Milos Forman's Academy Award-winning film Amadeus (based on the Peter Schaffer play) depicts Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri as fierce rivals. It even suggests that Salieri may have played a role in Mozart's early death at 35.
Scholars have long dismissed stories of the two composers being archenemies — and the discovery of a long-lost 1785 composition demonstrates that they even collaborated.
"We all know the picture drawn by the movie, Amadeus. It is false," said Ulrich Leisinger of the Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg. "Salieri did not poison Mozart, but they both worked in Vienna and were competitors."
The work was discovered in November by German composer and musicologist Timo Jouko Herrmann, who found it in the catalog of the Czech Museum of Music while searching for pieces by Salieri's students. It's titled Per la Ricuperata Salute di Ofelia (For the recovered health of Ophelia), and celebrates English soprano Nancy Storace, who performed works by both composers.
"Here we have a short, not great, piece by Mozart, but at least something that really sheds new light on his daily life as an opera composer in Vienna," Leisinger said.
It was performed earlier today at the museum, and it's unclear whether or not the piece has ever been performed publicly.
"To hear a joint piece by Mozart and Salieri ... lost for more than 200 years, is an amazing experience," Czech National Museum director, Michal Lukes, said.
The video below is edited from the film, Amadeus: