Lot #714
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Extraordinary letter by Mozart, requesting “the Quartet in g minor, the Sonata in Eb and the New Trio in g”
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Extraordinary letter by Mozart, requesting “the Quartet in g minor, the Sonata in Eb and the New Trio in g”

ANS in German, signed “Mozart,” one page, 13 x 5, no date but likely circa July–August 1786. Letter to his close friend, the great Austrian botanist Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin, asking him to return three musical scores by way of messenger. In full (translated): “I ask you to send me by the bearer of this, the Quartet in g minor, the Sonata in Eb and the ‘New Trio in g.’” Addressed on the reverse in another hand, “A Monsieur, Monsieur de Jacquin, Professeur de Botanique, a Vienne” [now not visible due to framing; image provided by consignor]. Archivally mounted, matted, and framed to an overall size of 21 x 12.5. Intersecting folds, light foxing, and irregularly trimmed edges, otherwise fine condition.

The pieces Mozart refers to are his Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor (K.478, 1785), Violin Sonata No. 33 in E-flat major (K.481, 1785), and Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in G Major (K.496, 1786). This last ‘new trio in g’ was completed on July 8, 1786, and thus this letter probably dates to shortly thereafter. While K.478 was published as early as December 1785, the other two would see publication in 1786; the edition of Mozart’s ‘Briefe und Aufzeichnungen’ by Bauer and Deutsch hypothesizes that the composer required the latter two works in order to prepare them for publication, possibly to have them engraved by Hoffmann or to make final corrections before going to press. However, Mozart is known to have written to the Prince of Furstenberg on August 8, 1786, offering him a number of compositions including these three clustered together at the end of his list. Thus, Mozart’s request would appear to be in connection with his plans of offering them to the Donaueschingen court. Mozart letters are among the most sought after of all musical autographs, and with such specificity concerning his own compositions this is a truly outstanding example. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
  • Dates: September 29 - October 14

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