Beethoven manuscript score selling for $271,000

A leaf of a manuscript score by Ludwig Van Beethoven is to highlight a sale at RR Auction, with bidding due to close on January 15.

The autographed page is taken from the composer's Missa Solemnis, produced circa 1819-1823, and contains ideas for three sections of the piece.

Beethoven Missa Solemnis RR Auction
Missa Solemnis is regarded as one of Beethoven's most important works

The bid currently stands at $270,904.

It differs fundamentally from the finished work, with the time signature set at 3/4 rather than 2/4, but indicates the form that the piece would later take on - offering a fascinating insight into Beethoven's process.  

The manuscript was discovered among the personal effects of Beethoven's secretary Anton Schindler (1795-1864) and was sold once before in 1999, achieving $110,000 - a figure that it has more than doubled already.

The enormous significance of the piece means it is more than likely that this figure will increase before the end of the sale. Beethoven himself considered Missa Solemnis his finest hour, declaring it to be his "greatest work" in 1822 - with this consensus largely shared among the public at the time.

Other items featured in the sale include a copy of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band signed by all four members of the Beatles and a selection of space memorabilia.

We have this fragment of manuscript from the legendary jazz musician John Coltrane, which includes handwritten notations.

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