Mozart: Original Famous Score Lost Long Ago Found In Budapest

A Mozart score, which had been missing for over 200 years, has been found in Budapest by accident.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s widely known melody, “Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major,” was found on old yellowing pages in the lonely corners of Budapest’s National Szechenyi Library, according to CTV News.

Balazs Mikusi, head of the music collection at the library, could hardly believe his eyes when he realized the original score was in Mozart’s own handwriting.

“When I first laid eyes upon the manuscript, the handwriting already looked suspiciously ‘Mozartish.’ Then I started reading the notes, and realized it is the famous A Major sonata…My heart rate shot up.”

Although the masterpiece of Mozart is very famous, it is unknown how “Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major” found its home in Budapest’s National Szechenyi Library.

According to The Spreadit, Mikusi was not searching for anything related to Mozart. In fact, he was trying to find a manuscript by composer Joseph Haydn.

The treasure Mikusi found instead consisted of three music sheets and some sketches drawn by Mozart. Mikusi was amazed at how much detail Mozart put into the score, but the library could not just assume the work was that of Mozart. The National Szechenyi Library asked for authentication of the Mozart score from many experts all over the globe and was successful.

Mozart’s original score was written around 1783 and copied. After Mozart’s death in 1791, the original manuscript may have been divided up and given to wealthy patrons of the library as souvenirs. One page of the manuscript has already been preserved in Mozart’s birthplace, Salzburg. The pages recently found were compared to the preserved page to confirm the pages were a part of the same original manuscript.

Eventually the manuscript will be reunited with its lost page in Salzburg’s Mozarteum Foundation, and then it will be returned to the Szechenyi Library and placed in a vault. The original work of Mozart will be placed on display in the library from time to time.

Music historian Adam Bosze understands the significance of the latest find.

“It’s very rare that a Mozart manuscript pops up. Moreover the A Major Sonata had no known manuscript, so it is really a big discovery.”

The find was celebrated on Friday evening at the library where the manuscript was found. Zoltan Kocsis, a Hungarian pianist and conductor, played Mozart’s famous sonata.

Interestingly, Mozart’s original sonata is slightly different than the version the world recognizes today. Only a trained ear would be able to recognize the differences.

“It won’t change our view on Mozart, and it doesn’t change the character of the music, but we get a lot better sense of what Mozart wanted to achieve,” Mikusi said.

[Image via AFP Photo/Attila Kisbendedek]