By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Life Of Mozart, Vol. 2 (of 3)
Author: Jahn, Otto, 1813-1869
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Life Of Mozart, Vol. 2 (of 3)" ***

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


By Otto Jahn.

Translated from The German by Pauline D. Townsend.

With A Preface by George Grove, Esq., D.C.L.

In Three Volumes Vol. II.

London Novello, Ewer & Co.



XVIII.--French Opera.................. 1

XIX.--Paris, 1778.....................34

XX.--The Return Home.................. 71

XXI.--Court Service in Salzburg............84

XXII.--" Idomeneo ".....................126

XXIII.--Release .....................170

XXIV.--First Attempts in Vienna............186

XXV.--" Die Entpühruno aus dbm Serail ".........216


XXVII.--Married Life..................264

XXVIII.--Mozart's Family and Friends............312

XXIX.--Social Intercourse...............352

XXX.--Van Swieten and Classical Music.........374

XXXI.--Mozart and Freemasonry...............400

XXXII.--Mozart as an Artist...............410

XXXIII.--Mozart's Pianoforte Music............441



MOZART and his mother left Mannheim on March 14, and arrived in Paris on
the 23rd, after a journey of nine days and a-half. "We thought we should
never get through it," writes Wolfgang (March 24, 1778),[1] "and I never
in my life was so tired. You can imagine what it was to leave Mannheim
and all our dear, good friends there, and to be obliged to exist for ten
days without a single soul even to speak to. God be praised, however,
we are now at our journey's end. I am in hopes that, with His help, all
will go well. To-day we mean to take a fiacre and go to call on Grimm
and Wendling. Early to-morrow I shall go to the Electoral Minister Herr
von Sickingen, who is a great connoisseur and lover of music, and to
whom I have letters of introduction from Herr von Gemmingen and Herr
Cannabich." L. Mozart was full of hope concerning this visit to Paris,
and believed that Wolfgang could not fail to gain fame and, as a
consequence, money in the French capital. He remembered the brilliant
reception which had been given to him and his children fourteen years
before, and he was convinced that a like support would be accorded to
the youth who had fulfilled his early promise to a degree that to an
intelligent observer must appear even more wonderful than his precocious
performances as a child. He counted upon the support and assistance
of many distinguished and influential persons, whose favour they had
already experienced, and more especially on the tried friendship of
Grimm, who had formerly given them the benefit of all his knowledge and
power, and with whom they had continued in connection ever since. Grimm
had lately passed through Salzburg with two



friends, and was pleased to hear his "Amadeo," as he called Wolfgang.
He chanced to arrive at Augsburg on the evening of Wolfgang's concert
there, and was present at it without making himself known, since he
was in haste, and had heard that Wolfgang was on his way to Paris.
L. Mozart, who placed great confidence in Grimm's friendship and
experience, had made no secret to him of his precarious position
in Salzburg, and of how greatly Wolfgang was in need of support; he
commended his son entirely to Grimm's favour (April 6, 1778):--

I recommend you most emphatically to endeavour by childlike confidence
to merit, or rather to preserve, the favour, love, and friendship of
the Baron von Grimm; to take counsel with him on every point, and to do
nothing hastily or from impulse; in all things be careful of your own
interests, which are those of us all. Life in Paris is very different
from life in Germany, and the French ways of expressing oneself
politely, of introducing oneself, of craving patronage, &c., are quite
peculiar; so much so, that Baron von Grimm used always to instruct me as
to what I should say, and how I should express myself. Be sure you tell
him, with my best compliments, that I have reminded you of this, and he
will tell you that I am right.

But, clever as he was, L. Mozart had miscalculated on several points.
He did not reflect that Grimm had grown older, more indolent, and more
stately, and that even formerly a tact and obsequiousness had been
required in order to turn the great man's friendship to account, which,
natural as they were to himself, his son never did and never would
acquire. He had not sufficiently realised that the attention of the
public is far more easily attracted by what is strange and wonderful,
than by the greatest intellectual and artistic endowments. This was
peculiarly the case in Paris, where interest in musical performances
only mounted to enthusiasm when some unusual circumstance accompanied
them. True, such enthusiasm was at its height at the time of Mozart's
visit, but his father could not see that this very fact was against
a young man who had so little of the art of ingratiating himself with
others. To us it must ever appear as an extraordinary coincidence that
Mozart, fresh from Mannheim, and the efforts there being made for the
establishment of a national German opera, should have come to Paris at

{LULLY, 1652-1687.}


the very height of the struggle between Italian opera and the French
opera, as reformed by Gluck, a struggle which appeared to be on the
point of being fought out. In neither case did his strong feelings on
the subject tempt him to take an active part; he maintained the attitude
of a neutral observer, in preparation for the tasks to which he might be

If we are clearly to apprehend the musical situation, we must remind
ourselves in order of the circumstances which had brought it about.

Jean Baptiste de Lully (1633-1687), a native of Florence, had gained
such distinction by his violin-playing and ballet music, that in 1652 he
was appointed kapellmeister by Louis XIV., and in 1672 he received full
power to establish and direct the Académie Royale de Musique. Not
only was he the founder of this still existing institution,* but he
established by its means the grand opera in France. Faithful to the
traditions of his birthplace, Florence, he kept in view the first
attempts which had been made in Italy to revive ancient tragedy in
opera (Vol. I., p. 154 et seq.). As in Italy, so in Paris, operatic
performances were originally designed for court festivals; Lully's
privilege consisted in his being allowed to give public representations
of operas, "even of those which had been produced at court" ("même
celles qui auront été représentés devant Nous "). They were preceded by
ballets, in which the connection of the action was indicated by vocal
scenes; but the singing was quite subordinate to the long succession of
dances, in which the distinguished part of the audience, and even
the king himself, took part. Dances, therefore, became an essential
ingredient of the opera, and it was the task of the poet and the
composers to give them appropriate connection with the plot; to this
day, as is well known, the ballet is the special prerogative of
the Grand-Opéra at Paris. It was not less important to maintain the
reputation of the most brilliant court in the



world by means of variety and magnificence of scenery, costumes,
machinery, &c.; in this respect, also, the Grand-Opéra has kept true to
its traditions.[2]

But whilst in Italy the musical, and especially the vocal, element of
the opera had always the upper hand, in Paris the dramatic element held
its ground with good success. It was the easier for Lully to found
a national opera in Paris, since he found a poet ready to hand in
Quinault, who had the genius to clothe his mythological subjects in
the dramatic and poetical dress of his own day. To us, indeed, his
productions seem far apart from the spirit of ancient tragedy, and more
rhetorical and epigrammatic than poetical in their conception. But his
operas (or rather tragedies) expressed truly the spirit of the age, and
they became more distinctively national in proportion as the reign of
Louis XIV. came to be considered as the golden age of France. It was
Lully's task to give musical expression to the national spirit, and
in this he succeeded to the admiration of his contemporaries and of
posterity. His music is closely connected' with those first attempts
in Italy. We find none of the set forms of the later opera seria, no
regular arie, no duets, no ensembles. The words are for the most
part simply rendered in recitative. There is sometimes a figured bass
accompaniment; but even then it is not the free movement of Italian
recitative, but is much more precisely apportioned, and the harmonies
of the accompaniment change more frequently. When the sentiment
becomes rather more elevated, a sort of compromise is effected between
recitative and song. The words are rendered with a declamatory spoken
accent; and not only are they strictly in time, but the harmonies are
so arranged that a full orchestral chord is given to every note of the
song. The melodies are therefore limited in every respect; the phrases
are generally too small in compass to be well carried out, and hang
loosely together without any proper design; it was difficult to develop
an elaborate musical form out of such elements as these. Independent
songs occur seldom, and then only in the most precise of forms, tending
generally to dance melodies (airs). When several voices unite they
alternate with each other; or if they



sing together note follows note, with only exceptionally real ensemble
passages. The choruses are formed by a simple harmony in several
parts, the soprano not being always appointed to give the melody.
The orchestra, except in the dance music, has seldom any independent
significance, but simply gives the full harmony to every note of
the bass. Instrumental effect is seldom aimed at, and the different
instruments are only occasionally employed singly. Lully's merit chiefly
consists in his having accentuated his music in a manner which suited
the French language, and also in his having succeeded in throwing a
certain amount of characteristic pathos into some of his passages. It is
comprehensible that at first, musical cultivation being in its infancy,
this quality should be most readily felt and acknowledged; but in
every art, and especially in music, it is the fate of individual
characteristics to become the soonest incomprehensible, and, therefore,
unpleasing. For this reason, the reaction against Lully's music attacked
just this mode of treating the text. It was considered monotonous,
tiresome, and heavy; and the isolated significant phrases having lost
their power to please, were compared with the plain-song (plain-chant)
of church psalmody.[3]

The delivery of the vocalists, male and female, is described as
dreadful; monotonous droning alternating with violent shrieks and
exaggerated accent (_urlo francese_).[4]

Notwithstanding all this, Lully's operas held undisputed possession of
the stage during his life,[5] and even after his death, a sure proof
that his success was not merely the result of the favour personally
accorded to him. The composers whose operas found favour after his (such
as Campra, Colasse, Desmarets, Blamont, and Mouret) are of less



importance historically, because they all copied his manner. Any part of
their works which pointed to the influence of the opera seria, as it
was being formed in the Neapolitan school, was rejected by the national

Jean Phil. Rameau (1683-1764) came to Paris from the provinces as an
established musician in 1721. He succeeded by his force of character,
and the powerful protection of the Farmer-General, La Popelinière,
in placing his operas on a level with those of Lully in the public
estimation. When he produced his "Hippolyte et Aricie" in 1732, he was
met by the most determined opposition on the part of Lully's supporters;
but the very decided success of his acknowledged masterpiece, "Castor
et Pollux," in 1737,[7] placed him, if not above Lully, certainly on
an equality with him during the remainder of his career. His opponents
became gradually reconciled to his supremacy, and acknowledged that
French music had not been essentially altered by Rameau, only developed
and perfected.[8] And there can be no question that this was the case.
Before Rameau had produced any operas he had made his reputation as an
organist and instrumental composer, and more especially as the founder
of a theory of harmony. On this latter point his operas also show
considerable progress--the harmonic treatment is rich and varied, though
sometimes the straining after novelty and effect

{RAMEAU, 1732-1764.}


leads to affectation and over-elaboration. Rameau's accompaniments are
free and independent; the orchestra is used with striking effect by
means of variety of tone-colour-ing in the instruments as well as
of independent subjects, which serve to accent the details. Rameau's
employment of the orchestra shows a marked improvement, not only on
Lully, but even on Italian opera as then existing. In the same way we
find the choruses released from the fetters of strict thorough-bass, and
the parts moving freely and expressively. In the lyrical portions of the
opera, much is evidently due to the advance in the art of solo singing,
both rhythm and melody move more freely, and embellishment is not wholly
wanting. But Rameau has not avowedly adopted the Italian style, although
he spent a short part of his youth in Italy. The accepted forms of
Italian opera are entirely disregarded, both in the choruses and solos.
The slow, uniform progress of Lully's operas becomes freer and more
animated in Rameau's, the dramatic expression has more energy and life,
and the music has more of individual colouring; but the foundation
remains. The same is the case with the treatment of the dialogue. It is
still severe, stately, recitative-like singing in varied measure, but
Rameau's harmonic art is displayed in his incomparably greater power of
expression. Rameau's opera, notwithstanding its independent invention
and advance in artistic feeling, is the natural development of Lully's
principles, not a revolution against them. It was debated at the time
with much warmth whether Rameau's peculiarities were to be accepted as
improvements, or to be looked upon as injudicious attempts at novelty.
The points which then excited the liveliest interest now seem to us
most trivial. But the main fact is not to be denied, that Rameau, by the
efforts of his own genius, constructed a national French opera upon the
foundations laid by Lully, and that the further development of the grand
opera proceeded along, the lines laid down by him. Not only can the
framework and design of these early operas be recognised in the grand
opera of the present day, but French dramatic music, spite of many
transformations, betrays its relationship with the early masters in many



peculiarities of melody, rhythm and harmony; a sure proof that national
feeling lies at the root of the traditions.

The well-wishers of the national French opera were right in settling
their disputes about Lully and Rameau by the recognition of them both;
for both alike were threatened by a formidable irruption of Italian
taste, which now so completely governed the remainder of Europe that
France could not fail to be in some measure affected by it. In August,
1752, a company of Italian singers came to Paris under the direction
of a certain Bambini, and having received permission to represent comic
operas (intermezzi) in the hall of the Grand Opéra, were called "Les
Bouffons."[9] Their first representation of Pergolese's "Serva Padrona"
was a failure, but subsequently it was applauded with enthusiasm. The
chief singers of the company, Manelli and Anna Tonelli, were highly
esteemed both for their singing and acting, although they did not reach
to the highest level of Italian opera; the others were indifferent.[10]
But they were Italian throats, Italian ways of singing and acting which
lent all their powers to the interpretation of opera buffa, with its
polished, pleasing form, simply and easily grasped harmonies, and
sustained melodies. They found in Paris an appreciative audience, and
very soon even the Parisian orchestra, where the conductor beat time
audibly,[11] while the Italian conductor only directed from the clavier,
was described, in comparison to the Italian, as a company of uneducated
musicians whose great aim was to make as much noise as possible. The
supporters of the national school of music naturally took up arms
against the



Italian enthusiasts, and so arose the well-known struggle between the
"coin du roi" (nationalists) and the "coin de la reine" (Italians).[12]

Grimm, who always manifested great interest in musical matters, had
become acquainted with Italian opera in Germany, and afterwards in
Paris, where he took up his abode in 1749; his intercourse with Rousseau
and other sympathetic friends increased his partiality for it. His
burlesque of "Le Petit Prophète de Boehmischbroda" (1753), which
foretold in the biblical prophetic style the downfall of good taste if
Paris were not converted to Italian music,[13] proved a powerful ally
to Italian music; he was joined by Diderot, who, like all the
encyclopedists, was personally antagonistic to Rameau on account of his
attack on the "Encyclopédie."[14] Jean Jacques Rousseau, who in his "Devin
du Village" had shown the delighted public how far the treasures of the
Italian opera could be turned to good account in the French (Vol. I., p.
87 et seq.), threw all the weight of his influence into the scale of the
Bouffonists; not content with mercilessly exposing the shortcomings of
the French opera, he undertook to prove that the French language
was unfitted for composition, and French music altogether an
impossibility.[15] The enraged musicians threatened to punish this
daring outrage on the nation[16] with horsewhipping, assassination, or
even the Bastille; but a flood of angry discussion was all that actually
resulted.[17] Those, however, whose interests were



attacked, especially the proprietors and singers of the opera-house,
took such measures as obliged the Italian singers to quit Paris in
March, 1754.[18]

It may well be wondered at that men like Rousseau[19] and Diderot,[20]
who upheld simplicity and nature as the true canons of art, should have
evinced a preference for Italian music. For though doubtless the Italian
style was grounded originally on the nature of music, it had already
become conventional, and far removed from what the philosophers called
natural. At the same time it must be remembered that their partiality
always turned in the direction of opera buffa, which sought from its
commencement to free itself from the conventional restraint of
opera seria (Vol. I., p. 203). Then, too, the musical element, as
distinguished from the poetical or dramatic, had always been the
foundation of Italian opera, and an opposition directed against the
French opera, with its poetical and dramatic proclivities, would be sure
to uphold the purely musical development of the Italians, even though
the exaggerations into which it was carried might be displeasing to the

The influence of the Bouffons survived their departure. The Comédie
Italienne (aux Italiens) produced Italian comedies in masquerade, French
comedies, and parodies of qperas, the charm of which consisted mainly
in their vocal parts, on which account they were called opéras
comiques.[21] A dangerous rival to the Comédie Italienne was the Théätre
de la Foire, whose representations took place originally on

{OPÉRA COMIQUE--DUNI, 1757-1775.}


the Feasts of St. Germain, St. Laurent, and St. Ovide. The two companies
were always inimical, and the "Comédiens de la Foire" were from time to
time suppressed by their stronger rival,[22] but always revived, until
at last in 1762 the two companies were amalgamated.[23] In this soil
was planted opera buffa, and, favoured by circumstances, it grew into
a great national institution.[24] Translations and adaptations of
favourite Italian operas satisfied the public at first, and were decried
by the Bouffonists as travesties of the original.[25] But very soon,
especially after the brilliant success of Vade's "Les Troqueurs" in
1753, a new school of composers sought to reconcile the excellencies
of the Italian music, especially in singing, with the exigencies of
the national taste. It was difficult at first to break loose from the
defined outline and simple design of the intermezzi, but gradually the
French taste became apparent in the greater connection and interest
of the plot, and the delicacy and wit of the composition. The lively
interest of the public induced poets of talent, such as Favart, Sedaine,
and Marmontel, to devote themselves to operatic writing, and the French
comic opera soon surpassed the opera buffa, from a dramatic as well as a
musical point of view. These various impulses were all the more lasting
since they were founded on the national character.[26]

Egidio Romoaldo Duni (1709-1775), born and educated in Naples, having
made his reputation on the Italian stage, was led by his connection with
the court at Parma, which was French in manners and in taste, to compose
French operettas, as, for instance, "Ninette ä la Cour." The applause
with which they were received induced him to go to Paris in 1757, where
he made an exceptionally favourable début with the "Peintre Amoureux,"
and during the next



thirteen years produced a succession of comic operas, the easy style and
simple form of which secured them both the favour of the public and the
imitation of untrained French composers.[27]

Duni was followed by Pierre Alex. Monsigny (1729-1817),[28] a
dilettante, who was so excited by the performances of the Bouffons that
he applied himself to the study of music, and at once began to compose
operas. In 1759 he put his first opera, "Les Aveux Indiscrets," on
the stage, and this was rapidly succeeded by others. Sedaine was so
interested in Monsigny that he intrusted all his operatic librettos to
him.[29] A wider sphere was opened to him with the three-act opera, "Le
Roi et le Fermier," which was the commencement of the most brilliant
success. It must be allowed that the co-operation of a poet to whom even
Grimm allows all the qualities of a good librettist[30] was an important
element in this success; but Monsigny's work was quite on a level with
that of his collaborateur. His music expresses with instinctive truth
the most amiable side of the French character. Monsigny not only had at
his command a wealth of pleasing sympathetic melodies, but possessed as
decided a talent for pathos as for light comedy, and a sure perception
of dramatic effect, combined with life, delicacy, and grace. His natural
feeling for beauty of form concealed the want of thorough artistic
training,[31] and his operas were universally admired, some of them,
such as "Le Déserteur,"[32] acquiring more extended fame.

{PHILIDOR, 1759-1795--GRÉTRY, 1768-1813.}


A better theoretical musician was Franç. André (Danican) Philidor
(1727-1795), who enjoyed the reputation of extraordinary genius as
a chess-player before appearing as a composer with his first opera,
"Blaise le Savetier," in 1759.[33] His fame as a musician was soon
established, and he ruled the comic stage with Duni and Monsigny until
Grétry took possession of it. He was reproached with justice for
too great a display of musical scholarship, and for making his
accompaniments too prominent.[34] He had more force and energy than
Monsigny, with greater power of passionate expression, but his fun
is coarser, and he is inferior in grace and tenderness. He finally
abandoned music, partly from disinclination to enter into rivalry with
Grétry, and partly from his passion for chess.

It was characteristic that comic opera, the outcome of vaudeville and
chanson, should have been nursed in its infancy by composers like
Duni, who had no pretensions to great genius, Monsigny, who was half a
dilettante, and Philidor, who only composed music as a pastime. André
Ern. Grétry, on the contrary (1741-1813), threw himself into the pursuit
with all his powers, and with zealous ardour. He it was who perfected
the comic opera, making it, what it still remains, the representative
of the French national character in the province of dramatic music. As
a boy, he had delighted in the performances of Italian opera singers in
his native town of Liège, and as a youth he had been in Rome during the
most brilliant part of Piccinni's career, had studied there for several
years, and at last produced an intermezzo, "Le Vin-demiatrici," which
was well received, and gained even Pic-cinni's approval. In Paris,
although Monsigny and Philidor received him kindly, he had to contend
with difficulties; but



after the complete success of his opera "Le Huron," in 1768,[35] even
his remarkable fertility in production could hardly satisfy the demands
of the public for his works. Marmontel, Sedaine, and other poets offered
him libretti which were in themselves pledges of success. The idea that
dramatic poetry should represent human nature in its naked reality,
which had emanated from the encyclopedists, found its realisation in the
drama of common life, and had considerable influence on the development
of the comic opera.

The strict line of demarcation between opera seria and buffa did not
exist in Paris. The effort to give more dramatic interest and freer
scope to operatic music led to the portrayal of the deeper and noble
emotions, and opera approached more and more nearly to serious comedy
in plot, situations, and psychological intention. Merriment gradually
ceased to be the predominating element, and became nothing more than a
flavouring thrown in; it was replaced by that mixture of seriousness
and playfulness which, in opposition to the former prohibition of
any amalgamation of different styles, was now considered as the true
expression of music.[36] A characteristic distinction between comic
and serious opera in France was the adoption by the former of spoken
dialogue instead of recitative.[37] Any attempt to imitate the free,
declamatory recitative of the Italians would have been thought too
daring, and was perhaps actually prohibited by the privileges of the
Grand-Opéra. But in renouncing recitative, the dialogue gained the
freedom of witty and sparkling conversation, without which the French
cannot exist; and this note, once struck, soon regulated the whole
character of



operatic music, which, elevated as it may be, nevertheless starts from
the idea of a conversation.

No one could be better fitted than Grétry for the development of such a
style as this.[38] His was a pliant and amiable nature, but not a great
one. He was excitable and susceptible to any emotion, but without depth;
his wit was delicate and versatile, and he possessed the power of giving
it the most striking and appropriate expression. He was determined that
his music should always faithfully render some definite emotion, even
to the minutest detail of the dramatic situation and characters. He held
that a composer could only attain this end by working himself up into
a pitch of intense excitement,[39] and living for the time in the drama
that was under his hands.[40] The actual means which he employed was
song, that is, melody. He learnt the art of tuneful song from the
Italians,[41] and made its expressiveness depend upon intonation in
delivery, which it is the composer's part to suggest and control.[42]
He laid great stress upon true and strongly accentuated declamation,[43]
which he had studied under good actors.[44] This lent a liveliness
and piquancy to his musical style,[45] and rendered it essentially



Grétry accomplished wonders for musical form, as far as grace and
freshness, lively emotion and wit go, but his powers did not attain
to anything truly great or important to art. The art of melodious
expression was developed by him almost to the exclusion of other means,
such as rich and well-chosen härmonies,[47] artistic accompaniments,
and instrumental effects, all of which he treated as subordinate and

He inveighs against the misuse of the instruments, especially of the
wind instruments, which Gluck's example had introduced, even if he were
not personally responsible for it;[48] but he recommends the moderate
use of them for characterisation,[49] and prides himself on his
very questionable invention in his "Andromaque" of assigning special
instruments to the recitatives of each principal character--Andromache,
for instance, having always three flutes.[50] A saying of Grétry's, that
in opera song is the statue, and the orchestra the pedestal, and that
Mozart sometimes put the pedestal on the stage, has often been repeated.
Whether this is authentic or not, the fact remains that Grétry's neglect
of the orchestra was not altogether of set purpose, but that this branch
of artistic education was unknown to him and interested him as little
as did the minute elaboration and hard study which are dear to all
first-rate musicians. His idea that a musician of genius may spoil his
inventive powers by too much study is truly comical; what he tells of
his own studies shows how shallow they were, and his productions are
all of a piece. On the other hand he lays great weight upon reflection,
which does not properly concern music at all; but his simplicity, which
almost amounted to barrenness, served to heighten his truly excellent
qualities, and to make him the popular idol he was. It is quite
conceivable that the encyclopedists, who were the champions of Italian
music, should have seen in him the man who united beauty and melody with
Italian truth and characteristic expression. Diderot wrote under



Grétry's portrait the motto: "Irritat, mulcet, falsis terroribus implet,
ut magus";[51] Rousseau thanked him for having reopened his heart to
emotion by his music;[52] Grimm, who had received him with approbation
from the first,[53] declared during the heat of the struggle between
Gluckists and Piccinnists that connoisseurs and others were all agreed
that no composer had succeeded like Grétry in fitting Italian melody to
the French language, and in satisfying the national taste for wit and
delicacy.[54] Suard and Arnaud, Gluck's supporters, stood by Grétry,[55]
as well as Marmontel, who was opposed to Gluck.[56] And with what
enthusiasm the public received his operas! Many of them--to mention
only "Zemire and Azor"--made their way throughout Europe, and had
unquestionably much influence on the formation of musical taste.

While comic opera was thus flourishing more and more richly and
abundantly, the grand opera was confined almost exclusively to Lully and
Rameau; it might almost seem that it had reached its limits, and
that the interest of the public was henceforth to be centred on comic
opera.[57] But fresh trials awaited the grand opera. Doubtless the light
breezes which sprang from the reformed comic opera were precursors of
the coming storm; but the actual impulse to it was not given in Paris



Christ. Wilh. Gluck (1714-1787), after doing good service to Italian
opera in Italy and London, went to Vienna in 1748, and there wrote,
partly for the Prince of Hildburg-hausen, partly and chiefly for the
imperial court, a succession of Italian operas of no very striking
originality. It was precisely the time when the traditional forms were
becoming more and more conventional formulas, and when the vocal art was
demanding the sacrifice of simplicity, nature, and truth to the whim
of each virtuoso. The decadence of operatic music, which Metastasio
bitterly laments (Vol. I., p. 163), inspired Gluck with the desire to
lead it back to its first principles. He was a man of earnest thought
and strong will. The tendency of German literature to give dignity and
importance to poetry did not pass by him unnoticed, and he was a warm
admirer of Klopstock, whose odes he set to music.[58] The efforts then
being made to raise the German stage in Vienna had an influence on
him, and his own first attempts at reformation were greeted with loud
applause by Sonnenfels.

Gluck has professed his principles of dramatic composition in the
well-known dedication to his "Alceste." He declares his opposition to
the abuses introduced by the vanity of singers and the servility of
composers, by which the most beautiful and stately drama becomes the
most tiresome; he refused to interrupt the action at a wrong time by a
ritornello, to sacrifice expression to a run or a cadenza, to neglect
the second part of a song when the situation demands that peculiar
stress shall be laid on it, in obedience to the custom which requires
the fourfold repetition of the words of the first part, or to give an
ending to the song against the sense of the text; his overtures were to
be characteristic of the drama which was to follow, and to prepare the
minds of the spectators for it. His fundamental law of operatic music
was its due subordination to the words, so that every turn in the action
should be suitably expressed, without any superfluous adornment, just as
colour gives life and expression to a



sketch. He professed his highest aim to be simple beauty;[59] he
condemned all difficulties which hinder clearness, all novelties which
do not proceed from the necessities of the situation; he set aside all
rule in order to obtain true effects.

There can hardly be a doubt as to the justice of these principles in
general, and we are only concerned with the result of their adoption on
musical progress.[60] Our remarks on a style of music which professes
itself the handmaid of poetry, and is content with giving the fittest
expression to verse, must be prefaced by some notice of the poets who
supplied the verse.

Ranieri de' Calsabigi came to Vienna in 1761, after making himself known
by an edition of Metastasio's works, with an aesthetic introduction
proving their perfection as tragedies and operas; he had also written
several libretti for operas and cantatas. He had formed an idea that
music fitted for dramatic poetry must approach as nearly as possible
to natural, energetic declamation; for since declamation was only
unperfected music, dramatic song could only be elaborated declamation
enriched by the harmonies of the accompaniment. The poetry for such
music must be intense, forcible, passionate, moving, and harmonious, and
it could not fail of its result. Full of this idea he wrote "Orfeo,"
and submitted it to Count Durazzo; the latter wished it to be put on the
stage, and recommended Gluck as the composer who could best carry out
the intentions of the poet. Calsabigi declaimed his "Orfeo" repeatedly
before Gluck, and noted his declamation in the text-book with signs
which he illustrated by remarks.[61] Gluck, while giving full justice to
the impulse



which he had received from his poet,[62] could only partially yield to
his whimsical exaggeration of declamatory music. But Calsabigi's ideas
accorded with his own so far as to aid him in giving them clearness and

Gluck's demands on the musical drama went farther and deeper than
Calsabigi's comprehension and powers could reach.[63] But in the
meantime he accepted what was offered to him, and so were produced
"Orfeo ed Euridice" (1762), "Alceste" (1767), and "Paride ed Elena"

Not one of these works betrays any apprehension of true tragedy, any
trace of the antique mind; when the poet seeks to escape from the
rhetoric of Italian poetry, he draws not from the Greek but from the
French tragedy. Nor do the operas possess any proper dramatic interest.
Instead of having a well-connected, symmetrical plot, they consist of a
succession of detached situations closely resembling each other,
which are too often repeated, while in details they are too broad and
rhetorical. Gluck's principle of making music the simple exponent of the
poet's words was calculated to give them dignity and influence.
Gluck possessed not only boldness and energy united with intellectual
acuteness; he had, what is a rare quality at all times, a deep
perception of true grandeur. But although Calsabigi strove to simplify
his plots and to excite the deeper and more powerful emotions of his
audience, of _greatness_ there was no trace in his librettos. Gluck,
perceiving the latent capabilities which the poet had failed to develop,
brought them out, as it were, instinctively, and while he believed
himself to be following the poet, he was in reality himself creating all
that was great and new in the work. His fame will be immortal, and rests
upon the stately breadth of his designs, upon the simple truth of his
representations--in short, upon the greatness of his artistic genius.
His weakness consisted in his one-sided tendency



to characterisation, a tendency in no way identical with those qualities
which made his reputation.

Gluck does not abandon any of the accepted forms in his Italian operas;
he rather, in many respects, revives older traditions. His strict
treatment of the aria, the simplicity of his melodies, and the
moderation of his adornments, together with his careful recitative, and
especially his correct expression, were certainly variations on the
then ruling taste, but not innovations on the earlier method. But in
his desire to replace by accurate musical characterisation the
ear-flattering artificial degeneration of operatic singing, he made
use of stronger means than had hitherto been known. His harmonies in
especial are not only more important and interesting in themselves, but
they are used of set purpose for dramatic characterisation. In a similar
manner the orchestra is made of higher use. The instruments are treated
according to their individualities, not as combining to a purely musical
effect, but as giving by their tone-colouring definite expression to
a variety of moods; light and shade are carefully adjusted, and much
lively execution is allotted to the orchestra. The effect is still
further heightened by the frequent use of the chorus, which is
intricately treated, and so becomes a powerful factor in the musical

Gluck extended his care to the details of scenery, to marches and
dances; everything was to be in accordance with and characteristic
of the situation. Here he had been preceded by Jean George Noverre
(1727-1810) who, in his "Lettres sur la Danse et sur les Ballets" in
1760, strove for a reformation in the ballet on the same principles
which Gluck employed for the opera. He condemned stereotyped forms of
set dances, and demanded a plot for the ballet; expression should be
the task of the dancer, with nature for his model, and the ballet-master
should be both poet and painter. The ballets which he produced upon
these principles at Stuttgart until 1764, then at Vienna, and after 1776
at Paris, were finished productions of a very pure taste, and effected a
complete revolution in the art of dancing.

Gluck laid great stress upon recitative. He almost entirely abandoned
the customary plain recitative, and used



accompanied recitative as most fitting for the dignified language of
musical drama. Truth and power of expression are combined with a wealth
of delicate and characteristic detail, and Gluck rarely falls into the
error of destroying the impression of the whole by over-elaboration of
detail; his nature was averse to all forms of triviality.

But here again the one-sided application of Gluck's principle becomes a
weakness. As, according to his view, music is to be subservient to the
words, he follows with his strongly marked recitative every turn of the
dialogue, rhetorical and inflated as it might be, so that he not only
employs all the resources of his art on an unworthy object, but fritters
away the interest, on which he makes claims at once too extensive
and too rapidly succeeding one another. Musical representation works
immediately upon the mind and the emotions, and can do this so much
more strongly and vividly than verse, which, however forcibly declaimed,
appeals primarily to the intellect and the imagination, that a painful
incongruity occurs when music, with all her resources of accurate
characterisation, follows step by step the words of the poet. It is
therefore an error to suppose that the music must always yield to the
words; "as in a correct and well-composed picture," adds Gluck, "the
animation of the colouring and of well-disposed light and shade vivifies
the forms without distorting the outlines." But the true painter does
not colour or illumine the naked outline; he considers the form in its
total effect as a piece of colouring, and it exists for him only in this
totality, which it is his object to represent. The distinction between
form and colour is only technically important, and does not affect
artistic perception and production. In the same way the musician has
something more to do with respect to the words of his text than to
colour given outlines. The conceptions which the poet has formed, with
the consciousness that they could only attain complete independence
by their combination with music, must be absorbed by the musician, and
reproduced in the forms appointed by the nature of his art.

The exaggerations attending on all forms of opposition and attempted
reformation will not suffice to explain this



important error.[64] In dealing with so great and powerful a mind
as Gluck's we must go deeper, and seek for the cause in his artistic
organisation alone. An ardent admirer of Gluck has pronounced[65] that
he was "more intellectually than musically great"; and certainly his
musical productions do not correspond to the energy of his feelings
and his will. His organisation fitted him for a reformer; as a creative
artist his weakness became apparent. Gluck's works are not exactly
one-sided; he expressed every variety of passion with equal skill, and
he is never wanting in grace and charm; but he cannot be said to be
rich or spontaneous. The lofty sentiment which he expresses in firm and
comprehensive melodies is natural to him, but his exact and confined
mode of composition is in part the result of his limited power of
invention. The final cause of his desire to deprive music of her rights
as an independent art in favour of verse lies in this weakness of his
musical organisation. Closely connected with this is another
phenomenon. It has been justly remarked[66] that Gluck's powers of
characterisation extend only to soliloquies, that he failed to give
proper expression to the dialogue proper, the contrast of voices and
characters which, either in opposition or agreement, demonstrate their
different natures; the polyphonal power of music, in its intellectual
sense, remained undeveloped by Gluck. Failing in this, he failed in the
highest object of music, by virtue of which alone she can make any claim
to dramatic force. The fact that Gluck did not feel himself impelled to
express his dramatic situations after this fashion is a proof that
his imagination was more easily stirred poetically than musically. The
narrow limits within which he occasionally confines even the music whose
expression is intended to be purely lyrical may be traced to the same
source. For Gluck did not think it necessary that action on the musical
stage should maintain the same uninterrupted



flow as in real life. He thought it far more important to give a
well-sustained musical representation of some one mood or disposition;
and the more broadly such moods were indicated by the poet the better he
was pleased. It is true that even then he keeps within the limits of
the strictest form, but he is fond of employing frequent repetition,
particularly when the chorus and a solo voice are set in opposition to
each other. This way of rendering a dramatic idea is often of powerful
effect; but, considered from an artistic point of view, it should be
subordinated to the design of a grandly conceived composition expanding
into a living organism.

It cannot be denied, therefore, that Gluck failed in the working out of
his subjects, and that he sometimes betrays a certain amount of weakness
as well in the structure of his compositions as in their details. It
was not for want of industry or care; it was that he did not feel the
necessity for mastering this important side of musical representation,
and the fact affords fresh testimony of the singularity of his musical

Gluck's first opera, "Orfeo ed Euridice," adheres most closely to the
usual Italian style, and was indeed successfully performed in Italy.[67]
Of action in this opera there is hardly any; the introduction of Cupid
at the beginning and the end gives it the cold allegorical character
of the then customary festival entertainments. The broadly represented
situations in which Orpheus mourns for Eurydice, and charms by his music
the demons of the lower world, form the main portions of the opera; and
they are expressed with striking fidelity and fervour of sentiment,
as well as with great force and beauty. The use which is made of
the chorus, and the cultivation of the orchestra, betoken great and
important advances on the older style. The opera was well received by
connoisseurs, both in Vienna and Paris,[68] but it does not appear to
have been regarded as the inauguration of a reformation

{"ALCESTE," 1767.}


in music; indeed, during the next few years Gluck composed several
Italian operas quite after the old fashion.

"Alceste," however, is an avowed attempt towards a reformation of
dramatic music, and it manifests the settled purpose and the complete
individuality of the master. The poet offers nothing but a succession
of situations without any progressive action; the situations turn
exclusively on the decision of Alceste, and are employed less as
psychological developments of character than as opportunities for a
rhetorical representation of certain frames of mind. The character of
Hercules is omitted, and the task of deliverance is entrusted to Apollo
as an apparition in the clouds; this destroys an effective contrast; and
the two confidants retain a suspicious likeness to the _parte seconde_
of Italian opera. But Gluck considered the separate scenes not only with
regard to their fitness for musical treatment; he felt firm ground in
which he might strike root. It testifies to his marvellous energy of
mind that no weakness was discernible in the repetition of such closely
allied situations, and that he had always new shades of expression and
climacteric effects at his command. The connection with the forms of
Italian opera is not by any means completely severed; an unprejudiced
survey discovers numerous traces of this, and many of the main features
of the composition are the results of the particular way in which Gluck
made use of these forms.

The Vienna public received the opera with indifference, but the critics
welcomed it eagerly as the inauguration of a new era. Unhappily the
critics were not by any means competent judges; Sonnenfels and Riedel
were not cultivated musical connoisseurs.[69] The opera scarcely
reached a more extended circle; in Italy little notice was taken of
it; Frederick the Great had several portions of it performed before him
without finding any enjoyment in them;[70] North German



critics, while doing full justice to the new work, raised objections to
some of the essential points of Gluck's principles, as carried out in
it.[71] Gluck remarks with some resentment, in his dedication to "Paride
ed Elena," on the lukewarmness of the public, and the want of insight
and justice on the part of the critics; he goes on to blame the
cowardice and stupidity of musicians, none of whom had ventured to
follow his lead, and proudly declares his intention of maintaining his
principles, to the correctness of which this new opera was to testify on
altogether new grounds. This was an unlucky announcement, for "Paride
ed Elena" gave no proof of Gluck's exceptional powers. The subject, a
sufficiently poor one, is deprived of every vestige of interest by the
interposition of Cupid in disguise between the lovers--a fiction which
turns the whole drama into an absurdity. The meagre story is spun out
into five acts, while to the love scenes, which are wanting in any
true passion, independent choruses and dances are attached, calling for
nothing beyond outward display. Gluck's genius for depicting the
wider and deeper emotions found no task fitted to its powers, and the
inclination to mere grace and superficiality was one altogether foreign
to his nature. Beauties of detail do not suffice in the consideration of
a work of art. The opera was a failure, however, and it does not appear
to have been reproduced.

Perhaps Gluck would now have paused in his endeavours,[72] had not new
prospects opened which seemed to promise good results. A Frenchman named
Du Rollet, attached to the embassy at Vienna, and an enthusiast for
poetry and music, asserted that the tendency of Gluck's principles
was in essentials the same as that of French opera style. He therefore
assured him that in Paris only would his



reformation meet with approval, and urged that a true tragedy ought
always to be the foundation of an opera. As an example, he suggested
Racine's "Iphigénie en Aulide," and commissioned him to arrange it as
an opera, and to take the preliminary steps for its production in Paris.
Gluck accepted the proposal without hesitation.,

The circumstances were, in fact, very favourable. The principal
difficulty against which Gluck had hitherto to contend, viz., the
deep-rooted partiality for Italian music and its accepted forms, did not
exist in Paris; for opera seria in its developed form had made as little
way there as the display of fine execution, and even lovers of Italian
music would have been loth to introduce its abuses and exaggerations
of set purpose. French opera, on the contrary, in accordance with
the genius of the nation, made its first principle dramatic and
characteristic expression, which could only be attained by correct yet
free treatment of musical forms, and by well-considered treatment of
recitative. Choruses, too, which were for Gluck an important aid to
climax and dramatic effect, were indispensable in French opera; and
since Rameau's time the orchestra had been successfully employed as a
means of characteristic expression. But the French school had hitherto
failed to combine dignity and beauty with their dramatic force and
expression; and here Gluck's Italian training enabled him to supply the
deficiency. As far as comic opera was concerned, Grétry had preceded him
with similar efforts, and had accustomed the ear of the Parisians to
the mingling of French and Italian music. But to carry out such a
reformation in the grand opera required a man of commanding qualities;
and such an one Gluck had proved himself to be.

The choice of subjects was a happy one. Racine's tragedy was known as
a masterpiece to the whole nation, and unless the adaptation were very
clumsily made, success for the poetic share of the opera was assured.
The advance on earlier operas is a very decided one. An important
event forms the centre of the plot, dramatic contrasts, passions, and
characters, are effectively portrayed. It is true that the spirit of the
age of Louis XIV. runs



through it all;[73] we have Greeks in patches and powder, Monseigneur
Achille and Princesse Iphigénie behave with becoming courtesy and
gallantry, and even the artistic representation is made subordinate to
the ceremonial. But Gluck had been trained among these impressions,
the forms were not irksome to him, and the greatness of his artistic
individuality is nowhere more plainly seen than in his power of
exhibiting at momentous crises the purely human and poetic emotions
stripped of their outward disguise, and reflecting the ideal spirit
of antique art by means of music in a way of which the poet had never
dreamed. Gluck did not venture to depart from the national form of the
versification; he was well aware that he must yield to the demands of
French taste if he wished to influence the French on his main points. He
not only strove to conform to external conditions, as, for instance, to
the great extension of the ballet,[74] endeavouring to turn them to his
own ends; he carefully studied the language, in order to declaim it and
treat it musically in a way suitable to its character; he also eagerly
studied the operas of his predecessors, Lully and Rameau, that he might
adopt all that was truly and genuinely national in them. The influence
of these studies may be recognised even in details; but Gluck turned to
account whatever he adopted in a perfectly free and independent manner,
and developed it still further. His most important innovation was the
substitution of free Italian recitative, with the grand capabilities
for characteristic expression given to it by Gluck himself, for the
old "psalmodie." He changed throughout the fundamental character of
the musical representation, and here he had no predecessors; for the
treatment of the several parts of the composition after the Italian
style, comic opera had, as we have seen, in some degree prepared the
way. A



further advance, brought about by the greater vividness of the dramatic
impersonations, was the cultivation of ensemble pieces; but this, as has
been already remarked, is the weakest side of Gluck's performances.

Although Gluck's "Iphigénie" might rightfully claim to have perfected
the French grand opera in its national sense, yet it was a difficult
undertaking to gain recognition for this fact in Paris, and to produce
there the work of a foreign, if not of an unknown composer. Du
Rollet published a letter to D'Auvergne, one of the directors of the
Grand-Opéra, in the "Mercure de France" (October, 1772), in which he
acquaints him of Gluck's wish to produce his "Iphigénie" in Paris. He
laid stress on Gluck's having preferred the French language and music to
the Italian, and declared that his composition of Racine's masterpiece
was altogether after the French taste; he hoped in this way to gain the
favour of the public and the theatre management. As this met with no
response, Gluck himself published a letter in the "Mercure" (February,
1773), in which, without undue submission, he reiterates the wish; he
wastes great praise on J. J. Rousseau, who was destined to be the most
determined opponent of the French language and music. At last Gluck
succeeded in gaining the interest of the Dauphiness, Marie Antoinette,
all difficulties were overcome, and in the autumn of 1773 Gluck went to
Paris to put his opera in rehearsal.[75] Again hindrances were thrown in
his way which it required all the force and vigour of his character to
overcome. The hardest struggle was with the vocalists, male and female,
and with the orchestra; they must be attached to him at all costs.
But he was an implacable conductor,[76] and never gave way before
a storm.[77] After six months rehearsing, "Iphigénie" was performed
(February 14, 1774); the success of the first performance was not
brilliant, but the second quite confirmed the victory. Gluck had
succeeded (an important point in Paris) in raising public expectation to
a high pitch



beforehand, and he found zealous supporters among the journalists,
especially the Abbé Arnaud; the opposition engendered by the
enthusiastic partisanship of his admirers was in his favour in so far
that it prevented the interest of the public from becoming faint.[78]

Opposition came, as might have been expected, from both sides;[79] the
followers of Lully and Rameau would not grant any progress made, and
saw in Gluck's innovations nothing but the harmful influence of Italian
music,[80] while the partisans of the Italians looked upon Gluck's music
as essentially identical with the "old French," and complained of the
"tudesque" modifications of the Italian style.[81] As usual, neither
party was satisfied with the concessions made to it, and still less
would either acknowledge that its strong places had been overthrown.
J. J. Rousseau alone acknowledged himself vanquished; and as he had
previously done justice to Grétry's efforts, so he now extolled Gluck's
music as being genuinely dramatic.[82] Not so Grimm. He was too well
versed in Italian music not to perceive that if Gluck's ideas became
prevalent, those forms which he held to be essential would soon be
annihilated; Gluck's operas appeared to him a revival of the old French
style, which would



only hinder or retard the triumph of the Italian. It is true that out of
deference to public opinion, and to that of many of his friends and of
Gluck's royal patroness, he does not express himself very positively on
the subject, but his real views cannot be mistaken.[83]

With just discrimination the directors had declared that they would not
risk appearing before the public with one of Gluck's operas; if he would
write six, they might have a chance of success. Gluck himself was aware
that if he was to succeed in the long run, his "Iphigénie" must not be
left long alone. He rapidly revised and elaborated "Orphée et Euridice,"
not at all to the advantage of the opera, in which he was induced, quite
against his principles, to insert a long bravura aria by Bertoni.[84]
It was performed on August 2, 1774, with great success,[85] and was
followed on February 27, 1775, by a one-act opera, "L'Arbre Enchanté,"
and on August 11, 1775, by an opera in three acts, "La Cythère
Assiégée," neither of which had any lasting effect. In order to insure
a fresh and lasting success Gluck took in hand his "Alceste" anew.
The text was thoroughly revised by Du Rollet, with the adoption of
Rousseau's suggestions, especially in the second act; Hercules is
introduced again, but not very skilfully.[86] Gluck's revision was
a very thorough one; the old music was transposed, curtailed, or
lengthened, the details altered, and new passages inserted, generally
with admirable discrimination.[87] Then, in order to put new works in
direct competition with his old compositions, he undertook to set operas
by Quinault to music unaltered, and chose "Roland" and "Armida."

While Gluck was engaged on these works in Vienna, the



supporters of Italian music, who were now convinced of the possibility
of procuring foreign composers for the grand opera, sought on their side
to oppose a rival to Gluck. Some time previously Madame Dubarry had
been induced by La Borde's influence to obtain the presence in Paris
of Piccinni, the most esteemed of Italian composers.[88] The Neapolitan
ambassador, the Marquis Caraccioli, by his intellect and position a
powerful patron of the arts and sciences, had been mainly instrumental
in summoning Piccinni; and the young Queen, Marie Antoinette, who saw no
necessity for bending her inclinations to party interests in the matter
of music, and who, like her brother the Emperor, was personally attached
to Italian music, gave her consent to Piccinni's appointment.

Marmontel declared himself ready to adapt an opera by Quinault for
Piccinni, of whose music he announced himself the champion.[89] When
Gluck heard that the work selected was the "Roland," on which he was
already at work, he published a letter ("Année Littéraire," 1776), in
which he bitterly complained of this affront, and violently assailed his

Open war was now declared between the critics of the Gluckists and
the Piccinnists, and carried on in pamphlets, journal articles, and
epigrams, with so much violence that even the public were led into a
partisanship more eager than had ever before arisen from a question of
art.[90] The leaders of the Piccinnists were Marmontel and La Harpe,
while Gluck's faithful partisans were Arnaud and Suard, who appeared
as the Anonymous of Vaugirard.[91] Grimm took no direct share in the
contest; but his comments on it show him,



in spite of apparent impartiality, to have been decidedly on the side of

The first performance of "Alceste," on April 23, 1776, was a failure,
and it only gained in public favour by slow degrees.[92] "Iphigénie,"
too, which was reproduced, was severely criticised. But this severity
served but to increase public sympathy, and Gluck's operas drew full
houses, and became more and more unmistakably popular.

Piccinni arrived in Paris quite at the end of 1776. He was welcomed by
all the composers, Grétry alone failing to pay his respects to him. For
this he was severely censured, since on first coming to Paris he had
announced himself as a pupil of Piccinni, which he was not.[93] Strange
and unknown in Paris, Piccinni took a great distaste to its harsh
climate, its unaccustomed way of living. His ignorance of the French
language isolated him and debarred him from any personal share in the
contest of which he was the subject.

His easy-going and peace-loving temperament prevented his wishing
to join in the fray, while for Gluck's passionate nature it was a
satisfaction to give vent to angry vituperation in the public journals.

Marmontel relates how he had to instruct Piccinni in French by reading
him his opera every day as a task, and translating what Piccinni had to
compose.[94] Thus slowly proceeded the work of the dissatisfied maestro,
and every day he doubted of its success more and more.[95]

Gluck began the rehearsals of his "Armide" in July, 1777, and it was
performed on September 23. The opera, on which Gluck had built such
confident hopes of success, was very coolly received.[96] Its failure
was owing partly to

{PARIS, 1778.}


the dangerous rivalry of Lully, partly to the fact that the subject was
not suited to his genius,[97] and partly also to the premonitory
shadow of Piccinni's new work. Justice was not done to "Armide" until

La Harpe attacked it bitterly, and Gluck, in a violent retort, called
for the aid of the Anonymous of Vaugirard, which did not tarry. Then
began the rehearsals of Piccinni's opera, and the storm of partisanship
was let loose.[99] Piccinni was incapable of restraining it. While his
friends espoused his cause with zeal, while Gluck himself sought to
restrain the singers and the orchestra,[100] Piccinni looked sorrowfully
to heaven and sighed, "Ah! toutte va male, toutte!" Firmly convinced
that the opera would be a failure, and resolved to return to Naples on
the following day, he went to the first performance (January, 1778),
consoling his family with the assurance that a cultivated nation like
the French would do a composer no bodily harm, even if they did not
admire his operas--and experienced a brilliant triumph.[101]


[Footnote 1: Ed. Fournier, Mozart ä Paris (Revue Franç., 1856, II., t. 7, p. 28).]

[Footnote 2: Cf. Histoire du Théätre de l'Opéra en France (Paris, 1753; 2nd
Edit., 1757). Castil-Blaze, L'Académie Imp. de Musique de 1645 ä 1855
(Paris, 1855,1., II.).]

[Footnote 3: Grimm, Corr. inéd., p. 222; cf. Corr. Litt., I., p. 93. The
following is not bad (Corr. Litt., II., p. 205): "M. Hasse, qui avait
entendu parler de la légèreté et de la pétulance françaises, ne se
lassait point, lorsqu'il fut en ce pays-ci, d'admirer la patience avec
laquelle on écoutait ä l'Opéra une musique lourde et monotone." Goldoni
amusingly describes the impression made upon him by the French opera
(Mém., II., p. 182).]

[Footnote 4: Grimm, Corr. Litt., XV., p. 283; cf. IV., p. 165. Grétry gives more
particular instances of the faults of the old style ( Mém., I., p. 301).]

[Footnote 5: The last performance of one of Lully's operas ("Thésée ") was in

[Footnote 6: Raguenet, Parallèle des Italiens et François en ce qui regarde
la Musique et les Opéras (.Paris, 1702), translated into German, with
notes, and the rejoinder of Freneuse de la Vieuville ( Bonnet, Histoire
de la Musique, p. 425; Bourdelot, Hist, de la Mus., I., p. 291), in
Mattheson's Critica Musica (Hamburg, 1712), I., p. 91, and in Marpurg's
Krit. Briefen, I., pp. 65, 89, 113, 398. Freneuse, Comparaison de la
Mus. Ital. et de la Mus. Franç. Brussels, 1705 (in Bourdelot'8 Hist, de
la Mus., 1725 and 1743, II.-IV.). Raguenet, Défense du Parallèle (Paris,

[Footnote 7: La Harpe, Corresp. Litt., II., p. 302.]

[Footnote 8: When Grimm first came to Paris he wrote to Gottsched: "M. Rameau is
rightly considered by all connoisseurs to be the greatest musician who
has ever lived" (Danzel Gottsched, p. 349). His opinion soon changed,
but the account he afterwards gives of Rameau (Corr. Litt., IV., p. 80),
prejudiced as it is, recognises Rameau's merits, though without giving
him the credit of them. In his Lettre sur "Omphale" (1752, Corr. Litt.,
XV., p. 281), Grimm gave a detailed criticism in a very moderate tone.
A good account of him may be found in Ad. Adam's Derniers Souvenirs d'un
Musicien, p. 39.]

[Footnote 9: Hiller, Wöch. Nachr., 1770, p. 331. Schelle, N. Ztschr. f. Mus.,
LVII., and LVIII., p. 119.]

[Footnote 10: According to Castil-Blaze (L'Opéra Italien, p. 144), the operas
produced by the Bouffons were, "La Serva Padrona," by Pergolese; "ü
Giocatore," by Orlandini: "ü Maestro di Musica," by Al. Scarlatti; "La
Finta Cameri'era," by Atella; "La Donna Superba," by Rinaldo da Capua;
"La Scaltra Gover-natrice," by Cocchi; "ü Cinese Rimpatriato," by
Selletti; "La Zingara" by Rinaldo da Capua; "Gli Artigiani Arrichiti,"
by Ladlla; "II. Paratajo" by Jomelli; "Bertoldo in Corte," by Ciampi; "I
Viaggiatori," by Leo.]

[Footnote 11: The Italian opera was conducted from the pianoforte only, while in
the French opera time was beaten audibly with a stick. Cf. Grétry, Mém.,
I.p. 39.]

[Footnote 12: The heads of the parties had their regular places below the box of
the King and Queen.]

[Footnote 13: It was republished (Corr. Litt., XV., p. 315,) and translated into
German (N. Ztschr. f. Mus., IV., p. 63, where it is wrongly ascribed to
Rousseau). Grimm speaks of its extraordinary success to Gottsched, and
Frau Gottsched speaks of an imitation of it directed against Weisse's
operetta, "Der Teufel ist los" (Danzel Gottsched, p. 350).]

[Footnote 14: The account which he gives to Rameau's nephew of his uncle and
Italian music is graphic enough (Goethe, XXIII., p. 208).]

[Footnote 15: This was in the well-known Lettre sur la Musique Française (1753), to
which the Lettre d'un symphoniste de l'Académie Royale de Musique ä ses
camarades de l'orchestre (1753) was a witty after-piece.]

[Footnote 16: Grétry, Mém., I., p. 279.]

[Footnote 17: Rousseau, Confessions 1., VIII. Grimm, Corr. Litt., I., p. 92.
Fétis, Curios. Hist, de la Mus., p. 107.]

[Footnote 18: Grimm, Corr. Litt., I., p. 114.]

[Footnote 19: Rousseau had apparently a natural musical talent, which was
quickened by Italian music; his logical reflections sometimes led him
into error, but he remained accessible to new musical impressions, even
when they contradicted his expressed opinions.]

[Footnote 20: Diderot appears to have had some musical taste, but not much
cultivation, and in this respect Grimm had some influence upon his
opinions, as he certainly had upon Grimm's in more important matters.
The article "Poème lyrique" in the Encyclopédie (publ. Corr. Litt., XV.,
p. 349), is a curious mixture of Italian taste, and of reflections after
Diderot's manner: the views it upholds are often warped and superficial.]

[Footnote 21: Grimm, Corr. Litt., VI., p. 229. The parodies are collected in Les
Parodies du Nouveau Théätre Italien ( Paris, 1738,I.-IV.). Supplément
aux Parodies (Paris, 1763,1. III.).]

[Footnote 22: Favart, Mém., I., p. XVII.]

[Footnote 23: Favart, Mém., I., pp. 203, 214, 228, 233.]

[Footnote 24: [ D'Orville] Histoire de l'Opéra Bouffon (Amst., 1760).
[Footnote Desboulmiers] Histoire du Théätre de l'Opéra-Comique (Paris, 1769, I.,
II.). Fétis, Curios. Hist, de la Mus., p. 342. Castil-Blaze, Acad. Imp.
de la Mus., I., p. 216.]

[Footnote 25: Grimm, Corr. Litt., VII., p. 289.]

[Footnote 26: Goldoni concedes the superiority of the opéra-comique over the
Italian huffa (Mém., II., p. 227).]

[Footnote 27: Grimm, Corr. Litt., IV., p. 164; VII., p. 126. After 1765 he
thought his style "un peu vieux et faible, mais ailleurs plein de
finesse, de charme, de grace, et de vérité. C'est toujours malgré sa
faiblesse l'homme chez lequel nos jeunes compositeurs devraient aller ä
l'école" (Corr. Litt., IV., p. 414). He afterwards exhorts Philidor and
Grétry to yield the field to him with honour (Corr. Litt., V.» pp. 140,
369; VI., p. 63).]

[Footnote 28: A. Adam, Derniers Souvenirs d'un Musicien, p. 107.]

[Footnote 29: Grimm, Corr. Litt., VI., p. 61.]

[Footnote 30: Grimm, Corr. Litt., III., p. 136.]

[Footnote 31: Grimm judged him so severely (Corr. inéd., p. 219; cf. Corr. Litt.,
III., p. 136; VI., p. 208; IX., p. 463); that one suspects personal
dislike. Madame de Genlis rightly protested against his severity (Mém.,
II., p. 22).]

[Footnote 32: Grimm, even in this case, ascribed all the merit to the poet (Corr.
Litt., VI., pp. 197, 206); Madame de Genlis, on the contrary, maintained
that Monsigny's music caused one to overlook the improbabilities of the
piece ( Mém., II., p. 21)]

[Footnote 33: G. Allen, Life of Philidor (Philadelphia, 1863). At first Grimm
thought his music no better than other French music (Corr. Litt., II.,
p. 346; III., p. 89); after 1764 he notes his increasing progress (III.,
p. 401; IV., p. 200), and praises him highly in 1768 (VI., p. 14). He
was accused of stealing from Italian masters, but Grimm retorted that
it required great talent to steal in such a way (V., p. 25; VI., p. 145).
Later on Grimm considered that Philidor inclined too much to Gluck's
manner (IX., p. 378; X., p. 358), and finally he declared that Philidor
had grown feeble (XII., p. 468; XIII., p. 137).]

[Footnote 34: Tagebuch der Mannh. Schaub'., I., p. 264.]

[Footnote 35: Marmontel relates the affair more circumstantially (Mém., IX.;
Ouvr., II., p. 72).]

[Footnote 36: Grimm discusses this question after the manner of Diderot, on the
production of "Le Déserteur," the first comic opera of the kind (Corr.
Litt., VI., p. 212). Madame du Deffand thought the exhibition of passion
in "Le Déserteur" of very doubtful propriety (Corr. inéd., I., p. 175).]

[Footnote 37: Grimm condemns the "barbarous fashion" of mixing spoken dialogue
and song in the comic opera, and asserts that there can be no great
composers in France until real recitative is made use of (Corr. Litt.,
IV., p. 166; VI., pp. 120, 209).]

[Footnote 38: He has given a detailed account of his education, of the
suggestions for his works and of his views on dramatic music in his
Mémoires ou Essais sur la Musique (Paris, 1789; Brussels 1829,1.-III.).
The naïveté of intense vanity is apparent everywhere. His opinions
show some power of observation, but are for the most part trivial and

[Footnote 39: He describes his way of working to the celebrated physician
Tronchin (Mém., I., p. 21): "Je lis, je relis vingt fois les paroles que
je veux peindre avec des sons; il me faut plusieurs jours pour échauffer
ma tète; enfin je perds l'appétit, mes yeux s'enflamment, l'imagination
se monte, alors je fais un opéra en trois semaines ou un mois." He
maintains that this excitement is more likely to lead a composer aright
than attention to rules ( I., pp. 168, 204).]

[Footnote 40: Prince Henry of Prussia paid him the most appropriate compliment in
the words: "Vous avez le courage d'oublier que vous êtes musicien pour
être poète" ( Mém., I., p. 121, cf., p. 346).]

[Footnote 41: Mém., I., p. 112.]

[Footnote 42: Mém., I., pp. 141, 238; III., p. 144.]

[Footnote 43: Mém., I., p. 169.]

[Footnote 44: Mém., I., pp. 146, 170.]

[Footnote 45: Mém., I., p. 231.]

[Footnote 46: He declared the French language to be the one best suited to music
( I., p. 400), although he does not conceal its difficulties ( I., p.
134), and demonstrates that France is destined to be pre-eminent in

[Footnote 47: Mém., I., p. 212; cf. pp. 224, 260.]

[Footnote 48: Mém., I., p. 339; II., p. 45.]

[Footnote 49: Mém., I., pp. 237, 375.]

[Footnote 50: Mém., I., p. 356.]

[Footnote 51: Mém., II., p. 10. He sometimes gave him good advice (I., p. 215)
and Grétry embraced his views (III., p. 377).]

[Footnote 52: Grétry, Mém., I., p. 270; cf. II., p. 331.]

[Footnote 53: Grimm says, after the performance of "Le Huron" (Corr. Litt., VI.,
p. 34): "M. Grétry est un jeune homme qui fait ici son coup d'essai;
mais ce coup d'essai est le chef-d'ouvre d'un maître, qui élève l'auteur
sans contradiction au premier rang." His praise of the "Lucile".]

[Footnote 54: Grimm, Corr. Litt., X., p. 228.]

[Footnote 55: Grétry, Mém., I., p. 150.]

[Footnote 56: He himself examines the grounds on which his music has become
naturalised in France, "sans me faire des partisans enthousiastes et
sans exciter des ces disputes puériles, telles que nous en avons vu
(Mém., I., p. 169).]

[Footnote 57: It is almost comical to observe the pertinacity with which the
Grand-Opèra brought out its old pieces, to be as pertinaciously attacked
by Grimm.]

[Footnote 58: A collection of Klopstock's odes, set to music by Gluck has often
been published; he had the "Herrmannsschlacht" ready in his head,
according to his habit, but it was never written out. For Gluck's
intercourse with Klopstock in Karlsruhe. (see Strauss, Kl. Schr., p. 42.
p. 122) and the "Tableau parlant" (VI., p. 251) was equally strong, and
he accompanied it with a respectful and appreciative criticism.]

[Footnote 59: It is worthy of note how certain intellectual currents, running
through an age, take simultaneous effect in different spheres. The
tendency to individuality in art, to truth and nature, which was due to
the encyclopedists, made itself manifest side by side with the principle
of simple beauty which Winckelmann laid down as characteristic of
ancient art.]

[Footnote 60: Planelli, Dell' Opera in Musica (Neap., 1772), p. 148, approves of
Gluck's principles, and the latter praises Planelli's performance of
"Alceste"; Vine. Manfredini (Regole Arm., p. 163) takes much exception
to it.]

[Footnote 61: Schelle has (N. Ztschr. f. Mus., LIX., p. 42) published Calsabigi's
letter (Mercure de France, Aug. 21,1784), in which the latter, who
considered himself neglected, represents his relations with Gluck.]

[Footnote 62: Mém. pour servir ä l'Hist. de la révolution opérée dans la Musique
par Gluck, p. 8.]

[Footnote 63: Calsabigi retracted his opinion on the opera in the letter prefixed
to his "Elfrida" in 1794. At that time he believed in Paesiello as the
true philosophical composer.]

[Footnote 64: Berlioz rightly protests against Gluck's views (Voy. Mus., II., p.
269; X Travers Chants, p. 150). Cf. Hanslick, Vom Musikalisch-Schönen,
p. 24.]

[Footnote 65: A. B. Marx, Musik des neunzehnten Jahrh., p. 82.]

[Footnote 66: Marx ibid., p. 183; he modified his opinion afterwards (Gluck u. d.
Opera, II., p. 67. II.]

[Footnote 67: It failed in Naples in 1774 (Galiani, Corr. inéd., II., p. 96).]

[Footnote 68: Count Durazzo had the score printed there; Favart tells him how
highly Mondonville and Philidor thought of the opera. (Favart, Mém.,
II., pp. 67, 102, 180).]

[Footnote 69: Sonnenfels, Briefe IIb. d. Wien. Schaubühne (Ges. Schr., V., p. 155;
Hiller, Wöch. Nachr., 1768, p. 127). Riedel, Ueber die Musik des Ritter
Gluck, p. IX.]

[Footnote 70: Allgem. deutsche Bibl., X., 2 p. 31. Nicolai, Reise, IV., p. 529.
Reichardt relates (A. M. Z., XV., p. 612; Schletteier Reichardt, I., p.
264) that the King afterwards expressed himself in violent terms against
Gluck. Cf. A. M. Z., III., p. 187.]

[Footnote 71: Agricola criticised "Alceste" in the Allgem. deutschen Bibliothek
(X., 2 p. 29, XIV., 1 p. 3; also in Forkel's Musik. Krit. Bibl., I., p.
174) in a pedantic, trivial spirit, but not ill-naturedly.]

[Footnote 72: Calsabigi says that he wrote the libretti for "Semiramide" and
"Iperm-nestra" on Gluck's commission, and they were afterwards taken as
the foundation of Salieri's "Danaides" (Cramer, Magaz. d. Mus., I., p.
366; N. Ztschr, f. Mus. LIX., p. 42).]

[Footnote 73: This is correctly put forward by Marx ( Musik des neunzehnten
Jahr-hunderts, p. 84).]

[Footnote 74: His admirable ballet music was slow in making its way in Paris; it
was so confidently assumed that the French were the first masters in
the world for ballet music, that a foreigner had to contend against much
prejudice. La Harpe remarks that want of success in this respect was
in Gluck's favour, for that his system, consistently carried out, would
exclude ballet.]

[Footnote 75: Interesting details of this visit are given by Frz. M. Rudhart,
Gluck in Paris (Munich, 1864).]

[Footnote 76: Burney, Reise, II., p. 253. Cf. Cramer's Magazin, 1783, p. 561.]

[Footnote 77: Madame de Genlis, Mém., II., p. 248.]

[Footnote 78: A number of pamphlets and newspaper articles of this and following
years are collected in Mémoires pour servir ä l'Histoire de la
révolution opérée dans la musique par M. le Chev. Gluck (ä Naples et
ä Paris, 1781), partly translated by Siegmeyer: Ueber Gluck und seine
Werke (Berlin, 1823). Here again the dispute is chiefly carried on by
men of literary rather than musical knowledge (Madame de Genlis, Mém.,
II., p. 250). The first favourable notices were at once translated by
Riedel and published with an enthusiastic preface, Ueber die Musik
des Ritters Gluck ( Vienna 1775). This called forth Forkel's criticism
(Musik. Krit. Bibl., I., p. 53). He was incapable of appreciating
Gluck's true greatness, and as partial and philistine as other Berlin
critics of that day; he was spiteful besides; but some of his remarks
are true enough. The personal animosity which Forkel afterwards threw
into his attacks is quite repulsive.]

[Footnote 79: Grimm, Corr. Litt., VIII., p. 320.]

[Footnote 80: Grimm, Corr. Litt., VIII., p. 321; IX., pp. 34, 350.]

[Footnote 81: Grimm, Corr. Litt., VIII., pp. 321, 427; IX., p. 350.]

[Footnote 82: Grimm, Corr. Litt., VIII., p. 321. Garat, Mém. sur M. Suard, II.,
p. 238. La Harpe, Corr. Litt., I., p. 86. Rudhart, Gluck in Paris, p.
xo. A speaking testimony of his reverence for Gluck is the "Réponse
sur un morceau de l'Orphée de M. le Chev. Gluck," and the unfinished
"Observations sur l'Alceste Italien de M. le Chev. Gluck," where some
striking observations are made.]

[Footnote 83: Grimm, Corr. Litt., VIII., pp. 78, 322. When he remarked that Gluck
influenced other composers, such as Grétry, he turned the full sharpness
of his criticism upon them.]

[Footnote 84: Berlioz, À Travers Chants, p. 127.]

[Footnote 85: Mdlle. de l'Espinasse, in Stendsal, Vie de Rossini, p. 607. As
might be expected, Grimm bestowed his highest praise upon "Orphée"
(Corr. Litt., VIII., p. 390).]

[Footnote 86: Winterfeld, Zur G each. heil. Tonk., II., p. 308.]

[Footnote 87: Berlioz, Voy. Mus., II., p. 279; À Travers Chants, p. 142. Schelle,
N. Ztschr. f. Mus., LV., p. 205. LVI., p. z.]

[Footnote 88: Galiani, Corr. inéd., II., p. 106.]

[Footnote 89: Marmontel, Mém. Litt., IX.; Ouvr., II., p. no.]

[Footnote 90: Grimm, Corr. Litt., IX., p. 348. Dorat describes very comically
in an Irishman's letter the party-fight in the pit (Coup d'Oeil sur la
Littér., I., p. 211). Amusing incidents were not wanting. At one
concert a song by Gluck was announced; as it began the Piccinnists
ostentatiously left the hall, and the Gluckists applauded noisily; it
afterwards appeared that the song was by Jomelli (Grimm, Corr. Litt.,
X., p. 440).]

[Footnote 91: An account of the whole dispute from this side is given by Garat,
Mém. Hist, sur M. Suard, II., p. 231.]

[Footnote 92: Grimm, Corr. Litt., X., p. 34. Schelle, N. Ztschr. f. Mus., LV., p.

[Footnote 93: Grimm, Corr. Litt., IX., p. 352. Galiani, Corr. inéd., II., p. 292.]

[Footnote 94: Marmontel, Mém. Litt., IX.; Ouvr., II., p. 115. P. L. Ginguené,
Not. sur Piccinni, p. 25.]

[Footnote 95: Grimm, Corr. Litt., IX., p. 352. Galiani, Corr. inéd., II., p. 291.]

[Footnote 96: To Marie Antoinette's question as to whether his opera, "Armida,"
was finished, and how he liked it, Gluck is said to have answered
composedly: "Madame, il est bientöt fini, et vraiment ce sera superbe!"
(Madame Campan, Mém., 7 p. 131.)]

[Footnote 97: Grimm, Corr. Litt., IX., p. 428.]

[Footnote 98: Grimm, Corr. Litt., IX., p. 469.]

[Footnote 99: Grimm gives a minute and amusing account of all this.]

[Footnote 100: So Grimm says. His friendliness towards Piccinni is confirmed by
Galiani (Corr. inéd., II., p. 248), and Madame de Genlis (Mém., II., p.
248). Cf. Gin-guené, Not. sur Piccinni, p. 45]

[Footnote 101: Grimm, Corr. Litt., IX., p. 500; X., p. 23.]


SUCH was the condition of musical affairs at the time of Mozart's
arrival in Paris. The successes on either side, and the violence of
partisan controversy, had, as might have been expected, prevented any
decisive conclusion of the dispute. We know now that Gluck remained
master of the field, and that the influence of Lully and Rameau sinking
henceforth into oblivion, Gluck determined the character of French opera
in all its essential points as it still exists, in spite of its many
Italian modifications. But at the time of



which we are speaking the Gluckists and Piccinnists were carrying on the
warfare with greater bitterness than ever, and the old national party,
although pushed into the background, was seeking to free itself from
both influences.[1]

The interest of the public was more eagerly excited than ever, but, as
usual, more for the sake of the literary scandal and personal animosity
than with any love of art, and when audiences flocked to the opera they
desired not to enjoy but to participate in what was going on.

This was an unfortunate state of things for a young composer whose
object was to acquire an honourable position for himself; he must, in
order to be heard at all, attach himself to one or other party, and so
lose his independence, the only true foundation of excellence. To put
an end to the dispute by forcing the combatants to acknowledge a success
greater than that of either was at this juncture beyond the power of
even a transcendent genius; and Mozart brought nothing with him to Paris
but his genius.

He had failed in obtaining an introduction to the Queen Marie Antoinette
from Vienna, and access to the circle of the nobility was no
easy matter. Mozart had little to expect from the support of his
fellow-artists, for they were all ranged against each other, and had
enough to do to fight their own battles. Gluck had left Paris when
Mozart entered it; he renewed his acquaintance with Piccinni, whom he
had known in Italy (Vol. I., p. 111), and was polite in his greetings
when he met him at the Concert Spirituel and elsewhere; but there the
intercourse ended. "I know my affairs, and he his, and that suffices"
(July 9, 1778).

We find no traces of any acquaintance with Grétry, who never mentions
Mozart in his "Mémoires." He was resigned to professional envy, and had
already experienced his full share of it; but in Paris at that time the
"gens de lettres" were the arbiters of taste and fashion. Pamphlets and
critical articles, epigrams and _bon mots_, proceeding from

{PARIS, 1778.}


the literary circle, ruled public opinion, and a thorough knowledge
of music was, as a rule, the last requirement thought of by those who
strove to influence its progress.

It was a new world to Wolfgang, in which he would have found it
difficult to move successfully and uprightly, even if he had gained
access to its favour.

Grimm, who might have introduced him, was himself a partisan, and
esteemed only by his own party; besides which, he could not fail soon
to discover that Mozart was the last man in the world for this kind of
intercourse. Nevertheless, he received him very kindly, and sought to
make him known wherever he could; they were always quite of accord
in their opinions of French music. "Baron Grimm and I," writes Mozart
(April 5, 1778), "often pour out our wrath over the music of the present
day, but in private, be it understood; in public, it is all 'bravo,
bravissimo,' and clapping one's hands till the fingers burn." And in
another letter he says: "What annoys me is that the French have improved
their taste just enough to enable them to listen to good music. But
their own is still very bad. Ay! upon my word, but it is! and their
singing! _oime!_ If they would only let Italian songs alone, I could
forgive their Frenchified chirruping; but it is really unpardonable so
to spoil good music."

Mozart's outward circumstances were not pleasant. In order to economise
(for his mother found everything in Paris half as dear again as
elsewhere) they took a dark, uncomfortable lodging, so small that
Wolfgang could not get his clavier into it. But their life was rendered
considerably more cheerful by the presence of their Mannheim friends.
"Wendling," writes the mother (April 5) (there is no more talk of
his irreligion), "has prepared Wolfgang's way for him, and has now
introduced him to all his friends. He is a true benefactor, and M. von
Grimm has promised him to use all his influence, which is greater than
Wendling's, to make Wolfgang known." In Paris, too, Mozart became better
acquainted with Raaff, and learned to value him as an artist and as a
friend. This was greatly owing to the interest Raaff took in the Weber
family; he appreciated



Aloysia's talents, promised to give her lessons, and approved of
Mozart's liking for her; this was all the greater consolation since he
dared not speak openly on the subject to his father, although he did not
attempt to conceal his correspondence with the Weber family. Nor could
his wishes and feelings fail to be perceived when he wrote (July 3,

I have never been backward, and never will be. I will always use my
powers to the uttermost. God can make all things good. I have something
in my mind, for which I pray to God daily; if it is His Divine will it
will come to pass; if not, I am content. I have at least done my best.
If all goes well, and things turn out as I wish, then you must do your
share, or the whole business will fall through; I trust to your kindness
to do it. Do not attempt to discover my meaning, for the immediate
favour I have to beg of you is to let me keep my ideas to myself until
the right time comes.

He does not seem to have been very hopeful (March 29, 1778)

I am pretty well, thank God: but for the rest, I often scarcely know or
care for anything; I am quite indifferent, and take little pleasure in
anything. What most supports and invigorates me is the thought that you,
dear father, and my dear sister are safe and well, that I am an honest
German; and that although I cannot always say what I like, I can always
think what I like--which is the main point.

In a mood like this the encouragement of musical compatriots would
be doubly grateful to him. This was freely bestowed on him by the
ambassador from the Palatinate, Count von Sickingen, to whom
Gemmingen and Cannabich had given him letters, and Raaff a personal

He is a charming man, a passionate lover and true judge of music. I
spent eight hours with him quite alone; we were at the clavier morning
and afternoon, and up to ten o'clock in the evening, all the time
making, praising, admiring, altering, discussing, and criticising
nothing but music: he has about thirty operatic scores.

He maintained this acquaintance zealously, often dining with the Count,
and spending the evening over his own compositions with so much interest
that the time went without their knowing it (June 12, 1778).

{PARIS, 1778.}


The Mannheim friends were engaged for the Concert Spirituel, which
had been founded in 1725. Anne Danican Philidor, elder brother to the
composer already mentioned, was accorded the privilege, on payment of a
fixed sum, of giving about four-and-twenty concerts in the course of the
year, on festivals when there was no grand opera. They were given in a
hall of the Tuileries, and consisted of instrumental music, and sacred
or classical compositions for chorus or solo singing.[2] Wolfgang
was introduced to the director, Jean le Gros (1739-1793), and at once
received from him a commission, with which he acquaints his father
(April 5, 1778).

The kapellmeister, Holzbauer, has sent a Miserere; but the Mannheim
chorus being weak and bad, while here it is good and strong, his
choruses make no effect; therefore M. le Gros has commissioned me to
write other choruses. Holzbauer's introductory chorus remains; the
first by me is "Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego," &c., allegro; the
second, adagio, "Ecce enim in iniquitatibus"; then, allegro, "Ecce
enim veritatem dilexisti," up to "ossa humiliata." Then an andante
for soprano, tenor and bass soli, "Cor mundum créa"; and "Redde mihi
lætitiam," allegro as far as "te convertentur." Then I have done a
recitative for the basses, "Libera me de sanguinibus," because it is
followed by a bass song by Holzbauer, "Domine, labia mea." In the same
way, because "Sacrificium Deo, spiritus" is an andante tenor air for
Raaff, with solo oboe and bassoon, I have added a little recitative,
"Quoniam si voluisses," also with oboe and bassoon concertante:
recitatives are very much in vogue here. "Benigne fac" up to "muri
Jerusalem," andante moderato, chorus. Then "Tunc acceptabis" to
"super altare tuum vitulos," allegro, tenor solo (Le Gros), and chorus
together.[3] I must say I am glad I have finished this work, for it is
confoundedly awkward when one is in a hurry with work and cannot write
at home. But it is finished, thank God, and will, I think, make an
effect. M. Gossec, whom you must know, told M. Le Gros, after seeing
my first chorus, that it was charming, and would certainly tell in
performance; that the words were well arranged, and admirably set to
music. He is a good friend of mine, but a dry, reserved man.

That this scampering work (for Mozart was only a few



days over it) should form his _début_ before the French public caused
his father great uneasiness; but it was uncalled for, for in his next
letter Wolfgang informs him (March 1, 1778)

I must tell you, by the way, that my chorus work came to nothing.
Holzbauer's Miserere is too long as it is, and did not please; besides
which, they only performed two of my choruses instead of four, and left
out the best. It did not much matter, for many people did not know that
they were mine, and many more never heard of me. Notwithstanding, they
were highly applauded at rehearsal, and, what is more important (for I
do not think much of Parisian applause), I liked them myself.

Another work was occasioned by the presence of the Mannheim performers,
with whom was associated the celebrated hornist, Joh. Punto (1748-1803),
who in Mozart's opinion "played magnificently." Mozart set to work at
a Sinfonie Concertante for flute (Wendling), oboe (Ramm), French horn
(Punto), and bassoon (Ritter), which was to be performed at one of
the concerts. But he was soon obliged to write to his father (May 1,

There is another "hickl-hackl" with the Sinfonie Concertante. I believe
there is something behind, for I have my enemies here, as where have
I not had them? It is a good sign, however. I was obliged to write the
symphony in great haste, worked hard at it, and thoroughly satisfied
the four performers. Le Gros had it four days for copying, and I always
found it lying in the same place. At last, the day but one before the
concert, I did not find it; searched about among the music, and found it
hidden away. I could do nothing but ask Le Gros, "_A propos_, have you
given the Sinfonie Concertante to be copied?" "No, I forgot it." Of
course I could not order him to have it copied and played, so said
nothing. The day it should have been performed I went to the concert;
Ramm and Punto came up to me in a rage, and asked why my sinfonie
concertante was not played. "I do not know; this is the first I have
heard of it." Ramm was furious, and abused Le Gros in French, saying
that it was unhandsome of him, &c. What annoyed me most in the whole
affair was Le Gros not telling me a word about it, as if I was to know
nothing of it. If he had only made an apology, that the time was too
short, or anything; but no, not a word.[4] I think Cambini, an Italian

{PARIS, 1778.}


composer here, is at the bottom of it, for I was the innocent cause
of his being extinguished on his first introduction to Le Gros. He has
written some pretty quartets, one of which I had heard at Mannheim; I
praised it to him, and played the beginning; Ritter, Ramm, and Punto
were there, and they left me no peace, insisting that I should go on,
and make up myself what I could not remember. So I did it, and Cambini
was quite beside himself, and could not refrain from saying, "Questa
è una gran testa!" But it must have been sorely against the grain with

The father was of the same opinion, and warned Wolfgang that Cambini
would not be the only one who would seek to injure him; but he must not
allow himself to be disconcerted (April 29, 1778). Wolfgang expressed
himself with considerable dissatisfaction:--

If this were a place where the people had ears to hear, and a heart to
feel, and just a little understanding and taste for music, I would laugh
from my heart at all these things; but, as far as music is concerned,
I am among a set of dolts and blockheads. How can it be otherwise? They
are just the same in all their transactions, love-affairs, and passions.
There is no place in the world like Paris. You must not think that I
exaggerate in speaking so of the music here. Ask whom you will (only not
a native Frenchman), and they will tell you the same. Well, I am here,
and must make the best of it, for your sake. I shall thank the Almighty
if I come out of it with unvitiated taste. I pray to God daily to give
me grace to stand firm, and do honour to myself and the German nation,
and that He will grant me success, so that I may make plenty of money,
help you out of all your present troubles, and that we may meet once
more, and all live happily together again.

Through the good offices of Grimm, Mozart was recommended to the Duc
de Guines, who had been recalled from his post as Ambassador in London
after his notorious lawsuit with secretary Tort[5] in 1776, and stood
high in favour with the Queen.[6] L. Mozart wrote (March 28, 1778):[7]--

My dear Son,--I beg that you will do your best to gain the friendship of
the Duc de Guines, and to keep well with him; I have frequently read in
the papers of his high place in the royal favour; the Queen being now
_enceinte_, there are sure to be grand festivities when the child is
born; you may get something to do, and make your fortune; for in these
cases everything depends upon the pleasure of the Queen.



The Duke was amusing and fond of music;[8] as Mozart himself says, he
played the flute inimitably, and his daughter the harp magnificently.[9]
He gave Mozart a commission to compose a concerto for flute and
harp. These were exactly the two instruments which Mozart could not
endure.[10] But this did not prevent his accomplishing his task to the
perfect satisfaction of the Duke. The concerto (299 K.) is in C major,
with accompaniments for a small orchestra, and consists of the usual
three movements. In conformity with the nature of the instruments the
character of the concerto is cheerful and graceful, and it is excellent
of its kind. Each movement is well and compactly formed, and has an
abundance of rich melody, enhanced in effect by the harmonic treatment,
the varied character of the accompaniment, and the alternation of the
solo instruments. The thematic treatment is only lightly sketched in so
as to keep the interest alive; but in the middle movement of the first
part the harmonic arrangement betrays a master-hand; at its close a
fresh melody is introduced, as was then the rule, in order to excite
the attention anew. Especially graceful and tender is the Andantino,
accompanied only by a quartet. The solo instruments are brilliant
without being particularly difficult; the orchestra is discreetly made
use of to support the delicate solo instruments without interfering with
their effect; but the easy setting _ä jour_ is elaborated in detail
with great skill and decision, both as regards the sound effects and the
passages and turns of the accompaniment.

Besides this, Mozart gave the Duke's daughter two hours' lessons in
composition daily, for which generous payment might be expected. He
describes the lessons minutely (May 14, 1778):--

She has talent and even genius, but especially has she a marvellous
memory: she knows two hundred pieces, and can play them all by heart.

"Once when we were talking of instruments, Mozart said that he detested
the harp and the flute."

{PARIS, 1778.}


She is, however, very doubtful whether she has any talent for
composition, particularly as regards ideas and imagination; but her
father--who, between ourselves, is a little infatuated about her--says
she has plenty of ideas, but is over-modest, and has too little
confidence in herself. Well, we shall see. If she does not get any ideas
or imagination (at present she has absolutely none) it is all in vain,
for, God knows, I cannot give them to her. Her father has no intention
of making her into a great composer. "I do not wish her," says he, "to
write operas, concertos, songs, or symphonies, but only grand sonatas
for her instrument and mine." To-day I gave her her fourth lesson, and,
as far as regards the rules of composition and exercises, I am fairly
satisfied. She has supplied a very good bass to the first minuet which I
set her. She is beginning now to write in three parts. She does it, but
she gets _ennuyée_. I cannot help it, for I cannot possibly take her
farther. Even if she had genius it would be too soon, and unhappily she
has none--everything must be done artificially. She has no ideas, and so
nothing comes of it. I have tried her in every sort of way. Among other
things, it came into my head to write down a very simple minuet, and to
try if she could write a variation on it. No; it was in vain. "Well," I
thought, "she does not know how to begin;" so I began to vary the first
bar, and told her to go on with it, and keep the same idea; and at
last she managed it. When that was done, I told her to begin something
herself, only the first part of a melody. She reflected for a quarter of
an hour, but nothing came of it. Then I wrote the first four bars of a
minuet, and said, "See what a donkey I am; I have begun a minuet, and
cannot even finish the first part. Be so kind as to do it for me." She
thought it was impossible. At last, after much trouble, something
came to light; and I was very glad of it. Then I made her complete the
minuet--only the first part, of course. I have given her nothing to do
at home but to alter my four bars, and make something out of them--to
invent a new beginning, even if the harmony is the same, so long as the
melody is altered. I shall see to-morrow what she has made of it.

The father was justly astonished at the demands made by Wolfgang on the
talent of his pupil, and on the earnestness with which he threw himself
into his task (May 28,1778):--

You write that you have just given Mdlle. de Guines her fourth lesson,
and you want her to write down her own ideas; do you think that
everybody has your genius? It will come in time. She has a good memory;
let her _steal,_ or more politely, _adapt_; it does no harm at the
beginning, until courage comes. Your plan of variations is a good
one, only persevere. If M. le Duc sees anything, however small, by his
daughter, he will be delighted. It is really an excellent acquaintance.

But Wolfgang had not the art of cultivating such



acquaintances any more than of giving lessons in composition to young
ladies of no talent; he wrote later that she was thoroughly stupid and
thoroughly lazy (July 9, 1778), and in conclusion the Duke offered him
two louis-d'or, which he indignantly rejected.

He had some other pupils, and might have had more had not the distances
in Paris been so great that his time was too much curtailed thereby; he
complains (July 31, 1778):--

It is no joke to give lessons here. You must not think that it is
laziness; no! but it is quite against my nature, my way of life. You
know that I, so to speak, live in music; that I am busy at it the whole
day, planning, studying, considering. Lessons come in the way of this;
I shall certainly have some hours free, but I need them rather for rest
than for work.

Highly distasteful to him also were visits to people of rank, and
attempts to gain their favour. He enumerates all the disagreeables of it
(May 1, 1778):--

You write that I should pay plenty of visits to make new acquaintances
and renew old ones. It is really impossible. To go on foot takes too
long and makes one too dirty, for Paris is inconceivably filthy; and to
drive costs four or five livres a day, and all for nothing; the people
pay compliments and nothing more; engage me for such or such a day, and
then I play, and they say "Oh! c'est un prodige, c'est inconcevable,
c'est étonnant!" and then adieu. I have already spent money enough in
that way, and often uselessly, for the people have been out. No one can
know the annoyance of it who is not here. Paris is very much altered;
the French are not nearly so polite as they were fourteen years ago;
they approach very near to rudeness now, and are dreadfully arrogant.

The example which he gives his father sufficiently justifies his
complaints, and is as significant of the impertinence of the nobility
towards artists as of Mozart's powerlessness to resent such behaviour:--

M. Grimm gave me a letter to Madame la Duchesse de Chabot,[11] and I
went there. The purport of the letter was principally to recommend me

{PARIS, 1778.}


to the Duchesse de Bourbon[12] (then in a convent),[13] and to bring me
again to her remembrance. A week passed without any notice taken; but,
as she had already commanded my presence in that time, I went. I was
left to wait half an hour in an icily cold, very large room, with no
stove or means of heating it. At last the Duchesse de Chabot came in,
and politely begged me to make allowances for the clavier, since she had
none in good order; would I try it? I said I should have been delighted
to play something, but that I could not feel my fingers for the cold,
and I begged her to allow me to go to a room where at least there was a
stove. "Oh, oui, monsieur; vous avez raison," was her only answer. Then
she sat down and began to draw for at least an hour with some other
gentlemen, who all sat round a great table. I had the honour of standing
waiting this hour. The doors and windows were open; very soon, not only
my hands, but my feet and whole body were stiff with cold, and my head
began to ache. No one spoke to me, and I did not know what to do for
cold, headache, and fatigue. At last, to cut it short, I played on the
wretched, miserable pianoforte. The most vexatious part of all was that
Madame and all the gentlemen went on with their employment without a
moment's pause or notice, so that I played for the walls and chairs.
All these things put together were too much for my patience. I began the
Fischer variations, played the half, and got up. Then followed no end of
_éloges_. I said what was quite true, that I could do myself no credit
with such a clavier, and that I should be very pleased to appoint
another day when I could have a better clavier. But she did not consent,
and I was obliged to wait another half-hour, till her husband came
in.[14] But he sat down beside me, and listened with all attention; and
then I--I forgot cold, and headache, and annoyance, and played on the
wretched clavier as you know I can play when I am in a good humour. Give
me the best clavier in Europe, but with an audience who do not or will
not understand and feel with me when I play, and I lose all pleasure in
it. I told the whole affair to M. Grimm.

Wolfgang tells his father (May 14, 1778) of a prospect of a settled
position, in which, however, he was disappointed:--

Rudolph (the French horn-player) is in the royal service here, and very
friendly to me. He has offered me the place of organist at Versailles,
if I like to take it. It brings in 2,000 livres a year, but I should
have to live six months at Versailles, the other six where I



chose. I must ask the advice of my friends, for 2,000 livres is no such
great sum. It would be if it were in German coin, but not here; it makes
83 louis-d'or and 8 livres a year; that is, 915 florins 45 kreutzers of
our money (a large sum), but only 333 dollars and 2 livres here,
which is not much. It is dreadful how soon a dollar goes! I cannot be
surprised at people thinking so little of a louis-d'or here, for it is
very little; four dollars, or a louis-d'or, which is the same thing, are
gone directly.

His father, who considered a settled position of such importance that
a certain amount of concession should be made for it, advised him to
reflect well on the proposal, if indeed Rudolph (1730-1812), who had
been a member of the band since 1763, had sufficient influence to bring
it about (May 28, 1778):--

You must not reject it at once. You must consider that the 83 louis-d'or
are earned in six months; that you have half the year for other work;
that it probably is a permanent post, whether you are ill or well; that
you can give it up when you like; that you are _at Court, consequently_
daily under the eyes of the King and Queen, and so much the nearer your
fortune; that you may be promoted to one of the two kapellmeisters'
places; that in time, if promotion is the rule, you may become
clavier-master to the royal family, which would be a lucrative post;
that there would be nothing to hinder your writing for the theatre,
concert spirituel, &c., and printing music with dedications to your
grand acquaintance among the ministers who frequent Versailles,
especially in summer; that Versailles itself is a small town, or at all
events, has many respectable inhabitants, among whom pupils would surely
be found; and that, finally, this is the surest way to the favour and
protection of the queen. Read this to the Baron von Grimm, and ask his

But Grimm took Wolfgang's view of the matter, expressed in his answer to
his father (July 3, 1778):--

My inclination has never turned towards Versailles; I took the advice
of Baron Grimm, and others of my best friends, and they all thought with
me. It is small pay. I should have to waste half the year in a place
where nothing else could be earned, and where my talents would be
buried. For to be in the royal service is to be forgotten in Paris--and
then to be only organist! I should like a good post extremely, but
nothing less than kapellmeister--and well paid.

Mozart's absorbing desire was to have an opportunity of distinguishing
himself as a composer, above all things by an opera. There seemed a fair
prospect of doing this soon

{PARIS, 1778.}


after his arrival in Paris. He had renewed his acquaintance with Noverre
(p. 145), who, after giving up the direction of the ballet at Vienna in
1775, had, through the Queen's influence, been appointed ballet-master
to the Grand-Opéra in 1776.[15] He took such a liking for Mozart that he
not only invited him to his table as often as he chose, but commissioned
him to write an opera. He proposed as a good subject, "Alexander and
Roxane," and set a librettist to work at the adaptation of it. The first
act was ready at the beginning of April; and a month later Mozart was
in hopes of receiving the whole text. It had then to be submitted to the
approbation of the director of the Grand-Opéra, De Vismes; but this did
not seem to offer any difficulty, Noverre's influence being powerful
with the director.

As soon as L. Mozart heard of the prospect of an opera, he wrote (April
12, 1778):--

I strongly advise you, before writing for the French stage, to hear
their operas, and find what pleases them. In this way you will become
quite a Frenchman, and I hope you will be specially careful to accustom
yourself to the proper accent of the language.

And he continues to impress upon him (April 29, 1778):--

Now that you tell me you are about to write an opera, follow my advice,
and reflect that your whole reputation hangs on your first piece. Listen
before you write, and study the national taste; listen to their operas,
and examine them. I know your wonderful powers of imitation. Do not
write hurriedly--no sensible composer does that. Study the words
beforehand with Baron von Grimm and Noverre; make sketches, and let them
hear them. It is always done: Voltaire reads his poems to his friends,
hears their judgments, and follows their suggestions. Your honour and
profit depend upon it; and as soon as we have money we will go to Italy

Wolfgang was aware of the difficulties which lay before him, especially
with regard to the language and the vocalists, and expressed himself
energetically on both points (July 9, 1778)

If I do get as far as writing an opera, I shall have trouble enough over
it; that I do not mind, for I am used to it, if only this cursed French



language were not so utterly opposed to music! It is truly miserable;
German is divine in comparison. And then the vocalists, male and female!
they have no right to the name, for they do not sing, but shriek and
howl, and all from the nose and the throat.

In spite of all this, he was eager to set to work (July 31, 1778):--

I assure you that I shall be only too pleased if I do succeed in writing
an opera. The language is the invention of the devil, that is true; and
the same difficulties are before me that beset all composers; but I
feel as well able as any one else to surmount them; in fact, when I tell
myself that all goes well with my opera, I feel a fire within me, and my
limbs tingle with the desire to make the French know, honour, and fear
the German nation more.

In the meantime L. Mozart heard that at the very time when Noverre was
interesting himself so warmly in Wolfgang's opera, he had engaged him to
write the music for a ballet which was coming out (May 14, 1778). When,
after a considerable lapse of time, the father inquired what had
become of this ballet, and what he had made by it, Wolfgang had almost
forgotten the subject (July 9, 1778):--

As to Noverre's ballet, I only wrote that perhaps he would be making
a new one. He just wanted half a ballet, and for that I provided the
music; that is, there were six pieces by other people in it, consisting
of poor, miserable French songs; I did the overture and contredanses,
altogether about twelve pieces. The ballet has been performed four times
with great applause.[16] But now I mean to do nothing without being sure
beforehand what I am to get for it, for this was only as a good turn to

But such "good turns" were precisely what Noverre had in view. It suited
him, as it did Le Gros, to have at command the services of a young
artist eager to compose and ready to accept hope and patronage in lieu
of payment, whose name it was not necessary to risk bringing before the
public, since he was only employed as a stop-gap. But it would be a
very different and far more serious thing for them to bring forward an
original work, such as an opera, by this

{PARIS, 1778.}


same unknown young man. In case of failure the protectors would share
the responsibilities of the _protégé_, while success would bring fame
and profit to the latter alone. Nothing shows more clearly Mozart's
unsuspecting nature than his explanation of the long delay of his
libretto (July 9, 1778):--

It is always so with an opera. It is so hard to find a good poem; the
old ones, which are the best, are not in the modern style, and the new
ones are good for nothing; for poetry, which was the only thing the
French had to be proud of, gets worse every day, and the poetry of the
opera is just the part that must be good, for they do not understand the
music. There are only two operas _in aria_ which I could write--one
in two acts, the other in three. The one in two acts is "Alexander and
Roxane," but the poet who is writing it is still in the country. That
in three acts is "Demofoonte" (by Metastasio), translated and mixed with
choruses and dances, and specially arranged for the French theatre» and
this I have not yet been able to see.

The father saw through it all more plainly, and cautioned Wolfgang,
if he wanted to succeed with an opera in Paris, to make himself known
beforehand (August 27, 1778):--

You must make a name for yourself. When did Gluck, when did Piccinni,
when did all these people come forward? Gluck is not less than sixty,
and it is twenty-six or twenty-seven years since he was first spoken of;
and can you really imagine that the French public, or even the manager
of the theatre, can be convinced of your powers of composition without
having heard anything by you in their lives, or knowing you, except in
your childhood as an excellent clavier-player and precocious genius?
You must exert yourself, and make yourself known as a composer in every
branch; make opportunities, and be indefatigable in making friends and
in urging them on; wake them up when their energies slacken, and do not
take for granted that they have done all they say they have. I should
have written long ago to M. de Noverre if I had known his title and

But this way of pushing his talents was completely foreign to Wolfgang's
nature; and so it followed, in the natural course of things, that after
a delay of months Noverre declared that he might be able to help him to
a libretto, but could not insure the opera being performed when it was

One success, however, was to be granted him in Paris. He had naturally
ceased to visit Le Gros since the latter



had so ruthlessly rejected his Sinfonie Concertante, but had been every
day with Raaff, who lived in the same house. He had chanced to meet Le
Gros there, who made the politest apologies, and begged him again to
write a symphony for the Concert Spirituel. How could Mozart resist such
a petition? On June 12 he took the symphony which he had just finished
to Count Sickingen, where Raaff was. He continues:--

They were both highly pleased. I myself am quite satisfied with it.
Whether it will please generally I do not know; and, truth to say, I
care very little; for whom have I to please? The _very few_ intelligent
Frenchmen that there are I can answer for; as for the stupid ones, it
does not signify much whether they are pleased or not. But I am in hopes
that even the donkeys will find something to admire. I have not omitted
the _premier coup d'archet!_--and that is enough for them. What a fuss
they make about that, to be sure! _Was Teufel!_ I see no difference.
They just begin together, as they do elsewhere. It is quite

The symphony pleased unusually, however, as he tells his father (July 3,

It was performed on Corpus Christi day with all applause. I hear that
a notice of it has appeared in the "Courrier de l'Europe." I was very
unhappy over the rehearsal, for I never heard anything worse in my life;
you cannot imagine how they scraped and scrambled over the symphony
twice. I was really unhappy; I should like to have rehearsed it again,
but there are so many things, that there was no time. So I went to bed
with a heavy heart and a discontented and angry spirit. The day before,
I decided not to go to the concert; but it was a fine evening, and I
determined at last to go, but with the intention, if it went as ill as
at the rehearsal, of going into the orchestra, taking the violin out of
the hands of M. La Houssaye, and conducting myself. I prayed for God's
grace that it might go well, for it is all to His honour and glory; and,
_ecce!_ the symphony began. Raaff stood close to me, and

{PARIS, 1778.}


in the middle of the first allegro was a passage that I knew was sure to
please; the whole audience was struck, and there was great applause.

I knew when I was writing it that it would make an effect, so I brought
it in again at the end, _da capo_. The andante pleased also, but
especially the last allegro. I had heard that all the last allegros
here, like the first, begin with all the instruments together, and
generally in unison; so I began with the violins alone _piano_ for eight
bars, followed at once by a _forte_. The audience (as I had anticipated)
cried "Hush!" at the _piano_ but directly the _forte_ began they took to
clapping. As soon as the symphony was over I went into the Palais-Royal,
took an ice, told my beads as I had vowed, and went home.

So brilliant a success was not wanting in more lasting results: "M. Le
Qros has taken a tremendous fancy to me," he writes (July 9, 1778); and
he was commissioned to write a French oratorio for performance at the
Concert Spirituel during the following Lent:--

My symphony was unanimously applauded; and Le Gros is so pleased with
it that he calls it his best symphony.[18] Only the andante does not hit
his taste; he says there are too many changes of key in it, and it is
too long; but the real truth is that the audience forgot to clap their
hands so loud as for the first and last movements; the andante is more
admired than any other part by myself, and by all connoisseurs, as well
as by the majority of the audience; it is just the contrary of what Le
Gros says, being unaffected and short. But for his satisfaction (and
that of others, according to him) I have written another. Either is good
of its kind, for they differ greatly; perhaps, on the whole, I prefer
the second one.

The symphony (297 K.), well known, by the name of the French or Parisian
Symphony, was repeated with the new andante on August 15. It consists of
three movements in the customary form, except that none of the parts
are repeated entire, although they are perfectly distinct. This was
a concession to the Parisian taste. Wolfgang writes to his father
(September 11, 1778) that his earlier symphonies would not please there:
"We in Germany have a taste for lengthy performances, but in point of
fact, it is better to be short and



good," The first and last movements are unusually animated and restless,
with an almost unbroken rapidity of movement; and the different subjects
offer no contrasts as to character, being all in the same light,
restless style. Thematic elaboration is only hinted at, except in the
well worked-out middle movement of the finale. Melodies are scattered
through the whole in great abundance, often connected with each other in
a highly original and attractive manner. Suspense is kept up by strong
contrasts of forte and piano, by sudden breaks and imperceptible
modulations, and by striking harmonic effects. The general impression
given by both movements is animated and brilliant, but they are more
calculated to stir the intellect than to awaken the deeper emotions, and
are therefore well suited to a Parisian audience. The same is the
case with the tender and beautiful andante, which only now and then,
surreptitiously as it were, betrays the existence of deep feeling. There
are, as has been seen, two versions of the andante, both still existing
in Mozart's handwriting--the second considerably shorter than the first.
The leading part is minutely given throughout the score of the whole
piece (which is marked andantino), besides a fixed subject being
indicated for the bass, and in some places for the other instruments.
After thus laying down, as it were, the ground plan, he proceeded to
details, making few alterations beyond some slight abbreviations. When,
in working out the movement, he came to a passage which seemed to him
tedious or superfluous, he struck it out, and went on with the next.
This has been the case with several unimportant passages, and with one
longer one, a transition to the theme by means of an imitative passage
(after page 36, bar 6, of the score); soon after, too, a middle passage
with flute and oboe solos is cut out. After thus elaborating the
movement, he hastily copied it all, as it is now printed.[19] The later
andante is printed in a Parisian edition of the symphony;[20] it is far
less important than the first, and was

{PARIS, 1778.}


rightly rejected by Mozart. It is worthy of remark that the violoncello
is employed as a leading instrument.

The orchestral workmanship shows that Mozart had not listened to the
Mannheim band in vain; the different instruments form a well-ordered
whole, in which each has its individual significance. It is only
necessary to examine the thematic arrangement in the last movement
(score, page 54) to perceive how skilfully the effect of varied
tone-colouring is taken into account, while at the same time, by
means of contrapuntal treatment, due prominence is given to the purely
melodious element. It may well be imagined that Mozart would not let
slip the opportunity of trying the splendid effect of a symphony with
flutes, oboes, and clarinets (Vol. I., p. 385). But the clarinets are
sparely used as a foreign importation, and, together with the trumpets
and drums, are altogether omitted from the andante. Large demands are
made on the executive delicacy of the orchestra, and in many places the
whole effect depends on a well-managed _crescendo_, as it had never done
in previous works; in fact, it is not too much to say that many of the
subjects would not have been conceived as they are, without the prospect
of their performance by a well-organised orchestra.

During this interval Mozart also completed the clavier sonatas, with
violin accompaniment, which he had begun at Mannheim (301-306 K.), the
fourth bearing the inscription "ä Paris," and busied himself to find a
publisher for them who would pay him well.[21] He found leisure, also,
to compose a capriccio for his sister's birthday.

Thus we see Mozart, disliking Paris and the Parisians, deriving little
practical gain from all his exertions, and yet striving in his own way
to attain the position which was his due, when an event occurred which
plunged himself and his family into the deepest grief. Paris had never
agreed with the Frau Mozart. Their lodging in the "Hötel des quatre fils
d'Aymon," in the Rue du Gros-Chenet--a musical quarter



--was bad, as well as the living, and she sat all day "as if under
arrest," Wolfgang's affairs necessitating his almost constant absence.
She was ill for three weeks in May, and intended, on her recovery, to
seek out better lodgings, and manage the housekeeping herself. But
in June she fell ill again; she was bled, and wrote afterwards to her
husband (June 12, 1778) that she was very weak, and had pains in her arm
and her eyes, but that on the whole she was better. But the improvement
was only apparent, and her illness took a serious turn; the physician
whom Grimm sent in gave up hope, and after a fortnight of the deepest
anxiety, which Wolfgang passed at his mother's bedside, she gently
passed away on July 3. His only support at this trying time was a
musician named Heina, who had known his father in former days, and had
often, with his wife, visited Frau Mozart in her solitude. Wolfgang's
first thought was to break the news gently to his father, who was ill
prepared for so crushing a blow. He wrote to him at once, saying that
his mother was ill, and that her condition excited alarm; at the same
time he acquainted their true friend Bullinger with the whole truth,
and begged him to break the dreadful news to his father as gently as
possible. In a few days, when he knew that this had been done, he wrote
again himself in detail, offering all the consolation he could, and
strove to turn his father's thoughts from the sad subject to the
consideration of his own prospects. This letter[22] affords a fresh
example of the deep and tender love which bound parents and children
together, and of Wolfgang's own sentiments and turn of mind. The
consolations he offers, and the form in which he expresses them, are
those of one who has himself passed through all the sad experiences
of life; but to his father, whose teaching had tended to produce this
effect, his expressions were justified and correct. With a natural and
genuine sorrow for his irreparable loss is combined a manly composure,
which sought not to obtain relief by indulging in sorrow, but to look
forward calmly and steadily to the future and its duties.

{PARIS, 1778.}


As a loving son, he set himself to the filial task of comforting and
supporting his father. After hearing that the latter was aware of his
wife's death, and resigned to God's will, Wolfgang answers (July 31,

Sad as your letter made me, I was beyond measure pleased to find that
you take everything in a right spirit, and that I need not be uneasy
about my dear father and my darling sister. My impulse after reading
your letter was to fall on my knees and thank God for His mercy. I am
well and strong again now, and have only occasional fits of melancholy,
for which the best remedy is writing or receiving letters--that restores
my spirits again at once.

He felt, and with justice, that his father's anxiety on his account
would now be redoubled. In keeping him informed of all his exertions
and successes he satisfied his own longing to confide in his father, and
gave the latter just that kind of interest and occupation of the mind
which would serve to dispel his grief. It is touching to see the pains
he takes to keep his father informed of all that he thinks will interest
him, and how a certain irritability which had occasionally, and under
the circumstances excusably, betrayed itself in his former letters, now
completely disappears before the expression of tender affection: even
the handwriting, which had been blamed as careless and untidy by his
father, becomes neater and better. Trifles such as these are often the
clearest expression of deep and refined feeling.

When the heavy blow fell, Wolfgang was alone, his Mannheim friends
having left Paris; his father might well be apprehensive lest he should
neglect the proper care of himself and his affairs. But Grimm now came
forward; he, or more properly, as Mozart declares, his friend Madame
D'Epinay, offered him an asylum in their house,[23] and a place at their
table, and he willingly agreed, as soon as he was convinced that he
should cause neither appreciable expense nor inconvenience. He soon
found himself obliged occasionally to borrow small sums of Grimm, which
gradually mounted



"piecemeal" to fifteen louis-d'or; Grimm reassures the father by telling
him that repayment may be indefinitely postponed. But Wolfgang soon
found the way of life in Grimm's household not at all to his mind, and
wrote of it as "stupid and dull." And, indeed, a greater contrast cannot
well be imagined than when, from the house whence issued with scrupulous
devotion bulletins of Voltaire's health, contradictory reports of his
religious condition, and finally the announcement of his death (May 30,
1778), Wolfgang should write to his father (July 3, 1778): "I will tell
you a piece of news, which perhaps you know already; that godless
fellow and arch-scoundrel Voltaire is dead, like a dog, like a brute
beast--that is his reward!" The condescending patronage with which he
was treated soon became intolerable to him, and he complains of Grimm's
way of furthering his interests in Paris as better fitted to a child
than a grown man. We can well imagine that Grimm, like Mozart's own
father, desired that he should make acquaintances, should gain access to
distinguished families as a teacher and clavier-player, and should
seek to win the favour of the fashion-leading part of the community; no
doubt, too, Grimm felt it his duty to remonstrate openly with Wolfgang
for what he considered his indolence and indifference. It is impossible
to deny the good sense and proper appreciation of the position of all
Grimm's remarks, but they were resented by Mozart on account of the tone
of superiority with which they were enforced. Grimm was indeed openly
opposed to Mozart, and told him frankly that he would never succeed in
Paris--he was not active, and did not go about enough; and he wrote the
same thing to Wolfgang's father.[24]

{PARIS, 1778.}


It soon became apparent that Grimm was not really of opinion that
Mozart's talents were of such an order as to offer him a career in
Paris; he said that he could not believe that Wolfgang would be able to
write a French opera likely to succeed, and referred him for instruction
to the Italians. "He is always wanting me," writes Mozart (September 11,
1778), "to follow Piccinni or Caribaldi (Vol. I., p. 77), in fact, he
belongs to the foreign party--he is false--and tries to put me down in
every way." He longed above all things to write an opera to show Grimm
"that I can do as much as his dear Piccinni, although I am only a
German." Grimm's character was not a simple one;[25] he had both won and
kept for himself under adverse circumstances an influential position,
which was no easy matter in Paris at any time. Queer stories were told
of him,[26] and his love of truth was not implicitly relied on.[27]
Rousseau describes him as perfidious and egotistical. Madame D'Epinay,
on the other hand, extols him as a disinterested friend, and others
speak of his benevolence and ready sympathy.[28] There is, at any
rate, no reason to suspect that he meant otherwise than well by Mozart,
although he did not appreciate his genius, and interested himself more
for the father's sake than the son's. He had striven for years to
assert the supremacy of Italian music, and his ideal was Italian opera
performed in Paris by Italian singers in the Italian language. When De
Vismes, who was anxious to propitiate all parties, engaged a company of



singers,[29] Grimm hailed the auspicious day on which Caribaldi,
Baglioni, and Chiavacci appeared in Piccinni's "Finte Gemelle" (June
n, 1778).[30] It is therefore quite conceivable that he renounced all
interest in Mozart's artistic future as soon as he was convinced of his
falling off from purely Italian notions, and it is interesting to us to
have so clear an indication that even thus early in his career Mozart
had set himself in opposition to the Italian school. He had long since
learnt all that it had to teach, and he fully recognised the fact that
it was his mission to carry on the reform set on foot by Gluck and
Grétry, at the same time retaining all that was valuable in the Italian

A confirmation of this is found in a later expression of opinion made
by Mozart to Joseph Frank, who found him engaged in the study of French
scores, and asked him if it would not be better to devote himself to
Italian compositions; whereupon Mozart answered: "As far as melody is
concerned, yes; but as far as dramatic effect is concerned, no; besides,
the scores which you see here are by Gluck, Piccinni, Salieri, as well
as Grétry, and have nothing French but the words."[31] This view
was confirmed by his stay in Paris, a stay quite as fruitful for his
artistic development as that at Mannheim had been. Grimm's accounts show
that Mozart had opportunities for hearing the operas of numerous French
composers. Besides Gluck's "Armide" which was still new, "Orpheus,"
"Alceste," and "Iphigenia in Aulis," which had been revived, Piccinni's
"Roland," Grètry's "Matroco," "Les Trois Ages de l'Opéra," and "Le
Jugement de Midas" were given, as well as Philidor's "Ernelinde,"
Dezaide's "Zulima," Gossec's "Fête du Village," Rousseau's "Devin
du Village." Added to these were Piccinni's Italian opera "Le Finte
Gemelle," and doubtless many others of which we know nothing. It may
well excite wonder that Mozart's letters to his father describe

{PARIS, 1778.}


none of the new artistic impressions which he must have received in
Paris. But, apart from the fact that personal affairs naturally held
the first place in his home correspondence, it must be remembered that
abstract reflections on art and its relation to individual artists were
not at that time the fashion, and were besides quite foreign to Mozart's
nature. His aesthetic remarks and judgments whether they treated of
technical questions or of executive effects, are mostly founded on
concrete phenomena. The practical directness of his productive power,
set in motion by every impulse of his artistic nature, prevented his
fathoming the latest psychical conditions of artistic activity, or
tracing the delicate threads which connect the inner consciousness
of the artist with his external impressions, or analysing the secret
processes of the soul which precede the production of a work of art. He
does not seem any more actively conscious of the effect wrought upon
him by the works of others. Some men's impressions of a great work are
involuntary, and they seek later to comprehend the grounds of their
enjoyment; others strive consciously to grasp the idea of the work and
to incorporate it into their being; but to the man of creative genius
alone is it given to preserve his own totality while absorbing all that
is good in the works of other artists.

Without ever losing his own individuality, an artist of true genius
absorbs impressions from nature and from other works of art than his
own, and constructs them anew from his inner consciousness. He accepts
and assimilates whatever is calculated to nourish his formative power,
and rejects with intuitive right judgment all that is foreign to his
nature. Just as in the production of a true work of art invention and
labour, inspiration and execution, willing and doing, are inseparably
interwoven, so in the consideration by a genius of the works of other
men and other ages, delighted appreciation is combined with criticism,
ready apprehension collects materials for original work in its truest
sense; it is a natural process, which perfects itself in the mind of the
artist without any conscious action on his part.

Therefore the judgment that one artist pronounces on



another is not always in perfect accord with the influence which has
been brought to bear on himself by that other. The deeper the influence
penetrates into the roots of an artist's inner being, the more will it
become part and parcel of his productive powers, and the consciousness
of any outside influence will be rapidly lost. It remains for future
historical inquirers to ascertain and define the influence of the
intellectual current of the age on the individual, and the mutual action
on each other of exceptional phenomena.

Small as the visible results of Mozart's stay in Paris might be, and far
as he remained from the object with which he had undertaken the journey,
it yet enabled him, with great gain to his progress as an artist, to
free himself from the Italian school, after such a thorough study of
its principles as convinced him of the value of the element of dramatic
construction which lay concealed in it. It may indeed be considered as a
fortunate circumstance that no sooner had this conviction taken root in
him than he turned his back on party disputes and left the place
which was of all others the least fitted to encourage the quiet steady
progress of genius.

L. Mozart had other and very different reasons for wishing to shorten
Wolfgang's stay in Paris as much as he had hitherto desired to prolong
it. With his wife's death he had lost the assurance that Wolfgang's life
in Paris would be of no detriment to his moral nature. Indulgent as she
had been to her son, in this respect her influence was unbounded; and
now it might be feared that Wolfgang's easy-going nature would lead him
into bad company. Grimm's account convinced him that Wolfgang had
no prospects of success in Paris, the less so as he took no pains to
conceal his dislike of the place. His dearest wish at this time was to
be appointed Kapellmeister to the Elector of Bavaria; he hoped thus
to be able to improve the position of the Weber family, and to claim
Aloysia as his own. The project was not disapproved of by his father
(who, however, was told nothing of the last item); on the contrary, he
wrote to Padre Martini describing the state of affairs, and earnestly

{PARIS, 1778.}


requesting him directly and through Raaff to gain the Elector for
Wolfgang; this the Padre readily undertook. As for Raaff, his friendship
for Mozart and the interest which he took in Aloysia Weber were
incentives enough for exertion, and Mozart had other influential friends
among the musicians, besides being able to count on the support of Count

In Munich especially, where there was no German operatic composer of
merit--Holzbauer being too old to have much influence--the need of a
kapellmeister and composer was strongly felt; but the circumstances
were very unfavourable. After it had been finally decided that the court
should be removed from Mannheim to Munich, and all had been prepared
for the move, threatenings of war threw everything into confusion
again. Wolfgang felt this a heavy blow to the interests of the Webers,
concerning whom he writes to his father (July 31, 1778):--

The day before yesterday my dear friend Weber wrote to me, among other
things, that the day after the Elector's arrival it was announced that
he intended to take up his residence at Munich. This news came like a
thunderbolt to Mannheim, and the joy which had been testified by the
illuminations of the day before was suddenly extinguished (p. 404). The
court musicians were all informed that they were at liberty to follow
the court to Munich, or to remain in Mannheim with their present salary;
each one was to send in his written and sealed decision to the Intendant
within fourteen days. Weber, whose miserable circumstances you know,
wrote as follows: "My decayed circumstances put it out of my power to
follow my gracious master to Munich, however earnestly I may wish to do
so." Before this happened there was a grand concert at court, and poor
Mdlle. Weber felt her enemies' malice; she was not invited to sing--no
one knows why. Immediately afterwards was a concert at Herr von
Gemmingen's, and Count Seeau was present. She sang two of my songs, and
was fortunate enough to please, in spite of the wretched foreigners (the
Munich singers). She is much injured by these infamous slanderers, who
say that her singing is deteriorating. But Cannabich, when the songs
were over, said to her, "Mademoiselle, I hope that you will go on
deteriorating after this fashion! I will write to Herr Mozart to-morrow,
and acquaint him with your success." As the matter now stands, if war
had not broken out, the court would have removed to Munich; Count Seeau,
who positively _will have Mdlle. Weber_, had arranged everything so
as to take her, and there was hope that the circumstances of the whole
family would improve in



consequence. But now the Munich journey is no more talked of, and
the unfortunate Webers may have to wait here long enough, their debts
growing heavier day by day. If I could only help them! My dear father,
I recommend them to you with my whole heart. If they had only 1,000
florins a year to depend upon!

Thereupon his father reminds him that his anxiety about the Webers is
unbecoming, as long as he does not bestow the same care on himself and
his own family (August 27, 1778). Besides there was no prospect for him
in Munich at present, and his father therefore wished him to remain in
Paris, at all events until the matter was decided.[32]

In the midst of this uncertainty a favourable prospect opened in
Salzburg itself. Since Adlgasser's death it had become more and more
evident at court that Wolfgang's recall would be of all things most
advantageous; it was signified to L. Mozart through Bullinger that,
as he doubtless wished to retain his son near him, the court would be
prepared to give him a monthly salary of fifty florins as organist and
concertmeister, and he might look forward with certainty to being made
kapellmeister; but the Archbishop could not make the first advances.
Bullinger duly performed his mission, but L. Mozart, who well knew the
perplexity the Archbishop was in, required that the proposition should
be made direct to him. So, therefore, it was obliged to be; and the
diplomatic skill, "worthy of a Ulysses" as Wolfgang says, with which L.
Mozart contrived to hold his ground and to avail himself of his strong
position in an interview with the canon, Count Joseph Stahremberg, is
minutely described by himself (June 29, 1778):--

When I arrived no one was there but his brother the major, who is
staying with him to recover from the fright into which he has been
thrown by Prussian powder and shot. He told me that an organist had been
recommended to him, but he would not accept him without being sure that
he was good. He wished to know if I was acquainted with him--Mandl,
or some such name, he did not remember what. "Oh, you stupid fellow!"
thought I; "is it likely that an order or a request should be received
from Vienna with reference to a candidate whose

{PARIS, 1778.}


name is not even mentioned." As if I could not guess that all this was
by way of inducing me to mention my son! But not I! no, not a syllable.
I said I had not the honour of knowing any such person, and that I would
never venture to recommend any one to our prince, since it would be
difficult to find any one who would altogether suit him. "Yes," said
he, "I cannot recommend him any one; it is far too difficult! Your son
should be here now!" "Bravo! the bait has taken," thought I; "what a
pity that this man is not a minister of state or an ambassador!" Then
I said, "We will speak plainly. Is it not the case that all possible
measures were taken to drive my son out of Salzburg?" I began at the
beginning and enumerated every past circumstance, so that his brother
was quite astonished, but he himself could not deny the truth of a
single point, and at length told his brother that young Mozart had been
the wonder of all who came to Salzburg. He wanted to persuade me to
write to my son; but I said that I would not do so--it would be labour
in vain, for that unless I could tell him what income he might expect,
my son would laugh at the proposition; Adlgasser's salary would be
totally insufficient. Indeed, even if his Grace the Archbishop were to
offer him fifty florins a-month, it would be doubtful whether he would
accept it. We all three left the house together, for they were going to
the riding-school, and I accompanied them. We spoke on the subject all
the way, and I held to what I had said; he held to my son as the only
candidate for him. The fact is, that the Archbishop can hear of no other
good organist who is also a good clavier-player; he says now (but only
to his favourites) that Beecké was a charlatan and a buffoon, and that
Mozart excels all others; he would rather have him whom he knows than
some one else highly paid whom he does not know. He cannot promise any
one (as he would have to do if he gave a smaller salary) an income by
pupils, since there are but few, and those are mine, I having the name
of giving as good lessons as any man. Here then is the affair in full
swing. I do not write, my dear Wolfgang, with the intention of inducing
you to return to Salzburg, for I place no reliance on the words of the
Archbishop, and I have not yet spoken to his sister the Countess;[33]
I rather avoided the opportunity of meeting her; for she would take
the least word as consent and petition. They must come to me, and if
anything is to be done, I must have a clear and advantageous proposal
made, which can hardly be expected. We must wait, and hold fast to our

Wolfgang, who disliked Salzburg more even than Paris, at first took
no notice of all this. But the death of the old kapellmeister Lolli,
coinciding with that of his mother, brought



matters in Salzburg to a crisis, and under the circumstances L. Mozart
was more than ever convinced that Wolfgang should have a good position
there. Good old Bullinger was again employed as a mediator to reconcile
Wolfgang to the idea. He wrote to his young friend that he would be
wronging his family by refusing so advantageous a position as that now
offered to him, and that life might be endurable even in so small a
place as Salzburg. He mentioned casually that the Archbishop intended
engaging a new singer, and hints that his choice might be turned towards
Aloysia Weber. Thereupon Wolfgang wrote candidly to Bullinger (August 7,

You know how hateful Salzburg is to me!--not alone on account of the
unjust treatment received there by both my father and myself--though
that in itself is enough to make one wish to wipe the place clean out of
one's memory. But even supposing that things turned out so that we could
live _well_--living _well_ and living _happily_ are two things, and the
latter I should never be able to do without the aid of magic--it
would be against the natural order of things! It would be the greatest
pleasure to me to embrace my dear father and sister, and the sooner the
better; but I cannot deny that my joy would be doubled if the reunion
took place anywhere but in Salzburg. I should have far more hope of
living happily and contentedly.

He goes on to explain that it is not because Salzburg is small that he
dreads returning to it, but because it offers no field for his talent,
music being but little esteemed there; he remarks with bitter satire how
the Archbishop pretends to seek with much parade for a kapellmeister and
a prima donna, and in reality does nothing.

Soon after his father gives him further information as to the position
of affairs (August 27, 1778):--

I have written to you already that your recall here is desired, and they
beat about the bush with me for a long time without getting me to commit
myself; until at last, after Lolli's death, I was obliged to tell the
Countess that I had addressed a petition to the Archbishop, which,
however, simply appealed to his favour by drawing attention to my long
and uncomplaining services. The conversation then turned upon you, and
I expressed myself as frankly upon all necessary points as I had
previously done to Count Stahremberg. At last she asked me whether
you would come if the Archbishop were to give me Lolli's post, and you
Adlgasser's, which, as I had already calculated, would bring us in

{PARIS, 1778.}


together one thousand florins a year; I could do nothing else but answer
that I had no doubt that if this happened you would consent for love
of me, especially as the Countess declared that there was not the least
doubt that the Archbishop would allow you to travel in Italy every
second year, since he himself had said how important it was to hear
something new from time to time, and that he would furnish you with
good letters of introduction. If this were to happen, we might reckon
securely on one hundred and fifteen florins a month; and, as things now
are, on more than one hundred and twenty florins. We should be better
off than in any other place where living is twice as dear, and, not
having to look so closely after money, we should be able to think more
of amusement. But I am far from thinking the affair a certainty, for I
know how hard such a decision will be to the Archbishop. You have the
entire goodwill and sympathy of the Countess, that is certain; and it
is equally certain that old Arco, Count Stahremberg, and the Bishop of
Konigsgratz, are all anxious to bring the matter to a conclusion.

But there are reasons, as is always the case; and, as I have always told
you, the Countess and old Arco are afraid of my leaving also. They have
no one to succeed me as a clavier-teacher: I have the name of teaching
well--and, indeed, the proofs are there. They know of no one; and,
should a teacher come from Vienna, is it likely that he would give
lessons for four florins or a ducat the dozen, when anywhere else he
would have two or three ducats? This sets them all in perplexity.
But, as I have said before, I do not reckon on it, because I know the
Archbishop. It may be true that he sincerely wishes to secure you; but
he cannot make up his mind, especially when it concerns _giving_.

Probably Wolfgang counted on this fact, and refrained on that account
from treating the matter seriously. Just at this time his discomfort
in Paris was lightened by a pleasant event. His old London friend Bach,
(Vol. I., p. 39), had been invited to write an opera ("Amadis") for
Paris. "The French are asses, and always will be," remarks Wolfgang
thereupon (July 9, 1778); "they can do nothing themselves, but are
obliged to have recourse to foreigners. Bach came to Paris to make the
necessary arrangements, and Wolfgang wrote (August 27, 1778):--

Herr Bach has been in Paris for the last fortnight. He is going to write
a French opera. He has come to hear the singers; then he goes back to
London, writes the opera, and returns to put it on the stage.[34] You
may imagine his joy and mine at our meeting. Perhaps mine is



more sincere, but it must be acknowledged that he is an honest man, and
does people justice. I love him, as you know, from my heart, and have
a high esteem for him. As for him, he does not flatter or exaggerate
as some do, but both to myself and others he praises me seriously and

Bach had introduced Wolfgang to the Marshal de Noailles,[35] and the
latter had invited them both, as well as Bach's "bosom friend" Tenducci
(Vol. I., p. 41), to St. Germain. There they spent some pleasant days
together, and it need hardly be said that Mozart composed a scena for
Tenducci, with pianoforte, oboe, horn, and bassoon accompaniment, the
instruments being taken by dependents of the Marshal, chiefly Germans,
who played well.[36]

Meanwhile the time for decision drew near. The Salzburg authorities had
made a definite proposal to L. Mozart, as he had wished, and he wrote to
his son in a way which hardly left him a choice (August 31, 1778):--

You do not like Paris, and I scarcely think you are wrong. My heart and
mind have been troubled for you until now, and I have been obliged to
play a very ticklish part, concealing my anxiety under the semblance of
light-heartedness, in order to give the impression that you were in the
best of circumstances and had money in abundance, although I well knew
to the contrary. I was very doubtful of gaining my point because, as you
know, the step we took and your hasty resignation left us little to hope
from our haughty Archbishop. But my clever management has carried me
through, and the Archbishop has agreed to all my terms, both for you and
myself. You are to have five hundred florins, and he expressed regret at
not being able to make you kapellmeister at once. You are to be allowed
to act as my deputy when the work is beyond me, or I am unfit to do it.
He said he had always intended to give you a better post, &c.; in fact,
to my amazement, he made the politest apologies. More than that! he
has given five florins additional to Paris,[37] so that he may take the
heaviest duties, and enable you to act as concertmeister again. So that

{PARIS, 1778.}


we shall get altogether, as I told you before, an income of one thousand
florins. Now I should like to know whether you think my head is worth
anything, and whether or not I have done my best for you. I have thought
of everything. The Archbishop has declared himself prepared to let you
travel where you will, if you want to write an opera. He apologised for
his refusal last year by saying that he could not bear his subjects to
go about begging. Now Salzburg is a middle point between Munich, Vienna,
and Italy. It will be easier to get a commission for an opera in Munich
than to get an official post, for German composers are scarce. The
Elector's death has put a stop to all appointments, and war is breaking
out again. The Duke of

Zweibrücken[38] is no great lover of music. But I would rather you did
not leave Paris until I have the signed agreement in my hand. The Prince
and the whole court are wonderfully taken with Mdlle. Weber, and are
absolutely determined to hear her. She must stay with us. Her father
seems to me to have no head. I will manage the affair for them if they
choose to follow my advice. You must speak the word for her here, for
there is another singer wanted for operatic performances.

He was now so sure of the affair that he concluded his letter with the
words, "My next letter will tell you when to set off."

L. Mozart was not mistaken in his son; however great the sacrifice it
entailed upon him, he prepared to yield to the will of his father. "When
I read your letter," he answered (September 11, 1778), "I trembled with
joy, for I felt myself already in your embrace. It is true, as you will
acknowledge, that it is not much of a prospect for me; but when I look
forward to seeing you, and embracing my dearest sister, I think of no
other prospect." He did not conceal from his father his repugnance to
the idea of a residence at Salzburg, on account of the want of congenial
society, the unmusical tone of the place, and the little confidence
placed by the Archbishop in sensible and cultivated people. His
consolation was the permission to travel, without which he would
hardly have made up his mind to come. "A man of mediocre talent remains
mediocre whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent (which
I cannot without hypocrisy deny myself to be) becomes bad if he always
remains in the same place." The possibility that Aloysia Weber might
come to Salzburg



filled him with joy; for, indeed, if the Archbishop really wanted a
prima donna, he could not have a better one. He is already troubled by
the thought "that if people come from Salzburg for the Carnival, and
'Rosamund' is played, poor Mdlle. Weber will perhaps not please, or
at least will not be judged of as she deserves, for she has a wretched
part--almost a _persona muta_--to sing a few bars between the choruses"
(Vol. I., p. 403). "When I am in Salzburg," he continues, "I shall
certainly not fail to intercede with all zeal for my dear friend; and in
the meantime I earnestly hope you will do your best for her--you cannot
give your son any greater pleasure." He begs for permission to take
Mannheim on his way home, in order to visit the Webers.

L. Mozart, knowing how deep and well-founded an antipathy Wolfgang had
for Salzburg, sought to convince him that he would find himself in a
much better position there now than formerly. "Our assured income," he
wrote (September 3, 1778), "is what I have written to you, and your mode
of life will not come in the way of your studies and any other work.
You are not to play the violin at court, but you have full power of
direction at the clavier." This was an important point to Wolfgang, and
his father recurs to it again (September 24, 1778):--

Formerly you were really nothing but a violinist, and that only as
concertmeister; now you are concertmeister and court organist, and your
chief duty is to accompany at the clavier. You will not think it any
disgrace to play the violin as an _amateur_ in the first symphony, since
you will do it in company with the Archbishop himself, and all the
court nobility. Herr Haydn is a man whose musical merit you will readily
acknowledge--should you stigmatise him as a "court fiddler" because,
in his capacity as concertmeister, he plays the viola in the smaller
concerts? It is all by way of amusement; and I would lay a wager that,
rather than hear your compositions bungled, you would set to yourself
with a will."

He consoles him also by reminding him that the concerts at court are
short, from seven o'clock to a quarter past eight, and that seldom
more than four pieces are performed--a symphony, an aria, a symphony or
concerto, and another aria (September 17, 1778). Since the

{PARIS, 1778.}


payment of their debts did not press, they could pay off annually a
few hundred gulden, and live easily and comfortably. "You will find
amusement enough here; for when one has not to look at every kreutzer,
it makes many things possible. We can go to all the balls at the
Town-Hall during the Carnival. The Munich theatrical company are to
come at the end of September, and to remain here the whole winter with
comedies and operettas. Then there is our quoit-playing every Sunday,
and if we choose to go into society it will come to us; everything is
altered when one has a better income." But the father knew that the
point on which Wolfgang would be most open to persuasion was not the
prospect of Salzburg gaieties, but that of a union with his beloved
Mdlle. Weber; and he goes on to speak on this subject too. Not only does
he say, "You will soon be asked about Mdlle. Weber when you are here;
I have praised her continually, and I will do all I can to gain her a
hearing," but he continues: "As to Mdlle. Weber, you must not imagine
that I disapprove of the acquaintance. All young people must make fools
of themselves. You are welcome to continue your correspondence without
interference from me. Nay, more! I will give you a piece of advice.
Every one knows you here. You had better address your letters to Mdlle.
Weber under cover to some one else, and receive them in the same way,
unless you think my prudence a sufficient safeguard."

The paternal permission to make a fool of himself was calculated to hurt
the lover's tenderest feelings, and he does not disguise that this is
the case in narrating a proof of the genuine attachment of the Webers
for him. "The poor things," he writes (October 15, 1778), "were all in
great anxiety on my account. They thought I was dead, not having heard
from me for a whole month, owing to the loss of a letter; they were
confirmed in their opinion because of a report in Mannheim that my dear
mother had died of an infectious illness. They all prayed for my soul,
and the dear girl went every day to the church of the Capucins. You will
laugh, no doubt? but not I; it touches me; I cannot help it." About the
same time he received the news



that Aloysia had obtained an operatic engagement at Munich with a good
salary,[39] and he expresses the mingled feelings with which he heard it
simply and truly:--

I am as pleased at Mdlle. Weber's, or rather at my dear Aloysia's
appointment as any one who has taken such a warm interest in her affairs
was sure to be; but I can no longer expect the fulfilment of my earnest
wish that she should settle in Salzburg, for the Archbishop would never
give her what she is to have in Munich. All I can hope for is that she
will sometimes come to Salzburg to sing in operas.

This turn in affairs must have strengthened Mozart's secret wish
to obtain an appointment under the Elector of Bavaria, and his
determination to do all he could towards this end on his journey through
Mannheim and Munich, and to "turn a cold shoulder" on the Archbishop.
His father had nothing to oppose to such a project except the
uncertainty of its prospects; he sought, therefore, to convince Wolfgang
that his only right course now was to accept the certainty offered to
him, and to keep Munich in view for a future time. He gave him definite
instructions on the point (September 3, 1778):--

Since the Electoral Court is expected in Munich on September 15, you can
speak yourself to your friend Count Seeau, and perhaps to the Elector
himself on your journey through. You can say that your father wishes you
to return to Salzburg, and that the Prince has offered you a salary
of seven or eight hundred florins (add on two or three hundred) as
concertmeister; that you have accepted it from filial duty to your
father, although you know he has always wished to see you in the
electoral service. But, N.B., no more than this! You may want to write
an opera in Munich, and you can do so best from here; it cannot fail
to be so, for German operatic composers are very scarce. Schweitzer and
Holzbauer will not write every year; and should Michl write one, he
will soon be out-Michled. Should there be those who throw doubts and
difficulties in the way, you have friends in the profession who will
stand up for you; and this court will also bring out something during
the year. In short you will be at hand.

It was now quite necessary that Wolfgang should leave Paris; and in
anticipating what he had to expect in Salzburg, he began to feel what he
was leaving in Paris. He

{PARIS, 1778.}


was angry with Grimm, who desired that he should be ready for his
journey in a week, which was impossible, since he had still claims on
the Duc de Guines and on Le Gros, and must wait to correct the proofs of
his sonatas, and to sell the compositions he had with him.[40] He had
no small desire to write six more trios, for which he might expect good
payment. Grimm's evident wish that he should go, and his offer to
pay the journey to Strasburg (which seemed to the father a proof of
friendship) was considered by Wolfgang as distrust and insincerity.
Grimm no doubt wished to be relieved of the responsibility he had
undertaken as soon as possible, and may have offended his _protégé_
by too open an expression of his desire; but there is no doubt that he
acted according to the mind of the father, and in the sincere opinion
that the unpractical and vacillating young man required decided
treatment. But Wolfgang was so firmly convinced that his departure from
Paris was premature, that he wrote to his father from Strasburg (October
15, 1778), that it was the greatest folly in the world to go to Salzburg
now, and only his love to his father had induced him to set aside the
representations of his friends. He had been praised for this, but with
the remark that--

If my father had known my present good circumstances and prospects, and
had not believed the reports of certain false friends, he would not have
written to me in a way that I could not withstand. And I think myself
that if I had not been so annoyed in the house where I was staying,
and if the whole thing had not come upon me like a thunderbolt, so that
there was no time to consider it in cool blood, I should certainly have
begged you to have a little more patience, and to leave me in Paris; I
assure you I should have gained both money and fame, and been able to
extricate you from all your embarrassments. But it

{STRASBURG, 1778.}


is done now. Do not imagine that I repent the step, for only you, my
dear father, only you can sweeten for me the bitterness of Salzburg, and
we shall do it--I know we shall; but I must frankly own that I should
come to Salzburg with a lighter heart if I did not know that I was to be
in the service of the court. The idea is intolerable to me.

In the meantime business was wound up, the mother's property and the
heavy baggage was sent direct to Salzburg; and on September 26 Wolfgang
left Paris, having gained much experience but little satisfaction, as
depressed and out of humour as he had entered it.


[Footnote 1: [Goudard] Le Brigandage de la Musique Italienne (Amsterdam, 1780)
is directed against Italian musicians, but includes in this category "Le
Général Gluck et son Lieutenant-Général Piccinni et tous les autres noms
en _ini_."]

[Footnote 2: Histoire du Théätre de l'Opéra en France, I., p. 164. Fétis, Curios.
Hist, de la Mus., p. 325. Burney gives a detailed account of a "Concert
Spirituel" at which he was present in 1770 (Reise, I., p. n).]

[Footnote 3: Nothing is known of this music, so far as I am aware; Mozart does
not seem to have kept it himself, and therefore did not bring it to

[Footnote 4: This Sinfonie Concertante is lost beyond recovery. Mozart sold it to
Le Gros, and kept no copy; he must have thought he could write it again
from memory; but apparently cared the less to do so as there were no
virtuosi in Salzburg able to perform the symphony.]

[Footnote 5: L. de Lomenie, Beaumarchais, II., p. 89. Dutens, Mém., II., p. 59.
Madame du Deffand, Lettr., III., p. 172, 297.]

[Footnote 6: Madame du Deffand, Lettr., IV., p. 107.]

[Footnote 7: The Dauphin was born on December 11, 1778.]

[Footnote 8: Madame de Genlis, Mém., I., p. 288.]

[Footnote 9: She married M. de Chartus (afterwards Duc de Castries) in the summer
of 1778, with a dowry from the King, and died in childbirth (Madame du
Deffand, Lettr., IV., p. 52).]

[Footnote 10: Jos. Frank narrates in his Reminiscences (Prutz, Deutsch. Mus.,
II., p. 28):]

[Footnote 11: The Duchesse de Chabot, daughter of Lord Stafford, mentioned as an
acquaintance by Grimm and Madame Epinay (Galiani, Corr. inéd., II., p.

[Footnote 12: She was the daughter of the Duke of Orleans, sister to the then
Duc de Chartres, the future Egalité. A short time previously a duel,
of which she was the occasion, between the Duc de Bourbon and the Comte
d'Artois, had made a great stir (Du Deffand, Lettr., IV., p. 28. Grimm,
Corr. Litt., X., p. 1.)]

[Footnote 13: That is on his first visit to Paris. The Duchess entered a convent
in her fifteenth year, and remained there several years (Genlis, Mém.,
III., p. 84).]

[Footnote 14: "Cf. Madame de Genlis, Mém., I., p. 289; II., p. 185.]

[Footnote 15: Grimm, Corr. Litt., IX., p. 174.]

[Footnote 16: Noverre's ballet "Les Petits Riens" was given in June, 1778 (in
Italian by Italian singers), and was praised by Grimm, but without
mention of the music (Corr. Litt., X., p. 53). This composition has also
been irrecoverably lost.]

[Footnote 17: The imposing effect of the simultaneous attack of a fine orchestra
was the occasion of this catchword. Raaff told Mozart of a piquant _bon
mot ä propos_ of the term. He was asked by a Frenchman, at Munich or
some other place: "Monsieur, vous avez été ä Paris?" "Oui." "Est-ce que
vous étiez au Concert Spirituel?" "Oui." "Que dites-vous du premier
coup d'archet? avez-vous entendu le premier coup d'archet?" "Oui, j'ai
entendu le premier et le dernier." "Comment, le dernier? qui veut dire
cela?" "Mais oui, le premier et le dernier, et le dernier même m'a donné
plus de plaisir."]

[Footnote 18: Mozart speaks in a later letter (September 11,1778) of two
symphonies which had been much admired, and of which the last was
performed on September 8. With this agrees his assertion (October 3,
1778) that he had sold to Le Gros two overtures (i.e., symphonies) and
the Sinfonie Concertante. There are no further traces of this symphony.]

[Footnote 19: Mozart has made considerable abbreviations in the first movement
of this symphony, while working oat the score in the manner described

[Footnote 20: Süddeutsche Mus. Ztg., 1857, No. 44, p. 175.]

[Footnote 21: The father writes to Breitkopf (August 10,1781): "The six sonatas
dedicated to the Elector Palatine were published by M. Sieber, in Paris.
He paid my son for them fifteen louis neuf, thirty copies and a free

[Footnote 22: A fac-similé of the letter to Bullinger will be found at the end of
the third volume.]

[Footnote 23: Mémoires et Correspondance de Madame d'Epinay (Paris, 1818). Cf.
Grimm, Corr. Litt., XI.,? 468. Madame de Genlis, Mém., III., p. 99.
Sainte-Beuve, Causeries du Lundi, II., p. 146.]

[Footnote 24: Grimm's letter to L. Mozart, which the latter forwarded to his son
(August 13, 1778), runs as follows: "Il est _zu treuherzig_, peu actif,
trop aisé ä attraper, trop peu occupé des moyens qui peuvent conduire
ä la fortune. Ici, pour percer, il faut être retors, entreprenant,
audacieux. Je lui voudrais pour sa fortune la moitié moins de talent et
le double plus d'entregent, et je n'en serais pas embarrassé. Au reste,
il ne peut tenter ici que deux chemins pour se faire un sort. Le premier
est de donner des leçons de clavecin; mais sans compter qu'on n'a des
écoliers qu'avec beaucoup d'activité et même de charlatanerie, je ne
sais s'il aurait assez de santé pour soutenir ce métier, car c'est
une chose très fatiguante de courir les quatre coins de Paris et de
s'épuiser ä parler pour montres. Et puis ce métier ne lui plaît pas,
parcequ'il l'empêchera d'écrire, ce qu'il aime par-dessus tout. Il
pourrait donc s'y livrer tout ä fait; mais en ce pays ici le gros du
public ne se connaît pas en musique. On donne par conséquent tout aux
noms, et le mérite de l'ouvrage ne peut être jugé que par un très petit
nombre. Le public est dans ce moment si ridiculement partagé entre
Piccinni et Gluck que tous les raisonnements qu'on entend sur la musique
font pitié. Il est donc très difficile pour votre fils pour réuissir
entre ces deux partis. Vous voyez, mon cher maître, que dans un pays où
tant de musiciens médiocres et détestables même ont fait des fortunes
immenses, je crains fort que M. votre fils ne se tire pas seulement

[Footnote 25: Cf. the account 'by Sainte-Beuve, Causeries du Lundi, VII., p. 226;
II., p. 158.]

[Footnote 26: Merck, Briefe, II., p. 282.]

[Footnote 27: Madame de Genlis, Mèm., IV., p. 3.]

[Footnote 28: Jacobs, in Hoffmann's Lebensbilder ber. Humanisten, p. 15.]

[Footnote 29: Grimm, Corr. Litt., X., pp. 37, 112, 162. La Harpe, Corr. Litt.,
II., p. 249.]

[Footnote 30: Grimm, Corr. Litt., X., p. 52.]

[Footnote 31: Prutz, Deutsches Museum, II., p. 28.]

[Footnote 32: Both the father and son, especially the former, follow closely the
course of political and military events, and communicate them to each

[Footnote 33: The Archbishop's sister, Marie Franziska (b. 1746), who had
married Oliver, Count von Wallis, had a residence assigned her in the
archiépiscopal palace, and kept up a sort of regal state.]

[Footnote 34: Grimm, Corr. Litt., X., p. 236.]

[Footnote 35: There were two Marshals of the name, the Duke and the Count de
Noailles: I do not know which of the two is here meant. The first was
the father of the Countess de Tessé, Mozart's early patroness (Vol. I.,
p. 35), and, like her, was interested in literature and art (Lomenie,
Beaumarchais, I., p. 206).]

[Footnote 36: Tenducci must have taken this composition with him to London.
Burney (Barrington's Miscellanies, p. 289) praises it as a masterpiece
of invention and technical execution (Pohl, Mozart und Haydn in London,
p. 121).]

[Footnote 37: Anton Paris was the third court organist in Salzburg.]

[Footnote 38: The heir-apparent, afterwards King Max I.]

[Footnote 39: Aloysia received a salary of 1,000 florins, her father 400 florins,
together with 200 florins as prompter, as Mozart afterwards learnt at

[Footnote 40: He hoped to sell his three pianoforte concertos (238, 246, 271, K.)
to the engraver of his sonatas for ready money, and if possible his six
difficult piano sonatas (279-284 K.). Whether he succeeded or not I do
not know, but they do not seem to have been engraved. His father advised
him to insure his connection with the Parisian publishers for the
future. In a letter to Breitkopf (August xo, 1781), he mentions Trois
airs variés pour le clavecin ou fortepiano, engraved by Heyna, in Paris.
These are the variations on Fischer's Minuet (179 K.); on an air from
Salieri's "Fiera di Venezia," "Mio caro Adone" (180 K.), mentioned in a
letter to his father (December 28,1778); and on "Je suis Lindor," from
Beaumarchais' "Barbier de Seville" (354 K.).]




WOLFGANG'S father expected that he would perform his homeward journey
without any unnecessary delay, and his anxiety became serious when day
after day passed and he received no tidings of his son's approach to

"I confessed and communicated together with your sister," he writes
(October 19, 1778), "and earnestly prayed for your preservation; good
old Bullinger prayed for you daily in the holy mass." The fact was, that
instead of providing Mozart with means to travel by the diligence, which
accomplished the journey to Strasburg in a week, Grimm had satisfied
himself with an ordinary conveyance, which occupied twelve days on the
road. Mozart's patience was tired out in a week, and he halted at Nancy.
Here he met with a German merchant, the best man in the world, who at
once conceived a paternal attachment for him, and wept at the idea of
their parting. With this new friend Wolfgang, determined to travel to
Strasburg as soon as an opportunity of doing so cheaply should occur.
They were obliged to wait a considerable time, and it was the middle of
October before they reached Strasburg:--

Things are not promising here; but the day after to-morrow (Saturday,
October 17) I intend, _quite alone_ (to avoid expense), to give a
subscription concert to certain friends and connoisseurs; if I had
engaged any other instruments it would, with the lighting, have cost me
more than three louis-d'or; and who knows if it will bring in so much?

It was a shrewd guess, for his next letter had to announce three
louis-d'or as the exact sum made by this "little model of a concert":--

But the principal receipts were in "bravos" and "bravissimos," which
resounded from all sides. Prince Max of Zweibrücken, too, honoured
the concert with his presence. I need scarcely say that every one was
pleased. I should have left Strasburg immediately after this, but I was
advised to stay until the following Saturday, and give a grand concert
in the theatre. At this I made the identical same sum, to the amazement
and indignation and shame of all Strasburg. I must say, however, that
my ears ached as much from the applauding and hand-clapping as if the
theatre had been crammed full. Every one present openly and loudly
denounced the conduct of their fellow-townsmen; and I told them all
that if I could have imagined that I should have so small an audience,
I would gladly have given the concert gratis, for the pleasure of seeing
the theatre full. Indeed, I should have preferred it; for nothing can
be more dismal than to lay a table for eighty guests and receive only
three--and then it was so cold! But I soon grew warm; and in order to
show my gentlemen of Strasburg that I was not put out, I played a great
deal for my own entertainment; I gave them a concerto more than I had
promised, and improvised for a long time at the end. Well, it is over
and done with, and at least I have gained the reputation and honour.

Besides the concerts, he played publicly on the two best of Silbermann's
organs in the Neue Kirche and the Thomas Kirche, and the roads being
flooded and his departure for the present impossible, he resolved to
give another concert on his fête-day, October 31. This he did at the
solicitation and for the gratification of his friends Frank, De Beyer,
&c., and the result was--_one_ louis-d'or. No wonder that he was
obliged to raise money in order to continue his journey, a fact which he
remembered years after with indignation.

By the advice of friends who had made the journey he continued his
way by diligence via Mannheim; the better roads and more comfortable
carriage amply compensating for the _détour_. At Mannheim he alighted
on November 6, and was welcomed with acclamations by his friends.
The journey viä Mannheim seemed to Leopold Mozart a most senseless
proceeding on Wolfgang's part; the Weber family and all his best friends
had migrated to Munich, and there was nothing to be gained by the visit.

{MANNHEIM, 1778.}


He stayed with Madame Cannabich, who had not yet left, and who was never
tired of hearing about himself; all his acquaintance tore him in pieces,
for "as I love Mannheim, so Mannheim loves me." The old associations
woke in him the old hopes and wishes. The Mannheim people were anxious
to believe that the Elector could not stand the coarse manners of the
Bavarians, and would soon be tired of Munich. It was reported that
Madame Toscani and Madame Urban had been so hissed that the Elector had
leant over his box and cried "Hush!" As this had no effect, Count Seeau
had begged some officers not to make so much noise, since it displeased
the Elector; but they answered, that they had paid for their admission
to the theatre, and no one had any right to give them orders there.
Every one was convinced that the Elector would soon bring the court back
to Mannheim, and Wolfgang was only too ready to believe the assurances
of his friends that when this took place, a fixed appointment would
certainly be offered to him. Between Mannheim and Salzburg--what a
difference! "The Archbishop," he wrote to his father (November 12,
1778), "cannot give me an equivalent for the slavery in Salzburg. I
should feel nothing but delight were I only going to pay you a visit:
but the idea of settling myself for good within that beggarly court
is pain and grief to me." At Mannheim there were already prospects
of immediate employment, besides--and what did he want more?--the
opportunity for dramatic composition. Amid the universal desolation
which was spread over Mannheim by the removal of the electoral court
to Munich, patriotic men were not wanting who strove to resuscitate the
intellectual and material prosperity of the town. Heribert von Dalberg
failed indeed in his project for removing Heidelberg University to
Mannheim, but he gained the express support of the Elector to the
establishment of a theatre for carrying out the idea of an established
national drama (Vol. I., p. 369).[1] Dalberg undertook the management
with zeal and



intelligence, and both the choice of pieces and the manner of
representation were considered entirely from an artistic point of view.

The Mannheim theatre first attained its peculiar importance and
celebrity in the autumn of 1779, when the principal members of the Gotha
Court company, with Iffland among them, were engaged at Mannheim.[2]
When Mozart was on his way back from Paris, Seyler was there with his
company, which was only available for operetta and vaudeville. But
higher notions were in the air; the idea of a German national opera had
never been abandoned, and to enlist in its service such a composer
as Mozart was a prospect not to be despised. How ready he was for the
service we know. He had not been in Mannheim a week when he wrote, full
of enthusiasm, to his father (November 12, 1778):--

I have a chance of earning forty louis-d'or here! I should be obliged
to stay six weeks or, at the longest, two months. The Seyler troupe are
here; no doubt you know them by reputation. Herr Dalberg is manager, and
refuses to let me go until I have composed a duodrama for him. I have
made no objection, for I have always wished to write a drama of this
kind. I do not remember if I told you anything about these duodramas
when I was here before. I have been present at the performance of one
of them twice with the greatest pleasure. In fact, I never was more
surprised! for I had always imagined such a piece would have no effect.
You know that the performers do not sing, but declaim, and the music
is like an obbligato recitative. Sometimes speaking is interposed with
first-rate effect. What I saw was "Medea," by Benda. He wrote another,
"Ariadne on Naxos," both excellent. You know that Benda was always my
favourite among the Lutheran kapellmeisters. I like these two works
so much that I carry them about with me. Now you may imagine my joy at
having to do just what I wished. Do you know what I should like? To have
recitatives of this kind in opera, and only sometimes, when the words
are readily expressible in music, to have them sung.

The duodrama which he was thus burning to compose was "Semiramis," and
the poet was his friend and patron, Herr von Gemmingen (Vol. I.,
p. 429). It was he probably who wished Mozart to remain to compose
"Semiramis," for Dalberg



had other views for him. He had written an opera ("Cora")[3] which he
much wished to have composed. He had already applied to Gluck and to
Schweitzer,[4] but not feeling sure of either of them, he now sought to
secure Mozart. The latter wrote to him (Mannheim, November 24, 1778):--

Monsieur le Baron,--I have already waited upon you twice without having
had the honour of finding you at liberty; yesterday I believe you were
at home, but I was not able to speak with you. I must therefore ask
you to pardon me for troubling you with a few lines, for it is very
important to me that I should explain myself fully to you. Monsieur
le Baron, you know that I am not mercenary, especially when I am in a
position to be of service to so great a lover and so true a connoisseur
of music as yourself. On the other hand, I feel certain that you would
not desire that I should be in any way injured by the transaction; I am
therefore bold enough to make my final proposition on the matter,
since I cannot possibly remain longer in uncertainty. I undertake, for
twenty-five louis-d'or, to write a monodrama, to remain here two months
longer, to arrange everything, attend the rehearsals, &c.; but with
this proviso, that, let what will happen, I shall be paid by the end of
January. That I shall be free of the theatre is a matter of course.[5]
This, Monsieur le Baron, is the utmost I can offer; if you consider it,
I think you will see that I am acting very moderately. As far as your
opera is concerned, I assure you that I should like above all things
to set it to music. That I could not undertake such a work as that for
twenty-five louis-d'or, you will readily allow; for it would contain at
the most moderate computation quite as much work again as a monodrama;
the only thing that would make me hesitate to undertake it is that,
as you tell me, Gluck and Schweitzer are already writing it. But even
supposing that you offered me fifty louis-d'or for it, I would as an
honest man dissuade you from it. What is to become of an opera without
singers, either male or female? At the same time, if there were any
prospect of its being well produced I would not refuse to undertake the
work from regard for you; and it would be no trifle, I give you my word
of honour. Now I have told you my ideas clearly and straightforwardly,
and I must beg for a speedy decision. If I could have an answer to-day
I should be all the better pleased, for I have heard that some one is
going to travel alone to Munich next Thursday, and I would gladly profit
by the opportunity.



Mozart would hardly have left Mannheim as long as a glimmer of hope
remained--he, who was so overjoyed at finding employment there that he
wrote to his father (November 12, 1778): "They are arranging an Académie
des Amateurs here, like the one in Paris. Herr Franzl is to lead the
violins, and I am writing them a concerto for clavier and violin."[6]
But his father, who was very dissatisfied with the "foolish fancy"
for remaining in Mannheim, came to the point, and represented to him
(November 19, 1778) how impossible it would be for the Elector to return
to Mannheim. It was especially undesirable now to seek a post in the
Bavarian service, since the death of Karl Theodor had "let loose on the
world a whole army of artists, who are in Mannheim and Munich seeking a
mode of livelihood. The Duke of Zweibrücken himself had an orchestra of
thirty-six performers, and the former Mannheim establishment cost 80,000
florins." He cares nothing for the "possible earning of 40 louis-d'or,"
but emphatically orders: "Set off as soon as you receive this!" And to
meet any conceivable remonstrance, he once more sets plainly forth the
true position of affairs (November 23, 1778):--

There are two things of which your head is full and which obscure your
true judgment. The first and principal is your love for Mdlle. Weber, to
which I am not altogether opposed. I was not formerly, when her father
was poor, and why should I be so now when she may make your fortune
instead of you hers? I conjecture that her father is aware of your love,
since all Mannheim knows it, since Herr Fiala (oboist in Salzburg) has
heard it, since Herr Bullinger, who teaches at Count Lodron's, told me
of it. He travelled with some Mannheim musicians from Ellwang (where
he was in the vacation), and they could talk of nothing but your
cleverness, compositions, and love for Mdlle. Weber.

In Salzburg, the father goes on, he would be so near Munich that he
could easily go there, or Mdlle. Weber could come to Salzburg, where she
might stay with them. Opportunities would not be wanting. Fiala had told
the Archbishop a great deal about Mdlle. Weber's singing and



Wolfgang's good prospects in Mannheim. He might also invite his
other friends--Cannabich, Wendling, Ritter, Ramm. They would all find
hospitable welcome in his father's house

Most especially will your acceptance of the present office (which is
the second subject of which your head is full) be your only certain
opportunity for revisiting Italy, which is what I have more at heart
than anything else. And your acceptance is indispensably necessary,
unless you have the abominable and unfilial desire to bring scorn and
derision on your anxious father--on that father who has sacrificed every
hour of his life to his children to bring them credit and honour. I
am not in a position to pay my debts, which now amount in all to one
thousand florins, unless you lighten the payment by the receipt of your
salary. I can then certainly pay off four hundred florins a year, and
live comfortably with you two. I should like, if it is the will of God,
to live a few years more, and to pay my debts, and then you may, if you
choose, run your head against the wall at once. But no! your heart is
good. You are not wicked, only thoughtless--it will all come!

This was not to be withstood. Wolfgang wrote that he would set off on
December 9, but he still declined to travel the shortest way (December
3, 1778): "I must tell you what a good opportunity I have for a
travelling companion next Wednesday--no other than the Bishop of
Kaysersheim. One of my friends mentioned me to him; he remembered my
name, and expressed great pleasure at the idea of travelling with me; he
is a thoroughly kind, good man, although he is a priest and a prelate.
So that I shall go viä Kaysersheim, instead of Stuttgart."

The farewell to Mannheim was a sad one, both to Mozart and his friends.
Madame Cannabich, who had earned the right to be considered as his
best and truest friend, and who placed implicit confidence in him,
was specially sorrowful; she refused to rise for his early departure,
feeling unequal to the leave-taking, and he crept silently away that he
might not add to her distress.

He was loth to give up his monodrama: "I am now writing," he says
(December 3, 1778), "to please Herr von Gemmingen and myself, the first
act of the declamatory opera which I was to have finished here; as it
is, I shall



take it with me, and go on with it at home; my eagerness for this kind
of composition is uncontrollable."[7]

The Bishop took such an "extraordinary liking" for him that he was
persuaded to stay at Kaysersheim, and to make an expedition with his
host to Munich, where he arrived on December 25. Here he looked forward
to some pleasant days in the society of all his Mannheim friends, and
above all to reunion with his beloved Aloysia. In order that nothing
might be wanting to his pleasure he begged his cousin to come to Munich,
and hinted that she might have an important part to play there: he had
no doubt of the success of his suit. But he almost immediately after
received a letter from his father, ordering him in the most positive
manner to set out by the first diligence in January, and not on any
account to be persuaded by Cannabich to make a further postponement.
L. Mozart foresaw that Wolfgang would make another effort to escape the
slavery in Salzburg, and that his friends would encourage him to hope
for a place under the Court at Munich. In anticipation of this he once
more laid plainly before him that the settlement in Salzburg would
afford the only possibility of putting their affairs in order. This
representation arrived very inopportunely for Wolfgang. Cannabich and
Raaff were, in point of fact, working "hand and foot" for him. By their
advice he had already undertaken to write a mass for the Elector, and
the sonatas (Vol. I., p. 415; II., p. 70) which he had dedicated to the
Electress had arrived just in time to be presented by him in person; and
in the midst of

{MUNICH, 1778--BECKE.}


all this his father's letter dashed his hopes to the ground, and added
to his gloomy anticipations of life in Salzburg the fear that he would
not be kindly received. He opened his heart to their old friend the
flautist Becke (Vol. I., p. 228), who moved him still further by his
account of the kindness and indulgence of his father. "I have never
written so badly before," he writes to his father (December 29, 1778);
"I cannot do it; my heart is too much inclined for weeping. I hope you
will soon write and console me."

Becke also wrote on behalf of Wolfgang:--

He burns with desire to embrace his dearest and best-beloved father, as
soon as his present circumstances will allow of it; he almost makes me
lose my composure, for I was an hour or more in quieting his tears. He
has the best heart in the world! I have never seen a child with a more
loving and tender affection for his father than your son. He has a
little misgiving lest your reception of him should not be as tender as
he could wish; but I hope quite otherwise from your fatherly heart. His
heart is so pure, so childlike, so open to me; how much more so will
it not be to his father! No one can hear him speak without doing him
justice as the best-intentioned, most earnest, and most honourable of

L. Mozart answered at once that his son might rely on the most loving
welcome, and that everything would be done to entertain him; the autumn
festivities and quoit prize-meetings had been postponed on his account.
But he bids him observe that his long delay, the appointment being
already four months old, is beginning to make the Archbishop impatient,
and it must not go so far as to cause him to draw back in his turn.

To this Wolfgang answered (January 8,1779):--

I assure you, my dear father, that I feel only pleasure in coming to
you (not to Salzburg) now that I see by your last letter that you have
learnt to know me better. There has been no other cause for this last
postponement of my journey home than the doubt I felt (which, when I
could no longer contain myself, I confided to my friend Becke) as to my
reception. What other cause could there be? I know that I am not guilty
of anything that should make me feel your reproaches. I have committed
no fault (for I call that only a fault which is not becoming to an
honourable man and a Christian). I look forward with delight to many
pleasant and happy days, but only in the society of you and my dear
sister. I give you my honour that I cannot endure Salzburg and its
inhabitants (that is, natives of Salzburg). Their speech and their way
of living are thoroughly distasteful to me.



Mozart had other causes than this for despondency; before he left Munich
he was destined to be painfully undeceived. He had been kindly welcomed
by the Webers, who insisted on his staying with them; Aloysia had made
striking progress as a vocalist, and Mozart, as might well be expected
from him, rendered anew his musical homage to her by writing for her (li
8 di Gennaio, 1779) a grand aria (316 K.). He had designedly chosen as
a subject the recitative and air with which Alceste first enters in
Gluck's Italian opera; Schweitzer's "Alceste" had been performed in
Munich, so that Mozart entered the lists with both composers. In order
to provide his friends, Ramm and Ritter, with a piece of brilliant
execution, he made the oboe and bassoon accompany obbligato, and emulate
the voice part. The song is admirably adapted for a bravura piece,
affording to the singer an opportunity for the display of varied powers
and great compass, together with artistic cultivation of the voice. The
recitative may be considered as an attempt at dramatic delivery of a
grand and dignified kind; the song itself affords in both its parts,
Andante sostenuto e cantabile, and Allegro assai, the most charming
instances of sustained singing and brilliant execution. It is written
for a high soprano, seldom going so low as [See Page Image] generally
upwards from What is expected of the singer in the way of compass and
volubility may be judged by passages such as--[See Page Image]



in the Allegro. But the importance of this song does not depend alone on
the brilliancy of its passages.

The recitative, undeniably the most important section of the
composition, is second to none of Mozart's later recitatives in depth
and truth of expression and noble beauty, and is richly provided with
unexpected harmonic changes, such as he used more sparingly in later
songs. The very first entry of the voice is striking and beautiful, with
a long and pathetic prelude:--[See Page Image]



and the close of the recitative is equally effective:--[See Page Image]

If this carefully and minutely elaborated recitative be compared with
Gluck's simple secco recitative there can be no doubt that Mozart's
is far superior, both in fertility of invention and marked
characterisation. But it must not be left out of account that if Mozart,
treating the recitative and air as one independent whole, was right to
emphasise and



elaborate details, Gluck had to consider the situation in its connection
with a greater whole; in which respect his simple but expressive
recitative is quite in its right place. The song itself in depth of
tragic pathos is not altogether on a level with the recitative. It
consists of two movements, an Andantino and an Allegro, very nearly
equal in length and compass, and each of them independently arranged and
elaborated. The motifs in both are simple and expressive (especially the
passionate middle part of the Allegro in C minor), but in performance
the attention to bravura, necessitated by the emulation of the wind
instruments, detracts from the intensity and earnestness of tone.
The treatment is masterly, both of the voice and the two instruments,
whether considered singly or in relation to each other; it is equally so
of the orchestra (quartet and horns), which forms a foundation for the
free movement of the solo parts. In the hands of a first-rate performer
the song could not fail to have a brilliant and striking effect. But the
exclusive reference to individual talents and executive powers detracted
of necessity from the dramatic effect, and if the composer had given
full sway to his passions the harmony he calculated on between his
work and the performer would have been lost. As far as we can judge of
Aloysia Weber as a singer from the songs composed for her by Mozart, the
powerful rendering of violent and fiery passion was not her forte. Her
delivery cannot be said to have been wanting in depth of feeling, and
yet a certain moderation seems to have been peculiar to her, which
Mozart turned to account as an element of artistic harmony.[8] This song
was a parting salutation to Aloysia Weber. A touching memorial of the
parting is preserved in the voice part of a song ("Ah se in ciel")
written by Mozart's hand in 1788 (538 K.). At the close of it she has
written the words: "Nei giomi tuoi felici pensa qualche volta al Popoli
di Tessaglia."

L. Mozart, with his custom of reckoning on the



selfishness of mankind, had already expressed apprehension lest Weber,
now that he no longer required Wolfgang's good offices, should cease
to desire his friendship. This was not indeed the case, but he found
a great change in Aloysia's sentiments. "She appeared no longer to
recognise him for whom she had once wept. So Mozart sat down to
the clavier and sang loud: 'Ich lass das Mädel gern, das mich nicht
will.'"[9] This renunciation might satisfy his pride, but not his heart;
his love was too true and deep to evaporate as lightly as the whim of
a woman whose true character he learnt to know later. And yet he wrote
from Vienna to his father (May 16, 1781): "I was a fool about Lange's
wife, that is certain; but who is not when he is in love? I loved her
in very deed, and I feel that she is not yet indifferent to me. A good
thing for me that her husband is a jealous fool and never lets her out
of his sight, so that I seldom see her!" On January 7, 1779, Mozart was
presented to the Electress by Cannabich, and handed her the sonatas he
had composed for her; she conversed with him very graciously for a good
half-hour. A few days after, he saw Schweitzer's "Alceste," which was
the Carnival opera, and at last, after repeated injunctions from his
father, he set out for Salzburg in the comfortable carriage of his
fellow-traveller, a Salzburg merchant named Gschwendner.


[Footnote 1: Dalberg's papers are preserved in the Royal Library at Munich.
Koffka, Iffland u. Dalberg, p. 8.]

[Footnote 2: Devrient, Gesch. d. deutsch. Schauspielkunst, III., p. 3.]

[Footnote 3: "Cora, a Musical Drama," appeared to a contributor to the Pfalz.
"Schaubuhne" unsuited for composition and representation.]

[Footnote 4: Gluck's letters in reference to this are printed in the Süddeutschen
Musik-zeitung, 1854, p. 174. Dalberg's Correspondenz for 1778 also
mentions that Schweitzer was occupied with the composition of "Cora."]

[Footnote 5: Brandes affirms that the actors, when not performing, had to pay
entrance-money (Selbstbiogr., II., p. 277).]

[Footnote 6: It does not appear to have been finished; the autograph of the first
117 bars is in the possession of M. Dubrunfeut, in Paris.]

[Footnote 7: Gemmingen's "Serairamis" was not, as far as I am aware, printed; and
I know nothing further of Mozart's composition. We find on p. 137 of the
Theaterkalender for 1779: "Mozart... Kapellmeister zu Salzburg; _setzt_
an 'Semiramis,' einem musikalischen Drama des Frh. von Gemmingen"; which
must be a private communication. In following years it is regularly
included among Mozart's finished compositions, but I have found no
notice of its performance nor any other mention of it except that Gerber
includes it among Leopold Mozart's posthumous works, with "Bastien
and Bastienne" and the "Verstellte Gärtnerin." I mention this only to
illustrate the fact that many of Mozart's earlier works were ascribed to
L. Mozart after his death. But "Semiramis" was undoubtedly Mozart's own
composition. How it happened that it did not remain in his hands, and
pass into André's possession with his papers, I cannot explain]

[Footnote 8: A somewhat extraordinary musical enthusiast, Frh. von Boecldin,
writes of Aloysia that she "performed marvels with her delicate throat,"
and that her voice resembled a Cremona violin, and her singing was more
expressive and affecting than that of Mara (Beitr. zur Geschichte der
Musik, p. 18).]

[Footnote 9: So Nissen narrates (p. 415), and further informs us that Mozart came
to Munich with black buttons on his red coat, after the French fashion
of showing mourning. Aloysia does not seem to have liked this.]


MOZART was welcomed to the paternal roof with open arms; everything was
prepared for his reception; "a convenient cupboard and the clavichord
were placed in his room," the cook Theresa had cooked capons without
number, the high steward Count von Firmian (Vol. I., p. 345) offered him
his horses, and Dr. Prexl also placed his "beautiful



bay mare" at his disposal; in short, Mozart's return home was a happy
and triumphant event to all the good friends of his youth. We know the
feelings with which he returned. Disappointed in his hopes of rapid and
brilliant success, he returned to the old condition of things, and
the yoke must have pressed on him all the more heavily now that his
illusions were dispelled and he no longer saw a prospect of shaking it
off. He had buried his mother in a foreign land, and his warm true
heart had been deceived in its first love; in poverty he returned to his
father's house. He was not in a position to see as clearly as we do
how powerfully his added experience of life and manifold artistic
impressions had contributed to his moral and mental development, and he
could scarcely be expected to look to this development for the strength
and courage necessary to face the future.

The commencement of his residence in Salzburg was cheered by the
presence of his lively young cousin; she had followed him from Munich
on his entreaties, to pay a visit of some weeks to her uncle. Mozart's
amiability and cordial manners renewed many pleasant intimacies, but the
actual cause of his distaste to Salzburg, viz., the want of cultivation
and of a disinterested love of art among its inhabitants, remained as
before, and his long absence was likely to make him feel it all the
more sensibly. The Archbishop, compelled by circumstances and his
surroundings to recall Mozart, had not by any means forgiven his
voluntary resignation of his former office, and the disinclination
to return which Mozart had so evidently displayed, was certainly not
calculated to appease his ill-will. We shall soon learn the kind of
treatment which Mozart had to expect from him. The Salzburg public are
described by Wolfgang in a letter to his father (May 26, 1781): "When
I play in Salzburg, or when any of my compositions are performed, the
audience might just as well be chairs or tables." He declares that,
although he actually loves work far better than idleness, the want of
congenial intercourse and inspiring surroundings make it often almost
impossible for him to set to work at composition. "And why? Because my
mind is not at ease." Again, he says (April 8, 1781): "To dawdle away



youth in such a wretched hole is sad enough, and harmful besides."
This and similar expressions might lead one to suppose that Mozart had
neglected composition during these years, but a survey of the works
which are known to us suffices to dispel this idea.

His musical activity took as a matter of course, in all essential
points, the same direction as formerly; his official position as
concertmeister and as court and cathedral organist (for so he was
entered in the Salzburg Court Calendar), gave occasion for instrumental
and church compositions, the style and materials of which were as
restricted as before.

The first instrumental composition, in G major (318 K.), dated April
26, 1779, seems to have been written for some very special occasion.
The orchestra is strongly appointed (besides the quartet there are two
flutes, two oboes, two bassoons, four horns in G and D, and two trumpets
in C, and used for effects which must have startled the Salzburgers.
It is in the form now usual for overtures, but out of date for concert
symphonies, viz.: three connected movements, Allegro spiritoso 4-4,
which contains, besides the principal energetic motif with which it
begins, and which constantly recurs in different ways, two independent,
quieter motifs in succession: Andante 3-8, gentle and soft, somewhat
longer than is usual for middle movements, but simple and without
thematic elaboration; it leads back to the first Allegro, shortened
(by the omission of the second subordinate subject) and modified in the
elaboration. The individual and dramatic character of this composition,
expressed most particularly in the commencement and the close of it,
makes it probable that it was written as an introduction to a drama.
We shall see that there was no lack of occasion for such works.
Also belonging to this period are two symphonies in the usual three
movements.[1] The earlier, in B major (319 K.,



part II), composed in the summer (July 9) of 1779, was evidently
the results of "a pleased frame of mind"; it is a genuine product of
Mozart's humour, lively, cheerful and full of grace and feeling. The
second, a year later (August 29, 1780), in C major (338 K., part 10),
is grander in conception and more serious in tone. This is particularly
noticeable in the first movement; a constant propensity to fall into the
minor key blends strength and decision with an expression not so much
of melancholy as of consolation. In perfect harmony of conception, the
simple and fervent Andante di molto combines exceeding tenderness with
a quiet depth of tone. The contrasting instrumentation is very effective
in this work; the first movement is powerful and brilliant, but in the
second only stringed instruments (with doubled tenors) are employed.
The last movement is animated throughout, and sometimes the orchestral
treatment is rapid and impetuous.

A Serenade in D major (320 K.) belongs also to 1779, composed probably
for some special festival, and (except that the march is omitted) quite
in the style of the early already-noticed serenades[2] (Vol. I., p.
301). A short Adagio serves as introduction to a brilliant Allegro,
arranged exactly like the first movement of a symphony, and worked out
at considerable length; to this follows a minuet. Then there is inserted
a concertante, described as such in the title, consisting of two
movements, an Andante grazioso 3-4, and a rondo, Allegro ma non troppo
2-4, both in G major.[3] In earlier days, when Mozart figured as a
violin-player, a violin solo played the chief part in such compositions;
but now the wind instruments, two flutes, two oboes, and two bassoons
are employed concertante; the stringed instruments and horns form the
accompaniment proper. These two pieces are elaborated with great care
and accuracy, and are clear and perspicuous as well as tender and



the rondo is somewhat lighter in tone than the first movement. Of
bravura, properly so called, there is none to be found, and the
ornamental passages are confined to moderate amplifications of the
melodies. The instruments are solo in that they bear the principal part
throughout, concertante in that they emulate each other in manifold and
changing combinations; their strife is playful, with sometimes almost a
mischievous tone.

The Andantino which follows offers a strong contrast to both movements
of the concertante. This is marked at once by the fact that the stringed
instruments are here put forward as the exponents of the musical idea,
while the very sparely used wind instruments only emphasise certain
sharp points of detail. But the contrast is deeper than this; the light
and sunshiny mood of the two previous movements accentuates the serious
melancholy of the Andantino, which seems to tell not of the pain of an
existing passion, but of the inner peace of a sorrow overcome. After
a less noticeable minuet[4] the serenade closes with a long elaborate
Presto, an important movement full of life and force; the most emphatic
contrapuntal arrangement of the principal theme is in the middle
passage; it is lively and original, as well as technically correct.

The melodies and subjects of these works show unmistakable progress;
they are of maturer invention, have more musical substance, if the
expression may be allowed, more delicacy and nobility of apprehension.
Technical progress is visible in the greater freedom of the contrapuntal
treatment, which had already been fully developed in Mozart's vocal
compositions. This is most obviously apparent in those parts where
thematic elaboration predominates, which are richer and freer than
hitherto. There are also many motifs which owe their importance mainly
to their contrapuntal treatment. But, above all, we recognise Mozart's
sure tact in preserving the limits that prevent the interest in the



different combinations of counterpoint to which a motive can be
subjected from becoming essentially technical, and losing its artistic

Equally surely has his genius preserved him from the mistake of
ascribing any absolute value to the contrapuntal method, or favouring
the logical element which lies in it to the disadvantage of sensuous
beauty. He makes use of the forms of counterpoint only to arrest the
attention and to heighten the interest, without wearying the mind,
intruding a foreign element into the original essence of the work,
or neglecting beauty of form; Mozart never forgets that music must be
melodious. Therefore a receptive although uncultivated hearer receives
a pleasing impression from artistic and even intricate passages, without
at all suspecting the difficulties which he enjoys.

But the influence of the contrapuntal method reaches far deeper than
well-defined and scholastic forms, just as a well-considered discourse
does not consist merely in the observance of syllogistic forms. The
principle of the free movement of the separate members of one whole
penetrates the minutest divisions;

and the combined effects of creative ability and artistic cultivation
are nowhere so well displayed as in the independent construction of the
separate elements which go to form the whole work. We admire Mozart's
art in devising his plan, in accurately distributing his principal
parts, and in disposing his lights and shades; but where he is in
truth inexhaustible is in his power of strewing round a wealth of small
touches which assist the characterisation and give to each part
its peculiar effect and, in some respect, the justification of its
existence. This power, which always seems to have something at command
beyond the necessities of the case (although, in fact, every detail
which seems to be the chance expression of individual vigour is
conditioned of necessity by the whole conception), is the prerogative
of genuine creative genius. It approaches the eternal power of nature,
whose apparent prodigality is revealed to the deeper view as the wisest
economy, or rather as the unruffled harmony of a great whole. So a
statue by Phidias suggests to the spectator the impression of animated



nature, because it not merely puts before his eyes in general features
a representation of the bodily form of man, but suggests to him the
totality of the muscular movements which are in a living body in
incessant activity. It is in art as in nature: the further we penetrate
the fewer and less complex become the governing forces and impulses.
Many details may be considered as trifling until it is asked whether
they, in their place, have the required effect as part of the whole.
When a work of art gives an effect of an artistic whole, in a way which
cannot be explained by a consideration of its apparently insignificant
parts, this may be taken as the surest proof that the artist worked
downwards from his conception of a great whole to the minutest details
of his work. We must not undervalue, on the other hand, Mozart's more
exact knowledge and freer use than formerly of external means. His
residence in Mannheim had given him an altogether new conception of the
performance of a good orchestra, both as to sound-effects and execution.
The result is present in these compositions, although Salzburg
surroundings and customs limited him greatly in his choice of means.
It may be that for these reasons his instrumental combinations show no
marked progress on former works, but the skilful use of the forces at
his command become all the more apparent.

It is remarkable how, without any alteration in the instrumentation as
a whole, the body of sound has become richer and fuller, the result of a
more careful consideration of the particular nature of each instrument.
This is most striking in the management of the wind instruments. The
bassoons predominate throughout, independently treated, whereas formerly
they only strengthened the bass; and the use of the horns, with their
long-sustained notes, shows marked progress. The combination of the
wind instruments, sometimes in opposition to the stringed instruments,
sometimes in unison with them, is another advance. Effective as are the
wind instruments in combination, they are still more so in the delicacy
of their individual features, and the perfection of their treatment
could not fail to influence that of the stringed instruments, which show
the same higher conception of what orchestral performances ought to be.



The Mannheim experiences were not without result either in respect
to the executive delivery of the orchestra. Mozart must have been
particularly impressed with the effect of _crescendo_, for almost in
every passage we meet with phrases built upon a long-drawn _crescendo_.
The contrast between _piano_ and _forte_ is also made the most of.
Regular alternations of long passages _forte_ and _piano_ were formerly
the custom, but now we have a rapid succession of very varied shades,
_fortissimo_ and _pianissimo_ being also brought into use. But all these
are only the outward signs of a higher intellectual apprehension,
for which it was necessary also to give credit to the performers; the
composer, far from relying only on external effect, makes it the
mere expression of the deeper meaning and intrinsic value of his
compositions; it is from this point of view that the progress made by
Mozart in the manipulation of his artistic materials acquires its true
worth in the eyes of a musical critic.

We may imagine that Mozart found it no easy task to substitute a
completely new style of execution for the time-honoured customs of the
Salzburg band. The energy with which he was able at a later date to
inspire the Leipzig orchestra, wedded as it was to its own traditions,
gives some indication of his way of proceeding as a young man at
Salzburg. His cousin used to hold forth later on Mozart's eccentric
behaviour when conducting, and we may imagine that she witnessed some
of the extraordinary scenes she describes during her present visit to

Mozart never appeared again as a violin-player, and we therefore find
no compositions for the violin belonging to this period. After such
an expression of opinion concerning the Salzburg public as that noted
above, we cannot wonder that he was not over-anxious to appear before
them as a clavier-player. We doubtless owe the Concerto for two claviers
with orchestral accompaniment in E flat major (365 K., part 17) to his
wish to play a duet with his sister.[5]



In design and treatment it is essentially similar to the earlier triple
concerto. There is no intention apparent of making the two instruments
independent; the players emulate each other in the delivery of the
melodies and passages, sometimes together, sometimes in succession,
often breaking off in rapid changes and interruptions; the melodies are
sometimes simply repeated, sometimes with variations so divided between
the two instruments that neither can be said to have the advantage over
the other. There are somewhat greater difficulties of execution than
have been usual hitherto, a few passages, for instance, in octaves and
thirds, but very modest ones; the passages generally have more variety
and elegance. The orchestra is simply and judiciously, but very
delicately treated, the wind instruments in sustained chords, as a
foundation for the clavier passages; the effect of the _crescendo_ and
a greater attention to light and shade show the influence of Mannheim.
Altogether the concerto is a well-arranged composition, clear and
melodious, as well as accurately constructed, with a free, cheerful
expression, which is most strikingly shown in the fresh gaiety of the
last movement.

As organist, Mozart was under the necessity of playing the organ at
festivals, but as a rule only for accompaniments and for interludes at
set places, which gave him opportunities for improvising--his special
delight. We have some organ sonatas with orchestral accompaniments
belonging to this time (328, 329, 336, K.), quite in the style of those
already noticed (Vol. I., p. 286); compositions after the fashion of the
first movement of a sonata, without a trace of ecclesiastical severity,
either in the technical construction, which is very light, or in the
style, which is brilliant and cheerful. The organ occurs as an obbligato
instrument only in one of these sonatas (329 K.), which is the most
elaborated, but still very moderate in style, and without any florid

{MASSES, 1779, 1780.}


Of more important church compositions there belong to this period two
Masses in C major, of which the earlier (317 K.) is one of Mozart's
best-known works of the kind, bearing date March 23, 1779, and the
later (337 K.) was written in March, 1780.[6] They are quite after the
prescribed manner, not too long, not too serious, and yet not light; in
no respect difficult or important, and closely allied in substance and
treatment to the earlier works which have already been analysed (Vol.
I., pp. 263 et seq.). The easy invention, never at a loss for fitting
expression, the talent for organisation which arranges the parts into
a connected and coherent whole, the technical sureness which gives to
every detail its due share of interest--above all, the inexhaustible
gift of melody and symmetry: all these qualities are here to be found,
and it is by their aid that, in spite of hampering circumstances, such
great and healthy work was done.

Nevertheless, these Masses show more plainly even than earlier works of
the same kind how the fetters of outward control check the impulses of
inner strength and feeling. We see Mozart as it were in court dress;
he is expert enough to move in it with tolerable freedom, but he is
disguised rather than clothed. Conventional influence is most apparent
in the instrumentation, which, as a whole, is little different from
that of the earlier works. Some passages are remarkable even in their
instrumentation; for instance, the Et incarnatus and Crucifixus of the
first Mass have an expressive violin passage, and in the second the
treatment of the wind instruments in the Crucifixus and Resurrexit, and
the organ, oboe, and bassoon in emulation with the voice in the Agnus
Dei, remind us of Mannheim.

But these are details, and in its general features the tone-colouring
of the orchestra is the same as formerly; rapid violin passages
predominate, the trombone follows the voice regularly and _forte_, and
so on. But in other respects original features are not wanting, nor
even passages of surprising beauty, to which belongs, for instance, the
unusually melodious close of the first Mass, in which the Benedictus,



contrary to custom in a serious choral movement, is in strict
counterpoint. These are signs of a great genius, which make us regret
all the more that the whole work is not dictated and inspired by the
same spirit. To this period also, according to the handwriting, belongs
a Kyrie sketched by Mozart and not preserved quite complete (323 K.),
which has been completed and printed as a Regina coeli by Stadler. It is
characterised by a rapid sextole passage which is distributed among the
wind instruments in uninterrupted movement. The voices take their own
independent course throughout. Among other unfinished attempts by Mozart
preserved in the Mozarteum at Salzburg, and both by the handwriting and
instrumentation, as well as from other reasons, to be referred to this
time, we may particularise the beginning of a Mass with obbligato organ
(Anh., 13 K.) and the beginning (two pages) of a Kyrie (Anh., 16 K.),
which is in such strict counterpoint that the Mass, if it had been
finished, would have been among the most elaborate of them all.
But Mozart had neither inducement nor the means for producing such
compositions in Salzburg.

Two Vespers by Mozart (321, 339, K.), of the years 1779 and 1780,
have much the same resemblance in substance and compass to masses
that litanies had at an earlier period, but they stand higher in many

Five psalms and the Virgin's hymn of praise form the part of the Vespers
which is in varied chant; every division ends with the doxology, and is
complete in itself. In the Litany the principal part is framed in, as
it were, by two equally original and characteristic movements, the
Kyrie and Agnus; the Vespers, on the other hand consist of six separate
movements which have no connection, either actual or artistic. More
striking differences of key are therefore permissible than is generally
the case with the movements of one composition,[7] and it was possible
to put together at pleasure

{VESPERS, 1779, 1780.}


psalms belonging to different compositions, sometimes even by different
composers. The Dixit and Magnificat, as the two corner-posts, were
considered the principal parts; they were generally specially composed,
and: others inserted between them. As the words of the doxology (Gloria
Patri) recur at the close of each movement, it would have been natural
that the idea should arise of giving them the same musical rendering,
and suggesting a relation between the different movements by this kind
of refrain. But they are, on the contrary, in close connection with the
words to which they serve as a conclusion, so as to characterise the use
of the general formula as dependent on the special nature of each case.
For the most part, therefore, a principal subject of the piece which it
concludes is utilised for the doxology, and it is astonishing of what a
variety of appropriate and expressive musical renderings these words are

A settled custom became established, both as to the general conception
and the distinguishing characteristics of these compositions, which
was closely followed even by Mozart. In the main, the conception and
treatment resembled those of the litanies; the effort is evident to
reconcile the requirements of Divine service with the prevailing and
somewhat trivial musical taste of the times. But the vespers preserved
the dignity and solemnity of church music more strictly than the
litanies. There is no sign of a leaning to operatic style, concessions
to bravura are sparely and exceptionally made, the orchestra preserves
the simplicity of the traditional church orchestra,[8] and limited
scope is allowed even to grace and pleasing fancies. Nevertheless, the
expression of dignity and solemnity shows the influence of a time which
did not exact from sacred art the absorption of the inner man in the
sacred and the divine, but was satisfied with a decent



observance of the forms of external homage. It was left to the artist,
who had a deeper spiritual craving, and such a delicate artistic sense
as forbade the use of form without substance, to give a higher tone to
his work. In this sense we may include by far the larger portions of
these vespers among Mozart's great works.

As concerns the musical construction in detail, a narrow mode of
treatment resulted throughout from the conditions of worship; the words
had to be composed straight through, just as in short Masses. A broader
rendering of separate portions which might seem to lend themselves to
musical expression was not admitted, and the endeavour after a dramatic
characterisation of certain points did not come within the artistic
usages of the time. The important point, therefore, was not to render
the words in music, so as to give a new and fitting expression to each
detail, but to invent characteristic motifs for the important points
which should be suitable for further elaboration, and which, in spite of
individual distinction, should spring from the fundamental conception of
the whole work. The task of the composer is not made easier by the words
of the psalms; they do not offer a good basis for musical construction,
nor are the ideas conveyed in them generally such as would incite
to musical production. The composer must therefore be original in no
ordinary degree, and it is excusable if he now and then handles the
rules and forms of his art with a certain amount of abruptness, and even
makes verbal expression subservient to them, so far as it can be done
without harmful pressure.

In order to introduce variety among these closely allied compositions
a certain type had been formed, which was not exactly the inevitable
consequence of the effort to satisfy the rules of art and of good taste,
but, as in the litanies, exercised considerable influence over the
treatment of the text. The two vespers we are considering are very
similar in form and workmanship. Various parts are treated in both with
marked preference, and it is scarcely possible to place one before the
other in merit, except that perhaps the earlier one is the more serious.

The first psalm, Dixit Dominus, is formed into an

{VESPERS, 1779, 1780.}


animated, restless movement, full of strength and dignity; while the
same tone predominates in both, there is more fire and brilliancy in
the first composition, more mildness and tranquillity in the second. The
kind of treatment may be compared to that of the Gloria and Credo of
the Mass. Without any sustained thematic elaboration, certain principal
motifs are maintained and emphasised in different ways. The animated
string passages are not only in varied harmonic combinations, but often
in counterpoint, either imitative or a combination of the different
subjects. The voices are free and independent, but with a few trifling
exceptions they are treated harmonically; solo voices sometimes
alternate with the chorus, but without any special prominence.

The second psalm, Confitebor tibi, Domine, is in the earlier Vesper (321
K.), a chorale with solo intermixed, accompanied only by the organ
and stringed instruments (E minor 3-4). This mature and beautiful
composition approaches the Mass in F major (Vol. I., p. 257) both in
tender and fervent sentiment and in simplicity and purity of form. But
there the treatment is contrapuntal throughout, here it is essentially
harmonic. The independent progress of the voices displays a succession
of rich and startling harmonies in animated but natural development;
notwithstanding many suspensions and unexpected turns, they are always
clear and melodious, and always the true and natural expression of the
sentiment to be conveyed.[9] The frame of mind represented is not one of
fanatical remorse, but rather of a soul penetrated with the feeling
of guilt, and impelled to acknowledge it with shame and anguish. The
moderate expression of such a mood, which might easily pass over into
the sentimental, coincides with the symmetry of form observable in the
main features as well as in the details of the work. The corresponding
movement of the second Vesper (339 K.) is not to be placed on the same
level as this. It maintains on the whole the tone of the first movement,
with an increase of earnestness,



and is a clever and melodious composition, with good effect in its
place; but the poetical beauty of the other is altogether wanting.

The third psalm, Beatus vir, has least original colouring. It is in both
Vespers a lively, powerful, one might almost say, cheerful movement,
suggestive of the Gloria or Credo of more than one mass, but without
the solemnity which characterises them. Here, too, solo voices alternate
with the chorus[10] without interrupting the steady flow of the
composition. In the earlier work there are some beautiful harmonic
effects; in the later, contrapuntal phrases sometimes occur; an animated
rapid accompaniment by the violins is common to both.

As in the Litany, the Pignus futuræ gloriæ, so in the Vesper the fourth
psalm, Laudate pueri, was treated in severe counterpoint, and here it
was that a thoroughly trained church composer made good his claim to
the title. In the first of the Vespers that we are considering this
psalm[11] is a clever piece of counterpoint, original in form, and
deviating from the strict regularity which usually characterises Mozart.

It begins with an infinite canon. The twelve bars melody for the
soprano--[See Page Image]

is imitated three bars later by the alto in unison. Then follows
the tenor an octave higher, and then the bass in unison. After the
completion of the melody the soprano again takes it up, alto and tenor
follow. The regular progress of the canon is then broken by a complete
final cadenza, in which all the voices unite on the last note of the
bass melody. A short theme introduced by the bass--[See Page Image]



is imitated by the other parts in similar or in contrary motion, and
soon passes over into a short passage ending in D minor. Hereupon the
soprano interposes with a new and characteristic melody--[See Page

the first bars of which are taken up by the other voices; but instead of
a further elaboration, a new theme is introduced by the alto, followed
by a counter-theme, which are both imitated together--

whereupon the alto raises a new melody, which is figured by the other
parts in imitation as Cantus firmus, and closes in A minor. Then the
alto begins with the previous soprano subject, but now in F major; the
soprano follows with the second, but the imitative figuring soon gives
place to a fine harmonic elaboration, followed by the third passage;
the imitative parts maintain the same character, and the alto has now
another Cantus firmus. To this at last is appended a long coda, formed
of detachments of previous subjects, variously elaborated in stretto and
contrary motion, ending in organ point on the dominant. It cannot
fail to be remarked how tuneful and melodious, as well as independent,
characteristic, and striking in their effect are the different parts.
The melodies which compose the Cantus firmus may have been, in part
at least, borrowed from church tones. Far more ambitious is the
contrapuntal work in the second Vesper,[12] which consists of a close
succession of



difficult problems solved after the severest and most rigorous rules.
After the first regular enunciation of the theme--[See Page Images]
there occurs a second motif--which is at first treated freely, and
issues into a short harmonic passage, which is afterwards used again as
an interlude. Then the two motifs are combined--[See Page Image] and
elaborated together, after which this section closes on the chord of the
dominant in a stretto arrangement of the chief subject, while the
violins take up the subordinate motif. When the chief subject has again
asserted itself, there follows its inversion as a counter-subject--and
regular elaboration, ending in the above interlude, after which the
subject and its inversion appear together as an organ point on the
fundamental tone, while the violins proceed with an independent
accompaniment:--[See Page Images]

After the previous stretto has again occurred on the chord of the
dominant the two first subjects reappear in new



original climacteric treatment, divided between the voices and the
accompaniment;--[See Page Image]

A free conclusion brings the artistic and forcible work to an end.

As if for refreshment after this effort, the fifth psalm, Lau-date
Dominum, is treated as a solo movement of a pleasing character. In the
earlier vesper it is a soprano solo with organ obbligato, not certainly
set in prescribed aria form, but in its brilliant passages and easy
grouping of the melodies more akin to secular music than any other of
Mozart's church compositions of this period. In the second vesper the
psalm has a more solemn character, but even here it is a mild and
tender soprano solo, somewhat pastoral in tone, and supported by a solo
bassoon; simple throughout, and with a fine climax at the close, the
doxology being sung by the chorus.

The Virgin's hymn of praise, "Magnificat anima mea," which forms the
conclusion of the Vespers, is by its form the part best fitted for
musical rendering. But the connection in which it here stands with the
preceding psalms obliges a corresponding treatment both as to extent
and conception. We must not therefore look either for a comprehensive
treatment giving free development to the details of the separate
sentences, such as is to be found in the Magnificats of some great
masters, or for such an amount of dramatic characterisation as the words
give scope for. The text is tersely and precisely treated, with the
avowed intention of concluding the work with a movement in contrast to



first psalm. This is evident not only in the external arrangement, which
introduces trumpets and drums, and returns to the original key, but in
the technical treatment and the closely allied tone of expression. The
expression of firm and cheerful confidence, which is common to both, is
naturally accentuated in the Magnificat in accordance with the text,
and the lively expectation of the first psalm is now turned into
thanksgiving for its fulfilment. The technical treatment of the
Magnificat is consistently more important and animated, especially in
the extended use of the forms of counterpoint; but in the main the two
compositions have the same tone and colour, and the same condensed and
impulsive style. The words "Magnificat anima mea Dominum" form a solemn
introduction as a short slow movement; "Et exultavit" is in quicker
tempo, which is maintained to the end, chorus and solo alternating in
the usual way. Here again it is to be noticed that different points are
accentuated in the earlier Magnificat chiefly by harmonic means, in the
second chiefly by counterpoint.

Having in these works followed Mozart's steady upward progress along the
path which he had previously entered on, a progress maintained against
most unfavourable surroundings, let us now turn to his attempts in
the new province of music as an adjunct to the drama. Remembering his
intense desire to write for the stage, a desire which had been increased
by the manifold influences of his travels, we shall not be surprised
that even theatrical undertakings in Salzburg offered him the
opportunity he sought. When he returned home a theatrical company was
performing under Böhm's management; in 1780 we find Shikaneder there
with his travelling _troupe_, a friend of the Mozart family, joining in
their quoit contests and quite ready to turn Wolfgang's talents to
his own advantage.[13] Two great works owe their origin to these
performances, although the exact time of their production cannot now be



The first is the music to "Thamos, King of Egypt" (345 K.), an heroic
drama, by Baron Tob. Phil, von Gebler, who, in spite of his exalted
position, had devoted himself zealously since 1769 to the reform of the
Vienna theatre.[14] The contents of the piece need be given but briefly,
since it is as good as lost:[15]--

Menes, King of Egypt, has been deposed by a usurper, Rameses, and as it
is thought, assassinated; but he is living under the name of Sethos as
high priest of the Temple of the Sun, the secret being known only to the
priest Hammon and the general Phanes. After the death of Rameses his
son Thamos is heir to the throne. The day arrives when Thamos attains
majority, is to be invested with the diadem, and to select a bride. The
friends of Menes seek in vain to persuade him to dispute the throne. He
will not oppose the noble youth whom he loves and esteems. But Pheron, a
prince and confidant of Thamos has, in conjunction with Mirza, the chief
of the virgins of the sun, organised a conspiracy against Thamos, and
won over a portion of the army. Tharsis, daughter of Menes, who is
believed by all, even her father, to be dead, has been brought up
by Mirza under the name of Sais. It is arranged that she shall be
proclaimed rightful heir to the throne, and as she will then have
the right to choose her consort, Mirza will secure her beforehand for
Pheron. When she discovers that Sais loves Thamos, and he her, she
induces Sais to believe that Thamos prefers her playmate Myris, and Sais
is generous enough to sacrifice her love and her hopes of the throne to
her friend. Equally nobly Thamos rejects all suspicions against Pheron,
and awards him supreme command. As the time for action draws near,
Pheron discloses to Sethos, whom he takes for a devoted follower of
Menes, and consequently for an enemy to Thamos, the secret of Sais'
existence and his own plans. Sethos prepares secretly to save Thamos.
Sais also, after being pledged to silence by an oath, is initiated
into the secret by Mirza and Pheron, and directed to choose Pheron. She
declines to give a decided answer, and Pheron announces to Mirza his
determination to seize the throne by force in case of extremity. Sais,
who believes herself not loved by Thamos, and will not therefore choose
him as consort, but will not deprive him of the throne, takes the solemn
and irrevocable oath as virgin of the sun. Thamos enters, and they
discover to their sorrow their mutual love. Sethos, entering, enlightens
Thamos as to the treachery of Pheron, without disclosing the parentage
of Sais. Pheron, disturbed by the report that Menes is



still living, comes to take council of Sethos, and adheres to his
treacherous design. In solemn assembly Thamos is about to be declared
king, when Mirza reveals the fact that Sais is the lost Tharsis, and
heiress to the throne. Thamos is the first to offer her his homage.
When she is constrained to choose between Thamos and Pheron she declares
herself bound by her oath, and announces Thamos as the possessor of
the throne. Then Pheron calls his followers to arms, but Sethos steps
forward and discloses himself as Menes; whereupon all fall at his feet
in joyful emotion. Pheron is disarmed and led off, Mirza stabs herself,
Menes, as father and ruler, releases Sais from her oath, unites her with
Thamos, and places the pair on the throne. A message arrives that Pheron
has been struck with lightning by Divine judgment, and the piece ends.

Mozart wrote music to this drama at Salzburg in 1779 or 1780, according
to the evidence of the handwriting and paper of the score, as well as
of the treatment of the orchestra.[16] It consisted at first of four
instrumental movements which were played between the acts, and one
which formed the conclusion of the whole piece. It was not a new idea to
compose appropriate music to a drama of importance instead of the usual
indifferent or inappropriate instrumental movements. Joh. Ad. Scheibe
(1708-1776) wrote music for "Polyeucte" and "Mithridate" in 1738, and
afterwards wrote an article on this kind of music in the "Kritischen
Musicus." He maintained that the overture should be composed with
reference to the whole piece, and should lead up to its commencement;
that the symphonies between the acts should be connected both with the
act which preceded and that which followed, so as to lead the audience
insensibly from the one frame of mind to the other. The closing symphony
should be in close relationship to the end of the piece, so as to
intensify the impression made by the _denouement_ upon the audience. He



considered a change of instruments particularly necessary, in order to
keep up the attention of the audience; but care must be taken to select
the most appropriate instruments for each movement, so as to express
what had to be expressed in the most effective manner possible.

Scheibe was followed by Joh. Christ. Hertel (1726-1789) with the music
to Cronegk's "Olint and Sophronia,"[17] and by others (among them
Agricola) with the music to "Semi-ramis" (after Voltaire), which
Lessing thought worthy of an analysis, and declared his opinion that
the entr'actes should have no reference to the following act, but should
only amplify and conclude what had gone before.[18] Vogler's overture
and entr'actes to "Hamlet" were given in Mannheim in 1779.[19] Even in
Salzburg M. Haydn had composed in 1777 special music for the performance
of Voltaire's "Zaire" by French actors, which was received with great

The music to "King Thamos" has, curiously enough, no overture, which is
perhaps accounted for by the fact that the play begins with a chorus,
and so is opened by music.[21] Each _entr'acte_ is in connection with
the last scene of the preceding act, and seeks to express the same set
of emotions by means of music; Mozart has each time noted down what
seemed to him the prevailing idea to be represented. Thus, he
writes concerning the first movement: "The first act ends with the
determination of Mirza and Pheron to place the latter



on the throne." Upon the last words of Mirza--"Mirza, a woman, trembles
not. Thou art a man; conquer, or die!"--the orchestra strikes in with
three solemn chords, the effect heightened by long pauses; then begins
a restless and agitated Allegro (in C minor). The prevailing tone is one
of excitement, and those who were in the theatre might well receive the
suggestion of Mirza, as an eager passionate woman, inciting Pheron
to action; but the characterisation is not very striking. It is only
noticeable that the separate phrases of the subject are shorter and in
greater contrast than is usual with Mozart; otherwise we have before us
a movement in two parts, with a coda arranged in the ordinary manner,
but not elaborated.

The second act has, if possible, a still more general application: "The
noble nature of Thamos is displayed at the end of the second act; the
third act opens with Thamos and the traitor Pheron," and the dialogue
wherein Thamos declares his belief in Pheron's fidelity, and resigns
Sais to him, while Pheron continues to dissemble. Here, too, Mozart has
written an ordinary movement in two parts (Andante, E flat major); but
he has resorted to the expedient of denoting the character of the
two personages by means of distinct subjects, which he indicates by
superscriptions:--[See page images]



It is easy to be seen here that musical contrast is the main point, and
that the characterisation is very general, quite apart from the fact
that integrity and hypocrisy cannot be expressed in music, as Mozart
was well aware, in spite of his naïve superscriptions. The inadequacy of



characterisation is shown in the second part, where both characters
occur together:--[See Page Image]

Here the expression has become still more general, and we have only the
musical development of a given subject, not the progress of a dramatic
situation; more than this it is out of the province of the musician to

The suggestions for the music of the third _entr'acte_ are more
promising. The music is connected in the first place with the last
scene: 44 The third act closes with the treacherous dialogue between
Mirza and Pheron,,, expressed by means of an agitated, strongly accented
Allegro, which, however, soon breaks off, and dies away. Thereupon the
music turns to the fourth act, which begins with the vow of the deluded
Sais. Here the influence of the melodrama upon Mozart becomes apparent,
for he follows with his music every turn in the monologue of Sais,
indicating each by a superscription. We may, indeed, doubt whether he
had not some idea of a melodramatic delivery of the music, although
there are no pauses left for spoken sentences, and the flow of the
music, notwithstanding frequent changes of time is uninterrupted. This
movement would be most open to the adverse criticism of Lessing, for it
anticipates the whole of the following scene. In itself it is the
most expressive and the most successful; in spite of its division into
separate points it preserves connection and



unity, and a tone of tender grace such as becomes a bashful maiden.

The fourth _entr'acte_ is again an animated movement (Allegro vivace
assai) which is to depict "the universal confusion" with which the
fourth act concludes. We can recognise in the wild, restless subject, in
opposition to which is placed another full of dignity and reserve,
the intended contrast between the conspirators and Thamos with his
followers; but we need, of course, to be told what it is that the music
means to represent.

Since the spectators were in a position to transfer the factitious
presumption from the stage to the music, a general characterisation
would suffice for them. The music therefore fulfils its primary aim, but
it has undertaken a task which lies beyond its province, and a
previous knowledge of the subject treated is indispensable to the due
appreciation of it; in this way the music is as dependent as though
it were a setting to words without the advantage of the direct
intelligibleness given to it by words.

The closing movement describes "Pheron's despair, blasphemy, and death."
As this situation coincides with a fearful thunderstorm, the musical
characterisation is confined to a representation of it without any
dramatic detail; it is a wildly forcible movement, and the effect
accords well with the suggested idea.[22]

It is unquestionable that Mozart, excited by the melodrama, has set
himself eagerly to express dramatic details in music, and yet in almost
every case the exigencies of musical construction have been too much
for him. The impressions he has received from the drama become only
impulses, leading him to accent more sharply and set in stronger
contrast the various points of his composition; the special points of
the dramatic situations are not fully brought out in the music. This is
in great measure the fault of the play, which affords few powerful or
effective suggestions to the composer either through its characters or
its situations;



great poetical or dramatic power would no doubt have called forth other
music. That such a play should have been received with interest and
applause,[23] that it should have incited Mozart to composition, is a
speaking proof of the taste of the time. Shakespeare and Goethe had not
yet penetrated the intellectual atmosphere in which Mozart had grown up;
before poetry could assert its sway in the province of music it had to
express and realise the demand for a characterisation bringing to view
the most individual traits of human character.

Gebler had sought to invest his drama with peculiar dignity by providing
it with choruses, for which Racine's "Athalie" may have furnished him
with an example. The play begins with a solemn sacrifice in the Temple
of the Sun, the priests and virgins singing hymns to the Godhead; in the
same way, at the beginning of the fifth act, the coronation of the king
is introduced by a sacrifice, the priests and virgins again singing a
hymn.[24] These choruses gave Mozart opportunity for a magnificent style
of composition, with all the brilliancy that external support could

The hymns were well-known ones with Latin words inserted later, for
which, however, a German translation was again substituted. Our judgment
as to style and conception



will naturally be affected by the fact that the hymns were written for
the theatre, and not as church music proper; and yet these very hymns
have been widely circulated by countless performances in churches, and
are made to serve as the principal evidence of Mozart's style of church
music. There is no question that their whole conception is grander,
freer, and more imposing than that of any of his masses belonging
to that period, but this is because he felt himself unfettered by
conventional restrictions. A solemn act of worship was represented
on the stage, the expression of reverence to the Supreme Being was
heightened in effect by the Egyptian surroundings; and Mozart's
endeavour was to render the consequent emotions with all possible
truth and force. But he was fully conscious that the expression must be
_dramatic_. Therefore everything was avoided that directly suggested the
church, and an impression of splendour and brilliancy was given which in
this fashion was foreign to the church; above all the subjective points
of sentiment are thrown into strong relief, and forcibly expressed. But
although there is an essential difference between these choruses and
Mozart's contemporary church music, yet we cannot fail to perceive a
certain amount of resemblance in the manner in which the solemnity
and importance of religious ceremony is rendered both here and in
the "Zauberflöte." The drama itself has some resemblance to the
"Zauberflöte," both in its deistic-humani-tarian tendency and its
Egyptian costume and sun-worship. Freemasonry may have exerted some
influence over Gebler's mind[25]--it could have had none at that time
over Mozart.

In the music to the "Zauberflöte" everything, more especially the power
of concentrating ideas in the strictest forms, shows mature development,
while here we are aware of the youthful genius, rejoiced at the
opportunity of pouring forth his best in full measure, and thereby
satisfying his nature to the utmost. The consideration of these choruses
explains his joy at finding the chorus in Paris strong and good,



(Vol. I., p. 429), and choruses, his "most favourite compositions," well
performed and much thought of; we can imagine what he would have made
of the choruses if he had written a grand opera in Paris. They leave
Gebler's words (out of which, according to Wieland, Gluck could have
made something excellent) so far behind that the music and the poetry,
considered from an artistic point of view, seem to belong to different
periods. For actual representation they are no doubt too grandly and
broadly conceived and executed; they overpower the whole drama with
their weight. The impression of solemnity and grandeur produced on the
mind by symbolic ceremonies is rendered with dignity, and at the same
time with fire and energy. The chorus and orchestra unite to give the
effect of splendour and magnificence, and startling harmonies are borne
along as if on an irresistible stream; the lighter subordinate subjects
(divided between male and female chorus as well as solo voices) are
less marked. The style and treatment of the choruses have afforded a
precedent for many similar works in later days; so also has the way
in which the choruses and a full orchestra are united so as to give a
massive effect, both of arrangement and construction. Mozart himself had
no opportunity of again uniting chorus and orchestra on a large scale,
and proceeding further in the same direction; Haydn in his oratorios
inherited this portion of Mozart's genius, and numerous efforts have
since been made to accomplish what Mozart began.

The orchestra is provided with all the external advantages that Salzburg
could offer; no instruments employed at a later date are wanting, except
the clarinet, which Mozart missed so sensibly. It is organised
and constructed exactly as we find it at the present day; the wind
instruments of wood and brass and the stringed instruments are united in
definite groups, but in perfect freedom of treatment. Most striking
is Mozart's progress in his treatment of the brass instruments. The
trombones are no longer with the voices, and where they support them
they do it in an independent manner, generally by sustained chords. But
they also take their own place in the orchestra, the horns and trumpets
united with them, and



then again the horns combine with the wood-wind instruments; while the
trumpets, with the drums, occasionally assert their peculiar character.
In the same way, the other wind instruments are combined among
themselves, as well as with the other instruments; it is in accordance
with their nature that the rendering of the more delicate details should
fall to their share. Such an extended employment of the wind instruments
must naturally have influenced the treatment of the strings. These are
independently and forcibly placed in contrast with the wind instruments,
so that, while the latter heighten the colouring, the former determine
the fundamental character of the work and maintain unity of tone.
In short, all important effects which can be produced by different
combinations of the instruments are here brought into use, not merely as
sound effects produced by changes of tone colouring, but as the means of
giving due expression to musical ideas.

The chorus also takes a different position in conjunction with an
orchestra such as this. It is no longer the principal object in
the sense of making everything else subservient to itself; but the
independence of the instruments renders it freer in its own motion.
Since so much was left to be rendered by the orchestra, the chorus
was able to characterise what belonged essentially to it all the more
sharply and strongly; and the powerful and effective orchestra called
forth all the strength of the chorus that they might keep pace with each
other. For this there was requisite, besides an intensified meaning in
the subjects, a free and melodious treatment, which made the separate
voices the foundation for the display of natural and forcible effects of
sound. To satisfy these varied conditions in detail, and to unite
them harmoniously into combined effect, has been Mozart's successfully
executed task. Let any one place those earlier works, in which the
voices supply the harmonies to a continuous violin passage and a _basso
continuo_ side by side with these hymns where an independent chorus,
complete in itself, is united with an equally independent and carefully
arranged orchestra, so as to form a compact and solid whole, and what an
extraordinary progress is apparent!



Mozart, who executed this work with loving care, composed both choruses
twice over. The first chorus, in the earlier and completely carried-out
attempt, has essentially the same features as the later, only the solo
parts are simpler and without the delicate accompaniment which gives
them their chief charm. The voices are only altered in the details of
the main portions of the chorus, but the orchestra is subjected to a
thorough elaboration. At first there were no flutes, and the addition
of these has given to the oboes a different position and in many ways
caused a different grouping of the instruments. But, apart from
this, there are so many improvements in detail that this work may be
considered as a regular study in instrumentation. The difference between
the two versions of the second chorus are more essential. Only the
beginning and the fundamental ideas of some of the subjects in the first
attempt are identical with the later elaboration. The working-out is
quite different, not only much shorter, but in every respect scantier
and less important; and more especially are the orchestral parts far
removed from their present rich perfection. Mozart did not even finish
this first attempt; it breaks off in the middle of the last passage,
although only a few bars are wanting. The difference in the elaboration
proves once more that the true gift of an artist consists in the
unerring judgment with which, after no matter how many experiments in
the process of his work, he seizes in the end on what is best for his
purpose. It is instructive to follow the progress of development from
the earlier ideas and attempts--in the second chorus the main features
are more carefully perfected, in the first the details.

The magnificent effect of these two choruses seems to have suggested the
idea of bringing the drama to an impressive close by means of another
chorus. In the place of the instrumental movement which represented
Pheron's death, there was introduced a short exhortation by the High
Priest to fear the Divine wrath, which is taken up by the chorus, and
passes into joyful trust in the protection of the Almighty.

Mozart's composition (to words provided by a Salzburg

{ZAIDE, 1780 (1779-Einstein:"Mozart")}


local poet--perhaps by Schachtner)[26] is altogether worthy of the
two first hymns. The bass solo of the High Priest foreshadows the
Commendatore in "Don Giovanni." The chorus which follows gives the right
expression of humble reverence on the part of the bystanders; and the
cheerful dignity of the conclusion is quite appropriate when we take
into account that the chorus was intended for the stage and not for the

Another composition falling within Mozart's present residence at
Salzburg is a German operetta, for which honest Schachtner provided the
libretto. It was almost finished when Mozart went to Munich in November,

His father wrote (December 11, 1780) that nothing could then be done
with "Schachtner's play" on account of the public mourning at Vienna.
This was all the better, since "the music was not quite ready." But
Wolfgang begs him (January 18, 1781) to bring with him "Schachtner's
operetta." "People come to see Cannabich, with whom the hearing of such
things does not come _mal ä propos_." Later on the father revived the
idea of producing the operetta in Vienna, but Wolfgang answered (April
18,1781): "Nothing can be done with Schachtner's operetta, for the same
reason that I have often given before. I could not contradict Stephanie;
I could only say that the piece--except the long dialogues, which could
easily be altered--was very good, but not suited for Vienna, where they
only care for comic pieces."

There can be no doubt that this is the opera[27] in two acts, without
a title, preserved in Mozart's carefully executed original score, and
complete all but the overture and the conclusion (344 K.), which was
published by André, with the



suitable title of "Zaide."[28] The handwriting, style, and
instrumentation, as well as some special circumstances to be presently
noted, prove this beyond a doubt. The plot may be conjectured in its
general features by the songs and music: [29]--

Gomaz has been betrayed into the power of the Sultan Soliman and set to
servile tasks. He has won the love of Zaide, who is in the seraglio of
the Sultan, but the passion of the latter for her affords little hope to
the lovers. Finding Gomaz, overcome with toil, asleep in the garden,
she leaves him her likeness. This leads to a declaration of their mutual
love. To them attaches himself Alazim, the Sultan's favourite, and
apparently the overseer of the slaves, who represents the humane
and enlightened Mussulman. He procures for them Turkish dresses, and
accompanies them in their flight. At the beginning of the second act
we find the Sultan in violent wrath at the treachery he has just
discovered. He rages against the fugitives, whom Zaram undertakes to
pursue and capture. They are, in fact, soon brought back, and Soliman is
not moved to clemency either by the prayers and constancy of Zaide, or
by the exhortations of Alazim. In what way a happy _denouement_ is at
last brought about cannot be conjectured.[30]

This serious operetta is written in the manner and after the scale of
the vaudeville of the time; it does not depend upon the executive powers
of the performers nor upon large expedients, and the standard throughout
is a modest one. The orchestral combinations prove that it was intended
for performance in Salzburg, and the treatment of the separate parts may
have had reference to the available _personnel_.



Zaide lays no claim to anything but a certain amount of fluency. The
part of the Sultan requires a strong penetrating voice, but for the rest
the requirements of the music are well within the compass of ordinary
theatrical singers; musical feeling, and a natural, correct judgment
Mozart always displays, because they were in fact a part of himself
which could not be laid aside.

In the construction of the songs the traditional arrangement of the
Italian aria is not closely adhered to. An effort is evident to make use
of the fundamental law requiring contrasting motifs to be compacted into
a whole, in developing the individuality of the characters and of the
dramatic situations. Nevertheless, the influence of the old tradition
is visible in many phenomena, such as the change of tempo, the long
ritomelli, the division of the different motifs by regular rests,
and their amplification. Yet it is no longer servile obedience to an
external type, but an evident determination to evolve the form out of
the given situation.

Every artist, no matter how many-sided his genius, feels his nature
impelled in a certain direction in which his creative strength works
freely and independently, while other paths remain strange to him or
are altogether closed. Experience and cultivation go far to equalise
his powers, but they are powerless to alter the original impulse.
Now dramatic representation makes demands upon the artist for the
satisfaction of which he must not indeed overstep the bounds of his
individuality--that no man can do with impunity--but he must stretch
them to their extremest limits. Here it is that he seeks aid from the
poet. The latter can elevate the musician by the strength and vividness
of his situation and characters, by the style and vigour of his
language, while it needs but little to stimulate his musical production
to activity. This aid was denied to Mozart when as a young man he first
sought to write dramatic music in its true sense. The first act of the
opera before us has no events except the love passages between Gomaz
and Zaide, which take their peculiar tone from the mixture of pity for
suffering innocence and from the danger threatening in the background.
Here Mozart is quite in his element. The



tendency and fervour of his own sentiments are involuntarily expressed;
but, graceful and interesting as is this first act, the poetical
expression of the words discovers nothing of the more delicate features
of the music. Again, in the second act, the Sultan raging in jealousy,
Zaide at first beseeching, then also furious, Alazim moralising--these
are elements in the treatment of which Mozart might well look for aid
from the poet. And here it was that the poet left him in the lurch
altogether. We fancy ourselves in a marionette-show when the Sultan

     Ich bin so bos als gut,
     Ich lohne die Verdienste
     Mit reichlichem Gewinnste;
     Doch reizt man meine Wuth,
     So hah' ich auch wohl
     Waffen Das Laster zu bestrafen,
     Und diese fordern Blut.

And Zaide:--

     Tiger! wetze deine Klauen,
     Freu' dich der erschlichnen Beut'!
     Straf ein thörichtes Vertrauen
     Auf verstellte Zartlichkeit!
     Komm nur schneli und tödt' uns beide,
     Saug' der Unschuld warmes Blut,
     Reiss' das Herz vom Eingeweide
     Und ersättge deine Wuth

The music totters under the weight of such words as these. The songs,
which follow one after the other, are indeed well conceived and
carefully executed, and even for the most part characteristic; but
their characterisation is all external, and when suggested by different
touches in the text it is rarely happy. There is a want of harmony and
balance, as well as of impulse and warmth, so that the really beautiful
separate ideas have no proportionate effect. It is remarkable that these
songs are all too long, and their cadenzas are especially tedious, as if
quantity was to make up for quality. Further adherence to the
antiquated aria form is particularly noticeable; as if, when the musical
construction no longer proceeded directly from the impulse



of the dramatic situation, the old forms involuntarily asserted their
sway. The quartet (16) in which the musical and dramatic interest is,
as it were, concentrated, contrasts very favourably with the solo
songs. The _dramatis personæ_ are all happily characterised; the Sultan,
implacable in his anger, Gomaz seeking to console Zaide, who, in her
turn, strives to purchase his life by the sacrifice of her own, and
Aiazim, overcome with grief at being unable to see a way out of the
complications that he himself has brought about. Here too we have a
conflict of opposing emotions faithfully and accurately delineated, and
all directed to one central point; it is, in fact, a situation which
fulfils all the essential conditions of musical representation. Here
then Mozart is in his element. The different characters are drawn with
a steady hand, every emotion is definitely and accurately expressed, and
the elements thus gained are employed as materials for a construction
which is as faithful to the laws of musical organisation as to the
requirements of the dramatic situation. The quartet thus fulfils the
two essential conditions of dramatic music, and reveals itself as a
consistent and harmonious piece of work, the separate motifs of which
are beautiful and expressive, while the interest is kept alive by
alternation and climax, and a vivid dramatic picture is produced by
the artistic treatment of musical forms. The grouping of the voices
in manifold variety of combination displays, as if on a ground plan, a
symmetrical, well-disposed musical edifice. As they proceed they develop
out of the simplest situations the most varied shades of sentiment, so
that the music carries into the innermost recesses of the mind and heart
what the words have merely hinted at. Even the actual musical formulas,
such as the entry of the voices in imitation, produce, in the right
place, such a direct and vivid effect that they appear to have been
invented for the special case. As to the main conception on which the
construction of the quartet rests, it might, if the violent rage of
the Sultan were considered as the chief point, have been made more
passionate and agitated without overstepping truth of expression; but
Mozart has in preference emphasised the more fervid and reserved



emotions of the other characters, to which the expression of anger
must be subordinated. This conception has perhaps been suggested by the
greater ease which it afforded for the introduction of the necessary
reconciliation of the characters; partly, also, a more quiet and
contained piece might appear to be of better effect after so many lively
and agitated songs; it is certain, however, that it was the conception
most in accordance with Mozart's nature as an artist.

Equally in accord with the situation, but not by any means so deep
and expressive, is the terzet (8) which brings the first act to a
conclusion. In this there is no conflict of sentiment; Zaide, Gomaz and
Alazim are happy in the feeling of mutual love and friendship, and in
the hope of a speedy deliverance; the fear lest their plan of escape
should fail casts only a passing shadow on their cheerful frame of
mind.[31] The music therefore expresses content and happiness with great
tenderness and the purest melody, especially in the first movement. The
duet between Zaide and Gomaz (5), whose love is not a stormy passion,
but the devotion of two noble beings, expresses in the most delightful
manner the purity and openness of a happy affection.

There are not wanting, either such delicate features of detail as
characterise the genuine musical dramatist. For instance, in Gomaz' song
(6), when he is divided between gratitude to Alazim and impatience to
hasten to Zaide, there is charming humour in his confusion, particularly
at the words "doch ich muss dich schnell verlassen," and "lass dich
küssen, lass dich drücken," which in no way interferes with the more
serious sentiment of the song as a whole. The union of humour and
sentiment at the close is excellent. While the accompaniment continues
the last subject, Gomaz, who had rushed off in hot haste, turns back,
and sings once more with heartfelt emotion: "Herr und Freund, wie dank'
ich dir!" There is a pretty touch in Osmin's air (11) where the purely
musical return to the theme is used to express recurring bursts of
hearty laughter.

The workmanship of the opera, both as regards the



treatment of the voices and of the orchestra, is, as might be expected,
thorough and sure. The orchestra deserves special notice. We find
only the instruments in use at Salzburg, and the wind instruments are
sparingly employed. The flutes and oboes generally alternate, but
they are together and in conjunction with bassoons and horns in the
quartet(16) and in one of the Sultan's airs (12); trumpets and drums are
only used in the Sultan's raging scene (9). Many songs (1, 11, 13)
are accompanied by stringed instruments alone. The hand of a master is
recognisable throughout, in the life and movement which we follow with
unflagging interest, in the force and beauty of the sound effects, and
in the delicacy of the lights and shades. Many touches recall later
works of Mozart; but these for the most part consist in turns of
expression, in the treatment of the accompaniment, &c. One decided
reminiscence is not without interest. The quartet is introduced by a
short passage for the wind instruments, which recurs several times in
the course of the piece, whereupon the voices enter as follows:--[See
Page Image]



where it appears in the song of Constanze, "Traurigkeit ward mir zum
Loose" (10) in the following form:--[See Page Imge]

The alternate rendering of the subject by the voices and accompaniment,
and the alternation between the wind instruments, give it a new charm;
and it is not without intention that the instrumentation here is less
full than in the former case.

One peculiarity of this operetta is the introduction of melodrama. J. J.
Rousseau, in his production of "Pygmalion" at Lyons in 1770 and Paris
in 1775, gave the first example of a dramatic piece in which spoken
dialogue was interspersed with music in the nature of obbligato
recitatives.[32] The attempt thus to render music effective as a means
of dramatic expression was successful, although the critics raised
objections to the union of music and speech.[33]



Independently of Rousseau's experiment, it had occurred to Brandes in
1772 at Weimar to adapt Gerstenberg's cantate "Ariadne" as a melodrama
for his wife, who was an excellent actress, but no musician. Schweitzer
undertook the composition, but owing to the interruption caused by his
"Alceste" he did not finish it.[34] When Brandes removed to Gotha in
1775, he transferred "Ariadne" to Georg Benda, with whose music it was
then produced.[35] The extraordinary success it met with suggested to
Gotter the idea of writing the melodrama "Medea" for Madame Seyler,
the rival of Madame Brandes; this also was composed by Benda.[36] The
success of the melodramas was universal and extraordinary.[37] Critics
might object to the principle as they pleased,[38] the public was not
to be reasoned out of its enthusiasm, which was shared even by many
connoisseurs.[39] That the success wras mainly due to Benda's expressive
music, which all joined in praising, admits of no doubt, and none of his
successors have been able to produce a similar effect.[40]

Mozart's idea of substituting melodrama for accompanied recitative in
German opera was a kindred one (Vol. II., p. 74), and the same idea is
evident in other directions.[41] It is put into practice in "Zaide." Two
important monologues are melodramatically treated; one by Gomaz at the
beginning of the first, and another by Soliman at the beginning of



the second act.[42] Benda's composition has evidently been taken as
a model; the music in short periods, often only in detached chords,
follows each turn of the monologue, and seeks to give expression to
the lightest shades of sentiment. The musical treatment is essentially
different from that of obbligato recitative, where the independent
instrumental passages are connected partly by the recitative itself,
which is always sung, partly by the harmonies of the accompaniment; in
the melodrama, on the other hand, every passage, even the smallest, is
treated as distinctly apart. In the recitatives, again, which are sung,
the lighter shades of sentiment may be rendered by cadence, rhythm, or
harmony, without the intervention of any instrumental passages. In the
melodrama this is impossible, and in order to accentuate details, the
continuity of the dialogue must be sacrificed; another decided
and almost inevitable drawback is the dependence upon details for
characterisation, which is thereby often out of proportion. In this way,
spoken dialogue loses its chief means of effect--that is, its continuity
of idea--while nothing is gained for musical unity, which ought to make
up for all deficiencies by the steady maintenance of a sustained mood.
For, impelled as Mozart might be by his nature to gather into a whole
the shattered members of this musical representation by means of
rhythmical combinations and harmonic progressions, this was only
possible to a limited degree, and musical construction in its proper
sense can only exist in those few places where the music is independent
of the melodrama. The main point, however, cannot be denied, which is
that the words and the music are not here so blended that each part is
richly repaid for what it sacrifices by its union with the other, but
that each is continually asserting itself in opposition to the other, so
that both are in fact the losers. To

[42] It is particularly to be regretted that the original words for
these melodramatic scenes have not been printed. The alterations in
Soliman's monologue are not so essential, but Gomaz's monologue is
entirely transformed. In the original text he was absorbed by his
unpleasant position; when he prays for refreshing slumber, and the music
represents his repeated starting up from rest, the altered version puts
love-ravings for Zaide into his mouth.



this may be added the great difficulty of satisfying the requirements
of music, together with those of declamatory speech, and of filling the
pauses with suitable gestures and movements, the amount of histrionic
art necessary being rarely possessed by singers. Benda's melodramas
were written for distinguished actresses, whose forte lay in their
declamation and action; the situations were selected with this view, the
dialogue was constructed in accordance with it; in fact, each scene was
self-contained, not incorporated as a component part of a greater whole.
Objections of this kind must have acted upon Mozart at a later time;
at all events, he never again employed melodrama, not even in the
"Zauberflote," when the occasion seemed ready to hand. It was
nevertheless often introduced into operas--and partially also into
plays--with very good effect. But the effect relies chiefly either on
the material impressions of sound or upon the delicate and intellectual
treatment of the musical interludes, suggesting familiar ideas,
sentiments, or fancies, which exist in the minds of the speakers, though
they are incapable of expression in speech.[43] These are certainly
admirable points in their place, but they can scarcely serve as
organising principles in a work of art; the melodrama must be content to
take its place as a subordinate and connecting member if it is to have
its true effect.

Mozart never took up this opera again, and he was right. It could only
have been rendered fit for the stage by complete reconstruction. The
first act, however graceful the music may be, has too little variety in
its treatment and tone to gain favour on the stage; the second is, as we
have seen, barely tolerable. After the composition of the "Entführung,"
"Zaide" was heard of no more, partly on account of the similarity of
subject and accessories, partly because it was so far surpassed in every
respect that it could not fail to fall henceforth into oblivion.[44]


[Footnote 1: The minuet movement in symphonies was not liked in Salzburg. The
minuet of the Symphony in B flat major was written later (to judge by
the handwriting) for a performance in Vienna, and appended on a separate
leaf. Mozart began a minuet to the C major symphony, but only finished
the first part, and crossed it out in the score. The effort not to
make the symphony too long is evident throughout, and especially in
the non-repetition of the first movement, although it is completely

[Footnote 2: The first movement (Adagio, Allegro con spirito), the Andantino and
the Finale are (not quite correctly) printed as an independent symphony.
(Breit-kopf and Härtel, 7.)]

[Footnote 3: André possessed a careful copy of these two pieces, inscribed by
Mozart "Sinfonia Concertante," as if for their special performance at a
concert in Vienna, March 20,1783.]

[Footnote 4: The customary attempt to give a peculiar charm to the trio of the
minuet by means of unusual instrumentation is here apparent in the
solos for the flute in the first trio and for the horn in the second. In
Mozart's autograph score the flute part is left blank: was the player to

[Footnote 5: I do not know André's authority for his assertion that it was
composed in 1780, but it appears to me to be justified. Mozart sends
from Vienna (June 27, 1781) for "The Sonata ä quatre mains in B, and
the two Concertos for two claviers," and he writes later on that he had
played the Concerto ä duo with Frl. Auemhammer at a concert (November
24, 1781). Two clarinets were added to the original accompaniment, on a
flyleaf, for this performance. The second concerto which is mentioned is
no doubt that originally written for three claviers, and afterwards for
two (p. 331).]

[Footnote 6: The Credo as far as the "Et in spiritum" was afterwards laid
aside; it was in 3-4, with the doubtful superscription, "Tempo di

[Footnote 7: The Dixit and Magnificat of the first vesper is in C major,
Confitebor in E minor, Beatus vir in B flat major, Laudate pueri in F
major, Laudate Dominum in A flat major. The Dixit and Magnificat of the
second vesper are also in C major, Confitebor in E flat major, Beatus
vir in G major, Laudate pueri in D minor, Laudate Dominum in F major.]

[Footnote 8: The accompaniment consists, besides the organ (which is only once
obbligato), of two violins and bass, trumpets and drums (these last only
in the Dixit and Magnificat), and trombones in unison with the choir.
The tenors invariably go with the bass; but, a rare occurrence, the
violoncello is frequently distinct from the double-bass. Once a very
simple solo for the bassoon, _ad libitum_, occurs.]

[Footnote 9: The simple but sometimes independent accompaniment, especially of
the violins, is very beautiful, and heightens the effect, as it does in
the Mass.]

[Footnote 10: In the second vesper a long triplet passage is given to the solo
soprano at the words "Cornu eius exaltabitur," but nothing further comes
of it.]

[Footnote 11: Printed as an offertory, "Amavit eus Dominus" (Vienna: Diabelli).]

[Footnote 12: Printed as an offertory, "Sancti et justi" (Vienna: Diabelli).]

[Footnote 13: Wolfgang had promised to compose an aria for him, but had not
done so when he was summoned to Munich for "Idomeneo", reproached by his
father, he found time in the full swing of his work at "Idomeneo" to
write this aria and send it to Salzburg (November 22,1780).]

[Footnote 14: The Wien. Ztg. (1786, No. 31) contains an obituary notice. Cf.
Gervinus, Gesch. d. Poet. Nat. Litt., IV., p. 590.]

[Footnote 15: Published in Vienna, 1774, Frankfort, 1775, and in Freih. von
Gebler's Theatralischen Werken (Prague and Dresden 1772), III., p. 305.]

[Footnote 16: Confirmed by an expression of Mozart to his father, written from
Vienna (February 15, 1783): "I am really sorry that I cannot make use of
the music to "Thamos." The piece, having failed here, is destined to be
never again performed. If it were, it would be solely on account of the
music, and that is scarcely likely. It is certainly a pity!" Mozart gave
his music, in 1786, to the needy theatrical manager Bulla, who made a
good profit by it (Nissen, p. 685); "König Thamos" was given the same
year in Berlin (Teichmann's Litt. Nachl., p. 40). The whole composition
was successfully performed at Frankfort in the winter of 1865, with a
connecting poem by Gisb. von Vincke.]

[Footnote 17: Cf. Schmid, Nekrolog, 1., p. 363.]

[Footnote 18: Lessing, Hamb. Dramat. St., 26 (Werke, VI., p. 115).]

[Footnote 19: Betracht. d. Mannh. Tonsch., I., p. 313; III., p. 253.]

[Footnote 20: "Haydn's _entr'actes_ (to 'Zaire') are really fine," writes L.
Mozart (October 6, 1777). "One of them was an arioso with variations for
violon-celli, flutes, oboe, &c., and next after a _piano_ variation came
one with Turkish music so suddenly and unexpectedly that all the women
started, and there was a general titter. Between the fourth and fifth
acts was a cantabile with recitatives for the English horn, and then the
arioso again, which accorded very well with the sadness of the preceding
scene and with the following act."]

[Footnote 21: It might be supposed that the overture before mentioned (Vol.
II., p. 86) was intended for this play, and the date of the composition
agrees with this supposition. But the paper differs from that of the
other instrumental movements, and Mozart was exact and careful in these
matters. Something also of the solemn dignity characteristic of the
choruses might be looked for in an overture to "König Thamos"; in other
respects it is not unsuitable.]

[Footnote 22: The usual Salzburg orchestra is kept in view for these movements:
strings, oboes, bassoons, and horns; and for the three entr'actes (I.,
IV., V.), trumpets and drums.]

[Footnote 23: Wieland enthusiastically praises the completed drama (Auswahl,
Denkw., Briefe, II., pp. 14, 26). Soon afterwards (p. 27) he wished the
conclusion altered, and complained that the virtuous people were unreal,
and the wicked ones veritable demons. Ramier, Sulzer, Thümmel, also
spoke highly in praise of "König Thamos" (Schlegel, Deutsch. Mus., IV.,
pp. 139, 153, 159). It was at once translated into French (Wieland,
Auswahl. Denkw. Briefe, II., p. 30), and into Italian in 1780, by J. S.
von Berghoff, secretary to Prince Colloredo. A handsomely bound copy of
this translation is preserved with Mozart's score; it was probably sent
to the Archbishop, and Mozart may have thought of adapting his choruses
to the Italian version.]

[Footnote 24: Schweitzer professed to discern in the composer to the choruses
which Gebler sent to Ramier and Wieland a beginner of great promise.
That this talented beginner was not Mozart (although he was in Vienna in
the summer of 1773) no one who casts a glance over the choruses will for
a moment doubt. "Two choruses to the play of 'Thamos' by Mozart, scored
for the piano by C. Zulehner," were published by Simrock, in Bonn,
and are certainly not genuine. The fact that Mozart was known to have
written an anonymous composition for the stage no doubt caused this one
to be attributed to him.]

[Footnote 25: Gebler was Grand Master of the district lodge, "zum neuen Bund," in
1784 (Lewis, Gesch. d. Freimaurerei in Oesterreich, p. 162).]

[Footnote 26: This concluding chorus is wanting in Gebler's works, and in the
Italian translation thus proving its Salzburg origin.]

[Footnote 27: As early as 1799 the following inquiry was made in the
Intelligenz-Blatt of the A. M. Z., II., p. 21: "Among Mozart's
posthumous works has been found a German vaudeville, written apparently
in 1778 or 1779; it is without a title, and contains the following
characters: Gomaz, Zaide, Sultan, Zaram, Soliman, Osmin, &c. Any person
acquainted with the title of this work, or with the fact of its having
been printed, is requested to communicate with the editor of this
paper." The inquiry appears to have remained unanswered.]

[Footnote 28: "Zaide," Oper in zwei Acten von W. A. Mozart. Score (and pianoforte
arrangement). Offenbach: Joh. André. André has added an overture and a
closing chorus for the purpose of performance, to which there can be no
objection. Mozart's composition is given intact, but the text has been
altered by C. Gollmick. Schachtner's libretto is truly insufferable, but
it is indispensable to the critical examination of Mozart's music.]

[Footnote 29: Schachtner has evidently imitated a French original, but I have
not been able to discover it. I have failed to procure an opera entitled
"Zaide," in three acts, by La Mare, composed by Royer (1739).]

[Footnote 30: The resemblance of some situations to the "Entfuhrung" is as
striking as the difference of the two works on the whole. An Osmin
appears as a secondary character, and sings a comic aria in the second
act, which seems to have no immediate connection with the action. The
disclosure of the flight was made in the original by Zaram, not by

[Footnote 31: This part did not satisfy Mozart, and he composed it again.]

[Footnote 32: Castil-Blaze, Molière Musicien, II., p. 423.]

[Footnote 33: La Harpe, Corr. Litt., I., p. 280.]

[Footnote 34: Brandes Lebensgesch., II., pp. 140, 157.]

[Footnote 35: Brande's Lebensgesch;, II., pp. 173, 184. Reichardt says
(Kunstmag., I., p. 86; Mus. Alman., 1796, G. Benda) that Benda was the
first to propose it; but this seems incorrect.]

[Footnote 36: Brande's Lebensgesch., II., p. 193. Teutsch. Mercur, 1775, III., p.

[Footnote 37: Brande's "Ariadne" was successfully performed in Paris in 1781
(Grimm, Corr. Litt., X., p. 450).]

[Footnote 38: Eberhard, Neue Verm. Schr. (Halle, 1788), p. 1. N. Bibl. d. Schön
Wiss., XXXVII., p. 177. Forkel, Krit. Bibl., III., p. 250. Tagebuch d.
Mannheim, Schaub., I., p. 327. Nachtr. zu Sulzer's Theorie., Ill, p.
318. Herder was of opinion that music and declamation met at evety
point; they could not unite (Böttiger, Litt. Zust., I., p. 126).]

[Footnote 39: Reichardt, Kunstmag., I., p. 86. Rintel, Zelter, p. 100. Cf. Huber,
Tamira, p. 79.]

[Footnote 40: A list of melodramas is given by Schletterer, Das Deutsche
Singspiel, p.225.]

[Footnote 41: Reichardt, Geist des Musik. Kunstmag., p. 102. Knigge, Ephemer. f.
Theat. u. Litt. (1785, II., p. 100).]

[Footnote 42: It is particularly to be regretted that the original words for
these melodramatic scenes have not been printed. The alterations in
Soliman's monologue are not so essential, but Gomaz's monologue is
entirely transformed. In the original text he was absorbed by his
unpleasant position; when he prays for refreshing slumber, and the music
represents his repeated starting up from rest, the altered version puts
love-ravings for Zaide into his mouth.]

[Footnote 43: It will suffice to remind the reader of the fine melodrama in

[Footnote 44: "Zaide" was performed in Frankfort on January 27, 1866, and though
naturally not a stage success, it was a most welcome instruction to
those who brought historical interest to bear upon it.]


ALTHOUGH in his earlier years Mozart's career had, as we have seen,
been hindered by the circumstances



to which he was forced to succumb at
Salzburg, yet the severe discipline to which he was subjected must have
been in many respects useful during his period of education. Since his
return from his travels, however, his Salzburg surroundings were utterly
oppressive and distasteful to him. His time of training was over; what
he now required was freedom, work worthy of his powers, and the means of
producing all that he was able and willing to produce. But of all this
Salzburg could give nothing, and want of appreciation and mistrust, in
addition to external obstacles, almost caused Mozart to lose heart and
spirit, and throw up his post. His longing looks were naturally turned
in whatever direction deliverance might seem to lie, and he considered
it a fortunate circumstance when he was commissioned to write the opera
for the Carnival of 1781 at Munich. The interest he had excited in Karl
Theodor and his consort rendered it comparatively easy for Mozart's
friends among the court singers and musicians to direct the choice so
that it should fall on him; the Archbishop had promised leave of absence
too distinctly to be able to draw back, nor would his many obligations
to the Bavarian court have rendered a refusal possible. An entirely new
opera was desired on this occasion, and the Abbot Giambatt. Varesco,
who had been court chaplain at Salzburg since 1766, was commissioned
to write the libretto; he could take counsel with Mozart, who knew the
Munich company well, and by obeying his suggestions make the text quite
according to his mind, so that a work not unworthy of the brilliant fame
of the Munich Opera might be expected. When a translation of the text
was called for later, Mozart proposed his old friend Schachtner, who was



employed to do it; and Leopold Mozart could write with some pride to
Breitkopf (August 10,1781): "It is remarkable that every part of
the work is by persons residing in Salzburg: the poetry by the
court chaplain, Abbate Varesco, the music by my son, and the German
translation by Herr Schachtner."

Varesco's "Idomeneo" was modelled on the opera "Idomenée," written by
Danchet and composed by Campra, first performed in 1712 and revived in

The _dramatis personæ_ are as follows:--[See Page Images]

The plot is briefly as follows:--

Idomeneo, King of Crete, after the siege of Troy, has wandered a long
way from his home, where his son, Idamante, grown to man's estate during
his absence, awaits him in filial love. Electra, daughter of Agamemnon,
banished by the people of Argus on account of the matricide of Orestes,
has taken refuge with Idamante, and becomes deeply enamoured of him. But
Ilia, daughter of Priam, who, with other Trojan captives, has been sent
to Crete by Idomeneo, has conceived a passion for Idamante, which he
returns. At the opening of the opera we find Ilia struggling with her
love for the enemy of her fatherland (aria, 2). Idamante approaches her
joyfully. He has received tidings that his father's fleet is in
sight, and has sent his old confidant, Arbace, to bring more exact
intelligence. On this joyful day he gives freedom to all the Trojan
captives, and declares his love for Ilia, which she, although
reluctantly, rejects; whereupon he bewails himself in an aria (3). The
captive Trojans are led in and loosed from their fetters,



giving occasion for a joyful chorus. Electra comes and expresses
dissatisfaction at the liberation of so many enemies. Then follows
Arbace with intelligence (which is mistaken) of the shipwreck of
Idomeneo. Idamante departs overwhelmed with grief. Electra remains
behind and gives vent to her jealousy and despair in a song (aria, 5).
The scene changes to the sea-coast, and the fleet of Idomeneo is
seen threatened by a storm, and driven on to the rocks, the mariners
lamenting and beseeching aid. Neptune appears and commands the winds
to depart. Idomeneo prays for his help, but the god casts threatening
glances on him, and disappears. The sea being calmed, Idomeneo lands and
declares that, during the storm, he has vowed to sacrifice to Neptune
the first person who shall meet him on shore. He trembles at the
rashness of his vow, and anxiously looks for the sacrifice he is to make
(aria, 6). Idamante enters, having sought solitude as ease to his grief.
He offers shelter to the stranger, whom he fails to recognise. In the
course of conversation it transpires that he is mourning for his father
Idomeneo. Whereupon Idomeneo makes himself known, but overcome by the
horror of his situation, he departs, forbidding Idamante to follow
him. The latter, ignorant of the cause, is inconsolable at his father's
rejection of his proffered love and services (aria, 8). An intermezzo
of suitable character follows the first act. The warriors of Idomeneo
disembark to a march (9), are welcomed by their wives and children, and
"express their joy in a grand figure-dance, ending with a chorus (10)."

At the beginning of the second act Idomeneo is in conversation with
Arbace. He communicates to him his fearful vow, from the fulfilment
of which he wishes to escape. Arbace represents to him that this is
impossible. But when he hears that Idamante is to be the sacrifice,
he counsels his being sent to a distant country, and that during his
banishment they should seek to appease the wrath of Neptune. Idomeneo
decides upon commanding Idamante to accompany Electra to Argos, and
there ascend the throne, and commissions Arbace to bid him prepare for
the journey. Arbace promises obedience (aria, 11), and departs. Ilia now
appears, expresses delight at Idomeneo's safety, and, while extolling
Idamante's goodness, declares her own gratitude and submission (aria,
12). Her warmth causes Idomeneo to suspect their love, and his grief and
confusion are thereby augmented (aria, 13). Electra, entering, thanks
him for his care. He leaves her alone, and she expresses her joy at the
fulfilment of her dearest wishes (aria, 14). The warriors assemble
in the harbour to the sound of a march (15). Electra appears with her
followers, the sea is calm, and all look forward to a fortunate voyage
(chorus, 16). Idomeneo dismisses Idamante, who sees in this command a
fresh proof of his father's inexplicable displeasure. They express
their opposing sentiments in a terzet (17). As they prepare to embark, a
terrific storm arises, and a huge sea-monster rises from the waves. This
convinces Idomeneo that his



disobedience has offended Neptune, and he determines to die himself, and
not to sacrifice the innocent. "The storm continues to rage, the Cretans
fly, and the act closes with the expression of their fear and horror by
singing and pantomimic dancing."

Ilia opens the third act, bewailing her unhappy love (aria, 19).
Idamante surprises her, and declares his resolve to seek death in
combat with the monster who is laying waste the land; this leads to a
disclosure of her love, and the two express their happiness in a duet
(20). Idomeneo, entering with Electra, discovers them; he cannot bring
himself to acknowledge to Idamante the true cause of his mysterious
behaviour, but commands him anew to leave Crete at once, and seek an
asylum in a distant land. The various emotions of those present are
expressed in a quartet (21). Idamante having departed, Arbace enters
and announces that the people are hurrying with the high priest at their
head to demand deliverance from the monster; Idomeneo goes to meet them,
and Arbace expresses his earnest wish for the happiness of his ruler
(aria, 22). On an open space in front of the castle the high priest
appears with the multitude; he describes the ravages of the monster,
which can only be terminated by the fulfilment of Idomeneo's vow, and
demands to know the name of the promised victim (23). When Idomeneo
names his son as the sacrifice, horror seizes the people (chorus, 24).
During a march (25) Idomeneo with his subjects enters the temple of
Neptune, and while the priests prepare for the sacrifice they offer
their solemn prayers to the god (26); cries of joy are heard from afar,
and Arbace hastens in and announces that Idamante has slain the
monster in heroic combat. Idamante is presently borne in by priests and
warriors, crowned and in white robes; he now knows his father's vow, and
satisfied as to his feelings towards him, he is ready to fall a joyful
sacrifice to the angry god (aria, 27). As Idomeneo is in the act of
striking the fatal blow, Ilia hastens in and restrains him; she insists
upon taking the place of her lover, and a tender strife arises between
them, which Idomeneo listens to with emotion, Electra with rage and
jealousy. As Ilia kneels before the altar, "a great subterranean
disturbance is heard, the statue of Neptune totters, the high priest
stands entranced before the altar, all are amazed and motionless from
fear, while a deep and majestic voice declares the will of the gods":
Idomeneo is to renounce the throne, which Idamante is to ascend, and to
be united to Ilia (28). At this unexpected issue, Electra breaks into
violent anger, and "goes off raging"; Idomeneo arranges everything
according to the divine will (30), and expresses his grateful joy (aria,
31); Idamante is crowned in a pantomimic ballet, during which the chorus
sing a joyful conclusion to the opera (32).[2]



Varesco omitted the prologue of his original, and reduced the five acts
to the customary three. He also left out altogether the divinities and
allegorical personages, which were somewhat prominent in the French
text; and of three confidants he retained only Arbace. For the rest
he follows the progress of the plot pretty closely, only judiciously
omitting the love of Idomeneo for Ilia, and altering the conclusion. In
the original, Idomeneo, after voluntarily raising his son to the throne,
and bestowing on him the hand of Ilia, is stricken with madness by
Nemesis, and slays Idamante with the sacrificial axe. He is then
prevented from committing suicide, but Ilia falls by her own hand.
Metastasio had weaned Italian opera from such horrors. Varesco naturally
looked to opera seria as the foundation of his adaptation,[3] but he
endeavoured at the same time to make use of the distinctive features
of French opera. This is evident in his care for variety of scenery and
machinery, in the marches and processions which occur in every act,
and in the pantomimic dances which are made subservient to the plot.
Further, the frequent introduction of the chorus was evidently suggested
by French opera, and a marked progress displayed in the fact that the
chorus was not employed merely to heighten the pomp of the piece, but
took part in the action at critical moments, and expressed important
dramatic situations. The ensembles, too, are not placed in regular
succession at the end of the acts, without reference to the plot; they
occur naturally as the piece proceeds, and have a dramatic signification
of their own. Such movements are indeed rarely introduced, and not all
the suitable points are made use of for them; no attempt is made either
to unite the several connected points of the plot into a musical
whole in the finale, but rather each separate situation has its own
independent musical treatment.[4] On the other hand, there



is an evident intention to give the piece a tragic tone rather than
that of the then prevalent effeminate tenderness, and to invest the
characters with a psychological interest, and the plot with natural
development and climax. It must be admitted that the success is but
partial. Varesco was no poet, and the spirit of French tragedy was not
calculated to raise him to a higher sphere than that of Italian opera.
Conventionality predominates, passion and emotion find but unnatural
expression, pedantry and exaggeration, both alike untrue, jostle each
other; and the plot hangs on such slender threads that, in spite of the
strong passions which are set in motion, it awakens no lively interest.
The weak points both of French and Italian opera are here combined; but
there are other faults belonging more especially to the latter. Such,
for example, is the giving of the part of Idamante to a male soprano,
and employing the bass voice only for the subordinate part of the
Oracle. Idomeneo is tenor, according to traditional usage, and stands
almost alone against three soprano voices, for Arbaces as second tenor
acts only as a stop-gap, and the high priest only appears once in
an obbligato recitative. Generally speaking the airs do not form the
culminating point of a dramatic situation, but only close it with a
kind of point. Frequently they have only a commonplace phrase or an
elaborated image for their subject, and all their individuality is
bestowed upon them by the music. Varesco is nevertheless a practised
verse-maker, who has employed, not without skill, the materials he found
ready to hand, but is far removed from Metastasio's delicacy and grace.

With all its drawbacks the advantage of a settled tradition is very
visible, the external arrangements, such as the distribution among
the characters of the different pieces being carefully carried out.
In short, if "Idomeneo" is compared with Mozart's earlier operas, the
progress in the choice and treatment of material is very marked. Such an
absolute blending of the essential features of French and Italian opera
as is aimed at does not indeed take place; a compromise between the two
had first to be made. It can scarcely be doubted that Mozart had a share
in the construction of the libretto in its more important parts, and



his experiences in Mannheim and Paris had qualified him for the task;
but his influence was not felt in the details of the work.

When the libretto was ready, and part of the music composed, Mozart
repaired to Munich, according to custom, to finish the opera on the
spot. After a journey in the postcarriage, "which shook the soul out of
one's body," and gave him not an instant's sleep, he wrote to his father
(November 8, 1780), "Joyful and glad was my arrival!" There was plenty
to be done: the opera was to be rehearsed, to be put on the stage, and
the greater part of it was still unwritten. How much of it he took with
him ready to Munich is not precisely known; probably the majority of
the recitatives, the first act, and perhaps part of the second; at all
events his first letters mention some of the songs as already composed.

He was able to set to work with a good heart, for he was met with
goodwill on all sides. Count Seeau was altogether at his service; and
when they sometimes fell out, and Mozart was provoked to be rude, it was
always the Count who gave way. The Elector received him very graciously.
"I had almost forgotten the best!" he writes (November 15, 1780); "Count
Seeau presented me _en passant_ to the Elector last Sunday, after mass;
he was very gracious, and said, 'I am glad to see you here again.' And
when I said that I would endeavour to deserve the approbation of his
highness, he patted me on the shoulder and said, 'Oh, I have no doubt
it will all go very well indeed.' _A piano piano si va lontano!_"
The nobility, too, were favourably disposed towards him. Cannabich
introduced him to the Countess Baumgarten, who was then the favourite
of the Elector. "My friend is everything in this house," he writes
(November 13, 1780), "and I, too, now; it is the best and most useful
house here for me, and so far all has gone, and by God's help will go,
well with me." He was able, therefore, to satisfy his father as to the
success of the opera (November 24, 1780): "Have no care as to my opera,
dear father; I hope there will be no hitch. A little cabal is opposed
to it, but it will certainly come to grief, for all the best and most
powerful houses



of the nobility are in my favour, as well as the principal musicians,
especially Cannabich."[5]

There was, at all events, no opposition to be feared on the part of
the singers or the orchestra; they and Mozart were mutually anxious to
satisfy each other. But their joint labours and the requirements of the
stage showed many alterations in the text to be necessary, and Varesco
must have been often appealed to to undertake these, or to sanction
proposed changes. Among the performers for whom he wrote, Dal Prato
gave him some real trouble. Soon after his arrival he had "a piece of
roguery" to narrate (November 8, 1780): "I have not indeed the honour
of knowing the heroic Dal Prato, but according to the description
Ceccarelli must be better than he; for sometimes his breath fails in the
middle of a song, and, _nota bene_, he was never on the stage, and Raaff
is like a statue. Now, you may imagine the scene in the first act, the
meeting of Idomeneo and Idamante." Further acquaintance with Dal Prato
justified the reports concerning him. "My _molto amato Castrato dal
Prato_," he writes (November 15,1780), "requires teaching the whole
opera"; "he has to learn his part like a child, and has not a pennyworth
of method" (November 22, 1780). He was the stumbling block also in the
quartet, which had to be rehearsed six times before it went right.

"The fellow can do nothing," complains Mozart (December 30, 1780); "his
voice would not be so bad if he did not sing in his throat and head, but
he is absolutely without intonation or method or sentiment, and sings
like the best among the boys who come to be heard when they seek
admission to a choir."

He had trouble of quite another kind with his "dear old friend" Raaff.
He was exceedingly fanciful, and Mozart made many alterations out of
love for him and consideration for his gray hairs (December 27, 1780):--



Let me tell you that Raaff is the best and honestest man in the world,
but so wedded to his old jog-trot ideas that it is enough to drive one
crazy. Consequently it is very difficult to write for him; very easy,
too, I grant you, if one is content to write songs such as, for example,
the first, "Vedrommi intorno," &c. If you could only hear it--it is
good, and it is pretty; but if I had written it for Zonca I should have
made it much better fitted to the words. I had a good deal of trouble
with him about the quartet. The oftener I hear this quartet the more
effective it appears to me, and every one that has heard it likes it.
Only Raaff thinks it will be wanting in effect; he said to me, "Non c'
è da spianar la voce." As if there should not be more speaking than
singing in a quartet! But he knows nothing about these things. I only
said, "My dear friend! if there was only one note in this quartet that I
thought should be altered, I would do it; but I am better satisfied with
it than with any other piece in the opera, and when you have once heard
it together, you will alter your mind. I have done my best to please you
with your two songs, and so I will with the third, with good hopes of
succeeding; but as far as regards the terzets and quartets, the composer
should be allowed his own way." That satisfied him.

After the rehearsal Raaff "gladly acknowledged himself in the wrong, and
had no more doubt as to the good effect of the quartet" (December 30,
1780). When Mozart had "shown him the paces" of his first air, he was
quite satisfied with it (November 15, 1780); and equally so with the air
in the second act (December 1, 1780):--

He is as much in love with his song as a younger man might be with his
fair lady: he sings it at night before he goes to sleep, and in the
morning as soon as he wakes. He said to Baron Viereck and Herr von
Castel, "I have always been used to have a hand in my own part, in the
recitatives as well as the songs; but I have left this just as it was.
There is not a note that does not suit me exactly." _Enfin_, he is as
happy as a king over it.

Some ill-natured speeches were made in spite of all this, as Mozart
writes to his father (December 27, 1780):--

_À propos!_ Becke tells me that he wrote to you again after the last
rehearsal but one, and told you among other things that Raaffs song in
the second act is not written for the words. "They tell me," he said,
"that you know too little of Italian. Is it so?" "You should have asked
me, and then written! I can assure you that he who told you this knows
very little Italian himself." The song goes exceedingly well with the
words. One hears the "mare" and the "mare funesto;" and the



passages lead up to "minacciar" in a way that thoroughly expresses
"minacciar"--a threatening; in fact, it is the finest song in the opera,
and meets with universal approval.

The two other male vocalists belonged to the old Munich opera. "Honest
old Panzacchi" had been an excellent singer and a good actor in
his time, but his best days were over; and Valesi, too, who had a
well-deserved reputation as a tenor, had almost given up the stage, and
devoted himself to teaching. L. Mozart had reason, therefore, to write
(November 11,1780): "What you tell me of your vocalists is sad, and
shows that everything must depend on the composition."

There were no difficulties this time with the female vocalists. Both the
Wendlings were friendly and amenable--they went Mozart's way, and
were contented with everything he did. "Madame Dorothea Wendling is
_arci-contentissima_ with her scena, and wanted to hear it three times
over,', he wrote home (November 8,1780), and they were quite in accord
about the second song. "Lisel Wendling," he wrote soon after (November
15, 1780), "sang her two songs half-a-dozen times; she is thoroughly
pleased; I have it from a third person that both the Wendlings have
praised their songs very highly."

Mozart kept up with great industry the work of rehearsing and composing
(a song for Schikaneder was composed meanwhile, Vol. II., p. 102),
although he was suffering from a severe cold. The homely remedies
which his father ordered brought some alleviation of it, but, as he was
obliged to continue writing, the cure was a slow one.

At Munich he fell in with Mara, who had not long left Berlin. "She is
not so fortunate as to please me," he writes (November 13, 1780); "she
does too little to come up to the Bastardina (Vol. I., p. 112), which is
her ambition, and she does too much to touch the heart like a Weber, or
an expressive singer." He was even less edified by the behaviour of the
husband and wife than by Madame Mara's singing, and writes at a later
date (November 24,1780) of the "pride, insolence, and effrontery which
were visible in their countenances." When Mara was to sing at a court
concert, after the first symphony "i saw her lord and master creep
behind her with a violoncello in his hand; I thought it was going to be



a song with obbligato violoncello. Old Danzi, a very good accompanist,
is first violoncellist here; all at once old Toeschi--conductor when
Cannabich is not there--said to Danzi, who is his son-in-law, by the
way, 'Stand up, and let Mara take your place.' But Cannabich heard him,
and cried, 'Danzi, stay where you are! The Elector likes his own people
to play.' And the song proceeded. Herr Mara stood meekly with his
violoncello in his hand behind his wife." The song which Mara was
singing had a second part, but she went out during the ritornello
without acquainting the orchestra, "with her native air of effrontery,"
and afterwards complained to the Elector.[6] He answered: "Madame, you
sang like an angel, although your husband did not accompany you," and
referred her to Count Seeau.

The first act was rehearsed at the end of November, and Mozart was able
to report to his father such success as raised the general expectation
to a still higher pitch (December 1, 1780):--

The rehearsal went off remarkably well. There were only six violins in
all, but the proper wind instruments. No spectators were admitted
but Seeau s sister and young Count Seinsheim. I cannot tell you how
delighted and astonished every one was. It was only what I expected, for
I assure you I went to this rehearsal with as light a heart as if it
had been a banquet. Count Seinsheim said to me: "I assure you I expected
much from you, but this I did not expect." The Cannabich family and all
who know them are true friends of mine. I went home with Cannabich after
the rehearsal. Madame Cannabich met us and embraced me, full of pleasure
that the rehearsal had gone off so well; then came Ramm and Lang half
out of their minds with delight. The good lady, my true friend, being
alone in the house with her sick Rose, had been full of anxiety for me.
Ramm said to me (if you knew him you would call him a true German, for
he says to your face exactly what he thinks): "You may believe me when
I say that no music ever made such an impression on me; and I thought
fifty times what a pleasure it will be to your father to hear this
opera." But enough of this! My cold was made rather worse by the
rehearsal. One cannot help getting overheated when fame and honour are
at stake, however cold-blooded one may naturally be.



Wolfgang's father received other confirmation of the success, which he
did not withhold from his son:--

Fiala showed me a letter from Becke which is very eulogistic of the
music of your first act. He writes that tears of joy and pleasure came
to his eyes when he heard the music, and that every one declared it was
the finest music they had ever heard--all so new and beautiful, &c. He
says that the second act is about to be rehearsed, that he will write to
me himself, &c. Well, God be thanked, this all looks well.

L. Mozart, who had been wont to exhort Wolfgang not to procrastinate,
as indeed he often did at Salzburg, was now concerned to hear of his
obstinate cold, the more so as his sister was suffering from a chest
complaint, and he begs him to take care of himself; he was not to hurry
over the third act, it would be ready quite in good time. Ready, as he
always was, with good advice, he warns him to remember that an opera
should not only please connoisseurs (December 11, 1780): "I recommend
you not to think in your work only of the musical public, but also of
the unmusical. You know that there are a hundred ignorant people for
every ten true connoisseurs, so do not forget what is called _popular_,
and tickle the long ears." But Wolfgang will not listen to this. "As
to what is called popular," he answers (December 16, 1780), "do not be
afraid, there is music in my opera for all sorts of people--only none
for long-ears." Meantime the work of rehearsing went steadily forward.
On December 16, in the afternoon, the first and second acts were
rehearsed at Count Seeau's, the parts being doubled, so that there
were twelve violins. All went well, as Wolfgang reported (December 19,

The orchestra and all the audience gladly acknowledged that, contrary
to their expectations, the second act was superior both in novelty and
expression to the first. Next Saturday the second act is to be rehearsed
again, but in a large room in the palace, which I have long desired,
for the room at Count Seeau's is far too small. The Elector is to listen
_incognito_ in an adjoining apartment. "We must rehearse for dear life
then," said Cannabich to me. At the last rehearsal he was bathed in
perspiration. You will judge from my letters that I am well and hearty.
It is a great thing to come to the end of a great and laborious work,
and to feel that one leaves it with honour and fame; this I have almost
done, for now nothing is wanting but three songs, and the last chorus of
the third act, the overture and the ballet--"et adieu partie!"

{IDOMENEO.} (138)

The next rehearsal gave even greater satisfaction (December 27, 1780):--

The last rehearsal was splendid; it was in a large room in the palace,
and the Elector was present. This time we had the whole orchestra (that
belongs to the opera-house, of course). After the first act the Elector
said "Bravo!" out loud; and when I went to pay my respects to him, he
said, "This opera will be charming--it will certainly do you honour." As
he was not sure of being able to remain to the end, we let him hear the
concerted song, and the storm at the beginning of the second act. These
he also approved of in the most kindly manner, and said, laughing, "No
one would imagine that such great things could come out of such a little
head." The other day at his early reception, too, he praised my opera
very much.

In the evening at court the Elector again spoke in high praise of the
music, and Mozart learnt from a sure source that he had said after the
rehearsal, "I was quite taken by surprise--no music ever had such an
effect on me--it is truly magnificent."

The news of this success reached Salzburg bit by bit. "All the town is
talking of the excellence of your opera," his father tells him (December
25, 1780). "Baron Lerbach set it going; the chancellor s wife told me
that she had heard from him that the opera was wonderfully well spoken
of everywhere. Then came Becke's letter to Fiala, which he gave to
be read everywhere." Becke wrote to L. Mozart himself that "the storm
chorus in the second act is so powerful that none could hear it, even
in the greatest heat of summer, without turning as cold as ice;" and
he praises Dorothea Wendling's concerted song very much. The violinist
Esser from Mayence, who had given concerts in Salzburg, wrote from
Augsburg concerning the two acts of the opera which he had heard:
"Che abbia sentito una musica ottima e particolare, universalmente
applaudita." "In short," writes the father, "it would be tedious to tell
you all the compliments paid to you. I hope that the third act will have
as good an effect, and I do so the more confidently, since all the best
situations are here, and the subterranean voices must be startling and
terrifying.[7] I hope to be able to say, 'Finis coronat opus.'"



To this his son answers, over head and ears in work (December 30, 1780):
"The third act will be thought _at least_ as good as the other two:
I like it infinitely better, and you may justly say, 'Finis coronat
opus.'" But there was plenty to do meantime. "Head and hands," he writes
(January 3,1781), "are full of the third act, so that I should not be
surprised if I were to turn into a third act myself; It alone has cost
me more trouble than the whole opera, for there is not a scene in it
that has not peculiar interest." He had the satisfaction of finding
after the rehearsal that it really was considered to surpass the other
two acts.

Mozart's anxious father strove to draw his attention to every point that
might contribute to success, and particularly cautioned him to keep
on good terms with the orchestra (December 25, 1780). Experience of
Salzburg must necessarily have shown him the importance of this:--

Try to keep your orchestra in good humour--flatter them, and make them
devoted to you by praising them; I know your way of writing, and the
unceasing and close attention it exacts from all the instruments; it is
no joke for the orchestra to be kept on the stretch of their attention
for three hours and more. Every one, even the worst fiddler, is touched
by being praised _tête-ä-tête_, and becomes more and more attentive and
zealous; and these courtesies cost you nothing but a few words. But
you know it all yourself; I only tell you because such things are often
forgotten at rehearsal, and you will need the friendship and zeal of
the whole orchestra when the opera is in scena. The position is then
altered, and the player's attention must be much more intent. You know
that they cannot all be friendly towards you. There is always a _but_
and an _if_ to be met with. You say people doubted whether the second
act would come up to the first. This doubt being relieved, few will have
misgivings for the third act. But I will wager my head that there will
be some who will doubt whether the music will be as effective in the
theatre as in a room; and in that case the greatest zeal and goodwill
are necessary on the part of the orchestra.

But the opera was not ready yet; there was to be no ballet, only
a divertissement fitting into the plot, and this Mozart was, as he
expressed it, to have the honour of composing (December 30, 1780). "I am
very glad of it," he adds, "for then the music will be by _one_ master."
He was



hard at work at the "cursed dances" until the middle of January, and had
no time to think of anything else, not even of his own health. It was
not until January 18 that he could write: Laus Deo, at last I have
come to an end of it!" Amid rehearsals and anxious labours, the day of
representation drew near. L. Mozart had been concerned lest the death of
the Empress Maria Theresa on November 29, 1780, should put a stop to it,
but Wolfgang reassured him by saying that none of the theatres had been
closed on this account. Soon after he was terrified by a rumour that
the Electress was dangerously ill, but discovered this to be a "lie
from beginning to end." At first January 20, 1781, was fixed for the
performance, then the 22nd, and finally January 29; the last rehearsal
was to be on the 27th, Wolfgang's birthday; he was pleased at the
postponements: "The opera can be oftener and more carefully rehearsed."
The fame of "Idomeneo," which had reached Salzburg even before its
performance, was a great source of satisfaction to Mozart's friends;
Dr. Prexl, for instance (Vol. II., p. 84), wrote to him of the
"inexpressible satisfaction" with which he had learnt the honour done by
Wolfgang to Salzburg, and more than one friend undertook the journey
to Munich in order to be present; among these were Frau Robini and her
family, two Fräulein Barisani, and Fiala, from the Kapelle. L. Mozart,
who was "as pleased as a child about the excellence of the orchestra,"
intended to go to Munich with his daughter as soon as he could arrange
to be absent. But as he dared not risk a refusal from the Archbishop,
and it was rumoured that the latter meditated a journey to Vienna, he
waited his time. It suited him very well that the first performance was
postponed until Hieronymus had actually left Salzburg. This being so,
he set out on January 26 to be present at the last rehearsal and the
performance. Wolfgang had arranged that his father and sister should
find accommodation at his own lodging (in the Burggasse), if they would
be contented to live for the time "like gipsies or soldiers."

The arrival of Mozart's father and sister at Munich brings us to a
detailed account of the performance of "Idomeneo"



and its success. The "Munich Literary and Miscellaneous News" (February
1, 1781, No. XIX., p. 76) announced it briefly as follows:--

On the 29th ult. the opera of "Idomeneo" was performed for the first
time in the new opera-house. The adaptation, music, and translation all
proceed from Salzburg. The scenery, including a view of the harbour
and Neptune's temple, are among the masterpieces of our well-known
theatrical architect, the Herr Councillor Lorenz Quaglio.[8]

All that we read, however, of the success of the opera in rehearsal
leaves us no doubt that it met with a very favourable reception.

As to the sum received by Mozart in payment for "Idomeneo" we know
nothing; but it cannot have been a large one, or L. Mozart would not
have written (December 11, 1780): "How about the score? will it not be
copied? You must be careful as to this, for _with such a payment the
score cannot be given up_." To which Wolfgang answered (December 16,
1780): "I made no ceremony as to the copying of the score, but spoke
openly on the subject to the Count. It was always the custom in Mannheim
(where the kapellmeister was well paid besides) to give up the score
to the composer." The original score, in three volumes, is written in a
very neat but rapid hand, with scarcely any alterations except a few in
the recitatives. As usual, the different numbers are written separately
and then put together; the double-bass part was written larger, as in
other scores, for the convenience of the bass-player at the clavier. The
score was to have been printed at the time, as appears from a letter of
L. Mozart to Breitkopf (August 10, 1781): "We were advised to publish
the opera, printed or engraved, either in full score or clavier score.
Subscribers were promised for some thirty copies, among whom was his
highness Prince Max of Zweibrücken, but my son's journey to Vienna and
the intervening events caused us to postpone the whole affair." The
music for the ballet which was given with "Idomeneo" has not yet been
printed (367 K.).

Mozart seems to have set great value on "Idomeneo"



(366 K.), even in later years;[9] it is certain that soon after he had
made good his footing in Vienna he exerted himself to have it placed
on the stage, for which purpose he intended entirely to remodel it.
Unfortunately this project fell through, and when in 1786 a company of
distinguished amateurs performed the opera at the residence of Prince
Karl Auersperg, Mozart contented himself with several alterations, but
did not attempt a complete remodelling. Later, and more especially
quite recently, "Idomeneo" has been given from time to time on different
stages, without exciting as much interest in the general public as the
better-known works of Mozart; the judgment of connoisseurs, on the other
hand, has always distinguished it.[10] Both phenomena are comprehensible
on a close examination of the distinctive features of the work.

Ulibicheff remarks with great justice that it is easy to distinguish
in "Idomeneo" where Mozart has still clung to the formulas of the opera
seria, where he strives to imitate Gluck and the French opera, and where
he gives free play to his own independent impulses as an artist. These
indications are, of course, not to be met with accurately marked out in
the different pieces, Mozart's individuality, in the perfection to which
it had now attained, being throughout the very pith of the work.

We have seen that the libretto unites the characteristics of Italian
and French opera as far as style is concerned, but that the determining
element is the Italian style. We have seen further that the singers,
with the exception of the two female characters, belonged to the Italian
school, which fact tended to the maintenance of Italian form.

It might therefore be expected that Mozart, especially in the songs,
should set out from the traditional forms, and only



attempt to modify them as far as was possible. But the influence of the
French original on the opera lay deeper than this, and was impressed
on its poetry, language, and nationality, Italian as these all were in
external form. Let us consider the songs. The effort is evident to give
a more individual expression to the sentiment arising from the dramatic
situation than was usual even with Metastasio; but the form and
construction are only modified, and have retained the specific character
of Italian poetry. The rhetoric differs altogether from the rhetoric
of French poetry. Indirectly, too, language by its rhythm and accent
affects musical construction, and the distinctions between the
Italian and French language are strikingly apparent, not only in
the recitatives, which are governed by the musical character of the
language, but in the formation of the melodies, where language must be
taken into account as an essential element. But deepest of all lies the
difference in the conceptions and ideas of the two nations. The emotions
and passions of different nations vary not only in intensity but in mode
of expression, and where a truly national art has developed itself
this special character is stamped on all its productions. The Italians
express their feelings vividly and accent them strongly, and not only
so, but their instinctive love of formula calls forth sharply defined
characterisation and favours typical developments, as is shown,
for instance, in their singularly perfect talent for pantomimic
representations. This tendency has had a marked influence on the
development of music, particularly of dramatic music, in Italy. It still
bears a national character, which is not only stamped on it in certain
forms and turns of expression, but which is the artistic expression of
emotions springing from the very nature of the people. Whoever has heard
Italian music performed both by Italian and German singers will readily
be convinced that the difference rests not only on style and method,
but still more essentially on the peculiarities of the Italian national
character. It should not therefore be matter for surprise that music
which to Germans appears false or unnatural should make a much deeper
impression on Italians than the merely sensual one which strikes the



Mozart's "Idomeneo" bears this distinctive Italian colouring, as do all
his Italian operas, not only in the employment of Italian technicalities
and mechanism, but in the living breath and fragrance which nothing but
an absorption into the national spirit could bestow. Even as a boy he
displayed a delicate sense of national distinctions, when in "Bastien
und Baitienne" and the "Finta Semplice" he defined so sharply the limits
of German vaudeville and of opera buffa. If "Zaide" is compared with
"Idomeneo," the fundamental distinctions of conception and style are
not less definitely marked; and the same was the case later in the
"Entführung" and the "Zauberflote," in "Figaro," "Don Giovanni," "Cosi
fan Tutte," and "Tito." To give only one example: one of the most
beautiful and affecting scenes that Mozart ever wrote is that in which
Idomeneo, at the request of the high priest, indicates his son as
the sacrifice demanded by the gods, and all the people break out into
lamentations; and yet this chorus (24) is a most unmistakable instance
of the Italian form and style. Places like "Giä régna la morte" appear
typical of similar modes of expression which occur so frequently in
Italian operas. But the Italian mould in which Mozart's work is cast,
and on which the harmony of the whole depends, is not consciously put
forward as a national colouring. It proceeds from such an intimate
acquaintance with the Italian style as was then considered the proper
foundation for musical studies, and was only possible so long as Italian
music bore actual sway in German churches and theatres, and found no
contradiction in the national consciousness. This sway was undisputed in
South Germany during Mozart's youth and period of artistic development.
The musical atmosphere in which he grew up, the elements of culture
which were offered to him, were thoroughly Italian; and Italian
conceptions and fashions had become second nature to him as to all other
German artists who took part in the development of Italian opera during
the last century. The relation in which an artistic genius stands to his
time and nation is difficult to grasp. Far from shunning the influences
of either, his genius displays itself in his power of representing their



features and tendencies with force and vigour, amounting even to
one-sidedness; and then again it sets itself in opposition to them, and
struggles until it rules and determines them anew. It would be a hard
task indeed to fathom the nature of an artist to that point where
the threads of his personal powers and proclivities, and those of the
cultivation of his time and nation, are so interwoven that they appear
as the root of his artistic individuality; we must be content with
tracing onward the path of his development.

Although Mozart's training had so imbued him with the spirit of Italian
music that its essence appeared to him as the essence of music itself,
yet he transformed the elements which he had so absorbed with the
whole force of his individuality. He did not consciously adopt them as
national, neither did he oppose them from motives of patriotism, and
seek to substitute a German style. His individuality joined issue with
the elements of an art ready to hand in full development, and produced
works of art which were genuinely Italian, and also genuinely Mozart.
The fresh new life which had awakened in German poetry, and which first
caused a consciousness of national existence to show itself in the realm
of art, touched Mozart at a time when his musical education was already
firmly grounded. He could therefore without self-contradiction continue
along the trodden path, and carry on the development of the Italian
opera as a settled form of art, which he had made his own in the truest
sense. But the impulse of German art laid hold, as we shall see, of his
innermost being, and gave him clear consciousness of his capabilities
as a German artist. Granted that the German element of his nature--with
which he could never dispense--remained latent and inactive while he
appropriated Italian art as his own, yet all that he so took was treated
as his own free property and turned to account with German thought
and feeling. While thus the German school of music was partly founded,
partly endued with new life by him, he brought Italian opera to a climax
as far as its universal application was concerned; after Mozart it
becomes more exclusively national. Like every genius who has made his
mark in the history of art, he casts his



glance over the past as well as into the future. To him it was given to
concentrate the living elements of Italian music into works of mature
perfection in art, and, setting to work with freshly tempered force,
to turn to account the youthful impulses of German music, and lead them
towards the goal of artistic freedom and beauty.

Thus, in Idomeneo we recognise the genuinely Italian character of the
opera seria, brought to its highest perfection by the force of Mozart's
perfectly cultivated individuality; but in details we still perceive
the ascendency of traditional form, to which the artist was obliged to

It is most unmistakably present in the two songs allotted to Arbace.
The part of confidant was intended both musically and dramatically as a
stop-gap; it served as a foil for the more important characters, and was
a principal adjunct in the production of that _chiaroscuro_ which was
considered as essential to scenic effect. On this account Arbace's two
songs (11, 22) are not woven into the dramatic web of the opera either
in words or music. Some concessions were doubtless made to Panzacchi, a
clever and accomplished singer of the old school, and there is no lack
of runs, jumps, and similar feats for display of execution. The songs
follow the old fashion in other ways also (except that they have only
one tempo, and a structure modified accordingly), as, for instance, in
the introduction of cadenzas; a very long ritornello of the second song
is afterwards shortened at both ends. But in order to give them some
musical interest, the accompaniment, although weak in instrumentation,
is carefully worked out in counterpoint, especially in the second song.
The preceding accompanied recitative, in composing which Mozart plainly
had Panzacchi in view, is fine and expressive.

Dal Prato also, for whom the part of Idamante was intended, had only
the knowledge of an Italian singer, and that in no considerable degree.
Mozart was again, therefore, fettered by tradition, and could venture
little to render the song more original and lifelike. In all the three
songs for this character (3, 8, 27), the old type is clearly to be
recognised. The first, if the singer had had a powerful execution,



which he avowedly had not, would probably have been an ordinary bravura
song; it has the general plan of one, but is without bravura passages.
The emphasis is laid on the accompaniment, which is independent and
interesting throughout; the constant use of the wind instruments
supplies it with fine sound effects. The frequent changes of time, the
construction of the song being in all other respects very regular, is
intended to give animation to the expression. The second air is shorter,
to suit the situation, more lively and energetic in expression, but
equally dependent on the accompaniment for originality and interest.
The third adheres to the old form by the introduction of a slow middle
movement (Larghetto 3-4) and the accompaniment is simpler; but the song
as a whole is conciser than was the fashion formerly.

Raaff's advanced age would have prevented his satisfying any very great
expectations; but he was also, as Mozart complained, "so wedded to
his old jog-trot ideas that it was enough to drive one crazy." He was
obliged therefore in the very important part of Idomeneo to submit to
much that was against his convictions and inclinations. But Raaff was an
accomplished and sensible singer, from whom much could be looked for in
respect of delivery and expression. His first air (6) vividly expresses
deep and painful feeling in two tolerably short and precise movements,
an andantino sostenuto 3-4, and allegro di molto (5); it is dramatically
quite in its place, and gives opportunity to the singer to display a
well-trained voice. The detached, sharply defined motifs, united by
interludes, remind us of the old style, but they are very cleverly
arranged and carried out, and the treatment of the wind instruments
gives a splendidly sonorous and yet subdued effect to the orchestra,
which was then quite novel, and must have been remarkably impressive.
The second air (13) is a long bravura song in one movement (allegro
maestoso) in the grand style. Mozart calls it "the most splendid song"
of the opera; and protests vigorously against the idea that it was not
written "for the words"; but more was demanded from the singer than
Raaff was able to give. It has the proper heroic character of the opera
seria, and affords opportunity for the display of vocal art in



sustained passages, long notes, and bravura passages. The last are
completely obsolete; but Mozart was right to think well of the song; it
is full of expression and character, interesting through its rich
and brilliant accompaniment, and containing, especially in the middle
movement, surprising beauties of harmony. How striking and expressive
is, for instance, this harmonic transition:--[See Page Image]

The third air (30), which Mozart endeavoured to write to please his
old friend, is on that very account quite after the old pattern; it has
great resemblance to the song which Mozart had so accurately fitted to
Raaff at Mannheim (p. 408). The chief movement is a broadly sustained
adagio, simple and noble in tone, and giving opportunity to the singer
to display sustained singing, the effect of which is enhanced by
a figured accompaniment, shared between the strings and the wind
instruments; the middle movement, allegretto 3-8, is of less importance.
A sketch which has been preserved of this song affords a good example of
Mozart's method of work; the ritornellos, the voice and the bass are



all fully noted. Probably he submitted the sketch to Raaff before
elaborating the song; it coincides in all but a few unimportant
alterations with the later elaboration. He wished at first to compose
the words of the middle movement in the same time and measure as the
first movement; after four bars, however, which he erased, he wrote the
middle movement as it at present stands.

In spite of the restrictions laid upon him in this far from
inconsiderable part of the opera, Mozart's progress since the "Re
Pastore" is very marked. What we now find is not the struggle of
youthful genius against obsolete and hampering forms, but a conscious
compliance with them, on definite grounds, by means of which the
composer strives to extract all the good possible from his unfavourable
circumstances, and knows exactly how far he can go. It is difficult,
however, now that the tradition of these forms is wholly lost, to decide
with certainty how much is due to the insensible effect of custom, and
how much to the conscious labour of the artist. Those pieces in which
Mozart could act without control make an entirely different impression.

To these belong the parts of Ilia and Electra. Bravura has a decided
place in the conception of the latter, but with an individual colouring
of passion which Mozart has made free use of as the characterising
element. The two great airs (5, 29) are the vivid expression of a
glowing impulsive nature, which is raised by an admixture of haughty
dignity above that vulgarity into which violent outbreaks of jealousy
and revenge so readily fall. In spite of the text, which puts the
traditional bombastic pathos into the mouth of Electra (29)--

     D' Oreste, d' Ajace Ho in seno i tormenti,
     D' Aletto la face Giä morte mi dä.
     Squarciatemi il core Ceraste, serpenti!

the composer has succeeded in infusing character and individuality into
the song.

The two songs are allied in subject, but their treatment is



different. While in the first passion ferments, as it were, and breaks
forth in separate bursts, the second is a continuous stream of wild
rage, and calls for the more particular employment of the higher notes
of the voice. Purely executive display is not sought after, with the
exception of one passage going up to C in alt, and very expressive,
if well sung, but a passionate, well-declaimed delivery is taken for
granted throughout. Occasionally the voice part is more declamatory
than melodious, and the effect is provided for by a rapid succession
of striking harmonies. How wonderfully affecting, for instance, is the
passionate outcry:--[See Page Image]

The orchestra has an altogether novel function as a means of musical
characterisation. It goes its independent way



side by side with the voice, interesting by virtue of the singular
vitality of its accompanying passages and its own motifs, and its
masterly tone-colouring gives body and force to the whole composition.
In the first air all is restless motion--we have the flutes in broken
chords, flashes of sound like lightning from the wind instruments,
and only at certain points are the forces united into a concentrated
expression of emotion. How striking, again, is the effect in the last
song when, after the long torturing shake passage for the violins,[11]
the united orchestra bursts forth into a very transport of revengeful

Electra's middle song (14) is in strong contrast to the passionate
outbursts of the other two; here her happy love seems to fill her very
being. She breathes forth a calm serenity and tender sweetness, as if
there could be no place in her heart for jealousy and revenge. The voice
part with the exception of one ornamental passage resembling the string
quartet accompaniment, is very simple; rightly delivered the expression
of satisfied affection will be found quite in accord with Electra's

In the character of Ilia, Mozart has followed his natural bent; it is
full of sentiment, tender and graceful, without any violent passion. It
was played by the excellent actress and singer, Dorothea Wendling; here
Mozart had free scope, and in her songs (2, 12, 19) we find the finest
expression of his manner as an artist. In the first air (2) we find the
simplest means lying ready to hand employed to give dramatic effect;
such, for instance, is the alternation of major and minor key for the
principal subject, the climax produced by its repetition, the different
ways in which the exclamation "Grecia!" is treated, &c. Not only are
we affected by the charm of beautiful and graceful ideas, but the
expedients of formal construction become the natural



expression of the innermost feelings of the heart. The second air (12)
is a cavatina, having two verses repeated with trifling alterations, and
accompanied by four obbligato wind instruments, viz.: flute, oboe, horn,
and bassoon, Besides the string quartet. Mozart's old Mannheim friends,
wendling, Ramm, Lang, and Ritter were together again, and he was
delighted to write a piece that should do honour to them and to him.

There can be no question as to his success. The first impression is
one of the purest melody, filling the musical listener with perfect
satisfaction. A nearer examination shows as much to admire in the
simplicity of the artistic structure (the symmetry of which in reading
the score is displayed as it were on a ground plan) and in the delicate
use of sound effects, as in the tenderness and grace of the conception.
Let us consider the situation. Ilia comes to thank Idomeneo for
the kindness which she, as a captive, has received in Crete. She is
embarrassed by the remembrance that she has lost her father and her
fatherland, that Idomeneo is her ruler, and the father of Idamante, and,
more than all, by the consciousness of her love for Idamante; and yet
this very love sheds for her a rosy light on all around.

She begins, then, with a composed, almost reverential address, and as
her feelings grow more intense, the remembrance of her sorrows returns;
but all gives way to the one feeling: "or gioja e contento," in which
she altogether loses herself. Such a combination of different elements
into a harmonious whole constitutes a true work of art, and it must
needs be found beautiful as long as the principles of music remain what
they are. The situation of the last air (19) is less striking; it is
the longing sigh of a deserted lover; but the main features of Ilia's
character have already been so clearly defined that her singular charm
is as indelibly impressed here as elsewhere. It is only necessary to
compare the air (14), in which Electra expresses her tenderest feelings,
to perceive how the essential distinctions between the two women are
characterised by the music.

The duet for the two lovers (20 b) is interesting and pleasing, but not
very striking; in form and change of tempo,



as well as in conception and treatment, it adheres to the
old-established custom of making a love duet light and graceful. It
proceeds in unbroken movement and precise form throughout, and there is
no true bravura.

The terzet (17) is more striking, noble, and simple, and of fine musical
effect, but the dramatic situation is not brought to expression in the
full energy of which it is capable. It is certainly placed with design
between a succession of pleasing situations and of more agitated ones;
its calm and earnest mood fitly concludes what has gone before and
prepares the mind for what is to follow, without unduly diminishing
the effect of surprise. In the situation, as here presented, the three
characters are all in a depressed and anxious mood, which restrains any
lively outburst of emotion, and justifies the moderation of the musical

The quartet (21) takes a higher place as regards invention and
characterisation; Mozart himself preferred it, and rejected any
interference from the singers in its composition as decidedly as he gave
way to them in the songs. It is not an easy task to write a quartet
for three sopranos and a tenor, but Mozart's accurate knowledge of the
capabilities of the voices, and his skilful combinations, enabled him to
command the most original and beautiful sound effects. We must admire,
too, his genius in marking out a distinct plan, within the limits of
which he moves at his ease, and in giving sharp touches of character
without disturbing the unity of the piece.

Ilia and Idamante stand in natural contrast to Idomeneo and Electra, and
each individual is accurately characterised. This is most apparent where
they all sing together, and gives life and significance to the music.
Besides the independent treatment of the voices, the quartet is
especially distinguished by harmonic beauties of an uncommon kind, and
undeniably belongs to Mozart's finest performances. His wife relates
that once, when singing in this quartet, he was so deeply affected that
he was obliged to desist, and for a long time would not look at the
composition again.[13] The



conclusion is original and appropriate. Idamante's commencement is that
of a man who has made up his mind: "André ramingo e solo," however, dies
away with the words "morte cercando" into gloomy meditations. At the
close he again announces, "Andrò ramingo e solo," and leaves the scene
while the orchestra continues to express gloom and sadness, dying away
gradually into silence.[14]

The chorus forms a principal feature of "Idomeneo." There is an
important difference, however, between those choruses which actually
belong to the plot and express the meaning of the situation with
emphasis, and those which are only superficially connected with the
plot, and serve principally for ornament. These last are mostly in
connection with the ballet, and should be placed side by side with the
ballet music. Such are the first chorus (4), during which the Trojan
captives are loosed from their fetters, the closing chorus during
Idamante's coronation, and most especially the chorus at the end of the
first act (10), in which we should not fail to recognise dance music,
even without the superscription "Ciaconna" and the express indication of
the libretto. The orchestra has a more independent part here than in the
two other choruses. The character of them all is fresh and cheerful;
as with a man rejoicing in the fulness of his health and strength,
everything is stirring and full of sound and bustle, so it is with
these choruses, which, without any striking qualities, are thoroughly
effective where they stand. The charming chorus previous to the
embarkation of Electra and Idamante is more characteristic, and seems
to mirror the cheerful heavens and the calm sea, together with Electra's
happy frame of mind. Very happy in expression are the verses which
Electra sings between the choruses--simple, clear, and full of grace and



But the remaining choruses, which are more properly dramatic, are
incomparably more important, grand, and earnest. The first (5),
representing the shipwreck of "Idomeneo," is a double chorus for male
voices. One chorus in the distance is in four parts--the other, nearer,
is in two parts; the former is mostly in unison, the latter imitative;
each chorus is complete in itself, and quite independent of the other,
but the two together form an artistic, clearly apprehended whole. The
orchestra contrasts with it as a solid mass, the stringed instruments
belonging more especially to the second, and the wind instruments to the
first chorus. It falls to the orchestra to depict the storm, and there
are plenty of chromatic scales for the purpose, but the effect depends
chiefly on bold and forcible harmonies. How little Mozart shunned
difficulties and obstacles may be proved by several parts of this scene,
the following passage among others:--[See Page Image]

Still more powerful are the choruses which close the second act. Again
there arises a storm, the sea-monster appears, and horror seizes
the people. While the orchestra is in constant agitation, the chorus
interposes _en masse_, partly in full chords, partly in effective
unison. The succession of striking harmonies reaches its height in the
four-times repeated



question "il reo quai è?" which closes with a pause on a dissonant chord,
repeated, like an echo, by all the wind instruments. Such a magnificent
and agitating effect as is attained by this concentration into one point
of every musical expedient, without overstepping the boundaries of the
beautiful, had scarcely been heard in any opera, and Mozart himself
never surpassed it. The concluding chorus, which follows an accompanied
recitative for Idomeneo, is of an entirely different character,
expressive of a flight, winged by fear and horror. The 12-8 time, seldom
used by Mozart, is suited to the expression of haste and agitation, and
so also is the generally independent and partially imitative treatment
of the voices. They only unite sometimes into an outcry of horror,
otherwise they make detached exclamations, and each goes his way in
hurried confusion until all are dispersed.

The chorus in the third act (24) expresses a totally different sentiment
in equally grand style. When, after the effective appeal of the High
Priest, Idomeneo discloses his obligation to sacrifice his son, the
people, still discontented and murmuring, are struck with grief and
horror. The intensity and almost over-wealth of beauty with which these
emotions are expressed give the music, as we have already remarked, the
national stamp of the Italian opera. We may learn from this chorus how
in a true work of art the universal emotions of the human heart may
be blended with the peculiarities of national and individual life and
transported into the realm of pure art. The effect of unison at the
words "giä régna la morte," expressing the depressed murmur of the
people, is wonderfully fine; the chromatic triplet passage of the
accompaniment seeks meanwhile in vain to raise the fainting spirits
higher. This motif passes finely into the calm confidence of the High
Priest's prayer, and the touchingly beautiful orchestral conclusion lets
a ray of light on to this dispirited mood. But the climax has not yet
reached its highest point. After a simple but wonderfully effective
march, there follows a prayer for Idomeneo and the Priest which is a
complete masterpiece, whether we consider its truthful expression
of emotion, its rich and original orchestral accompaniment, or the
combination in it of the various elements which produce the



total effect. We can here merely indicate the short chorus of priests,
which remains in unison in the one key of C, while the instruments (the
strings _pizzicato_ in a harplike movement, the wind instruments in
characteristic passages) proceed in varied harmonies from C minor to
F major, whereupon the voices sink to F and keep this key, while the
orchestra gives out the solemn and quieting chords of the so-called
church ending (B minor, F major).

It is much to be regretted that after this chorus the opera follows the
usual course of opera seria, and leaves important dramatic situations
unused for the purposes of musical representation. If, according to
the original design, the remaining chief situations had been wrought
together into a duet for Ilia and Idamante and a quartet, we should then
possess masterpieces of grand dramatic music at the close of the opera;
instead of this separate songs have been detached from their context in
order to satisfy the singers.

The grandiose and free treatment of the choruses, both in the voice
parts and the accompaniments, places them almost on a level with those
of "König Thamos"; but a more condensed and pregnant style of music was
required in the opera than in "König Thamos," where the connection with
the drama was loose and superficial. Mindful of this consideration,
Mozart, while giving the choruses free scope for musical execution,
never allows them to stand independent of and apart from the words.

A reminiscence of French opera is evident in the treatment of the
recitatives as well as in the important part allotted to the chorus.
The groundwork of the dialogue is, as usual, in secco recitative, but
accompanied recitative is more often employed as introductory to the
songs than formerly, and it is also made use of as the most fitting
vehicle for passionate or agitated soliloquies, such as that of Idomeneo
after the appearance of the monster (18), or for solemn and pathetic
appeals, such as that of the High Priest (22); also at different points
of the dialogue where the sentiment rises above the tone of ordinary
speech, the accompanied recitative interrupts the secco for a longer or
shorter interval, and gives the dialogue increased power and



animation. The treatment of this kind of recitative is always free. It
passes from sharply accented declamation into more or less elaborate
melodious song. In the same way the orchestra sometimes serves simply as
supporting accompaniment, sometimes suggests in an interlude or carries
out more fully the expression of feeling excited by the words. A
truly inexhaustible wealth of striking and, from many points of view,
interesting features and beautiful motifs displays itself in these
recitatives. Very fine, for instance, is the anticipation in Electra's
recitative (p. 171, score) of the principal subject of the following
song. How suggestive it is when Idomeneo, Ilia having just left him,
expresses the conviction that she loves Idamante, in the characteristic
motif of her song, by which doubtless she has betrayed her love, weaving
it in the most striking manner into the interlude of his soliloquy! (p.
146, score). The variety and wealth of harmonic transitions in these
recitatives is astonishing. Mozart's originality is displayed by the way
in which he gathers to a point the scattered and fugitive emotions of
the various parts, so as to form a consistent whole. There is not a
note which stands alone, every separate touch becomes for him a motif,
capable of further development, and each in its own measure contributes
to express the situation; the subjects are not strung upon a thread,
they are moulded into a homogeneous entity. The effect of the melodrama
lingers in the dramatic character of the instrumental interludes, which
is sharply emphasised by the great variety of orchestral tone-colouring.
An example of such character-painting is afforded by the prelude to the
High Priest's recitative (23), which is in close connection with the
scene which is being enacted on the stage. It begins maestoso, with a
rapid flourish of trumpets, drums, and horns--the King enters with his
followers; then a largo (of two bars length), stringed instruments
and bassoons; the priests enter; finally an agitated passage for the
violins; the people throng tumultuously upon the stage. Then also we
have not only the stringed quartet, with occasional use of one or other
wind instrument, in the recitatives, but, wherever it seems advisable
the whole orchestra



is employed; the wind instruments serving to accent and light up the
most varied combinations.

This brings us to one of the most remarkable features of "Idomeneo,"
which at the time rendered the work a true phenomenon, and which even
now excites admiration and appears worthy of study: the treatment of the
orchestra. It was to be expected that Mozart, having at his disposal
a well-appointed and excellently trained orchestra, would develop with
partiality the instrumental side of his great work. In point of fact,
the orchestral portions of "Idomeneo" are richer, more brilliant, and
more carefully carried out, even to the smallest details, than was ever
again the case in his later works. The composition of the orchestra is
quite the same as that which he employed in after-times, except that he
occasionally has four horns, as on some former occasions (Vol. I.,
p. 304; II., p. 86), but not in Vienna. He disposed freely of all
the forces at his command, not contenting himself any longer with
accentuating different parts by means of richer instrumentation, but
maintaining throughout a more brilliant and forcible instrumental
colouring, and allowing the choice and use of means to be determined
only by the particular subject which was to be represented. In this
manner he kept himself within the bounds of moderation, and reserved
certain resources for definite effects; for instance, flutes are
employed only in the storm (18), trombones only for the oracle (28). In
the choruses to "König Thamos," on the contrary, the trombones are
in frequent use, as they were later with similar effect in the
"Zauberflöte." So decidedly had Mozart even at that time fixed the
character of this instrument. But he was particularly careful so to
distribute his effects that the ear should never be either over-excited
or over-fatigued. For instance, in the two storm scenes (5, 18) there
are no trumpets and drums; they first occur in the flight scene, which
is quite different in character; and again in the dance choruses (10,
32), when festive brilliancy is required; also in the mourning chorus,
where they are muffled, which modifies the effect in a very original
manner. These observations might advantageously be carried into detail;
but it will suffice here to point out that Mozart's



moderation in the use of his instrumental forces, any unusual enrichment
being more easily perceived in this quarter than in any other, arises
neither from meagreness of invention nor from a calculated singularity,
but that he adopts it with clear views and firm control of his own
powers. Mozart has in "Idomeneo" laid the foundation of all modern
instrumentation, which has since only been developed in detail,
unhappily over-developed and perverted. But the most delicate perception
of material sound effect can only produce superficial results; it should
serve merely as a cooperating element in true artistic production.[15]
The instruments in the hands of an artist are only transmitters of the
musical idea in its fixed construction and embodiment, and the same
loving care which the master displays over harmonious and thematic
elaboration or characteristic expression appears in his efforts to work
on the senses of his hearers by means of beautiful orchestral effects.
But, although the orchestra is perfectly independent, it must not
be forgotten that it works side by side with the voices, serving as
foreground and background for them, and never made so prominent as to
cause the voices to appear only like the accessories in a landscape.

Three marches are characteristic, each in its own way. The first (9) is
a brilliant festival march, belonging by its style to the ballet which
follows; the second (15), which is introduced in the charming way
already noticed, is mainly effective by its gradual approach, new
instruments falling in at each repetition and adding to its force and
tone-colouring. At first the trumpets and drums are muted, as in the
concluding chorus in "König Thamos." The simplest and most



beautiful of the marches is the third (25), which fills a necessary
pause in the scenic arrangements, but which is full of beautiful
expression. The employment of the violoncellos is very original; they go
for the most part with the double-basses, but two octaves higher, which
produces an excellent effect.

The music to the ballet may most fitly be noticed here. It consists of
the following numbers:--

1. Chaconne (D major), "Pas de deux de Madame Hartig et M. Antoine,"
"Pas de seul de Madame Falgera," an elaborate movement, with which is
connected an equally elaborate Larghetto (B flat major). "Pas de seul
pour Madame Hartig." To a tolerably long Annonce succeeds the Chaconne
"pour le Ballet," partly repeated, and concluding with a _crescendo_.

2. "Pas de seul de M. Le Grand" (D major). This begins with a pathetic
Intrade (Largo) leading to a neat and compact Allegretto, which was
omitted in performance. This is followed by a very animated Più
allegro, and concluded by another Più allegro "pour le Ballet," with
a twice-repeated triplet passage in long-drawn _crescendo_ rising from
_pp_ to _ff_. intensified by suspensions, and which is enough to make
one giddy.

3. Passepied (B flat major) "pour Madame Redwen," short and simple, but
very neat and graceful, and quite in dance form.

4. Gavotte (G major), not elaborated, delicate and graceful; a very good
effect is produced by the simple imitation of the violoncello, which is
carried out in harmony in the third part.

5. Passecaille (E flat major). This piece was intended for further
elaboration with a Pas de seul "for M. Antoine," and a Pas de deux
(Madame Falgera et M. Le Grand), but it was considered too long.
Mozart only planned two longer portions without completing them, and in
performance the whole Pas de deux was omitted.

The traditional style of the different dances, as they are known to
us from the suites of Handel and Bach, has been preserved in their
rhythmical structure, and also in other



characteristics; the Passepied, for instance, would have its own place
in every suite, and so also would the Gavotte.

Besides this, the whole of the ballet music in "Idomeneo" is similar to
corresponding movements in the opera, fresh, melodious, and appropriate
throughout. But it is easy to see that Mozart was aware that the
delicate details and the orchestral treatment that are present
throughout the opera would not be in place here. It is true that he has
done justice to himself in the free and flowing arrangement of parts and
the animated grouping of the instruments, and true also that delicate
harmonious transitions constantly betray the hand of a master; but he
was well aware that he must depend chiefly for light and shade on sharp
pregnant rhythm and strong emphasis. With this view, trumpets and drums
are not spared, but the orchestra, with the exception of some separate
strong strokes, is seldom used en masse; there are few attempts after
peculiar effects through unusual instrumental combinations, and only
in the Gavotte does a solo violoncello occur, and that in very modest
fashion. The influence of the ballet-master is apparent from the fact
that there are many more erasures and alterations in this than in any
other part of the opera.

In the overture, a magnificent piece, Mozart altogether abandoned the
old forms. It is in one lively movement, and maintains its character
as an introduction by not coming to a proper conclusion, but passing
immediately into the first scene. A certain typical tone of heroic
solemnity is heard in the first bars, and reiterated more than once
afterwards; but the whole is governed by a severe earnestness, expressed
by the frequent occurrence of the minor key, and by the strong but
beautiful dissonances. The middle subject, on the contrary, begins
a gentle plaint in A minor, which is calmed and relieved by the
wonderfully beautiful introduction of the key of C major, enhanced in
effect by variety of tone-colouring.

If we gather together the results of our observations of "Idomeneo," we
cannot fail to discern in it the work of a master who has arrived at the
maturity of his powers while still in the full bloom of youth. It was
only his



submission to those restraints which seemed unavoidable, which prevented
his freeing the opera seria from the conventionalities which formed,
indeed, no essential part of its being. Even had he succeeded in doing
so, it would have involved no renunciation of its national character,
which, as we have seen, in no way fettered Mozart's individuality. But,
since in the improvements he made he was indebted to French opera, and
especially to Gluck, the question arises how much, and in what way,
Mozart had learnt from the great Parisian master. It is not merely
unquestionable that Gluck exerted a general influence over Mozart's
opinions and tendencies, but the traces of a close study of his works,
and especially of "Alceste," may be easily discovered. He had been
present as a boy at the first representation of "Alceste." Its influence
is apparent in many details, such as the harmonic treatment of the
oracle, and the use of sustained chords for the horns and trombones
in the accompaniment to the appeal of the High Priest. The march in
"Alceste" has served as a model for the style, if not for the execution,
of the last march in "Idomeneo." The High Priest's soliloquy is
altogether analogous in plan and treatment to that of Gluck's High
Priest; again, the recurring subject of the interlude--[See Page Image]
reminds us of the corresponding one in "Alceste"--and other similarities
may be detected. More important is the similarity of dramatic style,
which is especially evident in the treatment of the recitatives, and
in the share taken by the orchestra in the characterisation. But that
Mozart learnt from Gluck only as one master learns from another, and
that he turned his borrowed pound to rich account, it needs but a closer
consideration of these details, as well as



of the whole work, to make plain. We must not underrate the wholesome
and powerful effect which grand and important works must have made upon
him, and the enlightenment and correction of his views as to the nature
of the opera thereby obtained. But we must also remember that
Mozart received these impressions and this instruction into a nature
self-dependent and productive, and that his artistic cultivation enabled
him to appropriate only what was in accordance with his nature.
Gluck sets aside the fixed expressions of operatic form as far as
is practicable, in order to gain perfect freedom of dramatic action;
Mozart, on the other hand, strives to spare these forms, and so to mould
and develop them that they may themselves serve as vehicles for dramatic
expression. This he does not because he clings to what is old and
established, but with the just perception that these forms contain
an essential element of artistic construction which is capable of
development. Mozart never seeks, as Gluck did, to forget that he is
a musician; on the contrary, he remembers it at every point of his
artistic production, and could not ignore the fact if he would. In
opposition to the one-sided requirements of dramatic characterisation,
he falls back upon the principles of musical construction, which are far
from contradicting such requirements, and are in fact the higher power
which establishes them. On these grounds we assert that Mozart's
creative power in music (to which we must first turn our glance in
judging an artist) was more universal and deeper than that of Gluck;
that he surpassed him in artistic cultivation and discipline will be
doubted by no one who compares the technical work, the disposition of
the orchestra, &c., in "Idomeneo" with Gluck's operas. This judgment
does not exclude the fact that some of Gluck's performances as an artist
are not only grand and striking, but surpass kindred works by Mozart.
But if the laws and nature of art are once perceived, a more certain
rule is provided for the judgment of the work of art as well as of the
artist; and here Mozart may bear away the palm.

Mozart's leave of absence was not extorted from the Archbishop without
difficulty, and it was limited to six weeks.



The better satisfied he became with his life in Munich, where he found
friends, appreciation, and enlightenment, the more appalling grew
the prospect of returning to Salzburg, and he was in terror lest the
Archbishop should recall him even before the performance of the opera.
With this idea he writes to his father (December 16, 1780):--

_À propos!_ how about the Archbishop? Next Monday I shall have been
absent from Salzburg for six weeks. You know, my dear father, that it
is only for love of you that I remain in Salzburg, for, by heaven! if
it rested with me I would have torn up the agreement and resigned my
appointment before I left home this time. It is not Salzburg, but the
prince and the proud nobility who become more insupportable to me every
day. I should hail with delight a letter informing me that he no longer
needed my services. The patronage I have here would assure me of present
and future means of support, without taking into account the chances by
death, which none ought to count upon, but which is no bad friend to
a man in search of employment. But anything in the world to please
you--and it would come all the easier to me if I could get away now and
then for a little to take breath. You know how hard it was to get away
this time, and that without some great cause there is no possibility
of it again. Come to Munich and hear my opera, and then tell me if I am
wrong to feel unhappy when I think of Salzburg.

His father seeks to reassure him as to the leave of absence (December
25, 1780):--

As regards the six weeks, I have decided not to take any steps in the
matter, but if I hear anything on the subject I shall certainly answer
that we understood you were to remain in Munich six weeks after the
composition of the opera, for its rehearsal and production, but that
I could not imagine that his highness would suppose that such an opera
could be composed, copied, and performed in six weeks, &c.

It would not, however, have been a matter of regret to L. Mozart if
Wolfgang could have met with a good situation in Munich. Wolfgang
himself had been rendered full of hope from the gracious reception of
the Elector, and wrote to his father that if he succeeded in settling
in Munich, he (the father) must not long remain in Salzburg, but must
follow him thither. He was very anxious to demonstrate in Munich that he
could write other things besides operas, and he turned his church
music to account. With this object he wrote to his father (November 13,



Be so kind as to send me the scores of the two Masses that I have at
home, and also the Mass in B flat major (275 K.), for Count Seeau has
promised to speak of them to the Elector. I should like to make myself
known in this style. I have just heard a Mass by Grua (kapellmeister in
1779, died 1826); it would be easy to compose half-a-dozen a day of that
kind of thing.

Mozart also appears to have tried to win favour with the Elector by
a new church composition; at least a grand Kyrie in D minor (341 K.),
judging by the character of the composition and the distribution of the
orchestra, can only have been written during this stay in Munich. The
orchestra consists of the usual string quartet, and in addition two
flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns (in D and F),
two trumpets, and drums; there is no grouping of the kind that is found
in "Idomeneo." Whether this is a fragment of a Mass which was never
completed, or whether it was intended for insertion in another work,
cannot now be decided. It is tolerably long, but elaborated without much
thematic treatment, the elements of the construction and flow being
more rhythmical and harmonic, and taking their principal charm from
the independent and richly elaborated orchestral accompaniment. Among
Mozart's sacred compositions his Kyries are specially distinguished by
an originality of tone-colouring and peculiarly melodious treatment,
which are extremely well suited to the melancholy tone of the movement
before us. Much of it points to the Requiem, and opens the door to
conjecture as to the path which Mozart would have pursued had he devoted
himself specially to church music.

Another great work, apparently written for the Munich Kapelle, is a
grand serenata for wind instruments (361 K.),[16] with the date 1780,
which he must have taken with him, since he would hardly have undertaken
so important a work while engaged on "Idomeneo." The serenata is for two
oboes, two clarinets, two viols, four horns, two bassoons, violoncello,
and double-bass. The instruments, and the task appointed for them, point
rather to the Munich orchestra

{SERENATA, 1780.}


than to that of Salzburg. Compositions for wind instruments alone,
called Harmonie-Musik, were then much in favour, and Mozart may have
wished to recommend himself by producing an important piece of the kind,
which would place the performances of the band in a brilliant light.[17]

In form the serenata resembles those written for the complete orchestra.
It begins with a solemn Largo, which serves as introduction to a Molto
allegro, worked out very like the first movement of a symphony. This is
followed by a Minuet with two trios, than a broadly planned Adagio, and
again a Minuet with three trios. To this is joined a Romanze (adagio),
simple and lyrical, in two parts, interrupted by an Allegretto leading
again to the Adagio, which is repeated and concluded by a coda. Then
comes an Andante with six variations, and the finale, consisting of a
cheerful Rondo. It is no easy task to write such a succession of pieces
for wind instruments, for the tone-colouring, although striking and
agreeable, must be moderately and carefully treated. People were
certainly more accustomed to this kind of music at the time, but even at
the present day the serenata does not produce a sense of fatigue. It has
an interest as a proof of the minute study which Mozart bestowed on all
instrumental forces, whereby he acquired that complete mastery of the
orchestra which is displayed in "Idomeneo."

But the work has a higher significance than that of a mere study of
instrumentation, as is shown by the admiration it has excited in many
places quite recently. The charm of the composition depends greatly upon
the certainty with which the peculiar style of each instrument is made
use of; but this forms only one side of the artistic construction of the
idea, and the full force and beauty of the instrumental effects are only
perceived when they are considered as a means of representing each part
of the whole work in its due proportion.



Great delicacy and diversity are shown in the grouping and treatment
of the different instruments. The first players naturally undertake the
chief parts, the accompaniment falling to the secondary players, but the
disposition of parts is so free and independent that the difference
is not always apparent.[18] All the movements are well planned and
constructed, rich in delicate and interesting touches of harmonic or
thematic elaboration, and in general fresh and tuneful.

The crown of them is the Adagio,[19] in which the musical expression
of deep and earnest feeling rises to a purity and height which is
impossible to the specified representations of certain frames of mind
now in fashion. We here attain, by means of artistic catharsis, as
Aristotle calls it (_purging, purifying_), to an absolute freedom and
satisfaction, which it is granted to man to feel only in the perfect
harmony and beauty of art. The means by which this highest of all
effects is reached are so simple that a dissection of them would only
be a confirmation of the old scripture that the letter killeth and the
spirit giveth life.[20]

As long as Mozart was engaged on the composition and study of his opera
he had no time for recreation, and his visits were confined to the
Cannabich family. After the performance he refreshed himself by entering
with his father and sister into the Carnival gaieties, and by cheerful
intercourse with his friends. But the latter did not allow him to remain
long in idleness. To please his good friend Ramm he wrote a quartet for
oboe, violin, tenor, and violoncello (370 K.), obbligato throughout for
the oboe, but otherwise easy and light in design and execution. For his
patroness the Countess Baumgarten (Vol. II., p. 132) he composed, on
March 8,



1781, a concert aria (369 K.), "Misera dove son" (from Metastasio's
"Ezio," III., 12), which gives a favourable idea of the vocal
performances of this lady. It makes no great demands on the compass of
the voice or execution, but the recitative and air are both earnest
and serious, and require in every respect an excellent delivery. The
instrumentation is simple, only flutes and horns being added to the

Mozart's longer stay in Munich was rendered possible by the Archbishop's
journey to Vienna, which was probably occasioned by the death of the
Empress. He wished to appear with all the pomp of a spiritual prince,
and took with him a considerable retinue of courtiers and servants, as
well as some of his most distinguished musicians. Wolfgang rejoiced at
this fortunate circumstance, and enjoyed himself so much in Munich that
he confessed later to his father (May 26, 1781):--

In Munich, it is true, I was a little too gay, but I can assure you on
my honour that before the opera was on the boards I went to no theatre
and visited no one but Cannabich. I exceeded a little afterwards, I own,
but it was through youthful folly. I thought to myself, "Where are you
to go to? To Salzburg. Well, then, enjoy yourself while you can!"

His father was full of thought for him even now; he wrote from Munich to
Breitkopf (February 12, 1781):--

I have long desired that you should publish some work by my son. You
will not, I am sure, judge of him now by the clavier sonatas which he
wrote while still a child. You cannot have seen a note of what he
has written for some years past, unless it may be the six sonatas for
clavier and violin which were engraved at Paris (Vol. I., p. 415). We
have allowed very little to appear. You might make the experiment with
a couple of symphonies or clavier sonatas, or else with quartets, trios,
&c. You should only give us a few copies in return, as I am anxious that
you should see my son's manner of work. But do not imagine that I wish
to over-persuade you. The thought has frequently occurred to me, because
I see so much published and in print that moves me to pity.

Wolfgang did not return to Salzburg. His gay life in Munich was
interrupted by a summons from the Archbishop to Vienna. There he
accordingly arrived on March 12, and there his destiny was to be


[Footnote 1: Diet, des Théätres, III., p. 126. An edition by Christoph Balard
appeared in 1712, and the text is printed (Rec. des Opéras, XII., 1).]

[Footnote 2: Idomeneus's vow, his unwillingness to sacrifice his son, the
consequent pestilence, and his dethronement by the people, are found in
ancient writers; the rest is modern.]

[Footnote 3: I owe to the courtesy of Herr Reg. Lenz, of Munich, the original
libretto with the dialogues in full, not abbreviated as they afterwards
were for composition: "Idomeneo, dramma per musica, da rappresentarsi
nel teatro nuovo di corte per comando di S. A. S. E. Carlo Teodoro, nel
Carnovale, 1781" (Munich: Frz. Jos. Thuille.).]

[Footnote 4: A regular finale to an opera seria was first introduced by Giov.
Gammerra in his "Pirro" (1787); so says Manfiredini (Reg. Armon., p.
121), who disliked this mixture of styles.]

[Footnote 5: ALoysia Weber was no longer in Munich; she had removed with her
family to Vienna, where the good offices of the imperial ambassador,
Count Hardeck, had procured her an engagement as prima donna. It is an
error to suppose that this visit of Mozart to Munich had anything to do
with his relations to Aloysia.]

[Footnote 6: Similar stories were told elsewhere of the Maras (Cf. Forkel's
Musik. Alman., 1789, p. 122; and the account of Mara in Zelter's Briefw.
mit Goethe, III., p. 418; VI., p. 149).]

[Footnote 7: "The accompaniment to the subterranean voices," writes Wolfgang
(January 3, 1781), "is in only five parts, namely, three trombones
and two horns, which proceed from the same place as the voices. The
orchestra is silent at this place." This arrangement was not carried out
without opposition from Count Seeau.]

[Footnote 8: The notice was also published in the Augsburgischen
Ordinari-Postzeitung February 5, 1781, No. 31), Rudhart, Gesch. d. Oper
zu München, I., p. 168.]

[Footnote 9: So says Rochlitz (A. M. Z., I., p. 51). His authorities, however,
are on the main points untrustworthy.]

[Footnote 10: Reichardt, who was usually rather inclined to depreciate Mozart,
gives an appreciative criticism of "Idomeneo," and speaks of it as the
purest work of art which Mozart ever completed (Berl. Mus. Ztg., 1806,
p. 11). Seyfried's criticism of the opera is insignificant (Cäcilia,
XX., p. 178), but Ulibicheffs remarks are often striking, and show much
delicate perception (Nouv. Biogr., II., p. 94).]

[Footnote 11: I should not like to assert that this tremolo passage was not
suggested by the words; just as in Idomeneo's aria (13) the words "fuor
del mar ho un mar in seno" have suggested the billowy motif of the

[Footnote 12: The recitative preceding this aria was originally (as the libretto
shows) much longer and more fully composed; many pages were cut out for
performance and some small alterations were made.]

[Footnote 13: Hogarth, Mem. of the Opera, II., p. 198.]

[Footnote 14: Another musical surprise at the close of Electra's second aria is
expressive of the dramatic situation. The last note of the voice passes
into a march heard in the distance, and beginning with the second part,
so that the audience is at once transported into the midst of it. Mozart
has employed the same musical expedient in the march in "Figaro," and
Spohr in the minuet at the beginning of "Faust."]

[Footnote 15: As one example among many, I may quote Idomeneo's prayer (26). The
_pizzicato_ violin accompaniment, imitating the harp, is enlivened by
the division of the passage among the strings; then comes an independent
fully appointed passage for the wind instruments, with an harmonic
movement increasing to a climax, which has an original colouring by
means of its peculiar sound effects. And the repetition shows us a new
development of the previously given elements. A partiality for certain
passages for the wind instruments, mostly in thirds and sixths, is
apparent both in "Idomeneo" and in the choruses to "König Thamos"; it is
observable elsewhere, but in moderation.]

[Footnote 16: For the quintet on which it was founded see p. 94. The serenata was
afterwards made use of in many combinations.]

[Footnote 17: Schinck (Litterar. Fragm., II., p. 286) describes a concert of
Stadler's in Vienna, 1784: "I have heard a piece for wind instruments by
Herr Mozart to-day. Magnificent! It consisted of thirteen instruments,
and at every instrument a master! The effect was grand and magnificent,
beyond description!"]

[Footnote 18: The violoncello and double-bass have, properly speaking, no
independent part; they only strengthen the fundamental bass, which would
not be sufficiently prominent with the second bassoons alone.]

[Footnote 19: This Adagio has been arranged to an offertory, "Quis te
comprehendat" (Coblenz: Falkenberg).]

[Footnote 20: It has already been remarked that a relationship exists between the
melodies of Mozart's instrumental works, and those of his German--never
of his Italian--operas; there are in this serenata suggestions here and
there of the "Entfuhrung," which was composed soon after.]




THE summons to Vienna appeared like the fulfilment of Mozart's ardent
and long-deferred wish; but his relation to the Archbishop, among
whose followers he was obliged to consider himself, was only too well
calculated to turn his delight into disappointment. He had apparently
the best opportunity of gaining admission to the most distinguished
society, and of earning fame and money in a city where music was the
prevailing means of entertainment. But the Archbishop, desirous as he
was to shine by virtue of the extraordinary performers and composers who
were in his service, found equal satisfaction in keeping them constantly
in mind that they _were_ in his service. It was the custom for princes
when they were invited out to be attended by the members of their
suite;[1] and the musicians were summoned also to provide music in
strange houses. The Archbishop did not hesitate to show off Mozart,
as well as Ceccarelli and Brunetti, in this way, as his own private
performers; but as often as Mozart found an advantageous opportunity for
being heard independently, he refused him permission and treated him in
all respects like a servant in his house. It can be imagined how Mozart
felt himself aggrieved by such undignified treatment, after the full
freedom and recognition of his talents which he had enjoyed in Munich,
and within reach of such brilliant successes as he might have had in
Vienna. His letters to his father show how he must have longed to throw
off his galling chains, and give us a lively picture of his position and

Yesterday, March 16 (1781), I arrived, God be praised, quite alone, in
a post-chaise, at nine o'clock in the morning.... Now about the
Archbishop. I have a charming room in the same house as the Archbishop.
Brunetti and Ceccarelli are lodged in another house. _Che_



_distinzione!_ My neighbour, Herr von Kleinmayern (Director of the
Council), overwhelmed me with civilities on my arrival. He is really a
very pleasant fellow. We dine at twelve midday, a little too early for
me, unfortunately. The two valets in attendance, the controller (E. M.
Kölnberger), Herr Zezi (the court quartermaster), the confectioner, two
cooks, Ceccarelli, Brunetti, and _my littleness_ all dine together. The
two valets sit at the head of the table, and I have the honour to be
placed above the cooks. I can imagine myself in Salzburg. During dinner
there is a good deal of coarse silly joking, but not with me, for I
do not speak a word but what I am obliged, and that with the greatest
circumspection. When I have had my dinner I go my way. There is no
evening meal provided, but we each receive three ducats, and that you
know goes a long way! The Archbishop is glad enough to glorify himself
with his people--takes their services and gives them nothing in return.
Yesterday we had music at four o'clock, when at least twenty persons of
the high nobility were present. Ceccarelli has already sung at Palfy's
(the Archbishop's brother-in-law). To-day we are to go to Prince
Gallitzin (the Russian ambassador), who was present yesterday. I shall
wait to see if I am paid anything; if not I shall go to the Archbishop
and tell him straight out that if he will not allow me to earn anything
for myself he must pay me, for that I cannot live on my own money.

L. Mozart, who saw the storm coming, sought to pacify his son by telling
him that as the Archbishop had summoned him to Vienna in order to
glorify himself by his performances, he would certainly take care to
give him opportunities for display; but Wolfgang answers (March 24,

You say that the Archbishop's vanity is tickled by having me in his
possession; this may be true, but of what use is it to me? It is not a
thing to live by. And believe me that he only stands in the way of
my preferment. How does he treat me? Herr von Kleinmayern and Boenike
(secretary and councillor) have a special table with the illustrious
Count Arco; it would be a distinction to sit at this table, instead of
being with the valets--who, when they are not taking the first places
at table, light the candles, shut the doors, and remain in the
antechambers--and with the cooks! And when we go to a concert anywhere,
the valet waits outside until the Salzburgers arrive, and then lets them
know by a footman that they have permission to enter. Brunetti told me
all this, and I thought as I listened, "Only wait till I come!"

The other day when we went to Prince Gallitzin, Brunetti said to me in
his nice way, "Mind you are here at six o'clock this evening, and we
will go together to Prince Gallitzin's: Angelbauer will conduct you. I
replied, "Very well; but if I am not here at six punctually, do not wait
for me; we shall be sure to meet there. So I purposely went



alone, and when I arrived, there stood Monsieur Angelbauer ready to
inform Monsieur the footman that he might show me in. But I took not
the least notice either of the valet or the footman, but went straight
through into the music-room, all the doors being open, and up to the
Prince, to whom, after paying my respects, I stood talking for some
time. I had quite forgotten Brunetti and Ceccarelli, for they kept
out of sight behind the orchestra, and stood leaning against the wall,
without venturing a step forward.

The Archbishop also made his musicians play for old Prince Rudolf
Colloredo, his father, for which they received five ducats, and the
demands he made on Mozart for his own concerts are shown by a letter to
the father (April 8, 1781):--

To-day we had a concert (for I am writing at eleven o'clock at night) at
which three pieces by me were performed (new ones, of course)--a rondo
to a concerto for Brunetti,[2] a sonata with violin accompaniment for
myself, which I composed last night between eleven and twelve o'clock;
but I had only time to write the accompaniment part for Brunetti, and I
played my own part out of my head;[3] and then a rondo for Ceccarelli,
which was encored.[4]

For all this he received from the Archbishop, who had at least paid him
four ducats for the first concert, nothing at all. This might pass,
but shortly afterwards he writes (April 11, 1781): "What makes me half
desperate is that the same evening that we had that confounded concert
the Countess Thun invited me. Of course I could not go, and who do you
think was there? The Emperor! Adamberger

{VIENNA, 1781.}


and Madame Weigl[5] were there, and each had fifty ducats--and what an

He was right, certainly, in saying that the Archbishop stood in the way
of his preferment, for he had very few opportunities for winning fame
or success. He renewed his old acquaintance with the Messmer family (pp.
86, 145), with Herr von Auerhammer and his fat daughter, and with
the old kapellmeister, Bono. Bono allowed a symphony by Mozart to be
rehearsed in his house, which, as he reports (April 11, 1781), went
splendidly and was a great success.

"Forty violins played; the wind instruments were all doubled."

He had no difficulty, either, in gaining admission to the most
distinguished musical circles:--

I go this evening (March 24) with Herr von Kleinmayem to one of his
friends--the Councillor Braun--who, every one tells me, is a great
amateur of the clavier.[6] I have already dined twice with the Countess
Thun, and go there almost every day. She is the most charming and
amiable woman that I have ever seen, and she thinks a great deal of me.
I have also dined with Count Cobenzl (court and state vice-chancellor).
My principal object now is to make myself favourably known to the
Emperor, for I am determined that he shall know me.

I should like to play through my opera to him, and then some good
fugues--that is what he has most taste for. Oh! if I had only known
that I was to be in Vienna during Lent, I would have written a little
oratorio, and performed it for my own benefit, as is the custom here.

I could easily have written it beforehand, for I know all the voices
here. How I should like to give a public concert! but it would not be

I know for certain; for, just imagine! you know that there is a Society
here which gives concerts for the benefit of the widows of musicians,
and every one at all connected with music plays there gratis. The
orchestra is 180 strong.[7] No one who pretends to any philanthropy
refuses to play when the Society calls upon him to do so; it is a sure
way also to the favour of the Emperor and of the public. Starzer was



commissioned to request me to play, and I willingly agreed, subject to
the consent of my Prince, of which I had little doubt, seeing that it
was a religious kind of performance, and gratuitous. He refused his
permission, however, and all the nobility have taken it ill of him. I am
only sorry on this account: the Emperor is to be in the proscenium box,
and I should have preluded quite alone, and then played a fugue and the
variations, "Je suis Lindor." The Countess Thun would have lent me her
beautiful pianoforte by Stein for the purpose. Whenever I have played
the variations in public they have been greatly applauded. They are
easily understood, and every one finds something to his taste.

In this instance, however, the Archbishop was obliged to give way. The
institution for the widows and orphans of Vienna musicians, founded
by the kapellmeister Florian Gassmann, in 1771, enjoyed the highest
patronage; and the four concerts given annually for its benefit--two
during Advent, and two in Passion week--were as well supported by
celebrated composers and performers as by the public. Starzer went to
the concert at Prince Gallitzin's, and he and all the nobility teased
the Archbishop so long for his consent that he could not withhold it.
"I am so glad!" exclaims Mozart, when he informs his father of this.[8] The
programme of the thirty-fourth concert for the benefit of the Society of
Musicians at Vienna, on April 3, 1781, contained the following:[9]--

The Herr Ritter W. A. Mozart will then perform alone on the pianoforte.
He visited Vienna as a child of seven years old, and then excited the
universal admiration of the public by his compositions, his insight into
the art of music, and his extraordinary facility of touch and execution.

His success was all that could be desired. "After yesterday," he writes
(April 4), "I may well say that I am satisfied with the Vienna public.
I played at the concert for the widows' institution, and was obliged to
begin twice over, because there was no end to the applause." He refers
to it again in his next letter (April 8): "That which most pleased and
surprised me was the total silence, and then in



the middle of my playing bursts of applause and bravos. For Vienna,
where there are so many and such good clavier-players; it has been
really a wonderful success."

After this, his prospects, if he could succeed in giving a concert on
his own account, were sufficiently brilliant; and ladies of rank offered
themselves to dispose of the tickets for him. "What should I not make
if I were to give a concert for myself, now that the Vienna public knows
me! But the Archbishop will not allow it; he wishes his people to have
loss rather than profit in his service." He contemplated shortly sending
his musicians back to Salzburg; if Mozart were to be obliged to leave
Vienna before he had established himself in the favour of the public,
and to find himself in Salzburg again, with no hope of any further leave
of absence, there would be an end to all his future prospects. Brunetti
had told him that Count Arco had communicated to him the Archbishop's
directions that they were to receive their travelling money, and to set
out on the following Sunday; if any wished to remain longer he might do
so, but he must live on his own means. Mozart declared that until Count
Arco himself told him that he was to go he would entirely ignore it,
and then he would tell him his mind on the subject. He would certainly
remain in Vienna; he thought that if he could find only two pupils (he
had one already in the Countess Rumbeck), he should be better off than
in Salzburg; with a successful concert, and some profitable invitations
into society, it could not be but that he should send money home, while
his father would be drawing pay for them both, and would be relieved
from his support. "Oh! I will turn the tables on the Archbishop in the
most delightful manner, and as politely as possible, for he cannot do me
any harm."

The father was horrified at this news. He had a well-founded distrust
of Wolfgang's financial plans, which were always built upon an uncertain
future, and he feared that a complete rupture with the Archbishop would
be the consequence of such a step, that he would lose his situation and
be liable for the expenses of the journey to the capital; he earnestly
begged his son to reflect well on the feasibility



of his project. "Dear father," runs the answer, "I love you very dearly,
as you may see from my renouncing for your sake my dearest wishes and
desires; for if it were not for you, I declare on my honour I would not
delay an instant, but would quit my service, give a grand concert, set
to work with pupils, and in a year I should be succeeding so well in
Vienna that I should be earning at least a thousand dollars per annum. I
assure you it is very hard for me so to set aside my hopes of fortune.
I am young, as you say--true, but to dawdle away one's youth in such a
miserable hole is sad enough, and hurtful besides."

The threatened departure was postponed for a time, for the Archbishop
required his performers in Vienna; then it was said that they were to
return home on April 22. "When I think," wrote Wolfgang (April 11, 1781)
"of leaving Vienna without at least a thousand florins in my pocket, my
heart sinks within me. Am I to throw away a thousand gulden because of
a malicious prince who does what he likes with me for a miserable four
hundred florins? I should make quite that by a concert." And now he was
to come to the knowledge that not only had he laboured in vain for the
Archbishop, but that he had thereby lost the opportunity of introducing
himself to the notice of the Emperor. "I cannot quite say to the Emperor
that if he wants to hear me he must make haste about it, for that I am
going away on such a day--one has to wait for these things. And here I
cannot and must not stay, unless I give a concert, for although I should
be better off here than at home, if I had only two pupils, it helps one
along to have a thousand or twelve hundred florins in one's purse. And
he will not allow it, the misanthrope--I must call him so, for so he is,
as the whole of the nobility say." There were favourable prospects,
too, of a permanent settlement in Vienna at no very distant date. The
kapellmeister, Bono, was very old; after his death Salieri would succeed
him, and Starzer would take Salieri's place--for Starzer there was as
yet no successor--could a better be found than Mozart?

Again his father warned him not to make uncertain plans, but to hold
fast to what was secure, and to bear what was



unavoidable; he warned him also against incautious expressions "which
could only do harm." Wolfgang could only answer that his father was
partly right and partly wrong; "but that in which you are right far
outweighs that in which you are wrong, therefore I will certainly come,
and with the greatest pleasure, since I am fully convinced that you
would never come in the way of my advancement" (April 18, 1781). But
it was hard to submit to the will of his father, and the Archbishop's
continual insults did not make it any easier. He writes (April 28,

You are expecting me with pleasure, my dearest father! That is in fact
the one consideration which has brought me to the point of leaving
Vienna, for the whole world may know that the Archbishop of Salzburg has
only to thank you, my best of fathers, that he did not lose me yesterday
for ever (I mean, of course, from his suite). Yesterday we had a
concert, probably the last. The concert went very well, and, in spite
of all the hindrances put in my way by his archiepiscopal grace, I had
a better orchestra than Brunetti, as Ceccarelli can tell you; but
the worry and trouble I had to arrange it all can be told better than
written. But if, as I hope will not be the case, the same thing should
happen again, I should certainly lose patience, and you would as
certainly forgive me. And I must beg for your permission, my dear
father, to return to Vienna next Lent. It depends upon you, not on the
Archbishop; for even if he refuses permission I shall go: it will do me
no harm, not a bit! Oh, if he could read this, how glad I should be! But
you must give your consent in your next letter, for it is only on this
condition that I return to Salzburg--and I must keep my word to the
ladies here. Stephanie will give me a German opera to write. I shall
expect your answer to this. When and how I shall set out I cannot tell
you at present. It is lamentable that we are so kept in the dark by our
lord and master. All at once it will be, "Allons! weg!" First we are
told that a carriage is being made in which the controller Ceccarelli
and I are to travel; then that we are to go by the diligence; then that
we are to have the money for the diligence, and travel as we choose
(which, indeed, I should like best of all); first we are to go in a
week, then in a fortnight; then in three weeks, then again sooner. Good
heavens! one does not know where one is with it all, and there is no
help for it. Yesterday the ladies kept me quite an hour at the clavier,
after the concert; I believe I should be sitting there still if I had
not managed to steal away.

Again he writes later (June 13, 1781):--

At the last concert, when it was all over, I played variations for a
whole hour (the Archbishop gave me the subject), and the applause was



so great that, if the Archbishop has ever so little of a human heart,
he must have been pleased; and instead of showing me approbation and
content--or at least taking no notice of me--he treats me like a beggar,
and tells me to my face that I must take more pains, that he could get a
hundred who would serve him better than I do.

Mozart's passionate excitement had risen to such a pitch that a drop
was sufficient to overflow the cup of his wrath; the Archbishop paid
no heed, and affairs came to an inevitable crisis. The following letter
(May 9, 1781) shows how far Hieronymus thought he might go with his

I am still overflowing with gall, and you, my best and very dear father,
will certainly sympathise with me. My patience has been tried for a long
time; at last it has given way. I have no longer the misfortune to be
in the Salzburg service. To-day was the happy one of my release. Now
listen. Twice already the -------- I do not know what to call him--has
used the most impertinent and coarsest language to my face, which I
refrained from writing to you that I might not distress you, and which
nothing but my love and duty to you prevented me from chastising on the
spot. He called me a scoundrel--a miserable fellow--told me he would
send me packing--and I bore it all; allowed not my own honour alone, but
yours, to be so affronted because you wished it.

So I was silent. Well, listen. A week ago the courier came up on a
sudden and told me I was to leave immediately. The others all had the
day fixed, but I had not. So I packed up my things as quickly as I
could, and old Madame Weber was so kind as to offer me her house. There
I have a pretty room, and I am with obliging people who are ready to
provide me with everything that I require, but could not get if I were
living alone. I appointed my journey for Wednesday (that is to-day, the
9th), by stage-coach, but I could not collect the money owing to me in
time, so I postponed my journey until Saturday. Being seen about to-day
one of the valets told me that the Archbishop had a parcel to give me. I
asked if there was any hurry, and he replied that it was of the greatest
importance. "Then I am sorry not to be able to oblige his grace, for
(owing to the above reasons) I cannot set out before Saturday. I am out
of the house, living on my own means, and it is therefore quite evident
that I cannot go until I am ready, for no one will care to collect my
debts for me." Kleinmayern, Moll, Boeneke, and the two valets thought
I was right. When I went in to him (I must tell you that Schlaucka had
advised me to excuse myself by saying I had already taken my seat in
the coach--that would have most weight with him)--when I went into him,
then, he began at once:--Archbishop: "Well, when are you going, fellow?"
Mozart: "I wished to go to-night, but I could not secure a seat." Then
out it came, all in a breath--that I was the most miserable fellow he
knew--no one served him so badly as



I did. He advised me to be off to-day, or he would write home to stop my
pay. There was no getting in a word, it went on like a flood. I listened
to it all calmly. He lied to my face by saying that I had five hundred
florins salary[10]--called me the most opprobrious names--oh, I really
cannot bring myself to write you all! At last, when my blood was
boiling, I could hold out no longer, and said: "Then your Serene
Highness is not satisfied with me?" "What! do you mean to threaten me,
you rascal, you villain? There is the door; I will have nothing more to
do with such a wretched fellow!" At last I said, "Neither will I with
you." "Then be off!" As I went I said, "Let it be so then; to-morrow you
shall hear from me by letter." Tell me now, dear father, should I not
have had to say this sooner or later? Now listen. My honour comes before
everything to me, and I know that it is so with you also. Have no care
for me. I am so certain of success here that I might have resigned even
without a cause. As I have had very good cause, and that three times, it
is no fault of mine; _au contraire_, I was a cowardly rascal twice, and
the third time I could not be so again. As long as the Archbishop is
here I will give no concert. Your idea that I shall lower myself in
the opinion of the Emperor or of the nobility is entirely mistaken. The
Archbishop is hated here, and most of all by the Emperor. That is his
real grievance, that the Emperor has not invited him to Laxenburg. I
will send you some calculations as to money by the next post to convince
you that I shall not starve here. For the rest I entreat you to keep up
your spirits, for I consider that my good fortune is beginning now, and
I hope that it will be yours also. Write to me privately that you are
pleased--for indeed you may be so--and find fault heartily with me in
public, so that no blame may attach to you. But if the Archbishop offers
you the least impertinence come to me at once in Vienna. We can all
three live on my earnings, I assure you on my word, but I would rather
you held out a year longer. Do not write to me any more at the Residence
or by the mail. I want to hear nothing more of Salzburg. I hate the
Archbishop to frenzy. But write to me here, and tell me you are pleased,
for only that is now wanting to make my happiness complete.

He carried out His determination, and writes to his father again on May

You know by my last letter that I sent in my resignation to the Prince
on May 9, because he himself ordered it: for in two previous audiences
he had said to me, "Take yourself off, if you will not serve me
properly!" He will certainly deny it, but it is as true as the heavens
above us. What wonder, then, that after being abused and vilified till I
was quite



beside myself, I ended by taking him at his word. The following day I
gave Count Arco a petition to be presented to His Grace the Archbishop,
asking for the money for the journey--fifteen florins ten kreutzers for
the diligence, and two ducats for current expenses. He refused to take
either, and assured me I could not resign without obtaining the consent
of my father. "That is your duty," said he. I assured him that I knew my
duty to my father as well as he and perhaps better, and that I should
be sorry if it were necessary to learn it from him at this time of day.
"Very well, then," said he, "if he is satisfied you may demand
your dismissal, and if not--you may also demand it." A fine
distinction, truly! All that the Archbishop said to me in the three
audiences--especially in the last--and the language used by this truly
worthy man of God, had so strong a physical effect on me that I was
obliged to leave the opera at the end of the first act, and go home
to bed; for I was quite feverish, trembled in every limb, and tottered
along the street like a drunkard. I remained the next day (yesterday)
in the house, and kept my bed in the morning because I had taken the

My lord Count has had the kindness to write some fine things of me to
his father (High Chamberlain), which you have doubtless had to swallow
by this time. There will be some fabulous accounts, but when one writes
a comedy one must turn and twist things so as to gain applause,
without sticking to the truth of the affair, and you must take the
obsequiousness of the Count into account. I will tell you without
getting warm about it (for I have no wish to injure my health, and I am
sorry enough when I am forced to be angry), I will tell you plainly the
principal reproach made to me on account of my service. I did not know
that I was to be a valet, and that undid me. I should have dawdled away
a couple of hours every morning in the antechamber; I was in fact often
told that I ought to show myself, but I could never remember that this
was part of my duty, and contented myself with coming punctually when
I was summoned by the Archbishop. Now I will briefly convey to you my
unalterable determination, so that the whole world may hear it. If I was
offered two thousand florins by the Archbishop of Salzburg, and only one
thousand florins in any other place, I would go to the other place;
for instead of the other one thousand florins I should enjoy health and
contentment of mind. I pray you, therefore--by all the fatherly love
that you have shown me in so rich a measure from my childhood, and for
which I can never be sufficiently grateful--not to write to me on this
matter, but to bury it in the deepest oblivion if you want to see your
son cheerful and well; a word would be quite enough to rekindle my
anger--and yours, if you were in my place, as I am sure you will

The same day on which Mozart sent this letter through the post he wrote
another to his father by a safe opportunity, in which he once more seeks
to persuade him of the justice



of his fixed resolve to leave the Archbishop's service, and of his own
good prospects in Vienna:--

In the letter which you will have received by post I spoke as though we
were in the presence of the Archbishop; now I speak to you quite alone,
my dear father. We will be silent once for all on the subject of the
Archbishop's conduct to me from the beginning of his reign--of the
unceasing abuse, the impertinence and bad language which he has
addressed to my face, of the unquestionable right I have to forsake his
service--not a word can be said against all this. I will only speak now
of what has really induced me to leave him, laying aside all personal
grounds of offence.

I have made the highest and most valuable acquaintances here that can
be. I am treated with favour and distinction in the best houses of the
nobility, and I am paid for it into the bargain; and shall I sacrifice
all this for four hundred florins in Salzburg, without prospects,
without encouragement, and unable to help you in any way, as I certainly
shall hope to do here? What would be the end of it? It would come to the
same thing. I should either fret myself to death or leave the service.
I need say no more, you know it all yourself; I will only add that my
story is known to the whole of Vienna, and all the nobility advise me
not to suffer myself to be led about any longer. He will try to get over
you with good words, my dear father--they are serpents, vipers! It is
always so with such despicable creatures, they are so haughty and proud
as to disgust one, and then they cringe and fawn--horrible. The two
valets-de-chambre understand the whole villainy of the affair. Schlaucka
said to somebody: "I cannot say I think Mozart at all in the wrong: he
is quite right. I would have done just the same myself! He treated him
like a beggar; I heard it myself. Shameful!" The Archbishop acknowledges
to being in the wrong now; but had he not opportunities enough for
acknowledging it before? And did he alter his conduct? Not a bit. Then
away with all that! If I had not been afraid of doing you some harm I
would have brought it to an end long ago. But, after all, what harm can
he do you? None. If you know that I am doing well you can dispense with
the Archbishop's favour. He cannot deprive you of your salary as long as
you perform your duties, and I will answer for it that I shall do well,
otherwise I should not have taken this step. Nevertheless I acknowledge
that after this insult I should have resigned, if I had had to beg my
bread. If you are at all afraid, make a show of anger against me--blame
me as much as you like in your letters, if only we two know how the
matter really stands. But do not be deceived by flattery. Be upon your

But L. Mozart did not see the affair in this light, and was far from
"strengthening his decision instead of dissuading him from it," as
Wolfgang hoped. He considered the



renunciation of the Salzburg situation as the first step to ruin, and
hoped to check the passionate indignation of his son and bring him back
to the path of reason, as he considered it. But he had not calculated on
the fact that Wolfgang was no longer an inexperienced youth, leaving his
father's house for the first time. The oppressive circumstances of his
late residence in Salzburg, and the clear insight into his own powers
and capabilities which he had acquired in Munich, had given him a
consciousness of the necessity of judging for himself, which had been
strengthened by the contrast between the unworthy treatment of the
Archbishop and the brilliant reception he had met with on the part of
the musical public of Vienna. He saw clearly that the time had arrived
when he must hold his own, even in opposition to his father. His comfort
and convenience he was ready and willing to sacrifice to his father's
wishes, but his honour and the credit of his whole existence were now at
stake, and these he must save at all risks. He withstood, therefore, all
his father's remonstrances and reproaches without betraying his wounded
feelings. To his father's objection that he had never understood how to
take care of his money, Wolfgang answers (May 21, 1781):--

Believe me, I have quite changed in that respect. Next to health, I know
of nothing more necessary than money. I am indeed no niggard--I should
find it very hard to be niggardly--and yet people consider me more
inclined to thrift than extravagance, which is surely enough for a
beginning. Thanks be to my pupils, I have as much as I want; but I will
not have many pupils, I prefer few, and to be better paid than other

He was more affected by the allusion to the obligation he was under to
his father, by reason of the debts incurred by the latter on his behalf,
especially since his father added that he would soon forget his family
in Vienna, as his Aloysia had done. He answered (June 9, 1781):--

Your comparison of me to Madame Lange amazed me, and I was troubled by
it the whole day. This girl lived dependent on her parents while she
could earn nothing, and as soon as the time arrived when she might have
shown her gratitude (her father died before she had received a kreutzer)
she left her poor mother, took up with an actor, married



him, and her mother has not a farthing from them.[11] Good heavens! my
one anxiety, God knows, is to help you and us all; how often must

I write that I can do it better here than in Salzburg? I beseech you,
my dear, good father, write me no more such letters, for they serve no
purpose but to annoy and trouble me; and if I am to go on composing as I
do, I must keep a cool head and a calm mind.

He sent his father at the same time thirty ducats, with an apology for
not being able to spare more at present, and in following years we find
repeated mention of money sent home.

It had been reported to L. Mozart that Wolfgang was living a somewhat
dissipated life in Vienna; Herr von Moll, in particular, "made a wry
face, and said he hoped he would soon come to himself and return
to Salzburg, for he only remained in Vienna for the sake of bad
connections." It was reported to his father that Wolfgang had had
dealings with a person of bad reputation, but he was able to reassure
his father on this point. L. Mozart had been rendered uneasy, too, on
the subject of his son's attention to religious duties. Wolfgang begs
him to be under no apprehension, he is, no doubt, "a foolish young
fellow," but he would wish for his consolation that no one was more
so than he. Eating meat on fast-days he thought no sin, "for fasting
I consider to be abstaining--eating less than at other times," but he
never made a boast of this; he heard mass every Sunday and holy-day, and
as often as possible on ordinary days. "Altogether you may rest assured
that I have not deserted my religion. You, perhaps, believe things of me
that are not true, for my chief fault is that I cannot always act _in_



_appearance_ as I ought to act" (June 13, 1781). Wolfgang's renewed
intercourse with the Weber family appeared to his father of ill omen;
he dreaded another love affair. This also his son repudiates (May 16,

What you write concerning the Weber family is, I assure you, without
foundation. I was a fool about Madame Lange, that is true; but who is
not when he is in love? I loved her in very deed, and I still feel that
she is not altogether indifferent to me. Luckily for me her husband is
a jealous fool, and never leaves her alone, so that I rarely see her.
Believe me also that old Madame Weber is a very obliging person, and
that I only fail in showing her the attention her obligingness deserves;
I have not time for it.

When finally his father went so far as to demand that Wolfgang should
sacrifice his honour by recalling his resignation, he answered in the
full consciousness of the justice of his position (May 19, 1781):--

I scarcely know how to write to you, my dear father, for I cannot
recover from my astonishment, and I shall never be able to do so as
long as you continue so to write and to think. I must acknowledge that I
scarcely recognise my father in some of the passages of your letter! It
is a father who writes, certainly, but not the best, most loving father,
the one most anxious for his own honour and that of his children--in a
word, not _my_ father. But it must have been a dream. You are awake
by this time, and need no reply from me on the various points of your
letter in order to be convinced that I cannot, now less than ever,
depart from my resolution. You say the only way to preserve my honour
is to renounce my intention. How can you utter such a contradiction? You
could not have realised, in writing this, that such a renunciation would
turn me into one of the most cowardly fellows in the world. All Vienna
knows that I have left the Archbishop, knows the reason to be my injured
honour, knows of the thrice-repeated insults of the Archbishop; and am I
all at once to retract my word and belie myself? Shall I announce myself
as a scoundrel, and the Archbishop as a worthy prince? The first no man
shall ever do, and I least of all; and the second no one can do but God
himself, if He should deign to enlighten him. To please you, my dear
father, I would renounce my happiness, my health, and life itself, but
my honour comes before all with me, and so it must with you. My dearest,
best of fathers, demand of me what you will, only not that--anything but
that. The very thought makes me tremble with rage.

The Archbishop was not a little taken aback by the firmness with which
Mozart held to his resolve, but which he



only strengthened by his continual abuse, without bringing the Viennese
round to his side. They all looked upon him as a "haughty, ill-bred
priest, despised by everybody," while Mozart was "an agreeable fellow."
The Archbishop imagined that Mozart's father would bring his son to a
sense of his duty; Count Arco, who had received a letter from the
elder Mozart, proposed an interview, in the hope of persuading him in
a friendly way. Mozart remained all the firmer when he had convinced
himself that his father in Salzburg had nothing to fear. He begged for
an audience to take leave, but this was three times refused, because it
was feared to irritate the Archbishop, and Mozart's submission was
still hoped for. The latter was beside himself when he heard that the
Archbishop was to leave next day, and that he had not been informed
of it. He drew up a fresh memorial, in which he explained that he had
waited four weeks for a final audience; as this had been postponed so
long from reasons unknown to him, he had no resource but to beg for it
himself at the last moment. When he found himself in the antechamber, in
pursuance of this intention (June 8), and prayed for an audience, Count
Arco put the finishing touch to the brutalities suffered by Mozart.
After loading him with abusive epithets, _he pushed him towards the door
with his foot!_ "This happened in the antechamber--there was therefore
nothing for it but to make my escape, for I did not wish to forget the
respect due to the Prince's apartments, although Arco had done so."
Whether this affront was offered by command of the Archbishop, Mozart
did not know certainly; but, in any case, the servant was worthy of his
master, and neither of them could foresee the ineffaceable stigma that
would thereby be attached to their names. Mozart boiled over with rage;
he answered his father that he should return the insult in kind the next
time he met Count Arco, even if it were in the public streets:--

I shall demand no satisfaction at the hands of the Archbishop, for he
would not be in a position to offer it me in the way that I shall take
it; but I shall at once write to the Count what he has to expect from
me the first time I am so fortunate as to meet him, wherever it may be,
unless it should be some place to which I owe respect.



The father was alarmed at such threats addressed to a nobleman; but
Wolfgang answered (July 20, 1781):--

The heart shows the true nobleman, and, although I am no Count, I am
more honourable perhaps than many a Count; and whether it be a footman
or a Count, whoever insults me is a scoundrel. I shall begin by
representing to him how low and ungentlemanly his conduct was; but I
shall conclude by telling him that he may certainly expect a thrashing
from me the first time I meet him.

His father having remarked that the matter might perhaps be arranged
by the intervention of a lady or of some other person of rank, Mozart
answered that this was not necessary: "I shall take counsel only of my
good sense and my heart, and shall do what is right and proper." It was
only with reluctance, and because he saw no other way of pacifying his
father, that he consented to forego the threatening letter to Count


[Footnote 1: Nicolai, Reise, V., p. 231.]

[Footnote 2: This rondo (373 K.) was composed, according to the autograph, on
April 2, 1781, for Brunetti; it is in C major (allegretto grazioso 2-4,)
accompanied by the quartet, two oboes, and two horns, and is simple and
graceful without much demand of execution.]

[Footnote 3: The unfinished allegro movement in B flat major (372 K.), begun
on March 24, 1781, probably belongs to this sonata, which was not
afterwards written down.]

[Footnote 4: The words of the rondo (374 K., Concertarien, No. 5), "A questo
seno," appear to have been taken from an opera called "Zeira." A short
recitative introduces the rondo, of which the theme is thrice repeated
and closes with a coda. The song is simple throughout, without any
passages, and for a voice of moderate compass; the accompaniment
(the quartet, two oboes and two horns) is also easy. It is plain that
Ceccarelli was a singer of no pretensions. The cantilene, however, is
expressive, and there are some original harmonic touches.]

[Footnote 5: The mother of the composer, at that time prima donna at the German
Theatre (Jahrb. d. Tonkunst, 1796, p. 69).]

[Footnote 6: "The Imperial Councillor, Von Braun, is one of our greatest musical
connoisseurs. He thinks very highly of the compositions of the great Ph.
Emanuel Bach; and here he is opposed by the majority of the public in
Vienna." (Nicolai, Reise, IV., p. 556.)]

[Footnote 7: There was a chorus of 200 voices for Dittersdorf s "Esther," 1772
(Selbst-biogr., p. 203). K. R[isbeck] speaks of 400 assistants (Briefe,
I., p. 276).]

[Footnote 8: At his concert in Leipzig he played these variations again after an
improvised fantasia (354 K.).]

[Footnote 9: Neue Wien. Musikzeitg., 1852, No. 35.]

[Footnote 10: So it had been promised (Vol. II., p. 65); but Mozart asserts
repeatedly that he only had a salary of 400 florins (Vol. II., pp. 176,

[Footnote 11: The representations of Aloysia's mother, which Mozart afterwards
learned to receive with caution, may have had some influence on his
judgment of Aloysia. The account given by her husband, Jos. Lange, is
very different. He narrates in his autobiography (p. 116) that they
conceived an attachment for each other soon after Aloysia's arrival in
Vienna: "She had the misfortune to lose her father by a fit of apoplexy.
Her inconsolable grief, and my care for her family, drew us closer
together; my sympathy lightened her sorrowing heart, and she consented
to marry me, hoping to find in her husband the friend she had lost in
her father. As she had contributed to the support of her family by
the exercise of her talent, she continued to make her mother an annual
allowance of 700 gulden, and paid her an advance of 900 gulden which had
been made to the family by the court."]


WHEN Mozart's withdrawal from the service of the Archbishop had become
an established fact, the latter was anxious to show the world that
it lay in his power to attract equally distinguished artists to his
service, and he offered a salary of one thousand gulden to Leop.
Kozeluch, who was considered the first clavier-player in Vienna, if he
would come to Salzburg. Kozeluch refused, as Mozart wrote to his father
(July 4, 1781), because he was better off in Vienna, and he had said to
his friends: "The affair with Mozart is what chiefly alarms me; if he
could let such a man as that leave him, what would become of me?"

L. Mozart, much against his will, was obliged to reconcile himself to
the step his son had taken.[1] He was full of



anxiety, caused by his conviction of Wolfgang's incapacity in matters
relating to his own advancement, by his fear lest he should not be able
to withstand the seductions of the pleasure-loving capital, and also,
perhaps, by an unconscious feeling of annoyance at his son's independent
demeanour. This caused him to express his affectionate and really
justifiable concern in so perverse a manner that, instead of lightening
Wolfgang's difficult position, he embittered his life with reproaches
and objections, which were generally exaggerated, and often entirely
unreasonable; for he was weak enough to place easy faith in rumours
and gossip. He had so long been accustomed to undertake the care of all
Wolfgang's affairs that he could not bring himself quietly to resign all
interference in them. Mozart did not allow himself to be over-persuaded;
he held fast to his independence, as well as to his reverence and love
for his father, whose reproofs and accusations he repeatedly disclaimed.

At first, indeed, the father's gloomy forebodings seemed more likely
to be verified than the brilliant hopes of the son. Summer had arrived,
most of the nobility had gone to their country seats, and there was
little to be done in the way of lessons or concerts. The Countess
Rumbeck (_née_ Cobenzl), who was afterwards considered a first-rate
clavier-player,[2] remained his only pupil, since he would not abate
his price of six ducats; but he managed to exist in spite of all. He
consoled himself by the reflection that it was the dull season, and
that he must employ his leisure by preparing for the winter. He worked
diligently at six sonatas for the clavier, which were to be published
by subscription; the Countess Thun and other ladies of rank undertook
to collect subscriptions. They secured seventeen during the summer, and
hoped for more in the autumn. He set to work to arrange a concert to be
given during Advent; Rossi wrote the words for an Italian cantata which
was to be composed for the occasion. But what lay nearest his heart was
the composition of an opera in Vienna; his conviction of his vocation as
a dramatic composer having been strengthened



by the performances at the Vienna theatre, and the lively interest taken
in them by the public. "My only entertainment," he writes to his sister
(July 4, 1781), "consists in the theatre. I wish you could see a tragedy
performed here! I know no other theatre where every kind of play is
given to perfection. Every part, even the smallest and the worst, is
well filled." The performances of the Vienna stage had, in point of
fact, reached the highest level of excellence known at that time.[3]

Since the time when the stage had joined in the struggle which ended
in the triumph of German literature and art over buffoonery and
extemporised pieces, the theatre had remained the gathering-point of
literary interests. The best authors of the day wrote for the stage with
the avowed object of improving taste and aiding the spread of culture;
such were Klemm, Heufeld, Ayrenhoff, and Gebler, and their efforts were
ably seconded by such actors as Müller and the brothers Stephanie.[4]

The new and difficult task appointed for them spurred the actors to
extraordinary efforts. A general feeling of sympathy and esteem began
to replace the contempt in which the dramatic art had been held, and
the stage was soon looked upon as the gauge of a nation's moral and
intellectual cultivation. This elevation of the art as a whole benefited
the artists as individuals, the interdict which society had laid upon
them was removed, and actors became favoured members of the best and
most cultivated circles.[5] The Vienna theatre in especial, since
Joseph II. in the year 1776 had saved it from the weakening influence
of variable private patronage, and had constituted it the court and
national theatre, had rapidly reached to an unprecedented height of
excellence. This monarch looked upon the theatre as an important means
of national cultivation, took a lively interest in it, and shared
himself in its practical management; he also watched over the talents
and the destinies



of his actors with shrewd penetration and warm sympathy.[6] He was
careful, by lowering the prices of admission,[7] to make attendance
at the theatre more general than it had hitherto been; and an
entertainment, which had borne almost exclusively the character of a
court festival or an assembly of persons of rank, was thus placed within
the reach of the citizen class.[8] Literary criticism too, let loose by
the introduction of the liberty of the press, turned its attention to
the drama, and enlightened the general reader on the quality of the
entertainment afforded to him by the author and by the actor. In this
way a public was educated without reference to rank or class, to whom
the poet and musician could appeal as an independent artist, instead
of ministering as heretofore exclusively to the entertainment of his
patrons--a state of affairs which must have had important influence on
the position of artists, more especially of musicians.

The theatrical public of Vienna at the time of which we are speaking had
the reputation of being attentive, discerning, and appreciative, ready
and liberal in its acknowledgment of what was good.[9] And in truth it
had cause. Shortly before Mozart came to Vienna, Schroder and his wife
had set the crown on admirable acting; and associated with them were
Müller, Lange, Weidman, Brockmann, Jacquet, Bergopzoomer, the brothers
Stephanie, Mesdames Weidner, Adamberger, Jacquet, Sacco, Stierle,
Rouseul--affording proof that Mozart did not overrate the talent of his

In the same spirit in which he had founded the national theatre Joseph
II. abolished the costly spectacular ballet and the Italian opera. In
the place of the latter he instituted a "national vaudeville," as he
called the German



opera.[11] In December, 1777, he resolved to make a modest beginning
with the forces which he had at his command. Umlauf, tenorist in the
orchestra, had written the little operetta of "Die Bergknappen," in
which only four characters appeared. The principal part was intended for
Mdlle. Cavalieri, the second for Madame Stierle; the male parts were to
be undertaken by Ruprecht, the tenor singer, and Fuchs, the bass;
the chorus was composed of church choristers, and the management was
entrusted to Müller, the actor. The rehearsals were very carefully made,
and the Emperor having expressed his satisfaction at a dress rehearsal,
the German opera was opened with "Die Bergknappen" on February 18. 1778.
The performance was highly successful,[12] and in the course of the
following year fourteen operas or vaudevilles were performed, partly
translations, with Italian or French music, such as "Robert und
Kalliste" ("La Sposa Fedele"), by Guglielmi; "Röschen und Colas," by
Monsigny; "Lucile," "Silvain," "Der Hausfreund," by Grétry; "Anton und
Antonette," by Gossec; and partly original pieces composed in
Vienna, such as "Die Apotheke," by Umlauf; "Die Kinder der Natur," by
Aspelmeyer; "Frühling und Liebe," by Ulbrich; and "Diesmal hat der Mann
den Willen," by Ordonnez.

The only singer of lasting reputation who took part in the first opera
was Katharina Cavalieri (1761-1801). Daughter of a poor schoolmaster
named Cavalier in Währing, her talent was perceived and cultivated by
Salieri, and she appeared in Italian opera as early as 1775. She soon
became a bravura singer of the first rank.[13] It was clearly necessary
that she should be well supported if the opera was to compete with the
drama proper. The first wife of the



actor Lange, Mariane Schindler, was secured; but after having achieved
great success in Grétr's "Hausfreund" and "Lucile," and bidding fair to
become a main support of the opera, both by her singing and acting,
she died in the winter of 1779.[14] The following summer, through
the intervention of the ambassador, Count Hardeck, Aloysia Weber was
summoned from Munich, and took her place, not only on the stage, but
in the affections of Lange, who shortly after made her his second
wife. Aloysia Weber made her _début_ in the part of the Rosenmädchen of
Salency, and was received with general approbation.[15] It was evident,
therefore, that Mozart was not blinded by youthful inclination when,
he declared her one of the first singers of her time, a judgment which
posterity has ratified. The second parts had been allotted before her
arrival to Theresa Teyber, afterwards Madame Arnold, who pleased by her
fresh, youthful voice, while that of Madame Fischer (_née_ Strasser),
from Mannheim, a clever singer and good actress, was already somewhat
past. In the summer of 1781 they had been joined by Madame Bernasconi
(p. 130), by the desire, as it was said, of Gluck, who had used the
influence of Count Dietrichstein to press her on the Emperor; but the
position was not well suited to her talent. Mozart gives his opinion as
follows (August 29, 1781):--

In the great parts of tragedy Bernasconi remains inimitable. But small
operettas are not in her style at all; and then (as she acknowledges
herself) she is more Italian than German, speaks on the stage with the
same Viennese accent as in common life (just imagine!), and when she
occasionally makes an effort it is as if one heard a princess declaim in
a marionette theatre. And she sings so badly that no one will consent to
compose for her.

And even before this (June 27, 1781) he had written derisively:--

She has three hundred ducats salary because she sings all her songs a
division higher than they are written. It is really a great art, for
she keeps well in tune. She has now promised to sing them half a tone
higher, and then of course she will be paid more.



There were male singers also, who were quite on an equality with these
female vocalists. Soon after the opening of the opera the tenors Souter
and Dauer, a whimsical actor with a fine voice,[16] were engaged, and at
a later date Adamberger, one of the most admirable tenors, a singer
of artistic style and cultivation, and a "very respectable" actor of
lovers' parts. Fischer was secured as a bass; the compass, strength, and
beauty of his voice and his artistic cultivation, both as a singer
and an actor, placed him in the very first rank among the singers of
Germany. With him were associated Günther and Schmidt as bass singers,
and Saal as a baritone.[17] There were thus all the materials required for
the production of German operas, except a composer who could write them.
Umlauf and some others who imitated him were not the men for such an
undertaking. Gluck had composed nothing since his "Iphigenia in Taurus,"
and contented himself with putting on the stage, in 1780, "Die Pilgrimme
von Mekka," a comic opera which had been written for Vienna with French
words ("La Rencontre Imprévue") in 1764, and which was often played in
its German adaptation.[18] In the following year, by the express
command of the Emperor Joseph, Salieri wrote a German comic opera, "Der
Rauchfangkehrer"[19] ("The Chimney-Sweep"), the text of which, by
Dr. Auembrugger, was unusually bad;[20] but Salieri was too much of an
Italian to have



much effect on German opera. The operetta was assiduously cultivated
in North Germany, and a long list of those which were produced might
be given. But the contrast between North and South Germany, founded
on their political and religious differences, was visible unpleasantly
enough in literature and art, and had a marked influence on their
musical sympathies and antipathies.[21] Nicolai relates that he had
heard in Vienna many genuine and accomplished musical connoisseurs speak
of Ph. Em. Bach not only with indifference, but with absolute dislike,
and place Kozeluch and Steffan before all other clavier-players.[22]
Adamberger, when asked his opinion concerning a celebrated singer from
North Germany, answered that she sang like a Lutheran; and on being
pressed for an explanation, replied, "I call it singing like a Lutheran
to have a beautiful voice as the gift of nature, and even to have
received a good musical education, as is frequently the case in North
Germany, but to show no signs of study in the Italian school of music,
through which alone the true art of singing can be learnt."[23]

There was little demand in Vienna, therefore, for the compositions which
Hiller's successful enterprise with German opera had brought into being;
the works of men such as Benda, Schweitzer, Wolf, Neefe, André, and
Reichard; their operas were not performed, and still less was there any
prospect of a field for their future labours in Vienna. Schweitzer was
not summoned, in spite of Wieland's pressing recommendation (Vol. I.,
p. 406). G. Benda had shown himself not disinclined to remove to
Vienna,[24] and report had pointed to him as probable kapellmeister
in 1778,[25] but he had never been seriously thought of. It appeared,
therefore, that a most fitting career stood open for Mozart, and he
himself wished nothing more than to prove his powers in this branch of
his art. He had brought with him his operetta



"Zaide," in the hope of having it performed. The libretto, as he had
feared, proved a stumbling-block (Vol. II.,p. 115); but the younger
Stephanie, at that time inspector of the opera, formed so favourable
an opinion of the music, that he promised to give Mozart a new and good
piece, which he was to compose for the Vienna stage. His father warned
him that Stephanie was not to be depended upon; and he was right.
Stephanie the younger was an arrogant, selfish man, who had made himself
hated everywhere by his intrigues and pretensions. Mozart knew that he
was in ill repute, and was upon his guard. He resolved to write no opera
without the express commission of Count Rosenberg, who had had supreme
direction of the theatre since 1776; but Stephanie continued friendly,
and there seemed no actual cause for personal distrust. Count Rosenberg
had received Mozart well whenever he had waited upon him, and had
joined in the applause of other connoisseurs upon the occasion of the
performance of "Idomeneo" at the house of Countess Thun, Van Swieten and
Sonnenfels being also among the audience. It was not long, therefore,
before Mozart was able to announce to his father the good news (June 9,
1781) that Count Rosenberg had commissioned Schroder, the distinguished
actor, to look out a good libretto, which was to be given to Mozart for
composition. A few days afterwards Stephanie told him of a piece he had
found in four acts, of which the first was excellent, but the others
fell off, so that it was doubtful whether Schroder would undertake the
adaptation of it. "They may settle that between them," wrote Wolfgang
(June 16, 1781). The book was rejected, but the matter did not rest; the
Emperor was evidently anxious to give Mozart an opportunity of trying
his powers as a German operatic composer; and at the end of July the
latter found himself at the goal of his wishes, and able to inform his
father (August 1, 1781):--

Yesterday young Stephanie gave me a book for composition. It is very
good; the subject is Turkish, and it is called "Belmont und Constance,"
or "Die Entführung aus dem Serail." The overture, the chorus in the
first act, and the concluding chorus I shall compose in Turkish music.
Mdlle. Cavalieri, Mdlle. Teyber, M. Fischer,



M. Adamberger, M. pauer, and M. Walter are to sing in the opera. I am so
delighted at having it to compose that the first songs for Cavalieri
and Adamberger and the terzet at the close of the first act are already
finished. The time given is short, certainly, for it is to be performed
in the middle of September, but the attendant circumstances will be all
the more favourable. And indeed everything combines to raise my spirits,
so that I hasten to my writing-table with the greatest eagerness, and it
is with difficulty I tear myself away.

The favourable circumstances which made Mozart so hopeful chiefly
consisted in the expected visit of the Grand Duke Paul and his wife; the
opera was to be among the festivities given in their honour, and it
was safely to be expected that the Emperor and Count Rosenberg would
consider it to his credit if he prepared the work in such haste for
them; but all this was to be a secret. It was now very convenient to him
to be in a house with good friends who would provide him with dinner and
supper, and so enable him to sit writing all day. "You know of old
how hungry I get when I am composing." He continued in this whirl of
excitement, and was able to write on August 8:--

I have just finished the chorus of Janizaries. Adamberger, Cavalieri,
and Fischer are thoroughly pleased with their songs. I let the Countess
Thun hear as much as is ready. She told me afterwards that she was ready
to stake her life on it that what I had written so far would please.
On this point, however, I listen to no man's praise or blame before
the whole has been heard or seen, but I follow entirely my own
feelings--only you may see from it how greatly she was pleased with the
music herself.

On August 22 he wrote that the first act was finished; soon after
he learnt, to his relief, that the Grand Duke was not coming until
November, so that he could write his opera "with greater deliberation"
(September 5, 1781). Shortly afterwards he informs his father (September
26, 1781):--

The first act was ready three weeks ago, and an aria in the second act
and the drinking duet, which consists of nothing but my Turkish tattoo;
but I cannot do any more at present, the whole thing being upset, and
by my own desire. At the beginning of the third act there is a charming
quintet, or rather finale, and this I mean to transfer to the end of
the second act. But it will necessitate considerable alterations and the
introduction of a fresh intrigue, and Stephanie is over head and ears in



Another circumstance also interfered with the completion of Mozart's
opera. It was proposed in honour of the distinguished visitors to
perform two of Gluck's operas, viz.: "Iphigenia" in a German adaptation,
and "Alceste" in Italian, "in order," as a contemporary announcement
puts it, "to show what we Germans are able to accomplish."[26] Certainly
the choice was well made with this object in view, although it was said
in Vienna, as Mozart wrote to his father (August 29,1781), that it had
been difficult to persuade the Emperor into it, for he was at heart as
little partial to Gluck as to Gluck's favourite singer, Bernasconi.[27]
The projected performance of these operas disturbed all Mozart's
calculations. The applause which had been bestowed on his "Idomeneo"
by capable and influential judges, and the readiness of the singers to
appear in it, had raised the hope of producing it on this occasion in
a German adaptation, which would have involved alterations in the
composition; but a third grand opera would have been too much, and it
could not have been studied together with Gluck's. Even the comic
opera had to be temporarily laid aside until Gluck's two operas were
ready--"and there is plenty of study to be got through still," he wrote
to his father (October 6, 1781). He was at work at it again in the
middle of November; but the original intention of having it completed
by the arrival of the Grand Duke was no longer feasible. On November 21
"that grand animal, the Grand Duke," arrived under the name of Count von
Narden, and on the 25th a brilliant festival was given at Schonbrunn.
"Tomorrow 'Alceste' is given at Schonbrunn,"[28] writes Mozart,



sorrowfully (November 24, 1781). "I have been looking up Russian popular
songs, in order to play variations on them."

Shortly before the arrival of the Grand Duke, the Duke of Würtemberg,
with his consort, the Princess Elizabeth, intended bride of the Archduke
Franz, and her brother, Prince Ferdinand, had entered Vienna. "The Duke
is a charming man, and the Duchess and Princess also; but the Prince
is an octogenarian stick, and a real blockhead," was Mozart's concise
description (November 17, 1781); but the arrival of the trio opened
a favourable prospect for him. The Princess, who had come to have the
finishing touches put to her education in Vienna, required a teacher of
music, and this position, which, besides making a welcome addition to
his income, would bring him into contact with very influential persons,
Mozart hoped to obtain. His chief supporter was the Emperor's youngest
brother, the Archduke Maximilian, at that time Coadjutor of the Elector
of Cologne. The Archduke was musical, and had an excellent band of wind
instruments in his pay;[29] he had a favourable remembrance of Mozart
from his visit to Salzburg in 1775, and proved a very warm patron.
Mozart wrote to his father (November 1781):--

Yesterday at three o'clock I was summoned by the Archduke. When I went
in he was standing in the first room by the stove, and he came straight
up to me and asked if I had anything to do to-day? "No, your royal
highness, nothing at all; but even were it otherwise, I should be
delighted to place my time at the disposal of your Royal Highness." "No,
no; I do not want to disturb anybody." Then he said that he had a mind
to give a concert in the evening at the Würtemberg court, and would
like me to play something and to accompany the songs; I was to go to him
again at six o'clock. I played there last evening accordingly.

At the same time, Mozart could not conceal from himself that the
Archduke had changed very much to his disadvantage:--

Before he was a priest he was much wittier and more intellectual, and
spoke less but more sensibly. You should see him now! Stupidity stares
out of his eyes, he talks and chatters without stopping, and all in a
sort of falsetto voice; he has a swollen neck; in short, the whole man
is transformed!



Nevertheless he continued to patronise Mozart, drew him out on every
occasion, and if he had only been Elector of Cologne, Mozart would have
been kapellmeister by this time, as he told his father. He had used
his influence with the Princess to take Mozart as her music-master, but
received for answer that if it depended on herself she would certainly
have chosen him, but the Emperor--"he cares for no one but Salieri,"
cries Mozart in disgust--had recommended Salieri to her on account of
his singing, and she felt obliged to engage him, to her great regret.

It was quite true that Salieri stood high in the favour of Joseph II. He
had been pupil of the Emperor's special favourite Gassmann, and had in a
sense grown up under the royal eye;[30] he was regularly engaged at
the imperial private concerts, and retained possession of his patron's
favour by means both of his music and his personal demeanour. It was
plain, therefore, that the preference for Salieri shown by the Emperor
on this occasion did not arise from any ill-will towards Mozart; he was
in close personal intercourse with Salieri, and esteemed him highly as a
vocal composer, while Mozart was only known to him as a clavier-player.
As such he had great admiration for him, and Mozart informed his father
(December 26, 1781) that the Emperor had lately "passed the greatest
_éloge_ on him in the words 'C'est un talent décidé.'"

He had also (on December 14) commanded Mozart to play at court, and
had arranged for him a contest of skill with Clementi, who had come to
Vienna with the reputation of a clavier-player of unheard-of excellence.
Clementi relates the encounter to his pupil L. Berger:[31]--

I had only been a few days in Vienna when I received an invitation to
play before the Emperor on the pianoforte. On entering the music-room I
beheld an individual whose elegant attire led me to mistake him for
an imperial valet-de-chambre. But we had no sooner entered into
conversation than it turned on musical topics, and we soon recognised in
each other with sincere pleasure brother artists--Mozart and Clementi.



Mozart continues the description of the scene (January 16, 1782):--

After we had paid each other all manner of compliments, the Emperor gave
the signal that Clementi should begin. "La santa chiesa cattoüca!" said
the Emperor--Clementi being a native of Rome. He preluded, and played a

"It is worthy of note here," says Berger, "that Clementi was peculiarly
fond of extemporising long and very interesting and elaborate interludes
and cadenzas in the pauses of his sonatas; it was this propensity which
led him to select a sonata for performance which lent itself easily
to such treatment, although in every other respect this sonata
stands behind his earlier compositions of the same kind. It was the
following--[See Page Image]

and we have perhaps to thank this subject for the allegro in the
overture to the 'Zauberflote,' a composition never surpassed of its
kind: [32]--

The Emperor then said to me: "Allons, d'rauf los!" ("Now then,
fire away!") I preluded, and played some variations. Then the Grand
Duchess[33] produced some sonatas by Paesiello (in his own miserable
manuscript),[34] of which I was to play the allegro and Clementi the
andante and rondo. Then we each took a subject and carried it out on two
pianofortes. By the way, I had borrowed the Countess Thun's pianoforte
for myself, but only played upon it when I played alone. The Emperor
wished it to be so. The other instrument was out of tune, and had three
of its keys sticking. "Never mind," said the Emperor. I look upon it
that the Emperor knows my musical powers and knowledge, and wishes to
do me justice in the eyes of the foreigners. I know upon very good
authority that he was thoroughly satisfied with me.



Dittersdorf confirms this view, and extracts the following from a
conversation with Joseph II.:[35]--

_Emperor_: "Have you heard Mozart?" _Myself_: "Three times already."
_Emperor_: "How do you like him?" _Myself_: "As every connoisseur _must_
like him." _Emperor_: "Have you heard Clementi also?" _Myself_: "I have
heard him also." _Emperor_: "Some people prefer him to Mozart, which
makes Greybig wild. What is your opinion? speak out." _Myself_: "In
Clementi's playing there is merely art, but in Mozart's both art and
taste." _Emperor_: "That is just what I said myself."

After the competition, the Emperor sent Mozart fifty ducats, "which were
very acceptable at the time."

Clementi was delighted with Mozart's playing:--

I had never heard so delicate and graceful an execution. I was
especially delighted with an adagio, and with several of his
extemporised variations. The Emperor gave the subject, and we varied it,
alternately accompanying each other.

On the other hand, Mozart's judgment of Clementi was sharp and severe:--

Clementi is a good player, and that is all one can say. He plays well as
far as the execution of his right hand is concerned. His forte lies in
passages in thirds. But he has not an atom of taste or feeling, in fact
he is a mere mechanist.

When his sister in Salzburg had made acquaintance with Clementi's
sonatas, he wrote to her (June 7, 1783):--

Now I must say a word to my sister on the subject of Clementi's sonatas.
Every one who plays them must be aware that as compositions they
are valueless. There are no striking passages, except the sixths and
octaves, and I should strongly advise you not to be too much taken with
these, for they are the ruin of a firm and quiet hand, and would soon
deprive it of its lightness, flexibility, and flowing rapidity. For what
is the object of these passages after all? They must be executed with
the utmost rapidity (which not even Clementi himself can accomplish),
and a lamentable hash is the result--nothing else in the world, Clementi
is a charlatan, _like all the Italians!_ He writes _presto_ on a
sonata, or even _prestissimo or alia breve_, and plays it _allegro_ in
three-four time. I have heard him do it! What he does



really well are passages in thirds--he worked at them day and night in
London--but he can do nothing else, and he has not the least execution
or taste, and far less any sentiment in his playing.[36]

In justification of this censure, Berger mentions Clementi having told
him that, at the time of which Mozart writes, he devoted his
attention to brilliant execution, and in particular to double runs
and extemporised passages; it was only later that he adopted a more
expressive style, which was perfected by the study of the best vocal
music of the day, and by the gradual improvements made in the instrument
known as the English pianoforte, the primitive construction of which had
been too defective to allow of an expressive legato execution. Berger
remarks further that Mozart's honourable and upright character prevents
any suspicion of underhand motives for the severity of his judgment.

Mozart sought to gain favour with the Emperor by securing the support
of his groom of the chamber, Strack, who possessed great influence in
musical affairs. He tells his father (November 3, 1781) that on his
name-day (October 31), which he had celebrated at the house of Baroness
Waldstätten, he had been surprised by a serenade of his own composition
(375 K.), which he had composed on St. Theresa's day (October 15) for
the daughter-in-law of the court painter, Hickl. "The chief reason I
wrote it," he continues, "was to let Herr von Strack, who goes there
almost daily, hear something of mine, and I made it somewhat serious
accordingly; it was very much admired." He ventured at a later date
to count upon Strack as his friend with the Emperor, although, as he
cautiously adds, "the courtier is never to be trusted" (January 23,
1782). The report having reached Salzburg that the Emperor intended
taking Mozart into his service, he answers his father (April 10,

The reason that I have not written to you about it is because I know
nothing of it myself. It is certain, however, that the whole town is
full of it, and that I am congratulated on all sides; I would fain
believe, too, that the Emperor has been spoken to on the subject, and



has it in his mind, but so far I have not heard a word. It has gone so
far that the Emperor is thinking of it, and that without my having moved
a step in the matter. I have been sundry times to see Herr von Strack
(who is on my side) both to keep him in mind of me, and because

I like him; but not often enough to be tiresome or to appear to have any
motive in it; and he must acknowledge as an honest man that he has not
heard a word from me which could give him occasion to say that I wished
to remain, far less to be engaged by the Emperor. We talk of nothing
but music. It is of his own free will and quite disinterestedly that
he speaks of me to the Emperor. Since it has gone so far without my
co-operation, it may come to something. If one appears anxious, there is
less chance of a good salary, for the Emperor is certainly a niggard. If
he wants to have me, he must pay me for it; for the honour of being in
the Emperor's service does not go very far with me.

Joseph II. was accustomed to have a concert in his own apartments every
afternoon.[37] He generally dined alone in the music-room, which did not
usually occupy more than a quarter of an hour; if there was no important
business to be transacted, the concert began as soon as the cloth was
removed, and lasted for about an hour, so that the Emperor might visit
the theatre. Three times a week there was a grand concert, at which
Gassmann,[38] and later Salieri, or sometimes Umlauf, were expected to
appear; there was no audience, and the Archduke Maximilian, when he was
present, took an active part in the performance. Joseph II. possessed a
thorough musical education,[39] and preferred the severe style (Vol. I.,
p. 368); his fine bass voice had been trained in the Italian school,[40]
and he played the violoncello and viola, as well as the clavier; he also
read both vocal and instrumental music with great facility, and was a
skilful player from score. Usually separate pieces were selected from
operas and, oratorios; the Emperor accompanied from the score on
the clavier, and also took a tenor or bass part--a pathetic one by
preference.[41] The pieces chosen were



sometimes old favourites of the Emperor, sometimes new works with which he
thus became acquainted; the operas which were afterwards to be performed
were generally gone through in this way by the Emperor and the Archduke
Maximilian.[42] The pieces were generally played and sung at sight;
it amused the Emperor to put the executants on their trial, and he was
delighted at the confusion which often ensued; the more energetic and
distracted the conductor Kreibich became, the more heartily the Emperor

At the ordinary concerts the Emperor only took part in the quartet. The
first violin was played by Kreibich (or Greybig), "a man who was made
for a conductor; he has a capital insight into the theory of music, but,
unfortunately for his art, affects a certain degree of charlatanry.
His timidity prevents his executing solo parts with distinctness and
elegance, and his bowing is not sufficiently round and firm." This
nervousness, joined to a pompous manner, made him the butt of the jokes
and squibs of the musical circle,[44] and though not at all ill-natured,
he was not in a position to make his opinion of value, but allowed
himself to be made the tool of others, who were willing enough to let
him appear to the Emperor and the public as the leader of all that
related to the chamber music. With him were associated the violinists
Woborzil, who led the orchestra in the German opera, Hoffmann, Ponheim,
and Krottendorfer, mediocre artists and unimportant men; of the last it
was only said that he flattered Strack, and was his marionette. Strack
was in fact the soul of these concerts; he had the direction of the
musicians, played the violoncello, and was present on every occasion,
while the others took it by turns; this, together with his personal
position, gave him overpowering influence with the Emperor. "You know
the kind of men



who, as Schiller says, come in as makeshifts when any one is wanted.
Strack has always been with Joseph, and has used his opportunities so
well that, in the musical line, he can do exactly as he likes."

It was a fact that good music, especially good instrumental music, was
seldom performed in the closet. If a quartet was played it was by a
second-rate composer, and the masters who were then founding a new epoch
in this province, Haydn--for whose "tricks" the Emperor did not
care much[45]--and Mozart, together with their imitators, Pleyel and
Kozeluch, were excluded, or as good as excluded. This was considered
to be owing to Strack's influence, and it was wondered at that Salieri,
"the idol of the Emperor," who invariably took part in the private
concerts, did not assert his opinion; but he "was too politic to come
into collision with the shadow of his Emperor."

How far, after all, was Salieri capable of influencing the music of his
day? Joseph's taste had been formed on the tradition of Italian music,
represented by Hasse and Piccinni, and his predilections retained the
same direction. His wish to develop a national school of music proceeded
from rational conviction; and, though he was intellectually capable of
appreciating the works of Gluck and Mozart, they were not really
after his own heart. He had avowedly accustomed himself to look for
entertainment in music, and was overpowered by the independent power and
fulness which Gluck, Haydn, and Mozart brought to bear upon their art.
Salieri had no reason for combating the Emperor's inclinations, since
they were also his own. He skilfully sought to turn to account the
acquisitions which music had made in various directions, and to make
Italian opera capable of satisfying the demands of a more enlightened
taste. With the exception of the operas written for Paris, in which he
consciously followed Gluck's manner, he remained throughout true to the
tradition of Italian opera, introduced no new element into it, and did
not possess



originality enough to make an indelible mark on the music of the day.
But it was just this mediocrity of talent, skill, and taste which won
for him the favour of his imperial master and of the public; it would
have required the possession of a singular union of moral and artistic
greatness and magnanimity to acknowledge rising genius as superior to
his own, and to bow himself down before it--and Salieri was not capable
of this. He is described as a benevolent and good-tempered man, amiable
in his private life, and adorned with the well-deserved fame of noble
and generous actions;[46] but these good qualities did not preserve from
envy either his reputation or his position. In the year 1780 he had just
returned from a lengthened tour in Italy, which had brought him new fame
and honour, and had confirmed him in the favour of the Emperor; at this
point Mozart made his appearance as a rival, dangerous by reason of his
brilliant powers of execution, which most readily win the applause
of the multitude, as well as by his compositions. The "Entführung"
threatening to throw Salieri's "Rauch-fangkehrer" completely into
the shade, and "Idomeneo" establishing its composer as a formidable
competitor on his own ground, it was impossible that Salieri, who
instinctively felt Mozart's superiority, could long pretend indifference
to it. There was no interruption of their personal intercourse.[47]
Mozart was friendly and unconstrained in his behaviour to his
fellow-artists, "even to Salieri, who could not bear him," as Frau
Sophie Haibl, Mozart's sister-in-law, relates, and Salieri was "too
politic" to make any show of his dislike to Mozart. It was understood in
Vienna, however, that he did dislike him, and that he secretly strove to
check his progress, not only by depreciatory criticism,[48] but by every



sort of obstacle thrown in his way from the very first. Salieri had
been appointed maestro to the Princess Elizabeth, but he was unable to
instruct her on the clavier, and Mozart had clearly the next claim. "He
may take the trouble," writes he to his father (August 31, 1782), "to
do me harm in this matter, but the Emperor knows me; the princess would
have liked to learn from me from the first, and I know that my name
stands in the book where the list of all those appointed to her service
is kept." But Salieri was much too cautious to allow Mozart to attain
to such a position. An unknown musician named Summerer was appointed
teacher of the clavier to the Princess Elizabeth. Mozart consoled
himself, when he heard that the salary was only four hundred florins,
by the reflection that it would not leave much over when the waiting,
travelling, and other expenses contingent on such a service had been
paid for (October 12, 1782).

Under these circumstances Salieri and Strack were naturally sworn allies
in the Emperor's music room, and resisted together the introduction
of any elements which would undermine their influence by giving the
Emperor's taste a new direction. Although, therefore, Mozart was
encouraged by the Emperor's expressions of liking for him, more
especially as "great rulers are not too fond of saying such things for
fear of a dagger-thrust from an envious rival," yet the obstacles which
he had to overcome in the surroundings of the Emperor were likely to
prove too powerful for him. The Emperor's parsimony also restrained him
from adding another kapellmeister to those who were already in receipt
of salaries from the court.

Another chance of such a fixed situation as his father was continually
urging upon him to secure offered itself through Prince Aloys
Liechtenstein, the eldest son of the reigning prince, whose income was
estimated at 900,000 imperial



gulden.[49] He proposed enrolling a band of wind instruments in his
service, and wished to engage Mozart to arrange pieces for it. For this
he could not expect a high salary, but it would be a certain one, for he
had quite resolved to accept none but a permanent engagement. But
this hope, too, was disappointed,[50] and he continued to exist on the
uncertain proceeds of lessons, concerts, and composition.

The state of affairs improved somewhat in the winter. He had constant
pupils in the Countess Rumbeck and Frau von Trattnem, to whom was added
later the Countess Zichy. He gave each of them a lesson daily, and
received six ducats for twelve, which sufficed for absolute necessities.
Six sonatas for clavier and violin, for which his patronesses had opened
a subscription of three ducats, were completed and printed in November,

In Lent he gave a concert, at which, following the advice of his
patrons, he played selections from "Idomeneo" and his concerto in D
major (175 K.), for which he had composed a new rondo (382 K.). The
rondo "made a great sensation," and was sent to Salzburg, with a request
that it might be treasured as a jewel. "I wrote it especially for
myself, and no one else shall play it except my dear sister" (March 2,
1782). As a conclusion he played a fantasia. He had been advised to do
this because he would be thereby most certain of outrivalling Clementi,
who was giving a concert at about the same time.[52] Mozart had plenty
of invitations to play at other people's concerts and in society,
on which occasions a new composition had generally to be written. At
Auernhammer's concert, for instance, he played with the daughter a
"sonata for two" (381 K.), which he



had composed on purpose, and which "was a great success" (November 24,
1781). He wrote easier pieces for his pupils. "I must close my letter"
he writes (June 20, 1781), "for I have to prepare some variations for
a pupil"; and soon after he wrote to his sister (July 4, 1781): "I have
written three airs with variations, which are not worth the trouble of
sending alone. I will wait until there is something to accompany them."

His time was fully occupied, therefore, and he had no difficulty in
proving the injustice of his sister's reproaches to him for not writing
oftener (February 13, 1782):--

You must not conclude that you do not give me pleasure by writing to
me because I do not always answer you. I always look forward with great
pleasure to receiving a letter from you, my dear sister. If I were not
prevented by pressing engagements, God knows I would always answer you.
Is it true that I have never answered you? It certainly has not been
from forgetfulness nor carelessness, but from simple impossibility! Bad
enough, you will say, but do I write often, even to my father? You both
know Vienna. You ought to know that a man who has no regular income must
work day and night in such a city. Our father, when he has finished his
church service, and you, when you have dismissed your few pupils, can
do as you like all the rest of the day, and you may write letters long
enough to contain the whole litany, if you like; but I can do no such
thing. I gave my father a description of my mode of life a short time
ago. I will repeat it for you now. At six o'clock my barber comes, at
seven I am dressed, and write until nine. From nine o'clock till one
I give lessons, then I dine, if I am not invited out, in which case we
dine at two or even three o'clock, as we shall to-day and to-morrow at
the Countess Zichy's and Countess Thun's. I cannot begin to work again
till five or six o'clock, and am often even then prevented by a concert;
if not, I write. The continual concerts, and the uncertainty as to
whether I shall be called away here or there, prevent my writing in
the evening; so it is my custom (especially when I come home early)
to compose something before I go to bed. I often write on until one
o'clock, and am up again at six! My dearest sister, if you really
believe that I can forget you or my father, then--but no! God knows it,
and that is enough for me; let Him punish me if I ever forget you.

Instances are not wanting of his affection and thought for his father
and sister. He sends his father (March 23, 1782) a snuffbox and a pair
of watch ribbons: "The snuffbox is a good one, and the picture on it is
from an English story;



the watch ribbons are not very valuable, but they are high fashion
here just now." He did not buy either of them, he adds for his father's
consolation, but was presented with them by Count Szapary. To his sister
also he sent different bits of finery, and begged her to intrust him
with any commission in Vienna; he also testified the warmest sympathy
in her love affairs. He did not forget his old Salzburg friends in
Vienna--begs for news of them from his sister, "the walking register of
Salzburg," and wished still to be considered as an active member of the
quoit club.

During these manifold occupations the opera had still the first place
in his thoughts, but it was at a standstill owing to the production of
Gluck's two operas and the numerous alterations which were necessary
in the libretto; he hoped that it would be ready for representation,
however, directly after Easter. This was not the case, but on May 8 he
writes: "Yesterday I was with the Countess Thun, and ran over the second
act for her; she is as pleased with it as she was with the first"; and
on May 29: "Next Monday is to be the first rehearsal; I must admit that
I am delighted with this opera."

And he had good cause to be so, for its ultimate success was assured.
But he had to fight against strong cabals, and it needed the express
command of the Emperor to bring the opera to performance on July
13. High as had been the expectations of the public, they were fully
justified by the result. "The house was crammed full, there was no end
to the applause and cheering, and performances followed one another in
quick succession."[53] After having given his father a short account
of the first performance, he reports more fully on the second (July 20,

Yesterday my opera was given for the second time. Can you believe that
the opposition was even stronger than on the first evening? The whole of
the first act was drowned, but they could not prevent the bravos after
every song. My hope was in the closing terzet, but



Fischer had been rendered nervous, and went wrong, as did Dauer, and
Adamberger alone could not put things right; so that the whole effect
was lost; and this time it was not encored. I was beside myself with
rage, and so was Adamberger; we agreed that the opera should not be
given again without a rehearsal for the singers. In the second act the
two duets were encored, and also Belmonte's rondo, "Wenn der Freude
Thranen fliessen," &c. The theatre was almost more crowded than on the
first performance; the day before not a seat was to be had either on the
_noble parterre_ or in the third story, and not a single box. The opera
has brought twelve hundred florins in the two days.

In the next letter (July 27, 1782), he continues:--

My opera was given yesterday (St. Ann's day) in honour of all Nannerls,
for the third time, and the theatre, in spite of the stifling heat, was
again crammed full. It was to have been played again next Friday, but
I have protested, for I do not want it to be run to death. People are
quite foolish about the opera, I must say. But it does one good to
receive such applause.

Notwithstanding this, it was given again on July 30, and also on the
Friday, and the theatre "swarmed with people in every part."

Mozart was busily employed in arranging his opera for harmony (wind)
music, when he received a commission from the Haffner family in Salzburg
(Vol. I., p. 153) to compose a new serenata. L. Mozart had first been
applied to, and he thought it becoming that Wolfgang should lighten his
father's labours by undertaking a work which cost him no exertion, and
would be of direct advantage to his father. He therefore begged him to
write a serenata without delay, for the time was approaching when it was
to be performed. Wolfgang was quite ready to consent, inconvenient as it
might be to him (July 20, 1782):--

I have certainly enough to do, for by Sunday week my opera must be
arranged for wind instruments, or some one else will get the start
of me, and reap the profit; and now I have to write a new symphony! I
hardly see how it will be possible. You would not believe how difficult
it is to arrange a work like this for harmony, so that it may preserve
its effects, and yet be suitable for wind instruments. Well, I must give
up my nights to it, for it cannot be done any other way; and to you,
my dear father, they shall be devoted. You shall certainly receive
something every post-day, and I will work as quickly as I can, and as
well as I can compatibly with such haste.



He kept his word, although not quite so soon as he himself wished. In
his next letter he writes (July 27, 1782):--

You will make a wry face when you see only the first allegro; but it
could not be helped, for I was called upon to compose a serenade in
great haste--but only for wind instruments, or else I could have used
it for you. On Wednesday, the 31st, I will send the two minuets, the
andante, and the last movement: if I can I will send a march also; if
not, you must take that belonging to the Haffner music, which is very
little known (249 K.). I have written it in D, because you prefer it.

But the serenata was not ready within the next few days, for he says in
his letter of July 31:--

You see that my will is good, but if one cannot do a thing--why one
cannot! I cannot slur over anything, so it will be next post-day before
I can send you the whole symphony.

A week later he wrote (August 7, 1782):--

Herewith I send you a short march (probably 445 K.). I hope all will
arrive in good time, and that you will find it to your taste. The first
allegro must be fiery, and the last as quick as possible.

Six months later, when he had this symphony sent back to him for
performance at one of his concerts, he wrote to his father (February
15,1783): "The new Haffner symphony has quite astonished me, for I did
not remember a word of it, and it must be very effective." These little
incidents show us the true Mozart, in his good-nature and readiness to
oblige his father, and in his power of productiveness and elasticity
of mind; he excuses himself for not having the symphony ready in a
fortnight--and that at a time when not only his opera, but also his
courtship and marriage were filling his head and his heart--and then
he is astonished at himself for having done the thing so well.[54] The
serenata which was thus composed is the lovely one in C minor (388 K.).

Meanwhile the opera pursued its successful course; in the



course of the year it was performed sixteen times; and in the beginning
of October, when the Archduke and his wife returned to Vienna, on their
homeward journey, the "Entführung" was given in their honour, "on which
occasion I thought it as well to sit at the piano again and conduct," he
writes to his father (October 19, 1782), "partly to wake up the somewhat
slumbering energies of the orchestra, partly to show the great people
present that I am the father of my offspring." Kaiser Joseph had
attained the object of his ambition; the German opera was established;
but he scarcely seemed to appreciate the importance of the movement thus
set on foot. His criticism on the "Entführung"--"Too fine for our ears,
and an immense number of notes, my dear Mozart!" (referring, no doubt,
to the accompaniment, which was also found fault with by Dittersdorf
as overpowering the voices)[55]--is indicative of his taste. Mozart's
spirited answer, "Just as many notes, your majesty, as are necessary,"
was worthy of an artist.[56] Generally speaking, the opera received
unmitigated praise. Prince Kaunitz, an accomplished amateur and
passionate friend of the theatre,[57] sent for the young composer,
received him in the most flattering manner, and remained henceforth his
friend and patron. The veteran Gluck, the most distinguished person in
the musical world, expressed a desire to hear the opera which was making
so much sensation; it was performed at his request, as Mozart writes to
his father (August 7, 1782), although it had been given only a few days
before; he paid the composer many compliments on it, and invited him to

The opera had decided Mozart's musical position in Vienna;[58] it
speedily caused his fame to spread throughout Germany. The Prussian
minister, Baron Riedesel--the



well-known traveller and friend of Winckelmann--begged Mozart for a
copy of the score for performance in Berlin, for which he was to receive
suitable remuneration. This was the more flattering, since André's
version of the "Entführung" had been well received in Berlin only
the year before. Mozart had sent the original score to his father
immediately after the first performance, that he might become acquainted
with the composition before seeing the opera, which he was not to do
until the end of 1784, in Salzburg:--

I have just promised to have it copied. As I have not got the opera I am
obliged to borrow it from the copyist, which is very inconvenient, since
I never can keep it three days together; the Emperor continually sends
for it, as he did yesterday, and it is so often performed; it has been
performed ten times since August 16. My idea was, therefore, to have it
copied in Salzburg, where it can be done more secretly and cheaper.

The father, who watched his son's proceedings with jealousy and
suspicion, thought he detected something underhand in the objection to
have the copying done in Vienna. He had reminded his son, _ä propos_ of
"Idomeneo," that the score should remain the property of the composer
(Vol. II., p. 141); and he now cautioned him as to whether he had the
right to dispose of the score, would it not cause unpleasantness in
Vienna, and that for the sake of an uncertain verbal promise of payment.

To this Wolfgang answered (October 5, 1782):--

I waited on the Baron von Riedesel myself; he is a charming man, and I
promised him (in the belief that the opera was already in the hands of
the copyist) that he should have it at the end of this month, or at the
latest at the beginning of November. I must beg you to take care that I
have it by that time. To relieve you of all anxiety, which I thankfully
acknowledge as a proof of your fatherly love, I cannot say anything more
convincing than that I am under great obligation to the Baron for having
asked me for the opera, instead of going direct to the copyist (as is
the custom in Italy), who would have given it to him directly for ready
money; and besides this, I should have been very sorry if my talent
could be paid for in that way--especially by a hundred ducats![59] This
time (because there is no occasion) I shall say nothing



about it; if it is performed, as it is certain to be (and that is what
pleases me most about it), it will be known soon enough, and my enemies
will have no excuse for ridiculing me, and treating me as a poor fellow:
they will be quite ready to ask me for another opera if I will write
it, but I do not know that I shall; certainly not if I am to be paid
one hundred ducats, and see the theatre make four times that sum in a

I shall bring out my next opera at my own expense, make at least twelve
hundred florins in three representations, and then the management may
have it for fifty ducats. If not, I shall be paid, and can produce it
anywhere. Meanwhile I hope you will never find in me the least trace of
any evil intentions. I would fain not be a bad fellow, but I do not
want to be a stupid one who lets other people reap the advantage of his
labour and study, and gives up his rightful claim to his own works.

The father's distrustful prudence prevented his putting the work in hand
at once, and such haste was then necessary that no copyist in Salzburg
would undertake it; Mozart had no resource but to explain the cause
of the delay to the ambassador. But in the end the score was copied in
Salzburg. The "Entführung" was performed the following year at Prague
with extraordinary success.[60] "I cannot describe the applause and
sensation which it excited at Vienna from my own observation," says
Niemetschek; "but I was a witness of the enthusiasm with which it was
received at Prague by connoisseurs and non-connoisseurs. It made what
one had hitherto heard and known appear not to be music at all! Every
one was transported--amazed at the novel harmonies, and at the original
passages for the wind instruments." It was given at Leipzig in 1783;[61]
at Mannheim,[62] Salzburg, and Schwedt in 1784;[63] at Cassel in
1785;[64] at Berlin not until 1788.[65] The applause was great on
all occasions, and very soon the smaller stages sought to master the
favourite piece. The actor Philipp Hasenhuth used to relate how the
theatrical manager



Wilhelm, at Baden,[66] in 1783 or 1784, undertook the production of the
"Entführung" with a very weak company. At the rehearsal of the quartet
there was no tenor-player; Hasenhuth, who had just begun to learn the
violin, and hardly knew one string from another, was put down to the
tenor. A little man who had come in as a spectator sat down by him, and
when he saw the deficiency, seized a viola and they played together. But
the little man soon showed his impatience of his stumbling neighbour,
and giving vent to his anger more and more plainly as the quartet
proceeded, he ended by flinging away the viola, exclaiming, "The man is
a veritable donkey!" (Der Herr ist ein wahrer Krautesel!), and running
out of the room. The opera, however, was a great success; and the
well-satisfied manager gave his company a farewell supper, to which,
hearing that Mozart was in Baden, he invited the composer. Hasenhuth was
astonished to recognise in him the tenor-player at the rehearsal, but
Mozart relieved him from all awkwardness by saying good-humouredly, "I
was somewhat impolite when we last met, but I did not know who you
were, and the devil himself could not have stood the wrong notes!" The
judgment of contemporary critics of the opera was almost unanimously of
accord with that of the public.[67]

It is not probable that Mozart obtained any share of the rich profits
which accrued from the production of his opera on these various stages.
He was even cheated out of the production of a clavier score. "Now it
has come to pass exactly as I foretold to my son," wrote L. Mozart to
his daughter (December 16, 1785); "the 'Entführung aus dem Serail' has
appeared in clavier score at Augsburg, and has also been printed at
Mayence. Since March, when he began it, my son has not found time to
finish it. He has lost his time, and Torricella (who was to publish it
at Vienna) his profits."[68]


[Footnote 1: He wrote to Breitkopf (August 10, 1781): "My son is no longer in the
service of this court. He was summoned to Vienna by our Prince, who
was there, we being in Munich. But his highness lost no opportunity of
insulting and ill-treating my son, who, on the other hand, received much
honour from all the high nobility of Vienna. My son was therefore easily
persuaded to forsake his ill-rewarded service, and to remain in Vienna."]

[Footnote 2: Jahrb. d. Tonkunst, 1796, p. 51.]

[Footnote 3: Devrient, Gesch. der Deutsch. Schauspielkunst, III., p. 117.]

[Footnote 4: Cf. Sonnenfels' programme of his theatrical management in the year
1770, in Müller's Abschied von der Bühne, p. 73.]

[Footnote 5: Muller, Abschied, p. 79. Lange, Selbstbiogr., p. 25.]

[Footnote 6: Lange, Selbstbiogr., p. 65. Meyer, C. Schröder, I., p. 361.]

[Footnote 7: Müller, Abschied, p. 95. A. M. Z., XXIV., p. 253.]

[Footnote 8: Carl Pichler, Denkwürdigkeiten, I., p. 78.]

[Footnote 9: Meyer, I., pp. 361, 375.]

[Footnote 10: A survey and account of the Vienna stage of the time will be found
in K. R[isbeck], Briefe über Deutschland, I., p. 258. Nicolai, Reise,
IV., p. 587. Meyer, C. Schroder, I., p. 355.]

[Footnote 11: An accurate account of the state of German opera is given by
Muller (Abschied von der Bühne, p. 253). Cf. A. M. Z., XXIV., p. 254. K.
R[isbeck] (Briefe über Deutschland, I., p. 269) says that the members
of the opera were looked down upon by those of the old comedy, and there
were almost daily ridiculous displays of jealousy and ill-nature.]

[Footnote 12: Forkel, Musik. Krit. Bibl., II., p. 392.]

[Footnote 13: Sonnleithner, Recensionen, 1862, No. II., p. 18.]

[Footnote 14: Lange, Selbstbiogr., p. 104. Muller, Abschied, pp. 259, 261.]

[Footnote 15: Theaterkal., 1781, p. 183.]

[Footnote 16: Müller, Abschied, pp. 181, 189, 194.]

[Footnote 17: The _personnel_ of the opera from 1781 to 1783, which, with their
salaries, I have borrowed from Meyer (C. Schroder, I., p. 356), was as
fellows:--Male singers: Adamberger (2,133 fl. 30 kr.), Souter (1,200
fl.), Dauer (?), Fischer (1,200 fl.), Gunther (1,200 fl.), Schmidt
(1,200 fl.), Ruprecht (700 fl.), Hoffmann (600 fl.), Frankenberger (400
fl.), Saal (800 fl.). Female singers: Mdlle. Cavalieri (1,200 fl.),
Madame Lange (1,706 fl. 20 kr.), Madame Fischer (1,200 fl.), Mdlle.
Teyber (800 fl.), Mdlle. Haselbeck (600 fl.), Mdlle. Brenner (400 fl.),
Madame Saal (800 fl.),Madame Bernasconi (500 ducats). The orchestra,
under the leadership of Kapellmeister Umlauf, consisted of six first and
six second violins, four tenors, three violoncelli, three double-basses,
two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two
trumpets, and drums. The total pay amounted to 16,124 florins.]

[Footnote 18: Schmid, Gluck, p. 107.]

[Footnote 19: Mosel, Ant. Salieri, p. 72.]

[Footnote 20: Cramer, Magazin der Musik, I., p. 353. Auembrugger was further
known to fame as a physician, and his daughters Franziska and Mariane
were distinguished pianoforte-players.]

[Footnote 21: In Forkel's Musik. Alman., 1784, p. 189, the question as to why the
music of Viennese composers should be liked in North Germany, but the
music of North Germany should be disliked in Vienna, is treated of in a
contribution for Vienna, showing the two different standpoints.]

[Footnote 22: Nicolai, Reise, IV., p. 556.]

[Footnote 23: Allg. Wiener Musikztg., 1821, p. 56.]

[Footnote 24: Müller, Abschied, p. 185.]

[Footnote 25: Forkel, Musik. Bibl., III., p. 340.]

[Footnote 26: Cramer, Magazin der Musik, I., p. 353, where it is erroneously
stated that Gluck's "Alceste," "Iphigenia in Tauris," and "Orpheus" were
given in Italian. Cf. Muller, Abschied, p. 270. A. M. Z., XIV., p. 268.
The German translation of "Iphigenia" was by Alxinger (Forkel, Musik.
Alman., 1783, p. 153.)]

[Footnote 27: Reichardt describes his interview with Joseph II., in the summer
of 1783 (A. M. Z., XV., p. 667. Schletterer, Reichardt, p. 326): "The
Archduke Maximilian led the conversation on Gluck, whom they both
considered as a great tragedian: but now and then the Emperor was not so
much in favour of Gluck's operas as could have been wished."]

[Footnote 28: Wien Ztg.,1731, No. 95, Anh. "Alceste" was repeated on December 13.
Ibid., No.100, December 27 (No.104); "Iphigenia" was played on December
9 (No.99), and on January 3,1782; "Orpheus" was performed in Italian.,
Ibid., 1782, No. 2.]

[Footnote 29: A. M. Z., XV., p. 668. Schletterer, Reichardt, I., p. 327.]

[Footnote 30: Mosel, Salieri, p. 22.]

[Footnote 31: Ludwig Berger's narrative was taken from the lips of his teacher in
1806, and is identical with Mozart s own account (Cäcilia, X., p. 238;
A. M. Z., XXXI., p. 467). Other accounts differ somewhat, as usual in
such cases.]

[Footnote 32: Clementi thought it advisable on the republication of this sonata
to assert his prior claims, as follows: "Cette sonate, avec la toccata
qui la suit, a été jouée par l'auteur devant Sa M. J. Joseph II., en
1781, Mozart étant présent." There can be no doubt that Mozart was
conscious of the reminiscence.]

[Footnote 33: Bridi's account says that the Emperor had laid a wager with the
Grand Duchess that Mozart would surpass Clementi, and won it.]

[Footnote 34: Paesiello composed sonatas and capricci for the Grand Duchess.]

[Footnote 35: Dittersdorf, Selbstbiogr., p. 236.]

[Footnote 36: This criticism belongs to the toccata rather than to the sonata; it
is marked _prestissimo_, and is a brilliant study of passages in thirds
and fourths.]

[Footnote 37: The account which follows is founded on an accurate account of
Joseph's chamber concerts (Musik. Corresp., 1790, p. 27).]

[Footnote 38: Mosel, Salieri, p. 22.]

[Footnote 39: Mosel, Ibid., p. 71.]

[Footnote 40: A. M. Z., XXIV., p. 285.]

[Footnote 41: The A. M. Z., XV., p. 512, narrates an apocryphal anecdote to the
effect that the Emperor Joseph once wrote a song, and secretly inserted
it in a little Italian opera which he gave in his private theatre
at Schönbrunn. On his asking Mozart what he thought of the song, the
latter, "with childlike frankness and gaiety," replied, "The song is
good, but he that wrote it is better."]

[Footnote 42: A. M. Z., XV., p. 66. Reichardt, Mus. Monatschr., 1792, p. 57.]

[Footnote 43: A characteristic scene is related by Mosel (Salieri, p. 130).]

[Footnote 44: Dittersdorf tells a story which illustrates this (Selbstbiogr., p.

[Footnote 45: Reichardt, A. M. Z., XV., p. 667 (Schletterer, Reichardt, p. 325;
Griesinger Biogr. Not. übcr Jos. Haydn, p. 63).]

[Footnote 46: Besides Mosel's Biography cf. the account by Rochlitz (Für Freunde
der Tonkunst, IV., p. 342; A. M. Z., XXVII., p. 412).]

[Footnote 47: A. Hüttenbrenner, a pupil of Salieri, relates upon his authority
(A. M. Z., XXVII., p. 797) that Mozart often came to Salieri,
saying: "Lieber Papa (?) geben sie mir einige alte Partituren aus der
Hofbibliothek (?), ich will sie bei Ihnen durchblättem," and that he often
ate his midday meal during these studies.]

[Footnote 48: Mosel (Salieri, p. 211) confines this to silence on the merits of
Mozart's works. But although Salieri occasionally spoke in praise of
Mozart in afteryears (Hüttenbrenner, A. M. Z., XXVII., p. 797; Rochlitz,
Für Freunde der Tonkunst, IV., p. 345), I have heard upon trustworthy
authority in Vienna, that Salieri, even in his old age, when among
confidential friends, expressed, with a passion that was painful to his
hearers, the most unjust judgments on Mozart's compositions. Thayer's
attempt to justify Salieri (A. M. Z., 1865, p. 241) led me to make a
searching examination of the facts.]

[Footnote 49: K. R[isbeck], Briefe, I., p. 272.]

[Footnote 50: "A cantata composed for Prince Aloys von Lichtenstein by W. A.
Mozart," of which there is a copy in the Royal Library in Berlin, is
certainly not by Mozart (242 Anh. K.).]

[Footnote 51: The Wien. Zeit., 1781, No. 98, announces "Six sonatas for the
piano with accompaniment for the violin by the well-known and celebrated
master, Wolfgang Amade Mozart, Op. 2, 5 fl." (296, 376-380, K.). No. 2
(in C major) was composed in Mannheim (p. 400), and No. 4 (in B flat
major) was previously known to his sister, as he writes to her (June 4,

[Footnote 52: Clementi left Vienna at the beginning of May, 1782.]

[Footnote 53: "The 'Entführung,'" says a notice from Vienna in Cramer's Magazin,
I., p. 352, "is full of beauties. It surpassed public expectation, and
the delicate taste and novelty of the work were so enchanting as to call
forth loud and general applause."]

[Footnote 54: This symphony (385 K., part 5) with the superscription, "ä Vienna
nel mese di Juglio, 1782," has only a minuet, and no march. The second
minuet was written on separate sheets, and not preserved, not being used
in Vienna. Mozart afterwards added two flutes and two clarinets to
the first and last movements for the performance in Vienna; these are
wanting in the printed score.]

[Footnote 55: Dittersdorf, Selbstbiogr., p. 237.]

[Footnote 56: The truth of this anecdote is vouched for by Niemetschek, who
narrates it (p. 34). Napoleon is said to have received a similar answer
from Cherubini, who certainly did not borrow it from Mozart (A. M. Z.,
XXXVI., p. 21; cf., II. P. 735).]

[Footnote 57: Many instances are given in Lange's Selbstbiogr., p. 98 Müller,
Abschied, p. 100; Meyer, L. Schröder, I., pp. 341, 343, 346.]

[Footnote 58: It remained on the Vienna repertory until 1779. The German opera was
quite extinguished in 1778; it was revived on September 23, 1801.]

[Footnote 59: Even this sum appears to have been thought excessive; at least
Schroder wrote to Dalberg (May 22, 1784): "Mozart received fifty ducats
for the 'Entführung aus dem Serail'; he would compose no opera under this
price." At a later time, one hundred ducats was the usual price for an
opera (Ditters-dorf, Selbstbiogr., p. 241).]

[Footnote 60: Cramer, Magazin der Musik, I., p. 99.]

[Footnote 61: Raisonnirendes, Theaterjoum. von der Leipzig. Michaelmesse, 1783,
p. 32.]

[Footnote 62: Koffka, Iffiand und Dalberg, p. 136.]

[Footnote 63: Berl. Litt. n. Theat. Ztg., 1784, II., p. 160.]

[Footnote 64: Lyncker, Gesch. d. Theat. u. d. Musik, in Kassel, p. 316.]

[Footnote 65: Chronik. von Berlin, II., p. 440. Teichmann's Litt. N'achl., p. 45.]

[Footnote 66: Ant. Hasenhuth's Leben., p. 94.]

[Footnote 67: Cramer's Magazin f. Musik, II., 2, p. 1056, and B. A. Weber, in
Knigge's Dramaturg. Blattern, 1788, II., p. 21, give favourable notices.
Both these journals were among Mozart's little collection of books.]

[Footnote 68: Two fragments of Mozart's pianoforte score of Constanze's and
Blond-chen's songs (11 and 12) are preserved in his handwriting. The
piano score of the first act is noticed in the Wien. Ztg., 1785, No. 98.]


THE gradual decline of the German festival and "spektakel" operas was
consummated in 1742, when Gottsched,



who had waged incessant war against them throughout his career, had the
satisfaction of chronicling the opera of "Atalanta," in Dresden, as the
last of its kind[1] but they were succeeded by a sort of aftergrowth
in the form of the operetta.[2] The theatrical managers could not
altogether dispense with similar means of attraction, and attempts were
made to introduce the musical intermezzo, together with the now fairly
well-established ballet. In 1743 Schonemann produced in Berlin Coffey's
"Devil to Pay" ("Der Teufel ist los"), adapted by Von Barck, with the
English melodies;[3] but this attempt, as well as the performance of
Schürer's vaudeville "Doris," in Dresden, in 1747,[4] remained
without result. In 1752 Koch, of Leipzig, who had had recourse to the
performance of Italian intermezzi,[5] commissioned Chr. Fel. Weisse
to make a new adaptation of Coffey's "Devil to Pay, or the Bewitched
Wives," which was set to music by Standfuss, the assistant-manager of
Koch's company.[6] Gottsched and his wife renewed the old strife against
this attempt, but were completely defeated.[7] The second part of the
opera "Der Teufel ist los"--"Der Lustige Schuster"--was produced by
Koch, in 1759, at Lubeck.[8] But not until his return to



Leipzig, in 1765, did he give his serious attention to vaudeville.
Weisse revised his old opera of "Der Teufel ist los," which, with
partially new music by Hiller, was performed in 1766, and received
with fresh applause.[9] Koch found in Joh. Ad. Hiller what had always
hitherto been wanting, viz., a composer of good musical and general
education, having a decided talent for light, easy, and characteristic
music (more especially comic music), and full of zeal for the elevation
of the national art. He endeavoured to make another step in advance,
and by the composition of Schieb-ler's romantic poem of "Lisuart and
Dariolette" (performed November 25, 1766) to lay the foundation of
serious German opera.[10] Educated in the tradition of Hasse and Graun,
with the additional influence of Ph. Em. Bach, he followed with interest
the attempts to gain favour for Italian music in Paris by reconciling it
with the demands of French taste; and he wished to establish a national
German opera on the same principles. He denied that the German language
was unfitted for song, if only the poet would take the trouble of
accommodating it to the music, and if artists were trained for German
singing with as much care as for Italian. Since German taste was more
Italian than French, but the French were superior to the Italians in
dramatic treatment, a French plan in Italian form was most likely to be
approved of by Germans.[11] The insufficient appointments of the Leipzig
stage must, however, have dissuaded him from any idea of a grand opera.
To this was added his connection with Weisse, who during his residence
in Paris had taken a lively interest in the comic opera, and had exerted
himself to transplant it into Germany.[12]

His first opera, "Lottchen am Hofe," after "Ninette ä la Cour," and "Die
Liebe auf dem Lande," after "Annette et



Lubin" and "La Clochette," had so great a success in 1767 and 1768
that they prepared the way for other similar attempts.[13] These simple
dramas, which occupied the mind without exerting it, and moved the
feelings without unduly exciting them, were so much in keeping with
Weisse's own nature that he was able to give them characteristic and
appropriate form. They opened a field, too, for Hiller's simple hearty
spirit, embodied in a popular form, which made his style appeal at once
to the multitude; while an endeavour after higher things would only have
turned him into an imitator of Hasse. A rapid succession of operas by
Weisse and Hiller, which were received with unanimous approbation, and
spread with incredible rapidity, soon established a definite type of
German operetta, and raised up a host of imitators. The interest of the
public, especially in North Germany, was almost exclusively confined to
operetta,[14] so that in Berlin, for instance, during the years
1781-83, 117, 141, and 151 operettas were performed.[15] This implies an
extraordinary production. Besides translations from French operettas
by Duni, Philidor, Monsigny, Grétry, and Italian intermezzi, there
were innumerable German vaudevilles, for the most part also founded on
foreign originals.[16] Some idea may be formed of the fertility of these
composers, by the fact that between 1765 and 1785, Hiller composed 13
operas, Wolf 18, Neefe 10, Holly 13, André 22, Schweitzer 16, Stegmann
10, G. Benda 8; to whom may be added a host of other less productive and
less celebrated composers.

This activity had indeed drawbacks, for it was practised with great
ease, and many amateurs of very inferior musical education intruded
themselves among the operatic musicians.[17] The careless dilettantism
of the poet went hand in hand



with that of the composer. A host of unskilful verse-makers allied
themselves with Weisse, Michaelis, and Gotter, and threatened to degrade
the operetta to the lower level of the opera buffa. A further drawback
consisted in the very defective performances, which in most instances
resulted from the insufficient powers of the operetta companies.

"We must remember," says Reichardt, in his "History of the Comic Opera,"
"how much Hiller was hampered by the miserable state of our operatic
companies. He was fully aware of this, and what I admire in him is that
he never lost sight of the fact that he was writing, not for singers,
but for actors, who had scarcely music enough in them to sing over their
wine." The state of things had not altered much since Hiller began to
write. The Italian operas alone were supported by the courts; the German
operettas remained in the hands of private speculators; who did not
possess the means of attracting vocalists of artistic cultivation.
No singer of any reputation would have thought it consistent with his
dignity to appear in German vaudeville. The vaudeville, therefore,
remained in the hands of actors, who had seldom any vocal powers and
still seldomer any but a superficial cultivation, but who willingly
appeared in operettas on account of the high fees[18] and great applause
they might reckon upon. Reichardt gives an appalling description of the
German opera in Berlin in 1774; he heard one of Hiller's operas "sung
by a wide-mouthed, screeching woman, and a lover with a voice like a
night-watchman," and that before an audience which had "the reputation
of very refined taste";[19] he was no better pleased at Leipzig.[20]
Müller says of a performance of Wolf's "Treuen Kohler" at Dresden in
1776: "As only two of all the performers were at all musical, you may
imagine how the opera was



rendered." It is conceivable, therefore, that the growing partiality for
German opera was regarded with disfavour by earnest men, as prejudicial
alike to the dramatic interests which were still struggling to assert
themselves in Germany,[21] and to the artistic development of operatic
music proper.[22] The actor Müller, during his professional tour in
1776, made himself acquainted with the views of competent judges as to
the admissibility of German operettas; the different opinions which
he collected are characteristic enough. Lessing--who held the union
of poetry and music as the most perfect in existence, "so that nature
herself appears to have destined them not so much for union as to be
considered as one and the same art"[23]--was against vaudevilles. "They
are the ruin of our stage. Such works are easily written; every comedy
affords material to the author; he scatters a few songs about, and the
thing is done. Our new dramatic poets find this a far easier task than
writing a good character piece." Gleim was even more violently
opposed to vaudeville than Lessing, and gave Müller an epigram upon


     Die, schlau wie
     Schlang' und Krokodill,
     Sich schleicht in aller
     Menschen Herzen
     Und drinnen sitzt, als wie ein
     Huhn Auf seinem
     Nest, und lehrt:
     Nur klcine Thaten thun
     Und über grosse
     Thaten scherzen!"

Weisse smiled when Müller repeated the lines to him, and declared
himself, as became the founder of German opera, in its favour. He was
too modest, however, to maintain that operettas were dramatic works of
art, or to hope thereby to raise the taste of his countrymen; he could
only disclaim all intention of degrading it or of doing more than



German people to come together, and providing pleasant and popular
entertainments for them when they did so.[24] Gotter preserved a
discreet neutrality on the subject, since he had had a direct interest
in more than one operatic libretto; he would not declare for either
side, and was of opinion that variety was the root of all pleasure.
Wieland was more explicit, and declared that the national stage could
only be rendered of importance by German music; comic and serious German
vaudevilles were wanted, but good poets would soon come forward to
supply the need. He was not only able to point to his own "Alceste,"
and the success it had obtained; he had developed his views on the
cultivation of German vaudeville with a lively acknowledgment of
the achievements of Schweitzer, and he possessed genuine feeling and
interest for music. Even a musician like Reichardt declared himself
against the operetta, but thought as it was there it ought at least to
be improved, and made as useful as possible.[25]

The interest which was taken by great poets in the elevation of the
vaudeville is exemplified by Goethe; after "Erwin und Elmire" and
"Claudina von Villabella" were written, his intercourse with his
early friend Christoph Kayser[26] (b. 1736) caused him to attempt
the construction of vaudeville after the received type of the Italian
operetta. His first experiment was "Scherz, List und Rache," which he
began in 1784, and sent at once to Kayser for composition;[27] the two
first acts were ready the following year, and were well thought of in
Weimar;[28] in Rome, whither Goethe was followed by Kayser at the end of
1787, they finished the operetta together.[29] But Goethe thought that
the operetta



was extravagantly mounted,[30] and complains himself that a defective
conception of the intermezzo had led him to spin out the trivial subject
into innumerable musical pieces, which had been treated by Kayser quite
after the old-fashioned models. "Unhappily," says Goethe, "adherence to
the old principles caused it to suffer from poverty of parts; it never
went beyond a terzet, and one felt inclined to wish that the doctor's
medical books might be endowed with life to form a chorus. All the pains
we took, therefore, to confine ourselves within narrow and simple limits
went for nothing when Mozart appeared. The 'Entführung aus dem Serail'
threw all else into the shade, and our carefully worked-out piece was
never heard of again at any theatre."[31]

A closer examination of Mozart's opera will make it clear to us why it
threw all others into the shade. The plot of Bretzner's[32] "Entführung
aus dem Serail," written for André in 1781, is simple and in no way

Constanze, the beloved of Belmont, is in the power of the Pasha Selim,
who has confined her in his seraglio, and sues in vain for her love.
Belmont has been made aware of her place of confinement by Pedrillo,
his former servant, who has also fallen into the hands of the Pasha,
and become the overseer of his gardens; Belmont hastens to liberate his
beloved. In seeking Pedrillo he stumbles upon Osmin, overseer of the
country-house in which the action takes place; and both he and Pedrillo
(who is even more obnoxious to Osmin from his known love to Blondchen,
Constanze's waiting-maid, whom Osmin seeks to win) are rudely repulsed
by Osmin. In the meantime Pedrillo succeeds in recommending Belmont
to his master as an accomplished architect; Selim takes him into
his service, and Osmin is reluctantly obliged to admit him to the
country-house. In the second act Blondchen makes short work of Osmin's
arrogant jealousy in respect of her, and Constanze remains constant
against the renewed attempts of the Pasha. Hereupon Pedrillo inveigles
Osmin into drinking with him, and renders him harmless by means of a
sleeping potion; the freedom thus obtained is employed by the lovers in
an interview at which their flight the following night is determined on.
In the third act this is put into effect. Pedrillo



gives the sign, Belmont escapes with Constanze; as Pedrillois carrying
off Blondchen, Osmin enters still half asleep; they contrive to escape
but he causes them to be pursued, and both couples are brought before
the Pasha. They are condemned to death, but the Pasha, moved at last by
their self-sacrificing love and fidelity, pardons and unites them.

The original libretto is arranged for a genuine vaudeville. All the
dramatic interest lies in the spoken dialogue; the songs are, with a few
exceptions, superfluous additions, and imply a very moderate amount of
execution. Mozart undertook to indicate to Stephanie where and how, in
the interests of the composer, alterations should be made, and only left
to him the framing of the text, with which it was not necessary to be
so particular, if only the situations were well arranged in their main
features. The principal point, next to giving to the musical element
of the piece its due prominence as the most fitting expression of lyric
sentiment, was the proper consideration of the individualities of the
performers themselves. Fortunately this task was not complicated in the
way which had so often been the case. Madame Cavalieri was certainly
more of a bravura singer than anything else, and neither her appearance
nor her acting was effective; but Adamberger and Fischer were just as
Mozart would have had them, both as singers and actors, and Fischer
especially was an extraordinarily gifted artist. The part of Osmin,
which was created for him, shows the influence of a congenial spirit on
the conceptions of the creating artist. When Mozart was fairly
embarked in the work, he wrote to his father about the libretto and the
alterations already made in it (September 26, 1781):--

The opera began with a soliloquy which I have begged Herr Stephanie
to turn into a little ariette, and also, instead of the two chattering
together after Osmin's song, to make a duet out of the dialogue. As
we have given the part to Fischer, who has an excellent bass voice
(although the Archbishop once told me he sang too low for a bass, and I
assured his grace that he would sing higher next time), we must give him
something to do, especially as he is such a favourite with the public.
In the original book Osmin has only one little song, and nothing else
but the terzet and finale. I have given him an aria in the first
act, and he is to have another in the second. I have trusted the aria
altogether to Stephanie, the music was ready before he knew a word about



These alterations were of specially good dramatic effect in the first
scene, and Osmin's song called to life the first German comic aria which
deserves to be called great. In the second act the dialogue between
Blondchen and Osmin becomes a duet; on the other hand, a superfluous
duet between Constanze and Blondchen is very rightly omitted. Instead of
it Constanze has the great bravura song "Mar-tem aller Arten," chiefly
as a concession to the singer; for the repetition of the scene in
which she scornfully rejects the Sultan's proposals is in every way
superfluous. Blondchen's second song--newly inserted--is, however, quite
appropriate; in it she expresses her joy at her approaching deliverance;
so that the original duet is really embodied to a certain extent in
these two songs.

But the chief alteration which Mozart contemplated was in the conclusion
of the second act. In Bretzner's text the abduction scene is treated as
a grand ensemble movement, with which the third act commences. A long
and elaborate duet between Belmont and Pedrillo, who are lying in
ambush, makes the beginning, and then Constanze appears and is carried
off by Belmont. After Pedrillo has climbed up to Blondchen in the
window, Osmin comes out of the house still heavy with sleep; but he sees
the fugitives and has them pursued and brought back by his guard; they
beg for mercy, seek to regain their liberty by bribery--in vain; Osmin
rages, and all the characters are in a state of excitement.

Mozart's quick eye saw that this scene, bringing together all
the characters in a succession of rapidly varying and contrasting
situations, forms the culminating point of the opera; he wished,
therefore, that this "charming quintet, or rather finale, should
be placed at the close of the second act." He also saw that this
transposition would necessitate other important alterations. The second
act could be kept together very well by the mutual understanding of the
two lovers; but the third act, for which nothing was reserved but the
unravelling of the knot by the clemency of the Sultan, if it was to
have any substance or interest, "must be provided with an entirely new
intrigue." The difficulty



of finding this seems to have put a stop to the alteration, and the
original arrangement remained. But for Bretzner's insignificant finale
to the second act there was substituted an elaborate quartet, which
expresses in music the reunion of the lovers in its various aspects of
joy and jealousy, of disputes and reconciliation. An air for Belmont
precedes this; it is well-fitted for the situation, and is intended
also as a concession to the singer, for in this act, where all the other
characters come to the front, Belmont had originally nothing to sing but
the ensemble music.

Mozart began the composition of the ensemble movement at the
commencement of the third act. The greater part of the duet between
Belmont and Pedrillo before the romanze was sketched out by him in
his usual way, the voices and bass written in full, the accompaniment
indicated here and there. It breaks off, however, in the middle; and
Mozart appears to have purposely laid it aside, convinced that the scene
must be differently treated.[33] The ensemble was given up; Mozart saw
that it would throw the whole opera out of gear, and would concentrate
the interest and the action at the wrong place. The abduction scene was
confined to dialogue, only Pedrillo's romanze being left; in addition,
songs for Belmont and Osmin were inserted, both highly characteristic.
The duet for Belmont and Constanze, which follows, is altered only in
the words, not in the situation; the closing catastrophe it was
thought well to modify. In Bretzner's version the Pasha Selim, who is
a renegade, recognises in Belmont his son, which leads to the

but Stephanie makes him pardon the lovers from generosity and
magnanimity, which, as a critic remarked, were the fashion of the day in
Vienna.[34] Constanze's song of gratitude at the close is very rightly
omitted, and replaced by the then customary vaudeville, in which all the
characters declare in turn: "Wer solche Huld vergessen kann, den seh man
mit Verachtung an!



Mozart's father had raised objections to the libretto, and the
alterations in it; he was particularly concerned that the verses
were not in regular rhyme throughout. Thereupon his son made him the
following remarkable answer (October):--

Now about the text of the opera. As far as Stephanie's work is
concerned, you are quite right, but the poetry is very well suited to
the character of the stupid, boorish, and malicious Osmin. I am quite
aware that the versification is not of the best; but it goes so well
with my musical thoughts (which were running in my head long before)
that I cannot but be pleased; and I would wager that no fault will be
found in performance. Belmont's aria, "O wie ängtslich," could scarcely
be written better for the music. Constanze's aria too is not bad, with
the exception of the "Hui,"[35] and the line "Sorrow reposes in my
bosom," for sorrow cannot repose. After all, in an opera, the poetry
must be the handmaid of the music. Why do Italian comic operas always
please, in spite of their wretched librettos--even in Paris, as I was
witness myself? Because the music is supreme, and everything else is
forgotten. All the more then will an opera be likely to please in which
the plan of the piece is well carried out, and the words are written
simply to suit the music; not turned and twisted so as to ruin the
composition for the sake of a miserable rhyme, which God knows does far
more harm than good in a dramatic representation.[36] Verse, indeed, is
indispensable for music, but rhyme is bad in its very nature: and poets
who go to work so pedantically will certainly come to grief, together
with the music. It would be by far the best if a good composer who
understands the theatre, and know-how to produce a piece, and a clever
poet, could be (like a veritable phoenix), united in one; there would
be no reason to be afraid as to the applause of the ignorant then. The
poets seem to me something like trumpeters, with their



mechanical tricks--if we composers were to adhere so closely to our
rules (which were well enough as long as we knew no better) we should
soon produce music just as worthless as their worthless books."[37]

"Now I think I have talked nonsense enough for this time"--so Mozart
concludes this interesting letter, as he was fond of doing when his
desire to justify himself had led him into general aesthetic questions,
on which he was averse to expatiating at any length. His opinion as
to the relative positions of music and poetry in operatic works is
unusually interesting. In complete opposition to Gluck, who considered
music as subordinate to poetry, Mozart requires that poetry shall be the
handmaid of music. In the sense in which the context shows him to have
meant it, he is undoubtedly right. He exacts that the plan of the piece
shall be well laid out; that is, that the plot shall be interesting,
and shall as it proceeds afford dramatic situations fitted for musical
expression. He requires further that the words shall be written merely
for the music, that is, that the poetical conceptions shall be of a kind
to stimulate the composer, to elevate and support him, while allowing
him perfect freedom of thought and action. He had mentioned Osmin's song
to Stephanie, and the music was ready before the latter had written a
word of the poetry; the words he then prepared accorded so admirably
with the musical ideas which had been running in Mozart's head, that
faults here and there in the versification did not seem to him of much

The impulse he required for his musical conceptions was the
representation of the dramatis persona in certain definite situations,
not the verbal framing of the poet's ideas.[38] The



points which were contained in the verse, and influenced the
construction of the musical idea, were to him co-operating but not
dominating elements. The words of an opera have a definite object; they
provide foundation and support for the musical expression, and are not
therefore absolutely independent, as in the drama,[39] but are obliged
to recognise and respect the laws of music, as well as those of poetry.
To attain this end a compromise is as indispensable as in every other
union of the sister arts. Architecture, in her highest achievements,
turns for embellishment to sculpture and painting; and no one has ever
doubted that in such co-operation each art must make some concession
to the other. The architectural plan must be so conceived as to afford
fitting space and position for the sculpture and painting; these, on the
other hand, must be introduced with a view to the essential conditions
of the building; the pediment, the arch, the metope are not freely
selected forms, but constitute the limitations which arise from the
necessities of the building. The sculptor modifies his style to suit the
character of the building, the painter knows how to give significance
to the whole design by skilful composition and combinations of colour on
the flat surface of the walls. Doubtless architecture, with her severe
laws and inflexible forms, imposes restrictions on the fancies of
the artist; but who can imagine that Phidias in the sculptures of the
Parthenon, Raphael in the Loggia of the Vatican, renounced their freedom
of design or their independence of execution in obedience to the will
of the architect? The relation between poetry and music is of the same
kind. Mozart saw the necessity for co-operation between the musician and
the poet, if the right effect was to be given in its just proportions.
The musician must be ready to "give some hints" which shall put the poet
in possession of his intentions and of the conditions necessitated
by the rules of his art; the poet must be "intelligent," clever, and
cultivated enough to fall in with the intentions of the musician, and
poet enough to retain his poetical powers in spite of these limitations.



Mozart is quite right in asserting that co-operation of this kind is
the surest pledge for an altogether satisfactory opera; unhappily he is
quite right also in declaring such a co-opera-tion to be attainable only
by "a veritable phoenix."

To a certain degree a mutual understanding is of course indispensable,
but it confines itself, as a rule, to an unwilling concession on this or
the other side.[40] Music finally assumes the mastery in opera, where
it is the actual medium of expression; no one could deny that good music
would make the poorest verse pass muster, whereas bad music could not be
made acceptable even when "wedded to immortal verse." But the very
fact that music appeals direct to the senses gives it an advantage when
opposed to poetry, which reaches the imagination through the intellect;
just as a poetical description of a work of art falls far short of
the effect produced directly on the mind by contemplation of the work
itself. Music works on the sense of hearing in an as yet inexplicable
manner, rousing emotions and fancies with an instantaneous power
surpassing that of poetry. Even if this be disputed, it must be allowed
that music does not appeal immediately to the intellect as language
does. Even the species of music which is said to occupy the intellect
most especially, viz., music in strict forms of counterpoint, does not
do it in such a way as to enable the hearer to discover the meaning
of the composition by means of its actual utterances; it exercises his
intellect otherwise by rousing the desire in him to grasp and hold the
artistic forms as such, and the laws upon which they depend.[41] Music
must borrow from poetry what it does not possess for itself, namely, the
ability to call forth a well-defined image which shall identify itself
with the sentiment evoked i by the music and give to this its exact
significance. This point is, of course, of special importance in opera,
although the fact must not be lost sight of that the stage accessories



and pantomimic representation come greatly to the aid of the music,
so that it is quite possible for an audience to follow an opera with
interest and gratification without understanding the language in which
it is written. This is a further proof that, important as the poetic
details doubtless are, the plot and situations are the really essential
points. For the paradox that a libretto if it is to be musical cannot be
poetical, but can only have certain external forms of poetic delivery,
is certainly false. The conditions of poetic delivery and musical
execution are essentially the same, and a distinction between them is
impossible. But the means of delivery which the poet has at his disposal
are manifold and varied, and not all applicable in the same place; if
the poet is master of his art, and has a clear conception of what he is
striving after, he will know what are the particular means he ought to
employ to be in accord with the musical part of the work.[42]

Bretzner was very indignant at the proposed alterations in his libretto,
and inserted the following notice in the "Berliner Litteratur und
Theater-Zeitung" (No. 1783):--

It has pleased some hitherto unknown person in Vienna to take in hand my
opera, "Belmont und Constanze," or "Die Entführung aus dem Serail,"
and to publish the piece in a very altered form. The alterations in the
dialogue are not considerable, and may be passed over; but the adapter
has inserted a vast number of songs, the words of which are in many
cases edifying and touching in the highest possible degree. I would not
willingly deprive the improver of the glory belonging to his work, and
I therefore take this opportunity of specifying these inserted songs as
belonging to the Vienna edition and Mozart's composition.

In conclusion, and after giving "a specimen of the improver's work
from the quartet," Bretzner exclaims: "And this is called improvement!"
Nevertheless the text was improved, and although far from first-rate, it
had been rendered a fairly satisfactory and practicable libretto, which
has not yet been very far surpassed in the literature of German comic
opera. The plot is certainly not thrilling, but it



allows the natural development of a succession of musical situations. It
was, as we have seen, Mozart's merit to recognise these in his musical
representation, to make them available in such a way as to distinguish
the "Entführung" from all earlier vaudevilles and operettas.

Mozart's performance was not confined to the adoption of certain
ready-developed forms of Italian opera, pressed into the service of the
German opera, partly from necessity, partly from the narrow principle
that the songs were to be sung by personages of supposed high
position.[43] This would have been no sufficient reason for substituting
the aria for the Lied; it was done to give full scope to musical
construction, and to make the standard and measure of the execution to
consist only in the artistic conditions of the dramatic situations, and
in the nature of the musical expression.[44]

At home as he was in Italian, French and German opera, in sacred and
instrumental music, he had obtained such a mastery over musical forms
as gave him a freedom of action which his favourable circumstances in
Vienna allowed him to make use of, and the fact that he was composing a
German opera gave him a sense of a still higher freedom. He was German
in every thought and feeling, and German music was his natural way of
expressing himself as an artist, requiring no unusual form, no special
characterisation, nothing but freedom of thought and action. In
the "Entführung," German sentiment, emotion, and disposition found
expression for the first time at the hands of a true artist. It is easy
to understand how the fulness of life and truth in such a work would
throw into the shade all who believed solely in those forms which were
borrowed from foreign



sources, and only superficially remodelled.[45] This truly German and
truly Mozart-like style is nowhere more decidedly exemplified than in
the part of Belmont. It is only necessary to note the contrast between
the male sopranos of the opera seria, or the comic lovers of the opera
buffa, and this Belmont, who expresses manly love in all its force and
intensity. It is plain that his love is not the wild and transitory
gleam of passion, but an emotion having its roots deep in the heart,
sanctified by sorrow, and held with the constancy of a true moral
nature. Manliness is the ground-tone of all his agitated sentiments; the
steady glow of a well-balanced mind penetrates every" expression of his
feelings. It is an easier task to portray the wild excitement of passion
than to depict a mind and character in its totality by means of each
separate expression;[46] and the conception of love, the essential
motive power of musical drama, from this point of view, marks an era in
musical representation, important alike for its national character and
its artistic construction. It was not by mere chance that Mozart
made the tenor voice, which had been virtually deprived of its proper
province in Italian opera, into the organ of manly love and tenderness.
Belmont has become a type in German opera. Adamberger, judging from
contemporary testimony was the most fitting representative of such a
character.[47] Various songs composed for him by Mozart characterise him
as a singer of noble and expressive delivery.[48]



Belmont's character and tone of mind are drawn in firm lines in his
first cavatina (1). His state of anxious suspense is implied rather than
fully indicated by his expression of secret devotion. But this little
song, which none but a master-hand could have thrown off so lightly and
so surely, is of most significance, by reason of its connection with the
overture. Mozart makes no remark to his father on the overture except
that it was short, and that "it alternates between forte and piano, the
Turkish music being always forte, modulated by changes of key, and I do
not think any one can go to sleep over it, even if they have lain awake
all the night before" (September 26, 1781). As usual, when he speaks of
his compositions, he only indicates the means employed and the external
effect, and does not attempt any verbal description of the music itself.
It is certainly true that a lively and incessant suspense is kept up by
the constant modulatory changes, especially from major to minor, and
by sharp contrasts of _forte_ and _piano_. But this is not all; the
character of the overture is so singularly fanciful that a few bars
suffice to place the hearer in an imaginative mood. The most varied
emotions of joy and sorrow are lightly touched, but never held, the tone
of the whole is so fresh and cheerful that the listener involuntarily
yields to the spell; and the impressions of the new world in which he
finds himself are heightened by the highly original tone-colouring. Then
comes a slower movement, expressing longing desires in the tenderest,
most appealing tones. It has scarcely died away before we are again
whirled along our fantastic course, which ends in an appealing cry,
followed without a pause by Belmont's cavatina, "Hier soli ich dich denn
sehen, Constanze!" We recognise at



once the middle movement of the overture, but changed from the minor to
the major key. This change, and the difference of shading between
the arrangement for the voice and that for the orchestra, give to the
charming little movement two distinct expressions, just as the same
landscape has two different aspects seen at noon or in the moonlight.
The overture renders us free to receive the effect of the work of art
as such, prepared by what forms the starting-point of the work; and the
first song sets the crown on the overture, while it transports us at
once into the frame of mind which predominates throughout the opera.
Still more important in its climax and composition is Belmont's second
song (4). The situation is more definitely developed; Belmont knows now
that Constanze is there, that he will soon see her, and this certainty
condenses all the emotions roused by the memory of a sorrowful past, and
the prospect of a perilous future, into the one feeling of their speedy
reunion. Mozart was so taken with this song that he wrote it down as
soon as he received the libretto. "This is the favourite song of all who
have heard it--myself included," he wrote to his father (September
26, 1781), "and is exactly calculated for Adamberger's voice. 'Fo wie
ängstlich, o wie feurigl' You can imagine how it is expressed, with
the very beating of the heart--the violins in octaves. One can see the
trembling, the hesitation, the very swelling of the breast is expressed
by a crescendo, one can hear the sighs, the whispers, rendered by the
violins muted, with one flute in unison."

It would be doing Mozart an injustice to consider this sound-painting
as his first object; it is in reality but a subordinate, although a very
effective and useful element of the whole musical conception. Belmont's
two other songs--one in the second act, before the meeting with
Constanze (15),[49] and the other at the beginning of the third act,
before the



abduction (17)[50]--are much quieter in tone, and are characterised
by manly composure combined with warm sensibility. These qualities are
visible also in the musical construction of the broad and expressive
cantilene, which allows free scope for the display of a full tenor
voice in its best position. The structure of the melodies diverges in
a remarkable degree from that which predominates in Mozart's Italian
operas, and approaches nearer to that employed in his instrumental
music. And yet the national character of the melodies is not so
pronounced in the "Entführung" as in the "Zauber-flöte," nor are the
songs in their whole design so completely absolved from Italian forms.

The part of Constanze, so far as musical characterisation is concerned,
is not nearly so well thought out as that of Belmont. "I have been
obliged," writes Mozart to his father (September 26, 1781), "to
sacrifice Constanze's song (6) in some degree to the voluble organ of
Mdlle. Cavalieri. But I have sought to express 'Trennung war mein banges
Loos und nun schwimmt mein Aug' in Thranen' as far as is compatible with
an Italian bravura song."[51] We shall readily allow that he has been so
far successful; and that, apart from the inserted bravura passages, the
song is not only fine from a musical point of view, but appropriate
to the situation. But in the great bravura song of the second act
everything has been sacrificed to Mdlle. Cavalieri's voluble organ, and,
as Gluck would have said, it _smells of music_,[52] It is, as we have
seen, inserted without reference to the plot, and this may have led
to the further consequence of treating it altogether as an extraneous
piece. As regards length and difficulty, it is one of the greatest of
bravura songs, and is accompanied by four obbligato instruments--flute,
oboe, violin, and



violoncello.[53] Considered as a concert piece it is of importance by
reason of the plan, artistic in design and execution, which permits
the treatment of the five obbligato parts as integral divisions of
the whole, while making due provision for sound effects and musical
interest. The song is still often sung, although the glitter surrounding
mere execution has passed away. But it does not belong to the
"Entführung." Together with the brilliant execution there is a certain
heroic tone in the song which is quite out of keeping with the opera and
with the character of Constanze in it. The true Con-stanze, as Mozart
imagined her, is found in the second air (10), which expresses with much
truth and intensity the ardent longing of the maiden sorrowing for
her lover. Firmness and assurance are manly attributes, but a dreamy
resigned absorption in the contemplation of vanished happiness is proper
to a woman, and to this maidenly sentiment Mozart has given beautiful
expression. This feminine tone gives the song a certain resemblance to
that of Ilia in "Idomeneo" (Vol. II., p. 151); but the latter is, as the
situation requires, drawn in darker lines, and takes more hold on the
mind. Here as elsewhere the same point is noticeable, viz., that when
Mozart works outward from the heart of an individual situation, the
separate elements of the musical construction are more striking, and the
form is freer and more lifelike than it would otherwise be.[54]

The instrumentation also is peculiarly effective, especially by the
employment of the wind instruments, which shed a gentle glow over the
whole. Mozart, against his custom,



makes use of the basset-horn instead of the clarinet in this song.
In the part of Belmont, too, the instrumentation is modified to
some extent. The second song (4) is very delicate and tender in its
instrumentation, the wind instruments being treated as solos, although
not concertante; in the others there is a very pithy forcible tone,
which in the last (16) becomes almost brilliant.

The duet (20), owing to the singularity of the situation, differs
materially in character from an ordinary love duet. Within sight of
death each of the lovers has the painful consciousness of having led the
other to destruction; and their mutual endeavour to console one another
with the certainty of their love, which death may consummate but cannot
destroy, raises them to the height of enthusiastic inspiration. This
sentiment is excellently well expressed in the first calm movement with
fervour and clearness, and a perceptible blending of painful emotion and
loving consolation; the second movement does not quite reach the same
high level. Not only do some of the passages, and the very tedious
conclusion, make concessions to passing effect, but the expression does
not rise to the ecstatic strain which is implied in the situation.[55]

The noble forms of the two lovers stand in the sharpest contrast to that
of Osmin, which is altogether Mozart's creation, and certainly one of
the most original characters of dramatic music. The very way in which
he is introduced is masterly. After Belmont has sung his cavatina, which
breathes the noblest love and constancy, Osmin comes out of the house to
gather figs; he sings a song for his pastime; it is a love song, but one
suggested by painful jealousy. The minor key of Osmin's song gives it a
wild, desolate expression, in strong contrast to the cheerful candour of
the cavatina; many popular songs have this expression, and Osmin's song
is successfully imitated from the popular style. The phrasing is clumsy
in spite of the marked rhythm, but the effect is quite startling when
Osmin in a complacent hum



repeats the last words an octave lower, and then at once breaks out
into a wild "Trallalera!" The uncouth fellow lolls and stretches so
completely at his ease that there cannot be a moment's doubt of how
unamiable he will prove to be if any one should venture to cross
his path.[56] This is soon put to the proof. He refuses with assumed
indifference to answer Belmont's repeated inquiries, and on the latter
interrupting him (involuntarily, as it were, with the melody of his own
song, which has so irritated Belmont), the unabashed rudeness of Osmin
breaks out in speech. It is as interesting as instructive to note how in
this duet the simplest and easiest means of musical representation
are used to produce a continuous climax and the most lively
characterisation. While it is still in full train Pedrillo enters, and
Osmin turns upon him with a fresh outbreak of rage in the song which
Mozart had spoken of to his father (3). Again changing his tactics, he
endeavours to repress his opponent with all the weight of his dignity
and cleverness. Gravity and importance, expressed by the rhythm,
the pompous intervals, the syncopated accompaniment, alternate
with impatience and haste, when the singer becomes irritated. Very
characteristic is the demeanour of Osmin as he complacently nurses the
thought: "I have my wits about me!" ("Ich hab' auch Ver-stand!"). He
works himself gradually up into a rage, and the threats which he pours
forth in a breath fall like blows on the head of the hapless Pedrillo.
The effect is produced by the accentuation given to the rapid flow of
words; the first fourth of every bar is forcibly given by the orchestra,
and the second is taken up by the voice in fifths, and then in octaves.
At last he comes to a triumphant close, and one thinks it is all over.
But he has only stopped to take breath, and at once resuming his furious
course, he ends by completely overpowering his opponent. Mozart writes
to his father on the conclusion of this song (September 26, 1781): "The
'Drum beim Barte des Propheten' is in the same time, but the notes are
more rapid, and as his anger grows one imagines the climax must be close
at hand; the allegro assai



follows in quite a different time and key, and has an excellent effect.
A man in such violent rage oversteps all bounds of moderation, and
loses all command over himself, and so must the music. But since," he
continues, expressing in simple words that wherein lies the charm of all
true art, "since the passions, violent or not, must never be carried to
the point of producing disgust, and the music, however thrilling, must
never fail to satisfy the ear, consequently must always remain music, I
have not chosen a distant key to follow the F (the key of the song) but
an allied one; not the nearest key of all, D minor, but the farther
one of A minor." In point of fact, the effect of the minor key is
extraordinary, both here and in other places where it is only cursorily
touched. It adds to the frenzied wildness of the character in which lust
and cruelty are blended, and it is emphasised by the strongly marked
though monotonous rhythm. And how wonderfully all these characteristics
are enhanced by the instrumentation!

"Osmin's rage," writes Mozart, "acquires a comic element by the
introduction of the Turkish music." The effect is enhanced by the
simplicity which has hitherto characterised the instrumentation. The
oboes (with bassoons and horns) predominate until, in the last verse:
"Sonderlich beim Monden-scheine," a flute insinuates itself with very
good effect. There are many characteristic touches in spite of the
scanty means at disposal, as for instance, the mocking entry of the oboe
at the words, "Ich hab' auch Verstand."

The Turkish music serves for far more than local colour and
characterisation. The expression of fanaticism is coloured as well as
heightened by the shrill sound of the piccolo flute, the blows of the
drum and cymbals, and the tingle of the triangles.[57] The bewilderment
produced by these



instruments, the breathless rapidity of the movement, and the monotony
of the rhythm make one feel that giddiness must ensue if it goes on
much longer. But Mozart never makes us giddy, he makes use of the most
forcible means for characterisation, but never to the point of becoming
painful, and all with so much cheerfulness and humour that the total
effect is decidedly pleasing.

We make acquaintance with Osmin's boorish character in many different
situations; he is true to himself in them all. The second great song
(19) contrasts in some measure with the first. He is triumphant, he
has his enemies in his power, and he is beside himself with joy; but he
retains the same savage nature, and in the midst of all his rejoicing
the main point for him is that he can now loll and stretch himself
comfortably, which he proceeds to do to his heart's content on the
long-sustained A and D, to which he easily carries his scale. Especially
characteristic is the middle movement of this song. One seems to see a
wild beast, now yawning and stretching, now crouching for a spring;
grim cruelty and lustful indolence are wonderfully characterised by the
alternation of octaves and dissonant suspensions in the accompaniment,
as well as by the triplet passages which are given by the orchestra in
unison, as if there could be no harmony here; the expression of joy is
mingled with unspeakable brutality, and comes to a climax in the shrill
note of exultation at the close.[58] But Osmin shows himself a true
poltroon in the duet with Blondchen (9)--her snappish impudence
completely gets the better of him, and although he endeavours to overawe
her with the deepest notes of his deep bass voice, her persiflage drives
her unwieldy antagonist quite out of the field. The lament which he
thereupon sings: "Ihr Englander, seid ihrnicht Thoren, ihr lasst euren
Weibem den Willen!" ("You Englishmen, what fools you are, to leave your
wives their freedom!") is in contrast to his love song, and completes
the conception of it. Here there is nothing of



the barbarous nature which showed itself in lust and jealousy, but only
the pitiful whining of a slavish soul which trembles before a resolute
woman's will. The characterisation of the last movement--when Osmin
gives up all appearance of superiority and yields upon every point--is
charming, and produced by the simplest musical means. He displays
another side of his character in the duet (14) in which Pedrillo induces
him to drink.[59] His senses are soon overcome, and he endeavours
to outvie Pedrillo. It is of advantage to the situation that the
personality of the singers required that even here Osmin must be
considered the chief person; one only needs to hear the arrogance with
which he delivers the principal subject in order to feel sure on whom
the wine will take strongest effect,[60] and even when the rapidly
concluded entente cordiale is expressed in unison, Osmin's low-pitched
octaves keep the upper hand. But here, too, Mozart keeps within bounds,
and never goes beyond a joke; Osmin's drunken sleep is excluded from his
representation. Osmin's character is least strongly characterised in the
terzet (7), of which Mozart writes to his father as follows (September
26, 1781):--

Now for the terzet which concludes the first act. Pedrillo has
represented his master as an architect, which affords him an opportunity
of meeting his Constanze in the garden. The Pasha has taken him into
his service; and Osmin, as overseer, and knowing nothing of this, is
insolent to him as a stranger, being himself an unmannerly churl and
the arch-enemy of all strangers, and refuses to allow him to enter the
garden. The first movement is short, and as the words allowed of it I



have kept the three voices fairly well together; but then begins the
major _pianissimo_, which must go very fast, and the conclusion will
draw many tears, which is just what the conclusion of a first act should
do; the more tears the better--but the shorter the better, so that the
audience may not forget the applause.

We see from this that Mozart thought more in this instance of a vivid
expression of the situation than of minute characterisation, and all
the three characters are alike in their urging and scolding. The
advisability, therefore, of keeping the three voices "fairly well"
together, their imitative arrangement keeping up the impression of
great excitement, is indicated by the situation, although, owing to
the necessity for stricter attention to form, the individual
characterisation is thereby limited.

Osmin's last appearance in the finale is very amusing. While all the
other characters are expressing their gratitude, in the favourite form
of a round, Osmin tries in vain to keep in the same track; but the
round sticks in his throat, and his angry spite will have vent; the
hunting-song of the first act with the obbligato janizaries' music
rushes once more past our ears. Although some elements borrowed from the
conventional forms of the Italian bass buffo are discernible in the part
of Osmin, yet Mozart has made use of them in such an entirely original
manner that they are closely interwoven in his own creation. It is,
however, the consistency of the individual characterisation which
distinguishes the part of Osmin and raises it far above the ordinary
buffo parts, causing it to afford a striking instance of Mozart's
eminent talent for dramatic construction.

The part requires a performer such as Fischer, of whom Reichardt
writes: "He is an excellent bass singer; his voice has the depth of a
violoncello, and the height of an ordinary tenor; its compass is--[See
Page Image]

so that his deep notes are never harsh, nor his high ones shrill; his
voice flows with ease and certainty, and is full of charm. In praise of
his style I need only say that he is a



worthy pupil of the great tenor Raaff, who was, and still is considered,
the best tenor in all Europe. Fischer has a more flexible organ than
perhaps any other bass singer, and his acting is as good in serious
drama as in comic."

Such materials as this are calculated to bring forth good effects. Among
them may be noted the original sense of climax which Mozart produces
by repeating a passage an octave lower; this is done in the Lied and
in both of Osmin's airs at the words "Ich hab' auch Verstand" (3), and
"Denn nun hab ich vor euch Ruh!" (19). The same effect occurs in the
beautiful song "Non sö d'onde viene," composed also for Fischer; an
expressive and sustained passage is repeated an octave lower, and the
effect is very beautiful.

In order to give an adequate idea of Fischer's powers, the two serious
songs composed for him by Mozart must be considered along with this
decidedly comic part. The above-mentioned, "Non sò d'onde viene" (512
K.), broad in conception and style, displays the whole compass and
wealth of Fischer's organ in the most favourable light. The other,
"Aspri rimorsi atroce" (432 K.), composed in 1783, is remarkable for
the expression of a gloomy, agitated mood, not illumined by any ray of

An expressive recitative is followed by a single movement (allegro, F
minor) in incessant agitation, the almost uninterrupted triplets of the
stringed instruments giving it the character of trembling unrest. The
voice part is very striking by reason of its decided rhythm and frequent
dissonant intervals; but it is mostly declamatory, and there is no
appearance of a cantilene proper; the wind instruments give effect
to the strong accents. The whole song pursues its rapid course like
a gloomy nocturne, and dies away at last in a dull moan. This song is
distinguished among all that Mozart has written by its uninterrupted
expression of gloomy passion, and it would be almost inconceivable that
he intended it for concert singing, did we not know that Fischer was to
sing it: he was unsurpassed in every species of delivery.

The parts of Blondchen and Pedrillo are not by any



means so important in their characterisation as those of the principal
personages, neither have they much influence on the development of
the plot. Blondchen, besides her share in the duet with Osmin, has two
songs, of which the first (8) is in no way remarkable, written evidently
for a seconda donna. The only point to be noted is a passage going up
to--[See Page Image]

which gives proof of Mdlle. Teyber's vocal powers.[61] The second song
(12) is far fresher and more original, and expresses heartfelt joy in so
lively and charming a manner, without ever overstepping the province
of a good-humoured soubrette, that the hearer is involuntarily beguiled
into the same cheerful frame of mind. A German element is unmistakably
present (we are reminded of the "Zauberflote"), and we may note the
first appearance of those naïve girl-parts common to German opera.[62]

Mozart has given to Pedrillo's song (15) somewhat of a military tone,
suggested perhaps by the opening words "Frisch zum Kampfe!" and although
his servile nature is indicated here and there in the accompaniment, the
effect of the whole is too forcible and brilliant for the character.[63]
On the other hand, the romanze (18) which he sings in the third act to
the guitar is a jewel of delicate characterisation. Not, however, with
any reference to Pedrillo himself, for he sings the song, not from
personal impulse, but as something he has heard and learnt; but the
strange effects of harmony and rhythm, the mixture of bold



knightly impulse with timid dismay, is so fantastic, so unreal, that we
seem to be ourselves in Moorish lands, and are readily persuaded that we
are listening to genuine Moorish music. But we are listening, in fact,
to no music but Mozart's, whose own mind evolved the music which the
situation demanded, without any previous philological study of Moorish
national melodies. The two choruses of janizaries (so Mozart calls them
in the score[64] ) are not only characterised by the Turkish airs they
embody, but by original harmonies and rhythm which give them a foreign
and national character, without any special regard as to whether it is
actually Turkish or not.[65]

We have already had occasion to remark how the ensemble movements
proceed naturally from the exigencies of the situation, and are
therefore essential to the musical characterisation of the work. This is
especially true of the quartet (16), which forms the conclusion of the
second act. Belmont and Constanze meet for the first time in the Pasha's
garden, where are also Blondchen and Pedrillo. The meeting of the
lovers is the more significant, since it is in anticipation of their
approaching flight. An unusually elevated tone of sentiment is therefore
common to them all; but the particular circumstances produce many
different shades of feeling, and each character has its own distinct
peculiarities. It is the task of the composer to combine this
multifariousness into an artistic whole. The scenic accessories come
very happily to his aid. The two pairs of lovers wander about the garden
in close converse, so that they are heard sometimes apart, sometimes one
after the other, sometimes together, according to the requirements of
the situation and of the musical grouping. The beginning is a simple
matter. Constanze and Belmont



express their feelings in a short duet-like movement, full of heart, such
as Mozart has made proper to lovers. When they turn aside Pedrillo and
Blondchen advance, deep in consultation on the flight, so that the music
assumes a lighter and more cheerful tone. But their thoughts are also
occupied with the approaching happy turn in their fortunes, and when
Belmont and Constance draw near, they all spontaneously join in the
expression of joyful emotion. Small touches betray the master. The
consultation between Pedrillo and Blondchen is in A major, and closes
with an easy phrase on the words: "Wär der Augenblick schon da!" ("O,
that the moment had come!"), very expressive of the girl's character.
The orchestra at once takes up this phrase with great emphasis, produced
both by the sudden change to the key of D major and by the forcible
unison of the instruments, as if they were exclaiming, "It has come!"
and then leads back simply and expressively to the leading motif, which
now for the first time asserts its full significance:--[See Page Image]

But now the tone grows troubled. Belmont cannot repress a feeling of
jealousy, and, embarrassed and confused, he seeks to express his doubts
to Constanze, who does not understand him. Pedrillo follows in the
same direction to Blondchen, who is far more ready in apprehending his
meaning. The oboe gives charming expression to the feelings which
the jealous lovers scarcely dare to clothe in words. Then Belmont and
Constanze came forward again. The two men speak together, each after
his manner--Belmont noble and open, Pedrillo with chattering haste.
Constanze bursts into tears, Blondchen answers Pedrillo with a box on
the ears; the women lament together, and the men are aware that they
have gone too far. After the lively expression of these contrasting
emotions in rapid alternation,



the lovers emerge from the confusion, explain themselves as to their
true feelings, and so prepare for the reconciliation. The short ensemble
movement in which Mozart consummates this dénouement (andante 6-8) is
one of those passages of which a friend used to say that "der liebe
Gott" himself could not have done it better; the purest beauty and
a truly holy expression of satisfaction penetrates the simple and
unpretending phrase. The magic of such conceptions cannot be rendered in
words, nor can it be satisfactorily indicated by what actual means the
effect is attained, and yet it is always of interest to see the master
in his workshop.

It is easy to see in this case that the key selected (A major) combines
with the rhythm and the harmonic treatment to produce the wished-for
effect. It gives the voices a pitch allowing of the clearest and most
melodious tones, heightened in their effect by the deeper pitch of the
accompanying stringed instruments, and it also, although in fact the
nearest key to the principal one, produces an impression of surprise as
great as though it were a more distant one. This is due to what precedes
the adoption of the A major key. The first movement in D major is
followed by one in G minor, which leads to E flat major, B minor, F
major; D minor is just touched, but only to pass again through C minor
and B flat major into G minor, with a rapid transition into E major.
After this restless change of key, the passage into A major has
a wonderfully tranquillising effect, and the adherence to the
key throughout the movement gives it a peculiar charm. But the
reconciliation has not yet taken place; the lovers sue for pardon,
but the two women allow them first to feel their injustice, and here
Blondchen assumes the lead by virtue of her fluent tongue, while the men
supplicate more and more earnestly, until at last peace is concluded.
This movement is a model of dramatic characterisation. An excellent
effect is produced by Blondchen's singing throughout in triplets (12-8
against 4-4), in contrast to the calm flowing melodies for the other
voices. The movement only acquires its full significance by contrast
with what has preceded it.



When pardon has been granted, every trace of past sorrow is obliterated
by the feeling of complete satisfaction. After so much mental strain a
complete relaxation is necessary from a musical point of view. The last
movement is therefore very simple, although appropriately brilliant and
fiery. It seldom departs from the principal key, and is frequently in
canon form; very light passages for the voices, rapid instrumentation,
and an unusually effective _crescendo_ at the close, give it an
impulsive and quickening effect. This was the first really dramatic
ensemble movement in a German opera, and in it we find concentrated all
Mozart's services to the German opera--a full and free employment of all
the means afforded by song and orchestra to give musical expression to
emotion, without subservience to any more binding forms than those laws
which are founded on the nature of music.

The masterly treatment of the orchestra in the "Entführung has been
repeatedly pointed out, and there is no need to repeat that Mozart
turned to account all the advantages offered to him by the Vienna
orchestra. In comparison with "Idomeneo" the instrumentation is not
exactly scantier, but it is clearer and simpler; the tendency to employ
the different instruments independently, to bring forward subordinate
subjects, &c., is held in check, and the details are more lightly
treated on account of stage effects. "I think I may venture to
lay down," says Weber, "that in the 'Entführung' Mozart's _artist
experience_ came to maturity, and that his _experience of the world_
alone was to lead him to further efforts. The world might look for
several operas from him like 'Figaro' and 'Don Juan,' but with the best
will possible he could only write one 'Entführung.' I seem to perceive
in it what the happy years of youth are to every man; their bloom never
returns, and the extirpation of their defects carries with it some
charms which can never be recovered."[66]


[Footnote 1: Gottsched, Nothiger Vorrath, p. 314.]

[Footnote 2: Schletterer, Das Deutsche Singspiel, p. 110.]

[Footnote 3: Chronologie des Deutschen Theaters, p. 109. Plümicke, Entwurf e.
Theatergesch. von Berlin, p. 193.]

[Footnote 4: Furstenau, Zur Gesch. der Musik zu Dresden, II., p. 246.]

[Footnote 5: Chronol., p. 159; Cäcilia, VIII., p. 277.]

[Footnote 6: Weisse, Selbstbiogr., pp. 25, 41; Blümner, Gesch. d. Theat. in
Leipzig, p. 98.]

[Footnote 7: Blümner, ibid. Danzel, Gottsched, p. 172.]

[Footnote 8: Chronol., p. 202]

[Footnote 9: Chronol., p. 247.]

[Footnote 10: Blumner, Gesch. d. Theat. in Leipzig, p. 159. Hiller, Wochentl.
Nachr., I., p. 219; II., pp. 135, 150. N. Bibl. d. Schön. Wiss., 1767,
IV., p. 178. [Reichardt] Briefe e. Aufm. Reia., II., p. 23. Meyer, L.
Schroder, I., p. 131. Goethe, Werke, XVII., p. 295.]

[Footnote 11: Hiller, Wöch. Nachr., I., p. 253; III., p. 59.]

[Footnote 12: Weisse, Selbstbiogr., p. 102.]

[Footnote 13: Hiller, Lebensbeschr. beruhmter Musikgelehrten, p. 311.]

[Footnote 14: Cf. Deutsch. Museum, 1779, II., p.268. Plümicke, Entwurf e.
Theatergesch. von Berlin, p. 205. The contrary is reported of Cassel as
a rare exception (Berl. Litt. u. Theat.-Ztg., 1783, II., p. 409).]

[Footnote 15: L. Schneider, Gesch. d. Oper in Berlin, p. 209.]

[Footnote 16: The constitution of the operatic repertory of the time is shown
in the review of the operettas performed in Berlin from 1771-1787 by
Schneider (Ibid., p. 206.).]

[Footnote 17: Reichardt, Ueb. d. Com. Oper., p. 20.]

[Footnote 18: "Operettas are the favourite pieces in Berlin, and cost a great
deal of money," wrote Ramier to Knebel, in 1772 (Litt Nachl., II., p.
36). He paid the actors of the first parts one louis-d'or, of the second
one ducat, and the rest two gulden for a first performance (Plümicke,
Entwurf e. Theatergesch. von Berlin, p. 274).]

[Footnote 19: Briefe e. Aufmerks. Reisenden, I., p. 147.]

[Footnote 20: Briefe e. Aufmerks. Reisenden, II., p. 94. Burney, Reise, III., p.

[Footnote 21: "Comic operas push out all tragedies and legitimate drama,"
complained Ramier in 1771 (Knebel, Litt. Nachl., II., p. 33). Boie
writes to Knebel to the same effect in 1771 (Litt. Nachl., II., p. 108):
"I do not like operettas. The taste which our public is developing for
them threatens to extinguish all hope of the revival of true comedy." So
also Schubart, Teutsche Chronik, 1774, pp. 349. 478; Knigge, Ephemer. d.
Litt. u. d. Theat., 1785, II., p. 98.]

[Footnote 22: A. M. Z., III., p. 327.]

[Footnote 23: Lessing's Werke, XI., p. 152.]

[Footnote 24: Weissc, Selbstbiogr., p. 103. Engel says the same in the preface to
the "Apotheke," p. viII. Cf. Schmid, Das Parterr, p. 155.]

[Footnote 25: Briefe eines Aufmerks. Reisenden, I., p. 141. Ueb. d. Com. Opera,
p. 6. Cf. Mus. Kunstmag., I., p. 161. Geist des Mus. Kunstmag,, p. 94.]

[Footnote 26: Riemer, Mitth., II., p. 111.]

[Footnote 27: Riemer, Mitth., II., p. 194.]

[Footnote 28: Goethe, Br. an Frau von Stein, III., pp. 181,191. Knebel, Litt.
Nachl., I., P 149.]

[Footnote 29: Riemer, Mitth., II., p. 192. Briefw. m. Zelter, II., p. 121.]

[Footnote 30: Goethe, Werke, XXI., p. 6. Cf. Br. an Frau von Stein, III., p. 235.]

[Footnote 31: Cf. Goethe, Briefw. mit Zelter, II., p. 121. Riemer, Mittheil.,
II., p. 292.]

[Footnote 32: "Belmont und Constanze, oder die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail." Eine
Operette. in drei Akten von C. F. Bretzner (Leipzig, 1781). A French
adaptation, "L'Enlèvement" was made by Ch. Destrais, Strasburg, 1857.]

[Footnote 33: Jul. André has lately published this interesting relic: duet,
"Welch ängst-liches Beben," zur Oper "Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail "
von Mozart. Offenbach: André (389 K.).]

[Footnote 34: Cramer, Magazin der Musik, II., p. 1057.]

[Footnote 35: In Constanze's aria the words run:-- Mozart had previously written
to his father (September 26, 1781): "! have altered Hui into schnell,
thus: 'Doch wie schnell schwand meine Freude.' I do not know what our
German poets are thinking of. Even if they do not trouble themselves to
understand what is best fitted for dramatic or operatic treatment, they
need not make human beings converse like pigs."]

[Footnote 36: Reichardt finds special fault with the rhyming in his Briefe über
die musikalische Poesie, p. 115 (an appendix to his pamphlet on the
German Comic Opera, Leipzig, 1774).]

     "Doch im Hui schwand meine
     Freude Trennung war mein banges;
     Und nun schwimmt mein Aug' in
     Thränen Kummer ruht in meinem Schooss."]

[Footnote 37: It must be kept in mind that German operatic poets confined
themselves to imitating Italian opera libretti, which were all cast in
the same mould. Krause's pamphlet, highly esteemed by contemporaries,
Von der musikalischen Poesie (Berlin, 1752) takes this for granted;
Hiller (Ueber Metastasio, 1786, p.6) refers the German librettists to
Metastatio; even Goethe, although in another way, endeavoured to form
German vaudeville after an Italian type. Views of the subject, similar
to those of Mozart and Reichardt, are carried out in detail in Cramer's
Magazin der Musik, II., p. 1061.]

[Footnote 38: Gluck's intentions were unquestionably the same. He warred against
the mechanical formalism of musicians, and strove to free the composer
from the fetters of form and make him a poet. But he was in some danger
of going too far, and making the musician merely the interpreter of the

[Footnote 39: Cf. Hanslick, Vom Musikalisch-Schönen, p. 27.]

[Footnote 40: The same difficulty has led composers of the present day to write
their own libretti. But it is not in nature that the highest aims can
thus be attained. Burney quotes Metastatio's utterances on this point
(Reise, II., p. 222). Cf. O. Jahn, Ges. Aufs. üb. Musik, p. 70.]

[Footnote 41: Cf. Hanslik Vom Musikalisch-Schönen, p. 78.]

[Footnote 42: Lessing has some excellent observations on the relations of music
to poetry in the continuation of his Laokoon (Werke, XI., p. 153).]

[Footnote 43: Hiller, Wochentl. Nachr., I., p. 256. Lebensbeschreibungen, I., p.
312. Reichardt, Ueb. d. Com. Oper, p. 8.]

[Footnote 44: He was perfectly aware that comic opera must follow its own laws.
"You cannot imagine,'' he wrote to his father (June 16,1781), "that I
should write an opéra comique in the same style as an opera seria. Just
as in an opera seria there must be a display of much learning and good
sense, and very little playfulness, so in an opera buffa there must be
very little display of learning and a great deal of playful merriment.
It cannot be helped if people will have comic music in an opera seria;
but there is a great difference. I believe that buffoonery is not quite
rooted out of music yet; and in this case the French are right."]

[Footnote 45: The autograph score of the "Entfùhrung" (384 K.), in three volumes
(453 pages), was presented by Mozart to his sister-in-law, Madame Hofer,
one evening when she had especially gratified him by her singing; it is
now in the possession of Paul Mendelssohn-Bartholdv. of Berlin. Some of
the odd sheets are in Andre's collection. Wolfgang writes to his father
July 20, 1782: "You will find many erasures, because I knew that the
score would be copied at once; so I let my ideas have free play, and
made my alterations and abbreviations before sending it to the copyist."]

[Footnote 46: The ancients indicated this distinction by the terms _pathos_ and

[Footnote 47: Meyer II. Schroder. I., p. 368 speaks of his nasal tones in the
high notes.]

[Footnote 48: These are the beautiful air, "Per pietä non ricercate" 420 K..
part Si; the air written in 1785 for the oratorio "Davide Penitente "
(469 K.. 61. "A te fra tanti attanni" and a grand air belonging to
1783 (431 K. part 3.) which is one of the most beautiful. It supposes
a faithful lover awaking to find himself in prison, and expressing his
surprise and anger in an agitated recitative, "Misero! O sogno!" In the
andante, "Aura che intomo spin," his thoughts turn to his beloved one,
for whom he is suffering; a simple and dignified cantilene, full of
warm, deep feeling. The allegro, expressive of his horror at his
position, is full of wild excitement and anguish. The whole song is
simple and full of manly dignity without bravura, which seems to have
been Adam-berger's peculiar style. The musical treatment is rich in
interesting detail; the wind instruments--flutes, bassoons, and
horns--are employed to give individual colouring.]

[Footnote 49: This air was considerably abbreviated by Mozart. In the adagio
there was originally a distinct middle movement following the second
occurrence of the subject; it passed into the key of E flat major, and
at the seventeenth bar closed in D minor, whereupon the first subject
recurred. The allegro was also shortened.]

[Footnote 50: This air also was considerably altered by Mozart.]

[Footnote 51: The same may almost be said of the air "Tra le oscure ombre
funeste," which Mozart composed in 1785 for Mdlle. Cavalieri in the
oratorio, "Davide Penitente" (469 K., 8). The first movement is
expressive of earnest feeling; the second has more of bravura.]

[Footnote 52: Salieri narrates that Gluck was dissatisfied with one part of his
"Danaides" without knowing the reason why; after many repetitions he
exclaimed at last, "I have it! the passage _smells of music!_" (Mosel,
Salieri, p. 79).]

[Footnote 53: The bravura part was originally extended into eleven bars (from bar
5, p. 153)f with the voices and instruments contending; the close was
also longer, fifteen bars being inserted at p. 175, bar 7. Rochlitz
asserts (A. M. Z., I., p. 145) that in later years Mozart undertook a
searching revision of the "Entfuhrung," making numerous alterations,
especially abbreviations. "I heard him play one of Constanze s principal
airs, after twofold revision, and deplored some of the omitted passages.
'They may do for the piano,' said he, 'but not on the stage.' When I
wrote that I was too fond of hearing myself, and did not know when to
leave off." This is the only instance known of such hypercriticism on
Mozart's part.]

[Footnote 54: It has already been remarked that Mozart made use of a motif from
"Zaide" for this air (Vol. II., p. 121).]

[Footnote 55: Tieck, Dramaturg. Blatter, II., p. 315: "The duet is one which
may draw tears from the eyes of the most insensible." Even Berlioz (X
Travers Chants, p. 243) thought highly of it.]

[Footnote 56: Cf. Lobe, A. M. Z., XLVIII., p. 537.]

[Footnote 57: A singular effect is given by the sustained notes of the oboes and
bassoons with the appoggiatura:--[See Page Image]
Mozart has made a similar use of them in the Wedding March in "Figaro,"
where he was equally desirous of imparting peculiarity of colouring.]

[Footnote 58: Mozart has used only the piccolo flute here, as specially adapted
for the tattoo-like principal subject, and its wild, shrill conclusion.
The clarinets are very originally treated, particularly in those places
where they are apart from the other wind instruments and support the
voice with sustained notes.]

[Footnote 59: Mozart's expression, in his letter to his father (September 26,
1781), "The drinking duet, which consists entirely of my Turkish tattoo
(Zapfenstreich)," leads to the conclusion that he has here made use
of an earlier composition, with which I am not acquainted. The Turkish
music, in conjunction with trumpets (no drums), is admirably suggestive
of Osmin's excited, half-tipsy state.]

[Footnote 60: This motif was evidently composed just as Osmin sings it. Fischer's
flexible and melodious voice made it doubly effective in contrast to the
less voluble tenor, so characteristic of the insignificant Pedrillo. At
the outset, an admirable effect is produced by the violins, strengthened
by piccolo and ordinary flutes, which gently accentuate the melody
detached from its simple but agitated accompaniment. There is something
peculiarly seductive in this melodious rippling sound, of which there is
another instance in the Moor's song in the "Zauberflöte."]

[Footnote 61: In its first design this air was considerably longer; the second
part began at p. mt bar 9, instead of p. 109, bar 19; it was in D major,
instead of A major, and led back into the first subject, bringing the
whole to a conclusion after twenty-nine interpolated bars.]

[Footnote 62: The instrumentation of this air in full, and the orchestral parts
carefully worked out; the accompaniment at the words "ohne Aufschub
will ich eilen" is unusually charming and animated. It also has been
shortened by Mozart.]

[Footnote 63: Arnold (Mozart's Geist, p. 375) interprets the words as though
Pedrillo was trying to assume a courage which he did not possess.]

[Footnote 64: He writes to his father of the first (September 26, 1781): "The
janizary chorus is all that can be desired, short and merry, and very
well suited for the Viennese public."]

[Footnote 65: Ulibicheff, who makes some striking observations on this chorus,
notices its many points of resemblance (such as the alternation of
relative major and minor keys) to Russian national melodies, with which
Mozart may have become acquainted at Prince Gallitzin's (II., p. 375).]

[Footnote 66: C. M. von Weber, Lebensbild, III., p. 191. Cf. A. Wendt, Leipzig
Kunstbl., 1817, p. 189. (Heinse, Reise- und Lebensskizzen, I., p. 298.)]


IT has often been pointed out that Mozart wrote the "Entführung" as an
accepted lover; and many analogies have been drawn



between his own love affairs and those represented in the opera, with
the view of accounting for the depth and truth of his expression of the
tenderest of passions. It is true that Mozart could not have rendered
love so truly without having felt it in its full intensity. But if we
stop to realise the difficulties and vexations with which Mozart had to
struggle as a lover, we shall rather wonder that he could compose at all
under such circumstances, and the Entführung" becomes a striking proof
that creative genius sets the artist free from the pressure of life, and
raises him into the region of beauty in which true art is begotten.

We have already seen the relief it was to Mozart, when obliged to quit
the house of the Archbishop, to find a lodging with Madame Weber, his
old Mannheim friend. After Aloysia's marriage to the actor Lange, the
mother lived in somewhat reduced circumstances with her other three
daughters, and was glad to let her spare rooms; it was a comfort to
Mozart to be relieved by friendly hands of the little housekeeping cares
which he was ill-fitted to attend to himself. But his father was averse
to the arrangement; he feared that the Webers would make a tool of him,
as they had, in his opinion, in Mannheim. He was not at all satisfied
with Wolfgang's reassurances on the subject, and pressed him to take
another lodging; Wolfgang declared himself quite willing if he could
find one equally comfortable. As this did not seem likely, and a report
reached Salzburg that Mozart was engaged to be married to one of Madame
Weber's daughters, his father insisted on compliance with his desire.
Wolfgang answered (July 25, 1781):--

I repeat that I have long wished to take another lodging, if only to
stop people's chatter; and it annoys me to have to do it for the sake of



absurd gossip, in which there is not a word of truth. I should like to
know what pleasure it can be to certain people to spread such baseless
reports. Because I am living with the family I must, forsooth, marry
the daughter! There is no talk of affection--they jump over all that; I
simply go to the house, and then get married. If ever in my life I was
far from thinking of marriage, it is at this moment. I wish for nothing
less than a rich wife; and even if I could make a good marriage now
I must perforce wait, for I have other things in my head. God has not
given me my talent that I might cripple it with a wife, and waste my
prime in inactivity. Shall I embitter my life at its very opening? I
have nothing to say against matrimony, but for me at present it would be
an unmitigated evil. Well, if there is no other way, false as it all is,
I must avoid even the appearance of it, although the appearance has no
foundation except my lodging in the house. No one who does not live in
the house can imagine how very little intercourse I have with them;
for the children seldom go out--never except to the play--and I cannot
accompany them because I am seldom at home at that hour. We have been on
the Prater once or twice, but the mother was with us; being in the house
I could not avoid going, and I heard no such foolish gossip then. I
must tell you, too, that I paid only _my own_ share;[1] and the mother,
having become aware of the gossip from others as well as from myself,
objects to our going anywhere together again, and has herself advised me
to move my quarters to avoid further annoyance, for she says she would
not willingly injure me, however innocently. This is my only reason
for leaving, and this is no valid reason; but people's mouths must
be stopped. It would not be difficult to find a better room, but very
difficult to meet with such kind and obliging people. I will not say
that I am uncivil and never speak to the young lady to whom report has
wedded me, but I am not in love with her; I chat and joke with her when
I have time--that is in the evenings, when I sup at home; in the morning
I write in my own room, and in the afternoon I am nearly always out--and
so that is really all about it. If I am to marry all the girls I have
made fun with, I shall have at least a hundred wives. Now farewell,
my dear father, and trust your son, who has really the best intentions
towards all honest people! Trust him, and believe him sooner than
certain people who have nothing better to do than to calumniate honest

An unfinished allegro to a clavier sonata (400 K.) remains as a curious
and amusing instance of the influence exerted on a composer by his
immediate surroundings. After a very



cheerful first part, a plaintive tone is struck in the second, and a
very strongly accentuated musical dialogue occurs. The names of the
two sisters Weber are written against the characterising phrases of the
music:--[See Page Image]

The Messmer family had offered Mozart apartments in their house in the
suburbs, but he could not make up his mind to accept the offer: "The
house is not what it was," he writes to his sister (December 15, 1781).
Messmer had staying with him at the time Vine. Righini (1756-1812),
formerly an opera-buffa singer and then a composer; they were on very
intimate terms, and Madame Messmer was especially friendly to Righini.
The latter, as Mozart informs his father in answer to his inquiries,
makes a great deal of money by giving lessons, and his cantata (probably
"Il Natale d' Apollo") had been given twice during Lent with great
success. "He writes _prettily_; is not superficial, but a great thief.
He gives back his stolen goods so unblushingly and in such overflowing
abundance that people can hardly digest them" (August 29, 1781).[2]

Another musical family would have been glad to receive him as an inmate,
and his father appears to have been not unwilling that he should form
a closer connection in this case. Wolfgang had been introduced to Herr
Aurnhammer, whose "fat lady-daughter" Josephine was considered one of
the first clavier-players of the day. They received him kindly, and
often invited him, as he informs his father (June 27, 1781): "I dine
almost daily with Herr Aurnhammer; the young lady is a horror--but she
plays divinely; she seems



to lose her really refined taste in singing, however, and drags

It would have been convenient to them that Mozart should be in their
immediate neighbourhood. But he was far from satisfied with the quarters
which they offered him; it was a room "for rats and mice, but not for
human beings. The stairs need a lantern to light them at noonday; and
the room might be called a _cell._ The wife herself called the house
a rat's nest--in fact it was really dreadful." Nor did he feel any
inclination for closer intercourse with this family, whose motives in
wishing for him he believed that he saw through. Seeing that his father
had set his mind upon his going, he felt constrained to set the two
sides of the question before him. The description which follows is
somewhat "schlimm" certainly, but too characteristic of the writer to be

He is the best-natured man in the world; too much so, indeed, for his
wife--a stupid, silly chatterer--has quite the upper hand, so that when
she speaks he has not a word to say. Whenever we go for a walk together
he begs me not to mention in his wife's presence that we took a fiacre
or drank some beer. Now I cannot possibly have confidence in such a man.
He is a good fellow and my very good friend, and I can dine with him
when I please, but I am not used to be paid for _my civilities_; indeed
a dinner would scarcely be fitting payment, but people like these think
so much of what they do. I will not attempt to describe the mother to
you; one has enough to do at table to refrain from laughing at her. You
know Frau Adlgasser? This creature is worse, for she is ill-natured as
well as stupid. As for the daughter, if a painter wanted a model for
the evil one he might have recourse to her face. She is as fat as a
peasant-girl, and once seeing her is enough to make one wretched for the
whole day. _Pfui Teufel!_

I wrote to you how she plays the clavier, and why she begged me to
assist her.[4] She is not content that I should pass two hours every day



with her, she would like me to spend the whole day there, and then she
makes herself agreeable! or rather, worse than that, she is seriously
in love with me. I thought it was a joke, but I know it for certain now.
When I first observed it (for she took liberties, reproaching me for
coming later than usual, or not staying long enough, and other such
things) I felt constrained to tell her the truth politely, for fear she
should make a fool of herself. But it was of no use, she became more
deeply in love. Then I tried being very polite until she began her
nonsense, when I turned cross. Then she took me by the hand and said,
"Dear Mozart, do not be so angry, and you may say what you like, I am so
fond of you." It was the talk of the whole town that we were going
to be married, and people wondered at my choice. She told me that when
anything of the kind was said to her, she laughed at it; but I know from
a certain person that she acknowledged it, with the addition that we
should set out on our travels together as soon as we were married. That
made me really angry. I gave her my true opinion on the subject, and
reproached her with abusing my kindness. I have left off going there
every day, and only go every other day, so as to break it off by
degrees. She is an infatuated fool. Before she knew me, she said when
she heard me at the theatre, "He is coming to me to-morrow, and I shall
play him his variations in the same style." For this very reason I did
not go. It was a conceited speech, and an untrue one, for I had had no
intention of going there the following day.

All this did not prevent Mozart from assisting Fraulein Aurnhammer in
his usual amiable manner. At a concert at Aurnhammer's (November 24,
1781) he played the Concerto a due (365 K.) with her, and a sonata which
was composed expressly, and "went remarkably well" (381 K.).

A few months later he played a duet with her at one of his own concerts
(May 25,1782), and postponed a journey to Salzburg because he had
promised to play at her concert in the theatre (October 26, 1782). He
also dedicated to her the sonatas for piano and violin which appeared in
1781 (376-380 K.).

In September he actually found a new lodging, but he was far from
comfortable there; "it was like travelling in a post-chaise instead of
one's own carriage." He had made



the sacrifice for his father's sake, and he now took occasion to beg the
latter not to listen to gossip, but to believe that he meant "to remain
the same honest fellow as ever" (September 5, 1781). But the discomfort
of his domestic circumstances in the midst of incessant work only
increased his desire to set up an establishment of his own. The gossip
of the town and his father's exhortations had produced a contrary effect
to that intended, and his liking for Constanze Weber grew more decided
day by day. He felt persuaded that she would make him happy, and, since
she returned his affection, they became betrothed lovers. He could not
disguise from himself that his father would certainly disapprove of this
step, and he laid before him with great candour all that had led to it.
After setting forth his prospects of an assured position, and the steps
which he had taken towards obtaining it, he continues (December 15,

My desire is to have something certain to fall back upon, and then one
can live very well on chance here--and to get married. Nature speaks
as loud in me as in any other, perhaps louder than in a great heavy
blockhead. I have no inclination to live like most young men of the
present day. In the first place I have too much love for religion, and
in the second too much love for my neighbour, and too much good feeling
to lead astray an innocent girl. I can take my oath I have never done
so. But I know that this reason, strong as it is, is not elevated
enough. But my temperament, which is inclined for a quiet domestic life
--my want of habit of attending to my clothing, washing, and other such
things--make a wife indispensable to me. I am quite persuaded that I
could live better on the same income with a wife than as I am now. And
how many unnecessary expenses would be done away with, others
would arise; but one knows them and can calculate on them--in fact, one
leads a regular life. An unmarried man only half lives, in my opinion.
That is my opinion--I cannot help it; I have reflected and considered
enough, and have quite made up my mind. But who, you will ask, is the
object of my love? Do not be horrified, I beg. What! not a Weber! Yes,
a Weber; not Josepha, nor Sophia, but Constanze, the middle one. I have
never seen such dissimilarity of mind in any family as in this.
The eldest, Josepha, is lazy and cross; Aloysia Lange is a false,
unprincipled woman and a coquette; the youngest, Sophie, is too young to
be anything yet but the good thoughtless creature she is. God keep her
from temptation! But the middle one, my dear good Constanze, is
the martyr of the family, and on that very account, perhaps, the
best-natured, the cleverest--in a word, the best of them all. She looks
after everything in the house, and yet can never



do right. She is not ugly, but she is far from being beautiful. Her
whole beauty consists in her dark eyes and good figure. She is not
intellectual, but has common sense enough to fulfil her duties as a wife
and mother. She is not inclined to extravagance, that is quite untrue;
on the contrary, she is always badly dressed, for the little her mother
can do is done for the two others, never for her. True, she likes to be
neat and clean, but not smart; and almost all that a woman needs she can
make for herself; she understands housekeeping, has the best heart in
the world--she loves me and I love her--tell me if I could wish for
a better wife? I must tell you that when I wrote before love was not
there, but was born of her tender care and attention when I was living
in the house. My earnest wish now is to get something settled to do (of
which, God be praised, I have great hope), and I shall then hasten
to beg your permission to rescue my poor darling, and make her and
myself--indeed, I may say, all of us--happy, for does not my being happy
render you so?

This confirmation of the news which had already reached him from other
quarters was a heavy blow to L. Mozart. The perspective of "dying on a
sack of straw in a room full of starving brats" which he had once
before held out to his son (Vol. I., p. 426) opened itself to him anew;
marriage without a certain and sufficient income was, in his opinion,
and knowing his son as he did, the first step to certain ruin. And then
the Weber family! The description which Wolf-gang gave of them was not
calculated to inspire confidence; if he had been so completely deceived
in Aloysia, who could answer for his better judgment with respect to
Constanze? But his father knew more than he had learnt from Wolfgang; he
knew that the latter had given a written promise of marriage, and, from
all the communications he received, he could not but believe that both
mother and daughter had been playing upon the young man's inexperience
and sense of honour to entice him into their net. L. Mozart sought by
every means in his power to influence his son; he demanded information
as to the written agreement, that he might be satisfied that it did not
exist, and that Wolfgang was bound only by his word. But Wolfgang showed
himself firmer and more independent at this juncture than ever before;
he had made up his mind, and it was not to be shaken.

He did not hesitate to explain the circumstances of the



marriage contract (December 22, 1781). After the death of their father,
the Weber children had been placed under the guardianship of Johann
Thorwarth, court manager and inspector of the theatrical wardrobe, a man
of considerable influence in matters theatrical, and well thought of by
Count Rosenberg and Baron Kienmayer--"a sworn enemy of the Italians."[5]
This man had been prejudiced against Mozart by calumniators, who
represented that he had no certain income, and that he did not mean
honestly by Constanze; this so disturbed the mother that she did not
rest until she had induced Mozart to request an interview with the
guardian. The interview took place, but the guardian was so little
satisfied that he insisted on all intercourse with Mozart being broken
off unless he would agree to a written contract. Madame Weber declared
that this could not be; that all the intercourse consisted in Mozart's
coming daily to their house, and that she could not possibly put a stop
to it, seeing that she was under much obligation to him as a friend,
and that she placed every confidence in his truth and honour; if the
guardian thought such a step necessary, he must undertake it himself.
Hereupon Thorwarth prohibited all intercourse unless Mozart would give
a written agreement. He must make his choice. Having no intention of
giving up Constanze or affording ground for suspicion to her friends,
he signed an agreement by virtue of which he bound himself to espouse
Mdlle. Constanze Weber within three years, or "in case of such an
impossibility as his changing his mind," he was to pay her three hundred
florins a year. He assured his father that there was no sort of risk in
this, as he was finally resolved never to forsake her; but if such an
unheard-of event were to occur, he would think himself easily bought off
with three hundred florins; besides that his Constanze would, he knew,
be far too proud to accept a price. "And what did the devoted girl do?"
he continues; "as soon as the guardian had gone, she took the agreement
from her mother, tore it up, and said: 'Dear Mozart, I need no written



from you; I can believe your simple word!'" It was thought best by them
all to keep this transaction secret; but it gradually oozed out, until
all Vienna knew of it. It might be wrong, and this part of the affair
was blameable--thus much he acknowledged to his father; but neither the
guardian nor the mother deserved to be branded as misleaders of youthful
innocence; it was a falsehood that they had made him free of the house
and then bound him in spite of himself--it was quite the contrary, and
he would have known better than to give in to such conduct.

His indignation was raised to the highest pitch when he heard from his
father that the most disgraceful falsehoods as to his dealings with
Constanze had reached Salzburg by way of Munich, and were attributable
to "that scoundrel" Winter, who had always hated him on Vogler's
account.[6] Winter had been staying in Vienna with the bassoonist
Reiner, and Mozart had sought him out as an old acquaintance. It was
all the more infamous, since this very Winter, who "deserved the name
neither of a man nor a human being," and to whose "infamous lies" Mozart
would not condescend to oppose "infamous truths," had once said to him:
"You will be foolish to marry; you can earn enough--why should you
not keep a mistress? What prevents you? Is it your d----d religion?"
(December 22, 1781).

But against such calumnies he was powerless. "My maxim is," he says
(January 9, 1782), "that what does not concern me is not worth the
trouble of talking about; I am ashamed to defend myself from false
accusations, for I always think that the truth is sure to come to
light." He therefore refused to stir in the matter, and left free course
to all the falsehood and misrepresentation.



L. Mozart was naturally not much reassured by this explanation. He
called his son's attention to Madame Weber's failings, which rendered
a good education of her daughters very unlikely, and Wolfgang could not
deny (April 10, 1782) that "she is fond of drink, and takes more than
a woman should. But I have never seen her intoxicated; I can quite deny
that. The children drink nothing but water." His father further pointed
out that she would certainly be a burden on him after his marriage,
and that she made no secret of her intentions in this respect. Wolfgang
could not but perceive for himself that the mother was seeking her own
advantage in the marriage of her daughter (January 30, 1782), "but
she will find herself very much mistaken. She wished us (when we were
married) to lodge with her--but that will come to nothing, for I would
never agree to it, and Constanze still less. _Au contraire_, she intends
to see very little of her mother, and I shall do my utmost to prevent
it--we know her." But Wolfgang was deeply wounded at his father's
depreciation of Constanze herself (January 30,1782):--

Only one thing more (and without saying it I could not sleep quietly)
--do not ascribe such motives to my dear Constanze; believe me, I could
not love her as I do if she deserved your censure. My dear, good father,
I only wish that we may soon meet; for that you will love her, as you
love all true hearts, I know for certain.

He remained proof against all his father's remonstrances (January 9,

I cannot be happy without my beloved Constanze, and I should be only
half happy without your consent; make me quite happy then, my dearest,
best of fathers!

He confided to his sister (whom he had befriended in her own need) what
he and Constanze had to suffer from her mother's temper. He used to work
until nine o'clock in the evening, he writes (February 13, 1782):--

And then I go to my beloved Constanze; but our pleasure in being
together is often embittered by her mother's angry tongue, as I shall
explain to my father in my next letter, and make it the ground of
my wish to liberate and rescue her as soon as possible. I go home at
half-past ten or eleven; it depends upon her mother's powers of holding
out, or mine of resisting.



Constanze, at Wolfgang's instigation, sought to gain his sister's
affection by many little acts of attention; she sent her caps made
by herself after the latest Vienna fashion, and on another occasion a
little cross of no great value, but of a kind very much worn in Vienna;
and again, a heart with an arrow that Wolfgang thought particularly
appropriate to his sister (March 23, 1782). She "took courage at last"
in a letter (April 20,1782), "to petition for her friendship as sister
of her very worthy brother;" she felt that "she half deserved it
already, and would try to deserve it altogether," as well as to gain the
good opinion of the father of them both. Both the lovers were delighted
at the favourable reception of these overtures, although the father's
views were not thereby anywise altered. He was especially against any
idea of marriage before Wolfgang had some secure means of livelihood,
and in spite of many attempts and tedious negotiations there did not
seem much likelihood of this at present. "If I could only have it in
writing from 'der liebe Gott," he writes to his father (January 23,
1782), "that I should continue in good health and never be ill, oh,
would I not marry my dear, faithful sweetheart this very day!" His three
pupils brought him eighteen ducats a month; if he could only get one
more it would make 102 florins 24 kreutzers, on which he and his wife
could maintain themselves "quietly and plainly, as we wish to live."
In case of sickness, indeed, his income would cease altogether; but
he could write an opera once a year, give a concert, publish some
compositions, or raise subscriptions for them; accidents could not
always be taken into account. "But," he concludes, "if we cannot succeed
we must just fail, and I would rather we did so together than wait any
longer. I cannot be worse off--things must improve with me. My reasons
for not waiting any longer are not so much on my own account, as on
hers. I must release her as soon as possible." The father did not grant
the urgent necessity, and seeing in Wolfgang's calculations on the
possibilities of an uncertain future a sure proof that he had not yet
learnt what the foundation of a well-ordered household should be, he
persisted in his refusal to consent to an immediate marriage.



Difficult as Mozart's position was rendered by the displeasure of his
father and the ill-temper of Frau Weber, his beloved Constanze herself
did not always improve matters; the violence of her feelings sometimes
put his constancy to the trial, and added to his perplexities. The
lovers' quarrels soon blew over, but Mozart's position became daily
more insupportable as his affairs became known and talked of. Even the
Emperor, who felt a warm interest in the family affairs of the artists
who had access to him,[7] had expressed himself graciously as to
Mozart's marriage when the latter played before him with Clementi; his
condescension raised hopes which were not destined to be fulfilled.

When the success of his opera had directed public attention towards
him, the curiosity as to his relations with Constanze became still more
general. "What are we to do?" he writes mournfully to his father (July
27, 1782). "Most people believe that we are married already: the mother
is wild about it, and the poor girl and myself are tormented to death."
The earnest tone of mind in which he passed through this time of trial
is illustrated in a later letter to his father (August 17, 1782), where
he says that he has long since heard mass and confessed with Constanze,
"and I found that I never prayed so heartily or confessed and
communicated so devoutly as by her side. She felt the same, and it would
really seem that we are made for each other, and that God, who orders
all things, has ordained our union also, and will not forsake us."

At this juncture a distinguished musical patroness espoused the cause of
the lovers. The Baroness von Waldstädten, famous as a clavier-player as
early as the year 1766,[8] was one of the ladies who had taken Mozart
under their protection from his first arrival, and interesting herself,
womanlike, as much in his affairs of the heart as in his musical
performances, she sought by every means in her power to bring his
relations with Constanze to a happy



conclusion. In order to withdraw Constanze from the tyranny of her
mother, and to facilitate Wolfgang's intercourse with his betrothed,
she took the latter more than once for a considerable time into her own
house in the Leopold Strasse. There were, indeed, reasons which rendered
this intimacy undesirable. The Baroness had led an unhappy life, and
sought to indemnify herself for it by indulgence in the frivolous habits
then only too frequent among the higher ranks of society; her reputation
was not of the best. Mozart knew this, as all Vienna knew it; he had
reason to dread the influence of such a friendship for Constanze, but
he was convinced that the Baroness meant well by them both, and he felt
that he had no resource but to accept her help, and to be very grateful
for it. But Constanze's mother had at least some show of right in
forbidding her daughter to continue in communication with the Baroness,
and, fearful lest she should be taken altogether out of her power, she
endeavoured to force her to return home. An undated letter, addressed in
great tribulation to the Baroness, gives us full insight into Mozart's
trying circumstances:--

Most honoured Baroness,--I received my music by the hands of Madame
Weber's maid, and was obliged to give a written receipt for it. The
servant confided to me what, if true, is a lasting disgrace to the
whole family; I can only believe it from my knowledge of Madame Weber's
character, and it afflicts me greatly. Sophie had come out weeping, and
when her maid asked her the cause of her tears, she said: "Tell Mozart
in secret that Constanze had better return home, for my mother insists
upon sending the police for her." But surely the police would not dare
thus to enter any house. Perhaps it is only a ruse to get her home
again. If this threat is really fulfilled, I see nothing for it but to
marry my Constanze early to-morrow, or, if it can be done, to-day; for
I would not allow of this affront to my beloved, and it could not happen
to my wife. Another thing: Thorwarth was appointed to his place to-day.
I beg your ladyship to give me your kind advice, and to render us
poor creatures all the assistance you can. I am always at home. In
the greatest haste. Constanze knows nothing of all this. Has Herr von
Thorwarth waited on your ladyship already? Is it necessary that we
should both go to him after dinner to-day?

Under these circumstances Mozart was ready to espouse his Constanze
without a moment's delay; he reiterates his entreaties for his father's
consent (July 31, 1782):--



You will have received my last letter by this time, and I have no
doubt that your next will bring your consent to our union. You can have
nothing really to object to in it, and your letters show that you have
not; for she is a good honest girl, and I am in a position to provide
her with bread. We love each other and wish for each other, so there is
no reason for delay.

But his father still withheld his consent. He was so deeply affected by
the affair that he scarcely took proper interest in the success of the
"Entführung," and Wolfgang complained of the coolness with which his
father received his opera. The latter retorted that he was making
himself detested in Vienna by his arrogant manners. Wolfgang answered
(July 31, 1782):--

And so the whole world declares that my boasting and criticising have
made enemies for me of all the professors of music and others. What
world? Presumably the Salzburg world; for whoever was here would hear
and see enough to the contrary: and that shall be my answer to the

The Baroness Waldstädten had in the meantime (by what means we know not)
smoothed away all difficulties, and the wedding was celebrated on August
4, before the arrival of the father's formal consent, for which they had
waited two post-days. Wolfgang's conviction that the consent could
not now be withheld was justified;[9] on the day after the wedding the
longed-for letters from the father and sister arrived, and Wolfgang
answered in his overflowing happiness (August 7, 1782):--

I kiss your hand, and thank you with all the tenderness which a son can
feel for his father for your very kind consent and paternal blessing. My
dear wife will write by the next post to beg our best of fathers for
his blessing, and our beloved sister for the continuance of her valued
friendship. There was no one present at the ceremony except the mother
and the youngest sister, Herr von Thorwarth as guardian and supporter
(Beistand) to us both, Herr Landrath von Cetto supporting, the bride,
and Gilowsky supporting me. When we were actually united



my wife and I both began to weep. Every one, including the officiating
priest, was moved to tears by the sight of our happiness. Our wedding
festivities consisted solely in a supper given us by the Baroness von
Waldstädten, which was rather princely than baronial.[10] Now my dearest
Constanze is rejoicing in the thought of a journey to Salzburg, and I
wager--yes--I will wager that you will be happy in my happiness when you
have learnt to know her, as I do, for the most upright, virtuous, and
loving wife that ever made the happiness of a man.

The father considered it necessary to draw attention to the fact that
he could no longer expect Wolfgang to assist in extricating him from the
debts he had incurred on his son's behalf; on the other hand, Wolfgang
must neither now nor at any future time reckon upon him for support; and
he begged him to make his bride fully aware of this circumstance. Mozart
answered (August 7, 1782):--

My dear Constanze--now, thank God, my own lawful wife--has long known my
circumstances and all that I have to expect from you. But her friendship
and her love for me were so great that she willingly sacrificed her
whole future life to my destinies.

Such was Mozart's courtship, such was his "Entführung aus dem Auge
Gottes," as he used jokingly to call his marriage, because the house
in which Madame Weber lived on the Petersplatz was called "Zum Auge
Gottes." Truly this time brought him none of the peaceful happiness
which the certainty of mutual love bestows under more prosperous
circumstances, but it afforded him abundant opportunity for the display
of his freedom as an artist, and of his inflexible constancy to what he
thought true and right. Unaffected by the vulgarity from the atmosphere
of which he had resolved upon rescuing his Constanze, unchanged by the
violence and hastiness of his beloved herself, unmoved by the hard and
often unjust judgment of his father, he preserved both the firmness of
his conviction and will, and the tender susceptibility and charm of
his affectionate heart. The mental and moral development of every man
depends in no small degree upon whether his course of life has been
smooth and his happiness easy of attainment, or whether he has obtained
the conditions of his existence only after a long and severe struggle.
We must not, therefore, turn aside our glance from the trials and
troubles which have beset the lives of great artists and noble men; it
was through adversity that they became what they were.


[Footnote 1: K. R[isbeck] says (Briefe über Deutschland, I., p. 193) it was
considered proper in Vienna to treat the ladies of the party, even
when they were in no way related to their escort. Mozart must have been
thinking of his former liberality to the Webers, so severely blamed by
his father (Vol. I., p. 418).]

[Footnote 2: Zelter says that Righini's position in Berlin was almost identical
with that of Salieri in Vienna; "he may have been of a rather more
lively disposition, but he was of about the same height and breadth"
(Briefw. m. Goethe, II., p. 29). Cf. A. M. Z., XVI., p. 875.]

[Footnote 3: She used to give a concert every year "as a proof of her existence
and industry," according to the notice for 1799 (A. M. Z., I., p. 523);
"the latter quality is all that she can now truthfully boast of" (Cf. A.
M. Z., VI., p. 471; VII., p. 469. Reichardt, Mus. Ztg., I., p. 128). As
late as 1813 she ("who had once reigned supreme as a pianoforte-player
in Vienna") appeared in public, and was pronounced "an accomplished and
correct player, but cold and old-fashioned" (A. M. Z., XV., p. 300).]

[Footnote 4: She wished to perfect herself in playing for some years longer, and
then go to Paris and "make her fortune." Cramers Magazin der Musik says
(1787, II., p. 1274), "Madame Aurnhammer is an excellent teacher of the
piano, on which she gives lessons; I have not heard her play for long.
It is she who superintended the engraving by Herr Artaria of many of
Mozart's sonatas and varied airs." She attempted variations herself,
which she used to play at her concerts and to have printed (Mus.
Corresp., 1791, p. 362; 1792, p. 195). She had arrived at Opus 63 in
1799 (A. M. Z., II., p. 90).]

[Footnote 5: Da Ponte, Mem., II., p. 104.]

[Footnote 6: Cf. I., p. 389. Winter was avowedly hostile to Mozart (Biedenfeld,
Kom. Oper, p. 86); he used to reproach him with stealing from Handel
(A. M. Z., XXVIII., p. 468), with forcing up soprano voices (Biedenfeld,
Kom. Oper, p. 212); and his scorn at piano-playing opera composers (A.
M. Z., XXVIII., p. 467) was especially directed against Mozart. It is
generally acknowledged that Winter was not the simple, unsophisticated
being that he appeared (cf. Biedenfeld, p. 212), and I have been
assured by those who knew him well that he was quite capable of spiteful

[Footnote 7: A striking instance is Salieri's account of how Joseph II. assisted
him to marry (Mosel, Salieri, p. 57).]

[Footnote 8: Hiller, Wochentl. Nachr., I., p. 100.]

[Footnote 9: L. Mozart writes to the Baroness (September 13, 1782): "I am
heartily glad that his wife does not take after the Webers, as otherwise
he would be miserable; your ladyship assures me that she is a deserving
person, and that suffices me" (Hamburg. Litter, u. Krit. Blatter, 1856,
No. 72, p. 563).]

[Footnote 10: During the supper, according to Nissen, a "sixteen-part harmony" of
his own composition was performed as a surprise to him. This must be a
mistake, for even the great serenata (361 K.) is only in thirteen parts.]


THE newly married couple began their housekeeping upon an uncertain and
barely sufficing income,



and so it remained to the end. Limited means, sometimes even actual
want, failed either to increase the carefulness or to damp the spirits
of husband or wife.

Mozart's sincere and upright love for his wife has been clearly
demonstrated already; it was the talk of Vienna. One day, soon after his
marriage, as he and his wife were walking in the public gardens, they
amused themselves by playing with her little pet dog. Constanze told
Mozart to make believe to beat her, in order to see the indignation of
the dog. As he was doing so, the Emperor came out of his summerhouse
and said, "What! only three weeks married, and come to blows already!"
whereupon Mozart laughingly explained the joke. Later, in 1785, when
there was much talk, even in the newspapers, of the unhappy relations
between Aloysia Lange and her husband,[1] the Emperor met Constanze
Mozart, and said, after some remark on the sad position of her sister:
"What a difference it makes, to have a good husband!"[2] At about the
same time the English tenor, Kelly, was introduced at a musical party
to Mozart and his wife, "whom he loved passionately."[3] His affection
betrays itself in many amiable



traits, and most clearly in the letters addressed to his wife on his
later journeys, to which she herself expressly appeals as proofs of his
"rare affection and excessive tenderness for her."[4] An expression of
Nissen's that Constanze cared "perhaps more for his talent than himself"
might lead to a belief that his love was not returned in full measure;
but against this view we have the testimony of worthy Niemet-schek, who
knew them both, and says: "Mozart was happy in his union with Constanze
Weber. She made him a good, loving wife, who accommodated herself
admirably to his ways, and gained his full confidence and a power over
him which she often used to restrain him from rash actions. He loved her
sincerely, confided all to her, even his faults, and she rewarded him
with tenderness and faithful care. All Vienna knew of their mutual
affection, and the widow can never think without emotion of her days
of wedded life." Constanze had, as Mozart had written before their
marriage, "not much intellect, but enough common sense to fulfil
her duties as a wife and mother." It can, indeed, be gathered from
contemporary letters and notices[5] that she had neither



natural capacity nor what we call education enough to render her on an
equality with Mozart, or to elevate him by her intellectual influence;
nay, rather, she failed fully to appreciate or understand him. Like all
the Weber family, she had musical talent, which had been cultivated up
to a certain point. "She played the clavier and sang nicely."[6] At the
Mozarteum, in Salzburg, there is the commencement of a "Sonata ä deux
Cembali," unfinished, with the superscription "Per la Signora Constanza
Weber--ah!" A sonata for pianoforte and violin, in C major, which only
wants the concluding bars of the last movement (403 K.), belonging to
the year 1782, is inscribed "Sonate Première, par moi, W. A. Mozart,
pour ma très chère épouse." In a letter to Härtel (February 25, 1799),
the widow mentions a march for the piano which her husband had composed
for her. Although her voice was not so fine as those of her sisters
Aloysia and Josepha, she sang very well, especially by sight, so that
Mozart used to try his compositions with her. Solfeggi by Mozart are
preserved, with the inscription--"Per la mia cara Constanze," or "Per
la mia cara consorte" (393 K.), some of them exercises of a few bars'
length, others elaborate passages in varied tempo and style, which give
abundant practice for execution and delivery. There is a song also--"In
te spero o sposo amato," (Metastasio, "Demofoonte"), mentioned by the
widow in a letter to Härtel (February 25, 1799), as composed "per la
cara mia consorte," which implies a compass and volubility reminding us
of her sister Aloysia. It was natural, therefore, that Constanze should
take the soprano parts in any private performances among their friends,
and we know that she once sang the soprano soli of the Mass in C minor
(427 K.) at Salzburg, which require a first-rate singer.

We must also give her credit for more than ordinary musical taste and
cultivation, from her partiality for fugues, of which Mozart writes to
his sister (April 20, 1782), when he sent her a prelude and fugue (394
K.), which he had composed for her:--



The cause of this fugue coming into the world is in reality my dear
Constanze. Baron van Swieten, to whom I go every Sunday, allowed me to
take home all the works of Handel and Sebastian Bach, after I had played
them to him. When Constanze heard the fugues, she quite fell in love
with them; she cares for nothing but fugues now, especially those of
Handel and Bach. Having often heard me play fugues out of my head,
she asked me if I had never written any down? and when I said no, she
scolded me roundly for not writing the most artistic and beautiful
things in music; she would not leave me any peace until I had written
down a fugue, and so it came to pass.

Mozart would hardly have been happy with a wife who possessed neither
taste nor understanding for music. But neither would his creative power
have been strengthened by an intellectually excitable and exciting
wife; it was far more beneficial for him to find womanly sympathy in
his household affairs, and to be soothed rather than urged to greater
efforts. She patiently bore his abstraction when his mind was intent
upon musical ideas, and gave in to many little whims, which in Mozart
seldom proceeded from ill-temper. He was never disturbed by the
conversation and noise going on around him when he was writing down his
compositions; it was rather agreeable to him to have his attention so
far occupied in other directions that his excessive productivity was
held, as it were, in check. His wife would sit by him and tell him
stories and nursery tales, over which he would laugh heartily, working
all the time; the more ludicrous they were the better he was pleased.[7]
She was always ready to cut up his meat for him at table, an operation
which he tried to avoid, lest in his abstraction he should do himself
an injury[8]--an oddity which is only mentioned as a proof how much of a
child Mozart always remained in many of the ways of life.

He was severely tried by his wife's delicacy; her health was undermined
by frequent and often dangerous confinements, and she was often,
especially in the year 1789, for many months in a critical condition. He
bestowed the tenderest care upon her, and spared nothing that was likely
to benefit



her, even when the remedy proposed (as for instance, repeated visits
to Baden for some years) was a severe tax upon his slender resources.
Instances of liberality like that displayed to him on one occasion of
his wife's illness by a comparative stranger were few and far between. A
certain honest tripe-boiler, Rindum by name, who knew nothing of
Mozart personally, but who delighted in his musiç, heard that his wife,
suffering from lameness, had been ordered footbaths of the water in
which tripe had been cooked; he begged her to go to his house for them
as often as she pleased, and at the termination of the cure he could
not be induced to accept any payment either for them or for board and
lodging during a considerable time.[9] As for Mozart himself, the care
that he bestowed upon her was tender and loving to an uncommon degree.
He used to ride every morning at five o'clock, but he never went without
leaving a paper in the form of a prescription upon his wife's bed, with
some directions of this kind:--

Good morning, my darling wife, I hope that you have slept well, and that
nothing has disturbed you; I desire you not to get up too early, not to
take cold, not to stoop, not to stretch, not to scold the servants, not
to fall over the doorstep. Do not be vexed at anything until I return.
May nothing happen to you! I shall be back at ---- o'clock.[10]

The tenderest anxiety for his wife's health is expressed in his letters,
and he especially cautions her to spare her weak foot. Frau Haibl
(Sophie Weber) narrates:[11]--

How troubled Mozart was when anything ailed his dear little wife! On one
occasion she had been ill for fully eight months, and I had nursed her.
I was sitting by her bed, and so was Mozart. He was composing, and I was
watching the sleep into which she had at last fallen; we were as quiet
as the grave for fear of disturbing her. A rough maidservant came
suddenly into the room. Mozart, fearing that his wife would be awakened,
wished to beckon for silence, and pushed his chair backwards with an
open knife in his hand. The knife struck between his chair and his
thigh, and went almost up to the handle in his flesh. Mozart was usually
very susceptible of pain, but now he controlled



himself, and made no sign of pain, but beckoned me to follow him out
of the room. We went into another room, in which our good mother was
concealed, because we did not wish Mozart to know how ill his wife was,
and yet the mother's presence was necessary in case of emergency. She
bound the wound and cured it with healing oil. He went lame for some
time, but took care that his wife should know nothing of it.

He became so accustomed during this long illness to receive every
visitor with his finger on his lip, and the low exclamation "Chut!" that
even some time after her recovery, when he saw an acquaintance in the
street, he would walk on tiptoe, and whisper "Chut!" with his finger
on his lip.[12] The contemplation of such deep-seated affection as this
causes us to be more surprised to hear that Mozart, whose unmarried life
had been without a blemish, was, nevertheless, unfaithful to his wife.
She told herself how Mozart acknowledged his indiscretions to her, and
how she forgave him: "He was so good, it was impossible to be angry with
him; one was obliged to forgive him." Her sister, however, betrays that
Constanze was not always so patient, and that there were occasional
violent outbreaks, which is quite conceivable; but it is also abundantly
evident (and Mozart's letters to his wife fully confirm the fact) that
the close and tender relations of each to the other were not seriously
disturbed by these failings.[13] They might on this account alone be
lightly dismissed, and in addition it must be remembered that rumour was
busy among the public and in the press, and magnified solitary instances
of weakness on Mozart's part into distinguishing features of his
character. He was credited with intrigues with every pupil he had, and
every singer for whom he wrote a song; it was considered a witty remark
to designate him as the actual prototype of his Don Juan; and his
dissipated life was even considered as the proper confirmation of his
artistic genius. Exceptional gifts and accomplishments cannot do away
with the equality of all men before the moral law; transgressions of the
moral law may be judged leniently or severely, as the case may be,



but weaknesses, which in ordinary men are judged lightly, or passed over
altogether, must not be measured by another standard, or made the sign
of complete moral degradation when they are committed by an artist and a
genius whose very faults interest us more than the virtues of other men.
Nor should implicit confidence be placed in the gossip and chatter which
surround this side of a great man's private life, and turn errors into
crimes. The free and easy manners and ideas of the day, which found
special favour in Vienna,[14] the peculiar temptations to which an
artist's temperament and mode of life expose him, make Mozart's failings
conceivable. If it be remembered further how imprudently Mozart behaved,
how professional envy and meanness designedly tarnished his fame, it
will be readily conceded that better grounds for a fair estimate of
Mozart's character are to be found in numerous well-authenticated and
consistent instances of his true nobility of mind than in idle and
malicious gossip. The earnest spirit in which he looked upon these
things is well displayed in a letter to his best and dearest friend,
Gottfried von Jacquin (Prague, November 4,1787):--

Now, my dear friend, how are you? I hope that you are all as hale and
hearty as we are; you cannot but be content, dear friend, since you
possess all that you can desire at your age and in your position;
especially since you seem altogether to have renounced your former
somewhat unsettled life. Do you not daily grow more convinced of
the truth of my little lecture? Is not the pleasure of a fickle
and capricious love a thousand times removed from the blessedness
accompanying a sincere and rational affection? I am sure you often
thank me in your heart for my advice! You will make me quite proud! But
without a joke--you owe me a little gratitude if you have really made
yourself worthy of Fräulein N., for I played no unimportant part in your
improvement or reformation.



Hummel, who was received into Mozart's house as his pupil, wrote in
1831, when he lay dying at Kissingen: "I declare it to be untrue that
Mozart abandoned himself to excess, except on those rare occasions on
which he was enticed by Schikaneder, which had chiefly to do with
the "Zauberflote."[15] His intimacy with the notorious profligate
Schikaneder during the summer of 1791, when his wife was an invalid at
Baden, and the excesses to which he then gave way, have been magnified
by report, and made the foundation of the exaggerated representation of
Mozart's thoughtless life.[16] The further reproach brought against him
of extravagance and bad management of his household must not be left
altogether unnoticed, illiberal as it may seem to hold up for the
examination of posterity the trivial cares of housekeeping and
money-getting which, when ordinary mortals are concerned, are kept
sacred within the four walls of the home. But this part of Mozart's life
has been intruded so often into the foreground, that a concise
statement of the facts belonging to it seems indispensable. By some his
contemporaries have been condemned for allowing his mind to be hampered
by unworthy cares, by others he has himself been reproved for having
brought himself to poverty by thoughtless extravagance; both these views
are exaggerated and in this sense unjust.

It is true that Mozart was not so highly esteemed in Vienna during his
life as after his death. The general public admired him chiefly as
a pianoforte-player, the downfall of German opera prevented his
continuance along the successful path which his "Entführung" had opened
to him, and his Italian operas did not obtain so great a measure of



applause as the lighter ones of his contemporaries; when the
"Zauberflöte" made its effect it was too late. It is scarcely
surprising, therefore, that he failed to reach the position before the
world which should by right have been his. But though it is easy for
posterity to decide that Mozart had just claims to a place by the side
of Gluck and above Bono, Salieri and Starzer, it must not be forgotten
that his contemporaries had before them a young and struggling
artist, and that those veterans had long been in possession of their
distinguished places. Without laying too much stress upon the intrigues
of opponents, or the Emperor's parsimony, it is plain that Mozart could
not readily attain a position which had first to be created for him. He
himself was encouraged by the brilliant success of the "Entführung"
and the universal applause which he received as a pianist to hope for a
secure and respectable position, and he was bitterly disappointed that
his good recommendations failed to procure him the post of teacher to
the Princess Elizabeth. In his usual impulsive style he resolved on
quitting Vienna at once, and wrote to his father (August 17, 1782):--

The Vienna gentlemen (among whom the Emperor comes foremost) shall not
imagine that I have nothing to do in the world outside Vienna. It is
true that I would rather serve the Emperor than any other monarch, but
I will never stoop to beg for any service. I believe myself to be in a
position to do honour to any court. If Germany, my beloved fatherland,
of which, as you know, I am proud, refuses me, then must France or
England be the richer for a clever German--to the disgrace of the German
nation. I need not tell you that the Germans have excelled other nations
in almost every art--but where did the artists make their fortunes or
their fame? Certainly not in Germany! Even Gluck--did Germany make him
the great man he is? Alas, no! The Countess Thun, Count Zichy, Baron
van Swieten, and Prince Kaunitz are all vexed with the Emperor for not
encouraging men of talent to remain in his service. Prince Kaunitz said
to the Archduke Maximilian, speaking of me, that such men only came into
the world once in a hundred years, and ought not to be driven out of
Germany, especially when the monarch is so fortunate as to possess them
in his capital. You cannot think how kind and polite Prince Kaunitz
was in an interview I had with him; he said when I took leave: "I am
indebted to you, my dear Mozart, for taking the trouble of calling on
me, &c." You would not believe either how



anxious the Countess Thun, Baron van Swieten, and other great people
are to retain me here; but I cannot wait long, and _will_ not wait on
charity, as it were. Emperor though he be, I would rather dispense with
his favours than accept them in such a way.

His idea, as he let fall now and then in conversation, was to go to
Paris for the following Lent. He wrote on the subject to Le Gros, and
was of opinion that if he could only obtain engagements for the "Concert
spirituel" and the "Concert des amateurs," he would have no lack of
pupils, and could also do something in the way of composition; his main
object would of course be an opera.[17] With this end in view he had
been for some time studying the French language, and had also taken
lessons in English, in the further expectation of making a tour in
England; he thought he should understand the language fairly well in
three months.[18] His father was not a little disturbed by this new
idea; he opposed it with every argument he could find to his son, and
even wrote on the subject to the Baroness von Waldstädten (August 23,

I should be quite reconciled (to the marriage), if I did not discover
a great fault in my son: he is too indolent and easy-going, perhaps
occasionally too proud, and all these qualities united make a man
inactive; or else he grows impatient and cannot wait for anything. He is
altogether ruled by opposite extremes--too much, or too little, and no
medium. When he is in no pressing need he is quite content, and becomes
indolent and inactive. Once set going, he is all on fire, and thinks he
is going to make his fortune all at once. Nothing is allowed to stand
in his way, and unfortunately it is just the cleverest people, the
exceptional men of genius, who find continual obstacles in their path.
What is there to prevent his having a prosperous career in Vienna, if he
only has a little patience? Kapellmeister Bono is an aged man. Salieri
will be promoted at his death, and will leave another place vacant. And
is not Gluck also an old man? Honoured madam, exhort him to patience,
and pardon me for asking the favour of your ladyship's opinion on the



His remonstrances had the desired effect upon Wolfgang; he was obliged
to acknowledge to his father (August 24, 1782) that it would be better
to prolong his stay at Vienna; that he could go to France or England
at any time. L. Mozart, reassured, wrote to the Baroness (September
13, 1782): "My son has relinquished his intention of leaving Vienna at
present, in consequence of my letters; and as he now intends to visit
me in Salzburg, I shall be able to make the strongest and most necessary
representations to him on the subject."

These representations were all the more effective since Mozart had
at this juncture every reason to be satisfied with the sympathy and
applause of the Vienna public. It is true that on the revival of Italian
opera his works were excluded from the theatre; but in the year 1786
the Emperor proved that he had not forgotten him by commissioning him
to compose the "Schauspieldirector" and "Figaro." But when Mozart,
nevertheless, failed to obtain a permanent post, the idea again
seriously presented itself of leaving Vienna and going to England.

An Englishman named Thomas Attwood (1767-1838) had come from Italy
to Vienna in the year 1785, and become Mozart's pupil. By a singular
coincidence also the English tenor, Michael Kelly, and the English
prima donna, Nancy Storace, were engaged at the Italian Opera. Stephen
Storace, the brother, was also resident in Vienna as a composer for a
considerable time. Mozart was on very friendly terms with them, and his
design was thereby strengthened. At the beginning of November, 1786, he
wrote to his father that he intended in the latter part of the Carnival
to undertake a journey through Germany to England if his father would
consent to receive and take charge of his two children and the servants.
Constanze was to accompany him.

"I have written pretty strongly," L. Mozart informs his daughter
(November 17, 1786), "and promised to send him the continuation of my
letter by the next post. It is not a bad idea, in truth. They may go
away quietly--they may die--they may stay in England. Then I may run
after them with the children; and as to the payment which he is to give



me for the children and servants, &c., Basta! My refusal is explicit
and instructive, if he chooses to take it so." We see how prejudiced
the once tender father had become against his son and his son's wife;
whereas his daughter, who had married in 1784, came to his house to be
confined, and he afterwards took entire charge of her son Leopold, a
fact which he concealed from Wolfgang. Wolfgang's plan was given up
immediately on receipt of this letter from his father. But when his
English friend left Vienna at the beginning of February, 1787, and
returned to England, the wish to accompany him rose strong in Mozart. He
had become more prudent meanwhile. Attwood was to prepare a settled post
for him in London, and to procure him a commission to write an opera or
subscriptions for a concert, and then only he would come. He hoped that
his father would in this case relieve him of the care of his children
until he should have decided whether he would remain there permanently
or return to Germany. The English travellers passed through Salzburg,
and made L. Mozart's acquaintance, to their mutual satisfaction;[20] but
his objections against Wolfgang's journey were not by any means removed.
He wrote to him in a fatherly way, as he informs his daughter (March 1,
1787), "that he would make nothing by a journey in summer, and would go
to England at a wrong time; he would spend about two thousand florins,
and would certainly come to want, for Storace is sure to write the first
opera. Wolfgang would lose heart very soon."

Mozart again abandoned his intention, but not before rumours of it
had reached the public ear,[21] rumours which showed the Emperor the
necessity for giving him a



permanent post, in order to keep him in Vienna.[22] Unhappily, Mozart's
father did not live to see this end to all his anxieties. He died on May
28, 1787.

As there was no kapellmeister's place vacant, the Emperor appointed
Mozart his "private musician," (Kammermusicus) with a salary of eight
hundred florins. The smallness of the sum was ascribed to the influence
of Strack; he was, as usual, appealed to for advice, and humoured the
Emperor's inclination to parsimony. The appointment was made on December
7, 1787; in August, 1788, Mozart assures his sister that he is really
appointed, and that his name appears on the official theatrical list as
"kapellmeister in the actual service of his imperial majesty." Gluck,
who had been appointed "private composer" (Kammercompositeur) by Maria
Theresa on the 7th of October, 1774, with a salary of two thousand
florins, died on November 15, 1787. Mozart naturally took his place; but
it does not seem to have occurred to the court that a corresponding rise
of salary would have been no undeserved distinction.

Mozart himself was not dissatisfied with his pay, since none of the
musicians attached to the imperial household received more; but he was
justly annoyed, at a later date, when he was suffered to draw his pay
without having the opportunity given him of producing any important
work. He looked upon it as an alms doled out to him, while the
opportunity of distinguishing himself as a composer was denied, and
wrote bitterly after the customary entry of his income on the official
return: "Too much for what I do; too little for what I could do."[23]
This was not the right way to remind those in authority that a promise
of "promotion" on the first seasonable opportunity had been held out to
him. The cares which beset the closing years of the Emperor Joseph are
explanation sufficient of the decline of his interest in music and the
drama and his care for the great composer; this, however, the latter
failed to perceive. It was clear also that he did not know how to turn



opportunities to advantage, when, in May, 1789, he refused the offer
of Frederick William II. to make him kapellmeister in Berlin with three
thousand florins salary. With unselfish emotion Mozart exclaimed: "How
can I desert my good Emperor?" The King wished him to reconsider the
proposal, and promised to hold to his word for an indefinite period if
Mozart would consent to come.[24]

Once returned to Vienna, Mozart thought no more of the matter, and only
after much persuasion from his friends was induced to lay it before the
Emperor and tender his resignation. In unpleased surprise Joseph asked:
"What, do you mean to forsake me, Mozart?" Whereupon Mozart answered
with emotion: "May it please your majesty, I will stay." Upon the
question of a friend as to whether he had not taken the opportunity of
demanding some compensation, he exclaimed angrily: "Who the devil would
have thought of that at such a time?"

At the end of 1789 he received the commission to write the opera
of "Cosi fan Tutte," but Joseph II. died (February 20, 1790) before
Mozart's position had been permanently provided for. After the accession
of Leopold II. he appears to have made an attempt to obtain the post
of second kapellmeister under Salieri (old Bono had died in 1788,
and Salieri had been promoted to his place),[25] but this also was
unsuccessful. Convinced that he must now, for the present at least,
renounce all hope of promotion at court, he applied to the civic
authorities for the post of assistant to the Kapellmeister Hofmann at
the Stephans-kirche. The application was granted, with the promise of
Hofmann's lucrative post in case of his death; but the old man survived
Mozart, and this hope of an independence fell through with the rest.[26]
Under these circumstances Mozart



was thrown back for a means of livelihood upon lessons, concerts, and
composition. We know how much he disliked lesson-giving (Vol. I., p.
411), and his dislike was more likely to increase than diminish, and
yet he was obliged to lay himself out to give lessons. In May, 1790, he
wrote to his friend Puchberg: "I have two pupils now, and should like
to make the number up to eight; try to spread it about that I give
lessons." Mozart was never a fashionable and well-paid music-master in
Vienna, such as Steffan, Kozeluch, or Righini. This may excite surprise,
since he was so distinguished as a pianist, but he was wanting in the
patience and pliability necessary, and perhaps also in steadiness
and regularity. When he met with talent or enthusiasm, or when he was
personally attracted, he was fond of giving lessons; as, for instance,
to Franziska (afterwards Frau von Lagusius), the sister of his friend
Gottfried von Jacquin, to whom he writes from Prague (January 14,

I kiss your sister's hand a thousand times, and beg her to practise
industriously on her new pianoforte--but the recommendation is
unnecessary, for I must own that I never had so industrious and zealous
a pupil as herself--and I rejoice in the expectation of giving her
further instruction, according to my poor ability.

She was considered an excellent pianiste, and one of Mozart's best
pupils; he wrote the trio with clarinet and tenor (498 K.) for her
(August 5, 1786).[27] He also sent her the grand Sonata for four hands
in C major (521 K.) as soon as it was finished (May 29, 1787), with a
message through her brother that "she must set about it at once, for
it was somewhat difficult." They were mostly ladies to whom he gave
lessons, for the ladies of high rank in Vienna were cultivated enough to
be considered as leaders of fashion,



more especially in music.[28] Among them were students in the genuine
sense of the word, such as Frau von Trattnern, to whom Mozart addressed
elaborate written communications on the execution of his clavier
compositions, more especially on his Fantasia in C minor, composed for
her.[29] For Barbara Ployer he composed (February 9, 1784) the Concerto
in E flat major (449 K.), which he did not consider as among his great
ones, and the more difficult one in G Major (453 K.); and he writes to
his father (June 9, 1784):--

To-morrow there is to be a concert at Herr Ployer's country-house
in Dobling; Fräulein Babette is to play her new concerto in G, I the
quintet [with wind instruments, in E flat major, 452 K.], and then both
of us the grand sonata for two pianos [in D major, composed early in
1784, 448 K.]. I am to take Paesiello, who has been here since May on
his return journey from St. Petersburg, in order that he may hear my
compositions and my pupils.

No doubt the greater number of his pupils either--like Fräulein
Aumhammer--cared more for social intercourse with Mozart than for actual
instruction, or took lessons for a short time only that they might be
able to speak of the great performer as their teacher. The celebrated
physician, Jos. Frank, relates that he took twelve lessons from him in

I found Mozart a little man with a large head and plump hand, and was
somewhat coldly received by him. "Now," said he, "play me something."
I played a fantasia of his own composition. "Not bad," said he, to my
great astonishment; "but now listen to me play it." It was a miracle!
The piano became another instrument under his hands. It was strengthened
by a second piano, which served him as a pedal.[31] Mozart then made
some remarks as to the way in which I should perform the fantasia. I was
fortunate enough to understand him. "Do



you play any other pieces of my composition?" "Yes," answered I; "your
variations on the theme 'Unser dummer Pobel meint' (455 K.), and a
sonata with accompaniments for violin and violoncello." "Good!

I will play you that piece; you will profit more by hearing me than by
playing them yourself."

It is plain that he had the tact and skill to manage even such pupils
as these. He treated those who had the power and the wish to become true
artists under his guidance in quite another fashion, and they profited
not only by his regular instruction, but still more by his encouragement
and incitement to exertion.

Johann Nepomuk Hummel came to Vienna in 1785, with his father, who
afterwards undertook the conductorship of the opera, under Schikaneder;
at seven years of age the young Hummel already created great
expectations by his clavier-playing. A pupil of Mozart's, named
Freystädter, brought Hummel to him in 1797; the boy played one of the
easier sonatas (with which Mozart had no fault to find, except as to
the hurried _tempo_), and then one of his newest concertos by heart.[32]
Thereupon Mozart decided to undertake Hummel's instruction, but only
on condition that he resided with them altogether. We are not told how
often or with what regularity he received lessons; but he heard Mozart
play, and had to play over to him any clavier music that came into the
house. One evening Mozart returned late from some entertainment with
his wife, and found a piece of music which he was curious to hear. Young
Hummel, who had been awaiting their return, had lain down on a couple
of chairs and fallen asleep. "Stanzerl," said Mozart, to his wife; "wake
Hans, and give him a glass of wine." No sooner said than done; and the
boy played the new piece of music, late at night as it was.[33]

Mozart's musical instruction was sure to be desultory. Freystädter
relates that he generally received Mozart's directions and corrections
of his musical exercises sitting at a side-table, while a game of bowls
was going on.[34] Attwood



also tells us that Mozart sometimes persuaded him to join in a game of
billiards instead of taking a lesson.[35] The pupils did not consider
their master guilty of caprice and neglect; but felt themselves spurred
to activity by their intercourse with him.

Mozart took young Hummel everywhere with him, made him play, played
duets with him, and declared that the boy would soon excel himself as
a pianist. Hummel was greatly attached to Mozart, both then and ever
after; he remained in his house for two years, until in November, 1788,
his father set out with him on a professional tour.

Mozart also gave lessons in the theory of music, sometimes even to
ladies; we hear of a cousin of the Abbé Stadler as Mozart's pupil
in thorough-bass. The exercise-book which he used for instruction in
thorough-bass in 1784 is now in the Imperial library at Vienna.[36]
Mozart wrote down a very characteristic melody, or a bass, or both,
which the pupil was to arrange in several parts; then Mozart corrected
the passage with short remarks on the various mistakes, alternately
Italian or German, sometimes of a comic nature--for instance: "Ho l'
onore di dirla, che lei ha fatta la scioc-cagine (da par Suo) di far due
ottave tra il 2do Violino ed il Basso"; or in German: "This E is very
forced here; it shows that it has only been put in to prevent too rapid
a passage from one consonance to another--just as bad poets often do
stupid things for the sake of rhyme. You might have gone gradually from
C to D very prettily by inserting thirds." These remarks are purely
grammatical; and it is evident that Mozart's teaching was of the good
old-fashioned kind, which strives first to give the pupil a thorough
knowledge of the grammar of his art. From exercise-books of this kind,
of which Zelter saw one in Vienna,[37] a little



handbook of thorough-bass was afterwards printed under Mozart's name,
and was much in use for some time.[38] With more advanced pupils he
naturally proceeded differently. Attwood preserved an exercise-book with
compositions, which he had submitted to Mozart shortly after his arrival
in Vienna. Mozart had crossed out whole passages, and rewritten them
with the remark, "I should have done this so."[39] When Kelly, the
tenor, who made pretty little songs which Mozart admired, imagined that
he could make himself into a serious composer by means of studies in
counterpoint, Mozart said to him, "If you had studied counterpoint long
ago in Naples, you would have done well; now that you have to give
your mind to your education as a singer, you will make nothing of it.
Remember that half-knowledge is a dangerous thing. You have considerable
talent in the invention of melodies; a smattering of theory would ruin
that, and you can always find some musician who can help you when
you want it. Melody is the essence of music. I should compare one who
invents melodies to a noble racehorse, and a mere contrapuntist to a
hired post hack. So let it alone; and remember the old Italian proverb
'Chi sa più, meno sa.'"[40]

Lesson-giving might fail greatly to increase either Mozart's fame or
his income, but his success as a virtuoso was brilliant and lasting.
His father warned him, when he talked of settling in Vienna, of the
fickleness of the public, but Wolfgang answered cheerfully (June 2,

The Viennese certainly love change--_but only at the theatre_, and
my line is too popular not to be supported. This is, in truth,
_Clavierland!_ and, even supposing they were to tire of me, it would not
be for several years, and in the meantime I should have made both money
and reputation.

In this expectation he was not disappointed; the applause which greeted
him on his first appearance was repeated as often as he appeared in



The proper season for concerts, and also for private musical parties,
was Lent, when the theatres were closed; the concerts were generally
given in the theatre.[41] Mozart invariably gave a concert in Lent.
After the success of the first (1782) he used to make a common
undertaking every spring with a certain Phil. Jac. Martin. He was a
native of Regensburg, who had studied with good old Bullinger at the
Jesuit College in Munich, and supported himself with difficulty: "quite
a young man, who tries hard to get on in the world by his music, his
beautiful handwriting, and especially by his clever head and strong
intellect" (May 29, 1782). Martin had established an amateur musical
society, which gave concerts every Friday during the winter.[42] Mozart
writes to his father (May 8, 1782):--

You know that there are a number of amateurs here, and very good ones,
both male and female; hitherto there has been no organisation among
them. This Martin has now received permission from the Emperor, with
expressions of the highest approbation, to give twelve concerts in the
Augarten and four grand evening concerts on the finest open spaces in
the city.[43] The subscription for the whole summer is two ducats. You
can well imagine that we shall get subscribers enough, all the more
for my being associated with him. Even supposing that we only get one
hundred subscribers, and that the expenses amount to two hundred florins
(an outside sum), that means three hundred florins profit for each of
us. Baron van Swieten and the Countess Thun are taking it up warmly.
The orchestra is entirely amateur, with the exception of the bassoons,
trumpets, and drums.



The Imperial Augarten replaced the old "Favorite" established by Joseph
I. in the Leopold Vorstadt of Vienna. It was laid out by Joseph II.,
and opened to the public for their free use in 1775, with the well-known
inscription over the entrance: "Public place of recreation dedicated to
all men, by one who esteems them."[44] The principal building was used
as an hotel, and the Emperor built for himself a simple little house,
surrounded by wooden palings, where he sometimes spent several days, and
amused himself by walking freely among his people. On Sunday afternoons
in especial, all the fashionable population of Vienna strolled
there,[45] so that the speculation promised to be a successful one.

It provided plenty of occupation for its promoters. Mozart writes (May
25, 1782):--

To-morrow is our first entertainment in the Augarten. At half-past eight
Martin is to call for me in a hackney-coach, and we have six visits to
make; I must be ready by eleven o'clock to go to Rumbeck; then I dine
with the Countess Thun; we are to rehearse the music in her garden in
the evening. There is to be a symphony by Van Swieten, and another by
me; Mdlle. Berger, an amateur, is to sing; a boy named Türk[46] is
to play a violin concerto, and Fräulein von Aurnhammer and I the duet
concerto in E flat (365 K.).

The first concert went off well; among the audience were the Archduke
Maximilian, the Countess Thun, Wallenstein, Baron van Swieten, and
many other musical connoisseurs, but we hear nothing further of the
undertaking, which cannot have been so brilliant a success as had been
hoped.[47] There was no doubt, however, as to the success which Mozart
achieved during the Lenten concerts of 1783. He contributed greatly
towards the success of a concert given by his sister-in-law, Aloysia
Lange, at the theatre on



March 11. His Parisian symphony for the Concert spirituel (297 K., Vol.
II., p. 49) was performed on this occasion, after which Madame Lange
sang the song which he had composed for her in Mannheim: "Non sò d'onde
viene" (294 K., Vol. I., p. 419), with new variations for the voice.
How many memories it must have awakened in them both! "Gluck had the box
next to the Langes," he informed his father (March 12, 1783), "in which
was also my wife. He could not praise enough either the symphony or the
song, and he invited us all to dinner next Sunday." In addition Mozart
played a concerto of his own composition. "The theatre was very full;
and I was so well received by the public, that I could but feel happy
and content. After I had gone away the clapping was so persistent that
I was obliged to return and repeat the rondo. It was a perfect storm of
applause." For his own concert on March 22 every box was taken, and the
theatre "could not have been fuller." The programme of this concert,
which he copied for his father, gives us an idea of what Mozart's
concerts were. There were performed:--

1. The new Hafner symphony, composed the previous summer (385 K., Vol.
II., p. 210).

2. Air from "Idomeneo," "Se il padre perdei" (366 K.), sung by Madame

3. The third subscription concerto, then just published, in C major (415
K., No. 5).

4. The Countess Baumgarten's scena (369 K., Vol. II., p. 168), sung by

5. The short Sinfonia-concertante of the last "Final-musik" (320 K.,
Vol. II., p. 87).

6. The favourite concerto in D (175, 382 K., Vol. I., p. 324).

7. Scena, "Parto, m' affretto," from "Lucio Silla" (135 K., Vol. I., p.
180), sung by Mdlle. Teyber.

8. Impromptu fantasia by Mozart, beginning with a short fugue, "because
the Emperor was there" (Vol. II., p. 173), followed by variations on an
air from the opera of "Der eingebildete Philosoph" by Paesiello ("Salve
Tu, Domine"), and when the thunder of applause obliged him to play
again, he chose the air "Unser dummer Pöbel meint," from Gluck's
"Pilgrims of Mecca," as a theme for variations.

9. A new rondo, composed for Madame Lange, and performed by her (416

10. The last movement of the first symphony.



This programme makes it evident that the demands on a concert-giver were
far greater then than now, and the public were undoubtedly more patient
listeners. "What pleased me most," wrote Wolfgang to his father (March
29, 1783), "was the sight of the Emperor, and how pleased he was, and
how he applauded me. It is always his custom to send the money for his
box to the pay-place before he comes to the theatre; otherwise I might
certainly have expected more (than twenty-five ducats), for his delight
was beyond all bounds." A short time after Mozart played a concerto at
Mdlle. Teyber's concert.[48] Again the rondo was encored, but when
he sat down to the piano again, he had the desk removed in order to
improvise. "This little surprise delighted the audience immensely; they
clapped, and cried 'Bravo, bravissimo!'" The Emperor did not leave this
concert until Mozart had quite finished playing. So the latter in high
glee informs his father (April 12,1783). In Lent, 1784,[49] besides a
concert in the theatre, which took place in April, Mozart proposed to
give six subscription concerts, and he begs his father to send him the
score of "Idomeneo," because he intended to produce it (December 6,

The pianoforte teacher Richter had established Saturday concerts, which
were attended by the nobility only upon the understanding that Mozart
was to play; after playing at three of them he raised subscriptions (six
florins) for three concerts of his own, which took place on the three
last Wednesdays in Lent (March 17, 24, and 31), in a fine hall belonging
to Trattnern, a bookseller.[50] The list of subscribers



numbered 174 names,[51] thirty more than were procured by the partners,
Richter and Fischer; the latter was a violin-player, married to Storace,
the singer.[52].

"The first concert, on the 17th," Mozart writes (March 20, 1784),
"went off well; the hall was crammed full, and the new concerto, which I
played, was very well received; every one is talking about the concert."
The succeeding performances were equally successful, so that he was able
to assure his father that they had been of considerable service to him.
Besides the subscription concerts, he gave two others in the theatre,
which also went off well. "To-morrow should have been my first
concert in the theatre," he writes (March 20, 1784), "but Prince Louis
Liechtenstein has an operatic performance which would have taken half
the nobility from my audience, besides some of the chief members of the
orchestra. So I have postponed it, in a printed advertisement, to April 1.
He wrote two great concertos[53] and the quintet for piano and wind
instruments, which was enthusiastically applauded. "I myself," he adds,
"consider it the best thing I ever wrote in my life. I do wish you could
have heard it! And how beautifully it was performed! To tell the truth,
I grew tired of the mere playing towards the end, and it reflects no
small credit on me that my audience did not in any degree share the

In the following year Leopold Mozart visited his son in Vienna, and was
an eye-witness of his popularity. He



writes to his daughter (January 22, 1785): "I have this moment received
a line from your brother, saying that his concerts begin on February 11,
and are to continue every Friday." He arranged to be in Vienna for this
concert, which was given on the Mehlgrube, with a subscription list of
over one hundred and fifty at three ducats each. He wrote to Marianne at
the conclusion of the concert (February 11, 1784): "Wolfgang played an
admirable new concerto, which was in the copyist's hands when we arrived
yesterday; your brother had not even time to try over the rondo. The
concerto is in D minor" (466 K., No. 8). The second concert, too, "was
splendid"; and at a benefit concert in the theatre for which Wolfgang
wrote the Concerto in C major (467 K., No. 1) he made 559 florins,
"which we had not expected, as the list for his subscription concerts
numbers one hundred and fifty persons, and he has often played at other
people's concerts for nothing," as L. Mozart writes (March 12, 1785).
He played at Madame Laschi's concert on February 12, 1785, a splendid
concerto which he had composed for the blind pianiste in Paris, Marie
Thérèse Paradies (1759-1824); this is probably the Concerto in B major
(456 K., No. 11) dated September 30, 1784. "When your brother made his
exit," writes the father, "the Emperor bowed to him, hat in hand, and
called: 'Bravo, Mozart!' He was very much applauded on his entrance."
During the Lent of 1786 Mozart had, as he wrote to his father (December
28,1785), three subscription concerts, with one hundred and twenty
subscribers; for these he wrote three new concertos. One in E flat major
(482 K., No. 6) on December 26, 1785, another in A major (488 K., No.
2) on March 2, 1786, and the third in C minor on March 24, 1786, the
andante of which he was obliged to repeat at the concert of April 7, the
last given in the theatre.[54] In Advent of the same year, as he informs
his father (December 8, 1786), he gave four concerts at the Casino,
for which he composed a new Concerto in C major (503 K., No. 16), dated
December 4, 1786; in January of the same year he



journeyed to Pragüe, where he was received with enthusiasm as the
composer of "Figaro." In obedience to the general desire, he played at a
great concert in the Opera-House, to a very crowded audience; Mozart was
recalled three times, and when at last he improvised variations on
"Non più andrai" there was no end to the applause; a second concert
was attended with eqally brilliant results. Madame Storace informed
L. Mozart, who wrote the news to his daughter (March 1, 1787), that
Wolfgang had made one thousand florins in Prague.

Even if it be granted that the honour and profit of these concerts
did not equal that which was accorded to celebrated vocalists of
the day,[55] yet it would be unjust to maintain that Mozart was not
appreciated by the public, and that they failed to express their
appreciation in hard cash. Any comparison with the unexampled success
attained by great performers of a later day ought not to leave out of
sight that the concert-visiting public has enormously increased since
that time, when this enjoyment was the exclusive privilege of the higher

The growing interest for literature and art was then just beginning to
awaken in the citizen class some desire for participation in theatrical
performances and concerts; but still the concert public of that time
had very little resemblance to that which we now expect to find. The
difference shows itself in the private concerts. During the winter, and
particularly during Lent, musical performances were the chief means
of entertainment among the nobility and wealthy citizens. Amateur
theatricals were also very fashionable, and even operas were often given
in private.[56] An opera by Prince Liechtenstein has been mentioned
before (Vol. II., p. 287); Mozart's "Idomeneo" was given in 1786 at the
private theatre of Prince Auersperg, where in 1782 an Italian opera had
been given in honour of the Grand



Duke;[57] Kelly had heard the Countéss Hatzfeld[58] sing Gluck's
"Alceste" there incomparably well.[59]

Noblemen of high rank often maintained their own musical establishments;
and though this did not often consist, as in the case of Prince
Esterhazy or the Prince von Hildburghausen,[60] of a complete orchestra,
yet the retinue of most of the nobility (especially in Bohemia) were
capable of taking part in orchestral music,[61] or there was at least a
band of wind instruments to play during meals or in serenades.[62] But
for the private performances of which we have just spoken a complete
orchestra was always employed,[63] which was an easier matter then than
it would be now that orchestras are so much more fully appointed. This
arrangement was of the greatest importance for the musical profession.
The frequent concerts gave opportunity for a large number of musicians
to educate themselves into good orchestral players, and the composers
found constant employment in every branch of their art. Patrons vied
with each other in the production of new works by distinguished masters,
and above all in the acquisition of celebrated performers. The expense
of musical soirées was very great, but custom made it a point of honour
among the aristocracy to patronise the art which then surpassed all
others in public estimation.

Mozart's popularity as a pianist would, as a matter of course, render
him much in request at these private concerts. As early as the winter of
1782 he was engaged for all the concerts given by Prince Gallitzin, the
Russian ambassador, who "placed his carriage at my disposal both going
and returning, and treated me in the handsomest



manner possible' (December 21,1782). During the following winter he
again played regularly for Prince Gallitzin, also for Count Johann
Esterhazy, Count Zichy, &c. He calculates for his father's benefit that,
from February 26 till April 3, he would have to play five times for
Gallitzin, and nine times for Esterhazy, to which might be added three
of Richter's concerts and five of his own, besides chance invitations.
"Have I not enough to do?" he asks. "I do not think I shall be allowed
to get out of practice." When his father was in Vienna in 1785, he wrote
to his daughter that Wolfgang's harpsichord had been to the theatre and
to different private houses quite twelve times between February 11 and
March 12.[64] What amount of fee Mozart received for his performances
in private we have no means of ascertaining; in general, however, the
aristocracy were accustomed to reward distinguished artists according
to their deserts, and the exceptional position of the Viennese nobility
enabled the artists to accept their liberality without loss of dignity;
the more so as it was usually founded on sentiments of esteem and
consideration. That the friendly demeanour of persons of high rank was
highly prized by the artists themselves, there can be no doubt; nor
would there be wanting some who sought to merit it by servile adulation.
From any tinge of this Mozart was absolutely free; not only was he
unfettered by the forms of social class distinctions, but he moved in
society with all the independence of a distinguished man, without
laying claim to the license usually accorded to artists of genius.
The etiquette of rank was no bar to his intimacy with Prince Karl
Lichnowsky; and another of his true friends was Count August Hatzfeld,
who had carefully cultivated a considerable musical talent, and was a
first-rate quartet violinist. He became so imbued with the spirit of
Mozart's quartets, that the latter was said to have declared that he
liked nobody's execution of them so well as Count



Hatzfeld's.[65] The song in "Idomeneo" with obbligato violin was
composed for him. His noble character won for him universal esteem,
which was intensified by the calmness with which he met death in his
thirty-first year (Bonn, 1787). Mozart wrote to his father in a very
serious letter (April 4, 1787):--

On this subject (death and dying) I have already expressed my mind
to you on the occasion of the melancholy death of my best and dearest
friend, Count von Hatzfeld. He was thirty-one--just my age. I do not
mourn for _him_, but for myself and for all those who knew him as I did.

Mozart also gave regular musical performances every Sunday morning in
his own house; he used to invite his friends, and musical amateurs
were admitted on payment. Kelly relates[66] that he never missed one of
these. I find them mentioned elsewhere also, and have heard of them from
old people who took part in them during the last years of Mozart's life.
They were always well attended; but whether Mozart's public concerts
were continued with unabated success after the year 1788, or whether
the time had come when he was to experience "the fickleness" of the
Viennese, I have no means of determining with exactitude. He wrote three
symphonies in June, July, and August of 1788, whence it may be
concluded that he was giving concerts during that time; and, by the same
reasoning, the absence of any symphonies or concertos composed during
the years immediately following would prove that no concerts were then
given. His pecuniary embarrassments during those years tell the same
tale; and the cutting off of this important contribution to his income
seems to have occasioned his journeys to Berlin and Frankfort. Not until
January, 1791, do we meet with another pianoforte concerto in B flat
major (595 K., No. 15) that was no doubt intended for a Lenten concert.

The publication of his compositions, which in the present day would have
been Mozart's chief dependence, was by no means profitable, as matters
then stood. The music trade



of the day was small and insignificant; indeed, the first impulse was
given to it by the publication of an edition of all Mozart's works soon
after his death. During his life, however, compositions were more often
copied than printed;[67] and the composer was obliged to keep careful
watch lest copies should be distributed which were not ordered from him,
and which in consequence he was never paid for. It need scarcely be said
that caution such as this was not in Mozart's nature, and that copies of
his works were frequently made and sold without his knowledge. Different
musical firms (Joh. Traeg, Lausch, Torricella, &c.) advertised copies
of his compositions for sale under his very eyes; nor was this conduct,
however undesirable, thought unworthy of a respectable tradesmen. He
was careful only of his concertos; too much depended on his keeping
possession of them, and not allowing any one to play them who chose.
His three first concertos, indeed, he thought it advisable to publish
himself by a subscription of six ducats (December 23, 1782). He offered
them afterwards to the "highly respectable public" for four ducats,
"beautifully copied and revised by himself."[68] Even this his father
thought too dear; but Mozart thought that the concertos were worth the
money, and could not be copied for it.

When sending his father those composed in the following year, he wrote
(May 24, 1784): "I can wait patiently until you send them back, so
long as they do not fall into any one else's hands; I might have had
twenty-four ducats for one of them to-day; but I think it will be to my
advantage to keep them a couple of years by me, and then to have them
printed." He used to take only the orchestral parts with him on his
journeys, and to play himself from a clavier part of most extraordinary
appearance, according to Rochlitz.[69] It consisted of only the figured
bass and the principal



motifs, with hints for the passages, runs, &c.; he depended on his
memory, which never by any chance failed him. In 1788 he advertised
copies of three quintets for four ducats.[70]

As far, then, as concertos and symphonies were concerned, the composer
made his principal profit by his own performance of them; but he was
also called upon to write different things for other people. Mozart
wrote many compositions for his pupils, an extraordinary number for
his friends and acquaintance, and not a few to order on particular
occasions. Among the latter class are the quartets written for Frederick
William II., in 1789 and 1790 (575, 589, 590, K.), for which he was
doubtless well paid; it was said that he received for the first a
valuable gold snuff-box and a hundred friedrichs-d'or.[71] It is well
known that one hundred ducats were paid in advance for the Requiem, and
something may have come in for the adaptation of Handel's oratorios,
ordered by Van Swieten in 1788 and 1789, as well as for here and there
a commission or dedication. But a closer examination of the long list of
Mozart's compositions of this class makes it probable that they were
not for the most part profitable to him. A characteristic anecdote is
related of him by his widow, which bears out this supposition.[72] At
one of Mozart's Sunday matinées there was present a Polish Count,
who was very much delighted with the new (composed March 30, 1784)
pianoforte quintet with wind instruments. He commissioned Mozart to
write a trio with obbligato flute, which the latter promised to do. As
soon as he arrived at home, the Count sent Mozart a hundred half-louis
with a very polite note, repeating his thanks for the pleasure the music
had given him. The terms of the note left Mozart no doubt that the money
was a generous gift, and he returned the politest acknowledgment, at the
same time sending the Count, contrary to his custom, the original score
of the quintet he had so much admired. A year after the Count came again
to Mozart and inquired after the trio. Mozart excused himself by saying
he had not yet found himself in the humour to



write anything worthy of the Count's acceptance. "Then, no doubt,"
answered the Count, "you will find yourself still less in the humour
to return me the hundred half-louis which I paid you for it." Mozart
returned the money, but the Count kept the score of the quintet, which
was soon after printed in Vienna without Mozart's permission. Against
such persons and such behaviour Mozart had no weapons but a shrug of
the shoulders, and a--"The rascal!" It may well be supposed that others
besides this Polish Count took advantage of such easy-going good-nature.
But the publishers must not be credited with more than their share of
blame.[73] Variations and similar trifles were doubtless often printed
without the composer's consent, and brought in considerable profits
in which he had no share. But the more important of his works which
appeared during his lifetime were either printed by subscription or
trusted for publication to Torricella, Artaria, and Hoffmeister. I have
only in one case been able to discover the amount paid to him; he wrote
to his father, who communicated it to his daughter (January 22, 1785)
that he had sold his quartets dedicated to Jos. Haydn to Artaria for
one hundred ducats. This was a considerable sum for those days, and the
reception given to the quartets on their appearance might well cause the
publisher to fear he had paid too dear for them. It is said that the
two beautiful pianoforte quartets in G minor (478 K., composed in July,
1785) and in E flat major (493 K., composed in June, 1786), were only
the commencement of a series bespoken by Hoffmeister; but the public
finding them too difficult, and refraining from buying them, he allowed
Mozart to retain the money he had paid in advance, and gave up the
continuation.[74] The popularity gained by Mozart's greater works must
always have been of gradual growth, since they were considered in every
respect too difficult, and it is quite credible that Hoffmeister said,
as was reported of him:[75] "Write more popularly, or else I can neither
print nor pay for anything more of yours!"



nor is it less credible that Mozart should have answered: "Then I will
write nothing more, and go hungry, or may the devil take me!"

A note written to Hoffmeister on November 20, 1785, is indeed in quite
another tone:[76]--

Dear Hoffmeister,--I have recourse to you, and beg you to assist me
with a little money, of which I am much in want at present. I earnestly
entreat you to send me what I require as soon as possible. Pardon my
troubling you so much, but you know me, and are aware how much I have
your affairs at heart, so that I am convinced that you will not be
offended at my importunities, but will be as ready to show yourself my
friend as I am yours.

A very enterprising publisher, Commerzienrath Hummel, of Berlin,
maintained that, though not musical, he could tell by the look of a
composition whether it would suit him. He had a poor opinion of Mozart,
and used to boast of having sent him back various works.[77]

Rochlitz relates, as an instance of Mozart's ill-treatment at the
hands of theatrical managers,[78] that Schikaneder paid nothing for
the "Zauberflöte," and even, contrary to the agreement, sold the score
without his knowledge. Seyfried,[79] on the other hand, maintains that
Schikaneder paid Mozart a hundred ducats, and resigned the net profits
of the sale of the score to his widow. Be this as it may, Schikaneder's
treatment of Mozart must not be considered illustrative of that which he
usually received from his managers. A hundred ducats was then the
usual payment in Vienna for an opera. This sum Mozart received for the
"Entführung," for "Figaro," and no doubt also for "Cosi fan Tutte."
For "Don Giovanni" he had 225 florins. To this were usually added the
proceeds of a benefit performance (and another for the poet), which
of course depended on the popularity of the composer with the public.
Mozart does not mention the benefit performance of the



"Entführung"; but both in this case and that of "Figaro" it must have
had considerable results.[80] Bondini paid a hundred ducats for "Don
Giovanni." The Bohemian States, who ordered the "Clemenza di Tito"
for their coronation festival, can scarcely have offered him less
remuneration; even the manager Guardasoni, who was famous for his
parsimony, "almost agreed" in the year 1785 to give Mozart "two hundred
ducats for an opera and fifty ducats travelling expenses," as he informs
his wife--an agreement, however, which was never carried out.[81]

In this respect, therefore, Mozart was not behind contemporary
composers. With regard to performances on foreign stages, we have no
definite information as to whether his permission was asked or paid
for,[82] but we may gather something from the ordinary usages of the
time. It was the traditional custom in Italy that whoever ordered
the opera should pay for it; what became of the score afterwards was
generally left to chance. The impresario remained in possession of it,
and usually allowed the copyist to make what profit he could out of the
sale of it (Vol. I., p. 131); but the composer also kept the score, and
seems to have distributed it wherever he thought he might gain honour or
profit by it. In Germany the case was altered, since there the composer
had generally to do with a court theatre. In Mannheim and Munich he
retained undivided possession of the score (Vol. II., p. 141).[83]
Mozart rejoiced that Baron Riedesel had asked him for the "Entführung"
and not the copyist (Vol. II., p. 213). As a matter of course foreign
theatres took the easiest course open to them to obtain possession of
the score. When they applied to the composer it was only because they
saw no other way of getting it, or for some special reason. Any question



the composer's rights or the theatrical manager's obligations seems
never to have occurred to either party. A careful hold of the score and
watchful supervision of the copyist were the only means of protection.
These did not go far, nor was Mozart the man to make use of them.
When, therefore, his operas appeared on foreign boards without any
compensation to himself, he only shared the fate of most of his
contemporaries, nor does he seem to have complained of it. He is glad
to write to his father (December 6, 1783) that his "Entführung" had been
well and successfully performed in Prague and Leipzig; and he rejoiced
again when "Figaro" was given in Prague and "Don Giovanni" in Vienna;
but there is no mention of payment.

If we summarise these financial remarks, we shall arrive at the
conclusion that in view of the importance of his works, and the profits
afterwards made on them both by the theatres and the publishers, Mozart
was very inadequately paid; but this standard cannot be unreservedly
applied to them. The conditions and fluctuations of profit to which
even artists are subject are ruled by the prevalent type of living among
citizens and the higher classes; the close-fisted organisation of a
community of merchants and traders cares little for the comet-like
course of an artistic genius, and is only too likely to give it an
altogether wrong direction or to ruin it at the outset. From a pecuniary
point of view we must acknowledge that Mozart was on the whole as well
treated as the majority of his fellow-artists; that both as a composer
and a performer he was sometimes no worse, sometimes better, paid than
others; that he had no lack of opportunities for earning money, and that
in point of fact he had a very good income. If Mozart had possessed the
same capacity for business as his father or Joseph Haydn, he would no
doubt have reaped far greater advantages from his position in Vienna;
but even on what he actually earned he might have lived in ease and
plenty. Without ourselves going into calculations on the subject, we
have a trustworthy witness for it in Leopold Mozart. During his visit to
Vienna, in 1785, he had a watchful eye on the earnings and expenditure
of his son, and wrote to his



daughter (March 19, 1785): "I believe that, _if he has no debts to
pay_, my son can now lay by two thousand florins; the money is certainly
there, and the household expenses, so far as eating and drinking are
concerned, could not be more economical." How far removed was Mozart
from such providence! From the time of his marriage we find him in
constantly recurring money difficulties; a long list of melancholy
documents lets us into the vexations, cares, and humiliations which were
the inevitable consequences of his improvidence. Scarcely six months
after their marriage the wedded couple were obliged to apply to the
Baroness von Waldstädten in the following note, in order to avert a
threatened action-at-law by one of their creditors:--

Most honoured Baroness,--I find myself in a fine position, truly! We
agreed with Herr von Tranner lately that we should have a fortnight's
grace. As this is customary with every merchant, unless he be the most
disobliging fellow in the world, I thought nothing more of it, and
hoped, if I could not pay the amount myself, at least to be able to
borrow it. Now Herr von Tranner sends me word that he positively refuses
to wait, and if I do not pay him between to-day and to-morrow he will
bring an action against me! I cannot pay him even the half of it. If I
had had any idea that the subscriptions for my concert would come in
so slowly, I would have fixed the payment for a later date. I pray your
ladyship, for Heaven's sake, to help me to preserve my honour and my
good name! My poor little wife is feeling poorly, and I cannot leave
her, or else I would come myself and beg this favour of you by word of
mouth..We kiss your ladyship's hand a thousand times, and beg to remain
your ladyship's obedient children,

February 15, 1783.

W. A. and C. Mozart.

In July of the same year, when he was setting out for Salzburg, and
actually in the act of entering his carriage, he was stopped by an
importunate creditor for the paltry claim of thirty florins, which,
nevertheless, he found it difficult to satisfy.[84] And not long after
his return to Vienna he was disagreeably surprised by a demand for
twelve louis-d'or, which he had borrowed at Strasburg in 1778. He was
obliged to write to his father:--



You will remember that when you came to Munich, where I was writing the
great opera, you reproached me for having borrowed twelve louis-d'ors
from Herr Scherz, at Strasburg, with the words, "Your want of confidence
in me disappoints me--but enough; I suppose I shall have the honour of
paying the twelve louis-d'or." I travelled to Vienna, you to Salzburg.
What could I suppose from your words but that I need think no more of
the debt--or at least, that you would write to me if you did not pay it,
or speak about it when I saw you in Salzburg? I ask nothing further of
you, my dear father, than that you will be my security for a month. Had
he demanded payment during the first year I could have done it at once
and with pleasure; and I will pay him as it is, only I am not in a
position to do so at this moment.

In the very same year that his father boasts of his finances, we find
him in a difficulty which necessitated his applying to his publisher,
Hoffmeister, who put him off with a couple of ducats. But the saddest
insight into the embarrassed and humiliating position in which Mozart
found himself after the year 1788 is afforded by his letters to his
friend, Michael Puchberg, a wealthy merchant,[85] musical himself,
and with two daughters, one of whom distinguished herself as a
clavier-player. He was a Freemason, and it seems to have been through
the lodge that an intimacy was founded close enough to warrant Mozart's
constant application to him for assistance. His wish to borrow a sum
sufficiently large to be of permanent benefit to him, either from
Puchberg himself or by his instrumentality, was not granted. So that
when his rent became due, or his wife's doctor's bill, or a stay in
the country had to be provided for, he was constantly obliged to claim
assistance from his friend. Whenever it was possible Mozart strove to
meet his household embarrassments in a joking mood. In the winter of
1790 Joseph Deiner, the landlord of the "Silver Serpent," who was of use
to Mozart in many of his household affairs, called upon him one day
and found him in his workroom dancing about with his wife. On Deiner's
asking him if he was giving his wife dancing lessons, Mozart answered,
laughing, "We are



warming ourselves, because we are very cold, and have no money to buy
fuel." Thereupon Deiner ran home and brought them some wood, which
Mozart accepted and promised to pay him for as soon as he made any
money.[86] But dancing will not satisfy every need, and the faithful
Puchberg was never weary of assisting Mozart. He sent him larger or
smaller sums, which Mozart was never in a position to repay, so that
after his death his liabilities amounted to one thousand florins.
Puchberg, who was of great service to Mozart's widow in the ordering of
her affairs, postponed his claims for several years, so as to give
her the opportunity of paying him by degrees, as her circumstances
improved.[87] Mozart had recourse to other friends besides Puchberg;
in April, 1789, he borrowed one hundred florins from an aspirant to
Freemasonry, named Hofdemel, as is testified by the existing letter and
note of hand.[88] It was not likely that assistance of this kind would
materially improve Mozart's position. In 1790, when he undertook the
journey to Frankfort, in the result of which he had placed great hopes,
he was obliged to raise his travelling expenses by pawning plate and
ornaments;[89] and the financial transaction of which he speaks in his
letters to his wife, whereby somebody was to hand him over one thousand
florins on Hoffmeister's endorsement, shows clearly enough that he had
fallen into the hands of usurers, from whom he had striven in vain to
free himself by Puchberg's intervention. These facts prove only too
clearly that from the time of his marriage Mozart became gradually
entangled in a net of embarrassments, without any hope of permanent
extrication. His letters show how deeply he felt the cares and
humiliations of his position. The circumstances of so public a character
could not remain long concealed in Vienna, even had he been less
injudiciously open than he was; after his death ill-natured gossip
exaggerated his debts to a sum of thirty thousand florins, and the
rumour reached the ear of the Emperor Leopold. The widow, informed of
this by a



friend of high rank, explained the calumny to the Emperor, and assured
him that three thousand florins would cover all Mozart's debts.
The Emperor gave her generous assistance as soon as the facts and
extenuating circumstances had been made known to him,[90] but he refused
a pension.

The same charitable dispositions which settled the amount of Mozart's
debts were also busy in accounting for the fact of their existence. How
could they have been contracted but by dissipation, irregular living,
and extravagance?[91] Against such accusations we must listen to Mozart
himself, who would hardly have had the face to appeal to his manner of
life and well-known habits in applying for help to his intimate friend
Puchberg, if he had been conscious of such improprieties as those with
which he was charged. Leopold Mozart's testimony is unimpeachable as to
the economy of the housekeeping in the matter of eating and drinking,
and it was confirmed by Sophie Haibl. It may be thought that the father
purposely limits his praise of Wolfgang's economy to matters of eating
and drinking, and this is no doubt quite possible. Mozart was very neat
and particular in his dress, and fond of lace and watch-chains.[92]



took him for a valet-de-chambre on account of his elegant appearance,
and his handsome attire is referred to on various occasions. His father
writes mockingly to his daughter from Vienna (April 16, 1785) that
Wolfgang and Madame Lange had intended going with him to Munich, but
nothing was likely to come of it, "although each of them have had six
pairs of shoes made, which are all standing there now." It may well be
then that Mozart was not over-economical in his dress; at the same time
there is no reason to accuse him of extravagant foppery.

The excess of which Mozart was mainly accused, however, was not of this
kind at all, but lay more in the direction of sensual indulgence. He
had always been extremely fond of cheerful society and the manifold
distractions it brought with it; nay, it was quite a necessity to him,
as a refreshment after long-sustained mental efforts. Mozart gave
no parties at home, but his wife used to organise little musical
performances on family festivals or to amuse her husband; few friends
were present on such occasions, and Haydn's music was generally
preferred by Mozart himself.[93]

There can have been no lack of opportunities for intercourse with his
fellow-artists and with the numerous accomplished and wealthy amateurs
then in Vienna, and we can well imagine that Mozart's social impulses
found constant and lively exercise. Music was the principal object of
meeting, and Mozart brought his tribute to the entertainment in the
form of improvisation, both grave and gay; he was a lively and cheerful
companion, too, in other respects, always ready for a joke, and fond of
exercising his gift for improvising comic doggerel verses.[94]

Of all amusements, Mozart was fondest of dancing, and



found ample opportunity for indulging his passion in Vienna, where
dancing was at that time an absolute rage.[95] His wife confided to
Kelly, who saw Mozart dance on the occasion of their first meeting,
that her husband was an enthusiastic dancer, and thought more of his
performances in that line than in music; he was said to dance the
minuet very beautifully.[96] His letters have many indications of this
partiality, and he gives his father a merry and complacent account of a
ball at his own house (January 22, 1783):--

Last week I gave a ball in my own house; but of course the gentlemen
paid two florins each. We began at six o'clock in the evening and left
off at seven. What! only one hour? No, no; seven o'clock in the morning!
You will scarcely believe that I could find room for it.

He had lately moved, and had taken apartments with Herr von Wezlar, a
rich Jew:--

There I have a room a thousand paces long, and a bedroom, then an
anteroom, and then a fine large kitchen; there are two fine large rooms
next to ours, which stand empty at present, and these I made use of for
the ball. Baron Wezlar and his wife were there, so were the Baroness
Waldstädten, Herr von Edelbach, Gilowsky the boaster, young Stephanie,
Adamberger and his wife, the Langes, &c.

Still more exciting entertainments were the masked balls; and we have
already seen (Vol. I.,p. 337) that Mozart possessed both inclination
and talent for disporting himself in assumed characters. He writes
from Vienna (January 22, 1788), begging his father to send him his
harlequin's dress, because he would like to go on the Redoute as
harlequin: "but so that nobody should know it; there are so many here
(chiefly great asses) who go on the Redoute." Several good friends
associated themselves into a "compagnie-masque," and performed a
pantomime on Whit Monday, which filled up the half-hour before dancing
began. Mozart was Harlequin, Madame Lange Columbine, Lange played
Pierrot, an old dancing-master named Merk, who "drilled" the company,
took Pantaloon, and the painter Grassi the Doctor.

The plot and music were by Mozart, the doggerel verses



with which the pantomime was introduced by the actor Müller; it might
have been better, Mozart thought, but he was satisfied with the acting:
"I assure you we played very well," he informs his father (March
12,1783). Of the music for this pantomime thirteen numbers for stringed
instruments in parts are preserved, the first violin written by Mozart
(446 K.) It is, as may be imagined, very unpretending, as are also the
briefly indicated situations; for instance: "Columbine is sad--Pantaloon
makes love to her--she is angry--he is gay--she angry--he angry too."

Another passion of Mozart's was billiard-playing; Kelly relates that
he often played with Mozart, but never won a game.[97] He had a
billiard-table in his own house, and played with his wife in case of
need,[98] or even quite alone. This was certainly a luxury, though far
from an unusual one in Vienna at that time, and it was occasioned not
solely from love of the game,[99] but, as Holmes rightly remarks, from
the care of the physicians for Mozart's health.

In the spring of 1783 he was seized with cholera, which was raging as an
epidemic,[100] and in the following summer he was again seriously ill,
as Leopold Mozart informs his daughter (September 14, 1784):--

My son has been very ill in Vienna. He was very much overheated at
Paesiello's new opera, "Il Reteodoro," and was obliged to go into the
open air to look for the servant who had charge of his overcoat, because
orders had been given that no servants should be admitted to the theatre
by the ordinary entrance. This brought on rheumatic fever, which without
careful attention might have turned to typhus. Wolfgang writes: "I have
had raging colic every day for a fortnight at the same hour, accompanied
by violent vomiting. My doctor, Herr Sigmund Barisani, was in the habit
of visiting me almost daily even before this illness; he is very clever,
and you will see that he will soon make himself a name."

Barisani was the son of the Archbishop's physician at Salzburg, an
intimate friend of the Mozart family. He was of it!"



distinguished in his profession, becoming later chief physician at the
general hospital, and a warm friend and admirer of Mozart. A charming
memorial of their friendship is preserved at the Mozarteum in Salzburg,
in the form of some affectionate verses addressed to Mozart by Barisani,
bearing date April 14, 1787. Underneath Mozart has written the following

To-day, September 3 of this same year, I was so unfortunate as to
lose by death this noble-natured man, my dearest, best friend, and the
saviour of my life. It is well with him! but with me--us--and all who
knew him--it can never be well again, until we are so happy as to meet
him in another world _never to part again._

Barisani, seeing the impossibility of altogether weaning Mozart from the
habit of writing far into the night, and very often as he lay in bed in
the morning, endeavoured to avert the hurtful consequences in another
way. He recommended him not to sit so long at the clavier, but at all
events to compose standing, and to take as much bodily exercise as
he could.[101] His love of billiard-playing gave the doctor a welcome
pretext for turning this motive into a regular one; Mozart was equally
fond of bowls, and he was the more ready to follow the doctor's
directions with regard to both games since they did not interfere with
his intellectual activity. It happened one day in Prague that Mozart,
while he was playing billiards, hummed an air, and looked from time to
time into a book which he had with him; it appeared afterwards that he
had been occupied with the first quintet of the "Zauberflote."[102] When
he was writing down the score of "Don Giovanni" in Duschek's garden,
he took part at the same time in a game of quoits; he stood up when
his turn came round, and sat down again to his writing after he had

But what of Mozart's inclination for strong drink, so often talked of?
There can be no doubt that he was very fond of punch; Kelly speaks of
it,[104] and Sophie Haibl does not



disguise that her brother-in-law loved a "punscherl," but she also
asserts that he had never taken it immoderately, and that she had
never seen him intoxicated.[105] That he was capable of wild excess is
contradicted by his whole nature and by his conduct through life; but
these make it probable that he did not disdain the _poculum hilaritatis_
in cheerful society, and that he gave vent to his spirits in a manner
more unrestrained than it should have been.[106]

But Mozart also fortified himself with a glass of wine or punch when he
was in the throes of composition. In one of his apartments his immediate
neighbour was Joh. Mart. Loibl, who was musical and a Freemason,
consequently intimate with Mozart; he had a well-filled wine-cellar, of
the contents of which he was never sparing in entertaining his friends.
The partition wall between the houses was so thin, that Mozart had only
to knock when he wished to attract Loibl's attention; whenever Loibl
heard the clavier going and taps at his wall between the pauses, he used
to send his servant into the cellar, and say to his family, "Mozart
is composing again; I must send him some wine."[107] His wife made him
punch, too, when he was writing the overture to "Don Giovanni" the night
before its performance. Whoever casts a glance over Mozart's scores will
see that they could not have been written in the excitement caused by
wine, so neat and orderly are they even to the smallest details, and in
spite of the most rapid execution; and those who are in a position to
examine any one of his compositions will not need to be told that no
intellect overstrained and excited by artificial means could possibly
have produced such perfect clearness and beauty. Whether Mozart was
right in providing a bodily stimulus in the form of strong drink during
a continuous intellectual strain may well be doubted; experience and
opinions differ widely on this point. Goethe advised that there should
be no forcing an



unproductive mood into activity by external means of any kind; but he
answered Eckermann's remark that a couple of glasses of wine were often
of great service in clearing the mental vision, and bringing difficult
subjects to a solution, as follows: "You know my Divan so well that you
will remember that I said myself--

     Wenn man getrunken hat,
     Weiss man das Rechte,

and that I entirely agree with you. There exist in wine inspiring forces
of a very important kind; but all depends upon circumstances and times
and places, and what is useful to one does harm to another."[108]

Let us now gather into one the separate traits which we have been
constrained to discuss, owing to the wide dissemination of those
injurious reports against which Niemetschek has already rightly

We have before us the picture of a cheerful, pleasure-loving man,
capable of such exertions of productive power and such intellectual
industry as have seldom been surpassed in the history of art, and
seeking his necessary recreation in social intercourse and the pleasures
of the senses to a degree which was equalled by the majority of his
contemporaries in Vienna without exciting any attention at all. He
was not by any means a thoughtless, dissipated spendthrift. But a
spendthrift he was, if the word be taken to signify one who fails to
control his wants and luxuries, so that they may be in proportion to
the actual state of his finances. His most dangerous qualities were a
good-natured soft-heartedness, and a spontaneous generosity. He gave, as
it were, involuntarily, from inner necessity. Rochlitz relates that he
not only gave free admissions to the chorus-singers at Leipzig, to which
they had no claim, but that he privately pressed a considerable present
into the hands of one of the bass singers who had specially pleased him.
When a poor old piano-tuner, stammering with embarrassment, begged for a
thaler, Mozart pressed a couple of ducats into his hand and



hurried from the room.[109] When he was in a position to give help, he
could not see any one in want without offering relief, even though
it entailed future difficulties on himself and his family; repeated
experiences made him no more prudent in this respect. That he was often
imposed upon there can be no doubt. Whoever came to him at meal-time was
his guest, all the more welcome if he could make or understand a joke,
and Mozart was happy if only his guests enjoyed their fare. Among
them were doubtless, as Sophie Haibl relates, "false friends, secret
blood-suckers, and worthless people, who served only to amuse him at
table, and intercourse with whom injured his reputation."[110] One of
the worst of this set was Albert Stadler, who may serve as an example
of the way in which Mozart was sometimes treated. He was an excellent
clarinet-player, and a Freemason; he was full of jokes and nonsense,
and contrived so to ingratiate himself with Mozart that the latter
constantly invited him to his house and composed many things for him.
Once, having learnt that Mozart had just received fifty ducats, he
represented himself as undone if he could not succeed in borrowing that
very sum. Mozart, who wanted the money himself, gave him two valuable
repeater watches to put in pawn upon condition that he should bring him
the tickets and redeem them in due time; as he did not do this, Mozart
gave him fifty ducats, besides the interest, in order not to lose his
watches. Stadler kept the money, and allowed the watches to remain at
the pawnbroker's. Nowise profiting by this experience, Mozart, on his
return from Frankfort, in

1790, commissioned Stadler to redeem from pawn a portion of the silver
plate which had been pledged for the expenses of the journey and
to renew the agreement for the remainder. In spite of a very strong
suspicion that Stadler had purloined this pawn-ticket from Mozart's open
cashbox, the latter was not deterred from assisting him in the following
year towards a professional tour, both with money and recommendations,
in Prague, and from presenting him with



a concerto (622 K.), composed only a few months before Mozart's

No doubt all this shows culpable weakness on Mozart's part--weakness
incompatible with his duty to himself and his family. His household
burdens were increased by many misfortunes, especially by the repeated
and long-continued illnesses of his wife, necessitating an expensive
sojourn in Baden for many successive summers. Her delicacy doubtless
prevented such personal supervision of the household as was essential
to its economical management. She failed also to acquire such an
intellectual influence over her husband as to strengthen his capacity
for the proper conduct of his affairs, and she had not strength of mind
or energy to take the management of the household entirely into her own
hands. She felt the discomfort keenly, saw the causes of it, but could
not strive against them for any length of time. Without wishing to
reproach her, we may say at least that had Constanze been as good a
housekeeper as Mozart was a composer, things would have gone well with

It must not be supposed that Mozart was blind to the advantages of good
household management or wanting in the will to effect it; from time
to time he made earnest endeavours after economic reform. In February,
1784, he began an exact catalogue of his compositions, in which he
carefully entered every one of his works, until a short time before his
death, with suggestions of the theme;[112] at the same time he began to
keep an account book of his income and expenditure. André observes as to
this account, which unhappily I have not been able to see, that Mozart
entered his receipts--which included the profits on some concerts,
on lessons to different persons of rank, and on a few of his
compositions--on a long piece of paper. His expenditure he noted in a
little quarto book, which he afterwards used



for writing English exercises and translations. His entries, while they
lasted, were exact and minute. For instance, on one page we find:--

May 1, 1784. Two lilies of the valley... 1 kreutzer.

May 27, 1784. A starling.........34 kreutzers.

Then comes the following melody--[See Page Image]

with the remark, "Das war schön!" It is easy to discover what so
delighted him. On April 12 he had composed his pianoforte concerto in G
major (453 K.), and soon after played it in public. The subject of the
rondo is:--[See Page Image]

The pleasure he felt at hearing it piped so comically altered induced
him to buy the bird. He grew very much attached to his "Vogel Stahrl,"
as indeed he was to all animals, especially birds, and when it died he
erected a gravestone to its memory in his garden, with an epitaph in

The excessive neatness of the account-books leads us to fear that they
were not persevered with for any very long time, and indeed it is almost
surprising that Mozart should have kept them for a whole year, from
March, 1784, to February, 1785. After that he handed them over to his
wife, and the entries soon cease.

Certainly Niemetschek is right in saying that "even if the same
indulgence be granted to Mozart that we must all wish to see extended
to ourselves, he cannot be put forward as an example of carefulness and
economy." Whoever, like Mozart, begins his housekeeping with nothing
at all, or even with debts, and is dependent upon an uncertain and
fluctuating income, has need of the strictest economy and regularity,
amounting even to parsimony, if he is to extricate himself from his
difficulties or attain to competence; otherwise occasional strokes of
good fortune are seldom of use--indeed are sometimes positive
hindrances." Regularity and economy were, as we have seen, qualities not
in Mozart's nature, and he never acquired them. Their absence
sufficiently accounts for his constant financial embarrassments. He
atoned for his errors and weakness by poverty and want, by sorrow and
care, by shame and humiliation; he was spared none of the punishment
which life ruthlessly inflicts on those who do not conform to the laws
of her iron necessity. But death has wiped out the stain, and the
misrepresentations of envious detractors and petty fault-finders have no
power to touch that which is immortal.


[Footnote 1: Cf. Friedel, Briefe aus Wien (1784), p. 409.]

[Footnote 2: Mozart himself wrote this to his father, who communicates it to
Marianne (September 17, 1785).]

[Footnote 3: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 225.]

[Footnote 4: A. M. z., I., p. 855.]

[Footnote 5: I cannot undertake to give anything like a comprehensive description
of Mozart's wife, although I have received many communications from
trustworthy persons who have known her personally. Their knowledge is
of her later years only, and their accounts are often inconsistent. This
inconsistency arises from the conflict in the widow's mind between pride
in the fame of the husband, of whose greatness she was fully aware only
after his death, and a painful remembrance of the hardships of their
married life. These hardships she was inclined to ascribe solely to his
want of capacity for practical affairs, and an injured feeling was often
mingled with her unbounded pride in Mozart's artistic achievements and
her belief in his love for her. The peculiarities of her second husband,
Nissen, a business man, painfully accurate and precise, tended no
doubt to intensify the contrast. Nissen's was an honourable, although a
commonplace nature, and he had earned Constanze's gratitude by his care
for her in her widowed and destitute condition, and by placing her in
a good worldly position as his wife; so that it is not surprising
that Mozart's memory should have passed into the background, with the
exception of his musical fame, which Nissen could not rival. At any
rate, we find Constanze continually posing as the patient martyr,
suffering from the thoughtlessness of a man of genius, who remained a
child to the end of his days. This is unjust to Mozart, but it would
be equally unjust to Constanze to make her mainly responsible for the
family difficulties.]

[Footnote 6: Jahrb. d. Tonkunst. (1796), p. 43.]

[Footnote 7: Nissen, p. 689.]

[Footnote 8: Shlichtegrolls Nekrolog. Cf. Zelter, Briefw. mit Goethe, VI., p. 61.]

[Footnote 9: Niemetschek, p. 97. Nissen, p. 686.]

[Footnote 10: A. M. Z., I., p. 291. Nissen, p. 687.]

[Footnote 11: This letter was made use of by Nissen. I obtained it from Köchel.]

[Footnote 12: A. M. Z., I., p. 291. Nissen, p. 687.]

[Footnote 13: "On this point I have accepted the verbal testimony of trustworthy
Salzburg friends, confirmed by Niemetschek, p. 98 (Nissen, p. 690).]

[Footnote 14: Forster, Sämmtl. Schr., VII., p. 268. The French traveller [K.
Risbeck] says a great deal about the dissoluteness of the Viennese. "All
the great towns are alike in this respect. The courts are more or less
corrupt, and the nobility universally so; those who can do as they like
abuse their privileges, and act unworthily. But it is not always fair
to consider freedom of manner as a sign of licentiousness, as those who
live in small towns are apt to do. If a pretty girl permits a kiss on
her hand, or even her lips--if, when she loves a man, she is not ashamed
to say so--these are not deadly sins, and the shame rests with those who
take advantage of her openness."]

[Footnote 15: From a MS. biographical notice of Hummel, by M. J. Seidel,
communicated by Preller.]

[Footnote 16: The length to which the calumny went is shown by Suard (Mél. de
Litt., II., p. 339): "J'ai entendu dire qu'il n'avait fait Ja 'Flute
Enchantée' que pour plaire ä une femme de théätre dont il était devenu
amoureux, et qui avait mis ses faveurs ä ce prix. On ajoute que son
triomphe eut des suites bien cruelles, et qu'il en contracta une maladie
incurable dont il mourut peu de temps après. Ce fait me parait peu
vraisemblable: la 'Flûte Enchantée' n'est pas le dernier de ses opéras,
et lorsqu'il l'a composée sa santé était déjä fort altérée."]

[Footnote 17: Salieri was recommended by Gluck as a composer for the Grand-Opéra
in Paris, in 1784, when he had himself refused to undertake the
composition of "Les Danaides" (Mosel, Salieri, p. 77).]

[Footnote 18: A book of exercises and letters in English was used by Mozart as an
account book in 1784 (André, Vorr. zu Mozart's Themat.-Catalog., p. 3).]

[Footnote 19: Hamburg. Litt. u. Krit. Blätt, 1856, No. 72, p. 563.]

[Footnote 20: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 277. L. Mozart gives his daughter a long
account of the English visitors who were invited to a State concert by
the Archbishop, and very well received.]

[Footnote 21: A Viennese correspondent of January 25, 1787, says (Cramer's
Musik. Magaz., II., p. 1273): "Mozart left Vienna some weeks ago on a
professional tour to Prague, Berlin, and, it is even said, to London. I
hope that it will be productive both of pleasure and profit to him."
And Leopold Mozart wrote to his daughter (January 12, 1787): "The report
that your brother intends going to England is confirmed from Vienna,
Prague, and Munich."]

[Footnote 22: Niemetschek, p. 44. Rochlitz's account, founded on information from
Mozart's widow (A. M. Z., I., p. 22), is confirmed by Nissen (p. 535).]

[Footnote 23: A. M. Z., I., p. 291.]

[Footnote 24: Rochlitz expressly states that the King repeated this conversation
to various persons, among others to Mozart's widow, during her stay in
Berlin, in February, 1796.]

[Footnote 25: Mosel, Salieri, p. 132.]

[Footnote 26: The story that after his return from Prague (September, 1791),
as Nie-metschek has it (p. 36), or on his death-bed,as it is usually
embellished, Mozart received his appointment as actual kapellmeister,
with all its emoluments, is evidently unfounded. In the widow's
petition for a pension (in the Mozarteum at Salzburg) only "the expected
appointment to the post of cathedral kapellmeister" is mentioned, and
in a magistrate's order of December 12,1791 (in the collection of Al.
Fuchs), "Joh. Georg. Albrechtsberger, imperial court organist, appointed
to the post of assistant kapellmeister at the metropolitan church of St.
Stephan, as successor to the late Herr Mozart." Hoffman died in 1792,
and then Albrechtsberger succeeded him.]

[Footnote 27: Caroline Pichler, Denkwürd, I., p. 180.]

[Footnote 28: K. R[isbeck], Briefe, I., p. 292. G. Forster, Sämmtl. Schr., VII.,
p. 268. Meyer, L. Schroder, I., p. 360, Schink, Dramaturg. Monate, II.,
p. 542.]

[Footnote 29: Niemetschek, p. 92. According to a letter of Nissen's to Härtel
(November 27, 1799), they were in the possession of Gelinek, and are
apparently lost. Journ. d. Lux. u. d. Mod., 1808, II., p. 802.]

[Footnote 30: Prutz, Deutsch. Museum, II., p. 27. Frank was well known as a
"great musician." Briefw. Carl Augusts mit Goethe, I., p. 302.]

[Footnote 31: L. Mozart wrote to his daughter from Vienna (March 12, 1785):
"He has had a great _fortepiano pedal_ made, which stands under the
harpsichord, three spans long, and fearfully heavy."]

[Footnote 32: Allgem. Wiener Mus. Ztg., 1842, p. 489. Seidel, Handschr. Notiz.]

[Footnote 33: Holmes tells the story on trustworthy family authority (p. 258).]

[Footnote 34: Allgem. Wien. Mus. Ztg., 1842, p. 489.]

[Footnote 35: Holmes, p. 259. Cf. Fétis, Curios. Hist, de la Mus., p. 212.]

[Footnote 36: Stadler (Vertheidig. der Echtheit des Req., p. 13) says: "When I
turn over these leaves, I never fail to remember the great master, and
rejoice in observing his manner of working."]

[Footnote 37: Zelter, Briefw. mit Goethe, V., p. 85. In the Wiener Zeitung, 1796,
p. 1038, Jos. Haydenreich advertises for sale at a price of 4 fl. 30
kr., "Ein noch unbekanntes geschriebenes Fundament zur erlernung des
Generalbasses von Mozart."]

[Footnote 38: It has been published several times in Vienna by Steiner & Co. with
the title of "Kurzgefasste Generalbass-schule von W. A. Mozart,'' and
as "Fundament des Generalbasses von W. A. Mozart," by J. G. Siegmeyer
(Berlin, 1822).]

[Footnote 39: Holmes, p. 316.]

[Footnote 40: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 228.]

[Footnote 41: Nicolai, Reise, IV., p. 552. C. Pichler, Denkw., I., p. 127.]

[Footnote 42: Nicolai (Reise, IV., p. 552) dilates upon the announcement of these
great amateur concerts, and especially upon paragraph 6, which runs:
"Card-tables will be placed in the ante-rooms, and money for play
provided at discretion; the company will also be provided with every
kind of refreshment." He asserts that this was not so at the private
concerts of true connoisseurs, at which he had been present.]

[Footnote 43: Wien. Ztg., 1782, No. 44. K. R[isbeck], Briefe, I., p. 276. "The
entertainments I most enjoyed during the nights of last summer, were
the so-called 'lemonade-tents.' Great tents were erected on one of the
largest open spaces in the city, and there lemonade was dispensed at
night; several hundred seats were occupied by ladies and gentlemen. A
band of music was placed at a little distance, and the perfect silence
which was maintained by the numerous assembly had an indescribable
effect. The charming music, the solemn silence, the confidential mood
engendered by the night, all combined to give the scene a peculiar
charm" (Jahrb. d. Tenk., 1796, p. 78).]

[Footnote 44: Hormayr, Wien., V., I., pp. 41, 50.]

[Footnote 45: Nicolai, Reise., III., p. 12.]

[Footnote 46: Franz Türke is mentioned later as a distinguished amateur (Jahrb.
d. Tonk., 1796, p. 63).]

[Footnote 47: In 1791, Martin, "directeur des concerts d'amateurs," announced his
great concerts in the Imperial Augarten in the Prater, and at court,
in a somewhat doleful manner (Wien. Ztg., 1791, No. 45 Anh.). They were
afterwards continued under the conductorship of the vice-president, Von
Keess (Jahr. d. Tonk., 1796, p. 74. A. M. Z., III., p. 46).]

[Footnote 48: Cramer, Magazin d. Musik, I., p. 578: "A concert was given this
after-noon in the National Theatre for the benefit of the celebrated
Herr Chevalier Mozart, the performance including several pieces of his
own composition. The concert was attended by a very numerous audience,
and the two new concertos and various fantasias, which Herr Mozart
performed on the pianoforte, were received with loud and general
applause. Our gracious Emperor, contrary to custom, remained through
the whole performance, and joined in the unprecedented applause of the
public. The receipts are said to amount to 1,600 florins."]

[Footnote 49: Wien. Ztg., 1784, No. 28, Anh.]

[Footnote 50: Nicolai, Reise, II., p. 636.]

[Footnote 51: This imposing list includes not only the names of Mozart's avowed
patrons, Countess Thun, Baroness Waldstädten, Count Zichy, Van Swieten,
but also of the Duke of Würtemburg, the Prince of Mecklenburg, the
Princes C. Liechtenstein, Augsperg, Kaunitz, Lichnowsky, Lobkowitz,
Paar, Palm, Schwarzenberg, and the famous names of Bathiany,
Dietrichstein, Erdödy, Esterhazy, Harrach, Herberstein, Keglewicz,
Nostiz, Palfy, Schaffgotsch, Stahremberg, Waldstein; besides the
Ambassadors of Russia, Spain, Sardinia, Holland, Denmark, the great
bankers, Fries, Henikstein, Arenfeld, Bienenfeld, Ployer, Wetzlar, high
officers of state and scholars, such as Isdenczy, Bedekovich, Nevery,
Braun, Greiner, Keess, Puffendorf, Bom, Martini, Sonnenfels--in very
truth the most distinguished society of Vienna.]

[Footnote 52: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 231. Pohl, Mozart in London, p. 169.]

[Footnote 53: At the same time Mozart wrote the two concertos for Barb, von
Ployer (Vol.II., p. 279), a concerto in Bflat major (No. 4., 450 K.)on
March 15, aconcerto in D major (No. 13., 451 K.) on March 22, and the
quintet (452 K.) on March 30.]

[Footnote 54: Wien. Ztg., 1786, No. 28, Anh.]

[Footnote 55: Storace and Coltellini had a salary of 1,000 ducats, besides free
quarters and travelling expenses; and to this was added the profit
accruing from benefits, concerts, and other sources. Marchesi received
600 ducats and a valuable ring for six performances (Müller, Abschied,
p. 8).]

[Footnote 56: Theaterkal., 1787, p. 95. C. Pichler, Denkw., I., p. 124.]

[Footnote 57: Wien. Ztg., 1782, No. 82.]

[Footnote 58: Jahrb. Tonk., 1796, p. 25.]

[Footnote 59: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 201. A performance of "Axur" is mentioned
(Jahrb. f. Tonk., 1796, p. 38). According to the Thematic Catalogue,
Mozart wrote a concluding chorus "fur Dilettanti," to Sarti's opera, "Le
Gelosie Vil-lane," on April 20, 1791.]

[Footnote 60: Dittersdorf, Selbstbiogr., pp. 7, 49.]

[Footnote 61: Gyrowetz, Selbstbiogr., p. 8.]

[Footnote 62: Cf. pp. 307, 627.]

[Footnote 63: C. Pichler, Denkw., I., p. 45.]

[Footnote 64: Mozart's concert harpsichord is now in the Mozarteum at Salzburg,
a little instrument by Anton Welter, in a walnut-wood case with black
naturals and white flats and sharps. It has five octaves, is light in
touch, and tolerably powerful in tone.]

[Footnote 65: Cramer's Mag. d. Musik, II., p. 1380.]

[Footnote 66: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 226.]

[Footnote 67: Mozart's printed composition only extended during his lifetime to
Op. 18 (Klavierconcert, 451 K., No. 13), without counting variations and

[Footnote 68: Wien. Zeit., 1783, No. 5, Anh. These three concertos in A major
(414 K., No 10), F major (413 K., No. 12), and C major (414 K., No. 5),
were then printed in Vienna as Ouvre IV.]

[Footnote 69: A. M. Z., I., p. 113.]

[Footnote 70: Wien. Ztg., 1788, No. 27, Anh.]

[Footnote 71: N. Berl. Musikzeitg., 1856, p. 35.]

[Footnote 72: A. M. Z., I., p. 289.]

[Footnote 73: Rochlitz's account (A. M. Z., IM p. 83) does not tally.]

[Footnote 74: Cf. Nissen, p. 633.]

[Footnote 75: Rochlitz, A. M. Z., XV., p. 313. Für Freunde der Tonkunst, I., p.

[Footnote 76: Endorsed by Hoffmeister: "Den 20 Nov., 1785, mit 2 Duka ten."
N.Ztschr. Mus., IX., p. 164.]

[Footnote 77: A. M. Z., I., p. 547.]

[Footnote 78: A. M. Z., I., p. 83; cf. p. 147. Nissen, p. 548.]

[Footnote 79: Neue Zeitschr. Mus., XII., p. 180.]

[Footnote 80: Dittersdorf says that the profits from his benefit performance
of the "Doktor and Apotheker" amounted to 200 ducats (Selbstbiogr., p.

[Footnote 81: Rochlitz's account is confused and uncertain. (Für Freunde d.
Tonk., II., p. 258., II).]

[Footnote 82: He expected a gift from the Prussian Ambassador; whether he
received it, or what it was, is not known.]

[Footnote 83: Count Seeau must have sold for his own profit the pieces which were
only purchased for representation; Schroder and Beecké complain of this
in unpublished letters to Dalberg.]

[Footnote 84: Nissen, p. 475.]

[Footnote 85: He was called a "Niederlagsverwandter," that is, he belonged to the
privileged society of merchants, for the most part Protestants, who had
the right, subject to certain restrictions, of keeping warehouses and
trading wholesale (Nicolai, Reise, IV., p. 447).]

[Footnote 86: Wiener Morgenpost, 1856, No. 28.]

[Footnote 87: Nissen, p. 686.]

[Footnote 88: O. Jahn, Aufs. üb. Musik., p. 234.]

[Footnote 89: Nissen, p. 683.]

[Footnote 90: Niemetschek, p. 57. Nissen, p. 580.]

[Footnote 91: How far Mozart was misjudged in this respect is shown by such
expressions as those in Schlichtegroirs Nekrolog: "In Vienna he married
Constanze Weber, who made a good mother to his two children and a
careful wife, striving to restrain his folly and extravagance. His
income was considerable, but his excesses and want of economy in
household affairs caused him to leave nothing to his family but the fame
of his genius and the observation of the world." It is not surprising
that Mozart's widow should have bought up a whole impression of this
notice in 1794. Rochlitz warmly condemns such shameless calumny. Arnold
is much coarser (Mozart's Geist, p. 65), accounting for his premature
death by saying: "Besides this [excessive work] he was a husband,
brought up two children, and had many intrigues with lively actresses
and other women, which his wife good-naturedly overlooked. He must often
have starved with his wife and children, if the threats of impatient
creditors had been carried into effect. But when a few louis-d'or made
their appearance the scene changed at once. All went merrily, Mozart
got tipsy on champagne and tokay, spent freely, and in a few days was as
badly off as ever. The liberties he took with his health are well known;
how he used to drink champagne with Schikaneder all morning, and punch
all night, and go to work again after midnight, without any thought of
his bodily health."]

[Footnote 92: Nissen, p. 692.]

[Footnote 93: Niemetschek, p. 99.]

[Footnote 94: Niemetschek, p. 93. Mozart was very accessible to the pleasures of
society and friendship. "Among his friends he was as open as a child,
and full of merriment, which found vent in the drollest tricks. His
friends in Prague have a pleasant remembrance of the hours passed in his
company, and are never weary of praising his good, innocent heart; when
he was present, one forgot the artist in the man" (Cf. Rochlitz, A. M.
Z., III., p. 494). His brother-in-law, Jos. Lange, remarked that Mozart
was generally in most jesting mood when he was busy with some great work
(Selbstbiogr., p. 171).]

[Footnote 95: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 204.]

[Footnote 96: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 226. Nissen, p. 692.]

[Footnote 97: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 226.]

[Footnote 98: Niemetschek, p. 100.]

[Footnote 99: Nicolai, Reise, V., p. 219.]

[Footnote 100: He wrote to his father (June 7, 1783): "God be praised, I am quite
well again, only my illness has left a cold in the head behind as a
remembrance--very good. ]

[Footnote 101: Giesinger, Biogr. Not. üb. J. Haydn, p. 30.]

[Footnote 102: Nissen, p. 559.]

[Footnote 103: Bohemia, 1856, pp. 118, 122.]

[Footnote 104: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 226.]

[Footnote 105: Nissen, p. 672.]

[Footnote 106: Rochlitz suggests that Mozart sought forgetfulness of anxious
thoughts in wine (A. M. Z., III., p. 495).]

[Footnote 107: Frau Klein, of Vienna, Loibl's daughter, related this and many
other characteristic traits from her childish remembrances to my friend

[Footnote 108: Eckermann, Gespräche mit Goethe, III., p. 234, &c., especially p.

[Footnote 109: a. M. z., I., p. 81.]

[Footnote 110: Nissen, p. 673.]

[Footnote 111: Nissen, p. 683.]

[Footnote 112: This document, invaluable for the history of Mozart's
compositions, leaving no doubt as to important points from the year 1784
onwards, has been published by André under the title, "W. A. Mozart's
thematischer Catalog" (Offenbach, 1805, 1828). It is my authority for
all assertions as to the date of his works, except where otherwise

[Footnote 113: Niemetschek, p. 91.


MOZART'S relations to his father, which had hitherto, one may say,
filled his whole mental life to a most uncommon degree,



had been seriously affected by his marriage. It was not till after long
opposition that Leopold Mozart voluntarily, although most unwillingly,
gave his consent, and how deeply he was wounded will appear from the
answer he made to a conciliatory letter addressed to him by the Baroness
Waldstädten (August 23, 1783):--

I thank your ladyship most heartily for the interest you are pleased
to take in my affairs, and more especially for your ladyship's
extraordinary kindness in celebrating so handsomely my son's
wedding-day.[1] When I was a young fellow I imagined that those were
philosophers who spoke little, laughed seldom, and maintained a surly
demeanour towards all the rest of mankind. But my own experience has now
fully convinced me that I am myself a philosopher without knowing it;
I have done my duty as a father--have made the clearest and most
comprehensible statements in many letters--and I am convinced that he
knows my painful circumstances, made doubly so by my advanced age and
unworthy position in Salzburg--he knows that I am sacrificed



morally and physically by his behaviour--and there now remains no
resource to me but to leave him (as he has so willed it) to himself, and
to pray the Almighty to bestow my paternal blessing on him, and not to
withdraw His Divine mercy. As to myself, I will endeavour to preserve
what remains of my native cheerfulness, and still to hope for the

Putting ourselves in the place of Leopold Mozart, we must acknowledge
that his reproaches and misgivings were in some respects well founded;
but, nevertheless, he went too far in that he could not make up his mind
to recognise his son's independence, and gave way to a bitterness of
feeling which made him hard and unjust, and which, unhappily, was never
altogether effaced from his heart. Wolfgang, on the contrary, betrayed
no shadow of resentment--his love and reverence for his father
remained the same to the end, unabated by unsparing and often unjust
fault-finding. If his letters were less frequent or shorter than
formerly he had ample excuses to offer, either of illness or the
numerous occupations and distractions which were unavoidable in his
position.[3] When, for any of these reasons, customary congratulations
were neglected, an apology was sure to follow--for instance (January
4, 1783): "We both thank you heartily for your New Year's wishes, and
willingly acknowledge ourselves stupid blockheads for having forgotten
our duty in this respect; being so far behindhand, we will dispense
altogether with a New Year's wish, only offering you our general
every-day wish, and so let it pass." Being quite convinced that his
Constanze could not fail to impress his father and sister favourably,
and that personal acquaintance would efface all unpleasant feeling, he
was very anxious to



take her to Salzburg as soon as possible. But many difficulties came in
the way, for which his father did not always make due allowance. Mozart
was particularly desirous of passing his father's fête-day in Salzburg
(November 15,1782), but the time was too short for him. He had promised
to play at a concert for Fraulein Aurnhammer on November 3, and he must
be in Vienna again at the beginning of December, that being the best
season for lessons and concerts; to these objections might be added
the impassable state of the roads, and such severe cold as rendered
it undesirable to travel with his wife. In short, the journey must
be postponed until the spring; in spring, however, the approaching
confinement of his wife again put it out of the question. At the last
moment Mozart invited his father to stand godfather (June 7, 1783):--

I had no idea that the joke would so soon turn into earnest, and
therefore postponed falling on my knees, clasping my hands and humbly
begging you, my dearest father, to stand godfather to my child. But as
there may still be time for it, I do so now. Nevertheless, in sure hope
that you will not refuse my request, I have taken care that in case of
need somebody shall stand at the font in your name. Whether the child
shall be _generis masculini or feminini!_ it is to be called Leopold or

Soon after the birth of the child,[4] however, at the end of July, 1783,
they actually set out. Mozart and some of his friends had misgivings
lest the Archbishop should seek to detain him in Salzburg, because he
had never received any formal dismissal from service--"for a priest is
capable of anything." With this idea, he proposed a meeting in Munich,
but his father appears to have reassured him.[5]

Before Mozart was married, he had "made a vow in his heart" that, if he
succeeded in bringing Constanze to Salzburg, he would compose a mass to
be performed there. "A proof of the sincerity of this vow," he wrote to
his father (January 4, 1783), "is afforded by the score of the half of



my mass, which is laying before me in full hope of completion." He took
with him to Salzburg only the Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, and Benedictus,
composed on a scale of great splendour (427 K.). The missing movements
were probably supplied from an older mass, and the whole was rehearsed
at the Kapellhaus on August 23, and performed at St. Peter's church
(the Archbishop having apparently refused the cathedral) on August 25,
Mozart's wife taking the soprano part.[6]

Mozart was not by any means idle during this visit to Salzburg. The
revival of Italian opera had suggested to him to look about for a
libretto for an opera buffa, and even before he came to Salzburg he
had entered into negotiations with Varesco through his father. Varesco
declaring himself quite ready, it only needed the visit to Salzburg to
concert the plan of the opera, "L'Oca del Cairo." Varesco prepared a
detailed account of the plot, and carried out the first act in full;
Mozart set himself with equal zeal to its composition, and took back to
Vienna a sketch of part of the act. We shall have to do later with the
fate of this opera.

At the same time he found leisure for a service of love to Michael
Haydn. Hadyn had been ordered by the Archbishop to compose some duets
for violin and tenor, perhaps for his special use, but owing to a
violent illness, which incapacitated him for work during a lengthened
period, he was unable to finish them at the time appointed; the
Archbishop thereupon threatened to deprive him of his salary. When
Mozart heard of the difficulty he at once undertook the work, and,
visiting Haydn daily, wrote by his bedside to such good purpose that the
duets were soon completed and handed over to the Archbishop in Hadyn's

These two duets (423, 424, K.) show no signs of hasty composition, but
are worked out with evident affection, partly no doubt from desire to
do credit to himself and his friend, but partly also from the interest
which the difficulties of the



task presented. There is no small amount of art required to give the
clear-cut outline and well-defined divisions which are essential in
works of this kind, and yet to bestow full attention on light and shade
and delicate touches of detail. The art consists chiefly in the free
disposition of parts, which is partly imitative (where independent
movement is necessary) and so managed as also to bestow an original and
striking character on the passages which form the accompaniment. This
is all the more striking because the limited number of parts only
occasionally gives scope for full harmonies, the effect of which must be
attained by means of skilful adjustment. It is a task requiring all
the resources of art and genius to employ the stiff monotony of broken
chords, and at the same time to gratify the sense of hearing by such a
sense of harmony as can only be given by the absolutely free play of the
different parts. This task is here accomplished with as much ease as
was compatible with the limited means at disposal. Variety in form
is carefully provided for. The first Duet in G major consists of a
broadly-designed allegro, a short, beautiful adagio, and an animated,
but more than usually serious rondo; in the second, in B flat major, a
light allegro is introduced by a short adagio; then follows an adagio
in the form of a Siciliana, and the conclusion is made by very graceful
variations. The melodies and harmonies are free and original, the
composition is broad, fresh and lively, and a multitude of delicate
touches betray the master's hand. Michael Haydn treasured the original
as a memorial both of artist and friend, and Mozart himself set
considerable store by the work.

Mozart found several new inmates in his father's house. "My son is in
Vienna, and intends to remain there," writes L. Mozart to Breitkopf
(April 29, 1782); "I have therefore arranged that two pupils shall
reside with me for their education, viz., the son, twelve years of age,
and the daughter, fourteen, of Herr Marchand, theatrical manager in
Munich. I hope to make a great violinist and pianist of the boy, and
a great singer and pianiste of the girl." These pupils were joined by
another of nine years old, Johanna Brochard, daughter of the celebrated
actress, who profited by L.



Mozart's instruction during 1783 and 1784.[8] Wolfgang took a lively
interest in all this youthful talent. He says of Margarethe Marchand,
whom he met afterwards in Munich as Frau Danzi (October 31, 1783): "Her
grimaces and affectations are not always pleasant. Only blockheads would
be taken in by them. I myself would rather have the most boorish manners
than such exaggeration of coquetry." According to what we hear of her
performances afterwards, she must have followed good advice and altered
her style.[9]

Wolfgang took great interest in her brother Heinrich, and sent him word
(December 6, 1783) that he had spoken in his favour both at Linz and
Vienna. "Tell him to rely chiefly on his staccato; for that is the only
way in which he can avoid comparison with La Motte at Vienna." There
was also in Salzburg at that time the blind pianiste, Marie Thérèse
Paradies, who was an acquaintance of L. Mozart, and now became known
also to Wolfgang,[10] who afterwards wrote a concerto for her (Vol. II.,
p. 288). But the object of Mozart's visit, which lay nearest his heart,
was the establishment of friendly relations between his wife and his
father and sister; and this unfortunately in great measure failed. A
superficial friendship seems to have resulted from the visit; but there
are many indications that neither the father nor sister felt attracted
by Constanze. Mozart appears to have been aggrieved that his wife was
not presented with any of the trinkets that had been given him in his
youth.[11] This trait is characteristic as a proof that Leopold Mozart
thought himself justified in showing in the plainest manner disapproval
of his son's marriage, and of the wife he had chosen; and it can
scarcely be wondered at that Constanze, conscious of the want of
anything like sympathy in her husband's family, should not have
encouraged his sense of dependence on their advice and opinions. But
this sense was too deeply implanted in his heart to be ever altogether
eradicated; and his letters, though not so



frequent as formerly, continued to the end to breathe the same spirit
of childlike love and reverence. After a stay of almost three months
the young couple returned home. Mozart sends his father the following
account of their journey from Linz:--

We arrived here safely yesterday, October 30, at nine o'clock in the
morning. We passed the first night at Böcklbruck. The following forenoon
we arrived at Lambach, and I was just in time to accompany the Agnus Dei
of the office on the organ. The "Herr Prälat" [who had received Mozart
kindly in 1767] was very delighted at seeing me again. We remained there
the whole day, and I played on the organ and a clavichord. I heard that
at Ebersperg, on the following day, Herr Steurer was to give an operatic
performance at which all Linz would be present, so I determined to
proceed there at once. Young Count Thun (brother to the Thun at Vienna)
called on me, and said that his father had been expecting me for the
last fortnight, and that I was to stay with him. The next day, when we
arrived at the gate of Linz, we were met by a servant to conduct us to
the residence of old Count Thun. I cannot say enough of the politeness
with which we are overwhelmed. On Tuesday, November 4, I shall give a
concert in the theatre here, and as I have not a single symphony with
me, I am writing one for dear life to be ready in time. My wife and I
kiss your hands, and beg your forgiveness for having troubled you during
so long a time; once more we thank you heartily for all the favours we
received from you.[12]

What symphony it was which Mozart composed at Linz cannot be exactly
ascertained. Holmes conjectures that it may be a Symphony in C major
(425 K., score 6), which, according to Niemetschek, was dedicated to
Count Thun; this fact would support the conjecture. André, however,
believes that the unprinted Symphony in G major (444 K.) may be the one
composed in Linz, the more so as the score is in Mozart's handwriting
only as far as the first half of the andante, and has then been
completed by a copyist; this is very probable because Mozart, in order
to gain time, only wrote out the parts of the last half, as was
his custom when in haste. The smaller orchestra also, the narrower
dimensions and the lighter character of this symphony, all point to it
as the one in question; that in C major is more



striking and important both in style and treatment. Nevertheless the
two symphonies both belong to the same time and style, and indicate in
a curious way a transition in Mozart's instrumental music; the positive
influence of Haydn's symphonies is nowhere so clearly apparent as
in these two works. The very fact that in both cases the allegro is
preceded by a pathetic, somewhat lengthy adagio is very significant;
this is a well-known arrangement of Haydn's, but was only exceptionally
made use of by Mozart. The same influence is visible everywhere; in the
lively, rapid, and brilliant character of the whole, in the effort to
please and amuse by humorous turns and unexpected contrasts of every
kind in the harmonies, in the alternations of _f_ and _p_, and in the
instrumental effects. A remarkable instance of this is the andante of
the Symphony in G major. The very theme, the simple bass, the triplet
passage for the second violin, then the minor with the figure in
the bass, and the sharp accentuation, are all completely Haydn-like
features. The counterpoint of the finale of both symphonies reminds us
of Haydn's manner.[13] It need scarcely be said, however, that there
is no trace of servile imitation in either work, and that Mozart's
originality asserts itself here as elsewhere. A comparison of the
Symphony in E flat major (543 K., composed June 26, 1788) shows also
many more points of resemblance to Haydn's style than other works of the
same date; but Mozart's individuality is here so overpowering as to have
given its distinguishing stamp to these very features.

The fact that Mozart wrote a symphony within the course of a few days
will excite no surprise; it is worthy of note that during his stay in
Linz he copied an "Ecce Homo" which made a great impression on him, for
his wife, with the inscription "Dessiné par W. A. Mozart, Linz, ce 13
Novembre, 1783; dédié ä Madame Mozart son épouse"; she



preserved it as a proof "that he had some talent for drawing," as she
wrote to Härtel (July 21, 1800).

In the year 1785 Leopold Mozart returned the visit of his son and
daughter-in-law, and remained their guest from February 10 to April 25.
He convinced himself that their income ought to be more than sufficient
for the support of the household, and took great delight in his second
grandchild Carl, now six months old, "a healthy, lively, merry child."

But on the whole he appears to have been dissatisfied with his visit,
and very little inclined to accede to Wolfgang's wish that he should
take up his residence with them in Vienna.[14] His pleasure in his son's
performance and admiration of his genius were as great as they had
ever been. During the whole of his visit, one concert followed close on
another, and Wolfgang was engaged almost as a matter of course for them
all; his father took equal pride in his playing and his compositions.
At one concert Wolfgang played the splendid concerto he had composed
for Paradies (456 K.). "I had a very good box," writes his father
to Marianne, "and could hear every gradation of the instruments so
perfectly, that the tears came to my eyes for very joy"--so thoroughly
did the old man appreciate and relish artistic beauty. The day after his
father's arrival, Mozart invited Haydn to a quartet party at his house.
On such occasions Mozart, who in later years discontinued his practice
of the violin, usually took the tenor part. Kelly tells of a quartet
party at Storace's, when Haydn took the first violin, Dittersdorf the
second, Mozart tenor, and Van-hall violoncello--a cast unique of its
kind.[15] L. Mozart writes to his daughter:--

They played three of the new quartets, those in B flat, A, and C major
(458, 464,465 K.). They are perhaps a little easier than the other



but admirable compositions. Herr Haydn said to me: "_I assure you
solemnly and as an honest man, that I consider your son to be the
greatest composer of whom I have ever heard; he has taste, and possesses
a thorough knowledge of composition._"

L. Mozart knew the value of such an opinion from such a man; it afforded
him a confirmation of his faith, and of the conviction to which he had
sacrificed the best powers of his life. Such a testimony to his son's
genius was the father's best reward, and one of the brightest spots of
his life. L. Mozart obtained much credit also through his pupil Heinrich
Marchand, who accompanied him, and played with great success at several

Nor were other entertainments and enjoyments altogether wanting. He
heard Aloysia Lange, whose beautiful voice had once been a source of
anxiety to him, in Gluck's "Pilgrims of Mecca" and in Grétry's "Zemire
and Azor" (her favourite part): "She sang and played admirably on both
occasions." He visited the Baroness Waldstädten, whose acquaintance had
gratified him so much, in the convent of Neuburg, where she was then
staying; but we do not hear anything of the future course of their

It is an important fact, and one of grave significance in the case of
a man of L. Mozart's tone of mind and thought, that he was led by his
son's influence to enter the order of Freemasonry. The strong national
feeling which existed in him, side by side with devotion to the
tenets of his church, regulating his conception of moral duties, and
influencing all his critical judgments, makes it conceivable that he
should seek for enlightenment through an association which numbered
among its members some of the most considerable and highly esteemed of
his friends. I am not aware how far he was satisfied by the disclosures
made to him, nor whether he remained an active member of the order after
his return to Salzburg; his daughter saw grounds for believing that
his subsequent correspondence with Wolfgang turned mainly on topics
connected with Freemasonry. From Vienna Leopold Mozart travelled by way
of Munich, where he had a pleasant visit, back to Salzburg. There he
found awaiting him an announcement from his gracious master



that, as he had already exceeded his six weeks' leave of absence, if he
did not report himself before the middle of May, "no salary should be
paid to him until further notice." We can enter into the complaints he
made to his daughter of the dulness of his life in Salzburg. He never
saw his son again. A faint hope, expressed to Marianne (September 16,
1785), that Wolfgang, not having written for a considerable time, meant
to surprise him with a visit, was not fulfilled; he himself, accompanied
by Heinrich Marchand, paid a flying visit to Munich in February, 1787,
but did not go on to Vienna. His paternal pride was gratified by the
intelligence of Wolfgang's brilliant success in Prague; and he did not
neglect to inform his daughter when Pater Edmund, who had been on a
visit to Vienna, declared on his return that Wolfgang had the reputation
of being the first of living musicians (February 3, 1786). He watched
with anxious sympathy over the course of his son's worldly affairs, but
refused with consistent severity any substantial support, the right
to which Wolfgang had clearly forfeited by his independent attitude;
paternal advice, in its most unsparing form, was always at his service.
Leopold Mozart transferred to his daughter the tenderness and active
participation which was now denied to him in his intercourse with his
distant son. Thus he remained to the end true to his principles, but not
untouched by the weakness and suffering of old age; he answers one of
Marianne's anxious inquiries after his health (February 24, 1787):--

An old man must not expect anything like perfect health; he is always
failing, and loses strength just as a young man gains it. One must
just patch oneself up as long as one can. We may hope for a little
improvement from the better weather now. You will, of course, find me
very much thinner, but, after all, that is of no consequence.

He had still a pleasure to come in the visit of the Storaces and Kelly;
Mdlle. Storace had packed up Wolfgang's letter intrusted to her so
carefully, that she could not get at it, but verbal intercourse with
such intimate friends of his son must have been ample compensation for
this. Soon afterwards he fell ill, on hearing which Wolfgang wrote as
follows (April 4, 1787):--



I have this moment heard what has quite overwhelmed me--all the more
since your last letter allowed me to imagine that you were quite
well--and now I hear that you are really ill! How earnestly I long for
reassuring news from your own hand, I do not need to tell you, and I
confidently hope for it, although I have learnt to make it my custom to
imagine the worst of everything. Since death (properly speaking) is the
true end of life, I have accustomed myself during the last two years to
so close a contemplation of this, our best and truest friend, that he
possesses no more terrors for me; nothing but peace and consolation! and
I thank God for enabling me to discern in death the _key_ to our true
blessedness. I never lie down in bed without remembering that perhaps,
young as I am, I may never see another day; and yet no one who knows me
can say that I am melancholy or fanciful. For this blessing I thank God
daily, and desire nothing more than to share it with my fellow men. I
wrote to you on this point in the letter which Mdlle. Storace failed to
deliver _ä propos_ of the death of my dearest friend Count von Hatzfeld;
he was thirty-one--just my own age; I do not mourn for him, but for
myself, and all those who knew him as I did. I hope and pray that even
as I write this you may be already better; but if, contrary to all
expectation, this should not be the case, I conjure you by all that we
hold most sacred, not to hide the truth from me, but to write at once,
in order that I may be in your arms with the least possible delay. But
I hope soon to receive a reassuring letter from yourself, and in this

I, with my wife and Carl, kiss your hands a thousand times, and am
ever,--Your most dutiful son.

This letter puts the seal on the beautiful, genuinely human relations
existing between the father and son; in the presence of death, they
stand face to face like men, calm in the assurance that true love and
earnest efforts after truth and goodness reach beyond the limits of our
earthly existence. Leopold Mozart apparently recovered from this attack,
and wrote to his daughter on May 26, that he should expect her and her
family to spend Whitsuntide with him; but this pleasure was denied to
him. On May 28, 1787, a sudden death[16] ended the career of a man
who had accomplished, by means of a singular union of shrewdness and
industry, of love and severity, the difficult task of educating a child
of genius into an artist.



The personal relationships which resulted from Mozart's marriage not
only affected his mental and social condition, but had also considerable
influence on him as a composer; it is indispensable therefore to take
them into account in any consideration of his artistic career.

His relations with his mother-in-law were, as might have been expected,
unfavourable enough at first. She did not indeed live in the same house
with them, as Mozart writes for his father's consolation (August 31,
1782);[17] but even at the second visit which he paid her with his wife,
she scolded and disputed until Constanze was reduced to tears, and they
resolved in consequence only to visit her on family fête-days. This
state of affairs was afterwards improved, since we can well understand
that it was impossible for a man of Mozart's genial and loving nature
to keep up offence. "Mozart and our late mother became more and more
attached to each other," writes Sophie Haibl. "He used often to come
running to our house with little packets of coffee and sugar, saying as
he handed them out: 'Here, mamma dear, take a little _Jause_' (afternoon
coffee). He never came to us empty-handed." Constanze's youngest
sister, Sophie, was in very frequent intercourse with them; her sister's
constant illness rendered her help in nursing, which she was always most
willing to bestow, quite invaluable; and during Mozart's last illness
we find her constant in attendance at his bedside. Mozart's intercourse
with Aloysia Lange and her husband[18] seems to have been friendly and
unembarrassed. The Langes did not live happily together, and though
Lange himself laid the blame upon backbiters,[19] it was notorious that
their disunion arose from his unreasonable jealousy, a jealousy for
which his wife had



far more cause than he.[20] But as far as Mozart was concerned Lange's
jealousy must have been unprovoked, or he would hardly have taken the
part of Pierrot in the pantomime already noticed (Vol. II., p.
304), allowing his wife to play Columbine to Mozart's Harlequin. She
acknowledged later that, as a young girl, she had under-estimated
Mozart's genius, and she learnt to look upon his music with admiration
and reverence, and upon himself with friendship and esteem.[21] We find
many indications in the letters of friendly intercourse between the
Mozarts and the Langes. It was natural, therefore, that they should have
afforded each other professional help whenever opportunity arose.
On April 10, 1782, Mozart composed a song (383 K.)[22] for his
sister-in-law, the words of which show it to have been intended for a
benefit performance by way of farewell:--

     Nehmt meinen
     Dank, ihr holden Gonner
     So feurig als mein
     Herz ihn spricht.

Whether Madame Lange was about to leave Vienna on a tour, or had merely
come to the end of an engagement, I cannot say. The composition (in G
major) takes the form of a ballad in two verses, and is very simple,
easy and pleasing. Original features are not wanting, as for instance,
suspensions and transition notes on an organ point, which even modern
musicians would find piquant. The accompaniment is easy, but delicate;
the stringed instruments play _pizzicato_ throughout, a device not often
employed by Mozart; the flutes, oboe, and bassoon, employed as solo
instruments, but without any bravura, enliven the simple design. In the
following year (January 8) he composed a Rondo (416 K., part 1), "Mia
speranza adorata," which she first sang at a concert at the Mehlgrube;
the distinguishing qualities of this song are delicacy and tenderness;
it depends for effect more upon a sympathetic delivery than on the
compass and



executive powers of the singer. In March of the same year, Madame Lange
and Mozart mutually supported each other at their concerts.

After the revival of the Italian opera, it often happened that Mozart
was requested to compose detached pieces for insertion. When, in 1783,
Anfossi's opera of "Il Curioso Indiscreto," composed in 1778, was
represented, Madame Lange and Adamberger, who, as German singers, had to
contend with much opposition, knew that they could not fail to make an
effect in music of Mozart's composition, and begged him to write two
songs for their _début_. He was, as ever, quite ready to grant their
request; but he had yet to learn that even in Italian opera he could
not assert his claims without opposition. We have his own account in a
letter to his father (July 2, 1783):--

The opera was given the day before yesterday, Monday; none of it pleased
except my two songs, and the second, a bravura song, was encored. But
you must know that my enemies were ill-natured enough to spread about
beforehand that Mozart had undertaken to correct Anfossi's opera. I
heard of this, and sent word to Count Rosenberg that

I would not produce the songs unless the following notice in German and
Italian was printed in the opera-book: "Notice.--The two songs, page 36
and page 102, are composed, not by Signor Anfossi, but by Herr Mozart,
at the desire of Madame Lange. This announcement is made out of respect
and consideration for the fame of the celebrated Neapolitan composer."
This was done, and I handed over the songs, which did as much credit to
myself as to my sister-in-law.[23] So my enemies are caught in their own
trap! Now I must tell you of one of Salieri's tricks, which did not hurt
me so much as poor Adamberger. I think I wrote to you that I had also
composed a rondo for Adamberger. At one of the early rehearsals, before
the rondo was ready, Salieri called Adamberger aside, and told him that
Count Rosenberg was not pleased at the idea of his inserting a song, and
he should advise him as a friend to abandon it. Adamberger, exasperated
against Rosenberg, answered with a stupid display of ill-timed pride: "I
flatter myself that Adamberger's fame is so well established in Vienna
that he has no need to seek the favour of the public by songs written on
purpose for him; I shall sing what is in the



opera, and never insert any song as long as I live." And what was the
consequence? Why, that he made no effect at all, and now repents, but
too late; for, if he were to come to me to-day for the rondo, I would
not give it to him. I can use it very well in one of my own operas.
But what most provokes him is that my prophecy and his wife's turns out
correct, viz., that neither Count Rosenberg nor the manager knew a word
of the affair, so that he was simply tricked by Salieri.

Adamberger might certainly have made a brilliant display of his powers
in the song (420 K., part 8) "Per pietä non ricercata."[24] It is broad
in design, and affords the singer opportunities for a display of
voice, delivery, and execution; it maintains a certain dignity of tone
throughout. A very effective use is made of the wind instruments; and
a comparison of their full satisfying sound with that of the wind
instruments in the song quoted (Vol. II., pp. 232, 233) will show how
closely connected in a true work of art are the tone-colouring of the
instruments and the nature and development of the motifs.

The first of Madame Lange's two songs, "Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio!" (418
K.), was composed on June 20, and is broad in outline, the first slow
movement in especial being delicately elaborated in detail. It expresses
the painful hesitatation of a mourner who would fain express her grief,
but dares not; and this idea is well expressed by the broken phrases of
the voice part, leaving the thread of the music to be carried on by the
accompanying orchestra. A simple accompaniment, delivered pizzicato by
the second violins and tenors, forms the canvas for the design, in which
the oboe supports the principal motif, sometimes accompanying the voice,
sometimes relieving it; an easy figure twines round the chief subject,
sustained throughout by the first violins muted; while the horns and
bassoons in sustained chords give consistency and shading to the whole.
The situation and subject of the song necessitate restless and varied
modulation; and this opening movement affords an example of Mozart's art
in projecting a design and maintaining it



throughout with the utmost delicacy and variety of detail. The allegro
which follows is more directly suggestive of opera buffa in its
impulsive haste and in its dramatic characterisation; but the skill is
worthy of note with which the elevated tone of the first movement is
preserved and the bravura of the singer is placed in the most favourable
light.[25] The second song, "No che non sei capace" (419 K.), which is
allotted to the same character, Clorinda, is a bravura song, in the very
fullest acceptation of the term. The passages of two allegro movements
mount to the highest heights like rockets, bursting from a ground-work
of declamatory and dignified melody. The orchestra, too, is tolerably
noisy, but so managed as always to spare the voice.

Mozart was very much gratified when the Langes selected his "Entführung
aus dem Serail" for their benefit performance prior to a month's leave
of absence, and he takes care to acquaint his father with the fact
(December 10, 1783).[26] The choice was of course made chiefly in
their own interests, since the opera was a favourite, and the part of
Constanze might have been written for Madame Lange. Kelly, who admired
her as one of the first vocalists of the day, and repeats Stephen
Storace's comparison of her voice and execution to those of the
Bastardella, was of opinion that the part of Constanze was of "the exact
compass" for her voice.[27] When she reappeared, after a severe
illness, in the same opera, on the 25th of November, 1785,[28] she was
"deservedly well received,"[29] and the part was one which she



frequently played later with the greatest applause, bestowed especially
on the bravura songs.[30]

Mozart wrote another song for her on March 14, 1788 (538 K.), "Ah se in
ciel benigne stelle" (from Metastasio's "Eroe Cinese,") apparently as
a concert-piece. It is long and elaborate, well calculated to display
great compass of voice, and more of bravura than the previous songs;
but, as regards invention and mechanism, it is of less importance than
those already noticed. It is not wanting in interesting harmonic details
nor in expressive passages, but they stand apart, and are not blended
into a harmonious whole in Mozart's usual manner.

A very favourable idea of Aloysia's vocal powers may be formed from the
songs composed for her in Vienna; the promise of the young girl had been
amply fulfilled.[31] The fabulous height of her voice, which reached
with ease to--[See Page Images]

was moderated in the second song to--

but the low notes appear to greater advantage, and we are surprised by
intervals such as--

The flexibility of the voice appears to have been cultivated to an
astonishing degree in every direction, and though the merit was chiefly
Mozart's that these passages were interesting, expressive, and in
good taste, yet their execution required a cultivated and accomplished
singer. Hufeland wrote in 1783 that Madame Lange's voice was one of the
finest he



had ever heard, unusually pleasing and sympathetic, although somewhat
weak for the stage,[32] and in this judgment Cramer concurs.[33] It was
no doubt from consideration for the distinctive tone-colouring of
the voice that Mozart did not make use of the whole body of wind
instruments, particularly not of the clarinets, but allowed the gentler
oboe to predominate in the accompaniment.

Mozart's eldest sister-in-law, Josepha, made her first appearance as a
singer at Schikaneder's theatre, after her marriage with the violinist
Hofer. With the exception of a high and flexible voice (a common
inheritance, apparently, of all the Webers), she had no special gifts
nor musical cultivation, and Mozart seems to have taken great pains
in practising her parts with her. He wrote a bravura song for her on
September 17, 1789 (580 K.), "Schon lacht der holde Frühling," which
she, as Rosina, was to insert in the German adaptation of Paesiello's
"Barber of Seville"; only portions of the score remain. It has no
special significance, and reminds us in its embellishments of the
Queen of Night's songs, which it resembles in other respects. Mozart
interested himself also in his brother-in-law Hofer, studying his
quartets with him, although Hofer was an indifferent musician; he took
him with him on his last professional journey to Frankfort, that the
name of Mozart might facilitate his public appearance, and be of use to
him in his very narrow circumstances.

Mozart was always ready to lend a helping hand, even where family
considerations had no influence. When Nancy Storace, the original
Susanna, in "Figaro," was leaving Vienna, he composed for her the
beautiful song with obbligato pianoforte (505 K., part 6), which he
played himself at her concert.[34] He selected the words of the song
which had been composed for Idamante in the Vienna performance of
"Idomeneo," "Non temer amato bene." The circumstance that Idamante
addresses laments and endearments to Ilia, who is



present, perhaps suggested the appropriateness of an obbligato
accompaniment, and, in point of fact, the piano part represents the
lover in the most charming and expressive manner, appearing now to
assent, now to reply to the expressions of the singer. In this respect,
as well as in its tone and sentiment, this song is far in advance of the
earlier one with obbligato violin; the spirit of "Figaro" moves over
it, and we seem to recognise the depth of feeling and the tinge of
sentimentality which characterise the Countess.

Mozart's comparative failure in his attempt to insert songs in Anfossi's
"Curioso Indiscreto" did not prevent his coming forward as soon as
another opportunity of the same kind offered itself. On November 28,
1785, Bianchi's "Villanella Rapita" was produced for the first time,
and Mozart was induced to give the opera the support of some ensemble
movements of his composition.[35] The beautiful Celestine Coltellini
(second daughter of the poet Coltellini, who had written the libretto
of Mozart's first opera) was engaged in 1783 by the Emperor Joseph II.
himself at Naples, where she had been singing with great success since
1779.[36] She first appeared on April 6, 1785, in Cimarosa's "Conta-dina
di Spirito,"[37] and took the place of Mdlle. Storace (who had
temporarily lost her voice)[38] in the first performance of Storace's
opera, "Gli Sposi Malcontenti," on June 1,1785.[39] Her voice was not
first-rate, and her compass only moderate, but she had been thoroughly
well trained, sang with ravishing expression, and fascinated her
audience by her acting, especially in comic parts.[40]These qualities
were made



prominent in Mozart's charming terzet and quartet; her part is that of
a peasant-girl, simple even to silliness, who receives presents from a
Count, without being in the least aware of his intentions, nor of the
rage and jealousy of her betrothed and her father. In the terzet (450
K.--(Probably 480 K. DW)) "Mandina amabile" (composed November 21, 1785), the
delight with which she accepts the money, and, at the request of the
Count, gives him her hand with the words, "Ecco servitevi!" is not given
with any particular refinement by the poet; but Mozart has thrown so
much grace and roguery into the action that it becomes an excellent
point for a clever actress. The opening has a certain resemblance to
the duet between Don Giovanni and Zerlina, although the latter stands
several degrees higher, in accordance with the different characters
of the personages; a comparison of the two pieces affords a proof of
Mozart's skill in basing his characterisation on the conditions of
the dramatic situation. Even when the lover interferes with jealous
violence, and the Count seeks to excuse himself with as good a grace as
possible, she fails to perceive what is passing before her; and Mozart
does not neglect the opportunity of combining these opposing elements
into a well-proportioned animated whole. The effect is excellent when
the key, after the duet has pursued its rollicking course in A major
and the nearly related keys, passes into A minor, and then with rapid
transition into C major; even when it has reverted into A major the
minor key constantly recurs in discords suggestive of jealousy. The
quartet (479 K.) "Dite almeno, in che mancai" (composed November 15,
1785), has a less strongly marked situation. Mandina confronts her
indignant lover and father with innocent simplicity; when the Count
enters, a violent altercation arises between the men, of which she
cannot understand the cause, but, anxious at any sacrifice to
restore peace, she begs with really touching earnestness for pity and
forgiveness. Her calmness, in opposition to the voluble excitement of
the men, gives the movement its distinguishing character, which it was
the task of the performer to throw into relief; her part, especially in
the tender and beseeching passages, is full of feeling and charm. As to



the other parts, the ever-increasing tumult of an animated dispute is
represented with very simple, well-calculated expedients in a manner
which is thoroughly Italian; a striking instance of this is the joining
in of the orchestra when the wrangling is at its height, with the
preservation of all the delicate comic effects. The masterly treatment
of the orchestra, both in detail and in effects of grouping, would alone
suffice to raise these two pieces far above similar movements of the
then commonly received opera buffa type. More excellent even than
the brilliant and characteristic sound effects is the independent and
copious construction of the instrumental parts, which nevertheless are
kept within their proper provinces as foils to the voices. Of the
voice parts it need scarcely be said that they are delicately and
characteristically treated, and move freely and with animation side
by side, producing at the same time an effective whole. There is no
bravura, and the treatment of the voices indicates moderate capabilities
on the part of the singers. Coltellini's part never goes above--[See
Page Image]

rarely so high, and calls for no great amount of execution. Among the
male singers Mandini was by far the most important; the part of Almaviva
was afterwards written for him, and the passionate expressions of the
lover Pippo in the terzet remind us of that part. The tenor Calvesi
(Count) and the second bass Bussani (Biaggio) were of less account.
These ensemble pieces were the mature and graceful products of Mozart's
fully developed genius, and nothing but their simplicity of design
and construction points them out as pieces inserted in an opera, and
dependent upon it for their peculiar character.

We can well believe that Mozart composed songs to please the singers,
male and female, who appeared in his operas. He was not only ready
to write additional pieces for them in his own operas, but frequently
offered songs as an acknowledgment to the performers who sang for him.
Louise Villeneuve appeared on June 27, 1789, as a new performer



in Martin's "Arbore di Diana," and was received with well-deserved and
genuine applause on account of her pleasing appearance, her expressive
acting, and her artistically beautiful singing.[41] When she was about
to appear as Dorabella in "Cosi fan tutte," in August, 1789, Mozart
wrote for her an aria to Cimarosa's opera, "I Due Baroni" (578 K.),
"Alma grande e nobil cuore," of forcible expression without making any
great demands on the voice.[42] More original, although not very deep,
are the two songs composed for the same singer in October, 1789, for
insertion in Martin's "Burbero di Buon Cuore." The first (582 K.), "Chi
sa, chi sa quai sia," is a single andante movement very moderate
in tone. The second (583 K.), "Vado, ma dove," begins with a short,
passionate allegro, with which is connected an andante simple in design
and construction, but with a wonderfully beautiful and expressive
cantilene, the effect of which is much heightened by the splendid

A bass song, composed for Signor Franc. Albertarelli in Anfossi's "Le
Gelosie Fortunate" (May,1788), was occasioned by the singer's connection
with the performance of "Don Giovanni." It is a cheerful, thoroughly
buffo aria, and the principal melody--[See Page Image]
has been employed again by Mozart, with a slight but expressive
alteration, in the first movement of the C major 1 symphony, the
only instance of the kind known to me. Similar demands were made upon
Mozart's generosity when he came into connection with Schikaneder's
theatre. He composed (March 8,1791) for the bass singer, Gerl, who
sang Sarastro in the "Zauberflote," an aria (612 K.), "Per questa bella
mano," with an obbligato double-bass accompaniment,



which was played by Pischlberger with extraordinary execution. The
combination reminds us of other similar Schikaneder-like effects, and
the interest of the song depends mainly on the executive powers of
the double-bass player, which are nevertheless confined within narrow
limits. The limitation has in some degree influenced the treatment
of the voice part, and this pleasing and, for a powerful bass voice,
effective song can only be regarded as a curious occasional piece.
Another occasional composition is Gleim's German war song, "Ich
möchte wohl der Kaiser sein"[43] (539 K.), composed March 5, 1788, for
performance by the favourite comedian, Friedrich Baumann, jun., at
a concert in the Leopoldstädter Theatre on March 7, with special
reference, no doubt, to the Turkish war which had just broken out.[44]
This accounts for the running accompaniment of Turkish music to an
otherwise simple and popular song.[45] To sum up: it would appear that
during Mozart's residence in Vienna, from 1781 to 1791, he completed
five ensemble movements of different kinds, besides at least thirty
separate songs for various occasions,[46] among which there is not one
which does not possess artistic interest, and a great number which may
be placed in the first rank of works of the sort.

His genius was at the service of others besides vocalists. We have
already seen that he wrote a pianoforte concerto for the blind performer
Mdlle. Paradies (Vol. II., p. 288). An artist similarly afflicted
from early youth was Marianne Kirchgassner (b. 1770), who had attained
extraordinary proficiency on the harmonica under Schmittbauer's
instruction.[47] When, in the course of a grand professional tour, she
came to Vienna (May, 1791) she excited Mozart's interest so greatly



by her playing, that he composed a quintet for her, which she frequently
afterwards performed with great success.[48] The combination
of instruments--flute, oboe, tenor, and violoncello, with the
harmonica--produces an originality of sound effect which is seriously
impaired when, as usually happens, the piano is substituted for the
harmonica. The latter instrument is limited in compass, having no bass
notes,[49] and requires for its due effect a melodious and expressive
style of execution. Mozart has given the adagio a sentimental, love-sick
tone, which is sometimes a good deal overdrawn, but the second movement
is cheerful and pleasing, and, without forming too strong a contrast, it
leads to a sound and agreeable conclusion. With just discrimination he
has given the piece a very well-defined and firmly constructed
form, relying for original effect on the tone-colouring and harmonic
transitions, which are often extremely bold.

Mozart gave his support to another young artist, who had no such claim
to pity as the two just mentioned. Regina Strinasacchi, of Ostiglia
(1764-1839), was a pretty, amiable girl, and an accomplished
violin-player, who came to Vienna in 1784. Mozart extols her taste
and feeling to his father, who confirmed the praise when Strinasacchi
appeared at Salzburg in December, 1785: "Every note is played with
expression, even in symphonies, and I have never heard a more moving
adagio than hers; her whole heart and soul is in the melody which she
delivers, and her power and beauty of tone are equally remarkable.[50]
I believe, as a rule, that a woman of genius plays with more expression
than a man."



"I am just writing," continues Wolfgang, "a sonata (454 K.)[51] which we
shall play together at her concert on Thursday" (April 24, 1784). But
the sonata was not ready in time, and Strinasacchi with difficulty
extorted her own part from Mozart the evening before the concert, and
practised it without him on the following morning; they only met at the
concert. Both played excellently, and the sonata was much applauded.[52]
The Emperor Joseph, who was present, thought he could distinguish
through his glass that Mozart had no music before him; he had him
summoned and requested him to bring the sonata. It was blank music paper
divided into bars, Mozart having had no time to write out the clavier
part, which he thus played from memory, without even having heard the

Mozart found an old Salzburg acquaintance at Vienna in the person of the
horn-player Joseph Leutgeb. He had settled in Vienna, as Leopold Mozart
writes (December 1, 1777), and bought a "snail-shell of a house" in one
of the suburbs, upon credit; here he set up business as a cheesemonger,
from the profits of which he promised to repay a loan, which, however,
was still owing when Wolfgang came to Vienna; he begs his father's
indulgence for Leutgeb, who was then wretchedly poor (May 8, 1782). He
was a capital solo-player on the French horn,[54] but was wanting
in higher cultivation. Mozart was always ready to help him, but he
frequently made him the butt of his exuberant sprits. Whenever he
composed a solo for him, Leutgeb was obliged to submit to some mock
penance. Once, for instance, Mozart threw all the parts of his concertos
and symphonies about the room, and Leutgeb had to collect them on all
fours and put them in order; as long as this lasted Mozart sat at his



writing-table composing. Another time, Leutgeb had to kneel down behind
the stove while Mozart wrote.[55] The manuscripts themselves bear traces
of good-humoured banter. One (417 K.) has the superscription: "Wolfgang
Amadé Mozart takes pity on Leutgeb, ass, ox, and simpleton, at Vienna,
March 27, 1783"; another (495 K.) is written alternately with black,
red, blue, and green ink. While he is writing down a rondo he amusingly
imagines the player before him, and keeps up a running commentary on the
supposed performance. The tempo, too, is jokingly indicated as adagio
for the horn part, while the accompaniment is allegro; Leutgeb's
inclination to drag is alluded to in the remark at the close of the
ritornello: "A lei Signor Asino"--in the ejaculations on the theme:
"Animo--presto--sù via--da bravo--coraggio--e finisci giä" (at
the conclusion). He goes on the same strain: "Bestia--oh che
stonatura--chi--oimè (at a repeatedly recurring F sharp)--bravo
poveretto! --Oh seccatura di coglioni! (when the subject recurs)--ah
che mi fai ridere!--ajuto (at a repeated E flat)--respira un poco! (at
a pause)--avanti, avanti!--questo poi va al meglio (when the theme
reappears)--e non finisci nemmeno?--ah porco infame! Oh come sei
grazioso!--Carino! Asinino! hahaha--respira!--Ma intoni almeno una,
cazzo! (at a repeated C sharp)--bravo, ewiva!--e vieni ä seccarmi per
la quarta, e Dio sia benedetto per l' ultima volta (at the fourth
repetition of the theme)--ah termina, ti prego! ah maledetto
--anche bravura? (at a short run) bravo--ah! trillo di pecore (at a
shake)--finisci? grazie al ciel!--basta, basta!" Leutgeb was quite
willing to submit to his friend's banter as the price of four concertos
(412, 417, 447, 495, cf. also 514 K.). They are rapidly put together and
easy of execution, without any great originality. Their brevity enables
the instrument to preserve its true character as one unsuited for
display of execution; in the last movement, which is the regulation
rondo in 6-8 time, the original nature of the horn as a hunting
instrument is made apparent, which at that



time, when hunting music was thought more of than at present, was no
doubt found very entertaining. In other respects, the customary concerto
form is preserved. The first movement is an allegro in sonata form, kept
within narrow limits, the second is a simple romanza, followed by the
rondo. The accompaniment is simple, to allow due prominence to the horn
as the solo instrument, but Mozart seldom refrains from adding touches
of life and character to the whole by means of a freer movement in the
accompaniment. The quintet for the horn, violin, two tenors, and bass
(407 K.), was also written for Leutgeb, who possessed the autograph.[56]
The horn part is throughout concertante, the stringed instruments serve
only as accompaniment, but are very independent and characteristic,
so that the whole has some approach to the quartet style. The piece is
altogether more important and finer than the concertos.

Far more important both as to compass and substance is the concerto for
clarinet in A major (622 K.), which Mozart wrote or adapted for Stadler,
towards the close of his life (between September 28 and November 15,
1791). There exist six pages of a draft score of the first movement,
composed much earlier for the basset-horn, in G major, and available for
the clarinet with a few alterations in the deeper notes. It has not been
ascertained whether this concerto was ever finished, but it is scarcely

It was to be expected that Mozart, who was the first to do justice to
the capabilities of the clarinet as a solo instrument, would deal with
it with peculiar partiality; the more so, as he had so distinguished
a performer to work for.[57] The brilliant qualities of this splendid
instrument are in point of fact thrown into the strongest relief.
The contrasts of tone-colouring are made use of in every sort of way,
especially in the low notes, here much employed in the accompaniment
passages, whose wonderful effect Mozart was, as far as I know, the first
to discover.



The capacity of the clarinet for melodious expression, tunefulness, and
brilliant fluency, and for the union of force with melting tenderness,
is skilfully taken into account; and as Mozart invariably brings the
external into harmony with the internal, we find in this work that the
grander and broader forms and the greater execution are the natural
outcome of brilliant and original ideas. It is not too much to say that
this concerto is the basis of modern clarinet-playing.

Mozart composed on September 29, 1789, for the same fickle friend, the
"Stadlersquintett" for clarinet and strings (582 K.), which was first
performed at the concert for the Musicians' Charitable Fund on December
22, 1789.

The distinct and frequently overpowering effect of the clarinet, in
conjunction with stringed instruments, would necessitate its treatment
as a solo instrument; and Mozart's loving efforts to display to the full
its singular beauties and rich powers serve to isolate it still more
completely. Although he avoids with equal taste and skill the danger
of treating the stringed instruments as mere accompaniment, or of
emphasising the clarinet unduly, and combines them to a whole often with
touches of surprising delicacy, yet the heterogeneous elements are not
so completely incorporated as are the stringed instruments when they are
alone. The whole mechanism is therefore loose and easy, the subjects
are more graceful than important, and their development less serious and
profound than usual. This quintet therefore, cast as it is in the most
beautiful forms, and possessed of the most charming sound effects--fully
justifying the praise bestowed upon it by Ambros ("Limits of Music and
Poetry") in Goethe's words, "its whole being floats in sensuous wealth
and sweetness"--yet falls below the high level of the stringed quintets.

The Andante in A major to a violin concerto, dated in the Thematic
Catalogue April 1, 1785 (470 K.), must certainly have been written for a
virtuoso; perhaps for Janiewicz, who was then in Vienna.

Mozart sometimes bestowed improvised compositions in the form of alms.
One day a beggar accosted him in the



street and claimed a distant relationship with him. Mozart, having no
money, went into the nearest coffee-house, wrote a minuet and trio,
and sent the beggar with it to his publisher, who paid him what it was
considered worth.[58]

His ever-ready good-nature must have made Mozart a great favourite among
his fellow-artists, and yet he had only too often to complain of the
ingratitude to which his very good-nature subjected him. Between him and
the majority of Italian opera-singers there existed, nevertheless, an
innate antagonism; they complained of his compositions as being far too
difficult and not telling enough. There can be no doubt that he made
many concessions to display of execution, but these were not considered
extensive enough at the time, and Mozart, scorning so cheap and easy a
way of gaining the applause of the public, sought to attain his end by
other and better means.[59] It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that
the Italians in Vienna for the most part objected to singing in Mozart's
operas, the more so as their disinclination was fostered by outsiders;
Mozart, on his part, disliked the then prevalent style of singing: "They
rush at it, and shake and make flourishes," he said, "because they have
not studied, and cannot sustain a note."[60]

He was fond of mocking in his sarcastic style at this kind of
composition and performance, and used to imitate off-hand at the piano
grand operatic scenas in the style of well-known masters, with the most
telling effect.[61] Such exhibitions would not tend to increase the
number of his friends. Mozart was "cutting" (_schlimm_), as we know, and
took no pains to restrain his jesting moods, which were doubtless often
taken in far worse part than they were meant. But he also pronounced
many a sharp censure in earnest upon artists who felt the more bitter as
his own



superiority made itself incontestably felt.[62] Soon after his
settlement in Vienna his father was informed that his boasting and
criticisms were making him enemies among musicians and others, but this
accusation Wolfgang indignantly repelled (July 31, 1782).

Nevertheless, we find him writing not long afterwards (December 23,
1782): "I should like to write a book--a short musical criticism with
examples; but of course not in my own name." There was a rage at Vienna
for the discussion and criticism of all imaginable subjects by means of
pamphlets and brochures.[63] That which tempted Mozart to take pen in
hand was the downfall of German opera, which was a serious blow to him.
He was conscious of what he as a German might have accomplished for
German art, and it pained him to see the universal preference for
Italian art and artists.

From early youth he had been aware of the unworthy devices often
employed in Italian music, and his aversion to "all Italians"
continually betrays itself, but very seldom to the extent of making him
unjust towards individual persons or performances. His healthy judgment
and inexhaustible flow of human kindness preserved him from this danger.
Jos. Frank relates[64] that, finding Mozart continually engaged on
the study of French opera scores, he once asked him if he would not do
better to devote himself to Italian music, which was then the fashion of
the day in Vienna. Mozart answered: "As regards the melodies, yes; but
as regards the dramatic effects, no; besides which, the scores that you



see here are by Gluck, Piccinni, Salieri, and, with the exception of
those by Grétry, have nothing French in them but the words."[65] This
was true, and we may allow that Mozart did not require to learn melody
from the Italians. His judgments of various composers might offend at
the time, but we are now ready to endorse them as not only striking but
fair. We have already learnt his opinion of Righini (Vol. II., p. 251).
Of Martin, the universal favourite, he said: "Much in his works is
really very pretty, but ten years hence he will be quite forgotten."[66]
How ready he was to acknowledge merit in any performance "which had
something in it" is plainly shown in a letter to his father (April

Some quartets have just appeared by a man named Pleyel; he is a pupil
of Jos. Haydn. If you do not already know them, try to get them, it is
worth your while. They are very well and pleasantly written, and give
evidence of his master. Well and happy will it be for music if Pleyel is
ready in due time to take Haydn's place for us.

This was just at the time when he was busy with his own quartets, where
he showed how one master learns from another. When he found nothing
original in any work he put it aside with the words, "Nothing in it," or
vented his mocking humour on it. Rochlitz relates that once at Doles, he
made them sing the Mass of a composer "who had evident talent for comic
opera, but was out of place as a composer of sacred music," parodying
the words in a very entertaining manner.[67]

The description which Mozart gives to his father of the celebrated
oboist, J. Chr. Fischer (1733-1800), is characteristic of his sharp and
involuntarily comic criticism. Fischer had come to Vienna from London,
where he enjoyed an extraordinary reputation (April 4, 1787):[68]--



If the oboist Fischer did not play better when we heard him in Holland
(1766) than he plays now, he certainly does not deserve the reputation
which he has. But, between ourselves, I was then at an age incapable
of forming a judgment. I can only remember that he pleased me, as he
pleased all the world. It would be quite reasonable to contend that
taste has altered since then to a remarkable degree, and that he plays
after the old school--but no! he plays, in fact, like a miserable
learner; young André, who used to learn from Fiala, plays a thousand
times better. And then his concertos of his own composition! Every
ritornello lasts a quarter of an hour--then enter the hero--lifts up
one leaden foot after another, and plumps them down on the ground
alternately. His tone is all through his nose, and his tenuto is like
the tremulant stop on the organ. Could you have supposed all this? and
yet it is nothing but the truth, the real truth, which I tell you.

Mozart's amiability and good-nature prevailed in his personal
intercourse with fellow-artists, even where reserve or irritated feeling
would have been excusable. When the Italian Opera was reopened, from
which Mozart had been purposely excluded, he did not withdraw his
friendship from the composers, whom he might justifiably have considered
as interlopers. When Paesiello came to Vienna from St. Petersburg
in 1784 he was treated with a distinction never bestowed upon German
masters. His "Barbiere di Seviglia" was at once put upon the stage, and
the Emperor lost no time in commissioning him to compose an opera, for
which Casti, as the most distinguished comic poet, was to provide
the libretto. The opera was "Il Re Teodoro," for which Joseph himself
suggested the subject as a satire, it was said, on the visit of Gustavus
III. of Sweden to Venice in the year 1783.[69] Such active participation
from the Emperor assured the maestro a brilliant position, both
pecuniary and social, during his stay in Vienna. Mozart, whose judgment
of Paesiello's light music was very favourable,[70] made friendly
advances towards him. Kelly was present at their introduction, and
testifies to their mutual courtesy and esteem;[71] and we have already



(Vol. II., p. 279) how pleased Mozart was to have his compositions
performed before Paesiello by a talented pupil. Paesiello, on his part,
begged for the score of "Idomeneo" for his own study.[72] Mozart was
equally complaisant to Sarti, who was in Vienna at the same time, on his
way to St. Petersburg. "If Maestro Sarti had not been obliged to set out
to-day for Russia," he writes to his father (June 9, 1784), "he would
have gone out with me. Sarti is a straightforward, honest man. I have
played a great deal to him, ending with variations on one of his airs
(460 K.),[73] which gave him great pleasure."

The "honest" man afterwards wrote a most malicious criticism on
some passages in Mozart's quartets, concerning which, indignant that
"barbarians, without any sense of hearing should presume to think they
can compose music," he exclaims, "Can more be done to put performers out
of tune?" ("Si puö far di più per far stonar i professori?"). He points
out error after error "which could only be made by a clavier-player, who
can see no difference between D sharp and E flat"; and concludes with
a flourish, "This is, in the words of the immortal Rousseau, 'De la
musique pour faire boucher ses oreilles!'"[74]

A charming instance of Mozart's benevolence towards younger artists
is supplied by Gyrowetz. He relates in his autobiography, how he was
introduced to the most distinguished artists of Vienna, at some grand

Mozart appeared to be the most good-natured of them all. He observed the
youthful Gyrowetz with an expression of sympathy which seemed to say:
"Poor young fellow, you have just embarked on the ocean of the great
world, and you are anxiously looking forward to what fate may have in
store for you." Encouraged by so much affability and sympathy the young
artist entreated the master to cast a glance over his compositions,
which consisted of six symphonies, and to give his



opinion of them. With true benevolence, Mozart granted the petition,
went through the works, commended them, and promised the young artist to
have one of his symphonies performed at his concert in the hall at the
Mehlgrube, where Mozart gave subscription concerts during that year
(1785). This took place on a Thursday. The symphony was performed with
great applause. Mozart, with his native courtesy and kindness, took
the young composer by the hand, and introduced him to the public as the
author of the symphonies.

Beethoven made his appearance in Vienna as a youthful musician of
promise in the spring of 1787, but was only able to remain there a short
time;[75] he was introduced to Mozart, and played to him at his request.
Mozart, considering the piece he performed to be a studied show-piece,
was somewhat cold in his expressions of admiration. Beethoven remarking
this, begged for a theme for improvisation, and, inspired by the
presence of the master he reverenced so highly, played in such a manner
as gradually to engross Mozart's whole attention; turning quietly to
the bystanders, he said emphatically, "Mark that young man; he will make
himself a name in the world!"[76]

Mozart does not appear to have become intimately acquainted with
Dittersdorf, who at that time was paying only passing visits to Vienna;
but his way of mentioning Mozart shows appreciation and esteem. The same
may be said of Gluck, who, as we have seen, showed himself on several
occasions well disposed towards Mozart (Vol. II., pp. 212, 285); but
the difference of their natures--perhaps also Salieri's close connection
with Gluck--prevented anything like intimacy between them.

That, notwithstanding so much goodwill, Mozart should



have met with envious critics and detractors[77] among the artists of
Vienna is scarcely to be wondered at. We have already noticed one of his
most determined opponents, Kreibich (Vol. II., p. 203); another, equally
implacable, was Leopold Kozeluch, a pianist of some brilliancy, and a
fashionable teacher, especially after he gave lessons at court; he had
a passing reputation, too, as a composer, but vanity and stupidity
were his chief claims to distinction. He was fond of magnifying his own
merits by paltry criticism of his fellow-artists, especially of Haydn.
Once, when a new quartet of Haydn's was being performed in a large
company, Kozeluch, standing by Mozart, found fault, first with one thing
and then with another, exclaiming at length, with impudent assurance, "I
should never have done it in that way!" "Nor should I," answered Mozart;
"but do you know why? Because neither you nor I would have had so good
an idea."[78] Henceforth Kozeluch became Mozart's avowed and determined
opponent; and what better revenge could be taken by the man "who never
praised any one but himself," than to pronounce the overture to
"Don Giovanni" "good, but full of faults";[79] and to exclaim
condescendingly, after hearing the full rehearsal of the overture to the
"Zauberflöte," "Ah, our good friend Mozart is trying to be learned this
time!,,[80] When they were both at Prague, at the coronation of
Leopold, Kozeluch expressed his enmity to Mozart so obtrusively, that
he forfeited a great share of the interest "with which hitherto every
Bohemian had been proud to own him as a fellow-countryman."[81]



The most charming instance of Mozart's reverence and love for Joseph
Haydn is the dedicatory epistle wherein he offers him his six quartets
as the fruit of long and painful study inspired by his example, as a
father intrusts his children to a tried and valued friend, confident
of his protection and indulgence towards them. These expressions of
reverence came from the very depths of Mozart's heart: to a friend who
made some remark on the dedication he answered: "It was due from me, for
it was from Haydn that I learned how quartets should be written."[82]
"It was quite affecting," says Niemetschek" (p. 94) "to hear him speak
of the two Haydns or any other of the great masters; one would have
imagined him to be one of their enthusiastic pupils rather than the
all-powerful Mozart." The Haydn so honoured of Mozart was not by any
means the "Father Haydn" of a later time, reverenced and loved by all.
It was not until after his residence in London that Haydn met with
general admiration and veneration in the Austrian capital; in earlier
years the opposition to his originality was nowhere stronger than in
Vienna. His very position in the service of Prince Esterhazy, and his
residence in Hungary, prejudiced the musicians of the capital against
him. The music-loving public enjoyed his fresh and jovial creations
with unrestrained delight, but the artists and connoisseurs took grave
exception to them. Humour in music was as yet unrecognised, and the
dispute as to whether and in what degree it could be justified had just
begun; the freedom, well considered as it was, with which Haydn treated
traditional rules, was looked upon as a grave fault. At the head of his
opponents stood the Emperor Joseph;[83] he would have nothing to say to
his playful oddities, and we can scarcely wonder that the royal example
was widely followed, and that Haydn had good cause to complain of his
critics and enemies.[84] It required



an artist as genial and as incapable of envy as Mozart fully to
understand and appreciate him. And Haydn was equally prompt to discover
the greatness of Mozart, and to accord him his full share of admiration
and esteem. We have seen the testimony which he bore of Mozart to his
father (Vol. II., p. 321); and he lost no opportunity of expressing his
conviction of Mozart's artistic greatness.[85] When it was proposed to
produce an opera by Haydn at Prague, together with Mozart's "Figaro" and
"Don Giovanni," Haydn wrote to the Commissary Roth:[86]--

You wish an opera buffa from me. With all my heart, if it will give you
any pleasure to possess some of my vocal compositions. But if it is your
intention to place the opera on the stage in Prague I am sorry that I
cannot oblige you. My operas are inseparable from the company for whom
I wrote them, and would never produce their calculated effect apart from
their native surroundings. It would be quite another matter if I had
the honour of being commissioned to write a new opera for the theatre
in question. Even then, however, it would be a risk to put myself in
competition with the great Mozart. If I could only inspire every
lover of music, especially among the great, with feelings as deep, and
comprehension as clear as my own, in listening to the inimitable works
of Mozart, then surely the nations would contend for the possession
of such a jewel within their borders. Prague must strive to retain the
treasure within her grasp--but not without fitting reward. The want
of this too often saddens the life of a great genius, and offers small
encouragement for further efforts in future times. I feel indignant that
Mozart has not yet been engaged at any imperial or royal court. Pardon
my wandering from the subject--Mozart is a man very dear to me.

This letter was written in December, 1787, and the news of Mozart's
appointment as Imperial private composer had not yet reached Haydn in
Esterhaz; the uncertain position of his friend evidently affected him
greatly. In the year following, when controversy was rife in Vienna on
the subject of "Don Giovanni," Haydn found himself one evening in the
midst of a company discussing the faults of omission



and commission of the new opera; at last he was asked for his opinion.
"I cannot decide the questions in dispute," said he; "but this I know,
that Mozart is the greatest composer in the world."[87] It must not be
imagined that because Haydn set so high a value on Mozart's operatic
compositions, he had by any means a small opinion of his own. Forgotten
as they now are, he himself was not inclined to rank them below the
performances of the majority of his contemporaries. He writes to Artaria
(May 27, 1781):--

Mons. Le Gros, directeur of the Concert spirituel, writes me many
compliments on my "Stabat Mater," which has been performed four times
with great success. The management were surprised at this revelation of
my powers as a vocal composer; but they had had no previous opportunity
of judging of them. If they would only hear my operetta "L'Isola
Disabitata," and my last opera "La Fedeltä Premiata"! I assure you, such
works have never yet been heard in Paris, and perhaps not in Vienna; but
it is my misfortune to live retired in the country.

He says of the "Armida," in March, 1874, that it has been produced
with signal success, and is considered his best work.[88] It is doubly
significant, therefore, that Haydn should have acknowledged himself so
completely overshadowed by Mozart as an operatic composer. And not in
this branch of their art alone did he accord him superiority; he gave
way even where they might justly be considered as rivals, and declared
that, if Mozart had written nothing but his violin quartets and the
"Requiem," he would have sufficient claim to immortality.[89] He assured
a friend, with tears in his eyes, that he could never forget Mozart's
clavier-playing; "It came from the heart!"[90] To the end of his life he
missed no occasion of hearing Mozart's music, and used to assert that he
had never heard one of his compositions without learning something from
it.[91] In 1790, when he had returned to his solitude at "Estoras," he
writes how



the north wind had waked him from a dream of listening to the "Nozze di

The personal intercourse between the two was simple and hearty. Mozart
used to call Haydn "Papa," and both Sophie Haibl and Griesinger mention
their use of the pronoun _du_ to each other, a habit less frequent in
those days than at present between friends of such difference in age.
But while Mozart lived in Vienna, Haydn had his fixed residence at
Eisenstadt or Esterhaz, and only came to Vienna for a few months at
a time with his princely patron, who was not fond of the capital, and
shortened his stay there as far as was practicable; Haydn sometimes
obtained leave of absence for a flying visit to Vienna, but the Prince
always gave it unwillingly.[93]

It was not until the Kapelle was broken up, on the death of Prince
Nicolaus in 1790, that Haydn took up his abode in Vienna; and in
December of the same year Salomon persuaded him to undertake the journey
to London. Mozart agreed with others of Haydn's friends in considering
this expedition a great risk, and drew his attention to the difficulties
he was sure to encounter as an elderly man, unused to the world, amidst
a strange people whose language he did not understand. Haydn replied
that he was old, certainly, (he was then fifty-nine), but strong and
of good courage, and his language was understood by all the world.[94]
Mozart spent the day of Haydn's departure with him, and as they took
leave he was moved to tears and exclaimed: "We are taking our last
farewell in this world!" Haydn himself was deeply moved, thinking of his
own death, and sought to console and calm Mozart.[95]

A letter from Haydn to Frau von Gennzinger (October 13, 1791) shows
that calumniators sought to sow enmity between the friends in their
separation: "My friends write, what I cannot however believe, that
Mozart is doing all he can to



disparage me. I forgive him. Mozart must go to Count von Fries to
inquire about the payment."[96] When the news of Mozart's death reached
London, Haydn lamented his loss with bitter tears.[97]

The sight of these two great and noble men extending to each other
the hand of brotherhood, and remaining true to the end, untouched by
professional envy or intrigue, is as pleasant as it was rare in the
Vienna of those days. Each understood and appreciated the other, each
freely acknowledged his indebtedness to the other from a musical point
of view, and each, in his own consciousness of power and independence,
found the standard for estimating the worth of his brother-artist.

Those who strove to raise the dust of dissension between them are,
for the most part, forgotten or relegated to their due position in the
background of musical history: Mozart and Haydn stand side by side on
the heights, witnessing for ever to the truth that the greatness of a
genuinely artistic nature attracts and does not repel its like.


[Footnote 1: At Wolfgang's request he sent the Baroness a couple of Salzburg
tongues, which were esteemed a delicacy.]

[Footnote 2: Hamburger Litt. u. Krit. Blatter, 1856, No. 72, p. 563.]

[Footnote 3: Unfortunately Wolfgang's letters to his father are only preserved
in anything like completeness up to his visit to Salzburg (July, 1783);
after that we have only detached ones. His sister believed, so Nissen
says (Vorr., p. XVI.), that the later letters were destroyed by the
father, on account of containing allusions to Freemasonry, which is
probable enough. There is no sort of evidence that Mozart ever actually
neglected his father's correspondence; but it was not in his power to
continue to keep a journal such as he had been in the habit of writing
while travelling, or such as the daughter kept up after her marriage.]

[Footnote 4: The firstborn son, Leopold, "der arme dicke fette and liebe Buberl,"
as he is called in a letter (December 10, 1783), died in the same year.]

[Footnote 5: On January 19, 1786, L. Mozart wrote to his daughter that the
Archbishop had opened a letter of Wolfgang's, but without finding
anything in it.]

[Footnote 6: Nissen, p. 476.]

[Footnote 7: A. M. Z., I., p. 291. Biograph. Skizze von Mich. Haydn (Salzburg,
1808), p. 38.]

[Footnote 8: Lipowsky, Bayersch. Mus. Lex., p. 36.]

[Footnote 9: Rochlitz, Für Freunde d. Tonk., üI., p. 179.]

[Footnote 10: Wien. Mus. Ztg., 1817, p. 289.]

[Footnote 11: Nissen, Vorr., p. 18.]

[Footnote 12: On L. Mozart's return from Vienna in 1785, he stopped at Linz, as
the guest of Count Thun; here he met the new Bishop, Count Herberstein
(I., p. 25).]

[Footnote 13: Instances might be multiplied on closer examination; I content
myself with quoting from the C major symphony the unexpected entry of E
minor (p. 6, bar 8) and C major (p. 6, bar 12), the loud notes for the
wind instruments (p. 25, bars 3,4), the original theme with which
the basses interpose (p. 28, bar 5), and most especially the mocking
conclusion of the minuet (p. 36, bars 12-16).]

[Footnote 14: Nissen asserts (Vorr., p. 18) that L. Mozart's letters from Vienna
to his daughter (of which I have unfortunately only seen a few), betray
considerable coldness towards his son.]

[Footnote 15: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 240. Holmes conjectures that as Haydn
was a good violinist, but no solo-player, Kelly has substituted him
for Mozart by a slip of memory (p. 267); it is more probable that
Dittersdorf, the most celebrated violin-player of the day, played first
violin, and Haydn second.]

[Footnote 16: Mozart lost no time in communicating the sorrowful news to his
friend, Gottfried von Jacquin: "I must inform you that on my return home
to-day I received the sad intelligence of the death of my dear father.
You can imagine the state I am in."]

[Footnote 17: "My son wrote to me some time ago," writes L. Mozart to the
Baroness Waldstädten (August 23, 1782), "that as soon as he was married
he would cease to live with the mother. I hope he has already actually
left the house; if not, it will be a misfortune both for him and his

[Footnote 18: Prefixed to the first volume of the "Ephemeriden der Literatur und
des Theaters" (Berlin, 1785), are the portraits of Lange and his wife in
a medallion. Her features are regular and good, but, probably owing to
her delicate health, less youthful than one might have expected.]

[Footnote 19: Lange, Selbstbiogr., p. 118.]

[Footnote 20: Friedel, Briefe aus Wien, p. 409.]

[Footnote 21: A. M. Z., üI., p. 659.]

[Footnote 22: On the same day Mozart writes to his father full of anxiety about
his own circumstances, thus proving again that the true artist can
divest himself during his hours of production of the cares and anxieties
of his ordinary life.]

[Footnote 23: The Berl. Litt. u. Theat. Ztg., 1783, p. 559, announces from
Vienna: "June 30, 1783, 'Il Curioso Indiscreto' was performed for the
first time. Madame Lange sang to-day for the first time in the Italian
opera, and the public, in spite of all cabals, showed their appreciation
of her talents." Cf. Lange's Selbstbiogr., p. 119.]

[Footnote 24: Written on the autograph is (June 21, 1783): "All the parts are to
be extracted and augmented--the _parte cantante_ to be done at once, and
returned to Herr Adamberger."]

[Footnote 25: The completely written-out melody of a soprano air (178 K.) is
preserved, the words of which, "Ah spiegarti, oh Dio vorrei," differ
very little from the above; it is probably a first attempt abandoned.
The voice part of Adamberger's air sketched in the same way still
exists, and the bravura air is on the same leaf.]

[Footnote 26: The performance took place on January 25, 1784, and was repeated on
February 1 (Wien. Ztg., 1784, No. 7, Anh., No. g, Anh.).]

[Footnote 27: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 253.]

[Footnote 28: The notices of her professional tour in the year 1784, from Berlin,
Dresden, Leipzig, Schwedt, and Hamburg, are full of admiration (Berl.
Litt. II. Theat. Ztg., 1784, I., p. 160; II., p. 138).]

[Footnote 29: Wien. Ztg., 1785, No. 97.]

[Footnote 30: It was so in Amsterdam in 1798 (A. M. Z., üI., p. 659), and in
Paris in 1802 (A. M. Z., IV., p. 322).]

[Footnote 31: Cf. Jahrb. d. Tonk., 1796, p. 39.]

[Footnote 32: Alsatia, 1853, p. 92.]

[Footnote 33: Magaz. d. Mus., II., p. 185.]

[Footnote 34: The autograph has on the title-page "Composta per la Sgra. Storace
dal suo servo ed amico W. A. Mozart, 26 di Dec., 1786."]

[Footnote 35: Wien. Ztg., 1785, Nr. 97, Anh. I do not know whether Bianchi wrote
his opera for Vienna or Venice. The statement (A. M. Z., XXIV., p. 485)
that the Emperor Joseph II. caused it to be composed in the form of a
pasticcio is incorrect. The overture, which was given in Leipzig (A.
M. Z. XIII., p. 168) and Vienna (A. M. Z., XXIV., p. 485) as having
been composed by Mozart for this opera, is the one which was written in
Salzburg in 1779 (319 K.; Cf., I., p. 516).]

[Footnote 36: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 48.]

[Footnote 37: Wien. Ztg., 1785, No. 29, Anh.]

[Footnote 38: Wien. Ztg., 1785, No. 46, Anh.]

[Footnote 39: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 234.]

[Footnote 40: Cramer, Mag. d. Mus., II., p. 62. Reichardt, Musik. Monatsschr., p.
38. Scudo, Mus. Ane. et Mod., p. 18.]

[Footnote 41: Wien. Ztg., 1789, No. 52, Anh.]

[Footnote 42: It is only known to me in an old copy among Mozart's remains.]

[Footnote 43: Müller, Abschied, p. 156.]

[Footnote 44: It was just noticed in the Wien. Ztg., 1788, No. 23, Anh.]

[Footnote 45: The song: "Beim Auszug in das Feld," dated August 11, 1788, in the
Thematic Catalogue, was probably written for a similar use; but I am not
acquainted with it.]

[Footnote 46: A German air, "Ohne Zwang aus eigenem Triebe" (569 K.), noted by
Mozart, under date "Jenner, 1789," has quite disappeared.]

[Footnote 47: Mus. Corr., 1790, p. 170; 1791, p. 69.]

[Footnote 48: She announced (Wien. Ztg., 1791, No. 66, Anh.) that in her
concert on June 19, she would play "an entirely new and beautiful
'Konzertantquintet,' with wind instruments, accompanied by Herr
Kapellmeister Mozart." CL Mus. Correspondenz, 1792, p. 146. A. M. Z.,
üI., p. 127. Among the sketches in the Mozarteum at Salzburg is the
commencement of another quintet for the same instruments in C major.]

[Footnote 49: Both in Berlin and Leipzig complaints were made that Mar.
Kirchgassner had sought to attract admiration by a rapidity and an
affected manner quite out of keeping with the character of the harmonica
(Reichardt, Mus. Monatsschr., p. 25. Berl. Mus. Ztg., 1793, p. 150. A.
M. Z., II., p. 254).]

[Footnote 50: Cf. Schink, Litt. Fragm., II., p. 286.]

[Footnote 51: It is entered in the Thematic Catalogue under April 21, 1784.]

[Footnote 52: In the Wiener Zeitung (1784, No. 54, p. 1560), Torricella announces
the composition by the celebrated Kapellmeister Mozart of three new
clavier sonatas, the third of which, with a violin accompaniment, had a
short time before been played with great success in the theatre by the
celebrated Mdlle. Strinasacchi and Herr Mozart, which is sufficient
recommendation in itself.]

[Footnote 53: The story is told by the widow (A. M. Z., I., p. 290), and more in
detail by Rochlitz (Für Freunde der Tonk., üI., p. 285).]

[Footnote 54: Dittersdorf, Selbstbiogr., p. 50.]

[Footnote 55: According to a communication of Sonnleithner's, who also asserts
that Leutgeb died in good circumstances on February 27, 1811.]

[Footnote 56: Cäcilie, IV., p. 306; VI., p. 203.]

[Footnote 57: Schink, Litt. Fragm., II., p. 236. Musik. Wochenbl., p. 118.]

[Footnote 58: So Parker asserts, Mus. Mem., II., p. 179, "from authentic

[Footnote 59: Cf. Niemetschek, p. 75. Rochlitz, A. M. Z., I., p. 115.]

[Footnote 60: Rochlitz, A. M. Z., üI., p. 591. Compare Mozart's remarks on
Gabrielli and Aloysia Weber, I., p. 427.]

[Footnote 61: Rochlitz, whose opinions were identical, describes a bravura scena
for a prima donna, which Mozart has also recorded (A. M. Z., üI., p.

[Footnote 62: "Deceit and flattery were alike foreign to his artless character,"
says Niemetschek (p. 96), "and any restraint upon his intellect was
insupportable to him. Free and unreserved in his expressions and
answers, he frequently wounded the susceptibilities of self-love, and
made many enemies." An article upon him after his death contains the
following passage (Reichardt, Musik. Wochenbl., p. 94): "Now that he is
dead, the Viennese will know what they have lost in him. During his life
he was much harassed by cabals, whose hostility he sometimes provoked by
his _sans-souci_ manner."]

[Footnote 63: Blumauer, who mentions this characteristic in his observations
on the culture and literature of Austria, asserts that within eighteen
months 1,172 publications of this kind appeared at Vienna (Pros. Schr.,
I., p. 72).]

[Footnote 64: Prutz, Deutsch. Museum, II., p. 28.]

[Footnote 65: The few opera scores found among Mozart's remains are Gluck's
"Arbre Enchanté," "Le Diable ä Quatre," Grétry's "Zemire et Azor,"
"Bamevelt," Mich. Haydn's "Endimione."]

[Footnote 66: Rochlitz, A. M. Z., I., p. 116. Cf. Siever's Mozart u. Süssmayer,
p. 22.]

[Footnote 67: A. M. Z., iiI., p. 493. He did not think highly of Jomelli as a
church composer, although he admired his operas (A. M. Z., I., p. 116),
while of Gass-mann he formed an exactly opposite opinion (A. M. Z., XX.,
p. 247).]

[Footnote 68: Burney, Reise, I., p. 22. Busky, Gesch. d. Mus., II., p. 584.]

[Footnote 69: So Jos. Frank asserts in Prutz, Deutsch. Museum, II., p. 24. There
are interesting notices in Kelly's Reminisc., I., p, 238.]

[Footnote 70: Rochlitz, A. M. Z., I., p. 185.]

[Footnote 71: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 238.]

[Footnote 72: Bridi, Brevi Notiz., p. 47.]

[Footnote 73: The theme "Come un agnello" is from Sarti's opera, "Fra i Due
Litiganti Il Terzo Gode," which was then the rage in Vienna, and is the
same which is made use of in the second finale of "Don Giovanni."]

[Footnote 74: Sarti's "Esame acustico fatto sopra due frammenti di Mozart" has,
as far as I know, never been printed; an extract was given in A. M. Z.,
XXXIV., p. 373 (cf. XXVI., p. 540).]

[Footnote 75: According to a letter from Bonn of April 8, 1787 (Cramer's Magaz.,
II., p. 1,386) he was still in Bonn at that time, and returned home just
before the death of his mother, on July 17, 1787.]

[Footnote 76: Schindler (Biogr. Beethoven, I., p. 15) apparently did not know
of this interview, which Beethoven was fond of alluding to; the above
account was communicated to me in Vienna on good authority. The anecdote
is embellished in Beethoven's Studien (Anh., p. 4), and alludes
to studies in counterpoint and theory which Beethoven had not even
attempted at the time. According to Ries (Biogr. Not., p. 86) he
received a few lessons from Mozart, but never heard him play.]

[Footnote 77: "Mozart willingly listened to criticism, even when it was adverse,"
says Rochlitz (A. M. Z., I., p. 145); "he was susceptible only to blame
of one kind, and that was the kind which he most often received--that
is, blame for his too fiery imagination and intellect. This
sensitiveness was but natural; for if the blame were justifiable,
then all that was most original and characteristic in his music was

[Footnote 78: The anecdote is given by Niemetschek, p. 94; Rochlitz (A. M. Z.,
I., p. 53); Griesinger (Biogr. Notizen uber J. Haydn, p. 105); Nissen,
p. 681, who names Kozeluch.]

[Footnote 79: Bohemia, 1856, p. 127.]

[Footnote 80: This remark was communicated to me by Neukomm, who heard it from

[Footnote 81: A. M. Z., II., p. 516.]

[Footnote 82: Rochlitz, A. M. Z., I., p. 53; cf. p. 116.]

[Footnote 83: So Reichardt asserts, A. M. Z., XV., p. 667 (Schletterer,
Reichardt, I., p. 325). Reise nach Wien, II., p. 91, and Dittersdorf
(Selbstbiogr., p. 238).]

[Footnote 84: Sending a sonata to Artaria, he writes (February 8,1780): "I hope
at least to gain credit for this work with people of cultivation; it
is sure to be criticised by the envious (who are very numerous)"; and
similar remarks frequently occur.]

[Footnote 85: Parke, Mus. Mem., I., p. 170.]

[Footnote 86: Niemetschek, p. 78 (A. M. Z., I., p. 182; XI., p. 780. Nissen,
p. 643. Wien. Musikzeitg., 1817, p. 288. Nohl, Musikerbr., p. xoi).
Griesinger asserts by mistake (Biogr. Notizen, p. 104), followed by
Carpani (Le Haydine, p. 202), that in 1791, Haydn (who was then in
London) was summoned to Prague for the coronation of Leopold II., but
refused the invitation in the words, "Where Mozart is, Haydn cannot show

[Footnote 87: Rochlitz, A. M. Z., I., p. 52.]

[Footnote 88: Nohl, Musikerbr., pp. 84, 93. Cf. Griesinger, Biogr. Not., p. 25.]

[Footnote 89: Stadler, Vertheidigung der Echtheit des Mozartschen Requiem, p. 27.]

[Footnote 90: Griesinger, Biogr. Not., p. 104.]

[Footnote 91: Carpani, Le Haydine, p. 201.]

[Footnote 92: Karajan, Haydn in London, p. 66. Nohl, Musikerbr., p. 114.]

[Footnote 93: Griesinger, Biogr. Not., p. 23.]

[Footnote 94: Griesinger, Biogr. Not., p. 35. Dies, Biogr. Nachr., p. 75.]

[Footnote 95: Dies, Biogr. Nachr., p. 77.]

[Footnote 96: Karajan, J. Haydn in London, p. 97. Nohl, Musikerbr., p. 135.]

[Footnote 97: I have heard from Neukomm that Haydn spoke of it with emotion (Cf.
Wien. Ztg. fur Theat., 1808, üI., p. 107). "I am childishly glad to be
at home," he wrote (December 20, 1791), "and welcomed by my old friends.
I only regret to miss the greeting of the great Mozart, whose death
I deplore. Posterity will not see such talent for a century to come"
(Karajan, p. 102; Nohl, Musikerbr., p. 140).]


FIRST among the group of friends in intercourse with whom Mozart found
entertainment and refreshment of the highest kind, must be named the
Countess Thun, _née_ Uhlefeld. She was one of the musical ladies who
took him under their protection from the first, and it was she more
especially who introduced him in Vienna, and furthered his advancement
by every means in her power. The prominent position which was hers more
in virtue of her cultivation and amiability than of her rank and wealth,
pointed her out as



a fitting protectress for genius. She was one of the few ladies with
whom the Emperor Joseph continued in later years on a footing of
intimacy, and he took leave of her in a touching letter from his
death-bed.[1] Music had the place of honour in her entertainments.
She played the pianoforte herself with "that grace, lightness, and
_délicatesse_ to which no fingers but a woman's can aspire," as Burney
says;[2] he was delighted with her gay, natural manners, her witty
sallies, and her pleasant irony, as well as with her taste, knowledge,
and serious interest in all things musical.[3] Her favourite composer at
that time (1772) was Beecké (Vol. I., p. 367), who mentions to Dalberg
having composed in 1785 a sonata for three pianofortes for the Countess
Thun and her daughters.

Reichardt also, whom she took under her protection on his arrival in
Vienna in 1783, extols her as the most intellectual and most charming
woman in Vienna, and adds that her musical receptions were frequented
both by the Emperor and the Archduke Maximilian.[4] Georg Forster
became her enthusiastic admirer during his stay in Vienna in, 1784. He
enumerates in a letter to Heyne[5] the distinguished men whose favour
and patronage he enjoyed, and we recognise among them many of Mozart's
friends and patrons. Such were the good old Counsellor von Born, Baron
Otto von Gemmingen--the intimate friend of Van Swieten, who had come to
Vienna in the summer of 1782[6]--the old Councillor von Spielmann[7]--a
man of learning and at the same time



more deeply versed in the affairs of the department of Prince Kaunitz
than any other statesman--the great minister Kaunitz himself (Vol. II.,
p. 212), good, simple Count Cobenzl (Vol. II., p. 173), Field-Marshal
Haddik, "a splendid old soldier, plain and plump,"[8] and to this list
Forster adds the name of the Countess Thun, "the most virtuous and
enlightened woman of Vienna." He gives a more particular account of his
intercourse with her to Thérèse Heyne:--

You cannot imagine how condescending and friendly every one is. One
scarcely remembers that one is among persons of high rank, and one feels
quite on the footing of an intimate friend. This is especially my case
with the Countess Thun, the most charming woman in the world, and her
three graces of daughters, each of them an angel in her own way. The
Countess is the best mother that I know; the children are all innocence,
joyful as the morning light, and full of natural sense and wit, at which
I wonder in silence, just as I wonder at the sense and wit of a certain
maid on the Leine. This charming family combine the most refined
discourse, and the most extensive reading and liberal knowledge, with
a pure, heartfelt religion, free from all superstition, the religion
of gentle and innocent hearts familiar with the secrets of nature and
creation. Almost every evening between nine and ten, these [above-named]
people assemble at the Countess Thun's, and enjoy brilliant conversation
or music, either clavier-playing, or German or Italian singing;
sometimes, when the humour seizes them, they dance.

We can well imagine how completely Mozart felt himself at home in this
circle; Prince Karl Lichnowsky, his friend and pupil, was the Countess
Thun's son-in-law.

Greiner's house was another in which learning was honoured and
cherished, and which formed a meeting-point for all celebrities.
Greiner's daughter, Caroline Pichler, an admirable pianiste,[9] thus
describes it:[10]--

Besides the poets Denis, Leon, Haschka, Alxinger, Blumauer, &c., whose
names were then famous, our house was frequented by men of severer
science. No foreign scholar or artist visited Vienna without bringing
introductions to Haschka or to my parents themselves. Thus we
entertained the celebrated traveller Georg Forster, Professors Meiners
and Spittler, Becker, Gögking, the actor Schroder, and many



musicians and composers such as Paesiello and Cimarosa; I need not say
that our native artists, Mozart, Haydn, Salieri, the brothers Hickl,
Füger, and others were frequent guests.

The house of the Martinez brother and sister, which has become by
association a true temple of the muses for the Viennese, was another
rendezvous for musicians, Metastasio, on his arrival at Vienna in 1730,
took up his residence with Nicolai Martinez, Master of the Ceremonies to
the Apostolic Nuncio, and remained with him until his death in 1782. He
became the intimate friend of the family, and carefully superintended
the education of the children. One of the daughters, Marianne (born
about 1740), by reason of her talent, and her lively, pleasant manners,
attracted his special attention.[11] Through his instruction she
became well versed in the Italian, French, and English languages and
literature, and in all the branches of a liberal education. Nor was
this all; Metastasio perceived that she possessed considerable musical
talent, and took care that she should receive a thorough musical
education. Joseph Haydn, who, on being dismissed from the Kapellhaus a
penniless young man, had taken a miserable garret in the same house, was
engaged to give Marianne lessons in playing and singing, for which he
was boarded free for three years by way of payment,[12] a more important
result for him being that he thus became acquainted with Porpora,
who interested himself in Marianne's education out of friendship for
Metastasio. Afterwards, under the careful guidance of Bono and of
Metastasio himself, she developed gifts as a singer, player, and
composer which excited general admiration,[13] and won applause from
Hasse.[14] In 1773 she was made a member of the Philharmonic Academy at
Bologna,[15] and afterwards received a "Dictor-diplom" both from
Bologna and Pavia; in 1782 her oratorio "Isaaco" was performed at the
"Societätsconcert."[16] She



lived with her brother (Imperial librarian) after the death of
Metastasio, whose property she inherited;[17] she gave receptions, which
were frequented by all the intellectual and musical celebrities of the
day.[18] Kelly, who brought an introduction to her, declared that,
in spite of her advanced age, she retained all the animation and
cheerfulness of youth, and was pleasant and talkative. He says that
Mozart (who had been warmly received by Metastasio on his early visits
to Vienna) was very intimate with her, and that he had heard them play
duets of her composition at her musical parties.[19]

One of the most distinguished musical dilettanti of the day at Vienna
was the Geheimrath Bernh. von Keess (d. 1795). This "well-known lover of
music and patron of musicians" took the amateur concerts in the Augarten
(Vol. II., p. 284, note 47) under his protection, and possessed a rare
and costly collection of musical objects.[20] He gave private concerts
twice a week in his own house, as Gyrowetz relates:[21]--

The best virtuosi in Vienna, and the first composers, such as Jos.
Haydn, Mozart, Dittersdorf, Hoffmeister, Albrechtsberger, Giamovichi,
Ac., assembled at these concerts. Haydn's symphonies were performed
there, Mozart used generally to play the pianoforte, and Giamovichi,
the most celebrated violin virtuoso of the day,[22] usually played
a concerto; the lady of the house sang. It happened one evening that
Mozart was late in arriving, and they waited for him to begin, because
he had promised to bring with him a song for the lady of the house.
One servant after another was sent to find him, and at last he was
discovered in a tavern; the messenger begged him to come at once, as
all the company was waiting to hear the new song. Mozart thereupon
recollected that he had not written a note of it. He sent the messenger
for a sheet of music paper, and set to work in the tavern to compose
the song. When it was finished he went his way to the concert, where
the company were waiting for him with great impatience. After a little
gentle reproach for his delay he was most affectionately received; the
lady of the house sang the new song, a little nervously, it is true, but
it was enthusiastically received and applauded.



Mozart's boyish fancy of only playing before connoisseurs naturally
disappeared as he grew older and more sensible. He took pleasure in
playing to all who took pleasure in hearing him, and was so far from
the affectation of requiring to be pressed, that many persons of rank in
Vienna reproached him with being too ready to play to anybody who
asked him. One requirement, indeed, he made which seems difficult of
attainment in musical society, viz., the silence and attention of his
audience. "Nothing irritated him so much," says Niemetschek (p. 88),
"as restlessness, noise, or talking over music. On such occasions the
usually gentle, courteous man completely lost patience, and expressed
his annoyance without reserve. He has been known to rise in the middle
of his playing, and leave an inattentive audience." In some cases his
satirical humour led him to show his disgust in other ways.[23] When he
was playing to real musicians and connoisseurs he was indefatigable.[24]
After his concert in Leipzig, where he had alternately played and
conducted, he said to the good old violin-player Berger: "I have only
just got warm. Come home with me, and I will play you something
worthy of an artist's ears." And after a hasty supper, his ideas and
imaginations streamed from the instrument till close on midnight. Then
suddenly springing up, as his manner was, he cried: "Now, what do you
think of that? You have heard Mozart after his own fashion; something
less will do for the others."[25]

The family with whom Mozart appeared most completely at home in Vienna
was that of the celebrated botanist Freih. von Jacquin. We have an
attractive description of it (1844) from Caroline Pichler, who was
intimate there from her youth:[26]--

This family had for sixty or seventy years been a shining light in the
scientific world, both in and out of Vienna, and their house was visited
by many for the sake of the pleasant social intercourse there to be
enjoyed. While the learned, or would-be learned, paid their respects to



the famous father and his worthy son, Jos. Frz. v. Jacquin,[27] the
more youthful assembled round the younger son Gottfried, whose lively
intellect, striking talent for music, and charming voice made him
the centre of the gay circle, together with his sister Franziska, the
still-surviving Frau von Lagusius. On Wednesday evenings--which from
time immemorial, were dedicated by the family to society, even in winter
when the Jacquins lived in the Botanic Gardens[28]--learned talk went
on in the father's room, while we young people chattered, joked,
made music, played games, and entertained ourselves entirely to our

How thoroughly happy and at home Mozart was with this family may be seen
from a letter to Gottr. von Jacquin, written in the full glow of his
happiness at the brilliant reception he had met with in Prague (January

At last I am fortunate enough to find a moment in which to inquire after
your dear parents, and all the Jacquin family. I can only hope and pray
that you are all as well and happy as we two are. I can assure you,
however, that (although we have been received here with extreme
politeness and all possible honour, and Prague is really a handsome,
pleasant city) I long very much for Vienna, and most particularly for
_your_ house. When I reflect that after my return I shall enjoy the
pleasure of your society again for a short time, and then perhaps lose
it for ever, I feel to its full extent the friendship and esteem which
I bear to your whole family. Now farewell! Present my respects to your
revered parents, and embrace your brother for me. I kiss your sister's
hand a thousand times. But now it is time I close, is it not? Long ago,
you will think. Write to me soon, very soon; if you are too lazy to do
it yourself, send for Salmann, and dictate a letter to him; but it never
comes straight from the heart unless you write yourself. Well--I shall
see whether you are as much my friend as I am, and always shall be,

During his second stay in Prague Mozart acquaints his friend with the
good reception of "Don Giovanni" (November 4, 1787),[30] and adds:--



I wish that all my friends (especially Bridi and you) could be here just
for one evening to participate in my pleasure.

And then he ends in his mocking way:--

My great grandfather used to say to his wife, my great grandmother, and
she to her daughter my grandmother, and she again to her daughter, my
mother, and she finally to her daughter, my dear sister, that it was a
great art to be able to speak well and fully, but that it was perhaps a
still greater art to know when to leave off speaking. I will, therefore,
now follow the advice of my sister due to our mother, grandmother, and
great grandmother, and bring my moral reflections and my letter to a
close together.

And when, to his "delighted surprise," he received a second letter from
Jacquin, he answers in a postscript:--

Can it be that neither your dear parents, nor your sisters and brother
keep me in remembrance? That is incredible! I put it down to your
forgetfulness, my friend, and I flatter myself that I may safely do so.

Gius. Ant. Bridi, of whom Mozart speaks in the above letter, was a young
merchant of Roveredo, who was a favourite in musical circles[31]
alike for his fine, well-trained tenor voice, and for his amiable
character.[32] On the production of "Idomeneo" at the Auersperg theatre,
he took a part, probably that of Idomeneo.[33] He too enjoyed, as he
afterwards gratefully recorded, Mozart's friendship and confidence.[34]
Gottfried von Jacquin wrote the following characteristic words in
Mozart's album (April n, 1787):--

Genius without heart is a chimera--for it is not intellect alone, not
imagination, not even the two combined which make genius--love! love!
love! is the soul of genius.

He was endeared to Mozart by his musical talent and sympathy. A memorial
of their friendship exists in the song composed for Jacquin on March 23,
1787: "Mentre di lascio, o figlia," from Paesiello's "Disfatta di Dario"
(513 K., part 9). A comparison of this with the song composed



for Fischer shows how well Mozart understood the art of adapting himself
to given conditions. There is no presupposition here of such a compass
and flexibility of voice, nor of such force of passion as give the
earlier song its original stamp; all that is required is a bass voice of
moderate compass and no great depth, a certain volubility of voice, and
a considerable amount of feeling and cultivation. The situation excludes
any expression of violent emotion, and moderates the sentiment without
rendering it less hearty; we are called on to sympathise with the sorrow
of a father taking leave of his daughter at a moment pregnant with fate,
not with that of a youth parting from his beloved. Here again external
conditions have been utilised in the production of a song which is
worthy by its beauty of form and grace of expression to take a high
rank among others of its class.[35] Mozart composed other songs for his
friend and his friend's family; ballads, for instance, for particular
occasions and friends. Concerning one of these, he writes: "If the song
_en question_ is to be a test of my friendship, have no more doubt on
the subject, here it is. But I hope that you do not need the song to
convince you of my friendship" (Prague, November 4, 1787). Another,
"Erzeugt von heisser Phantasie" (520 K.) is inscribed: "Den 26 Mai,
1787, in Hrn. Gottfried von Jacquin's Zimmer, Landstrasse." Several
charming little canzonetti for two sopranos and a bass, with Italian
words, were also written for this circle, Mozart indicates one of them,
"Più non si trovano" (549 K.), under date July 16, 1788, and there are
five other nottumi of the kind existing in autograph, viz.: "Luci cari
luci belle" (346 K.); "Ecco quel fiero istante," by Metastasio (436 K.);
"Mi lagnero tacendo," by Metastasio (437 K.); "Se lontan



ben mio tu sei" (438 K.), "Due pupille amabili" (439 K.). To these
exists in Mozart's handwriting wind-instrument accompaniment, for two
clarinets and a basset-horn, or three basset-homs, a combination
often employed by Mozart, apparently without any special reason. The
accompaniment may be dispensed with, the canzonetti being properly
intended for the voices alone. They are extremely simple, but full
of grace and charm, and betray the master in their harmonic turns and
disposition of parts. It may be inferred that these compositions were
primarily intended for the Jacquin family, from the fact that several of
them passed as the composition of Gottfr. von Jacquin in Vienna, as
was the case with more than one solo song concerning whose authenticity
there can be no doubt. Mozart set little store by such occasional
compositions; they passed from hand to hand, and as Jacquin himself
composed songs, which were put in circulation from his house, some of
Mozart's might easily, without any fault on his part, be ascribed to
him. As a set-off to these, the bass song, "Io ti lascio, o cara,
addio" (245 K. Anh.), composed by Jacquin, is to this day included among
Mozart's works. In the "Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung," where it was
first printed, it was expressly stated that the original was in Mozart's
handwriting, and was written by him in a few minutes, as he took leave
of a lady friend; the scene was afterwards variously laid at Prague and
Mayence, and elaborated into a love episode. But in a letter to Hartel
(May 25, 1799), Mozart's widow protested against the genuineness both of
the song and of the story, and emphatically asserted, supported by the
Abbé Stadler, that the song was composed by Gottfr. von Jacquin as a
farewell to the Countess Hatzfeld, and that Mozart put the accompaniment
to it. The song contains Mozart-like phrases, but no characteristic
touches of his genius.

Kelly relates that he composed Metastasio's "Grazie agi' inganni tuoi,"
that Mozart was pleased with the simple melody, and wrote variations
upon it.[36] These do not exist, but we have a sketch by Mozart in which
Kelly's melody,



with some slight improvements, and a new middle phrase, is arranged
for two soprano voices and a bass, with a wind instrument accompaniment
(flute, two clarinets, horns and bassoons) no doubt for some special
occasion (532 K.).

Concerted songs of this kind were then a favourite pastime in musical
circles; they were often comic, and sometimes coarse. No one will doubt
that Mozart was always ready for this species of fun, and his comic
"Bandl-Terzett" (441 K.) was known, not only among his Vienna friends,[37]
but far and wide among lovers of music and fun. Mozart had made his wife
a present of a new belt ribbon which she wished to wear one day when
she was going for a walk with Jacquin. Not finding it she called to her
husband: "Liebes Mandl, wo ists Bandl?" (Where is the belt, my dear?)
They both looked for it in vain till Jacquin joined them and found it.
But he refused to give it up, held it high in the air, and being a
very tall man, the Mozarts, both little, strove in vain to reach it.
Entreaties, laughter, scolding, were all in vain, till at last the dog
ran barking between Jacquin's legs. Then he gave up the ribbon, and
declared that the scene would make a good comic terzet. Mozart took the
hint, wrote the words in the Vienna dialect (which is essential for the
comic effect), and sent the terzet to Jacquin.[38] Well sung, it never
fails of its effect. A four-part pendant to the terzet "Caro mio Druck
und Schluck," was in the possession of Mozart's widow, as she informed
Hartel (May 25, 1799); it seems to have been a canon with a comic bass
part (Anh. 5 K.).

Canons were in special favour at the social gatherings of



which we have been speaking. It may always be taken for granted that
children and persons of slight musical cultivation will take peculiar
pleasure in this severest form of musical mechanism, if the persistent
regularity with which each part pursues its independent course is
combined with a general effect of harmony and satisfaction. For the
enlightened few, the interest arises from such a skilful handling
of forms confined within the strictest rules as shall emphasise
epigrammatic points in the most vivid and telling manner. So in poetry,
the sonnet, the triolet, and other similar forms serve by their very
limitations to emphasise the conceits which they express. The same sort
of contrast, produced without departing from a strict adherence to rule,
forms the chief effect of the canon. The sharp definition of its various
parts gives it abundance of means for accentuating particular points,
aided by their constant recurrence in different positions and different
lights. The canon, therefore, is the _epigrammatic_ form of music, the
most suitable vehicle for a moral sentence or a witty phrase, and it is
capable of expressing alike the most serious and the most comic ideas.
It requires, indeed, the firm hand of a master so to triumph over
the difficulties of the form as to produce not only a masterpiece of
counterpoint for the satisfaction of the learned, but also a melodious
self-sufficing vocal piece, whose most studied difficulties shall leave
the impression of lucky accidents. The greatest masters seem to have
turned for recreation to the composition of canons,[39] and even grave
men like Padre Martini[40] and Michael Haydn[41] did not disdain to
write comic canons. Mozart cultivated the style, and a long list may be
placed under his name. In the "Oeuvres" (XV., XVI.) two two-part, nine
three-part, nine four-part, and one six-part.



canons are printed; but they are certainly not all genuine. In the
Thematic Catalogue, the following are noted as composed by Mozart:--


1. Difficile Iectu [Nimm ists gleich warm] three-part (559 K.).

2. Caro bell' idol, three-part (562 K.).

5. Ave Maria, four-part (554 K.).

6. Lacrimoso son io, four-part (555 K.). XVI.

1. O du eselhafter [Gähnst du Fauler], four-part (560 K.).

2. Alleluja, four-part (553 K.).

3. Grechtelseng [Allés Fleisch], four-part (556 K.).

4. Gemma in Prater [Allés ist eitel], four-part (558 K.).

6. Bona nox [Gute Nacht], four-part (561 K.).!!!

Besides these there must have been four more published from Mozart's
autograph, for the widow writes (November 30, 1799) that she has
sent thirteen canons in the original. But of these one (XV. 12) "O
wunderschon" (227 K.) was by W. Byrd (d. 1623), published by Mattheson
(Vollk. Kapellm. p. 409), and only copied by Mozart, and the same may
have been the case with others. We recognise Mozart with some certainty

XV. 4. L. m. d. A. r. s. [Nichts labt. mich mehr.], four-part (233 K.).

XVI. 5. Lieber Freistadler, lieber Gaulimauli [Wer nicht liebt], four-part
(232 K.).

7. L. m. i. A. [Lasst uns froh sein], six-part (231 K.).

9. [Lass immer] two-part (410 K.). But this canon exists in Mozart's
handwriting as an adagio for two basset-homs with a bassoon, perhaps as
an accompaniment to a vocal piece.

Concerning the others I can speak with no certainty; but those which are
well authenticated seem to me by far the finest. Some genuine canons by
Mozart are omitted from this collection, such as the four-part
canon, called in the Thematic Catalogue "Nascoso" (557 K.), which is
particularly fine.[42] There are serious canons,[43] cheerful canons,[44]
and an overwhelming majority of comic canons. The words



to these last were generally his own; they are almost always in the
Vienna dialect, and not a few of them are too coarse for publication,
although they are preserved in verbal tradition. The original words of
two of the most authentic may serve as an example of the rest:--

Grechtelseng, grechtelseng, wir gehn in Prater. In Prater? itzt, lass
nach, i lass mi nit stimma. Ei bei Leib. Ei ja wohl. Mi bringst nit
aussi! Was blauscht der? was blauscht der? Itzt halts Maul, i gieb dir a
Tetschen! (556 K.).

Gemma in Proda, gemma in d' Hetz, gemma in Kasperl. Der Kasperl ist
krank, der Bar ist verreckt, was that ma in der Hetz drausst, in Prater
giebts Gelsen und Haufen von Dreck (558 K.).

The fun consisted essentially in the dialogue form and colloquial
expressions of the text--as will be evident to all who compare the newly
substituted versions, which, unexceptionable and correct as they are,
neutralise the whole comic effect--of the canons. Mozart's mastery of
form and his wonderful power of transforming everything he attempted
into a complete and well-rounded work of art, are displayed in all the
canons without exception; each one contains the clear expression of
a particular mood, together with a melodious beauty, so thoroughly
consistent with the form in which they are embodied as to appear
inseparable from it. Finding eight four-part and two three-part canons
under one date (September 2, 1788) in the Thematic Catalogue, we may
be inclined to imagine that Mozart was seized with a sort of periodical
canon-fever; but it is more probable that some circumstance led to his
noting on that day all the works of the kind that he had either in hand
or in prospect. No doubt most of them were composed on the spur of
the moment, as we know was the case with two among the list. The
tenor singer, Joh. Nepomuk Peierl, "a man of refinement," according
to Schroder,[45] who had sung with his wife for several years at the
Salzburg theatre, paid a short visit to Vienna in 1785, and became
acquainted with Mozart. He had a peculiar pronunciation which often made
him the subject of raillery, and Mozart made it the



text for a three-part canon of wonderfully comic effect.[46] This was
scarcely ended when the singers turned over the leaf, and began another
four-part canon (560 K.) on the words: "O du eselhafter Peierl! o du
peirlischer Esel! du bist so faul als wie ein Gaul, der weder Kopf
noch Haxen hat, mit dir ist gar nichts anzufangen, ich seh dich noch am
Galgen hangen; du dummer Gaul! du bist so faul! du dummer

Peierl bist so faul als wie ein Gaul; O lieber Freundverzeihe mir!
Nepomuk! Peierl! verzeihe mir!"[47] There is nothing particularly
refined or amusing about the jest except the very excellent and
effective canon. This was so highly applauded that it was employed
on other occasions with more emphatic invectives, addressed to other
individuals.[48] Mozart's marvellous gift of improvisation, showing
itself in this form among others, is illustrated by an anecdote vouched
for by Rochlitz. The evening before Mozart left Leipzig for Berlin,
whence he intended to return in a few days, he supped with the Precentor
Doles, with whom he was very intimate. His entertainers, melancholy at
the prospect of parting, begged for a few lines of his writing by way of
remembrance. Mozart was in a merry mood, laughed at their "whining," and
declared he would rather go to bed than write music. At last he took a
sheet of note-paper, tore it in half, sat down and wrote--at the most
for five or six minutes. Then he handed one-half to the son, the other
to the father. On one page was a three-part canon in long notes without
words, and when sung very melancholy and melodious. On the second page
was also a three-part canon without words, but in quavers, and full of
drollery. When they had discovered



that the two might be sung together, Mozart wrote to the first the
words, "Lebet wohl, wir sehn uns wieder!" To the second, "Heult noch gar
wie alte Weiber"--and so they were sung.[49] Unhappily this double canon
is not preserved.

Many comic compositions of this kind are ascribed to Mozart wrongly or
on insufficient grounds.[50] One most diverting example of his love of
humour exists in the "Musikalische Spass," as he calls it himself--the
"Bauem-symphonie," as it is sometimes designated--which was probably
written for a special occasion on June 11, 1787; owing, no doubt, to
pressure of time it was only partially scored. Ignorant composers and
unskilful performers are ridiculed together in this piece, which is
in the form of a divertimento (Vol. I., p. 303) in four movements for
string quartet and two horns. The ridicule of the players is very broad,
as, for instance, when the horns, where they should come in solo in the
minuet, play actual wrong notes, or when the first violin at the close
of a long cadenza, consisting of a number of trivial disconnected
passages, finishes off with an ascending scale, and goes at least half a
tone too high. But the most amazing confusion occurs at the end,
where, in the midst of a fanfare in F major for the horns, the stringed
instruments strike in one after another, each in a different key. A
semitone higher or lower is treated as a matter of small importance,
thirds are carried on even where they are out of place; but sometimes,
when a part seems to come in too soon, or when nothing but accompaniment
is heard for several bars, as if the principal parts were pausing
too long, or when at a particular point a note occurs which sounds
excruciatingly false, it is only by the context that we can be assured
that no actual mistake has happened, and that the composer does not
deserve to be hissed on his own



account. This is repeatedly the case also in the plan and treatment of
the movements as a whole; they are after the usual pattern, turns and
passages occur of the customary kind, with here and there a striking
modulation, but there is a complete lack of power to grasp or carry out
an idea; two or three bars bring each effort to an end, and there is a
constant recurrence to the traditional formula of the closing cadence.
The attempt after thematic elaboration in the finale is very ludicrous;
it is as though the composer had heard of such a thing, and strove to
imitate it in a few phrases, greatly to his own satisfaction. The art is
most remarkable whereby the pretended ignorance never becomes wearisome,
and the audience is kept in suspense throughout. The effect rests partly
on the shrewd conception of what is truly comic in ignorant pretension
(for nowhere is irony more dangerous than in music, the impression of
discord being one difficult of control), partly on the perfect mastery
of the instruments displayed by the composer.[51]

Among the compositions resulting mainly at least from friendship or
social circumstances may be included the songs or ballads (Lieder) of
which we have already noticed some examples.[52] In Vienna and South
Germany the "Lied" was far from having attained, at that time, the
importance it afterwards possessed. Even in social circles, classical
and, therefore so far as song was concerned, Italian music predominated,
and aspiring dilettanti sought exclusively for songs which should
display their artistic cultivation. Dilettantism was then just beginning
to bear sway, especially over the pianoforte, and its dominion speedily
extended to vocal music, where the "Lied" became its peculiar form
of expression. In North Germany the state of affairs was somewhat
different. Italian opera in Dresden and Berlin was too isolated to



have much influence; the want of practised singers had caused the
cultivation of the operetta, which fell back on the confined form and
simple expression of the "Lied," and in its turn raised the "Lied,"
which had lingered only in taverns[53] and the domestic circle, to
higher significance and cultivation. Weisse expressly declared that
his operas were intended to incite the Germans to social song. Nor had
earlier and greater composers, such as Telemann, Graun, Ph. Em. Bach,
and others, disdained to compose ballads, or odes as they were then
called, for domestic practice. In Berlin this tendency was especially
active, and Marpurg, in his "Critical Letters," treats of the musical
ode ("Chanson, Strophenlied") historically and aesthetically, and
appends a long list of examples. The influence of the operetta upon the
development of the 44 Lied" is unmistakable. It was something more than
chance which caused the simultaneous rise of German lyric poetry in many
parts of North Germany, which produced such lyric poets as Weisse, Uz,
Gleim, Hagedom, Jacobi, &c., and the "Dichterbund" of Gottingen, with
Hiller as their special composer. Klopstock had little to do with the
movement. His odes have found composers, especially (not to mention
Reefe) Gluck, who followed his principles in keeping close to the words
of the poet, and aiming at declamatory effect.[54] He was followed by
Reichardt, a warm admirer of Klopstock,[55] who wrote an essay on the
composition of Klopstock's odes.[56] But they had little influence, and
the musical treatment of lyrical poetry received its chief impulse when
Herder awoke the taste for national songs, and Goethe produced genuine
German lyric poems: Reichardt[57] and Schulz[58] were the two composers
who felt



this impulse most strongly, and mainly strove for the development of the
German ballad in its own simple popular style.

But this phase of musical influence had, in Mozart's day, hardly
penetrated to Vienna. Hofmann, Steffan, Beecké, Haydn, and others had
indeed composed Lieder, but they laid claim to nothing higher than the
amusement of social circles; the words are generally of mediocre merit,
and the music so simple as to make it evident that the song did not
intend to intrude into good society. Mozart only occasionally composed
Lieder.[59] He was in the habit, as his wife writes to Hartel, of
writing down in a book kept for the purpose any poem which he admired,
or which incited him to composition; but his reading was not extensive,
and there was little to attract him in Vienna at that time. He had his
own opinions on this subject as on others, and we are struck with his
remarks in a letter to his father (December 23,1782):--

I am at work upon a very difficult matter, viz., the setting of an ode
on Gibraltar, by Denis.[60] But it is a secret, for a Hungarian lady
wishes to surprise Denis with it. The ode is dignified--fine, if you
like--but too pompous and exaggerated for my taste. How can it be
otherwise? Truth and moderation are hardly known and never valued
nowadays. If a thing is to succeed it must either be so easy that a
hackney-coach-man could imitate it, or so incomprehensible that, just
because they do not understand it, everybody is ready to praise it.

Every competent critic will endorse Mozart's opinion on Denis's ode;[61]
but how many then in Vienna were as independent and candid in their
judgment on the favourite poet as the young composer? A facsimile of
Mozart's hasty sketch of part of this ode is taken from the archives of
the Mozarteum at Salzburg. Whether the ode was ever finished I do not



We may gather that Mozart's Lieder were the result of occasional
impulses, from the fact that they occur at long intervals, and that he
usually wrote several at one time. On May 7, 1785, he composed three
poems by Weisse; on the autograph (472-474, K.) is noted, "Weisse,
erster Band, p. 18,14,29"; Weisse's lyrical poems (Leipzig, 1772)
formed part of Mozart's modest library. The year 1787, however, was most
fruitful, owing doubtless to his constant intercourse with Jacquin; we
find four in May (517-520, K.), two on June 24 (523, 524, K.), two at
Prague on November 6 (529, 530, K.), and another on December 11 (531
K.). Then there is a pause until January 14, 1791, when three ballads
(596-598, K.) were composed, according to Nissen, for a children's
publication.[62] Mozart published but few of these compositions;[63]
they generally remained in the possession of those for whom they were
written, and were circulated in MS. copies, which explains why many
were attributed to him which he never wrote, while some of his own
composition were attributed to others.[64] The greater number of them



are true "Strophenlieder," such as the ballads from Campe's
"Kinderbibliothek" (595, 598, K.), to which also belongs the ballad for
little Fritz's birthday (529 K.), to which very unsuitable words have
been adapted. These are all manifestly easy and simple, and possess the
same charm from the mouths of children as "Komm lieber Mai." Hagedom's
little song, "Zu meiner Zeit bestand noch Recht und Bil-ligkeit" (517
K.), is jestingly treated; Mozart himself has written over it, "A little
through the nose," to emphasise the proper comic delivery. The
quality which distinguishes  these songs from the majority of those
contemporary with them is not so much their perfect form and finish,
their attractive melodies, or their harmonious delicacy (though these
exist in full measure) as their vivid expression of a poetic mood, be it
cheerful, earnest, or passionate. The poems of Hagedorn, Weisse, Jacobi,
Overbeck, Hölty, Miller, Claudius, and others whose names are unknown,
seem to us little calculated to stir the poetical productivity of the
composer; and the passionate expression and forcible accentuation of
some of the songs strike us as being almost in opposition to the words
of the poem. Look only at the close of the second song, "Zufriedenheit"

(473 K.), "Und angenehm ist selbst mein Schmerz, wenn ich vor Liebe
weine"; or the words in the "Betragenen Welt" (474 K.), "Eswird ein
prachtig Fest vollzogen, bald hinkt die Reue hinterdrein." We must
not leave out of account, however, that the standpoint of literary
cultivation accepted by Mozart and his contemporaries had its own
conceptions and standard of poetic representation;[65] a perhaps not
very distant future will doubtless feel equal wonder at some of the
poems set to music in our own day. It is more important to note Mozart's
exposition of his own poetic nature, which led him to grasp and embody,
not so much the words and the form, as the animating idea of the poem
before him. Therefore



it is that he gives us in his music a depth and truth of emotion which
are wanting in the words. Take, for example, the first song by Weisse,
"Der Zauberer." Divest it of the pastoral costume, which is strange
to us, and of the tame, somewhat clumsy expression, and retain the
situation of a young girl awaking to her first consciousness of love
with timid amazement. This we shall find in Mozart's composition;
certainly not in Weisse's shepherdess.

In one song of passionate and sorrowful expression--"Trennung und
Wiedervereinigung," by Jacobi--two verses, in which the sentiment is
considerably modified, have a fresh setting, and the first melody recurs
only at the close. Others have each verse the same. One of these is
the song "An Chloë" (524 K.), perhaps the best known and liked of all
Mozart's pleasant, easy melodies; but it is the least significant and
song-like of any, being formed after the manner of Italian canzonetti.
"Abendempfindung" (523 K.) is more original and finer in its expression
of emotion and in its form, which appears to yield to its changing
moods, but is in reality both finished and well defined; "Unglückliche
Liebe" (520 K.) is passionate and almost dramatic, a definite situation
being indicated by the poet in the superscription: "Als Louise die
Briefe ihres ungetreuen Liebhabers verbrannte."

But the crown of all the songs, by virtue of its touching expression of
emotion and its charming perfection of form, is unquestionably Goethe's
"Veilchen" (476 K.).[66] In other songs we discern musical genius
divining and bringing to light the poetic germ which lies hidden in the
words; here we have the impression made upon Mozart by true poetry.
It may seem remarkable that so simple a lyrical poem should have been
treated by Mozart as a romance, giving a certain amount of dramatic
detail to the little story; and yet it must not be overlooked that the
masterly touch which repeats the closing words: "Das arme Veilchen! es
war ein herzigs



Veilchen!" fully reasserts a genuine lyric element.[67] A tendency
to dramatic effect was inherent in Mozart's nature as an artist, and
Goethe's clear and plastic presentation of a simple image, true in every
feature, could not fail to impress him deeply. The poem must have fallen
into his hands by some accident; had he known others of them, he would
certainly have preferred them to Weisse's. Why did he not seek them out?
He does not seem to have sought out any poems for composition, but took
what came, and Goethe had scarcely penetrated to the circle in which he
lived. Had the springtime of German poetry been opened before his day,
what inspirations might he not have drawn from its source!

Mozart's labours as a song composer are not by any means on a level with
those in the other branches of his art, although even here his artistic
nature could not fail to make itself felt. Beethoven followed him
closely in his manner of song-writing, and walked steadily to the last
in the path indicated by Mozart.


[Footnote 1: Besides the Countess Thun, these were the Princesses Liechtenstein,
Schwarzenburg, Lobkowitz. Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 209. Car. Pichler,
Denk-würd., I., p. 141. Hormayr, Gesch. Wiens., V., p. 94. Vehse, Gesch.
des Osterr. Hofes, VIII., p. 304.]

[Footnote 2: Burney, Reise, II., p. 160. She told him that she had formerly
played much better, but that she had borne six children, each of whom
had carried away something of her musical power.]

[Footnote 3: Burney, pp. 188, 215.]

[Footnote 4: A. M. Z., XV., p. 668. Schletterer, Reichardt, p. 327.]

[Footnote 5: G. Forster, Sämm. Schr., VII., p. 272.]

[Footnote 6: Meyer, L. Schroder, I., p. 380.]

[Footnote 7: He possessed a house with a beautiful garden, on the high road. At a
concert there given, Nicolai admired the promising pianoforte-playing
of Spielmann's little daughter, who had been instructed by her talented
mother (Reise, IV., p. 554; cf. üI., p. 37, 291).]

[Footnote 8: G. Forster, Sämmtl. Schr., VII., p. 269.]

[Footnote 9: Jahrb. d. Tonk., 1796, pp. 19, 70.]

[Footnote 10: Car. Pichler, Denkw., I., p. 92.]

[Footnote 11: Cristini, Vita di Metastasio, p. 206.]

[Footnote 12: Griesinger, Biogr. Not., p. 13. Carpani, Le Haydine, p. 86.]

[Footnote 13: Barney, Reise, II., pp. 181, 227, 254. Jahrb. d. Tonk., 1796, p.

[Footnote 14: Barney, Reise, II., p. 260.]

[Footnote 15: Mancini, Rifl. Prat, sul Canto Fig., p. 229.]

[Footnote 16: Wiener Musikzeitg., 1842, p. 70.]

[Footnote 17: Cristini, Vita di Metastasio, p. 211.]

[Footnote 18: Jahrb. d. Tonk., 1796, p. 71.]

[Footnote 19: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 252.]

[Footnote 20: Wien. Ztg., 1796, No. 29.]

[Footnote 21: Gyrowetz, Selbtsbiogr., p. 9. Cf. Nohl, Musikerbr., pp.

[Footnote 22: Dittersdorf (Selbstbiogr., p. 233) is of this opinion.]

[Footnote 23: Rochlitz gives a comical example (A. M. Z., I., p. 49).]

[Footnote 24: Niemetschek, p. 95.]

[Footnote 25: Rochlitz, A. M. ft, XIV., p. 106. Fur Freunde der Tonkunst, üI., p.

[Footnote 26: Car. Pichler, Denkw., I., p. 179.]

[Footnote 27: On April 24,1787, he wrote in Mozart's album: "Tibi qui
possis blandus auritas fidibus canons, ducere quercus in amicitiæ
tesseram.--Jos. Franc, a Jacquin."]

[Footnote 28: The Botanic Garden was laid out by Maria Theresa, in the suburbs
(Nicolai, Reise, III., p. 34); Mozart lived in the neighbourhood, which
facilitated his intercourse with the Jacquins.]

[Footnote 29: Wien. Zeitschr., 1842, No. 79, p. 627.]

[Footnote 30: Wien. Zeitschr., 1842, No. 79, p. 625.]

[Footnote 31: Jahrb. d. Tonk., 1796, p..10. Reichardt, Reise n. Wien, I., p. 466.]

[Footnote 32: He was Kelly's companion on a visit to Haydn (Reminisc., I., p.

[Footnote 33: A. M. Z., XXVI., p. 92.]

[Footnote 34: Brevi Notizie int. ad ale. compositori di musica (Rover., 1827), p.

[Footnote 35: It is illustrative of Mozart's way of working that at the place
where a very bold and striking harmony occurs in the otherwise simple
air, the bass is figured in the transcription--[See Page Image] as if he
wished to assure himself of the effect of the harmonic succession.]

[Footnote 36: Kelly, Reminisc., I., p. 226.]

[Footnote 37: Mozart writes to Gottfr. von Jacquin (Prague, February 14,1787):
"You may be sure that we managed to get up a little quatuor in
_caritatis camera_, and the 'schöne Bandl hammera." Allusions are also
made to it in his letters to his wife.]

[Footnote 38: I was informed in Vienna that Mozart's widow related the
circumstance in this way, only Van Swieten was erroneously substituted
for Jacquin. A fragment of the original score (with quartet
accompaniment) gives the names of Constanze, Mozart and Jacquin as
singers. In the short preliminary notice to the published "Terzett"
(Ouvres, V., 8), the detail was omitted as unnecessary to be made
public. A quintet which appeared in Vienna in 1856, as Canto a 5 voci
di Mozart, "Oh, come lieto in seno" (244 Anh. K.), is from Ant.
Cartellieri's opera, "Il Segreto," composed in 1804 (Bohemia, 1860, No.
50, p. 448).]

[Footnote 39: Jos. Haydn hung his rooms round with forty-six canons of his own
composition, framed and glazed (Griesinger, Biogr. Notizen, p. 97.
Carpani, Le Haydine, p. 121. Cf. Biogr. Skizze von Mich. Haydn, p. 29).]

[Footnote 40: His _canoni bernesche_ were, according to Carpani (Le Haydine, p.
113), widely disseminated.]

[Footnote 41: Neukomm informed me that a canon by Mich. Haydn, ascribed to
Mozart, was composed in Salzburg with reference to a particular person;
another of his comic canons, suggested by the joking rhymes of the
organ-builder Egedacher in Salzburg, is given in facsimile in the
Cäcilia (XVI., p. 212).]

[Footnote 42: One, known as "Im grab ists finster," is very doubtful, and one
mentioned by Zelter (Briefw., II., p. 128); "Hätts nit gedacht das
Fischgraten so stechen thaten," is by Wenzel Müller.]

[Footnote 43: Especially 553, 554 K.]

[Footnote 44: Especially 555, 562 K., and the above-mentioned "Nascoso" (557 K.).]

[Footnote 45: Meyer, L. Schroder, II., 1, p. 81.]

[Footnote 46: 559 K.: "Décile lectu mihi Mars et jonicu" (the last word is so
managed that it becomes cujoni in singing).]

[Footnote 47: The leaf on which Mozart has hurriedly written down the two canons
is given in facsimile in the Cäcilia (I., p. 179), where a more detailed
account of them is also to be found. The time may be conjectured from
the information which Lipowsky (Baiersches Musik-Lexicon, p. 239) gives
about Peierl.]

[Footnote 48: It appears in the Thematic Catalogue as: "O du eselhafter Martin,"
and is generally known as such. André, and afterwards Prof. Dehn, of
Berlin, possessed this canon in Mozart's handwriting, but with _Jacob,
Jacobisch_ substituted throughout for Martin, Martinsch; and in this way
the quizzing may have been extended to several persons.]

[Footnote 49: A. M. Z., üI., p. 450.]

[Footnote 50: I will only mention the three-part comic or "schoolmaster" mass
which goes under Mozart's and also under Haydn's name; Carpani asserts
(Le Haydine, p. 112) that it is by Aumann, an Augustine monk of St.
Florian, and a learned musician. He also says that it was formerly
customary in Vienna to perform this kind of comic music on St. Cecilia's
Day, at musical parties.]

[Footnote 51: An anonymous quartet "for people who know their notes, and who,
without moving their fingers, only move their bows up and down the
open strings," published with the title "Neugebornes musikalisches
Gleichheitskind" (Prague: Haas), and ascribed to Mozart by the Breslauer
Zeitung (1855 No. 170, p. 1090), with a very unlikely anecdote, is but a
dull affair.]

[Footnote 52: Reissmann, Das deutsche Lied in seiner histor. entwickelung, p.
77. K. E. Schneider, Das musikalische Lied in geschichtl. Entwickelung,
III., p. 195.]

[Footnote 53: Sacred songs do not come within the scope of this observation.]

[Footnote 54: W. H. Riehl, Gluck als Liedercomponist (Augsb. Ahg. Ztg., 1861.
Beil. Echo, 1862, No. 1-3).]

[Footnote 55: A. M. Z., XVI., p. 22. Schletterer, Reichardt, pp. 157, 164.]

[Footnote 56: Musik. Kunstmagazin, I., p. 22.]

[Footnote 57: Reichardt drew attention in 1782 (Musik. Kunstmagazin, I., p. 3)
to the national songs, to which the composer ought to turn for materials
(Cf. Schletterer, Reichardt, I., p. 408).]

[Footnote 58: The first collection of national songs by J. A. P. Schulz appeared
in Berlin, 1782. The character indicated by the title is more definitely
stated in the preface.]

[Footnote 59: Schneider gives a criticism of Mozart as a song-writer (Das
musikal. Lied, III., p. 282).]

[Footnote 60: The news of the repulse of the Spaniards by the English at the
siege of Gibraltar, in 1782, excited the greatest enthusiasm in Vienna,
where sympathy was entirely on the side of the English. Mozart wrote to
his father (October 19, 1782): "I have, indeed, heard the news of
the English victory, to my great delight, for you know that I am an

[Footnote 61: Wiener Realzeitg., 1782, p. 765. Retzer, Nachlese zu Sineds Liedern
(Wien, 1784), p. 84.]

[Footnote 62: Three songs (390-392 K.), date unknown, were, judging by the
handwriting, composed early in the Vienna period, if not before Mozart
left Salzburg.]

[Footnote 63: Das Lied der Freiheit (506 K.) appeared in the Wiener Musenalmanach
for 1786. Besides this, so far as I am aware, no songs of Mozart
appeared in his lifetime, except the "Veilchen" (476 K.) and "Trennung
und Wieder-vereinigung" (519 K.), with the title, "Zwei Deutsche Arien
zum Singen beim Klavier in Musik gesetzt von Herr Kapellmeister Mozart"
(Wien bei Artaria, 1790); perhaps, also, "An Chloë" (524 K.) and
"Abendempfindung" (523 K.) (with the same title).]

[Footnote 64: Soon after Mozart's death, many songs, genuine and unauthentic,
appeared singly or in collections. A professedly complete collection,
entitled: "Sämmt-liche Lieder und Gesänge beim Fortepiano von Kapellm.
W. A. Mozart" (Berlin: Rellstab), contains thirty-three songs, of which
only five are genuine (Cf. A. M. Z., I., p. 744). The collection in the
fifth volume of the "Oeuvres" (Breit-kopf and Härtel) is supported
by the authority of the widow, and is thoroughly to be relied on;
it contains, exclusive of compositions not strictly belonging to
our category, twenty-one songs, properly so-called. Of these, the
"Gesellen-reise" (468 K.) and two other Freemasons' songs (483, 484, K.)
were originally written with organ accompaniments: the "Zufriedenheit"
(349 K.), and an unpublished "Komm liebe Zitter" (351 K., composed "1780
fur Herr Lang") with accompaniment for the mandoline. A "Wiegenlied"
with pianoforte accompaniment, "Schlafe mein Prinzchen" (350 K.), was
published subsequently by Nissen (Nachtrag).]

[Footnote 65: Reichardt regrets that his "Lieder geselliger Freude " (1796) can
include none of the compositions of "men so highly esteemed as Haydn,
Mozart, and Dittersdorf," on account of the coarseness of the words
(Vol. I., p. vüi.).]

[Footnote 66: The facsimile of the song, after the original in the possession of
my friend Wilh. Speyer, of Frankfort, is appended to this work.]

[Footnote 67: A reviewer in the Musik Realzeitung (1790, p. 1), extolling the
"Trennungslied," and the "Veilchen," remarks on the taste and delicate
feeling they display, and adds: "Very striking is the treatment of the
words at the close of the song, the pathetic repetition of 'Das arme
Veilchen! es war ein herzigs Veilchen I Cf. Reissmann, "Das deutsche
Lied," p. 146.]


OTTFRIED, Baron van Swieten, was a man who exercised, in more than one
respect, an important influence on Mozart's career. He was born in
1734, the son of the Empress Maria Theresa's celebrated and influential
physician Gerhard van Swieten, who had removed with his family from
Leyden to Vienna in 1745. Gottfried devoted himself to the study of the
law, and pursued a diplomatic career,[1] but from his youth up he had
been passionately fond of music, and had turned his studies in the art
to practical,



though not very successful account. In 1769 Favart's "Rosière de
Salency" was produced in Paris with music by different composers; Van
Swieten wrote several of the songs, but they failed to attract much
praise.[2] He also composed eight symphonies "as stiff as himself," as
Haydn said.[3] In 1771 Joseph II. appointed him ambassador to the Court
of Prussia,[4] and there Nicolai made his acquaintance, and speaks
of him as "an enthusiastic amateur and connoisseur, and even a
composer."[5] His residence in Berlin was important for the development
of his musical taste and the ideas which he afterwards undertook to
introduce in Vienna.

In 1740, Frederick the Great had erected the Berlin Opera House, and
produced the Italian opera seria of the time with all the brilliancy
of first-rate performers and scenic accessories.[6] Grand operas
(interrupted, however, by the Seven Years War) were regularly given; the
King used to sit in the pit immediately behind the conductor, so as
to be able to look over his score.[7] He held firm to his original
principles of taste; would admit nothing but opera seria, and no new
works except those of Hasse and Graun. The Kapellmeister Carl Heinrich
Graun (1709-1759) was obliged to compose the operas (to which the King
furnished libretti in French, to be turned into Italian[8]), and hurried
over his uncongenial task; they were always submitted to the King,
and what he disapproved of had to be altered.[9] He preferred Hasse's
composition on account of his greater fire and passion, while Graun
(highly prized as a singer by his royal master)[10] heard little but
blame for his shortcomings as a composer.

Notwithstanding this, he had to produce his opera year



after year, and matters continued unchanged.[11] Johann Friedrich
Agricola (1720-1774), who succeeded Graun in 1760, wrote little himself,
except some pieces for insertion in old operas, which are kept in the
same style. The King would have nothing to say to any other composers,
and received Reichardt with the advice: "Have a care of the new
Italians; the fellows write like pigs."[12]

Reichardt, in applying for Agricola's post after the death of the latter
in 1775, was obliged to support his claims by the production of
an opera, "modelled on the pattern of Graun and Hasse";[13] as
kapellmeister, he must not dream of striking out in any other direction.
For the last ten years of his life the King took little interest in
musical matters; Italian opera lingered on with the pieces of Graun and
Hasse, but it sank lower and lower.[14]

Side by side with the opera, however, which followed so closely the
Italian tradition, there arose in Berlin a peculiar form of instrumental
music founded on the Saxon school. The King, as is well known, gave
a private concert every evening, and performed on the flute pieces
composed by himself or his master Quanz, who wrote over three hundred
such for Frederick.[15] Johann Joachim Quanz (1697-1773)[16] to whom the
King had been much attached from his earliest years, was supreme in all
matters musical, and was nicknamed the "Pope of the Berlin music."[17]
He was the only man who presumed to cry "Bravo!" to the King's
playing.[18] Next after Quanz in Frederick's favour stood Franz Benda
(1709-1786),[19] an artist of originality and a first-rate



violin-player; his manner of execution was peculiar to himself, and rested
mainly on a pure and expressive delivery. His brother Joseph (1724-1804)
and the sons of both followed in his footsteps, and the Concertmeister
J. Gottlieb Graun (1698-1771) highly esteemed as a violin-player and
instrumental composer, may be said to have belonged to the same school.
By these distinguished artists the Berlin orchestra was formed and
trained to a degree of excellence second only to that of Dresden, and
not until later surpassed by Mannheim and Vienna.

The highest rank among the artists of Berlin must be accorded to Philipp
Emanuel Bach (1714-1788).[20] He was summoned to the Prussian capital in
1738 as accompanist to the then Crown Prince, and after 1756 he shared
the office with Fasch. He was an accomplished and tasteful accompanist,
but the wearisome monotony of the royal concerts disgusted him, and as
an artist he could not but be annoyed at the King's narrow prejudices.
He revenged himself by refusing to comply when Frederick, who liked to
play in "various times" required his accompanist to give way to him.
This led to a dislike on the King's part, which prevented him from duly
appreciating Bach;[21] and the latter willingly obeyed a summons to
Hamburg in 1767, to fill Telemann's place. His technical studies,
founded on J. Sebastian Bach's system of fingering, and his
clavier sonatas entitle him to be considered as the father of modem
pianoforte-playing, and Haydn acknowledged him alone as his model.[22]
He was held in unbounded reverence as a creative and original artist,
especially in Berlin and Hamburg,[23] and deserved equal respect as
a man of cultivation and good-breeding. Nicolai declares that what
Quintilian says of Cicero may be applied



with equal truth to Bach: that those who have learnt to appreciate his
works above all others have made a marked advance along the path of
knowledge.[24] The school of Joh. Sebastian Bach was represented in all
its severity and scholarly learning by his son Wilhelm Friedemann Bach
(1710-1784), who passed the later years of his life in Berlin, as much
admired as an artist of genius and scholarship[25] as he was dreaded and
disliked by reason of his overbearing egotism and eccentric fancies.[26]
Agricola was also a pupil, and like all his pupils, an enthusiastic
admirer of Seb. Bach, but Kirnberger was undoubtedly his greatest
apostle. It was he who represented the school of Bach in Berlin, side
by side with the operatic school of Hasse and Graun, and he was mainly,
though far from exclusively,[27] active in developing the instrumental
style, which determined the taste of the Berlin musical world.[28]

The position of music in Berlin was peculiar in that it had gained
recognition for itself, even in respect of its literature. Not a few
musicians were cultivated and scientific men, ready with their pen and
anxious to employ it in the



musical cause. Quanz's "Course of Flute-Playing" (1752) was followed
by Ph. Em. Bach's "True Art of Playing the Clavier" (1753, 1761) and
Agricola's "Introduction to the Art of Song" (1757); and together
with these may be noted Marpurg's "Art of Playing the Clavier" (1750),
"Introduction to Clavier-Playing" (1755, 1765), and "Introduction to
Music and Singing" (1763); it was no small honour for Leop. Mozart's
"Violin Method" to find recognition in this circle (Vol. I., p. 16). The
writings of the advocate Krause on musical poetry (1752), of Nichelmann
on melody (1755), and Marpurg's "Introduction to Vocal Composition"
(1758) must not be omitted from the list.

The theory of harmony and counterpoint was studied with equal zeal, and
Kimberger and Marpurg have earned for themselves a place of honour in
the history of music.

Joh. Phil. Kimberger (1721-1783), Kammermusicus to the Princess Amalie,
a pupil of Seb. Bach, was of small merit as a composer, but, being a
sagacious man, and fond of research, he busied himself in tracing the
principles and maxims of composition through the works of his revered
master.[29] The gift of literary expression was denied to him by his
education and manner of life; and unless he were assisted by friends
such as Agricola, Sulzer, or his pupil Schulz, he found it difficult
to express his views with clearness.[30] His intellect, knowledge, and
study were considerable, his character open and estimable;[31] but he
was embittered by the want of the recognition which he believed to be
his due. Want of refinement led him to turn his critical acumen into
a weapon of attack, which he often used in a manner both spiteful and
unjust.[32] Quanz had maintained that a



genuine duet admitted of no bass, and published some duets to prove his
point; Kimberger played the duets on the church organ while Quanz was
receiving the communion, with a bass added.[33]

Friedr. Wilh. Marpurg (1718-1795) thereupon took up the cudgels, and
endeavoured to prove from Kimberger's fugues that he was the last man
who had a right to make himself conspicuous as a critic. This gave rise
to a feud, which was carried on with great bitterness on both sides,
respecting various principles of musical theory. Marpurg had the
advantage of a thorough school and university education. As private
secretary to General Bodenberg he had enjoyed intercourse with Voltaire,
D'Alembert, and Maupertuis, and a lengthened stay in Paris in 1746 had
made him familiar with the French cultivation of the time. After 1749 he
lived in Berlin. In his youth he had been the friend of Winckelmann[34]
and the companion of Lessing, in his jovial hours as well as in his
studies and controversies.[35] Shrewd and thorough in matters of
research, and of passionate temper, he could neither brook contradiction
nor control his violence;[36] and superior as he was to Kirnberger
in powers of expression, he yielded nothing to him in coarseness and
virulence of attack.[37]

Yet another influence on musical affairs in Berlin remains to be noted,
viz., the musical journals edited by Marpurg and the musicians and
scholars associated with him--"The Musical Critic on the River Spree"
(1749-1750), "Critical and Historical Contributions to the Study of
Music" (1754-1762), and "Critical Letters on Music" (1760-1764).

Music was treated also by literary men from a more general point of
view. Sulzer included music in his



"Treatise on the Fine Arts" (1771-1774), and sought counsel of
professional men better versed in the art than himself. He selected
Kirnberger as the fittest man for his purpose, and after him his
pupil J. A. P. Schulz, who was inferior to his master in scholarly
acquirements, but far superior to him in clearness and facility.[38]
The great influence which Sulzer's work exercised in Germany caused his
views upon music therein expressed to be appealed to as a sort of final
authority. Fr. Nicolai was exceedingly fond of music, and made it a
practical study.[39] He was personally acquainted with all the great
musicians, especially Agricola, Marpurg, and Reichardt, and he
set himself seriously to form musical opinions founded on his own
observation. When he undertook the German Universal Cyclopedia in 1765,
he included music in the list of subjects treated. Nicolai's influence
in Berlin was great,[40] and a literary organ of so much importance
could not fail to give weight and consideration to musical criticism.

The practical result of these musical efforts, so far as they did
not proceed immediately from the King, consisted mainly in the
"Liebhaberconcert," founded in 1770, and held every Friday evening under
Nicolai's direction.[41] All available forces were assembled on these
occasions; orchestral works, native or foreign, were performed,
vocal and instrumental virtuosi found an audience, and great vocal
compositions were frequently produced, such as Graun's and Ph. Eman.
Bach's sacred music, and what is more noteworthy, Handel's oratorios,
especially "Judas Maccabæus," the "Feast of Alexander," and the
"Messiah."[42] Earnest and



upright intention, and efforts after intellectual comprehension in art,
deserve all recognition, even when united with partiality, pedantry, and
quarrelsomeness. The supremacy claimed by Frederick the Great's capital,
even in music, extended to South Germany, and especially to Vienna.
Wagenseil and Steffan, at that time men of considerable note in Vienna,
are complacently taken to task by Marpurg.[43] Nicolai openly says[44]
that after Fux's death Vienna had various good composers, but no
extraordinary genius worthy to rank with Seb. and Ph. Em. Bach,
Telemann, Graun, or Hasse, men who had determined the course of musical
progress in North Germany until Haydn appeared. The Viennese, on the
other hand, were entirely ignorant of all that concerned music in North
Germany, and especially in Berlin.[45]

Youthful impulses could not altogether fail, however, to stir the
musical world of Berlin. The French operetta, conducted for a long time
by Schulz,[46] and still more the German opera after 1771,[47] had the
effect of gradually reforming the taste of the general public. Prince
Henry, who had an excellent band in his pay, was by no means so devoted
to old music and the old composers as the King.[48] His concertmeister
Joh. Pet. Salomon (1745-1815), whom Reichardt heard perform Bach's
violin solos without accompaniment exceedingly well,[49] produced
Haydn's symphonies and quartets



with zeal and energy.[50] His successor, J. A. P. Schulz (1747-1800),
a pupil of Kirnberger's, who had made a lengthened tour in Italy,
and become personally acquainted with Haydn,[51] followed his natural
inclination--to the great dissatisfaction of his master--in composing
after the new style,[52] and wishing to produce not only Haydn's but
Gluck's music. His attempts were unsuccessful, but Haydn's music was
admired by others besides the more youthful of the public. There were,
it is true, supporters of the old music, who made a noisy exit whenever
Haydn's music was performed; but others, such as Marpurg, laughed at
such folly, and did not withhold their recognition of his genius;[53]
Nicolai speaks of him with frank and enlightened approbation.[54]
Reichardt, as kapellmeister to the king, could not afford an independent
judgment;[55] but he endeavoured, by the "Concert spirituel''[56] which
he set on foot, and by his compositions and writings,[57] to turn the
interest of the public in new directions.[58]

It was into this peculiar musical atmosphere, so different from that
of Vienna, that Van Swieten entered at Berlin. His turn of mind being
essentially rational and methodical,[59] disposed him to sympathy with
the severe Berlin school, and to a partiality for a concise style; he
was enchanted with the music of Handel and Bach, which he brought back
with him to Vienna, and turned to account by means of his personal



friendship with Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. He commissioned Ph. Em.
Bach to compose, in 1774, six grand orchestral symphonies, with the
express wish that he would allow his genius full play, without any
regard to difficulty of execution.[60] In Berlin also Van Swieten became
better acquainted with Haydn than was possible in Vienna, and like
Mozart and the youthful Beethoven, he' loved and reverenced him next to
Handel and Bach. "As far as music is concerned," he writes (December,
1798), "I have gone back to the times when it was thought necessary
before practising an art to study it thoroughly and systematically. In
such study I find nourishment for my mind and heart, and support when
any fresh proof of the degeneracy of the art threatens to cast me down.
My chief comforters are Handel and the Bachs, and with them the few
masters of our own day who tread firmly in the footsteps of the truly
great and good, and either give promise of reaching the same goal, or
have already attained to it. In this there can be no doubt that Mozart,
had he been spared to us, would have succeeded; Joseph Haydn stands
actually at the goal."[61] On his return to Vienna (which took place
about 1778) he at once assumed a position of great importance. He
succeeded to his father's office as Prefect of the Imperial Library, was
appointed President of the Education Commission in 1781, and intrusted
with the conduct of the educational scheme which was introduced
throughout the Empire in 1783. Knowledge, intelligence, and zeal he
certainly possessed;[62] but he was wanting in the energy and decision
necessary to carry out the projects he conceived.[63] His influential
position, rank, and wealth, the hereditary fame of his family, and the
importance of his mission at the court of Frederick the Great, gave him
the right to a place among the most distinguished society. He exerted
all his influence in the cause of music, even for so subordinate an



end as to enforce silence and attention during musical performances.
Whenever a whispered conversation arose among the audience, his
excellency would rise from his seat in the first row, draw himself up
to his full majestic height, measure the offenders with a long, serious
look, and then very slowly resume his seat. The proceeding never failed
of its effect.[64] Van Swieten was not liberal in money matters; he
always had it in his power to collect money among his friends of high
rank for musical purposes, and he did not fail on such occasions to
contribute his own quota;[65] but he was not by any means generous for
a wealthy and childless man. Haydn's experience supported this view,[66]
and the eulogies pronounced on Van Swieten's benevolence to Mozart's
family after his death[67] have no foundation; in fact, he did nothing
worth mentioning for them. In his intercourse with artists, however
highly he might estimate them and their works, his demeanour was always
that of a grand seigneur, and he enforced his own views with an air of
somewhat overbearing superiority. This was again Haydn's experience,[68]
and Mozart can scarcely have escaped some measure of annoyance from the
same source.

But such personal failings as these are cast into the shade by the merit
which is due to Van Swieten as the man who awoke interest in Vienna for
severe and classical music. His influence upon Mozart is unmistakable.
At the beginning of 1782 we find them in constant intercourse, and
Mozart habitually present at Van Swieten's musical Sunday mornings, at
which music in the severe style only was performed. He had, as Mozart
writes to his sister (April 20, 1782), "a stock of music good in point
of value, but small in quantity"; and in order to add to it, Mozart
requests his father to send him both his own church compositions, and



some select works of Michael Haydn and Eberlin, which he had formerly
copied (Vol. I., p. 238); they were performed with great applause in
the little circle, These performances were clearly not intended for
an audience; for Van Swieten sang tenor, Mozart alto (at the same time
playing the pianoforte), Starzer[69] tenor, and young Tebery,[70] who
had just returned from Italy, bass (Märch 12, 1783). But in this
way they became familiar with the best works of masters who had been
hitherto unheard in Vienna. "It is a fact," writes Mozart (April
12,1783), "that the change of taste has extended even to church music,
which is much to be regretted; so it comes that the best church music
lies worm-eaten in the garret."[71]

Clavier music of the same school also found a place in Van Swieten's
musical meetings. Mozart writes to his father (April 10, 1782):--

I wish you would send me Handel's six fugues and the toccata and fugues
by Eberlin. I go every Sunday morning to the Baron van Swieten, and
nothing is played there but Handel and Bach. I am making a collection of
the Bach fugues, Sebastian's as well as Emanuel's and Friedemann's, and
also of Handel's, and I want just these six. Also, I should like to let
the Baron hear Eberlin's.

Concerning the latter, however, he writes soon after to his sister
(April 20, 1782):--

If my father has not yet had Eberlin's works copied, pray countermand
them. I have found them here, and see (now that I refresh my memory of
them) that they are very trivial and unworthy of a place with Handel
and Bach. His four-part movement deserves all respect, but his clavier
fugues are simply _versetti_ spun out to great length.



We have seen already how Mozart's interest in the study of these masters
was still further kindled by the pleasure his wife took in fugues (Vol.
II., p. 267). When he sent his sister a three-part fugue with a prelude,
he wrote to her (April 20, 1782) that if time and opportunity served,
he meant to write five more fugues, and present them all to Van Swieten;
she must therefore keep this one to herself, learn it by heart, and play
it; "it is not so easy to play fugues." A second (39 Anh. K.) has only
the theme with one answer written down:--[See Page Images]

A third is rather more finished (40 Anh. K.), and its very original
subject promises an interesting elaboration--

which causes the more regret that it should have stopped short of

Mozart twice projected arranging Frohberger's "Phantasia supra Ut,
re, mi, fa, sol, la" for the pianoforte,[72] but neither time did he
accomplish his intention (292 Anh. K.). The three-part fugue in C major,
which has been published (394 K.), probably the same that Mozart sent to
his sister with a prelude, gives an idea of his intentions. A four-part
fugue in G minor, wanting only a few bars, was finished and published by
Stadler (401 K.). Only sketches remain of other clavier fugues. The most
finished (26 bars) is a fugue in G major (23 Anh. K.):--[See Page Images
(next page)]



To the same time and school belongs the great fugue for two pianofortes
in C minor, composed on December 29,1783 (426 K.). The beginning is
preserved of another fugue for two pianofortes in G major of a totally
different character (45 Anh. K.):--[See Page Image]

We may judge of the manner in which Mozart wished his fugues to be
played from an expression to his sister, when he sent her the first of
them (April 20, 1782):--

I have taken care to write "andante maestoso" on it, that it may not
be played too fast; for, if a fugue is not played slowly, the recurring
subject is not distinctly and clearly heard, and so loses its effect.

Afterwards (in June, 1788) Mozart arranged the C minor fugue for his
string quartet, and wrote "a short adagio" as an introduction (546 K.),
probably for Van Swieten, with whom he was then in closer intercourse
than ever, in consequence of the instrumentation and performance of
Handel's oratorios.

The ease and distinctness with which four-part movements of this
metrical style could thus be executed, had already suggested to Mozart
the arrangement of five fugues from Bach's "Wohltemperirte Klavier," for
stringed instruments (405 K.). The handwriting points to 1782 or 1783,
when Van Swieten's influence was at its highest. The fugues selected,
doubtless with a view to their suitability for the purpose, were (in
Breitkopf and Härtel's edition):

{KLAVIERSUITE, 1782-1783.}


No. 2, in C minor; No. 7, in E fiat major; No. 9, in E major; No. 8,
transposed from D sharp major to D major; and No. 5, in D major.

An interesting illustration of the pleasure with which Mozart sought to
follow in the steps of Handel and Bach, is afforded by the unfinished
"Klaviersuite" (399 K.) belonging to 1782 or 1783. It begins, according
to rule, with an overture (C major) consisting of two movements, a slow
introduction in imitation, and a fugued Allegro closing on the dominant.
Then follows, after traditional usage, an Allemande (C minor), a
Courante (E flat major), and a Sarabande (G minor); of this last,
however, only six bars are written. The imitation of the older masters
is unmistakable in the design and many of the details of the movements,
the only novelty being the changes of key. They may, in this sense,
be considered as studies; but Mozart's originality constantly asserts
itself, and the Courante in especial is completely imbued with it.
Still more original and free is the "Short Gigue for the Klavier,"
which Mozart wrote on May 17, 1789, "in the album of Herr Engel, court
organist in Leipzig" (574 K.), no doubt in remembrance of Bach, whose
motetts he had there heard for the first time with unbounded delight.
The light and flexible gigue had been transformed by Bach's freer, and
at the same time severer, treatment into a fantastic, almost humorous
movement, which took the same place in the suite that was afterwards
given to the scherzo in the sonata. Mozart selected the severer
style, and the intellectual skill with which the strictest forms of
counterpoint, harmony, and rhythm are so freely and archly treated,
as to make both player and listener hold their breath from surprise,
renders this little composition a masterpiece. It causes regret that the
suite, containing as it did so many elements capable of development, was
not seriously taken up and carried to perfection by Mozart.

It must not be supposed that Mozart's study of Bach and Handel had no
result but to teach him to write fugues; his earlier compositions show
him to have been no novice in the art of counterpoint. What he found
most admirable in



these masters was their power of making forms strict even to rigidity
the medium of a natural expression of their musical ideas and emotions;
their use of all the available wealth of contrapuntal combinations was
no mere trick of barren speculation, but a deliberate selection of a
means of expression from the inexhaustible fund of their productive
powers. That this was the sense in which Mozart reverenced his masters
is proved by his criticism of Eberlin and of Hassler, who had learnt
Bach's harmonies and modulations by heart, but was unable to work out
an original fugue; and it is proved more satisfactorily still by his own

Even in compositions avowedly written as studies, Mozart's originality
appears, and in his later works there is no trace of any attempt at
servile imitation of Bach or Handel.[73] He imitated, not their work,
but their way of working, drew from the sources to which they had given
him access, and employed that which he received from them in accordance
with his own nature and the task before him.[74]

Master-strokes of genius in many pieces of his chamber music--as also
in the last movement of the C major symphony, and in the overture to
the "Zauberflote," where art reaches its highest pitch in the union of
strictest form with freest fancy--may be ascribed in no small degree
to the impulses arising from his study of Bach and Handel. But their
influence reaches beyond his compositions in the severe style. The
perfection of _polyphonic_ composition which characterises all Mozart's
works, and wherein consists one of his chief merits, rests, even in its
broadest and freest development, upon the foundations laid by those



masters. So, too, the fertility and boldness of Mozart's harmonic
treatment may be traced back to the same source. Harmonic beauties,
novel and striking transitions and turns, are frequent enough in his
earlier works, but they are simply harmonic combinations, whereas in his
later works they appear as a free and intellectual development of the
polyphonic principle.

Again, the influence of the older masters and their works is observable
in a certain harshness occasioned by independence in the disposition of
parts, which Mozart does not by any means seek to avoid. In this respect
he makes demands upon his audience as great and greater than those, for
instance, of Bach and Beethoven, and may be compared to Sophocles, who,
admired as he justly was by the ancients for his sweetness and charm,
did not hesitate upon occasion to startle his hearers with his harsh
severity. Mozart's severity is never the result of clumsy workmanship,
but is a conscious and deliberate choice of means; neither is it
employed as a stimulant, but rather as an incentive to a better
appreciation of passages of perfect beauty. The sense of deliverance
from conflict and obscurity, and passage into calmness and light, is
so striking that it cannot be wondered at if the means whereby it is
attained are little analysed.[75]

Among the compositions in precise or metrical style special interest
attaches to the three-part pianoforte fugue in C major (394 K.). It
opens with an introduction, more elaborate than a prelude, and entitled,
therefore, a "fantasia." Such introductions, not always in free form
(sometimes called "toc-cate"), were usually prefixed to a fugue or
other composition in order to give it the character of an improvisation;
several others by Mozart exist. The one in question, after a few slow
bars, is a lively movement, varies its key continually, and does not
carry out fully any motif or passage; this agitated unrest gives it
a pathetic character, and excites expectation; the whole movement is
brilliant and effective.

It closes on the dominant, thus announcing its nature as an



introduction. The fugue which follows is in striking contrast, firm and
quiet, yet full of life and latent emotion:--[See Page Image]

The two first bars, with their intervals of fourths, announce a more
serviceable than individually expressive subject, but the agitated motif
which follows has a very original character, heightened by its auxiliary
notes and by its rapid succession of sharp dissonants. A gentle, almost
melancholy, tone pervades the whole fugue, and is expressed also by its
frequent passage into a minor key. Apart from its interesting technical
elaboration, it is important by reason of its characteristic expression,
and may serve as an illustration of Mozart's complete mastery of the
fugue form. To this it may be added that the fugue we are considering
is essentially adapted for the pianoforte both in conception and
composition. This is not the case in the same degree with the G minor
Fugue (401 K.), which is artistically worked out, but not equal to the
C major either in breadth of expression or adaptation to the nature of >
the instrument. The same may be said of the three-part fugue in D major,
of which Mozart has written thirty-seven bars (443 Anh., 67 K.). The
effect of the C minor fugue (426 K), also, rests neither on the sound
effects of the pianoforte nor on those of the stringed instruments. It
is so broadly conceived, so earnestly and with such ruthless severity
carried out, that the external means of expression fall into the
background before the energetic enunciation of the laws of form, obeyed
consciously, but without servility.[76] Quite otherwise is the



case with the introduction, which, written originally for strings, is
expressly adapted to their peculiarities of sound effect. The
harmonic treatment, and more especially the enharmonic changes, are
of extraordinary beauty and depth, and occasion remarkable effects of
suspense and climax. Most admirable is the art with which the character
of the movement as an introduction is maintained, and the defiant style
of the following fugue clearly indicated, at the same time that the mind
is tuned to a pitch of longing and melancholy which makes the entry of
the categorical fugue a positive relief and stimulant.

A fugue for four stringed instruments in D minor, of which the first
elaboration is indicated in the sketch (76 Anh. K.)--[See Page Image]

appears well suited to the instruments. Whether it was to form a
movement in a quartet or an independent piece we have no means of

It appears fitting to cast a glance in this place on two works belonging
to a later time, but falling within the same school of composition.
These are the two "Pieces for an



organ in a clock," in F minor,[77] which have been published, and are
well known as Fantasia and Sonata for the Pianoforte, for four hands.
They both consist of a slow movement and another in lively, metrical
style; their design is similar, but not identical. The first, composed
in December, 1790 (594 K), opens with a solemn Adagio, whose impression
of great gentleness is not disturbed by some harmonic harshness; it
keeps strictly within the limits of an introduction. The Allegro in
F major, formed by the imitative treatment of an agitated motif, is
divided sonata-like into two parts, and returns through an harmonic
transition to the Adagio, which is modified in a masterly way, and leads
to a calm conclusion. The whole piece is marvellously rounded off; and
the restlessness of the Allegro contrasts with, but does not oppose, the
gentle expression of the Adagio. Each forms the fitting complement to
the other.

The second piece (608 K.), composed on March 3, 1791, is more broadly
planned, and has a greater depth of feeling. It begins with the Allegro,
the first bars of which serve to introduce a fugue, admirably disposed
and full of lovely melody, with a general tone of serious contemplation.
When the fugue has been brought to a close by a stretto with the subject
inverted, a striking harmonic transition leads back to the opening
motif, which passes into the Andante in A flat major. Its treatment as
a middle movement is more weighty and elaborate. A well-developed motif
recurs again and again in varied figuration, connected by different
interludes, and gives a general impression of pure and satisfied
grace, touched with a breath of melancholy recollection, the natural
development of the powerful feeling and contemplative spirit of the
Allegro. But this happy calm is of short duration. The first movement
returns; the fugue recommences, rendered more animated than before by a
countersubject, and breaks off with a passionate conclusion.



These two compositions are a fresh proof of Mozart's deep insight into
the nature of the forms of counterpoint, which gave him power to use
them as the free expression of his individual nature; he is entitled to
the praise of having brought these forms to their fullest perfection,
an incalculable gain to the development of music, which has proceeded in
other directions since his time. It is sometimes regretted that Mozart
should have wasted his genius and his labour upon compositions for a toy
clock.[78] We may rather remark how like a true artist he set himself to
perform the task before him, and produced a work which, keeping within
its given conditions, forms, nevertheless, a great and harmonious whole.

Mozart, having become acquainted through Van Swieten with the vocal
compositions of Handel, Bach, and other masters of the church style,
turned, as might be expected, with renewed zeal to this branch of
musical art. Unfortunately, upon the introduction of the new regulations
in church matters in 1783, the Emperor Joseph prohibited the performance
of figured or instrumental church music in the churches of Vienna, and
it was only at the court chapel or St. Stephen's cathedral, when the
Archbishop celebrated, that musical masses could be performed. German
congregational singing was substituted in other cases;[79] it was not
liked, and many complaints were made that the total abolition of church
music should have been deemed the only remedy for its abuses.[80] Thus
Mozart was deprived of all hope of success in this direction. But he
had undertaken in 1782, in performance of a vow, to compose a Mass for
Salzburg; and this work bears distinct traces of the studies which were
occupying him at the time. Mozart completed the Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus,
and Benedictus of this Mass in C minor (427 K.); the first movement of
the Credo is



complete as to the choir parts and bass, and the essential points of the
accompaniment are indicated; in the same way the voices, obbligato wind
instruments, and bass of the Incarnatus are fully written out, the rest
of the accompaniment being only indicated. The whole plan and treatment
of the Mass differ from those of the earlier ones. In the latter,
limitation to a narrow standard and the subservience of the parts to the
whole are the prevailing principles, while in the former the effort
is evident to give as wide a signification as possible to each part
in itself. With this object each section of the text is treated as an
independent movement; the Gloria consists of seven completely detached
pieces. The mechanism corresponds to its external divisions, and the
treatment throughout is thematic and elaborate, for the most part in
strict form. A wealth of resource is displayed in the means employed to
give the desired effect; several of the choruses are five-part, one is
eight-part, and then again four solo voices are introduced in various
ways. The orchestra necessarily complies with the usual Salzburg
conditions; the brass instruments are completely appointed, but neither
flutes nor clarinets are used with the oboes and bassoons--all the
effect of independence possible is given, chiefly by the skilful
introduction and treatment of obbligato instruments. It cannot be said,
however, that the instrumental part of this work is as brilliant and
full of colour as others composed at the same period; the tone-colouring
is on the whole monotonous; but there are not wanting some original
instrumental effects, principally of the wind instruments. Such is the
employment of the trombones (usually only a support to the voices), with
independent effect in several parts of the Kyrie and Sanctus. The effect
of the whole accompaniment consists mainly in the independence with
which it contrasts with the voices, and is produced partly by effective
passages and partly by skilful contrapuntal elaboration. That which most
strikes us on a careful examination of this Mass is the dissimilarity of
the movements in many respects, suggesting that it was undertaken as
a study. The solo movements are the most important, more especially by
reason of their bravura



treatment. Bravura was not considered by any means out of place in
church music, and even the classical masters of the last century--such
as Handel and Bach--did not exclude it from their sacred works. But it
is curious that Mozart, who only introduced bravura into his dramatic
music from complaisance to the singers, should have made concessions
to the taste for it in this Mass. The first grand soprano solo is quite
after the pattern of an old bravura aria, and displays little or nothing
of Mozart's originality. It is so suggestive of the style of Graun or
Hasse that we are inclined to suspect the influence of these masters
through Van Swieten. More of Mozart's own character is given to the
Incarnatus est, accompanied by the wind instruments, and containing
touches of delicacy and grace; but the bravura goes beyond all bounds,
especially in the twenty-two bars of cadenza for the voice and wind
instruments. The duet for two sopranos, Domine Deus, and the terzet for
two sopranos and tenor, Quoniam tu solus, are written in stricter form,
both for voice and accompaniment, and are simpler and more dignified in

But the inflexibility of form has something in it of pedantry; the
work seems to be done as an exercise, and we seek in vain for the fresh
wellings-up of inspiration which delight us even in less important
compositions of Mozart. The same remark holds good of the choruses. The
first five-part choral movement of the Credo accords most in design with
the style of the earlier Masses. A lively subject shared between the
strings and wind instruments forms, as it proceeds, the thread which
binds the choral passages together; the latter are contrapuntally
treated, and the whole movement is more solemn in tone than was usual in
earlier works. The long fugue "Cum Sancto Spiritu" is admirably worked
out, and, in spite of its difficulty, very clear. Notwithstanding all
this, the nervous force of individual life is wanting to the work,
and cannot be replaced by the artistic workmanship displayed in the
different parts, even when these have force and character of their own,
as for instance in the magnificent ending, when the voices in unison
maintain the theme against a florid accompaniment.



The Osanna has more of independent life; it is a long, elaborately
fugued movement, the technical interest of which has engrossed the
composer longer than was necessary.[81] The Benedictus in four parts,
and worked out at length, is remarkable on account of its earnest,
somewhat dry tone, which effectually distinguishes it from the same
movement in other masses, to which a soft and pleasing character was
given. The Kyrie, Gloria, and Sanctus are very fine movements, in
which the skilful rendering of strictest form does not overpower the
expression of feeling and the truly musical proportions of the work. The
varied expression of the different passages is so suitable, so clear and
telling, that we may see at once how firm a grasp Mozart had taken of
the true spirit of church music. The crown of the composition, however,
is the five-part Gratias with the eight-part Qui tollis, which are
planned and executed in masterly fashion, and are penetrated with
Mozart's spirit and life. Their earnestness, severe even to harshness,
their breadth of outline and massive effects, are worthy of the great
examples who were vividly present to his mind; and we cannot fail to
discern the master who was stimulated by these very examples to draw
more deeply on the resources of his own creative genius, and to soar to
higher realms of art by the exertion of his own powers.

After the first performance of the Mass in its unfinished state at
Salzburg, in 1783, Mozart laid it aside for more pressing work. But when
in 1785 he was commissioned to write an oratorio for the concert for the
Musical Fund



(March 13 and 14; Vol. II., p. 174), he determined to make use of the
Kyrie and Gloria to which, with slight alterations, the Italian words of
the "Davide Penitente" (469 K.) were adapted. He added (on March 6 and
11) two new arie for Mdlle. Cavalieri and Adamberger.[82] The work
lost in unity of style more than it gained by the addition of these two
songs, of which the orchestral accompaniment is in Mozart's later style,
and the design and treatment are different from those of the other
movements. They are both in the style of the concert arie of the time,
and are quite equal to the best in expression and treatment of the
voice. The Mozart-like character is more marked than in the rest of the
work, but it does not reach its fullest development; and the arie
are too florid for an oratorio. But the mixture of styles was then
customary, and indeed brilliant solos were looked for by the public as a
relief to the more serious choral movements.

At the present day there cannot be two opinions as to the impropriety
of such a mixture.[83] The important point to be noted, however, is
that just at the time when the instrumental and operatic music of Vienna
threatened to banish altogether the severer and more classical style,



became familiar through Van Swieten with the works of the classical
masters. They laid deep hold on his imagination and intellect, giving
him a powerful impulse to classical studies, without which his genius
would not have arrived at a full mastery of his art; these studies,
combined with his ever-growing powers of production, have impressed
their indelible stamp upon the works of this period.[84]


[Footnote 1: He travelled with the Duke of Braganza, in 1768 (Zimmermann, Briefe,
p. 96).]

[Footnote 2: Grimm, Corr. Litt., VI., pp. 263, 314.]

[Footnote 3: Griesinger, Biogr. Not., p. 66. One was performed by Mozart (Vol.
II., p. 284).]

[Footnote 4: Müller praises the liberal support which he received from him in
Berlin, in 1776 (Abschied, p. 116).]

[Footnote 5: Nicolai, Reise, IV., p. 556.]

[Footnote 6: Schneider, Gesch. d. Oper in Berlin, p. 14.]

[Footnote 7: Burney, Reise, III., p. 67.]

[Footnote 8: N. Ztschr. für Mus., IX., p. 130.]

[Footnote 9: Zelter, Fasch, p. 22.]

[Footnote 10: Reichardt, Kunstmagaz., I., p. 158.]

[Footnote 11: Zelter, Fasch, p. 49. The parallel which Reichardt (Briefe cine»
aufmerks. Reisenden, I., p. 15) institutes between Hasse and Graun well
expresses the general views.]

[Footnote 12: Rtlchardi, Mus. Monatsschr., p. 69. A. M. Z., XV., p. 680.
Schletterer, Reichardt, p. 261, where detailed and interesting
information is given.]

[Footnote 13: A. M. Z., XV., p. 605. Schletterer, Reichardt, I., p. 257.]

[Footnote 14: Reichardt, Mu. Zeitg., I., p. 74.]

[Footnote 15: Burney, Reise, III., p. 116.]

[Footnote 16: Autobiographische Mittheilungens. in Marpurg's Histor. Kril
Beitr., I., p 197.]

[Footnote 17: Burney, Reise, III., p. 111. Zelter, Fasch, p. 47.]

[Footnote 18: A. M. Z., III., p. 171. Reichardt, Mus. Wochenblatt. p. 70.]

[Footnote 19: His autobiography is given in N. Berl. Mus. Ztg., 1856, No. 32.]

[Footnote 20: His autobiography; s. Burney, Reise, III., p. 199. Cf. Rochlitz, Für
Freunde der Tonkunst, IV., p. 273.]

[Footnote 21: Zelter, Fasch, pp. 14, 47.]

[Footnote 22: Griesinger, Biogr. Not., p. 15. Rochlitz, Für Freunde der Tonkunst,
IV.', p. 274. Bach told him once that he was the only man who had ever
quite understood his works (Dies, Biogr. Nachr., p. 38).]

[Footnote 23: Compare, for instance, Burney's account (Reise, III., p. 209) with
Reichardt's opinions expressed at different times (Briefe e. aufmerks.
Reisenden, I., p. m; II., p. 7. Kunstmagaz., I., p. 24. Musik. Alman.,
1796. A. M. Z., XVI., p. 28. Schletterer, Reichardt, I., p. 163).]

[Footnote 24: Nicolai, Reise, IV., p. 558.]

[Footnote 25: Zelter, Briefw. m. Goethe, V., p. 210: "His extemporising,
especially when he was in the vein, was the admiration of men such
as Marpurg, Kirnberger, Benda, Agrikola, Bertuch, Ring--most of them
excellent organ-players, who all felt how far he surpassed them." He
used to say of his brother, Ph. Emanuel, with a compassionate air: "Mein
Bruder, der Hamburger, hat einige artige Sächelchen gemacht"; and the
latter made use of the same family expression in speaking of the London
brother (Reichardt, Musik. Zeitg., II., p. 159).]

[Footnote 26: Forkel, Musik. Alman., 1784, p. 201. Reichardt, Musik. Alman.,
1796. Zelter, Briefw., V., p. 209.]

[Footnote 27: I need only allude to the vocal compositions of Ph. Em. Bach; and
the union of both schools in Graun's "Tod Jesu" is very apparent.]

[Footnote 28: A. M. Z., II., p. 585: "Berlin is perhaps the only place in Germany
where the most ardent enthusiasm for modern music is still (1800)
combined with a zealous defence of the older school. Joh. Seb. Bach and
his celebrated sons still strive for pre-eminence with Mozart, Haydn,
and Clementi." Zelter writes (Briefw. m. Goethe, V., p. 208): "I have
been accustomed to honour the Bach genius for the last fifty years.
Friedemann died here, Emanuel Bach was royal chamber musician here,
Kirnberger and Agrikola were pupils of old Bach; Ring, Bertuch, Schmalz,
&c., performed scarcely anything but the old Bach pieces, and I myself
have taught here for the last thirty years, and have pupils who play all
Bach's music well."]

[Footnote 29: A characteristic instance of this reverence is given by Zelter
(Briefw., V., p. 163).]

[Footnote 30: A. M. Z., III., p. 598. Zelter, Briefw., III., p. 17.]

[Footnote 31: This testimony is afforded by his grateful pupil, Schulz, and also
by Eberhardt (A. M. Z., II., p. 872) and Z[elter] (Berlin Mus. Ztg.,
1793, p. 129. Cf. Zelter, Fasch, p. 59. Rintel, Zelter, p. 116).]

[Footnote 32: Reichardt was badly received by Kimberger (Schletterer, I., p. 98),
who retaliated by a highly coloured picture of a theoretical critic
in his "Briefen eines aufmerks- Reisenden" (I., p. 128), which was
recognised as Kimberger (A.M. Z., II., p. 597). But in after-times he
did him honourable justice (A. M. Z., III., p. 169),]

[Footnote 33: Thus Reichardt relates (A. M. Z., III., p. 17a) what is alluded to
in the critical letters (I., pp. 15, 23, 41, 175, 231).]

[Footnote 34: Justi, Winckelmann, I., p. 48.]

[Footnote 35: Spazier, A. M. Z., II., pp. 569, 593.]

[Footnote 36: The anecdotes which he published with the title of "Legende
einiger Musikheiligen von Simeon Metaphrastes d. j." (Cölln, 1786), are
characteristic of his bitterness and his cynicism.]

[Footnote 37: He spared Ph. Em. Bach as little as the latter spared him (Zelter,
Briefw. m. Goethe, VI., p. 321).]

[Footnote 38: Schulz gives an account of this himself, which does not altogether
agree in details with Reichardt's story (A. M. Z., II., p. 276; III., p.

[Footnote 39: Glocking, Fr. Nicolai's Leben, p. 95 (cf. 29). Schletterer,
Reichardt, I., pp. 97,140.]

[Footnote 40: Burney, Reise, III., pp. 58, 74.]

[Footnote 41: Reichardt, Brief, e. aufmerks. Reis., I., p. 32. Schletterer,
Reichardt, I., p. 139. Muller, Abschied, p. 117. It existed, together
with other similar institutions, until the beginning of this century
(Cramer, Mag. d. Mus., I., p. 565. A. M. Z., II., p. 586).]

[Footnote 42: Nicolai mentions these three oratorios as well known to him in 1781
(Reise, IV., p. 534). An enthusiastic account of "Judas Maccabæus" after
a performance at a Liebhaberconcert in 1774, was given by Reichardt in
Briefe e. aufmerks. Reis., I., p. 82. Zelter describes the great effect
which a performance of the "Messiah" in 1783 made upon him (Rintel,
Zelter, p. 137). The "Messiah" had been performed in Hamburg as early as
1775 (Joh. Heinr. Voss, Briefe, I., p. 295).]

[Footnote 43: Marpurg, Krit. Briefe, II., p. 141.]

[Footnote 44: Nicolai, Reise, IV., p. 525.]

[Footnote 45: Reichardt, A. M. Z., XV., p. 666 (Schletterer, Reichardt, I., p.

[Footnote 46: A. M. Z., III., p. 601. It was certainly not to the taste of
Frederick the Great. When it was proposed to sing the choruses in
Racine's "Athalie," the King put a stop to it with the remark (January
10,1774): "La musique française ne vaut rien, il faut faire déclamer le
chour, alors cela revient au même (Preuss, Friedrich der Grosse, III.,
p. 310).]

[Footnote 47: L. Schnieder, Gesch. der Oper in Berlin, p. 49.]

[Footnote 48: Burney, Riese, III., p. 149.]

[Footnote 49: Schletterer, Reichardt, I., p. 140.]

[Footnote 50: Rochlitz, Fur Freunde der Tonkunst, III., p. 191.]

[Footnote 51: A. M. Z., III., p. 176.]

[Footnote 52: A. M. Z., III., p. 605. Even the Princess Amalie expressed to
Schulz her dislike to his choruses to "Athalie" (A. M. Z., III., p. 614)
in two very emphatic letters (Echo, 1857, Nos. 10, 14).]

[Footnote 53: A. M. Z., II., p. 575. Cf. Nohl, Musikerbr., p. 76.]

[Footnote 54: Nicolai, Reise, IV., pp. 526, 534.]

[Footnote 55: He has given some interesting particulars as to his position to
Frederick (A. M. Z., XV., pp. 601, 633. Schletterer, Reichardt, I., p.

[Footnote 56: Cramer, Mag. d. Mus., I., p. 565. Schletterer, I., p. 357.]

[Footnote 57: At the same time he published the Musical Magazine (1-4, 1782),
and was concerned in Nicolai's "Allgemeiner Deutscher Bibliothek." Cf.
Schletterer, I., P. 432.]

[Footnote 58: The influence exerted by the Crown Prince, afterwards King
Frederick William III. upon the musical taste of Berlin, belongs to a
later time than that under consideration.]

[Footnote 59: Griesinger, Biogr. Not., p. 69.]

[Footnote 60: Reichardt, A. M. Z., XVI., p. 28 (Schletterer, Reichardt, I., p.

[Footnote 61: A. M. Z., I., p. 252.]

[Footnote 62: Nicolai, Reise, III., pp. 358, 363.]

[Footnote 63: G. Forster, Sämmtl. Schr., VII., p. 273. Van Swieten's activity and
influence are very differently estimated by R. Kink (Gesch. d. Univers,
in Wien, I., p. 539).]

[Footnote 64: So Neukomm informed me. G. Forster was affronted by Van Swieten's
stiff, cold manner (Sämmtl. Schr., VII., p. 270). Cf. Jahrb. d. Tonk.,
1796, p. 72.]

[Footnote 65: Dies, Biogr. Nachr., p. 158.]

[Footnote 66: Dies, Biogr. Nachr., p. 210. Griesinger, Biogr. Not., p. 66.]

[Footnote 67: Musik. Corresp., 1792, p. 4) Niemetschek, who had called him the
father of Mozart's orphan children, omitted this in the second edition.]

[Footnote 68: Dies, Biogr. Nachr., p. 180.]

[Footnote 69: He often played at Van Swieten's with the famous lute-player Kohaut
(Griesinger, Biogr. Not., p. 66).]

[Footnote 70: I cannot say whether Anton Teyber (b. 1754), whom Mozart met
at Dresden in 1789, or Franz Teyber (b. 1756) is intended. Both were
natives of Vienna, probably brothers of the two female singers of the
same name (Vol. I., p. 69), and they both died at Vienna--Anton as court
chamber composer in 1822, and Franz as kapellmeister and court organist
in 1810.]

[Footnote 71: Nicolai's opinion is in accordance with this; he speaks of the
church music in Vienna, in 1781, as inferior both in composition and
performance (Reise, IV., p. 544).]

[Footnote 72: Kircher, Musurgia, I., p. 466. Weitzmann, Gesch. d. Klavierspiels,
p. 214.]

[Footnote 73: Rochlitz's assertion (A. M. Z., I., p. 115) that Mozart wrote a
great deal in Handel's style that he did not publish, is unfounded.]

[Footnote 74: It is observed in Reichardt's Musik. Zeitg., I., p. 200, that J. S.
Bach was in advance of his age, and that long after his death his mantle
had descended upon Mozart, who was the first thoroughly to admire and
reverence the spirit of his art, and to reproduce it in his own works.
Zelter also declares that Mozart is a truer successor of Seb. Bach
than his son Philipp Emanuel or Joseph Haydn (Briefw., IV., p. 188); he
recalls how the music of Seb. and Eman. Bach was at first unintelligible
to him; how Haydn was blamed for having travestied what was intense
earnest to them; and, finally, how Mozart appeared and gave the proper
interpretation to all three (Briefw., II., p. 103).

[Footnote 75: Rochlitz is mistaken in trying to discover a mixture of Bach's
gloominess with Mozart's youthful fire in the latter's Salzburg
compositions (A. M. Z., II., p. 642).]

[Footnote 76: Beethoven wrote out this fugue in score; the autograph is in the
possession of A. Artaria.]

[Footnote 77: Muller, proprietor of the art museum on the Stockameisenplatz,
announces (Wien. Ztg., 1791, No. 66, Anh.) that he has on view
there "the magnificent mausoleum erected to the memory of the great
Field-Marshal Laudon. There will be performed also funeral music
composed by the famous Kapellm. Mozart, which is very well suited for
the occasion which has called it forth."]

[Footnote 78: The Andante composed on May 4, 1791, "for a waltz on a little
organ" (616 K.), is a graceful little piece, with no pretence alter
anything deeper, either in execution or expression.]

[Footnote 79: Nicolai, who notices this reformation (Reise, IV., p. 550), has
adduced proofs of it (Beil., X., z, 2).]

[Footnote 80: Forkel, Musik. Alman., 1784, p. 187.]

[Footnote 81: A four-part vocal fugue, "In Te Domine speravi," of which Mozart
has written thirty-four bars (23 Anh., K.), appears to belong to this
time, and is very fresh and forcible:--[See Page Image]]

[Footnote 82: Rochlitz, A. M. Z., III., p. 230; cf. XXVII., p. 447. The parts of
the Mass are made use of in the following manner:--[See Page Image]]

[Footnote 83: Reichardt criticises favourably on the whole a cantata composed of
the last numbers (8, 9, zo) of the oratorio arranged by Hiller (Musik.
Zeitg., I., p. 368; cf. 382); another cantata borrowed from it is
mentioned (A. M. Z., IX., p. 479).]

[Footnote 84: Gerber's assertion in the Tonkünstlerlexicon, I., p. 976: "Lucky
for him that he was moulded into perfect form while still young by the
pleasing and playful muses of Vienna; otherwise he could hardly have
escaped the fate of Friedemann Bach, whose soaring flight could be
followed by few mortals," is only half true, for Mozart's deepest
studies were made not in Salzburg, but in Vienna.]


AN account of the circumstances which affected Mozart's social and
artistic position in Vienna, as well as his moral and intellectual
development, would be incomplete without some notice of his connection
with Freemasonry.[1]

It is well known[2] that a propensity for secret associations and
brotherhoods, having for their object the furtherance of intellectual,
moral, and political ideas, was very prevalent in Germany during the
latter half of the eighteenth century. These associations were all more
or less closely allied to Freemasonry, and the traces of their influence
are most apparent in the impulse which they gave to the national
literature.[3] Be the degree great or small in which Free-masonry has
advanced the cause of humanity, and granting that its good effects have
often been obscured by the follies, crimes, and impostures which
have hidden themselves behind the secrecy of its vows; it is still an
undoubted fact that



princes like Frederick the Great, great and good men like Lessin,
Herder, Wieland, and Gofethe, have looked upon Freemasonry as a means of
attaining their highest endeavours after universal good. It will suffice
for our present purpose to quote a passage from Goethe's funeral oration
upon Wieland:[4]--

If any testimony were desired in favour of an association which has
existed from very ancient days, and has survived many vicissitudes, it
would be found in the spectacle of a man of genius--intelligent, shrewd,
cautious, experienced, and moderate--seeking his equals among the
members of our association, feeling himself at one with us, and,
fastidious as he was, acknowledging our fellowship to be the perfect
satisfaction of his earthly and social desires.

Wieland himself declared that[5] the "intellectual temple-building"
had for its chief and highest object "the earnest, energetic, and
persevering efforts of every true and honest mason to approach nearer
himself, and to lead his brethren nearer, to the ideal of humanity, and
to prove that man is fashioned and appointed to be a living stone in the
eternal temple of the Almighty."[6] It was natural that in Vienna, where
there was more intellectual life than elsewhere, the form of secret
association should have been utilised in the furtherance of these high

In the year 1781 was formed a society of the most distinguished leaders
of thought in Vienna, under the presidency of the noble and intellectual
Ignaz von Born. The aim of the society was to give effect to that
freedom of conscience and thought so happily fostered by the government,
and to combat superstition and fanaticism in the persons of the monkish
orders, the main supports of both these evils. Reinhold and the friends
of his youth, Alxinger, Blumauer, Haschka, Leon and Ratschky, were the
most zealous members of this association. They



adopted the forms of Freemasonry as an outward expression of their
mental and spiritual union. Their lodge was entitled "True Harmony,"[8]
and, supported indirectly by the favour of the Emperor Joseph, they
laboured for a considerable time with energy and success to carry out
their preconceived designs. Their weapons were learning and eloquence,
and in their use of these, whether in earnest severity or in jesting
irony, they were more than a match for their opponents.[9]

From this circle, which contained other distinguished men, such as
Sonnenfels, Retzer, and Gemmingen, proceeded the satires of Born and
Blumauer against monasticism, which had so extraordinary an effect
at the time. The scientific organ of the Freemasons was the Vienna
"Real-zeitung," edited by Blumauer, which endeavoured to drive
superstition and prejudice from the domain of science in the same
insidious way in which they had entered it--Blumauer's principle[10]
being that the work of enlightenment is a very gradual one, and that a
far harder task than that of learning is the unlearning of what has been
once hammered into the heads of ordinary mortals. As might have been
expected, Freemasonry became after a time an affair of fashion in
Vienna, and many abuses crept in:--

The order of Freemasonry pursued its course with an amount of publicity
and ostentation almost ludicrous. Freemasons' songs were composed,
published, and sung everywhere. Their symbols were hung as charms upon
watch-chains; ladies were presented with white gloves by novices and
associates, and various articles of fashion were christened _à la
franc-maçon_. Many members joined the order from curiosity, or in order
to enjoy the pleasures of the table. Others had still more interested
views. It might be of material advantage to belong to a brotherhood
which had members in every rank, and had made a special point of gaining
the adhesion of powerful officials, presidents, and members of the
government. One brother was bound to help another; and those who did
not belong to the brotherhood were often at a serious disadvantage; this
fact enticed many to join. Others again, more



sincere or more ignorant, thought they had found a key to higher
mysteries--such as the philosopher's stone, or intercourse with
disembodied spirits. The Freemasons were unquestionably very benevolent;
collections for the poor brethren were often made at their meetings.[11]

The proceedings against the Illuminati in 1785 led to a commencement of
persecution of the Freemasons, but on December 11 of the same year the
Emperor Joseph issued a decree in which, while disclaiming any knowledge
of the secret vows of the order, or any approval of its juggleries, he
gave it his countenance upon condition of certain reforms, and placed it
under the protection of the state.[12] This decree, which was extolled
by some as a proof of the highest wisdom and clemency, and bewailed
by others as the ruin of genuine Freemasonry, gave occasion to violent
disputes, intensified by the carrying out of the Emperor's order for the
reduction of the existing eight lodges to three. Born, who disapproved
of the reform, had, in spite of his previous popularity, to suffer
numerous personal attacks: An unpleasant encounter with Jos. Kratter,
nicknamed the "freemason's auto-da-fé," called forth a multitude
of malignant pamphlets, and in 1786 Bom retired altogether from the
lodge.[13] His loss was a serious one for its intellectual influence,
and his example was followed by others. The imperial recognition of the
lodge did not preserve it from increasing attacks and suspicions, which
afterwards proceeded to publicly expressed disapproval on all sides. But
many steadfast spirits still held out. Loibl, for instance, placed his
dwelling at the disposal of the lodge for their meetings. His daughter
still remembers (1867) how her father spent hours clothed in his robes,
sitting before a crucifix with lighted tapers, reading the Bible in
preparation for the sittings, at which the children, peeping through the
keyhole, wondered to see the gentlemen seated round the table conversing
with earnest mien. Mozart was among these enthusiasts, and maintained
his connection with the



lodge until his death; he even conceived the idea of founding a
secret society of his own--"The Grotto"--and drew up rules for its

It can scarcely have occurred to Mozart to consider his connection with
Freemasonry as a means of worldly advancement; such calculations were
foreign to his nature, and would have been in no degree realised. His
connection with the order was of no practical advantage to him. The high
standing of the order when Mozart came to Vienna--the fact that the
most distinguished and cultivated men, moving in the best society,
were counted among its members, renders it natural that he should have
desired to attach himself to it. His need for intercourse with earnest
and far-seeing intellects would lead him to the same conclusion. So,
too, in a still greater degree, would his genuine love for mankind, his
warm sympathies both in joy and sorrow, his sincere desire to help
and benefit others, which amounted even to a weakness; and perhaps
the greatest attraction of all would be the satisfaction of his truly
exceptional longing for friendship. Even his boyish years are full of
instances of enthusiastic devotion and attachment--to young Hagenauer
(Vol. I., p. 50), to Father Johannes at Seeon (Vol. I., p. 58), to
Thomas Linley (Vol. I., p. 119), and others; and as a man his loving,
sympathetic friendship was accorded to many, among whom I may remind the
reader of Bullinger (Vol. I., p. 335)> of Barisani (Vol. I., p. 305), of
Gottfried von Jacquin (Vol. II., p. 357), of Count Hatzfeld (Vol. II.,
p. 291). An order which made the brotherhood of its members the chief
reason of its existence was sure to have strong attractions for him,
the more so that the spirit of independence which he possessed in common
with all other gifted natures was gratified by the equality of every
brother within the circle of his



order. Again, the position which he had at that time assumed in relation
to the priestly and monkish orders gave him a powerful impulse towards
Freemasonry. Notwithstanding his strict religious training, he had
inherited from his father a decided aversion to these institutions. L.
Mozart writes to his daughter (October 14, 1785):--

There is an appalling difference between these sisterhoods and true
Christianity. It would be an undoubted gain if the nunneries were
dissolved. They exist neither by virtue of true vocation, nor
supernatural calling, nor spiritual zeal, nor as the true discipline of
devotion and abnegation of desires, but are the result of compulsion,
hypocrisy, dissimulation, and childish folly, leading in the end to
confirmed wickedness.

The effects of his connection with Freemasonry upon Mozart are as
plainly discernible as his reasons for joining the order. Carefully and
well as his early training laid the foundation of his after-development,
it was impossible but that the narrow circumstances of his Salzburg life
should cramp his intellectual energies; and his visits to great
cities, important as they were in inciting him to fresh efforts for
self-improvement, were too transitory to have much practical effect.
Earnest endeavours after freedom of moral and intellectual development
were at that time the special characteristic of Freemasonry in Vienna,
and the effect must needs have been a salutary one which followed the
entrance of a young man into a circle which busied itself in solving,
both theoretically and practically, the highest problems of the
universe. It would be difficult to say how far the secrecy and mystery
of the order worked on his imagination and attracted him; but some such
influence is quite conceivable in a nature so artistic and excitable as

That Mozart was quite in earnest in his fidelity to his order is proved
by the pains he took to induce his father to become a Freemason. The
letter, already quoted (Vol. II., p. 323), in which, anticipating his
father's speedy death, he speaks of the true meaning of death from a
mason's point of view, bears ample testimony to his earnestness. His



recognised it in the oration pronounced after his death,[15] of which
the passages immediately relating to him may here be quoted:--

It has pleased the Almighty Architect of the Universe to take from among
us our best-beloved and most estimable member. Who did not know, who
did not respect, who did not love our worthy brother, Mozart? Only a few
weeks ago he was in our midst celebrating the dedication of our masonic
temple with entrancing tones. Who of us that saw him then, my brethren,
would have supposed his days to be numbered? Who would have thought that
in three weeks we should be mourning his loss? How true it is that man's
sad destiny often cuts short his career in the very prime of life! Kings
perish in the midst of their ambitious plans, which go down to posterity
incomplete. Artists die, after devoting all that was granted them of
life to the glorification of their art. The admiration of all mankind
follows them to the grave, nations mourn for them, and yet the universal
fate of these great men is--to be forgotten of their admirers. It shall
not be so with us, my brethren! Mozart's early death is an irreparable
loss to art. His genius, displayed in earliest childhood, rendered him
the wonder of his age--half Europe was at his feet--the great ones of
the earth called him their darling--and we called him--brother. Fitting
as it is, however, to call to our remembrance his abilities in his art,
we must not forget to give our strongest testimony to his excellent
heart. He was a zealous supporter of our order. The main features of his
character were brotherly love, devotion to the good cause, benevolence
and genuine satisfaction in using his talents for the good of his
fellows. He was estimable alike as husband, father, friend of his
friends, brother of his brothers; he wanted only wealth to make hundreds
happy after his own heart.

Mozart owed many of his impulses as a composer to his connection with
Freemasonry. We shall see later that the "Zauberflote" came directly
under its influence; in this place it will be fitting only to mention
those compositions which he composed for particular festivities within
the lodge; they are, of course, exclusively for male voices, and betray
in other ways enforced compliance with certain conditions.

The "Gesellenreise" (468 K.), composed on March 26, 1785, is a social
song, elevated and pleasing in tone; two others are intended for the
opening and closing of a lodge (483, 484,K.):[16]



all three have organ accompaniments. The two last conclude with a
chorus for two tenors and a bass voice. Similar three-part choruses
are introduced in other Freemason cantatas, and are easy and popular,
suitable to amateurs. The tenor solos, on the other hand, are adapted to
a trained singer, Adamberger, who was a member of the lodge.

An unfinished cantata (429 K.) was probably intended for some masonic
purpose. The first chorus, "Dir Seele des Weltalls, Sonne, sei heute
das erste der festlichen Lieder geweiht," for two tenors and bass, with
accompaniment for the quartet and flute, clarinet, two oboes and two
horns, is written out in full for the voices with a figured bass, and
the accompaniment is sketched in Mozart's usual way. The same is the
case with the long-drawn-out tenor aria which follows, "Dir danken wir
die Freude." Only seventeen bars of a second duet for tenor voices,
intended as a conclusion, are written out. The three-part male chorus,
the solos exclusively for tenor voices, and the limited orchestra, all
suggest masonic influence; I will not attempt to give an opinion on
the symbolism of the words. The first chorus is fine, spirited and
solemn.[17] Two other cantatas certainly fall within this category. The
first of these is the Maurerfreude (471 K.) composed on April 20, 1785,
shortly before the departure of his father, in whose presence it was
first performed. The lodge were giving a banquet in honour of Born, who
had been highly complimented by the Emperor for his invention of a new
kind of amalgam.[18] The cantata, with words by Petran, was afterwards
published in score, with a title-page engraved by Mansfeld, representing
"Wisdom and Virtue," as the text says, "addressing themselves to
their disciple"; it was sold for the benefit of the poor.[19] The main
substance of the work consists of a long



tenor solo worked out in free form for Adamberger, the first and greater
part being after the fashion of the allegro of a concert aria. There
is nothing of the Italian form in it, but deep and genuine feeling is
expressed in Mozart's familiar and purely German manner. The animation
of the expression reaches its climax in a recitative leading to a
serious and rhythmical song of two verses, the concluding lines of which
are repeated by the chorus. In the accompaniment to this cantata, a
clarinet is introduced in addition to the quartet, two oboes and two
horns, and treated with evident partiality, the deeper notes being
employed in Mozart's favourite triplet passages; Stadler had no doubt
something to do with this.[20] The second, "Kleine Freimaurercantate"
(623 K.), with words by Schikaneder,[21] was composed on November 15,
1791, and performed a few days afterwards at the consecration of a new
masonic temple: it is the last work which Mozart completed. There is
somewhat more of variety in its conception; a short chorus interrupted
by solos is followed by a recitative and aria for the tenor, which leads
to another recitative divided between tenor and bass; then follows a
duet, after which the first chorus is repeated. It is very pleasing
and popular in tone, but not equal to the previous cantata in depth
and energy of expression.[22] The cantata, "Die ihr des unermesslichen
Weltalls Schopfer



ehrt" (619 K.), composed in July, 1791, is not certainly the immediate
result of Mozart's connection with Freemasonry, but it is evidently an
expression of the state of mind which it was the object of Freemasonry
to produce.[23] Frz. Hein. Ziegenhagen, a wealthy merchant of Hamburg,
incited by the study of the Encyclopedists, especially of Rousseau, felt
himself called upon to take part in the various attempts which were made
towards the close of the last century to abolish the pedantry of the
schools; and his efforts to bring education back to a state of natural
simplicity were more energetic and daring than those of less ardent
reformers. He published, out of love for humanity and paternal
tenderness, as he said, an elaborate treatise in which he sought to
prove,[24] by a criticism of the biblical tradition, that existing
religions could not satisfy the inquirer into the nature of things,
and then laid down rules for the theoretical and practical education of
human beings. He hoped, in all seriousness, "to induce wise princes
and enlightened universities to introduce the study of the relations
of things to each other, which is so unmistakably superior to ordinary
religious teaching; and he hoped also to make the acquaintance of
such parents as wished to devote their children to husbandry and the
management of a colony which he proposed to found, in accordance with
his views, in the neighbourhood of Strasburg." In order to render
his book attractive from every point of view he adorned it with eight
copperplate engravings by Chodowiecki, and requested Mozart to compose
a song to be sung with orchestral accompaniment in the meeting-houses of
his colony.

Mozart was certainly not acquainted with the entire



contents of this eccentric, almost crazy work; Ziegenhagen gave him
a few general hints of his Utopian scheme, in which he was doubtless
perfectly sincere, and sent him the words of the hymn. These words
emphatically express the effort after truth, brotherhood, and happiness
which was the final object of Freemasonry, and Mozart could not but
treat them after the same manner that he treated similar poems avowedly
masonic. Ziegenhagen's lines are so deficient in poetic spirit, and even
in poetic metre, that it required a more than ordinary amount of genius
and cultivation to give them the impress of a musical work of art. A
work of art this cantata undoubtedly is; it is more free in conception
than usual, the arie, and especially the recitatives, being allowed
considerable scope, in order to fall in with the unequal and rhetorical
words. The union of such an accentuation as was necessary to the
sense of the words with the full expression of warm emotion and the
subservience of both to appointed musical forms, are the essential
features of this composition, and are the more likely to strike us, who
are so entirely out of sympathy with the ideas suggesting the work.
A style of music specifically belonging to Freemasonry is of course
inconceivable; but in the finest passages of works such as this, and in
the "Zauberflöte," something is expressed of the essence of the masonic
character, of _moral convictions_ (I had almost said of _virtue_, but
fear to be misunderstood), which appears outside the province of
music, but which has sometimes been made very effective, especially by
Beethoven. The "Maurerische Trauermusik bei dem Todesfalle der Br.
Br. Meklenburg und Esterhazy" (477 K.), composed in July, 1785, is
an orchestral composition of wonderful beauty and originality. The
combination of instruments is unusual; besides the stringed instruments
there are two oboes, one clarinet (only one again), three basset-horns,
one horn in E flat, one horn in C, and a double bassoon.[25] The deep
tones of the wind



instruments give a peculiarly solemn expression to the work. After a
few introductory chords they are joined by the strings, and the first
violins maintain throughout the same character, contrasting with the
wind instruments in free rhapsodic passages, expressive of grief in all
its varied shades. This is most striking when a Cantus firmus, following
the introduction[26]--[See Page Image]

is first delivered _piano_ by the oboes and clarinet, and at the sixth
bar is taken up by the full force of the wind instruments. The violins
in the meantime have graceful passages, expressive of gentle sorrow,
which rise to a gradual climax of passionate regret. As this storm
abates, we are led back to the introductory motif, which prepares the
way in another climax for the conclusion, preceded by a singularly bold
harmonic transition of deeply sorrowful expression:--[See Page Image]

If we compare the contrapuntal treatment of this Cantus firmus with
similar works of earlier date, such as the



"Betulia Liberata,"[27] we are struck with its development of technical
mastery as well as of depth of sentiment and freedom of expression; the
same is the case also with the "Zauberflote" and the "Requiem." Mozart
has written nothing finer than this short adagio in technical treatment,
sound effects, earnest feeling, and psychological truth. It is the
musical expression of that manly calm which gives sorrow its due, and no
more than its due, in the presence of death, and which was expressed by
Mozart in another form in the letter to his father already quoted (Vol.
II., p. 323).


[Footnote 1: The initiated will see at once that an outsider is speaking, and
that the expressions used are on that account additionally cautious.]

[Footnote 2: A survey of the most important phenomena attendant on this movement
is given by Schlosser (Geschichte des Achtzehnten Jahrh., III.; I., p.

[Footnote 3: Gervinus, Gesch. d. Deutschen Nationality, V., p. 274.]

[Footnote 4: Goethe, Werke, XXI., p. 329.]

[Footnote 5: Wieland, Werke, LIII., p. 435.]

[Footnote 6: "To do good, to lighten the burden of mankind, to assist in the
enlightenment of his comrades, to cause enmity to decrease among men,
and to do all this with indefatigable zeal, is the duty of the mason
and the true secret of his order. The ceremonies are minor mysteries,
by means of which a man becomes a Freemason outwardly. The part taken by
the order in the spread of toleration, especially among Christian sects,
has been too plainly demonstrated to need mention here" [Kessler von
Sprengseisen] (Anti-Saint-Nicaise, p. 62).]

[Footnote 7: L. Lewis, Gesch. d. Freimaurerei in Oesterreich: Wien, 1861.]

[Footnote 8: There were eight lodges in Vienna in 1785. The oldest of them, "Zur
gekrönten Hoffnung," was the one to which Mozart belonged; it contained
many rich and noble members, and was said to lay great stress on
gorgeous banquets (Briefe eines Biedermanns üb. d. Freimäurer in Wien:
Münch., 1786, p. 40).]

[Footnote 9: K. L. Reinhold's Leben, p. 18.]

[Footnote 10: Blumauer, Pros. Schr., I., p. 69.]

[Footnote 11: Car. Pichler, Denkw., I., p. 105.]

[Footnote 12: Wien. Ztg., 1785, No. 102.]

[Footnote 13: Cf. Voigt an Hufeland (Aus Weimars Glanzzeit, p. 46. Baggesen'e
Briefw., I., p. 304).]

[Footnote 14: Mozart's widow, who communicated his plan for this order to Härtel
(November 27, 1799; July 21, 1800), stated that Stadler, with whom
Mozart had discussed the whole subject, could give more information,
but hesitated to reveal the circumstances connected with it. Although it
says little for Mozart's knowledge of mankind that he should have chosen
such a man for a confidant, the general interest taken in all matters
relating to secret societies may serve to explain Mozart's partiality
for them.]

[Footnote 15: Maurer rede auf Mozart's Tod. Vorgelesen bei einer Meisteraufnahme
in der sehr ehrw. St. Joh. zur gekrönten Hoffnung im Orient von Wien vom
Bdr. H.... r. Wien, gedruckt beym Br. Ignaz Alberti, 1792, 8.]

[Footnote 16: Lewis, Gesch. d. Freim. in Oesterreich, p. 162.]

[Footnote 17: In the Salzburg Mozarteum there is a complete autograph score of
the first chorus and part of the first air; but the chorus is in four
parts, for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, and the wind instruments are
limited to two oboes and two horns; no doubt a subsequent arrangement.]

[Footnote 18: Wien. Ztg., 1785, No. 32.]

[Footnote 19: Lewis, Gesch. d. Freim. in Oesterreich, p. 119.]

[Footnote 20: In the library of the Munich Conservatoire there is a manuscript
score of this cantata, in which the original words, "Sehen, wie dem
starren Forscherauge," are changed into "Sehen jenes Irrthums Nacht
verschwinden," for use in church services; also the final chorus
is arranged in four parts, for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, and
strengthened by trumpets and drums.]

[Footnote 21: Lewis, p. 39.]

[Footnote 22: Wien. Ztg., January 25, 1792, No. 7, p. 217: "Reverence and
gratitude for the departed Mozart caused a number of his admirers to
announce the performance of one of his works for the benefit of his
necessitous widow and children; the work may be termed his _swan's
song_, composed in his own inspired manner, and performed by a circle of
his friends under his own direction two days before his last illness. It
is a cantata upon the dedication of a Freemasons' lodge in Vienna,
with words by one of the members." The score, with the original words,
appeared at Vienna, with the title, "Mozarts letztes Meisterstuck eine
Cantata gebeben vor seinem Tode im Kreise vertrauter Freunde." Appended
to the cantata is a song, "Lasst uns mit verschlungnen Händen," which
may also be by Mozart. The cantata was published later, with other
words, and the title, "Das Lob der Freundschaft."]

[Footnote 23: The inducement to this composition was briefly hinted at in the
A. M. Z. I., p. 745, and afterwards given at greater length by G. Weber
(Cäcilia, XVIII., p. 210).]

[Footnote 24: This book of 633 pages bears the title: "Lehre vom richtigen
Verhältnisse zu den Schopfungswerken und die durch öffentliche
Einfurung derselben allein zu bewürkende allgemeine Menschenbeglückung
herausgegeben von F. H. Ziegenhagen. Hamburg, 1792, 8." Mozart's
composition is appended, printed on four pages. Ziegenhagen was born in
1753, at Salzburg; late in life he fell into bad circumstances, and put
an end to his life at Steinthal, near Strasburg, in 1806.]

[Footnote 25: The employment of three basset-horns, as in the vocal terzet (Vol.
II., p. 361) and in an adagio for two clarinets and three basset-horns
(411 K.), is no doubt the result of circumstances. The beginning of an
adagio and allegro for these instruments exists among the fragments (93,
95 Anh., K.).]

[Footnote 26: Mozart has jotted this melody hastily down upon an extra leaf, in
order to make no mistake in the working-out. According to my colleague
Heimsoeth the first six bars render the first psalm-tune with the first
difference (from the Cologne Antiphonary); what follows is very probably
a local compilation of several psalm-tunes for the penitential psalm
"Miserere mei Deus," different tunes being customary in different
places. The melody of the first phrase is from the beginning of the
first psalm-tune, the melody of the second phrase occurs in the seventh

[Footnote 27: Vol. I., p. 197; c£. also pp. 272, 277.]


OF those who realise the excitement and want of repose of Mozart's life
in Vienna, and the variety of occupations and distractions which beset
him, it must appear matter of wonder that he was able to produce so
large a number of compositions, each bearing an individual character of
maturity and finish. The wonder increases as the conviction grows that
not only was he ready as each occasion arose to prove, as Goethe says
every artist should, that his art came at his command, but that he had
the power of bringing forth at will his deepest, best conceptions, so
that the external impulse appeared only as the momentum given to an
artistic inspiration. It must at the same time be remembered that Mozart
was not fond of writing, and generally waited until the last moment to
give shape to his ideas. He was occasionally, therefore, late with his
compositions, as with the sonata for Strinasacchi (Vol. II., p. 337), or
had only time to write the parts without scoring them (Vol. II., pp.318,
366), or scarcely allowed the copyist time to finish his work (Vol. II.,
p. 327); it is only necessary to look through his Thematic Catalogue
to see that most of his compositions were written as short a time as
possible before they were actually wanted. His



father, who, as a man of business, considered the proper disposition of
time as a matter of vital importance, often called his son's attention
to this failing. "If you will examine your conscience closely," he
writes (December 11, 1777), "you will find that procrastination is your
besetting sin and when Wolfgang was at work on "Idomeneo" in Munich, he
warned him "not to procrastinate" (November 18, 1781). After his stay
in Vienna, convinced that his son was in this respect unchanged for the
better, he writes to Marianne, on hearing from Wolfgang that he was over
head and ears at work on the "Nozze di Figaro" (November 11, 1785), "He
has procrastinated and thrown away his time after his usual habit, until
now he is forced to set to work in earnest, in compliance with Count
Rosenberg's commands."

It cannot be denied that Leopold Mozart was right, and that a judicious
and methodical distribution of time is as desirable in an artist or a
genius as in any one else; it is true also that perseverance and
care may enable even an artist to overcome his inclination to

But a glance at the extraordinary fertility of Mozart's genius, at the
burning zeal and intensity with which he worked, will suffice to show
the injustice of accusing him of idleness, or of never working unless he
was actually driven to it. He was perfectly justified in writing to his
father from Vienna (May 26, 1781): "Believe me, I do not love idleness,
but rather work." The father's injustice was the result of a want of
comprehension of the peculiar creative process of his son's genius. He
did not appreciate the activity and industry of his mind, because it
made no show, and, indeed, often hid itself behind a careless demeanour;
he failed to perceive that the disinclination to write generally arose
from the feeling that the workings of the mind were not yet in a shape
to be expressed by the pen.

A conception of Mozart's work, almost equally mistaken, is that which
takes as a measure of his genius his wonderfully rapid production, which
often made his grasp of an artistic idea coincident with his embodiment
of it in music. The overture to "Don Giovanni" is most often quoted as
an example of this extraordinary speed. Niemetschek says (p. 84):--



Mozart wrote "Don Juan" at Prague in 1787; it was finished, rehearsed,
and announced for performance in two days' time, before the overture was
begun to be written. The anxiety of his friends, increasing every hour,
appeared to entertain him; the more apprehensive they became, the less
he would consent to hurry himself. It was not until the night before
the performance, after spending the merriest evening imaginable, that
he went to his room at near midnight, began to write, and completed the
admirable masterpiece in a few hours.

This very credible account is corroborated by Mozart's wife:[1]--

The evening before the performance of "Don Juan" at Prague, the dress
rehearsal having already taken place, he said to his wife that he would
write the overture at night, if she would sit with him and make him some
punch to keep his spirits up. This she did, and told him tales about
Aladdin's Lamp, Cinderella, &c., which made him laugh till the tears
came. But the punch made him sleepy, so that he dozed when she left off,
and only worked as long as she told tales. At last, the excitement, the
sleepiness, and the frequent efforts not to doze off, were too much for
him, and his wife persuaded him to go to sleep on the sofa, promising to
wake him in an hour. But he slept so soundly that she could not find it
in her heart to wake him until two hours had passed. It was then five
o'clock; at seven o'clock the overture was finished and in the hands of
the copyist.

This musical myth has received a stronger colouring in the account of
the elder Genast, then a young actor at Prague. According to him, Mozart
partook so freely of the hospitalities of a certain gentleman on the
evening in question that Genast and a friend brought him home, laid
him senseless on his bed, and themselves went to sleep on the sofa.
On awakening, they heard Mozart lustily singing, as he composed his
overture, and "listened in reverential silence as the immortal
ideas developed themselves."[2] A good instance, this, of the way to
manufacture an anecdote.

Niemetschek, who had previously remarked with justice that Mozart's work
was always ready in his head before he sat down to his writing-table,
was no doubt of the correct opinion that the overture was only written
down in this haste, not composed. Whether the wife believed this or not



is doubtful, since she adds ingenuously: "Some will recognise the
dozings and rousings in the music of the overture." An evident
repetition of some one else's words, and a very ingenious idea. One can
only say with Hoffman: "Some people are fools!"[3]

An unprejudiced examination soon disposes of the not only foolish but
detrimental idea[4] that rapidity of workmanship is a sign of true
genius; but it is not by any means so easy a task to gain a clear
and comprehensive insight into the workings of an artist's nature.[5]
Fortunately for our purpose, however, averse as Mozart was to talk much
of himself or his compositions, he has left us characteristic traits and
expressions sufficient to enable us to realise his individualities in
this respect.[6]

It is a matter of universal experience that the great men of every art
and science, who have left any enduring proofs of their genius, have
worked the more zealously and the more earnestly in proportion as their
genius surpassed that of other men. That this holds true of Mozart no
one who has studied his life and works will wish to deny. In his youth,
as long as he remained under the direct control of his father, his
studies were regular and severe. And as a man and a fully developed
artist he had no ambition to be considered one who threw off his
compositions with the carelessness of genius, or who was ashamed of
his honest efforts and labours. His dedication of his quartets to
Haydn speaks of them as the fruit of long and painful labour, and in a
conversation with the orchestral conductor Kucharz, at Prague,



before the performance of "Don Giovanni," he expressed himself as
follows: "I have spared neither labour nor pains to produce something
worthy of the reputation of Prague. It would be a great mistake to
imagine that my art is an easy matter to me. I assure you, my dear
friend, no one has given more trouble to the study of composition than
myself. It would not be easy to find a celebrated musician whose works
I have not often and laboriously studied." And in point of fact, the
narrator continues, even when he had attained to classical perfection,
the works of great masters were always to be seen lying on his desk.[7]
We have already seen how eagerly and with what good result he studied
Bach and Handel, when once Van Swieten had given him the impetus.
Rochlitz[8] declares that he was as familiar with the works of Handel as
if he had been all his life director of the Ancient Concerts in London.
He had arrived in Leipzig just after arranging "Acis and Galatea" and
the "Messiah" for Van Swieten, and the impressions of these works were
fresh upon him. "Handel," Rochlitz heard him say, "knows better than
any of us what will make an effect; when he chooses he strikes like a
thunderbolt."[9] He admired not only Handel's choruses, but many of his
arie and solos, which were not thought much of at that time. "Although
he is often prosy, after the fashion of his time," said he, "there is
always something in his music."[10]

At Leipzig Mozart became acquainted with the vocal compositions of
Sebastian Bach. Doles made the St. Thomas choir sing him the wonderful
eight-part motett, "Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied." His surprise at
the flow of melody, wave upon wave, passed all bounds; he listened with
rapt attention, and exclaimed with delight: "That is indeed



something to take a lesson from!" When he heard that the St. Thomas
school possessed several other motetts by Bach, he begged to see them,
and no score being accessible he surrounded himself with the parts, and
was buried in study until he had worked them all out; then he asked for
copies of the motetts.[11] His interest in Benda's monodramas (Vol. II.,
p. 74) and his expressions on the importance of French opera, prove
that he had profited by the study of living masters; all his works bear
traces of the kind of influence which is exercised upon a genial and
receptive nature by the great performances of others.

Of a different kind to these general preparatory studies, is that which
may be properly be called the labour of production: such a technical
skill and perfection as enables an artist to clothe his ideas in
form. It is impossible in any art (and more especially so in music)
to separate absolutely form and substance, and to treat each as a
self-sufficing element, and equally impossible to divide at any given
point the creative, inventive force of an artistic production from its
formative, executive force. The process of production, whether physical
or mental, is a mystery to mankind; whence and how the artist is
inspired as by a lightning flash with an idea, he knows himself as
little as he can trace in his completed work the actual momentum of its

The characteristics of the gradual formation and perfection of artistic
ideas vary greatly in different artists; even in great and highly
organised natures the mental powers are variously endowed and developed.
Statements as to the easy or painful, rapid or deliberate, methods of
working of different artists, vague and unsatisfactory in themselves,
are for the most part the result of superficial observation and
knowledge. It is of little consequence whether an artist at his work
is easily distracted by external impressions, or whether he pursues his
train of thought undisturbed by what is going on around him. It is of
little consequence whether an artist feels necessitated or has made it
his habit, to regulate his intellectual labours, and to give a written



form to every creative impulse, or whether he renounces external aids,
and shapes, proves, elaborates and connects his ideas in his own
mind only. That which is of consequence, that which no true artist is
without, is the power to carry on a train of thought from its earliest
germs to its full development, unhindered by interruptions and
distractions; and the further power to realise the idea of the whole at
every point, as the determining element of the details of conception and
form. It is difficult to know whether to admire more the steady flow
of invention and form as it proceeds from some minds, or the gradual
evolution of a unique self-contained whole out of an apparent waste of
disconnected ideas which is characteristic of others. Mozart displayed
from every point of view an exceptionally happy organisation. His
copious and easily excited productive power was supported by a delicate
sense of form, which was developed to such perfection by thorough and
varied study that he employed the technicalities of musical form as if
by a natural instinct. In addition to this he possessed the gift of so
detaching his mind from what was going on around him that he could work
out his ideas even to the minutest detail; his wonderful memory
enabling him to retain in its completeness whatever he had thus inwardly
elaborated, and to reproduce it at any moment in a tangible form.

The impulse which drives an artist to production is seldom consciously
felt by himself and is never capable of definition. In most cases this
signifies but little, for external impulse usually furnishes only the
occasion for a work of art, and even when the impulse happens to be a
visible one our attention is concentrated on the creation which it
has called forth. This is especially true of music, which draws its
immediate inspiration neither from nature nor from the world of thought.
It would be of the highest interest to follow the process by means of
which impressions made on the artist's mind produce well-defined
musical ideas. This, however, is impossible; the idea and its musical
development are simultaneous efforts of the mind; the work of art thus
called into being cannot be immediately referred to any impulse from



Nor is it by any means essential that it should. It is of far greater
psychological interest to consider those characteristics of the artist
which give a clearer insight into his disposition and ways of feeling,
although it may not be possible to trace them in the details of his
works. Thus we are told that the sight of beautiful nature stirred
Mozart's productive powers to activity. Rochlitz writes on Con-stanze's

When he was travelling with his wife through beautiful scenery, he used
to gaze earnestly and in silence on the scene before him; his usually
absent and thoughtful expression would brighten by degrees, and he would
begin to sing, or rather to hum, finally breaking out with: "If I could
only put the subject down on paper!" And, when I sometimes said that he
could do so if he pleased, he went on: "Yes, of course, all in proper
form! What a pity it is that one's work must all be hatched in one's own

He always endeavoured to pass the summer in the country or where there
was a garden; it is well known that it was chiefly in a garden that he
wrote "Don Juan" in Prague and the "Zauberflöte" in Vienna; and in 1758,
having taken a country residence for the summer, he wrote to Puchberg
(June 27): "I have done more in the ten days that I have been here than
I should have done in two months anywhere else." This love of nature is
not surprising in a man of Mozart's healthy tone of mind, who had been
brought up amid the beautiful surroundings of Salzburg. But he was by no
means wedded to these, or to any other influences from without. Wherever
he was he was incessantly occupied with musical thoughts and labours.
"You know," he writes to his father (Vol. II., p. 43), "that I am, so to
speak, steeped in music--that it is in my mind the whole day, and that
I love to dream, to study, to reflect upon it." Those who knew him well
could not fail to be aware of this. His sister-in-law Sophie describes
him well:[13]--

He was always good-humoured, but thoughtful even in his best moods,
looking one straight in the face, and always speaking with reflection,
whether the talk was grave or gay; and yet he seemed always to be
carrying on a deeper train of thought. Even when he was washing his



hands in the morning, he never stood still, but walked up and down the
room humming, and buried in thought. At table he would often twist up
a corner of the table-cloth, and rub his upper lip with it, without
appearing in the least to know what he was doing, and he sometimes
made extraordinary grimaces with his mouth. His hands and feet were in
continual motion, and he was always strumming on something--his hat, his
watch-fob, the table, the chairs, as if they were the clavier.

Karajan tells me that his barber used to relate in after-years how
difficult it was to dress his hair, since he never would sit still;
every moment an idea would occur to him, and he would run to the
clavier, the barber after him, hair-ribbon in hand. We have already
observed that musical ideas occupied him during all bodily exercises,
such as riding, bowls, and billiard-playing; his timidity in riding
may have arisen from the frequent distraction of his attention from the
management of his horse. General conversation, as Frau Haibl says,
did not disturb his mental labours, and his brother-in-law Lange was
particularly struck by the fact that when he was engaged on his most
important works he took more than his usual share in any light or
jesting talk that was going on; this resulted from an involuntary
impulse to find a counterpoise for his intellectual activity. Even when
music was going on, provided it did not particularly interest him, he
had the power of carrying on his own musical thoughts, and of ignoring
the music he heard, as completely as any other disturbance. His elder
sister-in-law, Frau Hofer, told Neukomm that sometimes at the opera
Mozart's friends could tell by the restless movements of his hands,
by his look, and the way in which he moved his lips, as if singing
or whistling, that he was entirely engrossed by his internal musical

The abstraction and absorption of men of genius appears natural and
comprehensible, and is respected even by those whose intellectual
activity is not concentrated in the same way. But few are able to enter
into the workings of a mind which is ever conceiving and shaping ideas
in its hidden recesses, without severing its connection with what is
going on around; such a mind has a sort of double existence, and appears
able to follow two paths leading in different



directions at the same time. If, as sometimes happens, the outer
activity fails to keep pace with the inner, a superficial observer
possesses himself of this fact, and makes it the basis of his judgments,
leaving out of account the inner and true activity of which the outer
is but a manifestation. Even Mozart's father failed to comprehend his
peculiar organisation, and refused to recognise any results of his
labour but those which were written down, and which had thus, after a
long and uninterrupted chain of intellectual exertions, received the
seal of their artistic completion. To Mozart himself, on the contrary,
this part of his labour seemed unimportant and even burdensome, his
productive powers having little share in it. He postponed it as long as
possible, not only because he wished to retain his power over the work
which occupied him, until it was fully matured in his own mind, but also
because he took far more pleasure in creating than in transcribing. It
cannot be denied that he sometimes postponed this least congenial part
of his task too long. To the methodical man of business this appears
all the more blamable, since Mozart was always able at need to execute
commissions accurately and punctually; to speak of idleness, or of
forced industry, shows complete ignorance of the man. It is true that
Mozart laid himself open to the imputation by the speed at which he
wrote when he actually set to work; those who observed this could not
conceive why a man with such "gifts of Providence" did not "compose," as
people say, from morning to night. His wife said truly:[14] "The greater
industry of his later years was merely apparent, because he wrote
down more. He was always working in his head, his mind was in constant
motion, and one may say that he never ceased composing." Although his
wife was constantly called on by his admirers to urge him to work,
she considered it her duty far oftener to restrain and moderate his

The wonderful harmony of different artistic qualities in Mozart, which
Rossini expressed so finely by saying that Mozart was the only musician
who had as much genius as



knowledge and as much knowledge as genius, may be traced in many
particulars. The more subordinate power of grasping the idea of a
strange composition at a glance, and of executing it on the spot, he
possessed as a matter of course. His playing at sight has already been
noted many times (Vol. I., pp. 37, log, 363, 365), and his criticism of
Sterkel and Vogler show his own view of the matter (Vol. I., p. 387).
"It must be," Umlauf said, as Mozart writes to his father (October 6,
1782), "that Mozart has the devil in his head and his fingers--he played
my opera, which is so badly written that even I cannot read it, as if
he had composed it himself." To this power of seeing at a glance the
details and whole conception of a musical work was added a marvellous
memory, capable of retaining all that was so seen. As a boy he gave
proof of this by his transcription of the Miserere (Vol. I., p. 119);
in later years he used to play his concertos by heart when he was
travelling; not merely one or another that he had practised, but any or
all; he was known to play a concerto from memory that he had not seen
for long, because he had forgotten to bring the principal part.[15] At
Prague he wrote the trumpet and drum parts of the second finale in "Don
Juan" without a score, brought them himself into the orchestra, and
showed the performers a place where there would certainly be a mistake,
only he could not say whether there would be four bars too much or too
little; the mistake was found just as he had said.[16] But this proves
only the power of remembering what was finished and impressed on the
mind. A more remarkable instance of musical memory was his writing
only the violin part of a sonata for piano and violin to perform with
Strinasacchi (Vol. II., p. 337), and playing the piano part from his
head without ever having heard the piece; or writing a composition
at once in parts, without having scored it (Vol. II., p. 366). This
displays the astonishing clearness and precision with which he grasped
and retained compositions he



had once thought out, even in their minutest details, and we can now
account for the rapidity of his transcription from the fact of its being
mere transcription. External distractions, so far from annoying him,
served to divert his mind during the mechanical labour with his pen.[17]
He made Constanze tell him stories, or played bowls; his wife tells us
herself how she was confined of her first child while he was composing
the second of his quartets, dedicated to Haydn (421 K.). This was in
the summer of 1783, and he sat at work in the same room where she lay;
indeed, he generally worked in her room during her frequent illnesses.
When she complained of pain, he would come to her to cheer and console,
resuming his writing as soon as she was calm. This is a striking proof
how unshackled Mozart's musical activity was by external circumstances;
it is not given to many to remain so completely master of their
ideas and powers during an event which would naturally appeal to the
ten-derest feelings of the heart. Still more striking is his expression
to his sister when he sends her the prelude and fugue before mentioned
(Vol. II., p. 321). He apologises for the prelude being placed
improperly after the fugue: "The reason was," he says, "that I had
already composed the fugue, and wrote it down while I was thinking out
the prelude."

Such mental powers as these reduced the mere writing to an almost
mechanical operation; nevertheless, he did not rely so completely as he
might have done on his memory, but made occasional notes for his better
convenience and certainty. Rochlitz tells us, no doubt on Constanze's

Mozart, when in company with his wife or those who put no restraint on
him, and especially during his frequent carriage journeys, used not only
to exercise his fancy by the invention of new melodies, but occupied his
intellect and feeling in arranging and elaborating such melodies, often
humming or singing aloud, growing red in the face and suffering no
interruption. The briefest indications in black and white sufficed to
preserve these studies in his memory; his easily kindled imagination,
his complete mastery of the resources of his art, and his extraordinary



musical memory needed little aid; he used to keep scraps of music paper
at hand (when travelling, in the side-pocket of the carriage) for such
fragmentary notes and reminders;[19] these scraps,carefully preserved
in a case, were a sort of journal of his travels to him, and the whole
proceeding had a sort of sacredness to his mind which made him very
averse to any interference with it.

These notes, having served their purpose, seem to have been thought
unworthy of preservation; the few that remain are interesting and
suggestive. The sketch which is given in facsimile of Denis's ode (Vol.
II., p. 370) gives an outline of the whole work in writing so hasty as
scarcely to be recognised for Mozart's. The voice part is written entire
as well as the bass of the accompaniment, and the other parts have all
their characteristics so clearly noted that there could be no doubt as
to their further elaboration. It is evident that the composition was
finished in Mozart's brain when the sketch was written, so that it does
not appear as one attempt among several to give shape to his conception,
but as an aid to the memory when it should be necessary to write down
the whole in detail. Similar, but still slighter, is the sketch for one
of the songs in "L' Oca del Cairo," which is given in facsimile in Jul.
André's edition in pianoforte score. Here again the voice part is given
from beginning to end, but the bass is not shown, and the accompaniment
only here and there (once with the direction that the clarinets are to
be used). The piece was simple enough to require very slight reminders
for its elaboration. It would not be easy to decide whether such a
sketch should be considered as the result of much previous reflection
and study, or whether it was the immediate fruit of a moment of

These two sketches never having been elaborated, so far as we are aware,
we can make no comparison which will show how far such sketches were
modified before the completion of the work. There is considerable
difference between the first hasty sketch of the terzet (5) from the
"Sposo Deluso" (430 K.), which Jul. André has given in the



preface to his pianoforte edition, and the later elaboration of it.
Nothing remains but the first motif--[See Page Image]

but so differently applied that this sketch cannot have been taken as
the point of departure for the working-out, but must be considered as an
earlier and rejected conception. On the other hand, the sketches for a
song from "Idomeneo" (Vol. II., p. 148) and for a tenor song (420 K.)
are almost identical in the voice part with the score as it stands.

Peculiar interest attaches to Sketch I., given in facsimile. The three
first lines are noted for a clavier composition; then follows the sketch
of a terzet (434 K.) for two bass voices and a tenor, from an opera
buffa, on which Mozart was apparently at work in 1783. A fair copy of
the work is partially preserved, and gives an idea of the way in which
Mozart arranged his scores. The sketch contains only the voice parts,
with slight hints for the accompaniment, showing how in one place the
first idea was rejected and then again resumed. It is evident from
the way in which the space is employed that the notes were made very

The score, on the contrary, is a fair copy of the work accidentally
left unfinished. It has the proper number of parts for the voices and
orchestra, with the corresponding title before each. The ritornello is
first given, which is long, because it serves as an introduction to the
first scene of the opera. It is formed of motifs which recur later, and
it is plain that this independent introduction was written after the
completion of the terzet, in which the motifs have each their special
signification. The principal parts (first violin and bass), are written
in full, but only those parts of the wind instruments in which they have
independent motifs; all that was intended to give colouring and shading
to this simple outline is omitted. The voice parts are all inserted in
proper order, and the bass is given in full; but there are few hints for
the accompaniment. It is all written firmly and neatly, showing
plainly enough that it was finished. The deviations from the sketch are



in the bass voice, more striking in the tenor, where the primary
design of the melody remains, but the elaboration is modified and the
conclusion lengthened. Where the voices are together nothing has been
altered, so far as we can discover. The first sketch breaks off a
few bars sooner than the score, which itself is a comparatively small
fragment of the whole terzet.

It is evident, therefore, that the true artistic work was done before
the first sketch was made, and that the elaboration of the latter into
the score was no mere mechanical adoption of the motif (which seems to
have been rejected upon critical revision and, so to speak, bom
again), but the final reduction to form of what was already complete
in conception. This is still more the case in the elaboration of the
accompaniment in detail; the well-defined outline which is given keeps
it within certain limits without imposing on it any hampering restraint.

Further instances may be found in those works of which the plans of the
scores, generally unelaborated, are preserved. Particularly instructive
are the unelaborated movements of the Mass in C minor (427 K.) and of
the "Requiem" (626 K.) in André's edition; also the pianoforte score of
the duet (384 K.) from the "Entführung" and the unfinished opera "L' Oca
del Cairo," edited by Jul. André, are examples of similar sketches.
They possess peculiar interest to students, since they show those points
which Mozart considered as containing the germ of the whole conception.
The different stages of the elaboration can be traced in most of
Mozart's autograph scores. The voices and bass are invariably written
first, and enough of the accompaniment to show its characteristic
points; this fact can be recognised, even in scores afterwards fully
elaborated, by the differences in ink and handwriting, which is
generally more hasty in the elaboration than in the earlier sketch. When
once this was made, the elaboration was often long deferred; the whole
of the first act of "L' Oca del Cairo" was thus projected, and, the
design of the opera being abandoned, was never elaborated; so, too, all
the movements of the "Requiem," from the Dies irse to the Quam olim were
written entire for the voices with a figured bass, while the



instrumentation was only suggested. He waited for time and inclination
to continue the work thus begun, and needed more urging to it than to
any other, for once having fixed the outline of his design, it required
a mere mechanical effort to reproduce it in his mind with details of
form and colour. A striking example is that mentioned on p. 360 (Vol.
II.), where, by the figuring of the bass, he supplied an aid to his
memory of a peculiar harmonic succession which perhaps flashed across
him at the moment of transcription in his compositions.

Important alterations were seldom made by Mozart, unless at the instance
of the singer or the instrumentalist. He sent his father the score of
the "Entführung" with the remark that there were many erasures, because
the score had to be copied at once, and he had therefore given free
play to his ideas, and then altered and curtailed them before giving
the score to be written; it is evident from this that the alterations
were almost all made with reference to external circumstances. The
improvements made as the work proceeded were usually only trifling,
such as modifications in pianoforte passages, or unimportant turns of
expression in vocal parts. Thus, for instance, the close of the Count's
song in "Figaro" was originally simpler--[See Page Image]



In the duet for the two girls in "Cosi fan Tutte" (4), Dorabella's part
had the bars--[See Page Images]

The decided heroic style of the first version, which would be fitting
enough for Fiordiligi, is thus toned down, and an expression of greater
elegance given to the passage.

It is worth remarking that the characteristic motif of Donna Anna's song
in "Don Giovanni"--

Or sai chi l' o-no- re ra - pi - re a me vol-se, chi fu il tra - di - to
-re, was originally--

Or sai chi l'o-no-re ra - pi - re a me vol-se, chi fu il tra - di - to -
re, and every one must feel how greatly it has gained by the alteration.
In every case Mozart's self-criticism has been founded on true feeling
and discrimination, even when it has not been called for on definite
technical grounds. In the Countess's song in "Figaro" (19) the
first division of the allegro, from bar eight, concluded originally
thus:--[See Page Image]

The phrase as it is now known was written underneath and the bass
scratched out. In the further course of the allegro the three bars--



were originally simply repeated after the interlude, and then went
on:--[See Page Images]

Mozart appears to have felt when he surveyed the whole song that such
an untroubled expression of a fresh joyous impulse was not altogether
appropriate to the character of the Countess, and he therefore inserted
seven bars on the repetition of the motif, which give the passage an
altogether different colour:--

The strongly accented change to C minor expresses such a depth of sorrow
and yearning pathos that the lively tone of the allegro seems to be
covered with a veil, and the whole emphasis of the song falls upon this
place. Certainly, none would have suspected this passage of being
an interpolation. The concluding bars of the Andante of the C major
symphony (551 K.) originally ran thus:--

How beautifully this passage is replaced by the eleven closing bars,
which now lead back to the chief theme, and give emphasis and dignity
to the close! In the terzet from "Tito" (14) the andantino originally
closed with a simple passage for the strings:--



This is now replaced by a passage divided among all the
instruments--[See Page Images]

which, with its agitated motion, is more sharply characteristic of the
situation. All these are examples, not of improvements to a finished
work, but of a free act of production giving a new disposition to the
passages in their relation to the whole work. But Mozart sometimes
hesitated at the moment of decision, and made repeated experiments
before he was satisfied, as in the case of the conclusion of Susanna's
charming song in "Figaro," which seems to belong so naturally to its
position that one cannot imagine it other than it is; yet the sketches
and alterations of the original show that many earlier experiments
were made. Worthy of note also are the two bars in the overture to the
"Zauberflote" (p. 10, André), in which the clarinet leads the repetition
of the second subject--

and which Mozart, with just discrimination, has struck out of the
finished work.

It is a curious fact that Mozart was sometimes uncertain as to his
rhythm. The quartet in "Cosi fan Tutte" (21) was originally written:--

At the eighth bar Mozart saw that this was incorrect, and altered the
first bars--

and continued it so. There is an exactly similar case in the duet in the
"Zauberflote" (8) which Mozart wrote at first thus--



and did not find out his mistake until quite the end, when he carefully
scratched out all the bar lines and put in the correct ones:--[See Page

Again, in Sesto's air in "Tito" (19), the adagio originally began--

but the bar lines were afterwards erased and fresh ones supplied in red
chalk, making the first bar full. Another very singular mistake in the
duet in the "Zauberflöte" consists in the omission in the second and
third bars of the two chords for clarinets and horns, which Mozart has
evidently merely forgotten to transcribe. Now and then, but very rarely,
important alterations are made in the instrumentation of his works.
One instance occurs in the introduction to the "Zauberflöte," at the
beginning of which the trumpets and drums were in C, and were so carried
on to the entrance of the three ladies; then Mozart seems to
have thought that trumpets and drums could be used with effect as
accompaniment, and he has struck through all that he had previously
written, and noted the trumpets and drums upon a loose sheet in E flat;
he has then continued them for seven bars as an accompaniment to the
opening trio. At the beginning of Leporello's great songs in "Don
Giovanni" (1,4) trumpets and drums were indicated, but they were
afterwards struck out when it came to be performed. In a long comic air,
which was intended for "Cosi fan Tutte" (584 K.), he has struck out the
horn part, after writing the whole of it. In Dorabella's air (28) the
fundamental bass of those parts where only wind instruments are now
employed was intrusted to the double-bass; Mozart afterwards struck this
out, and expressly noted "senza basso." In the second finale



of the "Zauberflöte" the _piano_ chords which follow Pamina's words,
"Ich muss ihn sehen" were first given by the strings, but flutes and
clarinets were afterwards substituted. In the G minor symphony he at
first intended to have four horns, but after a few bars he struck them
out, and limited himself to two. In the terzet in the "Zauberflöte"
(20), the first bar of the accompaniment was given to the violins,
thus--[See Page Image]

which was afterwards erased, and a single crotchet used on the
unaccented part of the bar, with great gain to the effect. But these are
solitary instances. The individual tone-colouring of the instruments
is an essential element of musical construction, which cannot be added
afterwards, but is contemporaneous with the conception, and has its
own share in the working-out of the musical idea. When, therefore, the
composer develops his work in his own mind, he hears not only certain
abstract sounds, but definite individual tones embodied in the voices
and instruments; the whole image glows with vivid colouring in his
mind, and only needs to receive its outward form. Besides, it must be
remembered that Mozart himself created the orchestra as it was employed
with increasing effect from "Idomeneo" onwards; the full use of wind
instruments, their combination with each other and with the strings;
the consequent radical change of colouring in the instrumentation as
a whole, and the wealth of charming detail in the blending of the
tone-colours, are all due to Mozart.[20] He had never heard the effects
he strove to produce; they existed in the orchestra, it is true, as the
statue exists in the marble; but just as the sculptor must have seen
with his spiritual eye what he strives to reproduce in the stone, so
Mozart can have heard only with his spiritual ear the sounds which he
drew from his orchestra.[21]



The alterations which have been mentioned are not to be considered as
selected from among many similar instances, they are the only ones of
any consequence with which my researches have acquainted me. In forming
our idea of Mozart's method of writing his score, we may remark further,
that he did not content himself with such hasty outlines beforehand as
might suggest the course of the whole by a few touches, but sketched out
fully those parts where he thought well to give particular attention
to the details. Canons, fugues, passages in counterpoint, with a
complicated disposition of parts or some other difficulty, were worked
out upon scraps of music paper or sheets which had been previously used
but not quite filled, and then transferred to the score. An accurate
sketch for the first finale in "Don Giovanni," for instance, where the
three dance melodies occur together in different measures, was shown to
me by Al. Fuchs, who had procured one such sketch from each of Mozart's
great operas. There was another also of the three-part canon in the
second finale of "Cosi fan Tutte," in which only the canon, not the
voice part belonging to it, was noted. There exists also, in addition
to the rough draft of the score of "L' Oca del Cairo," sketches of
those parts of the quartet (6) and finale (7) which demand particular
attention on account of the contrapuntal disposition of the parts.
Unfortunately but few of these sketches have been preserved, but those
few show Mozart's method very clearly, and leave no doubt that they were
made in order that his conception might be fully developed and arranged
in his own mind before its final reduction to writing. They testify,
too, of the thoughtfulness and deliberation with which he worked, of
the severe demands which he made upon himself, and the conscientiousness
which prevented his trusting to the lucky inspiration of the moment or
to his own well-tried readiness of resource. Our idea of Mozart as
an artist is no longer that which has been so commonly received and
admired, and which shows us a spendthrift of his artistic powers, who
was only driven by dire necessity to collect the fruits which his
genius cast unbidden into his lap. The prerogative of genius is not a
dispensation from labour and painful exertion, but



the power of attaining the highest aims of such labour, and of
obliterating every trace of effort in the perfection of the work.

The external characteristics of Mozart's scores show also great care for
order and clearness. His handwriting was small, but though often rapid,
and sometimes hasty, always clear, decided, and individual.[22] The
smaller details, in which copyist's errors might easily creep in, are
specially cared for; all the instructions for delivery are carefully
given in each part. In short, Mozart's scores leave an impression, not
of pedantry, which magnifies what is unimportant and loses time in an
exaggerated regard for method and uniformity, but of a well-considered
order and careful arrangement of details in their due relation to the
whole work.

Admirably illustrative of Mozart's method, as we have endeavoured to
portray it, are the numerous unfinished compositions of which frequent
mention has been made; many of these were found after his death,[23]
and some are preserved in the Mozarteum at Salzburg. Among these rough
draughts of scores are several beginnings of masses belonging to his
Salzburg days, as also some songs and many unfinished instrumental
compositions, but by far the greater part were written in Vienna. Among
them we may note:--

6 fragments of string quintets.

2 quintets for clarinet and strings.

1 quartet for English horn and strings.

9 drafts of violin quartets.

9 drafts of pianoforte concertos.

1 pianoforte quartet.

2 drafts of pianoforte trios.

1 sonata for pianoforte and violoncello.

2 sonatas for pianoforte and violin.

4 movements for two pianofortes.

9 movements for the pianoforte.!!!

These are none of them roughly sketched drafts, but fair copies of
unfinished scores, the completion of which was prevented by outward
circumstances. Again we meet with



confirmation of the fact that Mozart never began to write until his
composition was in all essential points completed in his own mind. When
only a few bars are written they offer a perfected melody, a motif only
requiring its further development. When the sketches are longer they
form a well-rounded, continuous whole, that is evidently interrupted,
not because the continuation is not ready to hand, but because some
chance has prevented its further transcription. It may be plainly
discerned also that not only are detached ideas put into shape, but the
different characteristic traits of execution are indicated in the usual
way, so that the chief effects and capabilities of the motifs may be
clearly inferred.

It appears as if Mozart, when once interrupted in the transcription of
a composition, was very loth to return to it again. That he might have
done so cannot for a moment be doubted. His memory was infallible; but
his interest was concentrated on the work with which he was concerned
at the moment. He was easily impelled to write what he had already
completed in his head, and this led him naturally to the next piece of
work; to return to what he considered as over and done with was contrary
to his nature and habit. There is no reason whatever to suppose that any
of these sketches, preliminary notes, or unfinished compositions were
ever subsequently made use of. This not only testifies of the wealth and
ease of his productivity, which scorned to borrow even from himself,
but it proves that his creations proceeded immediately from spontaneous
impulses, each having independent birth, and owing its development to
the singular fecundity of his artistic nature. The individual truth
and fresh life of Mozart's works are founded in this natural spring of
ever-welling spontaneity. Their artistic perfection rests on the
skill with which the conception is developed; but in what consists the
peculiar charm and beauty which is acknowledged and enjoyed by us all
as inseparable from Mozart's music is, and will ever remain, an unsolved

However carefully Mozart, as a rule, prepared his compositions before
writing them, we, who are acquainted with his nature and education, can
scarcely doubt that he was



able on occasion to compose as he wrote. Such a song as that which he
wrote in the tavern for Frau von Keess cannot well have been ready in
his head. When he was in Prague at the beginning of 1787 he promised
Count Joh. Pachta to write a country dance for a public ball, but failed
to produce it. At last the Count invited him to dinner an hour earlier
than his usual time, and when Mozart appeared placed all the requisite
materials before him, and entreated him to compose the dance on the
spot, seeing that it was required for the following day. Mozart set to
work, and before dinner had composed nine country dances, scored
for full orchestra (510 K), which he certainly had not prepared
beforehand.[24] These and similar instances refer to easy pieces in
free form; but we have already seen (Vol. II., p. 366), that he could
improvise canons and double canons of an unusual kind; and what further
proof can be required than reference to his marvellous gift of executive

In composing Mozart never had recourse to improvisation. "He never came
to the clavier when he was writing." says Niemetschek (p. 82); "his
imagination pictured the whole work when he had once conceived it."
His wife also says naïvely, but graphically: "He never composed at the
clavier, but wrote music like letters, and never tried a movement until
it was finished."[25] When his compositions were completed he used to
rehearse them, singing or playing, with his wife or any one else who
happened to come in. Kelly narrates that Mozart greeted him one evening
with, "I have just written a little duet for 'Figaro.' You shall hear
it." He sat down at the pianoforte, and they sang it together; it was
the duet (16) "Crudel perché finora"; and Kelly often remembered
with keen delight how he had first heard and sung this charming



In one sense, it is true, Mozart felt the necessity for an external vent
to his musical ideas; and for this he had frequent recourse to his
own special instrument, the clavier or pianoforte. "Even in his later
years," says Niemetschek (p. 83), "he often spent half the night at the
piano'[27] these were the hours that witnessed the birth of his divinest
melodies. In the silent calm of night, when there was nothing to
distract the mind, his imagination was kindled into supernatural
activity, and revealed the wealth of melodious sound which lay dormant
in his nature. At such times Mozart was all emotion and music, and
unearthly harmonies flowed from his fingers! Only those who heard him
then could know the depth and extent of his musical genius; his spirit,
freed from every impediment, spread its bold pinions, and soared into
the regions of art." It could scarcely fail to be the case that in such
hours as these the subject of his improvisation should often be the work
of which his mind was full at the time; but it would be a mistake to
consider the improvisation as an express preparation for a subsequent
work, or as the actual source from which it sprang. The improvisation
was the embodiment of the mood of the moment, its form and extent were
limited by the conditions of the instrument on which it was played, and
it could by no means serve as an immediate foundation to a work to
be performed under entirely different conditions and with a definite

Mozart carefully separated his time for writing and his time for
improvising. To the end of his life he kept to his early habit of
writing in the morning (Vol. II., p. 208), and even when he had been out
the evening before, or had played far into the night, he was accustomed
to begin work at six or seven o'clock; in later days, however, he
indulged himself by writing in bed. After ten he usually gave lessons,
and never returned to the writing-table unless there were urgent
occasion. Such occasion arose often enough, it is



true. When he was composing "Figaro," his father tells Marianne
(November 11, 1785) how he postponed all his pupils until the afternoon,
so as to have the whole morning free for writing, and we have already
seen that he sometimes wrote in the evening, and even at night. Mozart's
marvellous improvisations were not confined to hours of solitude and
calm, nor to the satisfaction of his inner cravings; he showed himself
equally master of the art when the impulse came from without, as was
frequently the case, for people loved to hear him improvise. There is a
peculiar charm in this accomplishment which, while it at once identifies
the artist with his creation, requires the highest concentration of
artistic energy to satisfy the varied conditions on which the production
of a work of art depends. The improvising musician and his audience act
and react upon each other; the latter receive the direct impression of
the artist's individuality and power, and feel themselves, as it were,
let into the secret of his method of producing the works which delight
them, while the former is inspired to fresh efforts of genius by his
consciousness of possessing the sympathy of his hearers. Mozart was
always ready to play when he thought he should give pleasure, but he
improvised in his best vein only "when he spied out among the crowd
surrounding him one or more of the privileged few who were capable
of following the flights of his genius; oblivious of all others, he
addressed the elect in the hieroglyphics of his art, and poured
forth for them alone his richest streams of melody."[28] We have
much contemporary testimony as to the impression made by Mozart's
improvising. Ambros Rieder, who died in 1851 at eighty years of age in
Perch-tolsdorf--an enthusiastic musician and a worthy man--writes in his



In my youth I had opportunities of hearing and admiring many
distinguished virtuosi, both on the violin and the harpsichord; but
I cannot describe my amazement and delight in hearing the great and
immortal W. A. Mozart play variations and improvise on the pianoforte
before a numerous and aristocratic audience. It was to me like the gift
of new senses of sight and hearing. The bold flights of his imagination
into the highest regions, and again down to the very depths of the
abyss, caused the greatest masters of music to be lost in amazement and
delight. I still, in my old age, seem to hear the echo of these heavenly
harmonies, and I go to my grave with the full conviction that there can
never be another Mozart.[30]

And Niemetschek, when an old man, said to Al. Fuchs: "If I dared to pray
the Almighty to grant me one more earthly joy it would be that I might
once again hear Mozart improvise; those who have not heard him can form
no idea of his extraordinary performances."[31] Repeated mention has
already been made of Mozart's readiness and skill in playing "out of
his head," as he used to call it (Vol. I., pp. 385-386). He avoided
the common error of improvising virtuosi in the introduction of long
cadenzas, "making a hash in the cadenza of what had sounded well enough
in the concerto," as Dittersdorf says (Selbstbiogr., p. 47). A new
fashion came into vogue about this time; instead of a long cadenza, a
simple theme was delivered, and then varied according to every rule of
the art; but Mozart used also frequently to improvise a free fantasia in
his concertos (Vol. II., p. 285). Rochlitz narrates[32] how at Leipzig
the audience wished to hear him alone at the close of one of his
concerts, and though he had already played two concertos and an
obbligato scena, and accompanied for nearly two hours--

He sat down at once, and played to the delight of all. He began simply
and seriously in C minor--but it is absurd to attempt to describe it.
As he was playing with special reference to the connoisseurs who were
present, he brought the flights of his fancy lower and lower, and closed
with the published variations on "Je suis Lindor." (Vol. II., p. 174).



Stiepanek, writing of the concert which Mozart gave in Prague (February,
1787), says:--

At the close of the concert Mozart improvised on the pianoforte for a
good half-hour, and raised the enthusiasm of the delighted Bohemians
to its highest pitch, so that he was obliged to resume his place at the
instrument in compliance with their storm of applause. His second stream
of improvisation had a still more powerful effect, and the audience
again tumultuously recalled him. Their enthusiasm seemed to inspire
him, and he played as he had never played before, till all at once the
deathlike silence of the listeners was broken by a voice from among them
exclaiming, "Aus 'Figaro'!" whereupon Mozart dashed into the favourite
air, "Non più andrai," and improvised a dozen of the most interesting
and artistic variations upon it, ending his wonderful performance amid a
deafening storm of applause.[33]

Niemetschek also speaks of this concert (p. 40):--

A sweet enchantment seized upon us in listening to Mozart's
improvisation on the pianoforte, which he continued for more than half
an hour, and we gave vent to our delight in a perfect storm of applause.
His playing surpassed anything that could be imagined, uniting all the
qualities of first-rate composition and perfect ease of execution.

Such moments of inspiration as this gave his countenance an expression
which betrayed the artist within him.[34] At other times, his appearance
was in no way striking or distinguished. His head was somewhat too large
in proportion to his body; his face was pale, though not unpleasing,
but in no way uncommon, and the Mozart family nose asserted itself very
plainly as long as he continued to be thin. His eyes were tolerably
large and well shaped, with good eyelashes and bushy brows, but they
were not bright, and his look was absent and restless. He had a great
dislike to hearing his appearance commented on as insignificant (Vol.
I., p. 381), and was seriously angry once when the Prussian ambassador
gave him a letter of introduction, in which he said that he hoped
Mozart's insignificant personal appearance would cause no prejudice
against him.[35] "This abs