Skip to main content

Beethoven: A Guide to Primary and Secondary Resources at the Library of Congress

Critical Editions

Ludwig van Beethoven. Trio in E-flat major for violin, viola and cello, op. 3, mvt. 6. 1794. Library of Congress Music Division.

In the mid-20th century, the Beethoven-Archiv began work on the Sämtliche Werke, a new critical edition of Beethoven's music. When finished, this edition will include all of his completed output, including early versions, authentic arrangements, larger fragments, and more extensive sketches. The first volume was published in 1961 by Henle Verlag, and the editors anticipate 56 series upon completion.

The Sämtliche Werke replaces an earlier scholarly project, Ludwig van Beethovens Werke: vollständige kritisch durchgesehene überall berechtigte Ausgabe [Ludwig van Beethoven's Works: Complete, Critical, Thoroughly Revised, Authorized Edition], published by Breitkopf and Härtel from 1864-1865 in 25 series. A supplementary volume appeared in 1890. These volumes have also been digitized and are available online through HathiTrust.

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available. Request and view volumes of the Sämtliche Werke critical edition in the Performing Arts Reading Room.