The Bohemian Lands

  • Christopher Hogwood
  • Jan Smaczny
Part of the Man & Music book series (MAMU)


In autumn 1787, while preparing the first performance of Don Giovanni, Mozart and the impresario Bondini were alarmed to find that the Archduchess Maria Theresa was due to visit Prague and would attend the première of the opera planned for 14 October. According to the composer’s own account to von Jacquin,1 not only would the performance have been under-prepared, but the subject matter was unlikely to find favour with the royal visitor. The situation was saved by a royal command to the effect that if the new opera was not ready, Le nozze di Figaro would serve. The archduchess was honeymooning in Prague with her new husband, Prince Anton of Saxony, and left a few days later. The anecdote serves less to illuminate an uncomfortable, if slightly risible, episode in the composer’s career than as an illustration of the status of Prague in the Austrian empire. For the aristocracy of Vienna, who were to a large extent the raison d’être for large-scale musical performance in the Bohemian capital, Prague was less a second home than a place to stay on the way to further destinations, or a refuge for holidaying.


Eighteenth Century Late Eighteenth Century Musical Education Early Eighteenth Century Instrumental Music 
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  1. 5.
    For further details see O. Šotolová, Antonín Rejcha (Prague, 1977), 6f.Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    For further details see J. Racek, Česká hudba od nejstarších dob do počátku 19. století [Czech music from the earliest times to the beginning of the 19th century] (Prague, 1958), 327f.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    See H. Fitzpatrick, The Horn and Horn-Playing and the Austro-Bohemian Tradition from 1680 to 1830 (London, 1970), 9–25.Google Scholar
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    See R. Fikrle, Jan Ev. Ant. Koželuch (Prague, 1946), 24.Google Scholar
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    O. E. Deutsch, Mozart: a Documentary Biography (London, 2/1966), 505.Google Scholar
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    For further details see J. Stefan, Ecclesia metropolitan pragensu catalogus collectionis operum antis musicae, Artis Musicae Antiquoris Catalogorum, iv/1 (1983).Google Scholar
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    See H. C. Robbins Landon, Supplement to the Symphonies of Joseph Haydn (London, 1961).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Granada Group and Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Hogwood
  • Jan Smaczny

There are no affiliations available

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