Listening to Beethoven #142 – Plaisir d’aimer WoO 128

Peanuts comic strip, drawn by Charles M. Schulz (c)PNTS

Plaisir d’aimer WoO 128 for voice and piano (1798-99, Beethoven aged 28)

Dedication not known
Text Anon

Duration 1’15”


Background and Critical Reception

This Romance has a text of unknown source, set to music by Beethoven either in late 1798 or early 1799. Beethoven hardly set any songs in French, so this is a notable if very short piece of work, lasting little over a minute.

The singer is worried about the power a lover can have over their soul, and that they might lose their peace in pursuit of a happiness that is far from guaranteed.


A short song, and a worrisome one too. The vocal melody is simple but affected, followed closely by the piano.

Recordings used and Spotify links

Peter Schreier (tenor), Walter Olbertz (piano)

Pamela Coburn & Leonard Hokanson


You can chart the Arcana Beethoven playlist as it grows, with one recommended version of each piece we listen to. Catch up here!

Also written in 1799 Salieri Falstaff o sia Le tre burle

Next up Neue Liebe, neues Leben, WoO 127

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