WARSAW, Poland A team of musicologists is reviewing 19th-century copies of musical scores from a Polish monastery's archives in hopes that some might prove to be previously unknown works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the lead scholar said Tuesday.
The team is focused on nine scores, though the musicologists will review 2,000 from the Jasna Gora monastery in Czestochowa, southern Poland.
"The scores could be compilations from various Mozart works, or compositions by other authors just signed in his name, or in the luckiest case for us they could be unknown authentic Mozart," Remigiusz Pospiech, head of the research team, told The Associated Press.
"In that case we could talk of a sensation."
But Ulrich Leisinger, head of research at the International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg, Austria, said it was "highly unlikely" that new works by Mozart would be discovered.
"Mozart kept a catalog of all his works from 1784 on," Leisinger told the AP in a telephone interview. "This catalog does not contain any major work we are missing."
Pospiech and more than a dozen young musicologists from across Poland have been searching through the archives for rare music that could be performed at the monastery's annual music festival and recorded.
The copied scores in Jasna Gora's archives were made for the monastery's musical ensemble, active between the late 16th and early 20th centuries. At issue in the search is whether monastery musicians copied Mozart works that have since gone missing.
Pospiech, a musicologist from the University of Opole in southern Poland, said he was skeptical about the origins of the Mozart-attributed scores, including a soprano aria, that are not listed in the register of the composer's work, the so-called Koechel Catalog.
A recent performance of that aria at the monastery, however, spurred him into seeking to confirm its authenticity.
So far the team has declared four of the 20 scores carrying Mozart's name to be misattributions. Seven others are copies of well-known Mozart works, including the Requiem. That leaves nine for further research.