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Original Mozart manuscripts go live

The British Library knows the score

Who says Mozart's original manuscripts are only for scholars of classical music to leaf through and relish? The British Library is offering some of the composer's most famous works to internet users for the first time.

The library has put a digital version of Mozart's Verzeichnüss aller meiner Werke (Catalogue of all my works) online to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Austrian composer's birth, it said today in a statement.

The digitised diary, containing 30 pages and 75 musical introductions, allows people to click a page, see the handwritten notes and even hear opening bars. It includes opening bars of a number of lost works, including "Little March in D", which has been recorded for the first time by the library for this project.

The catalogue gives details of 145 works written by Mozart from February 1784 until his death in December 1791.

Using the British Library's Turning the Pages technology, users can browse the handwritten pages of Verzeichnüss aller meiner Werke, magnify Mozart's notes and click a button to listen to the first introductory bars of music performed by musicians from the Royal College of Music.

On the lefthand side of each double-page spread, Mozart wrote down five compositions with the date each was completed, the title and the instruments used to play it. He often included the names of the singers who performed it, where the piece was composed and who commissioned the work. On the righthand side, the composer wrote the opening bars of each work.

To use Turning the Pages technology, users need Macromedia's free Shockwave plug-in.

Mozart's digitised catalogue can be viewed here.


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