Reconstruction of lost Beethoven quartet movement to get premiere

Posted on: September 28, 2011

A report Tuesday (9/27) on the BBC News website states, “A ‘lost’ Beethoven movement is to be performed for the first time in more than 200 years, after being pieced together from early drafts. Beethoven wrote the slow movement for his string quartet Opus 18 Number Two in 1799 before discarding it and composing another version a year later. The original has not survived, but has now been reconstructed by Prof. Barry Cooper of Manchester University. … Prof. Cooper, one of the world’s leading experts on the composer, said preliminary sketches from Beethoven’s notebooks had survived for all 74 bars of the movement. But half of the bars were written for just one instrument, meaning Prof Cooper has completed the missing instrument parts himself. … ‘The movement will certainly be strikingly similar to what Beethoven wrote. Obviously it can’t possibly be exactly the same,’ [Cooper said.] … The completed movement will be performed by the university’s resident string quartet Quatuor Danel at the Martin Harris Centre in Manchester on Thursday.”

Posted September 28, 2011