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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart » Violin-Viola Duos » David, Ferdinand - Bartholf Senff

The Uppingham Collection contains five individual parts of David’s edition of Mozart’s duos for violin and viola, K. 423 and 424: two complete sets, each comprising a violin and viola part, plus an additional viola part. (A detailed discussion of this unique source, with links to recorded music examples, can be found here).  One set has been extensively marked by David with manuscript changes and additional performance instructions. An additional viola part also contains some markings by him. A further complete set, with an undecorated title page, contains no manuscript markings by David. When we obtained these very fragile copies, in which many pages are loose, they had been reassembled in the wrong order. By means of water stains and other internal evidence it has been possible to present the copies in their correct order on the website. They are reproduced here in the following order: 

1) This set (violin and viola) has a decorative border on the title page of the first violin part, and on the blank first page of the viola part David has written his name together with the title Duos v. Mozart | f. Viol & Alto in blue crayon. This set contains extensive annotations by David in similar blue crayon to that which he used on the first page of the viola part, as well as some annotations in pencil and ink. The only movement in this set of parts not marked by David is the Rondo of K. 423 in the viola part. The viola part of K. 424 is altogether more heavily marked by David than that of K. 423. David himself performed on the viola in K. 424 at the Leipzig Gewandhaus concert of 26 November 1870 with Englebert Röntgen playing violin. At the Gewandhaus concert of 17 November 1868 David had also played viola in the G major Duo, apparently also with Röntgen, although neither the programme nor reviews make clear the identity of the violinist. For reviews of these performances from the Signale für die musikalische Welt see below.

This set of parts annotated by David also contains a few markings in later hands, some modern, the copies evidently having been used quite recently by pupils at Uppingham School. In the violin part of the Andante of K. 424 in this set, David wrote a short cadenza in the bottom margin in pencil; a slip of manuscript paper containing a fair copy of the cadenza was later stuck on top with red wax; this copy appears not to be in Ferdinand David’s hand, but may perhaps have been copied by Röntgen before the 1870 Gewandhaus concert. David himself seems to have played the violin part after the copy of the cadenza was added, for in addition to the fingerings copied from the pencil sketch, the fair copy has had a blue crayon fingering on the final note, which appears to be in David's hand. The viola part in this set includes a completely rewritten version of the K. 424 Andante written by David on a pasted-in sheet of manuscript paper ruled with a rastrum. David's alternative version consists mostly of pizzicato triple- and quadruple-stopped chords replacing Mozart's original arco double-stopped chords; as the Signale review indicates, this was played at the Gewandhaus concert in 1870.

2) This additional viola part is associated with the preceding set. It contains just a few blue crayon markings by David on page 4, at the end of the Adagio of the first Duo. 

3) This set (violin and viola) appears from its undecorated title page to be a latter printing. It is unmarked except for some pencil markings made by students at Uppingham School in recent times. David's printed markings, often obscured in the copies he annotated, can be clearly seen in this set.

Reviews of first performances of the Duos at the Leipzig Gewandhaus appeared in the Signale für die musikalische Welt, the publisher Senff's house journal.

Signale für die musikalische Welt 26 (1868),1064

Duo für Violine und Viola (Op. 25, Nr. 1) von Mozart [...] besonders ist ein Erzeugniss voll süßsesten Reizes und holdester Anmuth. [...] wir brauchen nur noch zu sagen, daß die Executirenden mit reichstem und gerechtfertigstem Beifall überschüttet wurden, sowie das diesmal die Besetzung gegen früher insofern eine andere war, als Hr. Conzertmeister David sich für das Duo und das Quintett zur Bratsche versetzt hat[.]
[Duo for violin and viola (Op. 25, No. 1) by Mozart [...] in particular is a production full of the sweetest charm and most lovely grace. [...] we need only to add that the performers were deluged with richest and most well-deserved applause, and that this time the arrangements were different, in that Concert-master David had changed to the viola for the Duo and Quintet.]

Signale für die musikalische Welt 28 (1870), 852

Hierauf kam Duett für Violine und Viola in Bdur von Mozart (No. 2 der von David edirt und bei Bartholff Senff erschienenen Duette), ein Stück voller Geist und Liebenswürdigkeit, excellent vorgetragen durch die Herren Conzertmeister Röntgen (Violine) und David (Viola), und vom Publikum mit rauschendster Acclamation aufgenommen. Das Adagio (mit seiner durchgängigen Pizzicato-Viola-Begleitung) mußte sogar wiederholt werden.
[Then came a duet for violin and viola in B flat major by Mozart (No. 2 in the edition of the duets edited by David and published by Bartholff Senff), a piece full of inspiration and loveliness, excellently performed by Concert-masters Röntgen (violin) and David (viola), and received by the public with stormy acclamation. The Adagio (with its continuous pizzicato viola accompaniment) even had to be repeated.]

C. B.

Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Work Violin-Viola Duos
Title Zwei Duette
Publisher Bartholf Senff
City Leipzig
Date 1866 (June) [Source: Hofmeister - August 1866]
Publication Number 490
Instrumentation Violin and Viola – 1 Violin · 1 Viola
Partly Recomposed Yes


Part Plate No. Medium Annotations Musical Text(s)
Violin and Viola parts 490 Printed Printed & Manuscript