mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, amadeus
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, portrait by
Barbara Krafft, 1819

Uncovered Piano Pieces Add to Mozart’s Legacy

July 23, 2009 04:30 PM
by Denis Cummings
Austrian researchers have discovered two previously unknown piano pieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the 18th century Austrian composer who wrote more than 600 musical works in his lifetime.

Mozart Pieces Uncovered in Salzburg

Two unknown piano compositions by Amadeus Mozart have been discovered by the International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg. The works will be revealed to the public and performed on one of Mozart’s pianos by clavichordist Florian Birsak on Aug. 2 in Salzburg.
Mozart, born 1756 in Salzburg, created more than 600 pieces of music before his death in 1791. It is rare to find unknown pieces by the celebrated composer; “There have been fewer than 10 discoveries [of Mozart sketches] in the past 50 years,” said Ulrich Leisinger, head of research at the International Mozart Foundation in Salzburg, after a short piece of church music was discovered last year in a French library.

There have been other discoveries made this decade. In 2001, a choral work was discovered at an archive in Halifax, England. In 2006, the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth, a keyboard piece written by Mozart when he was a child was uncovered in a book acquired by the Salzburg Archdiocese.

Mozart’s Life and Work

The Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum provides a biography of W.A. Mozart, who was recognized as a musical prodigy at the age of 5.

The Mozartuem’s Neue Mozart-Ausgabe (New Mozart Edition) is the definitive source for the scores of Mozart’s musical compositions. The Web site also links to sites that provide audio of each composition.

The British Library displays a manuscript of Mozart’s musical diary covering the last seven years of his life. “From February 1784 until December 1791, he composed many of his best-known works, including his five mature operas, several of his most beautiful piano sonatas, and his last three great symphonies, as well as several famous lesser works,” says the library.

Each page is accompanied by biographical information on that period of Mozart’s life, and brief descriptions and audio excerpts of each composition.

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