Mozart's Birthplace

Mozart's Birthplace

Getreidegasse 9
A-5020 Salzburg
Get directions

Tel.: +43-662-84 43 13
Fax: +43-662-84 06 93
mozartmuseum@mozarteum.at

Opening hours

Daily: 9 am – 5.30 pm
July / Augst: until 8.30 am – 7.00 pm
(last entry 6.30 pm)

Mozart Residence

Mozart Residence

Makartplatz 8
A-5020 Salzburg
Get directions

Tel.: +43-662-874227-40
Fax: +43-662-87 42 27 83
mozartmuseum@mozarteum.at

Opening hours

Daily: 9 am – 5.30 pm
July / Augst: until 8 pm
(last entry 7.30 pm)

Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation

Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation


Schwarzstr. 26, A-5020 Salzburg
Get directions

Great Hall & Viennese Hall

Mag. Reinhard Haring
Rentals, Disposition
Tel. +43 (0) 662 889 40 22
E-Mail: haring@mozarteum.at

Bibliotheca Mozartiana

Dr. Armin Brinzing
Bibliotheca Mozartiana (Director)
Tel: +43 (0) 662 889 40 13
Fax: +43 (0) 662 889 40 50
E-Mail: brinzing@mozarteum.at

Latest News

15.09. 2015
The alleged musicological break-through regarding Maria Anna Mozart and her Music Book turns out to be none

Australian music professor Martin Jarvis caught the attention of the musical world recently with his claim of having identified the musical fair hand of Mozart’s older sister Maria Anna, called Nannerl. This seemed evidence enough for him to argue that she was heavily involved in the musical education of her younger brother, Wolfgang Amadé.

These assertions are the result of five years of research, that Jarvis, a professor at the Confucius Institute of Charles Darwin University in Sidney, claims to have undertaken with a team of experts (See: http://www.cdu.edu.au/newsroom/mozartmyster und http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/11848915/Mozarts-sister-composed-works-used-by-younger-brother.html). The proposition is solely based on the identification of a copyist called Anonymus I by Wolfgang Plath in his discussion of Nannerl’s Music Book in the New Mozart Edition: According to Jarvis Anonymus I is „likely to have been Maria Anna herself“.

This claim is totally unfounded: Anonymus I has been known by name to Mozart scholars since 1972 (identified by Ernst Hintermaier, described in greater detail by Cliff Eisen in 1991) as Joseph Richard Estlinger (1720–1791), a double-bass player at the Salzburg court, who also worked as a court copyist; Estlinger is also known to have frequently been involved in private copies for the Mozart family.

With the misleading identification of Anonymus I all of Jarvis’s further conclusions become invalid.

Background

In 1759, Leopold Mozart started to assemble a keyboard tutor for his daughter Maria Anna, then eight years old; the book remained in use until the end of the grand tour that led the Mozart Family through Western Europe between 1763 and 1766. Over time the book was filled with more than 60 keyboard pieces of progressing difficulty; Leopold also provided elements of music theory. The book was soon also used for the keyboard instruction of her younger brother Wolfgang. Nannerl’s Music Book is a vivid testimony of the musical training of Maria Anna and Wolfgang Mozart; its unique position among Salzburg keyboard books of the mid-eighteenth century results from the fact that it contains the earliest compositions of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart, mostly in Leopold’s handwriting who notated those pieces that Wolfgang improvised at the keyboard. Nannerl’s Music Book has not been preserved in its original form; since 1864 the most extensive fragment (72 pages) is housed at the Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg.

In the course of cataloguing the holdings of Salzburg Cathedral, Estlinger’s hand has been documented in numerous music manuscripts covering the period between 1760 and the late 1780s. (See http://www.kirchen.net/upload/25774_Estlinger.pdf and http://www.res.icar-us.eu/index.php?title=Estlinger,_Joseph_Richard_(1720–1791)).

Maria Anna’s handwriting, on the other hand, has been known to scholars through several copies of music that go back as far as the Mozart family’s journey through Europe between 1763 and 1766. Her somewhat untrained hand can be easily distinguished from Estlinger’s proficient copyist’s writing–and the differences between these hands cannot be explained by a working copy versus a clean copy.

It should be noted that none of the about 20 pieces that Estlinger–on Leopold’s order–entered into Nannerl’s Music Book is a composition by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; most of these pieces have been preserved in other Salzburg sources for keyboard music as well. Maria Anna Mozart herself, apparently, did not write any pieces into her music book.

In 2006 Prof. Jarvis has surprised the musical community with the equally unverified assertion that Johann Sebastian Bach’s six Suites for Violoncello Solo were in fact compositions by Anna Magdalena, the composer’s second wife.


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