Lost Beethoven manuscript discovered after 115 years!
NEW YORK (AFP) – A handwritten, working manuscript of one of Beethoven’s most revolutionary works had been rediscovered after 115 years by a librarian in Pennsylvania, triggering fevered excitement among music historians.
Sotheby’s auction house, which will offer “Grosse Fuge” for sale in London in December, said Thursday that the 80-page score was “the longest and most important manuscript to have appeared on the market in living memory.”
Sotheby’s experts have put an estimate on the lot of between 1.7 million and 2.6 million dollars.
“This is an amazing find,” said Stephen Roe, Head of Sotheby’s Manuscript Department.
“The manuscript was only known from a brief description in a catalogue in 1890 and it has never before been seen or described by Beethoven scholars,” Roe said.
“Its rediscovery will allow a complete reassessment of this extraordinary music,” he added.
The manuscript was uncovered in July by Heather Carbo, a librarian who was nearing the end of a huge inventory project in the archives of a theological seminary in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
Carbo found the score in the very last cabinet she inspected in the basement of the library.
“It was just sitting on that shelf. I was in a state of shock,” Carbo told the New York Times.