Experts discover two new Mozart pieces

Reply Sun 2 Aug, 2009 09:48 am

Researchers unveil Mozart piano pieces in Austria

The Associated Press
Sunday, August 2, 2009; 11:00 AM
SALZBURG, Austria -- Mozart's momentous legacy grew still larger Sunday as researchers unveiled two piano pieces recently identified as childhood creations by the revered composer.

The works - an extensive concerto movement and a fragmentary prelude - are part of "Nannerl's Music Book," a well-known manuscript that contains the Austrian master's earliest compositions, the International Mozarteum Foundation revealed while presenting the pieces in Mozart's native Salzburg.

"We have here the first orchestral movement by the young Mozart - even though the orchestral parts are missing - and therefore it's an extremely important missing link in our understanding of Mozart's development as a young composer," Mozarteum's research leader, Ulrich Leisinger, said.

Mozart, who was born in 1756, began playing the keyboard at age 3 and composing at 5. By the time he died of rheumatic fever on Dec. 5, 1791, he had written more than 600 pieces.

Leisinger said Mozart likely wrote the two newly attributed pieces when he was 7 or 8 years old, with his father, Leopold, transcribing the notes as his son played them at the keyboard.

A series of analyses confirmed the writing as Leopold's, and at the time Mozart was not yet versed in musical notation. But Leopold himself was ruled out as the author of the pieces based on stylistic scrutiny, the Mozarteum said in a statement.

"There are obvious discrepancies between the technical virtuosity and a certain lack of compositional experience," it said.

At Sunday's presentation at the Mozart residence, Austrian musician Florian Birsak, an expert on early keyboard music, played the two pieces on the maestro's own fortepiano for a throng of reporters, photographers and camera crews.

Both works were identified as part of a larger investigation of the foundation's Mozart-related materials, including letters, documents and more than 100 music manuscripts - some in the hand of the composer, others transcribed by contemporaries.

While "Nannerl's Music Book" has been in the foundation's hands for more than a century, the pieces were considered anonymous creations until Leisinger and his team took a closer look.

"These two pieces struck us because they were so extravagant," Leisinger said, adding that the two works share a number of similarities but that the prelude - believed to have been written after the concerto movement - was "much more refined."

"One could almost get the impression that Leopold said to his son, 'look, you've written this crazy concerto movement, try to do it better, a little bit more concise,' and as a result we ended up with this prelude-like movement," he said.

Posthumous discoveries of Mozart pieces are rare but not unheard of.

In September, Leisinger announced that a French library had found a previously unknown piece handwritten by Mozart.

That work, described as the preliminary draft of a musical composition, was found in Nantes, in western France, as library staff members went through its archives. Leisinger said the library contacted his foundation for help authenticating the work.

The latest finds add "important details" to what we know about the young Mozart's work, said Christoph Wolff, professor of music history at Harvard University, who is also director of the Bach Archive in Leipzig, Germany.

"The Salzburg discovery offers significant insight into the earliest accomplishments of Mozart," Wolff said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

The Salzburg-based foundation, established in 1880 and a prime source for Mozart-related matters, seeks to preserve the composer's heritage and find new approaches for analyzing him.


On the Net:

International Mozarteum Foundation:http://www.mozarteum.at/

  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 4,967 • Replies: 8
No top replies

Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 2 Aug, 2009 09:49 am

Austrian pianist Florian Birsek performs two newly discovered pieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for the first time in public in a house where the master composer once lived, in Salzburg August 2, 2009.
REUTERS/Calle Toernstroem
Reply Sun 2 Aug, 2009 11:49 am
@Walter Hinteler,
That's exciting. I wonder where/when the general public will be able to hear them or acquire the sheet music to play.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 2 Aug, 2009 11:57 am
aidan wrote:

I wonder where/when the general public will be able to hear them or acquire the sheet music to play.

A facsimile of "Nanni's notebook' will be published shortly ("in autumn"), not only with all bits and pieces archived at the Mozarteum but including all (known) note sheets scattered all over the world.
Reply Sun 2 Aug, 2009 12:00 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Wow - that's one book I'll definitely buy. thanks for posting this.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 2 Aug, 2009 12:10 pm
I t should have been, of course, 'Nannerl's note book' ("Nannerl Notenbuch).

At the Mozarteum website (www.mozarteum.at) , you'll find a download with those two, new pieces ..... but I've tried to get the link all day without luck: the server seems to be over-occupied: "Service Unavailable" or various errors all the time.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sun 2 Aug, 2009 03:40 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Found the downloads just now via the Austrian broadcaster ORF Salzburg

Concert in G-major (NMA No. 51)

Piano G-major (NMA No. 50
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 01:29 am
@Walter Hinteler,

Concert in G-major (NMA No. 51)- this one I love- quintessential Mozart. What a prize!
0 Replies
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 02:03 am
@Walter Hinteler,
exciting discovery-G Major...I can hear the orchestra
0 Replies

Related Topics

Classical anyone? - Discussion by JPB
Random Acts of Culture - Question by Butrflynet
Concert Etiquette - Question by Quincy
Do you love or hate J.S. Bach? - Question by The Pentacle Queen
My blog is up, criticisms more than welcome. - Discussion by The Pentacle Queen
A selection of strings - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Mozart or Chopin? - Question by Tatem
Opera term - Question by sophocles
  1. Forums
  2. » Experts discover two new Mozart pieces
Copyright © 2024 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 03/01/2024 at 04:04:00