-house plants fade quickly, and was careful
not to overtax the powers of his son, but to preserve him in healthy
freshness, both of mind and body, by means of due diversion
and recreation. He sought also to render him self-possessed and
unconstrained in his intercourse with all classes of men, which
Wolfgang's natural amiability rendered an easy task; it was far more
difficult to impress him with the necessity for prudence and reserve,
which not even the bitter experiences of after-life could teach him.
Tied and hampered, as L. Mozart was, in all these endeavours by the
conditions of his life in Salzburg, one support remained of which he
could not be deprived; this was the beauty of the surrounding scenery.
True, he makes no mention of it in his letters, but the dwellers in
beautiful neighbourhoods seldom express enthusiastic admiration unless
it is called forth by the observation of strangers. Whether consciously
or not, however, the influence of rich and beautiful scenery must be
felt by a finely organised mind, and the good fortune of a youth passed
amid such impressions of surrounding nature is not less to be prized
than any other happy dispensation which wakens to life the slumbering
powers of the soul.

Intercourse with cultivated and art-loving men, so indispensable to a
liberal education, was not easy of attainment in Salzburg. Such men were
few, and almost exclusively belonged to the higher nobility. Two Counts
Firmian, brothers to the Governor-General of Lombardy (p. no), were men
of a lively interest in and appreciation of science and art. While
still at the university they had founded a literary society which had
considerable influence in spite of the strong opposition which its free
scientific tendencies drew upon it.[3] One of the brothers, Vigilius
Maria, who was provost of the cathedral, possessed a carefully selected
library, and was familiar with the literature of all the



European countries; the other, Franz Lactantius, Lord High Chamberlain
to the Archbishop, was a connoisseur of painting and possessed an
excellent collection of pictures. But he seems to have had little idea
of music; for although he was extremely well disposed towards Wolfgang,
the latter writes to his father (July 9, 1778) that nothing can be done
for music in Salzburg until it is altogether left to the kapellmeister,
so that the Lord High Chamberlain may have no power to interfere: "for
you cannot make a kapellmeister out of a cavalier, although you may make
a cavalier out of a kapellmeister." Canon Count Anton Wilibald Wolfegg
had travelled extensively in order to make himself acquainted with
manufactures and industries, and had specially studied architecture. The
Master of the Horse, Count Leopold Joseph Küenberg, was a well-read and
accomplished man; the Bishop of Chiemsee, Count Ferdinand von Zeil,
was as distinguished for intellect and cultivation as for nobility of
disposition.[4] We may gather that all these men were well disposed
towards Mozart. The Chamberlain, Count George Anton Felix von Arco, the
Court Marshal, Count Nicolaus Sebastian von Lodron, and the Captain of
the Body-Guard, Count Leopold von Lodron, were also among his patrons.
He had free entry into their houses, played at their entertainments, and
gave lessons to their daughters, all the ladies, old and young, vying
with each other in attentions to the distinguished virtuoso. Wolfgang
sends a respectful kiss of the hand from Milan (February 17, 1770) to
her Excellency Countess Arco, and thanks her for the kiss she had sent
him, which he prized more highly than many a salute from a younger
person. Differences of rank, however, and of personal circumstances
rendered difficult any such friendly intercourse as would have been of
advantage to Mozart both socially and professionally.

The circle was not an artistic one. Wolfgang praises Count Salem in
Munich (October 2, 1777), and calls him a



true connoisseur. "He says 'Bravo!' when the other cavaliers take a
pinch of snuff, or blow their noses, or cough, or begin a conversation."

The smaller or, as it was called, the "wilde" nobility lived for the
most part on the numerous smaller court offices, the incomes of which
did not enable them to make a show in proportion to their rank; they
strove to indemnify themselves by pride and haughtiness, although there
were some few cultivated families among them.[5] With some of these, and
more particularly with their younger members, we find Wolfgang in close
intercourse, but the friendship was in most instances a superficial one,
which did not stand the test of years and absence. Herr von Mölk, son
of the Court Chancellor, is mentioned as a friend of Wolfgang's, and an
unsuccessful suitor of his sister Marianne; it was he who was so amazed
and delighted with the performance of the opera at Munich that the
Mozarts were ashamed of him, because it was evident that he had seen
nothing all his life but Salzburg and Innspruck.[6] Mozart was more
attached, at least in his early years, to Fräulein W. von Mölk, to whom
he sends a message that he would like the same reward from her that he
had for the last minuets; she knows what that is. That his heart
was somewhat susceptible of impression in youth is evident from the
mysterious allusions which Wolfgang makes in his letters to his sister;
she is to visit--she knows whom--to give tender messages, &c. When he
went to Italy in 1772, an expression in a letter from his father points
to a daughter of Dr. Barisani as his reigning goddess. Other friends of
Mozart's youth were Herr von Hefner, son of the town syndic; Herr von
Aman, of whom he was very fond as a boy, though the intimacy afterwards
died out, and Joachim von Schiedenhofen, who disgusted Mozart by
marrying for money. Von Schiedenhofen kept in his youth a "diary of his
own doings," extracts from which, relating to the years 1774-1777, take
note of all the visits of



the Mozart family. These extracts prove that the Mozarts were on
friendly terms with many other court officials. They visited each other
in the afternoons and evenings, and either played cards or had
music. Regular entertainments are mentioned, such as meetings for the
bolt-shooting which we shall presently describe, and a card club; the
friends also went to concerts and masquerades together.

Intercourse with families of the citizen class, which could not fail to
result from the position held by the Mozarts, and from their many years
residence in the place, was more of a recreation for idle hours than
a means of intellectual improvement; occasional allusions to Salzburg
society are not of a favourable nature.[7] Among their intimate friends
was our old acquaintance Hagenauer, a merchant, and for many years their
landlord. We may gather from the confidential letters addressed to
him by L. Mozart on the first journey that he was not only sincerely
attached to them and always ready with advice and help, but that he had
cultivation and tastes in advance of his surroundings. His wife,
judging from some remarks of L. Mozart, was somewhat bigoted and fond
of priestly intercourse. The closest friend of the family, however,
who possessed the confidence both of father and children, was Jos.
Bullinger, a priest, who had been educated at the Jesuit seminary in
Munich and was tutor in the family of Count Arco at Salzburg. "The
faithful Bullinger" was "always a chief person" in the Mozarts' house;
in Wolfgang's letters home he not only always sends messages to his
"good friend Bullinger," but he begs that his letters may be read to
him, and sometimes that important secrets may be told to no one but
Nannerl and Bullinger. After the mother's death in Paris, Wolfgang
intrusted him with the mournful task of breaking the news gently to his
father, which Bullinger did



with equal tact and sympathy; and when Wolfgang was forced, much against
his will, to return to Salzburg, it was to his friend Bullinger that he
poured out his heavy laden heart (August 7, 1778). And the attachment
was mutual. When Wolfgang was on his way home from Paris, and his father
and sister, anxious for news of him, confessed and communicated with
many prayers for the preservation of their dear one, "the faithful
Bullinger" also "prayed for him daily in the holy mass" (October 19,
1778). The father, too, had good cause to declare that Bullinger was
his best and truest friend, from whom he had received "much courtesy
and kindness," and who, when he was in embarrassment during Wolfgang's
journey, assisted him by a considerable loan.

He placed the fullest confidence in Bullinger, shared with him all his
plans for Wolfgang, and took counsel with him on many occasions. The
friendship between them was well known in Salzburg; and in the efforts
that were made to recall Wolfgang from Vienna Bullinger was employed as
a go-between. He seems to have had some taste for music; at least, we
hear of his taking part in some private concerts, which were held every
Sunday at eleven o'clock; and Wolfgang writes, after his departure
(October 11, 1777), begging him to "hold an official discourse, and give
his compliments to all the members of the Academy."

Opportunities for social gaiety were more freely afforded to
pleasure-loving Salzburg under Archbishop Hieronymus than under his
predecessor Sigismund, whose tastes were not nearly so cheerful nor so
liberal.[8] Salzburg society was characterised as follows: "The country
gentlemen hunt and go to church; those next below them go to church and
hunt; the next lower rank eat, drink, and pray; and the lowest of all
pray, drink, and eat. The two latter classes conduct their love affairs
in public, and the two former in private; all alike live in sensual



In 1775 a spacious hall, with some side apartments, were added to the
town hall, and there, during the carnival, masked balls were given
under the supervision of the magistrate, as well as concerts and other
entertainments. Mozart, who was fond of dancing and jokes, excelled in
masquerading; Schiedenhofen mentions his having amused every one as a
peasant bridegroom, and another time as a young dandy.

But even in Salzburg the most popular entertainment was the play; a
theatre was built expressly for the court on the right bank of the
Salzach, and there in winter performances were given by the Munich or
some other travelling company,[9] sledge parties and others being formed
for the purpose of attending. In summer, excursions were made to the
numerous objects of interest in the neighbourhood, a very favourite
one being to the royal park of Hellbronn.[10] The Mozarts rarely
participated in these pleasures.

Although the father was able to write to his son (February 12,1778):
"Consider whether I have not always helped you to procure every possible
pleasure that was harmless and sensible, often at the cost of great
personal inconvenience," yet his limited circumstances prohibited any
very frequent indulgence in such pleasures.

The increasing expenses, which he justly ascribed to the parsimonious
system of the government,[11] necessitated the strictest economy on his
part. He laid these circumstances clearly before his son (February 16,

It has been very hard work for me ever since your birth, and even
before, to support a wife and seven children, besides your grandmother
and several others, on twenty florins a month, taking into account
child-births, deaths, and illnesses. If you calculate these expenses you
will readily believe that not only have I never had a kreutzer to spend
on my own pleasure, but that it has only been by the grace of God and
hard work that I have kept free from debt. I have sacrificed my whole
time to you two children in order that when the time came you might be



both to maintain yourselves, and also provide me with the means of
spending a peaceful old age, occupied only with thoughts for the safety
of my soul, and preparations for a happy death."

But L. Mozart's economy was judicious. "Buy nothing that is bad," he
wrote to his wife (October 26, 1771), "there is no saving in buying bad
things." The simplicity of the manners of the household, and the modest
nature of the enjoyments, may be proved by the extreme and constant
popularity among the whole circle of a game called "bolt-shooting"
(bölzelschiessen). A number of intimates formed themselves into a sort
of little guild, and met every Sunday at the various houses of the
members. Each player in turn threw a bolt or quoit, and numerous were
the jokes to which the game gave rise. A sort of rivalry grew up in the
furnishing of each quoit with inscriptions bearing on the foibles and
peculiarities of the different players, and the tendency to joking and
sarcasm of the good Salzburgers was thereby encouraged and indulged.
A pleasant sociable kind of intercourse grew out of these constant
meetings. The following instance will show the kind of pleasantry that
was allowable on such occasions. Leopold tells his son (November 11,
1780) how one of the lady members, who was a little bit of a coquette,
happened one day to trip on the step of a shop she was entering in
full daylight, and to fall in a very inelegant posture. This was duly
portrayed with appropriate verses on the quoit, to the uncontrollable
merriment of the whole party. The bolt-shooting is never forgotten
in the family correspondence; amusing quoit pictures are forwarded
to absent members, and their share of the winnings received by their
proxies. Mozart writes to his sister from Vienna (July 4, 1781) : "Is it
not about time for the shooting supper? Pray do not forget to drink the
health of a faithful shooter with due honours, and tell me when it comes
to my turn, that I may paint a quoit."

Under these circumstances, the encouragement which Wolfgang needed
to render his arduous labours pleasant and satisfactory could only be
looked for from the sympathy of his colleagues, and the favour with
which his performances were received. But, unfavourable as the state of



was in Salzburg in other respects, on this point it was simply
intolerable. Individual musicians, such as the faithful Schachtner,
who were free from envy, and had cultivation and industry enough to
appreciate intercourse with the Mozart family, formed a close and
constant friendship with them. But, with the majority, intimacy was on
many accounts out of the question, even when, as in the case of Michael
Haydn and Adlgasser, they deserved all recognition as artists.[12] It
was in contrast to Salzburg that L. Mozart praises the orchestra at
Mannheim as "young men of good morals, neither tipplers nor gamblers,
nor miserable blockheads, whose conduct and performances are alike
admirable" (July 19, 1763). Wolfgang made similar observations in after
years, and wrote to his father from Paris (July 9,1778) how businesslike
everything was under Cannabich's conductorship, how implicitly he was
obeyed, and what much better lives the musicians lived there than
at Salzburg. "One of my chief reasons for detesting Salzburg is the
impossibility of associating, as an honest man, with the coarse, stupid,
dissolute musicians belonging to the court; one is quite ashamed of
them, and it is they who bring music generally into disfavour." We can
well understand how frequently the Mozart family would give offence to
men of small cultivation and ill-regulated tastes. As a childish prodigy
Mozart had amused them by his childlike candour and engaging confidence;
but as a growing youth his performances became an intolerable source of
annoyance and envy to them, not lessened by the brilliant recognition
which he met with outside the walls of his native town. Their ill-will
was doubtless also increased by the reserve of the Mozarts, their claims
to superior cultivation, and the justification sometimes accorded
to these claims; and although the father's prudence and the mother's
good nature would prevent any open rupture with their colleagues, yet
a tendency to severe criticism, sometimes jokingly, sometimes
sarcastically expressed, is common to all the Mozarts. If we may judge
of the tone of their actual



intercourse by the numerous allusions in their letters (and Wolfgang's
forte was certainly not prudent reserve), then, indeed, Salzburg might
well dread the sharpness of the Mozart tongue.

The family were on least friendly terms with the Italians attached to
the service of the Archbishop. Almost everywhere in Germany the idea was
firmly rooted that the reputation of the musical establishments could
only be upheld by summoning composers and virtuosi from Italy. When
Wolfgang wrote to his father from Munich (September 29, 1777): "So
it is! All the great people have a rage for foreigners!" His father
consoled him by answering (October 4,1777): "The rage for Italians
is almost confined to Munich; it exists in an exaggerated degree. In
Mannheim, everything is German, except a couple of male sopranos. At
Trêves, under the Elector, Prince Clement of Saxony, the Maestro alone
is Italian; Mayence is altogether German; and at Würzburg the
only foreigner is Signor Fracassini, a violinist, now, I believe,
kapellmeister, and that only for the sake of his German wife, a vocalist
and a native of Würzburg. There are no foreigners at any of the smaller
Protestant courts." Notwithstanding, however, the reduction of the
operatic and court establishment of Stuttgart in 1768, by the dismissal
of some of its chief members, the taste and feeling, as well as the
majority of the _personnel_, continued to be purely Italian;[13] and
at Bonn many Italians belonged to the court establishment, under the
leadership of Lucchesi.[14] L. Mozart does not allude to North Germany,
since it lay out of Wolfgang's projected path. The natural consequence
of the intrusion of foreigners was ceaseless contention between the
German musicians, who saw themselves slighted and aggrieved, and the
Italians, who made their superiority most offensively felt.[15] Mozart
had to suffer from foreign intrigues



not only in Milan while composing his opera (p. 130), but perhaps also
in Munich, and certainly in Salzburg. Archbishop Hieronymus, who set
a low value on anything belonging to Salzburg, although he paid a
high price for many a native manufacture bearing a foreign stamp,[16]
introduced Italians into his band, because it had been blamed as "rough
and rapid in execution, and not delicate nor in the best taste."[17] The
kapellmeister Lolli, having become old and incapable, was replaced by
Fischietti in 1772; this was a disappointment to L. Mozart, whose claims
to the office were well founded, since he was considered to have placed
music on its then excellent footing.[18] Among the soloists Brunetti
was appointed to the violin, Ferrari to the violoncello, Ferlendi to
the oboe, and Ceccarelli was male soprano. These Italians were not only
better paid than native artists, but the "foreign asses," as Michael
Haydn called them, relying on the favour of the Archbishop, conducted
themselves with insolence and ill-breeding.[19] There can be no question
that the annoyance to the two Mozarts was great at seeing strangers, far
below them in social position and talent, preferred before them, while
all the hard labour devolved upon themselves. Fischietti's compositions
were few and far between; Wolfgang was always ready to compose operatic
or sacred, vocal or instrumental music, as occasion arose. All this
implanted a rooted dislike to foreigners in Mozart's young mind which
the experiences of his later years did much to confirm. But the artistic
element of his nature was far too strong and too pure to allow personal
consideration to influence his judgment on Italian music; his heart was
so sound and good that he



could overcome his dislike to the nation in his intercourse with
individuals: it only transpires every now and then.

It was not very likely that the Mozarts--father or son--would be in high
favour at court. We do not know much of their dealings with Archbishop
Sigismund; but the difficulty L. Mozart had in renewing his leave of
absence proves that the Archbishop was not overpleased with his repeated
and lengthened stays abroad.[20] Wolfgang received an official post and
the title of Concertmeister some time before 1770, but no salary; and
even after the production of "Ascanio in Alba" L. Mozart was in doubt as
to whether the Archbishop would remember his son if any vacancy occurred
(p. 134). It is not known whether the salary of 150 gulden a year which
he drew as Concertmeister had been granted to him by Sigismund; in any
case it was not raised until 1777 by his successor, whose own sister,
the Countess Schönborn, as Wolfgang writes (September 26, 1777),
"positively refused to believe that he had had a monthly keepsake of
twelve florins thirty kreutzers."

Mozart's position was still more unfavourable under Hieronymus, who
never forgave the inhabitants of Salzburg their strongly expressed
opposition to his election as Archbishop.[21] He knew himself to be
unpopular, and, instead of courting popularity, openly displayed his
contempt for his subjects.[22] He was a man of acute and enlightened
intellect, and carried out some important reforms in his government



with a firm hand; but he was self-willed, parsimonious, and
unscrupulous.[23] He seldom expressed satisfaction with his officials.
His disdainful mode of address to all but those of the highest nobility,
and the irritable tone of his conversation, kept all about him in timid
subordination. Even his appearance (although he was of mean stature
and sickly complexion)--the sharp glance of his grey eyes, the left
eye rarely fully open, and the decided lines round his mouth--commanded
respect and fear.[24] There were other circumstances besides their
German extraction and Salzburg birth which rendered the two Mozarts
obnoxious to the Archbishop. Count Ferdinand von Zeil, afterwards
Bishop of Chiemsee, to whose generous withdrawal Hieronymus owed his
election,[25] was one of Mozart's warmest and most constant supporters,
and for him Mozart, like all Salzburg, felt the deepest love and
respect. This was not the way to the favour of Hieronymus. L. Mozart's
independent demeanour, doing his duty and going his way without
obsequiousness or flattery, and Wolfgang's open-mouthed candour, causing
him occasionally to forget his official position and the reserve it
should have entailed, were so many reasons for additional tyranny on the
part of the Archbishop. Added to this was the fact that Mozart, with his
slender figure and boyish countenance, made a poor personal impression
on Hieronymus, who was singularly apt to be imposed upon by men of
commanding height and appearance.[26] He refused any recognition of
Wolfgang's musical accomplishments, and was unsparing in his criticism
of them,[27] telling him--as



Leopold wrote to Padre Martini (December 22, 1777)--that he knew nothing
of his art, and should go and study at the Naples Conservatoire that
he might learn something; a sufficiently unreasonable proposal to an
academician of Bologna and Verona--to a young man who had traversed
Italy in triumph as a composer and virtuoso. True, Mozart had no great
respect for the Archbishop's critical judgment, but in the mouth of
his Prince such an expression of opinion was of very unpleasant
significance; for, in point of fact, Hieronymus was well aware of
Mozart's genius, and never failed to honour him with commissions when
any new composition was required, for which he never paid him a penny.
Even if otherwise, those around him would have put him right on the
point; it was of set purpose that he gave vent to these insults. He
imagined that contemptuous expressions of opinion as to his
performances would be the most effectual means of preventing the younger
Concertmeister from preferring his claim to a higher salary than 150
gulden a year.

Such were the continual insults and opposition borne by the father and
son, each on behalf of the other. "I hope" wrote Wolfgang, "that you are
less annoyed than when I was in Salzburg, for I must acknowledge that
I was the cause of it. I was badly treated; I did not deserve it. You
naturally took my part, but too strongly; I assure you that was the
chief reason that I hurried out of Salzburg." To this his father answers
(November 17, 1777): "You are quite right as to my extreme annoyance
at the tyrannical treatment you received; it gnawed at my heart, and
prevented my sleeping; it was always in my thoughts, and would in the
end have destroyed me. My dear son, when you are happy, I am happy; and
your mother and sister--we are all happy; and this happiness I hope for,
by the grace of God and my confidence in your own good sense." L. Mozart
saw from the beginning that Wolfgang would never fill a position worthy
of him in Salzburg; and he exerted himself in vain to procure a post for
him at some other court. The greatest caution was necessary to keep his
negotiations a secret at Salzburg; for his



enemies would not fail to seize the opportunity of injuring him, perhaps
of displacing him altogether. Aware of the folly of endangering his
assured position, uncomfortable though it might be, he strove to allay
the growing impatience of his son. The latter desired that the whole
family should gain their livelihood by a grand professional tour, until
they could find a secure and happier position in some place or other.
His father, wiser and more experienced, pointed out to him (December 18,
1777) how entirely their circumstances had altered since his childhood,
how hard it would be to gain subsistence for a whole family journeying
about, how uncertain their means of maintenance would be; Leopold duly
appreciated also the cares and dangers of a nomadic life. Nor was
he more inclined to trust his son entirely alone. He knew Wolfgang's
incapacity in all the concerns of practical life, particularly in
travelling, since he "did not know the differences of coinage, and
had no conception of packing up, or anything of that sort." He saw the
hindrances which envy and mistrust would be sure to lay in the path of a
young man who was striving to win his way by surpassing talent and great
doings. Above all, he feared the temperament of his son, knowing that
his careless frankness and good nature, coupled with his excitability
and proneness to hasty rejoinder, would make him the easy prey of any
one who might wish to use or to injure him. He addresses Wolfgang in
words of warning (February 16, 1778):--

My dear Son,--You are too hot and hasty in all your affairs. Your
character has entirely changed since your childhood and boyhood. You
were grave and earnest as a child; and when you were busy over your
music, no one might venture the least jesting with you. Even your
countenance was so grave that many people in different countries
believed that your precocious talent and serious face betokened an early
death. Now, on the contrary, it appears to me that you are far too ready
to answer jestingly on every occasion, which is the first step to a kind
of familiarity which one should eschew if one desires to win respect in
the world. It is your good heart which causes you to see no fault in a
man, to give him your full confidence, provided he only extols you to
the skies; whereas, as a boy, your excess of modesty made you cry when
people praised you too much.



L. Mozart knew also that Wolfgang would be so engrossed in his art as
to forget everything else, more especially whatever would be to his
own advantage. He trembled for the dangers which would beset the
inexperienced youth, leaving the narrow sphere of provincial life to
encounter the temptations of the great world. He strove with all his
might, therefore, to instil patience into his son, and represented to
him that his probation in Salzburg was a necessary preparation for
the tour, which would have far more certainty of success when he was
somewhat maturer in age and education.

But even this patience had its limits. Wolfgang had not left Salzburg
since he had produced the "Finta Giardiniera" at Munich, in 1775; if
he did not wish to be altogether forgotten, he must again display his
powers as a composer and executant. He had prepared himself for such
a tour as he proposed by prolonged study and solo compositions. The
numerous fair copies in the little books we have named had been made
with the same object in view; they could be readily packed, and always
at hand for performance, or to be copied again as presents. When
everything was ready, the father and son applied to the Archbishop for
permission to travel; this, as well as a petition for an increase of
salary, was roundly refused; the Archbishop giving as his reason that he
would not have his subjects "going on begging expeditions."

But the cup was now full to overflowing; Wolfgang begged leave to resign
his post at Salzburg, and the Archbishop, enraged at having the tables
turned upon him, accepted the resignation in the most ungracious manner.
It was even expected that his anger would extend to the father, and
that he had given orders to strike L. Mozart's name off the list of his
musicians. This, however, was not the case; with an ungracious remark
the Archbishop allowed him to retain his place.

Wolfgang's resignation excited much notice in Salzburg; and the
universal regret was shared even by those immediately round the
Archbishop. Count von Firmian, who was extremely fond of Wolfgang, was
rejoicing on his return from a journey (as L. Mozart relates, October 4,
1777) in



the pleasure that a riding-horse he had purchased for him would give his
young friend, when he was met by the lamentable intelligence. When he
paid his respects to the Archbishop, the latter remarked: "We have one
musician less since you left." He answered, "Your Grace has lost a great
performer." "How so?" "He is the greatest clavier-player that I ever
heard in my life; he has done your grace good service on the violin, and
he is a first-rate composer." Whereupon the Archbishop was silent. Canon
Count Jos. Starhemberg too, declared later (June 29, 1778) that Mozart's
complaints were fully justified, and that all visitors to Salzburg had
admired young Mozart, by whom he himself was quite captivated.

But this turn of affairs gave L. Mozart the deepest anxiety; all
the difficulties and objections to the journey pressed upon him with
redoubled force now that it was to be undertaken under such unfavourable
circumstances. It was, however, rendered inevitable. It would be
incompatible with pride or self-respect to purchase Wolfgang's
continuance in his office at the cost of abject submission to the
Archbishop. It only remained, by energy and foresight, so to make use
of circumstances as to preserve their honour with the Archbishop, and to
insure a fixed position for Wolfgang. The visits must be arranged to the
larger towns, especially residences, where concerts might cover the cost
of the journey, and commissions for compositions might render possible a
lengthened stay, ending, perhaps, in a settled engagement. The tour
was planned with these ends in view, and Leopold was never weary of
impressing upon his son that his sole endeavour must be to win a name,
to make money, and to obtain a position; personal gratification and mere
amusement must be kept altogether in the background. "Money-making," he
writes (October 15, 1777), "must engross all your attention, and economy
must be all your care, otherwise a journey is of no profit; on the
contrary, it brings a man into debt." And again (November 27, 1777):
"The object of the journey is, was, and must be the acquirement of a
fixed position and the making of money." His extensive connections and
great local knowledge enabled him to trace his



son's path out, and to gain him excellent introductions, and his
zeal and activity were indefatigable. Wolfgang was enjoined to become
acquainted with persons and events, to grasp quickly his probable
prospects in any place, and either at once to turn them to good account,
or if unfavourable, to leave the place. But Wolfgang had neither the
experience nor the practical shrewdness of his father; he felt secure
of his art, in which alone he lived, and imagined the rest would come
of itse(l)f. The prospect of at last escaping from detested Salzburg was
apparently too engrossing to allow him to pay much heed to his father's
warnings. The father knew all this, and knew that he must not go alone;
he could not accompany him himself, and he therefore took the hard
resolve of parting with his wife and sending her forth with their son.

He was quite aware that, as a woman, she could not occupy the same
position towards Wolfgang as he himself; and he must have felt, too,
that intense as her love for Wolfgang was, she had not the energy or
superiority of intellect necessary to guide him. But she knew the world,
and was an experienced traveller, and so he hoped that she would supply
the carefulness and economy which Wolfgang lacked; she was specially
enjoined to keep an exact account, and at once to inform her husband of
any propositions that were made, that he might advise and direct. She
does not seem, however, to have quite answered his expectations, partly
because she could not always withstand her son's impatient restlessness,
and partly because she yielded to her own inclinations, although she
often declared "she was ready to drop with the fatigue of packing-up."
But Leopold could rely on her influence on the most important point of
all. The mother's presence was a guarantee that her tenderly reared
and devoted son would be careful of his health. He hoped, too, that her
presence would preserve him from any dangerous or immoral intercourse,
on which point he gives Wolfgang the benefit of his own experience
(February 16, 1778):--

I sought only the acquaintance and friendship of persons of the higher
classes, and even among them I avoided idle young fellows, whatever
their rank. I invited no one to visit me frequently, and always
preferred visiting others when I pleased. For if I do not care for a
man, or am



busy or engaged, I can stay away; but if he comes to me, I am at a loss
to get rid of him; and, even if a pleasant visitor, he may hinder me
at my work. You are a young man of twenty-two, so that it is not the
gravity of your years which will prevent worthless fellows, old or
young, from making your acquaintance and endeavouring to entice you to
follow their example. One is led on irresistibly, and finds, when too
late, that there is no return.

I will not enter on the subject of women, wherein nature herself is our
enemy, and he who does not strenuously resist at first will strive in
vain to escape from the labyrinth, and will find no release but death.
How blindly one is often led on by jokes, flattery, &c., until returning
sense awakens one to shame, you may have, perhaps, already experienced
in some degree. I do not mean to reproach you. I know that you love me
not as your father alone, but as your closest and surest friend.

Separation from his wife was not the only sacrifice made by the father
to the well-being of his son. He foresaw that the profits of the journey
would hardly cover its expenses, and that he must arrange to have a sum
always in hand in case of emergencies. He had no private property; the
profits of the first journey had already disappeared; he was obliged
to borrow, and debt was abhorrent to so conscientious a man; but his
friends Hagenauer and Bullinger readily came to his assistance. He not
only cut down to their lowest point the expenses of his housekeeping
with Nannerl, but he undertook once more "the very uncongenial work of
giving lessons," badly paid and fatiguing as it was. A father who made
such sacrifices for his son had a right to demand in return, not indeed
filial love, and the gaining of artistic fame--that came freely and
spontaneously--but a degree of prudence and forethought which should
suffice for the demands of practical life. "I have, my dear Wolfgang,"
he says (February 16, 1778), "not only not the smallest mistrust in you,
but I place all confidence and all hope in your future. It all depends
on the sound good sense which you certainly possess, if you would only
pay heed to it, and on fortunate circumstances. These last are not to be
forced, but you can always take sense to your counsel, and that I hope
and pray you will."

Thus was everything planned and prepared, the necessary means were
provided, the outfit purchased, and a carriage



in readiness which would contain the two travellers and their luggage,
clothes, and instruments. This was the approved method of travelling at
that time, and Leopold Mozart was determined to send his son forth into
the world, not as an itinerant musician, but as an artist commanding
respect and honourable treatment, even from his outward surroundings.


[Footnote 1: Messages and birthday congratulations to the servant-maids were
never forgotten in his letters home. When Wolfgang was expected home
from Paris, Theresa, the cook, sent word to him repeatedly how many
capons she was preparing in his honour.]

[Footnote 2: Besides the canary which Wolfgang constantly alludes to in his
letters, the dog, Wimperl, was always tenderly inquired after.]

[Footnote 3: J. Mayr, Die ehem. Univ. Salzburg, p. 12.]

[Footnote 4: Cf. the account of these two in K. R[isbeck], Briefe eines reisenden
Franzosen über Deutschland, 1784, I., p. 155; and for Count Zeil see
(Footnote Koch-Shernfeld), Die letzten dreissig Jahre des Erzstiftes Salzburg, p.

[Footnote 5: K. R[isbeck], Briefe, I., p. 156. [Koch-Stemfeld] Die letzten
dreissig Jahre des Erzstiftes Salzburg, p. 256.]

[Footnote 6: Wolfgang said he knew a Salzburger who complained that he could not
see Paris properly, because the houses were too high.]

[Footnote 7: Wolfgang wrote to his sister from Milan that he had learnt a new
language; it was rather childish, but good enough for Salzburg. He wrote
to Bullinger (August 7,1778) that he could not possibly be happy in
Salzburg, where there was no society; and to his father (January 8,
1779): "I assure you solemnly that I cannot endure the Salzburgers (I
mean the natives of Salzburg); their speech and manners are odious to

[Footnote 8: Literar. Anekd. auf e. Reise durch Deutschland (Frkf., 1790), p.
228. K. R[isbeck], Briefe, I., p. 159. [Koch-Sternfeld] Die letzten
dreissig Jahre. p. 157.]

[Footnote 9: K. R[isbeck], Briefe, I., p. 157. [Koch-Sternfeld] p. 157.]

[Footnote 10: K. R[isbeck], I., p. 159.]

[Footnote 11: For a more detailed account see [Koch-Sternfeld] p. 28.]

[Footnote 12: cf., p. 237.]

[Footnote 13: Burney, Reise, II., p. 77.]

[Footnote 14: Burney, Reise, II., p. 57. Cf. Thayer, Beethoven's Leben, I., p. 60,

[Footnote 15: Burney, Reise, III., p. 275. "The musicians in almost every town
are envious of each other, and all unite in envying the Italians who
settle in the country. It must be acknowledged that the Italians are
caressed and flattered, and often receive twice as high a salary as
native musicians of greater merit."]

[Footnote 16: [Koch-Stemfeld] Die letzten dreissig Jahre, p. 233.]

[Footnote 17: Burney, Reise, III., p. 260, following a correspondent, who was not
very much prepossessed by Mozart (p. 139).]

[Footnote 18: Schubart, Aesthet., p. 157. Koch-Stemfeld, p. 255: "The court music
was good, but not so good as under Archbishop Sigismund, when it was
comparatively better paid."]

[Footnote 19: Meissner was one of the Archbishop's favourites, and yet even he
was told by the court chamberlain, when a cold prevented his singing,
that he must sing and attend to the service, or he would be dismissed.
"Such is the reward of favourites of the great!" (L. Mozart, October 6,

[Footnote 20: Cf., p. 26, 42, 72.]

[Footnote 21: [Koch-Stemfeld], p. 44: "When the proclamation, 'Hieronymus!'
reached the expectant crowd from the balcony of the palace, the people
could not believe their ears. As the solemn procession, with the newly
elected ruler, pale and sickly in its midst, filed into the cathedral
for the Te Deum, a dead silence reigned. It was a fair-day. An urchin in
the midst of the gazing throng gave a huzza, and received a box on the
ear from a merchant standing near, with the words, 'Boy, dost thou
shout when all the people weep?' The voice of the people, on which the
prosperity of a prince so much depends, was never more plainly
heard. Hieronymus felt it deeply; many similar expressions in private
conversations were reported to him, and many invitations to court were
discontinued for long."]

[Footnote 22: K. R[isbeck], Briefe eines reisenden Franzosen, I., p. 158: "As far
as head goes there could not be a better ruler, but as to heart--I
do not know. He knows that he is unpopular with the Salzburgers, and
despises and avoids them in consequence."]

[Footnote 23: The following description is taken from [Koch-Sternfeld], p. 312.]

[Footnote 24: "I did not venture to contradict," writes Wolfgang to his father
(February 19,1778), "because I had come straight from Salzburg, where
one gets out of the habit of contradicting."]

[Footnote 25: [Koch-Sternfeld], p. 43.]

[Footnote 26: [Koch-Sternfeld], p. 313.]

[Footnote 27: Wolfgang writes ironically to his father from Mannheim (November
4, 1777): "I played my concerto to him (Ramm) at Cannabich's, on the
pianoforte, and although it was known to be mine, it pleased very much.
Nobody said that it was not well arranged; no doubt because the people
here know nothing about such things; they should ask the Archbishop--he
would set them right at once."]





EARLY on the morning of September 23,1777, Wolfgang and his mother took
their departure from Salzburg, leaving L. Mozart far from well, and
inconsolable in his solitude.

"After you had set off," he wrote (September 25, 1777), "I went upstairs
quite exhausted, and threw myself on a couch. It was with a great effort
that I had restrained myself at parting, in order not to add to our
grief, and in the confusion I had forgotten to give my son the paternal
blessing. I ran to the window and sent it after you both; but as I did
not see you drive through the gate, I came to the conclusion that you
had already passed, and that I had sat immersed in my grief longer than
I supposed." Nannerl wept till she made herself ill, and did not recover
till the evening, when the two consoled themselves with a game of

Wolfgang, on the contrary, breathed more freely as soon as he had
turned his back upon Salzburg; the feeling of relief from the galling
oppression of years dispelled the sorrow of parting with his father
and sister. In his former journeys he had experienced nothing but
encouragement and success, and had been shielded from all the harassing
cares of ordinary life; and so he took his way with artless confidence
into the wide world. He little dreamt that he had in fact made the
first step along a thorny path, to be met from henceforth to the end by
difficulty, opposition, pain, and sorrow.

{MUNICH, 1777.}


His mind was fresh and youthful enough to be diverted by all the little
incidents of such a journey. When he sat down in the evening, "_undecima
hora noctis_," at Wasserburg, to acquaint his father of their safe
arrival, he could think of nothing more important to tell him than of
their having seen a cow "all on one side." He had met a fat gentleman
who remembered having seen Wolfgang a year ago during a performance of
"Mirabell"; he was in company with Herr von Unhold, of Memmingen, and
they both sent their compliments to Wolfgang's father and sister. It is
plain that the boy rejoiced in the feeling of freedom and independence:
"_Viviamo come i principi_, and want nothing but my dear father; but
it is God's will, and all will go well. I hope you will be well and as
contented as I am. I am getting quite expert, and, like another papa,
taking care of everything. I have always to pay the postilions, for
I can talk to the fellows better than mamma. Pray take care of your
health, my dear father."

Their first stay was at Munich. The state of affairs there, coupled with
their former failure, gave little hope of a prosperous visit; but it
was necessary to make the attempt. Furnished with his diplomas of the
Academies of Bologna and Verona, and with recommendations from Padre
Martini, Wolfgang might present himself before the Elector Maximilian as
a thoroughly trained musician; and might hope to gain such favour from
influential patrons as would justify his undertaking new works. They
took up their abode with their old acquaintance Albert,[1] known as "the
learned host." Wolfgang's first visit was to Count Seeau, the inspector
of plays.[2] He met with a friendly reception, and was advised by the
Count to seek an audience of the Elector without delay, and if he
did not succeed, to address him by letter; there was no doubt that a
first-rate composer was wanted in Munich.

Wolfgang next paid his respects to the Prince Bishop of Chiemsee, Count
Zeil, who was residing in Munich on a



diplomatic mission. He conversed freely on Mozart's plans, and promised
to do his best for him with the Elector and his consort. But some days
later the Bishop said to him, "very politely" (September 29,1777): "I do
not think you will do much here. I spoke privately on the subject to the
Elector at Nymphenburg, and he answered, 'It is too soon yet, let him
travel in Italy, and make himself a name; I do not refuse anything, but
it is too soon yet.'" The Electress promised to do what she could, but
"shrugged her shoulders," and doubted of success.

These unfavourable prognostics were justified when Mozart, introduced by
the influential violoncellist, Frz. Xav. Wo-schitka (b. 1730), presented
himself to the Elector, who was on the point of going hunting with his
court. He gives the following account of the interview to his father
(September 30, 1777)--

When the Elector approached me I said: "I trust your highness will allow
me to lay myself and my services at your highness's feet." "Indeed! have
you left Salzburg altogether?" "Altogether, your highness." "Inded!
Why? Were you kept too close?" "May it please your highness, I asked
permission to travel, which was refused, whereupon I took a step which
had long been in my mind, for Salzburg is no place for me, that
is certain." "_Mein Gott_, young man! But your father is still at
Salzburg?" "Yes, may it please your highness; he lays his humble duty,
&c. I have been in Italy three times already, have written three operas,
and been elected Member of the Academy at Bologna, after writing a trial
composition in one hour which usually takes candidates four or five
hours of hard labour; all this proves that I am in a position to serve
any court. My greatest wish is to serve your highness, who is himself
a great"--"Yes, my dear fellow, but I have no vacancy." "I assure your
highness that I should do honour to Munich." "No doubt, no doubt; but
there is no vacancy." This he said as he was going, and I could only
take my humble leave.

The Elector being unable, as L. Mozart was aware, to engage any one
unless there were a vacancy, no court office could be looked for at
Munich, but there seemed fair prospects of an assured position in
another direction. Count Seeau had interest enough to retain so
distinguished a composer, whose energy and productiveness promised good
services. He was not only manager, but also part



proprietor of the theatre; the Elector paid the band and the ballet, and
gave a yearly contribution of 9,000 gulden to the expenses, which was
received by Seeau. In return the latter provided the opera and the play,
and engaged the members of the two companies, chiefly natives of Munich,
who were to be had for eight to twelve gulden a month.[3] The Italian
opera was only given during the carnival, and at great court festivals,
and then generally without remuneration; German operas were the rule,
that is, adaptations from the French or Italian, for as yet original
German opera did not exist. What a brilliant success might be expected,
from the lively interest of the Munich public in all matters theatrical,
if a man of Mozart's genius were to devote himself to German opera!
Seeau inquired of the Bishop of Chiemsee if Mozart did not receive
enough from home to allow him to remain there on a small salary; he
should like to keep him; the Bishop doubted this. Count Seeau preferred
receiving a proposal, and remained silent; but Mozart could perceive
that he was turning the matter over in his mind. He himself was all on
fire at the idea of having operas to compose. He gives his father an
animated account of the impression made upon him by the performance of a
German opera, and by the vocalist (October 2, 1777):--

The prima donna is named Keiserin; she is the daughter of the cook of a
nobleman here, a pleasant girl, and pretty on the stage; I have not seen
her nearer yet. She is a native of Munich. I heard her the third time
that she played, and thought she had a beautiful voice, not very strong,
but not weak either, and a pure, good intonation. Valesi is her teacher,
and her style shows that her master understands singing as well as
teaching singing. When she had to sustain a note for a couple of bars,
I was surprised at the beauty of her _crescendo_ and _decrescendo_.
She has a slow shake, which I like extremely; it is all the clearer
and purer when she wants to make it quicker, and the quicker it is the
easier it is. She is an immense favourite with the people here, and
I agree with them. Mamma was in the body of the theatre; she went at
half-past four, in order to secure a seat I did not go till half-past
six, for I am well enough known to have the _entrée_ to any of the
boxes. I watched Mdlle. Keiserin with my glass, and she drew more than
one tear from



me; I cried "Brava, bravissima," very often, remembering that this was
only her third appearance. The piece was called "The Fisher-Girl" (La
Pescatrice), a good translation, with Piccinni's music, but with nothing
original in it. They want to have a German opera seria soon--and they
wish me to compose it.

Among the "wishers" was a certain Professor Huber, whom Mozart had met
at the Messmers' during his last visit to Vienna (1771); they renewed
their acquaintance at Herr Albert's, where the professor was a frequent
visitor. He was the deputy-manager of the theatre, and had, as Mozart
expressed it, "to read all the pieces submitted for performance, to
improve, spoil, accept, reject them." This censorship was necessary,
since the management performed all that was sent in, and was bound to
put in study every native production. And as at that time "almost
every student and official in Munich was bitten with the mania for
authorship,"[4] they were overwhelmed with trash. Huber must have felt
it a matter of importance to retain such a remarkable genius as Mozart
for the Munich theatre.

The wish, indeed, was generally felt; Baron Rumling paid Wolfgang the
compliment of saying: "The theatre is my delight, with good actors and
actresses, good singers, male and female, and such a capital composer
as you are!" Of this Wolfgang says (October 2, 1777): "It is only
talk, certainly--and talk does not go far--but he never spoke so to me
before." Wolfgang played several days in succession before Count Jos.
von Salem, the chief director of music and the opera (b. 1718);[5]
he played a good deal "out of his head," then the two "cassatione"
(247,287, K.) composed for the Countess Lodron, and the finalmusik (250

You cannot think how delighted the Count was; he understands music, for
he cried "Bravo!" every time that other fine gentlemen take a pinch of
snuff, blow their noses, cough, or begin a conversation. I said to him
that I wished the Elector were there, that he might hear what I could
do, of which he knows nothing. All these great people believe whatever
is told them, and refuse to judge for themselves. It is always the way.
I offered him a trial; he was to get together all the artists in



Munich, and any he chose from Italy, France, Germany, England, and
Spain; I would undertake to write against any of them. I told him what
had happened in Italy, and begged him, if the talk turned upon me, to
remember all this. He said: "I have very little influence; but what I
can do I will, with all my heart."

He had some intercourse with musicians, too; Consoli had met him on his
entrance into the town, and lost no time in visiting him, and his old
friend Becke, the flautist, soon made his appearance. Albert arranged a
little concert ("with a wretched clavier, alas! alas!"), and invited a
clergyman, Dubreil, a pupil of Tartini, with the idea that he was a good
judge, and a clever performer; but this turned out to be a mistake.

We first played Haydn's two quintets, but it was dreadful; I scarcely
heard him; he could not play four bars without mistakes; his fingering
was bad, and he left out all the _sospiri_.[6] He was very polite, and
praised the quintets, but--Then I played my concerto (clavier) in C, in
B flat, in E flat major (238, 246, 271, K.), and my trio (254 K.). The
accompaniment was fine; in the adagio I had to play six bars of his
part. Last of all, I played the last cassation in B (287 K.), and
they all stared. I played as if I were the greatest fiddler in Europe
(October 6, 1777).

Herr Albert, who took great interest in Wolfgang, far beyond merely
entertaining him,[7] made him a proposal which might render it possible
for him to remain in Munich. He promised to bring ten friends together,
who should each contribute one ducat a month, or 600 florins a-year; it
would be easy to get commissions from Count Seeau which would raise
his income to 800 florins. "What do you think of this idea?" writes
Wolfgang, overjoyed; "is it not an act of friendship? and should I not
accept it, if it is really in earnest?" There was the immediate future
to be provided for, and for this he was assured that the concerts would
begin in November, and last until May (one was given in Herr Albert's
hall every Saturday), and then strangers came to the town; if he only
stayed now, he was quite certain of



an engagement. Wolfgang's mother thought well of this proposal; but his
father, as a man of the world, had many scruples (October 4, 1777):--

Herr Albert's proposition is, indeed, as great an act of friendship as
one can imagine; but, though it does not appear to have occurred to you,
the difficulty, to my mind, will be to find the ten people who are to
give the ducat a month. Who are these philanthropists and lovers of
music? What is their connection with you, and what services will they
demand in return? I do not see where they are to come from. Herr Albert
would scarcely be able to speak to them all without delay; some of them
may be away from Munich. For myself, I should prefer mercantile men to
noblemen. It all depends upon whether they keep their word, and for how
long. If the thing is feasible, well and good; it ought to be accepted;
but, unless it can be settled at once, you cannot stay there spending
money and losing time, for no profit is to be expected in Munich, in
spite of all their compliments and promises.

He turned out to be right: the ten philanthropists and lovers of music
did not come forward, and Wolfgang had to submit more than once to
reproaches for his readiness to believe in "fires of straw, which
burn up quickly and end in smoke." But even without such aid, Wolfgang
thought he might maintain himself in Munich for the present (October 2,

It would not be impossible for me to get on alone; I should get, at
least, 300 florins from Count Seeau; I need not concern myself as to my
board; I should be always invited out, and even if I were not, nothing
pleases Herr Albert more than my taking my meals with him.

I should contract with Count Seeau (on the advice of my best friends) to
supply him yearly with four German operas, some _buffe_, some _serie_.
Then if I had a _sera_, or benefit, on each, as is the custom here, that
would give at least 500 florins, which would bring my income up to 800
florins, and probably more, for Reiner, a comedian and singer, took
200 florins for his _sera_, and I am a _great favourite_ here; I should
become a far greater if I helped to raise the German drama by my music.

Mozart had clearly some confidence in his own powers; he did not think
it much to offer to write four German operas every year, and a salary of
+three hundred gulden did not strike him as being poor pay for the work.
But Count Seeau appears to have been too prudent to risk even so much as
this, and L. Mozart was still less inclined to consent to a



plan which based all its calculations on future and uncertain profits,
and would not redound to Wolfgang's honour. "You might certainly manage
to live alone in Munich," he wrote (October 6, 1777), "but what good
would this do you? How the Archbishop would sneer! You can do that
anywhere else as easily as in Munich. You must not make little of your
talents, and throw yourself away; there is certainly no need for that."
Wolfgang's sister was of the same opinion: "It would be no honour to you
to remain in Munich without any official position. It would be better
to seek one at some other court; you will soon find it." The father
desired, therefore, that they should leave Munich as soon as possible.
"Fine words and bravissimos pay neither the postboy nor the host. As
soon as you find there is nothing to be got, you had better move on."
The good friends he had made might go on working for him in his absence,
and preparing the way for a future position for him. He suggested this
to Count Seeau, as he tells his father (October 3, 1777).

"I have come to explain my affairs correctly to your excellency. I
have been told that I ought to travel in Italy. I was sixteen months in
Italy, and wrote three operas, as is well known. What happened further
your excellency will see by these documents." I showed him the diplomas.
"I lay all this before your excellency in order that if there is any
talk of me, and any injustice done me, your excellency may be able to
set it right." He asked me if I was going to France now. I said I should
remain in Germany. He thought I meant Munich, and said, with a joyful
laugh: "What! you are going to remain here?" I said: "No; I should like
to have stayed; and, to tell the truth, I only sought service under
the Elector in order that I might supply your excellency with my
compositions, and that without any personal interest; I should have
taken pleasure in it." Whereupon he pushed back his nightcap.

This then was the end of all the fine promises and honours. But other
prospects were opened to Wolfgang during his stay in Munich, which
excited his liveliest interest. Misliweczeck, his Italian friend (p.
126), had produced at the carnival in Munich his opera, "Ezio,"[8] and
during Lent his



oratorio, "Abraamo ed Isaaco," both with astonishing success; he was
engaged for the next carnival at Naples, and only kept in Munich by
illness.[9] He gave Wolfgang prospects of a _scrittura_ in Naples, and
wrote a letter on his behalf to the impresario, Don Gaetano Santorio.
Mozart, with his "inexpressible longing to write an opera once more,"
wrote joyfully to his father (October 10, 1777):--

I have my hundred ducats certain in the carnival; and, when I have once
written at Naples, I shall be in request everywhere. As you know, in
summer and autumn there is an opera buffa to be picked up here and
there, which will do to keep one's hand in. It is true that one does
not make much, but it is always something, and one gains more honour and
credit than by a hundred concerts in Germany. I am more pleased, too,
because I have to compose, which is my sole passion and delight, Then,
if I obtain service, or the hope of it, the _scrittura_ will be a great
recommendation. I speak exactly as I feel from my heart, and if you can
prove to me that I am wrong, I shall be ready, although unwillingly,
to submit; for, if I only hear the name of an opera, I am quite beside

But the father was not against it, and only thought that this interlude
must not cause the main object of the journey to be lost sight of. He
therefore corresponded with Misli-weczeck, but soon observed that the
latter only mentioned the _scrittura_ when he had some favour to ask for
himself. In point of fact, nothing came of this proposal.

The same ill-success attended the father's effort to obtain for Wolfgang
a commission to write an opera for the Feast of the Ascension in Venice;
the impresario Michele dall' Agata returned no answer to two letters
addressed to him (February 12, 1778).

On October 11 the travellers left Munich, and reached Augsburg the
same evening. Following L. Mozart's minute directions they established
themselves at "The Lamb" in



the Kreuzgasse, "where you pay thirty kreutzers for dinner, get nice
rooms and good society, English, French, &c." Wolfgang was well received
by his uncle, and contracted a close friendship with his lively cousin
Marianne, which may have compensated in some degree for the coldness of
his reception generally in his father's native town.

In obedience to his father's strict injunctions, he waited at once upon
"his Grace" the town-councillor Von Langen-mantel, with whom L. Mozart
had been well acquainted in former years. But Wolfgang gained little
encouragement from this audience, of which he gives his father the
following account:--

My first visit was to the town-councillor, Master Longotabarro; my
cousin, a dear, good man and an honest citizen, accompanied me, and had
the honour of waiting in the ante-room like a lackey until I came out
from the arch-town-councillor. I did not fail to begin by presenting my
father's humble respects. He was pleased to remember all about it,
and asked me: "How has the gentleman been all this time?" to which I
answered: "God be praised, quite well; I hope that your health has also
been good." Afterwards he was still more polite, and said, "Sir," and
I said, "Your Grace," as I had all along. Nothing would satisfy him but
that I should go up with him to his son-in-law (on the second floor),
and my cousin waiting on the steps all the while. It was with difficulty
that I refrained from saying something, with all my politeness. Upstairs
I had the honour of playing for three-quarters of an hour upon a good
clavichord, by Stein, in the presence of the stiff and starched son of
his long-necked, gracious, lady-wife, and her silly old mother. I played
fantasias, and then everything he had _prima vista_, among others some
very pretty pieces by a certain Edlmann. They were all exceedingly
polite, and I was exceedingly polite, for it is my custom to be to
people as I find them; it is the best way.

The next visit was to the celebrated organ and clavier maker, Georg
Andr. Stein (1728-1792). The father conceived the idea that Wolfgang
should present himself to Stein under a feigned name, and should
pretend that he came from Innspruck with a commission to inspect some
instruments. Such a joke was quite to Wolfgang's mind, and he told his
father how it had passed. During his visit to the town-councillor he had
expressed his intention of calling upon Stein after dinner:--



The younger gentleman thereupon volunteered to accompany me. I thanked
him for his kindness, and promised to come at two o'clock. I came, and
we set out in company with his brother-in-law, who looks exactly like
a student. Although I had begged them not to say who I was, Herr von
Langenmantel blurted out, "I have the honour to introduce to you a
virtuoso on the clavier." I protested, and said I was an unworthy
disciple of Herr Sigl, of Munich, by whom I was charged with many
compliments, &c. He shook his head, and at last said: "Have I the honour
of seeing Herr Mozart?" "Oh, no," said I; "my name is Trazom, and I have
a letter to you." He took the letter and was going to open it. I did not
give him time, and said, "Why should you read the letter now? Let us go
into the hall and see your pianofortes, which I am most curious to do."
"With all my heart; but I do not think I am deceived." He opened the
door of his show-room. I ran to one of the three claviers which stood
there. I played. He could scarcely take time to open the letter, his
curiosity was so excited. He read only the signature. "Oh!" he screamed,
and embraced me, and crossed himself, and made grimaces, and was
altogether very delighted.

Mozart, for his part, was equally delighted with Stein's pianofortes, of
which he gives his father the following detailed account:--

Before I had seen Stein's work I preferred Späth's claviers to all
others, but now I must give the preference to Stein's, for they mute
much better than Späth's. If I strike hard, whether I raise my finger
or not, the sound passes the instant I have heard it. I may come upon
the keys as I like, the tone is always the same; it does not block, it
neither becomes stronger nor weaker, nor does it cease altogether; in
a word, it is all equal. Such a pianoforte, it is true, cannot be
had under 300 florins, but the trouble and labour bestowed on it are
inestimable. His hammers fall the instant the keys are struck, whether
they are held down or not. When such an instrument is finished (he told
me himself), he sits down and tries all sorts of passages, runs, and
jumps, and works away until he is satisfied. He often said: "If I were
not such a passionate lover of music myself, and were not able to play
a little on the clavier, I should long ago have lost patience with my
work; but I am a lover of instruments which do not tax the player, and
which wear well." And his claviers do wear well. He guarantees that the
sounding-board shall not spring. When a sounding-board is ready for a
piano, he exposes it to air, rain, snow, sun, so that it may warp, and
then he puts on slips and glues them down, so that it is all strong and
true. He is glad when it warps, because then he is sure that nothing
more will happen. He has three such pianofortes finished. I have played
upon them again to-day. The pedal, which is pressed by the knee, is
better managed by him than by others. If I only just touch it, it acts;
and when the knee is removed there is not the least vibration.



Mozart knew how to make the most of these improved instruments. His
playing and his intelligent admiration so won Stein's approbation,
that the latter followed the advice Wolfgang gave him concerning the
education of his daughter. Maria Anna Stein (b. 1769) was the prodigy of
Augsburg; in April, 1776, she had played her first concerto to
universal admiration, and had received a beautiful medal from the town
nobility.[10] Wolfgang's criticism on her playing to his father (October
24, 1777) is somewhat severe, but so important as showing his views on
pianoforte-playing in general that it must be given entire. The memory
of the excellent Frau Nanette Streicher will not suffer from the bold
criticism of the young Mozart:--

_A propos_ of his daughter. Whoever sees her and hears her without
laughing must be as much of a stone (Stein) as her father himself. She
sits right up in the treble, instead of in the middle of the instrument,
so that she may be better able to move about and make grimaces. Her eyes
roll, and she simpers and smirks. If a thing comes twice over, it is
played slower the second time; and if a third time, it is slower still.
The arm goes high, up in the air when a passage comes, and the emphasis
is given by the whole arm instead of the finger, clumsily and heavily.
But the best of all is when, in a passage that ought to flow like oil,
the fingers have to be changed; it makes no difference at all to her,
but, when the time comes, up goes her hand, and she begins again quite
calmly; so that one is always in expectation of a wrong note, which
makes the effect very striking. I only write all this to give you some
idea of what clavier-playing and teaching may be brought to; I leave you
to make your own use of the hints. Herr Stein is quite infatuated over
his daughter; she is eight and a half years old, and learns everything
by heart. She may turn out something--she has genius; but as she is
going on at present she will not turn out anything; she will never gain
fluency, because she is doing all she can to make her hand heavy. She
will never learn the most difficult and most necessary part of music,
that is _time_, because she has been accustomed from her earliest youth
to play out of time. Herr Stein and I had at least two hours' talk on
this point. I think I nearly converted him, and now he asks my advice
about everything. He was quite infatuated in Beecké. Now he sees and
hears that I play better than Beecké, that I make no grimaces, and yet
play with so much expression that I show off his pianofortes better than
any one. The correctness of my time



astonishes them all. The _tempo rubato_ in an adagio, with the left hand
keeping strict time, was quite past their comprehension; they always
follow with the left hand.[11]

The expressions about Beecké, who was considered among the best
pianoforte-players, are only repetition of what was said on all sides.
"Count Wolfegg, and several others who are very enthusiastic for Beecké,
said lately at a public concert that I had thrown Beecké quite into
the shade," writes Wolfgang in confirmation of his own opinion. Even
Archbishop Hieronymus was reported to have said aside to his favourites
that Beecké was a charlatan and a merry-andrew, and that Mozart far
surpassed him (June 29, 1778). He played a tolerably difficult sonata
by Beecké, _prima vista_, "miserabile al solito"; how the kapellmeister
Graf and the organist Schmitthauer crossed themselves over the
performance may be better imagined than described.

Mozart's organ and violin-playing created quite as much astonishment as
his performances on the clavier:--

When I told Herr Stein that I should like to play upon his organ (in the
Barfüsserkirche), for that I had a passion for the organ, he was greatly
astonished, and said: "What! a man like you, a clavier-player, willing
to play on an instrument which has no _douceur_, no expression; which
allows of neither _piano_ nor _forte_, but goes on always the same!"
"All that has nothing to do with it. To my mind, the organ is the king
of all instruments." "Well, do as you like." So we went together. I
could guess by his way of talking that he did not expect me to do his
organ much credit; he thought I should play clavier fashion. He told me
how he had taken Chobert to the organ according to his request. "And I
was sorry," said he, "for Chobert had told everybody, and the church
was full. I had imagined the fellow would be full of spirit, fire, and
rapidity, and that would tell on the organ; but as soon as he began
I changed my opinion." I only said, "What do you think, Herr Stein? Are
you afraid that I shall come to grief on the organ?" "Ah, you! that is
quite different." We went into the choir; I began to prelude, at which
he laughed with delight; then followed a fugue. "I can well believe,"
said he, "that you enjoy playing the organ, when you play like that." At
first I did not quite understand the pedal, because it was not divided.
It began C, then D E in a row. With us D and E are above, where E flat
and F sharp are here. But I soon grew accustomed to it.

{AUGSBURG, 1777.}


He played the organ also in the monastery of St. Ulrich, which had the
dreadful steps, and often visited the monastery of the Holy Cross, where
he was invited to dine on October 19, and entertained with music during
the meal (October 24, 1777).

However badly they may play, yet I prefer the music of the monastery to
the Augsburg orchestra. I played a symphony and the violin concerto in
B flat by Wanhall with universal applause. The Dean is a good, jolly
fellow; he is a cousin of Eberlin's, named Zeschinger, and remembers
papa very well. In the evening at supper I played the Strasburg concerto
(219 K.). It went as smooth as oil. They all praised the beautiful pure
tone. Afterwards a little clavichord was brought in. I preluded, and
played a sonata, and the Fischer variations. Then some one whispered to
the Dean that he should hear me play organ fashion. I said he might give
me a theme, but he would not, so one of the monks did. I led off with
it, and in the middle (the fugue was in G minor) I began in the major,
in a playful style but in the same time, and then came back to the
theme. At last it occurred to me that I might use the playful style
for the theme of the fugue. Without more ado I tried it, and it went
as accurately as if it had been measured for by Daser (the Salzburg
tailor). The Dean was quite beside himself. "I could never have believed
it," said he; "you are a wonderful man. My Abbot told me that he had
never in his life heard such correct and solemn organ-playing." The
Abbot had heard me two or three days before, when the Dean was not
there. Finally, some one brought a sonata which was fugued, for me to
play. But I said, "Gentlemen, this is too much; I must acknowledge that
I cannot play this sonata at once." "I think so, too," said the Dean,
eagerly, for he was quite on my side; "that is too much; it would be
impossible for any one." "Still," said I, "I will try it." And all the
time I played I heard the Dean calling out behind me, "Oh, you rascal!
oh, you young scamp!" I played until eleven o'clock. They bombarded me
with themes for fugues, and laid siege to me on all sides.

In return for his kind reception and the pleasure expressed in his
playing, Wolfgang presented the Abbot Barth. Christa (1760-1780) with
several compositions, the Masses in F (192 K.), in C (220 K.), and the
"Misericordias Domini" (222 K.). He refers to them in writing to his
father, as well as to a litany, "De venerabili" (November 20, 1777).
What has become of this last we do not know.[12]



In spite of all this applause from connoisseurs, the prospects of a
concert were not good. At first a brilliant reception was expected. Herr
von Langenmantel, son of the town-councillor, had taken the matter
into his own hands and promised to arrange a "chamber concert" for the
_patricii_ only. But some days later he invited Wolfgang, and after he
had played as long as the company pleased, explained to him that the
concert could not take place, since "the _patricii_ were not in funds."

As if this was not enough, the _patricii_ thought fit to make sport
of him at table. In accordance with his father's advice that he should
insure respect and consideration for himself in places where there was
no reigning prince, by wearing the order conferred on him by the great
Pope Ganganelli, Wolfgang wore the cross of his order at Augsburg. This
was made an occasion for mockery; and one officer in particular, Bach by
name, was so rude and insulting that Wolfgang lost patience, and repaid
him in kind, calling him "Herr von Kurzmantl"; but he does not seem ever
to have worn the order again. He had promised to attend, and perhaps to
play at, the weekly concert given during the winter months by a society
of noblemen, both Catholic and Protestant;[13] but, indignant at the
treatment he had received, he declared he would only give a concert
for a few invited friends and connoisseurs. They were Catholic nobles,
however, who had insulted him, and Stein set in motion the evangelical
(not Lutheran, as L. Mozart reminds his son) nobles,[14] who made such
friendly overtures that he



attended a concert given by the "peasant nobles,"[15] and played one
of his symphonies, taking the violin himself, and then a concerto and a
sonata. Compliments and eulogies were heaped upon him, and finally two
ducats were presented to him. Wolfgang's father thought him far too
yielding: "One thing is very certain," he writes (October 20, 1777),
"they would not have found me at their beggarly concert. In the
meantime, through the exertions of his friends, a public concert was
given on October 22:--

What do you think came next after the symphony? The concerto for three
claviers (242 K.). Herr Demmler played the first, I the second, and Herr
Stein the third. Then I played alone the last sonata in D (284 K.), then
my concerto in B flat (238 K.), then a fugue in C minor, and a splendid
sonata in C major out of my own head, with a rondo at the end. There
was a tremendous noise and confusion. Herr Stein made one grimace after
another for delight. Herr Demmler actually laughed. This eccentric being
always laughs when anything pleases him. This time he began to swear.
Count Wolfegg ran about the room, saying, "I never heard anything like
it in my life." He said to me, "I must tell you that I never heard you
play so well as to-day; I will tell your father so as soon as I get to

L. Mozart's heart was rejoiced by "a wonderfully fine article in the
newspaper," probably from the pen of Herr von Sabnesnig, of whose
charming poetry he had reminded Wolfgang.

On the other hand the receipts of the concert were small, considering
that he had put forth all his powers;[16] ninety gulden, with sixteen
gulden thirty kreutzers' expenses. Wolfgang was not tempted to retract
what he had written to his father in anger, about the behaviour of the
aristocrats (October 16, 1777):--

I must say that if I had not found such good and charming cousins
I should repent ever having set foot in Augsburg. I must tell you
something about my dear little cousin, but I will wait till to-morrow,
for I ought to be in good spirits to praise her as she deserves. Early
on the



17th I shall write and assure you that our little cousin is pretty,
sensible, charming, clever, and merry; she knows something of the world,
having been in Munich some time. We two suit each other exactly, for she
is just a little wicked;[17] we laugh at everybody, and have great fun.

Defending his cousin against a slighting expression of his father's,
Wolfgang says, "Yesterday, to please me, she dressed _à la française_,
and looked five per cent, prettier." He gave her his portrait in a
little medallion, and made her promise to be painted in French costume.
A mournful parting ended this happy visit, Stein having written to
Wolfgang's father in the most eulogistic manner concerning his son's
performances. At the next quoit-playing meeting in Salzburg there
appeared on the quoit a representation of "the sad adieux of two persons
dissolved in tears, Wolfgang and his cousin." "The quoit was charming,"
wrote the father (November 17,1777); "an Augsburg maiden stood at the
right and presented a young man in top boots, equipped for travelling,
and in the other hand she carried a wonderful linen cloth trailing on
the ground, with which she dried her eyes. The gentleman had a similar
cloth, which he was putting to the same use, and he held his hat in his
other hand. Written above were six lines of poetry, expressive of the
sorrowful emotions of the young couple."[18]

This good-humoured participation in the little adventures of his son
stands in striking and effective contrast to the earnest care which
breathes from a letter addressed to Wolfgang on his fête-day (October

I must wish you happiness on your fête-day. But what more can I wish for
you than I am always wishing? I wish that the grace of God may be with
you everywhere, and never forsake you as long as you are diligent in
performing the duties of a true Catholic Christian. You know me, and
know that I am no pedant, no canting hypocrite; but



you will not refuse your father one prayer. This is, that you will have
such concern for your soul that you may cause your father no anguish
on his death-bed in the thought that he has been careless of the things
which concern your salvation. Farewell! be happy; be wise. Honour and
cherish your mother, who is troubled in her old age for your sake. Love
me as I love you. Your faithful, anxious father.

The son's answer is in the tone of reverence which it becomes children
to adopt on such occasions to their parents:--

I kiss your hand, and thank you humbly for your good wishes on my
fête-day. Have no concern for me; I have God ever before my eyes; I
acknowledge His omnipotence, I fear His anger; but I also acknowledge
His love, His mercy and pity towards His creatures; He will never
forsake His servants. I submit myself wholly to His will, and so it
cannot fail I must be happy and content. I shall also be diligent to
follow the commands and the counsel which you are so good as to give me.

On October 26 Wolfgang and his mother left Augsburg, and proceeded by
way of Donauwörth and Nordlingen to Hohenaltheim, the residence of the
Prince von Oetting-Wallerstein.[19] Music was held in high honour
at this little court; not only were celebrated performers, such as
Janitsch, the violinist, Reicha, the violoncellist, Perwein, the
oboist, &c., encouraged to settle there, but the whole orchestra was
distinguished for its delicacy of execution. Rosetti, the conductor,
had "carried his observance of the most delicate gradations of tone
sometimes to the bounds of pedantry."[20] Ignaz von Beecké, captain in a
Wurtemberg dragoon regiment, was manager of the court music, and himself
a distinguished clavier-player and composer. The Prince, a handsome
young man, who had formerly invited Wolfgang to visit him in Naples, was
suffering from an attack of melancholy, and unable to bear music; but
the Mozarts were obliged to remain several days at Hohenaltheim on
account of the mother's severe cold. A rumour reached L. Mozart that
Wolfgang had been playing the buffoon there, that he had danced about,
playing the violin, and had gained the



reputation of being a wild, merry fellow. He considered that this would
afford Beecké, who was jealous of Wolfgang, an excellent opportunity of
depreciating his powers as an artist (January 26, 1778), Wolfgang gave a
decided contradiction to this report; he had "sat at the officers'
table with all due honour, and had not said a word to any one; when with
Beecké, too, he had been quite serious." Beecké had received him kindly,
had promised him advice and support should he ever go to Paris, and had
heard him play. They had talked about Vienna, too, and agreed that the
Emperor Joseph was a fair executant, but not a true lover of music.
Beecké said that he had only played fugues and such like "trifles"
before him, and that he had heard music in the Emperor's cabinet which
was enough to frighten the very dogs away. They also confided to each
other that music gave them both the headache; only good music had this
effect with Beecké, and bad with Mozart.

The travellers entered Mannheim on October 30. Their stay was longer
than they had intended, and although the hopes with which it opened were
not destined to be fulfilled, yet the months passed in Mannheim were
fruitful in their effect on Wolfgang's development, both musical and

The Elector, Karl Theodor,[21] had studied in his early youth under the
Jesuits, and had then visited the Universities of Leyden and Lowen,
displaying a great taste for science, poetry, art, and music, the last
of which he practised himself. The extravagance which he lavished on
his court and on his park of Schwetzingen--the Versailles of the
palatinate--was carried also in some degree into the affairs of science
and art.


[Footnote 1: Müller, Abschied von der Bühne, p. 215.]

[Footnote 2: Rudhart, Gesch. d. Oper zu München, I., p. 134.]

[Footnote 3: Müller, Abschied von der Bühne, p. 219.]

[Footnote 4: Müller, Abschied von der Bühne, p. 219.]

[Footnote 5: Rudhart, Gesch. d. Oper zu München, I., p. 130.]

[Footnote 6: Sospiri, crotchet-rests.]

[Footnote 7: He got up in his honour a little serenade for wind instruments;
another time they had dancing: "I danced only four minuets, for there
was only one lady among them who could keep time."]

[Footnote 8: Müller, Abschied von der Bühne, p. 222.]

[Footnote 9: He had brought on this illness by excess, and L. Mozart consequently
forbade his son to visit him. But Misliweczeck asked for him so
continually, and expressed so earnest a wish to see him, that Mozart
could not refuse, and met him in the garden of the Ducal Hospital. The
way in which he apologises to his father, and the pity he expresses for
the unfortunate man, whose affection touched him deeply, do honour alike
to the goodness and the innocence of his heart.]

[Footnote 10: Schubart, Teutsche Chronik, 1776, p. 239. Fr. Nicolai, Reise,
VIII., p. 156.]

[Footnote 11: Here we recognise the pupil of his father; we have seen the opinion
of the latter as to _tempo rubato_ in the hands of the true virtuoso, p.

[Footnote 12: Mozart was said to have composed a mass for the Monastery of the
Holy Cross about this time; the autograph score was taken from the
monastery in the troubled times which followed, and passed into private
hands; it came to light in 1856, and was acknowledged as genuine by
Gathy (Revue et Gaz. Mus., 1856, Nr. 12, p. 90). After an examination of
the manuscript, through the kindness of Herr Speyer, I can affirm with
certainty that the mass is neither composed nor written by Mozart. It is
in C minor, with accompaniment for strings, flutes, trumpets, drums, and
organ. It has many solos. A long symphony in two movements precedes the
Credo; a Laudate Dominum is inserted as an offertory. The discrepancies
of form might be explained by the Augsburg traditions, but (beside
that there is no mention in his letters of any such composition) the
composition and handwriting are equally unlike Mozart.]

[Footnote 13: Cramer, Musik, 1788, II., p. 126.]

[Footnote 14: The disputes between Catholics and Protestants in Augsburg amounted
to fanaticism, and affected great matters as well as small (Schubart,
Selbst-biographie, 17, II., p. 15. K. R[isbeck], Briefe fiber
Deutschland, II., p. 55).]

[Footnote 15: The list of members, which Wolfgang gives his father, is a
counterpart to Goethe's _dramatis personæ_ to "Hans Wurst's Hochzeit."]

[Footnote 16: Paul von Stetten, Kunst-, Gewerb-, und Handwerks-Geschichte der
Reich-stadt Augsburg (1779), p. 554.]

[Footnote 17: Wolfgang liked to be called _sly_ ("schlimm.") When Madame Duschek
heard that he had left Salzburg she wrote that "she had just heard of
the disagreeable affair at Salzburg; that he and she were quite agreed
on the subject; and if Wolfgang, slyer than ever, now liked to come
straight to Prague, he would receive the heartiest welcome"; so his
father writes (September 28, 1777). His tendency to criticism, and the
tone he usually assumed in jesting, will show pretty well what was meant
by "schlimm."]

[Footnote 18: Mozart maintained a correspondence with his cousin.]

[Footnote 19: Lang, Memoiren, I., p. 56.]

[Footnote 20: Schubart, Aesthetik, p. 169.]

[Footnote 21:Karl Theodor, born 1724, Elector Palaüne in 1743, died Elector of Bavaria 1799.]





The Palatinate Academy of Science, founded in 1763, encouraged
historical and scientific research; collections of pictures and



and an exhibition of plaster casts from the antique--at that time the
only, and much-thought-of collection of the kind in Germany[2]--served,
in connection with an academy, to encourage the formative arts; and a
German society, founded in Mannheim by the Elector in 1775, proved
the desire of its members to take their share in the new impulse which
German literature had then received.[3]

Klopstock's presence in this year had not been without its influence;
not content with native authors, such as Gemmingen, Klein, Dalberg, the
painter Müller, the Elector sought, but in vain, to attract acknowledged
celebrities, such as Lessing[4] and Wieland.[5] His zealous co-operation
was given to the plan of founding a German drama in the place of the
usual French one;[6] the national theatre was built,[7] and efforts were
made to retain Lessing as dramatist and Eckhoff as actor.[8] When this
failed, the engagement of Marchand secured them at least a first-rate

But music was incontestably the peculiar province of Mannhein, the
"paradise of musicians."[10] Here too, patriotic



feeling was supreme.[11] Original German operas took the place of the
grand Italian opera, with its appendage of translated comic opera,
generally borrowed from the French.[12]

The performances of the Seiler company of actors, which had come to
Weimar in the autumn of 1771 in the place of the Koch company, suggested
to Wieland the idea of a grand, serious German opera in addition to the
operettas which had met with so much success.[13] His "Alcestis"[14]
was intended as an important step in this direction, as is proved by
his "Letters on the German opera of 'Alcestis,'"[15] which, by their
comparison of himself with Euripides, called forth Goethe's burlesque.
His opera met with ready acknowledgment, but at the same time with
severe and deserved blame.[16] It was thought to be too evidently
fashioned after Metastasio's pattern, both in plan and treatment; and
to be wanting in dramatic interest, true passion, and lively
characteristic; the public found the opera tedious and trivial, and
took just umbrage at the conception of Hercules as a virtuous humdrum
citizen. Wieland found in Schweitzer an ideal composer, who identified
himself with the poet, who could be silent when the poet wished to speak
alone, but who hastened to aid him at need with all the resources of
musical art; a composer, too, who thought more of producing a true
impression on the mind of his hearers, than of flattering their ears,
inciting their curiosity or even adhering too closely to the mechanical
rules of his art. Wieland was not content with placing Schweitzer on
a level with the best Italian composers; in a letter to Klein[17] he
speaks of Gluck's "Alceste" as a divine work, but does not hesitate to
declare Schweitzer's composition to be the best that had



ever been heard of the kind. Schweitzer's music[18] was in fact
much applauded, and he was judged to have accomplished more than the
poet.[19] His efforts after a true and forcible musical expression of
emotion, and after originality, are worthy of all praise; and phrases
here and there, particularly in the accompanied recitative, are of
charming effect, while the orchestra is carefully treated, and not at
all after the usual manner of Italian opera. On the other hand he has
been justly blamed for his slavish adherence to the old form of the
aria, with da capo, middle passage, bravura passages, and ritomello;
he is unequal, too, and his effects are all those of detail. What is
wanting is genius, original power of creation, which forms details into
one great whole, and produces something altogether new and complete.
This was felt by Zelter[20] and by Mozart, who wrote to his father
that the best part of Schweitzer's melancholy "Alceste" (besides the
beginnings, middles and endings of some of the songs) was the beginning
of the recitative, "O Jugendzeit," and the worst (together with the
greater part of the opera) was the overture. This consists of two
movements, an adagio and a fugue, which are both unimportant and

"Alceste" was first performed in Weimar on May 28, 1773, and frequently
repeated, always with the greatest success;[21] this was also the case
in Gotha and Frankfort; and on August 13, 1775, Karl Theodor produced
the opera with great brilliancy at Schwetzingen.[22] The success was
great, and it was considered as marking an epoch that a German opera,
written by a German poet, composed by a German musician, and sung by
German artists, should be produced successfully by a German Prince. In
the following summer



Wieland received a commission to write a new opera, which Schweitzer was
to compose under his immediate direction.

The way being once cleared, it was easy to take further steps in the
same direction. The Elector hit upon the idea of representing scenes
from the national history in German musical dramas.[23] Professor Anton
Klein, formerly a Jesuit, and always one of the most zealous supporters
of the patriotic struggle then proceeding, wrote for this purpose
"Günther von Schwarzburg,"[24] which was composed by Holzbauer,[25] and
performed on January 5, in the magnificent opera-house,[26] with all the
expenses guaranteed.[27] Schubart had anticipated with joy "the glorious
revolution in taste,"[28] and the applause was great, although the
success was not so deep and lasting as might have been expected. The
critics[29] found much in the text at which to take exception; Wieland
shrank from speaking in the "Mercury" about "this so-called opera" for
fear lest, absurd as it might appear, his criticism might be taken for
envy.[30] An evident effort is made to give the work a deeper tone than
one of mere patriotic sentiment; but in spite of the exalted emotion and
passion of the words and music, and of all that could be done in the way
of scenic accessories, the opera was too wanting in dramatic treatment
and characterisation to take very deep root. The phraseology is in
imitation of Klopstock, but the effort after force and



originality is so clumsily made that Wieland's contempt is justified.
Of the music, it was said by the minister Hompesch that the predominant
feeling and ideas were neither French nor Italian, but genuinely
German;[31] Schubart praised its mixture of German feeling and foreign
grace,[32] and other critics spoke of its stamp of genius and its
gentle grace.[33] Mozart, who saw the opera the day after his arrival at
Mannheim, wrote to his father (November 16, 1777): "Holzbauer's music is
very fine; far too good for the poetry. I am amazed at the spirit of so
old a man as Holzbauer, for you would not believe the amount of fire
in his music." The force and animation of Holzbauer's music are still
apparent, though it is wanting in elevation and true musical sentiment.
He has not attained to original dramatic characterisation except in
single touches, more especially in the recitatives; he never deviates
from the customary Italian form, but the adaptation of this form to
German song was in itself considered a remarkable innovation.

The most distinguished vocalists, male and female, of the Mannheim
opera were, thanks to Holzbauer's excellent school of music, almost all
Germans.[34] Among them was Dorothea Wendling (_née_ Spumi, 1737-1811),
"the German Melpomene of Mannheim's Golden Age,"[35] who excited
universal admiration by her perfect and expressive singing. According to
Wieland she surpassed even Mara, and he found in her his ideal of song,
as the language of the mind and the heart, every note being the living
expression of the purest and most ardent emotion, and the whole song a
continuous thread of beauty.[36] Her beauty (Heinse saw in her



countenance all that was caressing, soft, and feminine, combined with
the glow and animation of a passionate nature)[37] and her excellent
acting[38] elevated her performances to a very high point. Her
sister-in-law, Elizabeth Auguste Wendling (_née_ Sarselli, 1746-1786),
though less famous, and hindered by continued ill-health, was
nevertheless a praiseworthy singer; while Franciska Danzi (1756-1791),
married afterwards to the oboist, Le Brun,[39] was an artist of the
first rank, in her beauty and the compass of her voice, as well as
in her thorough musical cultivation: at the time of Mozart's visit to
Mannheim she was in London on leave of absence.[40]

But the fame of these youthful singers was far surpassed by that of the
now elderly tenor Anton Raaff.[41] He was born in 1714 at the village
of Holzem, not far from Bonn, and was educated at the Jesuit seminary in
Bonn. He had a beautiful voice, and the ease with which he sang by ear
made it a great labour to him to learn his notes. The Elector Clemens
August, who heard him sing in church, provided for his education as a
singer, and gave him a salary of 200 thalers. After causing him to study
a part in an oratorio, the Elector took him to Munich, where he was
engaged by Ferrandini (p. 133) to appear in opera. This led to his going
to study at Bologna under Bemacchi, from whose severe school he came
forth as one of the finest tenor singers of the century. He sang in
1738 at Florence, at the wedding of Maria Theresa, left Italy in 1742 to
return to Bonn, where his salary was raised to 750 florins, and sang at
different German courts; in 1749 he performed in Jomelli's "Didone" at
Vienna, to Metastasio's great satisfaction.[42] After a short stay in
Italy, he repaired in 1752 to



Lisbon for three years, and from thence in 1755 to Madrid, where he
lived in close friendship with his musical director, Farinelli.[43] In
1759 they went together to Naples; here, it is said, his singing made so
deep an impression on the Princess Belmonte-Pignatelli as to cure her
of a deep melancholy into which she had been thrown by the death of her
husband.[44] On his return to Germany, in 1770, the Elector Karl Theodor
besought him to enter his service, on which Raaff modestly declared that
he should esteem himself happy if the Elector would be content with the
small remnant of his powers which was left to him. His voice was of
the finest tenor quality that could be heard, from the deepest to the
highest notes even, clear, and full. With a perfect mastery of the art
of song, displaying itself in his extraordinary power of singing, at
sight and of varying and introducing cadenzas, he combined a feeling
delivery "that seemed but an echo of his own good heart," and a clear,
deliberate judgment on things musical.[45] Added to all this his
enunciation was so distinct that even in the largest hall not a syllable
was lost. When Mozart first heard him in "Günther von Schwarzburg" his
chief impression was that of an old man's failing strength. He writes
(November 8, 1777):--

Herr Raaff sang his four songs and about 450 incidental bars in such a
manner as to show that it is want of voice which makes it so bad.
Unless one reminds oneself all the time that it is Raaff, the old and
celebrated tenor, who is singing, one cannot help laughing. As for
myself, if I had not known it was Raaff, I should have died of laughing.
As it was, I took out my handkerchief and blew my nose. He never was,
they tell me, anything of an actor; he should only be heard, not seen;
his presence is not at all good. In the opera he has to die, singing
a long, long, slow air, and he died with a smiling mouth, his voice
falling so at the end as to be quite inaudible. I was sitting in the



orchestra, next to Wendling, the flute-player, and I remarked that it
was unnatural to expect a man to go on singing till he fell down dead.
"Never mind," said I, "a little patience, and it will soon be over." "I
think it will," said he, and laughed.

After hearing him oftener, Mozart did more justice to Raaff's artistic
skill, but he always thought his style wanting in simplicity. In
a letter from Paris (June 12, 1778) he pronounces a more detailed
judgment, true to his convictions, yet anxious not to wrong the
excellent man, of whom he was extremely fond:--

At his _début_ in the "Concert Spirituel" here he sang Bach's scena,
"Non so d'onde viene," which is my favourite song. I never heard him
sing it before, and he pleased me; his style suits the song, but the
style in itself, that of the Bernacchi school, is not at all to my
taste. There is too much in it of _cantabile_. I grant that when he
was younger and in his prime the effect must have been sometimes quite
startling. I like it, too, but there is too much of it; it is often
ludicrous. What really pleases me is his singing of certain little
things andantino, which he does in his own style. Everything in its
place. I imagine that his forte was bravura singing, which gives him
still, in spite of age, a good chest and a long breath. His voice is
fine, and very pleasant. If I shut my eyes when he is singing I hear
considerable resemblance to Meissner's, only Raaff's voice is the
pleasanter of the two. Meissner, as you know, has the bad habit of
endeavouring to make his voice tremble; Raaff never does this; he cannot
bear it. But, as far as true _cantabile_ is concerned, I like Meissner
better than Raaff, though he, too, according to my judgment, makes too
much of it. In bravura passages and roulades, and in his good distinct
utterance, Raaff bears off the palm.

All who saw Raaff on the stage pronounced him to be no actor, but only
a singer. In private he preserved the serenity and moderation of
an estimable and genuinely pious character. His moral conduct was
faultless, his opinions earnest and severe. He had occasional fits of
passion, but was for the most part good-humoured and benevolent, a true
and self-denying friend. No wonder that Mozart conceived a strong and
lasting attachment to such a man as this.[46]



The most distinguished tenor singer in Mannheim, after Raaff, was his
pupil Frz. Hartig (b. 1750).[47]

Church music in Mannheim did not stand on the same high level as the
opera.[48] Schubart complains that little attention was paid to the true
church style, that the old masses were despised, and new ones introduced
in the most effeminate and mincing operatic style. Even Holzbauer's
sacred compositions were far inferior to his operas.[49] Mozart heard a
mass by Holzbauer, "written twenty-six years ago, but very good," as he
writes to his father (November 4, 1777); "he writes well, in good
church style, with fine passages for the voices and instruments."
Notwithstanding, he was far from pleased with the Mannheim church music
on the whole, and did not care, as he writes in the same letter, to have
one of his own masses performed there:--

Why? On account of their brevity? No, for everything here is short.
On account of their church style? Not at all; but only because, under
present circumstances, it is necessary to write principally for the
instruments, since nothing more wretched than the vocal department can
be conceived. Six soprani, six alti, six tenori, and six bassi to twenty
violins and twelve basses stand just in the proportion of 0 to 1, do
they not, Herr Bullinger? They have only two male sopranos, and both
old--just dying out. The soprano prefers singing the alto part, because
his upper notes are gone. The few boys that they have are wretched, and
the tenors and basses are like singers at a funeral.

The organ was still worse provided for, and Mozart pours out the full
measure of his scorn on the two court organists:--

They have two organists here, for whose sake alone it would be worth
taking the journey to Mannheim. I had a good opportunity of hearing
them, for it is the custom here to omit the Benedictus, and for the
organist to go on playing instead. The first time I heard the second
organist, and the next time the first; but I have a better opinion of
the second than of the first. When I heard him I asked, "Who is at the
organ?" "Our second organist." "He plays wretchedly." When I



heard the other I asked, "Who is that?" "Our first organist." "He plays
more wretchedly still." I suppose if they were shaken up together the
result would be something worse still. It makes one die of laughing to
see them. The second goes to the organ like a child to the mud; he shows
his trade in his face. The first wears spectacles. I stood at the organ
and watched him for the sake of instruction. He lifts his hands high up
at every note. His _tour de force_ is the use of the sext stop; but he
oftener uses the quint, or the octave stop. He often playfully lets fall
the right hand, and plays only with the left. In a word, he does as he
likes; he is so far completely master of his instrument.

But Mannheim was distinguished most particularly for its instrumental
music, the orchestra being unanimously considered the finest in Europe.
It was more numerous and better appointed, especially as to wind
instruments, than was customary at the time.[50] It was here that Mozart
first became acquainted with the clarinet as an orchestral instrument.
"Oh, if we only had clarinetti!" he writes (December 3, 1778). "You
cannot think what a splendid effect a symphony makes with flutes, oboes,
and clarinets."[51]

Burney had only one fault to find, a fault common to all orchestras
of the day, viz., the occasionally defective intonation of the wind
instruments.[52] The Mannheim orchestra was not only well-appointed and
strong, but uniform and certain in execution, with delicate gradations
of tone until then



unknown.[53] Piano and forte were rendered in the most varied degrees;
crescendo and diminuendo were first invented at Mannheim, and for a long
time other orchestras made no attempt at imitation;[54] other
means, too, such as the skilful blending of the wind and stringed
instruments,[55] were made the most of to produce a well-arranged,
finely gradationed whole.

The excellence of the Mannheim orchestra--whose performances excited as
much admiration among contemporaries[56] as those of the Paris orchestra
under Habeneck's conductor-ship in our own time--gained for it the
honour of taking a regular share in the Elector's concerts (p. 288).[57]
The band contained some of the first artists and virtuosi of the day,
such as Cannabich, Toeschi, Cramer, Stamitz, and Frànzel among the
violins, Wendling as a flute-player, Le Brun and Ramm as oboists, Ritter
as bassoonist, and Lang as hom-player. But its fame rested chiefly
on the excellent discipline of the orchestra, which, among so
many first-rate artists, it was no easy task to maintain.[58] The
kapellmeister at the time of Mozart's visit was Christian Cannabich
(1731-1798), who had succeeded Stamitz in 1775. His compositions were
doubtless overrated by his contemporaries; but he was admirable as a
solo violinist, and still better as an



orchestral leader, besides being an excellent teacher. The majority of
the violinists in the Mannheim orchestra had issued from his school, and
to this was mainly owing the uniformity of their execution and delivery.
Cannabich, who was more of an organiser than an originator, had
experimented with every condition and device for producing instrumental
effects, and he laid special stress on technical perfection of
execution, in order to insure good tutti players. Uniting, as he
did, intelligence and a genius for direction[59] to "a true German
heart,"[60] and a moral and temperate life, he possessed the confidence
and esteem of his musicians, and was therefore the better able to bring
their performances to the highest excellence.

The many-sidedness of musical performances in Mannheim had helped to
form a very original taste, and Karl Theodor himself was careful to
encourage composers and virtuosi of all kinds.[61] The groundwork, both
of thought and instruction, was Italian certainly; but the fact that
the care of musical affairs was intrusted to German musicians, had an
influence of its own, even before the national element had asserted its
supremacy in Germany. French influence, too, made itself felt side by
side with the Italian; the connection maintained by the Elector
Palatine with the court of Versailles was profitable in every way to his
musicians. Finally, the partiality for instrumental music which we have
already noted must have tended to give an independent impulse to musical
production in Mannheim.

His stay in a town so thoroughly and genuinely musical,[62] must have
had a more abiding effect upon Mozart than was exercised by Salzburg,
Augsburg, or even Munich. He came to Mannheim at a time when the minds
of men were full of fresh and eager aspirations after artistic and



excellence; and fortunately for him the interest was mainly centred on
his own peculiar province--the drama. We cannot imagine, however, that
he was dazzled or abashed by the wealth of musical knowledge, or by the
accomplishments of the noted musicians with whom he came in contact;
his confidence in his own powers preserved him from any feeling of
constraint or distrust. At first he was surprised at the small amount
of attention which his presence excited. On the day after his arrival he
made the acquaintance of the violinist, Chr. Danner (b. 1745), and went
with him to rehearsal.[63] "I thought that I should not be able to keep
from laughing, when I was introduced to people. Some of them, who knew
me _per renommée_, were polite and respectful; but the rest, who did
not know anything of me, stared at me in the most ludicrous manner. They
think because I am little and young that there can be nothing great or
old in me; but they shall soon see." Mozart always resented, even
in later years, any reference to his small stature and unimposing
appearance, even when it was made by way of contrast to his great

His predictions were verified. It was not long before he had gained the
esteem and admiration of the Mannheim musicians, the ready goodwill
with which he placed his talents and services at their disposal, and
his cheerfulness and good breeding in society, rendering him a universal
favourite. His spirits rose in proportion as the memory of his position
at Salzburg faded from his mind. Even from Munich he wrote to his father
(September 26, 1777): "I am always in the best of spirits. I feel as
light as a feather since I left all that chicanery behind! I am fatter,
too, already." At Mannheim, in daily intercourse with cultivated
artists, he



must have felt completely at his ease. The members of the band were
well paid[64] and well treated; Karl Theodor's love of music and general
affability gave them considerable freedom of position, and intercourse
with their circle was liberal and pleasant. Schubart declares that the
houses, tables, and hearts of all the musicians were open to him during
the whole of his stay, and that he had his share in their practisings
and their festivities.[65] Mozart's experience was the same; although,
his stay being longer, he could not fail to observe that the superficial
frivolity of court life had affected the tone even of the artistic

His friendly reception by Cannabich led to an intimate friendship and
daily intercourse with the whole family, in which Wolfgang's mother was
included. He often dined with them, and no long time elapsed before he
found himself "_al solito_" at supper and spending the evening with the
Cannabichs; they chatted, played a little sometimes, or Wolfgang used
to take a book out of his pocket and read. Occasionally the party became
merrier and not quite so decorous, as the following mock confession made
by Wolfgang to his father will show (November 14,1777):--

I, Johannes Chrisostomus Amadeus Wolfgangus Sigismundus Mozart, do
hereby confess that both yesterday and the day before (and on various
other occasions) I remained out until twelve o'clock at night; and that
from ten o'clock until the above-named hour I was at Cannabich's house,
in company with Cannabich, his wife and daughter, Herr Schatzmeister,
Herr Ramm, and Herr Lang, making rhymes and perpetrating bad jokes
in thought and word, but not in deed. But I should not have conducted
myself in so godless a fashion had not the ringleader of the sport, the
above-named daughter, Liesel, incited and abetted me therein; and I must
acknowledge that I found it extremely amusing. I bewail all these my
sins and transgressions from the bottom of my heart; and, hoping to
confess the same thing very frequently, I make an earnest resolution to
amend my former sinful life. I therefore beg for a dispensation, that is
if it is an easy one; if not, it is all the same to me, for the game is
not like to come to an end very soon.



That Mozart was always ready when music was wanted we cannot doubt; on
one of his first visits to Cannabich he played all his six sonatas one
after the other. Cannabich was not slow to recognise his extraordinary
talent, nor to make use of it on occasion, as when Wolfgang made good
clavier arrangements of his ballets for him. But self-interest had no
share in the feelings with which he came to regard Wolfgang; both he and
his wife loved him as their own son, threw themselves zealously into all
that concerned his wellbeing, and watched over him as true friends.
The magnet which attracted Wolfgang to the house at first, and kept him
chained there for a time, was Cannabich's eldest daughter Rosa, who
was then thirteen, "a pretty, charming girl," as Wolfgang writes to his
father (December 16,1777); "she has a staid manner and a great deal of
sense for her age; she speaks but little, and when she does speak it is
with grace and amiability."[67] The day after his arrival (October 31)
she played something to him; he thought her playing good, and began to
compose a sonata for her, as a mark of attention to Cannabich. The first
allegro was ready on the same day. "Young Danner asked me" he continues,
"what I meant to do for the andante. 'I mean to make it exactly like
Mdlle. Rose herself.' When I played it they were all wonderfully
pleased. Young Danner said afterwards, 'You were quite right; the
andante is exactly like her.'" On November 8 he wrote the rondo at
Cannabich's, "consequently they would not let me away again. Mdlle.
Rose's talent gained in interest for him when, on studying this sonata
with her, he found that it had been neglected. "The right hand is very
good, but the left is utterly ruined; if I were her regular master I
would lay aside all music, cover the keys with a handkerchief, and make
her practise passages, shakes, &c., first with the right



hand and then with the left, slowly to begin with until the hands were
perfectly independent; after that I believe I should make an excellent
player of her." The regular lessons followed in due time; he gave an
hour daily to the young lady, and was very well satisfied with the
result. "Yesterday she gave me indescribable pleasure," he writes
(December 6,1777), "by playing my sonata most beautifully. The andante
(a slow one) was full of feeling; she enjoys playing it." His father
thought the sonata wonderfully good (December 11, 1777); there was a
little of the Mannheim affected taste in it, but not enough to spoil
Wolfgang's own good style.

Another musician with whom Mozart entered into very friendly relations
was the distinguished flute-player, Joh. Bapt. Wendling. Cannabich
introduced him; "every one was as polite as could be" he informs
his father. "The daughter Augusta, who was at one time the Elector's
mistress, plays the clavier well.[68] Afterwards I played. I was in an
excellent humour, and played everything out of my head, and three duets
with the violin, which I had never seen before in my life, and the name
of whose author I did not even know. They were all so delighted that
I was obliged--to kiss the ladies! I had no objection as far as the
daughter was concerned, for she is not by any means ugly." He composed a
French song for this Mdlle. Gustl, of whom Wieland said that she was so
like one of Raphael's or Carlo Dolce's Madonnas, that he could hardly
refrain from addressing a "Salve Regina" to her.[69] She had given him
the words, and her delivery of them was so charming that the song was
called for every day "at Wendling's," and they all "raved about it." He
promised to compose some more for her, and one at least was begun at
a later time.[70] An aria with recitative was also sketched out for
Dorothea Wendling, the mother; she had herself selected the words from



Metastasio's "Didone" (II. 4), "Ah! non lasciarmi no, bell' idol mio,"
and she, as well as her daughter, "went wild over this song." It was
Mozart's custom in sketching his songs to write out the bass entire, and
even some indications of the accompaniment, so that the song could
be sung and in some measure accompanied from the sketch. Whether this
particular song was ever completed we do not know. Mozart did not forget
Wendling himself. We are told that a concerto of his was rehearsed at
Cannabich's, to which Mozart had arranged the instruments (November 22,
1777). He had a dislike to the flute and a mistrust of flute-players,
but he made an exception in favour of Wendling. When Wend-ling's brother
teased him for this he said: "Yes, but you see, it is quite another
thing with your brother. He is not a piper, and one need not be always
in terror for fear the next note should be too high or too low--_he_ is
always right, you see; his heart and his ear and the tip of his tongue
are all in the right place, and he does not imagine that blowing and
making faces is all that is needed; he knows too what adagio means."[71]

Wolfgang presented his oboe concerto to the oboist Friedr. Ramm (b.
1744), whom he met at Cannabich's, and who "went wild" over it (November
4, 1777). He made it his _cheval de bataille_, playing it five times
during the same winter (February 13, 1778) with great success, "although
it was known to be by me."

Mozart soon became universally liked and admired, as well for his
readiness and good-nature in composing as for his performances on the
organ and clavier; but we hear nothing more of his violin-playing. He
gave a humorous description to his father of the effect made by his
organ-playing soon after his arrival in Mannheim (November 13, 1777)

Last Sunday I played the organ in the chapel for a joke. I came in
during the Kyrie, played the end of it, and, after the priest had given
out the Gloria, I made a cadenza. Nothing like it had ever been heard
here before, so that everybody looked round, especially Holzbauer. He



said to me, "If I had only known I would have chosen another mass."
"Yes," said I, "in order to do for me altogether." Old Toeschi (the
concertmeister) and Wendling stood near me. The people were inclined to
laugh, because every now and then, when I wanted a _pizzicato_ effect, I
gave little bangs to the notes. I was in my best humour. A voluntary
is always played here instead of the Benedictus; I took the idea of the
Sanctus and carried it out as a fugue. There they all stood and made
faces. At the end, after the Missa est, I played another fugue. The
pedal is different from ours, and that puzzled me a little at first, but
I soon got used to it.

When the new organ in the Lutheran Church was tried (December 18) all
the kapellmeisters were invited, and Wolfgang's mother writes how a
distinguished Lutheran came and invited him also. He admired the organ
both in _pieno_ and in its single stops, but he disliked Vogler, who
played it; he would not play much himself, only a prelude and fugue, but
he arranged to go again with a party of friends, and then he meant to
"have some rare fun on the organ." In the Reformed Church also, where
the organ was considered a remarkably fine one,[72] he once played to a
friend for an hour and a half.

The great admiration he excited as a clavier-player is described by his
mother (December 28, 1777):--

Wolfgang is made much of everywhere; but he plays quite differently from
what he does at Salzburg, for there are nothing but pianofortes here,
and you never heard anything like the way he manages them; in a word,
every one that hears him declares that his equal is not to be found.
Although Beecké has been here, as well as Schubart, they all agree that
he surpasses them both in beauty of tone, in gusto, and delicacy; and
what they most admire is his playing out of his head whatever is laid
before him.

Clavier-playing was less esteemed in Mannheim than proficiency on an
orchestral instrument, and Peter Winter, a true representative of the
Mannheim band, could not play the clavier at all, and could not abide
such jingling noise, as he used to tell his friends.[73] But Mozart had
plenty of opportunity for comparing himself with other clavier-players.



The Abbé Joh. Fr. Xav. Sterkel (1750-1817), one of the most celebrated
performers of the day, came from Mayence (where he was pianist and
chaplain to the Elector)[74] during Mozart's stay at Mannheim. "Last
evening but one," he informs his father (December 26, 1777), "I was _al
solito_ at Cannabich's, and Sterkel came in. He played five duets,
but so quick as to be unintelligible, and neither distinctly nor in
time--they all said so. Mdlle. Cannabich played the sixth, and she
really did it better than Sterkel."

The same fault that he found with Sterkel, viz., the endeavour to make
an effect by rapid execution and playing at sight, in reality a mere
device to hide imperfect execution, Mozart found also with the playing
of Vogler (1749-1814), the solitary clavier performer resident at

He tells his father (January 17, 1778) of his meeting Vogler at a large

After dinner he had his two claviers brought, which were tuned together,
and also his tiresome printed sonatas. I was obliged to play them, and
he accompanied me on the other clavier. I was obliged, at his pressing
request, to have my sonatas brought also. Before dinner he had stumbled
through my concerto--the Litzau one (246 K.)--_prima vista_;[75] the
first movement went prestissimo, the andante allegro, and the rondo
really prestissimo. He played almost throughout a different bass to
the one that was written, and sometimes the harmonies, and even the
melodies, were altered. Indeed, this was inevitable, owing to the great
speed: the eye could not see and the hand could not grasp the music. But
what kind of playing at sight is that? The hearers (those

I mean, who are worthy of the name) can only say that they have _seen_
music and clavier-playing. They hear and think and _feel_ just as little
as the performer himself. You can imagine that the worst part of it to
me is not being able to say: _Much too quick_. After all, it is much
easier to play fast than slow; notes can be dropped out of passages
without being noticed; but is that desirable? The rapidity allows the
right and left hand to be used indiscriminately: but should that be so?

In what does the art of playing at sight consist? In playing the piece
correctly, in strict time, giving the proper expression to every



passage and every note, so that it might be imagined that the player had
composed the piece himself. Vogler's fingering is atrocious; his left
thumb is like Adlgasser's, and he makes all the runs for the right hand
with his first finger and thumb.

Mozart's antipathy to Vogler shines through this description, and is
equally apparent whenever he has occasion to mention him. Personally he
had nothing to complain of in Vogler: "Herr Vogler positively insisted
on making my acquaintance," he writes to his father (January 17, 1778);
"after plaguing me very often to go to him, he put his pride in his
pocket and paid me the first visit." No assurance will be needed that
the rivalry of the two in composition, organ and clavier-playing, would
not lead Mozart to disparage great merit where it existed. It might have
contributed to sharpen his judgment, which, however, was essentially the
same as that passed on Vogler by the whole orchestra, "from the highest
to the lowest." He was regarded as an interloper, who had usurped an
important position in Mannheim, and had intrigued against such men as
Holzbauer for the purpose; the violet stockings which he wore as papal
legate were thought absurd;[76] and his habit of taking a prayer-book
into society, together with his music, and of frequently keeping
visitors waiting while he performed his devotions, was considered
mere affectation;[77] many complaints were made of his haughty and
depreciatory manner; and his own performances fell far short of the
expectations excited by himself.

But apart from all influence of partisanship or gossip, it is quite
conceivable that two such diverse natures should exercise a mutual
repulsion on each other. Vogler was no doubt an original and striking
character; the very fact that his contemporaries were either his
enthusiastic admirers or his sworn enemies affords proof of this. He
possessed musical talent, intellect and shrewdness, together with much
energy of character, so that his attainments were extensive both in the
arts and sciences.



But these qualities, uncombined with creative genius, could not reach
the highest beauty and truth, either in art or science. We find Vogler,
therefore, in whom creative genius did not exist, seeking for effect
in the technicalities of his art, and as a consequence, in something
outside the art itself. He prided himself especially on his programme
music,[78] which was full of purely sensuous effects, and on his
playing, which was crowded with theoretical difficulties. The principal
charm was in both cases imported from without, not an essential product
of the art itself. Vogler was the first to give this direction to
musical activity, striving to hide a deficiency in creative power under
general cultivation of mind, and, as a necessary result, hampering
the natural development of true art. His celebrated pupils Weber and
Meyerbeer have rendered the same tendency fruitful in consequences to
modern music. A consistent endeavour after what is true and beautiful
in art presupposes a singleness of mind in the artist which cannot
exist with inordinate ambition and a calculating spirit. In truth the
contradictions in Vogler's moral nature, which were remarked even by his
adherents,[79] were as striking as those in his artistic nature. If
we consider the impression such a man must have made on Mozart, whose
creative genius was its own measure and law, penetrating the very
essence of his being, and elevating even the drudgery of his profession
to the freedom of high art, we can comprehend how he would instinctively
recoil from Vogler; and how his own severe education, which had elevated
and refined his nature without injuring his healthy love of truth, would
prevent his doing full justice to his rival's merits. There can be
no doubt that Mozart's opinion of Vogler, which he took no pains to
conceal, gave great offence to the latter; but there is no evidence that
he "plotted against him," as the father conjectures, nor does Wolfgang
himself make any such accusation. Among Vogler's adherents in Mannheim
was Peter Winter (1755-1826) who was "almost the only



friend, that is the only intimate friend, that Vogler had." His daily
offerings to Vogler's vanity were much to be regretted;[80] he objected,
however, in after-days to be called Vogler's pupil.[81] He seems to
have taken a dislike to Mozart, which the latter had cause to feel very

The remaining members of the orchestra, however, were only the more
attracted to Mozart by the position which he assumed in regard to
Vogler. Wendling and Ramm meditated a journey to Paris during Lent, and
Ritter, the bassoonist, was to precede them thither; they intended to
give concerts together, and Wendling proposed to Wolfgang to accompany
them, since such a composer and virtuoso as he would immeasurably
strengthen their company. Wolfgang was strongly inclined to consent, and
wrote to his father (December 3, 1777):--

If I stay here until Lent, I shall accompany Wendling, Ramm the oboist
(and a very fine one), and Lauchery, the ballet manager, to Paris. Herr
Wendling assures me that I shall have no cause to repent it. He has been
twice in Paris (has only lately returned), and says it is the only place
where fame and money can be made. "You are a man," says he, "who can do
anything. I will show you how to set about it: you must compose operas,
serious and comic, oratorios, and everything." Whoever has written a
couple of operas in Paris is a made man at once; then there are the
Concerts Spirituels, and the Académie des Amateurs, where you get five
louis d'ors for a symphony. If you give lessons, it is at the rate of
three louis d'ors for twelve. Sonatas, trios, and quartets are printed
by subscription. Cannabich and Toeschi send a great deal of their music
to Paris. Wendling is a man who understands travelling. Pray write me
your opinion on the subject. It seems to me a good idea. I shall travel
with a man who knows the Paris of the present day thoroughly, for it
has altered very much. I should spend little, indeed I think not half
so much as now, for I should only have to pay for myself; mamma would
remain here, and probably stay with the Wendlings. Herr Ritter, who
plays the bassoon very well, sets out for Paris on the 12th inst. Ramm
is a right honest, merry fellow of about thirty-five; he has travelled
much, and knows the world well. The greatest and best musicians here
like and esteem me. I am always called Herr Kapellmeister.

Wolfgang's mother was not opposed to the project; she writes to her
husband (December 11, 1777):--



About Wolfgang and his journey to Paris you must consider what is
right: nowadays Paris is the only place to get on. Herr Wendling is an
honourable man, well known to all: he has travelled much, and been in
Paris thirteen times, so that he knows it thoroughly; our friend Herr
von Grimm is his best friend also, and has done much for him. So you
must decide as you like--I shall be ready to agree. Herr Wendling has
assured me that he would act as Wolfgang's father. He loves him as his
own son, and will, I am sure, take as good care of him as I do. You can
well imagine that I am averse to parting from him; and if I have to come
home alone, the long journey will be a great trial to me: but what can
be done? The journey to Paris would be more fatiguing and too expensive;
for one does not spend a fourth part travelling alone.

If this plan was to be carried out, Wolfgang must remain at Mannheim
through the winter. His first endeavour, therefore, was to obtain a
situation in the band from the Elector, and his friends eagerly seconded
his efforts. Holz-bauer had taken him soon after his arrival to the
manager, Count Savioli (November 4, 1777),where Cannabich chanced to be

Herr Holzbauer said to the Count in Italian that I wished for the honour
of playing before his Highness the Elector: I had been here fifteen
years before, when I was eight years old; I was now older and taller,
and my music had improved also. "Ah," said the Count, "that is young-,"
somebody or other for whom he mistook me. Then

Cannabich began to speak. I pretended not to listen, and talked to some
one else, but I noticed that he spoke very earnestly. Then the Count
said to me, "I hear that you play fairly well on the clavier."

I made an obeisance.

The Elector happened to be holding court at the time, and Count Savioli
at once presented Wolfgang to the Electress, who received him very
graciously, and remembered his being there fifteen years before, though
she would not have recognised him. On November 6 there was a grand
state concert, at which Mozart played a concerto, and before the closing
symphony a sonata, and something "out of his head":--

The Elector and his wife and all the court were pleased with me. At
the concert, every time I played she and the Elector came quite near my
clavier. After the concert, Cannabich intimated that I might speak to
the Elector. I kissed hands, and he said, "I think it is fifteen years



since you were here before?" "Yes, your highness; fifteen years since I
had the honour"--"You play remarkably well." When I kissed the hand of
the Princess she said, "Monsieur, je vous assure, on ne peut pas jouer

The Electress informed him that she should like him to play to her
alone, and they were obliged to remain until the command to do so
should arrive. Some days after, Count Savioli handed him his present,
a beautiful gold watch; ten gold caroli would, however, have been more
useful to him than the watch, which was valued at twenty. "I have now
with your permission five watches. I have a great mind to have a pocket
made on each side, and to wear two watches (which is the fashion now) so
that it may not occur to any one to give me another."

In his father's opinion Wolfgang would do wrong to remain in Mannheim
any longer than necessary, unless he had certain prospects of a
situation there; his good friends could watch over any future interests
in his absence, and he ought not to lose the opportunity of making
himself known in different places, and of earning money. According
to intelligence received from Frankfort, there was nothing to be made
there; but at Mayence, with the support of the concertmeister, Georg
Ant. Kreuser, concerts might be arranged both in private, before the
enthusiastically musical Elector, and in the town.[82] Something, too,
might be made at Coblentz out of the Elector Clemens, between whom and
the Elector Wolfgang had sat at table and composed with a pencil in
Munich, when they were returning from England (p. 48). Nothing could be
done in Bonn.

They might return to Mannheim after such expeditions as these, if there
was any prospect of remaining there over the winter. Paris must only
be thought of as a last resource; it would be a difficult and a risky
undertaking. To L. Mozart, who was continually revolving schemes in his
mind, it seemed in no way right that the travellers should have settled
themselves so comfortably at Mannheim. Wolfgang, finding himself for the
first time in a congenial



professional atmosphere, and in familiar intercourse with cultivated
minds, was only too ready to hearken when every one said to him: "Where
can you go in the winter? The season is too bad for travelling; stay
here!" And then the prospects which so many good friends opened to him
appeared to him in no wise uncertain. His mother allowed herself to be
led by her son and his friends, and was easily persuaded that to stay in
Mannheim would be most advantageous for Wolfgang.

The Elector had ordered Mozart to be conducted before his natural
children, whom he visited for some hours every afternoon, taking great
interest in their studies. Mozart, who was accompanied by Cannabich,
thus describes the interview (November 8, 1777):--

I talked to the Elector quite familiarly. He is both gracious and good.
He said to me, "I hear that you wrote an opera at Munich." "Yes, your
highness. I humbly crave your grace, it is my greatest wish to write an
opera here. I pray your highness not to forget me. I can write German,
too, God be praised." Well, that may happen.[83] He has one son and
three daughters;[84] the eldest and the young Count play the clavier. The
Elector consulted me quite confidentially about his children. I spoke
quite openly, but without blaming their master. Cannabich was of my
opinion, too. When the Elector left he thanked me very politely.

Some days after he went again, and "played with his whole heart" three
times at the request of the Elector, who sat by him "motionless"; a
certain professor gave him a subject for a fugue. This seemed the surest
way to the favour of the Elector. At Cannabich's instigation, as he
tells his father (who counted on Cannabich's friendship,



his interest being concerned on his daughter's account), he asked Count
Savioli whether the Elector would not keep him there during the winter,
and he would engage to give the children lessons. Cannabich promised
to propose and support this plan to the Elector, but he must wait until
after the gala days, and then the best results might be expected. But a
thing like this must not be hurried, and patience would be required,
as Wolfgang informs his father, and admonishes him not to lose time
in speculations, which generally prove useless. In the meantime he had
drawn on the banker for 150 gulden, "for the host would rather hear the
jingle of money than of music."

This did not in any way please Wolfgang's father, who delivers a sharp
reproof for his thoughtless expression as to the father's speculation
being useless. "Gerechter Gott!" he writes, "you tell me not to
speculate when I am in debt already on your account 450 florins, and
you think you will put me in good humour by writing all sorts of absurd
nonsense." He shows them how little use they have made of their time so
far, and scolds them for not announcing their plans beforehand, so that
proper preparations could be made. "I beg you, my dear Wolfgang, to be
more thoughtful, and not to wait to write about things until they are
past; otherwise all will go wrong." He points out how they have been
living hitherto almost entirely on hope, leaving to him the care of the
money which they required; he had not even received the accounts which
his dear wife had promised him, and they had drawn money without giving
him proper notice:--

A journey like this is no joke: you have not felt it hitherto. You must
have something more serious in your head than nonsense: you have to
foresee, to consider, to calculate, or else you will find yourself in
a mess, without money--and no money means no friends, even if you give
lessons a hundred times over, and compose sonatas, and play the fool
every night from ten to twelve o'clock. Ask these friends of yours
for credit! All the jokes will come to an end, and the most jocular
countenance will turn grave on a sudden.

Hereupon followed a very vague money account from the wife (December 11,



My dear Husband,--You wish to know what we have spent on our journey. We
sent you Albert's bill, and the Augsburg one was thirty-eight florins.
Wolfgang has told you that we were twenty-four florins short, but he has
not included the expenses of the concert, which were sixteen florins,
nor the hotel bill. So that when we came to Mannheim we had not more
than sixty gulden, and if we had left in a fortnight, there would not
have been much over. For travelling costs more, since things have grown
so dear; it is not what it was--you would be surprised.

The irritated and somewhat despondent tone in which Wolfgang replied to
his father's reproaches (November 20, 1777), shows that he felt their
truth, and that the easy-going comfort of his life at Mannheim was
disturbed by the first indications of his duty:--

If you consider the cause of my inaction to be laziness and want of
care, then I can do nothing but thank you for your good opinion, and
lament from my heart that my father does not know me better. I am
not careless, I am only resigned to everything, and so can wait with
patience and bear all, provided my honour and my good name of Mozart do
not suffer. Well, if it must be, it must. But I pray you beforehand not
to rejoice or to be sorry before it is time: for whatever happens it is
all right if one is only healthy; happiness consists in the imagination
(November 29, 1777).

But his father was not satisfied with all this moral philosophy, and
calmly criticises the saying that happiness consists in imagination as
being worthy only of a wild herb. He calls upon his son to realise the
situation of being asked to pay, and having no money. "My dear Wolfgang,
that is a saying fit for those who are satisfied with nothing."

The negotiations with the Elector continued, and Wolfgang sought to
enlighten his father concerning Cannabich's intentions and behaviour
(November 29, 1777):--

In the afternoon (after the first interview with Savioli) I was at
Cannabich's, and, as it was by his advice that I had gone to the Count,
he asked me whether I had been. I told him all. He said, "I should be
very glad if you remained with us all winter; but it would be still
better if you could take service here altogether. I said, "I could wish
for nothing better than to be always with you, but I do not see how
that is possible. You have two kapellmeisters already, and I could not
consent to come after Vogler." "Nor need you," said he; "no musician
here is under the kapellmeister, nor even under the manager. The



Elector could appoint you his chamber composer. Just wait a little; I
will speak to the Count about it." The following Thursday was the state
concert; when the Count saw me he apologised for not having spoken,
but said he was waiting for Monday, when the Court would be over. I let
three days pass, and then, as I heard nothing, I went to inquire. He
said, "My dear Mons. Mozart [this was Friday, that is, yesterday],
to-day the Elector went hunting, and I could not possibly ask him; but
to-morrow at this time you shall certainly have an answer."

I begged him not to forget. Truth to tell, I was a little annoyed when
I came away, and I determined to take my easiest six variations on
the Fischer minuet (179 K.)--I had already copied them out for the
purpose--to the young Count, that I might have an opportunity of
speaking to the Elector myself. When I brought them the governess could
not contain her delight. I was politely received; when I produced the
variations and said they were for the young Count, she said, "O, you
are very good; but have you nothing for the Countess?" "Not at present,"
said I; "but, if I remain here long enough, I shall"--"_A propos_," she
said, "I am glad that you are to remain the winter here." "Indeed!

I did not know"--"That is curious. I am surprised. The Elector told me
himself." "Well, if he has said it, I suppose it is so; for of course my
staying here depends on the Elector." I then told her the whole story.
We agreed that I should come to-morrow at four o'clock, and bring
something for the Countess. She would speak to the Elector before I
came, and I should meet him there. I have been to-day, but he had not
been there. I will go again to-morrow. I have a rondo for the Countess.
Now, have I not reason enough to remain here and await the issue? Ought
I to leave now that so important a step is taken? I have an opportunity
of speaking to the Elector myself. I think I shall probably remain the
winter here, for the Elector likes me, thinks much of me, and knows what
I can do. I hope to be able to give you good news in my next letter. I
beg you again not to sorrow or rejoice about it too soon, and to tell
the affair to no one but Herr Bullinger and my sister.

But the affair was not so easily settled; in his next letter (December
3, 1777) Wolfgang could only tell his father of the many incidents which
seemed to promise a good result:--

Last Monday, after three successive attempts morning and afternoon, I
was fortunate enough to meet with the Elector. We all thought that our
trouble was again in vain, for it was getting late; but at last we saw
him coming. The governess at once placed the Countess at the clavier,
and I sat near her, giving her a lesson: the Elector saw us so when he
entered. We stood up, but he told us to continue. When she had finished
playing, the governess remarked that I had written a charming rondo for
her. I played it, and he was highly pleased. Then he asked,



"But will she be able to learn it?" "O yes," said I, "I only wish that
I could have the happiness of teaching it to her myself." He took snuff
and said, "I should like it, but would it not do her harm to have two
masters?" "Oh, no, your highness, it only signifies whether she has a
good or a bad one. I hope your highness would have no doubt--will have
confidence in me." "Oh, certainly," said he. Then the governess said,
"M. Mozart has also written variations on Fischer's minuet for the young
Count. I played them, and he was again very pleased. Then he began to
play with the children, and I thanked him for the presentation watch. He
said, "Well, I will think about it. How long shall you remain here?"
"As long as your highness commands. I have no engagement elsewhere."
And that was all. This morning I was there again, and was told that the
Elector had said several times last night that Mozart would remain
all winter. Now that it has gone so far I must wait. To-day I dined at
Wendling's for the fourth time. Before dinner, Count Savioli came in
with the kapellmeister Schweitzer, who arrived yesterday. Savioli said
co me, "I have spoken several times to the Elector, but he has not yet
made up his mind." I told him I should like to say a word to him, and we
went to the window. I told him the doubts of the Elector, complained
of being kept waiting so long, and begged him to induce the Elector to
engage me; only I feared, I said, that he would offer me so little that
I should not be able to remain. Let him give me work: I wanted work. He
promised to do as I asked--it may be this evening, since he does not go
to court to-day; but to-morrow he has promised me a decided answer. Now,
let what may happen, I shall be content. If he does not keep me, I
shall ask for a parting gift, for I do not intend to make the Elector a
present of the rondo and the variations. I assure you I take the affair
quite composedly, knowing that all will be for the best, as, come what
may, I have resigned myself to the will of God.

But for several days yet no answer could be obtained from the Elector
except a shrug of the shoulders, and "I have not made up my mind." At
last Mozart was able to acquaint his father with the result of all
these negotiations; it was such as L. Mozart had expected from the first
(December 10, 1777):--

There is nothing to be done with the Elector at present. The day before
yesterday I went to the concert at court to get my answer. Count Savioli
avoided me as long as he could, but I went up to him, and when he saw me
he shrugged his shoulders. "What!" said I, "no answer yet?" "A thousand
pardons," said he; "but, unfortunately, nothing can be done." "Eh bien!"
I answered, "the Elector might have told me that sooner." "Yes," said
he, "he would not have made up his



mind now if I had not urged him to it, and represented to him how long
you had been waiting already, and spending your money at the hotel."
"That annoys me most of all," I answered; "it is not at all well
done. But I am exceedingly obliged to you, Count (he is not called
Excellency), for your endeavours on my behalf, and I shall be obliged if
you will thank the Elector in my name for his gracious, though somewhat
tardy, intelligence, and assure him that, if it had pleased him to
engage me, he would not have repented doing so." "O," said he, "I am
more sure of that than you believe."

The unexpected turn of affairs made quite as unpleasant an impression
upon the Mannheim circle of friends as upon Mozart. He went at once to
Cannabich's, and he being out hunting, related the whole story to his

When Mdlle. Rose--who was three rooms off and busied with the linen--had
finished, she came in and said to me, "Is it your pleasure that we
begin?" for it was time for a lesson. "I am at your service," said I.
"We will have a good steady lesson to-day," said she. "We will indeed,"
I answered, "for it will not last much longer." "How so? Why?" She went
to her mamma, who told her. "What!" said she, "is it really true? I do
not believe it." "Yes, yes; quite true," said I. She played my sonata
through quite seriously; believe me, I could not refrain from weeping;
and before it was ended there were tears in the eyes of the mother and
daughter, and of Herr Schatzmeister, who was present, for the sonata was
a favourite with the whole house. "You see," said Schatzmeister, "when
Herr Kapellmeister [they always call me so] goes away, he makes us all
cry." I must say that I have made good friends here, and one learns to
know them under such circumstances.

Wendling was specially concerned at the intelligence; when Mozart
communicated it he grew "quite red," and said very hastily, "We must
find some way of keeping you here, at all events for the two months
before we go to Paris together." When Wolfgang went to dine with
him next day he made him what seemed a very satisfactory proposal. A
Dutchman (Dejean or Dechamps) nicknamed the Nabob, who lived on his
means, and had been a friend and admirer of Wolfgang, offered to give
him 200 florins for three short and easy concertos and two quartets
for the flute; then Cannabich would guarantee at least two well-paying
pupils, and Mozart was to have duets for clavier and violin printed by
subscription. Wendling offered him board, and he could



have free quarters at the house of the chamberlain Serrarius. Mozart
was rejoiced at the prospect of being able to remain in Mannheim, and
thought he should have enough to do for all winter in composing three
concertos, two quartets, four or six clavier duets, besides a grand
mass, which he intended to present to the Elector. The following day he
set himself to find small, cheap lodgings for his mother, which was not
an easy matter.

It was a satisfaction to Wolfgang's father, who was not surprised that
Wendling should seek to retain so excellent a fourth party for the
expedition to Paris, to have the state of affairs laid clearly before
him. He stipulated only that the journey should not take place during
the cold of winter, and thought the plan feasible, provided the Dutchman
could be relied on; if not, they must at once proceed to Mayence. But on
no account were the mother and son to separate. "As long as your mother
remains, you must remain with her," he writes (December 18, 1777); "you
must not think of leaving your mother to the care of others as long as
you and she can be together." The small difference in rent was not worth
considering, and it was impossible for her to go home at present. "Be
most careful to remain with your mother and care for her, even as she
has cared for you." It was not only physical care that he had in his
mind, but watchfulness over his son's moral and religious behaviour. He
expresses some anxiety on these points (December 15).

Let me ask you whether Wolfgang has not forgotten to go to confession
lately? God before everything! From Him alone can we expect earthly
happiness and eternal safety. Young people are apt to be impatient when
told this; I know it, for I have been young myself; but, God be praised,
I never failed to come to myself in time after any youthful folly, to
flee from all danger to my soul, and to keep God and my honour, and the
dangerous consequences of sin, always before my eyes.

His wife reassured him by saying that Wolfgang had confessed at the
feast of the Immaculate Conception, and that they had heard mass
regularly on Sundays, though not always on week-days. Wolfgang justified
himself, not without a touch of irritability (December 20, 1777):--



I have written that your last letter gave me great pleasure, and that is
true; but one part of it vexed me a little--the question whether I had
not somewhat neglected confession. I have nothing to reply to this,
except to make you one request, which is--not to think so ill of
me again. I am fond of fun, but be assured that I can be serious on
occasion. Since I left Salzburg (and even before) I have met with people
whose speech and actions I should have been ashamed to imitate, although
they were ten, twenty, or thirty years older than myself; so I beg you
earnestly to have a better opinion of me.

Under these circumstances, the offer of Serrarius to afford lodging,
firing, and light to both mother and son, came very opportunely;
Wolfgang was to give lessons to his daughter in return. The mother was
especially pleased at the change, having been somewhat lonely at the
hotel during Wolfgang's long absences. They had good beds, careful
attendance, and she supped and spent the evenings with her hostess,
chatting with her often until eleven o'clock. Wolfgang does not seem
to have been particularly struck with the talent of the daughter of the
house, Theresa Pierron, who had played the clavier since she was eight
years old; he seldom mentions the "house nymph." Nevertheless, she
practised one of his concertos, and performed it at a large musical
party at home; and afterwards she played the third and easiest of his
concertos for three claviers at a concert. Before his departure from
Mannheim he composed (March 11, 1778) a clavier sonata with violin
accompaniment for her (296 K.). He gave lessons in composition to young
Danner, in return for which his mother dined there every day; he himself
boarded at Wendling's. "Wolfgang," writes his mother, "has so much to
do with composing and giving lessons that he has no time to pay visits
to anybody. So you see that we can comfortably stay here during the
winter; and it is all Herr Wendling's doing; he loves Wolfgang as his
own son." Wolfgang himself gives his father the following account of his
daily life (December 20, 1777):--

We cannot rise before eight o'clock, for our room, being on the
ground-floor, is not light until half-past eight. Then I dress quickly;
at ten o'clock I set to work composing until twelve or half-past; then
I go to Wendling's and write a little more until half-past one, when we
dine. At three, I go to give lessons in gallantry and thorough-bass to a



officer (De la Potrie), for which, if I do not mistake, I shall have
four ducats for twelve lessons. At four I return home to give a lesson
to the daughter of the house: but we never begin before half-past four,
because we are waiting for lights. At six I go to Cannabich's and teach
Mdlle. Rose; I stay there to supper, and then we talk or play a little,
or some-times I take a book out of my pocket and read, as I used to do
at Salzburg.

His mother had reason to say that Wolfgang was so busy he did not know
which way to turn; and she might well add that her husband could not
conceive how highly Wolfgang was esteemed for his music and other
things, so that every one said that he had not his equal, and his
compositions were literally idolised. At the same time the father is
informed that Wolfgang's beard has to be removed; and on his question
as to whether it has been cut, burnt, or shaved off, the answer is duly
given: "The beard has not been shaved yet, only cut with scissors; but
it cannot be done so any more, and next time the barber must be called

The great musical event which was engrossing public attention at
this time was the approaching production of Wieland and Schweitzer's

As the result of flattering overtures made to him during the summer of
1776,[85] Wieland set to work on his text in the spring of 1777.[86]
The subject--a curious one to choose for Mannheim, where the Elector
had many Rosamunds, and the Electress took little pains to conceal her
chagrin thereat (facts of which Wieland had no suspicion)[87]--inspired
him with the greatest enthusiasm. This caused him to be all the more
unpleasantly surprised when Jacobi and Goethe declared the opera a
failure, and the minister Hompesch pressed for a revision of the last
act. He wished to withdraw it altogether, although Schweitzer had
already composed three acts of great beauty; but Hompesch would on
no account consent to this, and he was obliged to undertake the



Wieland was far from being satisfied with his own share of the opera,
but he declared that Schweitzer had produced a work which would attract
people for miles round to hear it.[89]

Wieland was invited to assist in person at the production of his
opera. Dissatisfaction with the work, and domestic and economical
considerations, caused him some hesitation; but the wish once more to
enjoy music to the full finally prevailed, and he looked forward with
pleasure to a meeting with old friends; Jacobi, Sophie la Roche and
her daughter, and Max Brentano promised to come to Mannheim for the
occasion. The production of the opera had been first fixed for the
fête-day of the Elector (November 4, 1777), but owing to the delay
caused by the revision it did not appear until January, 1778. When all
the preparations, the splendid scenery and costumes were completed,
Schweitzer came to Mannheim to conduct the final rehearsals himself.
Mozart, who made his acquaintance at once, found him a good, honest man,
but dry and positive like Michael Haydn, "only that his language is more
refined (December 3, 1777). "There are beautiful things in the new opera,
and I doubt not that it will succeed. 'Alceste' was a success, and is
not half so fine as 'Rosamunde.' Certainly its being the first German
opera had much to do with the success; and now that the novelty has worn
off it has ceased to make the same impression." The opera was rehearsed
daily, and it affords proof of the esteem in which Wolfgang was held by
the band that, when Schweitzer was unwell, he had "to take his place,
and conduct the opera with several of the violins at Wendling's"
(December 18, 1777). Repeated hearing of the opera did not increase
Mozart's admiration for it. "Wolfgang does not care for the new opera,"
writes his mother (December 18, 1777), "he says there is no nature in
it, and much exaggeration, and that it is not well written for the
singers; we must wait to see what effect it will produce." He writes
himself (December 10, 1777): "'Rosamunde' was rehearsed at the theatre
to-day; it is--good, but nothing more; and if it were bad, could it not
be performed just the same?"



Later on (September 11, 1778), he pities Aloysia Weber on account of
her poor part in "Rosamunde." "She has one song, which might be made
something of, but the voice part is _à la_ Schweitzer, like the barking
of dogs; she has a kind of rondo in the second act, which allows her to
sustain her voice, and display it a little. Woe to the vocalist, male or
female, who falls into Schweitzer's hands! He will never acquire the art
of writing for the voice."[90]

The arrival of Wieland, who was esteemed before all German poets at
Mannheim,[91] was eagerly looked for by the public, and Wolfgang looked
forward to making his acquaintance. Wieland arrived on December 21, and
was equally delighted with his reception by the Elector and with the
homage of the populace. "Every one is anxious to have me, and each
day is distinguished by something which makes the remembrance of it
pleasant," he writes on December 26 to Sophie la Roche;[92] and to Merck
on the following day:[93] "I can say nothing more than that I am well
both in soul and body, for the reason that I have to play no part but
the one natural to me, and that my affairs, so far as it appears,
are prospering. God grant that I may not grow _too happy_ among these
people. But that is provided against."

Mozart was not carried away by the universal enthusiasm for the
celebrated poet, and sends his father the following impartial
description (December 27, 1777):--

I have made the acquaintance of Herr Wieland, but he does not know me as
well as I know him, for he has not heard me play yet. He is not at
all what I had expected to find him. His speech seems to me somewhat
affected; he has a childish voice--a fixed stare--a certain scholarlike
bluntness, and yet sometimes a stupid condescension. I am not surprised
at anything in his behaviour here, whatever it may be in Weimar



or elsewhere, for the people look at him as if he had come down from
heaven. Every one yields to him, and there is silence directly he opens
his mouth. It is only a pity that he keeps people in suspense so long,
for he has a defect in his utterance, and has to speak very slowly, and
stop every six words. He is extremely ugly, covered with pockmarks, and
with a very long nose. His height is somewhat greater than your own.

After Wieland had learnt to know Mozart also, he writes (January 10,
1778): "Herr Wieland, after hearing me twice, is quite enchanted. The
last time he paid me all manner of compliments, ending up with, 'It
has been a real happiness to me to meet you here!' and a squeeze of the

Wieland was delighted with Wendling, and all the preparations for the
opera were found satisfactory.

The first performance was fixed for January 11, and he hoped to obtain
much honour for his "Rosamunde" in Mannheim, if only the illness of the
Elector of Bavaria did not frustrate all his hopes. But this fear was
unhappily realised. The Elector Maximilian died on December 30; the
intelligence reached Mannheim as Karl Theodor was attending a religious
service for the New Year, and the following evening he set out for
Munich.[94] All the festivities came to an end. "The death of Maximilian
Joseph," writes Wieland to Baron von Gebler (January 5, 1778), "has
disappointed both myself and the public. My opera "Rosamunde," set to
admirable music by Herr Schweitzer, was to have been given for the first
time on the 11th, and repeated eight times during the carnival. I had
every prospect of as great a success as perhaps an opera ever had, when
the death of the Elector of Bavaria brought about an alteration on the
stage of public events, the lugubrious decorations of which have quite
suppressed mine."[95] The opera was rehearsed once more in his honour,
and then he travelled back to Weimar, content with the result of his
visit, though his main object was defeated.[96]

The change of government had more lasting effects for



Mannheim, and especially for the musicians there, than a mere temporary
suspension of gaiety. The patriotic inhabitants of the Palatinate could
not indeed believe that their Elector would transfer his capital to
Munich;[97] but the prospects of the future were uncertain and alarming,
owing to the threatening turn taken by political events.

If Mozart had felt himself moved to write German operas in Munich, the
impulse must have been vastly strengthened by his stay in Mannheim. He
had offered his services to the Elector with this object. When the offer
was declined, a new prospect was opened to him in Vienna, with which he
acquaints his father (January 11, 1778):[98]--

I know for certain that the Emperor is thinking of establishing
opera in Vienna, and that he is seeking everywhere for a young
kapellmeister, a German and a genius, who is capable of producing
something new.[99] Benda is seeking in Gotha, but Schweitzer has more
influence. This would be just the thing for me; well paid, of course. If
the Emperor gives me 1,000 florins I will write him an opera, and if he
does not pay me it is all the same. Pray write to all imaginable friends
in Vienna that I am in a position to serve the Emperor. If needs be, he
may try me with an opera, and what he does after, I really do not care.
Adieu. I hope you will put the affair in motion at once, or some one may
be beforehand with me.

L. Mozart was not the man to let this opportunity slip. He applied at
once to Heufeld, who had formerly been well disposed towards them, and
whose knowledge and influence could be relied on, begging him to exert
himself on Wolfgang's behalf. Letters from Messmer (pp. 86,145) had
just arrived from Vienna, asking why Wolfgang did not come to Vienna,
where there was "always room for true talent." He should have board and
lodging with him as long as he liked, and his friends would see to his
interests. But the prospects, so far as the opera was concerned, were
not very promising. L. Mozart was of opinion (January 29, 1778)



that the Emperor was like the Archbishop--"he wanted a good thing at
a very cheap rate." A letter from Heufeld was definitive (January 23,

It is true that His Majesty the Emperor, to whom his mother has quite
resigned the care of the theatre, wishes to establish German opera. All
orders come through the High Chamberlain, Count von Rosenberg, to the
company, among whom there is a sort of council for the regulation of the
pieces and parts. At the opera, which is now combined with the national
company," the additional singers are Mdlle. Cavalieri, and Schindler's
daughter, married to Langin, with a bass, whose name I forget (Fuchs).
To-day was the first rehearsal of the first opera ("Die Bergknappen"),
of which Herr Weidmann has furnished the words, and Herr Umlauf, who
plays the viola in the orchestra, the music. The performance will take
place shortly. All this is only an experiment to see if anything can be
done with the Germans in this line. It is certain that no composer will
be engaged at present, particularly as Gluck and Salieri are in the
Emperor's service. To recommend any one at present would be the surest
way to failure; and no advocate can be employed to reach the Emperor's
ear, since he arranges everything himself according to his own ideas and
inclinations. Every one knows this, and no one ventures on a proposal or
recommendation. His Majesty has sought out Gluck and Salieri, and most
of those who are now in his service, in the same way. I could give you
several examples of people who have applied indirectly to His Majesty
and have failed in their suit. The way in which you propose approaching
him seems to me far from good, and the reason I decline presenting a
petition is my certain conviction that it would be useless, and, indeed,
prejudicial to your interests. There is another more creditable and more
certain way open to first-rate talent, and that is the production of
some work, for which there is every opportunity. Let your son take the
trouble of setting any good German opera to music and submitting it to
the supreme pleasure of the Emperor, and then let him wait the event,
and follow in person if his work is well received. In this case, indeed,
his presence will be necessary. Your son may be without any apprehension
with regard to Benda and Schweitzer; I can answer for there being no
trouble from that quarter. Their fame is not so great here as elsewhere.
Perhaps even Wieland's great opinion of these gentlemen[100] has
somewhat abated since his stay at Mannheim. I have a letter of the 5th
inst. from him, in which he acknowledges to having received altogether
new ideas upon music in Mannheim.



When this letter reached Mozart he was in a very excited state (the
reason for which will be presently noted), and the effect it produced
was greater than mere disappointment. His self-love, which had been
raised to so high a pitch by the appreciation of his Mannheim admirers,
was wounded by the proposal that he should write a comic opera on
approval, like a beginner. Even the condescending good nature of Heufeld
to his "dear Wolfgang" increased his annoyance.

His father was full of plans and cares for his son's advancement. An
opportunity which offered for a settlement in Salzburg was little likely
to please Wolfgang. The city had been thrown into consternation on
December 21, 1777, by the paralytic seizure of Adlgasser while he was
playing the organ. His death followed the same evening. It soon became
clear that Wolfgang's return and application for the vacant post would
not be unacceptable to the authorities; and his father informs him of
several hints he had received to that effect (January 12, 1778):--

His Excellency the Lord High Steward apprised me that his Serene
Highness had commanded him to inquire from Haydn and myself if we knew
of a really good organist; he must also be an excellent clavier player,
of good appearance and manners, and able to give lessons to the ladies
of the court. "What!" said I, "did his Serene Highness mention me?"
"Yes; you in particular," said he, and laughed. I said, "I know nobody
with all these qualities." If there is such an one in Mannheim, he may
make his fortune.

But even if his father had been willing to take these hints, Wolfgang
would have had no ear for them.

With the idea that a longer stay in Mannheim might yet result in a
permanent engagement, L. Mozart wrote to the Padre Martini in December,
1777, sending him Wolfgang's promised portrait, and begging him to use
all his influence with the Elector.[101] With his usual good nature, the
Padre promised to write to Raaff authorising him to say to the Elector
"in his name everything imaginable in Wolfgang's



favour, and to praise him according to his deserts; even if the
political situation should operate unfavourably at the moment, the
appeal would certainly bear fruit at a future time." No such letter,
however, reached Raaff from Padre Martini; but Wolfgang made it the
occasion of forming a closer acquaintance with Raaff, and advancing his
own claims. He writes (February 28, 1778):--

Yesterday I took Raaff a song which I had just written for him. The
words are "Se al labro mio non credi, bella nemica mia," &c. I do not
think they are Metastasio's. The song pleases him greatly. One has to go
carefully to work with a man like this. I selected the words with care,
because I knew that he had sung them before, and that they would come
easier and more pleasantly to him. I asked him to tell me candidly if
he did not care for them or like them, and I would alter the song to
his pleasure, or write it over again. "Heaven forbid!" said he, "let
the song remain as it is, for it is very fine; only I must beg you to
shorten it a little, for I have lost the power now of sustaining my
voice so long." "Willingly," said I; "as much as you please. I took care
to make it long, for it is much easier to curtail than to lengthen a
song." After he had sung the second part, he took off his spectacles,
looked hard at me, and said, "Beautiful, beautiful! That is a charming
second part," and he sang it three times. When I went away, he thanked
me cordially, and I assured him in return that I would arrange the song
to his satisfaction. I like a song to be fitted to the singer, like a
well-made garment.[102]

The aria (295 K.), without the introductory recitative, has the
following words:--

     Se al labro mio non credi,
     Bella nemica mia,
     Aprimi il petto e vedi,
     Quai sia 1' amante cor;
     Il cor dolente e afflito
     Ma d' ogni colpa privo,
     Se pur non è delitto
     Un innocente ardor.

The treatment is more strictly orthodox than had latterly been usual
with Mozart, apparently out of consideration to the singer. The first
part is an elaborate adagio, full of



simple melody and fervent expression; the tone of deep sorrow given to
the words "aprimi il petto" is very impressive, melodious and pleasing,
with few passages, and those not florid. The second part (allegretto,
3-8, in G minor), is especially rhythmical and original in its
harmonies, animated, and full of expression. Although the arrangement of
this part is quite in the old style, it has decided individuality, and
contrasts so effectively with the adagio that one can easily understand
the delight with which it inspired the old singer. The song does not
exceed the compass of--[See Page Image]

and keeps to the position of the tenor voice proper, full opportunity
for effective display being afforded to the singer. The free and finely
coloured accompaniment never obscures the voice,[103] and the whole song
is not inferior to later and better known works.

The time had now arrived for the expedition to Paris, and Mozart's
anxious father was unsparing in thought and wise counsel. He advised
them to prepare in good time for the mother's journey from Mannheim to
Augsburg at the beginning of March, and he impressed upon Wolfgang that
his stay in Paris was not to be limited by weeks or months, but was to
last until he had gained both fame and money; he must therefore wind
up all his affairs in Mannheim before he left. His father also gave
him circumstantial rules for his guidance in society; he was to avoid
intimacies, especially with other composers, such as Gluck, Piccinni,
and Grétry, whose rivalry might be feared, "de la politesse, et pas
d'autre chose!" He was above all to observe the greatest prudence in his
dealings with the female sex, who were always on the watch for young men
of great talent whom they might dupe and entangle, or even marry; "that
would be my death," says his father, and he sends him a long list



of their patrons during their former stay, whom he was to seek out
immediately on his arrival. He is especially assured of the tried
friendship of Grimm, and of his own studies and duties: "Think daily
what you owe to God, who has given you such extraordinary talents."

To L. Mozart's astonishment he received a letter from Wolfgang (February
4, 1778), informing him of his intention of giving up the journey to
Paris, and of the reasons which had led to this determination:--

Mamma and I have talked it over, and agreed that the life which Wendling
leads does not suit us. Wendling is a thoroughly honest, good man, but
he and all his household are totally without religion; his daughter's
relations to the Elector sufficiently prove this.[104] Ramm is good
at heart, but a libertine. I know myself, and know that I have so much
religion that I should never commit an action that I could not proclaim
to the whole world; but the mere thought of travelling with people whose
way of thinking is so opposed to mine (and to that of all honourable
men) frightens me. They may do as they please, but I have no wish to
accompany them; I should not have a happy hour, I should never know what
I was saying; for, in one word, I have no confidence in them. Friendship
without a religious basis is not lasting. I have already given them a
little _prægusto_. I have told them that letters have reached me, of
which I can say nothing further than that they interfere with my journey
to Paris with them; I may be able to follow, but perhaps I shall have to
go elsewhere, and they must not depend upon me.

The mother corroborates all this, and declares she had never approved of
the society of Wendling and Ramm, but that she had said nothing, for
she was never listened to. In her next letter she asserts that it
would certainly be dangerous companionship for Wolfgang, and tells her
husband: "It is true that Herr Wendling is the best-natured man in the
world, but neither he nor his family have any idea of religion, nor
care for it; neither the mother nor daughter enter a church all the year
round, nor do they ever confess nor hear mass, but they are always going
to the play; they say the church is not healthy."

L. Mozart was not a little surprised that his wife and son



should so suddenly discover this lack of faith at the end of a long
acquaintance. "You are quite right not to travel in undesirable
company," he answers (February 16, 1778); "but you must have been aware
of the bad qualities of these men for a long time, and you have had so
little confidence in your anxious father, that you have never written to
ask his advice on the subject, and (shocking!) neither has your mother
done so." There was not much to be said in answer to this, except that
they had allowed themselves to be deceived by the universal praise of
Wendling, and by his really good qualities, and had overlooked his want
of religion.

Wolfgang gave his father other reasons against the expedition (February
7, 1778):--

I have already given you my chief reason for not going with these people
to Paris. The second is that I cannot quite see what I should have to do
in Paris. My only means of advancement would be lesson-giving, and that
work is distasteful to me. I have had a striking example of that here.
I might have had two pupils. I went to each of them three times, then
I found one of them out; consequently I did not go again. I will gladly
give lessons as a favour, particularly to any one who shows genius and
a real wish to learn. But to be obliged to go to a house at a certain
hour, or to be obliged to wait at home for a pupil, is what I cannot do,
even if it were to bring me some profit. I leave that to those who
can do nothing but play the clavier. I am a composer, and a born
kapellmeister; I ought not to bury my talent for composition which a
merciful God has so richly bestowed upon me (I may say it without pride,
for I feel it now more than ever); and pupils are most distracting
to the mind. I would rather (so to speak) neglect the clavier than
composition; for the clavier is only a subordinate affair; only, God be
praised! a very powerful subordinate.

He had said the same to Wendling, and told him that if he would only
put something certain in his way, he would gladly follow to Paris,
"especially if it was an opera; opera-writing is my chief idea and
object, French rather than German, but Italian rather than either
French or German. Wendling and his friends are all of opinion that my
compositions would be wonderfully successful in Paris; for, as you know,
I can adapt myself to every sort and style of composition."

All things considered, we cannot but feel that Wolfgang's



father was justified in writing as follows (February 23, 1778)

So you intend only to give lessons as a favour, do you? and you mean to
leave your old father in his present straits? For a young fellow like
you lesson-giving is far too much trouble, even when it is well paid.
It is more fitted to your old father to run from house to house for a
wretched pittance in order to support himself and his daughter, and to
send the little that remains to you, instead of paying his debts; and
all that you may amuse yourself by giving lessons to some silly girl for
nothing! My son, reflect, and give ear to your own good sense. Reflect
whether you do not deal more hardly with me than our prince himself. God
has given you an excellent judgment, and two things only hinder you from
employing it on your own affairs: first, a trifle too much of conceit
and self-love, and, secondly, an inclination to be over-confiding and to
open your heart to every one you meet.

He made him easy as to lesson-giving in Paris (February 16, 1778)

In the first place, no one will discharge his master at once in order to
take you; and, in the second place, no one would venture to engage you,
nor should you take any one, except a lady, now and then, who plays well
already and has a fancy for learning from you, for which she is willing
to pay well. Such lady pupils as these will take endless trouble to
collect subscriptions for your compositions. The ladies in Paris are
omnipotent; they are great amateurs of the clavier, and many of
them play extremely well. They would be your best allies for getting
commissions; and you will be able, by their help, to make both fame
and money with clavier pieces, violin quartets, symphonies, and such
collections of French songs with the clavier as you lately sent me;
then, at last, you will arrive at an opera. Why do you hesitate? But you
always want things done in a moment, before you have been either seen
or heard. Look down the long list of our former acquaintances in Paris;
they are all, at least the greater number, the best people in the town.
They are all most anxious to see you again, and if only six of such
persons (nay, a single one would suffice) were to take you by the hand,
you might do as you pleased.

All this notwithstanding, however, we cannot but feel that Wolfgang's
consciousness of his true vocation and his lively protest against any
sort of pressure from without did honour to him, far more honour than
the insinuation of unbelief against his true friend Wendling, to whom
he was already deeply indebted. Not that Mozart was insincere--he was a
faithful son of his Church--but other feelings were at work



here, which obscured his judgment. Wendling was inconsolable at
Wolfgang's refusal to join the party; and the latter endeavoured to
persuade himself that motives of personal interest had a share in the
regret of his friend. Be it as it may, Wendling and Ramm set off for
Paris on February 15, leaving Wolfgang at Mannheim, not quite free
from compunction. "If I thought," he writes to his father (February 14,
1778), "that you were really annoyed about my not going to Paris with
them, I should repent having remained here; but, after all, the road to
Paris is not closed to me."

L. Mozart was not altogether displeased at the turn of affairs; what
really angered him was to hear from Wolfgang (February 4, 1778): "I am
getting on at my ease with the music for Mons. de Jean, for which I am
to have 200 florins; I can stay here as long as I like, for neither my
board nor lodging cost me anything." His father had warned him before
(December 11, 1777): "If you examine your conscience you will find
that you have a strong tendency to procrastination"; and now he writes
(February 12, 1778): "I am astonished to hear that you are finishing
Mons. de Jean's music at your ease. Can it be that you have not already
completed it! And you were thinking of leaving Mannheim on the 15th, and
have been making expeditions to Kirchheim? Well, never mind, only beware
that Herr Wendling and Mons. de Jean do not play you false, for the
proposal was only made with the intention of enabling you to go with
them. Let me have an answer by the next post, that I may know how the
matter stands." The information which Wolfgang furnished (February 14,
1778) was not consolatory:--

Herr de Jean, who also goes to Paris to-morrow, has paid me only
ninety-six florins (miscalculating the half by four florins) because
I had written only two concerti and three quartetti. But he will be
obliged to pay me the whole, for I have arranged with Wendling to send
the music after them. It is not extraordinary that I should not have
been able to finish it. I never have a quiet hour; night is my only time
for writing, for I cannot even get up early. Besides, one is not always
in the humour for writing. I could certainly scribble away the whole
day; but when a thing is to go forth to the world bearing my name, I am
determined that



I will not be ashamed of it. You know how stupid I am when I have always
to compose for one instrument (and that one which I dislike). I have
written other things from time to time for a change, such as clavier
duets and portions of masses. But now I have set to work in earnest on
the clavier duets, so that I may have them printed.

In a letter from Paris (July 20, 1778) he mentions only "two quartets
for the flute," and on October 3, 1778, he speaks of "the flute
concerto." Two quartets for flute, violin, viola, and violoncello are
known. One of them (281 K.) is inscribed, "Mannheim il 25 Dec., 1777,"
and must therefore be the same which is mentioned in the letter of
December 18 as being almost finished. It is in D major, in the usual
three movements, the middle one, an adagio 3-8, being accompanied
throughout _pizzicato_, the flute leading the melody. The whole piece
is easy, both in style and composition, the flute kept mainly in the
foreground, and the accompanying parts firmly and skilfully handled,
without any actual elaboration. The second quartet (298 K.), according
to a notice appended by a strange hand to the original manuscript (in
the imperial library at Vienna), was composed in Paris in 1778. It is
in A major, and begins with variations on a simple theme, in which each
instrument in succession comes in obbligato. Then follows a minuet, and
as a finale a "rondieaoux," the heading of which testifies to Mozart's
merry humour; it runs: "Allegretto grazioso, ma non troppo presto, perö
non troppo adagio, cosi, cosi, con molto garbo ed espressione." It is
likewise easy in every respect, shorter, and somewhat fresher than the
first movement. A flute concerto in D major (314 K.) bears much the same
character, and was composed for the "true philanthropist, the Indian
Dutchman." It is lively and cheerful, without laying claim to deeper
significance; the accompaniment, although kept well in hand, betrays in
little touches the practised hand of a master. An andante in C major for
the flute, with orchestral accompaniment has also been preserved (315
K.). The original is not dated, but the handwriting, the Mannheim paper,
and the well-founded assumption that Mozart never wrote for the flute,
except by commission, point to this time. Fürstenau, however, remarks
that Mozart treats the flute



with a perfect knowledge of the instrument, its _technique_ and easily
attained effects.

Nothing is known of the mass on which he was engaged at Mannheim,
unless a detached Kyrie in E flat (322 K.), serious and dignified in
expression, original and free in treatment, may be referred to this

He writes on the 28th February, 1778, that he has still two clavier
sonatas to write: "But I am not in a hurry with them, for they cannot
be printed here. Nothing can be done by subscription--it is beggary, and
the engraver will not take the risk on himself unless I promise him
half the profits. I would rather have them printed in Paris, where the
publishers are glad of something new, and pay capitally, and where much
also can be done by subscription." One of the sonatas (304 K.) was,
according to the inscription, finished in Paris; all the six were
published there in 1778 by Sieber, and were dedicated to the Electress
(301-306 K.).

Wolfgang's dilatoriness was a hard blow to his father, who had counted
on the price of these compositions to cover the cost of the Mannheim
visit and of the journey to Paris. He saw plainly that he must not only
defray these himself, but must also provide for the future, and he found
himself in great perplexity. He writes in troubled strain (February 16,

We have tried every means to make you happy, and ourselves through you,
and at least to set your future career on a firm foundation: but fate
has willed that we should not succeed. Our last venture has sunk me very
low indeed, and, as you know, I am now seven hundred florins in debt,
knowing not how I am to support myself, your mother and sister, on my
monthly pay; not a kreuzer can I hope for from our prince. You cannot
but see clearly, therefore, that the future fate of your old parents,
and of your good devoted sister, is in your hands.

The sister, an ever-present witness of the cares and perplexities of her
father, at a loss to know how the new year's bills were to be met, or
how he was to procure the new clothes he needed, grasped the state of
affairs very thoroughly. She practised the clavier with redoubled zeal,
and had made great efforts thoroughly to master thorough-bass and the
art of preluding; she foresaw that after her father's death her



music would be her mother's and her own sole dependence. She was deeply
grieved at the bad news from Wolfgang, and "had her full share of
weeping." Wolfgang wrote crossly that she "should not cry for nothing"
(February 19, 1778); but he must have felt ashamed of himself when his
father's answer to this came (February 26, 1778)

She did not cry over nothing when she cried over your letter; but,
nevertheless, she said when she heard that you had not got the 200
florins, "Thank God that it is no worse!" although she has considerable
interest in the matter, and knows that, in order to go on helping you,
her own just claims must be laid aside.

And why was it, the father must have asked himself, that Wolfgang was
so suddenly blind to his own interests, and forgetful of his duty to his
family? It required no great skill in reading between the lines to find
the answer in his son's own letters. The stay in Mannheim influenced his
artistic life through the intellectual atmosphere of a capital in which
flourished German science and German art; but beyond and above this, it
was there that he was seized by the passion which sways the innermost
being of man, and blunts for the time every other feeling. We have seen
how susceptible he always was to female charms, and how he delighted
in intercourse with agreeable women, whose attractions often threw a
favourable light on his opinion of their musical acquirements.

Now, for the first time, there awoke in his heart a passionate
attachment to a young singer of extraordinary talent; the beauty of her
voice as it developed under his loving tuition, coupled with the unhappy
circumstances of her life, increased the young man's generous ardour,
and aroused his lively sympathy. Aloysia Weber, the second daughter of a
man in a subordinate position at the theatre,[105] was fifteen



years of age, and of great beauty. His letters, outwardly expressive
only of his admiration for her singing, are not the less indicative
of the state of his heart; artistic delight and loving passion are
charmingly and unconsciously blended in every sentence. The view which
it is permitted us to take of the innocent heart of a youth who
could feel as warmly and tenderly as he could judge impartially and
artistically, is the more striking, since it helps us to apprehend how
much was torn away with this bud, destined never to unfold into blossom.
Wolfgang first mentions her in an account of a little professional tour
(January 17, 1778)

Next Wednesday I am going for a few days to Kirchheim-Poland, to the
Princess of Orange (p. 43); I have heard so much that is good of her,
that at last I have decided. A Dutch officer, and my very good friend,
was dreadfully scolded by her for not bringing me with him, when he
went to pay his respects at the new year. I shall get at least eight
louis-d'or; for she is a great musical amateur, and I have had four
songs copied for her; I shall give her a symphony, too, for she has a
nice little orchestra, and gives concerts every day.[106] The copying of
the songs will not cost me much, for it has been done by a certain Herr
Weber, who is going over with me. He has a daughter of fifteen, who
sings extremely well, with a beautiful, pure voice. She only wants
action to be fit for a prima donna on any stage. Her father is a good,
true-hearted German, who has brought up his children well, which is
the reason that the girl is persecuted here. He has six children, five
daughters and one son. For fourteen years he supported himself and
his family on 200 florins a year, and because he has always faithfully
fulfilled his duties, and has provided the Elector with a first-rate
singer, he has now actually 400 florins. She sings my song for De Amicis
with the fearful passages excellently well (135 [11] K.); she is going
to sing it at Kirchheim-Poland.

After his return he narrates the particulars of this "holi-day-trip"
(February 2, 1778)

We sent a note at once to the castle, and next day the concertmeister,
Rothfischer, waited on us. In the evening we went to the court, it being
Saturday; Mdlle. Weber sang three songs. I pass over her singing with
one word, _excellent_. I spoke to you of her merits in my last letter,
and I shall not be able to close this without saying more, as I am now
learning to know her better, and to appreciate her full powers.



Afterwards we supped at the officers' table. Sunday and Monday we dined
at court; there was no music on Sunday evening; there never is, so that
they have only about 300 musical evenings in the year. We might have
joined the gaming-table, but much preferred remaining at home. We would
willingly have dispensed with the dinner at court, since we are never
so happy as when alone together; but we looked at it from an economical
point of view, having spent enough already. On Monday there was music,
and again on Tuesday and Wednesday; Mdlle. Weber sang in all thirteen
times, and twice played the clavier, which she does very well. What
surprises me most is her correctness. Only imagine, she played my
difficult sonatas slowly, but without missing a note, _prima vista_,
upon my honour. I would rather she played my sonatas than Vogler. I
have played in all twelve times, and once by desire on the organ in the
Lutheran church, and I have waited on the Princess with four symphonies;
for all this I have received seven louis-d'ors in silver money, and my
poor dear Weber five--basta! We have lost nothing by it. I have clear
forty-two florins profit, and the inexpressible pleasure of having
made the acquaintance of true-hearted Catholic and Christian people. _A
propos_, you must not be surprised that my seventy-seven florins have
been reduced to forty-two florins. It was a true pleasure to come
together with good sympathetic people. I could not do otherwise than pay
half the expenses; but that will not happen on any other journey; I have
said already I shall only pay for myself. Afterwards we stayed five
days at Worms, where Herr Weber has a brother-in-law, the Dean of the
monastery, who stands in fear of Herr Weber's sharp-pointed pen. We were
very merry, and dined and supped every day with the Dean. I can truly
say that this little journey has been good practice on the clavier for
me. The Dean is a very wealthy, sensible man. Now it is time that I
conclude; if I were to write all that I think I should run short of

After his return to Mannheim he devoted almost his whole time to the
Webers, and to the musical education of their gifted daughter. He
studied with her all the songs which he had brought, and begged his
father to send him from Salzburg "an aria cantabile, cadenzas, and
anything else suitable." Then he procured her an opportunity of being
heard. He writes (February 14, 1778):--

Yesterday Cannabich gave a concert, and everything performed--except
the first symphony by Cannabich himself--was mine. Mdlle. Rose played my
concerto in B flat (238 K.); then, by way of a change, Herr Ramm played
for the fifth time my oboe concerto for Ferlendi, which has made a
great sensation here; Ramm makes it his _cheval de bataille_. Afterwards
Mdlle. Weber sang De Amicis' _aria di bravura_ quite



charmingly. Then I played my old concerto in D (175 K.), because it
is such a favourite here; then I improvised for half an hour, and
afterwards Mdlle. Weber sang with great applause "Parto m' affretto"
("Lucio Silla," 135 [16] K.). My overture to the "Re Pastore" was the

He had the satisfaction of hearing from Raaff, "who certainly never
flatters," when asked his true opinion: "She sang like a professor, not
like a learner." As an expression of his feelings for Aloysia, Wolfgang
composed the song (294 K.) which comes more direct from his heart than
any other of his compositions (February 28, 1778):--

I have taken the aria, "Non sò d'onde viene," &c., as an exercise in
composition, just because it has been so beautifully done by Bach, and
because I know and admire his rendering so much that it is always in
my ears; I wanted to try whether, in spite of this, I could not write a
song which should not be like Bach's. It is not at all, not in the least
like. I intended the song for Raaff at first, but the beginning was
too high, and it pleased me too much to be altered; besides, the
instrumentation seemed to make it more fitted for a soprano. I therefore
decided to write the song for Mdlle. Weber. I laid it aside, and set
to work on "Se al labro" for Raaff. But it was of no use, I could write
nothing else while the first song was in my head. So I finished it, and
set myself to make it exactly suited to Mdlle. Weber. It is an andante
sostenuto, following a short recitative. In the middle comes the second
part, "Nel seno a destarmi;" then again the sostenuto. When it was
finished, I said to Mdlle. Weber, "Learn the song for yourself; sing it
according to your own taste; then let me hear it, and I will tell you
candidly what pleases me and what does not please me." In two days she
sang it to me, and accompanied herself. I was obliged to acknowledge
that she sang it as well as I could wish, and just as I would have had
it done. It is the best song which she has, and will gain her applause
wherever she sings it.

This assertion was justified at a concert given by Cannabich, at which
Rose Cannabich, Mdlle. Weber, and Mdlle. Pierron Serrarius, after three
rehearsals, played the concerto for three claviers very well:--

Mdlle. Weber sang two of my songs, "Aer tranquillo," from the "Re
Pastore," (208 [3] K.), and the new one, "Non sö d'onde viene." The dear
creature did herself and me infinite honour. Every one said that she
surpassed herself in this song; she sang it just as it should be sung.
Cannabich called out aloud when it was finished, "Bravo, bravissimo,
maestro! veramente, scritta da maestro! This was the first time



I had heard it with the instruments. I wish you could have heard it as
it was sung then, with such accuracy of taste, such _piano_ and _forte_.
Who knows? you may hear it yet. I hope so. The orchestra have not left
off yet praising and talking of the song.

And he himself cannot leave off talking of it:--

I do certainly wish you could hear my new song sung by her; I say by
her, for it is just made for her. You, who know what is meant by singing
with _portamento_, would find rare satisfaction in her singing of it.

He proceeds to beg his father not to allow the song (which he sends him)
to be sung by any one else, since it was written only for Mdlle. Weber,
and fits her like a garment.

In truth this song is very beautiful, the simple and natural expression
of what he felt and wished to imply to the singer, original in form and
treatment. Strikingly original are the short violin passages between
the phrases of the recitative. The chief movement is adagio, _cantabile_
throughout, in its calm steady progress beautifully expressive of
alternate doubt and resolution. A very effective contrast is formed
by the animated allegro agitato, which leads back to the adagio in an
unexpected but charming manner; the adagio is not simply repeated, but
the important points are accentuated, partly by the harmonic treatment,
partly by stronger emphasis, and the grouping and connection are varied.
The loving care of the composer is displayed again in his management
of the orchestra. The stringed instruments are accurate in detail,
and written with a view to effect; for instance, when the voice in its
highest, sharpest tones, is accompanied by the violins in a far lower
position, the effect is excellent. The second violin part is well
thought out, and the accompaniment rich without being overpowering. As
wind instruments, the flutes, clarinets, horns and bassoons, are' so
combined as to give intensity and brilliancy to the colouring of the
whole; they are employed with a full mastery of effect, either alone or
in varied combination.

The following is the original situation in Metastasio's "Olimpiade."
Clisthenes, King of Sicyon, has doomed to death an unknown youth (as
afterwards appears, his son),



because he has attempted to assassinate him. But in the act of
delivering him to death, he feels himself wonderfully moved by the
aspect of the youth, and turns to his confidant with the words:--

Alcandro, lo confesso, stupisco di me stesso. Il volto, il ciglio, la
voce di costui nel cor mi desta un palpito improwiso, che lo risente in
ogni fibra il sangue. Fra tutti i miei pensieri la cagion ne ricerco e
non la trovo. Che sarà, giusti Dei, questo ch' io provo?

     Non si d' onde viene
     Quel tenero affetto
     Quel moto, che ignoto
     Mi nasce nel petto
     Quel gel, che le vene
     Scorrendo mi và.
     Nel seno a destarmi
     Si fieri contrast!
     Non parmi che basti
     La sola pietà.

Mozart describes graphically how the voice and singing of Mdlle. Weber
floated before him, and inspired his composition, but he does not tell
us how Metastasio's words, released from their dramatic connection,
became the soliloquy of a young heart, feeling with amazement the first
stirrings ot love, and scarcely venturing to realise the depth and
intensity of its passion; for pity is assuredly not enough to excite
such expressions of emotion. This was the condition of his own heart,
and what he felt himself, that he also placed in the heart of his
beloved, and, being an artist, on her lips--certainly without analysing
his feelings or hers. The song expresses purely and beautifully the
emotions of a maiden who stands in doubt and perplexity at the innocent
impulses of her heart, incomprehensible even to herself. But her budding
inclination has not yet become a dominant passion, and she feels that
she stands at the turning-point of her whole existence. There reposes,
therefore, on the whole song the calmness and purity of innocence,
together with intense warmth and deep agitation, and Mozart has lent to
these emotions the inexpressible charm of melody.

The charm is not broken by the occurrence of sharper discords than are
usual with Mozart; but they are both



appropriately placed, and in full harmony with the tone of the whole.

The song gives a favourable indication of the powers of the singer.
The style is simple and sustained throughout, varied by original and
expressive embellishments, and at the close by a couple of quick runs
going up to--[See Page Image]

It excites no small astonishment to find such capabilities of voice,
execution, and delivery in a girl of fifteen. Mozart composed the same
song again for the bass singer Fischer, in March, 1787 (512 K.). The
construction of the song is, as the words require, the same, but the
treatment is as different as possible. This time the true sense of the
dramatic situation is grasped; a man, a ruler, who has a long life's
experience behind him, feels his strong mind moved to a tenderness which
he cannot understand, and which therefore troubles him; he seeks to
resist it, but falls ever again under its irresistible sway. The sense
of surprise and passionate resistance is powerfully rendered, and many
passages--"Quel gel che scorrendo le vene mi và," for instance--are of
wonderful power and beauty. In fact, the song presupposes the union of
strength and softness, flexibility of voice and cultivated delivery,
which existed to perfection in Fischer; it might be said as truly of him
as of Mdlle. Weber, that the song fitted him like a garment.

Mozart's change of determination with regard to the Parisian journey is
easily explained by the light of his love for Mdlle. Weber, although
he was far from acknowledging this, even to himself. No doubt he was
sincere in writing to his father (February 4, 1778): "It is out of
the question for me to travel with a man who leads a life of which the
youngest among us would be ashamed, and the thought of assisting a poor
family, without doing harm to myself, pleases me to the very depths of
my soul." He longed ardently to liberate the Weber family from their
trying position; but love for his Aloysia was the most powerful,
although the secret motive. The direction of his thoughts



may be gathered from his remarks on the wealthy marriage made by his
friend Herr von Schiedenhofen (February 7, 1778):--

It is a mercenary marriage, and nothing further. I would not marry in
that way; I should like to make my wife happy, and not expect to make my
fortune through her. So I will let it alone for the present, and enjoy
my freedom, until I can afford to support a wife and family. It was
necessary for Herr von Schiedenhofen to choose a rich wife for the sake
of his title. The nobility can never marry from inclination or love, but
only from interest and various considerations; it would not become such
high personages to love their wives when once they have brought into the
world a fat little son and heir. But we poor common folk, not only _may_
we take a wife whom we love, and who loves us, but we ought, can, and
will take such an one; for we are not nobly born, aristocratic, or rich,
but lowly, mean, and poor, and so not needing a rich wife; our wealth
dies with us, for it is in our brains--and no one can take it from us,
unless he cut off our head--and then we should not want anything more.

The father must have shaken his head at this diatribe. Wolfgang's wish
at least to live in the neighbourhood of Aloysia, until he could call
her his own, was joined to his irresistible impulse to compose operas.
In order to attain both these ends he had conceived a project which
would, he supposed, be of equal advantage to her family and his own.
The Webers were quite ready to fall in with what was clearly to their
advantage, and it only remained to obtain the consent of Wolfgang's
father to his remaining in Mannheim and completing the compositions he
had undertaken:--

At the same time Herr Weber will be exerting himself to get concert
engagements for himself and me; we shall travel together, too.
Travelling with him will be just the same as travelling with you. In
fact, the reason I like him so much is that, excepting in appearance, he
resembles you entirely; his temper and turn of mind are identical with
yours. If my mother were not, as you know, averse to much writing, she
would say the same thing. I must acknowledge that I enjoyed travelling
with the Webers; we were happy together, and merry; and I had the
satisfaction of conversing with a man like yourself. I had no need to
trouble myself about anything; if anything was torn I found it mended;
in fact, I was treated like a prince. This oppressed family has become
so dear to me that it is my greatest wish to make them happy--which
is perhaps in my power. My advice is that they should go to Italy. You
would be doing me a great favour if you would write as soon as possible
to our



good friend Lugiati (p. 108), and inquire from him what is the highest
sum paid to a prima donna in Verona--the higher the better, for it is
easy to lower one's terms--and perhaps she could get a better engagement
afterwards in Venice. I will stake my life on her singing, and I know
that she does me honour. She has profited much by my instruction, even
in this short time, and I have not much doubt as to her acting powers.

If all this takes place, we--that is, M. Weber, his two daughters and
I--shall have the honour of paying a passing visit in a fortnight or so,
to my dear father and my dear sister, and my sister will find a friend
and companion; she enjoys the same reputation here on account of her
good bringing up as my sister does in Salzburg; her father is respected
as mine is; and the whole family is like the Mozart family. This arouses
envy in the same way, of course; but when it comes to the point the most
envious are obliged to speak the truth; honesty is the best policy. I
cannot tell you how pleased I should be to bring them to Salsburg, only
that you might hear her.

She sings my songs written for De Amicis--the bravura songs, as well as
"Parto m' affretto" and "Dalla sponda tenebrosa"--quite superbly. I
beg that you will do your best to help us to go to Italy; you know my
greatest ambition--to write operas. I would gladly write an opera for
thirty sequins at Verona, that she might gain reputation by it; for if
I had not written it I fear she would be sacrificed. In the meantime I
shall make so much money by the expeditions I shall make with them that
I shall not be in any way injured. I think we shall go to Switzerland,
perhaps also to Holland; write to me soon about it. If it all comes to
pass, the other daughter, who is the elder, will be very useful, for she
cooks well, and we can keep house for ourselves. I only beg you not to
delay answering me. Do not forget my wish to write operas! I am jealous
of every one who writes one; I could weep for vexation when I hear or
see an aria. But Italian, not German; seria, not buffa!

Now I have laid open my whole heart to you, and my mother is quite of my
way of thinking. I kiss your hand a thousand times, and am, till death,
your obedient son.

In a later letter he repeats his pressing request (February 14, 1778):--

I earnestly entreat you to do what you can for Weber; I have his success
very much at heart; a man and his wife, five children, and an income of
450 florins! Remember my request as to Italy, and also about myself; you
know my ambition and my passion. I hope it will all go right; I put
my trust in God, and He will not forsake us. Now farewell, and do not
forget my earnest petition and recommendation.

Wolfgang's mother was not quite so much of his opinion as he imagined;
this is apparent from her postscript, which shows also that she was
entirely without influence over her son:--



My dear Husband,--You will perceive from this letter that when Wolfgang
makes a new friendship he is ready to sacrifice his life and all he
holds dear for the object of it. It is true that she sings divinely, but
one should never so entirely set aside one's own interests. I have never
approved of the companionship with Wendling and Ramm, but I dared not
make any objection, and I am never listened to. But as soon as he knew
the Webers, he altered his mind altogether. In fact, he prefers being
with other people to being with me; I object to this thing and that
which does not please me, and that annoys him. So you must decide for
yourself what is to be done. I write this in the greatest secrecy while
he is dining.

And what said the father? This letter was a greater blow than any which
had yet befallen him, and Wolfgang's romantic project almost bereft
him of reason. He did not indeed doubt that "much persuasion had been
brought to bear on Wolfgang, to induce him to prefer a vagabond life to
the fame which could be acquired in a city so celebrated, and so ready
to welcome true talent, as Mannheim"; but he was horrified to find that
the influence of strangers could so deprive him of consideration for
himself and others. "Your kind heart leads you to see no fault in any
man who praises you loudly and exalts you to the skies, and to bestow
all your love and confidence on him; when you were a child, on the
contrary, your modesty was so excessive that you wept when you were
openly praised." Sharp remedies seemed in this case necessary, and these
L. Mozart applies with all the authority of an experienced man, and
the severity of a conscientious father. He lays before his son in an
exhaustive letter how far he has hitherto been from attaining the main
object of his journey, and how much he is in danger of forgetting his
duty to his family and himself, for the gratification of a senseless
passion. It was not difficult to show that the idea was immature and
impracticable of producing a young girl, who had never sung in public,
nor appeared on the stage, before an Italian public, which would be
certain to condemn her even if she sang like Gabrielli herself. L.
Mozart goes on to show how, with war threatening, the present was
not the time for a professional tour, and how a wandering life with a
stranger and his daughters would deprive him of his reputation, ruin his



prospects, and bring disgrace on his family: "It lies now in your own
power alone to raise yourself to as high a position as a musician has
ever attained; you owe all to the extraordinary talent bestowed upon
you by the all-gracious God, and it depends upon your own sense and
behaviour whether you become an ordinary musician, forgotten by the
world, or a celebrated kapellmeister whose fame shall be handed down
to posterity in books--whether you herd all together in a room full of
squalling brats, on a heap of straw, or spend a Christian life, full of
honour, pleasure and profit, and die respected by all the world, leaving
your family well provided for."

L. Mozart felt that immediate action was necessary; all his former
objection to the journey to Paris vanished before the necessity of
extricating his son from his present dangerous entanglement. "Away with
you to Paris, and that soon!" he cried. "Put yourself at the side of
great men--_aut Cosar aut nihil!_ The mere thought of seeing Paris
should have preserved you from all passing distractions. The name and
fame of a man of great talent goes through all the world from Paris."
The company of Wendling and Ramm was not as important to him as his was
to them. But his mother must go with him in order to arrange everything
properly; they were not to limit their stay to a few months, but were
to remain as long as was necessary to gain renown and money; the more so
since Paris was the safest place to live in during war. Hard as it was
upon him, the father undertook to provide money and letters of credit
for the journey.

In making this appeal to the conscience, the ambition, and the better
judgment of his son, L. Mozart was wise enough not to allude directly to
his attachment to Aloysia Weber, although he must have been well aware
of its existence. Wolfgang had not openly expressed it, and his father
was careful not to oppose a sentiment which was invincible because
inaccessible to reason. But as a proof that he was not indifferent to
the misfortunes of those with whom Wolfgang had so much sympathy, he did
not withhold the advice for which he had been asked. The man



who could best help them was Raaff; Wolfgang should endeavour to
interest him in Mdlle. Weber, and his influence would be all powerful
with the impresaii. He further advised that she should make her _début_
on the Mannheim stage, were it only for the sake of practice.

The effect of this letter was what he anticipated. Wolfgang was brought
to a knowledge of the fact that he had nearer duties to fulfil, to which
his dreams and aspirations after an uncertain future must give way. He
yielded with a heavy heart but with childlike submission to his father's
will, and answered (February 19, 1778)

I always anticipated that you would be against the journey with the
Webers, for I never seriously entertained the idea myself; that is,
under our present circumstances; but I had given my word that I would
write to you about it. Herr Weber does not know how we stand; I have
told no one; and so because I wanted to be free from care for any one,
and to be happy together, I forgot the present impossibility of the
affair, and also to inform you of my true opinion of it. What you say
concerning Mdlle. Weber is all true; and, as I wrote before, I know as
well as you do that she is too young, and wants the power of acting, and
should therefore recite in the theatre as often as possible; but one has
to proceed cautiously with some people. The good Webers are as tired
of being here as some one else you know was elsewhere; and they are
inclined to think everything possible. I had promised them to write to
my father; but even before my letter had reached Salzburg I had been
advising them to be patient, that she was a little too young, &c. They
take everything well from me, for they have a high opinion of me. The
father has spoken by my advice to Madame Toscani (an actress) about
giving his daughter instruction in acting. All that you say of Mdlle.
Weber is true, except one thing: that she sings like a Gabrielli; I
should be very sorry if she did. Every one who has heard Gabrielli says
she was nothing but a passage and roulade maker; in a word, that she
sang with art, but no understanding (p. 135). But Mdlle. Weber sings
from her heart, and _cantabile_ by preference. I am now making her sing
passages in the great arie, because it is necessary if she goes to Italy
that she should sing bravura songs; she will not forget her _cantabile,_
because it comes natural to her.[107] Now you know all, and I recommend
her to you with my whole heart.



But it was a hard struggle that he had to make with himself; it affected
his health, and he was for several days confined to his room. His
father's warnings had struck chords in his innermost being, which
vibrated painfully; the thought of having forfeited his father's full
confidence rendered him inconsolable. "Believe whatever you please
of me, only not that I am wicked. There are people who believe it is
impossible to love a poor girl without having evil intentions. I am no
Brunetti, and no Misliweczeck--I am a Mozart, a young but an honourable
Mozart." Gradually, however, his loving trust in his father regained
its old supremacy. "'God first, and then papa'; that was my motto as a
child, and I am true to it still." He and his mother began to prepare in
earnest for their departure, and the father was ready with instructions
and good advice, nor did he withhold the paternal blessing from his
well-loved son:--

How deeply I feel the wider separation that is about to take place
between us you can partly imagine, but I cannot expect you to feel the
intensity with which it oppresses me. If you will only reflect seriously
on all that I did for you two children in your early years, you will
not certainly accuse me of timidity, but you will do me the justice
to acknowledge that I am, and always have been, a man with courage to
venture anything. At the same time I used all possible prudence and
foresight; against accidents no one can provide, for God alone sees into
the future. I have not, my dear Wolfgang, the least mistrust in you; on
the contrary, I have perfect confidence and hope in your filial love.
Everything now depends on the sound understanding which you certainly
possess if you will only listen to it, and upon fortunate circumstances;
these last are not to be controlled, but I hope and pray that you will
always take counsel of your understanding. You are now about to enter a
new world, and you must not believe that I am prejudiced in considering
Paris so dangerous a place; _au contraire_, my own experience gives
me no cause to think it at all dangerous. But the circumstances of my
former and your present stay there are as widely asunder as heaven and



After explaining this in more detail, and giving Wolfgang minute
directions as to the position he should take in Paris. L. Mozart
concludes with the words:--

I know that you look upon me not only as your father, but as your truest
and firmest friend; and that you are well aware that our happiness and
misery--nay more, my long life or speedy death are, under God, so to
speak, in your hands. If I know you aright, I have nothing to look
forward to but that pleasure which will be my only consolation in
your absence, and I must resign myself to neither seeing, hearing, nor
embracing you. Live like a good Catholic Christian; love God and fear
Him; pray to Him sincerely and devoutly, and let your conduct be
such that should I never see you again, my death-bed may be free from
anxiety. From my heart I bless you, and remain till death your loving
father and firmest friend.

It was only when Mozart's departure from Mannheim drew very near that
the loss on both sides was fully realised. The farewell concerts which
he arranged as displays for himself, his compositions, and his pupils,
impressed his extraordinary talents on the public mind. Regrets at his
departure were heard on all sides, not only from musicians, but from all
men of cultivation who had the fame of Mannheim at heart, among them the
author of the "Deutsche Hausvater" (March 24, 1778):--

Before leaving Mannheim I made copies for Herr von Gemmingen of the
quartet (80 K.) which I wrote that evening in the inn at Lodi; also of
the quintet (174 K.), and of the Fischer variations (179 K.). He wrote
me an extremely polite note, expressing his pleasure at the remembrance,
and sent me a letter to his very good friend, Herr von Sickingen,
adding, "I am well assured that you will do more to recommend this
letter, than it can possibly do to recommend you." And he sent me three
louis-d'or to cover the cost of copying the music. He assured me of
his friendship, and begged for mine in return. I must say that all
the cavaliers who knew me, the court councillors, chamberlains, court
musicians, and other good people, were vexed and disappointed at my
leaving. There is no mistake about that.

He was in some degree consoled by the prospect of finding opportunities
for composition in Paris (February 28, 1778)

What I chiefly look forward to in Paris is the Concert Spirituel, for
which I shall probably have to write something. The orchestra is so good
and strong, and my most favourite compositions, choruses, can be



well performed there; I am very glad that the Parisians are so fond
of them. The only fault that was found with Piccinni's new opera
"Roland"[108] was that the choruses were weak and poor, and the music
altogether a little monotonous; otherwise it was very well received. The
Parisians were accustomed to Gluck's choruses. Rely upon me, I shall do
all that is in my power to bring honour to the name of Mozart; I am not

The parting from Mdlle. Weber had still to be gone through; he describes
it candidly to his father (March 24, 1778)

Mdlle. Weber very kindly netted me a purse as a remembrance and small
acknowledgment of my services. Her father copied all that I wanted for
me, and gave me some music-paper and Molière's comedies (which he knew
I had not read), with the inscription, "Ricevi, amico, le opere del
Molière in segno di gratitudine e qualche volta ricordati di me." When
he was alone with mamma, he said, "We are losing our best friend, our
benefactor. Yes, there is no doubt that your son has done much for
my daughter, and has interested himself in her so that she cannot be
grateful enough to him." The day before I left they wanted me to sup
with them, but I could not be away from home, so refused. But I was
obliged to spend a couple of hours before supper with them, and they
never left off thanking me, and wishing they were in a position to
testify their gratitude. When at last I went away they all wept. It is
very foolish, but the tears come in my eyes whenever I think of it.
He went down the steps with me, and stood at the house-door till I had
turned the corner, when he called for the last time, "Adieu!"

This time the father painted no leave-taking on the quoits, but thanked
God in his heart that his son had escaped a great danger. Wolfgang did
not openly declare that his love for Mdlle. Weber was heartfelt and
sincere, and that he believed it to be returned, that he went forth with
the full determination of winning a position, and being able to call
her his own; but he was little careful to conceal these hopes from his
father[109] as to hide from him the correspondence which he carried on
with the Webers. The father, with



full confidence in the honourable character of his son, was content to
leave this connection to the future so soon as he saw the first step
assured in Wolfgang's professional career.

Our glance must needs linger with approbation on the picture of a youth
glowing with ardent passion, yet with self-mastery enough to listen
to the first warning of his good and wise father, and so sure of the
constancy of his feelings as to be willing to yield his warmest wishes
to the fulfilment of his moral duties. In the love and confidence
existing between father and son we rejoice to acknowledge the best and
truest ornament of a German artist-life.


[Footnote 2: Schubart, Selbstbiographie 14,1., p. 200. Goethe, Wahrheit und
Dichtung, B. 11. (Werke, XVIII., p. 48.) Herder's Nachl., III., pp. 371,
374. Schiller, Thalia, I., p. 176.]

[Footnote 3: Schubart, Teutsche Chronik, 1775, p. 729. Hausser, Geschichte d.
rhein. Pfalz, II., p. 943.]

[Footnote 4: Guhrauer, Lessing, II., 2 p. 286.]

[Footnote 5: Wieland (Briefe an Merck, I., p. 105; II., p* 104).]

[Footnote 6: Schubart, Teutsche Chronik, 1775, pp. 718, 730.]

[Footnote 7: A description is given in Müller's Abschied von der Bühne, p. 204.]

[Footnote 8: Müller, who was in Mannheim, December, 1776, notices (Abschied
von der Bühne, p. 207) from the expressions of the Elector and of the
minister, Von Hompesch, how full the Mannheim people were of these

[Footnote 9: Devrient, Geschichte der deutschen Schauspielkunst, II., p. 303.]

[Footnote 10: F. H. Jacobi (Briefe, I., p. 273). Wieland writes to Merck (II., p.
116): "I must go to Mannheim, for I must and will have my fill of music
once in my life, and when or where shall I have a better opportunity?"
Klopstock, too, went to Mannheim chiefly on account of its music (Briefe
an Merck, II., p. 51), and "they were anxious to satisfy his fastidious
taste" (Schubart, Teutsche Chronik, 1775, p. 183).]

[Footnote 11: Lord Fordyce declared, as Schubart relates (Aesthetik, p. 131),
that Prussian tactics and Mannheim music placed Germany at the head of

[Footnote 12: Schubart notes this as an advance (Teutsche Chronik, 1774, pp. 310,

[Footnote 13: Cf. Pasqué, Goethe's Theaterleitung in Weimar, II., p. 353.]

[Footnote 14: "Alceste:" a vaudeville in five acts. Leipz. Weidm., 1773.]

[Footnote 15: Teutsch. Mercur, 1773, I., pp. 34, 223; cf. II., p. 221.]

[Footnote 16: Dressier, Theaterschule, p. 169. Etwas von und uber Musik fur das
Jahr 1777 (Frankfort, 1778), p. 39.]

[Footnote 17: Morgenblatt, 1820, Nr. 160.]

[Footnote 18: Wieland asks for subscriptions to the clavier arrangement of
"Alceste" which appeared, beautifully got up, in 1774 (Teutsch. Mercur,
1774, IV., p. 2gg). A second arrangement appeared in Berlin in 1786.]

[Footnote 19: Gedanken und Konjekturen zur Gesch. d. Musik (Stendal, 1780), p. 8.
Musik. Alman., 1782 (Alethinopel), p. 51. Schubart's Aesthetik, p. no.]

[Footnote 20: Zelter, Briefw. m. Goethe, V., p. 55.]

[Footnote 21: Teutsch. Mercur, 1773, II., p. 306. Knebel, Litt. Nachl., II., p.
151. Böttiger, Litt. Zust., I., p. 190.]

[Footnote 22: Teutsch. Mercur, 1775, III., p. 268. Schubart,' Teutsche Chronik,
1775, pp. 535, 575, 716, 720.]

[Footnote 23: Müller, Abschied von der Bühne, p. 212.]

[Footnote 24: Günther von Schwarzburg," ein Singspiel in drei Aufzügen fur die
Kur-pfàlzische Hofsingbühne. Mannheim: Schwan, 1777.]

[Footnote 25: The beautifully engraved score (by Götz, of Mannheim) is dedicated
to Karl Theodor, "the enlightened patron of music, under whose mighty
protection the palatinate stage first sang a German hero."]

[Footnote 26: The scenery was painted by Quaglio; the ballet was arranged by
Lauchery, and composed by Cannabich. Burney says (Reise, II., p. 72)
that 48,000 florins were spent on a carnival opera.]

[Footnote 27: Teutsche Chronik, 1766, p. 630.]

[Footnote 28: The opera was successfully performed several times at Mannheim
during 1785. Schiller's Thalia, I., p. 185 (Boas. Nachtr., II., p. 32,

[Footnote 29: There is a long discussion on the subject in the Rhein. Beitr.,
1777, I., p. 377. Cf. Betrachtungen der Mannheim. Tonschule, I., p.
116, Etwas von u. üb. Musik, p. 34. Düntzen Frauenbilder a. Goethe's
Jugendheit, p. 258.]

[Footnote 30: Briefe an Merck, I., p. 100.]

[Footnote 31: Müller, Abschied von der Bühne, p. 20S.]

[Footnote 32: Schubart, Aesthetik, p. 131.]

[Footnote 33: Musik. Alman. f. 1782, p. 23.]

[Footnote 34: In the list of singers for 1756 a number of Italian singers were
included who had disappeared by 1797.]

[Footnote 35: Heinse, Schr., III., p. 221.]

[Footnote 36: Wieland, Br. an Fr. la Roche (p. 191.) Schubart is more critical
(Aesthetik, p. 144): "She has distinguished herself as one of our best
theatrical singers. She played in French, Italian, and German, and
oftener in comic than in tragic parts. She began to decline early in
life, which would have been more easily detected in serious parts."]

[Footnote 37: Briefe, Von Gleim und Heinse, I., 424.]

[Footnote 38: Jacobi, Briefe, I., p. 279.]

[Footnote 39: Burney, Reise, II., p. 71. Hist, of Mus., IV., pp. 481, 508.
Schubart, Aesthetik, p. 143. Busby, Hist, of Mus., II., p. 361. Gesch.
d. Mus., II., p. 404.]

[Footnote 40: Briefe an Merck, I., p. 108.]

[Footnote 41: A sketch of Raaff's life and character is given by A. M. Z., XII.,
p. 857. I found plenty of traditions in Bonn also.]

[Footnote 42: Metastasio, Opp. post., I., p. 359.]

[Footnote 43: Some instances of liberality and favour displayed towards him
in Spain and Portugal are given by Reichardt (Berlin, Musik. Zeit.,
1805,1., p. 278). He left Lisbon just before the earthquake, and built a
chapel at Holzem in gratitude for his escape.]

[Footnote 44: Cäcilia, V., p 44.]

[Footnote 45: Schubart, Selbstbiographie 14,1., p. 214; Aesthetik, p. 137.]

[Footnote 46: After his farewell performance of Idomeneo, in 1781, Raaff lived
a retired life at Munich in the society of a few friends, dividing his
time between devotional exercises and reading. He died in 1797.]

[Footnote 47: "We had the virtuoso Hartig here lately," writes Jacobi to Wieland
(June 8, 1777, I., p. 272): "You should hear the fellow sing! We had the
recitative from Alceste, 'O Jugendzeit, o goldne Wonnetage' four times.
I wish you could have had the pleasure of hearing it."]

[Footnote 48: Schubart, Selbstbiogr. 14,1., p. 214,]

[Footnote 49: Schubart, Aesthetik, p. 132.]

[Footnote 50: A summary of the Mannheim Kapelle for 1756 is given in Marpurg's
Kritischen Beiträgen, II., p. 567, and one for 1767 in Hiller's
Wöchentl. Nach-richten, II., p. 177; in the latter the clarinets are
included. Mozart writes to his father (November 4,1777): "The orchestra
is very good and strong; on each side are ten or eleven violins,
four tenors, two oboes, two flutes and two clarinets, two horns, four
violoncelli, four bassoons, four double-basses, and trumpets and drums."
Two platforms were erected in the opera hall for the trumpet chorus.]

[Footnote 51: Originally the clarinet was, as the name shows, closely allied
to the trumpet, the soft tones of which skilfully applied were almost
identical with the clarinet. Its use was afterwards extended from
military and wind bands to the grand orchestra. Hiller remarks upon
clarinets as an innovation in Agricola's "L' Amore di Psiche" (Wöchentl.
Nachr., 1769, Anh., p. 87). In older scores, even in some of Mozart's,
the clarinets are sometimes placed with the brass instruments, and
are gradually transferred to the wood, until finally they are employed
independently in the blending of the tone-colouring. Cf. Adam, "Dem.
Souv. d'un Music.," 181.]

[Footnote 52: Burney, Reise, II. p. 74.]

[Footnote 53: Burney, Reise, II., 74. Schubart, Selbstbiogr. 14,1., p. 212. A. M.
Z., I., p. 882.]

[Footnote 54: Reichardt says (Briefe eines aufmerksamen Reisenden, I., p. 11) of
the Berlin orchestra: "I must not speak in this place of the masterly
effects produced in the Mannheim orchestra by the swelling and
diminution of a long note, or of several successive notes, which gives,
if I may so speak, to the whole colouring a darker or a lighter shade.
This would be considered too great an innovation by Hasse and Graun."
He relates that the first time Jomelli made use of the _crescendo_, the
audience gradually rose from their seats, and at the _diminuendo_ they
began to breathe freely, and became conscious of having stopped their
breath; and he declares that the same effect was produced upon himself
at Mannheim.]

[Footnote 55: Schubart, Aesthetik, p. 130.]

[Footnote 56: Schubart, Aesthetik, p. 130: "No orchestra in the world has ever
surpassed that of Mannheim in execution. Their _forte_ is a thunder,
their _crescendo_ a cataract, their _diminuendo_ the distant rippling of
a crystal stream, their _piano_ the soft breath of early spring."]

[Footnote 57: Burney, Reise, II., p. 73.]

[Footnote 58: Burney, Reise, II., p. 73.]

[Footnote 59: Schubart, Aesthetik, p. 137. Musik. Alman., 1782 (Alethin), p. 6.]

[Footnote 60: Schubart, Selbstbiogr. 14,1., p. 210. Cf. p. 227. A. M. Z., V., p.

[Footnote 61: Cf. Schubart, Aesthetik, p. 129. A list of the grand operas which
were performed at Mannheim under Karl Theodor is given by Lipowsky,
Baierisches Musik-Lexicon, p. 387.]

[Footnote 62: Schubart describes the many advantages which Mannheim afforded
(Selbstbiographie 14,1., p. 196).]

[Footnote 63: The rehearsal was of Handel's "Messiah," but Mozart did not sit it
out, being very much fatigued by the previous rehearsal of a Magnificat
by Vogler, which lasted a whole hour (October 31, 1777). He does not
mention the performance on November 1. In the observations of the
Mannh.Tonsch., I., p. 119, it is noticed that all the audience yawned
during the "Messiah," admirably as it was performed, while Vogler's
Magnificat "excited indescribable delight." It was afterwards announced
that the second part of the "Messiah" would not be performed, because no
audience would stand the dry music.]

[Footnote 64: It was said that 200,000 gulden were spent annually on music and
the opera. K. Rfisbeck, Briefe, IM p. 332.]

[Footnote 65: Schubart, Selbstbiographie 14,1., p. 210.]

[Footnote 66: Schubart, Selbstbiographie 14, I., pp. 223, 225. K. R[isbeck],
Briefe, I., p. 341.]

[Footnote 67: An expression in an unpublished letter from the painter Kobell to
Dalberg shows her to have been very attractive: "Many of such priceless
moments of bliss were granted to me in the society of lovely Rose
Cannabich. Her memory is the paradise of my heart!" An enthusiastic
account of her is given in the Musik. u. Kunstleralm., 1783, p. 27. She
was afterwards (1786) mentioned as Madame Schulz.]

[Footnote 68: Schubart, Aesthetik, p. 144.]

[Footnote 69: Wieland, Briefe an Fr. La Roche, p. 192; cf. Briefe von Gleim u.
Heinse, I., p. 424.]

[Footnote 70: The two French songs, "Oiseau, si tous les ans" (307 K.), and "Dans
un bois solitaire" (308 K.), are doubtless those here mentioned.]

[Footnote 71: Wolzogen, Recensionen, 1865, Nr. 6, p. 82. Cf. Schubart, Aesthetik,
p. 143.]

[Footnote 72: Schubart, Selbstbiogr. 14, I., p. 203.]

[Footnote 73: A. M. Z., XXVIII., p. 466.]

[Footnote 74: C. M. von Weber's Lebensbild, I., p. 248.]

[Footnote 75: "In respect of playing at sight" says the Musik. Real-Zeitg., 1788,
p. 61, "Vogler is perhaps unsurpassed and unique." Cf. Musik. Corresp.
1790, p. 119; 1792, p. 379. Schubart, Aesthetik, p. 133. Many preferred
Beecké and Mozart to him (Musik. Real-Zeitg., 1789, p. 262).]

[Footnote 76: Musik, Real-Zeitg., 1788, p. 70.]

[Footnote 77: Musik. Real-Zeitg., 1788, p. 77. Forkel's Musik. Alman. 1789, p.

[Footnote 78: N. Ztschr. f. Mus., II., p. 85.]

[Footnote 79: Cf. C. M. von Weber's Lebensbild, III., p. 178. Gfr. Weber,
Cäcilia, XV., p. 40.]

[Footnote 80: Musik. Corresp., 1788, p. 70.]

[Footnote 81: A. M. Z., XXVIII., p. 354.]

[Footnote 82: Schubart, Aesthetik, p. 182.]

[Footnote 83: L. Mozart had written to his son (November 2,1777): "I wish you
could get something to do in Mannheim. They always play German operas;
perhaps you could get one to write. If this should happen, you
know beforehand that I should recommend the easy popular style of
composition; the grand and dignified style is proper for grand affairs;
everything in its place." It is plain that he only contemplated
vaudeville, and had heard nothing of the new appearance of a grand
German opera.]

[Footnote 84: They were the children of the actress Seiffert (Countess Haydeck).
The son was afterwards Prince von Brezenheim; the daughters were married
to men of high rank. Hausser, Geschichte der rhein. Pfalz, II., p. 934.]

[Footnote 85: Briefe an Merck, II., p. 76.]

[Footnote 86: Briefe an Merck, I., p. 105; II., p. 89. Cf. Malten's Bibl. d.
Weltk. 1840, I, p. 380.]

[Footnote 87: Böttiger, Litt. Zust., I., p. 229.]

[Footnote 88: Jacobi's Auserl. Briefwechsel, I., p. 262. Briefe an Merck, II., p.
93; I., pp. 102, 118.]

[Footnote 89: Wieland, Briefe an Fr. La Roche, pp. 184, 187.]

[Footnote 90: Holzbauer said of Schweitzer to Heinse: "He is a genius; when he
makes a lucky hit he is divine; but at other times he writes as if
he were tipsy." (Briefe an Gleim und Heinse, I., p. 424). A detailed
criticism is given in the Rhein. Beitr. 1780,1., pp. 330, 497. [Klein]
Ueber Wieland's "Rosamunde," Schweitzer's Musik und die Vorstellung
dieses Singspiels in Mannheim. Frkf., 1781.]

[Footnote 91: Schubart, Selbstbiographie 14 I., p. 217.]

[Footnote 92: Wieland, Briefe an Fr. La Roche, pp. 191, 193.]

[Footnote 93: Briefe an Merck, I., p. 121.]

[Footnote 94: Hausser, Geschichte der rhein. Pfalz, II., p. 957.]

[Footnote 95: Auswahl denkw. Briefe von Wieland, II., p. 58.]

[Footnote 96: Briefe an Merck, II., pp. 122, 124.]

[Footnote 97: K. R[isbeck], Briefe über Deutschland, I., p. 340. Cf. Brandes,
Selbstbio-graphie, II., p. 279.]

[Footnote 98: In December, 1777, the Emperor commissioned Muller to engage
Hartig as a tenor for Vienna, but the negotiations fell through (Müller,
Abschied von der Bühne, p. 254); Mozart may have gained his information
in this way.]

[Footnote 99: In 1776 Count Kohary, who farmed the theatre, became insolvent, and
the Emperor took the administration of it into his own hands. It became
the national instead of the court theatre.]

[Footnote 100: He had recommended Schweitzer to come to Vienna. (Muller, Abschied
von der Bühne, p. 188).]

[Footnote 101: Padre Martini dedicated to him the second part of his Storia della
Musica (1770), and kept up a correspondence with him.]

[Footnote 102: The autograph, with the superscription: "Aria per il Sigre. Raaff
di Amadeo Wolfgango Mozart; Mannheim li 27 di Febr., 1788," shows the
corrections and somewhat important abbreviations which were made at
Raaff s desire.]

[Footnote 103: As a detail, the independent use of the bassoons, henceforth
constantly adopted by Mozart, is worthy of remark.]

[Footnote 104: Wolzogen (Recens., 1865, Nr. 6, p. 81) asserts from family
tradition that this rumour was false.]

[Footnote 105: According to M. von Weber (C. M. von Weber, IM p. 6), Fridolin von
Weber (b. 1733), alter studying law in Freiburg and becoming Doctor of
Theology, succeeded his father as agent to the Schönau estate in 1754.
Karl Theodor, finding him a first-rate singer and violinist, took him to
Mannheim. His younger brother, Franz Anton, was the father of C. M. von
Weber. In the album of Franz Anton's son Edmund, Mozart wrote: "Vienna,
January 8, 1787, five o'clock in the morning, before setting out.--Be
industrious; flee from idleness, and never forget your loving cousin,
Wolfgang Amade Mozart."]

[Footnote 106: This is confirmed by Schubart (Aesthetik, p. 192). Cf. Musjk.
Alman. (Alethinop, 1782).]

[Footnote 107: Schubart says of Vogler (Aesthetik, p. 135): "His lessons in
singing were much sought after. The well-known singer Lange, of
Vienna, was his pupil. She has heighth and depth, and accents her notes
accurately. She sings _piena voce_ and _mezza voce_ equally well. Her
_portamento_, the accuracy of her reading, the delicacy of her delivery,
her _megzotinto_, her wonderful cadenzas, and her dignified bearing, are
in great measure due to her great master." Some of all this should
be ascribed to Mozart. Vogler's lessons were given at a later time in
Munich. Brandes, on the contrary (Selbstbiogr., II., p. 260), says that
Kirnberger and others warned him against Vogler as a cacher for his
daughter Minna.]

[Footnote 108: Piccinni's "Roland," the first opera he wrote in Paris, was
performed early in 1778.]

[Footnote 109: "I have many very good friends in Mannheim (influential and
wealthy ones)," he writes (March 24, 1778), "who all wish me to remain.
Well, wherever I am well paid, there I stay. Who knows?--it may come to
pass; I wish for it, and, as usual, I am full of hope."]

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