In Mozart's words
Mozart letters from Italy - database
Perhaps no other eighteenth-century artist can be considered more authentically European than Mozart (1756-1791): in only thirty five years he visited at least 204 towns and cities in 10 different European countries. When travelling, Mozart met other musicians, local dignitaries, heads of state, bankers, painters, coffee house owners, barbers, postmasters, clothiers and diplomats, among many others; and he composed and performed his own and other people's works. Most of these travels are documented in the family letters, which detail not only his musical activities, but also the customs and habits of the countries he visited - by his own admission, they give the best account of his personal and artistic development.
The site "In Mozart's words" provides a complete, four-language, annotated searchable edition of Mozarts’ letters, based not only on the best modern scholarship but also on new research, and it offers users first-hand insight into the workings of a remarkable eighteenth-century musical career. As a platform for disseminating ‘Mozart’, it is infinitely expandable: aside from the identification of people, places and works, it can or will include links to a source catalogue, to recordings of Mozart’s works and the works of others and a complete iconographical and documentary record of Mozart’s life and times. In short, everything that is relevant to Mozart can find a place here.
The undertaking - of monumental proportions - will be carried on over several years and will be made public on the European Mozart Ways site in the form of thematically or chronologically homogeneous modules. In this initial stage, the website hosts the 114 surviving letters sent by Mozart and his father Leopold to his mother Maria Anna and his sister Nannerl - plus a few other correspondents - during their three journeys to Italy, a fundamental destination of that epoch's "Grand Tour", considered so essential in the education of youth.
The initiative is under the scientific direction of Cliff Eisen Professor of Music History at the King's College, London.In Mozart’s Words has been made possible thanks to the support of the Italian Committee Le Vie di Mozart, created by the Ministero Italiano per i beni e le attività culturali (MIBAC) as part of the Mozart 2006 celebrations (in cooperation with the historical Società del Quartetto of Milan) of the Milan Municipality, Cultural Direction, and European Mozart Ways itself.
The project is also based on long-time collaborations with several prestigious organizations, including the Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum, Salzburg (which allowed to link Mozart’s works to the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe and made available electronic versions of the original texts, checked and revised by Anja Morgenstern); the publisher Gruppo Editoriale Il Saggiatore, who provided the yet-to-be published Italian translation by Elli Stern, Cesare De Marchi and Anna Rastelli; and the publisher of the French version, Flammarion (Correspondance. Lettres de Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, translated by Geneviève Geffray, Paris 1986). The English translation - there being no stylistically homogeneous and up-to-date integral version currently available - was commissioned expressly for this website from Stewart Spencer. Software developement is provided by Pegaso 96, Milano.
Finally, some figures: the letters total 114, the places mentioned 173, locales within places 303, persons 452, Mozart’s works 42 and other composers’ works 50, for generating a total of more than 14,500 citations.