First airing for piece Mozart composed at the age of eight

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

An Austrian pianist has performed for the first time two newly-discovered pieces of work claimed to be by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, which were found where the composer once lived.

The concerto movement and a prelude had long been considered by their archivists at the International Mozarteum Foundation to be anonymous works. But further detailed analysis led to the conclusion by a researcher that they were written when Mozart was between seven and eight years old.

The music was played in the city of his birth, Salzburg. Both pieces were transcribed in the distinctive handwriting of Mozart's father, Leopold, but Ulrich Leisinger, a researcher at the foundation, said he would have written them according to what his son was playing on the piano. He said Mozart would have asked his father to write out the compositions because he could not, at that age, do musical notation.

"We have here the first orchestral movement by the young Mozart – even though the orchestral parts are missing – it is an extremely important missing link in our understanding of Mozart's development as a young composer," Mr Leisinger said. Archivists are investigating the authenticity of the peices. Both were played by pianist Florian Birsak on Mozart's own piano in the Salzburg house where he'd lived.

Last year a library in Nantes, France, discovered that a musical score which had been donated by a private collector at the end of the 19th century was an original Mozart and not a copy, as was previously believed.

Mozart, who began composing at the age of five, wrote more than 600 pieces of music before his death in Vienna in 1791 at the age of 35.