A Ludwig van Beethoven Autograph Can Be Worth Over $100,000
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Ludwig van Beethoven autograph
Back in early 2010, we at NateDSanders.com were lucky enough to have this Ludwig van Beethoven autograph letter signed up for auction. Today, this Ludwig van Beethoven autograph letter signed would be worth over $100,000. Here is a description and picture of that Ludwig van Beethoven autograph letter signed:
Rare Ludwig van Beethoven Autograph Letter Signed Regarding His Opera Fidelio (Then Titled Leonore) — Vienna, November 1805 — “Here [is] the 1st act. Tonight the second where actually only few changes [have been] made. As soon as both acts are written, I ask to have them sent back to me promptly…”
Rare Ludwig van Beethoven autograph letter signed “Beethoven.” Single page, oblong Quarto, undated though likley composed in Vienna, early November, 1805, to Friedrich Sebastian Mayer, the bass-baritone singer who sang the role of Don Pizarro in the premiere of Beethoven’s opera, Fidelio (then titled Leonore). Beethoven pens in full: “Here [is] the 1st act. Tonight the second where actually only few changes [have been] made. As soon as both acts are written, I ask to have them sent back to me promptly. / Beethoven.” Beethoven began work on his only opera, Leonore (later titled Fidelio), in the summer of 1803 and had completed most of the sketches by the summer of 1805. When it came to subjects, his attachment to the heroic and the ideal made him reject most contemporary opera as light and frivolous. His reluctance to tackle any but idealized subjects was not just a matter of moralistic disdain but was built on his desire to integrate into opera something of the serious dramatic urgency that he had mastered in instrumental music, while at the same time he understood the need to adjust the form-building procedures of instrumental music to the formal necessities of opera. The rehearsals proved to be a series of trials for the composer. The style of the music was new to the singers, and they pronounced it unsingable. Furthermore, Beethoven’s deafness had become an acute and worsening condition which made it difficult for him to deal with singers, impresarios and the wider world of opera production. Two days before the opera premiere, Beethoven wrote, “I wish to see and hear it from a distance; in this way my patience will at least not be so severely tried at the rehearsal as when I am close enough to hear my music so bungled. I really believe that it is done on purpose. I shall lose all desire to write anything more if my music is to be so played.” Fidelio is an account of a woman’s heroism in a successful attempt to rescue her husband from the hands of his political enemy. It is an ambitious and progressive work, a celebration of female heroism and notable in that the suffering victim is the man, the liberator a woman. Most striking is Beethoven’s ability to deepen expression in the serious and ethical side of the plot to such a point that the work became one of the exceptional classics of the operatic literature, unsurpassed in its conveyance of dramatic and emotional truth. Its stature has to do with his ability to frame the formal dynamics of the work so as to give maximum weight to the moral issues underlying the action: the physical suffering of the prisoners and the system that promotes such suffering; heroic stoicism in the face of injustice; and Leonore’s love and courage, the willing risk-taking by a loving wife. Letters by Beethoven relating directly to his major compositions rarely appear for sale. Paper exhibits light toning and minor wear, though text remains clear and bright.If you are looking to buy, auction or sell a Ludwig van Beethoven autograph, a Ludwig van Beethoven autograph musical quotation or Ludwig van Beethoven autograph letter signed, please email Nate@NateDSanders.com or phone (310) 440-2982.