A long-lost piece of music by famed Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi has been found in the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh.
Named Il Gran Mogal, the music forms one part of a quartet of lost concertos and has now been fully authenticated by a music scholar as the work of the 18th century composer.
The other concertos in the quartet, titled La Francia, La Spagna and L’Inghilterro, remain lost, however.
Southampton University research fellow Andrew Woolley was the first person to identify the significance of the work and he described the discovery as a “hugely exciting” find.
“This piece was previously known only from a mention in the sale catalogue of an 18th-century Dutch bookseller,” he explained. “Discovering that it is actually in existence is unexpected and hugely exciting.”
Although not written in Vivaldi’s hand, the composition is believed to have been copied down by an 18th century musician or copyist.
It has since been announced that the work will receive its modern-day world premiere in Scotland at the Perth Concert Hall on January 26th next year. And Scotland’s minister for culture Fiona Hyslop said: “This remarkable discovery of an unpublished concerto by one of the world’s best-known composers shows the outstanding quality of the collections in the National Archives of Scotland. I welcome the news that its premiere will be in Scotland.”
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