The manuscript of Gustav Mahler’s Second Symphony was sold this morning at Sotheby’s for £4,5 million, taxes included (€5.4 million). The buyer’s name has not been revealed. According to a press release, this is by far the highest price ever paid for a music manuscript. Sotheby’s said that the only comparable symphonic manuscripts to have been sold at auction were those of nine Mozart symphonies (which sold for £2.5m at Sotheby’s in 1987) and Schumann’s Second Symphony (£1.5m in 1994).

The Mahler score was owned by Gilbert Kaplan, a deceased New York publisher who conducted the symphony many times around the world, and also in Luxembourg. He recorded the work twice.

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