Station:  Musikhaus André, Frankfurter Strasse 28
F: But that's ... Mozart! And what does Mozart have to do with Offenbach? It’s all linked to the story of Musikhaus André.
M: The history of Musikhaus André started 250 years ago. Johann André – the grandson of French immigrants – worked as a silk producer. In 1774, he decided to follow his love of music and established the "Notenfabrique André", which published sheet music. Johann André was a friend of Goethe’s, and it’s thought Mozart was a guest at his house in 1790.
F: When André died in 1799, his son, Johann Anton André, took over the firm. That same year, he acquired the rights to the new printing process of lithography from its inventor, Alois Senefelder. If you’re interested, you can listen to stop number 8 to find out more.
M: Just two months later, in November 1799, André purchased all the handwritten papers in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s estate from the composer’s widow, Constanze. That meant the André family now owned almost forty-five per cent of Mozart's complete oeuvre – more than 273 handwritten works.
M: Less than a year later, in 1800, André's publishing house started using the lithographic process commercially to print musical scores. It was a worldwide first. Look at the screen of your smartphone to see the bar press invented by Alois Senefelder.
F: The special feature of this new printing process was that originals could be quickly and cheaply reproduced. Over a period of half a century, Mozart's original scores were printed and published here in Offenbach. In all, André's publishing house issued 79 compositions as first editions. They included the world-famous serenade "A Little Night Music" in 1825.
M: From Offenbach, the lithographic printing process made its way around the world – initially to London and Paris, where the Andrés set up branches. Lithography revolutionised international art history, because after 1800, artists were able to have their works printed quickly and in large numbers.
Foto 1: © Dagmar Trüpschuch
Foto 2: © Haus der Stadtgeschichte
Foto 3: © J: Baumann