Newly Discovered Beethoven Handwritten One-Page Manuscript Auctioned And Sold For $100K

Posted by Staff Reporter ( on Dec 22, 2015 06:30 AM EST
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Ludwig Van Beethovenmore big
German composer Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770 - 1827) with the Rasowmowsky Quartet, drawn by the artist Borckmann. (Photo : Photo by Rischgitz/Getty Images)

A Beethoven handwritten manuscript was found in a Connecticut home which was then sold at an auction for $100,000 (£67,000). It was bought last month by a German antiques dealer.

The Guardian reported that the manuscript was written by the famous classical musician Ludwig Van Beethoven for King Stephen. It was just a page of the notebook, however. But the fact that it was personally handwritten by the world renowned composer, it was sold for such a steep price.

When the manuscript was discovered, professional appraiser Brendan Ryan visited the house of the woman in the US town of Greenwich. When he first spotted the sheet. "I called my wife when I got into my car; I think I was bouncing off the walls," he said.

The sheet was covered with notes written in German and was stored behind the glass. The authenticity of the piece was then confirmed by Carmelo Comberiati, Ryan's professor at college who studied Beethoven manuscripts.

Comberiati mentioned that the piece was written for King Stephen which is an incidental music for a theater piece. There were three holes in the side of the page which convinces him that the manuscript was taken from a notebook where Beethoven worked in 1811.

"Beethoven would write out his ideas. With most composers, we just have the final product -- they threw the rest out. Beethoven didn't throw anything out. I found the sketchbook and referenced the exact piece; we put it all together," Comberiati said.

King Stephen is one of Beethoven's minor works, and only its overture is performed with any frequency today. It was composed for a play written by August von Kotzebue for the opening of the Hungarian theatre in Pest, which tells of the life of the founder of modern Hungary in the late 10th and early 11th centuries. Beethoven also wrote music for another Von Kotzebue play, The Ruin of Athens, written for the same theatre.

Although there were other Beethoven manuscripts that were sold at auction regularly, the page from King Stephen was unusual because it was unknown.

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