‘Was soll ich die Musen…’

The first performance in Prague of “Le Nozze di Figaro” in Mozart’s presence took place on 17 January 1787, followed by a second performance on 22 January with the composer conducting. On their superb scholarly site “Mozart: New Documents”, Dexter Edge and David Black present a document dated 18 January 1787: a notice from The Oberdeutsche Staatszeitung (edited by Lorenz Hübner), stating that through a poem and two letters (one signed by the entire Prague Orchestra) Mozart was invited to come to Prague to see the “Figaro” which had already been acclaimed there a number of times in the end of 1786. Visit the site to read the excellent research in its entirety, and see the document : 

https://sites.google.com/site/mozartdocuments/documents/1787-01-18

Dexter Edge & David Black – 18 January 1787, Mozart’s invitation to Prague

“The first performances of Le nozze di Figaro in Prague took place in late autumn 1786. The precise date of the Prague premiere is unknown, but the first report on the opera in the Prager Oberpostamtzeitung on 12 Dec 1786 states that it had already been given a number of times (“einigemal”) by that point.

That same report cites a rumor that Mozart himself might come to Prague to see the production.

The new document transcribed here, from the Salzburg newspaper Oberdeutsche Staatszeitung, states that Mozart had been sent a poem and two letters, one signed by the entire Prague orchestra, inviting him to come to Prague to see the production. The content of the report closely mirrors Leopold Mozart’s letter to his daughter of 12 Jan 1787, six days earlier:

“Your brother will now be in Prague with his wife, for he wrote me that he would depart for there this past Monday [8 Jan]. His opera Le nozze di Figaro has been performed with such acclaim there, that the orchestra and a group of great connoisseurs and amateurs wrote him a letter of invitation, and sent a poem that had been written about him. I have it from your brother, and Count Starhemberg has received it from Prague. I will send it to you on the next post day. Mme. Duschek is going to Berlin, and the story that your brother will travel to England is repeatedly confirmed from Vienna, from Prague, and from Munich.”

The poem that accompanied the invitation to Prague was written by doctor and amateur actor Anton Daniel Breicha: “An Mozart bey Gelegenheit der Vorstellung der Oper le nozze di Figaro” (Dokumente, 248–49), first published as an individual sheet (a copy of which had been sent to Mozart and evidently also to Starhemberg), and subsequently printed in the anthology Blumen, Blümchen und Blätter edited by Johann Dionys John  (John 1787, 15–17).” 

Dexter Edge & David Black, eds., Mozart: New Documents, “18 January 1787 – Mozart’s invitation to Prague,” first published 13 May 2015, updated 2 Nov 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.7302/Z20P0WXJ

And here is the poem…

the-poem-that-accompanied-mozarts-invitation-to-prague-jan-1787-written-by-doctor-and-amateur-actor-anton-daniel-breicha

“Was soll ich die Musen, begeistert von Dir,  

Um Beystand beschwören? Sey Muse du mir!  

Sey Du mir des Pindus beauschende Quelle!  

Ich hört’ Dich, melodischer Denker, und priess      

Dein Schopfertalent, und in’s Wonnermeer riss

Mich bald der empfindungen mächtigste Welle.

Zwar rollen bey Deinem Getöne nicht Wald,

Nicht Felsen herbey; nicht fabelhaft hallt

Dein sprechendes Spiel dem gefrässigen Tiger.

Doch bist Du der Fühlenden Orpheus mehr,

Bist Herrscher der Seelen, Dir fröhnt das Gehör

Der Kinder, der Mädchen, der Männer, der Krieger. 

Wenn Liebe Dein schmelzendes Saitenspiel tönt,

Sucht trunken der Jüngling sein Liebchen, und stöhnt,

Und heftiger hämmert der Busen dem Liebchen.

Sie winkt den Geliebten zum Göttergenuss,

Und mit in Dein Saitenspiel lispelt ein Kuss

Von Lippen des Jünglings, von Lippen des Liebchen…” 

Anton Daniel BreichaAN MOZART, Bey Vostellung seiner Oper: Figaro. 1785.  

(Transcription from Georg Nissen’s “Biografie Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts”

 

a-d-breicha-an-mozart-blumen-blumchen-und-blatter-stat-eines-prager-musenalmanachs-prag-und-wien-1787 blumen-blumchen-und-blatter-stat-eines-prager-musenalmanachs-prag-und-wien-1787

 

blumen-blumchen-und-blutter-stat-eines-prager-musenalmanachs-prag-und-wien-1787

Blumen, Blümchen und Blätter

Stat eines Prager Musenalmanachs 

Prag und Wien, 1787 

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