MOZART, Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791

L’autografo dell’ Adagio KV 356 (617a) per Glasharmonika
nella Bibliothèque Nationale de France di Parigi
(Départment de la Musique, Fondo Ch. Maherbe, Segnatura: Ms. 220)
Edizione in facsimile a cura di Giacomo Fornari

[Adagio, glass harmonica, K.356 (617a)]

Mozart Adagio K.356 for Glass Harmonica

detail of page

Lucca, 2/ 2017. Oblong, 30.5 x 21 cm, xvi, 2 pp.

This beautiful and exacting facsimile, recreating the tactile experience of the autograph now in the possession of the Bibliothèque Nationale, was first issued in 2008 solely for members of the International Mozart Society. Fortunately the publisher has now re-issued it, making it available to a larger public. Little is known about the origins of the work and the composer failed to enter the piece into his thematic catalog (Verzeichnüß aller meiner Werke). Several clues however suggest that the piece was drafted in the summer of 1791, in the same period as the genesis of La clemenza di Tito and Die Zauberflöte, and that Marianne Kirchgeßner, the esteemed virtuoso of the glass harmonica, blind since the age of four, performed it in Vienna. The instrument itself, a type of mechanical piano with resonating glasses, whose sound is described as "especially sweet, ethereal, melancholic and penetrating", has a facsinating American connection in that it was Benjamin Franklin who perfected the instrument in 1762.  Commentary in It-Eng-Ger. Portfolio. $66

spChrista Schönfeldinger plays K.617a on an original Franklin glass harmonica

Mozart, Adagio K.356 for Glass Harmonica

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