You can now add a rare piece of classical music history to your trove of treasures, thanks to this latest offering.
Brooklyn-based gallery “B” Dry Goods—known for collecting rare music, manuscripts and books—is giving you the chance to purchase an autographed musical manuscript from the iconic Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The leaf, from the renowned composer’s Serenade in D Major for Orchestra, is believed to have been penned in Salzburg, Austria, circa 1773, though there is no specific composition date found anywhere on it. The collector’s item showcases part of piece’s third movement, known as Allegro, with scores for solo violin, 1st violin, 2nd violin and viola written in brown ink.
Experts think the exquisite work was intended for Judas Thaddaus van Antretter, a friend of the Mozart family, upon his graduation from Salzburg University. The document itself is in pristine condition; there’s even a visible “55” written on it in pencil, marking it as page 55 of the score’s 58 total leaves, that’s believed to have been put there by Mozart’s father, Leopold.
Leopold would also be the one who assembled Serenade in D Major in its entirety; he combined the full musical manuscript with another Wolfgang piece to create a compendium known as Cranz Volume No. 1, named after August Cranz of Hamburg publishing house, a former owner of the work. The complete movement was later put up for auction in 1975 and subsequently split up—the exact whereabouts of many of its sheets are still unknown.
In an email to Robb Report, violinist and “B” Dry Goods founder Gabe Boyers described the sale as “an extraordinary opportunity to own a significant manuscript by not only one of the towering musical geniuses of all time, but really of one of the very greatest geniuses of any kind in the history of all humanity.”
The Crown Heights gallery mainly deals with primary and secondary art markets, including a wide variety of clientele from established names to up-and-comers. Boyers also owns and operates Schubertiade Music & Arts, one of the country’s most respected dealers of rare books and manuscripts.
Priced at $250,000 (HK$1.96 million), the Mozart manuscript is now on sale through the gallery’s website. Other items in the “B” Dry Goods inventory include manuscripts from Beethoven and a signed Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition poster.