Listening to Beethoven #180 – Silvio, amante disperato, WoO 99/12


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

Silvio, amante disperato WoO 99/120 for soprano, alto, tenor and bass (1801-02, Beethoven aged 31)

Text Metastasio
Duration 10″


You can hear this fragment on the excellent site The Unheard Beethoven

Background and Critical Reception

This entry is more of a placeholder for a short song (26 bars) written by Beethoven as a product of his studies with Salieri. There seems to be some contention on when it would have been written – the IMSLP list of works, which this study has been using, says 1801-02 while the Unheard Beethoven resource speculates at 1795.


Although there is very little to listen to here, the existence of this piece is well worth noting, as we have had very little music for unaccompanied voices from Beethoven up to this time. From this fragment the mood seems downcast.

Recordings used

None as yet, other than the fragment heard from Unheard Beethoven – this link will download the small file

Also written in 1802 Zeller Sammlung kleiner Balladen und Lieder Z123

Next up 7 Bagatelles Op.33