Austrian foundation says experts have discovered 2 unknown piano pieces by Mozart

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Austrian foundation: 2 Mozart works discovered

VIENNA — The International Mozarteum Foundation said Thursday it has discovered two more works composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The previously unknown works are piano pieces composed by a young Mozart, the Salzburg-based foundation said in a brief e-mail statement.

The Web site of the organization said its department of research had identified the works, long in the foundation’s possession, as Mozart compositions.

Mozart, who was born in Salzburg, lived from 1756 to 1791. He played piano from an early age, began composing music when he was 5, and eventually created more than 600 works, ranging from operas to chamber music, choral pieces and piano concertos.

The foundation declined to provide more details Thursday, saying specifics would be made public during a presentation in Salzburg on Aug. 2.

During the event, Austrian musician Florian Birsak will perform the pieces on an original Mozart piano.

The 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.

Discoveries such as the one announced Thursday are rare but not unheard of.

In September, Ulrich Leisinger, Mozarteum’s head of research, said that a French library had found another previously unknown piece of music handwritten by Mozart.

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

There have been up to 10 Mozart discoveries of such importance over the past 50 years, Leisinger said at the time.


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