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24 April 2014

Mozart Manuscripts Online

250 years ago, on 23 April 1764, the eight-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart arrived in London with his father Leopold, mother Anna Maria, and sister Maria Anna (Nannerl).  The visit formed part of an ambitious European tour, in which the Mozart children were presented as musical prodigies in public concerts and to private patrons. 

Their visit to London, which would last for 15 months, has special significance for the British Library, since Mozart may be counted as the first in an illustrious line of composers to have presented manuscripts to the Library.  This event took place during the course of the family's visit to the British Museum, in July 1765.  On that occasion, Mozart deposited a copy of his first sacred composition (and only setting of an English text), God is our Refuge, written with the assistance of his father Leopold, together with copies of two sets of keyboard sonatas published the previous year in Paris. 

Mozart, God is our Refuge, K. 20

Since that time, the Library has maintained a long tradition of collecting printed and manuscript sources for Mozart’s music, cultivated both under its previous guise as part of the British Museum and in its present incarnation as an autonomous library based at St. Pancras. 

The Library’s Mozart holdings have therefore grown apace, with items acquired individually from dealers and at auction, via the legal deposit of music published in the UK, and as part of larger collections – notably those amassed by Vincent Novello, Edward Meyerstein, and Stefan Zweig.  

The most spectacular single acquisition came in 1986, with the donation by Stefan Zweig’s heirs of his collection of musical and literary autographs, which contained among other treasures twelve Mozart manuscripts.  Most notable among these is the thematic catalogue ('Verzeichnüss aller meine Werke vom Monath febrario 1784 . . .') that Mozart maintained from 1784 till his death in 1791, in which he noted - among other details - the date, title and first few bars of music for each work.  In 2006, this rich and revealing document became the first of the Library’s Mozart sources to be digitised and was made available via the Turning the Pages website to mark the composer’s 250th anniversary.  It is also available as an e-book and via the Library's Digitised Manuscripts portal

The Library has now digitised the remaining Mozart autograph manuscripts in its collection. For ease of reference, we thought it would be helpful to provide the following classified list with a brief title or description of each work and a hyperlink (embedded in the shelfmark) to the digital images.  Unless otherwise specified, the manuscripts are full autograph scores of the respective works.

For anyone curious to explore a little further, click on the Köchel numbers for links to the relevant entries in Wikipedia (where available), where you'll also find links to public domain recordings and editions available from the Neue Mozart Ausgabe and the International Music Score Library Project.  Using these resources will make it possible to compare Mozart’s notation with various editions, or to follow the composer’s score while listening to a recording in the comfort of your own home. 


Chamber music

Minuet in F (K. 168a): Add MS 47861a, f. 10v (lower portion of divided leaf) and MS Mus. 1040, f. 1v (upper portion of divided leaf)

String Quartet in B flat (K. 172): Add MS 31749

String Quartet in D minor (K. 173), movement IV only: Zweig MS 52

String Quartet in G major (K. 387): Add MS 37763, ff. 1r-13v

String Quartet in D minor (K. 421): Add MS 37763, ff. 14r-22r

String Quartet in E flat major (K. 428): Add MS 37763, ff. 34r-44r

String Quartet in B flat major Hunt (K. 458): Add MS 37763, ff. 23r-32v

String Quartet in A major (K. 464): Add MS 37763, ff. 45r-56r

String Quartet in C major Dissonance (K. 465): Add MS 37763, ff. 57r-68r

String Quartet in D major (K. 499), Hoffmeister: Add MS 37764

String Quintet in C minor (K. 516b): Add MS 31748

String Quartet in D major (K. 575): Add MS 37765, ff. 1r-14v

String Quartet in B flat major (K. 589): Add MS 37765, ff. 29r-44v

String Quartet in D minor (K. 590): Add MS 37765, ff. 15r-28v

String Quintet in E flat (K. 614): Zweig MS 60

Adagio and Rondo in C minor/major for armonica, flute, oboe, viola and cello (K. 617): Zweig MS 61


Keyboard music (with or without accompaniment)

Minuet no. 3 and trio no. 6 of a set of dances for orchestra, arranged for piano (K. 176): Add MS 14396, f. 13r-13v

Sonata in B flat for piano duet (K. 358/186c): Add MS 14396, ff. 21v-29v

Sonata for violin and piano in F (K. 377/374e): Zweig MS 53

Rondo for keyboard and orchestra in A (K. 386), fragment: Add MS 32181, ff. 250-252

Leaf containing bar 65 to the end of the first movement of the Piano Sonata in B flat (K. 570): Add MS 47861a, ff. 13-13v


Orchestral music

March for orchestra in C (K. 408, no. 1/383e): Zweig MS 54

Concerto for horn and orchestra in E flat (K. 447): Zweig MS 55

Fugue in C minor (K. 546), in an arrangement for string orchestra: Add MS 28966

Five contredanses for flute, strings (2 violins, cello and bass) and drum (K. 609): Zweig MS 59


Vocal music

Chorus, 'God is our Refuge', K. 20: K.10.a.17.(3.)

Song ‘Das Veilchen’, for voice and piano (K. 476): Zweig MS 56

Aria ‘Non so più cosa son’ from Le nozze di Figaro (K. 492, no. 6), draft: Zweig MS 57

‘Difficile lectu mihi Mars’, three-part vocal canon (K. 559): Zweig MS 58

'O du eselhafter Peierl’, four-part vocal canon (K. 560a/559a): Zweig MS 58

Duettino ‘Deh prendi un dolce amplesso’ from La clemenza di Tito (K. 621, no. 3): Zweig MS 62



Cadenza to the second movement (Andante) of a Keyboard Concerto by Ignaz von Beecke (K. 626a, Anh. K): MS Mus. 1040, f. 10r (upper portion of divided leaf: presented here with the lower portion, Add MS 47861a)

Cadenza to the first movement (Allegro maestoso) of the Keyboard Concerto K. 40, arranged from sonata movements by Honauer, Eckard and C.P.E. Bach: Add MS 47861a, f. 10r (lower portion of divided leaf)

Recitative and aria, "Giunse alfin il momento" and "Al desio di chi t'avora" from Le nozze di Figaro (K. 492): Add MS 14396, ff. 15r-21v (copyist's score, with autograph cadenza on f. 21v)


Copies in Mozart’s hand

Georg Reutter, ‘De Profundis’, in four parts, with organ accompaniment, in score, copied by Mozart, K. 93 / Anh. A 22: Add MS 31748, f. 1

Johann Michael Haydn, Ave Maria in F (for Advent or the Annunciation), for 4 voices with basso continuo and violins (KV3 Anh. 109VI, no. 14, KV6 Anh. A 14): Add MS 41633, f. 60-63



Thematic catalogue, 'Verzeichnüss aller meine Werke vom Monath febrario 1784 . . .': Zweig MS 63

Letter to Maria Anna Thekla Mozart, 5 November 1777: Zweig MS 64

Letter to Maria Anna Thekla Mozart, 28 February 1778: Zweig MS 65

Letter to Maria Anna Thekla Mozart, 23 December 1778: Zweig MS 66

Letter to Maria Anna Thekla Mozart, 10 May [1779]: Zweig MS 67

Letter to Anton Klein; Vienna, 21 May 1785: Zweig MS 68

Contract of marriage between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Constanze Weber, 3 August 1782: Zweig MS 69