The Project Gutenberg EBook of Life Of Mozart, Vol. 1 (of 3), by Otto Jahn

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Title: Life Of Mozart, Vol. 1 (of 3)

Author: Otto Jahn

Commentator: George Grove

Translator: Pauline D. Townsend

Release Date: August 7, 2013 [EBook #43411]

Last Updated: January 18, 2018

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by David Widger


By Otto Jahn


Translated From The German By Pauline D. Townsend.

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

In Three Volumes. Vol. I.



   Volume II.       Volume III.   



























I HAVE been asked to say a few words by way of welcome to the translation of Jahn's Life of Mozart, and I do so with pleasure. The book has been long familiar to me, and I regard its appearance in an English dress as an event in our musical history. It will be a great boon to students and lovers of music, and it shows how much the study of music has advanced among us when so large and serious a work is sufficiently appreciated to repay the heavy expense attendant on its translation and publication. The book itself is what the Germans call an "epoch-making work." The old biographies of musicians, such as Forkel's Life of Bach (1802) and Dies's of Haydn (1810), are pleasant gossipy accounts of the outward life of the composers; but they concern themselves mainly with the exterior both of the man and his productions, and there is a sort of tacit understanding throughout that if the reader is a professional musician he will know all about the music, if he is an amateur it is altogether out of his reach. Characteristic traits and anecdotes there are in plenty, but as to how the music was made or came into being, what connection existed between it and the circumstances or surroundings of the composer, what relation it had to that of his predecessors or contemporaries, how far the art was advanced by the labours of this particular composer or player—all that is outside the province of the book. Schindler's Life of Beethoven (Münster, 1840—a much smaller book than it afterwards became) was hardly more PREFACE. [p3] than this, and in addition is so deformed by want of method and by faults of style as to be very uninviting to the reader. A step in the right direction was taken in Moscheles' English translation (or rather adaptation) of Schindler (1841). Moscheles' residence in London had shown him that there was even then a public outside the professional musician to whom such works would be interesting, and he accordingly took pains, by inserting musical examples and other means, to make his edition attractive to this class. But the inherent defects of the original work prevented more than a moderate success.

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

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


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

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

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

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


and utilise the additional information acquired in the interval (pp. xxv.-xxviii.).

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

Such a work may well be called an Encyclopaedia; and to have steered through this ocean of material as Jahn has PREFACE. [p6] done, never losing the thread of the narrative, and maintaining the interest in the hero throughout, implies no ordinary tact and skill; for the book is remarkably readable, and there are few pages which are not enlivened by some anecdote or lifelike touch. Nor is it less remarkable for accuracy than for the other qualities already mentioned. The writer has used it constantly for many years, and has never yet discovered a mistake of any moment. Perhaps it would have been better if the secondary treatises of which we have spoken had been relegated to Appendixes; but this is directly opposed to the German method, and we must accept the work as we have it. There are indeed already nineteen Appendixes to the original work, as follows i. Family documents. 2. Marianne Mozart. 3. Testimonials, eulogistic poems, articles, &c. 4. Dedications. 5. Mozart's letters on his journeys. 6. Text of his church music. 7. Arrangements and adaptations of ditto. 8. His cousins. 9. Mozart as a comic poet. 10. Mozart and Vogler. 11. A letter of Leopold Mozart's. 12. Mozart's letters on the death of his mother. 13. The choruses for "King Thamos." 14. The text of "Idomeneo." 15. Alterations in that opera. 16. Mozart's letters to his wife. 17. The Requiem. 18. Mozart's residences in Vienna. 19. Portraits. Of these it has been considered necessary to retain only Nos. 2, 7, and 19, which form Appendixes 1, 2, and 3 of the present edition. Another has been added: namely, a classified list of the whole of his works, according to the complete edition now in course of publication, with the references to the invaluable Catalogue of Köchel. With these exceptions the English translation is exactly in accordance with the German original.


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

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


February 23, 1882.



To Professor Gustav Hartenstein.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Something more was to be expected from Friedrich Rochlitz, who busied himself for a considerable time in writing a biography of Mozart. He had become acquainted with him during his stay in Leipzig in 1789, and moving much in musical circles with Doles and Hiller, he was so charmed with the genius and amiability of the master, LIFE OF MOZART. [iv] that he even then carefully noted whatever appeared remarkable in their interviews.

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

Some of the anecdotes and particulars supplied by the widow and sister or resulting from his own observation were published in the "Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung" (A.M.Z., Vol. I., pp. 17,49,81,113,145,177,480; Vol. II., pp. 450, 493, 590), and Rochlitz often alluded in later issues to his acquaintance with Mozart; but there it remained, and I have failed to discover why he abandoned his idea of a biography. When Nissen's biography appeared he complained that he had not been called into counsel by Mosel, and was of opinion that "the widow must have changed very much in her old age, if she was not proved to have acted shabbily in this affair" (Vienna, A.M.Z., 1848, p. 209). I set on foot investigations as to whether Rochlitz had left behind any records or communications which, springing from now exhausted sources, might be of service to me in my work. This led to a discovery which, painful as it is to me to cast a slur on the memory of an otherwise deserving man, I must yet, in the interests of truth, reveal; I could not fail to observe that those particulars of Mozart's life which Rochlitz gives as the result of his own observation or as narrated to him by Mozart, are peculiar to himself in form and colouring, and that many of the circumstances which he relates with absolute certainty are manifestly untrue. I sought to account for these facts as slips of memory or the result of that kind of self-deception which confounds a logical inference with a fact springing from it. But my search led to the further discovery of a parallel (also printed in the A.M.Z.) between Mozart and Raphael, giving a detailed account of the circumstances of Mozart's marriage, and with express reference to Mozart's own narrative of the affair which Rochlitz was supposed to have written down the same night. Now for the period which is here treated of, that INTRODUCTION. [v] is, between 1780 and 1783, Mozart's entire correspondence is preserved, and any error upon essential points is, as you will readily grant, impossible. All the statements of Rochlitz as to time, place, persons, and events are completely false. You will remember my consternation at this unwelcome discovery; no poetical license could account for it; unpleasant as it is, I consider it my duty to expose the affair, partly that it may teach caution, and partly that tedious and vexatious discussion may be avoided, should the narrative in question ever be printed.

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

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

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

Of no greater intrinsic value are Hormayr's statements: LIFE OF MOZART. [vi] in the "Austrian Plutarch" (VII., 2, 15; Vienna, 1807), or Lichtenthal's "Cenni biografici intorno al celebre Maestro Wolfgango Amadeo Mozart" (Milan, 1816). I have not been able to procure the "Elogio' storico di Mozart del Conte Schizzi" (Cremona, 1817). The articles in Gerber's "Tonkünstlerlexicon" are carefully compiled, but not complete; and "Mozarts Biographie," by J. A. Schlosser (Prague, 1828; third edition, 1844), is a compilation altogether wanting in judgment.

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

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

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


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

Nissen possessed both the industry and the goodwill to turn these treasures to account; unhappily these qualities do not suffice for such an undertaking. Not to mention that he has no idea of adaptation or of description, he had neither taste nor cultivation in music, nor tact to distinguish what was trivial from what was important; nor was he capable of accurately conveying an idea. Having had at my service a portion of the documents made use of by him, I have been able to check him, and to form an idea of his mode of proceeding. He is never dishonest, never alters with intent to deceive; but he deals with his documents in the most summary manner possible. He seldom gives them entire, but only so much of them as he considers of interest. Unfortunately he is no judge either of what is musically important nor psychologically interesting, and thus his selection is often singularly unhappy. He was influenced, too, by consideration for distinguished living personages, and by the prejudices of his wife, who naturally wished many family circumstances to remain untouched; his sins, however, are always those of omission. But silence, by obscuring the connection of events, and by concealing the motives of actions, may be as prejudicial as actual LIFE OF MOZART. [viii] misstatement to historical accuracy, and the sufferer by a too tender consideration for the feelings of others is invariably the person whose character it is attempted to depict. Fortunately, for the most important years of Mozart's life from 1777 onwards, I have been able myself to make use of the family correspondence; you will see what a different conception I have thereby been enabled to form of this period. It is of less importance, but nevertheless a drawback, that Nissen has thought good to alter the details of style and expression in many of the letters. Neither father nor son were in need of such emendations, both writing clearly and shrewdly, and with an individuality all their own; but even were this not the case, and Nissen the man (which he was not) to correct their defects, such an effacement of individual character would remain altogether inexcusable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alexander Ulibichefï proceeded from quite another point of view in his work, "Nouvelle Biographie de Mozart, suivie d'un aperçu sur l'histoire générale de la musique, et de l'analyse des principales ouvres de Mozart" (Moscow, 1843), in three parts, which is generally known in Germany in the translations of A. Schraishuon (Stuttgart, 1847), and of L. Gantte (Stuttgart, 1859). The enthusiastic reverence of the author for Mozart speaks from every page, and involved many years of study and many real sacrifices; but this must not blind our judgment as to the intrinsic value of his work. I do not fear your reproaching me in the words of the old proverb about the kettle reproving the pot, if I express myself freely as to what I consider the weak points of this book. Ulibicheffs main object has been a critical and aesthetic analysis of Mozart's later works, on which his fame mainly rests, and which bear the most perfect impress of his genius. The author's observations, therefore, are confined to a definite portion of Mozart's compositions—the best known, because the greatest—and any idea of extending INTRODUCTION. [xi] them does not seem to have occurred to him. Anything further in his works is meant to serve only as a foundation for those observations. He does not fail to perceive that the greatness of perfected genius can only be apprehended by a knowledge of the gradual stages of its achievement, and that, since Mozart takes his place in the history of music by something more than mere chance, the whole process of musical development is necessarily incorporated in his progress.

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

No one knows better than yourself, my friend, the false conclusions to which this exaggeration of an idea, true and suggestive in itself, has led. The partiality of enthusiasm and dilettantism join issue here. It needs no great penetration to discover that Ulibicheffs epitome of the history of music is not the result of impartial research, or of a practical knowledge of even the more important works of past ages, but that it is compiled from a few easily recognised works with the express object of demonstrating that all that has gone before has its end and consummation in Mozart. An author who can seriously maintain that the great masters of counterpoint, Palestrina, Bach, and Handel were only called into being in order that the Requiem might be produced, an author who can only grasp and develop the idea of natural progress up to a certain point and no further—that author has surely mastered neither the idea of progress, nor the nature of the art, nor the work of the master whom he seeks to honour. Such a partial and exclusive appreciation of any artist may satisfy individual taste, for which it is proverbially impossible to account; but scientific investigation, LIFE OF MOZART. [xii] which can always be accounted for, seeing that it proceeds from a rational basis, rejects it at once and altogether. You will, I know, agree with me that the critic who, like Ulibicheff, depreciates Beethoven in order to maintain Mozart on his pedestal, does not understand Mozart. The distortion and exaggeration of such an idea leads further to the neglect of those clues to a right understanding of Mozart's development which exist in the circumstances of his life, in his youthful works, and in the conditions of his age and surroundings. These had all direct effect upon his genius, and, in so far as they are disregarded, our conception of the man and the artist will be defective.

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

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

Do not be alarmed, my dear friend, at the invidious position in which I place myself and my work by my want of reserve as to others. My cause is that of knowledge, and I must have a clear understanding as to my powers, INTRODUCTION. [xiii] and the means at my disposal, for accomplishing the task before me; least of all would I appear to deprecate censure on my own work by sparing it to that of others. You are aware that music has, from my youth up, occupied a large share of my time and thoughts, so much so, that my elders were in the habit of shaking their heads and auguring ill for my philological studies. They may have been right; I must at any rate acknowledge that music has ever been to me quite as serious a study as philology, and that I have striven to acquire such a thorough and scientific knowledge as should give me an insight into its nature and mechanism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But the most important aid came from Aloys Fuchs. With extraordinary perseverance he had collected every writing that in any way related to Mozart, and with a disinterested liberality, rare among collectors, he placed at my service all that he possessed and all that he knew. INTRODUCTION. [xv] His chronological catalogue of all Mozart's works, published and unpublished, was of the greatest service to me, as well as the long list of documents, newspapers, journals, and pamphlets, which he had either in the original or copies.

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

The greatest service which he rendered me, however, was the intelligence that all that were preserved of Mozart's letters had been presented to the Mozarteum in Salzburg by the Frau Baroni-Cavalcabo, to whom they were bequeathed by Mozart's son Wolfgang. In November of the same year I repaired, therefore, to Salzburg. I here found the only remains of that complete correspondence which Nissen had edited, viz., the letters between 1777 and 1784, just as he had made use of them; fortunately they embraced the most important period of the biography. A cursory glance convinced me that Nissen had been not only inexact and arbitrary in his selections in matters of detail, but that he had altogether suppressed the most important events affecting the proper understanding of the period. Here, then was much to be done; but it was richly worth the trouble. Through the kind assistance of the secretary of the Mozarteum, Dr. v. Hilleprandt, and of the custodian, Jelinek, I was enabled to give my whole attention to the work. I collated the letters printed by Nissen, like an LIFE OF MOZART. [xvi] old schoolman, copying them entire or making voluminous extracts. One may boast of one's industry, and I can offer an unimpeachable witness of mine in old Theresa at the Golden Ox, who afterwards forgot my name, but remembered me as the professor who sat in his room for more than three weeks writing from morning to night. Fortunately, it was bad weather, or it would have been too hard a trial, even for a professor, to sit in his room all day at Salzburg. But the usually hateful task of transcription was on this occasion a real enjoyment. I could fancy myself in intercourse with the man himself as I lived his life again letter by letter.

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

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

Treasure such as that correspondence I could scarcely expect to excavate elsewhere; but through the kindness of friends and well-wishers many letters have been placed at my disposal which have added to the interest, more particularly of Mozart's later years. I have no doubt that many INTRODUCTION. [xvii] documents are still hidden in autograph collections and elsewhere; perchance my book may open the eyes of the possessors to the true value of their treasures, and I shall consider it as a rich reward of my labours if they aid in bringing to light any such relics of Mozart.

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

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

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

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

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

It has been my aim to represent, not only what immediately concerns Mozart, but also the time in which he lived, his circumstances, and the persons with whom he came in LIFE OF MOZART. [xx] contact, so far as all these affected the development of his genius. And here again I found the need of trustworthy information. Well informed as we may be on the history of literature and culture during the latter half of the eighteenth century, yet our information as to musical events and persons is meagre and obscure, and we know least of those regions which are of the greatest interest in the history of music. I doubt not that an historian, occupied with the study of this age, would discover much that has escaped me of interest, although I have heard even such complain of the poverty of material.

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

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

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

I may remark besides, not to you, but to those who hold in horror notes, digressions, quotations, and references as the merciless weapons of pedantry, that they need not for this INTRODUCTION. [xxi] reason at once reject my book. I have striven so to write that the text is complete in itself and requires no notes for its comprehension; and those who do not desire the information they contain, may contentedly pass them over. On the other hand, I hope that you will uphold my opinion that the application of the scientific method even to these researches, cannot but be to their advantage. This is perhaps most strikingly evident in the chronological notification of each separate work.

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

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

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

The treatment of historical facts, both in detail and as a whole, has its own secure and beaten path. Its final object is truth, and my sole concern has been to discover and set forth the truth. No consideration for others has led me to conceal what was essential or important for the due understanding of Mozart as a man and an artist; neither have I LIFE OF MOZART. [xxii] been tempted to silence on points which were to his disadvantage. Public opinion on his achievements as a fully developed artist is firmly established, and is perhaps only susceptible of modifications of detail and degree; but my work is the first attempt that has been made towards a correct judgment of Mozart as a student and as a man. It has been a pleasure to me to find that as I proceeded, my admiration, esteem, and love for Mozart were constantly on the increase; but not on any account would I have my representation of his character considered in the light of an apology. It is my firm conviction that injustice is done to great men by concealing or slurring over their failings; we serve them best by seeking to make them understood just as they were.

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

May I add one word on the musical criticism contained in my work? I am quite aware that it must stand on its own merits, and I am only anxious to express my full consciousness of the difficulty of my undertaking. That the substance of a musical work cannot be verbally represented, and that its effect on the hearer is incapable of being reproduced by description, least of all by a climax of high-sounding adjectives, admits of no dispute. Properly speaking, as Schumann once wished for the musical critic, when a INTRODUCTION. [xxiii] composition is discussed, there should be singers and instrumentalists ready at hand to perform it. But this being scarcely feasible, we are driven to a verbal attempt at reproducing the essence of the work. Such an attempt can only succeed by starting from artistic form, and showing how its laws and types, its technical conditions, its manifold application and development, are all represented in the most individual modifications. A general idea of the work, however, is all that can be arrived at by this means; the immediate impressions made upon the mind by its performance cannot be reproduced; neither can the attempt to express in words the artistic frame of mind which finds its expression in the forms of the work be altogether successful, and it is impossible to apprehend the degree in which the artistic mood imbues the artistic form otherwise than by observation of the work itself.

Descriptions of musical works, therefore, since music cannot, like painting, borrow analogies from visible nature, must remain mere approximations of the original; they become more definite in proportion as they fall in with the reader's own experiences, and find in these analogies and, as it were, precedents for the new ideas it is sought to convey. The main difficulty consists in the fact' that among a large circle of readers (which I know you wish for me) the degrees of musical cultivation to which appeal may be made are necessarily very varied. It would be impossible, on this account, to treat the subject in the purely technical manner which would be the shortest and most convenient were musicians only addressed; neither can every separate point be treated from its very beginning, without a presupposition of some knowledge and comprehension on the part of the reader. There only remains then, as it seems to me, such a consideration of musical form from varied points of view, and proceeding in varied directions, yet always with reference to some particular case, as shall bring into play the reader's special musical experiences and assist him to a true understanding of the subject. If he should be struck with only one particular point and should feel it become a reality for LIFE OF MOZART. [xxiv] him, he will henceforward have a clue to the mastery of the rest. To this end I hope that my historical survey of the development of musical forms, and my general observations concerning the laws of the art, may tend. And here I must remark that I have had no intention of providing the technical musician with a theoretical analysis of separate works, but that my characterisation has been limited by the position of its object in the whole representation. I leave you to judge, my dear friend, how far, under these difficult circumstances, I have succeeded in expressing myself clearly and forcibly; I can only affirm with confidence that all that I have said has been realised and experienced by myself.

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

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

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


Bonn, November 30, 1855.


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

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

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

You will agree with me in thinking that it would have been unadvisable to subvert the whole design of the book in substance and form, and that I must content myself with such improvements in matters of detail as would bring me LIFE OF MOZART, [xxvi] somewhat nearer to the end I had in view. It was, of course, my first endeavour to rectify such errors and remove such blemishes as had been observed either by myself or others, and I then proceeded to turn to account all the materials that had come to hand for the completion or enrichment of my narrative. I had become the fortunate possessor of copies of Mozart's complete correspondence, so far as I know it to exist. If, as I trust was the case, the extracts already before the public had been found useful and trustworthy, there could be no doubt that the completed version would render my narrative more accurate and lifelike. In addition, I had now Mozart's entire compositions, either autograph or copied, so that I could confirm my account and my criticism of each work by direct reference.

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

The most important aid, both to myself and to the readers of this edition, has been afforded by Ludwig v. Köchel's "Chronologischthematisches Verzeichniss sammtlicher Tonwerke W. A. Mozarts" (Leipzig, 1862). The necessity for such a catalogue had so strongly impressed me that I had resolved on compiling it myself, when I fortunately learned that Köchel was at work upon it. I was speedily convinced that it was in far better hands than mine, and it gave me genuine pleasure to afford it such assistance as was in my power. Unexampled assiduity, sparing neither sacrifice nor exertion, has produced a work which, from the completeness of its research and the accuracy of its execution, may serve as a model. A few addenda and corrections were indeed unavoidable: Kochel has himself indicated some (Allg. Mus. Ztg., 1864, p. 493), and you will find two or three trifling ones in my book. The fact that Köchel's catalogue contains a complete chronological and biographical account of all Mozart's compositions freed my book from all the notices and references found necessary INTRODUCTION. [xxvii] in corroboration of my statements. A reference to the number in Köchel's catalogue became, in most cases, sufficient; and I was able also to omit notices of errors in the published works which Köchel had remarked upon. These, as far as the great operas are concerned, will soon be rendered still more superfluous by the projected new edition of the scores from the autograph originals. Köche's friendship, which I regard as the greatest gain of our common labours, has aided and supported me throughout the preparation of this edition. I will not attempt to enumerate all that he has communicated, verified, and brought into agreement for me: he knows the amount of his aid and of my gratitude. Sonnleithner, Karajan, Pohl, Jul. André, have been equally obliging in satisfying my demands and inquiries. Special thanks are due to them if my book attains that accuracy of detail, wherein I place its chief value. I may claim to have made tolerably exhaustive use of all that has been published concerning Mozart during the last ten years, but you will scarcely expect me to enumerate all my corrections and improvements. It has been my aim to retain all that had been proved good in my work, while making such additions as served to place my subject more clearly and fully before my readers.

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

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


Bonn, March 6, 1867.



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

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

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




WOLFGANG AMADE MOZART came of a family belonging originally to the artisan class. We find his ancestors settled in Augsburg early in the seventeenth century, and following their calling there without any great success.1 His grandfather, Johann Georg Mozart, a bookbinder, married, October 7, 1708, Anna Maria Peterin, the widow of another bookbinder, Augustin Banneger. 2 From this union sprang two daughters and three sons, viz.: Fr. Joseph Ignaz, Franz Alois (who carried on his father's trade in his native town), and Johann Georg Leopold Mozart, bom on November 14, 1719, the father of the Mozart of our biography. 3 Gifted with a keen intellect and firm will he early formed the resolution of raising himself to a higher position in the world than that hitherto occupied by his family; and in his later years he could point with just elation to his own arduous efforts, and the success which had crowned them, when he was urging his son to the same steady perseverance.

When Wolfgang visited Augsburg in 1777, he gathered many particulars of his father's youth which refreshed the recollections of Leopold himself. We find him writing to his son (October 10, 1777) how, as a boy, he had sung a cantata at the monastery of St. Ulrich, for the wedding of the Hofrath Oefele, and how he had often climbed the broken steps to the organ loft, to sing treble at the Feast CHILDHOOD. [4] of the Holy Cross (November 29, 1777). He afterwards became an excellent organist: a certain Herr von Freisinger, of Munich, told Wolfgang (October 10, 1777) that he knew his father well, he had studied with him, and "had the liveliest recollections of Wessobrunn where my father (this was news to me) played the organ remarkably well. He said: 'It was wonderful, to see his hands and feet going together, but exceedingly fine—yes, he was an extraordinary man. My father thought very highly of him. And how he used to jeer at the priests, when they wanted him to turn monk.'" This last must have been of peculiar interest to Wolfgang, who knew his father only as a devout and strict observer of the Catholic religion. But Leopold remembered the days of his youth, and wrote to his wife (December 15, 1777): "Let me ask, if Wolfgang has not of late neglected to go to confession? God should ever be first in our thoughts! to Him alone must we look for earthly happiness, and we should ever keep eternity in view; young people, I know, are averse to hearing of these things; I was young myself once; but God be thanked, I always came to myself after my youthful follies, fled from all dangers to my soul, and kept steadily in view God, and my honour, and the dangerous consequences of indulgence in sin."

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

When in London, he became acquainted with the excellent violoncellist Siprutini, son of a Dutch Jew, who had broken loose from Judaism and "was content to believe in L. MOZART'S CHARACTER. [5] one God, to love Him first, and his neighbour as himself, and to live an honest life"; L. Mozart gained an acknowledgment from him that of all the Christian creeds the Catholic was the best, and was not without hope of converting him altogether (September 13, 1764).

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

The strictly orthodox, almost ascetic, rules of life which the reigning archbishop, Sigismund, followed and enforced in his court and in all Salzburg must have had the effect of deepening this side of L. Mozart's character; while the greater freedom in church matters enjoyed under Sigis-mund's successor, Hieronymus, was not without its influence, evinced by his becoming late in life a freemason. There can be no doubt that L. Mozart was a man of genuine piety, which stood firm amid strong temptations and the most trying circumstances. It was in accordance with his education and position in life that this piety found no better justification and expression than those provided by his Church. His performance of his duties to God and the Church was undertaken in the same rigorous spirit which characterised him in all the relations of life. But he was too sensible not to remonstrate with his daughter when she chose rather to endanger her health than to be absent from mass (July 28, 1786). He was entirely free from superstition, and when some one wrote to him of a ghost-story he declared that "it must be only an hysterical illusion of the maid-servant." Again, he had "invariably found that begging sisterhoods were the signs of much moral degradation concealed under the cloak of hypocrisy" (December 16, 1785). It would be a great mistake to consider the elder Mozart as a narrow-minded bigot. United to a shrewd, clear intellect, for the cultivation of which he made extraordinary efforts, he possessed a decided turn for raillery and sarcasm. His painful endeavours to work himself free of his petty surroundings, his habit of looking beyond the narrow horizon which encircled him, encouraged in him a cynical CHILDHOOD. [6] turn of mind. It grew to be a settled conviction with him that selfishness is the only motive of human action on which we can safely reckon, and which, therefore, we must strive to turn to account: a belief in disinterested philanthropy or friendship is a folly which seldom goes unpunished. Nor should we have any faith in an innate love of truth. "Take it as an universal truth," he writes (October 6, 1785), "all men tell lies, and add to the truth, or take away from it, just as it suits their purpose. Especially must we believe nothing which, if known, would add to the reputation of the speaker or flatter his interlocutor, for that is sure to be false." This distrust of mankind he sought to implant in his son, but with very little success. Nor did his gloomy views of life stifle, even in himself, all emotion and sentiment. His theory, as so often happens, went farther than his practice. When Leopold Mozart analysed the conduct of men, his criticism was sharp and cutting, but he was always ready with counsel and assistance when they were needed. Notwithstanding his piety he expressed bitter contempt for the priesthood and priestcraft: he had occasion to know both intimately. He was never dazzled by the distinctions of birth and position. He judged those nearest and dearest to him, not excepting his beloved son, as severely as the rest of the world. It had the most wholesome effect on the development of Mozart's character and genius that his father, who loved him as only a father can love, who justly estimated and admired his artistic genius, was never dazzled by it, never ignored nor concealed his weaknesses, but warned and blamed him, and strove to bring him up with a conscientious fidelity to duty.

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

The exertions which it had cost him to attain to even a moderate position, the unceasing thought which he was obliged to take for the supply of his daily needs gave him L. MOZART'S EARLY LIFE. [7] a high appreciation of the value of a secured worldly position, and as he became gradually convinced that his son was not likely to attach the same importance to this, he strove the more by his wisdom and experience to help to secure it for him. This care for economical details has been unjustly condemned. We may grant that a somewhat exaggerated anxiety increased by the hypochondria of old age was the natural result of the struggle with narrow circumstances which he had carried on all his life; but this is far more than counterbalanced by the singular union of general and of musical culture, of love and severity, of just judgment and earnest devotion to duty, which Leopold Mozart developed in the education of his son. Without them, Wolfgang would certainly not have been the man he became by their help.

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

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

After passing through school life in his native town, he went to Salzburg to study jurisprudence. The monastery of St. Ulrich belonged to the community of the Benedictines, which had founded and still partly maintained the university of Salzburg;4 this connection may have given Leopold a reason for going thither. But as he did not obtain employment, he was constrained to enter the service of Count Thurn, Canon of Salzburg. From his youth up, he had cultivated his musical talent with assiduity, and was a CHILDHOOD. [8] thoroughly practical and well-informed musician. He had chiefly maintained himself in early youth by his singing, and afterwards by giving lessons, and had gained considerable reputation as a violinist, so much so that Archbishop Leopold took him into his service in the year 1743. He afterwards became court composer and leader of the orchestra, and in 1762 was appointed Vice-Kapellmeister by Archbishop Sigismund.

The pay of the choir was scanty, though their duties were heavy. Leopold Mozart submitted to these demands with his accustomed conscientiousness, and Schubart points him out as the man whose exertions had placed music in Salzburg on its then excellent footing.5 His official position necessitated his appearing as a composer; in this respect, too, he was indefatigable, and won for himself an honourable reputation.

A list of his compositions compiled in 1757, no doubt by himself, gives an idea of his industry as a composer.6 We find a large proportion of church music. A Mass in C major is in the library at Munich, Julius André possesses a Mass in F major, the Credo of a "Missa brevis" in F major lies before me; a "Missa brevis" in A major is preserved in the cathedral of Salzburg, together with the Offertory, "Parasti in conspectu meo," three Loretto Litanies (in G, F, and E flat major), and a Litany "De venerabili" in D major, composed in 1762. This last, a carefully finished work, was sent by L. Mozart in December, 1774, to Munich, together with a grand Litany by his son. It is written for solos, chorus, and the usual small church orchestra of the day, and shows throughout the learning of a musician skilled in the use of traditional forms. The harmony is correct, the disposition of the parts skilful, and the contrapuntal forms are handled boldly; nor does the composer fail to introduce regular, well-worked-out fugues in the proper places; "Cum Sancto Spiritu," and "Et L. MOZART'S COMPOSITIONS. [9] vitam venturi sæculi" in the Mass, "Pignus futuræ gloriæ" in the Litany.

But there is no originality or inventive power either in the compositions as a whole, or in isolated passages. Leopold Mozart's sacred music gives him a right to an honourable place among contemporary composers, but to no higher rank. Schubart, who prefers his church music to his chamber music, says justly, that his style was thorough, and showed great knowledge of counterpoint, but that he was somewhat old-fashioned.7 When Wolfgang was busy composing church music with Van Swieten at Vienna, he wrote to his father (March 29, 1783): "Some of your best church music would be very useful to us; we like to study all masters, ancient and modern, so please send us some as soon as possible." But to Wolfgang's regret this request was refused, for his father was quite aware of the change of taste in such music that had taken place since his day.

Nothing certain is known of twelve oratorios composed according to custom for Lent,8 nor of "a host of theatrical pieces, as well as pantomimes."9

L. Mozart was an industrious instrumental composer. He enumerates upwards of thirty serenades, "containing instrumental solos," and a long list of symphonies, "some only quartets, others for all the usual instruments"; of CHILDHOOD. [10] these, eighteen are thematically catalogued,10 and one in G major is by mistake attributed to Wolfgang, and printed in score. Very curious are the "Occasional Pieces" which are characteristic of the times, in their odd instrumental effects, and somewhat heavy touches of fun. Among these are a pastoral symphony with shepherds' horns and two obbligato flutes; a military piece with trumpets, drums, kettle-drums, and fifes; a Turkish and a Chinese piece; a pastoral, representing a rural wedding, and introducing lyres, bagpipes, and dulcimers; during the march, after each huzza, there was a pistol-shot, after the custom of rural weddings, and L. Mozart directed that whoever could whistle well on his fingers, was to whistle during the huzzas.

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


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

Then follows:

A prelude, with trumpets and drums.

After this:

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

After the Sledge Drive:

The horses are heard rattling their harness.

And then:

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

After this:

The trumpets and drums have another prelude, and

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

Then comes an adagio, representing the ladies trembling with cold. L. MOZART'S COMPOSITIONS. [11] The ball is opened with a minuet and trio.

The company endeavour to warm themselves by country-dances.

Then follows the departure, and, finally:

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

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

"Monsieur et très cher ami!

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

"Your sincere Friend.

"Datum in domo verae amicitice."

Leopold Mozart was not a little annoyed by this act of friendship, which he was inclined to ascribe to the Kapellmeister Schmidt or to the organist Seyffert. It need scarcely be said that this "programme-music" is innocent either of originality or of instrumental colouring. Short characteristic pieces, such as Couperin and Rameau wrote, were composed by L. Mozart, in common with Eberlin, for a kind of organ with a horn stop, which had been erected by Joh. Roch. Egedacher on the fortifications above the town. Once a month, morning and evening, a piece was played on this instrument; in February it was the Carnival, in September a hunting song, in December a cradle song.11

Besides all this, L. Mozart wrote many concertos, particularly for the flute, oboe, bassoon, French horn, or trumpet (one of these is in Munich), innumerable trios (he offered a flautist, named Zinner, in Augsburg, fourteen trios for flute, violin, and violoncello), and divertimenti for various instruments,12 marches, minuets, opera-dances, &c. Three clavier CHILDHOOD. [12] sonatas are printed,13 of which Faiszt remarks that they might well be the work of Leopold's great son, so strong is their similarity in form and spirit.14 is compositions were for the most part only in manuscript, as was almost all the music of that day.15 By way of practice in engraving, he engraved three trio sonatas himself in 1740, and revived the old accomplishment in 1778, when he engraved some variations for his son.

In later years he composed little or nothing; his position in Salzburg was so little to his mind that he did not feel himself called on to do more than his duty required; besides, the education of his children engrossed his whole time, and when his son had come forward as a composer, he would on no account have entered into competition with him.16 L. Mozart was proud of the estimation in which his works were held abroad, as the following extract from a letter to his friend Lotter shows:

November 24, 1755.

I may tell you in strict confidence that I have received a letter from a distant place inviting me to become a member ——— don't be alarmed—or—don't laugh —— a member of the Corresponding Society of Musical Science.17 Potz Plunder! say I. But do not tell tales out of school, for it may be only talk. I never dreamt of such a thing in my life; that I can honestly say.

But the elder Mozart acquired his chief reputation as a musician by the publication in 1756 of his "Attempt towards a Fundamental Method for the Violin."18 This work was L. MOZART'S VIOLIN METHOD. [13] spread abroad in numerous editions and translations, and was for many years the only published instruction on the art of violin-playing; proof enough that it rendered important service in its day, as far as technical knowledge was concerned. What makes the book still interesting to us is the earnest, intelligent spirit which speaks from it, and shows us the man as he was. He sought to impart to his pupils a sound, practical musical education; they were not only to practise their fingers, but were always clearly to, understand what they had to execute and why: "It is dispiriting to go on playing at random, without knowing what you are about" (p. 245); a good violinist should even be practised in rhetoric and poetry to be able to execute with intelligence (p. 107). He insists strongly that the pupil should not advance until he is quite able for what he has to learn: "In this consists the gravest error that either master or pupil can fall into. The former often lack patience to wait for the right time; or they let themselves be carried away by the pupil, who thinks he has done wonders when he can scrape out a minuet or two. Often, too, the parents or guardians of the beginner are anxious to hear him play some of these imperfect tunes, and think, with satisfaction how well their money has been spent on the lessons. How greatly they are mistaken!" (p.57, cf. 121.)

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

The same ability is displayed in his principles of taste.

He exacts above all a "straightforward, manly tone"; "nothing can be more absurd than to seem afraid even to grasp the violin firmly; or just to touch the strings with the bow (held perhaps with two fingers), and to attempt such an artistic up-bow to the very nut of the violin that only a note here and there is heard in a whisper, without any idea what it means, it is all so like a dream" (p. 101). CHILDHOOD. [14] Simple, natural expression is the highest aim of the violinist, so that the instrument may imitate as far as possible the art of song (p. 50); "who does not grant that to sing their music has been the aim of all instrumentalists, because they have ever striven after nature?" (p. 107.)19 He is severe on performers who "tremble upon every long note, or cannot play a couple of bars simply without introducing their senseless and ridiculous tricks and fancies" (p. 50). They are blamed the more as they are for the most part wanting in the necessary knowledge where to bring in their ornamentation without involving errors in the composition (pp. 209, 195). Other faults of the virtuoso are equally severely dealt with, such as the tremolo of the player "who shakes away on every note as if he had the ague" (p. 238), or the constant introduction of the so-called "flageolet tones" (p. 107), or the alternate hurrying and dragging of the "virtuoso of imagination." "Many," says he (p. 262), "who have no conception of taste, disdain to keep uniform time in the accompaniment of a concerted part, and strive to follow the principal part. That is accompanying like a bungler, not like an artist. It is true that in accompanying some Italian singers, who learn everything by heart and never adhere to time or measure, one has often to pass over whole bars to save them from open shame. But in accompanying a true artist, worthy of the name, not a note must be delayed or anticipated, there must be neither hurry nor dragging, so that every note may have proper expression, otherwise the accompaniment would destroy the effect of the composition. A clever accompanist should also be able to judge of the performer. He must not spoil the tempo rubato of an experienced artist by waiting to follow him. It is not easy to describe this 'stolen time.' A 'virtuoso of imagination' often gives to a semiquaver in an adagio cantabile the time of half a bar, before recovering L. MOZART'S VIOLIN METHOD. [15] from his paroxysm of feeling; and he cares nothing at all for the time: he plays in recitative."

Technical instruction and skill are to him only the means to a higher end. The performer must be capable of expressing all the pathos of the piece before him, so as to penetrate to the souls and stir the passions of the audience (pp. 52, 253).20 As the most important requisite to the violinist for attaining this, he indicates the stroke of the bow (p. 122) as "the medium by the judicious use of which we are able to communicate the pathos of the music to the audience." "I consider," he adds "that a composer attains his highest aim when he finds a suitable melody for every sentiment, and knows how to give it its right expression." "Many a second-rate composer," he says (p. 252), "is full of delight, and thinks more than ever of himself when he hears his nonsensical music executed by good artists, by whose artistic expression even such miserable trash is made intelligible to the audience."

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

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

This work, so remarkable for the age, met with suitable recognition. Marpurg, to whose judgment L. Mozart had CHILDHOOD. [16] submitted it in his preface, speaks of it as follows: 21 "The want of a work of this kind has been long felt, but hitherto in vain. A thorough and skilled performer, a sensible and methodical teacher, a learned musician, a man possessing all those qualities which singly command our respect, are here to be found united in one individual—the author. What Geminiani did for the English nation, Mozart has accomplished for the German, and their works are worthy to live side by side in universal approbation."

After this it is not surprising that the first of the critical letters on music which were published under Marpurg's direction at Berlin in 1759 and 1760 should be addressed to L. Mozart, with the declaration that the society which proposed to address each letter to some person of distinction, could not make a fitter commencement than with him. Schubart says,22 "He gained great reputation through his 'Method,' which is written in good German, and with admirable judgment. The examples are well chosen, and the system of fingering not in the least pedantic; the author doubtless inclines to the school of Tartini, but he permits greater freedom in the management of the bow." Zelter expresses himself in the same spirit:23 "His 'Violin Method' is a work which will be of use as long as the violin is an instrument. It is well written, too."

The praise of the author's style of writing is characteristic and well deserved; it was then a far rarer distinction among artists than at present. L. Mozart's style is sharp and clear; his sarcastic turn of mind is so prominent that he apologises for it in the preface, although it is not unusual in the musical literature of the time. Both in this book and in his letters he proves himself a man who has not only acquired cultivation by intercourse with the world and by travel, but who is well acquainted with literature, has read with taste and discernment, and has well-defined and judicious opinions L. MOZART'S POSITION IN SALZBURG. [17] both on aesthetic and moral subjects. He addressed to the poet Gellert a letter so full of veneration that Gellert replied in the warmest terms, as the following extract will show:—

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

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

With this amount of cultivation, and the pretensions consequent on it, it is not surprising that Leopold Mozart felt himself isolated at Salzburg. He had his duties to perform at court, and the more contemptible their remuneration was, the more he and the other officials were made to feel their dependent position. He was employed as a teacher in most of the families of rank at Salzburg, for his instruction was justly considered as the best that could be had; but this did not imply any degree of friendly intimacy. He was too proud to ingratiate himself with them by flattery or obsequiousness, although, as a man of the world, he knew how to moderate his satirical humour, and was always affable and well-bred. He seems to have had little intercourse with his colleagues. This was partly owing to circumstances, but partly also to their want of musical proficiency or mental cultivation, joined to their looser, less earnest mode of life. CHILDHOOD. [18] The social relations of the Mozart family were, however, cheerful and unconstrained; their intercourse with their friends had more of innocent merriment than of intellectual enjoyment. "The Salzburg mind," says Schubart,24 "is tuned to low comedy. Their popular songs are so drolly burlesque that one cannot listen to them without dying of laughter. The clownish spirit25 shines through them all, though the melodies are often fine and beautiful." This tendency would scarcely please so serious and critical a man as L. Mozart, whose humour was caustic, but not broad, and who appears to have entered with constraint into the ordinary tone of conversation.

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

They were reputed the handsomest pair of their time in Salzburg, and their existing portraits do not contradict this. Frau Mozart was, as far as she can be represented by letters and descriptions, a very good-tempered woman, full of love for her family, but in no way distinguished; and the often verified experience that great men owe their gifts and their culture principally to their mothers was not proved to be true in the case of Mozart. She submitted willingly to the superiority of her husband, and left to his care and management with absolute confidence all that lay outside the sphere of the actual housekeeping. The possession by WOLFGANG'S MOTHER AND SISTER—HIS BIRTH. [19] each of those qualities necessary for the happiness of the other lay at the root of the heartfelt love and affection which bound them to each other and to their children, and the latter were provided with the surest foundation for their moral culture in the influence of a pure and harmonious family life. They were deeply attached to their cheerful, happy-tempered mother; but that she failed in authority was clear when she accompanied her son in his ill-considered visit to Paris. In spite of her better judgment she was unable either to control his impetuosity or to withstand his endearments.

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

Of seven children resulting from this union, only two survived: a daughter, Maria Anna (called Marianne or Nannerl in the family), born July 30, 1751, and a son Wolfgang, born January 27, 1756.26 His birth almost cost his mother her life, and her lingering recovery occasioned much anxiety to her friends.

The daughter showed so decided a talent for music, that her father early began to give, her lessons on the clavier. This made a great impression on her brother, then but three years old; he perched himself at the clavier, and amused himself by finding out thirds, which he struck with much demonstration of delight; he also retained the more prominent passages in the pieces which he heard. In his fourth year his father began, in play, to teach him minuets and other pieces on the clavier; in a very short time he could play them with perfect correctness and in exact time. The impulse to produce something next awoke in him, and in his fifth year he composed and played little pieces, CHILDHOOD. [20] which his father then wrote down.27 A music-book which was intended for Marianne's exercises, and preserved by her as a precious relic, was in 1864 presented by the Grand Duchess Helene to the Mozarteum in Salzburg.28 It contains minuets and other little pieces, and further on longer ones, such as an air with twelve variations, and is partly filled with passages by the composers Agrell, Fischer, Wagenseil, &c., of increasing difficulty, for the purpose of instruction, in the handwriting of the father and his musical friends. Wolfgang learned from this book. The following note is appended by his father to the eighth minuet: "Wolfgangerl learned this minuet in his fourth year." Similar remarks occur repeatedly; e.g., "This minuet and trio were learned by Wolfgangerl in half-an-hour, at half-past nine at night, on January 26, 1761, one day before his fifth year." They are simple, easy pieces in two parts, but requiring an independence of the hands, not possible without a degree of musicial comprehension which is surprising in so young a

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

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

Most of the anecdotes of Mozart's childhood which testify to his wonderful genius, are contained in a letter from SCHACHTNER. [21] Schachtner, which is here given entire, as the direct testimony of a contemporary.

Joh. André Schachtner (died 1795) had been court trumpeter at Salzburg from 1754, for which post a higher degree of musical attainment was necessary then than at the present day. He was not only a skilled musician, but displayed considerable literary cultivation, which he had obtained at the Jesuit school of Ingolstadt. The translation of a religious drama, "The Conversion of St. Augustine" from the Latin of Father Franz Neumayer, gained him the somewhat ambiguous praise of Gottsched, who writes: "We may even say that he wrote good German, nay, almost that he wrote good German poetry."29 We shall find him later acting as librettist to Mozart.

He was intimate in Mozart's home, and his warm attachment is proved by the following interesting letter, written soon after Mozart's death to his sister.30

Dear and honoured Madam,—

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

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

Your first question is: "What were the favourite amusements of your late lamented brother in his childhood, apart from his passion for his music?" To this question no reply can be made, for as soon as he began to give himself up to music, his mind was as good as dead to all other concerns,31 and even his childish games and toys had to be accompanied by music. When we, that is, he and I, carried his toys from one room into another, the one of us who went empty-handed had always to sing a march and play the fiddle. But before he began to CHILDHOOD. [22] study music he was so keenly alive to any childish fun that contained a spice of mischief, that even his meals would be forgotten for it. He was so excessively fond of me—I, as you know, being devoted to him—that he used to ask me over and over again whether I loved him; and when in joke I sometimes said "No," great tears would come into his eyes, so tender and affectionate was his dear little heart.

Second question: "How did he behave to great people when they admired his talent and proficiency in music?" In truth he betrayed very little pride or veneration for rank,32 for, though he could best have shown both by playing before great people who understood little or nothing of music, he would never play unless there were musical connoisseurs among his audience, or unless he could be deceived into thinking that there were.

Third question: "What was his favourite study?" Answer: In this he submitted to the guidance of others. It was much the same to him what he had to learn; he only wanted to learn, and left the choice of a field for his labours to his beloved father.33 It appeared as if he understood that he could not in all the world find a guide and instructor like his ever memorable father.

Whatever he had to learn he applied himself so earnestly to, that he laid aside everything else, even his music. For instance, when he was learning arithmetic, tables, stools, walls, and even the floor were chalked over with figures.34

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

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

Once I went with your father after the Thursday service to your house, where we found Wolfgangerl, then four years old, busy with his pen. SCHACHTNER'S LETTER. [23] Father: What are you doing?

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

Father: Let me see it.

Wolfg.: It is not finished yet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wolfgangerl begged to be allowed to play second violin, but your father reproved him for so silly a request, since he had never had any CHILDHOOD. [24] instruction on the violin, and your father thought he was not in the least able for it.

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

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

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

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

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

I am, honoured Madam,

With the greatest esteem and affection,

Your most obedient Servant,

Andreas Schachtner,

Court Trumpeter.


24 April 1792



It was in January of the year 1762 that L. Mozart first turned to account the precocious talent of his children in an expedition to Munich.[25] Their visit extended over three weeks, and both Wolfgang and his sister were summoned to play before the Elector, and were well received everywhere. Their success encouraged their father to a bolder attempt, and on September 19, of the same year, they set out for Vienna.1

Their journey was made by easy stages. At Passau they remained for five days, at the request of the Bishop, who wished to hear the boy-prodigy, and having done so, rewarded him with—one ducat! Thence they proceeded to Linz. Canon Count Herberstein travelled with them, and Wolfgang's distress at seeing an old beggar-man fall into the water impressed him so much that, as Bishop of Passau, in 1785 he reminded L. Mozart of it. At Linz they gave a concert, under the patronage of Count Schlick, Governor-General of the province. Count Palfy, a young nobleman who was paying his respects to the Countess Schlick on his way through Linz, heard from her such a glowing account of the boy-prodigy that he left his travelling-carriage at the door of her residence and went with her to EARLY JOURNEYS. [26] the concert; his amazement was unbounded. From Linz they continued their journey by water. At the Monastery of Ips, while their travelling companions, two Minorite monks and a Benedictine, were saying mass, Wolfgang mounted to the organ-loft, and played so admirably that the Franciscan friars, and the guests they were entertaining, rose from table and came open-mouthed with astonishment to listen to him.

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

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

The imperial family took more than a passive interest in musical affairs.2 Charles VI. was an accomplished musician, and used to accompany operatic or other performances at court upon the clavier,3 playing from the figured bass, according to the custom of conductors at the time. He caused his daughters to study music, and the future Empress Maria Theresa displayed at an early age both taste and talent. In 1725, when only seven years old, she sang in an opera by Fux, at a fête given in honour of her mother, the Empress Elizabeth. It was in allusion to this that she once, joking, told Faustina Hasse that she believed herself to be the first VIENNA, 1762—WAGENSEIL. [27] of living virtuose.4 In 1739 she sang a duet with Senesino so beautifully that the celebrated old singer was melted to tears.5 Her husband, Francis I., was also musical, and gave his children a musical education.6 The Archduchesses appeared frequently in operatic performances at court, acquitting themselves "very well for princesses."7

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

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

But music was, generally speaking, a serious matter to Wolfgang, and even at court he refused to play except before connoisseurs. Once, seeing himself surrounded by a fashionable assemblage, he said before he began: "Is Herr Wagenseil here? Let him come; he knows something about it." (Georg Christoph Wagenseil—born in Vienna, 1688; died, 1779)—was a pupil of Fux, and one of the first EARLY JOURNEYS. [28] clavier-players and composers of his time: he taught the Empress and afterwards her children.8 The Emperor moved aside to let him come near Mozart, who exclaimed: "I am going to play one of your concertos; you must turn over for me." At court, as elsewhere, Mozart was a bright, happy child. He would spring on the Empress's lap, throw his arms round her neck and kiss her, and play with the princesses on a footing of perfect equality. He was especially devoted to the Archduchess Marie Antoinette. Once, when he fell on the polished floor, she lifted him from the ground and consoled him, while one of her sisters stood by: "You are good," said Wolfgang, "I will marry you." The Empress asked him why? "From gratitude," answered he; "she was good to me, but her sister stood by and did nothing."9 The Emperor Joseph reminded him in after years of his playing duets with Wagenseil, and of Mozart's standing in the antechamber among the audience, calling "Pfui!" or "Bravo!" or "That was wrong!" as the case might be.10

The favour of the court was further displayed in substantial honours and rewards. In addition to a gift of money Marianne was presented with a white silk court dress, belonging to one of the Archduchesses, and Wolfgang with a violet coloured suit, trimmed with broad gold braid, that had been made for the Archduke Maximilian. His father had his portrait painted in this magnificent attire. As might have been expected, the children became the rage in society; "all the ladies fell in love with the lad." The music-loving Prince von Hildburghausen, Vice-Chancellor Count Colloredo, Bishop Esterhazy, all invited the Mozarts; and before long they were indispensable at every fashionable assembly. They were generally carried to and fro in the carriage of their entertainers, and received many handsome presents of money and trinkets. This prosperous course SECOND JOURNEY, 1763. [29] was, however, suddenly interrupted by an attack of scarlet fever, which kept Wolfgang in bed for a fortnight. The dangerous part of his illness was soon over, and the greatest sympathy was everywhere expressed for him; but the fear of infection was then very great, and the interest taken in his convalescence was accompanied by considerable reluctance to his society.

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

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

L. Mozart lays complacent stress upon the fact that throughout their tour, their intercourse was confined to the nobility and distinguished persons, and that both for their health's sake and the reputation of their court, they were obliged to travel noblement. Being summer, therefore, the travellers avoided the capitals and visited the country seats to which, at this season, the courts were wont to repair.11 EARLY JOURNEYS. [30] The journey began on June 9, and not prosperously; for in Wasserbrunn the carriage broke down, necessitating the delay of a whole day. "The last new thing is," writes the father, "that in order to pass the time we went to look at the organ, and I explained the pedal to Wolferl. He set to work to try it on the spot; pushed aside the stool, and preluded away standing, using the pedal as if he had practised it for months. We were all lost in astonishment. What has caused others months of practice comes to him as a gift of God." Wolfgang performed on the organ constantly throughout the journey, and was, his father says, even more admired as an organist than as a clavier-player.

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

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

At Ludwigsburg, the summer residence of the Wurtemburg court, they did not succeed in obtaining audience of the Duke, although they had brought introductions from LUDWIGSBURG, 1763—JOMELLI. [31] Canon Count Wolfegg, both to the Master of the Hunt, Bar. v. Pölnitz, and to Jomelli. L. Mozart was inclined to ascribe this to the influence of Jomelli, who figured as Kapellmeister from 1754 to 1768,12 with a salary of 4,000 fl. (more correctly 3,000 fl.), the keep of four horses, fuel and lights, a house in Stuttgart and another at Ludwigsburg, and 2,000 fl. pension for his widow. Leopold Mozart announces all this to Hagenauer, with the question: "What do you think of that for a Kapellmeister's pay?" He maintained that all native artists had to suffer from Jomelli's influence, who spared no trouble to drive Germans from the court and to admit none but Italians; this was the more possible, as he was in high favour with the Duke.

He and his countrymen, of whom his house was always full, were reported to have said that it was incredible that a child of German birth could have such musical genius, and so much spirit and fire. Ridete Amici! he adds. Granted, however, that musical taste in Ludwigsburg had been thoroughly Italianised by Jomelli's influence and position,13 there is no doubt that this account of him is prejudiced and exaggerated. Metastasio pictures him as courteous and affable,14 and in Stuttgart he had the reputation of giving all due credit to German artists,15 so that L. Mozart's accusation is probably without much foundation. He himself acknowledges that Jomelli's unlimited power had been principally the cause of the excellence of musical performances in Ludwigsburg; though here again, Schubart complains that the orchestra was spoilt by the numerous amateur members who could not agree, and who were fond of introducing ornamentations in their separate parts, quite out of character with the whole.16

Of the really superior amateurs who were then at EARLY JOURNEYS. [32] Ludwigsburg L. Mozart mentions only Tartini's pupil, P. Nardini (died 1793) who "was unsurpassed in taste, purity, and delicacy of tone, but not by any means a powerful player."

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

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

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

At Frankfort, which they went out of their way to visit, Mozart's first concert, on August 18, was so successful that they decided on giving three more. The newspaper announcement, of August 30, 1763, shows what an astonishing performance was offered to the public. It runs as follows:17FRANKFORT, COBLENZ, COLOGNE. [33] The universal admiration excited in the minds of the audience by the astounding genius of the two children of Herr L. Mozart, Kapellmeister at the Court of Salzburg, has necessitated the threefold repetition of the concert which was announced to take place on one occasion only.

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

The little girl, who is in her twelfth year, will play the most difficult compositions of the greatest masters; the boy, who is not yet seven, will perform on the clavecin or harpsichord; he will also play a concerto for the violin, and will accompany symphonies on the clavier, the manual or keyboard being covered with a cloth, with as much facility as if he could see the keys; he will instantly name all notes played at a distance, whether singly or in chords on the clavier, or on any other instrument, bell, glass, or clock. He will finally, both on the harpsichord and the organ, improvise as long as may be desired and in any key, thus proving that he is as thoroughly acquainted with the one instrument as with the other, great as is the difference between them.18

Here, too, Goethe heard him. "I saw him as a boy, seven years old," he told Eckermann, "when he gave a concert on one of his tours. I myself was fourteen, and I remember the little fellow distinctly with his powdered wig and his sword."19

At Coblenz, Mozart was presented to the Elector of Treves, Johann Philipp (von Walderdorf), by Baron Walderdorf and the Imperial Ambassador, Count Bergen, and appeared at court on September 18. He was also frequently invited by the Privy Councillor and Imperial Knight von Kerpen, whose seven sons and two daughters all either sang or played some instrument. At Bonn, the Elector of Cologne, Maximilian Freidrich (Count of Konigseck-Rothenfels), being absent, they only remained long enough to see and admire the splendours of the residential palace; the magnificent beds, the baths, the picture galleries, concert halls, decorations, inlaid tables, chairs, &c.; also the numerous curiosities at Poppelsdorf and Falkenlust. At Cologne, on the other hand, they only note the "dingy cathedral." At Aix, the Princess Amalie, sister EARLY JOURNEYS. [34] to Frederick the Great, and a zealous lover and patroness of music, was taking the waters. She endeavoured to persuade L. Mozart to take his children to Berlin, but he would not alter his plans.

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

Thence they proceeded direct to Paris, where they arrived on November 18, and were kindly received and hospitably entertained by the Bavarian ambassador, Count von Eyck. His wife was a daughter of the high chamberlain at Salzburg, Count Arco. Mozart was furnished with introductions to the most distinguished persons then in Paris; but all these were worth nothing, L. Mozart writes, in comparison with one letter given to him by a merchant's wife at Frankfort, and addressed to Grimm. Friedrich Melchior Grimm, the pupil and disciple of Gottsched,20 had lived in Paris since 1749. As secretary to Count Friesen, and afterwards to the Duke of Orleans, he had admission to the highest circles of society. His amiable disposition and the important share he took in the literary struggles of the encyclopedists gained him a still more exalted position as a sort of literary and artistic arbiter. His judgment on musical matters was eagerly sought after, and, as it came within his special province to bring to light anything out of the common way, he was of all others most fitted to appreciate Wolfgang's performances. He had genuine sympathy with his countrymen, too, and could understand such a nature as L. Mozart's. He had not yet been created baron and ambassador, was still active and energetic, and exerted all his personal and literary influence for the Mozart family. Leopold ascribes PARIS—1763-64, GRIMM, MDME. DE POMPADOUR. [ 35] all their subsequent success to this "powerful friend." "He has done everything—opened the court to us, managed the first concert, and is going to manage the second. What cannot a man do with sense and a kind heart? He has been fifteen years in Paris, and knows how to make things fall out as he wishes."

Their first object was the introduction at court. The most important personage at that time at Versailles was, of course, Madame de Pompadour. "She must have been very beautiful," writes L. Mozart to Madame Hagenauer, "for she is still comely. She is tall and stately; stout, but well proportioned, with some likeness to Her Imperial Majesty about the eyes. She is proud, and has a remarkable mind." Mozart's sister remembered in after days how she placed little Wolfgang on the table before her, but pushed him aside when he bent forward to kiss her, on which he indignantly asked: "Who is this that does not want to kiss me?—the Empress kissed me."21 The King's daughters were much more friendly, and, contrary to all etiquette, kissed and played with the children, both in their own apartments and in the public corridors. On New Year's Day the Mozart family were conducted by the Swiss guard to the supper-room of the royal family. Wolfgang stood near the Queen, who fed him with sweetmeats, and talked to him in German, which she was obliged to interpret to Louis XV. The father stood near Wolfgang, and the mother and daughter on the other side of the King, near the Dauphin and Madame Adelaide.

Once having played at Versailles, they were sure of access to the most distinguished society.22A small oil painting, now in the Museum at Versailles, shows little Wolfgang at the clavier in the salon of Prince Conti, the centre of an assemblage of great people. Finally, having established their EARLY JOURNEYS. [36] position in private society they gave two great concerts (on March 10 and April 9, 1764) in the rooms of a certain fashionable M. Felix, who had built a little theatre for private representations. The permission to give these concerts was a favour obtained with difficulty, as they infringed the privileges both of the Concert Spirituel and of the French and Italian theatres. The result was in every respect a brilliant success. Marianne Mozart played the most difficult compositions of the musicians then living in Paris, especially of Schobert and Eckart, with a precision and correctness that could not have been surpassed by the masters themselves.

Schobert was a native of Strasburg, cembalist to the Prince de Conti; as a composer he was famous for his grace and fire, especially in allegros,23 but as a man he was not all he should have been, according to L. Mozart. He was a false flatterer, his religion was à la mode, and his envy was often so ill-concealed as to excite ridicule. Eckart, on the contrary, was a worthy man, and quite free from jealousy; he had come from Augsburg to Paris in 1758, and was highly esteemed as a clavier-player and teacher.

Wolfgang's performances on the clavier, organ, and violin, extraordinary as they were, were thrown into the shade by the proofs he gave of almost incredible musical genius.24 He not only accompanied at sight Italian and French airs, but he transposed them [prima vista].

At that time, accompanying meant more than the playing of prepared passages for the piano or clavier; it involved the choice at the moment of a fitting accompaniment for the FIRST PRINTED COMPOSITIONS. [37] several parts of the score, or the supplying of harmonies to the bass.

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

Grimm had written a dedication in Mozart's name, in which both he and the Dauphiness were well touched off. FIRST JOURNEY. [38] To L. Mozart's vexation she declined it as too eulogistic, and a simpler one had to be substituted.

The prodigies were overwhelmed with distinctions, complimentary verses, and gifts. M. de Carmontelle, an admirable amateur portrait painter, made a charming picture of the family group;25 it was engraved by Delafosse at Grimm's instigation.

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

L. Mozart notes the standing war between French and Italian music, and the position which Grimm took up on the side of the Italians served to confirm him in his preconceived opinions. According to him none of the French music was worth a groat; in church music all the solos and everything approaching to an air, were "empty, cold, and wretched, in fact French." But he did justice to the choruses, and lost no opportunity of letting his son hear them.26 In instrumental music the German composers, among them Schobert, Eckart, and Hannauer, were beginning to make their influence felt, so much so that Le Grand27 abandoned the French style and composed sonatas after German models. The revolution to be wrought by Gluck, was as yet, indeed, not to be foreseen; but L. Mozart hoped that in ten or fifteen years the French style would be extinguished.

On April 10, 1764, the Mozart family left Paris. At Calais, Marianne notes in her diary, "how the sea runs away and comes back again." Thence they crossed to Dover in a small vessel, the packet being over full, and were very sea-sick; an experienced courier, whom they had brought with them from Paris, arranged the journey direct LONDON, 1764-65. [39] to London.28 They were heard at court on April 27, and their reception surpassed all expectation. "The favour shown to us by both royal personages is incredible," writes L. Mozart; "we should never imagine from their familiar manner that they were the King and Queen of England. We have met with extraordinary politeness at every court, but this surpasses them all. A week ago we were walking in St. James's Park; the King and Queen drove past, and although we were differently dressed, they recognised us, and the King leant out of the window smiling and nodding, especially towards Wolfgang."

George III. was a connoisseur and passionate admirer of Handel's music, and Queen Charlotte sang and played; both had German taste, and gave special honour to German artists, as Jos. Haydn found in later years.29 The Mozarts were summoned to court on May 19, and played before a limited circle from six to ten o'clock. Pieces by Wagenseil, Bach, Abel, and Handel were placed by the King before the "invincible" Wolfgang, who played them all at sight; he surpassed his clavier-playing when he sat down to the King's organ; he accompanied the Queen in a song, a flute-player in a solo, and, finally, he took the bass of an air by Handel and improvised a charming melody to it. None took more interest in the young musician than the Queen's music-master, Joh. Christian Bach,30 the son of Sebastian Bach, settled in London since 1762, and the author of several popular operas and numerous pianoforte compositions. He looked upon his art after an easy careless fashion; but his kindness and goodwill won Wolfgang's heart for ever. He liked to play with the boy; took him upon his knee and went through a sonata with him, each in turn playing a bar with so much precision that no one would have suspected two performers. He began a fugue, which Wolfgang took up and completed when Bach broke off. FIRST JOURNEY. [40] At last L. Mozart thought the time had come to introduce to the public "the greatest wonder of which Europe or the world can boast," as the grandiloquent announcement ran. Not without due calculation, the concert was fixed for June 5, the King's birthday, which was sure to bring a large public to London. The speculation succeeded, and L. Mozart "was terrified" by taking one hundred guineas in three hours—a satisfactory sum to send home. On the 29th Wolfgang played at a concert given at Ranelagh Gardens, with a charitable object, and "astonished and delighted the greatest connoisseurs in England." This prosperous career was, however, temporarily cut short; Leopold Mozart was seized with dangerous inflammation of the throat, and retired with his children to Chelsea, where they remained seven weeks before his cure was completed. During this time Wolfgang, out of consideration for his father, left his instrument untouched; but he set to work to write orchestral symphonies, and his sister tells31 how he said to her, sitting near: "Remind me to give something really good to the horn." The horn was at that time a favourite instrument in England, and in many of Wolfgang's youthful compositions it has a prominent part. The first symphony, in E flat major (1 K.), in the three usual movements, has many corrections which the boy made, partly to improve the instrumentation, partly to moderate the too rapid transition to the principal theme of the first movement. Originality is scarcely to be expected, but it is something that a due regard to form and continuity should be everywhere apparent. He worked so diligently that at the next concert it was announced that all the instrumental pieces were of Wolfgang's composition. Three symphonies (17,18,19, K.), in B flat major (with two minuets, the instrumentation not quite complete), in E flat major (with clarinets, instead of oboes, and bassoons), and in D major (Londra, 1765), which all fall within the London visit, show marked progress. The subjects are better defined, the disposition of the parts is freer and more orchestral, and some instrumental effects LONDON, 1764-65. [41] begin to be heard. On October 29, they were in town again, and invited to court to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the King's accession. As a memento of the royal favour, L. Mozart printed six sonatas for piano and violin or flute, composed by Wolfgang, and dedicated to the Queen on January 18, 1765, which dedication she rewarded with a present of fifty guineas.32 The opening of the Italian Opera House on November 24, 1764, had no small influence on Wolfgang's genius; here, for the first time, he heard singers of note. Giovanni Manzuoli (born in Florence, 1720),33 whose singing and acting were then exciting the London public to the highest enthusiasm,34 became acquainted with the Mozart family, and gave Wolfgang lessons in singing. His voice was, of course, a boyish treble; his style that of an artist. The following year, in Paris, Grimm declared that he had so profited by Manzuoli's instruction as to sing with extreme taste and feeling, notwithstanding the weakness of his voice. Thus early did Mozart acquire, as if by natural instinct, all the requisites for a great composer which are, to most men, the result of years of painful study.

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

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

Another concert, on May 13, took place only after repeated announcements of the approaching departure of the Wonder of Nature, and at a reduced rate. "It was quite enchanting," declares the "Salzburger Zeitung"35 "to hear the sister FIRST JOURNEY. [42] of twelve years old play the most difficult sonatas on the harpsichord, while her brother accompanied her impromptu on another harpsichord." Wolfgang performed on a harpsichord with two manuals and a pedal which the musical instrument maker Tschudi had constructed for the King of Prussia;36 Tschudi "rejoiced that his extraordinary harpsichord should be played for the first time by the most extraordinary performer in the world." After this, L. Mozart repeatedly invited the public to hear and test the young wonder in private daily from twelve to two o'clock; at first these performances took place in their own lodging, afterwards in a tavern, not of the first rank. It was promised as something extraordinary that the two children should play a duet on the same clavier with the keyboard covered. It was for these occasions that Wolfgang composed his first duet, according to L. Mozart, the first sonata for four hands ever written.

The Hon. Daines Barrington, a man highly esteemed as a lawyer and a philosopher, undertook a repeated and searching trial of the boy's skill, and has left a circumstantial report of the result.37 He obtained a copy of Wolfgang's registry of baptism, in order to be sure of his age, and made other minute inquiries concerning him. Besides the usual tests of playing difficult pieces at sight, and of singing and accompanying with proper expression a score hitherto unknown to him, he demanded an improvisation. He told Mozart to improvise a love-song such as Manzuoli might sing in some opera. The boy at once pronounced some words to serve as a recitative, then followed an air on the word affetto (love) of about the length of an ordinary love-song in the regulation two parts. In the same way he composed a song expressive of anger on the word perfido which excited him so much, that he struck the clavier like one possessed, and several times sprang up from his seat. Barrington remarks that these improvised compositions, if not very astonishing, are HOLLAND, 1765. [43] yet far above the ordinary run, and give proofs of decided inventive power. Not only has Mozart's technical education so far advanced, that he handles freely the forms and rules of composition; he begins now to display the inspired imagination of an artistic genius.

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

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

Before the end of their London stay they visited the British Museum, the natural history and ethnographical curiosities being duly noted by Marianne. In deference to an expressed wish, Wolfgang presented the Museum with his printed sonatas and with a manuscript composition (20 K.), consisting of a short madrigal in four parts, "God is our Refuge," the melody being possibly suggested.38 Notwithstanding this, the treatment of it is an extraordinary proof not only of the boy's skill, but of his readiness in apprehending and adhering to an unaccustomed form.39

On July 24, 1765, they left London, remained one day in Canterbury, and passed the rest of the month at the country seat of Sir Horace Mann. In obedience to the repeated and earnest solicitations of the Dutch Ambassador, speaking as the mouthpiece of the Princess Caroline, of Nassau-Weilburg, L. Mozart, contrary to his original plan, consented to visit the Hague. He probably lays stress on this pressing invitation to excuse his lengthened absence from Salzburg. His leave of absence had long ago expired, FIRST JOURNEY. [44] and he was repeatedly urged to hasten his return; but he was firmly resolved with God's help, to carry out what he had begun. They had proceeded as far on their journey as Lille, when Wolfgang was seized with an illness which necessitated a delay of four weeks, and from which he had not quite recovered when he was in Ghent playing on the great organ of the Church of St. Bernard. They reached the Hague in the beginning of September, and met with a very gracious reception from the Prince of Orange and his sister the Princess of Weilburg. But now, Marianne, in her turn fell dangerously ill; was delirious for a week together, and received the last sacrament. "No one," writes the father, "could have heard unmoved the interview between myself, my wife, and daughter, and how we convinced the latter of the vanity of the world and the blessedness of early death, while Wolfgang was amusing himself with his music in another room." They did not neglect to have masses for Marianne's recovery said in Salzburg.

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

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

In January, 1766, we find him composing a song, "Conservati fedele" (23 K.), for the Princess of Weilburg, which consists of a pleasant, flowing melody, and here and there characteristic touches, happily expressed by changes of harmony. HOLLAND, 1765-66. [45] He was able before the end of this month to go on to Amsterdam, where they spent four weeks. Wolfgang gave two concerts at which all the instrumental pieces were of his own composition. Among them was a Symphony in B flat major (22 K.), in three movements, which had been written at the Hague, and which contains noteworthy instances of thematic elaboration and well-rounded phrasing. Although it was Lent, and all public amusements were strictly forbidden, these concerts were permitted because the "exhibition of the marvellous gifts of these children redounds to the glory of God," a resolution which, though it was formulated by Lutherans, was nevertheless cordially accepted by so devout a Catholic as L. Mozart.

On March 8, 1766, they travelled back to the Hague, to assist at the festivities given in honour of the Prince of Orange, who came of age on that day. Wolfgang was ordered to compose six sonatas for piano and violin for the Princess of Weilburg, which were printed with a dedication (26 to 31, K.). In addition, he wrote several songs for the same princess, and other "trifles," which were also printed, among them pianoforte variations on an air composed for the occasion (24 K.), and upon another air, "which is sung, played, and whistled all over Holland." This was the song, "Wilhelmus von Nassau,"40 written and composed by Philipp von Mamix (d. 1598), on the Prince of Orange (d. 1584), which soon spread far and wide41 and became the national song of Holland. Mattheson cites it as an instance of a national war-song, which had inspired a whole people to great deeds, and had played an important part in the war and in the celebration of peace, in 1749.42 For one concert, Wolfgang composed an orchestral piece after the manner of a "Concerto grosso," in which a clavier obbligato was introduced with the other instruments and called it a "Galimathias musicum." Sketches for this in Wolfgang's handwriting, with his father's corrections here and there, have FIRST JOURNEY. [46] been preserved (32 K).43 After an easy andante, which serves as an introduction, come thirteen movements, generally only in two parts, varying both in measure and time. There is a variety of instrumentation unmistakably present, and the horns are specially favoured; there is one passage which imitates the bagpipes.

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

which is partly fugued, partly worked out in a free imitation, showing, as one might expect, the uncertain hand of a boy. But it is plain that he was considered as an established composer. His father's talent, too, met with flattering recognition; his Violin Method was translated into Dutch, and dedicated to the Prince of Orange on his accession.44 The publisher brought it to Leopold Mozart, accompanied by the organist, who invited Wolfgang to play on the great organ at Haarlem, which he did on the following day. At length they travelled by way of Mechlin to Paris, where they arrived on May 10, and established themselves in a lodging provided by their friend Grimm. The progress made both by Wolfgang and his sister was acknowledged by all; but the public are more easily excited by the phenomenal performances of an infant prodigy than by the incomparably more important development of an extraordinary genius, and the interest in the children does not appear to have been so great as on their former visit. Nevertheless, they played repeatedly at Versailles; the Princess of Orleans, afterwards Duchess of Condé, thought herself honoured in presenting Wolfgang with a little rondo for piano and violin of her own composition.45 Prince Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand von Braunschweig, the Braunschweig Achilles, as Winckelmann calls him,46 who PARIS, SWITZERLAND, 1766. [47] had won his laurels in the seven years' war, sought them out in Paris. "He is pleasant, handsome, and amiable," writes L. Mozart, "and as soon as I went in, he asked me if I were the author of the Violin School." He had not only intelligence and good taste in music, but played the violin himself so well "that he might have made his fortune by it."47 He said of Wolfgang that many a kapellmeister had lived and died without having learnt as much as the boy knew now. He entered into competition with the most distinguished artists on the organ, the piano, or in improvisation, and either came off victor or with abundant honour. On June 12, he composed a little Kyrie for four voices with stringed accompaniment (33, K), that is precise and simple, but in style and form, and in the purity of its melody, approaches nearer to the Mozart of after life than any other composition of his boyhood.

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

Accept this gift, dear friends, in the same friendly spirit in which I offer it. May it preserve my memory fresh among you. May you, venerable parents, long enjoy the sight of the happiness of your children wherein consists the most precious fruit of their education; may they be as happy as their merit is extraordinary! In the tenderest youth FIRST JOURNEY. [48] they are an honour to their country and the admiration of the world. Happy parents! happy children! Never forget the friend whose esteem and love for you will never be less lively than at this moment.

Salomo Gesner.

Zurich, August 3, 1766.

Taking Winterthur and Schafhausen by the way, they journeyed to Donaueschingen, where they were expected by Prince Joseph Wenzeslaus von Fürstenberg. They remained here twelve days, and played every evening from five to nine o'clock, always producing some novelty; they were richly rewarded by the Prince, who was moved to tears at their departure. At Biberach, Count Fugger von Babenhausen arranged an organ competition between Wolfgang and Sixtus Bachmann, who was two years older than Wolfgang, and had attracted great admiration by his musical performances. "Each tried his utmost to surpass the other, and the competition increased the fame of both."48 Then they went by way of Ulm, Günzburg, and Dillingen to Munich. Arriving here on November 8, they dined with the Elector on the following day. Wolfgang sat next to him and composed a piece in pencil, taking for theme a few bars which the Elector hummed to him; this piece he played after dinner to the astonishment of all the party.

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


LEOPOLD MOZART [49]had every reason to be satisfied with the result of his tour; the extraordinary talents of his children had been duly appreciated,1 honours of every kind had been heaped upon them, and the three years exertions had produced a not inconsiderable pecuniary gain.2 In spite of repeated, and sometimes severe, attacks of illness, the children returned to Salzburg in full health and vigour, and, what was of not less importance, with their childlike simple minds unspoiled by the exceptional degree of notice and admiration they had everywhere excited. The little Orpheus rode round the room on his father's stick, and sprang up to play with his favourite cat, in the middle of his improvisations on the clavier.

During the journey he had amused himself by constructing an imaginary kingdom, which he called Rücken; it was inhabited by children, of whom he was king, and his invention of fresh gifts and qualities for his kingdom and subjects was inexhaustible. So vividly was it impressed on his imagination, that he made a servant, who was something of a draughtsman, draw a map of it, to which he supplied the names of the places.3 A very favourite idea of his was to compose an opera, to be performed entirely by young Salzburgers, of whom he drew up a list with his father. His tenderness of heart was constantly displayed. One morning on awaking, he began to cry bitterly, and STUDY IN SALZBURG. [50] being asked the reason, answered that he longed to see his friends in Salzburg, all of whom he then mentioned by name. When he heard that Hagenauer's son Dominicus had entered the Monastery of St. Peter's he burst into tears, imagining that he should never see him again. Reassured on this point, he planned a visit to St. Peter's immediately on his return home, and talked of the games that he and his friend would play together.

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

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

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

So shrewd a man of the world had no idea of burying the pound that might produce such excellent interest. INSTRUCTION IN COUNTERPOINT. [51] The uneventful stay of nearly a year which L. Mozart made with his children in Salzburg was employed in mechanical practice, and perhaps still more in the study of composition. A detailed account of these studies is not obtainable; but L. Mozart's wise and earnest views, his clear apprehension that genius entails twofold labour and exertion on its possessor, leave no doubt as to the severity and thoroughness of his instruction to his son. An exercise book containing exercises in thorough-bass and counterpoint is preserved in the Mozarteum at Salzburg, bearing no date, but evidently falling within this period. The intervals and scales are followed by a long list of short lessons on a given melody generally in three parts, to be worked out harmonically and according to the different kinds of simple counterpoint. (Nota contra notam; duoy quatuor nota contra notam; cum ligaturis; floridum.) The choral tunes which serve as Cantus firmus are taken from Fux's Gradus ad Pamassum, which was no doubt employed as a textbook. 4 The lessons, corrections, and brief notes are generally in the father's writing, the working out and the fair copies of the corrected lessons are of course made by Wolfgang; on one occasion he jokingly notes the different parts as Il Sign. d'Alto, il Marchese Tenore, il Duca Basso. An observation of the compositions of this period, which are still preserved, will show us the result of the studies.

Archbishop Sigismund,5 incredulous of Wolfgang's powers, caused him, so Barrington says, to be locked up for a week, seeing no one, during which time he was to compose an oratorio, for which the Archbishop provided the subject. Wolfgang stood the test triumphantly, and the oratorio was publicly performed, with great success, during Lent, 1767.

This composition (35 K.) was printed in Salzburg (1767) with the title:— STUDY IN SALZBURG. [52] The Obligation of the First and Greatest Commandment, Mark 12, v. 30: Thou shalt love the Lord Thy God with all thy hearty with all thy mind, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength.

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

In the first part the understanding and judgment of the lukewarm Christian are stirred by the loving and indefatigable zeal of the Christian Spirit, with the assistance of Divine Mercy and Justice. In the second part, right FIRST ORATORIO, 1767. [53] judgment is victorious, the will is prepared for surrender, to be finally and completely freed from fear and wavering in the third and last part.

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

Mozart's original score6 has the title in his father's writing: "Oratorium di Wolfgango Mozart composto nel mese di Marzo, 1766." As they were then in the Netherlands, we must suspect an error. But the date 1766 is established by the "10 years old" on the title-page; he must have set to work immediately after his return, quite at the end of 1766, and the representation must have taken place in March of the following year.

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

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


which have been given in secco-recitative, comes the strongly accented passage:—[See Page Image] FIRST ORATORIO, 1767. [55] They are in the usual form, the principal subject elaborated and repeated after a short intermediate subject, with ritornellos differing in length and character, according to the commonly accepted varieties. The perfect decision of style and composition leaves the inexperienced hand of the scholar hardly visible, and it is plain that the boy has taken in and turned to account all that he has heard. But although the work may be considered on a level with most of the similar compositions of the time, it cannot be said to be distinguished from them by individual character. It conforms on all important points to the Italian style, although there is now and then a sentimental colouring suggested by Graun's German verses.

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


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

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

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

Then follows the air—

     Felsen spaltet euren Rachen, &c.

Here Wolfgang has striven to express the somewhat whining pathos of the text both by the voice and the instruments, and the result is a bravura song, handled with great skill. There can be no doubt that this song made a great effect at the time, though its want of good taste shocks us now. The succeeding soprano air, on the other hand, which closes with the warning— [See Page Image] GRAB-MUSIK, 1767. [57] expresses a soft, not unpleasing sentimental mood, which is still more toned down in the concluding duet. Yet even here we have fanciful passages—accepted at the time as legitimate both in music and poetry, as corresponding to a complex state of feeling.

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

Not long after Wolfgang's return from Paris, he paid a visit to the Monastery of Seeon, where he was on friendly terms with the monks. During dinner the abbot expressed his regret that no offertory had been composed for the festival of St. Benedict. Wolfgang took advantage of the first pause STUDY IN SALZBURG. [58] to leave the dining-hall, and leaning on the ledge of the window opposite the door, he wrote his offertory "Scande coeli limina" (34 K.). It begins with a pleasing soprano solo, a gentle flowing melody accompanied by the violins; then comes a lively chorus with drums and trumpets, somewhat cramped in style and pedantic in the imitative arrangement of its parts.

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

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

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

It was the general custom at the university to celebrate the close of the scholastic year by a dramatic representation APOLLO ET HYACINTHUS. [59] among the students. In the year 1661, a large theatre, supplied with twelve scenes, was built to replace the smaller one hitherto used, and excited great admiration.9 According to custom, a Latin play, written by the Professor of Poetry, or some other ecclesiastic, was represented by the "Benedictine Muses," i.e., by the students. The subject was taken from the Old or New Testament, more rarely from heathen mythology, and was always intended to point some particular moral.10 Following an old usage, musical portions were interspersed through the tragedy or comedy, as they were also in the Italian spoken drama, so that a short Latin opera of a congenial tendency, with one part serving as a prologue, was introduced between the acts of the drama, just as in the opera seria the intermezzi or ballets came between the acts. Members of the chapel undertook the composition, and some of the singers assisted the performance by taking the more difficult parts.

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

The old myth is treated with considerable freedom, after the manner of an Italian opera; for the edification of pious youth Melia becomes the beloved of Apollo and Zephyrus, Hyacinthus a comparatively insignificant personage. The piece ends en règle with a betrothal. A regular dramatic treatment is not even attempted, only long detached airs and duets, old-fashioned in style and form, and adapted of necessity to the Latin text. The dialogue is in Iambics, the choruses and songs are rhymed. The text is correct enough, but devoid of taste, and imitates in some particulars the STUDY IN SALZBURG. [60] libretti of the Italian opera. After a short overture in two parts, simple and well put together, the action begins with a recitative between Hyacinthus and Zephyrus, who betrays his love for Melia and jealousy of Apollo; Æbalus and Melia appear and sacrifice to Apollo, who is invoked by the chorus:—

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

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

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

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

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

But now comes in Zephyrus with the tidings that Hyacinthus is slain by Apollo. Melia thereupon declares that she cannot accept him, OEbalus wishes to banish him, and Zephyrus expresses in an air the hopes to which these APOLLO ET HYACINTH US. [61] events give birth. Then enters Apollo, overwhelms Zephyrus with abuse, and causes him to be borne away by the winds; Melia, enraged by this fresh deed of violence, reproaches Apollo, and a duet follows, in which she rejects and dismisses him, while he bewails his love and her cruelty.

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

A concluding terzet expresses the general satisfaction.

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

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

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

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

Even if the text were translated and explained to him, it would have been strange if he had found no difficulty in the STUDY IN SALZBURG. [62] language; and it is only another proof of the boy's musical apprehension that his setting of the familiar German sacred texts has a more distinctive character than that of this piece of declamatory school rhetoric; the mere fact of being set to produce a brilliant work as a task had its influence on the music, which is cold and stiff, and sometimes devoid of taste. No doubt the long passages, the peculiar turns given to the pompous or amorous melodies, all that appears to us most tiresome was then most loudly applauded, and the truly surprising ability shown in the working out may have passed at that time for original productive power, which is just what we cannot grant it to have been. Still, there are not wanting signs even of this, and the young artist asserts his individuality at once whenever he has to express a simple emotion, such as he can comprehend and enter into.

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

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

It is an astonishing proof of the productiveness and constant industry of the young composer that, between December and May, three important works were completed and performed. In the summer of 1767 we find him preparing VIENNA, 1767. [63] [See Page Image]

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



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

1767, with every expectation that the public of that brilliant capital would recognise the progress made by Wolfgang since their former visit.1

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

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

Leopold Mozart had been advised when in Paris to follow the example of the Duke of Orleans, who had set the fashion THE FIRST OPERA IN VIENNA. [64] of inoculation with his own children in 1756, and to "graft the small-pox" in his little boy. "But I prefer," he wrote (February 22, 1764), "to leave it all in God's hands; let Him, in His divine mercy, dispose as He will of the life of this wonder of nature." Now, however, he took instant flight to Olmütz with his children, but they did not escape; first Wolfgang sickened, then Marianne. Count Leopold Anton von Podstatzky, Dean of Olmütz and Canon of Salzburg (which would account for his acquaintance with Mozart), out of compassion to the distracted father, took the whole family into his house, making light of the risk of infection. In the deanery, well cared for, and skilfully doctored, the children passed through all stages of the disease, which, with Wolfgang at least, was so severe, that he lay blind for nine days.

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

He endeavoured also to bring about an expression "of gratitude, or at all events of approbation" on the part of the Archbishop towards the Count. For several weeks after his recovery, Wolfgang was obliged to be very careful of his eyes, and his daily visitor, the Archbishop's chaplain, Hay, afterwards Bishop of Konigsgràz (brother to Frau von Sonnenfels),2 strove to relieve the tedium of his enforced idleness by teaching him card-games, in which the boy soon became as great an adept as his instructor. He threw himself with the same zeal into the practice of fencing, IMPERIAL CONDESCENSION—VIENNA, 1768. [65] having at all times a great love of exercises demanding bodily activity.3 When his recovery was complete, he composed an aria for the little daughter of his physician, Wolf, of which her father reminded him in later years (May 28, 1778).

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

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

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

This unusual condescension was gratifying to the patriotic feelings of the Mozart family, but it was not directly profitable. The Empress presented them with a pretty medal of small value; but as she had visited neither the opera nor the theatre since the death of her consort, and had discontinued all musical parties, a summons to play at court could only come from the Emperor. But Joseph showed little inclination to liberality in the cause of art, and others, besides L. Mozart, complained of his parsimony. THE FIRST OPERA IN VIENNA. [66] The nobility followed the example of the court, and avoided any appearance of extravagance in order to ingratiate themselves with the Emperor. Dancing was the only amusement during the carnival, but, whereas, formerly the nobles vied with each other in costly entertainments, at which distinguished artists were nearly always present, they now gave their balls in public rooms and at small expense. L. Mozart suspects that the court made its advantage by this, contracting for all dances, masquerades, and balls, and sharing the profits with the contractor. Under these circumstances, the good recommendations Mozart had brought with him were of little use. He had letters to the Master of the Horse, Count von Dietrichstein, who was high in the Emperor's favour, to Fräulein Josepha Guttenberg, "the Empress's right hand," and to the court physician, L'Augier,4 a travelled and accomplished man of considerable talent, and excellent judgment in music; all that was refined and cultivated in Viennese society flocked to his assemblies. Among Mozart's patrons was also Duke Joh. Carl v. Braganza, a man of the first importance, who had proved his spirit and courage at the earthquake of Lisbon, and as a volunteer in the Austrian army;5 frequent travels had increased his knowledge and enlarged his views;6 he was an excellent companion and a thorough musical connoisseur.7

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

The Mozarts were further favourably noticed by Prince Kaunitz, an elegant connoisseur, but a man of such exaggerated anxiety on the subject of his health, that he would not admit Wolfgang into his presence as long as the traces of the small-pox remained on his face. MUSIC IN VIENNA, 1768. [67] But the Viennese generally were not enthusiastic for art. Leopold Mozart gives the following account of them:—

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

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

L. Mozart says of them:—

I soon found that all the clavier-players and composers in Vienna were in opposition to us, Wagenseil only excepted, who, being ill, could be of little use to us. The plan adopted by these people was to avoid all opportunities of seeing us or of learning the extent of Wolfgang's attainments. Why was this? In order that when they were asked whether they had heard the boy, and what they thought of him, they might reply in the negative, and deny the possibility of what they were told; that they might assert his performances to be impostures and THE FIRST OPERA IN VIENNA. [68] mere buffoonery, got up beforehand, and all that he pretended to compose to have been previously learnt. Now you see why they avoided us. They knew very well that if they saw and heard they would not have a word to say without the risk of losing their honour. But I set a trap for one of these good folks. I persuaded some one to give me quiet notice of his presence, and to induce him to bring an extraordinarily difficult concerto, which was to be laid before Wolfgang. This all took place, and he had the satisfaction of hearing his concerto played by Wolfgang as if he knew it by heart. The astonishment of this composer and clavier-player, the expressions of which he made use in his admiration, let us all into the secret of what I have told you above. He ended by saying: "I must honestly declare my opinion that this boy is the greatest musician in the world; I could not have believed it."

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

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

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

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

On September 29, 1767, L. Mozart gives as his opinion that Hasse's opera ("Partenope") is fine, but the singers, considering the occasion, indifferent; Tibaldi was the tenor; Rauzzini, of Munich, the best male soprano; the GLUCK'S "ALCESTE." [69] prima donna was Elizabeth Deiberin (Teyber), daughter of a Viennese court violinist, and pupil of Tesi and Hasse. Gluck had not been willing to entrust his "Alceste" to these singers. "Alceste" was brought out in Vienna on December 16, 1767; Bemasconi made a great sensation as Alceste, but Tibaldi took Admetus. The Mozarts were then at Olmtitz, but they had an opportunity on their return of hearing what L. Mozart calls "Gluck's melancholy 'Alceste.'"

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

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

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

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

The members of the Opera Buffa, on the contrary, were of first-rate excellence;9 the die was cast, therefore, for an opera buffa. The text was furnished by Marco Coltellini, who had been "Theatrical Poet" in Vienna since 1764, and in 1772 was made "Imperial Poet" at the court of St. Petersburg. He wrote after the manner of Metastasio, who complimented him highly;10 his principal libretti were for Gassmaun ("Amore THE FIRST OPERA IN VIENNA. [70] Psiche"), Hasse ("Piramo Tisbe"), Salieri ("Armida"),11 and for Mozart "La Finta Semplice," in three Acts (51 K). Wolfgang set to work at once in order that the opera might be ready by Easter. As soon as the first act was completed it was distributed among the singers, who expressed their entire satisfaction and admiration. But delay was caused by the poet, who proceeded so leisurely with the alterations in the text required both by composer and performers, that he had not finished them until after Easter. Mozart, nothing daunted, composed eagerly and industriously, wrote new airs whenever they were demanded, and had soon completed the score of 25 numbers and 558 pages, in three parts. In the meantime intrigues were set on foot from all sides to hinder the production of the opera. Advantage was taken of a natural feeling of repugnance at seeing a boy of twelve years old conducting in the place usually occupied by Gluck. Leopold suspected Gluck of being concerned in these intrigues. It is true he wrote at first: "I have brought Gluck over to our side, and even if he is not quite sincere, he has to keep it to himself, for his patrons are also ours;" but later he says, in plain language: "So far, all the composers, with Gluck as their leader, have left no stone unturned to hinder the progress of this opera." The decision with which Gluck proceeded on the path he had marked out for himself may have caused him to take less interest in Mozart's youthful genius than seemed to the father right, and the latter may have been still further repelled by Gluck's unsociable manners;12 but envy and intrigue directed against struggling talent are inconsistent with the composer's proud and upright character. Nevertheless, the music was condemned beforehand as being "not worth a groat, suiting neither the words nor the metre, in consequence of the boy's not understanding Italian sufficiently well." Thereupon Leopold caused Hasse, a man honoured for his reputation, beloved for his gentle disposition, and justly called the "father of music,"13 and Metastasio, as the PROFESSIONAL INTRIGUES. [71] highest authority, to pronounce their opinion in opposition to Gluck and Calsabigi,14 that of thirty operas produced in Vienna Wolfgang's was incomparably the best, and worthy of the highest admiration.

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

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

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

Soon the impresario, who had undertaken the production of the opera chiefly on account of the effect likely to be produced by the boyish age of the composer, began to reflect on THE FIRST OPERA IN VIENNA. [72] the risk he was running, and to draw back. Affügio was an adventurer and a gambler, who had procured an officer's commission by swindling, and had risen to be lieutenant-colonel; his utter want of sympathy with art was illustrated by the anecdote that being present at a bull-baiting where two dogs were pitted against a Hungarian ox, he remarked to a friend, "Believe me, I prefer these dogs to Aufrene and Neuville" (two excellent actors, then high in favour with him).16 His name acquired an unhappy immortality by the share which he took more than once in the struggle of the legitimate drama against the buffoonery of the age.17 He was at last sent to the galleys for forgery, and there ended his career.18

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

Affligio had promised the nobles, and especially Prince Kaunitz, to revive the French drama, discarded in 1766. He accomplished this in 1768, but, according to L. Mozart, at a cost of 70,000 gulden and a great loss to himself; Prince Kaunitz strove to make the loss good by an appeal to the Emperor to share in the expenses; but this attempt failed signally. Under these circumstances, no influence from this quarter could be brought to bear on Affligio, and nothing remained for L. Mozart but to overcome his evasions step by step. When at last Affligio was driven to bay he declared TREACHERY OF AFFLIGIO—FAILURE. [73] that he would give the opera if L. Mozart insisted on it, but that it should not benefit him much, for he would take care that it was hissed off the stage. After this threat, which would certainly have been fulfilled, nothing remained but to give up the production of the opera. On September 21, L. Mozart justified himself to the Emperor by a formal complaint against Affligio, which was intrusted for delivery to the Court Director of Music (Hof und Kammer-Musik-director), Count Joh. Wenzel Spork, a zealous musical friend; but, as might have been foreseen, it was without result.

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

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

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

L. Mozart sought to justify himself with the Archbishop by a reference to Affligio's want of faith, which it had been impossible to foresee; and by declaring that had the work been an opera seria instead of an opera buffa, requiring all the strength of the Viennese company, he would not have hesitated to shake the dust of Vienna from his feet, and lay his son's first important composition at the feet of his rightful and gracious lord. The honour of the Archbishop himself Mozart considered to be concerned, that artists employed THE FIRST OPERA IN VIENNA. [74] and recommended by him should not be treated as "charlatans, liars, and impostors, who go abroad with his permission to throw dust in people's eyes like common conjurors"; and the Archbishop was implored to undertake Wolfgang's cause as identical with his own against people, who "because they sniff the air of the town where the Emperor happens to reside, look with disdain on those who serve foreign princes, and speak disrespectfully of the foreign princes themselves."

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

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

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

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

I reckon upon this as a means of extorting permission for the journey to Italy, a journey which, all things considered, cannot be long delayed, and for which the Emperor himself has given me every possible assistance in the imperial towns, and in Florence and Naples. Failing FORTITUDE OF L. MOZART. [75] this, we must pine at Salzburg in the vain hope of better fortune, until I shall have grown too old to make the journey at all, and until Wolfgang has grown up, and his performances are deprived of everything marvellous. Can it be that the first step of this opera in Vienna shall have been made in vain, and that my son is not to advance with rapid strides along the path so plainly marked out for him?

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

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

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

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

The plot is somewhat as follows:— THE FIRST OPERA IN VIENNA. [76] Fracasso, a Hungarian officer, is quartered with his servant Simone in the house of two rich bachelors, Cassandro and Polidoro, who have a beautiful sister Giacinta. Fracasso and Simone are of course carrying on a love intrigue with Giacinta and her maid, Ninetta, of which the brothers know nothing. The latter are broad caricatures. Polidoro, the younger of the two, is simple and timid, but amorous by nature, which he does not dare to betray to Cassandro, who, by virtue of his wealth, talent, and good looks, of which he is inordinately vain, tyrannises over his household, and though not less amorous than his brother, feigns a contempt for women. In order to outwit the brothers and force them into a consent to their union, the two pair of lovers plot that Rosine, Fracasso's sister, who is expected on a visit, shall, under Ninetta's instruction, make both brothers in love with her. Rosine enters with 'feigned simplicity,' and with a marvellous show of naïveté throws herself at the head of the two brothers. Each of them, delighted at her demonstration of love, wishes to marry her at once. The tricks which she plays on them, the Complications which ensue when each brother in turn surprises her with the other, their attempts to ingratiate themselves with her, and their awkward manners form the main subject of the opera, which is devoid of dramatic action, and consists of detached burlesque scenes. We will note a few characteristic traits. At their first meeting, after a very few words, Polidoro proposes marriage on the spot to Rosine. She shows herself not averse but "domanda un matrimonio i passi suoi, s' am a da prima, e poiche qualche visita almeno, qualche gentil biglietto, qualche bel regalo." He is nothing daunted; as for love he declares, it exists already; for the visits, he has just paid one. Ninetta shall write a love-letter for him, and, by way of present, he thrusts a purse of gold into her hand. In a subsequent scene he is formally instructed in the duties of a husband.

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

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


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

The instrumentation is carefully and effectively worked out. The first violins and the voice go together, the second violins have a simple accompaniment, the basses THE FIRST OPERA IN VIENNA. [78] play pizzicato. Two tenors and bassoons, generally in unison, supply the shadows to this outline (as it may fairly be termed), and two oboes let in the appropriate lights; the horns, made use of only in long-drawn notes, keep the whole together. The skilful employment of these simple means produces an effect of light and shade which is at once striking and beautiful.

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

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

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

     Che si puö senza rossore

Gradir tutti ed un solo amar, is fresh and lively, and the passages are so natural and graceful, that even in the present day it does not sound ROSINE, CASSANDRO. [79] antiquated. The first part of the second song (9) is especially beautiful, and the principal melody reminds us, in dignity and expression, of the Countess in "Figaro." The words—

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

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

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

The part of Cassandro is not on a par with the two we have been considering. Caratoli, for whom it was written was past his best days as a singer, but he was an excellent actor, and "knew how to dispense in some measure with singing"; he generally played old men, and his desire to please the multitude led him into occasional extravagances.23 His part is specially adapted to the peculiarities of the Italian buffo; it contains rapid declamation, well-applied pauses, strong contrasts, and other similar conventional effects; but not much original conception of THE FIRST OPERA IN VIENNA. [80] comic character. In one song, indeed, we have a clever expression given to the not over-refined words:—

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


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

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

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


the husband is to be—

     Un uoroo d' ingegno
     Ma fatto di legno.

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

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

Fracasso is a lover of the usual type, rough and impetuous as becomes a Hungarian officer, quarrelsome with the two brothers, but without marked individuality. This it was impossible for so young a composer as Mozart to evolve out of such commonplace and insignificant materials. The part was cast for Laschi, whom Sonnenfels25 praises as a cultivated artist, and a buffo actor of the most refined and intelligent type. He still played first lover's parts, but was much commiserated on account of the loss of certain notes of his voice, a defect which he sought to hide by transposing airs and passages.

Simone is an ordinary valet, blunt rather than rude, and merry, all which is well represented by the music, the part seldom rising, however, above the ordinary buffo level. Most genial and telling is the song(13)—

     Con certe persone Vuol esser bastone—


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

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

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

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

As a matter of course, those songs which have most originality disregard such rules, and their form is rounder, THE FIRST OPERA IN VIENNA. [84] more self-contained and complete. In these, little opportunity is given for a display of execution; the melodies are simple, ornamental passages and runs few in number,29 and little beyond the cadenzas is left to the singers' discretion. The natural expression of feeling in the songs is never inconsistent with the style of an opera buffa; all is cheerful, light, and easy of apprehension.

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

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

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

The design and modelling of each subject is firm and FINALES—OVERTURE. [85] flowing. The voices are not artificially involved, but free and independent throughout; the orchestra is cleverly handled and treated with due consideration, whether it comes to the front, or remains as an accompaniment in the background.

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

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

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

The overture (Sinfonia) is, according to established custom, in three movements, the two first being in two divisions. It is a symphony, composed previously on January 16 (45 K.), and prefixed to the opera with the omission of the minuet. There are a few minor alterations, chiefly in the instrumentation. The symphony had originally trumpets and drums, which were omitted in the overture, while flutes and bassoons were added. This is unquestionably the weakest part of the opera, and the middle movement is THE FIRST OPERA IN VIENNA. [86] especially poor; but little importance was then attached to the overture, and it is not worse than others of its day.

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

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

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

Although L. Mozart was denied the satisfaction of witnessing the public recognition of his son's genius by the performance of this opera, yet a good opportunity was afforded him of asserting his dramatic talent before a small circle of connoisseurs. The Mozarts became acquainted with a Dr. Messmer,30 who had married a rich wife, and who kept ROUSSEAU'S "DEVIN DU VILLAGE." [87] open house for a select and cultivated circle. Heufeld was among the number of his friends. Dr. Messmer was musical, and had built an amateur theatre; here was performed, a little German opera composed by Wolfgang, with the title "Bastien und Bastienne" (50 K.).

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

It was twice (on October 18 and 24,1752) performed before the King at Fontainebleau, Mdlles. Fel and Jeliotte singing Colette and Colin, with great applause. Then it was given publicly in Paris before the Académie Royale de Musique on March 1, 1753, and met with great and universal approbation.32 From the King, who, "with the worst voice in his whole kingdom," sang "J'ai perdu mon serviteur," downwards, the couplets of the operetta were in every one's mouth, and it became popular to a remarkable degree. In 1774 it received almost as much applause as Gluck's "Orpheus,"33 THE FIRST OPERA IN VIENNA. [88] and even in 1819 and 1821 German musicians were astonished at its popularity. It did not finally disappear from the stage until 1828.34 The plot could not be simpler:—

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

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

Rousseau's opera coincided in point of time with the first THE PARODY, "BASTIEN ET BASTIBNNE." [89] appearance of Italian opera buffa in Paris; and though he had avowedly taken, this as his model, comparison serves only to prove the complete originality of his work. It bore unmistakable traces of its nationality, and was French in feeling and tone.37 The abiding impression created by it is best shown by the innumerable operas of the same kind, which followed closely in its rear,38 such as "Rose et Colas," "Annette et Lubin," "La Clochette." The Comédie-Italienne ratified the success of the "Devin du Village" in yet another way. According to the custom, by which every piece of any importance was parodied as soon as it appeared on the stage, a parody of Rousseau's intermezzo appeared at the Italiens, September 26, 1753, with the title: "Les Amours de Bastienet Bastienne."39

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

The dialogue is strung together by well-known melodies, as was always the case in vaudeville. The piece was highly applauded, owing its success in great measure to the lively and natural acting of Madame Favart. She was the first actress who ventured to appear in the genuine simple costume of a peasant woman, and her appearance in sabots created a great sensation. Her portrait was painted in this THE FIRST OPERA IN VIENNA. [90] character, and it had much to do in laying the foundation of her fame.41

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

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


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


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



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

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

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

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interrupted by quick passages for oboes and horns, plainly intended to express a disturbance of the peaceful shepherd's life; this passes into a tender pianissimo, prefiguring Bastienne's song. Holmes remarks that the subject reminds one of Beethoven's Sinfonia Eroica, and still more so as the overture proceeds; but no one, it is to THE FIRST OPERA IN VIENNA. [92] be hoped, would think of an actual reminiscence. Both the melody and its accompaniment, particularly the holding down of the bass note or the fifth, often of both, are meant to suggest bagpipes.

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

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

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

(Op. 30, 5), and others in Mendelssohn's "Midsummer Night's Dream." MOZART'S "BASTIEN ET BASTIENNE." [93] it is difficult to say, but there can be no doubt that the intention of both composers was the same.

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

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

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

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

His dramatic talent again asserts itself unmistakably; the three characters are boldly sketched, and many little comic touches are thrown into relief, as, for instance, the song in which Colas practises hocus-pocus, the duet in which Bastienne to all Bastien's despairing resolutions answers only: "Viel Glück!" and others. The technical working-out is very simple. Neither in the duets nor in the closing terzet are the voices interwoven; but they THE FIRST OPERA IN VIENNA. [94] alternate with each other, or proceed together in simple harmony; only in one instance does there occur a short imitative passage. The orchestra usually goes with the voice, to which a simple, well-arranged bass is provided, the other parts filling in the harmonies. An accompaniment with any independent phrasing is rarely met with. The accompaniment is mainly intrusted to the stringed instruments, strengthened by oboes (on one occasion by two flutes) and horns, but only to fill in the harmonies. Horns are also employed obbligato, and with charming effect, in Bastienne's second song, "Ich geh jetzt auf die Weide."

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

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

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

Considerable doubt still exists on the subject of a quintet, in B flat major (46 K.), which, according to Kochel's unimpeachable authority is preserved in Mozart's boyish QUINTET IN B FLAT MAJOR, AND SERENADE. [95] hand-writing in the archives of the Austrian Musikverein; it has many corrections, and the date appended, in a strange hand certainly, but coinciding with the composition, is "d. 25 Januar (Mozart writes Janner), 1768." This quintet, for two violins, two tenors, and violoncello, contains the four principal movements (omitting the second minuet, the romance, and the variations) of the great serenade for wind instruments belonging to the year 1780 (361 K); the substance is here in its integrity, with only the necessary alterations to adapt it for strings.

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

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

L. Mozart's hope of seeing an opera by Wolfgang on the Vienna stage was, as we have seen, destroyed; but he was not altogether deprived of the satisfaction to be afforded him by a public display of his son's genius. They had become acquainted with the celebrated Father Ign. Parhammer, a Jesuit, who had been especially zealous in purifying the land since the emigration of the Protestants from Salzburg in 1733; 48 he took a prominent position in Vienna, and became father confessor to the Emperor Francis I. in 1758. In the following year he was made director of the Orphan Asylum, which he extended and reorganised with remarkable activity, making it at length one of the most noted of such institutions.49 In all similar institutions conducted by the Jesuits in Germany, the musical education of the orphans was THE FIRST OPERA IN VIENNA. [96] considered next in importance to their religious duties,50 and in this case the result was so striking that the Emperor intended employing them in his operatic company.51 Parhammer sometimes invited the Mozarts; and when the foundation stone of a new chapel was laid in the summer they were present and met the Emperor, who conversed with Wolfgang about his opera. Soon after he was commissioned to prepare the music for the mass to celebrate the dedication of the chapel, with the addition of an offertory and a trumpet concerto, to be performed by one of the boys. The latter is not preserved; the Mass in G major (49 K.), the first which Mozart had written, betrays, as might be expected, the uncertainty of boyish workmanship more than any previous work. It is written for chorus and solos which do not merely alternate with the chorus in short phrases; "Et in Spiritum Sanctum" is an independent solo for the bass; Benedictus, a solo quartet. The plan, modelling, and execution of the music are quite of the conventional type of a Missa brevis; it is almost devoid of original invention, and bears no signs of those stirrings of genius which we have remarked in previous works. This want has not been without influence on the working-out of the music. The imitative phrasing is stiffer and less free than elsewhere; only the little regulation fugue "Et vitam" shows the result of study; and the impetuous Osanna— FIRST MASS IN G MAJOR. [97] [See Page Image] is vigorous and well finished. The Offertory, "Veni, Sancte Spiritus" (47 K.), in C major is lively and brilliant, with trumpets and drums. The closing "Alleluia" is almost too gay, but it is pretty and fresh, reminding one of Caldara's easier pieces.

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

The following is the testimony of a contemporary journal:52

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

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

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


THE Archbishop could not but feel flattered at the accomplishments of the young Salzburger, and he endeavoured, as far as lay in his power, to complete the partial success of the visit to Vienna by ordering a performance of Wolfgang's opera in Salzburg, notwithstanding that it was "an opera buffa, THE ITALIAN TOUR. [98] requiring performers of a buffo character." The programme, recovered by Köchel 1 gives the following [See Page Image] 2cast:—

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


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

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

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

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

As an example the fugue— THE ITALIAN TOUR. [100] is unusual, but has a striking effect in this place. Mozart evidently enters more into the spirit of his work as the mass proceeds, and gives his impulses freer play. The Benedic-tus apparently gave him some trouble. First, it was written for all four voices, then for soprano solo, and lastly as a duet for soprano and alto, this last arrangement being twice elaborated. The alterations in the details show how precise he was in this work. [See Page Image]

The beginning of the Dona—

Do - na, do - na no - bis PATER DOMINICUS MASS. [101] promises well, but fails to maintain the same level to the end. [See Page Image]

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

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

Mozart's unequalled talent for pure and noble melody is as discernible here as elsewhere, though it is crippled by a certain amount of confusion of ideas. Curiously enough the Benedictus, a solo quartet, is accompanied only by the first violin, which plays round the voices with a continuous running passage. There is a good effect in the Dona nobis, where the chorus answers the short solo phrases— THE ITALIAN TOUR. [102] with changes of lead and harmony. [See Page Image]

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

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

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

Opera and church music were almost in equal favour, and afforded mutual support to each other. It was accordant with the brilliancy of royal courts and rich cities to give operatic performances either at Carnival time or on special festive occasions; no expense was spared to engage the most famous singers, male and female, and for every season (stagione) new operas were written, if possible by famous and favourite composers. Again, the dignity of the Church required, at least on great holy days, that the musical part of the worship should be grand and imposing; and the more MUSIC IN ITALY. [103] richly endowed churches and monasteries were quite able to rival the theatres. There was on every side a steady demand for musical production and execution, which offered abundant opportunity for the exercise of every kind of talent.

The musical education of youth was principally intrusted to the Church. Monasteries and religious institutions were careful to train the musical strength, which was later to be at their disposal; special institutions were founded, which were in part the origin of the future Conservatoires, whose mission it was to train their scholars as singers, instrumentalists, or composers, and in every case as thoroughly cultivated musicians. In Venice there were four such foundations in which boys, and more especially girls, received musical instruction, preparatory to devoting themselves to the service of the Church: the Ospidale della Pietà, intended for foundlings; Ospedaletto, where Sacchini was kapellmeister at this time; Gli Mendicanti, and Gli Incurabili, then under Galuppi's direction.5 In Naples were similar establishments, De Poveridi Gesù-Christo; Della Pietà de' Turchini; S. Onofrio; Loretto. Though all were originally intended as nurseries for church music, yet they were of almost equal service to music of a secular nature; indeed, the most highly gifted among the scholars were likely to prefer the more brilliant and profitable career of the opera stage. But the separation was never complete; operatic composers for the most part worked also for the churches, where opera singers and even professional instrumentalists were often heard. Ecclesiastics, too, practised music in various branches, often with zeal and success. Although this union of musical forces, through the overpowering influence of the opera, worked in time prejudicially on the dignity and purity of church music, yet there can be no doubt of its good effect on the study of form and musical science. The result was all the greater, since the almost instinctive steadfastness of the national taste preserved musicians from aberrations which are only to be checked by rigid limitations as to style and form. An art so formed, THE ITALIAN TOUR. [104] with so one-sided a cultivation, must of course die out in the end; but the extraordinary accomplishments of numerous Italian masters cannot fail to impress us with admiration of the share which Italian music, in its fulness of life and activity, had in producing a true musical atmosphere. It was indeed, this firm foundation of scientific knowledge which made possible a liberation of music from its confined Italian limits without abandoning the laws of artistic formation.

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

The curious attraction of Germans to Italy, which has existed in all ages under different manifestations, must have worked with peculiar power on musicians.6 The German LEOPOLD' MOZART'S HOPES. [105] composers of the last century (with the exception of the North German Protestant church composers) all studied and laid the foundation of their fame in Italy, even those who, like Handel and Gluck, possessed original power enough to enable them later to strike out a path for themselves.7

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

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


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

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

But whenever the subject is connected with music, through all the joking tone can be traced a lively interest and a INSPRUCK—ROVEREDO, 1770. [107] decided and impartial judgment; and the whole tone of his letters breathes hearty sympathy and amiability. Fortunate circumstances and a sensible education had combined with the happiest result; and there can be no doubt that the concentration of Mozart's early training on one object had the indirect effect of keeping at a safe distance much that might have been hurtful to his disposition.

The father and son left Salzburg at the beginning of December, 1769.8 Many threads of personal recommendation stretched thence into the Tyrol and upper Italy, partly from mercantile connections, partly through the noble families belonging to the Cathedral Chapter, and the travellers had introductions which gained them admittance into widely different circles. Their first stay was at Inspruck, where they were well received by Count Spaur, brother to the Salzburg Capitular. On December 14, at a concert given by the nobility at the house of Count Künigl, Wolfgang played a concerto at sight, which had been put before him as a test of his skill; at the close he was presented with it, and twelve ducats in addition. The Inspruck newspaper testified (December 18) that "Herr Wolfgang Mozart, whose extraordinary musical attainments have made him famous alike in the imperial court, in England, France, Holland, and throughout the Holy Roman Empire," had given in this performance the most convincing proofs of his marvellous skill. "This youthful musician, who is just thirteen years old, has added fresh brilliancy to his fame, and has commanded the unanimous approbation of all musical connoisseurs."

As soon as they entered Italy the marks of honour with which the young artist was received became more animated and enthusiastic. At Roveredo the nobles arranged a concert at the house of Baron Todeschi, who had known Mozart at Vienna. "There is no need to say how Wolfgang is received," writes his father. When he wanted to play the organ at the principal church, the report of it spread through THE ITALIAN TOUR. [108] the town, and the church was so full that it took two strong men to clear the way to the choir, and then it was a quarter of an hour before they could get to the organ, they were so besieged by the audience.

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

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

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

On January 10 they entered Mantua well and hearty in spite of the cold; but Wolfgangerl looked, his father said, owing to the fresh air and the heat of the stove, "as if he had gone through a campaign, a sort of reddish brown, particularly round the eyes and mouth, something like his Majesty the Emperor." Here too, they were warmly received by all the distinguished dilettanti of the place; Signora Bettinelli in especial lavished all a mother's care on PROGRAMME OF CONCERT AT MANTUA, 1770. [109] the boy, and wept at parting from him. A Signora Sartoretti invited them to dine with her, and sent by her servants a vase with a beautiful bouquet tied with red ribbon, and in the middle of the ribbon a piece of four ducats folded in a poem addressed by the Signora to Wolfgang.

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

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

In occasione della venuta del espertissimo giovanetto

Sign. Amadeo Mozart.

1. Sinfonia di composizione del Sign. Amadeo.

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

3. Aria d'un Professore.

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

5. Concerto di Violino d'un Professore.

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

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

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

8. Aria d'un Professore.

9. Concerto d'Oboè d'un Professore.

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

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

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

12. Duetto di Professori.

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

14. Sinfonia ultima di composizione del Suddetto.


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

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

Father and son arrived at Milan before the end of January, and found a safe and comfortable lodging in the Augustine monastery of San Marco. A lay brother was appointed to wait on them, even to the warming of their beds, which attention caused Wolfgang to be "delighted when bedtime came." Their warm friend and patron was the Governor-General, Count Carl Joseph von Firmian (b. 1716). He had been partly educated at Salzburg (where his elder brother Joh. Bapt. Anton was Archbishop until 1740), and had there founded a literary society, whose earnest endeavours after a freer method of scientific inquiry had led to many hard struggles with authority.10 He afterwards studied at Leyden, and acquired cultivation and taste by frequent travels in France and Italy. As Ambassador at Naples, he won the heart of Winckelmann, who speaks of MILAN, 1770. [111] him as one of the greatest, wisest, most humane, and most learned men of his time and country.11 Count Firmian was appointed Govemor-General of Lombardy in 1759, and spared no efforts to promote the material well-being as well as the intellectual and artistic improvement of his province.

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

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

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


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

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

Mozart's first quartet was composed on the way from Milan to Parma, and dated Lodi, March 15, 7 o'clock in the evening (80 K.). At Parma the celebrated singer Lucrezia Agujari, called "la Bastardella," invited them to sup with her, and sang so as to justify the reports they had heard of "LA BASTARDELLA"—BOLOGNA, 1770. [113] her execution and the fabulous compass of her voice. "I could not have believed that she could sing to C in altissimo," writes L. Mozart, "had I not heard it with my own ears. The passages which Wolfgang has written were in her song, and she sang them somewhat softer than the deeper notes, but as clearly as an octave pipe in an organ. In fact, the trills and all were note for note just as Wolfgang has written them down. Besides this she has good alto notes, as low as G. She is not handsome, but certainly not ugly; has a wild look in her eyes at times, like people who are subject to fits, and she limps with one leg. She has always conducted herself well, and has therefore a good name and reputation."

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

L.. Mozart considered that Wolfgang made a greater effect in Bologna than elsewhere, that city being the seat of so many artists and learned men. Here they met the celebrated Spagnoletta (Gius. Useda), from Milan, the kapellmeister, Vincenzo Manfredini, known also as an author, who had visited them at Salzburg, on his journey from St. Petersburg in 1769, and the famous alto, Gius. Aprile.17 Bologna, the father thought, and thought rightly, was the best centre whence Wolfgang's fame could spread over Italy, since he had there to stand the severest tests from Padre Martini, the idol of the Italians, and the acknowledged arbiter in all matters of art. The Franciscan Giambattista Martini18 THE ITALIAN TOUR. [114] (born 1760) was esteemed not only as the composer of short, concise, artistically worked-out sacred pieces, but, from his thorough and comprehensive researches, as unquestionably the most learned theoretical musician of his day. Only one volume of his pedantic "Storia della Musica" had as yet appeared, and his classical work on counterpoint was only in preparation;19 but he was already considered infallible on all musical questions, both in Italy and abroad. His possession of an unequalled musical library20 placed him in correspondence with numerous musicians, scholars, and princes. Disputed points were submitted to his arbitration, and his advice was sought in the bestowal of official places. A recommendation from Padre Martini was the best possible key to success. His authority was the more readily acknowledged, since he united to his rare attainments a singular degree of modesty, and a ready alacrity to afford instruction, counsel, or assistance whenever required. He preserved, even in his learned disputes, invariable dignity and amiability,21 with a certain amount of cautious reserve. L. Mozart might well be anxious to win the favour of such a man for his son. Whenever they visited him Padre Martini gave Wolfgang a fugue to work out, which was always done to the great contrapuntist's entire satisfaction.

The companion figure to this learned monk was a musical celebrity of quite another kind, whose acquaintance Mozart also made in Bologna. Farinelli (Carlo Broschi, b. 1705), a pupil of Porpora, first appeared in 1722 in Metastasio's "Angelica," and an intimacy resulted between the singer and the poet (who called him his caro gemello) which had an important effect on the development of Italian opera. Farinelli's career in Italy was an unbroken success, and he was enthusiastically received in Vienna and London.22 Arriving in Spain in 1736, his singing had power to dispel the FARINELLI—FLORENCE, 1770. [115] melancholy of Philip V.; he was summoned daily to the king's presence, and became his acknowledged favourite, a position which he retained under Ferdinand VI. and Queen Barbara. On the accession of Charles III., in 1761, Farinelli was obliged to leave Spain, and living in wealthy ease at Bologna, indulged his tastes for art and science. He practised the amiable and refined hospitality of a cultivated man of the world in his beautiful villa, and took peculiar interest in his fellow-artists, who never failed even in his old age to be charmed with his singing.23

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

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


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


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

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

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


4. Canon.—Tertia pars si placet.

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

5. Canon.—Ter voce ciemus.

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

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

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

At Florence, too, Wolfgang formed a tender friendship with Thomas Linley, a boy of fourteen, the son of an English composer; he was a pupil of the celebrated violin-player Nardini, and played so exquisitely as almost to surpass his teacher. The two boys met at the house of Signora Maddalena Morelli, who was famous as an improvisatrice, under the name of Corilla,29 and had been crowned as a poetess on the capitol in 1776;30 during the ROME, 1770—ALLEGRI'S MISERERE. [119] few days that the Mozarts stayed in Florence the boys were inseparable, and performed together or by turns, "more like men than boys." They parted with many tears, and Tommasino, as Linley was called in Italy, brought to Wolfgang, as a parting gift, a poem which Corilla had written for him.

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

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

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

It was the custom on Wednesday and Friday in Holy Week for the choir of the Pope's household to sing the Miserere (Ps. 50), composed by Dom. Allegri, which was arranged alternately for a four and five-part chorus, having a final THE ITALIAN TOUR. [120] chorus in nine parts.35 This performance was universally considered as one of the most wonderful in Rome; the impression made by it in conjunction with the solemn rites it accompanied was always described as overpowering.36 "You know," writes L. Mozart, "that this celebrated Miserere is so jealously guarded, that members of the chapel are forbidden, under pain of excommunication, to take their parts out of the chapel, or to copy or allow it to be copied.37 We have got it, notwithstanding. Wolfgang has written it down, and I should have sent it to Salzburg in this letter, were not our presence necessary for its production. More depends on the performance than even on the composition.38 Besides, we must not let our secret fall into other hands, ut non incurramus mediate vel immediate in censuram ecclesiæ." When the performance was repeated on Good Friday, Wolfgang took his manuscript with him into the chapel, and holding it in his hat, corrected some passages where his memory had not been quite true. The affair became known, and naturally made a great sensation; Wolfgang was called upon to execute the Miserere in presence of the Papal singer Christofori, who was amazed at its correctness. L. Mozart's news excited consternation in Salzburg, mother and daughter believing that Wolfgang had sinned in transcribing the Miserere, and fearing unpleasant consequences if it should become known. "When we read your ideas about the MOZART'S RECEPTION IN ROME. [121] Miserere," answered the father, "we both laughed loud and long. You need not be in the least afraid. It is taken in quite another way. All Rome, and the Pope himself, know that Wolfgang has written the Miserere, and instead of punishment it has brought him honour. You must not fail to show my letter everywhere, and let his Grace the Archbishop know of it."

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

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


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

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

At first they suffered from cold, but this soon turned to excessive heat, and Wolfgang, who had always longed to look brown, saw his wish in a fair way to be accomplished. They had good recommendations to the court from Vienna. Queen Caroline, whom Wolfgang had lately seen in Vienna, received them graciously, accosting them whenever they met; but Wolfgang was not summoned to play at court. The King, although not unmusical, cared for nothing that required any cultivation; "what he is," writes L. Mozart, "can be better told than written." The all-powerful minister Tanucci, placed his major-domo at their service, to show them all that was worth seeing. Other nobles followed this example; and every evening a magnificent equipage was placed at their service, in which they joined the brilliant passeggio of the nobility on the Strada Nuova or on the quay, clad in elegant summer costumes. L. Mozart had ordered for himself a coat of maroon-coloured watered silk with sky blue velvet facings, and Wolfgang rejoiced in an apple-green coat with rose-coloured facings and silver NAPLES, 1770—LADY HAMILTON. [123] buttons. Among Wolfgang's patrons was the old Princess Belmonte, the friend of Metastasio, and interesting to musicians as having been roused from deep melancholy by the singing of the tenor Raff.

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

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

The time of their stay in Naples was favourable to musical interests. Simultaneously with the excellent representations of comic opera in the Teatro Nuovo, there was opened on May 30, the King's fête-day, the Grand Opera in San Carlo, THE ITALIAN TOUR. [124] for which Jomelli, Caffaro, and Ciccio di Majo were engaged; Anna de Amicis was prima donna, Aprile principal male singer. By a curious coincidence, Wolfgang was a witness of the first attempt made by Jomelli, who had left Stuttgart for Naples in 1768, to regain the favour of his countrymen. De Rogatis' opera "Armida Abbandonata," in which he made his reappearance, was designed to satisfy the higher claims of dramatic music, and to bring the results of his studies in Germany before the Italians, who were, however, slow to appreciate them. Wolfgang thought the opera fine, but too pedantic and old-fashioned for the theatre. This seems to have been the universal opinion; and later the increasing distaste to Jomelli's operas obliged the withdrawal of his "Iphigenia in Aulide," and the substitution of "Demofoonte" (November 4, 1770).41

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

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

This stay in Rome, during which they were present at the illumination of St. Peter's, at the delivery of Neapolitan tribute, and other ceremonies, brought Wolfgang a new distinction; he was invested by the Pope, in an "RITTER MOZART"—BOLOGNA, 1770. [125] audience of July 8, with the order of the Golden Spur, which the father announces, not without pride, as "a piece of good luck."42 "You may imagine how I laugh," he writes, "to hear him called Signor Cavaliere."

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

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


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

The Philharmonic Society of Naples, whose festival performance Mozart had attended in company with Burney,44 ELECTION TO THE ÀCCÀDEMIA FILARMONICA. [127] honoured him with a signal proof of admiration and esteem. This famous society, founded in 1666, upon the presentation by Wolfgang of a memorial, and his accomplishment of a prescribed task, elected him a member of their body as Compositore. This honour was eagerly sought after by the most distinguished composers. For composers of church music it was important, since Benedict XIV., in a bull of 1749, had given a kind of overseership to the Philharmonic Society; only its members could become kapellmeisters to churches in Bologna, and by a Papal decree this membership was allowed to take the place of any examination.45 The distinction was the greater since members were required46 to be twenty years old, to have been admitted into the first class of compositore, and to have been a year in the second class of cantori and sonatori. Leopold describes the election as follows:—

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

The task was, according to the old statute, a Cantus firmus from the Gregorian Antiphonary, to be elaborated contrapuntally for four, five, or eight voices a capella (in duple time); it was to be executed strictly according to rule, adhering to the singular treatment of the harmonies belonging to the old THE ITALIAN TOUR. [128] style of church music. After 1773, the examination became more severe,47 and an Italian who stood the test at the beginning of this century, speaks of it as consisting of three separate compositions. First, the given subject was to be arranged for four voices in falsobordone, i.e., in plain harmonics, after the fashion of our congregational chorales. The second test consisted of a disposizione di parte. One voice retained the Cantus firmus, the others were to be set to it in canonic or imitative mode. The motifs were often taken from the Cantus firmus itself, in a rhythmical, diminished form. Strict imitation was not enjoined; it sufficed that the voices should follow each other with similar passages. The third task was a fuga reale, a perfect fugue, according to the rules of the church mode of the Cantus firmus, in which one phrase is carried through as a theme, the other parts serving as intermediate phrases.

Wolfgang did not go through this examination without preparation. An elaboration in his boyish handwriting of the Cantus firmus "Cibavit eos in adipe" (44 K.) is probably an exercise made under Padre Martini's directions. His trial work was a Cantus firmus from the Roman Antiphonary, a freely imitative contrapuntal arrangement of the accompanying parts overlying the Cantus firmus of the bass, which is only to be adhered to in its melodic progressions, and may be modified in its rhythmical divisions. The original from Mozart's hand is in the archives of the Philharmonic Society, where it was found by Gaspari in a volume of various test works chiefly by Martini's pupils.48 Next to it among the documents was a second elaboration written by Padre Martini, and copied by Wolfgang. Of this a second copy is in the Mozarteum, from Wolfgang's hand, with his father's subscription: Dal Sigr. Cavaliere Amadeo Wolfgango Mozart di Salisburgo, Scritto nella sala dell' accademia filarmonica in Bologna li 10 d' Ottobre, 1770. This was published as Wolfgang's own test work (86 K.).49 Probably Padre Martini went MILAN—"MITRIDATE." [129] through the boy's work, which was not free from faults, and was entered in the protocol as "satisfying the conditions," and showed him how the task might have been executed; he took the copy of the corrected exercise to Salzburg when he returned there.

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

Wolfgang strove to extricate himself, as best he might, from the difficulties and intrigues which hindered his work. These were the more vexatious, as the singers arrived in Milan so late as to give him little time for composition. His father was careful not to allow him to overtax his strength, and especially insisted on his not working immediately after eating, unless under the pressure of great necessity; they usually went for a walk first. The mental strain of so important a task had a sobering effect on the boy's spirits, and he repeatedly enjoins his mother and sister to pray for the success of the opera, "so that we may all live happily THE ITALIAN TOUR. [130] together again." Leopold begs his friends in Salzburg to be charitable enough to write them cheerful, jocular letters, to distract Wolfgang's mind, There was, of course, the usual petty spite of the "Virtuosen canaille" to combat; they were not likely to leave unmolested a kapellmeister at once "a youth and a foreigner"; but the father shrank from no difficulties which could be overcome by "presence of mind and good sense," and declared they would gnaw through them all, "as the Hanswurst did through the Dreckberg."

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

The rehearsals began under favourable circumstances; even the copyist had performed his task so well that he "MITRIDATE"—HOPES AND FEARS. [131] had made only one mistake in the recitatives, and the singers proved excellent. "As far as I can judge, without fatherly partiality," wrote L. Mozart on December 8, "I believe that Wolfgang has written the opera well and with spirit." On December 17 the first rehearsal with full orchestra52 took place in the Redoutensaal, and the second two days later in the theatre; the verdict was altogether in favour of the new opera:—

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

The professori (instrumentalists) in the orchestra were pleased, and declared that the music was clear, distinct, and easy to play. Mozart's friends were as cheerful as his detractors were gloomy, and the most noted musicians, such as Fioroni, Sammartini, Lampugnani, and Piazza Colombo were decidedly in favour of the opera. Under these circumstances (although the first opera of the season was usually THE ITALIAN TOUR. [132] the least esteemed) they could look forward with calmness to the representation. This took place on December 26, under Wolfgang's conductorship, and the result surpassed all expectation. Every song, except those of the subordinate personages, was received with deafening applause, and with the cry "Evviva il maestro! evviva il maestrino!" Contrary to all custom at a first representation a song of the prima donna's was encored. At the second performance the applause was still greater, two songs and a duet being encored; but as it was Thursday, and the audience wished to go home to supper before midnight, so as not to encroach on Friday (fast day) the performance was cut short; it lasted, however, including the ballets at the end of each act, six good hours. On January 5, 1771, L. Mozart wrote home to his wife:—

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

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

Professional cares 55did not engross all Mozart's time and attention. They became on intimate terms with the young VENICE—PADUA—SALZBURG, 1771. [133] difficult concerto at sight. They had a trip to Turin, saw a splendid opera, and were back in Milan on January 31,56 leaving again shortly for Venice, where they arrived on the Monday in Carnival week. They were hospitably received by a merchant, Wider, a business friend of Hagenauer's.

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

On the return journey, undertaken on March 13, they stayed one day in Padua, visiting the musical celebrities Franc. Ant. Ballotti (1697-1780), one of the first organ-players in Italy, and almost as good a theorist and contrapuntist as Padre Martini himself,57 and the composer and Munich kapellmeister, Giov. Ferrandini58—Tartini had died the year before. Wolfgang played on the excellent organ in Santa Giustina. At Padua, too, he received a commission to write an oratorio to be completed at home as opportunity offered. At Vicenza they remained some days at the request of the Bishop, a Cornero, who had made their acquaintance at Venice; and at Verona they stayed with their old friend Luggiati, who gave a brilliant reception in Wolfgang's honour.

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


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

On August 13 they left Salzburg, and after a short stay in Verona arrived at Milan on August 21. The marriage was fixed for October 15, but the libretto had not yet been returned from Vienna, where it had been sent on approbation; in those days it was considered that a maestro should be so sure of his art that it should stand him in stead at all times and seasons.59 Wolfgang was under no apprehension on this score; he was delighted with his gracious reception by the royal bride, and enjoyed the delicious fruit, eating a double share of it, as he says, out of brotherly love to his MILAN, 1771—GABRIELLI. [135] sister. When at last the book arrived at the end of August it was detained some days longer by the poet to make the numerous alterations required, and not until the beginning of September was it finally delivered over to Wolfgang. Then he set to work, composing so vigorously that on September 13 the recitatives and choruses were finished, and his father was of opinion that the whole opera with the ballet would be ready in twelve days, which indeed it was; and no wonder that Wolfgang complained that his fingers ached. In the room above that where he wrote was a violinist, in the room below another; a singing master lived next door, and an oboist opposite. "It is capital for composing," says Wolfgang; "it gives one new ideas."

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

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

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

But the most satisfactory connection was that with Hasse, who was composing an opera on Metastasio's "Ruggiero," for the same festive occasion.60 It was of no small significance THE ITALIAN TOUR. [136] that men like Hasse and Metastasio, who had brought Italian opera to its highest point, and a famous poet, such as Gius. Parini, in Milan,61 should have been content to place themselves on a level with young Mozart. It was momentous in the history of music, this handing over of the sceptre by the man who had ruled the Italian stage throughout his long career to the youth, who was not indeed destined to acquire equal fame living, but to whom posterity was to allot a far more glorious place. Hasse himself is said to have exclaimed: "This boy will throw us all into the shade."62 It was like him to recognise without envy the artistic greatness of Mozart; all young artists63 found him ready to appreciate and help forward their efforts,64 and Mozart himself had been grateful for his support when fighting with the musical cabal in Vienna.65

The festivities66 which had attracted a crowd of strangers to Milan began with the triumphant entry of the Duke, followed by the marriage ceremony in the cathedral; then came a concert and reception at court. On the 16th a public banquet was given to more than four hundred bridal couples, to whom the Empress had given dowries, and in the evening Hasse's opera "Ruggiero" was performed in the newly decorated theatre, with two gorgeous ballets in the entr'actes, "La Corona della gloria," by Pick, and "Pico e Canente," by Favier.

On the 17th, after a splendid procession on the Corso, Wolfgang's serenata "Ascanio in Alba" (111 K.), an allegorical pastoral play in two acts, with choruses and dances, (by Favier) was produced. After the first rehearsal, L. Mozart had been able to predict to his wife that the success of the work was assured. "Because, to begin with, "ASCANIO IN ALBA." [137] not only are Signor Manzuoli and the other vocalists in the highest degree pleased with their songs, but they are as anxious as ourselves to hear the serenata with the full orchestra; secondly, because I know what he has written, and the effect it will have, and am quite convinced that it is excellent, both for the singers and the orchestra." He had not deceived himself, the applause was extraordinary; the serenata was repeated the next day, and until the close of the festivities was more frequently given than "Ruggiero." "I am sorry," writes L. Mozart, "that Wolfgang's serenata should have so entirely eclipsed Hasse's opera."

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

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

Among the festivities, which lasted until the end of the month, were a splendidly appointed masked procession of facchini, in the costume of the surrounding peasantry, on the 19th; races for horses (barberi) on che 27th, for chariots (calessetti) on the 28th, and the cuccagna on the 24th, when masses of viands were given up to the plunder of the people, and fountains of wine were opened.68 On this occasion the Mozarts narrowly escaped a great danger. One of the great scaffoldings erected for spectators fell, and more than fifty persons were killed or injured. It was only an accidental delay which had prevented Wolfgang and his father from taking the seats which had been allotted them on this THE ITALIAN TOUR. [138] erection, and had caused them to seat themselves in the court gallery.

After the close of the opera, Mozart wrote a symphony (112 K.) and a divertimento (113 K.), probably for a concert, but at all events to order. During this stay in Milan a contract was entered into with the theatre of S. Benedetto in Venice, by which Wolfgang was commissioned to write the second opera of the Carnival of 1773. How this was possible, since the contract stipulates for residence in Venice at the same time as it had been already promised in Milan, it is not easy to see, unless some indulgence on the part of the Venetian impresario was looked for, perhaps even promised.69 The contract, however, was never fulfilled; Nau-mann became Mozart's substitute, arriving in Vienna just in time to undertake the opera. He produced his "Soliman" with very remarkable success.70

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

Their arrival at home coincided with the death of Archbishop Sigismund, which took place after a lingering illness on December 16,1771. His successor was elected on March 14, 1772, in the person of Hieronymus Joseph Franz v. Paula, Count of Colloredo, Bishop of Gurk; to the universal surprise and grief of the populace, who had little prosperity to hope for under his rule.72 An opera was required to form "IL SOGNO DI SCIPIONE"—SALZBURG, 1772. [139] part of the festivities accompanying his installation, and this Wolfgang was commissioned to compose.73 The subject chosen was "Il Sogno di Scipione" (126 K.), an allegorical azione teatrale, by Metastasio, which had been performed with music by Predieri on the birthday of the Empress Elizabeth, October 1, 1735. It was written with reference to the unfortunate military events in Italy, and stress was laid on the bravery and steadfastness of a great general, even in defeat. How far this subject was applicable to the circumstances of Bishop Hieronymus does not seem to have been inquired; even the words of the Licenza were left unaltered, except that the name of Girolamo was substituted for Carlo. It is amusing to note that Mozart composing from his Metastasio, writes the words under his score: "Ma Scipio esalta il labbro e Carlo il cuore," then effaces the name and writes Girolamo.

We do not know how far indifference towards the person of the new Archbishop is responsible for the fact that this opera betrays more of the character of an occasional piece written to order than any other composition by Mozart. It was probably produced in the beginning of May, 1772.74

The remaining compositions which fall authentically within this period are a symphony (124 K.), composed on February 21, and a litany, "De Venerabile" a very important work (125 K.), in March. January was lost by illness, and in April, Mozart was busy with his opera; but in May, a "Regina Coeli" (127 K.) and no fewer than three symphonies (128-130 K.) were ready; in June, a great divertimento (131 K); in July and August three more symphonies (132-135 K.); three quartets, or divertimenti (136-138 K.), fall also within the year 1772. These clearly identified compositions can scarcely be all that belong to this period. If the fact surprises us that Mozart, instead of THE ITALIAN TOUR. [140] making studies for the new opera which he was to produce in the autumn, employed this interval almost entirely on church and instrumental music, we must look for an explanation of it in his position at Salzburg, from which we cannot doubt that he felt an intense longing to free himself.

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

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

The opera which Wolfgang was to compose was "Lucio "LUCIO SILLA"—MILAN, 1772. [141] Silla," the words by Giovanni da Camera, a poet of Milan. This time Wolfgang brought part of the recitative with him, but he did not gain by so doing; for the poet had in the meantime submitted his text to Metastasio, who made many alterations, and added a new scene.

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

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

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

Maria Anna de Amicis (born about 1740), a pupil of Tesi, had been brought from the opera buffa as prima donna to the opera seria by Chr. Bach in London (1762). She had been married five years to Buonsolazzi, an official in Naples, THE ITALIAN TOUR. [142] and she brought her little daughter Sepperl with her to Milan.78 Although the Mozarts had made her acquaintance during their Parisian tour, she was at first a little inclined to create difficulties; but the most friendly relations were soon established between them.

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

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

The grand rehearsal passed off well; and the first representation on December 26, in spite of some drawbacks, was a great success. The opera began, according to custom, an hour after Ave Maria, and at half-past five the theatre was PERFORMANCE OF "LUCIO SILLA." [143] quite full. Just before Ave Maria the Archduke had risen from table, and retired to despatch five autograph congratulations on the New Year to Vienna; as might be expected, this took some time. The performers, male and female, in all the agitation of a first performance, and the hot impatient public were obliged to wait the arrival of the court until past eight o'clock. Unhappily the Lodi tenor had to express his anger by gestures during the prima donna's first song; in his efforts to surpass himself he gesticulated so wildly, "that he appeared to wish to box her ears, or hit her in the face with his clenched fist." Thereupon a laugh broke out; this confused De Amicis, who did not know for whom it was intended, and she sang ill the whole evening, especially after Rauzzini had been received on his first entry with applause from the Archduchess. Rauzzini had contrived to inform the Archduchess that he should be nervous at singing before her, and so had assured himself of the applause of the court. De Amicis was consoled by an invitation to court the next day, and then the opera went altogether well.

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

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

L. Mozart continually postponed their departure, at first with the expectation of seeing the second opera, which was much later than usual, owing to the many representations of "Lucio Silla," and afterwards under the pretext of an attack [144] of rheumatism, which confined him to bed. In point of fact he had, with the powerful support of Count Firmian, proferred a request to the Grand Duke Leopold at Florence that the latter would attach Wolfgang to his court. The Grand Duke at first showed gracious dispositions, and L. Mozart must have wished to continue the negotiations from Milan. Even after their ultimate failure he thought he might count on powerful recommendations from Florence, and his thoughts turned again on a great professional tour. "Only be economical," he wrote, "for we must have money if we are to undertake a tour; I grudge every penny spent in Salzburg."

Towards the close of their stay a colleague from the Salzburg chapel, the horn-player Leutgeb, came to Milan, and was well received there.

At the beginning of March they really set out; for they might not be absent from their places on the anniversary of the Archbishop's election (March 14).

The remarkable success of the opera, and the lively interest excited by Wolfgang's person, leaves scarcely any doubt that further overtures were made to him in Italy; their non-acceptance must have been owing to the Archbishop's refusal of an extended leave of absence.



AT Salzburg during May, 1773, Wolfgang composed a symphony (181 K.), a concertone for two violins (190 K.), and a mass (167 K.) in June.

In the summer of this year the Archbishop repaired to Vienna, and Leopold Mozart seized the opportunity of following him thither with Wolfgang. He looked forward only to a short absence, but when they presented themselves before the Archbishop in Vienna he gave them permission to extend their stay, as he intended himself to go into the mountains and to Gmünd.

Of the precise object of this tour we know nothing, only that L. Mozart hints mysteriously that he cannot tell his VISIT TO VIENNA, 1773 [145] plans to every one, and that he must avoid anything that would excite attention either at Vienna or Salzburg, and cause obstacles to be thrown in their way. When the good people of Salzburg connected the illness of the kapellmeister Gassmann with his journey, he answered indignantly: "Herr Gassmann was ill, but is now better. I do not know what connection this may have with our journey to Vienna; but fools will be fools, all the world over."1 There can be no doubt, however, that he was anxious that Wolfgang should be permanently attached to the court, either at Vienna or elsewhere. The Empress, of whom they immediately sought an audience, was very gracious, but that was all. The Emperor only returned from Poland towards the end of their stay, and they do not appear to have spoken to him at all.

They arrived on the 18th of July, and went straight to their old lodgings, where they surprised old Frau Fischer at supper; she was delighted to see them, and to provide them once more with comfortable apartments. Many old friendships were renewed: L'Augier, Martinez, Novarre, honest old Bono, Stephanie and his lovely wife, Dr. Auerbrugger and his two daughters, Franziska and Mariane, "who played charmingly and were thorough musicians,"2 all welcomed the Mozarts eagerly; Wolfgang had grown so as never to be recognised unless his father were with him.

But their warmest welcome was from the Messmers, who only regretted that they had come without Frau Mozart and Marianne. Since the Mozarts' last visit, they had decorated their garden with statues, &c., and had built a theatre, an aviary, a dovecot, a summer-house looking over the Prater, and they were now turning their house into a comfortable winter residence. The whole family were together, including Fräulein Franzl, who was seriously ill, and Fräulein Sepperl, an inveterate match-maker, interesting herself in the love affairs even of the cook and the footman. Here they met their old friends Heufeld, Greiner, Steigentesch, WORKS IN GERMANY. [146] Grill, Bono, &c.; and music was the invariable theme of conversation. Messmer had learned to play the harmonica from Miss Davis, and had an instrument made at a cost of 50 ducats, which was finer than that used by Miss Davis. He played it very well, and so did his little son, who showed considerable talent; Wolfgang tried the harmonica, and "wished he had one too." The Messmers soon after went farther into the country to Rothmühl, which interrupted this pleasant intercourse.

The great public event of the day during their stay in Vienna was the suppression of the order of Jesuits. L. Mozart, who followed their expulsion with great interest, thought that many good Christians would consider the Pope had only jurisdiction in matters of faith, and that the Jesuits would probably have been left unmolested if they had been as poor as the Capucines. In Rome the property of the Jesuits had been seized ad pias causas, which was easily done, since all that the Pope appropriated was ad pias causas; the Emperor thought differently, and had reserved to himself the right of dispensing the property of the Jesuits. Mozart thinks, too, that the millions taken from the Jesuits will awaken the appetite for more of such confiscations.3

Wolfgang had taken some work with him. A grand serenata for some fête in the family of their friend Andretter was sent from Vienna and performed at Salzburg in the beginning of August under Meissner's conductorship (145 K.). Then he set to work to write six quartets (168-173 K.), whether by order or not is uncertain; nothing more important, however, came to hand. The Jesuits performed the P. Dominicus Mass (66 K.) at court during the Octave of S. Ignatius' day; L. Mozart conducted, and the applause was great. The Theatin monks invited them to their service and banquet on the feast of S. Cajetan, and, the organ not being available, Wolfgang had the boldness to execute a concerto on a violin borrowed from his young friend Teyber. This made such an impression that in 1782 a lay brother, to whom Wolfgang COMPOSITIONS IN SALZBURG, 1773-74. [147] remarked that he had eight years before played a violin concerto in the choir, at once addressed him by his name. Of money receipts during this visit to Vienna we hear little or nothing; on the contrary, L. Mozart writes to his wife that his body grows fat in proportion as his purse grows thin; and he consoles her for the fact that he has had to borrow money by declaring that it only proves his having need of money, but not of a doctor. Notwithstanding, he considered he had good reasons for remaining in Vienna. "Things must and will mend; take courage, God will help us!"

With the end of September they were again in Salzburg, and in December Wolfgang wrote a quintet for stringed instruments (174 K.) and a pianoforte Concerto in D major (175 K.), the first of the long list after his early attempts. Almost the whole of the year 1774 was passed quietly at home; Wolfgang wrote some important church music, two Masses in F and D major (192,194, K.), a great litany (195 K.), two psalms for a Vesper (193 K.), various symphonies (199-202 K.), two complete serenatas (203, 204, K.), and an interesting divertimento (205 K.). Then came a commission from Munich to write a comic opera for the Carnival of 1775. It is probable that the influence of the Prince Bishop of Chiemsee, Count Ferdinand von Zeil, an enthusiastic patron of Mozart, had been exerted on his behalf. The Elector Maximilian III. had also shown great interest in Mozart in former years, and on this account it was impossible for the Archbishop of Salzburg to refuse Wolfgang leave of absence. The Elector had a decided talent for music, which he had cultivated by study; he composed church music, and played the bass-viol, as Naumaun wrote to a friend, "divinely"; Burney declared he had heard no such bass-viol-player since the celebrated Abel. The Elector's sister also, the widowed Electress of Saxony Maria Antonia Walburga, known as a poetess, was then on a visit to Munich; she both composed and sang operas for which she had written the verses.4 It followed, therefore, WORKS IN GERMANY. [148] that much was done in Munich for orchestra and singers both in the opera and the churches, although the performances fell short of those in Mannheim.5

On December 6 Wolfgang set out with his father for Munich, where they found a small but comfortable lodging with a Chanoine et grand custos de Notre Dame; this good man showed them honour and hospitality above their deserts, as they considered, and often sacrificed his own convenience to theirs from sheer friendliness. The intense cold of the journey had, in spite of precautions, brought on Wolfgang's habitual malady, severe toothache, and he was confined to his room with a swelled face for several days. As soon as possible they made the acquaintance of those with whom they were to be associated, and were well received everywhere.

The opera "La Finta Giardiniera" is very rich in airs, and Mozart, finding a wealth of resources in Munich ready to hand, went to work more seriously, both with the voices and the orchestra, than was customary with an opera buffa. It is impossible to ascertain how much of the opera he brought with him, or how much was altered or composed in Munich. The first rehearsal did not take place till near the end of December, and the performance was consequently postponed to January 5, 1775, so that the singers might be more sure of their parts than could have been the case had they played, as intended, on December 29.

"You must know," writes L. Mozart, "that the maestro Tozi, who is this year writing the opera seria ('Orfeo ed Euridice'), wrote last year at this time an opera buffa, and exerted himself to the utmost in order that it might surpass the opera seria of Sales (of Trier): he succeeded in quite eclipsing Maestro Sales' opera.6 Now it so turns out that Wolfgang's opera is ready just before Tozi's, and all those who heard the first rehearsal are saying that Tozi is paid back in his own coin, since Wolfgang's opera will "LA FINTA GIARDINIERA"—MUNICH, 1775. [149] throw his quite into the shade.7 I do not like this sort of thing, and have tried all I can to put an end to the gossip; but the whole orchestra, and all who heard the rehearsal, declare that they never heard more beautiful music; all the songs are beautiful." The performance on January 13,1775, was a brilliant success; the court and the public overwhelmed the composer with applause and honours, as he himself informs his mother.

The Secretary of Legation, Unger, notes in his journal (January 15, 1775): "Vendredi L.A.R.E., assistèrent à la première représentation de Vopera buffa, 'La Finta Giardiniera'; la musique fut applaudie généralement; elle est du jeune Mozart de Saltzbourg qui se trouve actuellement ici. C'est le même qui à l'äge de huit ans a été en Angleterre et ailleurs pour se faire entendre sur le clavecin, qu'il touche supérieurement bien."8 And Schubart writes in the "Teutsche Chronik" (1775, p. 267): "I also heard an opera buffa by the wonderful genius Mozart; it is called "La Finta Giardiniera." Sparks of genius flash out here and there, but it is not yet the calm flame from the altar, rising to heaven in clouds of incense—a perfume meet for the gods. If Mozart does not turn out to be a hothouse-reared plant, he will undoubtedly be one of the greatest composers that has ever lived."

It was said of the performers that Rossi and Rosa Manservisi were specially suited for opera buffa. Rossi was as good as his brother in Stuttgart in merry, waggish parts; Manservisi was above the average of singers in voice, execution, and personal appearance.9

This time Wolfgang's sister enjoyed the pleasure of witnessing his triumph. During her visit to Munich she was placed under the care of a certain Frau v. Durst, a sensible well-educated widow, who provided Marianne with a room to herself and a piano, on which her father took care she should practise diligently. Other Salzburg friends arrived for the WORKS IN GERMANY. [150] Carnival, Eberlin Waberl, Fräulein v. Schiedenhofen, And-retter, and young Molk, who went into such raptures over the opera seria, it was plain that he had heard nothing outside Salzburg and Inspruck.

Another involuntary witness of Mozart's triumph was the Archbishop of Salzburg. He had occasion to pay a visit to the Elector of Bavaria in January, 1775,10 and though he arrived in Munich after the representation of the opera, and had left before its repetition, he was forced, as L. Mozart remarks with satisfaction, to listen to the eulogies pronounced by the electoral suite and all the nobility, and to receive the congratulations which were poured on him. He was so taken aback that he could only answer by shaking his head and shrugging his shoulders. It was little likely that such a scene should have raised Mozart in the favour of a man like Hieronymus.

The repetition of the opera, which could only be given on Fridays, brought difficulties, inasmuch as the seconda donna, who was wretched even at her best, fell seriously ill, and the opera had to be considerably curtailed, in order to dispense with her. It took place on Wolfgang's birthday, and he thought it indispensable that he should be present at the performance, as otherwise his opera might not be recognised. The orchestra was in great confusion, since it was shamefully neglected by the director Tozi, who was at that time enacting the romance in real life with the Countess Törring-Seefeld, of which L. Mozart writes to his wife:—

Signor Tozi has gone. He had an old-standing love intrigue with the Countess v. Seefeld, in which her brother, Count Sedlizky, was implicated, as well as a certain tenor, Signor Guerrieri. The Countess left Munich six weeks ago on pretence of visiting her estates, but she has quite deserted her husband and children, and carried off money and jewels. The complicity of her brother and the two Italians was discovered by a letter; Count Sedlizky was placed under arrest, Guerrieri thrown into prison, and Tozi took refuge with the Theatin monks. The Elector sent him an assurance that he should not be imprisoned if he would submit to an examination. He issued from his hiding-place, but MUNICH, 1775. [151] immediately took flight to Italy. Count Sedlizky confessed everything; Guerrieri denied everything, but to little avail, since the jewels were found in Guerrieri's lodgings, sewed up in an old cushion. It is suspected that the Countess is in Holland; there she sits forlorn, since her projected escort has not joined her.

L. Mozart writes to his wife to tell this story, "just to show people that Italians are rascals all the world over."11

The opera did not put a stop to Wolfgang's church music. His Grand Litany (125 K.) in B major was performed at the court chapel on New Year's day, as well as one of his father's; and later on two small Masses, no doubt those in F and D major (192, 194 K.). A few days before their departure, as Wolfgang writes to Padre Martini, the Elector expressed a wish to hear an offertory, contrapuntally worked out, which was to be composed, copied, and practised before the following Sunday. It was the "Misericordias Domini," to which Padre Martini accorded great praise.12 As a matter of course, Wolfgang made his mark also as a clavier-player; with this object he had taken his concerto with him, and his sister was to bring some of his sonatas and variations. Schubart writes in his "Teutsche Chronik" (1776, p. 267): "Only think, my friends, what a treat! Last winter, in Munich, I heard two of the greatest clavier-players, Herr Mozart and Herr v. Beecke. My host, Herr Albert, who is enthusiastic for all that is great and beautiful, has an excellent pianoforte in his house. So these two giants strove together. Mozart can play any difficulties, and whatever is laid before him at sight. But nevertheless, Beecke far surpasses him—winged speed, grace, melting sweetness, and a marvellous amount of taste, are weapons which none can wrest from the grasp of this Hercules."

The great and universal applause bestowed on Wolfgang inspired his father with the hope that he would be intrusted WORKS IN GERMANY. [152] with the opera seria for the next year; why this was not the case we are not aware. The rumour current in Salzburg that Wolfgang was about to enter the Elector's service, L. Mozart ascribes to his enemies, and to those whose consciences told them what good cause he had for taking such a step; he was used to such childish folly, and did not allow it to trouble him in the least. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that nothing would have pleased him more; but, as a prudent man, he did not wish to cut himself adrift from Salzburg before having secured a safe anchorage at Munich.

After enjoying to their close the pleasures of the Carnival, which lasted too long for the father, they returned to Salzburg on March 7,1775. In April the Archbishop of Salzburg was honoured by a visit from the Archduke Maximilian, youngest son of Maria Theresa (b. 1749), afterwards Archbishop of Cologne; he had been spending the Carnival in Paris, where his want of tact had placed the Queen in considerable embarrassment,13 and had also paid a short visit to Munich. Court festivities were arranged, chiefly consisting of musical performances, for which the singer Consuoli and Becke, the flautist, were summoned from Munich. A serenata by Fischietti was performed on April 22, and on the following day Mozart's "Re Pastore," which had been very hurriedly composed. On April 24, according to the report of one of the Archduke's suite, "Music was the entertainment provided, as on the preceding days; at the conclusion of the performance, young Mozart placed himself at the piano and played various pieces from his head, with equal skill and grace." Whether he appeared as a violinist we do not know; he had, at any rate, composed his first violin concerto on April 14 (207 K.), and the fact that this was followed by four others in the same year (211, 216, 218, 219, K.) is a proof that he was applying himself energetically to the violin; possibly because it would be easier to find a good situation if he were an accomplished violin-player.

The next two years passed quietly and busily at Salzburg. Extracts from a diary kept by young Schiedenhofen show how CHURCH MUSIC—"HAFFNER-MUSIK," 1776. [153] limited their circle of friendly intercourse was, and Wolfgang's authentically dated compositions afford proofs of his activity and progress.

The year 1776 was especially rich in church music; four masses (257, 258, 259,261, K.) fall in this year, three of them in its last quarter, while in March a Grand Litany in E flat major (243 K.) was written, besides an Offertory, "Venite populi," for two choirs (260 K.). To 1777 belong a Mass (275 K.), and a Graduale, "Sancta Maria" (273 K.). A series of organ sonatas were furnished for the services of the church, and for the court a number of divertimenti for wind instruments, probably as table music. In other respects, doubtless in consequence of the ill-will of the Archbishop, Wolfgang appears to have held aloof from the court concerts; no symphonies belong to this time. The serenatas were written for other occasions. On wedding-days, fête-days, or the like, these nocturnal pieces were usually performed in the street, not excepting the solos;14 they were introduced by a march, in which any of the company who could handle a bow might take part; the rest listened from the windows above. Such music was either ordered and paid for, or offered as a tribute of esteem.

On the wedding-day of the Salzburg citizen F. X. Spath with Elise Haffher, daughter of the worthy merchant and Bürgermeister Sigmund Haffner15 (July 22,1776), a serenata by Mozart was performed, afterwards known as the "Haffner-musik" (249, 250, K.). Another opportunity offered in the fête-day of the Countess Antonia Lodron, for whom in 1776 and 1777 Wolfgang wrote several specified nocturnes;16 Schiedenhofen was present at the rehearsal of one of them, and he tells us also that on July 25, 1777, there was a [154] rehearsal of a serenata at the house of the grocer Gusetti, composed by Wolfgang for his sister's fête-day; it consisted of a symphony, a violin concerto played by himself, and a flute concerto played by Cosel. Probably the divertimento composed in July, 1776 (251 K.) was also intended for his sister's fête-day. A Finalmusik (185, 215, K.) produced on August 23, 1775, and a "Serenata Nottuma" (239 K.) in January, 1776, are both for unknown occasions.

The clavier compositions were also mainly written for pupils or amateurs; for example, the Concerto in C major (246 K.) for the Countess Litzow or Lützow, wife of the Commandant of Hohen-Salzburg; that in E flat major (271 K.) for a Madame Jenomy (January, 1777), whom Wolfgang had met in Paris; the Concerto for three pianofortes for the Countesses Antonie, Luise, and Josepha Lodron (242 K.), February, 1776. While the Mozarts were at Munich, in 1775, a landed proprietor, Buron Dümitz, had ordered some pianoforte sonatas, which were duly forwarded (279-284 K.); but he altogether forgot to send the promised payment in return. Two four-hand sonatas, mentioned by his father (December 8, 1777), were probably intended for Wolfgang and his sister; Schiedenhofen heard them play a duet on August 15, 1777.

Having taken this biograpical survey, it is now time to bestow a closer inspection on Wolfgang's compositions.



THE OPERA1 owes its rise to the attempt which was made in Florence at the beginning of the sixteenth century to discover the musical method of ancient tragedy and to reproduce it in conformity to the spirit of the Renaissance.2 GRADUAL RISE OF OPERA. [155] In opposition to the predominant madrigal style of part-singing, worked out in counterpoint, there arose strivings after a method which should give freedom and independence to the solo singer, and which should render the poet's words comprehensible and sympathetic to the hearer. The conviction that this was accomplished to perfection in ancient tragedy led to a search after lost musical traditions, traces of which are observable in the opera seria, even in its latest development. First, recitative was introduced as a middle course between song and ordinary speech, distinguished by accent and rhythm, and sustained by a simple harmony, which emphasised the dialogue. Time and effort were needed to establish this compromise between song and speech, and to convert recitative into the pliable, expressive instrument of musical dialogue.

The first attempt to place an opera in this stilo rappresentativo on the stage was made by Jac. Peri with Ottavio Rinuccini's "Dafne," performed in 1594 at the Palazzo Corsi;3 the same poet's "Euridice" followed in 1600, publicly performed on the occasion of the marriage of Henry IV. with Marie de Medicis. The whole dialogue is rendered in a simply accompanied recitative, without the introduction of anything resembling an air; to this are added choruses, after the example of the old tragedies, not worked out in contrapuntal form like madrigals, as was already the custom with the intermedii of spoken tragedies, but in simple harmonies, and in a key corresponding to the recitatives.

A similar experiment was made in Rome in 1600 by Emilio de' Cavalieri with his oratorio "Dell' Anima e del Corpo," and in Florence the same year by Giulio Caccini with another, "Euridice," which displayed the art of the singers by its numerous embellishments and passages.

Musical language, however, could only attain its full effect when the more elevated sentiments received their due expression in an air, independent in character and OPERA SERIA. [156] perfect in form. The development of solo singing released from its contrapuntal bondage, and made expressive by melody, was largely due to Caccini. The merit of connecting the air with the recitative in opera—for which a precedent was found in the monody of ancient tragedy—belongs to Claudio Monteverde, who also made use of the whole available instrumental wealth of the time. His operas of "Orfeo," composed in Mantua (1607), and "Arianna" (1608) were followed in Venice, where he was appointed kapellmeister (1613), by "Proserpina rapita" (1630), "Adone" (1639), &c. Here, then, were the elements of the opera seria. To follow its continuous development step by step would require such a searching study of details as has not yet been undertaken. The majority of existing accounts are made apparently at random, and without any idea of connection or dependence. A sketch of the leading points in the progress of this development will suffice for our purpose.4

Ancient tragedy being taken as a model, it followed that the stories of ancient mythology or history (they were always considered on the same level) were almost exclusively chosen, although treated for the most part in a widely different spirit.

Opera soon formed an important feature in court festivals, and it became customary to give the text a reference to the festival or person honoured by turning it into an allegory, in which poetical fancy vied with personal flattery.5 In imitation of ancient tragedy mimic dances were connected with the singing, but the union of the arts tended more to sensual enjoyment than to poetical effect. The naïve freedom with which the ancient myths were handled gave ample license for gaudy costumes, scenery, and decorations, and the same taste was carried into the fantastic outcome of these festival representations known as the German magic opera.

The courts of Italy and France vied with each other in DEVELOPMENT OF OPERA—SCARLATTI. [157] the costly splendour lavished on the opera by scene-painters, decorators, and costumiers; and Vienna, Munich, Dresden, and Stuttgart were not slow to follow their example. The elegantly printed books of the words, adorned with careful copper-plate engravings, which were distributed for these performances, give some idea of the style in which they were put on the stage, and of the dazzle and glitter in the midst of which the music became a very secondary consideration.

Such operas as we have described could, on account of the expense, only be given at royal courts on special occasions; but the general public soon began to demand a share in the entertainment and a regular repetition of it. It became the established custom to make the opera the main festivity of the Carnival, and although generous patrons were not wanting, prepared to support the managers (impresarii), yet the latter, who naturally wished to make a profit by the opera, generally found it necessary to reduce the cost of the representations. The libretti, which sought to excite interest by showy scenery, and a mixture of pathetic and burlesque situations, without the least regard to consistency or psychological accuracy, were far from satisfactory to any cultivated taste. But the cultivation of the art of song exercised the highest of all influences on operatic music. It had reached a height from which it was able to govern the musical public, and to render the pleasure of the eye subservient to that of the ear. In proportion as the vocal art asserted its superiority, it exacted a simplification of all other means of attraction, and the universal striving after regularity was materially assisted by the necessity for clear and decided forms in vocal music.

This transformation of the opera, which took its final form from poet and composer under the quickening influence of great singers, is commonly ascribed to Alessandro Scarlatti (1659-1725). He was the disciple, although perhaps not the pupil, of the Roman kapellmeister, Giacomo Carissimi (who was nearly ninety in 1672), who did such good service to the development of recitative and dramatic solo singing, that he may be considered the founder of modern song.

Scarlatti, excellent alike from his thorough musical OPERA SERIA. [158] knowledge, and from the wealth and grace of his invention, displayed astonishing fertility in the different departments of musical art. In the year 1715, according to his own account, he had composed 106 operas.6 At Naples, where he passed the greater part of his life, he founded the school from which (more especially under his successor Francesco Durante, 1693-1755) a long list of composers issued, who for the most part wrote admirable church music, but whose chief mission it was to maintain throughout the last century an uninterrupted succession of operatic music. If we glance down the long list of the more famous—Nic. Porpora (1685 or 1687-1767), Dom. Sarri (1688-1732), Leon. Vinci (1690-1734), Franc. Feo (1694-1740), Leon. Leo (1694-1756?), Ad. Hasse (1699-1783), Terradeglias (17...-1754), Nic. Logroscino (17...-1763), Pergolese (1707-1739), Pasq. Cafaro (1708-1787), Duni (1709-1775), Dav. Perez (1711-1778), Nic. Jomelli (1714-1774), Rinaldo da Capua (b. 1715), Tom. Traetta (1727-1779), Guglielmi (1727-1804), Nic. Piccinni (1728-1800), Sacchini (1735-1786), Pasq. Anfossi (1736-1797), Giac. Paisiello (1741-1816), Franc, de Majo (1745-1774), Dom. Cimarosa (1754-1801)—we shall be astonished to find that of the numerous members of the Neapolitan school only four were born out of the kingdom of Naples,7 viz., Hasse, Terradeglias, Pergolese, and Guglielmi. The rest of Italy was quite unable to compete with this wealth.

Venice, however, took an important place in the development of Italian opera, both by the splendour of the performances given in the theatre, which was erected in 1637,8 and by excellent institutions for musical education. The fame of the Venetian school was upheld by many celebrated composers, among them Carlo Pallavicini (16...-1688), Agost. Steffani (1655-1730). Franc. Gasparini (1665-1737), Ant. Lotti ITALIAN INFLUENCES ON OPERA. [159] (1667-1740), Giov. Porta (16...-1740), Ant. Caldara (1678-1763), Buranello (1703-1785), Ferd. Bertoni (1725-1813).

Bologna too had its share in the history of the opera, maintaining a firm tradition of careful performances,9 and excellent schools for singing and composition; Giov. Buonon-cini (1672-1752) and Gius. Sarti (1729-1802) were trained here.

Rome was looked upon as the city where the keenest enthusiasm either of applause or adverse criticism was to be expected, consequently where artistic reputations were most often made or destroyed;10 but Rome was neither the birthplace nor the seminary of any famous operatic masters.

It is not necessary here to inquire into the details of the part taken by Scarlatti in the erection of Italian opera as it now exists. His operas are truly epitomes of the history of musical development, and his many imitators and successors pass before us like the shadows of the Homeric shades; but we have only to do with him or with them in so far as concerns the main features of that form of operatic composition which Mozart found ready to hand.11

The stability with which operatic development kept close to the path which had at first been marked out was due partly to circumstances and the influence of public opinion, partly to the character of the Italian people. Beauty, appealing immediately and directly to their lightly kindled imaginations, required that its sensual charm should be clearly and unreservedly expressed; and for this they were willing to sacrifice novelty and characterisation. Again, the art of music was developed in accordance with natural laws; and having once acquired forms indicative of its essential elements, it grasped these firmly, and refused to abandon them until they had become completely obsolete. It was the task of the great masters of the eighteenth century to OPERA SERIA. [160] maintain this course of steady imperceptible progress, and, by raising to successive stages each hardly won step towards perfection, to establish in the end a new and more admirable whole.

The chief component parts of the opera were the recitative and the song, or aria.12 Recitative, intended for the rendering of conversation, approaches in rhythm and intervals as near as possible to ordinary speech, and leaves the singer ample scope for an animated and expressive delivery. This is assisted by a simple harmonious accompaniment, the basses giving the fundamental, the clavier the harmony. The simplicity of the musical treatment lends itself to characteristic declamation, and impressive situations are thrown into relief generally by sudden changes of harmony; numerous instances show the importance that was attached to this mode of delivery. But very soon it became the fashion to treat this recitativo secco as subordinate, and the composer strove to do away with it as far as possible. Certain turns, certain harmonic progressions and interrupted cadences, were as indispensable to recitative as many turns of speech are to social intercourse. As the course and development of the action of the piece depend almost entirely on the recitative, it follows that any neglect of the latter must affect one of the most important elements of the opera. The need for attaining the power of expressing a momentary passion or inspiration which would not admit of an elaborate representation led to the introduction of the so-called accompanied (obligate) recitative. For this the orchestra (at first only the whole body of stringed instruments) was made use of, and accompanied the alternations of emotion with corresponding musical phrases or interludes. Recitative, without abandoning its distinctive characteristics, became more strongly accentuated, and in process of time passed over into song. Such vocal melodies as seemed thus to be called forth by the emotions of the situations were called cavata or cavatina. At first they were RECITATIVE—THE ARIA. [161] considered as an ingredient or embellishment of the recitative, but later on they were treated independently. Arioso in the recitative indicates an interpolated passage of vocal melody. A rapid alternation of varied or contending emotions in monologue or dialogue called for accompanied recitative, which generally passed into a song, where a definite emotion might find its due expression. It was here that singers and composers sought to accomplish the highest degree of dramatic expression, and although in the aria they might be tempted to an undue regard for musical display, to the neglect of dramatic effect, here at least they strove for a faithful portrayal of human sentiment.

The aria was the almost exclusive form given to regular artistic song. Choruses, which formerly concluded every act, were afterwards only exceptionally employed, generally when the occasion, being a court festivity, required additional outward show; they very seldom formed an integral part of the performance.13 Ballets, which were originally combined with the choruses, became by degrees quite distinct, and were given between the acts of the opera. Concerted vocal pieces were confined within limits more and more strictly defined, until the rule came to be that in every opera there should be a duet for the prima donna and the primo uomo, and a terzet in which the primo tenore also took part; even the places for these, at the end of the second and third acts, were appointed. Further restrictions were imposed on the character of these concerted pieces by the necessity of giving all possible effect to the voices. They do not pretend to represent a conflict of struggling passions, pressing onward to the catastrophe; rather does some definite mood, the natural result of the situations which have preceded it, find its fitting expression in their regular concerted form, which affords ample scope for the display of varieties in quality and style of the individual voices.

The aria, which gave expression to a fixed lyrical mood, was seldom the culminating point of a dramatic situation; its connection with the action of the piece was, for the most OPERA SERIA. [162] part, only sufficient to give it a certain local colour. It was the task of both composer and singer to make the aria fit in to the drama; but the claims of the vocalist were paramount in its composition. As the canons of operatic construction became more and more strictly defined, distinctions arose between different kinds of arie, each having its own character and form; the aria cantabile was for sentimental declamation, di portamento for long drawn-out tones, di mezzo carattere for dramatic expression, aria parlante or agitata for the expression of passion, aria di bravura (agilità) for the display of artistic skill of every kind.14 The poet and composer had only to be careful to suit the arie to the performers, and so to distribute them through the opera that their variety should place the performances of each character in their most favourable light.15 But a certain fixed form served as a groundwork to all arie, and kept them within well-defined bounds. It is easy to trace the simple expressive phrase as it is extended and rounded into a well-formed melody, and then to follow the different subjects so obtained until, by progressions and interludes, they are welded into a whole. But this led to a petrifying formalism, and to a tedious lengthening of the aria, which sacrificed character to vocal display.

An aria regularly consists of two parts differing in key, time, and measure. An allegro in common time usually begins, introduced by a slower passage in triple time; but as to this there is no fixed rule, and free scope as to details is given to the composer. The first movement is broadly conceived, always with a view to the skill of the performer; he repeats one or more of the principal melodies in different positions, but without thematic elaboration, and inserts runs and passages.

In the second part the composer, granting some repose to the singer, made a display of his own art by selected harmonies, elaborate accompaniments, and so forth. It was THE ARIA. [163] essential to the singer's reputation as an artist that he should be able to vary the modulation and embellishment of the melody each time it recurred, the composer supplying a mere outline, and leaving the execution of the cadenzas entirely to the discretion of the performer. This task became more difficult as the custom grew of repeating the whole of the first part at the close of the second, thus turning the latter into a middle movement; for no singer would be deterred from enhancing the interest of each repetition by a fresh mode of delivery. So that the public performers of that day displayed their taste and cultivation not only, as at present, by execution and declamation; they worked of necessity side by side with the composer, whose special glory it was to inspire his singers with a spark of his own creative genius.

The influence thus exerted by the executive artist could not fail to determine, to a great extent, the path of development in operatic composition. The great names of the more celebrated singers are to us indeed but names, for contemporary notices give us no clear idea of their performances,16 and the music written for them, deprived of the direct charm of their personal impression, affords a most imperfect standard of judgment.

From the middle of the last century the tendency to sacrifice all consideration to execution (bravura) became more and more marked; until at last, dramatic propriety, and the soul-inspiring calm of beautiful song, were alike buried beneath the weight of ornamentation and exaggerated flourishes,17 serving only to display the pretensions of the vocalist and the dexterity of the composer. In this way the dramatic element of the opera became more and more neglected, until at last it was regarded as a superfluous and disturbing adjunct to the vocalisation.18


The public too grew accustomed to confine their attention to the individual exploits of their favourites;19 and the composer, unwilling to waste his energy on thankless parts, followed the example, and devoted his whole powers to a few individuals.20

The enormous salary paid to celebrated singers, male and female, had the effect of limiting the number of principal parts to three or four, each distinguished as primo.21 The remaining parts were treated by both the poet and the composer as subordinate, not only on account of the mediocre powers available for their representation, but also and chiefly because it would have been against the interests of the great singers that secondary characters should attract notice or applause. They controlled all secondary parts, suppressing or appropriating any song which they considered too brilliant, and leaving the author to arrange the piece as best he might.22 There was a fixed code of etiquette in all stage arrangements. The prima donna, for instance, was entitled to have her train borne by one, or if a princess, by two pages; she took the place of honour at the right of the stage, being, as a rule, the most important personage of the piece. When Faustina Hasse played Dircea, in "Demofoonte" (1748), who is not recognised as a princess until late in the piece, she claimed precedence over the acknowledged Princess Creusa, and Metastasio himself was obliged to interfere in order to induce her to yield the point.23

Thus all influences combined to mould the opera seria into a narrow conventional form, in which all other considerations were sacrificed to executive effect, and the display of skill and sensibility in the rendering of the music.

We can form no clear conception whatever of the operatic INSTRUMENTATION—THE OVERTURE. [165] orchestra in its earliest form; both the use and the effect of various instruments are very imperfectly known, and the instrumentation is consequently more or less incomprehensible. But here too development proceeded in the way of simplification, and at the time of Scarlatti the treatment of instrumental accompaniment and the disposal of the orchestra was determined as to essentials for all future times.

In the plain recitative of the dialogue, the fundamental note was given by the bass, and the chord was struck on the piano (at which the composer or kapellmeister conducted) and repeated as often as necessary. In the songs and ensembles the instruments came in as accompaniments, freed from the obligation of following a given melody step by step with a given bass, according to the rules of thoroughbass for filling up harmonies. Scarlatti and the earlier masters kept this accompaniment very simple, seldom introducing more than one part in addition to the bass and the voice. But, as practised contrapuntists, they could handle the accompanying parts broadly and freely, and could give animation by simple means. This art gradually decreased, and the accompaniment, although fuller, became more mechanical and dependent, Only here and there suggesting contrapuntal elaboration. The orchestra was used independently only in the symphonies which repeated the motifs of the songs, in the short interludes of accompanied recitative, and finally in the introductory overture or sinfonia.

Italian operatic composers began by making use of the form of overture which Lully had established in France, beginning with an adagio, followed by a quick movement, often in the form of a fugue, and passing again into an adagio, which concludes the overture. Later, the form was determined which has remained ever since, of three movements: an allegro, a slower, shorter movement contrasting in time, instrumentation, and expression, and a concluding allegro, animated and often noisy.

These main features were capable of rich and varied development, were it not that in Italy little importance was attached to the overture, which was commonly regarded as a OPERA SERIA. [166] means of reducing the audience to silence and attention. The three movements, therefore, generally preserved their gradations without marked characteristics, and the attempt to express the effect of the first scene by means of the overture was soon abandoned.24

The grouping of Scarlatti's orchestra was in its main points identical with that of the present day. The stringed instruments, violins, tenors, and basses formed its main strength; but their application was very simple. The violon-celli go regularly with the double-basses, and the tenors serve generally only to strengthen the bass; where they are independent they are often divided, like the violins, which however frequently go together. The oboe has the chief part among the wind instruments, the flutes serving mainly for variety and special characteristics; the bassoons strengthen the bass, and are rarely used independently. Soon horns were employed, and drums and trumpets when special splendour was required; trombones were used in the churches, never in the opera.

In this manner even the largest orchestras were arranged down to the close of the last century; an example is afforded by the construction and arrangement of the Dresden orchestra by Hasse, which was considered as a model.25 [See Page Image] THE ORCHESTRA—INSTRUMENTALISTS. [167] The well-appointed bass parts are the most striking, intended as a firm foundation for the vocal melody, which is not seldom strengthened by the violins and oboes or flutes. But to avoid any effect of poverty, it must not be forgotten that the accompanist at the piano filled in the harmony. To strengthen this, and to give variety to the intonation, was the task of the wind instruments. But when the orchestra was treated as a whole there was seldom any attempt to render lights and shades by alternations of the instruments; to attain this end, concerted solo instruments were employed.

Italy was, during the eighteenth century, at once the mother and the nurse of instrumental musicians. A succession of first-rate violinists—Arcang. Corelli (1653-1713), Franc. Geminiani (1680-1762), Ant. Vivaldi (16...-1743), Gius. Tartini (1692-1770), Pietro Nardini (1722-1793), Gaet. Pugnani (1727-1803), Ant. Lolli (1733-1802)—established the glory of violin-playing, and raised it to an extraordinary height of excellence; while as oboists the brothers Besozzi, Alessandro (1700-1775), Antonio (1707-1781), Gaetano (1727-1793) were performers of the first merit. Trumpets were at that time more especially considered as solo instruments.

Not until later could Germany compete successfully with Italy, as far as the orchestra was concerned; in France, although the precision of Parisian orchestras was always remarkable, the development of instrumental music was longest delayed. Scarlatti introduced instrumental soloists in the operatic orchestra, and the effect was the same as on the stage; it worked against the careful striving after a perfect whole, and the tendency of the instrumental artists to enter into competition with the vocalists led in no small degree to that treatment of the voice as a mere instrument which was so much to be deplored. Notably Farinelli in 1722 established his reputation in Rome by a contest with a wonderful trumpeter, whom he twice vanquished in the sustenance and artistic delivery of a long note, and in the execution of difficult passages.26


The first step towards simplifying opera seria in its new form was made in the diction and treatment of the plot. The subject-matter continued to be taken from the stories of mythology or ancient history; but effects of magic and show were abolished, and a connected well-developed plot was substituted, simple in action, and confined to a small number of personages. Next, the previous mixture of the tragic and comic elements was abolished, and everything approaching to burlesque strictly interdicted. The chief efforts in this direction were made by the Roman Silvio Stampiglia (d. 1722), to whom Apostolo Zeno awards more of genius and spirit than thorough cultivation,27 and whom Arteaga calls dry and unmusical.28 Apostolo Zeno himself (1688-1750) followed in the same path as court poet to Charles VI. He was a man of education and learning, and as such sought to model the opera on ancient tragedy in its best and most manly form, and strove for a naturally developed plot, correct delineation of character, and simplicity of language. He proved, said Metastasio,29 that the opera and good sense are not absolutely contradictory terms. The fact that his operas were often and successfully performed during the first half of the century bears testimony to the simplicity and earnestness of the musical taste of the time; later on, as the field of music extended its limits, his text was found pedantic.30 His indisputable merit31 was thrown into the shade by Metastasio's works;32 these denote in a remarkable degree the spirit of the time which produced them, a spirit that they themselves fostered and encouraged.

Metastasio (Pietro Trapassi, 1698-1782) distinguished himself as a boy by his talent for improvisation; he received a thorough learned education from the celebrated Roman METASTASIO. [169] jurist Gravina, which led to his adoption of classical antiquity as his model; while his connection with the singer Marianna Bulgarini early gave him an insight into the technical requirements of the opera. He began his career as a librettist in 1724 with "Didone" at Naples; in 1730 he went to Vienna as court poet, where he lived on the best of terms with the Imperial family,33 and highly esteemed by the cultivated public. Following Apostolo Zeno, he sought to supply his operas with a true dramatic form, and he made it his chief aim to portray the effect of different characters and passions upon the development of the action. Metastasio had no large or powerful conceptions, nor could he grasp strong passions; his psychological vision is clear and cool, but limited, just as his sentiments are correct and good, but neither wide nor free. In his dramas, therefore, the representation of character and the plot are well-considered, suitable, and consistent, but with a certain mediocrity running through the whole; he chiefly concerns himself with the exemplification of principles and experiences, and individualises but little.34 He makes love the animating element of his drama, and the starting point of his psychological study of motives. His characters want neither life nor passion, but softness and veiled sensuality are the characteristic features of what he endeavoured to make an imitation of actual life. The public were gratified at recognising themselves and their love affairs glorified on the stage, and were grateful to Metastasio for allowing them to enjoy themselves in their own way, and not preaching moderation and self-control. They admired his language too, which is correct, and charmingly melodious and natural in expression, not more rhetorical than the Italian language and poetry demands, and never overlaid with conceits.

To these qualities of a dramatic poet, Metastasio joined that of an operatic composer; he was a musician. He had cultivated his musical talent by intercourse with singers and OPERA SERIA. [170] composers, and had a ready perception of what was necessary to a work written for composition. He sang "come un serafino" (as he writes jokingly to Farinelli),35 played the clavier, and composed a little himself;36 he found it a pleasant incitement to poetical activity to seat himself at the clavier and improvise. He said himself he had never written a song without composing it himself, according to his own conception of its musical character.37

Metastasio confines the development of the plot as a rule to the recitative and the arie (or duet, or terzet), expressing at the close of each scene the sentiment which is the result of the previous action. This they always did so clearly and precisely that the composer had both incentive and scope for musical treatment.

The too numerous figures and metaphors (which he was fond of borrowing from the sea) express the taste of the time, and so far from troubling the musician, gave him opportunities for musical painting which was sure to be admired. The melodious language met the music half way, while the simple yet varied rhythm, the contrast of ideas, and the construction of the verse, aided the composer, without fettering him, in the musical phrasing of his work.

It was no wonder that Metastasio reigned supreme over the stage and its composers, and that he was the model of the later operatic poets; they succeeded best in imitating his defects, and gave Naumann occasion to say with justice, "The oldest of Metastasio's operas is more pleasing to me than any written by our present poets."

Metastasio was well aware that the poet only supplies a stem to the opera, which the composer clothes with foliage and blossom;38 but he was far from allowing the composer absolute dominion over the poet, and prided himself on the CONDITIONS OF LIBRETTO-WRITING. [171] fact that his operas had been played with applause as tragedies without music both in France and Germany.39

He chose to consider the composer as the interpreter of the poet, and bound to follow his indications of character and style.40 This was in his opinion the chief merit of the old composers, and in his later years he was never weary of deploring the decline of music, which was the consequence of the license taken by vocalists, destroying alike truth and beauty of expression.41

The poet not less than the composer found himself hemmed in by conditions as well as by traditional formulas. He too performed his task to order, and was hampered by circumstances, and by the limited means at his command in his choice of subject and characters.

It was in no way favourable to Zeno and Metastasio that they received their commissions from the court;42 besides the direct influence of the taste of the somme padrone, the whole atmosphere tended to effeminacy and a uniform level in style. The impresarii chose the libretti for the composers they had engaged, partly according to the applause the subjects had already received, but more to suit the singers they had at command. They were altered to suit the occasion sometimes by the poet himself, but more often some local poet undertook the necessary curtailments and additions, whereby the work seldom profited.43

The absolute monarchy of Zeno and Metastasio, whom all other poets slavishly imitated, would alone suffice to explain the fact that in the course of the last century opera seria received the fixed and unalterable form it still retains; we have seen that the tendency was the same as regards the music. This makes it comprehensible that in reading the text or the scores in the present day we have so lively an impression that they are but copies of one original. In no art does the feeling for what is enduring pass so easily and quickly into the taste for what pleases the age as in music. What affords most delight to the present often expresses only a transitory mood with a momentary truth, and when the smoke and the fragrance which surrounded it have disappeared, only an empty form remains; just as a mask keeps the impression of the features without the play of the muscles, which alone give life and expression.



MOZART found rules as to the form and technicalities of the opera 1 seria rigidly laid down even to the minutest details, and he was the less tempted to disregard these, since the extraordinary ease of his invention prevented his ever finding a prescribed form to be a burdensome restriction. Mozart's mission was not to overstep the bounds of custom, but quietly and gradually to bring to perfection all that was genuine and true in the diverse elements of his time. He found the opera already in the hands of the vocalists, and execution had by this time asserted its victory over characterisation. He did not attempt to enter the lists against singers and public, but contented himself with striving for fair conditions. He was willing to write to the satisfaction of the singers, and for the display of their powers, but he saw no necessity for "MITRIDATE." [173] sacrificing to this object either musical beauty or dramatic force. At times the dramatic situations in Mozart's early operas are true and even striking; but the dramatic element yields on the whole to execution and euphony. It must not be overlooked that the apprehension of dramatic truth and character varies with different times and different nations, and that the genius of first-rate artists could inspire life into what now appears a lifeless assemblage of notes. But it must at the same time be allowed that Mozart's operas of this period come under the influence of a taste perverted in many respects, which the youthful master had not yet overcome; and his forced compliance with many purely conventional demands must of necessity have left traces on his work as deep and lasting as those of his creative genius.

The opera of "Mitridate, Re di Ponto" (87 K.) was first adapted from Racine by the Abbé Parini, and revised by Vitt. Am. Cigna-Santi. The dramatis persona are as follows:—[See Page Image]

On the news of the death of Mithridates the inhabitants of Nymphæa deliver up the keys of the town to his son Sifares. Aspasia seeks his protection against the suit of his brother Pharaaces, thereby betraying her partiality for Sifares, which he secretly returns. Pharaaces attempts to force his hand on Aspasia, whereupon Sifares throws himself between them; Arbates separates the contending brothers with MOZART'S EARLY OPERAS. [174] the news of the landing of Mithridates; they are reconciled, and agree to keep secret from their father what has passed. Marzio promises to the ambitious Phamaces the help of the Romans against his father.

Mithridates enters, proud and courageous in spite of the defeat he has just suffered, and is received by his sons; he introduces to Pharnaces his destined bride Ismene, who regards Pharnaces with little favour. The demeanour of his sons awakens the suspicions of Mithridates, and on Arbates revealing to him the passion of Pharnaces for Aspasia, he falls into an extravagant rage. Pharnaces acknowledges to Ismene that he no longer loves her; whereat, wounded alike in her pride and her love, she complains to Mithridates. The latter resolves to punish him, and suspecting from Aspasia's cold demeanour towards himself that she returns the love of Pharnaces, he sets Sifares to watch her. The lovers of course now come to an understanding, but Aspasia virtuously commands Sifares to leave her for ever to the fulfilment of her duty.

Mithridates, in order to test the fidelity of his sons, consults with them on the prosecution of the war; he discovers the complicity of Pharnaces with the Romans, and orders his imprisonment; Pharnaces acknowledges his çuilt, but accuses Sifares of the greater guilt of complicity with Aspasia. In order to try her, Mithridates offers generously to resign her hand to Pharnaces, which draws from her the confession of her love for Sifares; this so infuriates Mithridates that he resolves to slay his two sons and Aspasia. This is the crisis at which the second act is brought to a conclusion by a duet, in which the lovers declare death preferable to separation.

In the third act, Ismene, repenting her resentment, strives to soften Mithridates, and Aspasia solicits Sifares' life with an assurance of his innocence; but, as she refuses to give her hand to Mithridates, he maintains his resolve, and the triple execution is to take place during a sally which he makes on the Roman host besieging the city. Aspasia is on the point of emptying the fatal bowl, when Sifares, who has been set free by Ismene, snatches it from her, and rushes against the enemy. Pharnaces, who has been released from his dungeon by the besieging Romans, is seized with compunction and returns to his obedience, setting fire to the Roman fleet. The Romans are defeated, but Mithridates is mortally wounded; before he dies he unites Aspasia and Sifares, and pardons Pharnaces, who has made his peace with Ismene.

The opera consists of twenty-four numbers without counting the overture; they are all solo songs, except one duet and the concluding quintet. 2 The original score appears to be lost; but several detached numbers of this opera are ANALYSIS OP "MITRIDATE." [175] preserved in different forms of composition, showing that Mozart had made various experiments, more, doubtless, to please the singers than himself. Of the first air of Mithridates (7), "Se di lauri il crino adomo," there are four different sketched studies; Aspasia's song (13), "Nel grave tormento," is begun in a different form, but breaks off at once; five other numbers are completely worked out, but have given place to later arrangements. 3

This opera comes in all respects within the rules of the existing opera seria. Musical etiquette is strictly adhered to; the principal and secondary parts are divided in the usual way; the secondary parts are easier (not always simpler), and their character is tamer and less important, so that they may act as foils and connecting links to the principal parts. The chief singers had to be furnished with opportunities for making effect as soon as they appeared; and must have at least one great aria in each act. All this is carefully provided for. The compass and executive skill of the artists, more especially of Bernasconi and d' Ettore, must have been extraordinary. The division of the aria into two movements, which prevails here as elsewhere, favours the elaboration of details by affording more than one principal subject. We must not expect to find a uniform florid song, the ornamental passages growing out of and entwining the chief melody, like an architectural ornamentation; they form an integral part of the composition. The taste in such passages is essentially MOZART'S EARLY OPERAS. [176] fleeting, for it depended chiefly on the skill of the individual performer; what is most admired in one age is least pleasing to the next. The same dismemberment made itself apparent too, in the cantilene. The various vocal tricks, long notes, sustained melodies, long jumps, syncopated passages, &c., to which due effect had to be given, could not be thrown together without some connecting principle. For this the subjects of the songs were made use of, but the effect was still disjointed and inartistic. The detached phrases were usually still further separated by a full or a half cadenza, to which an instrumental interlude was often attached. No doubt this wealth of variety was then considered a great charm; now we miss unity of form and conception. The turns of harmony are generally monotonous and poor, the form of the cadenza with its trills is just as stereotyped as that of the present day with its suspended sixth, and both the singer and the public expected and required that this should be so. No doubt the freedom which was allowed to the singer in delivery often gave quite a different form to the cadenza, but the want of conception could at best but be concealed.

These shortcomings are not to be ascribed in Mozart's case to youthful immaturity, but to the musical conditions of the time at which he wrote; they are equally observable in the works of the most experienced contemporary musicians, and were indeed hardly regarded as blemishes. The question involuntarily arises what there was in these early operas which could so enchant the public and draw from a master like Hasse the prediction that this youth would eclipse them all. A witty artist once declared that the public always requires novelty, but it must be novelty that they are acquainted with; anything really new demands too great an effort of comprehension from them. In this case, no doubt, the public, agreeably prepossessed by the readiness with which the work complied with all existing conditions, were quick to appreciate the skill and taste which were manifest, as well as a certain youthful freshness, and here and there traits more significant still of genius; traits in which Hasse recognised the germ of future development. We, who know Mozart in the full perfection of his powers, seek eagerly in ANALYSIS OF "MITRIDATE." [177] these earlier works for such indications as there are of his future greatness. Sometimes, even in the bravura songs, pure, grand touches of melody light up their conventional surroundings; these are usually in the second part, and in the minor key. The more dramatic "situation-songs" in which the composer made fewer concessions to the singers, are not only conciser in form, but more pregnant and original in expression.

The most striking among them is the song of Aspasia (4). Upon the news of the arrival of Mithridates, whereby she knows Sifares to be in danger, and her love for him rendered hopeless, she utters these words:—

     Nel sen mi palpita dolente il core
     Mi chiama a piangere il mio dolore,
     Non resistere, non so restar.

     Ma se di lagrime umido è il ciglio
     È solo, credimi, il tuo periglio
     La cagion barbara del mio penar.

Grief, which seems too deep for words, here breaks forth in such an uncontrollable flood of song, expressed with so much truth and nature, that a dramatic artist like Bernasconi would be sure to make an extraordinary effect by it. The simple, purely musical means employed, the expressive flowing melodies, rich harmonies, suitable accompaniments, and charming moderation of expression—all these show us the genuine Mozart.

Should it be objected that the milk-and-water heroism of the piece is still further debased by gallantry in powder and gold lace, we can nevertheless claim for it, after all deductions made, a certain amount of stateliness and dignity. These qualities are indeed displayed more according to court etiquette than to classical antiquity, but they are unmistakably there, conformably to the manners of the time and the nation, and their artistic significance is not small. Mithridates, who has most of individual character after Aspasia, never forgets, as Sonnleithner justly observes, that he is first tenor as well as king; but on the other hand he always remembers that he is king as well as first tenor.


The text of the opera "Lucio Silla," composed in 1772 (135 K.), was written by Giovanni da Camera, and according to the preface, revised by Metastasio. The programme runs:—[See Page Image]

Cecilio, a senator, banished by Silla, has secretly returned to Rome to learn the fate of his betrothed Junia, daughter of C. Marius; his friend Cinna warns him that Silla has spread the rumour of his death in order to win the hand of Junia; Cinna counsels him to meet her in a burial-place. Silla, whose suit has been repulsed by Junia, resolves to slay her. Cecilio awaits his betrothed in the dusky burial-place, surrounded by the trophies of Roman heroes. She enters, accompanied by noble youths and maidens, who call for vengeance on Silla, and lament by the urn of her father. When she is alone, Cecilio reveals himself. She takes him at first for a ghost, and they then express their joy in a duet.

In the second act Aufidio, Silla's evil counsellor, advises him publicly to declare Junia as his betrothed, and thereby reconcile the contending factions; she will not be able to oppose the universal wish. Celia, his sister, who always counsels well, informs him of the ill-success of her appeal to Junia; he promises to unite Celia to her lover Cinna. Silla has scarcely departed, when Cecilio rushes in to murder him in obedience to a vision; Cinna counsels postponement, to which Cecilio at last consents. Ciàna is now so engrossed in his plans for revenge that he scarcely heeds Celia, who tells him of their approaching happiness, and tries to persuade Junia to a feigned submission, and the murder of Silla in his bed-chamber. But she refuses to be guilty of high treason, and he resolves to slay Silla himself.

Junia, who declares that she will never give her hand to Silla, is threatened with death, but nevertheless counsels Cecilio, who wishes to avenge her, to remain in concealment. Celia seeks in vain to persuade her by the portrayal of her own happiness, but cannot stifle gloomy "LUCIO SILLA." [179] anticipations. Silla announces from the capitol his intended union with Junia, and is answered by acclamations, but Junia endeavours to stab herself, which is prevented. Cecilio rushes in with drawn sword, is disarmed, and his death on the following day decreed by Silla; Cinna, entering also with drawn sword, sees that his plot has failed, and feigns to have come to Silla's protection. A terzet between Junia, Cecilio, and Silla concludes the act.

In the third act Cecilio in fetters is informed by Cinna of the ill-success of his plot, and calls on him for vengeance. Junia declares her resolve to slay herself before Cecilio. Aufidio comes to fetch him, and the lovers take leave.

Silla declares before the assembled people that this day shall give him vengeance and his heart's desire. Junia accuses him as the mur» derer of her betrothed, and calls on the people to avenge her. Silla pardons her and Cecilio, and unites the loving pair. Seized with compunction Cinna reveals his plot against Silla; he, too, receives pardon and the hand of Celia. Finally Silla forgives Aufidio his evil counsels, lays down the dictatorship, and restores freedom to Rome.

The consideration of such a libretto as this renders comprehensible the esteem in which Metastasio's texts were held. There is no trace of psychological study of motive; Silla, a sort of distorted Titus, alternates between cruelty and remorse, and finally empties a perfect cornucopia of generosity on to the stage; Junia too is unequal and weak. The situations are one and all as if purposely arranged to lead to nothing; the poet has with difficulty disposed the numerous scenes so as to introduce the necessary songs in their proper order. And the verse itself is very far removed from the grace and melody of Metastasio.

The score of the opera is preserved entire in Mozart's handwriting; it is in three parts, and has 610 pages. It contains besides the overture twenty-three numbers, among them three choruses (6, 17, 23), one duet (7), and one terzet (18). No wonder that the composer paid court to the singers! The mishap that deprived the opera of its tenor has been already narrated (p. 142). As the part devolved in the end on a very unpractised singer, the greater part of it was omitted, leaving only what was necessary for the coherence of the plot. The two songs (5, 13) are written for a singer whose voice and execution do not rise above the average, without any passages, and with a MOZART'S EARLY OPERAS. [180] moderate compass; the more elaborate instrumentation alone betrays that they are intended for a principal performer. Two other songs for Silla which are in the libretto were not composed at all, in order, no doubt, as Sonnleithner conjectures, to give the tenor as little as possible to do.

All the more stress is laid on the parts of De Amicis and Rauzzini. Junia has four songs, which are all for a singer of the first rank. The special bravura song (II) is in the second act, "Ah, se il crudel periglio del caro ben ramento." Long passages of varied structure are here the chief considerations. One example among many will serve to show that Mozart was right in afterwards calling them "dreadful":—[See Page Image]

Notwithstanding the bravura character of this song, its style is far from well defined; that of the entering song, "Della sponde tenebrose" (4), and of the third aria (16) is more marked. This last, "Parto, m' affretto, ma nel partire il cor si spezza, mi manca la anima," consists of a continuous and progressive allegro assai. An agitated phrase for the first violins—supported by an accompaniment for the second, runs through it almost without intermission; the harmonising is interesting "LUCIO SILLA"—JUNIA. [181] and varied; particularly effective is the immediate juxtaposition of major and minor keys; the whole song is strikingly expressive of an unsettled wavering mood.

Passages such as—[See Page Image] are brilliant, but not, properly speaking, characteristic. At least they do not stamp the actual situation with individuality; they seem designed only to define the character and mood of the acting personage in their main features, like the masks of ancient tragedy. The more detailed analysis was left to the art and individuality of the performer, to whom the composer offered only the means of combining dramatic force with song. We can still recognise the essential features of the characters; but we are quite unable to realise either the animation with which great artists inspired them, or the effect they produced on the minds of contemporaries. It is a mistake to consider bravura and character as opposite terms; ornamental passages are quite susceptible of characteristic expression, if they are delivered at the right time and in the right way. Junia's songs express the character of a proud strong Roman woman, and an opportunity for dramatic analysis is offered to the performer even in the more florid songs. But the true dramatic expression is undisturbed in Junia's last song (22), "Fra i pensier più funesti di morte veder parmi l' esangue consorte." The long adagio, followed by an allegro, is a distinct foreshadowing of the later form. The treatment of the orchestra too is significant. The flutes, oboes, and bassoons are in unison, and contrast with the stringed instruments, after a fashion not usual at the time: and in the allegro the orchestra is in significant opposition to the voice part, which is simple and unadorned, although calculated to give due effect to a fine voice; its dramatic expression is quite excellent.


In the part of Cecilio, written for Rauzzini, the regard paid to the singer is very apparent both in the compass of the voice, which comprises two octaves, and in the style. He was what may be called a scholarly singer, theoretically educated, and a composer himself, and difficulties are introduced evidently with a view to this. Thus, for instance, the recitative preceding his second aria is full of curious, sometimes harsh, turns and transitions in the harmonies; in the third aria such jumps as the following occur—[See Page Image] requiring no small certainty of execution. The first song (2), introduced by a fine expressive recitative, begins, as these male sopranos loved, with a long-sustained note, and'contains various brilliant passages; but it is quite without original invention. The second song (9) expresses a proud, free mood with strength and animation; the last (21) can only be explained as a freak of the performer. Cecilio, in the act of being led to execution, moved by Junia's tears, turns to her with the words—

     Pupille amate
     Non lagrimate!

These tender, trifling words, are treated by Mozart with an exquisite grace which is quite foreign to the character and the situation of Cecilio, and, as Sonnleithner observes, would be much more suitable to a soubrette. Probably Rauzzini chose this way of ingratiating himself with the public.

Besides the solo songs the opera contains a duet for J unia and Cecilio, and a terzet for the same and Silla, which are cleverly constructed, but not otherwise remarkable. The duet (7) consists of an andante and a somewhat tedious allegro, in which the voices go together for the most part in thirds or sixths, with little attempt at imitation. The terzet "LUCIO SILLA"—ENSEMBLES. [183] is well conceived. Each of the three voices has a characteristic motif, which is not elaborated, but set in contrast with the others; afterwards the lovers are set in opposition to Silla, and the expression is heightened by occasional use of the three voices together; in short, some traces are here discernible of the talent for musical architecture which Mozart afterwards displayed is so remarkable a degree.

The scene which precedes the close of the first act deserves special notice; it is both conceived and executed with true dramatic force. In a hall (atrium), decorated with the trophies of his ancestors, Cecilio awaits in the twilight the coming of Junia. The varied emotions roused in him by the contemplation of the graves of departed heroes, and the yearnings of love, are graphically expressed in an accompanied recitative. Junia appears, escorted by noble Romans of both sexes. The chorus calling on the spirits of the heroes for support and vengeance is serious to solemnity, with striking harmonies and an independent treatment of parts, giving animation to the whole—an altogether excellent piece of music, with much dramatic effect. Junia joins in with a prayer to the shade of her father. The pain of a proud, strong spirit is expressed in a simple and dignified adagio, which gives a fine soprano voice full scope for the display of its capabilities. The prayer is followed by a curse pronounced on Silla by the chorus, powerful and animated, and a fitting close to this truly dramatic musical scene. A resemblance to the first chorus in Gluck's "Orfeo," pointed out by Sonnleithner, is too slight to be considered more than a mere suggestion.

Among the secondary parts that of Celia has the most independence of character. Her two first songs (3 and 10) are, on the whole, simple and graceful, especially the second. Passages in Cinna's three songs (1, 12, 20) and in the air for the second tenor, Aufidio, are calculated to display the powers of the artists, but the songs, as a whole, have little or no individuality.

There are two choruses besides that which we have noted, but neither of them are so impressive. In the second act Silla's appearance on the capitol is greeted by a chorus which MOZART'S EARLY OPERAS. [184] is powerful, and supported by a running accompaniment. The last act is brought to a conclusion by a chorus, alternating with the solo voices, but the movement is unimportant.

The overture consists of the usual three movements (Molto allegro 4-4, Andante 2-4, Molto allegro 3-8), and pretends to no connection with the opera itself, being altogether after the ordinary pattern. The treatment of the orchestra is not unusual. Trumpets are frequently used, and sometimes kettledrums; but this is of little moment—more interesting is the fact that the wind instruments are often freer and less subordinate to the strings than usual. An attempt is evident to render the accompaniment full and lively; the second violins have characteristic and occasionally imitative passages. But these are merely attempts; the influence of the traditional form overpowers all endeavours after a freer method; it displays itself in many mechanical habits, as, for instance, in the harmonic turn which almost invariably precedes the singers' cadenzas:—[See Page Image]

The two festival operas composed in 1771 and 1772 belong in essentials to the opera seria, but were subject to certain special rules. The festa (azione) teatrale, also called serenata, were arranged with immediate reference to the person in whose honour they were given. They were usually also allegorical, the advantage of this kind of poetry being that it was capable of expressing more or less open flattery. A pastoral character was almost always given to the treatment of the old myths, so that the dramatic element was thrown into the background, and the brilliancy of the entertainment was left to depend principally on the magnificent costumes and scenery. The musical treatment became more openly and unreservedly undramatic, and the composer was satisfied with affording a means of display to the singers. The serenata was in the traditional three acts, but not bound by the scenic divisions of the opera "ASCANIO IN ALBA," 1771. [185] seria; as it originally served as an interlude to other festivities, it was usually also shorter. As a rule, it was only performed once; and took the second rank after the opera seria. 4 It was on this account that the festival piece was intrusted to young Mozart, the opera to Hasse.

In "Ascanio in Alba" (111 K.) Parini 5 had endeavoured to produce a work worthy of a festivity such as the marriage of the Archduke Ferdinand with the Duchess Marie Beatrice d'Este. Divinities, heroes, and shepherds form the dramatis persona, and there are abundant choruses, ballets, and spectacular effects, with no lack of flattering by-play. The programme will serve to show what distinguished artists 6 were engaged to represent this piece:—[See Page Image]

Venus, preceded and accompanied by a chorus of genü and graces, descends from heaven with her grandson Ascanio, and informs him that she desires to unite him with Silvia, a lovely and virtuous nymph of this her beloved land. Silvia is of the race of Hercules, and Cupid having caused her to see Ascanio in a vision, she already glows with secret love for him. Ascanio is filled with joy, and being counselled by Venus to prove Silvia's constancy before declaring himself to her, he expresses impatience at this postponement of his happiness. Fauno comes to the sacrifice with a chorus of shepherds, and reverently extols the goodness of Venus to the country and the people. Silvia then draws near, accompanied by Aceste and a chorus of nymphs and shepherds. The priest Aceste informs Silvia, whom he has brought up, that Venus herself intends to unite her to Ascanio, and to found a new city with their progeny, and expresses his MOZART'S EARLY OPERAS. [186] joy in a long aria. Silvia is amazed, and declares her love for the youth whom she has seen in her dreams; Aceste consoles her by saying that Venus must have sent the dreams, and she in her turn sings a long song denoting her joy. After all have retired to prepare the sacrifice Ascanio declares in an aria his delight with the charming Silvia; but Venus exacts that he shall yet make trial of her virtue.

A ballet follows this act, in which the nymphs and graces astonish the shepherds by changing the grove into a splendid temple, the first building of the newly founded city.

Silvia beholds this new erection with admiration, and utters her longing for the yet unknown beloved, in which she is supported by a chorus of shepherdesses. When Ascanio appears she recognises her lover in him; but as he feigns not to know her, she remains doubtful, and Fauno confirms her in the error that it is not he; she swoons. Ascanio laments that he cannot show himself in his true form, and departs, whereupon she revives, and makes known her anguish and determination to remain true to her duty in a long recitative and aria. Then he returns, and throws himself at her feet. She repulses him with the words, "Io son d' Ascanio," and flees, which gives him opportunity for a song full of tender admiration. Aceste, to whom she confides all, praises her for her virtue. Venus appears with the chorus of nymphs and shepherds, and presents Ascanio to Silvia as her spouse. After the lovers and Aceste have announced their joy in a terzet, Venus exhorts the young rulers to fulfil their duties faithfully to their subjects, and ascends to Olympus among the expressions of gratitude uttered by Aceste in the name of the people; and a joyful chorus brings the whole to a conclusion.

The description which Fauno gives of the guardian divinity of the country, and the address of Aceste to Venus as she departs, contain so many allusions to Maria Theresa that non-recognition was impossible. Silvia too, of the race of Hercules (the name of Ercole was common in the family of D'Este), the pupil of Minerva and the muses, the pattern of virtue and modesty, is undoubtedly the Princess Beatrice, whose intellect, literary cultivation, and amiability were universally admired. 7 There was less to be said of the Archduke Ferdinand; nothing could be made of him but a fair youth with rosy cheeks. It is worthy of note that although mutual liking founded on beauty and spiritual endowments is highly extolled, yet, as became a royal wedding, the subjection of inclination to duty is made the "ASCANIO IN ALBA," 1771. [187] theme of highest praise. The union had not been consummated without difficulty, 8 and some anxiety was felt as to the relations of the young couple.

"The Archduke and his wife are well and very happy," writes L. Mozart, "which must be a great satisfaction to Her Majesty the Empress, because it was feared that he would not think much of his wife, she not being beautiful; but she is uncommonly amiable, pleasant and virtuous, consequently beloved by every one, and she has quite captivated the Archduke, for she has the best heart and the most engaging manners in the world."

The original score, in two volumes of 480 pages, is preserved: it contains twenty-two numbers. At the close of the first act we have the bass part of the ballet in nine numbers, written by a copyist, and affixed, doubtless as a guide to the conductor. L. Mozart writes expressly that the ballet which connects the two acts was to be composed by Wolfgang (September 7, 1771); there must have been a special score for the manager of the ballet which has not been preserved.

We cannot help wondering that Hasse should have founded his prophecy of Mozart's future greatness on this opera, for it seems to us less original than its predecessors. It certainly displays talent and assurance, but there is not an original idea in any of the fourteen songs to be compared with those of the former operas. The accompanied recitatives do not arrest attention, the most animated among them being the recitative (13) in which the lovers, seeing each other for the first time, express their agitation in asides. Contrary to custom, the wind instruments are employed in the recitative; but otherwise the treatment of the orchestra calls for no remark. One song of Silvia's (11) is accompanied by four horns (two in G, two in D) without any singular effects; the last song of Ascanio (18) has, besides horns, bassoons and flutes, two serpentini (in F), instruments which, Schindler suggests, resembled the English horn.

The most prominent among the singers was Manzuoli, for whose part Mozart now applied the instruction he had MOZART'S EARLY OPERAS. [188] formerly received from him in London (p. 41). It is written for a mezzo-soprano, keeps always to the middle notes, and has no passages at all; only here and there easy embellishments. The simple lingering melody is not without feeling, which, however, never rises to passion. The first song (2) begins with a long-sustained note, whilst the last resembles those in "Lucio Silla" in its tender playful grace.

There is more variety in the part composed for Maria Ant. Girelli-Aguilar, who sang in Gluck's "Aristeo" and "Orfeo" in Parma (1769). The first cavatina (7) is simple, graceful, and complete in design and treatment; two others (8, 11) are bravura songs, with brilliant passages, the melody having an air of dignity, which is also apparent in the last song (16), both in the adagio and the allegro.

Gius. Tibaldi, whom Gluck had summoned to Vienna, where in 1767 he sang the part of Admetus 9 in "Alceste," was already in years, and his voice past its prime; his two songs (6, 19) are adorned with long passages, which imply a very fluent singer.

In the closing terzet (21) the voices are at first contrasted in detached characteristic motifs; but afterwards the soprano and tenor are grouped together with alternating passages, while Manzuoli's part retains its simplicity of character.

Of the two secondary characters, to each of whom two songs were assigned, it is to be noted that they have a higher compass than the principal singers. Their songs, too, are richly provided with passages; but their character is perceptibly subordinate.

The choruses, seven in number, were a great ornament to the piece. They do not interfere with the action, and five are in connection with dances. Also in the overture, on the conclusion of the first animated allegro, the second movement changes into a dance "of eleven females," as L. Mozart writes, "either eight nymphs and three graces, or eight graces and three goddesses," and instead of the third "ASCANIO IN ALBA"—CHORUSES. [189] movement 10 a chorus of nymphs and graces with corresponding ballet is introduced, the orchestra retaining the character of a third movement of the overture, and the voices (four or two-part) filling out the harmonies after the manner of wind instruments, but in a freer, more flowing style. The chorus is repeated on both occasions when Venus ascends to heaven. Most of the other choruses are also repeated like refrains on appropriate occasions; the second (3) is given six times. It is in two parts, for tenor and bass, and remarkable for its accompaniment of 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons (and violon-celli), 2 horns, and double-bass, but not otherwise original. The following chorus (5), introduced by a short intrada, which announces Silvia's approach (four-part, but interrupted by two short three-part movements) is blithe and animated. The accompaniment has an independent passage in dance-measure for the violins; the voices move with spirit and freedom. The second act begins with two female choruses. The first, two-part (12), acquaints Silvia of the approach of her lover, and is lively and fresh; the two voices alternate easily in imitative phrases.

Still more animated is the next three-part chorus (17), when, Silvia having repulsed Ascanio and fled, the chorus express surprise in a short imitative movement addressed to Venus. The following chorus (20), which is repeated three times, has simple harmonies, but is powerful and effective. The concluding chorus (22) is effectively worked up after the manner of the first into a quick animated movement, followed by a full ballet.

The choruses, heightened by the scenic arrangements, must have contributed greatly to the success of the opera. They display so much freedom and assurance, such perfect mastery of method in order to attain the truest effect, that perhaps it was here that Hasse recognised the footprints of the lion.

The second festival piece, composed in honour of the MOZART'S EARLY OPERAS. [190] newly elected Archbishop Hieronymus in 1772, was Metas-tasio's "Sogno di Scipione" (126 K.), an allegorical poem in one act, on a classical model. 11

To the younger Scipio, asleep in the Palace of Massinissa, appear Steadfastness (Costanza) and Fortuna, and require him to decide which of the two he will choose for his guide through life. On his demanding time for consideration, Fortuna depicts in a song her fleeting, unstable nature. Costanza answers his question as to where he is by telling him he is in heaven, instructs him on the harmony of the spheres, and informs him that he is in that region of heaven where his departed ancestors abide. These approach him in a chorus, and from their midst steps out the elder Scipio Africanus, who acquaints him with the immortality of the soul, and the reward of the good in another life. Then Scipio's father, Emilius Paulus, draws near; he shows him the earth as a little point in boundless space, and warns him of the nothingness of all earthly things in comparison to the heavenly. Struck by this, Scipio wishes at once to leave earth and remain with his forefathers, but Africanus refuses, telling him that he is destined to save Rome, and that he must therefore tarry on earth, and earn by his great deeds the reward of immortality. Africanus refuses also to influence by his advice Scipio's choice between the two goddesses, who now demand his decision. Fortuna, who has more than once expressed her impatience, again depicts her omnipotence, which Costanza opposes with a representation of her victorious strength. On Scipio's declaring himself in favour of the latter, Fortuna threatens him with her heaviest penalties, the dazzling apparition disappears, a tremendous storm breaks forth, and Scipio awakes in the Palace of Massinissa, and declares himself true to Costanza.

The allusions to the circumstances under which the piece was first produced on October 1, 1735—the birthday of Charles VI., who had suffered severe defeats in Italy—are evident enough, especially in the speeches of Africanus and Costanza. Nevertheless, the Licenza comes at the conclusion, making a direct address to the hero of the occasion, and winding up with a formal congratulation in the form of an aria and chorus.

SOGNO DI SCIPIONE," 1772. [191]

This occasional piece was considered by the Salzburg authorities to be a suitable greeting to the new Archbishop without any alteration, apparently on account of its philosophic moral reflections, and it may indeed be considered as a good example of the dramatic treatment of such reflections. 12 Dramatic the treatment can hardly be called; it is a kind of concert in costume. It is difficult to comprehend how Scipio can act or sing songs while he is supposed to be dreaming; yet Metastasio makes him awake from his dream at the end of the piece. 13

Mozart's composition, of which the original score, in one volume of 315 pages, is preserved, has more of a concert character than any other of his dramatic works of the period. It keeps strictly within the customary limits, and is poor in original invention, giving just the impression of work done to order; the score bears traces also of great haste.

The overture closes with the second and slower movement, which prepares the scene for the slumbering Scipio by a change from the principal key of D major to E major, and a decrescendo to pp. 14 This, and the accompanied recitative, that closes with the storm in the midst of which Scipio returns to earth, are the only dramatic or characteristic movements. It is curious that the opportunity for an obbligato recitative (for instance, at the description of the harmony of the spheres) is never taken advantage of; the long speeches are all in plain recitative.

Not one of the ten songs has any dramatic characterisation; even the parts of Fortuna and Costanza do not offer any marked contrast. Each of them has two songs—one freely conceived in a broad style, with full orchestral accompaniments, the other of smaller design, and both richly provided with high passages. First, Fortuna sings her principal song (2), and Costanza her shorter one (3); afterwards the case is MOZART'S EARLY OPERAS. [192] reversed (8, 9); but the character, pitch, and formation of the songs differ so little that apart from the words they might easily be mistaken the one for the other. There is a second composition of the Licenza in existence, pointing by its handwriting, firm structure, and the independence and delicate treatment of the orchestra, to a considerably later date.

The three Roman heroes all sing tenor. Africanus has a great bravura song (5), with passages as high as C in alt; his second is quieter and simpler, and makes an attempt at characterisation; the image of the rock, standing immovable in the sea, is sketched in sober colours. The song of Emilius Paulus has a kind of dance measure, not very lively, and reminding us of a polonaise; the words "un fanciullin che piange" are illustrated by a chromatic scale. Finally, Scipio has two bravura songs (1, 10) with many passages, the second being remarkable for its length.

But, indeed, most of the songs are of great length, and introduced by long ritomelli. Where there is no distinct second part, the Da capo comes into use; the middle movements are short and lightly treated. The orchestra displays some freedom and independence, but is not equal to "Ascanio."

The two choruses are of the usual opera type. The first (4), in which Scipio is greeted by his ancestors, is not without power and dignity, but it has no characterisation, and is almost throughout in harmony; only once the voices make an attempt during a few bars at independent movement.

In the concluding chorus (12) the voices complete the harmony in the usual way to a running accompaniment.


THE commonly received opinion 1 that the oratorio originated in the devotional exercises held in the oratories of monasteries, ORIGIN OF ORATORIO. [193] and thrown into the form of a musical drama by Filippo Neri (1515-1595), is without foundation. All that can confidently be asserted is that he caused laudi spirituali, a kind of motett, 2 to be sung by way of recreation, and that he organised carnival performances ("rappresentazioni") which withdrew the mind from worldly follies; 3 whether, and in what degree, music had to do with these we do not know. 4

The "Rappresentazione dell' Anima e del Corpo," by Emilio de' Cavalieri, who sought to reproduce the old tragedy on the same principles as Peri in the opera, was arranged for representation on a stage ("palco"), with scenery, costumes, and dances, and contained recitatives and choruses. 5 One performance took place, according to the preface to the score, in February, 1599, in the oratorium of the church of S. Maria, in Vallicella, 6 and this Della Valle remembered having attended when a boy. 7 Henceforward sacred dialogues and ORATORIO. [194] dramas set to music were frequent in Rome and elsewhere, and were given not only before the congregation dell' oratorio, 8 but in churches, monasteries, and palaces. The history of the development of these rappresentazione or azione sacra, also called oratorio, 9 has not yet been traced in detail. 10

In time the performances were confined to Lent, when no opera was given, and although action and costume gradually disappeared from the churches, 11 and the whole assumed more and more the form of a concert, yet the dramatic element, or at least the dialogue, always remained.

The connection with the service of the church was so far maintained that a mass and an address from a boy preceded the oratorio, and a sermon was delivered between its two parts. 12

The growth of the azione sacra kept pace with that of the opera seria.

Apostolo Zeno defined the form of the oratorio by giving it unity of action, time and place, and strict dramatic treatment, and Metastasio carried on and completed the work just as he had done in the opera. Its division was into two, not three parts, otherwise the arrangement corresponded altogether with that of the opera. The characters enter speaking; recitative is employed for the dialogue, and the airs serve "LA BETULIA LIBBRATA," 1773. [195] to express the higher emotions; concerted songs occur but seldom, but the choruses are frequent, and more often form a part of the action than in the opera.

The subject-matter is borrowed from the Bible, generally the Old Testament, or from some old legend; but both persons and plot must of necessity be devised, so as to represent the story in a succession of dialogues. An effort is made to preserve the biblical diction in the poetry, but the animated rhetorical style of Italian poetry decidedly gets the upper hand. Moral and religious reflections are the almost invariable themes of the songs and choruses, which have rarely any individual character. In this respect, as well as in the dearth of dramatic action, the azione sacra comes nearer to the so-called azione teatrale than to the genuine opera seria.

The legend of Judith is treated as follows by Metastasio, in his oratorio "La Betulia Liberata," which has often been composed. 13 The dramatis persona ("interlocutori") are:—[See Page Image]

Ozia reproaches the desponding inhabitants of Bethulia for their cowardice, and declares his resolution not to give up the city to the enemy. Amital and Cabri oppose him, describing the sufferings of the people from famine and sickness. In vain he reminds them how the Lord has helped their fathers, they demand admission to Holofernes, and it is with difficulty that he obtains a delay of five days, and calls upon God for help, with the chorus. Then Judith enters; horrified at ORATORIO. [196] the decision, she upbraids them for their cowardice which dares to doubt God's mercy and set a limit to His power: "il primo è vile, temerario il secondo." Her song (5) may serve as a standard for the style of this poetry:

     Del pari infeconda
     D' un flume è la sponda,
     Se torbido eccede,
     Se manca d' amor.
     Si acqaista baldanza
     Per troppo speranza,
     Si perde la fede
     Per troppo rumor.

She exhorts the trembling people to trust and patience, and informs them that she has formed a great resolve, which as yet she can communicate to no one; while she prepares herself, all are to unite in prayer; the former chorus is repeated. Carmi brings Achior as a prisoner, who relates that, having told Holofemes of the courage of the Israelites and the wonderful power of their God, who renders them invincible as long as they trust in Him, he has been sent into the city to share its destruction. Judith approaching, is left alone with Ozia, who is surprised to see her richly adorned; she demands egress from the town with her maid, and departs, the chorus (in the distance) expressing astonishment at her enterprise.

In the second part Ozia seeks to convince the heathen Achior that there is but one God. Before his arguments have been quite successful Amital enters and describes the death-stillness, expressive of the extreme of need and despair, which hangs over the city. Shrieks and tumult interrupt him; Judith returns, and relates how she has slain Holofernes; she holds the decapitated head before the incredulous Achior, who swoons for fear. After Judith's song, he comes to himself and declares his conversion to the faith of the God of Abraham. Carmi enters, and relates that at Judith's bidding they had raised a war-cry; the Assyrians, discovering the death of Holofernes, were seized with terror and fled precipitately.

A song of thanksgiving to God, in which Judith leads the chorus, forms the conclusion.

The composers treated the oratorio in the same way as the opera seria, 14 only that the want of dramatic variety favoured the adoption of the concert style of music. In its form there was no important difference; we find the same treatment of the recitatives, secco and obbligato, of the songs and of all important parts, including the choruses; only "BETULIA"—OVERTURE. [197] that the bass voice is made use of in solo singing. We might expect to find the musical conceptions inspired by earnestness and reverence; and this was so far the case that the oratorio excluded all that was trifling, voluptuous, or that related to the passion of love. But a religious tone was entirely wanting, and the operatic style was only modified, not essentially altered. Every song in an oratorio would have been quite in place at a corresponding point in an opera seria, and many operatic songs might have been transferred to an oratorio with perfect propriety. The bravura of the vocalists was considered as appropriate in the churches as on the stage, only that a certain amount of moderation was becoming.

During Lent, when the opera was closed, the public looked for entertainment to the oratorios, and flattered themselves that they were at the same time fulfilling a religious duty, because the performance took place in a church.

Mozart's music to "Betulia Liberata" (118 K.) is quite on this level. There are unfortunately no indications of time or place on the original score, which exists in two volumes of 382 pages and fifteen numbers; the handwriting and composition place it undoubtedly between 1770 and 1773. As we know that Mozart received a commission for an oratorio at Padua in March, 1771, it may safely be conjectured that this was the "Betulia Liberata," and that it was performed in Padua in 1772. 15

The three movements of the overture in D minor are quiet and more concentrated than usual; the arrangement of the parts is more independent, with attempts at imitative treatment. Besides oboes and bassoons, there are four horns (in D and F), and trumpets (in D), used frequently and in the same manner as at present.


A secco recitative follows the overture; the music never rises above the dialogue, with its long, sermonising speeches and rhetorical bombastic reflections. There are only two accompanied recitatives: the first occurs when Judith upbraids the people; short and skilfully modulated instrumental phrases interrupt the animated declamation, and the whole is lively and expressive. Later on Judith delivers the long narrative of her adventure with Holofemes (II) in an accompanied recitative. The stringed instruments strike the chord in a high pitch, with which Judith's alto voice strongly contrasts. There are but few agitated passages; but, indeed, even in stirring moments the music never reaches anything like characterisation. The prayer of Judith at the most critical point of the piece is not conspicuous either for tunefulness or varied accompaniment.

The solo parts are distributed among all the four voices: for Amital, Cabri and Carmi are soprani, Judith alto, Ozia tenor, and Achior bass; they are never united in an ensemble, and there is not one duet.

Judith has three airs, besides a solo with chorus. The first (5) approaches as near as possible to a bravura song. The words are expressed with grace and animation. The passages are neither predominant nor tedious, which is doubtless due in part to the singer for whom the part was composed, for the second song (7), powerful and dignified as it is, is also without passages; it begins with the favourite long-sustained note. The chief movement of the last song (11)—a long adagio with a carefully composed accompaniment—is finely descriptive of Judith's mood, but there is no appeal to the feelings by beautiful melody. The whole part is not bravura in the strictest sense; the deeper alto notes are only occasionally employed.

That this moderation of style was not inseparable from the character of oratorio music, may be seen from the parts of Amital and Ozia. The second song for Amital (10) and the first for Ozia (1) are regular serious bravura songs, with passages, long-sustained notes, and florid accompaniments. Amital's last song (13) is solemn and earnest, to suit the words, but still keeps the performer well in view; Ozia's "BETULIA"—ARIE, CHORUSES. [199] second song is soft and graceful, and the first which reminds us of Mozart's later style.

The bass part of Achior is less carefully written, and not nearly so bravura in style. The first song (6) is more noisy than vigorous, both in voice and accompaniment. This boisterous treatment of the bass voice was then common, and it was on that account excluded from the opera seria. 16 In this place it accords with the dread apparition of Holofernes which is described. The second song of Achior, after his conversion (12), is very simple and insignificant; the accompaniment is partly imitative.

The two airs of Cabri (2) and Carmi (14) are, as usual with secondary parts, simple, and not without expression, but in no way original.

The traditional aria form is adhered to in almost all the songs. The second part, distinct from the first in composition if not in time and measure, is short and superficially treated; generally only the last part of the first movement is repeated. The latter is broadly conceived, with long ritomelli; the invariable cadenza is brought in in the usual way. The accompaniment resembles that of operatic songs, but is more carefully worked out. Original passages for the second violins—sometimes, too, for the violas—occur, here and there, as well as attempts at imitation; and the wind instruments are occasionally employed independently. All these attempts show decided talent, but they are few and far between, and the orchestra has not the stamp of independent vigour.

The choruses, although occupying more space in the composition, do not materially differ from those of the opera. The concluding chorus of the first part (8) is like a study for a recitative, turned into a chorus by means of the accompaniment, which consists of two alternate strongly marked subjects. The elaboration is not contrapuntal, but ORATORIO. [200] harmonic, and a simple but rich modulation gives significance to the movement. The voices give the full harmony, and a moderate amount of agitation in the melody and rhythm appears when the declamation demands it. The favourable pitch, the interesting modulation, the characteristic accompaniments, and the dignified seriousness which runs through the whole, all combine to make this chorus effective and excellent of its kind.

The two other choruses are prayers connected with solos. The first (4) is very simple. Ozia sings a melodious, beautifully conceived cantilene, full of feeling, which is accompanied by the violins pizzicato, and the chorus ends with a repetition of the two last lines. The second verse, with a change of composition, preserves the same character; after which the first is repeated, and leads with effective climax to a full close.

The last chorus is more grandly conceived. Judith answers the thanksgiving of the chorus in two strophes descriptive of the victory, and then the chorus falls in again; this is repeated three times, and a moral reflection follows as a closing chorus. Mozart has chosen an ancient church melody for the refrain of the chorus:—[See Page Image]

The melody is four-part, the partially varied harmony dignified and powerful, and interesting in its simplicity; the voices are well treated and animated. At the fourth "BETULIA"—COMPARISON WITH HASSE. [201] repetition Mozart has assigned the Cantus firmus, somewhat altered in the second part, to the tenor voice:—[See Page Image]

Thence he passes to the closing chorus. The solo part of Judith, simple, dignified, and earnest, resembles a regular song; but the declamatory is more prominent than the melodious element. Although somewhat overpowered by the chorus, the character of Judith is here most significantly expressed. Whenever Mozart allows himself free play, he exhibits originality, truth, and earnestness.

The closing chorus is lively and brilliant, but kept in moderation, and its character is not without strength and dignity.

That this conception of the oratorio was not peculiar to Mozart, but was the then commonly received one, is plain from a comparison of this with other contemporary oratorios—with those, for instance, by Hasse, which are reckoned among his most important works. Whoever should form, on the strength of the eulogies pronounced by Hiller on the oratorio "Sant-Elena al Calvario," 17 a conception of this ORATORIO. [202] and similar pieces founded on our present ideas of sacred music, would find himself much deceived. Here, as in all Hasse's oratorios, the art of the vocalist is the determining element, and the expression of emotion coincides in essentials with that of the opera. The differences in Mozart's oratorio are unimportant, and are founded on variations in the taste of the time and of the composer.

Hiller speaks with great admiration of the pilgrims' chorus, to which Hasse has set the chorale "O Lamb of God" in such a way "that its whole attraction consists in the alternation of the voices and of the various instruments among whom the melody is divided; the bass and violin are in unison throughout, and give animation to the whole, with a simplicity that is worth more than ten fugues, and which betrays more insight into the true beauty of song than the most artistic counterpoint." It almost seems as if Hiller wished to point at J. S. Bach, and remembering some of the marvellous creations of Bach—for instance, the first chorus in the St. Matthew "Passion Music"—the contrast between different artistic tendencies and personalities can hardly be better exemplified than by comparing him and Hasse. Hasse has succeeded in bringing the chorale into accordance with the Italian style of his oratorio, but he loses thereby the proper significance and effect of the chorale. The way in which Mozart has introduced the Catholic church melodies unaltered is, from this point of view, grander and more striking. And Hasse was looked upon in Mozart's day as a representative of the good old times in the traditions of which he had been educated.


OPERA BUFFA was a gradual outgrowth from the opera seria, in which originally comic characters took part in burlesque scenes. OPERA BUFFA. [203] Even so late as 1718, when Scarlatti's "Telemacco" was produced, there were scenes of coarse humour between Tersite and Silvina in this otherwise conventionally correct opera. 1 When, however, the discrepancy between these and the dignity and purity of the opera seria came to be fully felt, the comic scenes were detached, generally without much difficulty, and given as independent additions, between the acts. 2 It had long been the custom to interpose between the acts of the spoken drama—tragedies as well as comedies—musical representations which had no connection with the piece itself, and were called intermedi or intermezzi, and in the opera both the comic scenes and the ballets were gradually loosed from their connection with the main body of the work and placed between the acts. The relish of the audience for these comic interludes soon led to the production of independent comic pieces called intermezzi, which took the place of the disjointed scenes from the opera. As a rule there were but two characters, one male and one female, and there was no continuous plot even when the same characters appeared in the different intermezzi. The dialogue was carried on in plain recitative, and there were neither solo songs nor duets OPERA BUFFA. [204] to interfere with the main opera. In the intermezzi which Metastasio himself composed for his "Didone Abbandonata" in 1724, the characters are Ribbio, a poet, composer, singer, and impresario, who is desirous of establishing a theatre on the Canary Islands, and Dorina, the prima donna whom he wishes to engage; after many affectations she sings a song before him, whereupon he produces others, of his own composition, and they vie with each other in mutual compliments. In the second intermezzo Dorina, dressed for the stage, displays her tragic powers to Ribbio as Cleopatra; finally they conclude a romantic contract, which includes a prospect of tender relations between the two.

Great effect was caused by the caricaturing and ridiculing of the opera seria, and by the exposure of the personal relations of stage heroes and heroines; elements which have always played a great part in opera buffa.

The intermezzo gives, as it were, the back view of the opera seria, not with the intention of destroying the ideal effect by sarcastic criticism, but rather in order to heighten it by force of contrast. Even the independent opera buffa preserved much of this parodying reference to the opera seria.

Pergolese's "Serva Padrona" which was first produced in Naples in 1730, was another example of an intermezzo for two characters; it met with great success not only in Italy, but in France 3 and Germany, 4 and set the fashion for similar pieces. Very soon an intrigue was introduced, a connected plot was supplied, and the number of characters increased first to three, then to four. 5 The development of the intermezzo was rapid, and before long the inconvenience of carrying on two independent dramas simultaneously caused the complete emancipation of opera buffa from opera seria. 6 Equal rank with the latter it never attained. It came to THE INTERMEZZO. [205] maturity on the boards of the smaller theatres ("teatrini"), and was long in gaining admission into the larger theatres. Even then it was only exceptionally introduced during the season or stagione, side by side with the opera seria, although in the German court theatres an opera seria and a buffa were not seldom played alternately during the carnival. In Italy comic operas were only admitted in summer, and at those times when there was no grand opera. They did not pass for exhibitions of perfect vocal art, and fewer calls were made on the powers of the singers apart from their comic talent in delivery and action. There is no doubt that this external subordination was of inestimable value to the development of the opera buffa.

It received a firm foundation of musical configuration—recitative, aria, ensemble—without the necessity of submitting to limitations and laws so fixed as to have become absolute. The bass voice, which was considered most suitable to comic characters, and had already been appropriated to them in the old opera, was made the chief vehicle for comic effects in the intermezzo. Volubility of utterance, mimicry, and comic action were as necessary as a fine voice. The highly paid male soprano might therefore be dispensed with in opera buffa; the unnatural conventionality of the opera seria would have been insupportable in representations of daily life. By this means the voices were brought into their proper relations; the lover's part was allotted to the tenor, and the performance generally gained in variety and in the natural grouping of the parts.

The distinction of primary and secondary parts was disregarded, as well as the limitation to a small number of vocalists; though these seldom went beyond seven. 7 There were usually three female parts; the most decidedly comic was the sly, pert waiting-maid (a standing figure of the opera buffa), or a scolding old woman, an unsophisticated peasant-girl, &c.


The tenor part was usually the sentimental, unhappy lover, and required most from the singer, but there were often two tenor parts, in which case one was comic; the buffo tenor was not however nearly so well defined a part as the buffo bass. The bass parts were decidedly comic; a blustering old man and a cunning or a stupid servant were seldom wanting. When the lover was a bass, he was either jovial or comical.

In spite of all this freedom, certain typical features were formed that recur in all the varieties of grouping and disguise. The opera buffa was far from adopting in dialect or costume the well-defined character, of the Italian popular comedy, but the resemblance in form is unmistakable. It was in imitation of the popular plays that the comic parts were made caricatures, the effect of which depended on striking but exaggerated peculiarities. The music was made to display these, 8 and there can be no doubt that the want of individual character in the opera seria favoured the passage to the opposite extreme in the opera buffa. As a relief to the caricatures, mezzo carattere were invented, in which the purely musical element was more pronounced.

Intermezzi required an easy and loosely connected plot; the popular jokes would not have come out so well from a studied, well-connected drama, as from effective situations where favourite characters could follow their bent. If the situations were of ample variety, lively and humorous in their rendering, the audience was quite ready to forget how weak the thread was which held them together. The opera buffa was always written for a specified company, and the FORMS OF OPERA BUFFA. [207] poet, limited both as to characters and effective situations, found his labour simplified by such a skilful use of the conditions ready to hand as should secure him applause and success. 9 Opera buffa, being held in little esteem, was seldom taken in hand by poets of note; even Goldoni's texts are, as he acknowledges himself, 10 unworthy of esteem. Goethe, 11 when he was studying the comic opera in Rome with the composer Kayser, remarked, that "there were a hundred things to be observed, to which the Italians sacrificed the spirit of the poetry; for instance, each character was to be brought forward in a certain order and a certain degree—each singer must have pauses, &C." 12 His own experience gave him a very just judgment on opera texts, and he rightly ascribed a certain amount of simplicity, which, apart from the music, made them appear poor and meagre, to a tendency to treat the subject fancifully, like a child's fairy story. 13 But the majority of comic libretti are disconnected and absurd, without spirit or delicacy, depending entirely on the effect of humorous exaggeration; and the universal opinion was a just one, that the words of the comic opera were as poor as the music was charming. 14

The musical forms of the opera seria were modified and remodelled by the comic composers with very unequal skill and success. The recitative needed little transformation; the more trivial treatment of the dialogue suggested itself, and the accompanied recitative was only varied to suit the comic situations. The aria, on the contrary, belonged essentially to musical art, and had been developed at the cost of dramatic truth; opera buffa did not concern itself with either of these facts. It adopted the forms of the opera seria (unless when it parodied them) only in the parts di mezzo car ottere which it had appropriated from the opera seria.


The contrasting of different motifs was preserved as an essential condition of musical composition, but the rules as to method and succession were no longer regarded as binding. The subjects were more slender and fugitive, so as to be more easily united, and they profited thereby in freedom of movement and form. In many airs which have only one tempo, the constituent parts of the original aria can be clearly recognised, but the subjects are arranged and repeated according to circumstances, the subordinate subjects are more important and longer, and the means at command are more freely used. Piccinni was the first to introduce the rondo form, which repeats the main subject several times with freely treated intermediate movements. It met with great applause, and was variously developed, being at last adopted in opera seria. 15 But the simpler form of the cavatina was more usual, and received many modifications; the ballad style was also not infrequent.

This freedom and many-sidedness of treatment was more especially favourable to the dramatic aspect of the piece, and brought the plot into closer relationship with the music, particularly in the ensembles. Duets, terzets, and quartets were introduced wherever the situation required, and this musical dramatic character reached its highest point in the finales, which are true musical representations of a dramatic climax ascending to a catastrophe. These finales, products of the continual struggle to render music not the ornament but the helpmeet of the drama, are the property of the opera buffa.

Nic. Logroscini, who was considered as the inventor of comic opera, and the deity of the genre bouffon, 16 is said to have written the first finale, the main subject of which was developed in one continuous movement. Nic. Piccinni (whose "Buona Figliuola" was so well received in Rome in 1761, that it may serve as a date for the recognition of opera DEVELOPMENT OF OPERA BUFFA. [209] buffa as a distinct branch of the art) treated each scena of the finale as a separate movement, and displayed far greater variety and more effective working-up.

Many of the deficiencies of the text must have had considerable influence on the music. The latter was constantly striving after dramatic effect and characteristic situations, and was as constantly dragged back by caricature and absurdity. The custom also arose of providing unworthy comic effects for the buffo characters, such as the mimicry of natural sounds, quick speaking, and others that have become gradually extinct. On this point the severe mentorship of the opera seria exerted a wholesome influence in preventing the complete sacrifice of form to fun; so that, to the observer of the present day, regularity of form is more observable in comic opera than freedom of treatment.

From opera seria too the comic opera received its main principle, viz.: that the essence of the opera is in music, and more especially in song, on the suitable treatment of which it depends for all its effect.

The majority of dramatic composers have tried their hand at opera buffa; besides Nic. Logroscini (17...-1763), Bald. Galuppi (1703-1765), Nic. Piccinni (1728-1800), we may particularly note Pietro Guglielmi (1727-1804), Pasq. Anfossi (1736-1797), Giov. Paisiello (1741-1816), Domen. Cimarosa (1754-1801), all men of prominent parts and thorough musical training. Add to this the innate love of the Italians for beauty of form, and it will be easily comprehensible that in spite of many excrescences opera buffa should have blossomed into a musical art, which in creative genius and intellectual power soared far higher than its elder sister, whom it soon surpassed in the favour of the public. 17

The greater freedom of style was of advantage also to the instrumental parts, which took an independent share in the characterisation. Many situations were heightened by the orchestra coming to the foreground—as for instance during the frequently recurring parlando where it falls to the instruments to give the clue to the intended expression.


The instrumental scores which Piccinni was blamed for overloading and making unnecessarily prominent appear to us indescribably poverty-stricken. 18 But it was thus that the orchestra gradually developed into such an independence as makes it capable of following the rapid emotions of the actors, and of serving at the same time as a firm foundation for the whole artistic organism.

The overture in three movements was not the only one permissible; symphonies in two parts were frequent, as also a somewhat more elaborate allegro movement, which served as an instrumental introduction.

Anfossi's "Finta Giardiniera" had met with great success in Rome in 1774, whilst Piccinni's opera was hissed off the stage. In spite of its miserable text it was produced in 1775 at Vienna, 19 and in 1778 at Paris; 20 and at Munich Mozart received the libretto to compose for the Carnival of 1775—

The dramatis persona are as follows:—[See Page Image]

The Marchesa Violante Onesti has been wounded by her lover Conte Belfiore in a fit of jealousy, and he, believing that he has slain her, flees. She sets forth in disguise to seek him, accompanied by a faithful servant, Roberto; they both enter the service of Don Anchise, Podestà of Lagonero, as gardeners, she under the name of Sandrina and he as "LA FINTA GIARDINIERA," 1775. [211] Nardo. The Podestà falls in love with Sandrina and neglects for her the waiting-maid Serpetta, to whom he has been paying his addresses. Nardo strives in vain for Serpetta's favour; the two intruders are equally obnoxious to her. Ramiro, Don Anchise's guest, and the accepted lover of his niece Arminda, is deserted by the latter, who becomes affianced to Belfiore.

At the opening of the opera the inhabitants of Lagonero are busily employed decorating the garden for the reception of the betrothed couple; Ramiro informs the Podestà that an unhappy love torments him, and departs. The Podestà sends Nardo and Serpetta to a distance, in order that he may declare his love to Sandrina; this she seeks to evade, while Serpetta continually contrives to interrupt them, so giving occasion for a comic aria from the Podestà. Thereupon Sandrina announces to Nardo her intention of leaving the place to escape the attentions of the Podestà, and complains of the faithlessness of men; Ramiro entering, bewails the inconstancy of women, and Nardo the cruelty of Serpetta. Arminda, who has just arrived, behaves whimsically to the Podestà and Serpetta; Conte Belfiore enters, greets her as his bride, and comports himself like a vain affected fop, boasting to the Podestà of his nobility, his wealth, his good looks, his conquests, and his love for Arminda.

Serpetta and Nardo having quarrelled, we next find Sandrina busy in the garden. Arminda informs her that she is about to wed Conte Belfiore; upon which Sandrina swoons. Arminda calls Belfiore, and leaves the unconscious Sandrina to his care while she runs for her smell-ing-bottle; when she returns Ramiro enters, and the four lovers recognise each other in extreme confusion; the Podestà, entering, seeks in vain for a solution of the mystery; they all go out, and leave him alone. Before he can recover from his astonishment, Serpetta, to excite his jealousy, relates that she has seen Belfiore and Sandrina holding tender intercourse, and he withdraws in order to watch them. Belfiore tries to extort from Sandrina the confession that she is Violante; at first she denies it, but then forgets herself and reproaches him for his infidelity. As he falls repentant at her feet, Arminda enters with Ramiro, all the rest rush in, overwhelm him and Sandrina with reproaches, and the act closes amid universal confusion.

The second act opens with Ramiro reproaching Arminda for her inconstancy, while she does the same to Belfiore; then Serpetta makes fun of Nardo. Sandrina, who, in her own despite, still loves Belfiore, is surprised by him in the garden, forgets herself again, and overwhelms him with reproaches; when he remorsefully sues for her love again, she recollects herself, and explains that she has known Violante, and has only been giving expression to her feelings. Quite confused, he makes her tender excuses, and tries to kiss her hand, but seizes instead that of the Podestà, who has drawn near unobserved, and goes out confounded.


The Podestà first reproaches Sandrina, then makes her a formal declaration of love, which she seeks in vain to evade. Ramiro enters with a letter, wherein Belfiore is denounced as the murderer of the Marchesa Onesti, and requires the Podestà to institute a formal inquiry; to Arminda's disgust the Podestà declares the marriage postponed, and Ramiro is filled with fresh hope. The Podestà interrogates Belfiore, who, in spite of the whispered hints of Arminda and Serpetta, becomes confused, and draws great suspicion on himself; then Sandrina appears, and explains that she is the Marchesa Violante who was wounded, not killed; they do not believe her, and treat her with contempt. When she is alone with Belfiore, and he in delight renews his expressions of love, she tells him she is not Violante, but has only impersonated her to save him. Amazed and horrified, he loses his senses and begins to rave, but soon comes to himself.

Serpetta informs the Podestà and Ramiro that Sandrina has fled, but when they have hurried forth to seek her, betrays to the listening Nardo that Arminda has had her rival conveyed to a hiding-place in the neighbouring wood, in order to prevent any interference with her union to Belfiore.

Next we see Sandrina left alone in darkness, want, and despair; in quick succession there enter Belfiore led by Nardo, the Podestà seeking Sandrina, and Arminda and Serpetta to make sure that she is secure; in the darkness the Podestà declares himself to Arminda, and Belfiore to Serpetta, both believing that they are addressing Sandrina, to the delight of Nardo, who now enters, followed by Ramiro with torches, calling upon Belfiore to renounce the hand of Arminda. When the party recognise each other there is first great consternation; then all break into abuse and reproaches; Sandrina comes to an understanding with Belfiore, they both imagine themselves shepherds, and amid the universal hubbub sing pastoral ditties; then she enacts Medusa, he Hercules, and at last they dance with delight, while the others are beside themselves with anger and astonishment.

In the third act, Nardo is again scorned by Serpetta, then Belfiore and Sandrina attack him, making passionate love to him in their madness, and he escapes with difficulty. The Podestà is beset by Serpetta, whom he repulses, by Arminda, who wants to wed Belfiore, and by Ramiro, who demands Arminda's hand, though she again declares that she detests him.

Belfiore and Sandrina having fallen asleep in the garden, awake to soft music, cured of their madness; they recognise each other, and after some resistance she listens to his suit. Upon this Arminda resolves to bestow her hand on Ramiro, and Serpetta on Nardo, and only the Podestà remains unmated.

It was no easy task even to follow these clumsily connected situations, too incoherent to be called a plot; and it "LA FINTA GIARDINIERA"—GERMAN VERSION. [213] would have taxed the efforts of any composer to save such a work from utter oblivion.

Only the second and third acts of Mozart's original score (196 K.) are preserved, in two volumes, containing together 344 pages; the first is lost, and there is no known copy of the Italian score, so that the recitatives of the first act are unknown.

The opera was later produced in German; the German text is inserted in the original score by L. Mozart, with trifling alterations of a note here and there to suit the declamation. Besides these there are numerous abbreviations, both in the recitatives and in some of the songs (13, 17, 19, 25), which were made for the first performance at Munich, and indicated by rough chalk strokes and erasures; with the same end, Mozart recomposed the whole of an abridged scene.

The abridged songs are adopted in the German version, but one air (20), which was marked in chalk "to be omitted," is retained. That Wolfgang was himself concerned in this adaptation is proved by the fact that on certain pages the accompanied recitatives which were retained in the German opera are rewritten in his own hand. Spoken dialogue takes the place of the plain recitatives, and the German cues are inserted by a third hand. In Rei-chardt's "Theaterkalender," the operetta, "Das verstellte Gartner-Madchen" has been included among Mozart's works since 1781, and it was performed under this title at Frankfort in 1789. Mozart probably undertook the adaptation after his return from Paris to Salzburg, when he busied himself with the improvement of German opera. The translation may safely be ascribed to Schachtner. The score is preserved in duplicate; and a selection of the songs was printed by André under the title "Die Gärtnerin aus Liebe." 21


This opera takes an unquestionably higher rank both as to originality, technical skill, and vivid characterisation than any that had preceded it. The seven personages, all drawn in firm outline with a sure hand, are not all comic characters.

The part of Ramiro is avowedly written for a male soprano, probably for the celebrated Tomm. Consoli (b. 1753), who entered the Munich Kapelle in 1744, and was summoned to Salzburg for the approaching festival performance. The part is throughout a serious one; Ramiro is the sentimental unfortunate lover, who only becomes comic by his alternate hopes and fears, as, true to his first inclinations, he opposes Arminda's jealous resentment.

In his first unimpassioned song (2) he declares that, being scarcely healed from his first unhappy attachment, he recoils from all fresh enticements; he has not yet seen his faithless beloved again, the sight of whom afterwards causes him to forget all in the desire to win her. The cavatina (18) renders the sentiment of true and hopeful love simply and tenderly. Finally, resentment against his faithless mistress is expressed in an agitated air (21) with strongly accentuated declamation and rapid changes of harmony. All three songs render consistently the exalted mood of a man of sentiment, whose passions, nevertheless, are not consumed by their own intensity; the individuality of the singer may doubtless have lent itself to this treatment of the part. This individuality is also evident in the fact that Ramiro's songs pay chief regard to the singer in the passages, and adhere closely to the older forms. But there is unmistakable progress in the richer and freer grouping of the subjects, and in the delicate feeling with which the digression in the middle movement is treated, and gradually led back to the main subject.

Arminda stands next to Ramiro. As an imperious, passionate girl, who ill-uses her faithful lover, and runs after another man, she is more repulsive than comic. Musical characterisation, by giving to her violence an air of pettishness, has introduced a comic element into her first air (7) which brings the noble lady very near the soubrette. The air (13) in which she threatens the Count with vengeance for "LA FINTA GIARDINIERA"—SANDRINA. [215] his inconstancy has a caricatured expression of the pathetic, which parodies the manner of the opera seria, and might, therefore, produce a comic effect. The absence of all bravura in this part, in spite of the style of the songs, which seems to call for it, was no doubt to suit the particular singer—a seconda donna.

The part of Sandrina was expressly written for Rosa Manservisi, who was highly thought of, both as a singer and an actress. 22 It is comic neither in intention nor fact. An unhappy woman, of deep and delicate feelings, injured and deceived, is forced by adverse fate to dissimulate; the difficulties into which she is led by her disguise are not ludicrous, but painful, and excite only sympathy. It was common at the time to introduce persons and situations of a sentimental character into opera buffa, without any regard to the incongruity of different styles. 23 The principal scena given to Sandrina at the close of the second act quite oversteps the boundary of opera buffa. Left deserted in the dark and gloomy forest, she gives vent to her despair in a song (21), which strikingly expresses the breathless anguish of a tender, timid maiden, in the face of unknown dangers.

A characteristic passage for the violins—[See Page Image]

the agitated nature of which is increased by syncopated notes in the accompaniment, and by the strong accent thrown on the last fourth of every bar—goes through the whole movement of the allegro agitato in varied modulation; the voice comes in with detached exclamations, and once a melodious phrase silences the accompaniment for a moment, until the orchestra again takes up its restless movement. The song passes immediately into an expressive accompanied OPERA BUFFA. [216] recitative, in which Sandrina becomes calmer, and assures herself, by looking round, of her forsaken condition. This is followed by the cavatina (22)—

     Ah dal pianto, dal singhiozzo
     Respirar io posso appena,
     Non ho voce, non ho lena,
     L' alma in sen mancando và—

which carries the expression of long-restrained feeling to its highest point. Throughout a restless, hurrying Allegro agitato (6-8) the voice has almost always interrupted passages, and seldom tries its powers in a sustained note or a melodious phrase. The orchestra remains in continual motion; at first a tender violin passage is introduced, then the oboes and bassoons alternate with each other, and with the voice. The whole is a single continuous thread of lovely melody and richly varied harmony, with one fundamental idea as its starting-point, and upon it rests the magic of grace and beauty. To the expression of excited passion follows that of resignation; both are manifestations of a nature tender and noble indeed, but neither grand nor strong.

Mozart's correct judgment led him to moderate the expression of passion in Sandrina to a degree befitting the heroine of a comic opera, while giving due prominence to her dignity and grace when she appears as the gardener's girl. She displays her true self most unreservedly in the cavatina (11) in which she bewails her unhappy love:—

     Geme la tortorella
     Lungi dalla compagna,
     Del suo destin si lagna
     E par, che in sua favella
     Vogli destar pietà.
     Io son la tortorella, &c.

Sonnleithner has noted the happy effect produced by the entrance of the voice, not at the beginning of the theme, but a little behind it, as if roused from abstraction:—



[See Page Image] A gentle spirit, not altogether lost in sadness, yet not able entirely to throw it off, is in Sandrina united to tender womanly grace, and both find due expression in the music. Even when she plays the gardener's girl, she does it with pleasant mirth never sinking to vulgarity. The air (4) in which she undertakes the defence of women against men to Ramiro (a rondo with a lively coda, 6-8), is gay and sparkling, but not very pronounced in tone.

When she seeks by her cajoleries to appease the sulky Podestà without exactly telling him that she loves him, she reveals a certain amount of coquetry, and in her exaggerated expressions of dismay at his reproaches, approaches the buffo character; but even here the moderation, delicacy, and grace of Sandrina's character is in strong contrast to that of Serpetta.

Both the comic and the pathetic aspects are combined in the Contino Belfiore, whose burlesque character appears to have been excellently represented by the buffo Rossi. His attempt on Violante's life sets him before us as a man of passion; the wavering of his inclinations between Arminda and Violante is the less comical, since he expresses his admiration of Arminda's beauty with simple and manly OPERA BUFFA. [218] dignity (6), but gives vent to his love for Sandrina, whom he recognises as Violante, in a fine outburst of true emotion. The conclusion of this song (15), being buffo in character, readjusts the situation. He has not remarked that Sandrina has gone out, and the Podestà taken her place, and he seizes the hand of the Podestà to kiss it; his confusion and annoyance required comic expression. He takes part elsewhere in comic scenes and situations; but his first appearance as a vain, supercilious coxcomb is misleading and inconsistent, and only intended to give occasion for a grand buffo air (8). The pride and loquacity with which Belfiore details his genealogy are wittily rendered by Mozart; but as a buffo song this evident concession to the taste of the singer and the public is without marked individuality. Still less happy is the idea of making the Contino, and afterwards Sandrina, go crazy. Madness is only representable in music in so far as sympathy with it as a misfortune can be aroused, which deprives it of any comic effect; the absurdities which excite to laughter cannot be rendered musically, and only in rare cases can music produce an analogous effect. In the second finale, when Sandrina and Belfiore, surrounded by bitter enemies, suddenly imagine themselves Arcadian shepherds, and sing shepherd songs, a contrast might be produced which would at least support the idea of insanity. But their mythological illusions: "Io son Medusa orribile! Io son Alcide intrepido!" could not be expressed by the music. In the terzet (24) Nardo, in order to escape the importunities of the crazy pair, points towards heaven, and tells them with increasing animation how the sun and moon quarrel, and the stars engage in love adventures; when he has set the pair gazing fixedly upwards, he makes off. Broadly represented, this gay, lively terzet must have made an effect, but it would have been equally comic had Nardo fixed their attention on anything else, since the effect depends on the vivacity and humour with which the composer grasps the situation, and withdraws the attention of the audience from the nonsense which the poet has put into the mouths of the characters.

But even this was impossible in the accompanied recitative during which Belfiore loses his senses before the eyes of the "LA FINTA GIARDINIERA"—BUFFO PARTS. [219] audience (19). At first, when he is beset by contending emotions, music is in its place; when he believes himself to be dead and in Elysium, Mozart has certainly constructed a characteristic, well-rounded movement, but a specific expression of the illusion it is not and cannot be. The song in which, restored to his senses, he expresses his joy at still living (in tempo di minuetto) is lively, and appeals to the senses like dance music, but after what has gone before it makes no comic impression.

The first bar of this—[See Page Image] reminds us, as Sonnleithner has remarked, both of the minuet and trio of the Symphony in D major (385 K.), and of a couple of bars in the first allegro of the Symphony in E flat major (543 K.).

The Podestà is a genuine buffo, proud, amorous, consequential in virtue of his office, easily excited, easily perplexed, but good-natured at bottom; the genuine type of a comic old man; there was probably a personal reason for making this character tenor instead of bass, though the course was not an unusual one. 24 The musical conception of the character is that of the traditional buffo. The first air (3) depicts, according to a fashion of the time, different instruments which are heard in the orchestra in a concerted accompaniment. This song has nothing in common with the situation or with the character of the Podestà, and is an interpolation for the German version.

The Italian text contains a song for Sandrina, "Dentro il mio petto io sento," which Mozart composed, as we learn from a letter of his father's (December 2, 1780), who had it copied for Schikaneder. The other two songs (17, 25) are genuine buffo—lively, rapidly uttered—a continual struggle between false dignity, anger, vexation, and perplexity.

The servants are also, according to custom, comic OPERA BUFFA. [220] personages. Serpetta contrasts with Sandrina in want of refinement; disappointed in her hopes of the Podestà, she becomes envious and spiteful to every one, and especially to her lover, Nardo. Besides a neat, pretty little song, of which each character sings a verse (9), she has two songs (10, 20) of a distinctly soubrette character, gay and pleasing, not without grace, but as yet without the delicate wit with which Mozart later endowed his soubrettes.

Nardo, as the attached and faithful servant of Violante, displays an address which is inconsistent with his röle of the simple lover who pursues Serpetta in spite of all her ill-treatment. The first words of the mock-heroic air (5), "A forza di martelli il ferro si riduce," have suggested an accompaniment—[See Page Image] which gives the song a peculiarly rhythmical character. In the second air (14) the rondo form is employed with striking effect. Nardo seeks to win Serpetta's hand by compliments in different languages and styles, which form alternating interludes to the main theme; this is pretty enough, but the other jokes are obsolete.

The ensembles are of a far higher character than the solos, both as regards characterisation and musical execution.

The introduction is immediately connected with the overture, and borrows its lively chorus from the third movement, but its development is completely independent. The overture itself consists of an Allegro molto, precise in its subjects and execution, but fresh and cheerful, and of a somewhat tedious Andante grazioso.

Sandrina, Serpetta, Ramiro, the Podestà, and Nardo, are discovered in the garden, awaiting the arrival of the wedding guests, and their festive mood is expressed by a joyous choral movement. Then each character in a short soliloquy explains the position of affairs, and indicates the main elements of the plot. In these soli, which pass from one to the other in the same tempo, and without a pause, Mozart "LA FINTA GIARDINIERA"—ENSEMBLES. [221] has displayed his rare power of individualisation, and without the sacrifice of interdependence in the parts of a great whole. The moonstruck Ramiro, the amorous Podestà, the excitable, prying Serpetta—each is admirably touched off, without any disregard to unity of tone. The repetition of the first chorus, with which the piece concludes, is led up to by the accompaniment, and the whole forms as complete a musical rendering of the text as was possible.

The later ensembles belong immediately to the action of the piece. At the close of the third act Sandrina and Belfiore awake from refreshing sleep healed of their madness. Belfiore seeks acceptance of Sandrina, who now acknowledges herself to be Violante, but she, abashed at his declarations of love, bids him depart, and prepares to go herself. Neither, however, can summon resolution to part, and after several attempts, they sink at last in one another's arms, forgetful of all but their newly found happiness. This situation, somewhat coarsely rendered by the poet, has been transformed by the composer into an admirable piece of character-painting (27). A long accompanied recitative passes into an elaborate and effective Adagio, in which professions of love alternate with reproaches. The Andantino (3-8), which follows is lighter in tone, and well expresses alternations of repulsion and attraction. The oboes are employed with a charming effect of longing appeal to the words: "Cont. Lei mi chiàma?—Sandrina. Signor, nö. Lei ritoma?—Cont. Oibö, oibö!" Finally, the joy of the united pair flows forth in an Allegro, which gives full opportunity for display on the part of the singers. Especially to be admired is the art with which the intense and genuine expression of emotion is tempered by the timidity of the Count and the coquetry of Sandrina, in a happy union of the pathetic and the comic which keeps the whole within the limits of' opera buffa. The rapid winding-up of the plot in the recitative dialogue, and the short animated ensemble with which the opera concludes (28) are no doubt intended not to weaken the effect of the great duet.

The finales (12, 22) of the first and second acts are masterpieces; the separate characters act and react on each other OPERA BUFFA. [222] in a way which is admirably true to life. Two conditions are essential to the elevation of such pieces into musical works of art; important points in the action or the characters must be brought out by prominent motifs, and the fundamental idea of the situation must be grasped and maintained in one motif which shall serve as a clue to the whole.

The task of the musician is the combination and elaboration of the detached elements into an interdependent whole, in which the laws of musical and dramatic art are in unconscious harmony; the master makes good his claim to the title by the depth with which he grasps the idea, by the delicacy with which he apportions the claims of individuals to independence, and by the strength and truth with which he gives life to his creations. Mozart's genius amply satisfies all these conditions. When there are few characters, and they are consequently brought nearer together, the characteristics of each are sharper and more detailed; but when the relations of the characters to each other are more involved, the musical grouping becomes more careful, so that, just as in an architectural masterpiece, the parts are merged in the whole. Each motif has its own peculiar expression, but is capable of such manifold effects of light and shade, that an oft-used motif in a new combination is as effective as if it appeared for the first time.

The form and style of opera buffa are maintained in all essential points, but with great freedom of treatment. The usual means are employed of the repetition of a short phrase with increasing intensity, the parlando while the orchestra carries on the motif, the comic effect produced by rapid speaking, sudden pauses, strong contrasts, &c.; but to these are added many traits of original invention.

In the earlier operas the boy's skill in the management of accepted forms was what we had chiefly to notice; here for the first time we are amazed at the originality of his musical powers. The wealth of characteristic, well-moulded, well-rounded melodies is quite as surprising as the organic dependence in which they mutually stand related to each other, not merely joined together. This fertility is of course "LA FINTA GIARDINIERA"—ORCHESTRA. [223] more prominent as the development of the plot renders the musical elements more complicated; especially admirable is Mozart's power of giving character and suggestiveness to his melodies in their first and simplest form. One subject from the last Allegro but one of the first finale—[See Page Image] will not fail to remind the reader of one almost identical from the first finale of "Figaro." But if the mode of treatment of the simple motif in the two instances be compared, it will be clearly seen that inventive power does not consist merely in the combination of notes. That of the later opera is of course by far superior, but even the earlier leaves little to wish for in its wealth of harmonic variety, in its union with other subjects, and in the effect of climax produced by imitation in the several parts.

It may finally and with justice be maintained of the melodies of this opera that they, as well as the whole intellectual conception, are high above the ordinary level; their grace, delicacy, and purity—in short, their beauty—belongs to Mozart, and to him alone.

The orchestra is treated quite otherwise than in the opera seria. The individual peculiarity of each instrument is OPERA BUFFA. [224] brought out, and tone-colouring as a means of characterisation is delicately and skilfully employed. In Sandrina's cavatina (22), for instance, the fine effect of the oboe and bassoon in contrast to the violin is due to the individualities of the instruments; in Ramiro's song (18) the treatment of the bassoon is original; and in the first finale an oboe solo comes in with startling effect (the Munich oboist, Secchi, was very famous). 25 The horns are also frequently made the means of effective tone-colouring; twice (13, 26) four horns are employed in a minor key to heighten the effect of a dramatic climax. More important than these detached instances is the altered relation of the orchestra to the whole work. 26 It no longer serves as an accompaniment in the sense of sustaining the voices and filling up necessary pauses; it is no longer a mere adjunct to the vocal parts, but takes its share in the effective working of the whole, filling out details which the vocal parts leave imperfect, and obeying not so much the requirements of the vocalist as the conditions of artistic perfection. This altered relationship required an altered organisation; each component part of the orchestra must have a distinct existence, so that each, according to its place and kind, might contribute to the general effect. The single example of the treatment of the basses will serve to make this clear. Hitherto the basses had served merely as the fundamental of the melody, indispensable indeed, but often clumsy and insignificant; but here, without losing their character as the ground-work of harmonic elaboration, they have an independent movement; they serve not only to support the superincumbent mass, but their quickening power sets in motion and gives the impulse to its formation.

By the side of these many excellencies the too great length of most of the pieces, especially of the songs, is felt as a defect throughout; a defect due, no doubt, to the taste of the time and to the youth of the composer. The influence of the broader form of the opera seria, and the pleasure of the [225] public in the mere hearing of music, were combined with the fact that Mozart was not yet capable of that self-criticism which rejects all that is superfluous, even when it is good in itself.

It may well be conceived that the opera was performed with extraordinary success in Munich (1775), and that it soon attained pre-eminence among the most admired contemporary comic operas. Nissen informs us that it made little effect in Frankfort (1789); the clumsy German adaptation may have been in part to blame for this; but the chief cause was doubtless the altered taste of the public, brought about by the French operettas and Mozart's "Entführung."


THE last opera of the series we have been considering [225] is the festival opera, "Il Re Pastore," composed in honour of the Archduke Maximilian, at Salzburg, in 1775, to the text of Metastasio (208 K.).

The characters and plot are as follows: 1

Alessandro, re di Macedonia.

Aminta, pastorello, amante d' Elisa, che, ignoto a se stesso, si scuopre poi l' unico legittimo erede del regno di Sidone.

Elisa, nobile ninfa di Fenicia, dell' antica stirpe di Cadmo, amante d' Aminta.

Tamiry principessa fuggitiva, figliuola del tiranno Stratone; in abito di pastorella, amante di Agenore.

Agenore, nobile di Sidone, amico di Alessandro, amante di Tamiri.

Alexander having conquered Sidon and slain the tyrant Strabo, determines to place on the throne Abdalonymus, 2 son of the last rightful king, who has been secretly brought up as a shepherd under the name of Aminta, by a faithful dependent of his father.


At the opening of the piece we find him in the midst of his flocks, while Elisa brings him the joyful tidings of the probable consent of her parents to their union. She has scarcely left him when Alexander, conducted by Agenore, enters, in order to convince himself if Aminta is worthy of the throne he intends to offer him; Aminta's virtuous moderation stands every test. While he is watering his flocks there enters Tamiri, Strabo's daughter, disguised as a shepherdess; Agenore extols to her Alexander's generosity, and promises to intercede on her behalf. The assurance of his faithful love consoles her, and she resolves to await his answer, concealed by Elisa. Elisa now enters, bearing to Aminta her father's full consent to their union; in the midst of their transport, Agenore makes Aminta acquainted with his destiny, hands him the crown, and summons him to the presence of Alexander. The lovers pledge their faith anew with much rejoicing.

In the second act, Elisa and Tamiri come to the camp of Alexander, in order to see their lovers. Tamiri, unable to overcome her fear, withdraws; Elisa seeks in vain to speak to Aminta, Agenore informing her that Aminta is occupied with more important concerns, at the same time that he respectfully reminds Aminta, who is impatient to find Elisa, of his duties as a monarch. At last Alexander appears and receives the grateful homage of Aminta, who expresses most virtuous resolutions for his future rule. On Alexander expressing regret that Tamiri should shun his presence, Agenore takes the opportunity of acquainting Alexander with her near approach. To Agenore's dismay Alexander resolves to unite her with Aminta. With the idea, however, that this will conduce to Tamiri's happiness, Agenore controls his desires, and counsels Aminta to renounce Elisa. Before the unwilling lover is convinced, Tamiri and Elisa enter, and, seeing their lovers stand confused and silent, believe them to be faithless.

At the opening of the third act, Aminta, after many scruples, informs Agenore of his determination to fulfil the duty which he believes himself to owe to Alexander. These tidings are carried by Agenore to Elisa, who refuses to doubt Aminta's truth, and will not be persuaded that submission to her fate will best prove her love for Aminta. Agenore's own constancy is put to a severer test when Tamiri vehemently accuses him of having deserted her for Aminta's sake, but he remains firm.

Then there appears before Alexander, who is preparing for the celebration of the union, first Tamiri, who declares her love for Agenore, and refuses to break her faith with him, even for the sake of a throne; then Elisa, who tells the claims she has on Aminta's heart; and finally Aminta himself, dressed as a shepherd, returns his crown to Alexander, being unable to renounce Elisa's love. Moved by all this nobleness and devotion, Alexander unites the lovers, reinstates Aminta as King of Sidon, and promises to conquer another realm for Agenore.

"IL RE PASTORE," 1775. [227]

Metastasio wrote this opera in 1751 for performance at court by four maids of honour and a cavalier; 3 he paid due regard to fitting costumes, and to the virtue and nobility of each character. 4 The pains he took at the rehearsals were requited; 5 Bono's music was excellent, 6 the scenery and costumes most brilliant, the noble performers acquitted themselves to perfection, and all was applause and approbation. 7 No wonder that he recommended the piece to Farinelli as a suitable festival opera; 8 it has, in fact, been composed very often since. 9

It was considerably curtailed for representation at Salzburg. The second and third acts were compressed into one, whereby not only was the dialogue abridged, but several songs were omitted without serious injury to the text. There were other small alterations and some few additions, but nothing essential was disturbed. Instead of Aminta's first air (act 1, sc. 2) another was introduced with an accompanied recitative, and before the duet at the end of the first act an accompanied recitative was omitted. Instead of the short concluding chorus, a kind of finale was inserted, in which soli and tutti alternate. The part of Agenore was given to a tenor, 10 Aminta to the male soprano Consoli; beyond this we know nothing of the cast or of the performance.

Mozart's composition, of which the original score in two volumes of 284 pages has been preserved, has the same finish of execution and invention which was so marvellously seen in the "Finta Giardiniera"; but the conventionalities of form are far more of a hindrance here than in the previous MOZART'S "RE PASTORE." [228] work. No scope was allowed for dramatic force or true passion; the work must be kept strictly within the limits of the festival opera. The Salzburg singers too, seem to have preferred the beaten track to any extraordinary displays of skill.

This is most apparent in the tenor part of Alexander. His three songs, whose commonplace virtuous reflections give little scope for musical treatment, have, like the regular bravura songs, a long ritornello, bravura passages, the shake at the end, the usual cadenza. In details, the effort to metamorphose the form is apparent; the second part appears as a second subject, and the passages are made more interesting by their harmonic treatment, and by the prominence given to the accompaniment. The melodies are better built up, they have more musical substance; the accompaniment takes up detached portions of the chief melodies, and gives a firmer connection to the parts. The words of the first air (4) give occasion for some of the then favourite musical painting; lightning, thunder, and rain are depicted by the orchestra, but without undue prominence. The second air (9) is interesting through the obbligato treatment of the wind instruments, the flute competing with the voice in passages. Joh. Bapt. Becke (b. 1743), who had been trained under Wendling to become an admirable flautist, was summoned from Munich for this performance. The third air (13) is in the serious conventional style, not wanting in dignity.

More individuality is given to the parts of Aminta and Elisa; at first the prevailing element is pastoral, as was usual in festival operas. The overture, consisting of one movement (Molto allegro) leads directly to Aminta's first song (1), by a pleasant pastoral melody. It is a simple shepherd's song characterised by its 6-8 time, and by the flute and horn accompaniment. For the better contentment of the singer (the soprano Consoli from Munich), his second song is a genuine bravura (3). In its division into a brilliant Allegro aperto (4-4), and an elegant Grazioso (3-8), as well as in details, the old style is apparent; but all is so much freer, fuller, and, in spite of its fragmentary "IL RE PASTORE"—THE DIFFERENT PARTS. [229] construction, so much more connected, that one feels a new spirit floating through the obsolete forms. Aminta's last air (10), when he declares himself true to his love, shakes itself quite loose from the fetters. It has the rondo form; the principal theme, twice relieved by an interlude, recurs three times, and winds up with a coda. The beauty of this cantilene is enhanced by a violin solo (written doubtless for Brunetti) equally simple and tuneful in style. The muted strings accompany the principal subject with a slightly agitated passage; the wind instruments (two flutes, two English horns, two bassoons, and two horns) are treated independently, and as delicately and tenderly as the tone of the piece requires.

Elisa's first song (2) unites in a singular degree the pastoral with the bravura character: the noble lady depicts the happiness of living as a shepherdess near her beloved Aminta. The traditional form has been so skilfully modified, and an almost playful grace is so freshly and charmingly expressed, that this song may justly be placed on a level with some of Mozart's later concert songs. The second air (8) is more strictly according to rule; the situation does not lend itself to freedom of treatment, and Mozart has contented himself with composing a harmonious and effective song.

The duet between Elisa and Aminta at the close of the first act (7) is light and pleasing, surpassing former efforts of the same kind in its clever management of the voices and in the originality of its subject. It is a charming idea and an appropriate one, to carry on the subject of the Andante with altered rhythm into the Allegro.

The parts of Tamiri and Agenore are quite secondary, scarcely more than stop-gaps. Tamiri's first air (6) is a bravura song of the ordinary type, the second (11) is almost soubrette-like in its airy lightness. Agenore's first air (5) is tender and pleasing, not much in accord with the situation. His second air (12) is pathetic, in a minor key, and stands alone of its kind. Restless agitation is portrayed by a varied and striking harmony, emphasised by [230] strongly accented chords for the wind instruments—four horns besides oboes and bassoons. But neither the character of Agenore nor the moralising words give any opening for pathos.

The finale consists of a brilliant four-part tutti movement, which is repeated entire, or in part, several times; passages for single voices are inserted, alternating cleverly and with a pleasing effect.

Mozart's evident longing to break loose from the fetters of conventionality and tradition is nowhere more apparent than in the accompaniment and in the orchestral movements, where we find a fulness and freedom of thought hitherto only shown in detached passages. Even when the old fashion is retained of employing only oboes and horns, there is an evident appreciation of the special powers of the instruments expressed, it may be, in a few notes. The orchestra has its own significance, and Mozart turns to account his intimate knowledge of the orchestra of opera seria. Trifling as these instrumental effects may appear, the main point, that instrumental music was henceforth to take an active part both in serious and comic opera, was one of great importance in the history of their development.


WE must here cast a glance at a number of separate [230] songs composed by Mozart, either for insertion in operas or for performance at concerts.

The earliest of them, composed for the two Licenze at Salzburg (p. 99), and those belonging to the first Italian journey, call for no special remark. Yet there occurs in the air composed at Rome, "Se tutti i mali miei" (183 K.), a change of key produced by enharmomic progression which deserves to be noticed:— BUFFO SONGS, 1775-76. [231] [See Page Image] No such songs are known to belong to the years immediately following, but in 1775 we find several composed at Salzburg, probably for performance by foreign vocalists visiting the city. Two tenor airs belong to May, 1775. In one of them, described as "Aria buffa" (210 K.) the singer is supposed to be flattering some one to his face with the greatest fluency, while he makes all sorts of rude remarks aside:—

     Con ossequio, con rispetto
     Io m' inchio e mi profondo
     A un sapiente si perfetto,
     Che l' egual non v' è nel mondo,
     E l' eguale non verrà—
     Per l' orgoglio e l' ignoranza e la gran bestialità.

The orchestra maintains a single theme (Allegro assai) without intermission, and the voice is almost throughout parlando in rapid vivacity; the union of a certain amount of dignity with burlesque fluency of tongue is very comical, the whole song being simply conceived and easily and consistently worked out. This song could only have been meant for performance on the stage, and the second (209 K.), "Si mostra la sorte propizia all' amante," is scarcely of importance enough for a concert-room. It is the complaint of a bashful lover, but has so little pathos as to be only SONGS. [232] suitable for opera buffa. It is simple both in design and execution, and may have been inserted to suit the powers of some singer in the place of another song. It was no doubt also for insertion in an opera buffa that an air for Dorina (217 K.), "Voi avete un cor fidele," was composed (October 26, 1775); it is in the style of a soubrette, superior to those of its kind in the "Finta Giardiniera," and equal to Despina's songs in "Cosi fan tutti." An Andantino grazioso and an Allegro, the latter considerably elaborated, are both repeated, then a few bars of the Andantino recur, and the whole is wound up by rather a long Coda in allegro. The exact repetition of both movements makes the effect of the whole somewhat stiff, but the details are fresh, animated, and very characteristic.

The tone of melting tenderness at the beginning, the mocking parlando of the questions, and finally the fervency of the words, "Ah! non credo," are so strikingly expressed, and the whole effect is so cheerful and even droll, that we cannot fail to recognise the hand of a master of his art. The subjects and the passages in the allegro are neat and graceful, and the orchestral parts are lively and appropriate.

A tenor song (256 K.), "Clarice cara mia sposa," composed for Signor Palmini, September, 1776, is a true theatrical buffo air, and bears lively testimony to Mozart's comic talent. A Capitano prates nonsensically, with much swagger, of how he will have his own way in spite of everybody; a Don Timoteo seeks in vain to interrupt the flow of his talk, which seems to run over in an unintermittent succession of triplets falling like heavy rain, and, as it were, drenching the hearer in an instant.

The monotonous parlando is provided with just so much of melody as to indicate that it is sung, not spoken. The orchestra maintains a very simple subject—[See Page Image] with varied harmonies, in a light, even sketchy manner, but with considerable musical interest. Even the few words in ALTO SONG, 1776. [233] recitative, thrown in by Don Timoteo, do not allow the singer to take breath, and only serve to make the next paroxysm still more comical.

Another song, composed in the same month for the alto Fortini, may have been intended for performance at a concert. Mozart justly considered this song worthy to live, for he writes from Vienna (April 12, 1783) to beg that the rondo for an alto voice may be sent to him which he had composed when the Italian troupe were at Salzburg. The idea is the usual one of the leave-taking of a disconsolate lover. The introduction is a not very long, but an expressive recitative. The transition from this to the air itself is charming and very touching; it is the involuntary expression of the pain of parting welling out from the innermost depths of the heart:—[See Page Image]

Both the movements of the song, Andante moderato and Allegro assai, are repeated; then the Andante recurs for the third time, makes its way through an Allegretto to the Allegro assai, and from this a subject is selected, which leads through an effective crescendo to a pause on the SONGS. [234] seventh. Then the opening bars of the Andante are repeated, stop short, and the song is rapidly concluded 'by the Allegro. The hesitation and irresolution of the lover, who cannot bring himself to depart, find ready expression in this change of movement. A deep, calm, and restrained emotion, corresponding admirably to the character of an alto voice, is well portrayed by the simple, unornamented song, interrupted only by the stronger accents of intense grief. The orchestral accompaniment is so managed as skilfully to heighten the peculiar effect of an alto voice.

Repeated mention is made in the letters of the year 1777, and afterwards, of a scena composed for Madame Duschek. 1 In the summer of 1777, Josepha Duschek, a singer and pianoforte-player of celebrity, and a young, vivacious woman, came for a visit from Prague to Salzburg. The foundation was laid of a friendship with Wolfgang, of which we shall frequently have occasion to speak. The scena in question is probably the grand aria of Andromeda (272 K.), "Ah, lo previdi," belonging to August, 1776, not long before his departure from Salzburg, and one of the greatest compositions of the kind. An agitated recitative is followed by a long, elaborate Allegro, expressive of the passion of a brave and noble mind. Scorn for perfidy overpowers even pain at the loss of the beloved one; tones which seem to scorch and wither pour forth like glowing metal on the betrayer; then comes a subject which has already made itself heard more than once in the orchestra as a cry of suppressed pain, and this leads to a gentler mood; grief for the lost love is expressed in a beautiful recitative, and dies away into calm and composed melancholy with a Cavatina, which concludes the scena.

The psychological truth of the details, the blending of the transitions, the unity of the tone, are qualities quite as much to be admired in this song as the musical originality and skill "AH, LO PREVIDI," 1777—LIEDER. [235] displayed in its composition. The last movement is perhaps a little spun out; although the strain of long-continued violent emotion seems to require a correspondingly gradual cessation.

The orchestra is as simply managed as in the earlier songs; for wind instruments only horns, bassoons and oboes are employed, with, more seldom, flutes; in the recitatives there are only stringed instruments. 2

It is indicative of the taste of the time that among so many vocal compositions the song proper (lied) seldom or never appears. Five very simple Lieder with clavier accompaniments belong to the earlier Salzburg epoch (147-151 K.); they are more pedantic than any other of the compositions, and interest us chiefly through the words by Günther and Canitz, which Mozart has selected for composition.

HE years of Mozart's development at Salzburg were fruitful not only of operatic compositions, but of others which arose from the circumstances of his residence there. First among these stands church music.

Church music had long been fostered at Salzburg, and was especially encouraged by Archbishop Sigismund; his severe and world-contemning piety caused him to keep the service of the church continually before the eyes both of singers and composers. The prospect of a moderate pension induced many clever artists to settle in Salzburg, in spite of the poor payment they received for their services. Sigismund's successor,

Hieronymus, extended his parsimony even to the members of the Kapelle, whom he estranged by his overbearing manners; on the whole, music rather declined than advanced under his rule, 3 although he cared more than Sigismund for the splendour of his court. 4


FIFTEEN choristers [235]were maintained at the cost of the Archbishop in the Kapellhaus, and educated by special instructors. They afterwards entered the choir as singers or passed into the service of the court; if they showed extraordinary talent, they were sent to finish their training in Italy, and then took their place as solo singers. 3 Archbishop Sigismund allowed the male sopranos to die out, and did not replace them with others; on the other hand he sent the daughter of the cathedral organist, Maria Magd. Lipp, to be educated as a singer in Italy, and on her return in 1762 he appointed her court singer; she soon afterwards married Michael Haydn, lately arrived at Salzburg. In 1778 Hieronymus again took a male soprano into his service, Ant. Ceccarelli,CHURCH MUSIC. [236] a singer of moderate powers and bad moral character.

The orchestra belonging to the choir was an ample one for the time, and was strengthened by a trumpet band for the support of the voices in the church. There were further two bands of six trumpets and drums, which did not properly belong to the court, but to the chamberlain's office, and which ranked between the equerries and the lackeys. 4 But no one was taken into this service who could not also, at need, strengthen the stringed instruments.

In 1762, when Lolli was kapellmeister, and Leopold Mozart vice-kapellmeister, Joh.Michael Haydn 5 (1737-1806), the younger brother of Joseph, was appointed concertmeister and director of the orchestra, on the recommendation of a MICHAEL HAYDN. [237] nephew of Archbishop Sigismund, at Grosswardein, where Haydn had been kapellmeister since 1757. The personal intercourse between the families of Haydn and Mozart was not over friendly. Haydn was fond of sitting over a glass of beer or wine, which was all the more reprehensible in the sight of the temperate and conscientious Mozart, since it caused frequent neglect of duty.

"Who do you think," he writes to Wolfgang (December 29,1777), "is appointed organist at the Holy Trinity? Herr Haydn! Every one laughs. He is an expensive organist; after every litany he drinks a quartern of wine, and he sends Lipp to the extra services, who drinks too." (June 29, 1778): "This afternoon Haydn played the organ for the litany and the Te Deum (at which the Archbishop was present), but so badly that we were all horrified.... Haydn will drink himself to death soon; or at least, being lazy enough already, he will become still lazier the older he gets." 6

The conduct of Frau Haydn also must have been objectionable. Wolfgang writes mockingly to Bullinger (August 7, 1778): "It is quite true that Haydn's wife is ill; she has carried her rigours too far; there are few like her! I only wonder that she has not lost her voice long ago through her constant scourgings, wearing of sackcloth, prolonged fasts, and midnight prayers." Neither was Haydn's cultivation such as to cause L. Mozart to wish for nearer intercourse between the families. "I should like to hear him speak Italian in Italy," he writes (December 4, 1777); "the people would certainly say, 'Questo è un vero Tedesco!"' 7 Personal difference and trifling jealousies, such as easily arise in small communities, may have had some influence on this unfavourable criticism of Michael Haydn; it did not extend, however, to his merits as an artist. It is true that L. Mozart was of opinion when Michael Haydn, in 1787, composed the opera "Andromeda e Perseo," that he had no talent for CHURCH MUSIC. [238] dramatic music, and that his principal songs might have been written for a choir-boy. But he praised, in strong terms, the entr'acte music for Zaire, which Haydn had composed in 1777, and analysed it carefully, telling his son that the Archbishop had done him the honour to say to him at table, that he could not have believed Haydn capable of composing such music; and that instead of beer he should drink nothing but Burgundy. Haydn received a reward of six kronthaler (October 1 and October 9, 1777). But when L. Mozart writes to his son: "Herr Haydn is a man whose musical merits you will not deny" (September 24, 1778), he is referring to his church music, which Wolfgang was in the habit of copying for study. Writing from Vienna, he asks for "small paper, Eberlin's Counterpoint, bound in blue, and some of Haydn's things"; 8 and shortly after (March 12, 1783): "The 'Tres sunt' (M. Haydn's) is in score, in my handwriting." He wanted these things for the Sunday performances at Van Swieten's, and asked also for Michael Haydn's latest fugue. "The 'Lauda Sion,'" he writes (March 12, 1783), "was a great success; the fugue, 'In Te Domine speravi,' was much admired, as also the 'Ave Maria' and 'Tenebrae.'" Among Mozart's remains were found two fugues, 'Pignus futuræ gloriæ,' copied by his own hand from Michael Haydn's Litanies.


The cathedral organist, appointed in 1751, was Anton Cajetan Adlgasser (1728—1777), a pupil of Eberlin, who had been sent by the Archbishop to study in Italy, a first-rate organ-player and accompanist, whose sacred compositions were afterwards performed and highly appreciated at Salzburg. Less remarkable was the second organist, Franz Ign. Lipp, Haydn's father-in-law.

The kapellmeister and organist did not confine themselves to conducting performances of church music: they made it a point of honour to provide suitable music for special festival occasions. At such time new compositions were considered indispensable; indeed, throughout the year a constant variety of music was sought to be provided. This activity in church music was of the greatest service to young composers, who never wanted an opportunity for bringing out new compositions, nor for learning by hearing and comparing.

It was not the less beneficial in the way of training that they were obliged to keep within the limits of certain clearly defined forms, and to be content with the often scanty means which they found ready to hand. Through the influence of transmitted customs and individual peculiarities, as well as of the taste of those in authority, local traditions grew up, whose narrow rules hindered freedom of development. Such control is most irksome in church matters, wherein all, even what is in itself unimportant, must be considered as partaking of the sanctity of the whole. The counterbalancing gain of such training is technical finish, the indispensable foundation for the development of genius, with which alone can any effort to break loose from what is false in tradition be successful.

Mozart found the rules and forms of church music as clearly defined as those of the opera. Both had been formed in the Neapolitan school, and the impulses given up each had been in the same direction. The turning-point was the introduction of melodies which had their own significance as expressions of emotion, without regard to their harmonic or contrapuntal treatment. No sooner had melody gained recognition in opera and cantata, as the natural and CHURCH MUSIC. [240] legitimate form of musical expression, than it made a way for itself into the church by means of oratorio. The simple grandeur of the older church music (particularly that of the Roman school, with Palestrina as its representative) depended chiefly on the fact that the chorus of voices was treated as an organic whole, of which no one part could be recognised as a distinct entity apart from the rest. The impression made by such music resembles that of the sea. Wave follows upon wave, and each one seems to be like the last; yet underlying the apparent monotony there exists an ever-varied life, an invincible strength, manifesting itself alike in peaceful calm and raging storm, and filling the mind with a sense of sublimity and grandeur, without satiety and without fatigue. But so soon as one melody was distinguished above the rest the union and equality of the voices was disturbed. Separate voices became more or less prominent as occasion required; and it could not fail to follow that the other voices should be employed merely to fill up and support the principal melody. A certain amount of independence and character might indeed be given to the accompanying voices by skilful management, but the principle remains unaltered, so long as a melody and its accompaniment are in question.

The change became more marked when instrumental music gained admission into the church. At first the organ and trumpets were employed merely to support and strengthen the voices. But when stringed instruments, and by degrees the various wind instruments of the orchestra, came into use in churches, they gradually adopted in church music, as in secular, the part of accompaniment to the voices. This tendency was most apparent of course in solo singing; but a manner of orchestral accompaniment to the choruses was gradually elaborated which could not fail to influence the treatment of the voice parts. The use of the severest contrapuntal method had hitherto been considered an essential condition and embellishment of church music; but on this point also an alteration of opinion and taste gained gradual ground.

The perfection of contrapuntal treatment, consisting in the absolute freedom and independence of the several parts, COUNTERPOINT IN CHURCH MUSIC. [241] with their due correlation, can only be obtained by strict obedience to well-defined laws; added to which must be a firm conception of some simple fundamental idea whose many-sided development shall give unity and cohesion to the whole work. This form of composition is therefore peculiarly appropriate to the delivery of serious and weighty ideas; it is however but a form, and can be endued with life and significance only by the matter which it contains, and by the spirit which animates it. In old times the madrigal served to illustrate contrapuntal forms in secular music; and even in the present day canons and fugues, sometimes with comic effect, sometimes giving expression to very varied emotions, are often so skilfully constructed that the uninitiated have no suspicion of the artistic learning with the effect of which they are charmed. Although counterpoint is in itself neither spiritual nor ecclesiastical, it is conceivable that in proportion as secular music freed itself from the trammels, the error should arise of imagining severity of form and structure to be peculiarly appropriate to church music. This identification of counterpoint with ecclesiastical ideas caused its development to proceed side by side with those other forms which had made good their footing in church music. The opposition which was felt to exist between severe methods and methods not severe led to a compromise; certain parts of the liturgical text were treated contrapuntally, and others freely. The proportions depended greatly on personal and local influences, but the main points of the division were decided by the Neapolitan school.

The moral tendency of this change of construction must not be overlooked. The free treatment of melody gave to subjective emotion, with its ever-varying alternations, a suitable method of musical expression, and an art which was developing in this direction must have had extraordinary influence. The effort to make church music subject to this influence was the necessary consequence of a newly awakened life in art. The musician felt himself impelled to represent religious emotion in its full strength and truth, and with all the means at his command; the liturgy called forth the expression of the liveliest and most passionate emotion, it CHURCH MUSIC. [242] offered opportunities for representing the most vivid dramatic situations; even the glory of worship called on its votaries to bring the splendour of music, as well as of painting and sculpture, into the Divine service. But the direction taken by the intellectual progress of that time, especially in Italy, was fraught with the dangers which invariably threaten an art which is struggling to free itself from tradition. The Church was tolerant towards the aspirations of art, so long as they afforded an effective means for her glorification, but she sternly repressed any efforts to break loose from the fetters of her ordinances and customs. On the other hand, men rejoiced in what had been so easily and rapidly gained, and satisfied themselves with the superficial freedom which they had attained. Proportionally was the development of a formalism in accordance with the Italian character, which seeks for beauty always in set forms, and demanded the adoption of such forms by church music. The opera was the model; thence sprang the moral and artistic element which became manifest in the forms of church music, appealing not so much to the faith of the congregation as to the taste of musical connoisseurs. Any attempt to transport operatic forms directly into church music was forbidden by the liturgical form of Divine service, to which the music must be subordinate. But the connection was severed with the old church modes from which ancient church music borrowed its subjects, treating them after a long since obsolete tone-system; and a merely devotional musical symbolism was renounced for the freedom of original creation. For though subjects were borrowed in later times from the old church modes, they lost their significance when detached, and were, besides, treated according to the new lights. Finally, the sway of the singer was mighty in church music as elsewhere. The habit of delighting in the finished performances of the vocalist was united with the idea that he who could most fully satisfy the prevailing taste was also the most worthy to serve the Most High and to exalt the glory of worship. We shall therefore find the church music of the latter half of the eighteenth century composed of the same materials as operatic music, and exercising much the same effect.


The same influence which had been won by Italian operatic music in Germany penetrated to the churches of Catholic Germany, and attained to complete sovereignty. But there was a difference, important, though not at the time generally or consciously felt. The conception and mode of expression of Italian church music was, although secularised, yet in its essence national, and in its appeals to religious emotion it might count upon universal comprehension and sympathy.

But transplanted to Germany both the ideas and their mode of execution were strange, and could only be adopted after a preliminary artistic training; what in Italy had grown up in the course of national development was transmitted to Germany as mere form. The delicate sense of beauty and of grace, the excitable, passionate nature of the Italians, could not be transplanted, and the external adjuncts were even more superficially treated than on the soil from which they sprang. Contrapuntal work, especially the fugue, was haunted by the school traditions of church usages, which conduced to a spiritless formalism of routine. Thus, carelessness and pedantry, superficiality and dulness were combined, and church music declined more rapidly and visibly than the opera. The difference between the true essence and its extinct form is the more apparent and significant the deeper it lies; and to this must be added the fact that the continuous demand for church music' gave rise to the production of a mass of inferior work, from which the opera was preserved in deference to the taste of the public. Under these circumstances it was impossible even for a surpassing genius to do more than distinguish himself in some particulars; the efforts of an individual after thorough-going reform could only be successful supported by the spirit of the age and of the nation. 9

This general position held by church music was modified in different regions by local peculiarities of the liturgy, by the tastes of church authorities, and by the differences in the CHURCH MUSIC. [244] musical forces at command. The peculiar circumstances under which Mozart wrote in Salzburg are described by himself in a letter to Padre Martini (September 4, 1776): 10

I live in a place where music prospers but little, although we have some good musicians, and some especially good composers of thorough knowledge and taste. The theatre suffers for want of singers; we have few male sopranos, and are not likely to have more, for they require high pay, and over-liberality is not our weak point. I busy myself with writing church and chamber music, and we have two capital contrapuntists, Haydn and Adlgasser. My father is kapellmeister at the metropolitan church, which gives me the opportunity of writing as much as I like for the church. But as my father has been thirty-six years in the service of the court, and knows that the Archbishop does not care to have people of an advanced age about him, he takes things quietly and devotes himself chiefly to literature, which has always been his favourite study. Our church music differs widely and increasingly from that of Italy.

A mass, with Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, the Sonata at the Epistle, the Offertorium or Motett, Sanctus and Agnus Dei, must not last longer than three-quarters of an hour, even on festivals when the Archbishop himself officiates. This kind of composition requires special study. And yet the mass must have all the instruments, trumpets, drums, &c. Ah, if we were not so far from each other, how much I should have to tell you!

We have further information on the arrangements made for church music in the cathedral. 11 "The cathedral contains a large organ at the back by the entrance, four side organs in front of the choir, and a little choir organ below the choir where the choristers sit. The large organ is only used on grand occasions and for preludes; during the performance one of the four side organs is played, generally that next to the altar on the right side, where the solo singers and basses are. Opposite, by the left-side organ, are the violinists, &c., and on the two other sides are two choruses of trumpets and drums. The lower choir organ and double-bass join in when required." 12


Among Mozart's compositions for the Church, his masses. 13 by reason of their importance in Divine service, take the first place. 14 In the divisions of the several parts, we find him following in the beaten track of the Neapolitan school. The different parts of the text coincide with the prescribed pauses made by the officiating priest, but are very differently worked out. 15 Where the composer has free scope, the separate sections are usually treated as independent pieces, with regular alternations of solo and chorus. But such elaborate masses were only performed on solemn occasions (Missa solemnis) or through the preference of an influential personage—they took up too much time for the regular service.

In the short mass (Missa brevis) the larger divisions were treated in the main as a connected musical movement of which the separate sections were detached indeed, but not independent of each other; the degree of connection is of course very varied.

The thrice-repeated cry, "Kyrie eleison! Christe eleison! Kyrie eleison!" is regularly developed into a lengthy movement. It was formerly the custom 16 to prefix a short, slow and solemn movement on the words "Kyrie eleison," to an agitated more elaborate one 17 (49, 65,66, K.); but afterwards the whole became one movement. The prayer for the mercy of God is animated, and though devoid of depth, never sinks to mere trifling. A more serious mood is generally indicated by the severer contrapuntal treatment of the voices (192, 194, 262, K). The words "Christe eleison" are regularly accentuated, usually with an expression of beseeching melancholy, and often by solo voices. The solo voices and choruses generally alternate in the Kyrie.

The Gloria 18 is divided into several movements, CHURCH MUSIC. [246] conformably to the successive invocations of which it consists. The character of the whole is one of exulting praise, the tone being indicated by the opening words, "Gloria in excelsis Deo." The effort to express the solemn dignity of divine worship by external splendour, is apparent in the animated, fervent, and often stately progress of this movement. The opening subject is revived at appointed places, usually at the Quoniam, and forms a connecting thread throughout the piece. A solo is often introduced at the words "Lau-damus Te and, even without much intentional expression, the four commas of the words, "Laudamus Te, benedicimus Te, adoramus Te, glorificamus Te," form natural pauses, and regulate the musical and rhythmical division of the passage.

But the contrast of solo and chorus is determined less by the sense of the words than by the necessities of art, requiring variations of light and shade. As a rule, the words of highest import are given to the chorus; the solos serve for ornament, or as a preparation for a chorus of renewed and increased strength.

The central point of this part of the mass is formed by the thrice-repeated cry:—

    Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis!
    Qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram!
    Qui sedes ad dexteram patris, miserere nobis

Here we have a mood expressed of deep agitation, offering excellent opportunity for musical treatment, both in feeling and form. The "Qui tollis" is the nucleus of all Mozart's Glorias; he enunciates it simply enough through the chorus, relying for effect on the charm of rich and original harmonies, as bold in conception as they are clear and decided in rendering. The words which follow, "Quoniam Tu solus sanctus, Tu solus Dominus, Tu solus altissimus, Jesu Christe," are GLORIA—CREDO. [247] treated as a song of praise, 19 in order to relieve the gloom of the "Qui tollis," and to give stronger emphasis to what is to follow. For the last words, "cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris, Amen," are treated without regard to the context, as an independent fugue. In Mozart's early masses the fugue is short (49, 65, K.), but they soon became long and often elaborate (60,115,139,167,192, 262, K.). Archbishop Hieronymus, however, had an aversion to fugues; and in Mozart's later masses the Gloria came to an end in a short choral passage (220, 257, 258, 259, K.).

The Credo offered the greatest difficulties to musical treatment. A long movement, whose several parts are dependent on one emphatic verb placed at the beginning, cannot be musically rendered in such a way that the connection remains apparent to the hearer; each phrase disturbs the grammatical construction of the period. In order to overcome this difficulty the word "credo" was repeated at fitting points (192,257, K). 20 But although logical requirements are thus to a certain degree satisfied, the repeated "credo" does not fit into the grammatical structure, and the contrast between the spoken and the musical expression is in reality only intensified.

In close connection with this is the further difficulty that the delarations of faith belong essentially to the domain of speculation, and can rarely work directly on the feelings; neither does the form into which they are thrown incite the fancy to musical expression. These difficulties might be surmounted at a time when music with all her powers and capacities placed herself unreservedly at the disposal of worship, accepting the prescribed words with perfect faith in their sanctity, and only anxious to give them their fullest and truest expression. There was as little question of CHURCH MUSIC. [248] individuality in art as in faith; the unquestioned law of ecclesiastical infallibility impressed on every work the stamp of the subjection of art to religion. Even the forms of the music followed the ancient and hallowed traditions of the cultus, and embodied ecclesiastical formulas in strict counterpoint. But as by degrees subjective emotion and expression gained ground in church music, and as the old severity of form gave place to a wealth of means and expedients, the ecclesiastical text fell under the criticism of the musicians, who subjected it to the test of the conditions required for the production of a perfect work of art. Composers learned to look upon the Credo as material to be worked up into an artistic musical form, even when it did not lend itself easily to the process. A sort of type was gradually evolved, that was closely adhered to in many particulars. One such, for instance, is the strong accentuation of death in the words, "judicare vivos et mortuos," and "resurrectionem mortuo-rum," the tone-painting of the "descendit de coelis," the repetition of the "non" in the words "cujus regni non erit finis," and others of the same kind. Such an evident tendency to emphasise details at the cost of the whole, only shows how composers took refuge in whatever was capable of musical expression, in order to extricate themselves as far as they could from the burden of the rest.

The main passages on which the musical strength of the Credo was concentrated are those in which the mention of the incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ appeal most vividly to the senses and the imagination. It had become customary to connect the words, "Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de coelis," whether made prominent by solo singing or not, with those which preceded them, and to make a pause with "Et incarnatus." 21 These words are generally rendered by a tender solo voice, as if they would fain hover round the cradle of the heavenly Child, to express the gratitude of mankind for his incarnation. Then solemnly and sadly the chorus depicts CREDO. [249] the deep pain of "Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est," breaking out at "Et resur-rexit" &c., into joyful trust in the resurrection. In all this Mozart's wonderful genius succeeded in awakening imagination and emotion which, again, his artistic moderation knew how to calm; his firm grasp of his art enabling him to produce the most striking effect with the simplest means, and to gather up the details, so that each sustains and elevates the other without injuring the consistency of the whole Credo. This unusual combination of qualities gives to this part of the mass a high degree of artistic finish even when the treatment is most simple and confined.

The words "Et in Spiritum Sanctum" are usually given to a solo voice,—more, however, from custom than for any special signification of their own (49, 65, 139, K.); they are introduced by a long instrumental prelude (262 K.). Apart from the interests of the Church, which might have some influence here, the necessity could not but be felt for a strong contrast between this and the following passages. For what follows, "Et unam sanctam catholicam et apos-tolicam ecclesiam," &c., is given by the whole strength of the chorus. The last words, "et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen," is again treated as a fugue. Here, again, we find first a short fugued movement (49, 65, 192, K.), but later a long and cleverly worked-out fugue (139, 167, 262, K.), until the influence of Archbishop Hieronymus led to the conclusion of the Credo, like the Gloria, in a short animated chorus (257, 258, 259, 275, K.).

Various methods were employed to gather the phrases of the Creed into a consistent musical work. The repetition of the word "credo" (167, 257, K.), even in places where it somewhat disturbs the grammatical construction, serves to combine the musical texture of the movements

The periodical recurrence of the musical phrase conduces to careful mechanism, and gives opportunity for variety and increased intensity in the treatment of the subject. Apart from this, unity is provided for by a pregnant rhythmical passage or a carefully finished subject which marks the beginning of the Credo, and underlies its several divisions, CHURCH MUSIC. [250] forming a sort of background from which the more impressive images stand out.

The appropriate elaboration of this subject is the special task of the artist, and the text is to be considered only as a point de départ to it. The mode of treatment varies and is sometimes contrapuntal, sometimes harmonic; in one part the voices predominate, in another the instruments, in which latter case the then favourite running passage for the violins is frequently employed.

The general character of church music was more prominently displayed in the Creed than elsewhere. An animated and elevated frame of mind was vividly portrayed, with more cheerfulness and brilliancy than solemnity or earnest devotion, and only at moments does the music show a consciousness of the deep significance of the text. Mozart pays tribute to his time; but his artistic nature did not allow him to sink into triviality or commonplace; symmetry, beauty, and delicacy are never found wanting. The remaining sections of the mass lend themselves more readily to musical treatment. They express deep and universal sentiments in words as simple as those of the Kyrie, and musical both in sound and suggestion.

The Sanctus falls naturally into three well-defined parts. The first words, "Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth!" intended to convey an impression of the most exalted sublimity, are generally treated as a solemn introduction to the more animated and fervent words, "Pleni sunt coli et terra gloria Tua." Agitation rises into joyful emotion in the Osanna, to which the form of a short fugal movement is usually given.

The Benedictus, 22 on the other hand, strives to express the secret thanksgiving of the heart at the coming of the Lord. A mild fervour penetrates the simple words, which seem to cast illumining beams on every side. Mozart's artistic originality has so clearly stamped the impress of his genius on the traditional form of the Benedictus that his interpretation of it has become the customary one. It is, as a rule, given BENEDICTUS. [251] to solo voices, to which more prominence is given here than elsewhere. Now and then single voices (65,139,194, K.), but more often all the four—now alternately, now in unison—announce the message of consolation; obbligato organ accompaniments serve still further to mark the prominence given to this movement (259 K.). It has a charming effect (258 K.) when the chorus recurring at intervals during the solos enunciates with sustained expression the word "benedictus." The Osanna is usually repeated either entire or abridged from the Sanctus, but it is sometimes interwoven into the Benedictus (139, 262, K.)

The last movement falls naturally into two strongly contrasting sections. The first, expressing the sentiments of contrition, of anguished appeal for mercy, was treated with great partiality. The cry, "Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi," and the prayer, "miserere nobis," furnish a natural grouping not seldom employed for alternations of solo and chorus; the mood expressed is very favourable to musical treatment.

The "Dona nobis pacem" is in complete contrast, and in no movement of the mass is the alteration in the spirit of church music more apparent. The peace which is prayed for is vividly represented, and just as vivid is the tone of cheerful confidence with which the prayer is offered. The devout hearer was to be dismissed with a pleasant impression on his mind, and therefore the deep earnestness of this petition for peace was sacrificed in order to produce a feeling of self-satisfied enjoyment. The music of the Dona maintains throughout this cheerful tone, and though Mozart's variety and grace are as marked and effective here as elsewhere, even with him earnestness and depth are rarely to be met with.

We may now conclude this general description with a glance in detail on Mozart's masses. We have already spoken of his first attempts. Some unfinished masses, presumably the result of his studies under Padre Martini, exist, bearing date 1771 and 1772. The furthest advanced, in C major (115 K.), breaks off at the ninth bar of the Sanctus. It is accompanied only by a figured organ bass, CHURCH MUSIC. [252] and is strictly treated with the exception of the two fugues; it is worked out in severe contrapuntal form almost throughout, as the Kyrie, introduced by five bars of Adagio, will serve to show:—[See Page Image]

MASS IN C MAJOR, 1772. [253]

The whole work reminds us forcibly of Padre Martini's church compositions, and it is not surprising that the hand of a learner should be here apparent. A Mass in F major (116 K.), which breaks off at the words "sedet ad dexteram patris," is of the same kind, as well as a Kyrie in C major (221 K.). An Osanna in C major (223 K.) and a Credo ("in remissionem" to "mortuorum") belonging to it seem also to have been studies in counterpoint.

A Mass in C major (139 K.), probably belonging to the year 1772, is an effort in quite another direction. Every means is employed to produce an extraordinary effect, and it may be conjectured that this, like the Pater Dominicus mass, was composed for some special occasion. 23 Every section is treated as a detached independent movement.

The Kyrie begins with a slow pathetic passage in C minor, followed by an animated allegro in C major 3-4, and by the Christe eleison as a solo quartet, after which the Kyrie is repeated. 24 The solo voices are much used in different combinations, apart from the short passages inserted between the choruses. Laudamus is a duet for soprano and alto, Domine a duet for tenor and bass, Quoniam a soprano solo, Et incarnatus a duet for soprano and alto, Et in spiritum a tenor solo, and Benedictus a soprano solo, to which the chorus sings Osanna. Even the Agnus Dei begins with a tenor solo followed by a chorus; the last appeal before the Dona is given to the solo quartet. These solo movements are well rounded, and are both preceded and followed by long symphonies; the effort to produce a pleasing effect is apparent in the whole work, and a moderate amount of operatic bravura is not disdained. This brings into stronger relief the pathos which is given to every passage capable of it. The Qui tollis, Crucifixus, and Agnus, as well as the Kyrie, are in the CHURCH MUSIC. [254] minor key; striking harmonies are emphasised by means of the accompaniment, and three trumpets contribute to the orchestral effects. The solemn Crucifixus—[See Page Image] MASS SS. TRINITATIS, 1773. [255] follows in evident contrast immediately upon the soprano solo—[See Page Image] whereupon the chorus and orchestra, with three trumpets, fall in.

But the youthful master does not neglect the display of his skill in counterpoint. Besides some few instances of more or less elaborate imitation, the two customary fugues, the first on the theme—[See Page Image] the second "et vitam" are furnished with two subjects and every requisite for complete fugues. It is true that the strongly contrasting original ideas exist only as such, and form no united whole, so that we are all the more struck by the conventional treatment of the greater part of the work; but it must be conceded, notwithstanding, that progress has been made, and that the power is making itself felt which, with a wider field, shall produce better and more original work.

The mass composed in 1773 "In honorem SS. Trinitatis" (167 K.) is for chorus alone, without any solo movements: it displays no very high aim, but earnestness and ability throughout. The Kyrie is long and elaborate, without any sustained subject. In the Gloria the voices sustain the harmony, accompanied by a lively violin passage. The Credo is interesting through the persistent attempt to mould it into a firm musical organism. Three motifs occur quite at the beginning, apportioned in different combinations to the voices, viz., a rhythmical, characteristic passage—[See Page Image] a more melodious phrase— CHURCH MUSIC. [256] and a running passage:—[See Page Image]

MASS SS. TRINITATIS, 1773. [257]

These three subjects form the essential substance of the Credo, the first, with changing harmonies, forming the root whence the others spring at fitting places, by which means the due expression of the words and the musical exigences of the composition are alike provided for. The continuous agitation is only once interrupted, at the short but grave and dignified "Et incarnatus est," and at the words "Et in Spiritum Sanctum." These points are emphasised by their separation from the rest through a long symphony, and by a digressive mode of treatment which reminds one of a solo. Towards the end of the broadly elaborated fugue, "Et vitam," the violins return to the first motif of the Credo, the voices take up the second motif with the "Amen," and the violins, asserting the supremacy of the first, bring the whole to a conclusion.

The Benedictus is unusually grave for a chorus, but is relieved by the easy grace of the violins. The thematic treatment of the principal subject of the Dona—[See Page Image] gives it firmness and consistency; the accompaniment becomes more prominent in the middle, and the admirably well-sustained conclusion is dignified in mood and expression.

The Mass in F major (192 K.), composed on June 24,1774, is the work of a finished artist, and has rightly been placed CHURCH MUSIC. [258] next after the Requiem. 25 The whole mass, which reminds us of the finest examples of the older Neapolitan school, is in the strictest form of composition, none of the smaller sections forming an independent movement; the most delicate use is made of the simplest materials. The chorus and solos alternate throughout, the solo voices (never concerted) supplying the finer shadows to the chorus, which in return serves for response or repetition and conclusion. The accompaniment consists only of a bass (figured for the organ) and two violins, but it is independently worked out and effective both in tone-colouring and as a contrast to the voices.

Every section of the mass is in counterpoint, and shows the firm hand of a master. The unity of the whole and of the several parts, which is the necessary consequence of this musical method, is apparent here to a surprising degree. The parts combine to express and dilate upon a well-defined idea, the separate features of which are not thrown together arbitrarily or by chance. A subject which in one place is merely indicated or foreshadowed becomes in another the main subject; in short, the independence of each separate part produces the uniform clear texture of the whole. Thus the Gloria begins with an important subject for the soprano—[See Page Image] MASS IN P MAJOR, 1774. [259] which is the groundwork of the whole movement, and—now entire and unaltered, now abridged or modified—appears in different positions as Cantus firmus; while the remaining parts, treated contrapuntally, give due emphasis to each change of mood, until the whole concludes with a grand Amen in unison. The same thing occurs in the Credo. The link here is a motif—[See Page Image] which, borrowed from the intonation of the Magnificat or of the Gloria in the third tone, has been often employed, by Al. Scarlatti, 26 for instance, in a mass, and by Michael Haydn in a gradual (Qui sedes, No. 3), as Alleluia. Mozart has made frequent use of it. We find it again in the Sanctus of another mass (257 K.) in a Symphony in B flat major (319 K.) composed in 1779, in a pianoforte Sonata in £ flat major, composed in 1785, each time easily treated as a connecting subject, until it finally appears as the theme of the last movement of the Symphony in C major (551 K.) In the present work it recurs again and again as Cantus firmus, or in imitation, always the bond and support of the detached articles of faith. Then it becomes the root of the subjects for single phrases, such as the magnificent Crucifixus, the Confiteor and the fugued Et vit am. We scarcely know whether to admire most the masterly skill which makes light of difficulty, or the inventive imagination which can develop an idea from so many and such varied-points of view, making the same subject express calm faith in the Credo, bitter pain in the Crucifixus, and joyful confidence in the Et vit am.

The Sanctus and Benedictus are short, fine contrapuntal movements, the Benedictus especially simple and full of grace. The Agnus Dei is freer in form. Three solo voices make the appeal, which the chorus answers with "miserere nobis." The harmonic successions, and the beautiful violin passage in the accompaniment, give a peculiarly affecting CHURCH MUSIC. [260] character to this movement, which suggests a comparison with the Requiem. The Dona is fine and pure, but the effort to give it a cheerful and agreeable tone has robbed it of depth and significance.

Even the accompaniment of this mass has an importance of its own, and there is more art and beauty contained in the two violin parts than in many a fuller score. Not content with giving an independent course to the voices, Mozart allows the accompaniment also to go its own way, usually with a subject proper to it, treated freely, often in counterpoint, and always with visible partiality.

Inventive genius, technical scholarship, and deep, clear comprehension, are more evidently displayed by Mozart in this mass than ever before; the subjects have an intensity, a charm of beauty which had scarcely yet been suggested. Here, for the first time, we become aware of that wonderful beauty, Mozart's most special endowment, which we may designate sweetness, if we mean by that the perfect harmony of a naturally developed artistic organism. The maiden freshness of its manifestation here only increases the charm, and points to future expansion.

The Mass in D major (194 K.), composed on August 8, 1774, has been rightly placed next to the one we have been considering. 27 The whole plan, the strict form, the flowing treatment, contrapuntal throughout, the mature beauty, offer many points of resemblance, but the effort after gracefulness is more apparent in the later mass, and is achieved at the sacrifice of gravity and ideality. The Kyrie displays a very similar conception. With the opening words of the soprano—[See Page Image]

the foundation is laid on which the whole structure of the movement is built. In part in imitative combinations, in part extended into a longer subject, and in part connected with opposing subjects for the voices and the violins, this MASS IN D. MAJOR, 1774. [261] short theme is elaborated into a fine long movement, as interesting as it is expressive. The Gloria and the Credo do not reach the same height; the contrapuntal elaboration is only apparent in isolated passages, the solos are expressive, but over-graceful, the music proceeds in a fine flow, and delights the listener, but only now and then stirs deeper feelings. On the other hand, the Sanctus, Benedictus (a solo quartet), Agnus (alternate solo and chorus), are highly finished and tersely composed movements, in which beauty of form and sentiment combine. The somewhat lengthy Dona preserves its pleasing character, without degenerating into trifling. The effort to please by mere gracefulness is most predominant in the Mass in B flat major (275 K.), the date of which is not known. The commencement with a soprano solo 28 —[See Page Image] is characteristic of the whole mass. The solo element pre-dominates, and a wealth of lovely, seductive, and expressive melodies is scattered around; but neither the conception nor the execution takes a deep hold on the mind. The chorus is generally full, one might almost say merry; where harmonic or contrapuntal treatment comes to the front, it is executed with masterly ease; and such passages stand out in all the clearer relief against their surroundings. The principal passage of the Credo is striking:—[See Page Image]


According to Lorentz it is a reminiscence—perhaps an accidental one—of a favourite Volkslied, "Bauer hang' den Pummerl an." The introduction of the following theme—[See Page Image] LATER MASSES, 1775-77. [263] after a highly original and striking harmonic progression, cannot fail to injure the effect. The Sanctus is a short fugued movement, the Benedictus an unusually melodious soprano solo with an original accompaniment; the Agnus goes deepest, and is serious in feeling as well as wonderfully sweet. Works like the Masses in F and D major prove what Mozart was capable of in church music if his genius could have had free scope. But the "rapid advance of ecclesiastical reformation in Salzburg under the wise and immortal prince, Archbishop Hieronymus von Colloredo," 29 had its effect on the treatment of the mass. The limitation of its duration and the abolition of solo singing proper and of fugues might appear to be the result of ecclesiastical rigour. But Hieronymus was far more inclined to favour secular taste in church music; and he was fond besides of displaying a royal magnificence and splendour. This external influence is apparent in the conception and treatment of the later masses composed after 1775, more particularly in one belonging to 1776 (262 K.), with a Kyrie in counterpoint and two elaborate fugues. Especially earnest and beautiful, both as to technical workmanship and expression, are the movements on which the musical treatment was becoming more and more concentrated, the Qui tollis (of which the accompaniment recalls the fugue, Quam olim Abrahæ in the Requiem), the Et incarnatus est, and Agnus Dei. Even the Benedictus (where the chorus answers the "Benedictus" of the solos by "Osanna") and the Dona are sustained in style. How fundamentally this mass differs from that in F major is clearly shown by the ground-tones of the Gloria and the Credo, which are animated and brilliant, but without any intensity or depth of meaning. The same tendency is still more marked in the remaining masses (220, 257, 258, 259, K.). 30 Increasing maturity is manifest in the CHURCH MUSIC. [264] firm and skilful handling of all available means, and the subjects display uncommon fertility of invention. But real creative inspiration is crushed by the obligation to compose after a set fashion.

We do not need to look further than such church music to become aware that the Archbishop loved to bring the pomp and glitter of his royal station into the services of the church. Such a task obliges the artist to use his art more and more consciously as a means to an end. The inevitable result is inequality and exaggeration, his genius and his work being often at variance; the charm of mere grace leads to the danger of softness and effeminacy, and fluent animation becomes meaningless superficiality. The effort to be light and pleasing is manifest in these masses by their superfluity of detail. We find an over-abundance of beautiful melodies and harmonies, combined with great freedom in the treatment both of voices and orchestra, and in the working-out of the subjects.

There are isolated instances of deeper sentiment and more poetic conception which are heightened in effect by the earnest technical skill displayed in their working-out, and which give glimpses of happy inspiration, not belonging of necessity to the fundamental conception of the work.

Unhappily it is on these masses, in the composition of which Mozart's genius could only move within very confined limits, that his fame as a composer of church music chiefly rests; and musicians who have taken him as their model have striven most to imitate these, his least satisfactory works.

The great resemblance in plan and mechanism of the masses of contemporary composers, such as Hasse, Nau-mann, Joseph and Michael Haydn, proves a strict adherence to the rules of composition then in force. A consideration of their works serves to heighten the effect of Mozart's higher and nobler conceptions, of his poetical sentiment, and of that sense of proportion which regards a work of art as a whole, and recognises the limits imposed on it from without as the necessary conditions of artistic production. Many excellent qualities may be conceded to these musicians, but none of them attained to the harmonious beauty of Mozart.


The artists of a later age, who imitated and exaggerated the cramped and obsolete forms, which had been the result of many circumstances, as if they were in themselves an all-sufficient musical method, judged Mozart's works by their own standard, and found them in many respects unsatisfactory. 31

Before condemning Mozart's readiness to adapt his compositions to external conditions, we must consider the mode of thought of the time. All art, more especially music, stood in the closest connection with the ordinary affairs of life; operas, masses, instrumental works were composed when, where, and how they were required, for particular occasions, and particular performers. Occasions of the kind were eagerly sought for, and furnished an impulse and incitement to the composer, even when they somewhat hampered his productive powers. Exaggerated as the reference to external circumstances and mechanical resources became, it formed the groundwork, rightly understood, of thorough artistic production.

The demand for church music was one that came with peculiar authority at Salzburg, since the priest who commanded it was considered as the mouthpiece of the Church; he also stood in the place of the sovereign, arranging the performances and paying for them: respect for his position was both natural and proper. Mozart was by nature easily led, so long as his deeper feelings of antagonism were not stirred; then he was firm and decided. Trained under the discipline of his father to fulfil every duty conscientiously, and to turn to the best account whatever was inevitable, he endeavoured, as long as circumstances made it advisable, to satisfy the demands of the archbishop, and to make them conducive to his own improvement.


In this he was guided by a nature so completely that of an artist as not to feel cramped or bound even by real restrictions. Composition was a joy and necessity to him, and a trifling impulse only was needed to set his poetical activity in motion; this once accomplished, external conditions served him for tools, and their just and appropriate use soon became second nature to him.

The statement often made, and for the most part with a very imperfect knowledge of the subject, that Mozart's masses are his weakest works, 32 cannot be accepted without large reservations; and we have it in our power to give a decided contradiction to Thibaut's assertion 33 that "Mozart thought little of his masses, and often when a mass was ordered, he objected that he was only made for opera. But he was offered one hundred louis d'or for every mass, and that he could not refuse; only he used to say, laughing, that he would take whatever was good in his masses and use it in his next opera."

The apparent particularity of this story is pure invention, employed, as so often happens, to give a colour to mere conjecture; and the invention is clumsy. Mozart only wrote for the church in Salzburg; in Vienna he did not compose a single mass to order, and only one, the unfinished one in C minor, on his own account. Such fees as that above mentioned never put his constancy to the test; we know that he received one hundred ducats for an opera. Again, thoughtlessness in the composition of church music is imputed to Mozart. He had strongly biassed opinions, but they were honest convictions; and his church work was always thoroughly earnest. Rochlitz tells us that at Leipzig, MOZART'S VIEWS ON CHURCH MUSIC. [267] in conversation on church music, Mozart declared that a Protestant could not possibly conceive the associations which the services of the Church awoke in the mind of a devout Catholic, nor the powerful effect which they had on the genius of an artist. 34

Mozart's education was calculated to make him a good Catholic; a conscientious observance of all that the Church prescribes and reverence for her usages were combined in him with a clear and penetrating intellect. 35 After his betrothal he wrote to his father (August 17, 1782), that he had heard mass and been to confession with his Constanze: "It seems to me that I have never prayed so earnestly, or confessed and communicated so devoutly as by her side—and it is the same with her." 36

I find no trace whatever of Mozart's having looked with disdain upon church music. His way of expressing himself to Padre Martini directly disproves the assertion; he took his church music with him on his journeys, expecting to gain credit by it; and sent for some of it from Vienna that it might be heard by Van Swieten, a severe critic.

So far from giving himself out as a mere operatic composer, who has a mean opinion of church compositions, he recommends himself for the post of under-kapellmeister, by saying, "The learned kapellmeister Salieri has never devoted himself to church music, while I have made it my peculiar study from my youth up."

It is an unjust reproach also that Mozart robbed his masses for his operas. Among his numerous compositions of both kinds, a single Agnus Dei (317 K.)—a soprano solo—contains in its opening bars a slight suggestion of the aria "Dove sono," from "Figaro."

Next in importance to masses must be reckoned litanies and vespers; and here we find the influence of the opera much more decided. The words did not readily lend themselves to musical expression, nor to the arrangement of CHURCH MUSIC. [268] the movements. If the severity of ecclesiastical form was once relaxed, the easier and more pleasing forms were most likely to be employed in those places where the words were most opposed to musical expression. The dissimilarity of the different parts was increased by the supposed necessity of also representing the severe style, and of balancing a tour de force of counterpoint by a tour de force of execution. In this way certain conventional rules had become law, leaving little scope for variety or originality.

Common to all litanies are the Kyrie with which they begin, and the Agnus Dei with which they close; that which lies between (the petitions varying according to the circumstances under which the litany was composed) determines its musical character. In the Kyrie, other petitions are added to the "Kyrie eleison" and "Christe eleison," which give scope for a broader and more varied treatment, whereby the Kyrie becomes one of the most important and impressive movements. The Agnus Dei does not close with "Dona nobis pacem," but with "Miserere nobis," which prevents any suggestion of cheerfulness; the expression of anxious beseeching was generally softened into deep solemnity at the close.

The invocations which form the substance of litanies are too numerous, disconnected, and wanting in climax to be well adapted for composition; and most of the petitions recited by the priest are equally incapable of definite musical expression. The musical setting of the service, to be appropriate, must be strictly liturgical, and the recurring refrain stamps it with a typical formulistic character. Should this tradition once be forsaken, its place must be taken by a setting full of lights and shades, often heterogeneous in treatment, and accentuated in accordance with form rather than reason. The distinguishing refrain could only be used to link together conflicting elements, or else as a vehicle for shades of sentiment, and a variety of expression would be given to the simple petitions, "Ora pro nobis," "Miserere nobis," which would be quite foreign to their nature.

The Litanies to the Virgin (Litaniæ Lauretanæ) were, on the whole, cheerful and pleasing. When the devout LITANY TO THE VIRGIN, 1771. [269] worshipper turned to the Virgin Mother, the image that rose to his mind was that of a pure and holy maiden, and the veneration for all that is womanly which her worship induced was apparent in the music as elsewhere. The tone of the litanies sung in Italy before the images of the Virgin in the streets is echoed in the compositions of most of the Italian musicians, and is perceptible in many parts of Mozart's litanies.

The first Litany in B flat major (109 K.), composed in May, 1771, is precise in form, and firmly and ably treated, although in no very elevated strain. The Kyrie, as in short masses, is composed of a single animated choral movement, without any definite development of the subject. The first part of the litany proper is divided between the chorus and solo voices, the soprano being most prominent; the whole work is interesting, melodious, simple in its harmonies, and singularly popular in tone. Upon the delivery of the solemn "Salus infirmorum" by the chorus follows a quick, vigorous choral passage to the words "auxilium Christianorum." The solo voices raise the appeal "Regina angelorum" to the Queen of Heaven, who seems to shed the glory of her manifestation upon the minds of her worshippers. In the last movement, the chorus comes in with "Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi," the solo voices answer with the prayer, and the chorus winds up with the "Miserere nobis." The tone is composed, more serious than melancholy, and rising in intensity towards the close. The actual mechanism is simple; the voices are seldom in true counterpoint, the modulations are freely and firmly handled: the accompaniment makes little attempt at independent significance.

Far more important is the second Litany in D major (195 K.), belonging to the year 1774, the same in which the Masses in F and D major and the "Finta Giardiniera" were written; the maturity of its conception and the carefulness of its execution make it worthy to take a place beside these works. The Kyrie is a grand, lovingly elaborated movement, a solemn Adagio, followed by a serious sustained Allegro. The parts are throughout in strict counterpoint, principal and accessory subjects kept well in hand CHURCH MUSIC. [270] and carefully elaborated; the orchestra, too, is independently treated. The expression is appropriate and dignified, and over the whole is spread a peaceful calm, bespeaking the nature of the music to which it forms the introductory movement.

The first section of the Litany proper gives us the impression of a cheerful—one might almost say sensuous—spirit pervading each petition, but always with a tone of delicate moderation. The musical formation betrays the unmistakable influence of the opera, both in the solo soprano passages and in the aria-like treatment of the principal subject. Refrain is used with happy effect in the chorus, and the accompaniment is easy and flowing throughout. The whole movement is melodious, and full of tender grace and harmony. In quite another style is the Adagio next following, where the words "Salus infirmorum, refugium peccatorum, consolatrix afflictorum, auxilium Christianum," are taken together. The construction of this movement, the arrangement and gradations of the details, the alternations of solo and chorus, the characteristically careful elaboration of the accompaniment, are all so admirably calculated and balanced, and the whole movement is pervaded with so much earnestness and depth of sentiment, that beauty and grandeur seem here indeed to be wedded together. The following section, "Regina ange-lorum," is again in a lighter vein; the choruses are fresh and animated, but the interpolated tenor solo is operatic in form and weak in invention and expression. The "Agnus Dei" is divided between a solo soprano and the chorus; the former, though evidently composed for executive display, is not without feeling and dignity; the short choral passages are excellent, both in workmanship and expression.

Very evident, also, is the loving care bestowed on the orchestral score; its main strength lies in the delicately elaborated string quartet, but the wind instruments are also effectively made use of to produce lights and shadows. The mature and harmonious beauty of the numerous motifs and characteristic passages conveys the unmistakable impression of Mozart's genius.

Of a third Litany for four voices without accompaniment, LITANY TO THE HOLY SACRAMENT, 1772. [271] the opening bars of the Kyrie (340 K.) and Sancta Maria in C major (325 K.), and of the Salus infirmorum in C minor (324 K.) are unhappily all that is preserved.

The Litany to the Holy Sacrament, (Litaniæ de venerabili altaris sacramento), has a more serious character than the Litany to the Virgin. But appeals to the holy sacrament being of necessity abstract and dogmatic, are less suggestive of a musical rendering than those addressed to the Virgin Mary. On this account an operatic style is more avowedly employed; but it is combined with solemn dignity and thoughtfulness, and the two Litanies of this kind by Mozart are largely conceived and carefully executed compositions. 37

The first in B flat major (125 K.), composed in March, 1772, after the Italian tour, strikes throughout the tone of the heroic opera, elevated by deep and earnest feeling. The Kyrie is introduced by an instrumental passage, announcing the principal subject, which, after a short, solemn Adagio, is taken up by the chorus in Allegro molto. The plan of the whole movement, containing a second subject placed as contrast to the oft-repeated principal one, and a running orchestral accompaniment, follows the operatic mode of construction.

The first movement of the Litany proper, "Panis vivus," is a soprano solo which might have been transferred bodily from an opera seria; the chief passages are given to the word "miserere." The solemn chorus which follows, "Verbum caro factum," interesting from its delicate modulations, and a characteristic passage for the violins, serves as an introduction to the agitated "Hostia sancta." Four solo voices give the chief motif in succession, with different modifications, and unite at last to rise to an appropriate climax; the chorus twice interposes with a short but weighty rhythmical passage, CHURCH MUSIC. [272] giving cohesion and dignity to the whole movement. A new climax occurs in the Adagio, where the chorus repeats the word "Tremendum" with an expression of solemn awe. The short, lively passage given to the next words, "ac vivificum sacramentum," is only to serve as a contrast to the "Tremendum." The movement which follows "Panis omnipotentia verbi caro factus," is again nothing but an operatic tenor song, full of passages and pleasing expression. The grave harmonies of a short Adagio in B minor, "Viaticum in domino morientium," prepare the way for something new. 38 It was the custom to write a movement in elaborate counterpoint on the words of "Pignus futuræ gloriæ," and Mozart was not one to shrink from such a task. The bass theme, answered by the wind instruments in a passage afterwards much employed, is announced with the force and decision of joyful confidence, and is then exhaustively worked out into a long fugue. 39 The one theme, hardly ever abridged or altered, runs through the whole, but it is developed with an amount of variety, especially in the modulation and in the orchestral climax, and with so much fresh tunefulness, that this work alone would prove the youth of fifteen years old to be possessed of the genius of maturity.

The Agnus Dei is a soprano solo, ornamented with many passages, all alike truly and simply conceived and full of grace. 40 The chorus takes up the Agnus Dei at the third repetition, and brings the movement to a calm conclusion, making use of the solo motif altered and simplified. The "Finis, I.O.D.G.," inscribed by Mozart, contrary to his custom, at the end of his score, show that he set considerable store by this truly admirable work.

The second Litany in E flat major (243 K.), composed in LITANY IN E FLAT MAJOR, 1776. [273] March, 1776, also a carefully worked-out piece of music, displays the same arrangement. The operatic treatment of some of the parts is more conspicuous, because its tinsel glitter is in more marked contrast to the mature earnestness of the work as a whole. The Kyrie, expressive of mild calm, relieved by the agitation of the accompaniment, is simple in plan and execution. Solo and chorus alternate; the principal motif recurs at the end, after a middle part of smaller motifs grouped together. The Miserere is delicately shaded and finely expressed. After such harmonious renderings of a calm and collected mood, we are surprised by the words "Panis vivus" as an elaborate tenor song, altogether in the style of opera seria. In the succeeding movements, where the text seldom lends itself readily to musical adaptation, the hand of the master is visible in the admirable grouping of the larger sections and of the separate subjects, not less than in the true and beautiful expression of sentiment, and in the finely graduated and shaded unity of tone. The words "Verbum caro factum" are used as a solemn introduction; the Miserere has-a fine effect, commencing without an accompaniment, as if moaned forth from an overburdened breast, then increasing in intensity to a cry of anguish, and gradually sinking back into itself. The next succeeding Hostia sancta stands out against this dark background, its general tone as mild and consolatory as that of the Kyrie. Solemn grandeur predominates again in the Tremendum ac vivificum sacramentum, where the words "Tremendum" and "vivificum" are not separated, but are compacted into a connected, symmetrical movement with the words "Panis omnipotentia verbi caro factus, incruentum sacrificium, cibus et conviva." The disposition of the harmonies is in strongly marked but cleverly arranged opposition, intensified by the orchestra; the stringed instruments elaborate a forcible passage, opposed by the united oboes, horns, bassoons, and trombones. This noble and deeply impressive movement stands alone, both as to form and intention. The next following, "Dulcissimum convivium," a soprano solo resembling a cavatina, is soft and tender in expression, and pre-eminently operatic; the charm CHURCH MUSIC. [274] of style, displayed also in the careful accompaniment, does not compensate for fundamental weakness.

The "Viaticum in Domino morientium" is full of earnestness, and very original in treatment. The soprano voices give out as subject the chorale of the hymn to the Holy Sacrament, "Pange lingua gloriosi," as a Gregorian plain-chant, accompanied by the wind instruments (oboes, horns, bassoons, and trombones), and two muted violas, while the violins are occupied with a quaver passage in pizzicato, generally in divided chords. The effect of the whole is surprisingly serious and dignified. The Pignus futuræ gloriæ follows. It is in counterpoint, and of complicated workmanship. The chief subject of six bars comprises the words "Pignus futuræ gloriæ, miserere nobis," but in the third bar, at the words "miserere nobis," the three remaining parts are added—[See Page Image]

and the subject given to them is differently elaborated along with the continuation of the chief theme. After the first working-out a second independent theme occurs—[See Page Image] UNFINISHED VESPER, 1774. [275] and is thoroughly worked out, together with the first. We see more of the actual workmanship in this than in others of Mozart's works in counterpoint, and the voices are treated less as such and more as abstract vehicles for contrapuntal development. The Agnus Dei is a soprano solo; the passages for the voices, and the concerted treatment of the accompanying instruments, give a uniform impression of grace and elegance. This movement has a certain resemblance to many passages of Mozart's later operas. At the close the chorus (as sometimes with Haydn) takes up again the principal subject of the Kyrie, and works it into a simple and appropriate ending to the Litany.

Mozart seems never to have composed an entire Vesper during this period, but the two final movements of one, Dixit and Magnificat in C major (193 K.), written in July, 1774, are preserved, and are serious works in clever counterpoint. The Dixit is quite in the style of a short mass, the different sections in counterpoint full of force and animation. The Gloria Patri is an independent movement, with a slow introduction to a short fugal movement on the words "et in sæcula saeculorum," with a charming organ point. [See Page Image]

The Magnificat is grander in design and execution. The Virgin's song of praise forms a grand movement (Allegro moderato), the theme of which from the third plain-song tone of the Magnificat— CHURCH MUSIC. [276] is introduced by the tenor, the bass immediately interposing a counter-subject:—[See Page Image]

These give the groundwork of the whole movement, elaborated in various forms of counterpoint, and bound together by other freely treated episodical subjects. The Doxology is again independently treated in two movements. The first is slow, and is animated by a varied accompaniment; the second is a lively and conventional fugue.

First among minor church pieces we may consider the "Regina coeli." Two of these works, belonging to May, 1771 and 1772 (108, 127, K.), are of similar plan and treatment. The first line is made into an animated chorus, with the constantly recurring Alleluia as a refrain; the second is more moderate in tone, a soprano solo alternating with the chorus. The "Ora pro nobis" is an Adagio for the solo soprano; the chorus chimes in at the close with the Alleluia. The character of the whole is lively and cheerful, almost merry, according to the prevailing tendency of the age. Full opportunities for display are given to the solo voice, and many of the turns and passages are operatic. 41 The earlier of the two compositions, in C major, reminds us more of opera seria; the later, in B flat major, is freer, and both voices and accompaniment have more independent life. A third Regina coeli, evidently of later date (276 K.), in C major, combines the whole into a lively movement, in which the solo voices interrupt the chorus. The claims of the vocalist are here kept in abeyance, and the work is full of life and energy, with here and there passages of a deeper significance, such as the beautiful "Ora pro nobis." 42


A "Tantum ergo" in B flat major (142 K.), for soprano solo, with a responding phrase for the chorus, closing with a lively Amen, is not remarkable. A second composition, in D major, (197 K.) for full chorus, if by Mozart at all, must have been written very hurriedly.

A Motett in C major (117 K.) must, according to the handwriting, be ascribed to a very early date. 43 A lively chorus Benedictus sit Deus, without actual thematic elaboration but with a free arrangement of the parts, forms the introduction to a soprano air, Introibo domum tuam domine treated like a cavatina, simply, although not altogether with out embellishment. The conclusion is formed by a second lively chorus, Jubilate Deo, of which the second subject is the eighth psalm tone—[See Page Image] supported by the four parts of the chorus in succession, to a florid accompaniment of the orchestra, the full chorus each time responding with a lively "Jubilate." 44

An Offertorium of uncertain date, "Benedicite angeli" (342 K.), is exclusively founded on the fifth psalm tone. The verse—[See Page Image] is repeated in unison eight times by the whole chorus, while the orchestra, consisting of stringed instruments with two CHURCH MUSIC. [278] horns, keeps the whole together, and gives it intensified expression by means of a lively and varied accompaniment.

Some smaller choral works are some of them harmonic, some in more or less strict counterpoint. To the former belongs the "De profundis" (93 K.), in which the words of Psalm cxxix. and the appended doxology are set to music without abridgment, with little more rhythmical flow than the declamation of the words demands, and in the simplest harmonic progressions. A symmetrical work, quiet and serious, though without great depth of tone, is formed out of these very simple materials.

The "Te Deum" (141 K.) resembles in its first movements many of the shorter masses; the words are sung once, without a developed theme or well-defined passages. The essential character of the work is modulatory, the connection depending on the arrangement of the harmonies and the harmonic groups; the voices merely sustain the harmonies, without any prominent melodic peculiarities. The conclusion forms an exception, the words, "In Te Domine speravi, non confundar in ætemum" being worked into a conventional, moderately long fugue, issuing into a powerful and effective closing phrase.

A motett, "Misericordias Domini" (222 K.), which Mozart composed at Munich in 1775 as an exercise, is in counterpoint throughout. Padre Martini, to whom he sent it (September, 1776), pronounced, as his judgment on it, that it contained all which modern music demands—good harmonies, rich modulations, moderation in the violin passages, a natural and good arrangement of the parts—and he added that he congratulated the composer on the progress he had made. It was not without intention that the representative of counterpoint on the principles of the old Roman school emphasised modern music, the "buon gusto" of which did not altogether content him. 45

Mozart divided the sentence "Misericordias Domini cantabo in æternum" (Psalm lxxxviii.). The first words, MISERICORDIAS, 1775. [279] "Misericordias Domini," are delivered in slow notes, the second half in an agitated fugal passage, without change of tempo (moderato). The two alternate, and are developed with much originality, especially the first movement, where long-sustained notes for the voices serve as an organ-point against a passage for the violins, and give rise to striking harmonic transitions and progressions. The counterpoint of the second part is artistic and elaborate; besides the principal subject of the fugue there are two others leading out of it, treated in part independently, in part in combination with the principal subject and each other; the episodes are in strict counterpoint. The subject, as Stadler remarked, 46 is borrowed from an offertory by Eberlin, "Benedixisti Domine"; but Mozart's treatment, as a glance at the opening will show, is thoroughly original. 47 This admirable work has been overrated by Ulibicheff, 48 but very unfairly criticised by Thibaut. 49 He says:—

The words are capable of division into two short sections: Misericordias Domini (the mercy of the Lord), cantabo in æternum (I will sing for ever), but the division is not a real one. For there can be only one fundamental idea—either "Misericordias Domini" or "cantabo in æternum." If the former, then the "cantabo" should be subordinate; if the latter, the "Misercordias" must be included in the exultation. Mozart has so far given way to the love of the picturesque, to which Handel also made many sacrifices, that the "Misericordias" is to be sung softly, but the "cantabe in æternum" energetically and in a lively fugued passage. When the last motif has been worked out, the Grave is repeated, and then again the fugue.

It is evident that the law by which thoughts are expressed in speech does not altogether apply to musical expression, but that with the introduction of a new element new rules are CHURCH MUSIC. [280] imposed. Since the words, intelligently interpreted, give the keynote to the whole conception, it is the musician's task to embody the sentiments inspired by them in such forms as he has at his disposal. The necessity for avoiding contradictions or inconsistencies is no barrier, but rather an incentive to his creative energy. But a contradiction may arise not only from a misconception of ideas, but from the undue prominence of some one point which, detached from the context, injures the effect of the whole. This would be the case here, if, as Thibaut seems to indicate, the idea of the mercy of God, and that of the praise offered to it, were treated in absolute opposition and mechanical alternation one with the other. But this is not so. The motifs given to the words "cantabo in ætemum," both in themselves and in their working-out, express nothing but firm conviction and desire to act upon that conviction; we seem to view the spiritual condition of a human being who, in spite of adverse fate and sorrowful experiences, is never weary of praising the Lord. The "cantabo" is placed just as Thibaut demands that it should be, as a contrast to the "Misercordias Domini and the contrast is so harmoniously expressed and so consistently sustained as in no way to injure the musical effect of the work as a whole. 50

A very interesting composition, belonging to the year 1776, is the Offertorium de Venerabili (260 K.), "Venite populi," for two choruses, scored in eight parts. 51 It is imitative throughout, less strict in form than usual; the voices seem to take actual delight in their free movement; the two choruses and the separate parts are clearly divided while maintaining natural relations with each other, and the whole work is sharply cut and characteristic both in harmonies and in rhythm. The principal movement is divided in the middle by a short, slow movement, having the same motif, but in different combinations.


A "Sancta Maria, mater Dei" (273 K.), for chorus, composed in September, 1777, and an "Alma redemptoris mater" (277 K.), for solo and chorus, of about the same date, judging by the style, are very differently conceived: they are simple in design and in treatment, quiet and mild in expression. Delicate lights and shades betray the hand of a master conscious of his power to stir the feelings and satisfy the sense of beauty of his hearers. Equal genius is displayed in the selection of simple meins, and the ease with which the right effect is given at the right moment; and every now and then a delicate harmonic inflection, or a charming little motif in the accompaniment, leaves us in no doubt as to Mozart's individuality. 52

The survey we have taken of Mozart's church music will give some idea of the industry with which he strove to master the various forms of his art, as well as of the ease and fertility of his production, and the truth of his artistic feeling. Remembering his activity in operatic music, we are amazed at the wealth of his many-sided genius; but the unceasing exercise of all his musical powers serves to explain in part that marvellous acquaintance with all the technicalities and forms of his art which not even the possession of great genius can account for in so youthful a composer.

External circumstances influenced not only the conception and treatment of church music, but the means at disposal for its performance. Mozart's chief dependence in Salzburg was on the chorus, as is shown in a letter (November 4, 1777), where he says that none of his masses can be performed at Mannheim, because the chorus was bad, and the orchestra must be the first consideration. This is confirmed by the works themselves, of which the choruses are always the main substance; Mozart found his materials ready to hand in the carefully instructed church singers and chapel choir. He had himself received vocal training. Even as a boy the correct delivery and good management of his voice excited CHURCH MUSIC. [282] astonishment; and though he lost his voice on attaining manhood, his intercourse with trained singers gave him an accurate knowledge of the voice and its treatment. Careful as Mozart is to arrange each part easily and conveniently for performance, yet he always reckons on well-trained singers, and even exacts from the choristers, where occasion requires, not a little skill in taking intervals and in execution and intonation. Above all, he demands the intelligent delivery of a singer who knows how much depends upon it.

The treatment of the solo voices as regards execution does not differ in church and operatic music. Frau Haydn and Meissner, Marie Anna Braunhofer and Jos. Spitzeder, had received good practical training, but they were not such remarkable performers as to call forth new or original creations. When the solo voices are not treated with a view to executive display they are altogether in the style of chorus parts.

The organ, as the instrument appropriate to the church, invariably accompanies the singing, so that in all Mozart's church compositions the bass part is carefully figured, sometimes by his father's hand; it is sometimes, but rarely, employed obbligato, as in the Benedictus (259 K.), and then treated in easy style. Next to the organ come three trombones, essentially the support of the chorus, played in virtue of his office by the "stadtthürmermeister" and two of his subordinates. 53

Following ancient tradition they sounded in the tutti in unison with the three lower voices of the chorus; the trombones were generally left unindicated in the score, and only the places marked where they were to be silent. This curious prominence of the brass instruments, whereby the soprano part is left unrepresented, was usual at that time, and could not be dispensed with in the church. Trombones are seldom used independently by Mozart, and then in the simplest manner.

The stringed instruments served as independent orchestra, and were generally only two violins and violoncello; the ORCHESTRA. [283] tenors strengthened the violoncello, which went with the organ bass. The stringed instruments were strengthened as far as possible and treated so as to counteract the disadvantage they were at in contrast with the chorus, trombones and organ. When the violins are not with the voices, the passages are disposed so as to have the best effect, and they frequently play in unison; this explains the partiality for running passages for the violins, which are not expressive in themselves, but serve to amplify the rest. It was a higher task to give the violins a character really independent of the chorus—to make them carry out their own motif either in one part only, in opposition to the chorus, or in joint development. In almost all Mozart's masses the effort is visible, at any rate in some places, to treat the stringed instruments independently; as his artistic sense matured, they were used more freely, and with more careful reference to sound effects. As a variation in later works, the damper was sometimes employed, and more rarely, the pizzicato.

Besides stringed instruments, trumpets and drums were generally used, being almost indispensable for solemn high mass. The constant use of trumpets, as of trombones (sackbuts), was founded on the Bible, which speaks of their employment in the Jewish temple worship; and also careful and highly elaborated trumpet music played so considerable a part in court festivities, that it could not well be dispensed with in church ceremonials. In two masses (139, 167, K.), Mozart has employed, in addition to the two usual trumpets called "clarini," a tromba, which has only to sound the low notes C and G, and to strengthen the drums. 54 As regards other wind instruments, we know that in 1757, "Oboes and German flutes were seldom heard in the cathedral, and the French horn, never." 55

This severity was afterwards relaxed, until the oboe was used alone or as the principal wind instrument, generally to support the voice or to strengthen the harmony. It was CHURCH MUSIC. [284] allowed to assert its own individuality at a later time, but this could only be when it retained its proper place among the different combined wind instruments. Flutes were only rarely used to replace the oboe in soft passages; there were no clarinets in Salzburg. Bassoons served, as a rule, only to strengthen the bass; in various places where they, like the violoncello, were treated with some degree of independence it was so indicated in the score. Also when the tenors were associated with the wind instruments to complete the harmony they were supported by the bassoons. The horns at first closely followed the trumpets, but gradually attempts were made, by the use of sustained notes, to produce the sound effects peculiar to this instrument. The freer treatment of the wind instruments passed to the church from the opera, and those pieces which were altogether more freely treated than masses, prepared the way for the change. The orchestra of Mozart's two last Litanies is just as elaborate and careful as that of his operas, and the later one does not only employ obbligato solo instruments, but in many of its sections approaches modern instrumentation.

We are unfortunately in considerable ignorance as to what masters were studied by Mozart. What has usually been said of his diligent study of Bach, Handel, and the Italian masters, is neither demonstrable nor probable. There would scarcely be much opportunity at Salzburg for the study of any but Salzburg or south German musicians. It is well known that some of these, such as Eberlin, Michael Haydn, and Adlgasser, were earnestly studied and highly esteemed by Mozart. But he first became acquainted with Sebastian Bach 56 through Van Swieten in Vienna, although he may have come across detached organ or pianoforte compositions in Salzburg. He heard Handel's oratorios as a boy in London, but that was all, and even at Mannheim he took no great interest in the "Messiah." It was again Van Swieten who led him to this master.

We may grant a stronger influence to the Italian masters, ITALIAN INFLUENCE. [285] although the older Italian church music was only exceptionally used at Salzburg.

Leopold Mozart speaks of a Gradual with which he had been much pleased as being the work of "the celebrated long-since deceased Lotti" (November 13, 1777). But we have seen with what zeal Mozart studied in Italy; and a youth with his genius learned rapidly, and could at once apprehend and retain whatever would be likely to benefit him. He must also have taken home with him from Italy much material for future use, as we have seen in the case of the compositions of Padre Martini. But what direction these studies took, and how far they extended, we are not informed. It is not probable that Mozart studied the old masters with the intention of forming his own style on theirs, but rather that he might gain that surer practice in technicalities which the tasks before him required.


DURING the last half of the eighteenth century[285] it had become the fashion in Italy and elsewhere to perform detached instrumental pieces as introductions or intermezzi during the pauses in Divine service. 1 They were written in the then customary symphony form; music of a lively and secular tone not being thought out of place in churches. 2 Brilliancy of effect was provided for by doubling the orchestra and other mechanical means, 3 besides forcible composition. Further innovations were made in allowing solo vocalists an opportunity of displaying their powers in church music; INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [286] and, as a necessary consequence, distinguished instrumental performers also were allowed to add their share to the attractions of Divine worship. 4 Instrumental concertos were played usually at the conclusion of the service, without any regard to an ecclesiastical character. 5 We gather from Dittersdorf's account 6 of his competition with Spagnoletti at the festival of St. Paul at Bologna and its result, that fine performances were thought as much of in the churches as in theatres and concerts.

At Salzburg, as Mozart tells Padre Martini (p. 244), a sonata was introduced between the epistle and the gospel, until Archbishop Hieronymus replaced it by a gradual in 1763. 7 Seventeen compositions by Mozart of this kind are preserved. The earliest of certain date belongs to 1775 (212 K.), and others to 1776 (241, 244, 245, 263, K.) and 1777 (274, 278, K.), but there are several almost certainly of earlier date. His sacred sonatas were performed even during his absence, according to his father (September 25, 1777). After his return, he composed three pieces of the kind, the last in March, 1780 (328, 329, 336, K.).

They are all inscribed as sonatas, and all consist of a lively movement of moderate length in two parts, and in regulation sonata form. The church sonatas (sonad di chiesa) differ, indeed, from chamber sonatas (sonad di camera) in being serious, dignified, often fugued and in counterpoint, but the style has nothing in it that suggests a sacred performance. The tone is neither solemn nor devotional, nor is the style severe. The tone and treatment of the commencement remind us of the first movements of the smaller sonatas and quartets; the subjects are small, sometimes very pretty'; the treatment is free and skilful, and in the later pieces not without touches of Mozart's originality. They are usually written for two violins and violoncello, to which the organ was always added, but never ORGAN SONATAS—NOBLE AMATEURS. [287] obbligato nor with any regard to executive display; it has often only its customary office of accompaniment to the violoncello, in which case a figured bass part is written. Even when the organ part is independent it is for the most part limited to what the skilful organist can make out of the continuo; its independence is very modest, and it never aspires to a solo or any passages. Sometimes trumpets and drums are added (263 K.) as well as oboes (278 K.) and horns (329 K.). With the extension of the orchestra the design and treatment became grander and more impressive, but still kept within comparatively narrow limits. Unhappily these organ sonatas give us not the faintest idea of Mozart's much-admired organ-playing.

Not only were these compositions composed for special occasions, but all instrumental music at that time was in this sense occasional music. Orchestral compositions were, with few exceptions, written with a definite aim and under given conditions.

Musical performances were the customary evening entertainments given by distinguished or wealthy persons, in default of better, such as the theatre. Those who maintained their own Kapelle required daily performances, and in the evening, whether they were alone or entertaining company, a well-appointed concert. Sometimes noble gentler men became so proficient on some instrument that it pleased them to take personal part in such concerts. Not to mention the noted examples of Frederick the Great and the Emperor Joseph, the Elector Maximilian III. of Bavaria was a performer on the bass-viol, and took part in the court concerts, where his sister, Maria Antonia of Saxony, appeared as a singer; sometimes also he played the violin in the symphony. 8 The flute was an instrument much in vogue with noble amateurs, and was played by the Margrave Friedrich von Bayreuth, 9 Duke Karl von INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [288] Curland, 10 and Prince Joseph Friedrich von Hildburghausen; 11 the Elector Karl Theodore, played the violoncello, 12 Prince Nicolaus Esterhazy the baritone, 13 Archduke Maximilian the tenor. 14 Archbishop Hieronymus adopted the violin 15 as his instrument, after the example of the Emperor Peter III. 16 and the Crown Prince Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand von Braunschweig, and he amused himself with it alone after dinner; 17 in the evening he took part in the concerts given by his choir. 18 L. Mozart writes to his son, who had a great dislike to violin-playing in court music: "As a connoisseur, you will not be ashamed of the violin-playing in the first symphony, any more than the Archbishop and all the cavaliers who take part in it." The distinguished amateurs did not indeed always improve the orchestra. On one occasion, the Empress Maria Theresa having remarked in an undertone to Haydn that she wondered what would become of four noble amateurs, who were performing with him, if left to themselves, he played her the joke of quietly absenting himself with his next colleague, and enjoyed the complete discomfiture of the gentlemen. Brunetti, who always stood at the Archbishop's side, used at difficult places quietly to take down his viola and strike in; the Archbishop let it pass, and used even to say when he came to these places, "now Brunetti will come in." Mozart had not the most favourable opinion of the Archbishop's musical knowledge. He writes to his father (Vienna, September 26, 1781) about the famous bass singer, Fischer, "who has certainly an excellent bass voice, although the Archbishop told him he sang too low for a bass, upon which I assured His Grace that he would sing higher next time."


Public performers took the principal parts in these concerts, which fact was taken into consideration in forming the choir; care was taken to attract foreign artists, and in the larger towns many public performers depended on the daily concerts for their means of subsistence. 19 The performances were long, and included a great deal of orchestral music. Count Firmian's musical soirées lasted from five to eleven o'clock, and at one concert several symphonies by J. C. Bach and four symphonies by Martini were played. 20 Dittersdorf produced twelve new violin concertos by Benda on one evening; 21 at a concert given by the Elector of Bavaria Burney heard two symphonies by Schwindl, a song by Panzacchi, a scena by the Electress of Saxony, a trio for bass-viols by the Elector, a song by Rauzzini, a song by Guadagni, and a bass-viol solo by the Elector;, and at a private concert in Dresden both parts contained a symphony, a violin concerto, a flute concerto, and an oboe concerto. 22 The evening's amusement was generally further provided for by card-playing and conversation. Archbishop Hieronymus limited the duration of his concerts. L. Mozart wrote to his son (September 17, 1778) that they only lasted from seven to a quarter past eight, and included only four pieces—a symphony, a song, another symphony or concerto, another song, and then addio. 23 The court composer took the direction of the court music in turn with the kapellmeister every alternate week, and the director for the time being had the choice and INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [290] arrangement of the music 24 except so far as it was dictated by superior authority.

The position of Mozart's father gave him constant opportunities of bringing his son's instrumental compositions before the public. The fame of the band was enhanced by the performance of works by one of the members, and at every festival something new was performed. Dittersdorf relates that for the fête-day of the Bishop of Grosswardein he composed not only a grand cantata with choruses and a solo cantata, but also two grand symphonies at the beginning and close, a middle symphony, with obbligato wind instruments, and a violin concerto. 25 In a similar position, under Prince Esterhazy, Josef Hadyn produced his incredibly numerous instrumental compositions. Mozart's fertility during the period of his independent activity at Salzburg, from 1770 to the autumn of 1777, was equally great, but the merit of industry and fertility was one which these great masters shared with many contemporary lesser ones.

The skilful treatment of the orchestra rests mainly on the composer being so imbued with the spirit of the work as a whole as to be able to render the separate parts conducive to the general effect. This can only be accomplished by continuous practical study.

Most especially fortunate was Mozart, whose numerous appointed tasks, not being merely abstract exercises, served him as studies for his works. The danger was indeed great that the influence of the schools and the force of traditional forms would tend to mechanical routine, but it afforded another proof of Mozart's creative nature, that his unintermittent labour in mastering the technicalities of his art never interfered with the spiritual side of his genius.

Many forms were in use for instrumental composition during the last century, of which, at the present day, we can scarcely even distinguish the names or define the limits. The so-called French symphony (or overture) introduced by Lulli, and established through the school of Scarlatti, SYMPHONIES OR OVERTURES. [291] consists of a short slow movement preceding a longer and more varied one, and repeated at the close. This was opposed to the Italian symphony, which contained three movements: an allegro at the beginning and another at the end, separated by a slow movement in effective contrast to them both. The first and the last allegro were, however, different in character, the second being the quicker and more cheerful of the two.

It was easy to sever the slender connection between the symphony and the opera; and operatic symphonies were soon performed alone, as may be proved by the symphonies to the "Finta Semplice," the "Sogno di Scipione" and "Lucio Silla."

The continual demand for new symphonies co-operated with the increasing capacity of the instrumentalists, and the fuller appointments of the orchestra, in developing their importance and independence. In Italy, Sammartini, commissioned by the governor, Pallavicini, first wrote symphonies for full orchestra; he divided the tenors from the violoncelli, gave the second violins an independent part, and rendered service also to the technicalities of playing. 26 In Germany the composers of the Mannheim Kapelle, who were of the first rank, introduced this kind of composition with great success; 27 but Jos. Haydn, who surpassed them all in his inexhaustible wealth of productive power and in his thorough knowledge of his art, threw them quite into the shade, and may justly be considered as the creator of the symphony.

The three movements were originally connected; but when the symphonies became independent of the opera, this was only exceptionally the case (74, 181, 184, K.).

The last Symphony of the year 1773 shows that even in its maturity an artistic mind may cling to long-established customs. The delicately elaborated Andante, full of original INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [292] and tender sentiment, forms the climax of the work. The animated Allegro which precedes it is, with just discrimination, toned down towards the end to prepare for the Andante, whose yearning pathos leaves the mind unsatisfied, and whose subjects are arranged to favour the transition to the lively and restless concluding movement. As a rule, however, each movement was treated as a self-contained whole, which gave freer scope for the development of a definite idea.

In the formation of the separate movements the clavier sonata (in the perfect form given to it by Ph. Eman. Bach, acknowledged as a master by Haydn himself) 28 had a very considerable influence.

The first allegro was always in two parts; a short slow movement, perhaps a reminiscence of the French symphony, was prefixed to it by Haydn often, by Mozart rarely. A compact arrangement of well-defined subjects takes the place of the long-drawn thread of loosely connected phrases of the older symphonies. The first subject gives the tone of the movement, a second follows, contrasting in expression and structure, and generally a third is added; the connection is by means of free passages. It was long held as a fixed rule that the first theme should close on the subdominant, and that the second theme should be in the key of the dominant, in which also the first part of the movement concludes. In the second part the elaboration of the subjects begins. The composer might please himself as to which of the subjects, or how many or in what new combinations they were to be carried on; nor was there any definite rule as to the method of elaboration, except that it always led back to the principal key and the first theme, which closed on the dominant, and was followed by the second theme, also in the principal key; the first part might either be simply repeated with these modifications, or the change of key might be thoroughly carried out. Sometimes the second part was also repeated; and then followed the final winding-up by a coda, which recurs to one or more of the chief subjects, and which was employed even when the THE SYMPHONY. [293] second part was not repeated. The elements of this form had already been given in the aria, with its one main idea and its contrasting motifs; but the organic perfection of the form was first attained by instrumental music.

Ph. Eman. Bach declared that the chief and best quality of music was melody, 29 and this principle once recognised, the laws of song were adopted by instrumental music, although with many modifications, to suit the different characters of the instruments and the necessities of thematic elaboration. The chief improvement was the spirited development of one or more subjects to replace the tedious middle movement of the aria. The artistic development of the separate elements, according to their true significance, introduced both contrast and climax; unity was assured, since nothing foreign either to the form or the substance was admitted; while the repetition of the first part, like a dialectic exposition of an argument, provided a clear and satisfying conclusion. This working-out part did not always receive its due share of honour, and was often treated as a form of harmonic transition; but it asserts itself more and more as the proper nucleus of the whole movement, and has an important reaction on the formation and phrasing of the first part. This becomes, as it were, the foundation prepared for the future development which first displays the whole extent of the conception. The coda was usually confined to a lengthened development of the closing phrase, and gathered to a point in pregnant brevity the most essential elements of the movement. It had its counterpart in the cadenza of the aria. After what manner great vocalists constructed their cadenzas we are unfortunately ignorant, but instrumental cadenzas reproduced the principal subjects of the movement, just as was the case in the coda. Beethoven, who brought the coda to perfection, has himself worked out the cadenzas in the Concerto in E flat major; the cadenza in the first part is identical in mechanism with the coda of one of his great symphonies.

The original middle movement has preserved a slower INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [294] tempo and a moderate tone, with simplicity both of design and composition. The point of departure is the air (lied, romanze), or the cavatine of operatic creation. Mozart, for instance, took a melodious duet from his opera of "Hyacinthus," for the Andante of a symphony (p. 94). There is no question here of artistic symmetry or elaboration of subjects; one main subject dominates the whole, often smothered with embellishments, as the original stem of a tree is hidden by the creepers which grow from its roots. The Andante is often, though not necessarily, divided into two parts, one or both of them to be repeated, sometimes with a coda added. In the second part a new statement of the subject generally takes the place of its actual development, and the contrast of major and minor keys is made use of. Frequent repetition of a simple theme led to the introduction of variations, sometimes strict, sometimes free in form, but in depth and originality always far inferior to thematic elaboration in the proper sense of the term. The Andante, therefore, long continued to be of minor importance, both as to length, form, and substance.

It required not only the mastery of musical theory, but the complete absorption of the individual in the artist before the innermost sentiments of the human heart in all their depth and fulness could be expressed in simple form, as the poet expresses them in lyric verse. The Adagio of instrumental music is, in its most perfect form, essentially a German creation, but it became what it is apart from the influence of the newly awakened German poetry; each in its separate sphere felt the vivifying spirit of the age like the fresh breath of spring, and awoke together to life and beauty. 30 As the substance of the slow movement grew in interest and importance, the form also became fuller and richer, without, however, any essential alteration; the most magnificent of slow movements have all the main points that we have SUITE—MINUET. [295] noticed above, and are only in details freer and more full of life and significance.

The closing movement, generally in 3-8, 6-8, or 2-4 time, has something of a dance tone, though not of set purpose. The rondo form, very freely treated, soon became predominant. The impressiveness of frequent repetition of the same melody, the freedom and ease with which the connecting phrases could be treated, the surprises to which ingenious returns to the theme gave rise, all made this easy form very appropriate to a closing movement. What was demanded from instrumental music was such a pleasant sense of enjoyment as should relax the mind without straining the attention, and a cheerful conclusion was considered essential. But by a singular inconsistency the last movement was sometimes made the field for the display of skill in counterpoint; masters of the art required that a genuine artist should know how to render cheerfulness and whimsicality, spirit and fun, even in the strictest forms. So it is customary to this day to introduce contrapuntal work into the scherzo, the proper field for musical wit and humour. This, too, is a production of German instrumental music.

To the three original movements of the symphony the minuet was added as a fourth, suggested probably by the Suite. The Suite, whether for orchestra or clavier, came to perfection in the seventeenth century, and consisted of a succession of dances in the same key, but differing in time, rhythm, and expression, and for the most part highly characteristic. Mattheson enumerates them as follows: minuet, gavotte, bourrée, rigaudon, gigue, polonaise, anglaise (country-dances, ballads, hornpipes), passepied, sarabande, courante, allemande; 31 others give allemande, courante, gigue, passa-caille, gavotte, minuet, chaconne, the chief forms being allemande, courante, sarabande, and gigue. An introduction, prelude, fantasia, or overture, preceded the dances, consisting, after the French fashion, of a slow and a lively INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [296] movement, the latter generally elaborated, and returning to the former as a conclusion. 32 It is evident that the suite was the foundation of the Italian operatic symphonies—not of our modern symphony and sonata forms—but much was doubtless borrowed from the long list of dances as embellishment to the symphony proper. Whether or not Josef Haydn was the first to introduce the minuet into the symphony, it was he undoubtedly who gave it its peculiar and typical character. The minuet was the dance of good society, affording opportunity for the display of dignity, grace, and deportment. We cannot hear those minuets which best reflect the character of the dance without thinking of powder and hoops; and now that the manners it suggests have become obsolete, it can only be humorously reproduced. 33 Haydn did not parody the minuet of his time, but he divested it of its distinguishing dignity; he took it as it was danced by the middle-classes, and filled it with national cheerfulness and good-humour. He represented a certain amount of joviality and rollicking fun which would have been inadmissible in the salons of the noblesse, and he was inexhaustible in witty suggestions and surprises, without any taint of vulgarity or carelessness of musical treatment. This was being popular in the best sense of the word; the spirit was genuinely national, the form truly artistic; and so the minuet took its place in the symphony, and kept it. The position given to it in relation to the longer movements varied in early days; Mozart generally places it after the andante.

Mozart's first symphonies have only three movements, and it is perhaps not merely accidentally that the minuet is first introduced in the symphonies composed at Vienna in 1767 and 1768, but it is sometimes wanting in later works.

It is interesting to trace in his youthful works Mozart's MOZART'S SYMPHONIES. [297] gradual progress in mechanism and practical skill. At first there is little melodious invention, but a sense of effect and a knowledge of form always exist, and by degrees the symphonies acquire body and character. Command of the orchestra makes itself felt by degrees; first the separate parts become free and independent, a special movement is given to the second violins by characteristic passages and imitative treatment, and the basses too gain life and independence; they are in free imitation for the first time in a Symphony in G major (no K.) belonging to the year 1771. As development proceeded the subjects became fuller, and the whole work gained in consistency and substance, although it still wanted finish and elaboration. The peculiar character of the string quartet became more and more prominent; for a long time it formed the nucleus of the symphony, the wind instruments strengthening the harmonies and emphasising some particular melody, but only very gradually contributing to effects of light and shade. Oboes and horns, trumpets too (generally without drums), are combined according to rule, and gave the orchestra a sharp clear tone, which was then admired; flutes were employed in movements of a gentle character, usually with muted stringed instruments. It was not until later that the bassoons were made independent of the basses, and then they served, like the tenors, for middle parts. Many and diverse experiments were made in the employment of new instrumental forces before the various parts of the orchestra were successfully combined into a self-contained and living whole.

Nothing whatever is known of Mozart's models in his instrumental music. We may take for granted that he knew Josef Haydn's symphonies, and that they were not without some influence on his genius; but few actual traces of them can be discovered, while his conception of the minuet was altogether different, and remained peculiarly his own. 34


The jovial humour and the delight in musical drollery which are Haydn's characteristics are never predominant with Mozart; he preserves a national tone, truly, but the interest it excites is due to the ennobling and beautifying spirit which he throws into it. This side of Mozart's nature appears even in his earlier works, and makes us the more ready to ascribe any lapse into fun and drollery to the direct influence of Haydn. The last symphony, in E flat major, which is avowedly ambitious in conception, betrays undoubted external influence. Both the minuet and the lengthy and elaborate concluding rondo are decided imitations of Haydn. The andante is somewhat constrained ami unnatural, but there is a second and later andante at the close, which is much simpler.

Mozart's instrumental compositions up to the year 1772 are only interesting in so far as they show us how gradually and surely he gained possession of all the means his art could place at his command; 35 but from this date they begin to acquire an independent interest. It is remarkable that we possess no symphonies composed by Mozart between 1775 and 1777. Reflecting how carefully all the compositions of this time have been preserved, it is not probable that any can have been lost by accident. On the other hand most of the great serenades and concertos for violin and piano fall within these years; and it is quite possible that Mozart's growing discontent with his position and the displeasure of the Archbishop may have caused him to desist MOZART'S SYMPHONIES. [299] from writing symphonies which were primarily intended for performance at court concerts. We have further proof that Mozart wrote no symphonies during these years in a letter from his father, on September 24, 1778, where he says: "When a thing does you no credit, it is better that it should be forgotten. I have sent you none of your symphonies because I feel sure that when you have come to riper years, and have a clearer judgment, you will be glad that they are forgotten, even though you may be satisfied with them now."

Even the more important among the later symphonies are sparing in the use of means, and precise in form, as indeed they were obliged to be, considering that several symphonies were performed in one evening.

And yet Mozart writes to his father from Paris (September 11, 1778) that he could not produce his symphonies there, since they did not suit the French taste: "We Germans like long pieces, but in truth they are better short and good." Progress is shown in greater freedom of treatment; the first movement of a Symphony in D major (202 K.) and the last movement of the Symphonies in G major (199 K.) and C major (200 K.), all belonging to 1774, are full of life and vigour. These qualities presuppose more individuality in the details, the interludes are developed with more independence, and the loosely connected violin and violoncello passages disappear altogether. Many of Mozart's special characteristics exist side by side with turns of expression common to the time; for instance, the second theme is sometimes an offshoot from the first, and the introduction of a new subject at the close of the part often gives a new impetus to the movement.

The Symphonies in G minor (183 K.) and in A major (201 K.) may serve as very opposite examples of Mozart's works of the kind. The first has a serious tone from the first subject onwards, the minuet and finale more especially being almost gloomy in tone, and the andante the same, only somewhat softened down. The second is full from beginning to end of cheerful humour and tender grace, and may serve as an example of the way in which a work of art INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [300] of perfect mechanism and delicate shading may be produced from the simplest materials.

If the minuets alone of the two symphonies be compared, it will be acknowledged that an artist who within such confined limits can produce impressions of delicate wit and humour on the one hand, and of gloomy discontent and agitation on the other, has a full mastery of the forms and capabilities of instrumental music.

The symphonies of that time do not, as a rule, attempt to express passion or tragic emotion. They were, with few exceptions, intended to promote social enjoyment; consequently their essential characteristics are animation and brilliancy, or else calm serenity. The composer concentrated his efforts on the form and mechanism of his composition; to express deep feeling or the secrets of his own heart would have been alike impossible to him as an artist and contrary to the spirit of the time. A sharp line of division was drawn in theory and practice between human and artistic emotions, and any display of subjective emotion was discouraged. In the year 1774 "Werther" appeared; the strivings and conflicts of the time which produced it had their influence on music; but music had to pass through a longer and more arduous struggle before attaining to a like freedom of inspiration and expression.

The evident striving of the youthful Mozart to express himself and his innermost feelings in his music affords a significant indication of his development as an artist. Life had not taught him the lessons of passion and disappointment, and his nature was too sound and healthy to attempt to anticipate or represent emotions which had not touched him; he shows himself to us as he is.

The symphony was not then, as it is now, the grandest and most comprehensive form of orchestral music. The first place was given to the so-called serenata, a name originating in the circumstances of its composition, and scarcely applied to a fixed or well-defined form. The serenata was distinguished from the symphony in its narrow sense by greater variety and wealth of ideas and treatment. Several instruments are often grouped together in different combinations, THE SERENADE. [301] and solo instruments are variously employed; also the number of separate movements often reaches as many as eight.

For the arrangement and manipulation of the movements the perfected forms of the symphony are employed, but with numerous modifications.

Serenades were introduced and sometimes also concluded by a march (39, K.). This was concise in form and simple in treatment, very often without even a trio; it was generally lively and cheerful. The detached marches by Mozart which are preserved were doubtless intended for introductions to serenades; they were often transferred from one to another, and so were written separately.

The minuet is almost invariably inserted between each andante and allegro, and therefore occurs two or three times in the symphony. The omission of all the other forms of dance music, so amply represented in the suite, is a proof that this form of instrumental music was not intended for practical use, at least in this juxtaposition. Variations were sometimes made in the character of the minuets by changes in the instrumentation, more especially in the trio. Several trios were frequently given to one minuet with appropriate instrumentation, making use of obbligato violins (185, 203, 204, 250, K.), flutes (204 K.), trumpets (250 K.), and sometimes the stringed instruments alone (100, 250, K.).

A grand allegro in two parts, as a commencement, and an allegro or presto at the close, sometimes introduced by a short adagio, form the main substance of the serenade as well as of the symphony, and the movements are similarly treated. The slow movement between them is in its turn between two minuets (62 K.), and there are sometimes two slow movements, each with a minuet appertaining to them (99 K.), and characterised by varied instrumentation. As time went on, an allegro was inserted between the two slow movements, which, however, was rendered distinct from the two principal quick movements by its lighter colouring and tone; the instruments, too, are grouped with more diversity. For instance (185 K.), the oboe and horn are employed obbligato in the first andante and the INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [302] following allegro, and in the second andante flutes are combined with the stringed instruments.

A singular use is sometimes made of obbligato violins in the serenade (185,,203, 204, 214, 215, 237, 239, 250, K.). After the first allegro, the solo violins lead in three movements, viz.: andante, minuet, and allegro (rondo, 250 K.) which are in a measure complete in themselves, and form, apart from their surroundings, a complete symphony. The expression "finalmusik," which frequently occurs in Mozart's letters, seems to prove that these lengthy compositions, with their concerted solo instruments, formed the conclusion of the concert. The "concertantsymphonie" of the two last serenades belonging to 1774 and 1775 (204, 250, K.), are conspicuous from their peculiar instrumentation. In the other movements the usual oboes, horns, and trumpets are used as accompaniment to the obbligato violins, flutes, horns, and bassoons, and in the last movement especially the combination and treatment are quite modern. These two serenades show altogether a marked improvement on the earlier ones, which do not essentially differ from symphonies. The orchestra is firmly handled, and the orchestral subjects freely elaborated. Each of the many movements of the last serenade is worked out as carefully and lovingly as if it were the only one, and the ideas and motifs are so full of meaning and of jovial good-humour that it is impossible not to feel that Mozart has here put forth his best powers.

A short serenata (239 K.), consisting of a march, minuet, and rondo, interrupted by a short adagio, was written in January, 1776, for stringed instruments and drums only. A sort of chorus of two solo violins, accompanied by violas and violoncelli, is opposed to another, composed of two violins, viola, and violoncello, with the drums, all treated as tutti parts. Such admirable use is made of the contrast and combination of the two choruses, of the tutti parts and of varied sound effects, such as pizzicato, &.c., and even the drum is so skilfully employed, that this little work has taken a highly original colouring; with true tact the separate movements are made short, in order that the SERENADES—CASSATIO, 1771. [303] singular charm of the piece may not suffer from the fatigue of the ear. 36

The same praise may be bestowed on a nocturne (286 K.) for four orchestras, each consisting of a stringed quartet and two horns, so arranged as to represent a threefold echo. When the first orchestra has played a connected phrase the second orchestra falls in at the last bar with the same, or with the four last bars of the same, the third follows the second at the last bar with the three last bars, and the fourth comes in in the same way with the two last bars; then the first orchestra continues the theme. In this way all the three movements—andante, allegro, and minuet—are managed, with but slight modifications; only the trio of the minuet is played by one orchestra alone, or by all together. It need scarcely be said that the omission of the echoes does not affect the connection of the parts. The main point in such a trifle as this is to carry it out with as little visible constraint as possible.

There is an especially good effect in the minuet where short passages follow each other in rapid succession, falling in at different parts of the bars, and the way in which in the first part the horns alone conclude a phrase with—[See Page Image] cutting each other short in the most impatient manner, is truly comical.

Similar instrumental compositions to this are called by the name of divertimento or cassatio (which last term has never been satisfactorily explained), in which the various parts are simply arranged. 37 The first of these (113 K.), composed in Milan in 1771, "Concerto ossia Divertimento," has the four movements of the symphony, the last in rondo form, and INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [304] resembles the symphonies of that time also in the brevity and preciseness of its arrangement. The strings are not obbligato, the wind instruments—two clarinets and two horns—although not concertante, are more than usually independent. For a later performance, probably in 1773, two oboes, two English horns, and two bassoons were so added that the clarinets might be omitted. 38 The stringed instruments were left untouched; the strengthening of the wind instruments was utilised for the alternations, with slight and clever modifications.

In the next divertimento, belonging to June, 1772 (131 K.), consisting of seven movements, the combination of the different instruments (four horns, 39 flutes, oboes, and bassoons) is varied with evident care. The first adagio is for strings alone, the second for wind instruments; the first minuet is for strings, the wind instruments alternate with each other in the three trios, and all the instruments unite in the coda. In the second minuet the four horns are especially prominent; in the third movement, an allegretto, the flute is obbligato and the horns are silent; in the first and last movements all the instruments work together.

A divertimento, singular in many respects, in six movements, for oboes and two horns, together with stringed instruments, seems to have been written quickly for some special occasion in July, 1776 (54 K.), and then to have been laid aside. The score is hurriedly jotted down on already used music paper of different shapes, with abbreviations, directions for the copyist, and various corrections. The second minuet has no trio, but is three times varied. The oboe is prominent and striking, not in passages, but in sustained notes and tuneful melodies. The stringed instruments, without being actually concertante, enliven the whole DIVERTIMENTI, 1776-77. [305] by their free arrangement of parts. The national German character of the melodies is very noticeable; they remind us in style of popular German songs.

The alliance of the horns with the strings was a favourite one at the time, although the instruments do not readily blend. The freer the thematic elaboration of the string parts the more difficult it became for the horns to keep pace with them, although now and then fine effects might be produced by their means.

The difficulty was so to engraft, as it were, the horns on the stringed instruments as to leave them free play for their own natural effects, and to produce a certain richness and depth of colouring not attainable without their aid.

In a divertimento, written about 1773 or 1774 (205 K.), two horns are in union with violin, tenor, and violoncello, strengthened by a bassoon. It is short and precise, but cleverly written. The adagio is a duet for violin and tenor, to a very simple bass, the horns being silent. It must be remembered that such pieces as these were always accompanied on the clavier.

Two divertimenti or cassationi, as they are oftener called in the letters, for string quartet, with two horns (247, 287, K.), 40 were written in June, 1776 and June, 1777, for the fête-day of the Countess Ant. Lodron; they are finished works of the genuine Mozart type. Both have six elaborately worked-out movements, and abound in grace and fertility of invention, and in skilful harmonic treatment. The style is that of a true quartet, that is, the instruments have each their independent part, but the first violin, as a solo part, is markedly predominant; in the first divertimento, in F major (247 K.), it sustains the melody in every movement, but is bravura and concertante only in the adagio.

In the second divertimento, in B flat major (287 K.), which is grand in design and composition, the first violin is treated as a solo instrument throughout, with a strong INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [306] tendency to bravura, the remaining instruments co-operating in such a way as to display the creative spirit of an artist in every detail, however delicate or subordinate. In the very first thematically elaborated passage the solo passages for the violin occur, which it is the chief concern of the second part to elaborate. The second place—which in the former divertimento (247 K.) was given to a simple, exceedingly graceful andante grazioso, a kind of song without words—is occupied in the latter (287 K.) by an air with variations, in which all the instruments take part, but the violin more prominently, and with more of executive bravura than any of the others. This is most apparent in the two minuets, but it is very decided also in the broadly conceived adagio, where the second violin and tenor are muted, the violoncello plays pizzicato, while the first violin leads a melody richly adorned with figures and passages, and requiring the execution of a finished performer. The use of muted strings, especially in slow movements, was very frequent at that time in accompaniments, as well as in symphonies and quartets, and was intended to produce variety of tone-colouring; the violoncello not being muted, but pizzicato, afforded a contrast of tone. The concluding movement is introduced by an andante with a recitative for the first violin, not too long, and so worked out that the whole compass of the instrument is characteristically displayed. A long molto allegro follows this introduction, in 3-8 time, which keeps the violinist in constant movement, and gives him an opportunity of displaying the variety of his technical skill; but the movement is carefully planned and composed, due consideration being given to each part in its place. The recitative recurs at the end, followed by a short and brilliant conclusion. The tone of this movement is not as cheerful as usual; it is full of impulsive haste and changeful humour, and its stronger accent betrays a certain intensity, even in the introductory recitative.

The third divertimento, in D major (334 K.), may be most fitly noticed here, although it was not composed till 1779 or 1780, since it accords in every respect with the two last "HARMONIEMUSIK." [307] mentioned. 41 In breadth of conception and grandeur of composition, it stands nearest to that in B flat major; the first violin is perhaps less elaborately treated, and the tone of the whole is somewhat calmer and more cheerful. Mastery of form in plan, grouping, and arrangement is perfect in both compositions, as well as freedom and ease in the elaboration of the subjects, as if they sprang spontaneously forth as expressions of thought, each in its proper place and degree. Perhaps the first movement is grander in design, and has broader motifs than the later work; but the adagio is deeper and more elaborate, and the last movement is more original in the B flat major divertimento. The remaining movements are fairly equal. 42

It was the B flat major divertimento that Mozart played at Munich in 1777, "as if he was the first violinist in Europe," so that "every one stared." It is evident that difficulty of execution in his composition for the violin, which is more noticeable after 1773, kept pace with Mozart's progress as a violinist. 43

A style of composition much in vogue at that time was the so-called "harmoniemusik," for wind instruments alone. Sometimes it was used as serenades, sometimes people of rank had performances of six- or eight-part harmoniemusik morning and evening, during meals, in which they were imitated by the more pretentious tavern-keepers. There was opportunity enough for cultivating this branch of composition at Salzburg.

In form these compositions, which were generally called divertimenti or partite (partie) resembled those just described. They consist of three, four, or sometimes more movements, which were grouped without any fixed rule. One INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [308] divertimento (186 K.) closes with a contredanse en rondeau; another (240 K.) has an andante as first movement; then follows a minuet, and then a polonaise; a third (253 K.) begins with an andante and variations.

The two first pieces of this kind are both scored for ten parts, two oboes, two clarinets, two English horns, two French horns, and two bassoons. Since one of the divertimenti (166 K.) was composed at Salzburg on March 24, 1773, and the other probably at much the same time; and since there were no clarinets in the usual Salzburg orchestra, they must have been composed for some very special occasion. But neither the plan nor the composition are on a larger scale than usual; the work is wanting both in extent and expression, and the instrumentation is neither free nor forcible.

There are two striking partites, one consisting of ten, the other of six movements, which were written for two flutes, five trumpets (in C and D), and four drums (in C, G, D, A) (187, 188, K.), about the year 1773 or 1774, apparently to employ the trumpet orchestra on some festival occasion. Whether the union of flutes with trumpets was founded on precedent or not I cannot say. The flutes lead the melody, and have allotted to them musical passages, connected, but short and unimportant in substance and style. The trumpets seldom take part in the melody, but are for the most part employed either together or separately as accompaniment; the object has apparently been to preserve the effect of a body of sound in the trumpets as far as possible, while aiming at giving them a definite musical form. In the earlier and more prosperous times of the trumpeters' guild, accomplished masters of horn-playing would not have needed the support of flutes.

It is of more interest to note how a great master works within narrow limits, and with small means at his command, by a consideration of the six divertimenti for two oboes, two bassoons, and two horns (213, 240, 252, 253, 270, 289, K.), which were composed between 1775 and 1777.

The destination of these trifling pieces, as table-music or such-like, allows neither greatness of conception nor any THE QUARTET—JOS. HAYDN. [309] expression of deep feeling; all must be pleasing, cheerful, and quickly over. But Mozart was not content with satisfying these conditions; his harmonie-musik is full of delicacy and grace, tender and pure in conception, and touched with the firm hand of a master. The details are carefully and neatly handled, without any exaggeration; little side touches are scattered freely about—here an imitation, there an original passage or turn in the middle parts, making the whole interesting and full of life; happy instrumental effects abound, and by varied combinations and changes of tone-colouring the outline of the symmetrical structure is thrown into clear relief, in spite of the limited means at command; just as a painter in monochrome shades his one colour with such skill as to give a plastic roundness to his forms. 44

This species of instrumental composition as it developed became limited, curiously enough, to stringed instruments, for the most part in quartets for two violins, tenor, and bass (replaced by the violoncello), more rarely in quintets, with either the tenor or the violoncello doubled, or in trios. They were still called divertimento or cassation, and did not originally differ from this class of composition, either in form or in liberty as to the number and arrangement of movements.

The rule that the quartet (as the whole species came to be called) should consist, like the symphony and the sonata, of four fixed movements, was laid down by Joseph Haydn. It was his inexhaustibly fertile invention and his freedom in the treatment of form which nourished and developed the germ of this chamber-music, until it bore the most beautiful blossoms of German musical art. Mozart, destined later to surpass in this direction his freely acknowledged example, displays evident tokens of Haydn's influence even in his youth. On the whole, however, quartet music does not seem to have enjoyed much favour in Salzburg; Mozart's INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [310] not very numerous attempts fall in earlier years, and were not all written in Salzburg.

Mozart's first quartet, in G major (80 K.), was composed on the first journey to Italy, at Lodi, on March 15, 1770, at seven o'clock in the evening—a circumstance of which he preserved the memory long afterwards. The concluding rondo is written in a later hand on different paper; and perhaps the whole consisted originally of only three movements—adagio, allegro and minuet. 45 A clear insight into the essential conditions of quartet style, freedom and independence of all the parts, a concentration of the whole work into a well-defined form, together with a perfection of thematic elaboration, are all plainly discernible in this first attempt, which, unimportant and wanting in originality as it may be, yet gives the impression of a well-rounded piece of workmanship. The second violin is worked out independently, with special care, in which the tenor participates; less success has attended the effort for a free movement for the bass. Attempts in counterpoint—as, for instance, at the beginning of the second part—are, as might be expected, learner-like, but they show that he knew what he was about. The last movement betrays a firmer hand from the very beginning.

Three short divermenti follow, in D, B flat, and F major (136-138, K.), each having three movements, composed at Salzburg in 1772, precise and fresh in treatment, but evidently only meant for exercises.

On the journey to Milan at the end of October, 1772, Wolfgang beguiled the tedium of the way by composing a "quattro"; and in Milan he was again (February 6, 1773) busy with a quartet under his father's directions. This no doubt belongs to a succession of six quartets in D, G, C, F, B flat, and E flat major (155-160, K.), which, judging from style and handwriting, fall within this period. They consist each of three movements, two closing with the minuet (156, 158, K.), while the presto, 3-8, with which the first begins has quite the form of a closing movement. The adagio QUARTETS, 1772. [311] which follows it is unusually serious—a simple melody with a uniform accompaniment in rich harmonies. This is erased and another substituted, which is longer and more elaborate, with a freer movement of the parts and a lighter expression. In other cases the andante begins (as in 137 K.), and is followed by the allegro. These quartets are not of wide scope, nor are the different movements actually elaborated, but greater practice in composition is evident throughout.

The different motifs are better adapted for elaboration, and there is a remarkable increase of skill in dealing with the smaller divisions of each part, on the working out of which depend the life and unity of the whole conception. The opening phrases, repetitions, &c., are freer and better fitted in; two-part imitation is sometimes neatly introduced and fluently and gracefully carried out.

The composer's power has evidently grown as he worked, and the later quartets are by far the most original. The second movement of the fifth (159 K.), an allegro 3-4 in G minor, following an andante in B flat major, has, through its rhythm and modulation, an expression of dry humour that is quite suggestive of one of the later scherzos.

Six quartets, composed in August and September of the same year, at Vienna, stand on a far higher level, and were probably written to order (168-175, K.). The superscription of the first shows that the whole six were planned together; they were written in quick succession, and their variety represented the different tendencies of the quartet style. In Vienna, of all places, the birthplace and domain of Haydn's chamber-music, the ambitious youth would exert himself to satisfy the demand for the highest class of compositions. Most of them have the approved four movements, and the composer's invention and execution keep pace with the more extended scope of the composition. The quartets are manlier and more mature than in the earlier works of the kind; but the singular beauty of form, the grace and freshness of Mozart in his full development, only show themselves in momentary gleams of inspiration.

An effort to mould the raw material into form by means of skilful workmanship, and to make it subservient to the INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [312] spirit, is apparent throughout. We can see traces already of the study and preparatory work which resulted in the fine and serious compositions of the following year—the Masses in F and D major, and the Litany in D major. First and foremost is apparent the effort to analyse and vary the musical materials ready to hand by means of counterpoint. The first and last quartet end with a thoroughly worked-out fugue, complete with stretto and inversions. The close of the first fugue ended abruptly; Mozart has therefore erased the last four bars, and has substituted the subject in unison, thereby producing a lengthened and very effective conclusion. The second fugue is not by any means so fresh and lively as the earlier one, but it is richer in artistic work. Nor are Mozart's studies in counterpoint apparent here only. An adagio (168 JK.) begins with a four-part canon and retains the same character, although not so strictly carried out; in tone and substance this is one of the best of the series. Imitation is the rule in the elaboration of the first movements; and in the last quartet the whole of the first movement in D minor is built upon one characteristic motif. A free movement of the parts, a skilful employment of passages, variety of instrumentation, and other such means for giving life and animation to the music, are carefully provided, more especially in the minuets. An examination into details will discover traces of careful and delicate handling throughout the work.

There are more instances of fantastic ideas, generally rhythmical in form, than are usually found in Mozart; this is owing, no doubt, to Haydn's influence. The slow movements are for the most part expressive of simple feeling, the andantino grazioso of the last quartet being especially tender and graceful. The closing rondos are least significant; they are not worked out, and the different parts are put together without any true connection. The demands on the instruments are increased in comparison to the earlier quartets, but there is still no bravura; the first violin leads the parts, but is not treated as a solo instrument. In fact all four instruments are treated in essentials as on an equality, so that the tone and character of the QUINTET, 1772. [313] whole regulate every detail, thus fulfilling a fundamental law in the composition of quartets.

It must have been as a result of his Vienna studies that Mozart wrote a quintet (174 K.) after his return in December of the same year; perhaps the example of Michael Haydn had some influence. Mozart writes from Munich (October 6, 1777) that he had invited Herr Dubreil, a pupil of Tartini, and that they played "Haydn's two quintets." Joseph Haydn declares, in answer to A. Romberg, who asked him why he has not written any quintets, that he had never been commissioned to do so; 46 on the other hand, three quintets by Michael Haydn in F, C, and G major, dating between 1770 and 1780, now lie before me. Mozart's quintet shows unmistakable progress; both the plan and execution are broader, and there is more of the true Mozart spirit in the conception of the motives. It is especially interesting to compare two different elaborations of the finale which exist. 47 Mozart has taken the primary subject of the first work, and treated it independently in the second, thereby providing a just standard of criticism against himself. The first theme in the later elaboration is quite new, and gives the key to the character of the movement; then follows as a contrasting motif the chief subject of the former work with suitable alterations. Originally this consisted of eight bars, and was in three parts—[See Page Image] INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [314] but afterwards the two first bars form the subject, taken up by one part after the other; while the minims, which are appended to the rapid semiquavers, give an effect of rhythmical and harmonious climax:—[See Page Image]

It results from this that the divisions next following are easier and more flowing; while, on the other hand, the preparation for the third principal motif is broader and calmer. This third motif gives occasion for an especially happy modification. Originally it ran thus—[See Page Image]

and was then repeated entire; but now only the first four bars are retained, the four last are omitted, and movement and expression are provided by a shake passage. The conclusion of the first part is rendered more impressive by a new and broader motif, and more homogeneous and concentrated by the recurrence of the first subject. The working-out of the second part, which was confined to the elaboration of the two first bars of the original motif, is partially retained; but it is extended by the recurrence and elaboration of the MOZART'S STUDIES. [315] principal theme. Finally, a new and important climax is introduced in the coda by the opposition of the two chief subjects.

This work may be taken to prove that Mozart was a severe self-critic, and was not by any means always content with his first attempts. It can only be by chance that no other example of remodelling a composition has been preserved; the earlier attempts and studies would, no doubt, be generally destroyed. The greater part of Mozart's works of this period have been preserved in carefully written fair copies. We are amazed at the vigour and ease with which he worked, but it would be wrong to represent him as able to dispense with studies and preparatory sketches, even for his great works. The creative power of genius is indeed a gift of nature, but a mastery of art is only acquired by hard labour and pains; strength to labour indefatigably and ability to make the labour bear fruit are the prerogatives of genius. It would be doing Mozart an injustice to deny him the reputation of true and conscientious industry; the beauty of perfect work proves not that no labour has been bestowed on it, but that the labour has been successful. Mozart's youth was occupied with his endeavours to master the forms and materials which he found ready to hand, and he would not be likely to neglect studies and exercises to this end, though he might not think them worth preserving.

There must have been little encouragement accorded to quartet music in Salzburg: 48 after 1773, Mozart composed none until 1784, when he was in Vienna. 49 INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [316] There can be no doubt that the talent for violin-playing which Mozart displayed at a very early age was carefully cultivated by his father. He performed in public on his first journey and at the beginning of the first Italian tour; but by the time they reached Rome he had ceased to play in public, though he still continued his studies regularly. It was part of his official duty in Salzburg to take the violin at court concerts. His father admired Wolfgang's effrontery in taking a violin from one of the orchestra at Vienna in 1773, and performing a concerto upon it (p. 146). He afterwards devoted more serious attention to the instrument, and became a first-rate performer on it, but evidently more from his father's impulse than his own inclination. Not only was the violin-playing at court a burden to him, but he seems to have had little liking for the instrument, and no real confidence in his own powers of execution. "You have no idea yourself how well you play the violin," writes his father (October 18, 1777); "if you only do yourself justice, and play with fire, heartiness, and spirit, you may become the first violinist in Europe." But, nevertheless, he practised regularly and industriously, and his father wrote after he had left home (October 6, 1777): "I feel a little melancholy whenever I go home, for as I get near the house I always imagine that I shall hear your violin going." After 1774, Mozart's violin compositions take more of the bravura type, and afford a good standard of his technical development. He had as a rival the well-established solo violinist, Brunetti, favoured by the archbishop as being an Italian, but considered by L. Mozart as inferior to his son. "He played your concerto very well," wrote L. Mozart (October 5, 1777), "but was twice out of tune in the allegro, and once almost stuck fast in a cadenza." When Brunetti's inconvenient rival had left Salzburg, he was ready to do full justice to his performances. "Brunetti cannot praise you enough," writes the father (October 9, 1777); "and the other day, when I said you played the violin 'passabilmente,' he cried out, 'Cosa? cazzo! se suonava tutto! questo era del Principe un puntiglio mal inteso, col suo proprio danno.'"


After Mozart had left Salzburg in September, 1777, he played the violin in public both at Munich and Augsburg, and was somewhat ironical over his success. "They all stared," he writes from Munich (October 6, 1777); "I played as if I were the first violinist in Europe." And from Augsburg (October 24, 1777): "I played a symphony and Wanhall's Concerto in B flat for the violin with universal applause. At supper-time I played the Strasburg Concerto. It went like oil, and every one praised the beautiful, pure tone." But these communications ceased later on, and L. Mozart writes in anxiety (October 9, 1777): "Have you left off practising the violin since you were in Munich? I should be very sorry." (November 27, 1777): "Your violin hangs on its nail; of that I am pretty sure." And so it must have been. He was obliged to play the violin afterwards in Salzburg; but after his stay in Vienna he never made proficiency on the instrument his primary object, and it is well known that in later years, if he had to take part in a quartet or other concerted piece, he selected the viola in preference.

Mozart's most important compositions in this department are of course his violin concertos, which were doubtless written in the first place for his own use. According to his custom, he went thoroughly into the subject from its very foundation, gaining proficiency by continuous work in the one direction; in 1775 he composed five concertos for the violin (207, 211,' 216, 218, 219, K.), to which was added a sixth (268 K.), not by any means slight, fugitive attempts, but carefully conceived works of considerable compass in three movements, allegro, andante or adagio, and rondo.

The first movement, which was the most elaborate, is more suggestive still of the aria than is the corresponding movement of the symphonies. There is the same fixed alternation between solo and tutti passages, the same adornment of the solo part with passages and cadenzas, and indeed the whole movement is a reminiscence of the serious aria. On the other hand, the structure is more condensed and more animated; the passages grow out of the principal INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [318] subjects, connecting and adorning them. The movement falls usually into three main divisions; the middle one, corresponding to the same division in the symphony, passes into another key, and elaborates one or more motifs more freely than in the symphony, and chiefly by changes of modulation and modification of the passages, whereby the repetition of the first division is effected. Abundant variety of detail is produced, chiefly by the different combinations of the solo part and the orchestral accompaniment; the solo passages are not usually of great length, solo and tutti alternating often and quickly.

The second movement is simple, and rests essentially on the tuneful and artistic delivery of the cantilene; embellishments are not excluded, but they are kept in the background. The character of the movement is generally light and pleasing, but a deeper, though always a cheerful mood, sometimes makes itself felt. The tone is that of a romance; the polonaise-like rhythm of the Concerto in D major (211 K.) is peculiar to it; while the G major concerto (216 K.) has a regular and more broadly conceived adagio. An adagio in E major (261 K)—composed for Brunetti in 1776, because another, probably the interesting adagio of the A major concerto (219 K.), was too "studirt," as L. Mozart writes (October 9,1777)—maintains a kind of medium; it is more serious in expression and broader in conception than the romance-like andantes, but on the whole it is pleasing and pretty rather than grand.

The last movement is, as a rule, in the form of a rondo, 50 in which the solo part moves more freely, especially in the connecting middle passages; the passages altogether have now scope for expansion, the tone being light and cheerful, the form easy. It is not unusual for passages in different time and measure to alternate in the rondo, as in the D major concerto (218 K.), where an andantino grazioso, 2-4, and an allegro ma non troppo, 6-8, alternate. In the G major VIOLIN CONCERTOS. [319] concerto (216 K.), a cheerful passage in 3-8 is interrupted by an andante in G minor—[See Page Image] followed by an allegretto in G major—[See Page Image] that leads back to the first subject. In the A major concerto (219 K.), the chief subject is tempo di menuetto, interrupted by a long allegro, 2-4, in A minor—[See Page Image]

In both these cases the clearly expressed popular tone of the interpolated passages is remarkable, and has a striking and pleasing effect. The allusion in the letters to the concerto, "with the Strasburg" points to one of these passages: "The Strasburg dance, which consisted merely in graceful movements of the arms and poses of the body, was generally executed by a very youthful couple within the circle of waltzers." 51

A decided progress is observable in the concertante for violin and viola 52 with orchestral accompaniment (364 K.), which was probably written in 1780. It displays perfect finish in the conception of the separate subjects and passages, power and melody in the development of the orchestral accompaniments, and true artistic skill in the placing of turns and phrases where they will be most effective. It is in the usual three movements, but a more solid foundation and wider scope than usual are given to the form, in order that the two solo instruments may have free play; the INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [320] tutti passages are longer and more important, which entails more participation by the orchestra in the solo portions. This gives a symphony-like character to the whole, to which the solo instruments add a peculiar brilliancy. In relation to each other they are simply treated. They generally relieve each other, either repeating whole phrases or sharing them between them; when together, they are mostly in thirds and sixths, and there seldom occurs a true two-part passage in which the two instruments move freely and independently.

In this respect the concertone composed in 1773 (190 K.) is more artistic in design and in workmanship. Here the orchestra is in contrast with two solo violins, to which the oboe is added as a solo instrument; the violoncello, though not so freely treated as the others, is also often solo. The usual concerto form is given to the three movements, the middle movement being romance-like, but more elaborate than usual, to give employment to the solo instruments. The violoncello, though it does not take a leading part in this movement, has an independent passage as accompaniment throughout. The last movement is "tempo di menuetto," resembling those in the violin Concerto in A major (219 K.), the bassoon concerto (191 K.), the clavier concerto in C (246 K.), the triple concerto (242 K.), and the clavier trio in B flat (254 K.); the form of the minuet with several trios is treated with some freedom, and approaches that of the rondo. The forcible and independent treatment of the orchestra, both in the tutti and the solo passages, gives to the whole of this composition the character of a symphony; but the solo parts are grouped with greater variety, since there are four of them, and they do not as a rule repeat the same passages or join in unison. Sometimes the violins alternate with each other, sometimes the oboe joins them or opposes them, sometimes the oboe and violoncello are both in opposition to the violins, and sometimes all the four instruments move independently side by side. A strict and ingenious fugal structure was required to give unity to this manifold variety. In the first allegro especially the motifs are chiefly imitatively treated, and MOZART'S TREATMENT OF THE VIOLIN. [321] sometimes the varied rendering of a phrase necessitates a change of instruments; the coming and going of the instruments and their combinations are carefully planned, as well as the part taken by the orchestra in producing the general effect. In the two last movements alternation is the predominant principle, and the parts are only ingeniously interlaced here and there. The work displays throughout more of skilful mechanism and clever elaboration than of original invention and beauty.

The judgment of connoisseurs on Mozart's technical treatment of the violin tends to show that the difficulties even in solo parts are comparatively small, but that an acquaintance with the idiosyncrasies of the instrument, which could only be gained violin in hand, is always apparent; all is made as smooth and easy as possible for the performer, at the same time that effects of striking originality are produced. Our idea of Mozart as a violin-player will gain in interest by a knowledge of his judgment on other violinists. As a child, he had become acquainted at Mayence with the violinist Esser, of whom the father writes later from Salzburg (December 7, 1780): "Esser is a merry old simpleton; but he plays (when he is in earnest) with a firm and remarkable execution, and has a finer adagio touch than is the case with most allegro players. But when he is in a joking mood he plays on the G string alone with the greatest ease, and plays pieces with a lead pencil on the strings wonderfully correctly and quickly. 53 He plays the viola d'amour charmingly. 54 But what struck me as particularly childish was his whistling of a recitative and aria equal to any singer, with all the expression, flourishes, shakes, &c., in a truly marvellous manner, accompanying himself on the violin pizzicato At the same time he laments that, like the rest of them, he cannot play without grimaces and absurdities." On this point, little Wolfgang, unimpressed by Esser's tricks and tours de force, had said that he played well, but made too much of it, and would do better to stick to what was written.


Of Ign. Frànzl (b. 1730), whom he heard at Mannheim, he wrote to his father (November 22, 1777): "I have had the pleasure of hearing Herr Frànzl play a concerto on the violin. I was extremely pleased. You know that I am no great lover of difficulties. He plays difficult passages so that one does not know that they are difficult, and thinks one can imitate him; which is true art. He has also a good round tone, every note is correct and clear; he has a charming staccato in one bow up as well as down, and I never heard such a double shake before. In a word he is, in my opinion, no juggler, but a very good substantial violinist."

Mozart wrote an oboe concerto for the celebrated oboist Gius. Ferlendi, of Brescia, who was in the Salzburg band in 1775; it does not seem to have been preserved. He tells his father (November 4, 1777) that he has made a present of it to the oboist Ramm at Mannhein, who was wild with delight, and played it five times with the greatest applause. He sent from Vienna for the little book containing the Ferlendi concerto, for which Prince Esterhazy had promised him three ducats. Another composition of Mozart's was a concerto for the flute, which, according to Schiedenhofen, was performed by Cosel in a serenade arranged by Wolfgang for his sister; this may have been the Concerto in G major (313 K.), which evidently belongs to this period. A certain Baron Thad. von Dümitz was an amateur on the bassoon; Mozart composed three concertos for him, one in C and two in B flat major (191 K.), short and unpretentious, as the instrument required; also a duet for bassoon and violoncello (292 K.). 55

Although from his earliest years Mozart had excited lively admiration by his clavier and organ-playing, it will be better to consider his performances on these instruments later on, when we shall have the assistance of more direct testimony. We know little more of his studies 56 than that he practised CLAVIER COMPOSITIONS. [323] the clavier much and diligently, which, indeed, requires no proof. Compositions by Wagenseil, Paradies, Bach, and Lucchesi are incidentally mentioned as subjects for home practice.

There now remains to consider only the compositions for the clavier, of which there are curiously few known. Some may have been lost, but it is a fact that after his first childish attempts Mozart composed comparatively little for the clavier during his residence in Salzburg. There was little opportunity of performing clavier compositions, the instrument was not used solo in the court concerts, private concerts were not profitable in Salzburg, and in society Mozart generally made use of the clavier to improvise or prelude. The lessons which he gave to ladies of rank afforded him an opportunity for composing, but for these pupils he could only write show-pieces.

To the earliest authentic clavier compositions belong the variations (179 K.) on a very popular minuet by the celebrated oboist Fischer, a bravura piece for the time, full of what were then considered difficulties. 57

He had them sent to Munich in 1774 in order to make a show with them, and on the journey to Paris we hear that he had recourse to the Fischer variations when he was obliged to play in polite society; proving that he was not provided with many compositions of the kind.

There were some clavier sonatas written at that time too, which Nannerl was instructed to bring to Munich (December 21, 1774), the result being a commission from Baron Dürnitz for six sonatas (279-284 K.); they are often mentioned by Mozart on the Paris journey of 1777, and he played them frequently in Munich, Augsburg and Mannheim with great success. They consist, after the old fashion, of three movements; the fourth forms an exception to the general rule, containing a long adagio, two minuets (the second instead of a trio), and an allegro; the last is another exception, the first allegro being followed by a rondeau en polonaise—like the violin concerto (218 K.)—ending with variations. Mozart INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [324] spoke of sonatas as difficult which are now given as lessons to beginners (February 2, 1778). Nevertheless it is no small praise to him that, after the lapse of ninety years, the judicious treatment of the instrument, the healthy freshness and finished form of these compositions entitle them still to be considered as the best foundation for a musical education. Any one capable of appreciating a work of art will find all its essential conditions fulfilled in these simple sonatas.

L. Mozart mentions in a letter (December 8, 1777) two four-hand sonatas, written by Wolfgang for himself and his sister. One may be the well-known B flat major sonata (358 K.) which Mozart wrote for from Vienna (June 27, 1781). The form is concise and little elaborated; the essential condition that each player shall contribute his independent share to the general effect is kept duly in view. A second sonata is not authenticated. 58

A trio for clavier, violin, and violoncello (254 K.), belongs to August, 1776, which, according to Mozart's Munich letters (October 6,1777), Nannerl played at Salzburg with Janitsch and Reicha. It displays, like all the compositions of this period, completeness and roundness of form with maturity and cleverness of conception, and surprises us by its animation and the tender beauty of many of its turns of expression. The clavier is the chief instrument, then the violin, more simply treated, but independent. The violoncello does not yet receive full justice; it is only used as a bass, often effectively, but never overstepping its narrow province.

After the (violin?? DW) Concerto in D major (175 K.), composed in December, 1773, and played with applause at Mannheim (February 14, 1778), and, with a new finale, at Vienna (March 22, 1782), Mozart wrote no clavier music until January, 1776, when he composed a clavier Concerto in B flat major (238 K.), another in April in C major for the Countess Lützow (246 K.), and in January, 1777, one in E flat major for Madame Jenomy (271 K.). This industry CLAVIER CONCERTO (271 K.) [325] was not the result of caprice or chance. Composition went hand in hand with his development as a virtuoso, and we can measure his progress by the increasing difficulty of his works. Unless he was to remain in Salzburg all his life, 59 a professional tour, to make himself known to the world, became more and more a necessity. Both brilliant execution as a virtuoso and a supply of original compositions would be necessary conditions for such a tour; Wolfgang's prudent, worldly-wise father took care that he should be prepared on all points to insure the success of the undertaking.

The most remarkable of the clavier concertos, which in form and treatment resemble the violin concertos, is the last (271 K.), which, in its freedom of form, breadth of design and passion of expression, approaches very near to the divertimento in B flat major (287 K.), which belongs to the same period. The very beginning is original, the clavier striking in with the first bars, and so giving a peculiar tone to the whole movement. Not less original is the entrance of the solo passage proper, the clavier falling in to the last bars of the gradually expiring tutti passage, with a shake of several bars length, out of which the subject springs; the same turn is afterwards made use of at the close of the first movement. The middle movement is called andantino, but expresses deep and painful emotion, and the cantilene repeatedly assumes a recitative-like character (in one beautiful climax the violins are in imitation), ending with a perfect recitative. 60 The last rondo (presto), a capital exercise for the fingers in its unceasing rapid movement, has a far more important character than is usual with concluding movements. A long cadenza leads back to the subject; the second time, however, it does not lead to the subject, but to a INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. [326] "menuetto cantabile," which, kept in check by an orchestral accompaniment, has more and more the character of a free fantasia, and at last goes back to the subject in a new cadenza, which leads to a brilliant conclusion.

A concerto for three claviers, written in February, 1776, in F major (242 K.), displays an increase in solo powers; a title-page, carefully written by the father, announces it as "Dedicato al incomparabile merito di S. Exc. la Sgra. Cont. Lodron, nata Cont. d* Arco et delle sue figlie le Sgre. Cont. Aloisia et Giuseppa." We must not look for the same contrapuntal independence of the three instruments which we find in Bach's concertos, but there is no mistaking the cleverness and delicate sense of effect which are displayed in the varied combinations of the instruments—the doubling of parts, the strengthening of the melody or of the bass, the position of the accompaniment, and the alternation of the instruments. The main object of the first movement is to give equal and yet individual effect to each of the three claviers, although the third is hardly on a level with the other two; in the two last movements the third instrument is still more in the background, being chiefly confined to accompaniment, so that in the finale it does not even take part in the cadenzas. This made it easier for Mozart to arrange the concerto for two instruments; the solo parts, so altered, are preserved in his handwriting. The tone of the concerto is lively and cheerful; the whole is treated in an easy and happy vein of humour, which entertains the players quite as much as the audience. Mozart seems to have been fond of this concerto, and he informs his father with some satisfaction that it had been successfully performed both at Augsburg (October 24, 1777), and at Mannheim (March 24, 1778).

The orchestra has a perfectly independent part in this composition; but there is no very marked distinction between tutti and accompaniment; the orchestra and clavier mutually support and further each other, and their union results in a perfect work of art.

It is easy to estimate the claims made by Mozart upon the clavier-player. The principal are simple and tuneful delivery of the melody, clearness and precision in the MOZART AS VIRTUOSO. [327] embellishments (which were more numerous than at the present day, to suit the instrument then in use), skill and steadiness in the running passages and shakes. Technical difficulties, such as passages in octaves, thirds, or sixths, occur seldom or never at this period. The use of the left hand is also limited; rapidity is only required in accompaniment passages, and independence in the execution of left-hand melodies. What the composer was able to accomplish with the limited means at his command lies clear before us; the life which the virtuoso threw into his works by performances full of spirit and genius cannot be reproduced by any observation of form and mechanism.


OUR examination of the development[327] of Mozart's youthful genius, as it is to be traced in the multiplicity and variety of his studies, may fitly be concluded by a rapid survey of what he had accomplished and the position which he held at his entry into manhood.

At twenty-one years of age he could hold his own with the first masters of his time as a performer on the clavier, the organ, and the violin, and his powers as an executant were far surpassed by his accomplishments in every branch of composition. Remembering his numerous and successful contributions to theatrical music in serious and comic operas, to church music of every kind and description, to instrumental music, both concerted and solo, we are amazed at the ease and fertility of his producing powers not less than at the steady perseverance and earnestness of his studies. He never begins at random and breaks off short, never yields to chance impulses, to be abandoned before their object is attained; his will is always consciously fixed on a definite end, and to that end he bends all the force and energy of his mind.

No small share of the merit of this happy development EARLY MANHOOD. [328] must be accorded to his father, whose careful and well-digested educational plan, as earnest and conscientious as it was far-seeing and full of love, counteracted the son's easy and excitable nature, and concentrated his whole strength on his artistic cultivation. But the greatest share, after all, falls to the admirable organisation of Mozart himself. His nature was so genuinely artistic that musical perfection was the very germ of that inner being of which his works were the natural and inevitable expression.

The precocity of his talent, which had produced these works at an age when most minds are only beginning to put their thoughts into articulate form, had in it nothing forced, strained, or disturbed; he seized instinctively on what was in harmony with his genius, absorbed it completely, and made it the stepping-stone to his upward progress.

We have seen how he laboured to become absolute master of every kind of form in his art, and how, step by step, his labours were rewarded. But no amount of external readiness and skill would satisfy him unless he could also give due expression to what moved his innermost soul, and impelled him to production. And so it is that even in his earliest works we find no opposition between their form and their substance; so it is that they are always a whole—at first insignificant enough both in substance and treatment, but still a whole—contained in a definite expression of artistic form. Looking back at the history of an art which has been begotten and fostered by any nation, we see how it is now favoured, now hindered, by external circumstances, how it strives and struggles through the long ages, possessing itself here by fits and starts, there by easy transitions, of all the means and forms necessary for its perfect practice. When at last the spiritual and intellectual life of the nation has become free and impelled to artistic activity, the great master arises, who, disposing at will of the inheritance of knowledge and genius bequeathed to him by his fathers, accomplishes the highest task of art in his representations of ideal beauty. The glorious contemplation of the organic development of a gifted nature, turning all to good account, FAMILY LIFE IN SALZBURG. [329] and rejecting what impedes its growth so soon as it has served its turn, is open for us in Mozart. To him it was given to master the external conditions of his art on every side without injury to his individuality and creative force. Artist and man grew together; the deeper the passion and the more intense the emotion, the more grand and impressive became the forms in which they were embodied. And it is in this that consists the successful cultivation of any art in youth: in this mastery of the means whereby the man in his maturity makes his genius felt without apparent effort. Whatever study and discipline could attain, Mozart had attained before he left Salzburg; it was time that he should emerge from his narrow surroundings, that he should win freedom and independence, both as a man and an artist, by contact with the world.

The position held by Mozart at Salzburg, disproportionate alike to his performances and their promise, could not but fail to satisfy him as soon as he became aware of his own powers.

His life would have been simply unendurable had it not been for the healthy family life which had been from earliest childhood the foundation of his moral and social existence.

He grew up in an atmosphere of conjugal and parental affection, of sincere religion and conscientious morality, and of well-ordered economy, which could not fail in its effect on his character. "After God, papa comes," was his motto as a boy and as a man; it was the keynote of the whole household, and we have seen, and shall see further, how fully Leopold Mozart deserved the trust reposed in him.

It was absolute confidence, not timid fear, which bound wife and children to him, and candour and truth ruled all the family intercourse. Not only the parents and children, but the brother and sister, were devoted to each other; the similarity of their talents, far from exciting emulation or jealousy, only bound them closer together; the sister witnessed the brilliant successes of her younger brother with pure delight, and bore his teasing with unfailing good-humour, sure, in her turn, of his ready and hearty sympathy in her joys and sorrows, whether great or small. Such a true EARLY MANHOOD. [330] family life as this, in which the servants 1 and even the pet animals 2 had their share, became all the firmer and heartier in proportion as circumstances narrowed the circle composing it.

The primary motive-power was the father's earnest devotion to duty, and his example gave weight to his unsparing demands on the labour and industry of his children. He considered the accomplishments of an artist as no mere pastime for hours of recreation, no passing breath of visionary inspiration; but as the ripe food of ceaseless labour, of untiring progress in moral and artistic self-knowledge. He was not content to recognise in the wonderful receptive and productive powers of his son a passport to easy indolence, but strove to make him consider them as deposits to be turned to the best account by study and cultivation. He accustomed his children to work from their youth up, and made it his first object that their outer circumstances should afford them no excuse for idle hours. "Custom." said he, "is an iron path." For this reason he gave up every occupation (except the duties demanded by his official position) which might withdraw him from his children, especially all lessons, thereby entailing a considerable pecuniary sacrifice, for which the profits of his first professional journey could only partially compensate. But he had so firm a confidence in Wolfgang's future, and he kept this object so clearly and continually in view, that nothing could divert him from it. In the boy himself there was no cause for anxiety; his trust in his father was unbounded, his nature was pliable, and his zeal for his art so great that it was never necessary to incite him to industry; indeed, his father often praises his energy and laboriousness. A further proof of the father's beneficial influence is the fact that Wolfgang did not yield to the temptation common to talented and lively youth in following MOZART'S EDUCATION. [331] momentary and one-sided impulses; but that he advanced step by step in a thorough and judicious cultivation of all his powers. The great number of his compositions of every kind which we have already noticed gives us no small idea of his industry; and we must remember that these performances were only possible as the result of continuous study and exercise, of which no outward sign remains. The father insisted on Wolfgang's making clear copies on quarto music paper, both of his own compositions and of examples of other composers. A long list of such exercise-books, in gray-blue covers, with every kind of composition in Mozart's handwriting, arranged and titled by his father, affords the most speaking proof of the industry and regard for order and neatness in which Wolfgang was trained.

Added to this was the continual hard practice on organ and clavier which made him the finished performer he was, then his official duties at court and church, his frequent engagements to play in private circles, and finally the lessons which he was obliged to give—one wonders in fact where he found time for it all in a day of only four-and-twenty hours. Nothing but the anomalous union of extraordinary genius with regularity and order could have produced so anomalous a result. Then again, L. Mozart was too far-seeing and cultivated a man to be satisfied with an exclusively musical education for his son. He took care that he should attain proficiency in foreign languages; he had learnt Latin in early youth (p. 61), and some knowledge of it was indispensable for sacred composition, on which account his father enjoins him (October 15, 1777) always to use a Latin prayer-book. He learnt to speak French and Italian fluently on his journeys, and his father was careful to keep up his knowledge of them. No opportunity was lost of acquiring "any kind of useful knowledge," as Leopold writes (December 18, 1777), "in order to cultivate the understanding by the reading of good books in different languages." Unfortunately we are not told what books Wolfgang read, nor in what direction his literary taste lay. It is characteristic of the father that both the children were obliged every evening to write a short account EARLY MANHOOD. [332] in a journal of what they had learnt and done throughout the day, in order to cultivate their observation of themselves and the things around them.

L. Mozart knew well that hot-house plants fade quickly, and was careful not to overtax the powers of his son, but to preserve him in healthy freshness, both of mind and body, by means of due diversion and recreation. He sought also to render him self-possessed and unconstrained in his intercourse with all classes of men, which Wolfgang's natural amiability rendered an easy task; it was far more difficult to impress him with the necessity for prudence and reserve, which not even the bitter experiences of after-life could teach him. Tied and hampered, as L. Mozart was, in all these endeavours by the conditions of his life in Salzburg, one support remained of which he could not be deprived; this was the beauty of the surrounding scenery. True, he makes no mention of it in his letters, but the dwellers in beautiful neighbourhoods seldom express enthusiastic admiration unless it is called forth by the observation of strangers. Whether consciously or not, however, the influence of rich and beautiful scenery must be felt by a finely organised mind, and the good fortune of a youth passed amid such impressions of surrounding nature is not less to be prized than any other happy dispensation which wakens to life the slumbering powers of the soul.

Intercourse with cultivated and art-loving men, so indispensable to a liberal education, was not easy of attainment in Salzburg. Such men were few, and almost exclusively belonged to the higher nobility. Two Counts Firmian, brothers to the Governor-General of Lombardy (p. no), were men of a lively interest in and appreciation of science and art. While still at the university they had founded a literary society which had considerable influence in spite of the strong opposition which its free scientific tendencies drew upon it. 3 One of the brothers, Vigilius Maria, who was provost of the cathedral, possessed a carefully selected library, and was familiar with the literature of all the THE NOBILITY OF SALZBURG. [333] European countries; the other, Franz Lactantius, Lord High Chamberlain to the Archbishop, was a connoisseur of painting and possessed an excellent collection of pictures. But he seems to have had little idea of music; for although he was extremely well disposed towards Wolfgang, the latter writes to his father (July 9, 1778) that nothing can be done for music in Salzburg until it is altogether left to the kapellmeister, so that the Lord High Chamberlain may have no power to interfere: "for you cannot make a kapellmeister out of a cavalier, although you may make a cavalier out of a kapellmeister." Canon Count Anton Wilibald Wolfegg had travelled extensively in order to make himself acquainted with manufactures and industries, and had specially studied architecture. The Master of the Horse, Count Leopold Joseph Küenberg, was a well-read and accomplished man; the Bishop of Chiemsee, Count Ferdinand von Zeil, was as distinguished for intellect and cultivation as for nobility of disposition. 4 We may gather that all these men were well disposed towards Mozart. The Chamberlain, Count George Anton Felix von Arco, the Court Marshal, Count Nicolaus Sebastian von Lodron, and the Captain of the Body-Guard, Count Leopold von Lodron, were also among his patrons. He had free entry into their houses, played at their entertainments, and gave lessons to their daughters, all the ladies, old and young, vying with each other in attentions to the distinguished virtuoso. Wolfgang sends a respectful kiss of the hand from Milan (February 17, 1770) to her Excellency Countess Arco, and thanks her for the kiss she had sent him, which he prized more highly than many a salute from a younger person. Differences of rank, however, and of personal circumstances rendered difficult any such friendly intercourse as would have been of advantage to Mozart both socially and professionally.

The circle was not an artistic one. Wolfgang praises Count Salem in Munich (October 2, 1777), and calls him a EARLY MANHOOD. [334] true connoisseur. "He says 'Bravo!' when the other cavaliers take a pinch of snuff, or blow their noses, or cough, or begin a conversation."

The smaller or, as it was called, the "wilde" nobility lived for the most part on the numerous smaller court offices, the incomes of which did not enable them to make a show in proportion to their rank; they strove to indemnify themselves by pride and haughtiness, although there were some few cultivated families among them. 5 With some of these, and more particularly with their younger members, we find Wolfgang in close intercourse, but the friendship was in most instances a superficial one, which did not stand the test of years and absence. Herr von Mölk, son of the Court Chancellor, is mentioned as a friend of Wolfgang's, and an unsuccessful suitor of his sister Marianne; it was he who was so amazed and delighted with the performance of the opera at Munich that the Mozarts were ashamed of him, because it was evident that he had seen nothing all his life but Salzburg and Innspruck. 6 Mozart was more attached, at least in his early years, to Fräulein W. von Mölk, to whom he sends a message that he would like the same reward from her that he had for the last minuets; she knows what that is. That his heart was somewhat susceptible of impression in youth is evident from the mysterious allusions which Wolfgang makes in his letters to his sister; she is to visit—she knows whom—to give tender messages, &c. When he went to Italy in 1772, an expression in a letter from his father points to a daughter of Dr. Barisani as his reigning goddess. Other friends of Mozart's youth were Herr von Hefner, son of the town syndic; Herr von Aman, of whom he was very fond as a boy, though the intimacy afterwards died out, and Joachim von Schiedenhofen, who disgusted Mozart by marrying for money. Von Schiedenhofen kept in his youth a "diary of his own doings," extracts from which, relating to the years 1774-1777, take note of all the visits of SOCIETY IN SALZBURG. [335] the Mozart family. These extracts prove that the Mozarts were on friendly terms with many other court officials. They visited each other in the afternoons and evenings, and either played cards or had music. Regular entertainments are mentioned, such as meetings for the bolt-shooting which we shall presently describe, and a card club; the friends also went to concerts and masquerades together.

Intercourse with families of the citizen class, which could not fail to result from the position held by the Mozarts, and from their many years residence in the place, was more of a recreation for idle hours than a means of intellectual improvement; occasional allusions to Salzburg society are not of a favourable nature. 7 Among their intimate friends was our old acquaintance Hagenauer, a merchant, and for many years their landlord. We may gather from the confidential letters addressed to him by L. Mozart on the first journey that he was not only sincerely attached to them and always ready with advice and help, but that he had cultivation and tastes in advance of his surroundings. His wife, judging from some remarks of L. Mozart, was somewhat bigoted and fond of priestly intercourse. The closest friend of the family, however, who possessed the confidence both of father and children, was Jos. Bullinger, a priest, who had been educated at the Jesuit seminary in Munich and was tutor in the family of Count Arco at Salzburg. "The faithful Bullinger" was "always a chief person" in the Mozarts' house; in Wolfgang's letters home he not only always sends messages to his "good friend Bullinger," but he begs that his letters may be read to him, and sometimes that important secrets may be told to no one but Nannerl and Bullinger. After the mother's death in Paris, Wolfgang intrusted him with the mournful task of breaking the news gently to his father, which Bullinger did EARLY MANHOOD. [336] with equal tact and sympathy; and when Wolfgang was forced, much against his will, to return to Salzburg, it was to his friend Bullinger that he poured out his heavy laden heart (August 7, 1778). And the attachment was mutual. When Wolfgang was on his way home from Paris, and his father and sister, anxious for news of him, confessed and communicated with many prayers for the preservation of their dear one, "the faithful Bullinger" also "prayed for him daily in the holy mass" (October 19, 1778). The father, too, had good cause to declare that Bullinger was his best and truest friend, from whom he had received "much courtesy and kindness," and who, when he was in embarrassment during Wolfgang's journey, assisted him by a considerable loan.

He placed the fullest confidence in Bullinger, shared with him all his plans for Wolfgang, and took counsel with him on many occasions. The friendship between them was well known in Salzburg; and in the efforts that were made to recall Wolfgang from Vienna Bullinger was employed as a go-between. He seems to have had some taste for music; at least, we hear of his taking part in some private concerts, which were held every Sunday at eleven o'clock; and Wolfgang writes, after his departure (October 11, 1777), begging him to "hold an official discourse, and give his compliments to all the members of the Academy."

Opportunities for social gaiety were more freely afforded to pleasure-loving Salzburg under Archbishop Hieronymus than under his predecessor Sigismund, whose tastes were not nearly so cheerful nor so liberal. 8 Salzburg society was characterised as follows: "The country gentlemen hunt and go to church; those next below them go to church and hunt; the next lower rank eat, drink, and pray; and the lowest of all pray, drink, and eat. The two latter classes conduct their love affairs in public, and the two former in private; all alike live in sensual indulgence."


In 1775 a spacious hall, with some side apartments, were added to the town hall, and there, during the carnival, masked balls were given under the supervision of the magistrate, as well as concerts and other entertainments. Mozart, who was fond of dancing and jokes, excelled in masquerading; Schiedenhofen mentions his having amused every one as a peasant bridegroom, and another time as a young dandy.

But even in Salzburg the most popular entertainment was the play; a theatre was built expressly for the court on the right bank of the Salzach, and there in winter performances were given by the Munich or some other travelling company, 9 sledge parties and others being formed for the purpose of attending. In summer, excursions were made to the numerous objects of interest in the neighbourhood, a very favourite one being to the royal park of Hellbronn. 10 The Mozarts rarely participated in these pleasures.

Although the father was able to write to his son (February 12,1778): "Consider whether I have not always helped you to procure every possible pleasure that was harmless and sensible, often at the cost of great personal inconvenience," yet his limited circumstances prohibited any very frequent indulgence in such pleasures.

The increasing expenses, which he justly ascribed to the parsimonious system of the government, 11 necessitated the strictest economy on his part. He laid these circumstances clearly before his son (February 16, 1778):—

It has been very hard work for me ever since your birth, and even before, to support a wife and seven children, besides your grandmother and several others, on twenty florins a month, taking into account child-births, deaths, and illnesses. If you calculate these expenses you will readily believe that not only have I never had a kreutzer to spend on my own pleasure, but that it has only been by the grace of God and hard work that I have kept free from debt. I have sacrificed my whole time to you two children in order that when the time came you might be able EARLY MANHOOD. [338] both to maintain yourselves, and also provide me with the means of spending a peaceful old age, occupied only with thoughts for the safety of my soul, and preparations for a happy death."

But L. Mozart's economy was judicious. "Buy nothing that is bad," he wrote to his wife (October 26, 1771), "there is no saving in buying bad things." The simplicity of the manners of the household, and the modest nature of the enjoyments, may be proved by the extreme and constant popularity among the whole circle of a game called "bolt-shooting" (bölzelschiessen). A number of intimates formed themselves into a sort of little guild, and met every Sunday at the various houses of the members. Each player in turn threw a bolt or quoit, and numerous were the jokes to which the game gave rise. A sort of rivalry grew up in the furnishing of each quoit with inscriptions bearing on the foibles and peculiarities of the different players, and the tendency to joking and sarcasm of the good Salzburgers was thereby encouraged and indulged. A pleasant sociable kind of intercourse grew out of these constant meetings. The following instance will show the kind of pleasantry that was allowable on such occasions. Leopold tells his son (November 11, 1780) how one of the lady members, who was a little bit of a coquette, happened one day to trip on the step of a shop she was entering in full daylight, and to fall in a very inelegant posture. This was duly portrayed with appropriate verses on the quoit, to the uncontrollable merriment of the whole party. The bolt-shooting is never forgotten in the family correspondence; amusing quoit pictures are forwarded to absent members, and their share of the winnings received by their proxies. Mozart writes to his sister from Vienna (July 4, 1781) : "Is it not about time for the shooting supper? Pray do not forget to drink the health of a faithful shooter with due honours, and tell me when it comes to my turn, that I may paint a quoit."

Under these circumstances, the encouragement which Wolfgang needed to render his arduous labours pleasant and satisfactory could only be looked for from the sympathy of his colleagues, and the favour with which his performances were received. But, unfavourable as the state of things INTERCOURSE WITH FELLOW-MUSICIANS. [339] was in Salzburg in other respects, on this point it was simply intolerable. Individual musicians, such as the faithful Schachtner, who were free from envy, and had cultivation and industry enough to appreciate intercourse with the Mozart family, formed a close and constant friendship with them. But, with the majority, intimacy was on many accounts out of the question, even when, as in the case of Michael Haydn and Adlgasser, they deserved all recognition as artists. 12 It was in contrast to Salzburg that L. Mozart praises the orchestra at Mannheim as "young men of good morals, neither tipplers nor gamblers, nor miserable blockheads, whose conduct and performances are alike admirable" (July 19, 1763). Wolfgang made similar observations in after years, and wrote to his father from Paris (July 9,1778) how businesslike everything was under Cannabich's conductorship, how implicitly he was obeyed, and what much better lives the musicians lived there than at Salzburg. "One of my chief reasons for detesting Salzburg is the impossibility of associating, as an honest man, with the coarse, stupid, dissolute musicians belonging to the court; one is quite ashamed of them, and it is they who bring music generally into disfavour." We can well understand how frequently the Mozart family would give offence to men of small cultivation and ill-regulated tastes. As a childish prodigy Mozart had amused them by his childlike candour and engaging confidence; but as a growing youth his performances became an intolerable source of annoyance and envy to them, not lessened by the brilliant recognition which he met with outside the walls of his native town. Their ill-will was doubtless also increased by the reserve of the Mozarts, their claims to superior cultivation, and the justification sometimes accorded to these claims; and although the father's prudence and the mother's good nature would prevent any open rupture with their colleagues, yet a tendency to severe criticism, sometimes jokingly, sometimes sarcastically expressed, is common to all the Mozarts. If we may judge of the tone of their actual EARLY MANHOOD. [340] intercourse by the numerous allusions in their letters (and Wolfgang's forte was certainly not prudent reserve), then, indeed, Salzburg might well dread the sharpness of the Mozart tongue.

The family were on least friendly terms with the Italians attached to the service of the Archbishop. Almost everywhere in Germany the idea was firmly rooted that the reputation of the musical establishments could only be upheld by summoning composers and virtuosi from Italy. When Wolfgang wrote to his father from Munich (September 29, 1777): "So it is! All the great people have a rage for foreigners!" His father consoled him by answering (October 4,1777): "The rage for Italians is almost confined to Munich; it exists in an exaggerated degree. In Mannheim, everything is German, except a couple of male sopranos. At Trêves, under the Elector, Prince Clement of Saxony, the Maestro alone is Italian; Mayence is altogether German; and at Würzburg the only foreigner is Signor Fracassini, a violinist, now, I believe, kapellmeister, and that only for the sake of his German wife, a vocalist and a native of Würzburg. There are no foreigners at any of the smaller Protestant courts." Notwithstanding, however, the reduction of the operatic and court establishment of Stuttgart in 1768, by the dismissal of some of its chief members, the taste and feeling, as well as the majority of the personnel, continued to be purely Italian; 13 and at Bonn many Italians belonged to the court establishment, under the leadership of Lucchesi. 14 L. Mozart does not allude to North Germany, since it lay out of Wolfgang's projected path. The natural consequence of the intrusion of foreigners was ceaseless contention between the German musicians, who saw themselves slighted and aggrieved, and the Italians, who made their superiority most offensively felt. 15 Mozart had to suffer from foreign intrigues ITALIANS IN SALZBURG. [341] not only in Milan while composing his opera (p. 130), but perhaps also in Munich, and certainly in Salzburg. Archbishop Hieronymus, who set a low value on anything belonging to Salzburg, although he paid a high price for many a native manufacture bearing a foreign stamp, 16 introduced Italians into his band, because it had been blamed as "rough and rapid in execution, and not delicate nor in the best taste." 17 The kapellmeister Lolli, having become old and incapable, was replaced by Fischietti in 1772; this was a disappointment to L. Mozart, whose claims to the office were well founded, since he was considered to have placed music on its then excellent footing. 18 Among the soloists Brunetti was appointed to the violin, Ferrari to the violoncello, Ferlendi to the oboe, and Ceccarelli was male soprano. These Italians were not only better paid than native artists, but the "foreign asses," as Michael Haydn called them, relying on the favour of the Archbishop, conducted themselves with insolence and ill-breeding. 19 There can be no question that the annoyance to the two Mozarts was great at seeing strangers, far below them in social position and talent, preferred before them, while all the hard labour devolved upon themselves. Fischietti's compositions were few and far between; Wolfgang was always ready to compose operatic or sacred, vocal or instrumental music, as occasion arose. All this implanted a rooted dislike to foreigners in Mozart's young mind which the experiences of his later years did much to confirm. But the artistic element of his nature was far too strong and too pure to allow personal consideration to influence his judgment on Italian music; his heart was so sound and good that he EARLY MANHOOD. [342] could overcome his dislike to the nation in his intercourse with individuals: it only transpires every now and then.

It was not very likely that the Mozarts—father or son—would be in high favour at court. We do not know much of their dealings with Archbishop Sigismund; but the difficulty L. Mozart had in renewing his leave of absence proves that the Archbishop was not overpleased with his repeated and lengthened stays abroad. 20 Wolfgang received an official post and the title of Concertmeister some time before 1770, but no salary; and even after the production of "Ascanio in Alba" L. Mozart was in doubt as to whether the Archbishop would remember his son if any vacancy occurred (p. 134). It is not known whether the salary of 150 gulden a year which he drew as Concertmeister had been granted to him by Sigismund; in any case it was not raised until 1777 by his successor, whose own sister, the Countess Schönborn, as Wolfgang writes (September 26, 1777), "positively refused to believe that he had had a monthly keepsake of twelve florins thirty kreutzers."

Mozart's position was still more unfavourable under Hieronymus, who never forgave the inhabitants of Salzburg their strongly expressed opposition to his election as Archbishop. 21 He knew himself to be unpopular, and, instead of courting popularity, openly displayed his contempt for his subjects. 22 He was a man of acute and enlightened intellect, and carried out some important reforms in his government ARCHBISHOP HIERONYMUS. [343] with a firm hand; but he was self-willed, parsimonious, and unscrupulous. 23 He seldom expressed satisfaction with his officials. His disdainful mode of address to all but those of the highest nobility, and the irritable tone of his conversation, kept all about him in timid subordination. Even his appearance (although he was of mean stature and sickly complexion)—the sharp glance of his grey eyes, the left eye rarely fully open, and the decided lines round his mouth—commanded respect and fear. 24 There were other circumstances besides their German extraction and Salzburg birth which rendered the two Mozarts obnoxious to the Archbishop. Count Ferdinand von Zeil, afterwards Bishop of Chiemsee, to whose generous withdrawal Hieronymus owed his election, 25 was one of Mozart's warmest and most constant supporters, and for him Mozart, like all Salzburg, felt the deepest love and respect. This was not the way to the favour of Hieronymus. L. Mozart's independent demeanour, doing his duty and going his way without obsequiousness or flattery, and Wolfgang's open-mouthed candour, causing him occasionally to forget his official position and the reserve it should have entailed, were so many reasons for additional tyranny on the part of the Archbishop. Added to this was the fact that Mozart, with his slender figure and boyish countenance, made a poor personal impression on Hieronymus, who was singularly apt to be imposed upon by men of commanding height and appearance. 26 He refused any recognition of Wolfgang's musical accomplishments, and was unsparing in his criticism of them, 27 telling him—as EARLY MANHOOD. [344] Leopold wrote to Padre Martini (December 22, 1777)—that he knew nothing of his art, and should go and study at the Naples Conservatoire that he might learn something; a sufficiently unreasonable proposal to an academician of Bologna and Verona—to a young man who had traversed Italy in triumph as a composer and virtuoso. True, Mozart had no great respect for the Archbishop's critical judgment, but in the mouth of his Prince such an expression of opinion was of very unpleasant significance; for, in point of fact, Hieronymus was well aware of Mozart's genius, and never failed to honour him with commissions when any new composition was required, for which he never paid him a penny. Even if otherwise, those around him would have put him right on the point; it was of set purpose that he gave vent to these insults. He imagined that contemptuous expressions of opinion as to his performances would be the most effectual means of preventing the younger Concertmeister from preferring his claim to a higher salary than 150 gulden a year.

Such were the continual insults and opposition borne by the father and son, each on behalf of the other. "I hope" wrote Wolfgang, "that you are less annoyed than when I was in Salzburg, for I must acknowledge that I was the cause of it. I was badly treated; I did not deserve it. You naturally took my part, but too strongly; I assure you that was the chief reason that I hurried out of Salzburg." To this his father answers (November 17, 1777): "You are quite right as to my extreme annoyance at the tyrannical treatment you received; it gnawed at my heart, and prevented my sleeping; it was always in my thoughts, and would in the end have destroyed me. My dear son, when you are happy, I am happy; and your mother and sister—we are all happy; and this happiness I hope for, by the grace of God and my confidence in your own good sense." L. Mozart saw from the beginning that Wolfgang would never fill a position worthy of him in Salzburg; and he exerted himself in vain to procure a post for him at some other court. The greatest caution was necessary to keep his negotiations a secret at Salzburg; for his PLANS FOR MOZART'S FUTURE. [345] enemies would not fail to seize the opportunity of injuring him, perhaps of displacing him altogether. Aware of the folly of endangering his assured position, uncomfortable though it might be, he strove to allay the growing impatience of his son. The latter desired that the whole family should gain their livelihood by a grand professional tour, until they could find a secure and happier position in some place or other. His father, wiser and more experienced, pointed out to him (December 18, 1777) how entirely their circumstances had altered since his childhood, how hard it would be to gain subsistence for a whole family journeying about, how uncertain their means of maintenance would be; Leopold duly appreciated also the cares and dangers of a nomadic life. Nor was he more inclined to trust his son entirely alone. He knew Wolfgang's incapacity in all the concerns of practical life, particularly in travelling, since he "did not know the differences of coinage, and had no conception of packing up, or anything of that sort." He saw the hindrances which envy and mistrust would be sure to lay in the path of a young man who was striving to win his way by surpassing talent and great doings. Above all, he feared the temperament of his son, knowing that his careless frankness and good nature, coupled with his excitability and proneness to hasty rejoinder, would make him the easy prey of any one who might wish to use or to injure him. He addresses Wolfgang in words of warning (February 16, 1778):—

My dear Son,—You are too hot and hasty in all your affairs. Your character has entirely changed since your childhood and boyhood. You were grave and earnest as a child; and when you were busy over your music, no one might venture the least jesting with you. Even your countenance was so grave that many people in different countries believed that your precocious talent and serious face betokened an early death. Now, on the contrary, it appears to me that you are far too ready to answer jestingly on every occasion, which is the first step to a kind of familiarity which one should eschew if one desires to win respect in the world. It is your good heart which causes you to see no fault in a man, to give him your full confidence, provided he only extols you to the skies; whereas, as a boy, your excess of modesty made you cry when people praised you too much.


L. Mozart knew also that Wolfgang would be so engrossed in his art as to forget everything else, more especially whatever would be to his own advantage. He trembled for the dangers which would beset the inexperienced youth, leaving the narrow sphere of provincial life to encounter the temptations of the great world. He strove with all his might, therefore, to instil patience into his son, and represented to him that his probation in Salzburg was a necessary preparation for the tour, which would have far more certainty of success when he was somewhat maturer in age and education.

But even this patience had its limits. Wolfgang had not left Salzburg since he had produced the "Finta Giardiniera" at Munich, in 1775; if he did not wish to be altogether forgotten, he must again display his powers as a composer and executant. He had prepared himself for such a tour as he proposed by prolonged study and solo compositions. The numerous fair copies in the little books we have named had been made with the same object in view; they could be readily packed, and always at hand for performance, or to be copied again as presents. When everything was ready, the father and son applied to the Archbishop for permission to travel; this, as well as a petition for an increase of salary, was roundly refused; the Archbishop giving as his reason that he would not have his subjects "going on begging expeditions."

But the cup was now full to overflowing; Wolfgang begged leave to resign his post at Salzburg, and the Archbishop, enraged at having the tables turned upon him, accepted the resignation in the most ungracious manner. It was even expected that his anger would extend to the father, and that he had given orders to strike L. Mozart's name off the list of his musicians. This, however, was not the case; with an ungracious remark the Archbishop allowed him to retain his place.

Wolfgang's resignation excited much notice in Salzburg; and the universal regret was shared even by those immediately round the Archbishop. Count von Firmian, who was extremely fond of Wolfgang, was rejoicing on his return from a journey (as L. Mozart relates, October 4, 1777) in RESIGNATION OF SERVICE AT COURT. [347] the pleasure that a riding-horse he had purchased for him would give his young friend, when he was met by the lamentable intelligence. When he paid his respects to the Archbishop, the latter remarked: "We have one musician less since you left." He answered, "Your Grace has lost a great performer." "How so?" "He is the greatest clavier-player that I ever heard in my life; he has done your grace good service on the violin, and he is a first-rate composer." Whereupon the Archbishop was silent. Canon Count Jos. Starhemberg too, declared later (June 29, 1778) that Mozart's complaints were fully justified, and that all visitors to Salzburg had admired young Mozart, by whom he himself was quite captivated.

But this turn of affairs gave L. Mozart the deepest anxiety; all the difficulties and objections to the journey pressed upon him with redoubled force now that it was to be undertaken under such unfavourable circumstances. It was, however, rendered inevitable. It would be incompatible with pride or self-respect to purchase Wolfgang's continuance in his office at the cost of abject submission to the Archbishop. It only remained, by energy and foresight, so to make use of circumstances as to preserve their honour with the Archbishop, and to insure a fixed position for Wolfgang. The visits must be arranged to the larger towns, especially residences, where concerts might cover the cost of the journey, and commissions for compositions might render possible a lengthened stay, ending, perhaps, in a settled engagement. The tour was planned with these ends in view, and Leopold was never weary of impressing upon his son that his sole endeavour must be to win a name, to make money, and to obtain a position; personal gratification and mere amusement must be kept altogether in the background. "Money-making," he writes (October 15, 1777), "must engross all your attention, and economy must be all your care, otherwise a journey is of no profit; on the contrary, it brings a man into debt." And again (November 27, 1777): "The object of the journey is, was, and must be the acquirement of a fixed position and the making of money." His extensive connections and great local knowledge enabled him to trace his EARLY MANHOOD. [348] son's path out, and to gain him excellent introductions, and his zeal and activity were indefatigable. Wolfgang was enjoined to become acquainted with persons and events, to grasp quickly his probable prospects in any place, and either at once to turn them to good account, or if unfavourable, to leave the place. But Wolfgang had neither the experience nor the practical shrewdness of his father; he felt secure of his art, in which alone he lived, and imagined the rest would come of itse(l)f. The prospect of at last escaping from detested Salzburg was apparently too engrossing to allow him to pay much heed to his father's warnings. The father knew all this, and knew that he must not go alone; he could not accompany him himself, and he therefore took the hard resolve of parting with his wife and sending her forth with their son.

He was quite aware that, as a woman, she could not occupy the same position towards Wolfgang as he himself; and he must have felt, too, that intense as her love for Wolfgang was, she had not the energy or superiority of intellect necessary to guide him. But she knew the world, and was an experienced traveller, and so he hoped that she would supply the carefulness and economy which Wolfgang lacked; she was specially enjoined to keep an exact account, and at once to inform her husband of any propositions that were made, that he might advise and direct. She does not seem, however, to have quite answered his expectations, partly because she could not always withstand her son's impatient restlessness, and partly because she yielded to her own inclinations, although she often declared "she was ready to drop with the fatigue of packing-up." But Leopold could rely on her influence on the most important point of all. The mother's presence was a guarantee that her tenderly reared and devoted son would be careful of his health. He hoped, too, that her presence would preserve him from any dangerous or immoral intercourse, on which point he gives Wolfgang the benefit of his own experience (February 16, 1778):—

I sought only the acquaintance and friendship of persons of the higher classes, and even among them I avoided idle young fellows, whatever their rank. I invited no one to visit me frequently, and always preferred visiting others when I pleased. For if I do not care for a man, or am PREPARATIONS FOR TRAVELLING. [349] busy or engaged, I can stay away; but if he comes to me, I am at a loss to get rid of him; and, even if a pleasant visitor, he may hinder me at my work. You are a young man of twenty-two, so that it is not the gravity of your years which will prevent worthless fellows, old or young, from making your acquaintance and endeavouring to entice you to follow their example. One is led on irresistibly, and finds, when too late, that there is no return.

I will not enter on the subject of women, wherein nature herself is our enemy, and he who does not strenuously resist at first will strive in vain to escape from the labyrinth, and will find no release but death. How blindly one is often led on by jokes, flattery, &c., until returning sense awakens one to shame, you may have, perhaps, already experienced in some degree. I do not mean to reproach you. I know that you love me not as your father alone, but as your closest and surest friend.

Separation from his wife was not the only sacrifice made by the father to the well-being of his son. He foresaw that the profits of the journey would hardly cover its expenses, and that he must arrange to have a sum always in hand in case of emergencies. He had no private property; the profits of the first journey had already disappeared; he was obliged to borrow, and debt was abhorrent to so conscientious a man; but his friends Hagenauer and Bullinger readily came to his assistance. He not only cut down to their lowest point the expenses of his housekeeping with Nannerl, but he undertook once more "the very uncongenial work of giving lessons," badly paid and fatiguing as it was. A father who made such sacrifices for his son had a right to demand in return, not indeed filial love, and the gaining of artistic fame—that came freely and spontaneously—but a degree of prudence and forethought which should suffice for the demands of practical life. "I have, my dear Wolfgang," he says (February 16, 1778), "not only not the smallest mistrust in you, but I place all confidence and all hope in your future. It all depends on the sound good sense which you certainly possess, if you would only pay heed to it, and on fortunate circumstances. These last are not to be forced, but you can always take sense to your counsel, and that I hope and pray you will."

Thus was everything planned and prepared, the necessary means were provided, the outfit purchased, and a carriage [350] in readiness which would contain the two travellers and their luggage, clothes, and instruments. This was the approved method of travelling at that time, and Leopold Mozart was determined to send his son forth into the world, not as an itinerant musician, but as an artist commanding respect and honourable treatment, even from his outward surroundings.


EARLY on the morning of September 23,1777, [350]Wolfgang and his mother took their departure from Salzburg, leaving L. Mozart far from well, and inconsolable in his solitude.

"After you had set off," he wrote (September 25, 1777), "I went upstairs quite exhausted, and threw myself on a couch. It was with a great effort that I had restrained myself at parting, in order not to add to our grief, and in the confusion I had forgotten to give my son the paternal blessing. I ran to the window and sent it after you both; but as I did not see you drive through the gate, I came to the conclusion that you had already passed, and that I had sat immersed in my grief longer than I supposed." Nannerl wept till she made herself ill, and did not recover till the evening, when the two consoled themselves with a game of piquet.

Wolfgang, on the contrary, breathed more freely as soon as he had turned his back upon Salzburg; the feeling of relief from the galling oppression of years dispelled the sorrow of parting with his father and sister. In his former journeys he had experienced nothing but encouragement and success, and had been shielded from all the harassing cares of ordinary life; and so he took his way with artless confidence into the wide world. He little dreamt that he had in fact made the first step along a thorny path, to be met from henceforth to the end by difficulty, opposition, pain, and sorrow. MUNICH, 1777. [351] His mind was fresh and youthful enough to be diverted by all the little incidents of such a journey. When he sat down in the evening, "undecima hora noctis," at Wasserburg, to acquaint his father of their safe arrival, he could think of nothing more important to tell him than of their having seen a cow "all on one side." He had met a fat gentleman who remembered having seen Wolfgang a year ago during a performance of "Mirabell"; he was in company with Herr von Unhold, of Memmingen, and they both sent their compliments to Wolfgang's father and sister. It is plain that the boy rejoiced in the feeling of freedom and independence: "Viviamo come i principi, and want nothing but my dear father; but it is God's will, and all will go well. I hope you will be well and as contented as I am. I am getting quite expert, and, like another papa, taking care of everything. I have always to pay the postilions, for I can talk to the fellows better than mamma. Pray take care of your health, my dear father."

Their first stay was at Munich. The state of affairs there, coupled with their former failure, gave little hope of a prosperous visit; but it was necessary to make the attempt. Furnished with his diplomas of the Academies of Bologna and Verona, and with recommendations from Padre Martini, Wolfgang might present himself before the Elector Maximilian as a thoroughly trained musician; and might hope to gain such favour from influential patrons as would justify his undertaking new works. They took up their abode with their old acquaintance Albert, 1 known as "the learned host." Wolfgang's first visit was to Count Seeau, the inspector of plays. 2 He met with a friendly reception, and was advised by the Count to seek an audience of the Elector without delay, and if he did not succeed, to address him by letter; there was no doubt that a first-rate composer was wanted in Munich.

Wolfgang next paid his respects to the Prince Bishop of Chiemsee, Count Zeil, who was residing in Munich on a MUNICH AND AUGSBURG. [352] diplomatic mission. He conversed freely on Mozart's plans, and promised to do his best for him with the Elector and his consort. But some days later the Bishop said to him, "very politely" (September 29,1777): "I do not think you will do much here. I spoke privately on the subject to the Elector at Nymphenburg, and he answered, 'It is too soon yet, let him travel in Italy, and make himself a name; I do not refuse anything, but it is too soon yet.'" The Electress promised to do what she could, but "shrugged her shoulders," and doubted of success.

These unfavourable prognostics were justified when Mozart, introduced by the influential violoncellist, Frz. Xav. Wo-schitka (b. 1730), presented himself to the Elector, who was on the point of going hunting with his court. He gives the following account of the interview to his father (September 30, 1777)—

When the Elector approached me I said: "I trust your highness will allow me to lay myself and my services at your highness's feet." "Indeed! have you left Salzburg altogether?" "Altogether, your highness." "Inded! Why? Were you kept too close?" "May it please your highness, I asked permission to travel, which was refused, whereupon I took a step which had long been in my mind, for Salzburg is no place for me, that is certain." "Mein Gott, young man! But your father is still at Salzburg?" "Yes, may it please your highness; he lays his humble duty, &c. I have been in Italy three times already, have written three operas, and been elected Member of the Academy at Bologna, after writing a trial composition in one hour which usually takes candidates four or five hours of hard labour; all this proves that I am in a position to serve any court. My greatest wish is to serve your highness, who is himself a great"—"Yes, my dear fellow, but I have no vacancy." "I assure your highness that I should do honour to Munich." "No doubt, no doubt; but there is no vacancy." This he said as he was going, and I could only take my humble leave.

The Elector being unable, as L. Mozart was aware, to engage any one unless there were a vacancy, no court office could be looked for at Munich, but there seemed fair prospects of an assured position in another direction. Count Seeau had interest enough to retain so distinguished a composer, whose energy and productiveness promised good services. He was not only manager, but also part MUSIC AT MUNICH, 1777. [353] proprietor of the theatre; the Elector paid the band and the ballet, and gave a yearly contribution of 9,000 gulden to the expenses, which was received by Seeau. In return the latter provided the opera and the play, and engaged the members of the two companies, chiefly natives of Munich, who were to be had for eight to twelve gulden a month. 3 The Italian opera was only given during the carnival, and at great court festivals, and then generally without remuneration; German operas were the rule, that is, adaptations from the French or Italian, for as yet original German opera did not exist. What a brilliant success might be expected, from the lively interest of the Munich public in all matters theatrical, if a man of Mozart's genius were to devote himself to German opera! Seeau inquired of the Bishop of Chiemsee if Mozart did not receive enough from home to allow him to remain there on a small salary; he should like to keep him; the Bishop doubted this. Count Seeau preferred receiving a proposal, and remained silent; but Mozart could perceive that he was turning the matter over in his mind. He himself was all on fire at the idea of having operas to compose. He gives his father an animated account of the impression made upon him by the performance of a German opera, and by the vocalist (October 2, 1777):—

The prima donna is named Keiserin; she is the daughter of the cook of a nobleman here, a pleasant girl, and pretty on the stage; I have not seen her nearer yet. She is a native of Munich. I heard her the third time that she played, and thought she had a beautiful voice, not very strong, but not weak either, and a pure, good intonation. Valesi is her teacher, and her style shows that her master understands singing as well as teaching singing. When she had to sustain a note for a couple of bars, I was surprised at the beauty of her crescendo and decrescendo. She has a slow shake, which I like extremely; it is all the clearer and purer when she wants to make it quicker, and the quicker it is the easier it is. She is an immense favourite with the people here, and I agree with them. Mamma was in the body of the theatre; she went at half-past four, in order to secure a seat I did not go till half-past six, for I am well enough known to have the entrée to any of the boxes. I watched Mdlle. Keiserin with my glass, and she drew more than one tear from MUNICH AND AUGSBURG. [354] me; I cried "Brava, bravissima," very often, remembering that this was only her third appearance. The piece was called "The Fisher-Girl" (La Pescatrice), a good translation, with Piccinni's music, but with nothing original in it. They want to have a German opera seria soon—and they wish me to compose it.

Among the "wishers" was a certain Professor Huber, whom Mozart had met at the Messmers' during his last visit to Vienna (1771); they renewed their acquaintance at Herr Albert's, where the professor was a frequent visitor. He was the deputy-manager of the theatre, and had, as Mozart expressed it, "to read all the pieces submitted for performance, to improve, spoil, accept, reject them." This censorship was necessary, since the management performed all that was sent in, and was bound to put in study every native production. And as at that time "almost every student and official in Munich was bitten with the mania for authorship," 4 they were overwhelmed with trash. Huber must have felt it a matter of importance to retain such a remarkable genius as Mozart for the Munich theatre.

The wish, indeed, was generally felt; Baron Rumling paid Wolfgang the compliment of saying: "The theatre is my delight, with good actors and actresses, good singers, male and female, and such a capital composer as you are!" Of this Wolfgang says (October 2, 1777): "It is only talk, certainly—and talk does not go far—but he never spoke so to me before." Wolfgang played several days in succession before Count Jos. von Salem, the chief director of music and the opera (b. 1718); 5 he played a good deal "out of his head," then the two "cassatione" (247,287, K.) composed for the Countess Lodron, and the finalmusik (250 K.):—

You cannot think how delighted the Count was; he understands music, for he cried "Bravo!" every time that other fine gentlemen take a pinch of snuff, blow their noses, cough, or begin a conversation. I said to him that I wished the Elector were there, that he might hear what I could do, of which he knows nothing. All these great people believe whatever is told them, and refuse to judge for themselves. It is always the way. I offered him a trial; he was to get together all the artists in PROSPECTS OF SUCCESS IN MUNICH. [355] Munich, and any he chose from Italy, France, Germany, England, and Spain; I would undertake to write against any of them. I told him what had happened in Italy, and begged him, if the talk turned upon me, to remember all this. He said: "I have very little influence; but what I can do I will, with all my heart."

He had some intercourse with musicians, too; Consoli had met him on his entrance into the town, and lost no time in visiting him, and his old friend Becke, the flautist, soon made his appearance. Albert arranged a little concert ("with a wretched clavier, alas! alas!"), and invited a clergyman, Dubreil, a pupil of Tartini, with the idea that he was a good judge, and a clever performer; but this turned out to be a mistake.

We first played Haydn's two quintets, but it was dreadful; I scarcely heard him; he could not play four bars without mistakes; his fingering was bad, and he left out all the sospiri. 6 He was very polite, and praised the quintets, but—Then I played my concerto (clavier) in C, in B flat, in E flat major (238, 246, 271, K.), and my trio (254 K.). The accompaniment was fine; in the adagio I had to play six bars of his part. Last of all, I played the last cassation in B (287 K.), and they all stared. I played as if I were the greatest fiddler in Europe (October 6, 1777).

Herr Albert, who took great interest in Wolfgang, far beyond merely entertaining him, 7 made him a proposal which might render it possible for him to remain in Munich. He promised to bring ten friends together, who should each contribute one ducat a month, or 600 florins a-year; it would be easy to get commissions from Count Seeau which would raise his income to 800 florins. "What do you think of this idea?" writes Wolfgang, overjoyed; "is it not an act of friendship? and should I not accept it, if it is really in earnest?" There was the immediate future to be provided for, and for this he was assured that the concerts would begin in November, and last until May (one was given in Herr Albert's hall every Saturday), and then strangers came to the town; if he only stayed now, he was quite certain of MUNICH AND AUGSBURG. [356] an engagement. Wolfgang's mother thought well of this proposal; but his father, as a man of the world, had many scruples (October 4, 1777):—

Herr Albert's proposition is, indeed, as great an act of friendship as one can imagine; but, though it does not appear to have occurred to you, the difficulty, to my mind, will be to find the ten people who are to give the ducat a month. Who are these philanthropists and lovers of music? What is their connection with you, and what services will they demand in return? I do not see where they are to come from. Herr Albert would scarcely be able to speak to them all without delay; some of them may be away from Munich. For myself, I should prefer mercantile men to noblemen. It all depends upon whether they keep their word, and for how long. If the thing is feasible, well and good; it ought to be accepted; but, unless it can be settled at once, you cannot stay there spending money and losing time, for no profit is to be expected in Munich, in spite of all their compliments and promises.

He turned out to be right: the ten philanthropists and lovers of music did not come forward, and Wolfgang had to submit more than once to reproaches for his readiness to believe in "fires of straw, which burn up quickly and end in smoke." But even without such aid, Wolfgang thought he might maintain himself in Munich for the present (October 2, 1777).

It would not be impossible for me to get on alone; I should get, at least, 300 florins from Count Seeau; I need not concern myself as to my board; I should be always invited out, and even if I were not, nothing pleases Herr Albert more than my taking my meals with him.

I should contract with Count Seeau (on the advice of my best friends) to supply him yearly with four German operas, some buffe, some serie. Then if I had a sera, or benefit, on each, as is the custom here, that would give at least 500 florins, which would bring my income up to 800 florins, and probably more, for Reiner, a comedian and singer, took 200 florins for his sera, and I am a great favourite here; I should become a far greater if I helped to raise the German drama by my music.

Mozart had clearly some confidence in his own powers; he did not think it much to offer to write four German operas every year, and a salary of +three hundred gulden did not strike him as being poor pay for the work. But Count Seeau appears to have been too prudent to risk even so much as this, and L. Mozart was still less inclined to consent to a MOZART AND COUNT SEEAU. [357] plan which based all its calculations on future and uncertain profits, and would not redound to Wolfgang's honour. "You might certainly manage to live alone in Munich," he wrote (October 6, 1777), "but what good would this do you? How the Archbishop would sneer! You can do that anywhere else as easily as in Munich. You must not make little of your talents, and throw yourself away; there is certainly no need for that." Wolfgang's sister was of the same opinion: "It would be no honour to you to remain in Munich without any official position. It would be better to seek one at some other court; you will soon find it." The father desired, therefore, that they should leave Munich as soon as possible. "Fine words and bravissimos pay neither the postboy nor the host. As soon as you find there is nothing to be got, you had better move on." The good friends he had made might go on working for him in his absence, and preparing the way for a future position for him. He suggested this to Count Seeau, as he tells his father (October 3, 1777).

"I have come to explain my affairs correctly to your excellency. I have been told that I ought to travel in Italy. I was sixteen months in Italy, and wrote three operas, as is well known. What happened further your excellency will see by these documents." I showed him the diplomas. "I lay all this before your excellency in order that if there is any talk of me, and any injustice done me, your excellency may be able to set it right." He asked me if I was going to France now. I said I should remain in Germany. He thought I meant Munich, and said, with a joyful laugh: "What! you are going to remain here?" I said: "No; I should like to have stayed; and, to tell the truth, I only sought service under the Elector in order that I might supply your excellency with my compositions, and that without any personal interest; I should have taken pleasure in it." Whereupon he pushed back his nightcap.

This then was the end of all the fine promises and honours. But other prospects were opened to Wolfgang during his stay in Munich, which excited his liveliest interest. Misliweczeck, his Italian friend (p. 126), had produced at the carnival in Munich his opera, "Ezio," 8 and during Lent his MUNICH AND AUGSBURG. [358] oratorio, "Abraamo ed Isaaco," both with astonishing success; he was engaged for the next carnival at Naples, and only kept in Munich by illness. 9 He gave Wolfgang prospects of a scrittura in Naples, and wrote a letter on his behalf to the impresario, Don Gaetano Santorio. Mozart, with his "inexpressible longing to write an opera once more," wrote joyfully to his father (October 10, 1777):—

I have my hundred ducats certain in the carnival; and, when I have once written at Naples, I shall be in request everywhere. As you know, in summer and autumn there is an opera buffa to be picked up here and there, which will do to keep one's hand in. It is true that one does not make much, but it is always something, and one gains more honour and credit than by a hundred concerts in Germany. I am more pleased, too, because I have to compose, which is my sole passion and delight, Then, if I obtain service, or the hope of it, the scrittura will be a great recommendation. I speak exactly as I feel from my heart, and if you can prove to me that I am wrong, I shall be ready, although unwillingly, to submit; for, if I only hear the name of an opera, I am quite beside myself.

But the father was not against it, and only thought that this interlude must not cause the main object of the journey to be lost sight of. He therefore corresponded with Misli-weczeck, but soon observed that the latter only mentioned the scrittura when he had some favour to ask for himself. In point of fact, nothing came of this proposal.

The same ill-success attended the father's effort to obtain for Wolfgang a commission to write an opera for the Feast of the Ascension in Venice; the impresario Michele dall' Agata returned no answer to two letters addressed to him (February 12, 1778).

On October 11 the travellers left Munich, and reached Augsburg the same evening. Following L. Mozart's minute directions they established themselves at "The Lamb" in VON LANGENMANTEL—STEIN. [359] the Kreuzgasse, "where you pay thirty kreutzers for dinner, get nice rooms and good society, English, French, &c." Wolfgang was well received by his uncle, and contracted a close friendship with his lively cousin Marianne, which may have compensated in some degree for the coldness of his reception generally in his father's native town.

In obedience to his father's strict injunctions, he waited at once upon "his Grace" the town-councillor Von Langen-mantel, with whom L. Mozart had been well acquainted in former years. But Wolfgang gained little encouragement from this audience, of which he gives his father the following account:—

My first visit was to the town-councillor, Master Longotabarro; my cousin, a dear, good man and an honest citizen, accompanied me, and had the honour of waiting in the ante-room like a lackey until I came out from the arch-town-councillor. I did not fail to begin by presenting my father's humble respects. He was pleased to remember all about it, and asked me: "How has the gentleman been all this time?" to which I answered: "God be praised, quite well; I hope that your health has also been good." Afterwards he was still more polite, and said, "Sir," and I said, "Your Grace," as I had all along. Nothing would satisfy him but that I should go up with him to his son-in-law (on the second floor), and my cousin waiting on the steps all the while. It was with difficulty that I refrained from saying something, with all my politeness. Upstairs I had the honour of playing for three-quarters of an hour upon a good clavichord, by Stein, in the presence of the stiff and starched son of his long-necked, gracious, lady-wife, and her silly old mother. I played fantasias, and then everything he had prima vista, among others some very pretty pieces by a certain Edlmann. They were all exceedingly polite, and I was exceedingly polite, for it is my custom to be to people as I find them; it is the best way.

The next visit was to the celebrated organ and clavier maker, Georg Andr. Stein (1728-1792). The father conceived the idea that Wolfgang should present himself to Stein under a feigned name, and should pretend that he came from Innspruck with a commission to inspect some instruments. Such a joke was quite to Wolfgang's mind, and he told his father how it had passed. During his visit to the town-councillor he had expressed his intention of calling upon Stein after dinner:—


The younger gentleman thereupon volunteered to accompany me. I thanked him for his kindness, and promised to come at two o'clock. I came, and we set out in company with his brother-in-law, who looks exactly like a student. Although I had begged them not to say who I was, Herr von Langenmantel blurted out, "I have the honour to introduce to you a virtuoso on the clavier." I protested, and said I was an unworthy disciple of Herr Sigl, of Munich, by whom I was charged with many compliments, &c. He shook his head, and at last said: "Have I the honour of seeing Herr Mozart?" "Oh, no," said I; "my name is Trazom, and I have a letter to you." He took the letter and was going to open it. I did not give him time, and said, "Why should you read the letter now? Let us go into the hall and see your pianofortes, which I am most curious to do." "With all my heart; but I do not think I am deceived." He opened the door of his show-room. I ran to one of the three claviers which stood there. I played. He could scarcely take time to open the letter, his curiosity was so excited. He read only the signature. "Oh!" he screamed, and embraced me, and crossed himself, and made grimaces, and was altogether very delighted.

Mozart, for his part, was equally delighted with Stein's pianofortes, of which he gives his father the following detailed account:—

Before I had seen Stein's work I preferred Späth's claviers to all others, but now I must give the preference to Stein's, for they mute much better than Späth's. If I strike hard, whether I raise my finger or not, the sound passes the instant I have heard it. I may come upon the keys as I like, the tone is always the same; it does not block, it neither becomes stronger nor weaker, nor does it cease altogether; in a word, it is all equal. Such a pianoforte, it is true, cannot be had under 300 florins, but the trouble and labour bestowed on it are inestimable. His hammers fall the instant the keys are struck, whether they are held down or not. When such an instrument is finished (he told me himself), he sits down and tries all sorts of passages, runs, and jumps, and works away until he is satisfied. He often said: "If I were not such a passionate lover of music myself, and were not able to play a little on the clavier, I should long ago have lost patience with my work; but I am a lover of instruments which do not tax the player, and which wear well." And his claviers do wear well. He guarantees that the sounding-board shall not spring. When a sounding-board is ready for a piano, he exposes it to air, rain, snow, sun, so that it may warp, and then he puts on slips and glues them down, so that it is all strong and true. He is glad when it warps, because then he is sure that nothing more will happen. He has three such pianofortes finished. I have played upon them again to-day. The pedal, which is pressed by the knee, is better managed by him than by others. If I only just touch it, it acts; and when the knee is removed there is not the least vibration.


Mozart knew how to make the most of these improved instruments. His playing and his intelligent admiration so won Stein's approbation, that the latter followed the advice Wolfgang gave him concerning the education of his daughter. Maria Anna Stein (b. 1769) was the prodigy of Augsburg; in April, 1776, she had played her first concerto to universal admiration, and had received a beautiful medal from the town nobility. 10 Wolfgang's criticism on her playing to his father (October 24, 1777) is somewhat severe, but so important as showing his views on pianoforte-playing in general that it must be given entire. The memory of the excellent Frau Nanette Streicher will not suffer from the bold criticism of the young Mozart:—

A propos of his daughter. Whoever sees her and hears her without laughing must be as much of a stone (Stein) as her father himself. She sits right up in the treble, instead of in the middle of the instrument, so that she may be better able to move about and make grimaces. Her eyes roll, and she simpers and smirks. If a thing comes twice over, it is played slower the second time; and if a third time, it is slower still. The arm goes high, up in the air when a passage comes, and the emphasis is given by the whole arm instead of the finger, clumsily and heavily. But the best of all is when, in a passage that ought to flow like oil, the fingers have to be changed; it makes no difference at all to her, but, when the time comes, up goes her hand, and she begins again quite calmly; so that one is always in expectation of a wrong note, which makes the effect very striking. I only write all this to give you some idea of what clavier-playing and teaching may be brought to; I leave you to make your own use of the hints. Herr Stein is quite infatuated over his daughter; she is eight and a half years old, and learns everything by heart. She may turn out something—she has genius; but as she is going on at present she will not turn out anything; she will never gain fluency, because she is doing all she can to make her hand heavy. She will never learn the most difficult and most necessary part of music, that is time, because she has been accustomed from her earliest youth to play out of time. Herr Stein and I had at least two hours' talk on this point. I think I nearly converted him, and now he asks my advice about everything. He was quite infatuated in Beecké. Now he sees and hears that I play better than Beecké, that I make no grimaces, and yet play with so much expression that I show off his pianofortes better than any one. The correctness of my time MUNICH AND AUGSBURG. [362] astonishes them all. The tempo rubato in an adagio, with the left hand keeping strict time, was quite past their comprehension; they always follow with the left hand. 11

The expressions about Beecké, who was considered among the best pianoforte-players, are only repetition of what was said on all sides. "Count Wolfegg, and several others who are very enthusiastic for Beecké, said lately at a public concert that I had thrown Beecké quite into the shade," writes Wolfgang in confirmation of his own opinion. Even Archbishop Hieronymus was reported to have said aside to his favourites that Beecké was a charlatan and a merry-andrew, and that Mozart far surpassed him (June 29, 1778). He played a tolerably difficult sonata by Beecké, prima vista, "miserabile al solito"; how the kapellmeister Graf and the organist Schmitthauer crossed themselves over the performance may be better imagined than described.

Mozart's organ and violin-playing created quite as much astonishment as his performances on the clavier:—

When I told Herr Stein that I should like to play upon his organ (in the Barfüsserkirche), for that I had a passion for the organ, he was greatly astonished, and said: "What! a man like you, a clavier-player, willing to play on an instrument which has no douceur, no expression; which allows of neither piano nor forte, but goes on always the same!" "All that has nothing to do with it. To my mind, the organ is the king of all instruments." "Well, do as you like." So we went together. I could guess by his way of talking that he did not expect me to do his organ much credit; he thought I should play clavier fashion. He told me how he had taken Chobert to the organ according to his request. "And I was sorry," said he, "for Chobert had told everybody, and the church was full. I had imagined the fellow would be full of spirit, fire, and rapidity, and that would tell on the organ; but as soon as he began I changed my opinion." I only said, "What do you think, Herr Stein? Are you afraid that I shall come to grief on the organ?" "Ah, you! that is quite different." We went into the choir; I began to prelude, at which he laughed with delight; then followed a fugue. "I can well believe," said he, "that you enjoy playing the organ, when you play like that." At first I did not quite understand the pedal, because it was not divided. It began C, then D E in a row. With us D and E are above, where E flat and F sharp are here. But I soon grew accustomed to it.

AUGSBURG, 1777. [363]

He played the organ also in the monastery of St. Ulrich, which had the dreadful steps, and often visited the monastery of the Holy Cross, where he was invited to dine on October 19, and entertained with music during the meal (October 24, 1777).

However badly they may play, yet I prefer the music of the monastery to the Augsburg orchestra. I played a symphony and the violin concerto in B flat by Wanhall with universal applause. The Dean is a good, jolly fellow; he is a cousin of Eberlin's, named Zeschinger, and remembers papa very well. In the evening at supper I played the Strasburg concerto (219 K.). It went as smooth as oil. They all praised the beautiful pure tone. Afterwards a little clavichord was brought in. I preluded, and played a sonata, and the Fischer variations. Then some one whispered to the Dean that he should hear me play organ fashion. I said he might give me a theme, but he would not, so one of the monks did. I led off with it, and in the middle (the fugue was in G minor) I began in the major, in a playful style but in the same time, and then came back to the theme. At last it occurred to me that I might use the playful style for the theme of the fugue. Without more ado I tried it, and it went as accurately as if it had been measured for by Daser (the Salzburg tailor). The Dean was quite beside himself. "I could never have believed it," said he; "you are a wonderful man. My Abbot told me that he had never in his life heard such correct and solemn organ-playing." The Abbot had heard me two or three days before, when the Dean was not there. Finally, some one brought a sonata which was fugued, for me to play. But I said, "Gentlemen, this is too much; I must acknowledge that I cannot play this sonata at once." "I think so, too," said the Dean, eagerly, for he was quite on my side; "that is too much; it would be impossible for any one." "Still," said I, "I will try it." And all the time I played I heard the Dean calling out behind me, "Oh, you rascal! oh, you young scamp!" I played until eleven o'clock. They bombarded me with themes for fugues, and laid siege to me on all sides.

In return for his kind reception and the pleasure expressed in his playing, Wolfgang presented the Abbot Barth. Christa (1760-1780) with several compositions, the Masses in F (192 K.), in C (220 K.), and the "Misericordias Domini" (222 K.). He refers to them in writing to his father, as well as to a litany, "De venerabili" (November 20, 1777). What has become of this last we do not know. 12


In spite of all this applause from connoisseurs, the prospects of a concert were not good. At first a brilliant reception was expected. Herr von Langenmantel, son of the town-councillor, had taken the matter into his own hands and promised to arrange a "chamber concert" for the patricii only. But some days later he invited Wolfgang, and after he had played as long as the company pleased, explained to him that the concert could not take place, since "the patricii were not in funds."

As if this was not enough, the patricii thought fit to make sport of him at table. In accordance with his father's advice that he should insure respect and consideration for himself in places where there was no reigning prince, by wearing the order conferred on him by the great Pope Ganganelli, Wolfgang wore the cross of his order at Augsburg. This was made an occasion for mockery; and one officer in particular, Bach by name, was so rude and insulting that Wolfgang lost patience, and repaid him in kind, calling him "Herr von Kurzmantl"; but he does not seem ever to have worn the order again. He had promised to attend, and perhaps to play at, the weekly concert given during the winter months by a society of noblemen, both Catholic and Protestant; 13 but, indignant at the treatment he had received, he declared he would only give a concert for a few invited friends and connoisseurs. They were Catholic nobles, however, who had insulted him, and Stein set in motion the evangelical (not Lutheran, as L. Mozart reminds his son) nobles, 14 who made such friendly overtures that he CONCERT AT AUGSBURG, OCTOBER, 1777. [365] attended a concert given by the "peasant nobles," 15 and played one of his symphonies, taking the violin himself, and then a concerto and a sonata. Compliments and eulogies were heaped upon him, and finally two ducats were presented to him. Wolfgang's father thought him far too yielding: "One thing is very certain," he writes (October 20, 1777), "they would not have found me at their beggarly concert. In the meantime, through the exertions of his friends, a public concert was given on October 22:—

What do you think came next after the symphony? The concerto for three claviers (242 K.). Herr Demmler played the first, I the second, and Herr Stein the third. Then I played alone the last sonata in D (284 K.), then my concerto in B flat (238 K.), then a fugue in C minor, and a splendid sonata in C major out of my own head, with a rondo at the end. There was a tremendous noise and confusion. Herr Stein made one grimace after another for delight. Herr Demmler actually laughed. This eccentric being always laughs when anything pleases him. This time he began to swear. Count Wolfegg ran about the room, saying, "I never heard anything like it in my life." He said to me, "I must tell you that I never heard you play so well as to-day; I will tell your father so as soon as I get to Salzburg."

L. Mozart's heart was rejoiced by "a wonderfully fine article in the newspaper," probably from the pen of Herr von Sabnesnig, of whose charming poetry he had reminded Wolfgang.

On the other hand the receipts of the concert were small, considering that he had put forth all his powers; 16 ninety gulden, with sixteen gulden thirty kreutzers' expenses. Wolfgang was not tempted to retract what he had written to his father in anger, about the behaviour of the aristocrats (October 16, 1777):—

I must say that if I had not found such good and charming cousins I should repent ever having set foot in Augsburg. I must tell you something about my dear little cousin, but I will wait till to-morrow, for I ought to be in good spirits to praise her as she deserves. Early on the MUNICH AND AUGSBURG. [366] 17th I shall write and assure you that our little cousin is pretty, sensible, charming, clever, and merry; she knows something of the world, having been in Munich some time. We two suit each other exactly, for she is just a little wicked; 17 we laugh at everybody, and have great fun.

Defending his cousin against a slighting expression of his father's, Wolfgang says, "Yesterday, to please me, she dressed à la française, and looked five per cent, prettier." He gave her his portrait in a little medallion, and made her promise to be painted in French costume. A mournful parting ended this happy visit, Stein having written to Wolfgang's father in the most eulogistic manner concerning his son's performances. At the next quoit-playing meeting in Salzburg there appeared on the quoit a representation of "the sad adieux of two persons dissolved in tears, Wolfgang and his cousin." "The quoit was charming," wrote the father (November 17,1777); "an Augsburg maiden stood at the right and presented a young man in top boots, equipped for travelling, and in the other hand she carried a wonderful linen cloth trailing on the ground, with which she dried her eyes. The gentleman had a similar cloth, which he was putting to the same use, and he held his hat in his other hand. Written above were six lines of poetry, expressive of the sorrowful emotions of the young couple." 18

This good-humoured participation in the little adventures of his son stands in striking and effective contrast to the earnest care which breathes from a letter addressed to Wolfgang on his fête-day (October 31):—

I must wish you happiness on your fête-day. But what more can I wish for you than I am always wishing? I wish that the grace of God may be with you everywhere, and never forsake you as long as you are diligent in performing the duties of a true Catholic Christian. You know me, and know that I am no pedant, no canting hypocrite; but HOHENALTHEIM, 1777 [367] you will not refuse your father one prayer. This is, that you will have such concern for your soul that you may cause your father no anguish on his death-bed in the thought that he has been careless of the things which concern your salvation. Farewell! be happy; be wise. Honour and cherish your mother, who is troubled in her old age for your sake. Love me as I love you. Your faithful, anxious father.

The son's answer is in the tone of reverence which it becomes children to adopt on such occasions to their parents:—

I kiss your hand, and thank you humbly for your good wishes on my fête-day. Have no concern for me; I have God ever before my eyes; I acknowledge His omnipotence, I fear His anger; but I also acknowledge His love, His mercy and pity towards His creatures; He will never forsake His servants. I submit myself wholly to His will, and so it cannot fail I must be happy and content. I shall also be diligent to follow the commands and the counsel which you are so good as to give me.

On October 26 Wolfgang and his mother left Augsburg, and proceeded by way of Donauwörth and Nordlingen to Hohenaltheim, the residence of the Prince von Oetting-Wallerstein. 19 Music was held in high honour at this little court; not only were celebrated performers, such as Janitsch, the violinist, Reicha, the violoncellist, Perwein, the oboist, &c., encouraged to settle there, but the whole orchestra was distinguished for its delicacy of execution. Rosetti, the conductor, had "carried his observance of the most delicate gradations of tone sometimes to the bounds of pedantry." 20 Ignaz von Beecké, captain in a Wurtemberg dragoon regiment, was manager of the court music, and himself a distinguished clavier-player and composer. The Prince, a handsome young man, who had formerly invited Wolfgang to visit him in Naples, was suffering from an attack of melancholy, and unable to bear music; but the Mozarts were obliged to remain several days at Hohenaltheim on account of the mother's severe cold. A rumour reached L. Mozart that Wolfgang had been playing the buffoon there, that he had danced about, playing the violin, and had gained the [368] reputation of being a wild, merry fellow. He considered that this would afford Beecké, who was jealous of Wolfgang, an excellent opportunity of depreciating his powers as an artist (January 26, 1778), Wolfgang gave a decided contradiction to this report; he had "sat at the officers' table with all due honour, and had not said a word to any one; when with Beecké, too, he had been quite serious." Beecké had received him kindly, had promised him advice and support should he ever go to Paris, and had heard him play. They had talked about Vienna, too, and agreed that the Emperor Joseph was a fair executant, but not a true lover of music. Beecké said that he had only played fugues and such like "trifles" before him, and that he had heard music in the Emperor's cabinet which was enough to frighten the very dogs away. They also confided to each other that music gave them both the headache; only good music had this effect with Beecké, and bad with Mozart.

The travellers entered Mannheim on October 30. Their stay was longer than they had intended, and although the hopes with which it opened were not destined to be fulfilled, yet the months passed in Mannheim were fruitful in their effect on Wolfgang's development, both musical and

The Elector, Karl Theodor, 21 had studied in his early youth under the Jesuits, and had then visited the Universities of Leyden and Lowen, displaying a great taste for science, poetry, art, and music, the last of which he practised himself. The extravagance which he lavished on his court and on his park of Schwetzingen—the Versailles of the palatinate—was carried also in some degree into the affairs of science and art.


The Palatinate Academy of Science, [368]founded in 1763, encouraged historical and scientific research; collections of pictures and engravings, and an exhibition of plaster casts from the antique—at that time the only, and much-thought-of collection of the kind in Germany 2 —served, in connection with an academy, to encourage the formative arts; and a German society, founded in Mannheim by the Elector in 1775, proved the desire of its members to take their share in the new impulse which German literature had then received. 3

Klopstock's presence ART IN THE PALATINATE. [369]in this year had not been without its influence; not content with native authors, such as Gemmingen, Klein, Dalberg, the painter Müller, the Elector sought, but in vain, to attract acknowledged celebrities, such as Lessing 4 and Wieland. 5 His zealous co-operation was given to the plan of founding a German drama in the place of the usual French one; 6 the national theatre was built, 7 and efforts were made to retain Lessing as dramatist and Eckhoff as actor. 8 When this failed, the engagement of Marchand secured them at least a first-rate actor. 9

But music was incontestably the peculiar province of Mannhein, the "paradise of musicians." 10 Here too, patriotic MANNHEIM. [370] feeling was supreme. 11 Original German operas took the place of the grand Italian opera, with its appendage of translated comic opera, generally borrowed from the French. 12

The performances of the Seiler company of actors, which had come to Weimar in the autumn of 1771 in the place of the Koch company, suggested to Wieland the idea of a grand, serious German opera in addition to the operettas which had met with so much success. 13 His "Alcestis" 14 was intended as an important step in this direction, as is proved by his "Letters on the German opera of 'Alcestis,'" 15 which, by their comparison of himself with Euripides, called forth Goethe's burlesque. His opera met with ready acknowledgment, but at the same time with severe and deserved blame. 16 It was thought to be too evidently fashioned after Metastasio's pattern, both in plan and treatment; and to be wanting in dramatic interest, true passion, and lively characteristic; the public found the opera tedious and trivial, and took just umbrage at the conception of Hercules as a virtuous humdrum citizen. Wieland found in Schweitzer an ideal composer, who identified himself with the poet, who could be silent when the poet wished to speak alone, but who hastened to aid him at need with all the resources of musical art; a composer, too, who thought more of producing a true impression on the mind of his hearers, than of flattering their ears, inciting their curiosity or even adhering too closely to the mechanical rules of his art. Wieland was not content with placing Schweitzer on a level with the best Italian composers; in a letter to Klein 17 he speaks of Gluck's "Alceste" as a divine work, but does not hesitate to declare Schweitzer's composition to be the best that had SCHWEITZER'S "ALCESTE." [371] ever been heard of the kind. Schweitzer's music 18 was in fact much applauded, and he was judged to have accomplished more than the poet. 19 His efforts after a true and forcible musical expression of emotion, and after originality, are worthy of all praise; and phrases here and there, particularly in the accompanied recitative, are of charming effect, while the orchestra is carefully treated, and not at all after the usual manner of Italian opera. On the other hand he has been justly blamed for his slavish adherence to the old form of the aria, with da capo, middle passage, bravura passages, and ritomello; he is unequal, too, and his effects are all those of detail. What is wanting is genius, original power of creation, which forms details into one great whole, and produces something altogether new and complete. This was felt by Zelter 20 and by Mozart, who wrote to his father that the best part of Schweitzer's melancholy "Alceste" (besides the beginnings, middles and endings of some of the songs) was the beginning of the recitative, "O Jugendzeit," and the worst (together with the greater part of the opera) was the overture. This consists of two movements, an adagio and a fugue, which are both unimportant and commonplace.

"Alceste" was first performed in Weimar on May 28, 1773, and frequently repeated, always with the greatest success; 21 this was also the case in Gotha and Frankfort; and on August 13, 1775, Karl Theodor produced the opera with great brilliancy at Schwetzingen. 22 The success was great, and it was considered as marking an epoch that a German opera, written by a German poet, composed by a German musician, and sung by German artists, should be produced successfully by a German Prince. In the following summer MANNHEIM. [372] Wieland received a commission to write a new opera, which Schweitzer was to compose under his immediate direction.

The way being once cleared, it was easy to take further steps in the same direction. The Elector hit upon the idea of representing scenes from the national history in German musical dramas. 23 Professor Anton Klein, formerly a Jesuit, and always one of the most zealous supporters of the patriotic struggle then proceeding, wrote for this purpose "Günther von Schwarzburg," 24 which was composed by Holzbauer, 25 and performed on January 5, in the magnificent opera-house, 26 with all the expenses guaranteed. 27 Schubart had anticipated with joy "the glorious revolution in taste," 28 and the applause was great, although the success was not so deep and lasting as might have been expected. The critics 29 found much in the text at which to take exception; Wieland shrank from speaking in the "Mercury" about "this so-called opera" for fear lest, absurd as it might appear, his criticism might be taken for envy. 30 An evident effort is made to give the work a deeper tone than one of mere patriotic sentiment; but in spite of the exalted emotion and passion of the words and music, and of all that could be done in the way of scenic accessories, the opera was too wanting in dramatic treatment and characterisation to take very deep root. The phraseology is in imitation of Klopstock, but the effort after force and "GÜNTHER V. SCHWARZBURG." [373] originality is so clumsily made that Wieland's contempt is justified. Of the music, it was said by the minister Hompesch that the predominant feeling and ideas were neither French nor Italian, but genuinely German; 31 Schubart praised its mixture of German feeling and foreign grace, 32 and other critics spoke of its stamp of genius and its gentle grace. 33 Mozart, who saw the opera the day after his arrival at Mannheim, wrote to his father (November 16, 1777): "Holzbauer's music is very fine; far too good for the poetry. I am amazed at the spirit of so old a man as Holzbauer, for you would not believe the amount of fire in his music." The force and animation of Holzbauer's music are still apparent, though it is wanting in elevation and true musical sentiment. He has not attained to original dramatic characterisation except in single touches, more especially in the recitatives; he never deviates from the customary Italian form, but the adaptation of this form to German song was in itself considered a remarkable innovation.

The most distinguished vocalists, male and female, of the Mannheim opera were, thanks to Holzbauer's excellent school of music, almost all Germans. 34 Among them was Dorothea Wendling (née Spumi, 1737-1811), "the German Melpomene of Mannheim's Golden Age," 35 who excited universal admiration by her perfect and expressive singing. According to Wieland she surpassed even Mara, and he found in her his ideal of song, as the language of the mind and the heart, every note being the living expression of the purest and most ardent emotion, and the whole song a continuous thread of beauty. 36 Her beauty (Heinse saw in her MANNHEIM. [374] countenance all that was caressing, soft, and feminine, combined with the glow and animation of a passionate nature) 37 and her excellent acting 38 elevated her performances to a very high point. Her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Auguste Wendling (née Sarselli, 1746-1786), though less famous, and hindered by continued ill-health, was nevertheless a praiseworthy singer; while Franciska Danzi (1756-1791), married afterwards to the oboist, Le Brun, 39 was an artist of the first rank, in her beauty and the compass of her voice, as well as in her thorough musical cultivation: at the time of Mozart's visit to Mannheim she was in London on leave of absence. 40

But the fame of these youthful singers was far surpassed by that of the now elderly tenor Anton Raaff. 41 He was born in 1714 at the village of Holzem, not far from Bonn, and was educated at the Jesuit seminary in Bonn. He had a beautiful voice, and the ease with which he sang by ear made it a great labour to him to learn his notes. The Elector Clemens August, who heard him sing in church, provided for his education as a singer, and gave him a salary of 200 thalers. After causing him to study a part in an oratorio, the Elector took him to Munich, where he was engaged by Ferrandini (p. 133) to appear in opera. This led to his going to study at Bologna under Bemacchi, from whose severe school he came forth as one of the finest tenor singers of the century. He sang in 1738 at Florence, at the wedding of Maria Theresa, left Italy in 1742 to return to Bonn, where his salary was raised to 750 florins, and sang at different German courts; in 1749 he performed in Jomelli's "Didone" at Vienna, to Metastasio's great satisfaction. 42 After a short stay in Italy, he repaired in 1752 to ANTON RAAFF. [375] Lisbon for three years, and from thence in 1755 to Madrid, where he lived in close friendship with his musical director, Farinelli. 43 In 1759 they went together to Naples; here, it is said, his singing made so deep an impression on the Princess Belmonte-Pignatelli as to cure her of a deep melancholy into which she had been thrown by the death of her husband. 44 On his return to Germany, in 1770, the Elector Karl Theodor besought him to enter his service, on which Raaff modestly declared that he should esteem himself happy if the Elector would be content with the small remnant of his powers which was left to him. His voice was of the finest tenor quality that could be heard, from the deepest to the highest notes even, clear, and full. With a perfect mastery of the art of song, displaying itself in his extraordinary power of singing, at sight and of varying and introducing cadenzas, he combined a feeling delivery "that seemed but an echo of his own good heart," and a clear, deliberate judgment on things musical. 45 Added to all this his enunciation was so distinct that even in the largest hall not a syllable was lost. When Mozart first heard him in "Günther von Schwarzburg" his chief impression was that of an old man's failing strength. He writes (November 8, 1777):—

Herr Raaff sang his four songs and about 450 incidental bars in such a manner as to show that it is want of voice which makes it so bad. Unless one reminds oneself all the time that it is Raaff, the old and celebrated tenor, who is singing, one cannot help laughing. As for myself, if I had not known it was Raaff, I should have died of laughing. As it was, I took out my handkerchief and blew my nose. He never was, they tell me, anything of an actor; he should only be heard, not seen; his presence is not at all good. In the opera he has to die, singing a long, long, slow air, and he died with a smiling mouth, his voice falling so at the end as to be quite inaudible. I was sitting in the MANNHEIM. [376] orchestra, next to Wendling, the flute-player, and I remarked that it was unnatural to expect a man to go on singing till he fell down dead. "Never mind," said I, "a little patience, and it will soon be over." "I think it will," said he, and laughed.

After hearing him oftener, Mozart did more justice to Raaff's artistic skill, but he always thought his style wanting in simplicity. In a letter from Paris (June 12, 1778) he pronounces a more detailed judgment, true to his convictions, yet anxious not to wrong the excellent man, of whom he was extremely fond:—

At his début in the "Concert Spirituel" here he sang Bach's scena, "Non so d'onde viene," which is my favourite song. I never heard him sing it before, and he pleased me; his style suits the song, but the style in itself, that of the Bernacchi school, is not at all to my taste. There is too much in it of cantabile. I grant that when he was younger and in his prime the effect must have been sometimes quite startling. I like it, too, but there is too much of it; it is often ludicrous. What really pleases me is his singing of certain little things andantino, which he does in his own style. Everything in its place. I imagine that his forte was bravura singing, which gives him still, in spite of age, a good chest and a long breath. His voice is fine, and very pleasant. If I shut my eyes when he is singing I hear considerable resemblance to Meissner's, only Raaff's voice is the pleasanter of the two. Meissner, as you know, has the bad habit of endeavouring to make his voice tremble; Raaff never does this; he cannot bear it. But, as far as true cantabile is concerned, I like Meissner better than Raaff, though he, too, according to my judgment, makes too much of it. In bravura passages and roulades, and in his good distinct utterance, Raaff bears off the palm.

All who saw Raaff on the stage pronounced him to be no actor, but only a singer. In private he preserved the serenity and moderation of an estimable and genuinely pious character. His moral conduct was faultless, his opinions earnest and severe. He had occasional fits of passion, but was for the most part good-humoured and benevolent, a true and self-denying friend. No wonder that Mozart conceived a strong and lasting attachment to such a man as this. 46


The most distinguished tenor singer in Mannheim, after Raaff, was his pupil Frz. Hartig (b. 1750). 47

Church music in Mannheim did not stand on the same high level as the opera. 48 Schubart complains that little attention was paid to the true church style, that the old masses were despised, and new ones introduced in the most effeminate and mincing operatic style. Even Holzbauer's sacred compositions were far inferior to his operas. 49 Mozart heard a mass by Holzbauer, "written twenty-six years ago, but very good," as he writes to his father (November 4, 1777); "he writes well, in good church style, with fine passages for the voices and instruments." Notwithstanding, he was far from pleased with the Mannheim church music on the whole, and did not care, as he writes in the same letter, to have one of his own masses performed there:—

Why? On account of their brevity? No, for everything here is short. On account of their church style? Not at all; but only because, under present circumstances, it is necessary to write principally for the instruments, since nothing more wretched than the vocal department can be conceived. Six soprani, six alti, six tenori, and six bassi to twenty violins and twelve basses stand just in the proportion of 0 to 1, do they not, Herr Bullinger? They have only two male sopranos, and both old—just dying out. The soprano prefers singing the alto part, because his upper notes are gone. The few boys that they have are wretched, and the tenors and basses are like singers at a funeral.

The organ was still worse provided for, and Mozart pours out the full measure of his scorn on the two court organists:—

They have two organists here, for whose sake alone it would be worth taking the journey to Mannheim. I had a good opportunity of hearing them, for it is the custom here to omit the Benedictus, and for the organist to go on playing instead. The first time I heard the second organist, and the next time the first; but I have a better opinion of the second than of the first. When I heard him I asked, "Who is at the organ?" "Our second organist." "He plays wretchedly." When I MANNHEIM. [378] heard the other I asked, "Who is that?" "Our first organist." "He plays more wretchedly still." I suppose if they were shaken up together the result would be something worse still. It makes one die of laughing to see them. The second goes to the organ like a child to the mud; he shows his trade in his face. The first wears spectacles. I stood at the organ and watched him for the sake of instruction. He lifts his hands high up at every note. His tour de force is the use of the sext stop; but he oftener uses the quint, or the octave stop. He often playfully lets fall the right hand, and plays only with the left. In a word, he does as he likes; he is so far completely master of his instrument.

But Mannheim was distinguished most particularly for its instrumental music, the orchestra being unanimously considered the finest in Europe. It was more numerous and better appointed, especially as to wind instruments, than was customary at the time. 50 It was here that Mozart first became acquainted with the clarinet as an orchestral instrument. "Oh, if we only had clarinetti!" he writes (December 3, 1778). "You cannot think what a splendid effect a symphony makes with flutes, oboes, and clarinets." 51

Burney had only one fault to find, a fault common to all orchestras of the day, viz., the occasionally defective intonation of the wind instruments. 52 The Mannheim orchestra was not only well-appointed and strong, but uniform and certain in execution, with delicate gradations of tone until then THE MANNHEIM ORCHESTRA. [379] unknown. 53 Piano and forte were rendered in the most varied degrees; crescendo and diminuendo were first invented at Mannheim, and for a long time other orchestras made no attempt at imitation; 54 other means, too, such as the skilful blending of the wind and stringed instruments, 55 were made the most of to produce a well-arranged, finely gradationed whole.

The excellence of the Mannheim orchestra—whose performances excited as much admiration among contemporaries 56 as those of the Paris orchestra under Habeneck's conductor-ship in our own time—gained for it the honour of taking a regular share in the Elector's concerts (p. 288). 57 The band contained some of the first artists and virtuosi of the day, such as Cannabich, Toeschi, Cramer, Stamitz, and Frànzel among the violins, Wendling as a flute-player, Le Brun and Ramm as oboists, Ritter as bassoonist, and Lang as hom-player. But its fame rested chiefly on the excellent discipline of the orchestra, which, among so many first-rate artists, it was no easy task to maintain. 58 The kapellmeister at the time of Mozart's visit was Christian Cannabich (1731-1798), who had succeeded Stamitz in 1775. His compositions were doubtless overrated by his contemporaries; but he was admirable as a solo violinist, and still better as an MANNHEIM. [380] orchestral leader, besides being an excellent teacher. The majority of the violinists in the Mannheim orchestra had issued from his school, and to this was mainly owing the uniformity of their execution and delivery. Cannabich, who was more of an organiser than an originator, had experimented with every condition and device for producing instrumental effects, and he laid special stress on technical perfection of execution, in order to insure good tutti players. Uniting, as he did, intelligence and a genius for direction 59 to "a true German heart," 60 and a moral and temperate life, he possessed the confidence and esteem of his musicians, and was therefore the better able to bring their performances to the highest excellence.

The many-sidedness of musical performances in Mannheim had helped to form a very original taste, and Karl Theodor himself was careful to encourage composers and virtuosi of all kinds. 61 The groundwork, both of thought and instruction, was Italian certainly; but the fact that the care of musical affairs was intrusted to German musicians, had an influence of its own, even before the national element had asserted its supremacy in Germany. French influence, too, made itself felt side by side with the Italian; the connection maintained by the Elector Palatine with the court of Versailles was profitable in every way to his musicians. Finally, the partiality for instrumental music which we have already noted must have tended to give an independent impulse to musical production in Mannheim.

His stay in a town so thoroughly and genuinely musical, 62 must have had a more abiding effect upon Mozart than was exercised by Salzburg, Augsburg, or even Munich. He came to Mannheim at a time when the minds of men were full of fresh and eager aspirations after artistic and literary CHR. DANNER. [381] excellence; and fortunately for him the interest was mainly centred on his own peculiar province—the drama. We cannot imagine, however, that he was dazzled or abashed by the wealth of musical knowledge, or by the accomplishments of the noted musicians with whom he came in contact; his confidence in his own powers preserved him from any feeling of constraint or distrust. At first he was surprised at the small amount of attention which his presence excited. On the day after his arrival he made the acquaintance of the violinist, Chr. Danner (b. 1745), and went with him to rehearsal. 63 "I thought that I should not be able to keep from laughing, when I was introduced to people. Some of them, who knew me per renommée, were polite and respectful; but the rest, who did not know anything of me, stared at me in the most ludicrous manner. They think because I am little and young that there can be nothing great or old in me; but they shall soon see." Mozart always resented, even in later years, any reference to his small stature and unimposing appearance, even when it was made by way of contrast to his great performances.

His predictions were verified. It was not long before he had gained the esteem and admiration of the Mannheim musicians, the ready goodwill with which he placed his talents and services at their disposal, and his cheerfulness and good breeding in society, rendering him a universal favourite. His spirits rose in proportion as the memory of his position at Salzburg faded from his mind. Even from Munich he wrote to his father (September 26, 1777): "I am always in the best of spirits. I feel as light as a feather since I left all that chicanery behind! I am fatter, too, already." At Mannheim, in daily intercourse with cultivated artists, he MANNHEIM. [382] must have felt completely at his ease. The members of the band were well paid 64 and well treated; Karl Theodor's love of music and general affability gave them considerable freedom of position, and intercourse with their circle was liberal and pleasant. Schubart declares that the houses, tables, and hearts of all the musicians were open to him during the whole of his stay, and that he had his share in their practisings and their festivities. 65 Mozart's experience was the same; although, his stay being longer, he could not fail to observe that the superficial frivolity of court life had affected the tone even of the artistic circles. 66

His friendly reception by Cannabich led to an intimate friendship and daily intercourse with the whole family, in which Wolfgang's mother was included. He often dined with them, and no long time elapsed before he found himself "al solito" at supper and spending the evening with the Cannabichs; they chatted, played a little sometimes, or Wolfgang used to take a book out of his pocket and read. Occasionally the party became merrier and not quite so decorous, as the following mock confession made by Wolfgang to his father will show (November 14,1777):—

I, Johannes Chrisostomus Amadeus Wolfgangus Sigismundus Mozart, do hereby confess that both yesterday and the day before (and on various other occasions) I remained out until twelve o'clock at night; and that from ten o'clock until the above-named hour I was at Cannabich's house, in company with Cannabich, his wife and daughter, Herr Schatzmeister, Herr Ramm, and Herr Lang, making rhymes and perpetrating bad jokes in thought and word, but not in deed. But I should not have conducted myself in so godless a fashion had not the ringleader of the sport, the above-named daughter, Liesel, incited and abetted me therein; and I must acknowledge that I found it extremely amusing. I bewail all these my sins and transgressions from the bottom of my heart; and, hoping to confess the same thing very frequently, I make an earnest resolution to amend my former sinful life. I therefore beg for a dispensation, that is if it is an easy one; if not, it is all the same to me, for the game is not like to come to an end very soon.


That Mozart was always ready when music was wanted we cannot doubt; on one of his first visits to Cannabich he played all his six sonatas one after the other. Cannabich was not slow to recognise his extraordinary talent, nor to make use of it on occasion, as when Wolfgang made good clavier arrangements of his ballets for him. But self-interest had no share in the feelings with which he came to regard Wolfgang; both he and his wife loved him as their own son, threw themselves zealously into all that concerned his wellbeing, and watched over him as true friends. The magnet which attracted Wolfgang to the house at first, and kept him chained there for a time, was Cannabich's eldest daughter Rosa, who was then thirteen, "a pretty, charming girl," as Wolfgang writes to his father (December 16,1777); "she has a staid manner and a great deal of sense for her age; she speaks but little, and when she does speak it is with grace and amiability." 67 The day after his arrival (October 31) she played something to him; he thought her playing good, and began to compose a sonata for her, as a mark of attention to Cannabich. The first allegro was ready on the same day. "Young Danner asked me" he continues, "what I meant to do for the andante. 'I mean to make it exactly like Mdlle. Rose herself.' When I played it they were all wonderfully pleased. Young Danner said afterwards, 'You were quite right; the andante is exactly like her.'" On November 8 he wrote the rondo at Cannabich's, "consequently they would not let me away again. Mdlle. Rose's talent gained in interest for him when, on studying this sonata with her, he found that it had been neglected. "The right hand is very good, but the left is utterly ruined; if I were her regular master I would lay aside all music, cover the keys with a handkerchief, and make her practise passages, shakes, &c., first with the right MANNHEIM. [384] hand and then with the left, slowly to begin with until the hands were perfectly independent; after that I believe I should make an excellent player of her." The regular lessons followed in due time; he gave an hour daily to the young lady, and was very well satisfied with the result. "Yesterday she gave me indescribable pleasure," he writes (December 6,1777), "by playing my sonata most beautifully. The andante (a slow one) was full of feeling; she enjoys playing it." His father thought the sonata wonderfully good (December 11, 1777); there was a little of the Mannheim affected taste in it, but not enough to spoil Wolfgang's own good style.

Another musician with whom Mozart entered into very friendly relations was the distinguished flute-player, Joh. Bapt. Wendling. Cannabich introduced him; "every one was as polite as could be" he informs his father. "The daughter Augusta, who was at one time the Elector's mistress, plays the clavier well. 68 Afterwards I played. I was in an excellent humour, and played everything out of my head, and three duets with the violin, which I had never seen before in my life, and the name of whose author I did not even know. They were all so delighted that I was obliged—to kiss the ladies! I had no objection as far as the daughter was concerned, for she is not by any means ugly." He composed a French song for this Mdlle. Gustl, of whom Wieland said that she was so like one of Raphael's or Carlo Dolce's Madonnas, that he could hardly refrain from addressing a "Salve Regina" to her. 69 She had given him the words, and her delivery of them was so charming that the song was called for every day "at Wendling's," and they all "raved about it." He promised to compose some more for her, and one at least was begun at a later time. 70 An aria with recitative was also sketched out for Dorothea Wendling, the mother; she had herself selected the words from FLUTE AND OBOE CONCERTOS. [385] Metastasio's "Didone" (II. 4), "Ah! non lasciarmi no, bell' idol mio," and she, as well as her daughter, "went wild over this song." It was Mozart's custom in sketching his songs to write out the bass entire, and even some indications of the accompaniment, so that the song could be sung and in some measure accompanied from the sketch. Whether this particular song was ever completed we do not know. Mozart did not forget Wendling himself. We are told that a concerto of his was rehearsed at Cannabich's, to which Mozart had arranged the instruments (November 22, 1777). He had a dislike to the flute and a mistrust of flute-players, but he made an exception in favour of Wendling. When Wend-ling's brother teased him for this he said: "Yes, but you see, it is quite another thing with your brother. He is not a piper, and one need not be always in terror for fear the next note should be too high or too low—he is always right, you see; his heart and his ear and the tip of his tongue are all in the right place, and he does not imagine that blowing and making faces is all that is needed; he knows too what adagio means." 71

Wolfgang presented his oboe concerto to the oboist Friedr. Ramm (b. 1744), whom he met at Cannabich's, and who "went wild" over it (November 4, 1777). He made it his cheval de bataille, playing it five times during the same winter (February 13, 1778) with great success, "although it was known to be by me."

Mozart soon became universally liked and admired, as well for his readiness and good-nature in composing as for his performances on the organ and clavier; but we hear nothing more of his violin-playing. He gave a humorous description to his father of the effect made by his organ-playing soon after his arrival in Mannheim (November 13, 1777)

Last Sunday I played the organ in the chapel for a joke. I came in during the Kyrie, played the end of it, and, after the priest had given out the Gloria, I made a cadenza. Nothing like it had ever been heard here before, so that everybody looked round, especially Holzbauer. He MANNHEIM. [386] said to me, "If I had only known I would have chosen another mass." "Yes," said I, "in order to do for me altogether." Old Toeschi (the concertmeister) and Wendling stood near me. The people were inclined to laugh, because every now and then, when I wanted a pizzicato effect, I gave little bangs to the notes. I was in my best humour. A voluntary is always played here instead of the Benedictus; I took the idea of the Sanctus and carried it out as a fugue. There they all stood and made faces. At the end, after the Missa est, I played another fugue. The pedal is different from ours, and that puzzled me a little at first, but I soon got used to it.

When the new organ in the Lutheran Church was tried (December 18) all the kapellmeisters were invited, and Wolfgang's mother writes how a distinguished Lutheran came and invited him also. He admired the organ both in pieno and in its single stops, but he disliked Vogler, who played it; he would not play much himself, only a prelude and fugue, but he arranged to go again with a party of friends, and then he meant to "have some rare fun on the organ." In the Reformed Church also, where the organ was considered a remarkably fine one, 72 he once played to a friend for an hour and a half.

The great admiration he excited as a clavier-player is described by his mother (December 28, 1777):—

Wolfgang is made much of everywhere; but he plays quite differently from what he does at Salzburg, for there are nothing but pianofortes here, and you never heard anything like the way he manages them; in a word, every one that hears him declares that his equal is not to be found. Although Beecké has been here, as well as Schubart, they all agree that he surpasses them both in beauty of tone, in gusto, and delicacy; and what they most admire is his playing out of his head whatever is laid before him.

Clavier-playing was less esteemed in Mannheim than proficiency on an orchestral instrument, and Peter Winter, a true representative of the Mannheim band, could not play the clavier at all, and could not abide such jingling noise, as he used to tell his friends. 73 But Mozart had plenty of opportunity for comparing himself with other clavier-players.


The Abbé Joh. Fr. Xav. Sterkel (1750-1817), one of the most celebrated performers of the day, came from Mayence (where he was pianist and chaplain to the Elector) 74 during Mozart's stay at Mannheim. "Last evening but one," he informs his father (December 26, 1777), "I was al solito at Cannabich's, and Sterkel came in. He played five duets, but so quick as to be unintelligible, and neither distinctly nor in time—they all said so. Mdlle. Cannabich played the sixth, and she really did it better than Sterkel."

The same fault that he found with Sterkel, viz., the endeavour to make an effect by rapid execution and playing at sight, in reality a mere device to hide imperfect execution, Mozart found also with the playing of Vogler (1749-1814), the solitary clavier performer resident at Mannheim.

He tells his father (January 17, 1778) of his meeting Vogler at a large party:—

After dinner he had his two claviers brought, which were tuned together, and also his tiresome printed sonatas. I was obliged to play them, and he accompanied me on the other clavier. I was obliged, at his pressing request, to have my sonatas brought also. Before dinner he had stumbled through my concerto—the Litzau one (246 K.)—prima vista; 75 the first movement went prestissimo, the andante allegro, and the rondo really prestissimo. He played almost throughout a different bass to the one that was written, and sometimes the harmonies, and even the melodies, were altered. Indeed, this was inevitable, owing to the great speed: the eye could not see and the hand could not grasp the music. But what kind of playing at sight is that? The hearers (those

I mean, who are worthy of the name) can only say that they have seen music and clavier-playing. They hear and think and feel just as little as the performer himself. You can imagine that the worst part of it to me is not being able to say: Much too quick. After all, it is much easier to play fast than slow; notes can be dropped out of passages without being noticed; but is that desirable? The rapidity allows the right and left hand to be used indiscriminately: but should that be so?

In what does the art of playing at sight consist? In playing the piece correctly, in strict time, giving the proper expression to every MANNHEIM. [388] passage and every note, so that it might be imagined that the player had composed the piece himself. Vogler's fingering is atrocious; his left thumb is like Adlgasser's, and he makes all the runs for the right hand with his first finger and thumb.

Mozart's antipathy to Vogler shines through this description, and is equally apparent whenever he has occasion to mention him. Personally he had nothing to complain of in Vogler: "Herr Vogler positively insisted on making my acquaintance," he writes to his father (January 17, 1778); "after plaguing me very often to go to him, he put his pride in his pocket and paid me the first visit." No assurance will be needed that the rivalry of the two in composition, organ and clavier-playing, would not lead Mozart to disparage great merit where it existed. It might have contributed to sharpen his judgment, which, however, was essentially the same as that passed on Vogler by the whole orchestra, "from the highest to the lowest." He was regarded as an interloper, who had usurped an important position in Mannheim, and had intrigued against such men as Holzbauer for the purpose; the violet stockings which he wore as papal legate were thought absurd; 76 and his habit of taking a prayer-book into society, together with his music, and of frequently keeping visitors waiting while he performed his devotions, was considered mere affectation; 77 many complaints were made of his haughty and depreciatory manner; and his own performances fell far short of the expectations excited by himself.

But apart from all influence of partisanship or gossip, it is quite conceivable that two such diverse natures should exercise a mutual repulsion on each other. Vogler was no doubt an original and striking character; the very fact that his contemporaries were either his enthusiastic admirers or his sworn enemies affords proof of this. He possessed musical talent, intellect and shrewdness, together with much energy of character, so that his attainments were extensive both in the arts and sciences.


But these qualities, uncombined with creative genius, could not reach the highest beauty and truth, either in art or science. We find Vogler, therefore, in whom creative genius did not exist, seeking for effect in the technicalities of his art, and as a consequence, in something outside the art itself. He prided himself especially on his programme music, 78 which was full of purely sensuous effects, and on his playing, which was crowded with theoretical difficulties. The principal charm was in both cases imported from without, not an essential product of the art itself. Vogler was the first to give this direction to musical activity, striving to hide a deficiency in creative power under general cultivation of mind, and, as a necessary result, hampering the natural development of true art. His celebrated pupils Weber and Meyerbeer have rendered the same tendency fruitful in consequences to modern music. A consistent endeavour after what is true and beautiful in art presupposes a singleness of mind in the artist which cannot exist with inordinate ambition and a calculating spirit. In truth the contradictions in Vogler's moral nature, which were remarked even by his adherents, 79 were as striking as those in his artistic nature. If we consider the impression such a man must have made on Mozart, whose creative genius was its own measure and law, penetrating the very essence of his being, and elevating even the drudgery of his profession to the freedom of high art, we can comprehend how he would instinctively recoil from Vogler; and how his own severe education, which had elevated and refined his nature without injuring his healthy love of truth, would prevent his doing full justice to his rival's merits. There can be no doubt that Mozart's opinion of Vogler, which he took no pains to conceal, gave great offence to the latter; but there is no evidence that he "plotted against him," as the father conjectures, nor does Wolfgang himself make any such accusation. Among Vogler's adherents in Mannheim was Peter Winter (1755-1826) who was "almost the only MANNHEIM. [390] friend, that is the only intimate friend, that Vogler had." His daily offerings to Vogler's vanity were much to be regretted; 80 he objected, however, in after-days to be called Vogler's pupil. 81 He seems to have taken a dislike to Mozart, which the latter had cause to feel very sensibly.

The remaining members of the orchestra, however, were only the more attracted to Mozart by the position which he assumed in regard to Vogler. Wendling and Ramm meditated a journey to Paris during Lent, and Ritter, the bassoonist, was to precede them thither; they intended to give concerts together, and Wendling proposed to Wolfgang to accompany them, since such a composer and virtuoso as he would immeasurably strengthen their company. Wolfgang was strongly inclined to consent, and wrote to his father (December 3, 1777):—

If I stay here until Lent, I shall accompany Wendling, Ramm the oboist (and a very fine one), and Lauchery, the ballet manager, to Paris. Herr Wendling assures me that I shall have no cause to repent it. He has been twice in Paris (has only lately returned), and says it is the only place where fame and money can be made. "You are a man," says he, "who can do anything. I will show you how to set about it: you must compose operas, serious and comic, oratorios, and everything." Whoever has written a couple of operas in Paris is a made man at once; then there are the Concerts Spirituels, and the Académie des Amateurs, where you get five louis d'ors for a symphony. If you give lessons, it is at the rate of three louis d'ors for twelve. Sonatas, trios, and quartets are printed by subscription. Cannabich and Toeschi send a great deal of their music to Paris. Wendling is a man who understands travelling. Pray write me your opinion on the subject. It seems to me a good idea. I shall travel with a man who knows the Paris of the present day thoroughly, for it has altered very much. I should spend little, indeed I think not half so much as now, for I should only have to pay for myself; mamma would remain here, and probably stay with the Wendlings. Herr Ritter, who plays the bassoon very well, sets out for Paris on the 12th inst. Ramm is a right honest, merry fellow of about thirty-five; he has travelled much, and knows the world well. The greatest and best musicians here like and esteem me. I am always called Herr Kapellmeister.

Wolfgang's mother was not opposed to the project; she writes to her husband (December 11, 1777):—


About Wolfgang and his journey to Paris you must consider what is right: nowadays Paris is the only place to get on. Herr Wendling is an honourable man, well known to all: he has travelled much, and been in Paris thirteen times, so that he knows it thoroughly; our friend Herr von Grimm is his best friend also, and has done much for him. So you must decide as you like—I shall be ready to agree. Herr Wendling has assured me that he would act as Wolfgang's father. He loves him as his own son, and will, I am sure, take as good care of him as I do. You can well imagine that I am averse to parting from him; and if I have to come home alone, the long journey will be a great trial to me: but what can be done? The journey to Paris would be more fatiguing and too expensive; for one does not spend a fourth part travelling alone.

If this plan was to be carried out, Wolfgang must remain at Mannheim through the winter. His first endeavour, therefore, was to obtain a situation in the band from the Elector, and his friends eagerly seconded his efforts. Holz-bauer had taken him soon after his arrival to the manager, Count Savioli (November 4, 1777),where Cannabich chanced to be present:—

Herr Holzbauer said to the Count in Italian that I wished for the honour of playing before his Highness the Elector: I had been here fifteen years before, when I was eight years old; I was now older and taller, and my music had improved also. "Ah," said the Count, "that is young-," somebody or other for whom he mistook me. Then

Cannabich began to speak. I pretended not to listen, and talked to some one else, but I noticed that he spoke very earnestly. Then the Count said to me, "I hear that you play fairly well on the clavier."

I made an obeisance.

The Elector happened to be holding court at the time, and Count Savioli at once presented Wolfgang to the Electress, who received him very graciously, and remembered his being there fifteen years before, though she would not have recognised him. On November 6 there was a grand state concert, at which Mozart played a concerto, and before the closing symphony a sonata, and something "out of his head":—

The Elector and his wife and all the court were pleased with me. At the concert, every time I played she and the Elector came quite near my clavier. After the concert, Cannabich intimated that I might speak to the Elector. I kissed hands, and he said, "I think it is fifteen years MANNHEIM. [392] since you were here before?" "Yes, your highness; fifteen years since I had the honour"—"You play remarkably well." When I kissed the hand of the Princess she said, "Monsieur, je vous assure, on ne peut pas jouer mieux."

The Electress informed him that she should like him to play to her alone, and they were obliged to remain until the command to do so should arrive. Some days after, Count Savioli handed him his present, a beautiful gold watch; ten gold caroli would, however, have been more useful to him than the watch, which was valued at twenty. "I have now with your permission five watches. I have a great mind to have a pocket made on each side, and to wear two watches (which is the fashion now) so that it may not occur to any one to give me another."

In his father's opinion Wolfgang would do wrong to remain in Mannheim any longer than necessary, unless he had certain prospects of a situation there; his good friends could watch over any future interests in his absence, and he ought not to lose the opportunity of making himself known in different places, and of earning money. According to intelligence received from Frankfort, there was nothing to be made there; but at Mayence, with the support of the concertmeister, Georg Ant. Kreuser, concerts might be arranged both in private, before the enthusiastically musical Elector, and in the town. 82 Something, too, might be made at Coblentz out of the Elector Clemens, between whom and the Elector Wolfgang had sat at table and composed with a pencil in Munich, when they were returning from England (p. 48). Nothing could be done in Bonn.

They might return to Mannheim after such expeditions as these, if there was any prospect of remaining there over the winter. Paris must only be thought of as a last resource; it would be a difficult and a risky undertaking. To L. Mozart, who was continually revolving schemes in his mind, it seemed in no way right that the travellers should have settled themselves so comfortably at Mannheim. Wolfgang, finding himself for the first time in a congenial THE ELECTOR. [393] professional atmosphere, and in familiar intercourse with cultivated minds, was only too ready to hearken when every one said to him: "Where can you go in the winter? The season is too bad for travelling; stay here!" And then the prospects which so many good friends opened to him appeared to him in no wise uncertain. His mother allowed herself to be led by her son and his friends, and was easily persuaded that to stay in Mannheim would be most advantageous for Wolfgang.

The Elector had ordered Mozart to be conducted before his natural children, whom he visited for some hours every afternoon, taking great interest in their studies. Mozart, who was accompanied by Cannabich, thus describes the interview (November 8, 1777):—

I talked to the Elector quite familiarly. He is both gracious and good. He said to me, "I hear that you wrote an opera at Munich." "Yes, your highness. I humbly crave your grace, it is my greatest wish to write an opera here. I pray your highness not to forget me. I can write German, too, God be praised." Well, that may happen. 83 He has one son and three daughters; 84 the eldest and the young Count play the clavier. The Elector consulted me quite confidentially about his children. I spoke quite openly, but without blaming their master. Cannabich was of my opinion, too. When the Elector left he thanked me very politely.

Some days after he went again, and "played with his whole heart" three times at the request of the Elector, who sat by him "motionless"; a certain professor gave him a subject for a fugue. This seemed the surest way to the favour of the Elector. At Cannabich's instigation, as he tells his father (who counted on Cannabich's friendship, MANNHEIM. [394] his interest being concerned on his daughter's account), he asked Count Savioli whether the Elector would not keep him there during the winter, and he would engage to give the children lessons. Cannabich promised to propose and support this plan to the Elector, but he must wait until after the gala days, and then the best results might be expected. But a thing like this must not be hurried, and patience would be required, as Wolfgang informs his father, and admonishes him not to lose time in speculations, which generally prove useless. In the meantime he had drawn on the banker for 150 gulden, "for the host would rather hear the jingle of money than of music."

This did not in any way please Wolfgang's father, who delivers a sharp reproof for his thoughtless expression as to the father's speculation being useless. "Gerechter Gott!" he writes, "you tell me not to speculate when I am in debt already on your account 450 florins, and you think you will put me in good humour by writing all sorts of absurd nonsense." He shows them how little use they have made of their time so far, and scolds them for not announcing their plans beforehand, so that proper preparations could be made. "I beg you, my dear Wolfgang, to be more thoughtful, and not to wait to write about things until they are past; otherwise all will go wrong." He points out how they have been living hitherto almost entirely on hope, leaving to him the care of the money which they required; he had not even received the accounts which his dear wife had promised him, and they had drawn money without giving him proper notice:—

A journey like this is no joke: you have not felt it hitherto. You must have something more serious in your head than nonsense: you have to foresee, to consider, to calculate, or else you will find yourself in a mess, without money—and no money means no friends, even if you give lessons a hundred times over, and compose sonatas, and play the fool every night from ten to twelve o'clock. Ask these friends of yours for credit! All the jokes will come to an end, and the most jocular countenance will turn grave on a sudden.

Hereupon followed a very vague money account from the wife (December 11, 1777):—


My dear Husband,—You wish to know what we have spent on our journey. We sent you Albert's bill, and the Augsburg one was thirty-eight florins. Wolfgang has told you that we were twenty-four florins short, but he has not included the expenses of the concert, which were sixteen florins, nor the hotel bill. So that when we came to Mannheim we had not more than sixty gulden, and if we had left in a fortnight, there would not have been much over. For travelling costs more, since things have grown so dear; it is not what it was—you would be surprised.

The irritated and somewhat despondent tone in which Wolfgang replied to his father's reproaches (November 20, 1777), shows that he felt their truth, and that the easy-going comfort of his life at Mannheim was disturbed by the first indications of his duty:—

If you consider the cause of my inaction to be laziness and want of care, then I can do nothing but thank you for your good opinion, and lament from my heart that my father does not know me better. I am not careless, I am only resigned to everything, and so can wait with patience and bear all, provided my honour and my good name of Mozart do not suffer. Well, if it must be, it must. But I pray you beforehand not to rejoice or to be sorry before it is time: for whatever happens it is all right if one is only healthy; happiness consists in the imagination (November 29, 1777).

But his father was not satisfied with all this moral philosophy, and calmly criticises the saying that happiness consists in imagination as being worthy only of a wild herb. He calls upon his son to realise the situation of being asked to pay, and having no money. "My dear Wolfgang, that is a saying fit for those who are satisfied with nothing."

The negotiations with the Elector continued, and Wolfgang sought to enlighten his father concerning Cannabich's intentions and behaviour (November 29, 1777):—

In the afternoon (after the first interview with Savioli) I was at Cannabich's, and, as it was by his advice that I had gone to the Count, he asked me whether I had been. I told him all. He said, "I should be very glad if you remained with us all winter; but it would be still better if you could take service here altogether. I said, "I could wish for nothing better than to be always with you, but I do not see how that is possible. You have two kapellmeisters already, and I could not consent to come after Vogler." "Nor need you," said he; "no musician here is under the kapellmeister, nor even under the manager. The MANNHEIM. [396] Elector could appoint you his chamber composer. Just wait a little; I will speak to the Count about it." The following Thursday was the state concert; when the Count saw me he apologised for not having spoken, but said he was waiting for Monday, when the Court would be over. I let three days pass, and then, as I heard nothing, I went to inquire. He said, "My dear Mons. Mozart [this was Friday, that is, yesterday], to-day the Elector went hunting, and I could not possibly ask him; but to-morrow at this time you shall certainly have an answer."

I begged him not to forget. Truth to tell, I was a little annoyed when I came away, and I determined to take my easiest six variations on the Fischer minuet (179 K.)—I had already copied them out for the purpose—to the young Count, that I might have an opportunity of speaking to the Elector myself. When I brought them the governess could not contain her delight. I was politely received; when I produced the variations and said they were for the young Count, she said, "O, you are very good; but have you nothing for the Countess?" "Not at present," said I; "but, if I remain here long enough, I shall"—"A propos," she said, "I am glad that you are to remain the winter here." "Indeed!

I did not know"—"That is curious. I am surprised. The Elector told me himself." "Well, if he has said it, I suppose it is so; for of course my staying here depends on the Elector." I then told her the whole story. We agreed that I should come to-morrow at four o'clock, and bring something for the Countess. She would speak to the Elector before I came, and I should meet him there. I have been to-day, but he had not been there. I will go again to-morrow. I have a rondo for the Countess. Now, have I not reason enough to remain here and await the issue? Ought I to leave now that so important a step is taken? I have an opportunity of speaking to the Elector myself. I think I shall probably remain the winter here, for the Elector likes me, thinks much of me, and knows what I can do. I hope to be able to give you good news in my next letter. I beg you again not to sorrow or rejoice about it too soon, and to tell the affair to no one but Herr Bullinger and my sister.

But the affair was not so easily settled; in his next letter (December 3, 1777) Wolfgang could only tell his father of the many incidents which seemed to promise a good result:—

Last Monday, after three successive attempts morning and afternoon, I was fortunate enough to meet with the Elector. We all thought that our trouble was again in vain, for it was getting late; but at last we saw him coming. The governess at once placed the Countess at the clavier, and I sat near her, giving her a lesson: the Elector saw us so when he entered. We stood up, but he told us to continue. When she had finished playing, the governess remarked that I had written a charming rondo for her. I played it, and he was highly pleased. Then he asked, HOPES OF SERVICE AT MANNHEIM. [397] "But will she be able to learn it?" "O yes," said I, "I only wish that I could have the happiness of teaching it to her myself." He took snuff and said, "I should like it, but would it not do her harm to have two masters?" "Oh, no, your highness, it only signifies whether she has a good or a bad one. I hope your highness would have no doubt—will have confidence in me." "Oh, certainly," said he. Then the governess said, "M. Mozart has also written variations on Fischer's minuet for the young Count. I played them, and he was again very pleased. Then he began to play with the children, and I thanked him for the presentation watch. He said, "Well, I will think about it. How long shall you remain here?" "As long as your highness commands. I have no engagement elsewhere." And that was all. This morning I was there again, and was told that the Elector had said several times last night that Mozart would remain all winter. Now that it has gone so far I must wait. To-day I dined at Wendling's for the fourth time. Before dinner, Count Savioli came in with the kapellmeister Schweitzer, who arrived yesterday. Savioli said co me, "I have spoken several times to the Elector, but he has not yet made up his mind." I told him I should like to say a word to him, and we went to the window. I told him the doubts of the Elector, complained of being kept waiting so long, and begged him to induce the Elector to engage me; only I feared, I said, that he would offer me so little that I should not be able to remain. Let him give me work: I wanted work. He promised to do as I asked—it may be this evening, since he does not go to court to-day; but to-morrow he has promised me a decided answer. Now, let what may happen, I shall be content. If he does not keep me, I shall ask for a parting gift, for I do not intend to make the Elector a present of the rondo and the variations. I assure you I take the affair quite composedly, knowing that all will be for the best, as, come what may, I have resigned myself to the will of God.

But for several days yet no answer could be obtained from the Elector except a shrug of the shoulders, and "I have not made up my mind." At last Mozart was able to acquaint his father with the result of all these negotiations; it was such as L. Mozart had expected from the first (December 10, 1777):—

There is nothing to be done with the Elector at present. The day before yesterday I went to the concert at court to get my answer. Count Savioli avoided me as long as he could, but I went up to him, and when he saw me he shrugged his shoulders. "What!" said I, "no answer yet?" "A thousand pardons," said he; "but, unfortunately, nothing can be done." "Eh bien!" I answered, "the Elector might have told me that sooner." "Yes," said he, "he would not have made up his MANNHEIM. [398] mind now if I had not urged him to it, and represented to him how long you had been waiting already, and spending your money at the hotel." "That annoys me most of all," I answered; "it is not at all well done. But I am exceedingly obliged to you, Count (he is not called Excellency), for your endeavours on my behalf, and I shall be obliged if you will thank the Elector in my name for his gracious, though somewhat tardy, intelligence, and assure him that, if it had pleased him to engage me, he would not have repented doing so." "O," said he, "I am more sure of that than you believe."

The unexpected turn of affairs made quite as unpleasant an impression upon the Mannheim circle of friends as upon Mozart. He went at once to Cannabich's, and he being out hunting, related the whole story to his wife:—

When Mdlle. Rose—who was three rooms off and busied with the linen—had finished, she came in and said to me, "Is it your pleasure that we begin?" for it was time for a lesson. "I am at your service," said I. "We will have a good steady lesson to-day," said she. "We will indeed," I answered, "for it will not last much longer." "How so? Why?" She went to her mamma, who told her. "What!" said she, "is it really true? I do not believe it." "Yes, yes; quite true," said I. She played my sonata through quite seriously; believe me, I could not refrain from weeping; and before it was ended there were tears in the eyes of the mother and daughter, and of Herr Schatzmeister, who was present, for the sonata was a favourite with the whole house. "You see," said Schatzmeister, "when Herr Kapellmeister [they always call me so] goes away, he makes us all cry." I must say that I have made good friends here, and one learns to know them under such circumstances.

Wendling was specially concerned at the intelligence; when Mozart communicated it he grew "quite red," and said very hastily, "We must find some way of keeping you here, at all events for the two months before we go to Paris together." When Wolfgang went to dine with him next day he made him what seemed a very satisfactory proposal. A Dutchman (Dejean or Dechamps) nicknamed the Nabob, who lived on his means, and had been a friend and admirer of Wolfgang, offered to give him 200 florins for three short and easy concertos and two quartets for the flute; then Cannabich would guarantee at least two well-paying pupils, and Mozart was to have duets for clavier and violin printed by subscription. Wendling offered him board, and he could L. MOZART'S ANXIETIES. [399] have free quarters at the house of the chamberlain Serrarius. Mozart was rejoiced at the prospect of being able to remain in Mannheim, and thought he should have enough to do for all winter in composing three concertos, two quartets, four or six clavier duets, besides a grand mass, which he intended to present to the Elector. The following day he set himself to find small, cheap lodgings for his mother, which was not an easy matter.

It was a satisfaction to Wolfgang's father, who was not surprised that Wendling should seek to retain so excellent a fourth party for the expedition to Paris, to have the state of affairs laid clearly before him. He stipulated only that the journey should not take place during the cold of winter, and thought the plan feasible, provided the Dutchman could be relied on; if not, they must at once proceed to Mayence. But on no account were the mother and son to separate. "As long as your mother remains, you must remain with her," he writes (December 18, 1777); "you must not think of leaving your mother to the care of others as long as you and she can be together." The small difference in rent was not worth considering, and it was impossible for her to go home at present. "Be most careful to remain with your mother and care for her, even as she has cared for you." It was not only physical care that he had in his mind, but watchfulness over his son's moral and religious behaviour. He expresses some anxiety on these points (December 15).

Let me ask you whether Wolfgang has not forgotten to go to confession lately? God before everything! From Him alone can we expect earthly happiness and eternal safety. Young people are apt to be impatient when told this; I know it, for I have been young myself; but, God be praised, I never failed to come to myself in time after any youthful folly, to flee from all danger to my soul, and to keep God and my honour, and the dangerous consequences of sin, always before my eyes.

His wife reassured him by saying that Wolfgang had confessed at the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and that they had heard mass regularly on Sundays, though not always on week-days. Wolfgang justified himself, not without a touch of irritability (December 20, 1777):—


I have written that your last letter gave me great pleasure, and that is true; but one part of it vexed me a little—the question whether I had not somewhat neglected confession. I have nothing to reply to this, except to make you one request, which is—not to think so ill of me again. I am fond of fun, but be assured that I can be serious on occasion. Since I left Salzburg (and even before) I have met with people whose speech and actions I should have been ashamed to imitate, although they were ten, twenty, or thirty years older than myself; so I beg you earnestly to have a better opinion of me.

Under these circumstances, the offer of Serrarius to afford lodging, firing, and light to both mother and son, came very opportunely; Wolfgang was to give lessons to his daughter in return. The mother was especially pleased at the change, having been somewhat lonely at the hotel during Wolfgang's long absences. They had good beds, careful attendance, and she supped and spent the evenings with her hostess, chatting with her often until eleven o'clock. Wolfgang does not seem to have been particularly struck with the talent of the daughter of the house, Theresa Pierron, who had played the clavier since she was eight years old; he seldom mentions the "house nymph." Nevertheless, she practised one of his concertos, and performed it at a large musical party at home; and afterwards she played the third and easiest of his concertos for three claviers at a concert. Before his departure from Mannheim he composed (March 11, 1778) a clavier sonata with violin accompaniment for her (296 K.). He gave lessons in composition to young Danner, in return for which his mother dined there every day; he himself boarded at Wendling's. "Wolfgang," writes his mother, "has so much to do with composing and giving lessons that he has no time to pay visits to anybody. So you see that we can comfortably stay here during the winter; and it is all Herr Wendling's doing; he loves Wolfgang as his own son." Wolfgang himself gives his father the following account of his daily life (December 20, 1777):—

We cannot rise before eight o'clock, for our room, being on the ground-floor, is not light until half-past eight. Then I dress quickly; at ten o'clock I set to work composing until twelve or half-past; then I go to Wendling's and write a little more until half-past one, when we dine. At three, I go to give lessons in gallantry and thorough-bass to a Dutch SCHWEITZER'S "ROSAMUNDE." [401] officer (De la Potrie), for which, if I do not mistake, I shall have four ducats for twelve lessons. At four I return home to give a lesson to the daughter of the house: but we never begin before half-past four, because we are waiting for lights. At six I go to Cannabich's and teach Mdlle. Rose; I stay there to supper, and then we talk or play a little, or some-times I take a book out of my pocket and read, as I used to do at Salzburg.

His mother had reason to say that Wolfgang was so busy he did not know which way to turn; and she might well add that her husband could not conceive how highly Wolfgang was esteemed for his music and other things, so that every one said that he had not his equal, and his compositions were literally idolised. At the same time the father is informed that Wolfgang's beard has to be removed; and on his question as to whether it has been cut, burnt, or shaved off, the answer is duly given: "The beard has not been shaved yet, only cut with scissors; but it cannot be done so any more, and next time the barber must be called in."

The great musical event which was engrossing public attention at this time was the approaching production of Wieland and Schweitzer's "Rosamunde."

As the result of flattering overtures made to him during the summer of 1776, 85 Wieland set to work on his text in the spring of 1777. 86 The subject—a curious one to choose for Mannheim, where the Elector had many Rosamunds, and the Electress took little pains to conceal her chagrin thereat (facts of which Wieland had no suspicion) 87 —inspired him with the greatest enthusiasm. This caused him to be all the more unpleasantly surprised when Jacobi and Goethe declared the opera a failure, and the minister Hompesch pressed for a revision of the last act. He wished to withdraw it altogether, although Schweitzer had already composed three acts of great beauty; but Hompesch would on no account consent to this, and he was obliged to undertake the revision. 88