“A newly-discovered sketch leaf by Beethoven for one of his greatest works, the ‘Emperor’ concerto, is heading for auction at Sotheby’s,” on October 20, writes Mark Beech at Saturday’s (9/17) blouinartinfo.com. “The manuscript is one of the earliest for this piece, possibly containing Beethoven’s first draft of its famous themes…. Most of the surviving sketches for the Fifth Piano Concerto are in the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek in Berlin and the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York. While done at the same time and in Beethoven’s distinctive hand, the new paper is not directly from either sketchbook…. Musical historians believe that the fragment is significant because it reveals the composer’s working processes. The concerto was in evolution, and the sketches at the top of the page would later be included in two different movements. At the bottom is a sketch for the first movement…. The final work is a seminal composition, in that the musician reinvents the piano concerto’s 18th-century format, employing scarcely used keys such as C-flat.… A part of the late Opus 127 string quartet sold at Sotheby’s in London in 2003 for the equivalent of more than $2 million.”

Posted September 22, 2016