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article imageRachmaninoff’s original manuscript sold at auction for USD 2M

By Igor I. Solar     Jun 11, 2014 in Entertainment
London - The original handwritten manuscript of Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony, containing autographed revisions, deletions, and alterations, was recently sold at auction at Sotheby’s, London for $2 million.
Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony was composed in Dresden, Germany, and completed in 1907. The work, considered the composer’s greatest symphony, had its premiere in St. Petersburg in 1908, after which the manuscript went missing until 2004 when it was found in a cellar in Switzerland as part of a private estate. The long-lost manuscript was examined and authenticated by Geoffrey Norris, a leading British expert in Rachmaninoff.
The 320-page work starts on page 5, lacking the title page and the initial 3 pages of the score. Part of the last page is also missing. It is the only known record of Rachmaninoff’s original involvement on the work. Following its disappearance, the composer recreated the orchestration into the revised form known today.
This is the second time Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony has been sold. In 2004, the manuscript was announced for sale at Sotheby’s, but it was withdrawn from the auction after a late ownership claim from the Russian composer's estate. After achieving a settlement, the manuscript sold privately in 2005 to the Tabor Foundation, a sponsor of the Leeds International Piano Competition. Since then, it has been on display at the British Library, along with the autograph score of the composer’s Third Piano Concerto. The work was auctioned again on May 20 and, according to Sotheby’s it was purchased by “a private collector” for £1.2 million (over US $2 million).
Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2, Op. 27, is in four movements. The full length version of the work in a High Definition video can be found here. The video below contains just the third movement (Adagio), one of the composer's most exquisite and cherished creations, interpreted by the London Symphony Orchestra, with beautiful images of the Russian countryside.
More about Sergei Rachmaninoff, Second Symphony, Auction, Sothebys Auction House, London
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