In the same sale, the autograph of Rimsky-Korsakov's Second Symphony sold for over $2 million (£1,202,500 = $2,021,042).
The Mozart manuscript, five pages containing 49 bars of a Kyrie in C, K. Anh. 18 (166F), written when he was 16, comes with proper intrigue, having not been widely seen since it was smuggled away from Germany by its owner in 1938; the titled wrapper, sent with the family furniture in 1939, was lost when the freighter was torpedoed and sank.
The presumed economic effect of the semi-frenzy in the press—that the price would be driven wildly up and the document subsequently sequestered by a private collector—became the subject of colloquy among professional musicologists, prompting an essay by Jonathan Bellman where he concludes: “I don’t see an ethical issue with the discussion of a newly emerged, long-lost manuscript. ... “Besides, I find the ethical issues involved in expecting people to muzzle themselves about important discoveries to be far more problematic.”
- Advance story by Andrew Clark, “Composer Manuscripts Come on the Market,” Financial Times blog, 9 May 2014
- Jonathan Bellman, “A Mozart Rediscovery and an Ethical Question,” Dial M for Musicology blog, 18 May 2014
- Advance story by Brian Wise, WQXR blog, 18 May 2014
- Sotheby's catalogue lot 199 (Mozart, with estimate and sale price)
- Sotheby's catalogue lot 208 (Rimsky-Korsakov, with estimate and sale price)
- Sale summary by Sarah Cascone, “Mozart Manuscript Smuggled Away from Nazis Sells Big at Sotheby's,” artnetNews, 21 May 2014
And in other (frenzied) news . . .
- On Tara Erraught and the London press, don't miss Anne Midgette in the Washington Post (“Of Critics, Weights, and Standards,” 19 May 2014) and Anastasia Tsioulcas on NPR's blog Deceptive Cadence (“In 2014, the Classical World Still Can't Stop Fat-Shaming Women,” 20 May 2014; and “What Weeks of Debate Have Shown Us About Women in Classical Music,” 3 June 2014)
- If that's not enough to raise your blood pressure, try the (Seattle-based) story of the Berlin Philharmonic's representative noting that its Digital Concert Hall setup might be "too complicated for women," and lame apology posted a little later: Alex Ross, “Unglaublich,” in The Rest is Noise, 6 June 2014