Imported mandolin prints in Austria and Germany 1782-1836


This article is the first of three outtakes from an article I’m preparing, following my presentation at the Conservatorio di Musica “Giuseppe Verdi” di Milano. My contribution became too large, so some side topics are launched as blog articles instead. All of these will focus on Austrian mandolin history. In this instance, the subject is mandolin prints imported to Austria (and Germany) in the 1780s and afterwards.

The difference between Austria and Western Europe

Strange enough, Austria and most of the rest of Western Europe reacted somewhat differently to the arrival of the Neapolitan mandolin in the 1750s. Whereas the instrument became very popular in the 1760s and 1770s in lots of Western European countries, there are hardly any sources in Austria during these decades. This difference in numbers is present in both the musical sources and all other, secondary sources. Though there are a few sources from before 1780, the inequality in numbers with the rest of Europe is staggering. Hence, it is most likely there was a proper discrepancy between Austria and the rest of Europe. As of the 1780s, however, the mandolin became quite popular in Austria. In the rest of this article, we will zoom in on one of the activities linked to this great rise in popularity: the import of mandolin prints from elsewhere.

The development of mandolin print imports in Austria and Germany

The list at the end of the article gives an overview of all prints which seem to have been imported with references to the sources. From this overview, it’s quite clear that music publishers in Austria and Germany started to import mandolin prints in the early 1780s. This was likely caused by a sudden rise in popularity not yet covered by local production. The first company seems to have been Artaria. Artaria advertised selling sonatas and duets for mandolin as early as 1782:

«Duetten und Sonaten für Violin, Flaut, Viola, Violoncell, Clarinet, Fagot, Horn und Mandolin.»

Wiener Zeitung 28/12/1782, 01/01/1783

There is at least one other non-descript advert by madame Schweigl from about the same time:

«6 Sonaten auf das Mandolin»

Das Weinerblättchen, 03/03/1785

Later on, the Artaria and other adverts or references list actual titles of the prints. In most cases, it’s quite easy to link the original title published elsewhere with the German and Austrian references, which the table below shows.

Artaria catalogue, Vienna, Artaria, 1784, p. 61.

Some volumes are listed more than once, and some extraordinary often. The volume most encountered is the mandolin method by Fouchetti. The methods by Denis and Leone are also encountered, with Denis mentioned only occasionally and Leone more often. But Fouchetti is available from the 1780s until the 1820s and is mentioned most. There are several possible factors that could help explain this preference. First of all, Sieber, the publisher of Fouchetti in Paris, seems to have been quite active to set up distribution elsewhere in Europe. But we need to also consider that the Milanese mandolin type was more in favour in Austria than elsewhere in Europe (proven easily by the prevalence of this type in music sources compared to elsewhere). Fouchetti’s method is the only Paris mandolin tutor which targeted not only the Neapolitan but also the Milanese type. It seems an uncanny coincidence that this method was the favourite amongst the imported volumes in Austria and Germany.

In terms of composers, we find a good grasp of those active in France. Among the most known composers, Denis, Fouchetti and Leone make a clear appearance. Fouchetti is only mentioned for his mandolin method (1770-1771a), but Denis has outside of his method (1768a, 1769c, 1773a) also his volumes of vocal music (1769a, 1770a and 1773a). Leone is mainly mentioned for his method (1768b), but Artaria also distributed two variation sets (1776a). These were published in Paris in 1776, but are possibly reprints from earlier publications (see 1761a and 1768c).

Johann Michael Götz, Verzeichnis von Musicalien welche bey Johann Michael Götz, Musicalienverleger und Handler in Mannheim zu haben seynd, Mannheim, 1784, p. 48.

Lesser known Paris contributors are Bürckhoffer and Mazzuchelli, Bürkhoffer was mainly active as a harpist and to my knowledge only contributed once to the mandolin repertoire with his opus 5 (1769b) for mandolin and violin. Mazzuchelli, though not well-known to mandolin players, was quite active and published several volumes in Paris. One of these is the vocal album for two mandolins (1776c).

Outside of Paris, two other publishing centres appear. First of all, Lyon, with certainty for the two Cauciello volumes (1776b and ca. 1777a) and the Demachi trios (ca. 1780a). Most likely the Leone volume of variations was a Paris reprint (1776a) based for one part on an original printed in Lyon (1761a ). Besides Lyon, another printing center emerged in the form of Burchard Hummel, in Leiden (the Netherlands). Though only of the mandolin contributions reached Austria and Germany, it’s the elegant Concerto a Violino Cconcertante ò Mandoline by Johann Andreas Kauchlitz Colizzi (1773a). The Netherlands was under French cultural influence, with many mandolin players active in France coming over for concerts (see article on Dutch mandolin history). Colizzi’s other mandolin print, mandolin duets based on vocal themes, was also based on music from French operas.

In terms of the type of music, most of it is a mix of the typical output found in France in the 1760s and 1770s. Besides the mandolin methods, there are duets, variations and some volumes based on vocal music. Compared to the output in France in the 1760s and 1770s, we seem to be missing out on the genre of the mandolin sonata volumes. Also, the amount of duet volumes seems to be limited. It’s interesting to see Bürckhoffer’s opus 5 and Leone’s variations mentioned, as it seems these were meant as duets with a violin. Most of the mandolin repertoire found in Vienna and Prague from before 1800 contains chamber music where the mandolin is accompanied by bowed string instruments. This is in stark contrast to the rest of Europe, where the mandolin duet was very popular.

Though the majority of these prints were advertised or listed in the 1780s, there are a number of references in the early decades of the 19th century as well. Some even come up as late as the third or even fourth decade. Though it’s common for reference works to copy from earlier works, these references are from trustworthy sources so I have no reason to doubt them unless evidence to the contrary would surface. This means that many of these imported prints remained available even well into the 19th century. This is strikingly similar to the situation of the mandolin prints in Vienna and Leipzig. These sometimes remained available for several decades, and some were reprinted as well. (NB: these mandolin prints from Vienna and Leipzig will be discussed in another upcoming blog article.)

In conclusion, I think it is safe to say that the mandolin somehow reached a previously not encountered popularity in Austria and Germany as of 1780. This resulted in a rising market for music, and the availability of volumes that could be imported was fulfilling that demand. Though these volumes remained available, they were soon joined by local output from Austrian and German provenance.

Table 1: Prints imported in Austria and Germany

The following table lists all traces of mandolin prints from elsewhere that suggest they were available in Austria and Germany. Each row first starts by describing the original print. The first column lists the year of the original publication, accompanied by a letter in superscript, for easy cross-reference. This is followed by the place and publisher(s), the composer, preservation location(s) and title. The last column contains references to the sources that contain a reference to this print. In most cases, the link is straightforward and easily confirmed. There is one case which is slightly complicated. It is likely that the volume 1776a was a reprint of older originals (1761a and 1768c), hence both of these are also present in the table.

YearPlace & PublisherComposerTitleRedistribution in Austria & Germany
1761a (see also 1776a)Lyon, Le GouxGabriele Leone30 Variations en dispute à deux Violons, qui peuvent se jouer sur le Pardessus, la Mandoline et la HarpeArtaria 1784
Artaria 1788 (probably included in 1776a)
1768aParis, DenisPietro DenisMéthode pour apprendre à jouer de la Mandoline sans Maître avec six CapricesGerber 1812
1768bParis, LeoneGabriele LeoneMéthode Raisonnée Pour passer du Violon à la Mandoline et de L’archet a la plume ou le moyen seur de Jouër sans maître en peu de temps par des Signes de Convention assortis à des exemples de Musique facileArtaria 1784
Götz 1784
Artaria 1788
Gerber 1790
Forkel 1792
Blankenburg 1797
1768c (see also 1776a)Paris, LeoneGabriele Leone (for the variations)Six sonates à Violon & Basse, avec un sujet varié en 24 manières, utiles pour les amateurs de MandolineArtaria 1784
Artaria 1788 (probably included in 1776a)
1769aParis, DenisPietro DenisReceuil de douze petits Airs de chants connus, des pluz à la mode, avec deux differens accompagnemens de Mandoline, pour ceux qui voudront s’accompagnerGerber 1812
1769bParis, Bureau d’abonnement musicaleJ. G. BürckhofferSei duetti Per il Mandolino e Violino opera VAlmanach 1784
1769cParis, DenisPietro DenisSeconde partie de la Méthode pour apprendre à jouer de la Mandoline sans Maître avec des Variations sur douze petits airs de la Comédie Italienne, et six Menuets pour danser, six Allemandes, et un Prélude d’arpegio sur chaque ton de MusiqueGerber 1812
1770aParis, DenisPietro DenisSecond receuil de petits Airs de chants les plus à la mode, avec accompagnement de Mandoline, et les Folies d’Espagne avec des Variations facilesGerber 1812
1770bParis, DenisPietro DenisTroisième receuil de petits Airs de chants les plus nouveaux de la Commédie Italienne avec accompagnement de MandolineGerber 1812
1770-1771aParis, SieberGiovanni FouchettiMéthode pour apprendre facilement á jouer de la Mandoline á 4 et á 6 Cordes. Dans la quelle on explique les differents coups de plume nécessaires pour cet Instrument. On y a joint six Serenades et six petites SonatesArtaria 1784
Götz 1784
Gerber 1790
Forkel 1792
Gruber 1792
Blankenburg 1797
Koch 1802
Whistling 1817
Seyfried 1826
Whistling 1828
1773aParis, DenisPietro DenisTroisième et dernière Partie de la Méthode Pour apprendre à Jouer de la Mandoline Sans Maître, Contenant la manière facile de s’accompagner soi même en Chantant et de broder Les Passages d’un Air; De plus le cinquième Receuil de petits airs de la Comédie Italienne avec l’accompag.[nemen]t de Mandoline, Et d’autres Airs à deux Mandolines avec des VariationsA-Wn
Gerber 1812 (Méthode Paris 1792)
1773aLeiden & The Hague, HummelJohann Andreas Kauchlitz ColizziConcerto a Violino Concertante ò Mandolino, Due Violini di Ripieno, Violetta, Due Corni ad Libitum, e BassoAnzeige 1786
Whistling 1817
1776a (see also 1761a and 1768c)Paris, BailleuxGabriele, Leone“Ah! vous dirai-je maman”, avec 30 variations en duo pour une Mandoline et un Violon, et un sujet varié de vingt-quatre manières
(see also 1761a and 1768c)
Artaria 1784
Artaria 1788 (probably based on 1761a and 1768c)
1776bLyon, GuéraProspero CaucielloSei Duetti per due Violini, o vero Mandolini op. IIGötz 1784
1776cParis, Mazzuchelli, Le MarchandMazzuchelliReceuil des plus agreable ariettes et airs tirées de La Colonie, d’Iphigenie, et d’Orphée, arangées pour deux MandolinesGerber 1812
ca. 1777aLyon, GuéraProspero CaucielloSei Duetti per due Violini, o vero Mandolini op. IIIBreitkopf & Härtel 1780
Götz 1784
ca. 1780aLyon, GuéraGiuseppe Demachi3 Trios pour 2 mandolines et basse. Oeuvre 13Götz 1784
Breitkopf & Härtel 1836

Annex I – References

A-WnVienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek
Almanach 1784Musikalischer Almanach für Deutschland auf das Jahr 1784, Leipzig, Schwickerischen Verlag, 1784.
Anzeige 1786Anzeige aller Kunstwerke der Rostischen Kunsthandlung zu Leipzig, Leipzig, Rost, 1786.
Artaria 1784Artaria. [Verlagskatalog], Vienna, Artaria, 1784.
Artaria 1788Verzeichniss von Musikalien welche bei Artaria Compagnie, Kunst – Kupferstich – Landkarten – Musikalien – Händlern und Verlegern in Wien auf dem Kohlmarkt der Michaeler Kirche gegenüber zu haben sind, Vienna, Artaria, 1788.
Blankenburg 1797Litterarische Zusätze zu Johann George Sulzers allgemeiner Theorie der schönen Künste, in einzeln, nach alphabetischer Ordnung der Kunstwörter auf einander folgenden, Artikeln abgehandelt, Leipzig, 1797.
Breitkopf & Härtel 1780Magazin des Buch- und Kunst-Handels, welches zum Besten der Wissenschaften und Künste von den dahin gehörigen Neuigkeiten Nachricht giebt, Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel, 1780.
Breitkopf & Härtel 1836Verzeichniss geschriebener und gedruckter Musikalien aller Gattungen, welche um 1. Juni 1836 und folgende Tagen, Vormittags von 9-11 Uhr und Nachmittags von 3-5 Uhr von Breitkopf & Härtel in ihrem Geschäftslocale zu Leipzig under Notariatshand gegen baare Zahlung in Preuss. Courant and den Meistbietenden verkauft werden sollen, Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel, 1836.
Forkel 1792Johann Nicolaus Forkel, Allgemeine Litteratur der Musik oder Anleitung zur Kenntniss musikalischer Bücher, welche von den ältesten bis auf die neusten Zeiten bey den Griechen, Römern und den meisten neuern europäischen Nationen sind geschrieben worden. Systematisch geordnet, und nach Veranlassung mit Anmerkungen und Urtheilen begleitet, Leipzig, Schwickertschen Verlage, 1792.
Gerber 1790Ernst Ludwig Gerber, Historisch-Biographisches Lexicon der Tonkünstler, welches Nachrichten von dem Leben und Werken musikalischer Schriftsteller, berühmter Componisten, Sänger, Meister auf Instrumenten, Dilettanten, Orgel- und Instrumentenmacher, enthält, voll. 1-2, Leipzig, Breitkopf, 1790-1792.
Gerber 1812Ernst Ludwig Gerber, Neues historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler, welches Nachrichten von dem Leben und den Werken musikalischer Schriftsteller, berühmter Komponisten, Sänger, Meister auf Instrumenten, kunstvoller Dilettanten,Musikverleger, auch Orgel- und Instrumentenmacher, voll. 1-4, Leipzig, A. Kühnel, 1812-1813.
Götz 1784Johann Michael Götz, Verzeichnis von Musicalien welche bey Johann Michael Götz, Musicalienverleger und Handler in Mannheim zu haben seynd, Mannheim, 1784
Gruber 1792Johann Siegmund Gruber, Litteratur der Musik, oder systematische Anleitung zur Kenntnis der vorzüglichen musikalischen Bücher, für Liebhaber der musikalischen-Litteratur bestimmt, 2nd ed., Leipzig, 1792.
Koch 1802Heinrich Christoph Koch, Musikalisches Lexikon, welches die theoretische und praktische Tonkunst, encyclopädisch bearbeitet, alle alten und neuen Kunstwörter erklärt, und die alten und neuen Instrumente beschrieben, enthält, Frankfurt am Main, August Hermann jr., 1802.
Seyfried 1826Ignaz von Seyfried, J. G. Albrechtsberger’s Sämmtliche Schriften über Generalbass, Harmonie-Lehre, und Tonfesskunst zum Selbstunterrichte Systematisch geordnet, mit zahlreichen, aus dessen mündlichen Mittheilungen geschöpften Erläuterungs-beyspielen, und einer kurzen Anleitung zum Partitur-spiel, nebst Beschreibung aller bis jetzt gebräuchlichen Instrumente, vol. 3, Vienna, Anton Strauss, 1826.
WBDas Wienerblättchen
Whistling 1817Carl Friedrich Whistling, Handbuch der musikalische Litteratur oder allgemeines systematisch geordnetes Verzeichniss der bis zum Ende des Jahres 1815 gedruckten Musikalien, auch musikalischen Schriften und Abbildungen mit Anzeige der Verleger und Preise, Leipzig, Anton Meysel, 1817.
Whistling 1828Carl Friedrich Whistling, Handbuch der musikalische Litteratur oder allgemeines systematisch geordnetes Verzeichniss gedruckter Musikalien, auch musikalischer Schriften und Abbildungen mit Anzeige der Verleger und Preise, Leipzig, Whistling, 1828.
WZWiener Zeitung