Auctions | March 2, 2017

Mozart's Manuscript of "Serenade in D Major" to be Auctioned

efb95a3ecb12d1d9488348b9dc6db1696d3c3c9a.jpegBOSTON, MA - (March 1, 17)  A fragment from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s manuscript for the third movement, ‘Allegro,’ of his Serenade in D Major will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction. 

The one-page handwritten musical manuscript, on both sides, is unsigned, no date but circa 1773. 

Also known as ‘Antretter,’ the manuscript contains thirteen precisely penned measures in an eight-staff system, scored for an orchestra of two oboes, two horns, strings, and solo violin. 

The music contained herein constitutes an ebullient rondo designed to show off the virtuosity of the solo violinist, and was likely played by Mozart himself. 

The sheet bears pagination number “34” and foliation number “79” in pencil, both possibly in the hand of Leopold Mozart. Catalogued as K185, Mozart’s manuscript for the score of this serenade was originally 58 leaves, of which the present leaf was 34.

The complete manuscript was offered at auction in 1975 by J. A. Stargardt and subsequently split up; the location of many of its leaves are today unknown, although some are preserved at the Mozart Foundation in Salzburg.

It is believed that the 17-year-old Mozart composed this serenade in August 1773 as a congratulatory piece to celebrate the graduation of a family friend, Thadda Simon Antretter, from the University of Salzburg with a degree in logic. He invokes the pompous effects of academic ceremonies infused with jubilation to drive the music, concluding with a marvelous finale ending in a gigue. It is an important symphonic movement in sonata form characteristic of Mozart’s great works, weaving together brilliant modulations and refined phrases which he, as always, brings to a perfect resolution. Mozart, employed as a concert violinist in Salzburg at the time he composed the ‘Antretter Serenade,’ included three flowing violin solos which demonstrate his mastery of the instrument. 

“From the hand of the young prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus, this is an exceedingly desirable piece and represents a cornerstone of any collection,” said Robert Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.

Also featured; a rare Nicolo Paganini letter from April 26, 1831, during his first Paris tour, a significant moment in Paganini's legendary career.

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction from RR Auction began on February 17 and will conclude on March 8. More details can be found online at