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Mozart, Così Fan Tutte: The RBI's Score

By Eddie Schartman

Cosi Fan Tutte

Note: All pictures shown on slides 1,2, and 3 of this online guide were retrieved from the RBI Digital Collection found at this link:

RBI's Cosi

Among the Riemenschneider Bach Institute’s collection of treasured works from famous composers lies Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte. The RBI received this printed score by donation through Emmy Martin, whose collection of first edition scores have found their home in the RBI. Così Fan Tutte remains in excellent condition at the RBI. 

The RBI’s version of Così Fan Tutte is of particular interest. This version of the first edition contains an excerpt inside the front cover from the Kenney catalog, which explains why this version is interesting. The Kenney catalog states this copy exhibits an unrecorded variant title page, differing in layout from that in the Paul Hirsch Catalogue. Hirsch, to whom this copy was submitted, gave as his opinion that no preference or priority seemed to be discernible between the two variants. 

Something of particular interest that I found when viewing the item was the way how the notation was printed onto the paper. Printing today is simple and very cheap to do as well as extremely quick. Today all we have to do is click a button and everything we had typed up is now in front of us physically, but in Mozart’s time, this wasn’t so simple. Printing was costly and very time consuming, taking weeks or months to finish a single copy of music.