Mahler's Second Symphony manuscript to make $4.5m?

Gustav Mahler's handwritten manuscript for his Second Symphony (The Resurrection) is selling at Sotheby's.

It's expected to make more than £3.5m ($4.5m) when it crosses the block in London on November 29.

Mahler second symphony
Mahler's Second Symphony is often considered his masterpiece

The manuscript dates to 1888-1894 and runs to 232 pages. Mahler's alterations indicate how the piece evolved over time.

It comes from the personal collection of American entrepreneur Gilbert Kaplan, who acquired it in 1984.

Kaplan saw a performance of the Second Symphony at New York's Carnegie Hall in 1965, an experience that left him awestruck.

He later explained: "Zeus threw the bolt of lightning. I walked out of that hall a different person".

In the years to come he made it his life's mission to learn to conduct it.

He would go on to perform the piece well over 100 times all around the world - never once conducting any other work.  

Simon Maguire, Sotheby's senior books & manuscripts specialist, comments: "No complete symphony by Mahler, written in the composer's own hand, has ever been offered at auction, and probably none will be offered again.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a manuscript of truly outstanding historical importance."

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