Mozart at the pianoforteA Minor Correction to "The Mozart Compendium"

by T.L. Hubeart Jr.


© 1996 by T.L. Hubeart Jr.

In my opinion, the most useful single volume about Mozart in print is without question The Mozart Compendium: A Guide to Mozart's Life and Music (NY: Schirmer, 1991), edited by H.C. Robbins Landon, which brings together the work of a host of music scholars on nearly every conceivable facet of the composer's life and output. Not only are the historical times in which he lived, the origins of his musical style, and his family and friends (among other topics) treated in detail, but there is a vast and valuable catalog of Mozart's works, more detailed than the work list in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians was able to be for reasons of space limitations. I have quite literally thumbed my copy of The Mozart Compendium to pieces; the binding has cracked and released a healthy chunk of the book, which I have to keep thrusting back into place! If you plan on buying only one book about Mozart, this ought to be the book.

Of course, in an undertaking as vast as this one, it is only to be expected that a couple of minor errors would show up despite the diligent care of its contributors. In the course of some research I did for a planned musical project, I needed to investigate the piano cadenzas of Mozart, specifically those not related to his own concerti. These cadenzas were collectively given the number K. 626aII, items "D" through "O," in the sixth edition (1964) of the standard Koechel Catalogue of Mozart. My interest was piqued in them by the following entry in The Mozart Compendium, p. 339:

K. 624 (626aII, D-O, see below)
Cadenzas for keyboard concertos by other composers
NMA X:28/2
H, D (Anh.61a), F-G, for J.S. Schroeter's op. 3 nos. 1, 4, 6, respectively
K for concerto in D major by I. von Beecke
N, O for unidentified concerto
L lost
E (Anh. C 15.10) unauthentic
I (Anh. C 15.11) fragmentarily surviving prelude; c. 1777 (NMA IX:27/ii)

The cadenzas numbered K. 626aII, "N" and "O," seemed most promising for my research, especially as they were said to involve a still-unidentified concerto. I checked The New Grove Mozart (i.e., the article and work list from New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, published as a separate volume) and found much the same information as in the Compendium.

A check of the copy of Koechel's catalogue at my local library (the so-called "7th edition" of 1965, which I understand is essentially a mere reprint of Koechel-6 of 1964) proved it to be the source of the New Grove and Compendium information. Here I found that the cadenzas "N" and "O," which were not in the important third edition of Koechel revised by Alfred Einstein (1937), appeared in facsimile in the Mozart Jahrbuch for 1956, and that the autograph for both resides at Milan's Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi. Koechel affirmed the two cadenzas in question to belong to "eines unbekannten Klavierkonzerts C-dur" ("an unknown piano concerto in C").

It was only when I moved on to trying to find the music itself that I encountered difficulties. The New Grove Mozart gave no listing whatsoever for the relevant volume of the Neue Mozart Ausgabe ("NMA" for short), the new standard complete edition of Mozart's works. As seen above, the Compendium gave a general volume reference for the NMA, "X:28/2," but I could not find the relevant Koechel numbers in the online library catalog listings for this NMA volume. There was said to be a section in it entitled "Kadenzen Mozarts zu fremden Klavierkonzerten" ("Mozart's cadenzas to others' piano concertos"), but there seemed to be nothing in that section corresponding to the "unknown concerto" cadenzas that I sought.

Nevertheless, I requested the volume through interlibrary loan. When I received it and reviewed the music, there was another surprise. The two cadenzas I wanted (pp. 229-30), although not designated by their Koechel-6 numbers (NMA goes by Koechel-3, and as said before these cadenzas were unknown at the time Koechel-3 was compiled), were clearly recognizable from the incipits provided by Koechel-7. But they were entitled,

"Zwei Kadenzen zum ersten und zweiten Satz eines Klavierkonzerts von Johann Samuel Schroeter (op. III, 3)[;] KV3: deest"

("Two cadenzas to the first and second movements of a piano concerto by Johann Samuel Schroeter, op. 3, no. 3; Koechel-3: unlisted").

Perhaps there was some mistake in NMA here, I thought, or at least an area of potential dispute, since my other sources unanimously considered these cadenzas unattached to any known concerto. Furthermore, I reasoned that, since other cadenzas had been identified as belonging to other Schroeter op. 3 concertos by these same sources, it would be unlikely that these sources would not acknowledge a link between Schroeter and cadenzas "N" and "O" if said link really existed.

After this, there was nothing to do but consult Schroeter's op.3, no. 3, to verify NMA's statement on the matter. Through the kindness of a friend, I was able to consult a copy of this concerto as it appears in The German Keyboard Concerto After J.S. Bach, edited by Kenneth Cooper (NY: Garland Publishing, 1990). The identification made by NMA is unmistakable; cadenza "N" begins with the secondary theme found at bar 18ff. of Schoreter's opening Allegro, while cadenza "O" elaborates on the initial theme of the middle movement, Grazioso. How then was it possible for three respected sources--the Koechel catalogue, the New Grove Mozart, and the Compendium--to have missed this connection, but recognized that other Mozart cadenzas tied in to Schroeter works?

In answering this, it should be noticed that none of the other four cadenzas associated with Schroeter concertos exists today in more than fragmentary form. Cadenza "D," belonging to op. 3 no. 4, is the most complete at 17 bars, but obviously lacks its conclusion. For cadenzas "F," "G," and "H," the autograph (all three were on a single sheet) seems to have been lost subsequent to the publication of Einstein's 1937 revision of Koechel (Koechel-3); NMA is forced to cite the incipits from Einstein in lieu of the lost cadenzas. It would seem that the identifications of these cadenzas stem from Einstein--indeed, to a certain extent we have to take his word for the identifications, since not much is left of the music (especially in the case of "H," for which the incipit consists of little more than arpeggiated figurations). Einstein died in 1952, and cadenzas "N" and "O" appeared on the scene in the Mozart Jahrbuch of 1956; it is not hard to imagine that, had the discovery of these cadenzas occurred before his passing, they would have been quickly linked with Schroeter's op. 3 also. As it stood, however, they were identified by Walter Gerstenberg and Eduard Reeser in their 1964 NMA volume containing these cadenzas (X:28/2), already referenced.

It is easy to imagine how Koechel-6, published the same year as this NMA volume, could have gone to press before it was possible to integrate this news into its pages. And, since Koechel-6 became something of a standard for Mozart scholars, one can understand how its obsolescent information on this item made its way into New Grove, especially as the cadenzas in question were of minor importance. Also, the fact that NMA was bound by its editorial policy of using Koechel-3's numbers, meaning that K. 626aII "N" and "O" were not designated as such in its pages, may have obscured identification of these pieces by the editors of the New Grove work list. And since some portions of The Mozart Compendium's work lists drew upon those in New Grove (this can be determined by comparison, especially of their respective "Arrangements" sections), the error was taken over from the latter work into the former.

Thus I would suggest the following emendation to The Mozart Compendium's listing of these items:

K. 624 (626aII, D-O, see below)
Cadenzas for keyboard concertos by other composers
NMA X:28/2

For Schroeter's Op. 3 concerti:
Cadenza D (Anh. 61a), fragmentary, for no. 4
Cadenzas F & G, fragmentary, for no. 6
Cadenza H, fragmentary, for no. 1
Cadenzas N & O, for no. 3
(These cadenzas conjecturally dated "Summer 1779" by NMA)

K for concerto in D major by I. von Beecke (NMA: "Summer 1773?")
L lost (two cadenzas; may be identical to K. 626aII, C [cadenza for K. 40] and K, according to Dr. Wolfgang Plath, as cited by Koechel-6)
E (Anh. C 15.10) unauthentic
I (Anh. C 15.11) fragmentarily surviving prelude; c. 1777 (NMA IX:27/ii)
Koechel deest (NMA X/28:2, p. 227), for an unknown concerto in D (NMA: "1767?").

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