Sergei Rachmaninov

Sotheby’s has sold the autograph of Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony for 1,202,500 GBP (€ 1.475.000) to a private collector. This autograph of 320 pages is a full orchestral score, containing many differences from later sources, notated in black ink on up to twenty-four staves per page, an extensively-worked manuscript, with numerous deletions, corrections, erasures and annotations throughout, including a few bars of new music, alterations to the main themes and many revisions to the orchestration. Rachmaninov composed the symphony for the subscription concerts run and conducted by his friend and cousin Alexander Siloti (1863-1945), in St Petersburg in 1908. Unknown to scholars for many years, the autograph manuscript of Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony was discovered in 2004 and announced for sale at auction. An ownership claim arose which has since been settled on terms of confidentiality to the mutual satisfaction of all parties. The manuscript was sold privately in 2005 and has been on view at the British Library since then.

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