Maurizio Tomasi asked me to repost this (it was lost in our June meltdown) so he could link it with the mutopia web site. So here it is:
Fragment of a Piano Fugue in G-major K.Anh41/375g
K1 carried this Fugue fragment in the Anhang section for fragments as Anh 4, the autograph at that time being in the possession of the Prussian Royal Music Director F.W. Jhns in Berlin. The 27 measures (incorrectly listed as 26 by Kchel) in G-major were written down by Mozart on the back of the autograph (4th page) of the fragment for 4 -voices "In te Domine speravi".
Einstein, in K3, moved all the fragments into the main portion of the Kchel Catalogue, renumbering our Fugue as K375g. It was placed in spring 1782--"the Fugue time"-- from Mozart's handwriting and character of the piece. He noted the mixed tone shading in the beginning theme was peculiar, and the right hand is noted in the Soprano clef. (Without any explanation for the vast time difference, Einstein placed the "In te Domine speravi" in early summer 1773 in Salzburg with Mozart's early counterpunctual studies.)
K6 did not change the dating for the Fugue, but curiously deleted the sentence of the mixed shading when repeating Einstein's remarks. By this time the autograph was in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, where it remains today.
In the 1976/77 Mozart-Jahbruch, Wolfgang Plath published an article on his studies of the handwriting of the Mozart autographs. He found the handwriting of the "in te Domine speravi" to be from 1774, and our Fugue to be from "ca. later summer 1777". Certain characteristics of Mozart's handwriting were found frequently in autographs of 1776/77, but never past 1778. Plath showed the form of the "F" in Mozart's heading "Fuga" as fitting this dating. Plath thought it more likely that such a Fugue study would have originated in Salzburg than during the later Mannheim-Paris trip, when this characteristic was still in use. [Tyson's watermarks studies later also show a much earlier time, but hard to pin to a certain year. The watermark Number (#1) was used in Mozart autographs from 1761 to 1772.]
In the 1982 volume of the NMA its editor, Wolfgang Plath again, saw more peculiarities in the Fugue. He noted that the stylistic distance between this Fugue and the others of Mozart is so striking that without the autograph it could hardly be seen as Mozart's. He saw the melody formation as "strangely unnatural". The theme itself showed more of an artificial structure than a skillful one. In citing many technical problems in this Fugue, Plath questioned if it was conceivable this only was a copy by Mozart of another composer. But Plath found this unlikely, questioning why Mozart would copy out such a faulty Fugue.
To listen and decide for yourself on the qualities of this Fugue, go to:
where Maurizio Tomasi has produced a MIDI file of this Fugue for everyone's enjoyment.