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Rare Mozart manuscript up for auction

Rare Mozart Manuscript Up For Auction


A piece of music history is up for auction.

AMY ROBACH: "This manuscript was written by Mozart in 1772, when he was just 16. A Jewish musician smuggled it out of Nazi Germany. Her daughter, who is now 98, is putting it up for sale ..."

The unfinished orchestral score is yours for the taking -- if you've got half a million dollars. It's expected to sell for at least that much, or more, at Sotheby's Music and Manuscripts auction.

The auction house says quote, "This is the most substantial and important autograph music manuscript by Mozart to have been offered at auction for ten years." It hadn't been seen in public since the 1930s.

Sotheby's specialist tells The Telegraph the seller, who now lives in South Africa, would like to see the piece – called one of the most notable of Mozart's unfinished works – returned to Europe.

"She has no ill feelings about it going back to Germany or Austria. And she felt this should be done while she was alive, when she was still able to explain what had happened. She wanted to tie up the loose ends."

The family reportedly offered to sell the manuscript to the Mozart Museum in Salzburg ...

And the Benedictine Abbey in Austria, where it was held before being sold and smuggled to South Africa, but neither location could afford it.

The auction is set for May 20.

Join the discussion

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Emily May 06 2014 at 4:32 PM

If people are busy returning things stolen by the germans why aren't these same people busy returning what was stolen from Germany?

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1 reply
Joe Emily May 06 2014 at 5:50 PM

Who said this was stolen from Germany? The Jewish musician probably had clear title to the property but had to smuggle it out of Germany to keep it from being seized by the Nazis. The Nazis stole all kinds of property from the Jews if they could find it. Also, the auction house wouldn't knowingly sell stolen property. They would have investigated the provenance of the manuscript to establish proper ownership.

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jktejas May 06 2014 at 10:28 AM

Slightly off the subject, but still close enough to it......I would recommend Edward
Rutherfurd's book "Paris" which, in the last chapters, deals with the subject of art and Nazi appropriations. The movie "Monuments Men" had the right idea, but was a little too disconnected in its scene editing. When I was 19 years old (and a ballet dancer) I modeled for 1-2 hours for Salvador Dali. Unfortunately I was such a little twit with no comprehension that this man spent part of his youth in the salon of Gertrude Stein in Paris (I didn't know who she was either) in the company of Picasso, Hemingway, Gershwin, etc.....and yes, I know who the others are that were there. If it wasn't Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Balanchine, etc.....I just wasn't interested. Ahhhhh.... youth.....dumb..... dumb.....dumb. While I think Dali would not have given me a sketch of what he was doing (and I never saw what he was doing) I had enough nerve and verve at that age to have tried. It just did not occur to me to ask.

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1 reply
William Bleefeld jktejas May 06 2014 at 3:12 PM

Isnt America wonderful that we can give idiots like you the platform so spew racist and anti semetic remarks in an open format like this. Take the picture of the American Bald Eagle and the flag of the country I love and fought for off you web tweets. Your no American, you are just another jerk that we have to put up with thanks to the freedom that we enjoy in the USA. G-D bless America.

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1 reply
jktejas William Bleefeld May 06 2014 at 4:14 PM

I think you meant your reply for Kambiza....right? There certainly is no anti semetic remark in my post, nor would there ever be.

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Kambiza May 06 2014 at 10:05 AM

People wonder why Jews are hated everywhere, they steal everything valuable they can get their hands on.

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11 replies
pallen4896 May 05 2014 at 11:20 PM

Ms Loren needs to get a lesson in pronouncation. In German the letter z is pronounced tzet. Mozart is properly pronounced as Motzart. She mispronounces it in this news piece which takes away from her credibility as a newcaster.

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2 replies
Eric pallen4896 May 06 2014 at 2:06 AM

Its a stupid minor point.

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1 reply
foubabou Eric May 06 2014 at 7:30 AM

Yeah, but c'mon, it is his only chance to feel superior to anyone.

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Chuck pallen4896 May 06 2014 at 10:00 AM

I agree -- if she wants to be a reporter or public speaker she should do her homework. Credibility is everything in the biz and if you can't even pronounce names properly, then you won't have any. Credibility that is.

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Jennifer May 06 2014 at 9:53 AM

She is lucky she is able to sell it since it was stolen. Usually, anything that was stolen during WWII is given back to the owners without compensation to the robbers.

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1 reply
fireseeker4him Jennifer May 06 2014 at 10:15 AM

The article does not say that the item was stolen.

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Jennifer May 05 2014 at 11:53 PM

Why did Mozart get rid of all his chickens.....because they kept saying "Bach, Bach, Bach".

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1 reply
Brian Hope Jennifer May 06 2014 at 12:58 AM

An Aggie went to a Baroque music concert. Afterwards, someone asked him what he thought of Pacabel. He replied: " . . . Well I do like the chicken fajitas!"

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pagebassman May 06 2014 at 4:34 AM

Do they even know if the lady owns it legally?

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2 replies
Chuck pagebassman May 06 2014 at 9:56 AM

She offered it to the original owners and they refused it.

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1 reply
Kambiza Chuck May 06 2014 at 10:07 AM

No, they couldn't afford it. Don't play dumb.

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John pagebassman May 06 2014 at 12:02 PM

the article says a Benedictine abbey sold it, no inference of illegality, which indicates it was a legal sale.
if it weren't, the German government would have intervened. it is odd why anyone would think that an item some one is offering openly, which has an established provenance, is not legal.

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nikkitytom May 06 2014 at 1:17 AM

Very rarely do I crave anything. Diamonds don't tempt me, mansions rarely make me pause to dream. But oh ... to own a fragment of Mozart's music in his own hand. This I crave. If I sold everything ... and could live on my tiny $500 a month social security ... I suppose I could sit on a street corner with a tin cup and sleep in the doorway of the local library. But oh ... I'd have the Mozart.

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1 reply
John nikkitytom May 06 2014 at 12:03 PM

it's not one of the Da Ponte operas, The Magic Flute, nor the great mass. actually, if I gave in to my fantasies it would be for the manuscript for Don Giovanni above all else.

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Eric May 06 2014 at 2:12 AM

Well the Germans, and Hitler in particular were prone to steal artifacts that they didn't own. Since they didn't have a culture of their own that was valuable, they stole others. Hitler was a tryant, a criminal, and mentally unstable. But s great orator.

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6 replies
zeronine1950 May 06 2014 at 11:04 AM

I don't see anywhere in the article where they say it was stolen as some have stated below. It clearly states that it was sold by the Abbey, I gather to her musician parent, and then they smuggled it out of Germany to South Africa. Like many who left Germany when the Nazi party was in its start up period, this was a method of converting cash into easily transportable and non recognizable assets that would not be confiscated by the authorities. Where there is a will, there is a way. Congratulations to them in their ingenuity.

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