Beethoven who used to tear out music sheets from his sketchbook and carried them in his coat pocket, has left one such sheet with his private secretary and early biographer Anton Schindler. This extremely rare Beethoven sketchleaf, written on both sides with pen and pencil additions is part of the “Missa Solemnis.” During Beethoven’s lifetime, the Missa Solemnis was widely considered his masterpiece. Beethoven dedicated most of his time and effort, four years to be exact in writing Missa Solemnis.
He has written ideas for the Sanctus section and fragments of the Benedictus and Gloria as well on it. The date of the writing is believed to be from around 1820. The finished composition and the manuscript differs greatly, with Beethoven opting for the Sanctus as a 2/4 (two beats to the bar) movement instead of the 3/4 time (three beats to the bar) movement on the manuscript.
Found in 1996 among Anton Schindler’s papers, the leaf was authenticated and auctioned for $110,000 that same year. Auction house RR Auctions in Amherst, NH believes it is now worth twice the price it fetched in 1996. Its current owner, a European collector wished to remain anonymous. Since 1996 it has changed hands few times. Beethoven, it appears tore the leaf and folded it in half to carry it in a pocket possible around 1821. Some of the annotations on the border belong to Schindler.
Beethoven scholar William Kinderman said that the sheet “represents a fascinating missing piece to the main sketchbook Beethoven used during 1820. It mirrors his creative process in fascinating ways.”
Source: RR Auctions