Scholar finds 'Beethoven's last piano work' in library
Tuesday 09 September 2008
An Australian musicologist has discovered what he believes to be the last piano work written by Beethoven.
Peter McCallum, associate professor of musicology at the University of Sydney, found the 32 bars of handwritten music while looking at one of the composer's sketchbooks in Berlin's state library. Most of his books have been studied in detail but the final one has attracted less attention.
McCallum said that he didn't know instantly that it was a piano piece because Beethoven often used a chaotic sort of shorthand. "The sketchbooks ... are very difficult to read and need a bit of deciphering, but you can work it out if you look at it for long enough," he said.
McCallum said he believed the piece was written in October 1826, five months before Beethoven died.
"It's got a few little unusual harmonic features which we don't normally associate with Beethoven," he said.
McCallum's pianist wife Stephanie used her husband's transcription to make the first recording of the piece - Bagatelle in F minor – which lasts just 54 seconds. McCallum said he believed the piece, although brief, was complete.
"I suspect if Beethoven had come to it as he very often did with these things he would have added more because it's not very long," he said. reuters
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
Hercules, review: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson takes centre stage in preposterous movie
Fifty Shades of Grey trailer: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage from US parenting groups
Fifty Shades of Grey film stills
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia