Remember when Bill Gates bought Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketchbook? This isn’t exactly like that, but you’d be pardoned if you would like to hold a Beethoven doodle in your hands. For a price, you can.
As reported in The Times, a previously unknown “musical doodle” by Beethoven could just contain the flash of inspiration for the famous cadenza that opens his Piano Concerto No 5, popularly known simply as The Emperor. The sketch-leaf showing the cadenza thought to be an early inspiration for the Emperor piano concerto.
Discovered in the private library of “an English bibliophile”, scholars believe that the loose sheet of paper marked with rough handwritten notes by the composer is an early draft of the Emperor’s famous themes and shows how the composer improvised on paper while hearing music in his head. The handwritten note is expected to fetch between £150,000 and £200,000 ($255,000 to $341,000) when it is offered at auction by Sotheby’s in London.
Simon Maguire, director of books and manuscripts at Sotheby’s, said: “This is a rare opportunity to acquire an unpublished draft for one of Beethoven’s greatest works. In this sketch-leaf, Beethoven’s working process is laid bare. The concerto evolves before our very eyes; fragmentary sketches at the top of the page would later be included in two different movements and by the bottom of the page, the sketch for the first movement has been further developed by the composer. The sketch-leaf gives an insight into his experimental approach, as much of the later passagework was not incorporated by Beethoven in his final version.”