A four-minute piece of music written by a 10-year-old may seem like a work unlikely to excite the world's foremost music historians.
But 'Allegro Molto in C Major', a recently discovered piano composition, has excited musicologists with the belief that it may have been written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1767, when the composer was only 10. The work has now had its world premiere, played on a piano belonging to Mozart himself in the composer's childhood home in Salzburg, Austria, with ivory tickling provided by Austrian pianist Florian Birsak.
The Mozarteum Salzburg Foundation, which arranged the event, said the composition was found last summer in a 160-page book of handwritten piano music as "the musty attic of a house in Tyrol was being cleared from centuries of detritus." The piece has "a series of components that are found repeatedly in other Mozart piano works," said the Mozarteum in a statement. "Judging by the current level of knowledge, it thus has to be a genuine sonata phrase from Mozart."
Musicologist Hildegard Hermann-Schneider says that other pieces in the book were well-known works by Mozart's father, Leopold, who often used "Wolfgango" to label any work written by his protege son. This piece had the name: "Del Signore Giovane Wolfgango Mozart," Italian for "Mr. Wolfgang Mozart Jr."