Works - Compositions

Ferdinand Ries left a vast œuvre. Besides liturgical music, it comprises all the genres that were common during the first half of the 19th century. Our catalogue of Ries’s works essentially follows Cecil Hill’s “Ferdinand Ries. A Thematic Catalogue”, published in 1977, and also his “Ferdinand Ries. A Study and Agenda”, published in 1982 (see “Works – Literature”).  The contents have been corrected and augmented on occasion, and information on new editions and CD recordings have been added as and when they became available.

The numbering – “op.” and “WoO” – follows that of Cecil Hill’s catalogue. The titles have been taken from the wording of the first editions and/or autographs, mostly as German translations from the French or English. Indicated in brackets behind the titles are the places and dates of origin of the works (insofar as they are known); these are followed by details of the first editions (place, publisher, year) and new editions (place, publisher) and CD recordings (performers, labels).

Attention must here be drawn to a peculiarity of the catalogue that can easily lead to misunderstandings. Since his time in London, Ries numbered his concertos and sonatas consecutively, irrespective of the solo instruments for which they were written. This meant, for example, that his Piano Concerto in C Sharp Minor, Op. 55, published in 1855, counted as his third concerto. It had been preceded by his Violin Concerto, Op. 24 (this was not published, but Ries gave it an opus number and hence included it in his numbering), and his Piano Concerto in E Flat Major, Op. 42, which, consequently, were his Concertos No.1 and No.2, although this numbering did not appear on any autographs or prints. In other words: Ries’s third concerto was his second piano concerto.

Publikandum wegen des dem Komponisten Ferdinand Ries aus Bonn ertheilten Privilegii. De Dato Berlin, den 9ten Juni 1829, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz

More or less the same goes for Ries’s sonatas. Ries numbered them consecutively, no matter whether they were written for the piano, piano and violin, piano and flute etc., but did not maintain his numbering consistently. It is missing on many works, above all on those produced before 1813, and especially if the said works were not published until after 1813. If autographs and/or prints do bear an original numbering, this is indicated in the catalogue in round brackets behind the title “Sonata”.

 

 
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Lorenz Janscha, Johann Ziegler: Ansicht des Theaters und Redoutensaales zu Godesberg, kolorierter Kupferstich 1729, markiert: Ferdinand Ries Geburtshaus
Ferdinand Ries around 1820, Oil/Lwd., Beethoven-House Bonn
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