Thursday, October 13, 2005


Missing Beethoven score for sale.

Grosse Fuge is one of Beethoven's few compositions for piano duet. An 80-page handwritten manuscript by Beethoven which was missing for 115 years has been put up for auction. The score of Grosse Fuge, which has the composer's changes, was found by a librarian at a US religious school.

It is expected to fetch up to £1.5m when it goes on sale at Sotheby's auction house in London on 1 December. Sotheby's says the score, which was last seen at an auction in Berlin in 1890, is "the most important Beethoven manuscript to appear in recent memory".

The buyer at the 1890 Berlin auction is now believed to have been an industrialist from Ohio who took the manuscript to the US. The German composer wrote Grosse Fuge while contending with deafness. The score dates from 1826, the year before he died.

Dr Stephen Roe, head of Sotheby's manuscript department, said the discovery was "an amazing find".


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