Works - Arrangements


Ferdinand Ries not only left an extensive body of compositions of his own, but he has also arranged music by other composers, often for other, mostly smaller forces.

His first such arrangements came into being at the early age of 15, and they were nothing less than vocal scores of Joseph Haydn’s oratorios “The Creation” (1798) and “The Seasons” (1801), printed in 1800 and 1802 respectively by Nikolaus Simrock in Bonn shortly after the Vienna premieres.

Ries also made arrangements based on 23 themes from “The Magic Flute” and a quintet by Mozart. They have remained in autograph and have never been printed.

A student and friend of Ludwig van Beethoven, Ferdinand Ries devoted himself to numerous adaptations of his works. Several of these were made during his period of close contact with Beethoven, some others shortly after he had to leave Vienna in 1805. Their majority was written in the 1830s, after Beethoven's death.

How much Ries’s intimate knowledge of Beethoven's music was valued in his arrangement of the latter’s compositions can be seen from the order placed by the Parisian publisher Maurice Schlesinger in 1837, to adapt twelve string quartets and eight string quintets from Beethoven's piano music. In the summer of that year, when Ries was taking the waters at Wiesbaden, he worked on this commission and reported in a letter that “the work itself is very interesting to me, and very pleasant recollections are linked to it, so that I have already finished 9 quartets and 2 quintets. I have several times encountered some very ticklish, critical moments, but many of them will look very nice. The Quintets have been derived from his Piano Trios, Op. 70 – and it took quite a bit of thought; they are difficult, too, but they are certainly doing well .”

Ferdinand Ries died only a few months later in January 1838. Apparently none of the works he was working on at the time were published. Their manuscripts appear to be lost.


Become a Member!
Become a Member!
Sample Recording
Ries Gesellschaft
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