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  • Page extent: 674 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 1.215 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 780/.92 B
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: ML410.M9 C257 2006
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus,--1756-1791--Encyclopedias

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521856591 | ISBN-10: 0521856590)



Abel, Carl Friedrich (b. Cöthen 22 Dec. 1723; d. London 20 June 1787). German composer and viola da gamba player, resident mainly in LONDON. Abel’s father was a court musician at Cöthen alongside J. S. BACH, and Carl Friedrich may subsequently have studied with Bach in Leipzig. He left a post at the Dresden court as a result of the Seven Years War, travelling to London, where he gave his first concert on 5 April 1759. Arriving at the very start of a vogue for the latest German symphonies, Abel quickly became a major figure in London’s concert life, both as instrumentalist and composer. Though the viola da gamba was regarded as outdated, even an eccentricity, his playing was so deeply expressive that his solos were constantly in demand for over twenty years (his Adagio became a byword for heartfelt performance and a model for string players). He was also successful in nurturing the patronage of aristocrats such as the Earl of Thanet (at whose house in 1764 LEOPOLD MOZART became seriously ill); and probably in 1763 he was appointed chamber musician to the Queen. So too was J. C. BACH (whom he may have known from Germany), and on 29 February 1764 they gave their first concert together. In 1765 they joined forces in what became known as the Bach–Abel concerts, a series that ran until Bach’s death in 1782. Though closer to J. C. BACH, Mozart must have worked alongside Abel; he even copied out his symphony Op. 7 No. 6 (mistakenly attributed to Mozart in the first edition of the Köchel catalogue, K18). In E flat major, it unusually features trios for two clarinets and bassoon, a sonority Mozart favoured later in life. Abel was mainly known for his symphonies and string quartets: though not perhaps as compelling as those of J. C. BACH (Burney found a certain languor in Abel’s refinement and learning), they tap a richer vein of counterpoint and chromaticism, with slow movements often exploiting a sonorous four-part string texture.

   Mozart seems to have lost contact with Abel, whose career was largely tied up with London’s concert life for the next twenty years. A close friend of Gainsborough, Abel outlived Bach and ran the concerts in 1782; after a visit to Germany he was appointed principal composer to the Professional Concert in 1785. Mozart did not forget him entirely, however: shortly after Abel’s death in 1787, he refashioned a moto perpetuo theme from Abel’s early trio Op. 5 No. 5 in the finale of the violin sonata K526.


Adamberger, Johann Valentin (b. Rohr, Bavaria, 22 Feb. 1740; d. Vienna, 24 Aug. 1804). German tenor. Adamberger’s early career took him to Italy in 1762, where he sang under the name Adamonti, and LONDON in 1777, where he sang the title role in J. C. BACH’s La clemenza di Scipione. He was engaged at VIENNA in 1780, first at the German opera and later at the Italian opera. His roles included Orfeo in GLUCK’s Orfeo ed Euridice (1781) and Ruggiero in Sacchini’s La contadina in corte (1782); Adamberger was the original Belmonte in Mozart’s DIE ENTFüHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL (also 1782). Mozart thought highly of Adamberger while the dramatist Gebler described him as combining ‘great artistry with a marvellous voice’. In addition to Belmonte in Die Entführung, Mozart also composed for Adamberger the part of Monsieur Vogelsang in DER SCHAUSPIELDIREKTOR as well as the aria ‘Per pietà, non ricercate’, K420, the recitative and aria Misero! O sogno . . . Aura, che intorno spiri, K431, the aria ‘A te, fra tanti affanni’, K469 and possibly the tenor part in the cantata Die Maurerfreude, K471. No doubt Adamberger and Mozart were good friends: they socialized frequently and both were Freemasons and members of the lodge ‘Zur neugekrönten Hoffnung’ (‘New Crowned Hope’). Adamberger retired from the stage in 1792.


‘Adelaide Concerto’. A spurious violin concerto by H. Casadesus. See APPENDIX 1, WORKLIST

Adlgasser, Anton Cajetan (b. Inzell, Bavaria, 1 Oct. 1729; d. Salzburg, 21/2 Dec. 1777). Organist and composer. Adlgasser, who from 1744 studied at the SALZBURG Cathedral chapel house, was appointed court and cathedral organist in 1750; from 1760 he also served as organist at the Dreifaltigkeitskirche. Chiefly a composer of sacred music, Adlgasser collaborated with MICHAEL HAYDN and Mozart on the oratorio Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots (1767). A friend of the Mozart family – Leopold was a witness at all three of his weddings – Adlgasser died after suffering a stroke while performing at the cathedral. Leopold described the event in a letter of 22 December 1777. Mozart succeeded Adlgasser as court and cathedral organist in 1779.


aesthetics. Composers since the eighteenth century often have had much to say about their own compositional principles, philosophical inclinations, the influences on them, or relationships with their listeners; these matters, when added together, could provide a composite view of their aesthetics. It would be desirable, of course, to have such declarations from major eighteenth-century composers as well, and we generally believe we have this kind of statement from Mozart in his letters to his father about the composition of DIE ENTFüHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL. These letters include, among other comments, his famous remark (in a letter of 13 Oct. 1781) that ‘in an opera the poetry must absolutely be the obedient daughter of the music’, in apparent contradiction to GLUCK’s equally famous dictum that the role of music must be subordinate to poetry.

   To take this and some of Mozart’s other pronouncements about Die Entführung at face value would involve a much too naive reading of his letters. At this point in 1782 Mozart had good reason to write things that his father LEOPOLD MOZART wanted to hear. The two of them had just had a highly rancorous exchange of letters over Mozart’s departure from service in Salzburg, and possibly anticipating an even more fractious correspondence over his impending marriage plans, Mozart may have written these letters as a kind of peace offering, reviving Leopold’s long-standing enthusiasm for hearing about his son’s works. For a number of reasons these remarks about opera appear to have more to do with strategies in dealing with an overbearing father than true sentiments about composition; in fact, the time for frankness in such matters had in all probability elapsed.

   Both Mozart and his father could readily recognize that Gluck held a pre-eminent position among opera composers, but Leopold had an old grudge against Gluck dating back to the early 1760s, involving imagined plots against himself and his children, supposedly instigated by Gluck. Leopold rekindled this animosity now that Mozart lived in Vienna, and Mozart’s statement on music and poetry, contrary to Gluck’s view, could have been intended to give Leopold satisfaction. Leopold also expected Mozart to repay his financial debt to him, and a number of Mozart’s views about composition seem designed to demonstrate the soundness of his compositional principles, which would allow him to appeal to an audience and make more money than he could in Salzburg.

   In the early 1780s, JOSEPH VON SONNENFELS still exerted considerable influence on the cultural life of VIENNA, advancing a sober, moralistic approach in the old style of the ENLIGHTENMENT which undoubtedly appealed to Leopold Mozart, banishing HANSWURST from the stage and showing a strong preference for serious works devoid of comic features. One of Mozart’s first statements to his father on composing opera in Vienna accounted directly for Sonnenfels’s reforms: ‘do you really believe that I would write an opéra comique the same way as an opera seria? In an opera seria there should be less frivolity and more erudition and sensibility, as in an opera buffa there should be less of the learned and all the more frivolity and merriment . . . here [in Vienna] they correctly differentiate on this point. I definitely find in music that Hanswurst has not yet been eradicated, and in this case the French are right’ (letter of 16 June 1781). In the end these views had little bearing on Die Entführung, which not only mixed the comic and serious equally but also gave rise to another form of Hanswurst, this time in Turkish garb in the role of Osmin.

   Leopold Mozart held strong views on aesthetics, which he tried valiantly to inculcate in his son, approaches adapted not only from the leading writers of music treatises such as Johann Mattheson, C. P. E. BACH and Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg, but from his favourite literary figures as well, including Johann Christoph Gottsched, CHRISTIAN FüRCHTEGOTT GELLERT and CHRISTOPH MARTIN WIELAND. Following the lead of these writers, Leopold argued the need to adjust to the taste of the audience in any particular locale, to maintain simplicity and clarity, to serve moral goals in the old enlightened sense of promoting refinement, and to secure approbation before attempting anything more complex or challenging.

   As the gulf between father and son became greater – probably by the end of the sojourn in Paris in January 1779 it had expanded to an unbridgeable distance – Mozart became much less inclined to take any of this advice seriously. Already before reaching the age of fourteen Mozart had expressed his derision for Gellert, Leopold’s ultimate aesthetic model and one-time correspondent, with his cheeky commentary to his sister (including a pun on Gellert and gelehrt, or learned) on the poet’s death: ‘I have nothing new except that Herr gelehrt, the poet from Leipzig, died and since his death has composed no more poetry’ (letter of 26 Jan. 1770). Both siblings were no doubt relieved to be spared more moralizing from that quarter.

   Identifying the old aesthetic approaches that Mozart rejected may very well be easier than placing him within an aesthetic outlook to which he subscribed. In fact, finding the parallels between aesthetics, a branch of philosophy concerned with such things as beauty and taste or the study of the principles of art, and the products of the creative mind, can be challenging. While composers of the Enlightenment frequently saw themselves on a mission of morality or intelligibility that could be defined in specific aesthetic terms, Mozart in many respects defied that type of identification, often subverting those principles in both vocal and instrumental works.

   Aesthetic opinion in the second half of the eighteenth century had not always been kind to instrumental music, regarding vocal music as superior because of its potential to sustain rhetoric and achieve intelligibility. Even JOSEPH HAYDN took that into account when describing his own achievements in 1776, singling out his various vocal works while referring only casually to his instrumental output. We have no reason to believe that Mozart would have been interested in or bothered by this distinction.

   Similarly, some of the lively debates among certain prominent aestheticians, including Diderot, d’Alembert, Rousseau, Kant and Lessing, appear to have been of no particular interest to Mozart. In developing a theory of language, Rousseau generally confined music to a role of expressing feelings, something melody could do especially well; this relegated harmony and counterpoint to a place of insignificance since rationality lay beyond the reach of music. D’Alembert pegged music even lower in a comparison with the other arts, and Kant dropped it to the very bottom, entirely lacking, in his view, any rational or cognitive potential. Frustrated by these arguments, Lessing countered that the contrasting properties of the different arts rendered any such comparison useless. Diderot placed music highest among the arts because, he believed, the imagination can grasp and work the material of music most directly, not requiring conventional language as an intermediary. Diderot surely came closest to describing the origin and effect of Mozart’s music, and Mozart, through his friendship with Diderot’s colleague Louise d’Epinay, had perhaps even learned principles from Diderot, such as the workings of irony, which could be transferred into musical language.

   As philosophers, aestheticians do not necessarily concern themselves with the actual workings of an art such as music when formulating principles that apply to it. Kant’s categories appear to have arisen from a personal dislike of music, an annoyance that at times prevented his concentration on the serious business of philosophy. Rousseau as a practising musician stood in a better position, although that did not translate into a greater appreciation. Diderot, the most generous in his rating of music, anticipated the views of the Frühromantiker, who preferred abstraction to the definite nature of language; in the end this spoke more directly to poetry than to music. Various aspects of Mozart’s musical language, with its topoi related to dance, liturgy, carnival or nationality – to say nothing of a host of other ways in which his music could define its own contexts and associations – escaped the grasp of the philosophical writers. Even Diderot would have been astounded to discover that irony, so fundamental to his own literary style, could be generated by Mozart through purely musical means. Here the apparatus of aesthetics dissipates, as the discussion of beauty, taste, the sublime and other facets of aesthetics must give way to the same interpretative considerations as language. Mozart undoubtedly knew that statements about such things as the weighting of music and poetry in opera were pointless, and perhaps even mischievous, and therefore made them only to someone like his father for specific strategic purposes.


B. Hosler, Changing Aesthetic Views of Instrumental Music in 18th-Century Germany (Ann Arbor, 1981)

P. le Huray and J. Day, eds., Music and Aesthetics in the Eighteenth and Early-Nineteenth Centuries (Cambridge, 1981)

D. Schroeder, Mozart in Revolt: Strategies of Resistance, Mischief and Deception (New Haven and London, 1999)

‘Mozart and Late Eighteenth-Century Aesthetics’, in The Cambridge Companion to Mozart, ed. S. P. Keefe (Cambridge, 2003), 48–58

Affligio, Giuseppe (b. Naples, 16 Mar. 1722; d. Portoferraio, Elba, 23 June 1788). Theatrical impresario. Described by Casanova as having the ‘face of a gallows bird’, Affligio travelled throughout Europe as an adventurer before signing a ten-year contract, in 1767, as theatrical impresario in VIENNA. Financial crises forced him to share management of the theatres under his direction, first with Baron Bender, then with GLUCK, before he was obliged in 1770 to transfer control to a Hungarian nobleman, Count Kohary. In 1778 Affligio was arrested for forgery and in 1779 condemned to life imprisonment. It was during his tenure of the Viennese theatres in 1768 that Leopold Mozart tried unsuccessfully to secure a performance of Wolfgang’s opera LA FINTA SEMPLICE.


G. Affligio, Vita di Giuseppe Affligio, ed. G. Croll and H. Wagner (Kassel, 1977)

Casanova, Mémoires, ed. R. Abirached (Paris, 1958–60)

J.-G. Prod’homme, ‘Deux collaborateurs italiens de Gluck. Ⅱ: Giuseppe d’Affligio’, Rivista Musicale Italiana 23 (1916), 210–18

Albertarelli, Francesco (fl. 1782–99), Italian bass. He sang the title role of Don Giovanni in the first Viennese production of the opera, under the composer’s direction, on 7 May 1788. Mozart also contributed an aria for him (K541) as Don Pompeo in Anfossi’s Le gelosie fortunate (1788). Albertarelli sang in VIENNA only for the 1788–9 season; most of his career was spent in Italy, although he also visited LONDON (1791), Madrid (1792) and St Petersburg (1799). Benedetto Frizzi described him as an expressive actor and stylish singer.


J. Rice, ‘Benedetto Frizzi on Singers, Composers and Opera in Late Eighteenth-Century Italy’, Studi musicali 23 (1994), 367–93

Albrechtsberger, Johann Georg (b. Klosterneuburg, 3 Feb. 1736; d. Vienna, 7 Mar. 1809), German organist and theorist and prolific composer of both church and instrumental music. Educated at Melk Abbey and in VIENNA, Albrechtsberger was appointed second court organist in 1772 and first court organist in 1791. In 1791 he succeeded Mozart as assistant music director at St Stephen’s Cathedral; in 1793 he became Kapellmeister following the death of LEOPOLD HOFMANN. Highly regarded as a contrapuntist, Albrechtsberger was also renowned as a theorist and teacher; his pupils included HUMMEL (who had earlier studied with Mozart), BEETHOVEN and Mozart’s son, FRANZ XAVER MOZART. Mozart held Albrechtsberger in high esteem. In a letter of 16 April 1789 he wrote with reference to Johann Wilhelm Hässler: ‘He is incapable of executing a fugue properly, and does not possess a sound technique. He is thus far from being another Albrechtsberger.’ Albrechtsberger may also have counted among Mozart’s closest friends; he was probably among the few mourners to accompany the composer’s remains to the city gates on 6 December 1791.


Amicis, Anna Lucia de (b. Naples, c.1733; d. Naples, 1816). Italian soprano. Amicis’s brilliant career as a singer of opera seria included performances in her native Italy, in PARIS, Dublin, Brussels and in 1762 at the King’s Theatre, LONDON. She first met Mozart in Mainz in August 1763 and again in Naples in May 1770. Mozart wrote to his sister on 29 May 1770 that ‘De Amicis sings incomparably’ and LEOPOLD MOZART wrote to his wife on 26 December 1772 that ‘She sings and acts like an angel’. Amicis created the role of Giunia in Lucio Silla (Milan, 1772). Her last public performance was in 1779; thereafter she sang privately for several years at Naples.


André, Johann Anton (b. Offenbach, 6 Oct. 1775; d. Offenbach, 6 Apr. 1842). GERMAN composer and music publisher. Johann Anton’s father, also Johann and also a composer, mainly of singspiel, had founded a publishing house in 1774 where his son worked at least from 1795. In 1799, Johann Anton visited VIENNA, where on 8 November he signed a contract with CONSTANZE MOZART to purchase Mozart’s musical estate; most of the manuscripts were shipped to Offenbach where they were catalogued and studied. André subsequently published ‘authentic’ editions of many of Mozart’s works as well as an edition of Mozart’s own thematic catalogue. His study of the manuscripts was a landmark of early musicological endeavour, an attempt to order chronologically the manuscripts according to the characteristics of their handwriting; his pioneering methodology became a mainstay of Mozart scholarship for nearly two hundred years.


A. H. André, Zur Geschichte der Familie André (Garmisch, 1963)

U.-M. and J.-J. André, Festschrift André zum 225. Firmenjubiläum (Offenbach, 1999)

W. Matthäus, Johann André Musikverlag zu Offenbach am Main: Verlagsgeschichte und Bibliographie 1772–1800 (Tutzing, 1973)

Antretter family. Members of SALZBURG’s minor nobility. Johann Ernst von Antretter (b. Grabenstätt, Chiemsee, 9 Jan. 1718; d. Salzburg, 15 Jan. 1791) was Landschaftskanzler. His second wife was Maria Anna Elisabeth Baumgartner (b. 1730; d. 1796). Several of their children were musical, and MARIA ANNA (‘NANNERL’) MOZART was teacher to one of their daughters.

   There are two Mozart works with Antretter connections. The first is the so-called ‘Antretter-Serenade’, K185, with its march K189. It is believed to have been written as Finalmusik in 1773, at the request of the Antretters’ son Judas Thaddäus (b. 1753). Finalmusik was a genre peculiar to Salzburg, performed by university students to honour and thank their professors in August. The other work cannot be identified with certainty, but since a letter by LEOPOLD MOZART of 25 September 1777 refers to the ‘Antretterin Musik’ (feminine ending), it must have been written for a woman. It has been suggested that the divertimento K205 (with the march K290), was meant, and that it was written in 1773 to celebrate Antretter’s wife’s name day (Anne) on 26 July.


H. Schuler, Mozarts Salzburger Freunde und Bekannte (Wilhelmshaven, 1995), 202–10

Apollo et Hyacinthus, K38. By 1767, the precocious talents of the eleven-year-old Mozart were well known to the small musical community of SALZBURG. Between the return of the Mozart family to Salzburg in December 1766, following three and a half years of travel around the courts of Europe, and Wolfgang’s second trip to Vienna with his father in the following September, Mozart composed a series of compositions on a remarkable scale for one so young. They included the Passion cantata known as the Grabmusik and Mozart’s first dramatic composition, the oratorio Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots, performed at the Salzburg Residenz on Ash Wednesday. Apollo et Hyacinthus was another such composition from this time.

   Music historians in search of biographical milestones may be inclined to call Apollo et Hyacinthus Mozart’s first ‘operatic composition’ – and with some justification. It is, after all, a secular drama made up of five arias, two duets, a chorus and a trio, all connected with recitatives. That said, a modern score gives the rather misleading impression of a continuous and self-contained stage work. Apollo et Hyacinthus was in fact a contribution to a much larger theatrical spectacle – the end-of-term Latin ‘final comoedia’ staged at the grammar school of the Benedictine University in Salzburg. The custom on such school occasions was to perform short musical dramas known as ‘intermedia’ between the acts of the principal play, a convention that seems to have evolved from the earlier tradition of concluding each act with musical ‘choruses’. Thus, Mozart’s piece, interspersed between the acts of a spoken drama, was from one point of view not really an independent composition at all. On 13 May 1767, it shared the stage with a five-act tragedy by the Benedictine monk and philosophy professor Rufinius Widl (1731–98) entitled Clementia Croesi – a somewhat long-winded staging of an episode from Herodotus. Indeed, even the title of Mozart’s contribution to the entertainment (also written by Father Rufinius) – whose three parts are simply called Prologus, Chorus Ⅰ and Chorus Ⅱ – remained unknown until after the composer’s death, when his sister NANNERL MOZART entered a piece called ‘Apollo und Hyacinth’ into LEOPOLD MOZART’s ‘catalogue’ of his son’s early works. Until this time, it was not even necessary for Mozart’s composition to have a distinguishing title of its own.

   The two interlocking dramas by Widl were clearly designed to share general themes and literary motifs. The main tragedy dealt with the accidental death of the son of Croesus, King of Lydia, who was killed by a wayward spear throw by Adrastus, son of Midas, King of Phrygia. Mozart’s parallel musical ‘comedy’ (based on a story first recounted by Euripides) also concerned a tragic accidental killing, although the victim was in this case the object of Apollo’s amorous attention, the beautiful youth Hyacinth who was killed by one of Apollo’s stray discus throws (albeit with an unhelpful nudge from Apollo’s jealous rival Zephyr, the West Wind). Eventually, the grief-stricken Apollo causes a flower of incomparable beauty to grow from Hyacinth’s grave.

   Although Father Rufinius retained the outlines of this story, he evidently wanted to remove the central theme of sexual love between a man and a boy. The resulting plot is rather more convoluted, featuring two new characters: Hyacinth’s father Oebalus and his sister Melia, who is now the principal object of Apollo’s affections and Zephyr’s jealousy. After Mozart’s short D major intrada, the prologue opens with a brief exchange between Zephyr and Hyacinth confirming the youth’s attachment to Apollo and Zephyr’s envy. Soon after, King Oebalus and Melia appear, preparing a sacrifice to Apollo. The ceremony appears to take a turn for the worse, however, when a violent storm brews up, eventually destroying the altar with lightning. Oebalus fears the worst, but his son reassures him that they have done nothing to incur the wrath of Apollo. At the end of the prologue, Apollo himself appears to confirm Hyacinth’s words; he asks for evidence of Melia’s love for him and it emerges that it is only Zephyr who aroused Apollo’s anger.

   Chorus I was performed directly after the second act of the spoken drama. It begins with Melia and her father in high spirits, discussing the possibility of Melia’s marriage to Apollo – the uncommon union of a god and a mortal. Their good humour is soon dampened, however, when Zephyr arrives with bad news: as he, Apollo, and Hyacinth sported in the woods, Hyacinth was fatally struck by a discus thrown deliberately by Apollo. Immediately, Oebalus falls into a rage over the murder of his son and orders that Apollo be banished from his kingdom – a command that Zephyr (confessing his guilt in an aside to the audience, lest we believe his story about Apollo) is all too eager to execute. He wastes no time, however, in making amorous advances towards Melia, advances that she is in no mood to consider. During Zephyr’s rather inopportune proposals, Apollo suddenly appears, at once declaring his innocence and transforming the cowering Zephyr into a wind, which instantly dissolves into the air. Poor Melia, who still believes Apollo to be the murderer of her brother, now faces yet another series of unwelcome advances, this time from the amorous god.

   Chorus Ⅱ, performed before the final act of Clementia Croesi, begins with Hyacinth’s dying breaths, which he uses to describe the truth of his murder to his father. Oebalus watches his son die, finally realizing Zephyr’s guilt. There is more bad news to follow; Melia appears and informs her father that she has repelled the murderous Apollo’s advances. She soon learns the terrible truth from Oebalus, however. With Hyacinth dead and their god and protector angered, the father and daughter bemoan their unlucky fate. Yet here – at the low point of their fortunes – Apollo appears once again. Love for Hyacinth has compelled him to return and he immediately causes a wondrous profusion of flowers to rise from the beautiful youth’s grave. The god first reassures Oebalus that he will never forsake his lands and then asks for Melia’s hand in marriage for the last time. Melia gratefully accepts his offer. Although Hyacinth is dead, the kingdom will flourish eternally under the protection of Apollo.

   The singers at the first performance of Apollo et Hyacinthus were, of course, all boys from the grammar school, whose ages ranged from twelve to eighteen: none as young as the boy composer. It does not seem that Mozart spared them technical difficulties, although the nature of the cast – whose voices were presumably in different stages of development – probably accounts for certain peculiarities, such as the unusually low alto parts for Apollo and Zephyr. The parts of Melia and Hyacinth are given to sopranos, and Oebalus to a tenor. The two high priests of Apollo, who add to the GLUCK-like sacrificial chorus (with Oebalus’s solo) that opens the piece, are basses – just about possible, at ages sixteen and eighteen.

   Most of the arias aim to crystallize a particular emotional state triggered by events that take place in the recitatives; the majority are da capo arias, which repeat the text and music from an A section immediately after a contrasting B section. Occasionally, Mozart curtails or removes the repeat altogether, however – for example, in Apollo’s short E major aria that concludes the prologue, which ends with the opening instrumental ritornello but no text repetition. Perhaps the most impressive numbers, from the point of view of the young Mozart’s handling of the instrumental and vocal forces involved, as well as his attention to their dramatic function, feature multiple characters. The moving C major duet for the grieving Oebalus and Melia is an extraordinary through-composed movement containing some arresting orchestral effects, such as the muted first violins, under which the rest of the strings play pizzicato. The scene that opens Chorus Ⅱ, in which Hyacinth dies in the presence of his father, is a strong piece of musical drama and the first example of accompanied recitative in all of Mozart’s music. It shows, perhaps more than any other part of this short drama, how soon the eleven-year-old composer had absorbed the myriad techniques of eighteenth-century dramatic composition.


R. Freeman, ‘The Applausus Musicus, or Singgedicht: A Neglected Genre of Eighteenth- Century Musical Theatre’, in Music in Eighteenth-Century Austria, ed. D. W. Jones (Cambridge, 1996), 197–209

C. Gianturco, Mozart’s Early Operas (London, 1981), 37–46

Arco family. One of SALZBURG’s most illustrious noble families and keen supporters of the Mozarts. Surprisingly, there is no Mozart work known to be connected with them.

   The head of the family in Mozart’s time was Count Georg Anton Felix von Arco (b. Vienna, 24 Apr. 1705; d. Salzburg, 2 Sept. 1792). From 1786 he was court Obersthofmeister. On 17 April 1731 he married Maria Josepha Viktoria von Hardegg (b. 2 Mar. 1710; d. 31 Dec. 1775) and they had numerous children. He was known for his iron will and forceful expression. LEOPOLD MOZART described his heated reaction, in conversation with Count Starhemberg, to Mozart’s first resignation from Salzburg service (letter of 29 Dec. 1777; in the standard English translation by Anderson, the phrase ‘Well, let’s chuck it!’ is better translated as ‘What shit!’). The Mozarts always paid appropriate courtesies to the Arcos.

   For their daughter Maria Antonia, see LODRON. Their daughter Maria Anna Felicia (b. 17 Dec. 1741; d. 6 Feb. 1764) married the Bavarian ambassador to Paris, Count Maximilian van Eyck. She died while the Mozarts were staying with her during their visit to Paris in 1763–4 (Leopold’s letter of 22 Feb. 1764). Their son Joseph Adam (b. 27 Jan. 1733; d. 1802) was Bishop of Königgrätz, and helped secure Mozart’s appointment as Salzburg organist in 1778. Another son, Karl Joseph Felix (b. 9 Mar. 1743; d. 1830) was Salzburg Oberstküchenmeister. He accompanied Archbishop Colloredo to Vienna in March 1781, and was involved in Mozart’s second resignation from Salzburg service, which (according to Mozart’s letter of 9 June 1781) was decisively concluded when Arco kicked Mozart from the antechamber. The Arcos’ grandson Leopold Ferdinand (b. 19 Aug. 1764, d. 29 May 1832) became Leopold Mozart’s music pupil. See also LODRON FAMILY


R. Halliwell, The Mozart Family: Four Lives in a Social Context (Oxford, 1998)

H. Schuler, Mozarts Salzburger Freunde und Bekannte (Wilhelmshaven, 1995), 64–75

aria (It.: ‘air’, feminine noun). Term deriving from the Latin aer, meaning ‘air, atmosphere’. The early use of the term with a musical meaning (fourteenth–fifteenth century) has the sense of ‘manner, style’, as referred to a melody. During the eighteenth century, in the context of music, the term referred to a closed piece for solo voice, either independent or intended as a part of a larger work (cantata, opera, oratorio, festa teatrale etc.). ‘Aria’ (and more often its diminutive ‘arietta’) also describes the poetic texts written for a set-piece in the context of the above-mentioned genres. A somewhat archaic use of the term survived into the eighteenth century, as in the expression ‘cantare ad aria’ for ‘singing by heart’ as opposed to ‘singing from the score’. Occasionally the term has also been used in the context of instrumental music, referring generically to the ‘manner’ of the vocal aria.

   Depending on the stylistic context, the term might assume slightly different connotations and/or a more or less precise meaning. In its most generic usage, ‘aria’ describes any solo piece for voice and orchestra (rarely, versions of ‘arias’ for solo voice and keyboard accompaniment have also been transmitted). Some solo pieces, however, are described in the sources with other and more specific terms such as ‘cavata’, an abbreviaton of the expression ‘aria cavata’ (more often ‘cavatina’ during the eighteenth century), ‘rondeaux’ and ‘rondò’ (the two terms having different meanings).

  1. Aria texts

  2. The aria as a musical object and its theatrical implications

A. Aria texts

  1. The aria as a verbal text

  2. General implications of aria texts

  3. Aria texts in opera buffa and characterized as ‘buffo’

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