Alex Ross on Beethoven’s Great Fugue

[New Yorker, 6 February 2006]
Last summer, a librarian at the Palmer Theological Seminary, outside Philadelphia, reached onto the bottom shelf of a basement cabinet and pulled out a lost manuscript by Beethoven. It was a draft of an arrangement for piano, four hands, of the composerís ìGrosse Fuge,î or ìGreat Fugueî (or, as the cover inexplicably said, ìGrande Tugueî). Once the property of a nineteenth-century industrialist-composer, it had disappeared, ìCitizen Kaneî-style, into the clutter of his belongings, some of which the seminary inherited. The manuscript was handed over to Sothebyís, which sold it in December to an unnamed buyer for $1.95 million. Shortly before the sale, the manuscript was put on display. With some misgivings, I went to Sothebyís to have a look.
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image_description=Ludwig van Beethoven