On the Today programme this morning, Professor Barry Cooper of Manchester University claimed that a Beethoven manuscript being sold at Sotheby’s today is not an original, but a copyist’s transcription.
At issue is the Allegretto in B minor of 1817.
Cooper, renowned for making a completion of Beethoven’s ‘tenth’ symphony, told the BBC that he had found ‘inconsistencies’ in the Allegretto manuscript. His ‘hunch’ is that it was ‘copied shortly after it was composed’.
Simon Maguire, head of Musical Manuscripts at Sotheby’s, hotly contested Cooper’s claim. You can hear the polite but acrimonious debate here.
UPDATE: BBC row stops Beethoven sale.