Per la ricuperata salute di Ofelia (found Mozart collaborational music piece; 1785)
Picture of the score in the Czech Museum of Music.
Date found: Feb 2016
Found by: Timo Jouko Hermann
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was an Austrian classical music composer who was born in 1756 and died in 1791 at the age of 35. He has been forever hailed as one of the greatest and influential composers of all time, composing pieces that have left a mark on classical music (and music as a whole). Most of his pieces have been well preserved, with the exception of a few. One of Mozart's pieces that was formerly believed lost is Per la ricuperata salute di Ofelia (also known as For the recovered health of Ophelia in English).
Per la ricuperata salute di Ofelia was created to celebrate the recuperation of a female soprano by the name of Nancy Storace, who had lost her voice a year prior along with the addition of a nervous breakdown. The score was a collaboration with two other composers; Mozart, Antonio Salieri, and a third, unknown composer who is only simply known by the name "Cornetti". It is rumored that "Cornetti" might be Alessandro Cornetti, who was an active composer and vocal teacher at the time of Per la ricuperata salute di Ofelia's creation. It is also speculated that it might just be a pseudonym of either Antonio Salieri or Stephen Storace, Nancy's brother and also another composer active at the time who organized the piece to honor his sister.
The first four stanzas of the score go:
"Canzone a Fille
Lascia la greggia, o Fillide, La greggia a te sì cara; Lascia le fonti, e i pascoli, E vieni meco a l'ara, Ivi adunati i cori Troverai de le Ninfe, e dei Pastori.
Ivi a la facil' Iside*, Per man de' Sacerdoti, Vedrai tra gl'Inni e i cantici Doni offerire, e voti, Perfin l'avaro Elpino Porta un serto di fior del suo giardino.
- ) Inventrice della Medicina
Quell'agnelletto candido Ch'ora ti scherza avanti Tu prendi teco, ed ornalo Di rose, e di amaranti, Non vuò, Fillide mia, Che fra tanti il tuo don l'ultimo sia.
Oggi la vaga Ofelia, Onor di queste selve, Quella cui vide Arcadia Empier d'amor le belve, Oggi fia che ritentiNel bel Tempio di Pan gli usati accenti."
Not much of the surviving score was heard of after it was created. For a while, it was completely unaccounted for (yet completely known by the public) and was considered one of Mozart's pieces lost to the ages.
However, sometime in February 2016, 260 years since Mozart's birth and 225 years since his death, Per la ricuperata salute di Ofelia was first reported to have been discovered by Timo Jouko Herrmann, a German composer and conductor. The piece had been in the National Museum since the 1950s, and was cataloged in 1976. It wasn't until it had been re-cataloged in August 2015 that this helped people identify the composers. Herrmann then found the piece on the museum's website and realized it was one of Mozart's lost pieces. On February 16th, 2016, the score was performed for the first time at the National Museum's Czech Museum of Music.
- Wikipedia page for the score. Retrieved 19 Jun '19
- An article on the score's rediscovery. Retrieved 19 Jun '19
- A page about Nancy Storace's life that also mentions the piece when it was still lost. Retrieved 19 Jun '19