An autograph manuscript of Arnold Schoenberg’s Second String
Quartet is set to be auctioned by Sotheby’s in October. The copy of
the 1908 work, regarded as one of the turning points in Western
classical music, is expected to fetch between €100,000 and
According to Sotheby’s, Schoenberg gave the well-preserved manuscript to the family of his pupil Lisette Seybert, ‘in gratitude for their hospitality’ after he stayed at their house in Vienna in 1923. At the time, his wife Mathilde – to whom Schoenberg dedicated the quartet – was ill in the nearby Auersperg Sanatorium, dying on 22 October.
The manuscript is now being sold as part of the collection of André Meyer, a French investment banker and collector who died in 1974. Among those to have studied Meyer’s collection in the past were cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, who examined Debussy’s manuscript albums in Meyer’s library, and Igor Stravinsky, who rediscovered his manuscript for The Rite of Spring there.
The manuscript can be viewed at Sotheby’s in Paris on 12, 13 and 15 October. The auction will take place on 16 and 17 October.