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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Ave Verum Corpus
Vienna, Austrian National Library, Mus. Hs. 18.975/3, Baden near Vienna, 1791

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The “Ave verum Corpus” motet for 4 vocal parts, orchestra and organ, KV 618, was written by W. A. Mozart on June 17th, 1791, just half a year before his death, in Baden bei Wien probably for his friend Anton Stoll, who was the local Regens chori. The touching sincerity of this church song has assured it a firm position within the liturgy of the Catholic church up until the present day. With 46 beats the piece lasts just a few minutes. It has been described as the “crystallization of classic simplicity and greatness”.

The four-page autograph of the score came to what was then known as the “Kaiserlich Königliche Hofbibliothek” library in Vienna via Ludwig Ritter von Köchel in 1877. This Mozart autograph is today regarded as a particular treasure of the music collection of the Austrian National Library. With its correction-free notation and full signature and date at the beginning, this autograph is also visually a jewel whose true-to-the-original facsimile will appeal to every musician and lover of manuscripts.

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