Even a small, tossed-off piece of work reveals something about an author's mind

>> Thursday, September 18, 2008

MSNBC reports that a new Mozart piece was recently found in a library in France. Ulrich Leisinger, a researcher at the International Mozarteum Foundation, has offered his professional opinion that the piece--a sketch of a melody with the cryptic comment "mehr kuhglocken!" written twice in the margin--is indeed in the Austrian composer's own handwriting.

It seems the piece has been previously examined (as early as the 19th century) but was then lost or forgotten. Naturally, there have been any number of forgeries of "lost" works by famous composers, but this does appear to be the real deal, written sometime between 1787 and Mozart's death in 1791.

It is admittedly more of a curiosity for musicologists than anything else--we're talking about a melodic fragment from an abandoned work. But such things frequently offer deeper insights into the workings of a creative mind, whether it's a greater sense of their work methods and creative process, or yet another indication of an author's peculiar sense of humor and fondness for absurdist pranks and pop cultural references.


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