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Sotheby's to auction Stravinsky's 'Petrushka' scor

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Sotheby's to auction Stravinsky's 'Petrushka' score April 22 2004

Two important early twentieth-century manuscripts will be sold at Sotheby?s, London, next month.

The May 21 sale will include the full score of Stravinsky?s Petrushka, which is expected to fetch £1.5-£2m. Stephen Roe, head of Sotheby?s manuscripts department, describes it as ?one of the greatest autographs of Stravinsky ever to be offered at auction.?

Composed in 1911, it was the second of the three ballets Stravinsky wrote for Dyagilev?s Ballets Russes before the First World War, (the others being The Firebird and The Rite of Spring). The score was revised before printing, possibly to take into account the experiences of performing the ballet in June 1911. According to Sotheby?s, this manuscript has not been previously examined or described in detail by any scholar, and ?appears to contain new evidence about the genesis? of the work.

The sale will also include the autograph score of one of Mahler?s most beautiful songs, ?Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen?. The manuscript was given by Mahler to its dedicatee, the Austrian musicologist, Professor Guido Adler (1855-1941) on his 50th birthday, in 1905. Adler died in 1941, and from then until 2000 it remained in the estate of Richard Heiserer, the Viennese lawyer appointed to administer Adler?s estate. The manuscript has now been restituted and is being sold on behalf of Adler's grandson, and is expected to fetch £400,000?£600,000.

Martin Cullingford, Gramophone News and Online Editor


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