Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/416

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404

��MOZART.

��to explain its origin. Schikaneder, at his little theatre in the Wieden suburb, had produced with great success a romantic comic opera after Wieland, ' Oberon, Konig der Elfen,' set by Paul Wranitzky. Encouraged by this success he had a second libretto constructed upon a fairy- tale, 'Lulu, oder die Zauberflote,' from Wieland's ' Dschinnistan.' Just as it was ready he found that the same subject had been adapted by an actor named Perinet for the theatre in the Leo- poldstadt of Vienna, under the title ' Kaspar der Fagottist, oder die Zauberzither,' with music by Wenzl Mtiller. He therefore remodelled his materials, introduced sympathetic allusions to the Freemasons, who were just then being hardly treated by the government, added the parts of Papageno and Papagena, and laid claim to the entire authorship. Such was the origin of this patchwork libretto, which, with all its contra- dictions, improbabilities, and even vulgarity, is undeniably adapted for the stage. Schikaneder knew how to gain the attention of an audience by accumulating and varying his stage effects. In proof of this we have not only the long run of the opera itself, but the testimony of ' Goethe, who, while acknowledging that it was full of indefensible improbabilities, added, 'in spite of all, however, it must be acknowledged that the author had the most perfect knowledge of the art of contrast, and a wonderful knack of intro- ducing stage effects.' It is well known that Goethe contemplated a continuation of the li- bretto, and entered into an agreement with Wranitzky on the subject in 1 796.* Beethoven s declared it to be Mozart's greatest work that in which he showed himself for the first time a truly German composer, and Schindler * adds that his reason for estimating it so highly was, that in it were to be found specimens of nearly every species of music from the lied to the chorale and fugue. Jahn (ii. 533) thus concludes his critique : ' The Zauberflb'te has a special and most important position among Mozart's operas ; the whole musical conception is pure Ger- man ; and here for the first time German opera makes free and skilful use of all the elements of finished art. If in his Italian operas he assimi- lated the traditions of a long period of develop- ment, and in some sense put the finishing stroke to it, with the Zauberflote Mozart treads on the threshold of the future, and unlocks for his countrymen the sacred treasure of natural art.'

We append a list of Mozart's operas, in the order in which they were first performed in London. 5

��La Clemenza d! Tito/ 1808, March 27, King s Theatre; for Mrs. Bllllngton's benefit, 'ably (up- ported by Mr. Braham.' (1812, March S, Catalanl appeared as Vitellla, and Big. Tramezzanl as Beitus.)

1 Cosi fan tutte,' 1811, May 9,

��' II Flanto magi co, ' 1811, Jane t ; King's Theatre; Signer Naldl'i benefit.

Le Nozze dl Figaro,' 1812. June 18, King's Theatre ; In aid of the funds of the Scottish Hospital. Among the performers were Cata- lanl, Mrs. Dickons, Slg. Naldl, and

��King's Theatre j for the benefit of , Fischer. It was a decided success, Mme. Bertlnottl Badlcatl. I further Increased on Its revival In

1 Eckenhann'i 'Gespritche mlt Goethe, 1 111. 17. > Orpheus, Mus. Taschenbnch, 1841, p. 252.

  • Seyfried, Beethoven's Studlen, Anhang, p. 31.

Biographic, 11. 164, 322.

  • ruhl, ' Mozart In London.' pp. 145-151.

��MOZART.

1817 (Feb. 1) under Ayrton. with a lated. Performed In Italian at

��powerful cast. Don Giovanni,' 1817, April 12,

��Her Majesty's June 30, 1866.

Der Schauspieldirector,' 1861; music given at Crystal Palace

��King's Theatre. Extraordinary

success. 'summer concert, In Italian. Also

1 The Seraglio ' (Entfahrung aus In English (Sept 18, 1877) In the dem Serail '), 1827. NOT. 24, Covent ! Crystal Palace Theatre as ' Ths Garden. Music and libretto mutl- 1 Manager.'

Mozart's likeness has been preserved in every form and variety of portrait ; only a few need be specified, (i) The earliest, an oil-painting to the knee, taken in Vienna in 1762, represents him in the Archduke Maximilian's gold-laced court suit, given him by the Empress. (2) In the small family picture, painted by Carmontelle iu Paris in 1763, Mozart is sitting at the harpsi- chord, with his sister by his side, and his father standing behind him playing the violin. This- drawing is now in the possession of Mrs. Baring of London. It was engraved by Delafosse, and was reproduced in coloured facsimile by Gou- pil's Photogravure process for Colnaghi & Co., London, in 1 8 79. (3) In the Museum of Versailles is a small oil-painting of the same date, crowded with figures, representing Mozart sitting at the harpsichord in the Prince de Conti's saloon. As has been mentioned, his picture was taken in i77> both in Verona and Rome. (4) In the first he is seated at the harpsichord in a crimson and gold court suit, with a diamond ring on the little finger of his right hand. Above the key-board is ' Joanni Celestini Veneti, MDLXXXIII,' and on the open music-book may be clearly deciphered what was apparently a favour- ite piece of the period. This picture, a half- length, is now in the possession of the heirs of Leopold von Sonnleithner, through whom it was discovered. The head is given in the frontis- piece of Jahn's ist vol. (5) In Pompeo Bat- toni's portrait, taken in Rome now in the pos- session of John Ella, Esq., of London the right hand holds a roll of music ; the countenance is full of life, but highly idealised ; an engraving by Adlard is given in the Record of the Mu- sical Union for 1865; in Mr. Ella's 'Musical Sketches,' vol. i, and in the second edition of Nohl's ' Mozartbriefe.' (6) Delia Croce painted a large picture of the family in 1780: Mozart and his sister are at the piano playing a duet ; the father with his violin stands at the side, and the mother's portrait hangs on the wall. A large steel-engraving from it by Blasius Hofel ia published at Salzburg. The half-lengths of Mozart and his father in Jahn's ist vol. (p. i and 564) are from this picture. (7) A half-length profile carved in box-wood by Poscb (1781), and now in the Mozarteum at Salzburg, was engraved by J. G. Mansfeld, and pub- lished by Artaria, with the inscription ' Dignum laude virum Musa vetat mori.' This, the univer- sally accepted portrait, is out of print, and Kohl's engraved copy (1793) by no means comes up to- the original. (8) During his short stay at Dres- den in 1 789, Dora Stock, the talented sister-in-law of Korner and friend of Schiller, drew him ia her own refined and spirited style. The likeness is caught with the tenderness peculiar to a woman s hand ; the outlines are correct, and

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