Sep 282011

A “lost” move­ment is to be per­formed for the first time in more than 200 years, after being pieced together from early drafts.  wrote the slow move­ment for his string quar­tet Opus 18 Num­ber Two in 1799 before dis­card­ing it and com­pos­ing another ver­sion a year later.

The ori­ginal has not sur­vived, but has now been recon­struc­ted by Pro­fessor Brian Cooper of Manchester Uni­ver­sity. He has reas­sembled the sur­viv­ing sketches, filling in any gaps himself.

Pro­fessor Cooper, one of the world’s lead­ing experts on the com­poser, said pre­lim­in­ary sketches from Beethoven’s note­books had sur­vived for all 74 bars of the move­ment. But half of the bars were writ­ten for just one instru­ment, mean­ing Prof Cooper has com­pleted the miss­ing instru­ment parts himself.

“You’ve got a pretty good idea of what the music is like,” he told BBC News. “The move­ment will cer­tainly be strik­ingly sim­ilar to what Beeth­oven wrote. Obvi­ously it can’t pos­sibly be exactly the same.”

The ori­ginal move­ment was delivered to Beethoven’s pat­ron Prince Franz Joseph Max­imilian von Lob­kow­itz in 1799 before being replaced with a revised version.

via BBC News

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