Salzburg - At the start of the digital Mozart Week 2021, the Mozarteum Foundation presented a previously unknown piano piece by the 17-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to the public for the first time.
"94 seconds of new Mozart, that is perhaps not much, but if these 94 seconds come from a master like Mozart, they open up a whole musical cosmos," said Rolando Villazón, artistic director of the Mozart Week.
The fragmentary composition, an Allegro in D KV 626b / 16, was brought to sound for the first time by the South Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho on Wednesday evening in the Great Hall of the Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg.
Mozart most likely wrote the piece during his third trip to Italy in the spring of 1773. "Stylistic peculiarities show that the three-part dance movement is not an original composition for piano, but rather Mozart's handwritten piano reduction of an unknown orchestral work," says one Communication from the Foundation.
The sheet probably comes from the estate of Mozart's son Franz Xaver Wolfgang, who in turn is said to have inherited it from his aunt, Mozart's sister Maria Anna.
The autograph was offered at auctions several times between 1900 and 1928, but its content has never been examined by scientists.
In the 1920s, a “music-loving engineer” bought the sheet in a Parisian antiquarian bookshop and it remained in the family's possession for almost 90 years before it was sold to the Mozarteum Foundation.
It was "particularly lucky" that the original manuscript was offered before the outbreak of the corona crisis, said Johannes Honsig Erlenburg, President of the foundation.
Today one would have to “turn down such an acquisition with a heavy heart”.
The rediscovery of a previously completely unknown Mozart composition is a very rare occurrence and was last reported more than 80 years ago.
The manuscript is expected to be exhibited in Mozart's birthplace in Salzburg's Getreidegasse from Easter.
A facsimile edition can be purchased in the museum shop and from book and music stores.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210127-99-196378 / 2