Froberger manuscript up for auction

manuscript.jpgGramophone Magazine reports that a major 17th-century manuscript by the German keyboard composer Johann Jacob Froberger will be auctioned at Sotheby’s on November 30th, with an estimated price of £300k-£500k.

The manuscript contains 35 pieces of keyboard music by Froberger (1616-67), which are thought not to exist anywhere else. Eighteen are completely unknown pieces.

Dr Simon Maguire, Sotheby’s music manuscript specialist, said “We have no record of an autograph manuscript by an earlier major composer appearing at auction and the discovery of this extraordinary volume will open up all sorts of new questions about Froberger, as well as resolving points about the music already known. The 18 new pieces, which amount to over 180 pages of new music and increase the composer’s canon of known works by about a fifth, are examples of his hitherto unknown ‘final period’ and will occupy musical scholarship for years to come. Its discovery will change the history of 17th-century music.�

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Autograph music by 17th-century composers is rare – there is, for instance, no autograph music by Monteverdi. Sotheby’s believes that “no comparable 17th-century autograph music manuscript has appeared for sale at auction in living memory� with the single exception of the 22-page autograph of keyboard music by Henry Purcell, which it sold in 1994 for £276,500.