Home / Beethoven’s 9th manuscript sells for $3.5m

Beethoven’s 9th manuscript sells for $3.5m

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Yesterday, Sotheby’s in London sold the working manuscript for Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” for $3.5m, the most ever paid for a single piece of music.


    Consisting of 465 pages in three bound volumes, the Beethoven manuscript is believed to have been used at the work’s premiere in Vienna in 1824 and was later the primary source for the first edition, published in 1826.

    Although two copyists, working from Beethoven’s drafts, were responsible for most of the notations in the score, the composer himself made thousands of alterations and corrections in his own hand. The notebooks also contained passages of music that were excised before the first performance and have never been heard.

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  • Eric Olsen

    Cool Ross, that’s pretty exciting thinking about owning THE ACTUAL WRITING of Beethoven, who seems like a demigod to me. I didn’t have the cash at the time, though.