A profoundly influential composer, the prodigious Wolfgang Amadeus (1756–1791) has become practically synonymous with the classical genre; his older sister Maria Anna (1751–1829), nicknamed ‘Nannerl,’ was herself a talented musician, especially noted for her abilities on the harpsichord and fortepiano. Fascinating autograph musical manuscript, one page both sides, 11.75 x 4.5, no date but circa 1770s. Present on one side in the hand of Wolfgang Amadeus is a portion of a cadenza for an unidentified concerto in F, comprised of one right-hand note and the two final left-hand chords. On the opposite side is a lengthy autograph musical passage in the hand of his sister Maria Anna, nicknamed ‘Nannerl,’ written on three two-stave systems, comprised of arpeggiated sixteenth notes over figured bass. Manuscript bears a few notations by a distinguished former owner of the manuscript, conductor and critic John Ella (1802–1888). In very good condition, with a noticeably repaired central vertical tear and overall soiling. Provenance: Sotheby’s, December 2010.
Accompanied by a mount created by Ella where the manuscript was once affixed, featuring an affixed engraving of Mozart as a child and a lengthy biographical description and timeline. The caption below the mounting area mistakenly identifies the arpeggio exercises as Wolfgang’s, in part: “[Aloys] Fuchs Dec’r 1845, gave me this autograph of Mozart, written in Vienna, 1762, when only six years.” Today these exercises can be identified as Nannerl’s, due to the inward-facing bass clefts and somewhat naive appearance; the notes in Wolfgang’s hand date to circa 1771–72, based upon Wolfgang Plath’s assessment of the handwriting of the bulk of the cadenza contained on another half leaf sold in 1985. This is the first Mozart autographic material we have encountered in 30 years, and autograph musical manuscripts in the hand of either Wolfgang Amadeus or Nannerl are not frequently available in the international marketplace. Of the utmost rarity, it is a cornerstone piece for any collection. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.