Sold at auction for $217K: Mozart letter asking for return of scores

Posted on: October 19, 2015

“A letter by Mozart seeking to reclaim some scores from a friend fetched $217,000 at an auction in Boston on Thursday,” reads an unsigned Friday (10/16) article at New York classical radio station WQXR. “The letter, signed by the composer, was written to Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin, a renowned Austrian botanist. It asks him to return three scores via messenger. ‘I ask you to send me by the bearer of this, the Quartet in g minor, the Sonata in Eb and the “New Trio in g,” ’ it reads. The pieces referenced are Mozart’s Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, published 1785, Violin Sonata No. 33 in E-flat major from 1785, and Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in G Major. It is believed the letter was written around 1786. Agence France-Presse reports that the buyer is an ‘East coast music collector,’ who said it would be the centerpiece of his collection. Mozart’s letters are highly sought-after, in part because they capture Mozart’s own voice and diction with authenticity, and provide a fuller understanding of his life story, including his marriage, compositions, occasional money troubles, opinions of fellow musicians, and complex relationship with his father.”

Posted October 19, 2015