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Previously Unknown Piano Piece by Mozart Premiered in Salzburg

A previously unknown piece by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was performed for the first time on Friday, March 23. The piano piece was most likely composed in 1767 or 1768 when Mozart was just 11 years old. It was found in a 160 page handwritten notebook, thought to be written by Mozart’s father, in an attic in Tyrol, Austria.

The piece is entitled “Allegro molto” by “Del Signore Giovane Wolfgango Mozart” (Italian for “Mr. Wolfgang Mozart Jr.”.) Music expert Hildegard Herrmann-Schneider said only Leopold Mozart used this name when writing down his son’s name.

The four minute, 84-bar passage piece was performed at Mozart’s childhood home in Salzburg, Austria on his original piano by pianist Florian Birsak.

“It’s not just anyone’s piece, there is already a touch of the great Mozart he later became,” said Birsak to BBC. The newly found piece has “a series of components that are found repeatedly in other Mozart piano works,” said the Mozarteum Salzburg Foundation, who hosted the event, in a statement. “Judging by the current level of knowledge, it thus has to be a genuine sonata phrase from Mozart.” This isn’t the first Mozart piece to be discovered recently. In 2009 two pieces were found that are said to have been written by Mozart when he was seven or eight.

Piano score to download and print


“Padom Padom” Goes Mozart

La Linea (“The Line”) is an Italian animated series created by the Italian cartoonist Osvaldo Cavandoli. The series consists of 90 episodes which are about 2–3 minutes long each and were originally broadcast in the Italian channel RAI between 1972 – 1991. Over the years the series aired in more than 40 countries around the world. Due to its short duration (usually 2 minutes 30 seconds), it has often been used in many networks as an interstitial program.

Even though the episodes are numbered up to 225, there are, in fact, only 90 La Linea episodes. The Lagostina series had eight (5 min) episodes, the 100 series had 56 (101-156), and the 200 series had 26 (200-225).

The cartoon features a man (known as “Mr. Linea”) drawn as a single outline around his silhouette, walking on an infinite line of which he is a part. The character encounters obstacles and often turns to the cartoonist to draw him a solution, with various degrees of success. One recurring obstacle was an abrupt end of line. The character would often almost fall off the edge into oblivion and get angry with the cartoonist and complain about it. He was voiced by Carlo Bonomi in a mock version of Milanese that resembled gibberish as much as possible, giving the cartoon the possibility to be easily exported without dubbing. The tune played in the background of the series was created by Franco Godi but in this episode we hear Mr. Linea perform Mozart’s Sonata K 545 in C major.

Mozart – Sonata K 545 in C:


Mitsuko Uchida Wins Her First-Ever Grammy

2011 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance with Orchestra:

Mozart, Piano Concertos Nos. 23 and 24
Mitsuko Uchida, Cleveland Orchestra (Decca)

Pianist Dame Mitsuko Uchida has just won her first-ever Grammy award. The recording, Mozart: Piano Concertos nos. 23 & 24, was released in the US on September 8, 2009 and is one in a series of recordings of Mozart concertos with Uchida planned on Decca. The Guardian wrote about this recording: “Admirers of Uchida’s fabulously fluent Mozart playing will know what to expect from these accounts; every phrase is elegantly tooled, every texture perfectly weighted … a rapturously beautiful disc.” Mitsuko Uchida has long been one of the world’s premiere interpreters of Mozart’s piano music both in the recording studio and the concert hall. She famously recorded the Mozart Concertos with Jeffrey Tate and the English Chamber Orchestra in the 1980s.

Recently, Uchida has decided to reconsider the works and now records them live with the Cleveland Orchestra in Severence Hall with the pianist also acting as conductor. This new approach in both logistics and style has yielded results which few could have imagined. “Mitsuko Uchida’s Mozart playing here is stunningly sensitive, crystalline, and true. These two concertos have been over-recorded, but this soloist and this great orchestra prove there is still more to say.” (Boston Globe – Record Review)

The next recording in this series, Mozart: Piano Concertos nos. 20 & 27, will also feature the Cleveland Orchestra and Uchida as both conductor and soloist and will be released later this spring.

Uchida said about the award, “I feel very happy about receiving this Grammy Award, especially because it is for the first recording in a series of Mozart concerti with The Cleveland Orchestra. These are people with whom I have a long association, so it gives me particular pleasure.”

Read more:
The 2011 Grammy Award Classical Winners

Here is an example of Uchida playing Mozart from a live concert during Salzburger Festspiele 2006:
W. A. Mozart – Piano concerto No 25 (Uchida, Vienna Philharmonic, Muti)


Happy 255th Birthday, Mozart!

We celebrate your birthday, Mozart, with a little gift to all your fans, a facsimile of one of your first pieces, Minuet in G, K 1.
Print out and play!!

Download free PDF of Mozart’s Minuet in G, K. 1 (autograph facsimile)

… and a few interesting links:

Mozart’s 255th! 12 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Quotables
“January 27th marks Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 255th birthday, offering a perfect excuse for us to pull out some of our favourite quotes from Wolfie himself and a few well-deserved words from his multitude of admirers”:

Mozart’s Thematic Catalogue – Introduction
This manuscript is Mozart’s record of his compositions in the last seven years of his life, and thus is a uniquely important document.
During this period, from February 1784 until December 1791, he composed many of his best-known works, including his five mature operas, several of his most beautiful piano sonatas, and his last three great symphonies, as well as several famous lesser works.
Mozart organised the entries in the catalogue in the order in which they were completed. On the left-hand page he entered five compositions, each with its date, title, and often its instrumentation.

Did you listen to Mozart today? Please share your favourite Mozart links, a greeting or your thoughs about Mozart’s music by posting a comment here or on our Facebook page!


Pires in Mozart’s Piano Concerto no 27

Acclaimed as one of the greatest interpreters of Mozart, Portuguese/Brazilian pianist Maria-JoĂŁo Pires (b. 1944) is an artist who combines exquisite stylistic refinement with a serious effort to plumb the intellectual complexities and spiritual depths of music. Refusing to conform to the traditional image of a concert virtuoso, Pires emphasizes the spiritual dimensions of music, always searching for hidden meanings which may elude the analytical performer. This remarkable reverence towards works of music, clearly manifested in her performances of Mozart, was made explicit by her remark that, as a performer, she acts as a channel for the composer’s ideas.

Her recording of Mozart’s complete sonatas received the 1990 Grand Prix du Disque. One of her highly acclaimed recordings is “Mozart: The Piano Sonatas”. According to the Penguin Guide: “Maria JoĂŁo Pires is a stylist and a fine Mozartian. She is always refined yet never wanting in classical feeling, and she has a vital imagination. She strikes an ideal balance between poise and expressive sensibility, conveying a sense of spontaneity in everything she does”.

*** Live Video – Limited Availability ***

Maria-Joao Pires and Chamber Orchestra of Europe perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto no 27 in B-flat major K. 595. Video available until January 29 2011:

W. A. Mozart´s last piano concerto No. 27 in B flat major K. 595 followed by some years the series of highly successful concertos Mozart wrote for his own concerts, and by the time of its premiere Mozart was no longer so prominent a performer on the public stage. It is a popular assumption that this concerto was first performed at a concert on 4 March 1791 in Jahn´s Hall by Mozart and by a clarinetist Joseph Bähr.
Seen from today’s state of scholarship however there is absolutely no proof that Mozart actually performed K. 595 on this day. The concert might well have been premiered by Mozart’s pupil Barbara Ployer on the occasion of a public concert at the Auersperg palace in January 1791.
This was Mozart’s last appearance in a public concert, as he took ill in September 1791 and died on 5 December 1791. The manuscript is dated 5 January 1791. However, Alan Tyson’s analysis of the paper on which Mozart composed the work indicated that Mozart used this paper between December 1787 and February 1789, which implies composition well before 1791. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the concertos is the extent to which Mozart (or other contemporary performers) would have embellished the piano part as written in the score. Mozart’s own ability to improvise was famous, and he often played from very sketchy piano parts. Furthermore, there are several very “bare” parts in the concerto scores that have led some to deduce that the performer is meant to improvise embellishments at these points, the most notorious being towards the end of the F sharp minor second movement of No. 23 in A major (K. 488) (the end of the first subject of the second movement of No. 24 in C minor, K. 491 is another example). Manuscript evidence exists to suggest that embellishment did occur (e.g. an embellished version of the slow movement of No. 23, apparently by his gifted pupil Barbara Ployer). In 1840, evidence was published from two brothers, Philipp Karl and Heinrich Anton Hoffmann, who had heard Mozart perform two concertos, Nos 19 and 26 (K. 459 and K. 537) in Frankfurt am Main in 1790. Philip Karl reported that Mozart embellished his slow movements “tenderly and tastefully once one way, once another according to the momentary inspiration of his genius”, and he later (1803) published embellished Mozart slow movements to six of his later concertos (K. 467, K. 482, K. 488, K. 491, K. 503 and K. 595).


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