Mozart Letters and Documents – Online Edition

Project Status

The correspondence of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart and his family, published in print, from 1962 on, in the complete edition by Wilhelm A. Bauer and Otto Erich Deutsch, is continuously revised according to the sources. Gaps have been filled and the publication of the correspondence up to 1858, which Bauer/Deutsch (BD) had only published partially and in excerpts, is systematically continued. In addition more letters and documents of the Mozart family and on the institutional history preserved in the archives of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation will be published on a large scale. 

The texts are presented in diplomatic transcripts (html format). The Editorial Guidelines inform about editorial decisions and how they are displayed. The reproduction in html format differentiates between the original text document (in the case of letters the version the writer prepared for mailing) and annotations in the manuscript by later hands (numberings, signatures, stamps/seals, commentaries about the provenance, the writer, etc.).

A printable version of the  text body (in the case of letters including the address) without the annotations by later hands is available to users as a PDF document. 

Within the context of the systematic revision and edition of documents, the following groups of texts have been completed:

1. Letters of the Mozart Family up to 1791

1. Letters of the Mozart Family up to 1791

At the moment, the new edition of the letters covers the correspondence during the journeys of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart in the years 1769 to 1781 as well as the letters of his Viennese years from 1781 to 1791 including the travels to Prague (1787, 1791), Leipzig and Berlin (1789), as well as Frankfurt (1790). Also are available the letters by Leopold Mozart to his daughter, Maria Anna von Berchtold zu Sonnenburg, in the years 1784 to 1787.
1.1 Travel Letters

- Journey of Leopold and Wolfgang Amadé Mozart to Italy, December 1769 to March 1771 (BD 147–238)
- Journey of Leopold and Wolfgang Amadé Mozart to Italy, August to December 1771 (BD 239–260)
- Journey of Leopold and Wolfgang Amadé Mozart to Italy, October 1772 to February 1773 (BD 264–287)
- Journey of Leopold and Wolfgang Amadé Mozart to Vienna, July to September 1773 (BD 288–299)
- Journey of Leopold and Wolfgang Amadé Mozart to Munich, December 1774 to March 1775 (BD 300–318)
- Journey of Wolfgang Amadé and Maria Anna Mozart to Mannheim and Paris, September 1777 to January 1779 (BD 329–521)
- Journey of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart to Munich, November 1780 to February 1781 (BD 535–582)

The Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation holds more than three quarters of the original source material, which can therefore be displayed as a text document as well as digital facsimile. For a small number of letters the autographs are missing; in some cases, however, their texts could be reconstructed using the transcriptions made by Georg Nikolaus Nissen who had access to the originals when preparing the text for his Mozart biography in 1825 (the biography was published posthumously in 1828/1829). 

1.2 Letters of the Viennese Years of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart

- Residence in Vienna, March 1781 to December 1791 (BD 583–1200)

From this period, approximately 210 letters and documents by Mozart are preserved. The majority of about 100 letters from the moment of his arrival in Vienna in March 1781 (BD 583) to May 1783 (BD 747) are in the possession of the Foundation, thus enabling their display as text and image. Libraries and archives around the world and some private collectors hold the remainder of about 110 letters, running from June 1783 to Mozart’s death in 1791. Only transcripts can be provided for those letters not in possession of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation, but links are set to digital reproductions hosted on websites of libraries and archives whenever possible. Since the publication of the complete edition (1962–1975), several letters have been offered on the antiquarian market. A total number of 54 letters is still missing at the moment. These letters are presented according to the first edition (39) or on the basis of transcriptions (15) mostly from the 19th century.

The corpus of letters from the Vienna years can be subdivided in several groups:
- Letters from Mozart to his father Leopold Mozart (103)
- Letters from Mozart to his sister Maria Anna (Nannerl) Mozart, since 23 August 1784 married Freifrau von Berchtold zu Sonnenburg (10)
- Letters from Mozart to his wife Constanze Mozart (39)
- Letters from Mozart to the merchant and Masonic brother Michael Puchberg (21)
- Letters from Mozart to friends, colleagues, and publishers (22)
- Miscellaneous (official applications, leafs from “friendship books”, poems) (8)
- Letter from Robert May O’Reilly to Mozart (1)
- Letters from Leopold Mozart to friends, publishers, and colleagues (11)

For the majority of Mozart’s letters to his wife Constanze and to Michael Puchberg no originals exist. The texts can be presented only based on their first publication, Mozartiana: Nach aufgefundenen Handschriften herausgegeben von Gustav Nottebohm (Leipzig, 1880). This publication too is based on transcriptions; they were made by the publisher Breitkopf & Härtel using the autograph letters Constanze Mozart had sent around 1800 for a planned biography on Mozart. In the 1870-ies, Nottebohm discovered the booklet, now lost, with the transcriptions titled “Materials for the Life of Mozart, communicated by Mozart’s widow”, which he subsequently published. One has to take into account that Nottebohm intervened into the text, eliminating in particular some passages he deemed scandalous. He transcribed them, though, in his personal copy, which is preserved today at the library of the Society of Friends of the Music in Vienna.

1.3 Letters from Leopold Mozart to Maria Anna von Berchtold zu Sonnenburg from 1784 to 1787

On 23 August 1784, Maria Anna Mozart married Johann Baptist Franz von Berchtold zu Sonnenburg, Highprincely-Salzburg Councillor and Guardian of St. Gilgen. Hence, she moved to that small village, 6 hours away from Salzburg. From this moment, Leopold Mozart wrote about 130 letters to her, full of highly interesting information on Salzburg musical life, politics, daily routine, health of Maria Anna’s little son Leopold, born on 15 July 1785, and details from currently lost letters by Wolfgang Amadé Mozart. These letters by Leopold Mozart are almost for their entirety in possession of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation.

2. Letters and Documents of the Mozart Family from 1792 to 1858

In this section, letters and documents from the Mozart family held by the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation are published. Some 250 documents are currently available. These date primarily from the period after 1800; most have been only published separately or in excerpt form.

The main body consists of the letters of the Mozart family (Constanze Mozart, Georg Nikolaus Nissen, Carl Thomas Mozart, Franz Xavier Wolfgang Mozart, Sophie Haibel) dating from 1791, Wolfgang Amadé Mozart's death year, and 1858, the death year of his son, Carl Thomas Mozart.  Recipients of the letters were family members, publishers, musicians and friends. 

Another group of documents consists of third-party letters and documents relating to Mozart's legacy (his works, the biography of Georg Nikolaus Nissen, etc.). There is a smaller part in the collection of the Foundation containing official documents (including original documents from Wolfgang Amadé Mozart), as well as poems, and other material. 

3. Letters and Documents related to the history of institutions from 1841 until 1880

In this part of the project, letters and documents in possession of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation related to the history of our institution and its predecessors (Dommusikverein und Mozarteum, Internationale Mozartstiftung) until the year of foundation of the Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum in 1880 are published. The material comprises letters by musicians such as Clara Schumann, Anton Bruckner, Julius Benedict, or artists such as Anton Romako, a painter who created a Mozart painting for the so-called Magic Flute Summer-House.

4. The “Friendship Book” of Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart (1801–1812)

The Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation preserves the youth album of Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart. He received it as a gift in 1801 when he was 10 years old. He used it until 1812, when he already lived in Galicia for four years. The album contains 80 leafs, some with occasional drawings and one piece of notated music by his teacher Johann Georg Albrechtsberger. The Viennese entries give an interesting survey over the guests who attended the musical salon of Constanze Mozart at this time. 

At the moment, 1128 documents are available online.

Last Update: June 2016