Composer of the Month – What to listen to: Beethoven

So far this month I have talked about who Ludwig van Beethoven was, about his life and about his use of the technology available to him, even though we would not consider these things to be technological advances today, but I haven’t talked that much about his music. So if you wanted to listen to some of Beethoven’s music with your children, or even on your own maybe when the children have gone to school where would you start?

Photo by Julia Barrantes on

Handily, I have put together a playlist of some suggested pieces to listen to over on Spotify. I have linked to that playlist below so you can go straight over to Spotify from this post if you want to. I have listed the pieces on the playlist below, so of you don’t have Spotify you can look these pieces up on your streaming service of choice. In making this playlist, I have tried to cover a number of different genres, or types, of composition so that you get a good flavour of his works. I start the playlist with a couple of Beethoven’s Symphonies (it was hard to choose just 3 – if you like these please do go and find more to listen to as they are all fantastic. , some pieces for smaller ensembles or solo instruments. For most of the works on this playlist I have included the whole thing, including the Symphonies at the start of the playlist. The opera and oratorio (these two genres are very similar and both involve story telling in music, but an oratorio is a work written to tell a sacred story, so written for the church, whereas operas are intended for the stage and secular tales) are both too long to include the whole thing, so I have just included a couple of extracts. For those works that are given in their entirety you could listen to the whole composition, or just dip into it for one or two movements to start off with maybe.

The picture shows someone opening up the Spotify app on their phone.
Photo by cottonbro studio on

So without further ado, and in no particular order other than the order in which I happened to add them into the playlist, here are the pieces in my Beethoven Suggested listening playlist:

Symphony No 1 in C Major. Op. 21

Symphony No 5 C Minor, Op. 67

Symphony No 6 in F Major “Pastoral”, Op. 68

String Quartet No 2 in G Major, Op. 18

String Quartet in C Sharp Minor, Op. 131

Grosse Fugue in B Flat Major, Op. 133

Septet in E Flat Major, Op. 20

Sextet in E Flat Major, Op. 71

Piano Concerto No 4 in G Major, Op. 58

Piano Sonata No 1 in F Minor, Op. 2

Piano Sonata No 8 in C Minor “Pathétique”, Op. 13

Piano Sonata No 14 in C sharp Minor “Moonlight”, Op. 27

Fidelio, Op. 72 – extracts

Christ at the Mount of Olives, Oratorio, Op. 85

Bagatelle No 25 in A Minor “Für Elise”, WoO 59

Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61

You can listen to the playlist in whole, or in part (if you fancy listening to the whole thing be warned it is 7 hours long, maybe do it over a number of days!) by following this link to my Spotify playlist:

If you have enjoyed reading my blog post, thank you. I am always looking for ideas for the blog, so would love to hear from you with suggestions for topics you would like me to cover in the future. Also, if you would be interested in supporting me to keep this blog running, buying the books to review here, and supplies to make the DIY instruments, for example, I would be absolutely delighted if you would consider buying me a coffee using the following link: Buy Me A Coffee Thank you!!

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