Grim Melodies – Two New Mozart Compositions Discovered

Dr. Ulrich Leisinger, Director of the Research Department of the International Mozarteum Foundation, has identified two pieces, which have been transmitted anonymously, as being almost certainly unknown compositions by the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The extensive concerto movement and the prelude are found at the end of the so-called “Nannerl’s Music Book”, which father Leopold had begun to compile in 1759 for his daughter Maria Anna (“Nannerl”) and which was also used for the musical education of Wolfgang. In addition to pieces designed for practicing, the book also contains the first compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Until now, the two piano pieces that survive in the hand of Leopold Mozart were classified as anonymous compositions. They already had been published in the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe (“New Mozart Edition”) (NMA) in 1982 within the volume of “Notenbücher” (Music Books) but have not been recognized as compositions by Mozart. The history of these works now has been re-evaluated by Ulrich Leisinger. He used handwriting analysis and analysis of other stylistic criteria, which support the claim that they were actually composed by the young Mozart, who was not yet versed in musical notation, and transcribed by his father as the boy played the works at the keyboard.
The first performance of the works including the new orchestra version by Robert D. Levin will take place during the Mozart Week 2010 (January 22nd – 31st). It has always been one task of the International Mozarteum Foundation to present the results of its scientific work also within the concert programme. The Mozarteum Foundation also plans the release of the complete score and an audio recording including the orchestra version.
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