Mozart &
Material Culture


The Mozart family visited the British Museum in July 1765, at which time Leopold presented the museum with copies of Mozart’s printed sonatas, the engraved family portrait, and the autograph of the motet God is our Refuge K20. According to the Salzburger Zeitung for 6 August 1765, in a report sent from London on 5 July:

  1. The Museum Britannicum asked not only for the sonatas published in Paris as well as those published here, together with the portrait of this accomplished family, but also for an original manuscript of this Wunderkind, including a short chorus for four voices to English words.[1]

The gift was acknowledged by the Museum secretary, Matthew Maty, on 9 July 1765: 

  1. Sir. I am ordered by the Standing Committee of the Trustees of the British Museum, to signify to You, that they have received the present of the musical performances of your very ingenious Son, which You were pleased lately to make Them, and to return You their Thanks for the same.

W. A. Mozart, God is our Refuge K20, autograph manuscript

W. A. Mozart, God is our Refuge K20, autograph manuscript

To listen to a recording, click here(Note: The recording is held in SoundCloud, which will open in a new browser window.  If you start the recording and click back to this window, you'll be able to follow the score while the recording is played. You will then need to close the SoundCloud window.)

[1] Georg Nikolaus Nissen, Biographie W. A. Mozarts (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1828), 78-79.