After Mozart's death, documents pertaining to Mozart's estate were duly
made by comptrollers.
Fortunately, thanks to the book edited by Otto Erich Deutsch, we can know all the property left by Mozart at the time of his death.
Many readers will not be able to help surprising to see that the property left by Mozart was so small and modest in each item.
However, these documents seem not to show entire truth of his property, I suppose. Yes, we can find many missing Mozart's property and curiosities here and there in that documents.
In this chapter, my purpose is not to explain the details about Mozart's property but to point out the curiosities of Mozart's property. Then all the items are not necessarily explained here.
According to the documents pertaining to Mozart's estate, the sum of his
entire property and liabilities are summarized as follows.
|Coins||60fl.||To Herr Georg Dimmer, master tailor||282fl.7 kr.|
|Arrears of the annual salary||133fl.20kr.||To Anton Reiz, decorator||208fl.3 kr.|
Debts owing to the deceased -presumed lost
|ー||To the I & R Court Apothecary||139fl.30 kr.|
|Silver - 3 poor spoons||7fl.||To Herr Johann Heydegger, merchant||87fl.22kr.|
|Clothing and underclothing||55fl.||To Herr Friedrich Purker, tradesman||59fl.|
|Household and bed linen||17fl.||To Frau Regina Hasel, apothecary at the sign of the Moor||40fl.53kr.|
|Household goods||296fl. 8kr||Further, in settlement of her account for 74fl. 53kr.||34fl.|
|Books and music||.23fl. 41kr.||To Michael Anhamer, master cobbler||31fl.46kr.|
|To Herr Georg Mayer, master tailor||13fl.41kr|
|To the merchant Reuter||12fl.54kr.|
|To Herr Angre Igl, chirurgeon||9fl.|
As shown above, the total assets upon his death were so small as 592 florins and his net estate was negative (- 326 florins).
What small and miserable assets they were!
But, watching this table carefully, I can not wipe off a strong suspicion if this table reflects the entire truth. - Yes, I doubt if Constanze declared honestly to the office.
As I explained in Mozart's Debts, his annual income was always so high as more than 2,000 florins every year which compared with that of Kapellmeister Salieri. Yes, he was never a poor man. Yet he could have left only 592 florins of assets? Why?
Because he spent too much gorgeous life? No, his way of life was humble being completely separated from the association with aristocracy in his late Vienna years as described in Sudden Drop of Mozart's Popularity.
Then because he lost almost all his money by gambling? No, we can not find any reliable evidence at all that he was crazy about gambling and lost a big sum of money as described also in Mozart's Debts.
No one has ever explained about this enigma, but this declaration itself was false, in my view.
Then, let me explain from now the grounds to think so picking up each item of Mozart's assets.
The main themes of this chapter is to explain the grounds for false declaration of course, however I would like to explain about the whole items of Mozart's inheritance records at this opportunity since there contains many other enigmas here and there, and no one has ever touched on this issue as long as I know.
We see only 60 florins in cash in his inheritance records.
Admittedly, this too small cash was convenient for the excuse that Constanze had to send Mozart off by the cheapest funeral. But the fact was quite different. She must have hidden a large amount of money other than 60 florins secretly before Mozart's death.
The grounds to say so come from the following six viewpoints.
*1. As explained in Mozart's Death and Burial, Mozart had earned well over 2,610 florins just for the five months before his death. If the remainder was only 60 florins, then they have spent huge amount of money ( 2,550 florins) during the five months. What was the use of money ?
During the term, Mozart was so busy in composing such big works as "La clemenza di Tito", "Die Zauberflöte", "Requiem" and "Clarinet Concerto". He had no time to idle away spending a lot of money.
Unusual money other than their living expenses that time were only the short-term travel expenses for Prague to perform "La clemenza di Tito" and Baden for her wife's last visit . These seems to be not large.
Then Constanze could have kept sizable amount of money even during these five months (My guess is well more than 1,000 florins). Therefore she surely had a lot of money upon Mozart's death.
- In spite of his big earnings during the latter half of 1791, Mozart might have not repaid his debts during the term.
That was because the due date of Lackenbacher's loan has not yet come and he was brought to the court by Lichnowsky by the reason not to repay.
The possible case was repayment to Puchberg. Even so, the amount was no more than 450 florins (His total debts to Puchberg was 1,450 florins, and the remainder upon his death was1,000 florins according to Nissen).
*2. She was in the position to repay the vast amount of Mozart's debts after his death. Yet she did not do the auction for making money soon after Mozart's death, which was the common way for bereaved family. This fact endorses that she had enough money upon Mozart's death.
*3. If she was really in poverty, she should have left the expensive apartment at Rauhensteingasse soon and transfer to a modest residence. But she did not. She continued to live in such an expensive apartment for a long time.
- Mozart's residence at Rauhensteingasse was so wide as 145 square meters, with four bedrooms which cost 275 florins annually.
Needless to say, she did not need to continue living in such a wide apartment since she was living there with a baby, Franz Xaver ( elder son Carl was sent to Prague for Niemetschek's care in 1792).
However, she dared to live there for a long time ( probably by late 1793). That was because abundant money in her hands could afford to do so.
*4. After Mozart's death, Constanze never worked and was only idling away for a long time.
Her trustworthy income was only the widow's pension from Vienna court of which amount was 266 florins a year. While the rent was bigger than the pension, 275 florins a year.
How could she manage her living with this balance unless she had abundant money in hand ?
This fact eloquently tells that she had abundant money in secret.
*5. As I describe soon later, it is no doubt that she had hidden all Mozart's valuables like jewels, ornaments and his autograph music scores, etc.since we can not find any of them in his inheritance records. Then who can believe that such a woman declared only cash honestly ? .
*6. We know that Constanze had left 27,191 florins of inheritance upon her death, which equaled to 45 times of Mozart's inheritance.
How could Constanze, who never worked only once after Mozart's death and whose income was the widow's pension only, accumulate such vast amount of her wealth unless she had hidden cash and valuables upon Mozart's death ?
We must admit that she could have enjoyed after Mozart's death such windfalls as the profit from benefit concerts, contributions though not large amount, and the profit from selling Mozart's music.
But, when we guess the balance between her assets upon/after Mozart's death ( coins, arrears of the annual salary and the windfalls) and the remainders of his debts that the bereaved had to repay, we'll not be able to reach to the conclusion that she could have accumulated such big fortune unless she had hidden large amount of money and Mozart's valuables.
From such many points of view, I believe that Constanze had plenty of money in secret upon Mozart's death though she declared false 60 florins to the authority.
The cheapest Mozart's funeral ceremony ( only 8 florins 56 kreuzer !) has been blamed on her miserable poverty for a long time. However things were just the opposite. She really was a very rich widow thanks to the hidden cash and valuables.
Then Constanze who sent off this great musician by the third-class funeral and mass grave burial with an air of perfect innocence should be accused for a shameless and disgusted woman forever.
Arrears of the annual salary of 800 fl.
Mozart's salary was paid by the court in January, April, July and October. Then 133 florins 20 kreuzers were undoubtedly the arrears for November and December in 1791.
Loans presumed lost
To our surprise, we can know by these records that Mozart had his two loans, 800 florins in total. One is 300 florins in 1786 to Franz Gilowsky, the other 500 florins ( date unknown) to the court clarinetist Anton Stadler. Moreover, these were treated as irrecoverable loans.
It is said that Gilowsky went bankrupt in 1790 and then Constanze could not help resigning the collection. However, the loan to Stadler is full of questions.
The first is the reason for the loan. The second is the timing of the loan. And the third is the reason why this loan was treated as irrecoverable.
As to this, H.C.Robbins Landon simply says,
"In 1791, Mozart unluckily could afford to loan money. He therefore must have loaned 500 florins to Stadler."
Robbins Landon guessed like that, but he did not explain the reason for the loan and why it was treated as irrecoverable.
For me this opinion does not seem quite persuasive.
He says Mozart's generosity let him do so. However, Mozart was in big distresses for repayment of his debts in 1791, especially troublesome repayment to Lichnowsky.
Then he would have repaid the 500 florins to Lichnowsky not to be brought to court, in stead of his such generous loan to Stadler.
I myself consider this as follows.
The words "without liability" written in the records may be the hint to solve this question. Why were these words added in the inheritance records?
This probably means that the loan was not personal basis.
My view on this is that the 500 florins would have been Stadler's activities expenses given by Mozart for helping Mozart's Masonic project, about which was written in Mozart, an enthusiastic Freemason. Then I guess that the timing of the loan was in 1788, not in1791.
The fact that Constanze generously gave up her right to collect it from Stadler may prove that she also had known the reason for Mozart's loan. That was related to Mozart's Masonic activity which she did not want to open. Probably for that reason she did not argue.
This fact also suggests us that Constanze had abundant money upon Mozart's death and then she had given up collecting the loan easily.
If she were really so poor as having only 60 florins in hand, she would have desperately asked Stadler to repay it, I suppose .
As to silver goods in the inheritance records, there only existed the words
'three poor spoons' .
We may be choked with sorrow to watch this considering that Mozart's poverty was such extent.
However, where have such silver goods as knives, forks, dishes and candle sticks gone?
To pawn shop?- Probably it is not.
I myself believe that this must have been the false declaration by the bereaved. I would like to discuss this issue again in the following Missing Property.
So frequently and for a long time, it has been said that Mozart spent a
dissipated life and always pursued extravagant goods. Many persons talked
as follows, and they blamed his dissipated habit for his debts.
"Mozart asked for luxurious clothes and furniture at any time. His fine clothes and furniture were equal to those of aristocracy and/or rich merchants."
This seems to be a common Mozart's myth.
If this myth were really true, we can probably trace some signs in his property. However, the inheritance records clearly denied it, I believe.
1) The number of his possession was small
As to his clothes, we find only two overcoats, seven jackets ( including one with waistcoat, and one with slacks), four waistcoats and nine slacks in the records for all the clothes he had.
This let us know that he had not too many clothes, and this small number of clothes could by no means compare with those of aristocracy and/or rich merchants.
2) Evaluation was low
Those 22 clothes in total were evaluated by only 33 florins which apparently suggested that his possessions were not gorgeous ones.
Among them, the highest evaluation was 6 florins for the ' white cloth coat with manchester waistcoat' and the lowest was only 45 kreuzers for 'the cloth of nankeen'. Other coats were evaluated between 1 to 4 florins.
This low evaluation may suggest that his clothes were humble and/or very old.
3) His clothes were not high quality
When we check the quality of Mozart's clothes in the records, we can know that they are mostly made of common wool or cotton, though there contained one silk made jacket ( ' brown satin coat with breeches, silk embroidered ' ) and a fur coat.
Scholars in the past have overstated as if all his clothes were luxurious enough.
However, such a few number, less valuation and common quality of his clothes obviously prove that Mozart had not pursued extravagant clothes at all.
We should recall here the fact that he had scarce needs to dress well in his late Vienna era since he was deprived of appearing on stages in Vienna and was quite away from association with aristocracy and rich merchants, the details of which are described in Sudden Drop of Mozart's Popularity.
Therefore, the opinion is quite questionable to me that Mozart had pursued gorgeous clothes always in his Vienna years.
In other items of Mozart's possessions, I can prove too that his possessions were far humble than those of rich persons those days.
I happened to read a book in which some Goethe's possessions were written ("Genies ganz privat" written by Gerhard Prause). It was the description about linens and shirts that Goethe had at his 29 years old ( he was single that time).
The following shows the comparison between Mozart's and Goethe's possession of linens etc.
|Items||Number of Mozart's possession
in 1791 (35 years old)
|Number of Goethe's possession
in 1778 (29 years old)
|Table clothes||5 sheets||24 sheets|
|Napkins||16 sheets||267 sheets|
|Handkerchiefs||18 sheets||108 sheets|
|Shirts for cuff links||9 pieces ( with cuff links or not can not be identified)||194 pieces|
|Shirts without cuff links||( included in above)
Though Goethe himself was not a noble man or a rich merchant, he was born in rich family and kept his wealthy life for all his life with his tremendous talents. He finally left 30,000 thalers (45,000 florins ), two mansions and many valuable collections. Yes, he was apparently a rich person as well as aristocracy and wealthy merchants those days.
At a glance of this table, we can perceive that Mozart's possessions were very modest and were far different from those of rich persons.
Yet, Mozart has been accused as a dissipated person who had only pursued luxuriousness.
Thus, his inheritance records clearly tell that Mozart's clothes and linens were modest. Only scholars after ages have overstated it and they set Mozart up as a fast liver.
Lastly I would like to touch on the 'one black cloth suit' which attracts our eyes. It was evaluated by 1 florin 30 kreuzer in the records.I wonder for what purpose he had owned this cloth.
In my view, it probably was for the ceremonial suit for his planned new Masonic lodge.
In Masonic lodges, master Masons used to wear black ceremonial suits with blue shoulder straps on it. On the surface of the strap, their symbolism of the sun, moon and seven stars were drawn.
This was left in the condition of black cloth, not tailored. I therefore guess that this probably was prepared for his new ceremonial suit for his new lodge"Cavern".
However, since the new lodge was after all not founded, then it remained as a cloth. I guess that it was bought at the fashion-dealer in Stock im Eisen together with other supposed brothers' cloth.
Apart from this black cloth, he surely had his tailored ceremonial suit for the lodge ' New Crowned Hope'. But, curiously enough, we can not find it in the inheritance records.
(5) Household goods
He had 153 household goods in total , from the forte-piano to miscellaneous china and kitchen equipment. The evaluation was 296 florins 8 kreuzer in total.
Among them, high evaluation were only three, the forte-piano ( 80 florins), billiard facilities (60 florins) and an equipment( 2 divans with canvas covers, 6 chairs, 50 florins).
Other furniture were valued less than 12 florins, most of them between one to six florins.
Now the question is if these were luxurious or not, although he has been accused for the follower of luxurious goods.
The figures shown here were not his purchase price but evaluation upon his death, to be sure. Then we must recognize that they were largely depreciated from the value Mozart purchased them for the first time. In addition, we do not know how much Mozart had paid to get them.
Then it is very difficult to say Mozart's possessions were luxurious or not.
Yet, we can probably agree from the following reasons that they were not luxurious except for the three goods above mentioned.
One is that, we can see many too low valued goods in his inheritance records.
For example, three hardwood tables in the second room was valued by 2 florins 30 kreuzer, one hardwood table in the third room by 1 florin, two softwood book cases in the fourth room by 2 florins.
Remember here that one florin equaled to three round-trip tickets for any street coach in Vienna which could be read in Mozart's letter to Puchberg in June 1788 ( date unknown).
These low evaluation mean in a sense that these furniture were not luxurious from the time he bought them.
The other is that, we can often find such adjectives as ' old', 'worn' and ' ordinary' in the records.
' 1 ordinary centre candelabrum' in the second room, ' 1 couch, worn damask' and ' 1 old softwood wardrobe' in the fourth room are the examples.
In another aspect, we can see from the records that Mozart did not use luxuries but used common goods. For example, his candle-sticks were made of brass and glass, not of silver and his teapot was a common tin teapot.
Thus, Mozart had put up with old furniture and common equipment. He was never the man who pursued only luxuriousness.
He once owned a riding-horse and a carriage and six as well when he made money hand over fist at the height of his popularity in Vienna. However, we can not find such luxuriousness in his inheritance records at all. Yes, he had largely changed his way of life in late Vienna era.
He has been unjustly accused of a fast liver by scholars in after ages, only by the fact that he had gorgeous billiard facilities in his home, which was merely for his relaxation to soothe his nerves.
Considering from above many facts, it is likely that scholars and writers were making too much fuss about extravagant Mozart by scarce grounds to believe so.
Mozart had owned 43 items of books, whose total was 124 in number.
Each book was valued far less than 1 florin except for ' Nebentheater, 6 vols (1 fl. 30 kr.) ' and the total evaluation was only 8 florins 54 kreuzer.
Some of them are supposed to be sent from Salzburg since such books can be seen in the list as ' Gessner's Schriften ' and ' Molier's Lustspiele' , which were given to him during his travels in Salzburg era,.
It is well known that Mendelssohn's and Sonnenfels's books were contained in his library. This of course reveals Mozart's strong awareness and association with Freemasonry.
In contrast, he owned as well a very old Bible published in Köln in 1679. Probably Mozart who was a devoted Mason in his Vienna era had not bought it by his own initiative, but Leopold who was a pious Catholic might have sent it to his son from Salzburg not to forget the piety.
Among all property left by Mozart, it is needless to say that the most valuable to posterity are his autograph music scores.
However, curiously enough, we can find only five scores by Mozart ( 1 manuscript, 4 printed) in the records, which is shown below.
|No||Name of Ｍｏｚａｒｔ’ｓ music||Valuation|
|48||Simphonie grande periodique en plusieurs
Instruments par Mozart. folio Vienna
|56||Ariette avec variations pour le Clavenic par
Mozart, Nos 2&9
|57.||Grand Concert pour le Clavecin par Mozart.||20|
|60.||Qintette del Figaro. Ms.||15|
|71||Fantasie et Sonate, pour le Forte piano par
Most music scores in these records are those of other composers like Haydn, Bach, Gluck, Hoffmeister, Leo, Hillier, etc..
Where have his all autographs gone ? I will describe my own opinion as to this curiousness soon later at 3.Missing Property.
The music scores listed in the records was valued by 14 florins 47 kreuzers.
Mozart's liabilities listed in the inheritance records are described before. Watching the table, however, still I can not help having some questions.
We should remember here that Constanze stated in front of the emperor that she could repay all his husband's debts with around 3,000 florins .
Yes, she clearly recognized in her mind that there existed Mozart's big debts, which were owing to Puchberg, Lichnowsky and Lackenbacher. The total remainder of these three debts upon Mozart's death exceeded a little larger than 3,000 florins.
However, we can not curiously enough find those creditor's names and their loans at all in the record
I wonder why Constanze as well as those creditors did not declare these debts to the office.
As described in Mozart's Debts, I believe Mozart's debts from Puchberg and Lichnowsky had been related to his Masonic project.
We know that Freemasonry had become a hateful party among Viennese year by year in late eighteenth century. And then I wonder if the creditors did not declare these liabilities to the office since they wanted their loans not to be publicly revealed that they were the loans related to Freemasonry.
As shown in above table, Mozart owed two tailors 295 florins in total upon
We can not know the timings and the detailed contents of these liabilities. However, this big amount of debts makes us confuse.
This amount of money for two tailors is high enough for us to believe that they were for his own clothes. Yes, we can not find such gorgeous clothes at all in his inheritance records as mentioned before.
As I explained earlier, the number of his total clothes were 22 which were valued by only 33 florins in total. Each evaluation was so low, varying from 45 kreuzers to 6 florins.
Where can we find such gorgeous clothes in his possession which cost 295 florins in total ?
It is natural that we should admit that evaluations at inheritance are far lower than brand-new. Yet, taking that factor into consideration, we shall not be able to find such expensive clothes in the records.
Probably this 295 florins were not for Mozart's own clothes, I suppose.
My guess is that they were the sewing costs for members' ceremonial suits for supposed Mozart's new lodge "Cavern". The cloth for these ceremonial suits might have been purchased at the fashion-dealer at Stock im Eisen, I guess. These ceremonial suits were probably located in his members' houses, not in Mozart's house. Then only the sewing costs were left behind as Mozart's liabilities.
208 florins of debts to a decorator also weigh on my mind.
As to this, Robbins Landon considered like the following.
"Mozart seemed to have redecorated the interior of his apartment house, or replaced some of his furniture to new ones. Debts to tailors and a decorator reveal that this couple regarded maintaining their presence as important."
In this opinion, Mozart is regarded as a vain person.
I admit in a sense that there existed in Mozart's mind such vainness that Robbins Landon pointed . But I myself think that his vainness can not be applied to this case.
It was in September end in 1790 when they transferred to the new apartment house.
If we accept Robbins Landon's opinion, Mozart redecorated his interior soon after his relocation.
We can not know the exact timing of the re-decoration, but it has probably not yet passed a year after his transfer to the new apartment house.
This too soon remodeling calls us suspicion if he was such a person who lacked endurance.
As mentioned before, he was the man who put up with ordinary and old furniture. Had such person done remodeling of the room so soon after the relocation?
At the same time, we should be careful for the fact that we can not find many expensive and new furniture in his inheritance records.
Then I guess that these expenses might have been neither for his own remodeling nor purchasing his own new furniture
My guess is that these also the expenses for his Masonic project.
One possibility is the remodeling cost for the meeting room that Mozart had rented.
As it is known well, Masonic lodges had their characteristic atmosphere that gold stars were drawn on the arched ceiling which was painted in blue, checkerboard patterns on the floor and having a window in the east, west and south direction respectively.
I guess that 208 florins were used for this remodeling of the meeting room.
Another possible reason for this liability is the expenditure for the furniture necessary for the meeting room.
Watching these inheritance records carefully, we notice before long that
we can not find several important Mozart's possession that should be there.
They are silver goods( other than three spoons), valuables, his autograph music scores and his belongings.
As described before, we can not at all find such silver goods as knives, forks dishes and candle sticks anywhere. Yes, all the silver goods except for three spoons have gone somewhere.
As to knives, forks and dishes, we can not find those made of other metals in the records, too.
Then how did Mozart family take their meal without knives and forks ? Did they use their hands like barbarians when dining ? Probably "No".
As to these missing silver goods, Robbins Landon described in his book that Mozart went out for Frankfurt with Hoffer making money by putting all silver goods other than three spoons in pawn.
This seems to be a plausible opinion and many people probably believe this, I suppose.
However, I can not accept this opinion at all except for the case the pawn ticket to prove this is left to posterity ( As long as I know, such pawn ticket is not left to us).
Why I think so is that Mozart was never in poverty when he went to Frankfurt. More to say, this travel did not cost so much as Mozart had to make money by pawn.
Taking a glance at the table in Mozart's Debts which shows his annual income every year, we can easily know that his income in 1790 when he went out for Frankfurt was so high as more than 3,000 florins, being paid 900 florins of composition fee for "Cosi fan tutte" in the first half.
And we should also pay attention to the fact that the state of the previous year(1789) was quite the same.
Yes, Mozart was benefited with large amount of income those days, and was not poor in the least.
We know that Mozart went out for the trip by his own carriage. Yes, he could have gotten his own carriage again around that time because his income position was so favorable.
One more thing to be considered is their relocation to the apartment house in Rauhensteingasse at that time.
If he was in poverty that time, why could he transfer to the expensive apartment house? This fact also reveals that he was never poor that time.
As to the expenses of this travel, we can guess that they did not cost much.
The ground to think so is the fact that he rented a room inexpensively from Johann Böhm by 30 florins for a month stay in Frankfurt. This rent would have included the meal cost for the month.
He had no need to pay the coach fee. The room and board for a month in Frankfurt was less expensive. His income state was favorable. Then why had he to depend the travel expenses on borrowing by pawn?
Considering thus, I can not accept at all the opinion that Mozart had put all his silver goods except for three spoons in pawn when he went out for Frankfurt.
My consideration about the silver goods is that they were not put in pawn but Constanze had hidden all silver goods except for three small spoons before the comptrollers came.
Preparing for her supposed widowhood, Constanze had secretly hidden them somewhere ( probably at Caecilla's house ) before the inspection started and she coolly declared only three small spoons to the office.
The comptrollers could not find any silver goods other than the three spoons in Mozart house, and then they had to register only three spoons in the inheritance records.
Not only cash and silver, Constanze had hidden many valuables like golden
watches and jewelry since we can find none in the records.
In his Salzburg era, Mozart was given such valuables as golden pocket watches, golden snuff boxes, golden knives etc. from many kings and noble men in Europe. They were valued by Lorenz Hübner as much as 12,000 gulden with his astonishment.
However, there is no wonder that we can not find them in the records since Leopold had kept them in Salzburg.
After Leopold's death, Mozart agreed with Nannel that Mozart received 1,000 florins of cash as his share for Leopold's inheritance, without asking to recover his booties. But, at that time, all his autograph music in Salzburg were promised to send back to Vienna by Nannerl.
In his Vienna era, Mozart had met many aristocracy and feudal lords not restricted to in Vienna, but in Prague, Dresden, Berlin, Munich etc. to say nothing of.
In those occasions, it was sure that not only cash but also valuables were given to him as rewards for his piano performances.
For example, he was given a beautiful snuff-box ( in which 450 florins were put) by Karl August in Dresden in 1789. Also in Berlin in the same year, he was given 700 florins in golden snuff-box from Prussian King.
However, we can not find these snuff-boxes anywhere in the records.
He must have owned several watches, probably golden watches given from aristocracy, but we can not find none in the records. We can find only one golden clock in the records.
Where have all these valuables gone ?
To pawnbrokers or hidden by Constanze ? - No need to say, Constanze had hidden them.
After Mozart's death, she turned these silver goods and valuables into money, which became the part of funds for 27,191 florins of her inheritance.
In his Vienna era he had composed far more than 300 music including fragments.
From February 1784, he began to compile the ' Handwriting catalogue of his own works' and 145 completed music ( from K.449 to K.623 ) were written in that catalogue.
In addition to his music composed in Vienna, he owned his autograph scores composed in Salzburg as well at his apartment house in Rauhensteingasse which were sent by Nannerl in the year end of 1787.
Then the total volume of his autograph scores would have been a very big, say more than 700 music. However, to our surprise, we can find only five Mozart music in the records as mentioned earlier..
I wonder where such many famous music scores as Don Giovanni, the three symphonies, the clarinet concerto, the string quartets. etc., etc., etc., have gone ?
Even if we gaze the list again and again, we can find only five Mozart music in the records. The rest are the music titles composed by other musicians like M. Haydn, Bach, Gluck, Gasman, Ostad, Leo, Hiller. What happened to his own music scores ? Vaporized or stolen ?
As to this, H.C. Robbins Landon described like below in his book.
"We get the impression that Mozart must have cleared away many music scores as well as his books before December 1791 - The comptroller took no account of Mozart's manuscripts."
This opinion does not seem to be persuasive at all.
He described nothing about the reason why Mozart had to do such incomprehensible action before his death and why the comptroller took no account of his autographs.
With regard to this issue, the important points are the following two.
1. Whether Mozart's autographs were existed in his apartment house at the inspection of inheritance, or not.
2. Whether autographs those days were taxable or not. ( Some persons insist that only printed scores were taxable those days.)
At present, there exists the opinion that Mozart's autographs were there in his apartment house upon his death. But tax was imposed only on printed music those days.
As a result, they insist that we can not find his autographs in the inheritance records although they were in his apartment house.
However, I myself can not accept this opinion at all.
In my view, all Mozart's autographs excluding above mentioned 'Quintette del Figaro. Ms.' did not exist in his house when the inspection of inheritance took place.
Yes, all his autographs were hidden somewhere by Constanze before the comptroller came, I suppose.
That was because Constanze did not want to pay a florin for inheritance tax. Probably she knew that autographs as well as the printed music wer to be imposed on. Then she hid them in advance before the inspection.
Now let us check that autographs (manuscripts) were also taxable those days. We can easily know it from Mozart's inheritance records.
The following are the examples of taxed manuscripts in Mozart's inheritance records.
Each manuscript has it own valuation estimated by the comptroller, which proves manuscripts were also taxable as well as the printed music.
No. Names of manuscripts valuation 42 L'Endimione Serenata dal Sig.Mich.Haydn
2 vol. Ms
40kr. 54. Bach's S. Clavierübungen : 2nd part. Ms 12 58. Terzetto del Sig. Gasman. Ms. 10 60. Quintette del Figaro. Ms. 15 62. Zemir et Azor. Comedie Ballet. Ms. Mozart 17 65. Partition du Diable a Quatre par Chev.
17 66. des Airs de l'Arbre enchanté
Opera comique par Chev Gluck.Ms.
As clearly shown above, manuscripts themselves were taxable those days as well as printed scores.
Therefore, the argument will make no sense that the comptroller, who found many Mozart's autographs in his house, did not list up his autographs in the records due to no taxable item.
Yes, the comptroller could find in Mozart's house only 31 music scores ( 5 Mozart's music, 26 other composers' music) in total excluding ' Various Miscellanea 15 kr'.
All Mozart's autographs had already gone somewhere out of his house when the comptroller visited.
Considering the vast volume of all Mozart's music scores , the comptroller must have not overlooked them if they existed in Mozart's house. But they were not there.
The comptrollers had made a through investigation that time into his underpants, small kitchen equipment, and valueless books for youth, for example. Then we can not say that the comptrollers have overlooked these massive music scores if they existed in his house.
In my view, his music scores were carried away to Caecilla's apartment house not by Mozart himself but by Constanze, probably in late November or early December when Mozart was ill in bed.
The purpose of concealing by Constanze is evident.
She was worrying for the payment of big sum of inheritance tax. Then she determined to hide all valuables including her husband's massive volume of scores which were expected to be highly valued by the authority.
She shrewdly detected that these were of enormous value and would be of great help to her widowhood. And then she secretly moved them to Caecilla's apartment house before the property check.
We know that Constanze sold many Mozart's music scores to Prussian king, Anton André and others after Mozart's death and could make a vast amount of profit. (Mozart's handwriting catalogue of his own works was also sold to Anton André)
How could she sell Mozart's autographs which were not listed in the records? That was because she hid them somewhere.
As described before, they had not already existed in Mozart house when the inheritance check began. But after that she could sell them because she knew the place where they were hidden.
Without doubt there was no person other than Constanze who could hide vast volume of his music which existed in Mozart's room.
In addition to above, we can know by watching the records carefully that
there were several other missing Mozart's property..
As mentioned above, Mozart must have had his ceremonial suits for the lodge "New Crowned Hope" in his house since he was the member of the lodge up to his death.
But we can not find them in the records. I wonder if it were disposed of by Constanze or some lodge member carried it away.
In 1829, Mr.and Mrs. Novello had an interview with Constanze at her house in Salzburg. At that time, they observed many portraits in her room and they described as follows.
"On upper side of the sofa, there was a family's portrait - Mozart playing duet with his sister, his father sitting aside and his mother's portrait in frame hanging on the wall........... In another room, there was a portrait in his boyhood who wore a waistcoat with embroidery having a sword in his hand"
Though Mr.and Mrs.Novello described like that, we can not find those picture in the inheritance records.
Not restricted to these picture, there was no picture listed at all in the records (As to the unfinished Mozart's portrait painted by Lange, it was not yet handed to Constanze at that time).
At that interview, Constanze told them that Mozart was fond of reading books, and he knew well Shakespeare by translation. Furthermore she added that she kept Mozart's nine-volume books which had became prohibition of sale in Austria and by that reason she could not tell the book name.
However, we can not find these nine-volume books as well as Shakespeare's in the inheritance records.
He must have kept the catechism for Freemasonry in his house. But we also can not find them in the records.
By above analysis, we came to know that there were so many missing Mozart's property in his inheritance records.
It was obvious that Constanze intentionally hid those valuables only for her own happiness in future.
Who else could do other than Constanze ?
Concluding this chapter, I would like to summarize the following as "What Mozart's inheritance records tell".
* These records clearly prove that Mozart's life was simple and modest in any aspects. We can hardly find any luxury goods except for the billiard facilities, Then we can say that Mozart was never a fast liver.
* We can notice many missing property here and there in his inheritance records . Probably, for her coming widowhood, Constanze must have hidden them before the inspection and made a false declaration to the office.
* Then we can say these records did not reflect entire Mozart property.
In other words, his real property must have been more rich if these missing property were correctly added. Therefore, in spite of the shabby appearance, his inheritance records do not prove that Mozart was poor.
Lastly I would like to touch on Constanze's estate upon her death.
It is said that she left sizable amount ( 27,191 florins in total ) of inheritance when she died in 1842.
Considering the fact that Haydn's estate was about 35,000florins and that of Beethoven's was 10,000 florins, we can say Constanze had left a respectable estate.
However, we have a strong question how she could accumulate such vast amount of wealth though she had never worked after her husband's death ?
As described before, only 60 florins of cash were left to her upon her husband's death and her fixed income was 266 florins of widow's pension only. Yet she still kept living in high cost apartment house in Rauhensteingasse (annual rent was 275 florins) for nearly two years. During the rest of her life after Mozart's death, she was only idling away everyday without having a work.
Why such a woman could have made so big fortune upon her death, unless she had hidden many Mozart's valuables secretly ? More to say, after she had repaid considerable amount of Mozart's debts, she could have accumulated such fortune.
Did she win the first prize in a public lottery ? - Probably "No."
Did the second husband Nissen bring a large amount of dowry when he married Constanze ? -Probably "No."( There is an opinion that one third of Constanze's estate was brought by Nissen. But I wonder if a sure ground to say so exists. Yet, even so, about 20,000 florins of inheritance is still respectable)
Then by what realistic way could she accumulate such wealth ?
I have no hesitation in saying that all Mozart's valuables hidden by Constanze had largely contributed for her big fortune.
To declare so, I must describe in the first place that Nissen's property had not contributed much in making Constanze's wealth. The following is my thought about it.
After Mozart's death, Constanze lived alone without marriage for many years. Her reliable annual income was only 266 florins of widow's pension. It was not enough income for her to live comfortably. But she never worked.
However, until 1797 she had already become so rich as she could lend 3,500 florins to Franz Xaver Deuschek in Prague.
This was all thanks to the gains from selling Mozart's autographs, charity concerts for admiring Mozart's achievements and the contributions from Mozart fans.
At around 1797, she thought of having a boarding house. She remembered that the best way to plunder a male was to have a boarding house. She was really right in her idea. Not only Mozart but also Nissen was plundered in boarding house.
After that, Constanze cohabited with Nissen for more than 10 years and then they finally got married in June 1809 at Presburg.
After their marriage, Nissen wanted to go back to his home country Denmark and applied to the office for returning. It was accepted and he was allowed to go back in February 1810.
In Copenhagen, he could be no more a diplomat. He obtained very tiresome post to do press censorship. It was a simple job only to censor two newspapers. He did it for ten years and resigned in 1820.
After the resignation, Nissen and Constanze took a travel to the south Europe and spent four years mainly in Milan. After that they headed for Salzburg and met Mozart's sister Nannerl. Nissen was given from Nannerl the vast volume of Mozart's family letters that time, and he decided to write the biography and settled their house at Salzburg. He wrote it and died in 1826 before the completion of the book.
This was the short history of Mr. and Mrs. Nissen.
I guess from the grounds described below that Nissen's contribution to his wife's fortune would not be so large.
In short, Nissen was not a successful person in his career. He was said to have been a diplomat. But it was only nominal. According to Viggo Sjøqvist, the actual fact was as follows.
"(In Copenhagen ) He was given the title of the secretary of the legation, but it actually was a secretary to the minister and was the lowest grade as a diplomat. In response to the low job grade, his salary was naturally as low as 300 dollars a year. In 1790, he moved to Regensburg from Copenhagen and got a little higher title ' the chargé d' affaires' that time. However, the real reason for his getting the title name was that a secretary of the legation was recognized as "a kind of servant without freedom" in Regensburg and such person could not have access to the upper class society."
Considering such Nissen's career as a diplomat and a censor after that , it is probable that he could not make his fortune plentifully.
However, he at present is often cited as "von Nissen" in many books. This make us have illusion that he was ennobled later. But he in reality was not ennobled.
"On 13 October he was elected a Danish Councillor of State. The award of the Order of the Danebrog on 28 January 1809 did not ennoble him, but this did not prevent Constanze from calling him and herself "von Nissen" thereafter."(Deutsch)
After Nissen's retirement, they spent four years in travelling through Europe, which undoubtedly cost very much. Nevertheless, Constanze could have left as much as 27,191 florins as her inheritance when she died.
We must admit Nissen's contribution to making Constanze's fortune a bit, but we should notice how Mozart's hidden property - cash, silver goods and jewelry and autographs - was so enormous.
As to her fortune, Constanze wrote to her son Carl Thomas Mozart on December 29, 1810.
"..........All the money which I, your mother, have with toil and tenacity acquired, and which my present husband has helped to augment, has, after payment of the debts which your father left, been invested in Vienna. ........."(Deutsch)
This letter will upset persons who know the true fact well.
She wrote to her son as if all her fortune was made by her own efforts, though she had never worked and only idled away.
What she wrote is a shameless lie and she twisted the true facts. We would like to hear what kind of toil and tenacity she had to experience.
In this letter Nissen was praised by Constanze in helping to augment for her fortune.
However, unpardonable thing is that Constanze had not left a thanking word to Mozart though she benefited largely from the property left by Mozart. Here in this letter, she only describe as if Mozart were the person who had left the hopeless debts. What a disgraceful woman she was !
We see that Mozart's inheritance records was miserably shabby, but that of Constanze was dizzily rich. However these are merely the matter of surface appearances.
The truth was that all Mozart's valuables were hidden by Constanze and they were transformed as Constanze's fortune 50 years later.
1. Prause Gerhard
Genies ganz privat (translated by Takumi Maruyama and Keiji Kato, Kohdansha, 1981)
MOZART A DOCUMENTARY BIOGRAPHY
MOZART : A LIFE
1791 MOZART'S LAST YEAR
Mozart Pilgrimage: Being the Travel Diaries of Vincent & Mary Novello in the year 1829
To gange fuldkommen lykkelig
Author : Shuji Fujisawa
e-mail : email@example.com
First published : February 15, 2005
Updated ; May 26, 2008
All rights reserved