Item #2848 Requiem in D Minor [Mozart’s Requiem Mass]. WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART.
Requiem in D Minor [Mozart’s Requiem Mass]
Requiem in D Minor [Mozart’s Requiem Mass]
Requiem in D Minor [Mozart’s Requiem Mass]
Requiem in D Minor [Mozart’s Requiem Mass]
Requiem in D Minor [Mozart’s Requiem Mass]
Requiem in D Minor [Mozart’s Requiem Mass]
Requiem in D Minor [Mozart’s Requiem Mass]
Requiem in D Minor [Mozart’s Requiem Mass]
Requiem in D Minor [Mozart’s Requiem Mass]

Requiem in D Minor [Mozart’s Requiem Mass]

“Even though it had to be completed by his contemporaries, the circumstances of the composition, combined with Mozart’s genius, make it no ordinary piece of music. It has the drama and humanity of his stage masterpieces. His operas wrestle with the beauty and complexity of being alive in the same way his Requiem grapples with the mystery of death. Composed by a man on the edge of consciousness, Mozart willed his last creation into life with his final breaths.” –Annilese Miskimmon, The Guardian

BEAUTIFUL EARLY (1804) MANUSCRIPT OF ONE OF MOZART’S CROWNING ACHIEVEMENTS, IN THE HAND OF ONE OF HIS STUDENTS. WITH SECTIONS IDENTIFIED AS MOZART’S OR SÜSSMAYR’S AND WITH NOTABLE PROVENANCE.

A full score, with dynamic markings, bowing, and fully figured bass for the organ. A very intriguing manuscript - with connections to a major publishing house and possibly used as a fair copy for printing. In the hand of Mozart's student, Otto Hatwig.

The history of Mozart’s majestic Requiem Mass is one shrouded in mystery. It was commissioned in 1791 by Count Franz von Walsegg-Stuppach to commemorate the anniversary of the death of his wife. The count fancied himself to be a talented composer and had a habit of passing off other people’s work as his own – in the case of the requiem for his wife, he insisted that Mozart not make copies of the score and even to keep his involvement secret.

By 1791, however, Mozart’s health was in severe decline and he could only work on the requiem intermittently. Believing he was close to death, Mozart had premonitions (at least according to his wife, Contanze) that he was writing the requiem for his own funeral. When he did pass away on December 1791, Mozart left the requiem unfinished. In a poetic twist of fate, some of the (unfinished) requiem was indeed played at a funeral ceremony for Mozart only five days after his death.

Over the next few months Mozart’s widow Constanze scrambled to find composers to complete the requiem - she was not doing well financially and desperately needed the full commission from the count. A completed score was indeed delivered to the count in March 1792 and later performed at a ceremony for the count’s deceased wife, with the count taking credit for the composition.

Ultimately the truth was revealed that the requiem was substantially the work of Mozart, but completed with help from others, most notably the Austrian composer Franz Xaver Süssmayr. Centuries of musical scholarship, however, have not definitely proven which parts are Süssmayr’s and which part Mozart’s, making any early manuscript versions of historical importance and in this manuscript, dated 1804 at the end, sections are labeled in a contemporary hand “Mo:” for Mozart, or “Süs:” for Süssmayr.

Süssmayr, incidentally, died in September 1803, just before this manuscript was completed.

Provenance:

The manuscript was clearly held in high regard since its creation. The binding is stamped “F. Placho” at the bottom right of the front board. The Placho family was closely connected to major Austrian music publisher Ignaz Pleyel (1757-1831). (Pleyel’s stepmother was Maria Anna Placho.) Pleyel's publishing firm (“Maison Pleyel”) published approximately 4000 works over its 39 years in business, including works by Mozart.

On the title page is the crossed out signature of Otto Hatvig [Hatwig], who was also the manuscript's scribe. Hatwig was a bassist, bassonist, conductor, and collector of musical manuscripts. (There are records of him having sold other Mozart manuscripts in the 1830s.) Hatwig was one of Mozart's students and is documented as having been part of Mozart's funeral procession along with Süssmayr. (See: Christoph Wolff, Mozart's Requiem: Historical and Analytical Studies, 1994, p.4.)

There is also an early or contemporary inscription on the title page from what appears to be a “Franz Friebes, Kappellmeister” attesting that he is the legimate owner of the manuscript.

There is a stamp on the front free endpaper (likely Placho’s) and a “K.K. Österreichische Scheidemünze" stamp on the verso of the title page and a later page (51v), the same stamp identifying Austrian coins of the nineteenth century.

In the twentieth century, the manuscript was owned by the celebrated American soprano, Broadway star, and movie actress, Mary Willie “Grace” Moore (1898 - 1947). Moore was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in One Night of Love. Acquired from the Moore family.

Oblong quarto (8 3/4 x 11 3/4 in); contemporary (almost certainly original) black boards with leather spine. 93 numbered leaves (186 pages). Small engraving of Mozart affixed to title page; old bookseller’s description affixed to verso of front free endpaper. Binding with some wear, particularly at edges; upper joint strengthened. Text clean and legible. Housed in custom box.

A FASCINATING MANUSCRIPT IN THE HAND OF ONE OF MOZART'S STUDENTS OF ONE OF THE MONUMENTS OF THE WESTERN CANON.

Price: $35,000 .