Piano Street Magazine

New Piano Piece by Mozart Discovered: Allegro in D K626

January 27th, 2021 in Piano News by | 12 comments

Today is W.A. Mozart’s 265th birthday and Salzburg and Austria celebrate this with the world premiere of one of his compositions.
At Piano Street we celebrate by releasing the score of the composition, the recently discovered piano piece “Allegro in D K626b/16“.
Download it for free below and celebrate Mozart yourself by playing the piece today!

A hidden treasure

So, how could this manuscript have hidden from public attention? Evidently, after passing from the estate of Mozart’s youngest son into the collection owned by Austrian civil servant and amateur musician Aloys Fuchs, it was mistakenly given away and vanished off the musical map. Owned by an antiquarian book and art dealer in Vienna in the 1880s, the manuscript was brought to auction in 1899. By this time The Köchel catalogue – listing the composer’s works – started mentioning it even though the manuscript itself kept going in and out of auction houses.

In 2018, the ‘unknown’ Allegro was offered for sale to the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation on behalf of the family of its owner, a French-Dutch engineer who had bought the manuscript from a dealer in Paris in the late 1920s. The Foundation’s staff and experts from the USA and Germany confirmed that the unattributed piano piece was undeniably by Mozart.

The Allegro in D major, K. 626b/16 fills the front and back of a single sheet of music paper in oblong format. The handwriting is hasty, but error-free. The undated composition stems in all likelihood from the first months 1773, according to the Mozarteum Foundation; it thus originated either during Mozart’s third journey to Italy or immediately after his return to Salzburg. Peculiarities of style suggest that this three-part dance movement is not an original piano piece, but a keyboard arrangement in Mozart’s own hand of an unknown orchestral work.

Free download!

Download the PDF-score and play the piece today to celebrate Mozart’s 265th birthday!

The World Premiere in Salzburg

A facsimile edition of the Allegro in D, complete with extensive introduction and bibliography, has been published by Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg and pianist Seong-Jin Cho will perform the piece in the official world premiere in Saltzburg on 27 January.

Pianist Seong-Jin Cho is the unique performer in the Great Hall of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation which is also the opening day of the Foundation’s first virtual Mozartwoche festival. Cho plays a stimulating selection of works by the Great Master, including the Piano Sonata No. 12, the Allegro in C Major and 94 seconds of an Allegro in D-major, performed for the very first time.

“The Allegro in D major K. 626b/16 is a highly attractive and charming piano piece, that adds yet another facet to the affectionate relationship of Mozart to his sister. How wonderful, that we are now able to participate in this relationship after such a long period of time.”
— Dr. Ulrich Leisinger, director of research of the Mozarteum Foundation,

“The rediscovery of this new work by Mozart is a real gift, not just for the Foundation but for friends of the Mozartwoche all over the world! We are very pleased to be able to fulfil the mission of the Foundation in such wonderful style, together with Seong-Jin Cho and Deutsche Grammophon, our aim being to enable people of all ages to find out more about Mozart’s music, life and personality.”
— Dr Johannes Honsig-Erlenburg, President of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation

“It is a great honour to be invited to give the premiere of a formerly unknown work by Mozart, in the city where he was born and where it may have been written,”
— Seong-Jin Cho, pianist


Resources:

Read more at the press page:
Mozarteum.at

Watch a recording of the official world premiere that will by published here 27 January at 18.00 GMT:
DG YouTube channel

Comments

  • Daniel Dunn says:

    Hardly worth the time to bother with this mediocre composition .
    Only interested in ” the great , the beautiful , and the difficult ” .
    This is not to say that all of Mozart’s compositions are a waste of
    time. Having played the piano for 65 years , it would take more than
    a score like this to impress me .

  • Rosemary B says:

    Thank you for sharing this story, and the music.
    I love Mozart!!

  • Toba Rotman says:

    Dear everyone,

    I live in Texas, USA, and was sent this wonderful link from a friend in Israel. Despite this pandemic, great music is being shared all over the world. As I recently finished reading a bio of Mozart by Jan Swafford, and am now listening to the great lectures on Mozart by Robert Greenberg of THE GREAT COURSES, right now this presentation is in keeping with Mozart very much on my mind. The performance by Seong-Jim Cho was magnificent and it is easy to understand why he was chosen for the premier performance of this delightful music of our dear and beloved Mozart. Thank you!

  • James Miller says:

    What a sad comment from Daniel Dunn – a curious mixture of great arrogance and churlishness. Ignore it and talke pleasure from the delight you wil give many musicians and pianists!

  • Jose Antonio Alvarez Uribe says:

    Thanks for the info and the score… it’s very interesting to see if you can find new scores of these great geniuses

  • Timothy MacPherson says:

    Thanks for sharing this story, commentary, and beautiful performance by Seong-Jin Cho. While there is something always waiting to be discovered in even well-known pieces, the rare finding of a hitherto unknown piece makes it even more exciting and enjoyable!

  • Amber De Nardi says:

    Unlike Mr Dunn, I adore beautiful simplicity. I believe Mozart, more than any other composer, has achieved this….even in his major works. I so appreciate the chance to learn a new, fresh composition from way in the past. It somehow allows me to feel personally closer to Mozart himself….as if we’re sharing the same lifetime.

  • Judith Burns says:

    Thank you so much, what a fun way to start the New Year.

  • Randall Montbriand says:

    Boorish, sad comment from one who cannot enjoy the simplest of beauty. My father’s requests from me as he died from cancer was to play Mozart “It’s so beautifully simple and nourishing”. This from a well trained musician. I gladly played every piece of Mozart I could lay my hands upon. to all else. enjoy the beauty and simplicity of every piece of music you encounter.

  • Kevin O'Connor says:

    Thank you so much. Very much appreciated.

  • Prof. Dr. Tibor Szasz says:

    I did not have to go beyond the first “re” notes assigned to the two hands of the pianist to hypothesize that I am looking at a transcription for piano solo of a work originally conceived for some sort of orchestral ensemble. Fortepianist Zvi Meniker has convincingly demonstrated that some of the Mozart operatic overtures transcribed for piano solo — and printed during Mozart’s lifetime — were penned by Mozart himself.

    Authenticated works for piano solo by Mozart do not begin with a single note assigned to the right hand in a relatively lower register, followed by multiple notes assigned to the same right hand in a relatively higher register. Hence, I suspect that there is a misconception in the evaluation of this genuine autograph manuscript by W. A. Mozart.

    When I took a first look at the facsimile, it never crossed my mind that this could be an original work for piano solo by Mozart. To call this autograph manuscript written in the hand of Mozart a “piano work” by Mozart is, I think, an overenthusiastic statement at this early stage of the investigation.

    While the handwriting is indeed by Mozart, how do we know that this is a Mozart composition? After all, some of the music by Mozart’s contemporaries or predecessors were (and are) unavailable (lost) for researchers of the 19th to the 21st century.

    I was unable to find in the Internet any “extensive introduction and bibliography” included in the “facsimile edition” of this work. But I will not rush to buy the score of a previously unknown and unpublished composition without being served up front the supporting “extensive introduction and bibliography”. If this autograph manuscript by Mozart were offered at an auction, would anybody pay millions for it without the full documentary evidence that this is indeed
    1. a genuine work for piano solo, and
    2. a genuine composition by W. A. Mozart?

  • Kelly P. says:

    It is insane to think there is still music that is being discovered today from such huge names in classical music. I am always on the lookout for stuff like this but even I overlooked this one! Thanks for sharing it and having a download for it. I will have to give it a try!

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