To me, great classical music sounds like it simply came out like that, with no effort at all. So it’s a bit of a revelation to see this manuscript of Beethoven’s Piano trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1, practically overrun with corrections, annotations, and improvisations. I’m picturing Ludwig having a day filled with frustrations and breakthroughs over a tall pitcher of coffee. The manuscript is in the Morgan Library in New York City, a museum with a high object-to-mind-blowingness ratio. Click the link to learn more and really zoom in on the page.
To see what this turned into, you can’t go wrong with this 8-minute video of Jaqueline du Pré on cello from 1968.