21 December 2015

Do you have anything like this in your attic?

Greenwich Time explains what it is:
Brendan Ryan...  recently visited the home of a Greenwich woman who was looking to sell some belongings, when his eyes lit on a yellowing sheet of music behind glass, stippled with notes. More than just a musical composition, the sheet was ferociously dotted with German words, directions and symbols that practically flew off the page with manic intensity...

The sheet music went from being a curio in a Greenwich home to a $100,000 windfall when it sold at auction last month. For music scholars, it’s become an exciting addition to the Beethoven canon...

Another detail that confirmed the sheet work’s authenticity were three small holes on the side of the paper. The holes match up exactly with known samples from the sketchbook in Bonn, Germany. Beethoven threaded pages of the sketchbook together himself with a needle and some twine.

The sketchbook had some 30 pages of lined paper in it, and it was with this pad that Beethoven, age 40, began work on “King Stephen.” It was a rush job — done in two weeks — to write incidental music for a ceremonial theater piece honoring the founder of Hungary, tied to the opening of a new concert hall in that nation’s capital city. Beethoven was at a spa in 1810 when he wrote the work.

It’s unclear what happened to the sketchbook after Beethoven’s death in 1827. At some point, it was broken up and cut into pieces and sold in portions to admirers. A few snippets have turned up in fragmentary form.
Via Neatorama.

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