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Work

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven Composer

12 Minuets for Orchestra, WoO7   

Performances: 7
Tracks: 73
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Musicology:
  • 12 Minuets for Orchestra, WoO7
    Year: 1795
    Genre: Other Orchestral
    Pr. Instrument: Orchestra
    • No.1 in D
    • No.2 in Bb
    • No.3 in G
    • No.4 in Eb
    • No.5 in C
    • No.6 in A
    • No.7 in D
    • No.8 in Bb
    • No.9 in G
    • No.10 in Eb
    • No.11 in C
    • No.12 in F
As was often his practice with his orchestral dances, Beethoven supplied alternate versions of these minuets, for piano and for two violins and bass. The composer wrote this collection for the Pension Society for Viennese Painters, a well-funded group able to obtain the services of some of the finest composers of the day, including Haydn.

These 12 minuets all share the same form: the main theme, eight or sixteen bars in length, is played and immediately repeated; it is followed by a trio section which is also repeated; and then the minuet concludes with a restatement of the opening dance. Beethoven scored all the trios for three solo winds. It should be noted that the word "trio" here refers to the middle section of a minuet, not to the number of instruments or players, though Beethoven may have taken the Baroque or numerical view of the term in these pieces.

Most of the dances are charming creations that feature delightful scoring throughout. Among the more attractive numbers are the first three, the sixth, tenth and twelfth. Beethoven managed to impart much color and style to these minuets, and while they are not among his finest work, neither are they to be dismissed as insignificant.

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