Evidence from Mozart’s fly swatter, maybe

The Bibliolore blog presents discusses the meaning and import of what may be the remains of a small animal murdered by a famous musical composer:

Franz Niemetschek’s legendary report that La clemenza di Tito was composed in 18 days was not seriously challenged until 1960, when Tomislav Volek published important archival materials relating to the chronology of the opera’s composition. Physical evidence from the autograph manuscript, including the remains of a fly squashed on the paper (probably by the composer in the heat of August), contributes to discrediting the hypothesis that Mozart’s work had begun before he signed his July 1791 contract for the opera.

This according to “The chronology of Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito reconsidered”by Sergio Durante (Music & letters, 80, no. 4 (Nov 1999): 560–594)…