Aug 28, 2012

The Haydn Hamburger

On 26 November 1760 at Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral Joseph Haydn married Maria Anna Aloysia Apollonia Keller, third daughter of the wigmaker Johann Peter Keller.

The entry concerning Joseph Haydn's and Maria Anna Keller's wedding on 26 November 1760 at St. Stephen's Cathedral (A-Wd, Trauungsbuch Tom. 59, fol. 417v)

As a craftsman Keller was "hofbefreit", which means he had received the permission to work as a master wigmaker directly from the Imperial Court to be employed by the Court. This special status lead to Keller's relative wealth which enabled him own a house in the Viennese suburb Landstraße. As I already pointed out two years ago in my short essay "Einige Korrekturen und Ergänzungen zu Klaus Martin Kopitz' Aufsatz 'Anmerkungen und Korrekturen zu Haydns Wiener Wohnungen'", the Haydn literature is basically wrong as to where Johann Peter Keller's house was located, an error that was created by Albert Christoph Dies and Carl Ferdinand Pohl. This building, Landstraße No. 51 ("one half an acre of vinyard in front of the Stubentor on the Joÿsen", as it is described in the City's land register), was not located in the Ungargasse, as stated by Pohl, but in the Raaben Gasse (today Beatrixgasse 21). Keller and his wife owned this house from 10 September 1734 until 1766. It can be seen here on a clip from Joseph Daniel von Huber's famous 1778 map of Vienna:

Johann Peter Keller's house Landstraße No. 51 in the Raaben Gasse

A page from a Viennese land register referring to the purchase of the house Landstraße No. 51 on 10 September 1734 by Johann Peter Keller and his wife Maria Elisabeth (A-Wsa, GB 2/9, fol. 223r).

Although we have absolutely no documentation as to how Haydn made the acquaintance of his father-in-law, Pohl assumed that Haydn was introduced to the wigmaker's family by Keller's brother Georg Ignaz Keller, a musician at St. Stephen's, whom Haydn had known since his days as choirboy at the Cathedral. Georg Ignaz Keller was born around 1699 in the Bohemian town of Chlumec nad Cidlinou and came to Vienna before 1726 as an employee of the Bohemian Court Chancellor Leopold Count Kinsky, for whom he served as chamberlain and violinist. Therefore Haydn scholarship universally assumed that Haydn's father-in-law also hailed from Bohemia.

The entry concerning the first marriage of the (then) chamberlain Georg Ignatz Keller ("von Chlumetz aus Böhm[en]") on 17 November 1726 to Barbara Antonia Scheiblauer (A-Wd, Tom. 45, pag. 286). When Keller got married a second time on 7 January 1770 he was already a "K:K: Hof Musicus" (A-Wd, Tom. 65, fol. 132v)

In his 1956 article "Joseph Haydns Jugendliebe" ("Joseph Haydn's Early Love") Ernst Fritz Schmid vividly describes Georg Ignaz Keller's progress as a musician in Vienna and how he rose from a simple servant to a violinist at St. Stephen's Cathedral in 1731 and a court musician in 1765. In spite of complete lack of evidence Schmid presents the kinship between the "Keller brothers" as fact:
Der kaiserliche Hofmusikus Georg Ignaz Keller ist es nun gewesen, der Haydn die Bekanntschaft mit der Familie seiner Jugendliebe und damit auch seiner späteren Frau vermittelte. Kellers älterer Bruder, der "hofbefreite" Perückenmacher Johann Peter Keller, der um 1691 ebenfalls in Chlumetz in Böhmen geboren war, besaß zu Wien in der Vorstadt Landstraße in der Ungargasse ein eigenes Haus und einigen Wohlstand [...] Georg Ignaz Keller brachte Haydn in das Haus des Bruders, wo mehrere Kinder, darunter anmutige Töchter heranwuchsen, deren Klavierunterricht der junge Meister übernahm.
It was the imperial court musician Georg Ignaz Keller, who established Haydn's acquaintance with the family of his early love and also of his future wife. Keller's older brother, the wigmaker to the court Johann Peter Keller, who had been born around 1691 also  in Chlumetz in Bohemia, was considerably wealthy and owned a house in Vienna in the suburb of Landstraße in the Ungargasse [...] Georg Ignaz Keller brought Haydn into his brother's house, where several children were growing up, among them lovely daughters whose piano lessons were taken over by Haydn.
Schmid did not let himself be distracted by the fact that the primary sources do not support the assumption that the wigmaker Johann Peter and the violinist Georg Ignaz Keller were brothers. Not once did both Kellers or their wives serve as godparents of each other's children: Johann Peter Keller chose (among others) the "Stiftsverwalter bei St. Joseph" Johann Heinrich Reischmann and his wife, a "k.k. Cammer-Fourier" Anton Joachim and the surgeon Johann Franz Schlegelhoffer as godparents. Georg Ignaz Keller on the other hand, relied (among others) on the services of his employer Count Kinsky, the merchant Leopold Wührer (Joseph Jenamy's best man at his wedding with Victoire Noverre in 1768), Maria Sophia Muffat (Georg Muffat's daughter-in-law) and the wealthy apothecary Georg Friedrich Eulenschenk and his wife (whose daughter in 1768 would marry Franz Anton Mesmer and in 1772 was still rich enough to eventually buy her husband his country estate on the Landstraße with its "mesmerizing" garden). What do we know about Johann Peter Keller's origin? He was born around 1691 and got married on 12 November 1722 to Maria Anna Seiller at St. Michael's in Vienna. As usual the marriage records of this parish provide only meager information on the bridal couple, such as the date of the wedding, the names of the couple and their parents and the names of the witnesses. No places of birth of groom and bride are given:

The 1722 marriage entry of Haydn's parents-in-law: "Dominus Joannes Petrus Keller, Joannis Georgij, et Aloysiæ filius, cum Virg:[ine] Maria Elisabetha Seillerin, Georgij et Elisabethae filia, Tes:[tes] Do[min]us Ferdinandus Marher, et D:[ominus] Antonius Geissnhoff. 12. [November]" (A-Wstm, Tom. D, pag. 345).

This is the official marriage record on which Haydn scholarship in general and Ernst Fritz Schmid in particular always relied. But the sparseness of the entries in the marriage records of St. Michael's has a special reason: there is an – unfortunately not complete – series of "Verkündbücher", i.e. records of the basic personal information that the parish priests wrote down, when the engaged couple first appeared and announced their intention of getting married and the banns were to be published. The entry concerning Johann Peter Keller's wedding is (as was regularly the case with these first and only provisional entries that were to be crossed out later) much more detailed. Among other information – such as the date of the first announcement and the couple's address – this entry gives Johann Peter Keller as being of German origin, having been born in Hamburg:

Den 31 October 1722 copulati sunt 12 9ber 1722 / Der Kunstreiche Herr Johann Peter Keller, ein Keÿ[serlich] Hofbefreiter Porakhenmacher, b in dem / 3 tauben in der unde[r]n Preinerstrasen wonhaft. / Zu Hamburg gebirtig, des H[errn] Johann Georg Keller, undt Frau Aloysiæ sel[ig] beder / ehlicher Sohnn. nimbt zur ehe die tugent / same Jungfrau Mariam Elisabetham / Seillerin, des H[errn] Georgij Seiller und Elisabethæ sel beeder eheliche tochtor / Zu Wacheram in Österreich gebürtig, / beÿ den 3 taube[n] in der under / Preinerstrass wonhaft. /           1 2 3             Ambo in parochia / per plures annos. (A-Wstm, Verkündbuch 1722, 31 October 1722)

And there we have it: a Haydn-trifle of world-shattering insignificance. Haydn's father-in-law, the wigmaker Johann Peter Keller and the musician Georg Ignaz Keller were not brothers, but came from very different regions in Europe. It remains to be investigated if Georg Ignaz Keller played any role at all in Haydn's life. Of course one could argue that in the above entry the priest actually referred to the Austrian town of Hainburg. But the fact that the word definitely has an "m" and only Wagram bears the attribute "in Österreich" (as if to set it apart from the non-Austrian birthplace of the groom) makes it very likely that (apart from Brahms having written variations on a tune not by Haydn) the hansa town has finally gained a family relationship to the composer of the German national anthem.

Approaching the end of his life Johann Peter Keller suffered hard times, which in a fascinating way may reflect the demise of the wig as a social and economic factor in 18th-century Vienna. He died on 9 August 1771, absolutely destitute in the "Klerfisches Haus" on the Hoher Markt and was buried the following day in the new crypt of St. Stephen's. His relatively wealthy children (and maybe his son-in-law) made sure that his 3rd-class funeral cost 27 gulden 36 kreuzer and even comprised a "Music vors Miserere" for 4 gulden.

The entry concerning Johann Peter Keller's exequies at St. Stephen's on 10 August 1771 (A-Wd, BLB 1771, fol. 227r). Keller was buried in the new crypt of St. Stephen's Cathedral.



The information concerning Haydn's wife at the beginning of this post has been superseded by research which I published in September 2014 in a blogpost titled "Haydn's Real Wife".

Aug 26, 2012

Alfred Brendel's Final Program Note

On 17 and 18 December 2008 Alfred Brendel gave his two final public concerts at the Goldener Saal of the Vienna Musikverein. Since Brendel performed his favorite piano concerto, Mozart's concerto in E Flat Major, K. 271 (to which I happen to have a special relation), I was given the rare privilege to write the program note related to this part of the concerts. My text from 2008 is hereby published for the first time in English.

 

Mozart's Piano Concerto K. 271 "Jenamy" can be described as a miracle of musical originality. In the mastership of its orchestration, its stupendous innovative energy and its effect, despite limited instrumental means, this piece has absolutely no precedent. It is Mozart's first great composition, "his Eroica" as Alfred Einstein put it, "which he later would match, but never surpass". With a creative thrust beyond compare, a kind of musical fulguration (in the sense of the term as coined by Konrad Lorenz), Mozart broke all previous conventions and already in 1777 demonstrated the superior mastery that distinguishes his piano concertos of the Vienna years. Formal surprises are being combined with unbridled melodic exuberance: the absolutely unusual entry of the soloist in the second bar as well as several themes that are developed in a dramatic tension and in a balanced dialogue between piano and orchestra. Furthermore operatic effects and a tendency of cantabile pervade every single movement: for example, the long trill on the second "real" entry of the piano as a sort of "messa voce," a side theme, the inversion of which will reappear years later as Cherubino’s "Non so più", and not least the pseudo-recitative passages in the piano. The second movement, Andantino, with muted strings is Mozart's first concerto movement in a minor key. It culminates in a scene inspired by the opera seria, where Mozart puts the most exquisit vocal embellishments into the mouth of a tragic heroine embodied by the piano. The rondo theme of the final movement – the melody in the left hand anticipates Monostatos' aria "Jeder fühlt der Liebe Freuden” – lets us imagine the virtuosity of the pianist for whom the concerto was written. Here, too, Mozart is not done yet with his surprising ideas. After a cadenza a slow minuet begins in the subdominant A flat major, elegantly refining the cheerful mood of the finale. This very effective way of giving more musical weight to a final movement by a change of pace will turn up again in the piano concertos K. 415 and K. 482
The traditional name "Jeunehomme Concerto" is a pure figment of imagination, an arbitrary invention, to which the public has grown accustomed. Mozart gives the commissioner’s name in his letter: "I shall give 3 concertos, the one for jenomy [K. 271], the Litzau [K. 246] and the one in B [K. 238], to the engraver, who did the sonatas for me, for cash". In the 19th Century the name variants "jenomy", "jenomè" and "genomai", as used by Mozart and his father, posed no problem. In his 1856 Mozart biography Otto Jahn described the work as "Piano Concerto for Jenomy". Fiction and fact only got mingled in the 1912 study W.-A. Mozart: Sa vie musicale et son oeuvre by Théodor Wyzewa and Georges de Saint-Foix. Based on the assumption that with "Jenomy" Mozart had italianised the original French name, the authors declared this unknown musician "one of the great virtuosos of her time" and since "jeune homme" (young man) was their favorite epithet for Mozart, they simply came up with the curious and inexplicable idea of naming the pianist "Jeunehomme". Thus a legend was born and subsequently one author copied this invention from the other. The truth became known in 2003: Mozart's "Madame Jenomy" was the first child of dancer Jean Georges Noverre. She was born on 2 January 1749 in Strasbourg and baptized "Louise Victoire". In the summer of 1767 Victoire Noverre came to Vienna together with her father, who until 1774 was to work there as a ballet master. In 1768 at St. Stephen’s she married Joseph Jenamy (1747-1819). A meeting between Mozart and Noverre and his daughter during Mozart’s stay in Vienna in 1768 has not been proven, but five years later Victoire Jenamy must have made Mozart’s acquaintance in Vienna. Her pianistic skills are documented: on 17 February 1773 on the occasion of a ball at the Kärntnertortheater for the benefit of her father she performed as a pianist. Before 1778 already Jenamy left her husband and moved to her father in Paris. We do not know if she ever visited Salzburg. It is also possible that she had Mozart send her the concerto. In light of the recent discoveries the slow third movement minuet of K. 271 can be seen as an actual allusion to the dancer Noverre. Jenamy never returned to Vienna, but moved to her relatives in Clermont-Ferrand, where she died on 5 September 1812.
We know that K. 271 is very important to Alfred Brendel. In his 1985 essay "Ermahnungen eines Mozartspielers an sich selbst" ("Admonitions of a Mozart performer to himself") he called this concerto “a wonder of the world". Its artistic significance for Brendel is comparable to Haydn's Variations in F Minor (Sonata un piccolo divertimento Hob. XVII: 6) which he performed at his final solo concert in Vienna. The performance of Mozart's "Jenamy Concerto" is a worthy ending to the career of a great pianist.
© Dr. Michael Lorenz 2008. All rights reserved.
For the first time ever in the history of this piece the golden poster of this very special concert prominently featured the correct title "KV 271 »Jenamy«".


When the recording of this concert was released the following year however DECCA's obstinate ignoramuses made sure that the CD cover bore the false name again:




See also: The Continuing "Jeunehomme" Nonsense

Aug 23, 2012

Mozart Documents "transcribed"

The inventory of Mozart's estate, the so-called Sperrs=Relation, drawn up by the civil court of the Vienna Magistrate right after the composer's death, is one of the most important of all Mozart documents. It gives an exact list of the close relatives of the deceased, his possessions and assets, together with his debts and receivables. It was legally obligatory to draw up the belongings of a deceased person to be able to put it under blockage (Sperr) to forstall any possible missappropriation of the estate. Every Sperrs=Relation had a two-folio cover sheet (the so-called Mantelbogen) with preprinted standard paragraphs that had to be filled out by the official of the court (the so-called Sperrskommissär). The first page of Mozart's estate inventory (A-Wsa, Persönlichkeiten M14.1) looks as follows:


In 1961 Otto Erich Deutsch published his book Mozart. Die Dokumente seines Lebens, a voluminous 600-page collection of Mozart documents. The publication of this fundamental work was not just Deutsch's personal enterprise. The biggest collection of Mozart documents so far was published as Supplement, Werkgruppe 34 of Serie X of the "New Mozart Edition", i.e. the project Mozart. Neue Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke. Thus on one of its title pages this book bears the quality seal: "En coopération avec le Conseil international de la Musique. Editionsleitung: Wolfgang Plath Wolfgang Rehm." When we look at Deutsch's transcription of Mozart's estate inventory however (and this is only one of countless examples in this collection), it soon becomes obvious that something is deeply amiss. Not only does Deutsch's edition fail to fullfill the basic standards of scholarship, failing to provide a description of the formal structure of the source and a usable shelf mark; we also realize that Deutsch was completely unfamiliar with the official terms in an 18th-century document of a Viennese court of law. His knowledge of the German vocabulary in legal documents of this kind was insufficient and his expertise in Latin and the frequently applied abbreviations of terms in that language was basically non-existent. Since Deutsch's transcription of the cover sheets of the Sperrs-Relation alone contains about 25 mistakes, it seems that he never even saw the original document and blindly relied on the work of two archivists of the Vienna City Archive, namely Dr. Rudolf Geyer and Dr. Hanns Jäger-Sunstenau, to whom he gives credit in a footnote "for their help with the transcription". Deutsch either ignores the abbreviation "mpia" (for "manu propria") altogether, or mistranscribes it (as "Mag.") and he actually mistakes the small title page of the twice-folded Mantelbogen on fol. 4v for a "rubrum". Page two of Mozart's estate inventory contains the following preprinted paragraphs that were filled out by the Sperrskommissär:


Deutsch's transcription of the above text concerning Mozart's two minor children (note that Franz Xaver was already called "Wolfgang" as an infant!) and the existence of a will or a comparable legal document (such as a marriage contract) is a fine example of one of his countless palaeographical failures. Deutsch begins the transcription of the first handwritten passage as follows: "2[!] Bübl:[sic!]  als: Karl 7. Jahr". The word "Bübl" (boys), which was never used by a Sperrskommissär, is of course complete nonsense. The entry reads "Leibl:[iche]" (legitimate [children]). The next entry is corrupted by Deutsch the following way: "Keines,[!] doch ein Heuraths Brief Act = 3 = Aug: 782." This is a true monument of ignorance. One could accept the missing semicolon, but any serious scholar who has ever worked with 18th-century Viennese administrative documents, can recognize and transcribe the abbreviation "dd°" (with the small superscript "o" being doubly underlined) which means "de dato" [i.e. dated]. And the second one of Deutsch's absurd double dashes is simply the double underscore of the superscript abbreviation "t[er]", belonging to the "3" which is the date of Mozart's marriage contract. Mistakes of such grotesque scale in a volume of the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe which is supposed to represent a final and authoritative edition of the sources, are simply breathtaking. And the situation becomes even more absurd when we consider the fact that this document had been published several times in a much less flawed (and "Bübl"-less) version, decades before Deutsch dealt with it. Arthur Schurig published part of the Sperrs-Relation in his book Constanze Mozart: Briefe, Aufzeichnungen, Dokumente 1782 bis 1842, (Dresden 1922) and published it a second time in the 2nd edition of his book Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Sein Leben, seine Persönlichkeit, sein Werk, (Leipzig 1923). Albert Leitzmann also published (much less flawed) excerpts from this document in his collection Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Berichte der Zeitgenossen und Briefe, (Leipzig 1826). The funniest thing is that Deutsch was fully aware of these earlier publications. He refers to them in his commentary at the and of his own transcription where he proudly points out that "contrary to all the earlier editions this one is complete" – which of course it is not.

The story does not end here. For several years now the Mozarteum has been working on a project titled "Briefe und Aufzeichnungen zu W. A. Mozart und seiner Familie aus den Beständen der Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg". The goal of this enterprise, which is being funded the Packard Humanities Institute, Los Altos/California, is the online publication of all letters and documents related to the Mozart family as well as related letters and documents spanning from 1740 (when Leopold Mozart arrived in Salzburg ) to 1881 (the founding of the International Mozarteum Foundation). The list of hitherto published documents provides a fascinating glimps into the blissfully complacent world of the Mozarteum. The online publication of the documents is marred by several problems. A literal ocean of mistranscriptions awaits the interested reader. Many of these hidden howlers are true gems and the fun they provide almost lets one forget that this kind of dilettantism is draining huge amounts of money away from scholarship that could  put generous funding to a much better use. Note for instance the poor "Frau Schupfer" in this document, who was recklessly turned into a "Frau Söhupfer", because none of the people in charge really know how a small "c" is written in Kurrentschrift. The transcriptions that appear beside the pictures apply a ridiculously unpractical set of "Kürzel" signs (the Mozarteum calls them "Abbreviatur-Schleifen") instead of bracketed completions of the words, which sometimes turn the reading of these transcriptions into a mind-boggling experience. The fact that some transcriptions contain the term "unleserlich" (illegible) is all the more frustrating considering the small size and the weak resolution of the pictures that make it impossible for the reader to decipher the document on his own. On 7 December 1787 Joseph II. appointed Mozart k.k. Kammermusikus. The decree, signed by Johann Thorwarth (who in 1782 had been Constanze Weber's best man at her wedding), looks as follows:


What kind of transcription of this document does David Packard get for his money? It turns out that the text of this decree as presented on the Mozarteum website is neither new nor is it flawless. The money was new and flawless alright, but the transcription is an exact copy right out of O. E. Deutsch's flawed 1961 edition of the Mozart-Dokumente. All the typical symptoms of Deutschian perplexity are still there: the Mozarteum's transcriber (copier?) does not resolve the abbreviations (not even in the print version), still mistakes the "p." at the end of the headline for an "etc." and the meaning of "Pr." at the beginning of the closing formula is still a minor mystery. Needless to say that this document has also been published several times by Jahn, Schurig, Tenschert and Müller von Asow. Sometimes even in better readings.

Aug 13, 2012

Four more months for Ignaz Schuppanzigh



According to music encyclopedias (New Grove, MGG) and biographical standard works on Austrian musicians (ÖBL, ÖML) the legendary violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh was born on 20 November 1776. The origin of this incorrect date is shrouded in mystery. Wurzbach only gives Schuppanzigh's year of birth and it seems that Hans Jancik, who published this date in the old MGG (vol. 12, col. 327) either copied it from Frimmel's 1926 Beethoven-Handbuch or made it up, misinterpreting the sources on the Hofmusikkapelle in Vienna's Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv. Papers in the estate of Hermann Ullrich (A-Wn, F67) show that while doing research for his article "Ignaz Schuppanzigh (1776-1830). Beethovens Freund und Geiger. Eine Studie" (Vienna 1973) Ullrich even copied Schuppanzigh's marriage entry at St. Stephen's parish which contains the violinist's correct date of birth. Ullrich however also noted down two wrong dates: 20 November and even 10 November 1776. In 1997 violinist and member of the VPO Clemens Hellsberg submitted a dissertation titled Ignaz Schuppanzigh (1776-1831). Leben und Wirken. Hellsberg gave tomus and folio number of Schuppanzigh's baptismal entry and referred to one of Schuppanzigh's birth certificates that he must have seen. But he obviously misread the baptismal entry, refused to accept the facts and described the date on the birth cretificate as "obviously erroneous". Since then the false date of birth has been carved in stone and it is high time to give Schuppanzigh back the four months that music historians cut away from his life. Ignaz Anton Schuppanzigh was born on 20 July 1776 in the house Stadt 701 (today Fleischmarkt 11), the seventh child of Franz Joseph Schuppanzigh, a teacher of Italian at the k.k. Realakademie and his wife Maria Anna née Menschl. Schuppanzigh's godparents were the belt maker Thomas Scharfenberger and his wife Barbara. There are four surviving documents pertaining to Schuppanzigh's birth:

1) The entry on  folio 46r of tomus 93 of the baptismal records of St. Stephen's.


2)  Schuppanzigh's birth certificate, written out on 18 July 1800 that he submitted to the Vienna Magistrate, when on 4 August 1800 he applied for being given the age of legal majority (A-Wsa, Mag. ZG, A3, 91/1800).


3) Two entries in the records of St. Stephen's pertaining to Schuppanzigh's marriage to Barbara Killitschky on 7 May 1807 that contain the groom's date of birth. (Schuppanzigh's brothers in law Franz Rzehaczek and Ignaz Martin served as best men). Here is part of the earlier entry concerning the first and only publication of the banns on 5 May 1807 (A-Wd, Rapular 1805-07).


4) A second copy of Schuppanzigh's birth certificate (A-Whh, HMK, carton 13) that he submitted to the Court, when on 2 March 1824 he applied for an "Expectanz Stelle als Violinspieler in der k.k. Hofkapelle" (a position of expectancy as violinist in the Court Chapel). Schuppanzigh wanted to succeed Zeno Menzl, but Leopold Jansa got the job and Schuppanzigh had to wait three more years for a definite appointment.

In Phil Grabsky's film "In Search of Beethoven" Schuppanzigh's name appears several times. The nifty narrator pronounces it "Shoop-an-sigh".