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Mozart Libretti – Online Edition

Hosting organisations
Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg and Digitale Mozart-Edition (DME)
Responsible persons
Dr. Iacopo Cividini

Although the librettos of Mozart’s operas have appeared in numerous printed editions since his lifetime, there is to date no edition devoted to the scholarly evaluation of their sources. The online edition of the Mozart librettos attempts to close this editorial gap and make the texts of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart’s vocal compositions accessible to a broad public for the first time in a critical edition. Via the digital medium, the edition provides scholars, professional musicians and music enthusiasts alike with diverse possibilities to deepen their understanding of Mozart’s librettos and their sources.

The online edition of the Mozart librettos offers a critical edition of all three types of sources in the field of a vocal text: the text set to music by the composer, the original libretto and the libretto models. All edited versions can be viewed either individually or collectively in synoptic form. This makes it possible to compare all corresponding source-related variants of the different documented versions.

For each consulted source, bibliographical data, a description of the exemplars and references to their reproductions can be accessed through links to the Mozart Libretti – Online Catalog and the critical reports of NMA-Online. At the same time, a critical evaluation of the sources is provided for each work.

The text sources of Mozart’s musical settings are published in two different forms:

  • Critical Edition For each extant type of source (composed text, original libretto and libretto models), a critical edition with careful adaptation to modern orthography is provided. All differences between the edited versions can be shown in a color-delineated synoptic representation.

  • Diplomatic Edition Parallel to the critical edition, all consulted text sources can be displayed in a diplomatic transcription. Every critically edited version of the text can thereby be consulted in direct comparison with the diplomatic transcription of its sources as well as with their digital reproductions so far as permitted by copyright. Any deviations in the edited text can be discerned in the diplomatic transcription through color-delineation. Through this illumination, every single intervention of the editor and the nature of the editorial decision are made apparent.

As a multimedia edition, the online edition of Mozart librettos offers other information that goes beyond the text edition as such. A detailed phonetic-metric text-analysis provides a facultative set of tools for the musical analysis of the score, in order to facilitate in depth research of the complex relationship between the metric features of the text and its musical setting. To this aim, the online edition of Mozart’s librettos also makes it possible, through its link to the NMA-Online (and later also to the Digital Interactive Mozart Edition) to display the edited score parallel to the edition of the text, and to listen to different audio recordings.

The project is supported by the Packard Humanities Institute (PHI), Los Altos/CA.