Several major Sibelius manuscripts are being sold at auction by Sotheby’s, London, on 24 May 2016.
It is rare for major Sibelius manuscripts to be sold, and even rarer for a number of important manuscripts to be offered at the same time. All of the works in question are among the pieces that were published by Robert Lienau in the first decade of the twentieth century.
Foremost among these is the autograph manuscript of Pohjola’s Daughter; Sotheby’s remark that ‘no manuscript of this importance and calibre has appeared on the market for over ten years’. Also on sale are the primary sources for the final version of the Violin Concerto (although most of the autograph score is lost) and the complete piano transcription of the incidental music to Pelléas et Mélisande. Finally there is a set of eight autograph fragments, plus a score containing other revisions, pertaining to the male choir version of the patriotic cantata The Captive Queen.
The Pelléas manuscript is of particular interest because it contains two previously unknown piano transcriptions of movements that were omitted from the published piano version of the suite.
The estimated price range for these items ranges from £30,000–50,000 (The Captive Queen) to £200,000–300,000 (Pohjola’s Daughter).