Complete Beethoven Editions Galore!

As we approach Beethoven’s 250th birthday, three (so far) massive boxes of his complete works will soon be hitting the shelves!

The biggest and most expensive of the three is the New Complete Edition released by Deutsche Grammophon (118 CDs, 2 DVDs and 3 Blu-ray audio discs, plus ten books), which is available here. Released in association with the BTHVN2020 festival, it features not only the cooperation of the Beethovenhaus in Bonn, but your friends at The Unheard Beethoven. We were honored to provide quite a few scores for unheard, unrecorded, and unpublished Beethoven works for inclusion in this box set, and there are three discs of rarities that feature many items previously Unheard. This set indeed provides a deep dive into Beethoven’s works, with not just one but often many recordings of particular works so you get a clearer picture of the Master’s versatility and the way he speaks timelessly to so many people. This box is scheduled to be released on November 1, 2019, so you will have over a year before the 250th birthday to work your way through it. More information can be found here. This surely will be a set to be treasured like the 1997 Deutsche Grammophon Complete Beethoven Edition (which I might remind people listed for more than 3 times the price of this set over 20 years ago, while not being anywhere near as thorough).beethoven2020box

DGGBeethoven2020

Not to be outdone, the Naxos label, which prides itself on providing first class recordings at budget prices, will also be releasing on November 1, 2019 its own Beethoven Complete Edition. Running 90 CDs, this set also includes a number of Unheard Beethoven pieces that we supplied scores for, plus a multitude of others never before heard anywhere but on this website. So you can acquire both sets to maximize your Unheard Beethoven completism! This set, being much lower-priced, will only have the texts of the vocal works available online, rather than in hard copy. More details regarding this also impressive set are available on Naxos website.
NaxosBeethoven

Finally, Warner Classics is releasing Beethoven: The Complete Works As of this date, details regarding this release, which is due for release November 29, 2019 (although Amazon is currently listing December 13 as a release date), are somewhat scant. Some information is available at Warner’s website. Numbering only 80 CDs, it nevertheless boasts many big names, and will make an attractive option for many.
WarnerBeethovenBox

As of yet there is no word from Sony as to whether it will be joining the Big Beethoven Box sweepstakes, but they still have a year before the big birthday to dazzle us with an announcement.

And of course, the redoubtable folks at Brilliant Classics still offer the latest version of their Beethoven Complete Edition, which remains a very solid box that included a great many rarities for the very first time.

It’s a wonderful time to be a collector of obscure Beethoven pieces, as well as the more famous ones. I’m not sure that any of these sets will be so complete as to render this website redundant, but if that were to happen I certainly wouldn’t object. We are proud to have been able to assist in getting some of these Unheard Beethoven works recorded and available to the public. Please support the efforts of these companies to make the COMPLETE music of the Master heard at last. As we get closer and find out more details, and get these boxes in our hands, we’ll be posting more details for you all.

UPDATE:
John Fowler, a prolific Amazon reviewer of classical music has graciously permitted us to include his following breakdown of the rarities included on the DG and Naxos boxes. Note that this is preliminary information from websites and press materials, and is subject to change when the final products ship. [updated 7 Nov 2019]
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EXCLUSIVE TO DG:
WoO 62b: Andante maestoso in C major “Letzter musikalischer Gedanke” for String Quintet [DG disc 100]
WoO Anh.10: Eight Variations on “Ich hab’ ein kleines Hüttchen nur” for Piano [DG 101]
WoO UnV 12: Piano Sonata “quasi una Fantasia” in D major for Piano [DG 99]
Hess 236: Two-Voice Fugues for Piano [DG 101]
Hess 237: Three-Voice Fugues for Piano [DG 101]
Hess 238: Six Fugues for String Quartet [DG 101]
Hess 239: No.2,3: Chorale Fugues for Piano [DG 101]
Hess 243: Double Fugues for String Quartet [DG 101]
Hess 244: Triple Fugues for String Quartet [DG 101]
Hess 245: Fugue in d minor for String Quartet – fragment [DG 101]
Hess 331b: Minuet in B-Flat Major for String Quartet – fragment [DG 100]
Hess 332: Pastorella for String Quartet – fragment [DG 100]
Hess 333: Menuetto – Scherzo for String Quartet – fragment [DG 100]
Hess 334: Allegro in A Major for String Quartet [DG 100]
Hess Anh.57: Dona nobis pacem – Fugue for Four Voices arr. Piano [DG 99]
Op.107: Variationen über 10 Volksweisen No.1,3,4,6,7,9 for Violin and Piano [DG 100]
Uncatalogued pieces:
Kafka folio 47v: Allegretto in A minor /major for Piano [DG 99]
Kafka folio 47v, staves 5-8: Piano piece in C major [DG 99]
Kullak folio 51/52: Piano piece in F Minor [DG 99]

EXCLUSIVE TO NAXOS:
WoO 126: Opferlied, sketch for voice and piano (1796) [Naxos disc 88]
WoO 158, No.19 (Gardi 25) folksong setting “Una paloma blanca” (first version) [Naxos 84]
WoO 169: “Ich küsse Sie” for voice and choir (1816) [Naxos 90]
WoO 170: “Ars longa, vita brevis” for choir (1815/16) [Naxos 90]
WoO 178: “Signor Abate!” for choir and piano (c. 1820) [Naxos 90]
WoO 201: “Ich bin bereit! Amen” for choir (after 1818) [Naxos 90]
WoO 221: “Herr Graf, ich komme zu fragen” for choir and piano (c. 1796-1797) [Naxos 90]
Hess 60: Sketch in A major for Piano (1818) [Naxos 32]
Hess 324: Melody in C minor for Piano (1802) [Naxos 34]
Hess 330: March in C minor for Piano (1804) [Naxos 32]
Hess 331a: Minuett in B flat major for Piano (1799) [Naxos 17]
Bia. 191: Intermezzo for Sonata in C minor, possible sketches for Piano Sonata No.5 or No.8 (1798-99) [Naxos 32]
Bia. 268: Fragment in A major producing effect of Horns, for piano (1793) [Naxos 32]
Bia. 272: Andante in B flat major for Piano (1793) [Naxos 32]
Bia. 273: Sketch in F major for Piano (1793) [Naxos 32]
Bia. 276: Sketches in C major and G major for Piano (c.1800), Bia. 276 [Naxos 32]
Bia. 318: Sketch for Piano Sonata in A minor (1802) [Naxos 32]
Bia. 622: Pastorella in C major for Piano (1815) [Naxos 34]
Bia. 637: Piano Trio in F minor (1816) [Naxos 42]
Op.48, No.3: song “Vom Tode” (first version, 1798-99) [Naxos 88]
Op.113: The Ruins of Athens, version with narration (1811) [Naxos 72]
Uncatalogued pieces:
Fischhof folio 53v 11-14: Allegretto in G for Piano [Naxos 34]
Kafka folio 39r 1-4: Minuet in D for Piano: [Naxos 16]
Kafka folio 119v 2-5: Alla marcia in C for Piano [Naxos 34]
Gardi 10: Minuet in D minor for Piano [Naxos 17]

COMMON TO DG AND NAXOS:
WoO 59b: Bagatelle in A minor “Für Elise” for Piano (second version, 1822) [DG disc 99 or Naxos disc 14]
WoO 62a: Andante maestoso in C “Letzter musikalischer Gedanke” for Piano [DG 99 or Naxos 32]
WoO 200: “O Hoffnung” four bar theme as teaching exercise for Archduke Rudolph for Piano [DG 99 or Naxos 34]
WoO 209: Minuet in A Flat Major with Trio in A Minor for piano [DG 99 or Naxos 32]
WoO 210: Allegretto in b minor for String Quartet [DG 100 or Naxos 54]
WoO 211: Andante in C Major for piano [DG 99 or Naxos 34]
WoO 212: Anglaise in D Major for Piano [DG 99 or Naxos 17]
WoO 213: Four Bagatelles for Piano [DG 99 or Naxos 17]
WoO 216a: Bagatelle in C Major for Piano [DG 99 or Naxos 14]
WoO 216b: Bagatelle in Eb Major for Piano [DG 99 or Naxos 14]
WoO 217: Minuet in F Major for Piano [DG 99 or Naxos 17]
WoO 218: Minuet in C Major for Piano [DG 99 or Naxos 15]
WoO 219: Waltz in C Minor for Piano [DG 99 or Naxos 17]
WoO Anh.4: Flute Sonata in B-Flat Major [DG 101 or Naxos 64]
WoO Anh.5, No.1: Sonatina in G Major for Piano [DG 101 or Naxos 34]
WoO Anh.5, No.2: Sonatina in F Major for Piano [DG 101 or Naxos 34]
WoO UnV 8: Duo for Violin and Cello in E-Flat Major – fragment [DG 100 or Naxos 60] (Gardi 2)
Hess 36: String Quartet arrangement of the fugue from the Overture to Handel’s Solomon [DG 100 or Naxos 54]
Hess 46 (UnV 11): Violin Sonata in A Major – fragment [DG 100 or Naxos 64]
Hess 57: Bagatelle in C Major for Piano [DG 99 or Naxos 14]
Hess 58: Piano exercise in B flat major /minor for Piano [DG 99 or Naxos 32]
Hess 59: Piano Piece in C major for Piano [DG 99 or Naxos 32]
Hess 67: Two German Dances in F major /minor for Piano [DG 99 or Naxos 16]
Hess 70: Adagio ma non molto in G Major – fragment for Piano [DG 99 or Naxos 34]
Hess 71: Molto Adagio in G Major – fragment for Piano [DG 99 or Naxos 34]
Hess 72: Theme and Variation in A Major for Piano [DG 99 or Naxos 32]
Hess 96: Symphony No. 7 – arr. for piano [DG 99 or Naxos 32]
Hess 97: Wellingtons Sieg oder die Schlacht bei Vittoria – arr. for piano [DG 99 or Naxos 34]
Op.9, No.1 String Trio, Scherzo with Alternative Trio [DG disc 100 or Naxos disc 45]
Uncatalogued pieces:
Kafka folio 41: Piano Piece in A major [DG disc 99 or Naxos 34]
Kafka folio 160r staves 1-6: Piano Piece in A major [DG 99 or Naxos 34]