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Anton Herzog's Report

An interesting and comprehensive account concerning the Requiem was penned by Anton Herzog, a school teacher in Wiener Neustadt, where Count Walsegg had the work performed in the Cistercian Abbey on 14 December 1793. Permission to publish Herzog's report was refused by the censorship office in Vienna and the back of the report reads:

Not allowed
by I.& R. Ministry
Vienna, 8 Feb. 1839
Freyberger mpria.

Otto Jahn knew of it and an edited version appeared in the Vienna newspaper, the "Reichspost" on 5 May 1925. The report became really prominent when an edited version was published in Otto Erich Deutsch's 1964 documentary biography. The entire text is now reproduced below for, as far as is known, the first time.

The report had come into the possession of a Dr. Franz Lorenz in the 19th century and was subsequently donated to the municipal archives in Wiener Neustadt where the archivists have provided the author with kindly assistance.

The sections in italics are those which, generally have not appeared in any previous publication although Robbins Landon does qoute a few sentences in his work "Mozart's Last Year".

Additional translation work is by Thomas Clarke.

"True and detailed History of the Requiem of W.A. Mozart from its origin in the year 1791 to the present period in 1839. By Anton Herzog, Director of the district High School and Choir - master in Wr. Neustadt."

It has been almost half a century since lovers of music and art first admired a work which according to the testimony of all those who understand art far surpasses all others in artistic and aesthetic worth. I mean of course Mozart's Requiem regarding the history of which the public has been left until now mostly in the dark. So much has been said, written and indeed argued over this matter that one would be forgiven for believing that the matter itself had long been exhausted. This, however, is not the case. Impartial observers familiar with the details have found the recent quarrel at times amusing but also most irritating. Particularly provocative was the opinion of Herr Gottfried Weber when he tried to suggest that Mozart had absolutely nothing to do with the Requiem. Herr Abbe Stadler who is highly esteemed in the musical world defended Mozart's Requiem in his "Defence of the Authenticity of the Mozart Requiem" which appeared in the year 1826 and in an addendum to that in the year 1827 he also defended Mozart's honour against the attacks of Herr Gottfried Weber most valiantly. Herr Gottfried Weber's ludicrous claim that Mozart had absolutely nothing to do with the composition of the Requiem is not worth repeating here. However, if anyone would like any further information on his nonsensical opinion they should read the newspaper Cacilia of the years 1826 and 1827. The organist Herr Adolf Hoffa is also guilty of serious error concering the intentions of the commisioner of the Requiem. Numbers 86 and 87 for the year 1828 of the Wiener Modezeitung also err concering the Requiem.

I am fully convinced that Herr Abbe Stadler knew the commisioner of the Requiem and his agent. The circumstances here at the time persuaded him to keep quiet which is the reason why I also have been silent this long time about the history of the Requiem although I was always urged by Doctor Krichten of Pest who wanted to send the article into a Leipzig newspaper more than twenty years ago in order not to leave the musical public in ignorance of a matter which was of such interest as it was believed that I knew everything that had happened in the office of the commisioner of the Requiem and it was known that I was present when the transcript was made of the original score. It was also known that the Herr commisioner of the Requiem had entrusted me with rehearsing the singers for the first performance and that I had the original score in my possession for quite some time. I can only regret that in the space of forty eight years most of those who could speak with authority on the matter have died and that the respected public is entirely restricted to what knowledge I have. I can be reproached for being dilatory in coming forth with the truth about this Requiem as the commisioner of it has been dead for some years and with his death all need for discretion has disappeared. I can only answer that, though I carefully preserved all the relevant evidence, I was honestly of the opinion that the matter was no longer of any interest and would no longer come under discussion. Since however it is currently believed that the original score of the Requiem in Mozart's own hand has been found, indeed in the seventh edition of this years Wiener Theater Zeitung there appeared an article bt a German correspondent which spread a completely false story about the origin of the Mozart Requiem I have been urged by genuine music lovers and by my own regard for the truth to bring, to the best of my knowledge, the story of the said Requiem to the attention of the musical public.

On the question of how far this Requiem is Mozart's work or Sussmayr's, we have every reason to place the fullest confidence in the evidence of Abbe Stadler; for after Mozart's death he put all the composers writings in order for his widow, and set in train the completion by Herr Sussmayr of the partly composed Requiem. So in this essay I must depend on this eminent and trustworthy informant. There now follows the the story of the origin of this much discussed Requiem over which a veil of secrecy has hung for so long.

Franz, Count von Walsegg, owner of the estates of Schottwien, Klam[m], Stuppach, Pottschach and Ziegersberg, situated in Austria below the Enns, V.U.W.W. after his marriage to Anna nee von Flammberg, lived at his country house at Stuppach as a loving husband and a true father to his dependents. He was a passionate amateur of music and the theatre; hence each week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a full three hours was given over to the playing of quartets, and on Sunday there would be a dramatic which the Count himself, his wife and her sister took part as well as all officials and all the numerous house staff. Each had to take a role according to his abilities. For the purpose of playing quartets the Count employed two remarkable artists, Herr Johann Benard on violin and Herr Louis Prevost on violoncello, the Count played the violoncello in quartets and the flute in flute quartets. I usually played second violin or viola. I was working at that time at the Count's school at Klamm as a teacher.

But in order that there should be no lack of new quartets for such frequent performances, the Count not only aquired all published music of this kind, but also made an arrangement with many composers (but always without giving his name)that they should supply him with works, of which he was to hold the exclusive ownership and he paid them generously for this. And in particular Hr. [Franz Anton] Hoffmeister supplied many flute quartets, in which the flute part was quite practicable but the other three parts uncommonly hard, so that the players had to work right hard at them, which made the Count laugh.

But because the Count never liked to play from printed music, he had everything copied out handsomely on ten-stave music paper, but always without the composers name. He usually copied out the scores he had secretely obtained with his own hand and then handed them over to have the separate parts copied. We never got to see an original score. The quartets were then played and we had to guess the composer. Usually we guessed the Count himself, because he did himself occassionaly compose a few trifles; he would smile at that and be pleased that he (or so he believed) had succeeded in mystifying us; but we laughed because he thought us so credulous.

We were all young folk and considered that we were giving our master an innocent pleasure. And in such manner, the mutual deception continued for several years.

I feel that I must first set out these circumstances in order to reach a better judgment on what people have called the mysterious origins of the Requiem.

On 14 February 1791 death deprived Count Wallsegg of his dearly beloved wife, in the very prime of her life. He wished to erect for her a double memorial, and of an exceptional kind. He had his agent, Dr. Johann Sortschan, a Vienna lawyer, order from one of the finest sculpters in Vienna a momument and from Mozart, a Requiem, of which he would again, as usual, have the exclusive ownership.

The former which cost more than 30000 fr., was in fact soon afterwards set up in the meadows near Schloss Stuppach and the body of the deceased lady removed from the family vault at Schottwien and placed therein.

But the Requiem, which was to be performed each year upon the anniversary of the Countess's death, took longer; for death overtook Mozart in the midst of this famous work. Now there was need of good counsel. Who would take upon himself to finish the work of Mozart? And yet, the work must be finished, for the widow Mozart, who, as is well known, was not in the easiest of circumstances, was to receive the sum of a hundred ducats for it. Whether there had already been an advance payment is not known to us for sure, but there is reason to think so.

Eventually, Susssmayr undertook to finish the work, and he states in his letter to the Leipzig publishers Breitkopf and Hartel, 8 February 1800, "that while Mozart was still alive he had often played and sung through the sections that he had already composed, namely the Requiem, Kyrie, Dies Irae, Domine, ect., and that he often discussed the completion of the work with him and informed him of his intentions about the instrumentation. For the story from the completion of the score until its delivery to Count von Walsegg I find myself obliged to have recourse to the writings of Abbe Stadler and to include them here as these two works may not be in everyone's possession. He says:

"the instrumentation of first phase 'Requiem' and the fugue and the second Dies Irae to the Lacrymosa are mostly by Mozart himself and Sussmayr had no more to do with that which most composers would leave to their pupils. It is at the Lacrymosa that Sussmayr's work really begins, though even here Mozart himself had written out the violin parts. Sussmayr only finished it from after Judicandus Homo Reus to the end. In the same way in the third movement "Domine" in the original score, where the singing voices are quiet, Mozart himself wrote in the parts for violin. Where, however, the singing voices occur the motif for the instruments is clearly indicated here and there. From the fugue "Quam Olim" he gave the violins two and half bars to complete. But at the "Hostias" he wrote in the violins two bars before the entrance of the singing voices. At the "memoriam facimus" eleven bars are in his own hand. After the completion of the "Hostias" there is no more in his hand except "Quam Olim Da Capo". This is the end of Mozart's handwriting in the original score. One should not believe however that Sussmayr wrote in the parts for the instruments. He made his own score which was quite like that of Mozart's. Into this he copied note for note what was in Mozart's original following the original as closely as he could without adding a single note of his own. He composed the Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei himself and in this manner the work was completed. Two copies were immediately made of this score. Sussmayr's manuscript was given to the commissioner and a copy was given to the music pubishers in Leipzig for publication. The second was kept here and copied. Shortly afterwards, the first performance of this magnificent work was given in Jahn's Rooms for the benefit of the widow. I cannot say for certain whether the original manuscript of the Requiem and the Dies Irae still exists or where it can be found, though I have good reason to believe that it does exist. The "Lacrymosa" and "Domine" do still exist in Mozart's own hand and intact."

Finally Herr Abbe Stadler goes on to say in an addendum to his Defence of 1827 that the original manuscript of the Dies Irae is in the possession of the Court Kapellmeister Herr Joseph Eybler. So it seems that Count von Walsegg recieved not one note of the Requiem in Mozart's own hand. On whether or not these people were straightforward [I will not say honest] in their dealings with the Count on this matter I will express no opinion. He was not even told how much of the work was by Mozart - he believed himself it was to the Agnus Dei.

This explains the following circumstance: later, for my own use, I had the seperate parts copied out from the manuscript which was kept at Leipzig. I asked the Count for his organ part of the Requiem for this as is known was not filled in in the original score in order to avoid the trouble of having to fill it in myself. However, he said that I would not be able to use his part for organ because he had a different Agnus Dei. I convinced Herr Count of the opposite since every note of his copy of the Requiem was known to me and the clever way the Agnus Dei was joined to the two following Mozartian compositions, Requiem and Cum Sanctus, particularly appealed to me.

The Count tried to explain to us the fact that his score had a different Agnus Dei from that in the Leipzig edition by saying that he was a pupil of Mozart's and he had often sent the score to him in Vienna piece by piece to be looked through. Shortly before Mozart's death he had sent him the completed Benedictus for this purpose; after Mozart's death, the score, from the beginning up as far as the Agnus Dei, had been found, and people believed it was a composition of Mozart's, so deceptively similar were the handwritings.

The Count, according to his own story, had then completed the Requiem by adding the Agnus Dei and the rest; but the same sections had also been set to music by Sussmyar. It was for this reason that the Count had a different Agnus Dei from the one in the Leipzig score. From all this, however we may conclude how completely the noble patron himself had been deceived, for he must certainly have been told that Mozart had completed the Requiem as far as the Agnus Dei and that this was all Sussmyar had added in order to make the work more valuable.

It is hard to blame the Count for playing a joke on us, his servants, by passing off the Requiem as his own composition (but only in our presence), for a much more blameworthy joke had been played on him in regard to his hard won property. I am convinced that Mozart would not have written the Sanctus in D major and in this style, for although the text is of a High Mass the circumstances are quite different in the Requiem which is a sorrowful Divine service. The Church is hung in black and the priests wear black vestments. Strident music is not appropriate in such a setting. One can cry "Holy, Holy" without having to use drums.

The Sanctus and Hosanna have much in common with those of Sussmyar's Mass in D.

It is possible that the widow Mozart and her circle may not have known of the contract into which her late husband had entered with doctor Sortschan, to the effect that Count Walsegg should have the exclusive ownership of the commissioned Requiem; otherwise they would surely not at the same time as they sent the score to the Count, have sent a copy, without his knowledge, for sale to the Leipzig music publishers. It may be imagined what the Count thought when he discovered that the score of his property had appeared at Leipzig in public print.

In fact, the Count at first intended to take serious measures against the widow Mozart, but the matter was eventually patched up, through his goodness of heart.

So after Count Walsegg had recieved the score of the Requiem, he immediately wrote out a fair copy of it, note by note in his own hand in his usual fashion and passed it on section by section to his violinist Benard to copy out the parts.

During this task I often sat for hours at a time at Benard's side and followed the progress of this exceptional work with mounting interest; for at that time I had already learned the history of the Requiem from the Manager [Anton] Leitgeb, who had seen to the payment of the honorarium from the Gypsum Agency in Vienna.

And as soon as all the parts had been copied, preparations for its performance were begun. But since it was not posssible to find all the necessary performers in the neighbourhood of Stuppach, it was decided that the first performance would take place in Wiener-Neustadt. The performers were chosen so as to give the solos and the most important parts to the best, wherever they came from; thus the solo parts were taken by the male soprano Ferenz of Neustadt, the contralto Kernbeiss of Schottwien, the tenor Klein of Neustadt and the bass Thurner fron Gloggnitz. The rehearsal took place on the evening of 12 December 1793 in the choir of the Cistercian abbey and parish church at Wiener-Neustadt, and on the 14th at 10 o'clock a Mass for the Dead was celebrated in the same church, at which this famous Requiem was performed for the first time, for its intended purpose.

Count Walsegg himself directed the whole performance. O all the performers who took part the only living survivors, to the best of my knowledge, are myself and Herr Anton Plaimschauer, now a master turner here in Wiener-Neustadt.

On 14th February 1794, the anniversary of the Countess's death, the Requiem was performed at the church of Maria-Schutz at Semmering, of which the Count was the patron and from this time on the Count made no further use of it, except to arrange for string quintet, of which version I had the score for several years.

Just how much the musical public of almost the whole of Europe has been edified by this wonderful work for this last forty six years is well known.

That score of the Requiem which was said to be in Sussmyar's hand has never been seen by myself or anyone else except the Count and no-one knew what he did with it or with the other original scores of various kinds that he owned. But the score that the Count gave me for preparing the work with the singers was written in his own hand and I would still recognise it at first glance.

We all knew that the Count wanted to make a mystery out of the Requiem, just like our quartets; for when he claimed, in our presence, that it was a composition of his own, he always used to smile.

When I went out from Wiener-Neustadt with his physician, Doctor Fink, to visit the Count during his final illness, a fortnight before his death, which took place on 11th November 1827, I led the conversation round to the music and theatre of those far-off days, for I knew he liked to speak of them, and at the same time to the Requiem. I asked him whether he the pamphlets that Abbe Stadler had written about it.

He said he did, thought a while and then asked me if I knew a Herr [Franz Sales] Kandler of Vienna. I replied that I did not know Herr Kandler personally but that, if I was not mistaken, I had read some articles on music by him in the old Wiener Musikalische Zietung. Whereupon the Count said that when he was in Baden the previous summer, Herr Kandler had come to him for information about the origins of the Requiem. I said, "Did you give it to him, your Excellency?" Upon which he repied, "They are just as wise as before." Herr Kandler will no doubt remember this meeting. I only mention it here in order to show that I am familiar with what happened at Stuppach concering the Requiem down to the last details. That takes the story up to the Count's death. After his death, his entire musical collection was bought from his sister and sole heiress, Countess [Karoline] Sternberg, by Leitner the estate manager. Amongst it there are no doubt many valuable pieces of music.

In the summer of 1838 the estate clerk, [Karl] Haag, died at Schloss Stuppach, naming the court usher of the palace [Joseph Adelpoller] as the sole heir to his porperty. Included in this there was a small collection of music. And wonder of wonders! - there came to light among this collection the score of Mozart's Requiem, which was at once recognised as the original score, written in Mozart's own hand.

The affair came to the notice of His Excellency Count Moriz von Dietrichstein and also to that of Councillor [Ignaz] von Mosel and steps were taken at once to send this score to Vienna so that it might be bought for the Imperial Library, where indeed it is now to be found, and where we may presume it had found its permanent resting-place.

In how far this score is the original score I can only be judged by what is written here provided that people do not take it for the one in Sussmayar's hand which could easily happen as Sussmayer wrote almost half of this work. I have not seen this score but believe that it may be the score which is in Count von Walsegg's own hand as this did not turn up in the pieces of music which were found after his death. I would, as I have said, recognise this score at a glance. If one were to compare it to the handwriting of Mozart, which perhaps has already been done, one would discover the similarity in the two styles. As Count von Walsegg often said, as I have mentioned, his own handwriting bore the closest possible resemblance to Mozart's. If this is true (Herzog uses the Latin words "Si verum est").

Whether this recently discovered score is in Mozart's, Sussmayar's or Walsegg's handwriting neither adds to nor detracts from the worth of this priceless work of art in my opinion. To end these lines if one may make a comparison of different kinds of art one would think that a work of art in stone would last forever and that one in paper would only be transitory and yet at least in the case of the two monuments that Count von Walsegg had commisioned for his dear wife, the opposite is the case.

The Countess's beautiful granite and marble tomb was so defaced by profane hands, especially at the time of the hostile invasion, and so completely ransacked in the hope of finding valuables, that those remains, so dear to the Count, had to be removed once more and taken back to the family vault at Schottwien. Mozart's work however, continues to grow in the hearts of all lovers of music and will last as a valuable memorial to the immortal Mozart as long as good taste in classical works of art survives.

Peace be with the ashes of the Master and also with those of the honoured patron to whose generousity we owe so priceless a work of art.

Not allowed Imperial and Royal Office of Censor. Vienna 1839.




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