Mozart manuscript to be reconstituted

A Mozart manuscript that was torn in half by his widow will be reconstituted this year as part of celebrations marking the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth, the British Library said Wednesday.

Mozart's widow, Constanze, tore the work in two in 1835 to boost its value, giving or selling the upper portion to a court musician, Julius Leidke. She sent the lower portion to a local government official in Bavaria.

"By 1835, Mozart's star was rising and any relic connected to him was sought after," said Chris Banks, the head of the British Library's music collections. "We don't know whether his widow was given money for the manuscript or whether it was a sweetener for some kind of financial favor."

The British Library obtained the lower portion in 1953, but the upper half remained in the hands of a private collector until recently.

The music indicates the way in which Mozart was developing his ideas in 1773 as he attempted to shake off his reputation as a child prodigy and be taken seriously as a composer.

The full manuscript is to go on display on Saturday, the AP reports.


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