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In 1864, Salzburg’s Mozarteum Foundation secured a collection of musical autographs known as “Nannerl’s Notebook”—long assumed to have been a collection of pieces assembled by Leopold Mozart for his daughter Maria Anna, known in her youth by the nickname “Nannerl.” Among the eighteen works contained in this collection was a 75-bar, five-minute concerto movement for keyboard transcribed in Leopold’s handwriting which had long been assumed to have been his work. Only the solo part exists–the orchestral passages have not been retained. Now, however, musicologists studying the manuscript state that they can establish “with a likelihood bordering on certainty” that the work was composed by Nannerl’s brother, Wolfgang Amadeus, reports Vienna’s Der Standard: (S.H. transl.)
”neither the style of composition nor the speedy, corrected handwriting correspond to Leopold’s authorship,” argues Ulrich Leisinger, a Mozart researcher in the Mozarteum Foundation. “It’s far more likely that Wolfgang Amadeus played this composition for his father on the piano, and that it was then transcribed for the still unpracticed Wolfgang in the notebook, and subsequently corrected.” Father Leopold did not compose piano works of such breakneck virtuosity and extraordinary difficulty (for the period 1763-64)—in it the soloist is required to cross his hands and let them fly wildly over the keyboard, Leisinger stated.
Florian Birsak gave the work its public premiere this weekend, performing in Salzburg on a period fortepiano. Swiss television reported on the developments last night:
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”