Beethoven's Unfinished Symphonies

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This is the first attempt to produce a complete list of all the symphonies that Beethoven began but did not complete. It is impossible to create watertight criteria for what counts as an unfinished symphony, since some abandoned themes that may have been intended for symphonies were not marked by Beethoven as such, and in a few cases he made more than one attempt at the same symphony before abandoning it. However, 33 works have been identified, plus a few possible additional ones. These are discussed in chronological order, with thematic incipits provided. Three are large-scale attempts - a precursor of No. 3, and two known as nos. 0 and 10.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBeethoven Studies 4
EditorsKeith Chapin, David Wyn Jones
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages38
ISBN (Print)9781108428521
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2020


  • Beethoven
  • symphonies
  • sketches


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