Thursday, June 30, 2011

Major Trove Of Classical Music Manuscripts For Sale

J.S. Bach's Cantata No. 171 is part of the Lehman Collection. The iron-gall ink Bach used to compose the piece has eroded the paper.
For music lovers, some melodies may seem priceless. But if you ever wondered what music is really worth — like the original manuscript to Maurice Ravel's Bolero? That score and about 200 more, which reside at New York's Morgan Library, are on sale for $135 million. They are part of the esteemed Lehman Collection — a group of nearly 200 scores that reads like a greatest hits of classical music. Christoph Wolff, a professor of music history at Harvard, calls it "the trophy collection."

"If you look at the list, you have Bach manuscripts, you have Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, you have Chopin, you have Debussy, Strauss, Bartok and Schoenberg. You know, there isn't anything like it, especially when it comes to the selected items that are really major works in the history of music," Wolff says.  Read more & listen to the NPR story!