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Long-lost Mozart score found in Prague

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Vasiliy Shkafer as Mozart and Fyodor Shalyapin as Salieri. Photo: Russian Private Opera, 1898
17:26 CET+01:00
A long-lost collaborative effort between composers and putative rivals Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri has been found at a Czech museum, its spokeswoman said Friday.

"It's a really valuable work... long thought to have been lost," said Czech National Museum spokeswoman Sarka Dockalova, adding that staff discovered it in the reserve collection.

"It's a joint composition by Mozart and Salieri, a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte put to music," she told AFP, saying it would be performed on Tuesday at a press conference in Prague.

The discovery is especially interesting in light of a legend discounted by historians: Italy's Salieri was said to have fatally poisoned Mozart out of jealousy over the Austrian wunderkind's talent.

First appearing in Alexander Pushkin's 19th-century poetic drama "Mozart and Salieri," the rumour was later featured in the play and 1984 film "Amadeus", which historians say grossly exaggerated Salieri's rivalry with Mozart.

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The film was shot in the Czech capital, where Mozart spent considerable time in the 18th century as it was then part of the Austrian Empire.

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