Watch: Splendid Mozart Flute Concerto Performed For the Very First Time

Tuesday, December 06, 2016 - 12:00 AM

Şefika Kutluer premiered the “Wendling Flute Concerto” (Facebook video capture)

It’s been more than two centuries since Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart last graced the earth with his presence. There are a number of celebrations to mark the 225th anniversary of the death of the beloved composer, but it’s Turkey’s International Şefika Kutluer Festival that might be giving us one of the most unique gifts of all: a never-performed Mozart composition.

All-star flutist Şefika Kutluer premiered the Wendling Flute Concerto this past Friday, alongside Tutti Mozart Orchestra conductor Vinicius Kattah. The score, which Kattah called “lost in the literature,” was found in the Swiss library that it had called home for 239 years. Somehow, no one gave much thought to the dusty manuscript, but when Kattah discovered it he dove headfirst into researching the piece, verifying that it was a Mozart original. Personal correspondence between the composer, his mother and his father confirmed the origins of the piece.

Here’s some context: Back in the 1777, Mozart was living life like any other struggling young 20-something. Although he was immensely talented, he was a restless spirit. His tendency to skip work ultimately cost him his job — Mozart was fired from his poorly paying gig with the Salzburg Court. Broke and down on his luck, the 21-year-old packed his bags for what might be called 18th century couch surfing. He (and his mother) moved in with virtuoso flutist Johann Baptist Wendling, who helped the young Mozart improve his flute compositions. This lost concerto was a product of his time with Wendling.

The Wendling Flute Concerto has never before been recorded. A physical release, featuring Kutluer and Tutti Mozart, will be made available early next year. If you can’t wait that long, you’re in luck — the International Şefika Kutluer Festival streamed the performance via Facebook Live.

Check it out below by skipping ahead to the 35 minute mark for the performance.


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Comments [7]

Bob from Staten Island

According to the Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg, this is not a concerto by Mozart at all, but a concerto by Johann Baptist Wendling. See news bulletin "Involuntary or malicious misidentification? A “rediscovered” flute concerto „by Mozart“" (

Dec. 10 2016 04:04 PM
M Jacob from MA/

A real pleasure to hear a Mozart flute concerto on the web. Thank you.

Dec. 08 2016 04:34 PM
KRS from Brooklyn

I kept trying to hear very early and very minor Mozart, but I just couldn't. It's full of the kind of dull "filler" material that Mozart never wrote, and the orchestration is too clumsy. While it's also the performers' fault, it lacks the sprightliness that even the young Mozart had, and the virtuosic displays are not his either.

The only thing that would convince is an MS in Mozart's hand.

Dec. 08 2016 03:34 PM
Babette d'Yveine

I would have loved to have heard it, but it says the video is unavailable.

Dec. 08 2016 10:58 AM
perkysmom from Buffalo NY

Oops - I mean incorrect spelling of "splended" - my spellchecker worked on previous message!

Dec. 06 2016 10:53 AM
perkysmom from Buffalo, NY

Totally agree - please correct the spelling of "splendid".

Dec. 06 2016 10:01 AM
Ellen L Lienhard from West Chester, PA

Splended? Come now, is it possible your spellchecker missed this?

Dec. 06 2016 08:05 AM

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