Mozart &
Material Culture


Variations for keyboard on the aria ‘Unser dummer Pöbel meint’ from Christoph Willibald Gluck’s La rencontre imprévue, ou Les pèlerins de la Mecque, first produced at the Burgtheater, Vienna, on 7 January 1764. Mozart’s autograph is privately owned; a further, incomplete autograph survives in the library of the Biblioteka Jagiellońska, Kraków. Mozart did not enter the work in his thematic catalogue until August 1784, and the variations were published in Vienna by Artaria in August 1786.

K455 autograph.jpeg

W. A. Mozart, Variations on ‘Unser dummer Pöbel meint’ K455, first page of the autograph score (privately owned)

Mozart improvised variations on Gluck’s aria at his 23 March 1783 Burgtheater concert.