Mozart Gets Credit for Two “New” Musical Pieces

Mike Vogl/European Pressphoto Agency
The scores attributed to Mozart, in his father’s handwriting.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart continues to make us wonder when his next long-lost composition will emerge from an attic somewhere in Central Europe. In January 2009, the then newly-discovered composition was performed for the first time after being found in a library in Southern France. Now, two new works have popped up in a likely place – inside a music book used during his sister’s clavier lessons.

The two musical fragments – formerly considered anonymous scribblings – are now believed to make up a full movement of a keyboard concerto written by Amadeus himself. The music remained among many pieces that were hand-written inside the practice book, 18 of which had already credited a precocious Wolfgang. Now, it seems that the two new works were indeed written by a young Mozart.

In a
New York Times interview, Ulrich Leisinger – the Mozarteum research director responsible for the find – estimates that the pieces were written around 1763, when our beloved Wolfgang was just 7. He believes the concerto “was composed by someone with high ambitions but lacking the expertise to write out the music.”

A Mozart family portrait, about 1780-81: Wolfgang, center, with his sister Maria Anna (known as Nannerl), and father, Leopold.

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