Newly found Mozart score to get French performance

29th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

The score features a Credo, or setting to music of part of the Catholic mass, of around 90 seconds, as well as a draft inspired by another part of the mass, a prayer known as a Kyrie.

Nantes -- A newly-found score by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is to get its first public performance next Thursday in western France, where it lay undiscovered in a library archive for over a century.

Dating from between 1787 and Mozart's death in 1791, the single page manuscript -- which features one complete musical piece and an unfinished draft -- was unveiled in September by the local library in the city of Nantes.

The score features a Credo, or setting to music of part of the Catholic mass, of around 90 seconds, as well as a draft inspired by another part of the mass, a prayer known as a Kyrie.

Performed for journalists in Nantes on Thursday by the French violinist Daniel Cuiller, the complete piece will be played in public at a music festival in Nantes on January 29.

"He threw some ideas on to paper, and he was going to make something out of it -- but never did. That is my impression. But it is a Mozart manuscript," Cuiller told local television.

Written on a sheet of paper 16 centimetres by 29 (six by 11 inches), the sheet of music was part of a collection of autographs donated to the city in 1873, but was only authenticated as a Mozart work in 2007.

On public display in a chateau in Nantes until February 22, the score was authenticated by the Mozarteum Foundation, in the composer's Austrian hometown of Salzburg.

The foundation's head of musicology, Ulrich Leisinger, said the score, whose value he estimated at between 100,000 and 200,000 euros, confirmed Mozart took a close interest in sacred music in the final years of his life.

"We can consider, with all due caution, that Mozart was planning to compose a mass in D minor, of which we have the drafts of two sequences," he said.

Leisinger also said researchers believe the rest of the second piece may have ended up in a separate collection.

Born in Salzburg in 1756, Mozart moved in 1781 to Vienna where he composed his most famous works, up until his death at the age of 35.

AFP/Expatica

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