Lost Beethoven Piece Performed After 2 Centuries
Movement reconstructed using composer's sketches
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 30, 2011 5:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – After Beethoven scrapped a movement from a string quartet, it was lost to the world’s ears for two centuries. No longer: A music professor in Britain has recreated the piece using the composer’s sketches for every measure. The movement of String Quartet in G, Opus 18, No. 2 was performed for the first time in 200 years—perhaps the first time ever—at Manchester University, the Telegraph reports.

After Beethoven had written a group of six string quartets, he reworked the first two, the Guardian notes, ditching the second movement of the Quartet in G. Only the sketches for the movement remain; Professor Barry Cooper filled out missing parts and put them in order. He “made the jigsaw fit, and also made it performable,” Cooper says. “What we have now is something like—not exactly like, but pretty similar to—what Beethoven wrote.”