The 31-page manuscript of Beethoven's Scherzo from his String Quartet Opus 127 in E flat major was bought by a private buyer, Sotheby's auction house said in a statement.

   

"The result achieved by the Scherzo sold today confirms beyond all doubt the strength both of the market and of the demand for autograph works by this legendary composer," said Stephen Roe, head of Sotheby's European Book department.

 

Beethoven composed the Scherzo at the request of a Russian prince in 1824-5. The manuscript includes alterations and additions made by the composer himself.

 

Earlier this year, Sotheby's sold a manuscript of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony for a world record $3.7 million.

 

"In 2003, at auction, Beethoven has provided the two best selling items in the entire book and manuscript world," Roe said.