Ludwig van Beethoven (17701827)

Fantasia op. 80

"Choral Fantasy"
Beethoven vocal Urtext

for: 4 soloists (SATB), mixed choir (SATB), piano, orchestra

Score (Urtext edition)

Item no.687304
Author/ComposerLudwig van Beethoven
ArrangerClaus-Dieter Ludwig
TextChristoph Kuffner
EditorUlrich Leisinger
Languagesgerman, english
Scope72 pages; 25 × 32 cm
Duration20 minutes
Year of origin1809
Release year2019
Publisher/ProducerCarus Verlag
Producer No.CV 10.394/00


In a mixture of cantata and concert piece, Beethoven set a hymn to art in his Choral Fantasy. The work, about 20 minutes in length, is often seen as a precursor to the "Ode to Joy" in the 9th Symphony. After a piano introduction, a dialog between piano and orchestra develops in the space of just 400 measures, before the soloists and chorus enter for the last 200 measures. (If necessary, the solo parts can be sung by the chorus or a semi-chorus.)

In the main section, headed "Finale" (beginning with the double basses and celli), the theme from Beethoven’s early song "Gegenliebe" (WoO 118, also used in the "Ode to Joy") is presented, varied and finally used in the “March” in F major.

The main source of the Choral Fantasy for the edition is the first edition of the parts, published in 1811 and corrected by Beethoven; alongside this an English edition of the parts published by Clementi (1810) has been consulted for comparison. The edition contains an English singing version in a translation by Natalia Macfarren from the 19th century.

Scoring: Soli SSATB, Coro SATB, Pfte, 2 Fl, 2 Ob, 2 Clt, 2 Fg, 2 Cor, 2 Tr, Timp, 2 Vl, Va, Vc/Cb