UK Professor 'Reconstructs' Lost Beethoven Piece
Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 06:02 PM
A composition by Beethoven that was discarded and unheard for over 200 years has been reconstructed, a British university said Wednesday.
The piece - the original slow movement of Beethoven's String Quartet in G, Opus 18 Number 2 - was composed in 1799, but was discarded a year later. The composer then wrote a completely different movement that is now known to classical musical fans, said Barry Cooper, a music professor at the University of Manchester.
Scholars have studied incomplete sketches of the original piece of music for years, but for a long time no one realized the sketches form a complete movement, Cooper said.
It is only now that the 74 bars of music have been put together to a state that is close to its original form, he added.
Cooper said he has tried to make the movement - which lasts about four to five minutes - playable by filling in missing instruments and adding harmony in places.
"The prospect of hearing a Beethoven work that has been absent for over 200 years should be of much interest to anyone who loves his music, even if my reconstruction may differ slightly from what the composer wrote," Cooper said.