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(1784 - 1838)

Widely known for his reminiscences of Beethoven, Ferdinand Ries belonged to a family which, like Beethoven’s, had a long connection with the musical establishment of the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne in Bonn. He studied the piano and violin with his father, who taught Beethoven and helped the latter’s family after their mother’s death. Ries studied briefly with Peter von Winter in Munich and then spent a period in Vienna, where he had piano lessons from Beethoven and lessons in theory and composition from Albrechtsberger. He established himself as an interpreter of Beethoven’s music, assisting him in various ways as a copyist and proof-reader. In 1809 he left Vienna on a series of concert tours in Germany, Russia, Scandinavia and, eventually, London, where he spent 11 years, until 1824. For several seasons he directed the Lower Rhine Festival and was able to carry out further concert tours.

Vocal Music

Ries wrote operas, part-songs and a quantity of solo songs, setting texts in various languages. His choral music includes masonic cantatas, an oratorio and a Requiem.

Orchestral Music

Ries’s orchestral music includes symphonies and overtures, as well as eight piano concertos—one a ‘Farewell to London’ in 1824, and another a ‘Salut au Rhin’ or ‘Gruss an den Rhein’.

Chamber Music

Ries was said by Beethoven to imitate him too much, a judgement that may seem harsh. As a performer Ries was highly esteemed and after leaving Vienna established himself in independence of his teacher. His chamber music includes works for ensembles of all kinds, from an octet and a septet to a series of duo sonatas, many of the last for violin and piano but with alternative instrumentation for flute or clarinet.

Rediscovering Ferdinand Ries by Susan Kagan

Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
BEETHOVEN / RIES: Clarinet Trios Naxos
Chamber Music
Classical Concert
RIES, F.: Flute and Piano Works - Flute Sonatas / Introduction and Polonaise / Variations on a Portuguese Hymn (Grodd, Napoli) Naxos
Chamber Music
RIES, F.: Piano Concertos, Vol. 1 (Hinterhuber, Grodd) - Nos. 6 and 8, "Salut au Rhin" Naxos
RIES, F.: Piano Concertos, Vol. 2 (Hinterhuber, Grodd) - No. 3 / Introduction and Polonaise / Variations on Swedish National Airs Naxos
Orchestral, Concertos
RIES, F.: Piano Concertos, Vol. 3 (Hinterhuber, Grodd) - No. 7 / Grand Variations on Rule Britannia / Introduction and Variations Brillantes Naxos
Orchestral, Concertos, Orchestral
RIES, F.: Piano Concertos, Vol. 4 (Hinterhuber, Grodd) - Nos. 4 and 5, "Pastoral" / Introduction and Rondeau Brilliant Naxos
RIES, F.: Piano Concertos, Vol. 5 (Hinterhuber, Grodd) - Nos. 2 and 9 / Rondeau brillant Naxos
RIES, F.: Piano Sonatas and Sonatinas (Complete), Vol. 1 (Kagan) - Opp. 11, 45 Naxos
RIES, F.: Piano Sonatas and Sonatinas (Complete), Vol. 2 (Kagan) - Opp. 1, 5 Naxos
RIES, F.: Piano Sonatas and Sonatinas (Complete), Vol. 3 (Kagan) - Op. 9, No. 2 and Op. 26, "L'infortunee" / The Dream, Op. 49 Naxos
RIES, F.: Piano Sonatas and Sonatinas (Complete), Vol. 4 (Kagan) - Op. 9, No. 1 and Op. 141 Naxos
RIES, F.: Piano Sonatas and Sonatinas (Complete), Vol. 5 (Kagan) - Opp. 114, 176, WoO 11 Naxos
RIES, F.: Piano Sonatas and Sonatinas (Complete), Vol. 6 (Kagan, Primakov) - Opp. 6, 47, 160 Naxos
RIES, F.: Violin Sonatas, Op. 8, Nos. 1-2 and Op. 19 (Grossman, S. Kagan) Naxos
Chamber Music
RIES: 3 Flute Quartets, Op. 145 Naxos
Chamber Music
RIES: Cello Sonatas Dynamic
Chamber Music
Story of Naxos (The) - The Soundtrack Naxos Special Projects

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7:18:45 AM, 26 May 2016
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