1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Beethoven, Ludwig van/Annotated List of Beethoven's Works

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in order that unimportant works may not distract attention, even when they are late and on a large scale.

Sonata = Pianoforte sonata.
Violin or violoncello sonata = for pianoforte, V. or Vc.
Pianoforte trio = Pfte., V., Vc.
Pianoforte quartet = Pfte., V., viola and Vc.
String trio = V., Va., Vc.
String quartet = VV., Va. and Vc.
Pianoforte or violin concerto = Concerto with orchestra.

  • 1785. 3 pfte. quartets, of which the third contains important material for the sonatas, op. 2, Nos. 1 and 3.
(Thayer's attribution of the masterly bagatelles, op. 33, published 1803, to this period can only be rationalized by some similar rough first idea.)
  • 1790. 24 variations on an air by Righini (published 1801). A very remarkable work, anticipating Schumann's Papillons in its humorous close. It was Beethoven's chief early tour-de-force in pianoforte playing.
  • 1795. 3 pfte. trios, op. 1 (E♭, G, C minor).
  • 1796. 3 pfte. sonatas, op. 2 (F minor, A and C, dedicated to Haydn).
  • 1797. String trio, op. 3, 2 violoncello sonatas, op. 5, F and G mi., sonata, op. 7, E♭.
  • 1798. 3 string trios, op. 9; G, D, C mi., 3 sonatas, op. 10 (C mi. F, D). Trio for pfte., clarinet and violoncello in B♭, op. 11.
  • 1799. 3 violin sonatas (D, A, E♭), op. 12. Pfte. sonata (Pathétique not Beethoven's title) C mi., op. 13, 2 pfte. sonatas, op. 14, E, G (the first arranged by the composer as a string quartet in F).
  • 1801. Pianoforte concertos, op. 15 in C, op. 19 in B♭ (the latter composed first). Quintet for pianoforte and wind instruments, op. 16 (also arranged, with new details, as quartet for pianoforte and strings), composed 1797. 6 string quartets, op. 18 (F, G, D, C mi., A, B♭). 1st symphony (C), op. 21. 2 violin sonatas, A mi., op. 23; F ma., op. 24 (made into two opus-numbers by an accident in the format of the volumes).
  • 1802. Pianoforte score of the Prometheus ballet, op. 24 (ousted by the F ma. violin sonata, and reissued as op. 43). Sonata in B♭, op. 22. Sonata in A♭, op. 26 (with the funeral march). 2 sonatas (“quasi fantasia”), op. 27, E♭, C♯ mi. Sonata in D, op. 28 (Pastorale not Beethoven's title). String quintet in C, op. 29.
  • 1803. 3 violin sonatas, op. 30 (A, C mi., G). 3 sonatas, op. 31, G, D mi., E♭ (the last appearing in 1804).
Variations, op. 34. 15 variations and fugue on theme from Prometheus, op. 35.
  • 1804. 2nd symphony (D), op. 36 (1802). 3rd pfte. concerto (C mi.), op. 37 (1800).
  • 1805. The “Kreutzer” sonata, op. 47, for pfte. and violin (A) (finale at first intended for op. 30, No. 1).
“Waldstein” sonata for pfte., op. 53 (C). First version of opera Leonore in three acts (with overture “No. 2”).
  • 1806. Sonata in F, op. 54. Eroica Symphony, No. 3, op. 55 (E♭), written in 1804 in honour of Napoleon Bonaparte. It was just finished when news arrived that Napoleon had made himself emperor, and Beethoven was with difficulty restrained from destroying the score. It is still the longest extant perfect design in instrumental music. The finale glorifies the material (and much of the form) of the variations, op. 35. The scherzo is the first full-sized example of Beethoven's special type.
Leonore reproduced in two acts with overture No. 3. 32 variations in C mi. (no opus-number, but a very important work on the lines of a modernized chaconne).
  • 1807. Triple concerto (pfte., V. and Vc.), op. 56, chiefly interesting as a study for the true concerto-form which had given Beethoven difficulty. Sonata, op. 57 (F mi., Appassionata not Beethoven's title). New overture, Leonore, “No. 1,” composed for projected performance of the opera at Prague (posthumously published as op. 138).
  • 1808. 4th pfte. concerto, op. 58 (G). 3 string quartets, op. 59, F, E mi., C (dedicated to Count Rasoumovsky, in compliment to whom Russian tunes appear in the finale of No. 1 and the scherzo of No. 2). Overture to Coriolanus, op. 62.
  • 1809. 4th symphony, op. 60 (B♭). Violin concerto (D), op. 61 (also arranged by the composer for pianoforte). 5th symphony, op. 67 (C mi.) (1806), the first in which trombones appear. 6th symphony (Pastorale), op. 68; violoncello sonata, op. 69 (A). 2 pianoforte trios, op. 70 (D, E♭).
  • 1810. Pianoforte score of Leonore (2nd version) published. String quartet, op. 74 (E♭, called “Harp” because of pizzicato passages in first movement). Fantasia, op. 77, interesting as consisting of a long and capricious series of dramatic beginnings and breakings off of themes, as if in search for a firm idea, which is at last found and developed as a set of variations. This scheme thus foreshadows the choral finale of the 9th symphony even more significantly than the Choral Fantasia.
Sonata, op. 78, F♯ (extremely terse and subtle, and a great favourite with Beethoven, who preferred it to the C♯ mi.).
  • 1811. 5th pfte. concerto, op. 73, E♭ (The Emperor not Beethoven's title). Fantasia for pfte., orchestra and chorus, op. 80. Sonata, op. 81a (Les Adieux, l’absence, et le retour), first movement written when the archduke Rudolph had to leave Vienna (4th May 1809), and the rest on his return on the 30th of January 1810. It was an anxious time both for Beethoven and his excellent royal friend, for whom he had great affection. (Battle of Wagram, 6th July 1809.) (We may here note that op. 81b is an unimportant and very early sextet.) The overture to Egmont, op. 84; Christus am Oelberge (the Mount of Olives), op. 85, oratorio (probably composed between 1800 and its first performance in 1803).
  • 1812. The rest of the Egmont music, op. 84. 1st mass, op. 87 (C) (first performance, 1807).
  • 1814. Final version of Leonore, performed as Fidelio with great alterations, skilful revision of the libretto, very important new material in the music and a new overture.
  • 1815. Sonata, op. 90 (E mi.).
  • 1816. 7th symphony, op. 92 (A); 8th symphony, op. 93 (F) (Beethoven was planning a group of three of which the last was to be in D mi., which we shall find significant). String quartet, op. 95 (F mi.). Violin sonata, op. 96 (G). Pianoforte trio, op. 97 (B♭); Liederkreis, op. 98.
  • 1817. Sonata, op. 101 (the first indisputably in Beethoven's “third manner”). 2 violoncello sonatas, op. 102 (C, D, the second containing Beethoven's first modern instrumental strict fugue).
  • 1819. Arrangement for string quintet, op. 104, of C mi. trio, op. 1, No. 3 (a wonderful study in translation, comparable only to Bach's arrangements and very unlike Beethoven's former essays of the kind). Sonata, op. 106 (B♭), the largest and most symphonic pianoforte work extant, surpassed in length only by Bach's Goldberg variations and Beethoven's 33 variations on Diabelli's waltz.
  • 1821. 25 Scotch songs accompanied by pfte., V. and Vc., op. 108 (the first set of a large and much neglected collection, mostly posthumous, many of great interest and beauty and very Beethovenish, which has shocked persons who expect sympathetic insight into folk-music to prevail over Beethoven's artistic impulse). Sonata, op. 109 (E).
  • 1822. Sonata, op. 110 (A♭). Overture, Die Weihe des Hauses, op. 124 (C), a magnificent essay in orchestral free fugue, published 1825.
  • 1823. Sonata, op. 111 (C mi., the last pianoforte sonata). 33 variations on a waltz by Diabelli, who sent his waltz round to fifty-one musicians in Austria asking each to contribute a variation; the whole to be published for the benefit of the widows and orphans left by the war. Beethoven answered with the greatest set ever written, and it was published in a separate volume. Among the other fifty composers were Schubert and an infant prodigy of eleven, Franz Liszt!
The mass in D (Missa Solemnis), op. 123, begun in 1818 for the installation of the archduke Rudolph as archbishop of Olmütz, was not finished until 1826, two years after the installation.
The 9th symphony, op. 125 D mi. (see note on 7th and 8th symphonies); sketches begun 1817; project of setting Schiller's Freude already in Beethoven's mind before he left Bonn.
6 bagatelles, op. 126, Beethoven's last pianoforte work, a very remarkable and unaccountably neglected group of carefully contrasted lyric pieces.
  • 1824. String quartet, op. 127 (E♭, published 1826).
  • 1825. String quartet, op. 130 (B♭), with finale, op. 133 (grand fugue); string quartet, op. 132 (A mi., with slow movement in Lydian mode, a Heiliger Dankgesang on recovery from illness. Theme of finale first thought of as for instrumental finale to 9th symphony).
  • 1826. String quartet, op. 131 (C♯ mi.). String quartet, op. 135 (F). New finale to op. 130, Beethoven's last composition.