(M.J.E. / Composer Listings / Beethoven)

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN

Possibly complete listing (within each category, given in order of publication where known)
(Still in early stages of construction)

Ludwig van Beethoven: Germany, 16 December, 1770 - 26 March, 1827 [a]


      I am daunted at the task I am about to undertake on this page, even though I am strictly limiting the scope of the page to that which I think I have a chance of doing well: namely, to provide a complete list of Beethoven's works. I simply do not have the expertise to be any more comprehensive than that, nor the time to do exhaustive research on Beethoven and attempt to duplicate what others have done far better than I can hope to.
      My web site will gradually add listings of various composers and writers, with perhaps a main focus on those for whom complete listings are difficult to find. Beethoven is probably one of the easiest composers to find information about, yet the time came when I had to do this, nonetheless. Beethoven was especially in my childhood my greatest hero, idol even, and I loved his music like none other, and indeed for many years as a child I refused to listen to any music other than his, because I just didn't believe anyone else could even touch Beethoven.
      Well, I've broadened out a lot since then, and I now know there are many, many wonderful composers, not all of them well-known by any means, and I would hate to have to rank them in order of preference, and I won't try to. Nevertheless, Beethoven's music is still full of resonances and memories for me, from an entire life-time, and I can't even imagine life without Beethoven. To me, Beethoven was for music what Enid Blyton was for books, if maybe on a more elevated level. As a child I was only interested in his piano sonatas (my musical tastes at the time were unfortunately narrow, if of the highest quality, and I always found it very difficult to get used to anything new at all), but I later discovered his orchestral music, and more recently still I have discovered his chamber music, which has many wonderful things in it.
      I have reached a point where I want to provide a list of Beethoven's music, which I will attempt to make as complete as possible: I want to list all those little-known works without opus numbers (some even without "WoO" numbers ("Werke ohne Opuszahl" - "Works without opus number"); I want to include all alternate versions of works I can find out about, and even wish to list incomplete or projected works that I can find out about.
      I will follow the usual format: rather than listing things in a single chronological or alphabetical list, I choose to classify things by category: main sections for Orchestra, Piano, Chamber, Vocal, and so on, and within each of those further subdivisions for genre or form (Symphony, Sonata, Trio, Quartet, etc.).
      Normally I try to provide a few comprehensive links for writers or composers if I know of any that stand out. I will not immediately attempt to do this for Beethoven, owing to the voluminous amount of information that is available, whether on the Internet or more traditional sources. (The only exception is that I will list sources of information that I use for what I present on this page.) However, if in the future I encounter sites I find especially helpful, I will consider starting a list of them lower down on this page. Similarly, there are so many Beethoven recordings that I will not even attempt to provide coverage for these; collecting the information and (just as much) keeping it up to date would in itself be a full-time occupation, and I cannot spare this amount of time for that.
      So, at least for the time being, this will be only a list of Beethoven's works, and I will not even consider expanding the page until such time as I feel sure the list of works is complete and comprehensive.
      When instrumentation for a particular work is given, the number of a particular instrument is given before the name; when no number is given, it means there is only one of that instrument. In such indications, I will use the following abbreviations to refer to instruments:

      Piccolo: Pic - Flute: Fl - Oboe: Ob - Cor Anglais (English Horn): CA - Clarinet: Cl -
      Bassoon: Bn - Contrabassoon (Double Bassoon): Cbn
      Horn: Hn - Trumpet: Tr - Trombone: Tbn
      Timpani: Ti - Bass Drum: BD - Cymbals: Cym - Triangle: Tri
      Violin: Vn - Viola: Vl - Cello (Violoncello): Vc - Double Bass (Contrabass): DB - String Quartet (2 Vn, Vl, Vc): Str Q
      Orchestra: Orch - Piano: Pno - Organ: Org
      Soprano solo: Sop - Contralto solo: Con - Tenor solo: Ten - Baritone solo: Bar - 4-part Mixed Chorus: 4-p Ch - Chorus (make-up not specified in my source, and therefore not here - may be 4-part, though): Ch - Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass: S.A.T.B. (Used only where, according to my sources, it is not clear whether the four parts concerned are solo parts or choral parts (many voices on each part) - usually the "S.A.T.B." is simply quoted literally from my sources. Where soloists are known to be intended, I use the above-mentioned abbreviations "Sop", "Con", etc.; where choral parts are known to be intended, I use abbreviations such as "Ch", "4-p Ch", and so on.)

      There are a number of works by Beethoven that are either incomplete, or known to have been completed but partly or entirely lost. One estimate (Beethoven Compendium, General Editor Barry Cooper) is that such works exceed Beethoven's completed and preserved works in number. (Horrifying thought! How many masterpieces by Beethoven have been lost, or how many never finished?)
      It is difficult to make a complete list of all these because of the difficulty of distinguishing between incompleted scores and sketches for already-known works. However, I have included these works when I am able to find out clear information about them. I will display these works in grey text, and indicate their status with the notations "(Unfinished)", "(Lost)", or "(Partly lost)".

List of compositions

      I used the following sources of information for this page. Since it is intended only as a convenient (and as complete as possible) listing of Beethoven's work, and does not pretend to be a scholarly source, I will not reference individual pieces of data.

    Beethoven, by Marion Scott (1934)
    The Beethoven Compendium: A Guide to Beethoven's Life and Music, General Editor Barry Cooper (1991)
    Violin Sonatas, by Beethoven, played by Gidon Kremer and Martha Argerich - booklet accompanying recording (19xx)
    Complete String Quartets, by Beethoven, played by Emerson String Quartet - booklet accompanying recording (19xx)
    Complete Piano Trios, by Beethoven, played by Vladimir Ashkenazy, Itzhak Perlman, and Lynn Harrell - booklet accompanying recording (19xx)
    Most of the chamber works by Beethoven, in scores published by Dover, Lea, Kalmus, and Breitkopf & Härtel

      Keys are indicated for works when I have this information, especially for works like symphonies and concertos, which often traditionally carry key labels as part of their title. This information is of interest to me, because, as someone who has absolute pitch and a sense of the individual atmosphere of each key, it tells me something (admittedly entirely subjective) about the feel of a piece to know what key it is in. Durations and years of composition, where I know these, are indicated after the title of a work. Durations are approximate only, and I am not making any great effort to be very accurate here, since performance times vary considerably anyway. Some years are approximate only, or uncertain, since the exact time of composition of many of Beethoven's works is uncertain or disputed by some.

      Vocal works with orchestra are listed under "Vocal Works" where the vocal parts appear to be predominant. They are slightly subservient to the orchestra in the 9th Symphony and "Choral Fantasy", and these works clearly belong in the series of Symphonies and works for soloist and orchestra, so they are listed here.

    Symphony no. 1  C major   18xx  25'
    Symphony no. 2  D major   18xx  30'
    Symphony no. 3  Eb major  18xx  50'  (Eroica)     3 Hn
    Symphony no. 4  Bb major  18xx  30'               1 Fl
    Symphony no. 5  c minor   18xx  35'               Pic, Cbn, 3 Tbn
    Symphony no. 6  F major   18xx  40'  (Pastoral)   Pic, 2? Tbn
    Symphony no. 7  A major   18xx  35'
    Symphony no. 8  F major   18xx  25'
    Symphony no. 9  d minor   18xx  75'  ("Choral") [c]  Pic, Cbn, 4 Hn, 3 Tbn, BD, Cym, Tri, Sop, Con, Ten, Bar, 4-p Ch

  Overtures  (See also Stage Works)

  Works for Soloist(s) with Orchestra

    Piano and Orchestra
      Piano Concerto        Eb major
      Piano Concerto        D major  (in one movement - possibly other movements lost)
      Piano Concerto no. 2  Bb major
      Piano Concerto no. 1  C major   1963  25'
      Piano Concerto no. 3  c minor
      Piano Concerto no. 4  G major
      Piano Concerto no. 5  Eb major  ("Emperor")

      Rondo  Bb major  (Originally intended Finale for Piano Concerto no. 2 [e])
      Fantasia  c minor/C major  op. 80  Pno, Orch, 4-p Ch (includes sections for soloists within the Chorus)

    Other Instruments and Orchestra
      Violin Concerto  C major  (unfinished or part lost)
      Violin Concerto  D major
      Triple Concerto  C major  Soloists Pno, Vn, Vc



       1.  f minor   op.   2, no. 1   18xx  ca. 25'
       2.  A major   op.   2, no. 2
       3.  C major   op.   2, no. 3
       4.  Eb major  op.   7
       5.  c minor   op.  10, no. 1
       6.  F major   op.  10, no. 2
       7.  D major   op.  10, no. 3
       8.  c minor   op.  13          18xx  ca. 20'  (Pathètique)
       9.  E major   op.  13, no. 1
      10.  G major   op.  13, no. 2
      11.  Bb major  op.  22
      12.  Ab major  op.  26         18xx ("Funeral March")
      13.  Eb major  op.  27, no. 1  18xx  (Sonata quasi una Fantasia)
      14.  c# minor  op.  27, no. 2  18xx  (Sonata quasi una Fantasia) ("Moonlight")
      15.  D major   op.  28         18xx  ("Pastorale")
      16.  G major   op.  31, no. 1  18xx
      17.  d minor   op.  31, no. 2  18xx  ("Tempest")
      18.  Eb major  op.  31, no. 3  18xx
      19.  g minor   op.  49, no. 1  18xx
      20.  G major   op.  49, no. 2  18xx
      21.  C major   op.  53         18xx  ("Waldstein")
      22.  F major   op.  54         18xx
      23.  f minor   op.  57         18xx  ("Appassionata")
      24.  F# major  op.  78         18xx
      25.  G major   op.  79         18xx
      26.  Eb major  op.  81a        18xx  (Les Adieux, l'Absence et le Retour) ("Les Adieux")
      27.  e minor   op.  90         18xx
      28.  A major   op. 101         18xx
      29.  Bb major  op. 106         18xx  (Grosse Sonate für das Hammerklavier) ("Hammerklavier")
      30.  E major   op. 109         18xx
      31.  Ab major  op. 110         18xx
      32.  c minor   op. 111         18xx



  With Piano


      Violin and Piano

        Violin Sonatas

        Other works

      Cello and Piano

        Cello Sonatas

        Other works

      Piano Trios

      Piano Quartets


      With a single wind instrument
        Horn Sonata  F major
        Flute Sonata
      With more than one wind instrument
        Quintet  Eb major  Pno, Ob, Cl, Hn, Bn

    Strings and Wind
      Trio  Eb major  Pno, Cl, Vc

  Without Piano


      String Trios

      String Quartets  - all for Vn, Vn, Vl, Vc
         1.          F major   op.  18, no. 1  18xx  xx'  
         2.          G major   op.  18, no. 2  18xx
         3.          D major   op.  18, no. 3  18xx
         4.          c minor   op.  18, no. 4  18xx
         5.          A major   op.  18, no. 5  18xx
         6.          Bb major  op.  18, no. 6  18xx
         7.          F major   op.  59, no. 1  18xx  ("Razumovsky", 1st)
         8.          e minor   op.  59, no. 2  18xx  ("Razumovsky", 2nd)
         9.          C major   op.  59, no. 3  18xx  ("Razumovsky", 3rd)
        10.          Eb major  op.  74         18xx  ("Harp")
        11.          f minor   op.  95         18xx  ("Serioso")
        12.          Eb major  op. 127         18xx
        13.          Bb major  op. 130         18xx
        14.          c# minor  op. 131         18xx
        15.          a minor   op. 132         18xx
        Grosse Fuge  Bb major  op. 133 [d]     18xx 
        16.          F major   op. 135         18xx

        Quintet  C major


    Strings and Wind
      Sextet  Eb major  2 Hn, 2 Vn, Vl, Vc
      Septet  Eb major  Cl, Hn, Bn, Vn, Vl, Vc, DB


[a] Ludwig van Beethoven:
      Please note that the prefix to Beethoven's surname is "van", not "von", as some mistakenly quote it. It is true that "von" is the usual form of the prefix in Germany - but it is wrong for Beethoven. "van" is Dutch, and Beethoven does in fact appear to be of partly Dutch ancestry. (Indeed, I read a while ago that Beethoven's swarthy complexion had led to speculation that he may have some African ancestry - but there appears to be no actual evidence supporting this idea.) [
Back to Beethoven]

[b] Orchestral works:
      Beethoven's orchestra is normally constituted as follows: 2 each of Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, and Trumpet; 2 Timpani (1 player), and Strings (1st and 2nd Violins, Violas, Cellos, and Double Basses, numbers not specified in the scores). On this page, I refer to this as the "standard orchestra", meaning standard for the greater part of Beethoven's career; and in this note, I refer to these instruments as "standard instruments"; anything else that appears in some works is considered additional.
      In works where I know the make-up of the orchestra to vary from that just given, I indicate the difference at the right of the screen, using the instrument name abbreviations given above, in the Introduction to this page. I don't always have this information, and the absence of such an indication should not be taken to indicate that the orchestra is the standard one just mentioned. I have scores for most of Beethoven's orchestral and instrumental works, so this information is got directly from them - but as I build this web site, it's a matter of going through all the scores and gradually adding this information.
      In such indications, where an instrument mentioned is a standard one (in the sense just defined), a number before the instrument's abbreviation indicates the alteration in the number of that instrument used in the work; where an instrument mentioned is an additional one, that instrument is added to the standard instruments, and does not replace any of them. Additional instruments, when appearing singly, don't have the number "1" before them; when there is more than one of the instrument, a number is always given. Standard instruments noted as being different in number are always preceded by a number, even when there is only one, so that (for example) the 4th Symphony is marked "1 Fl".
      Where I know the orchestra to be the standard one described, I will indicate this by inserting "[Standard orchestra]". [
Back to Orchestral works]

[c] Symphony no. 9 in d minor ("Choral"):
      The vocal parts appear in the Finale only, and the text is Schiller's Ode to Joy; it is preceded by a recitative for the Baritone solo, with prefatory words by Beethoven himself. [
Back to Symphonies]

[d] Grosse Fuge:
      The title, in German, means "Great Fugue"; the full title is "Grosse Fuge - tantôt libre, tantôt recherchée". The work was originally composed as the Finale to the Quartet no. 13 in Bb major, op. 130, but removed from that work and published as a separate work, with the Quartet being supplied with a new Finale. In consideration of Beethoven's original intention, and possibly his continued intention out of which he may have been persuaded against his will, some modern performances of the Quartet restore the Fugue as the Finale, either instead of the new Finale or with that being included as well. [
Back to String Quartets]

Beethoven recordings

      There is a huge number of Beethoven recordings available, and I do not intend to even attempt to cover this comprehensively. I may at some stage provide a brief list or commentary on Beethoven recordings I find especially attractive, but I do not even promise that: for various reasons I am not presently able conveniently to listen to music very often at present, so such commentaries are not currently feasible - but I am eager to explore some of Beethoven's chamber music in the near future, so I'll just have to see what happens.

Beethoven links

      There is so much information on Beethoven that I cannot hope to provide a comprehensive and representative set of links. However, if in future I come across any I find especially helpful, I will list them here.


      If anyone who reads this knows of further compositions by Beethoven, however minor or insignificant they may seem, I would be most grateful if they could tell me about them, since I wish to keep this catalogue as complete as possible. Thank you. While I will not even attempt to cover various ancilliary information about Beethoven - his life, recordings, web site, biographies, and so on - the one brief I ihave for this web page is a complete list of his compositions, organized suitably by categories (because most listings of his work are organized only chronologically or by opus number, and I don't want to merely duplicate that).

Michael Edwards,
Victoria, Australia.

Monday, 2 April, 2001.

E-mail me about Beethoven.

      Click here if you need an explanation for the strange appearance of the e-mail address which will appear when you click on the e-mail link, or if you don't know what you need to do to make the e-mail address work properly.

NOTE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THIS PAGE - Wednesday, 6 June, 2001:

      This page is obviously incomplete, as will be immediately apparent to anyone who reads it through. Please go here for an explanation about the setback that is responsible for my not completing this page, and why it may never be completed, or why it may happen only very slowly. Not that this makes any real difference to someone who would like to see the page complete - but I feel I should at least explain the situation.
      I will leave this page here, incomplete as it is, in case the information already written is useful to some readers researching a topic they may have difficulty finding information about on the Internet.

      The list of Beethoven's compositions is very obviously not only incomplete, but in an extremely early stage of preparation; it is nothing more than a list of the very well-known compositions such as the Piano Sonatas, Symphonies, and the like. I'm only leaving the page here for convenience for when I do resume work on it. I have easy access to information on Beethoven's works - it's just a matter of organizing it properly, which will be very fiddly and time-consuming.

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This page created on Monday, 2 April, 2001;
last modified on Wednesday, 6 June, 2001.