Previously Unknown Mozart Piece Discovered in Austria

Sunday, March 04, 2012 - 05:24 PM

A previously unknown piano piece by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has been discovered by a music historian in Austria, the Mozart Institute in Salzburg said on Friday.

Hildegard Herrmann-Schneider, from the institute for Tyrolean music research at Innsbruck University, came across the handwritten piece tucked inside a music book dating from 1780. The piece was handed over to a professional music copyist in Tyrol who identified the writing.

Experts at the Mozart Foundation confirmed to the Austrian Independent that the piece was written by a young Mozart. It is believed that he composed the piece in 1769, just before he embarked on a three-year trip to Italy at the age of 13.

The piece will be performed on March 23 in the Mozart house by Florian Birsak, a specialist in historical performance practice.

Herrmann-Schneider attracted attention in 1996 when she
that discovered the true author of the "Toy Symphony" was not Michael Haydn or Mozart's father Leopold, but actually a Tyrolean Benedictine monk named Father Edmund Angerer.

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Comments [4]


This news is so timely for me. I went on a "composer's tour" to the birthplaces of Bach, Handel Mozart, Beethoven and Dvorak just this past July. It was wonderful to walk in the streets of Bonn, Weimar, Bonn, Prague, Salzburg and Vienna. To hear this new about this new discovery so soon after my trip to Austria is a real treat.

Mar. 06 2012 11:40 PM
Vincent Rufino from Roxbury NJ

Previous discoveries have uncovered that Leopold would have Wolfgang copy from scores of known works as means of learning composition and orchestration. This was not an attempt at plagiarism, but a recognized means of teaching at the time. As a result there have been entries into the Kochel catalog that have later been removed. The reason being that although the discovery was written in Mozart's hand the ideas were merely him continuing his studies with his father. It will be interesting to see if the community of Mozart scholars accept this new discovery as a true Mozart composition. Do we know if Dr. Neal Zaslaw has seen and authenticated the work since he has been given the responsibility of editing the newest edition of the Kochel catalog?

Mar. 05 2012 11:29 AM

@Mr. Furrer - Thank you for the clarification. It's been fixed.

Mar. 05 2012 06:56 AM
Barry Owen Furrer

Correction: If Mozart was approx 13 when he composed this work, the date in the article should be ca. 1769 and not 1756, the year of his birth.

Mar. 05 2012 05:31 AM

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