Sunday, October 16, 2005

Librarian discovers Beethoven score worth more than US$2 million

Librarian discovers Beethoven score worth more than US$2 million

A working manuscript of one of Beethoven's final compositions has been rediscovered in a seminary library and could fetch more than US$2 million (euro1.67 million) at auction. The 80-page manuscript of Beethoven's Gross Fuge for piano duet was created when he was deaf and is filled with editing and notations from the composer's own hand. Never before seen by scholars, it was written a few months before the composer's death in 1827. It was found by a librarian clearing out old archives at the Palmer Theological Seminary and displayed briefly at the seminary last Thursday in a glass case and under the eyes of several plainclothes guards. The discovery was kept hidden since July while the bound manuscript, roughly the size of a magazine, was authenticated and appraised. "That has been the toughest part - keeping this all a secret till now," seminary president Wallace Smith said. Longtime librarian Heather Carbo, whom school officials said did not wish to speak with reporters Thursday, found the manuscript on the bottom shelf of an old cabinet in the library. Months earlier, an electrical fire had damaged many items in the library archives but the manuscript was not touched by fire, smoke or water. "There is no doubt that it was a providential act," Smith said.


At October 16, 2005 3:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I began reading at age 3 and spent the happiest days of my childhood in the public library. Always dreamt of being a librarian--they are the hidden treasures of this world.

At October 21, 2005 8:42 PM, Blogger david said...

Read the in depth interview with Heather Carbo, the librarian who found the transcript.


At October 21, 2005 8:46 PM, Blogger david said...

Sorry, if that link doesn't work go to: click on the Conversation page.



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