BEETHOVEN - STARR; Adagio in E-flat Major, for flute solo and string orchestra, WoO 43b (an orchestral arrangement of Beethoven’s movement for mandolin and harpsichord)

Ludwig van Beethoven
Year of composition
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
6 minutes
Classical music
Orchestra + solo (Flute)
Instrumental parts
Not available

Among the treasures hidden in Beethoven’s obscure music composed for mandolin and harpsichord, none can compare with the sublime richness of this Adagio in E-flat Major, WoO 43b. For six magical minutes, Beethoven tapped into the vein of inspired simplicity that one usually associates with late Mozart.

How could such exquisite music lie in obscurity, one wonders? It is my conviction that the instruments Beethoven selected, charming as they may be, can only hint at this music’s lyrical and emotional qualities. The lovely melody that Beethoven gave to the mandolin stretches the limits of cantabile and the long line. The expressive harmonies in the harpsichord accompaniment call for a dulcet sostenuto texture that is foreign to the percussive sonority of this instrument.

In my view, the flute and the string orchestra have the requisite technical resources, sonorities and expressive qualities to bring out the extraordinary beauty hidden in these notes.

You can listen online to the mp3 demo file of this piece, made with enhanced digital sounds. Just click on the green button marked LISTEN TO MP3.

If you would like to download this mp3 file free-of-charge for repeated listening or free distribution, just right-click on the following link.

To save the file on your hard disk, click on SAVE TARGET AS…

I hope browsers will express their opinions about Beethoven’s Adagio in E-flat Major, WoO 43b - and my arrangement/orchestration of the piece for flute solo and string orchestra - either in an online review, or in an email to me. To send an email to me, please click on the green button marked EMAIL THE PUBLISHER.

Which method of viewing music should I use?

Score Exchange has two methods to display previews of music: seView which uses regular html and javascipt and the Scorch plug-in from Avid which needs to be downloaded and installed onto your computer. Both have advantages and disadvantages:


seView, is the most compatible option. You should be able to view music on all modern web browsers including most mobile devices. Even if your device does not support javascript you should still be able to preview at least page one of the music.

You do not need to install any additional software to use seView.


Scorch is a free plug-in from Avid for displaying and printing music. It can also play the music that you're seeing. As modern web browsers are updated, Scorch is no longer compatible with many browsers. Scorch has never been compatible with mobile devices and some web browsers on Mac computers.

If your web browser does not install Scorch automatically, you can click here to download and install scorch manually.

cloud scorch goes here

Licensing for this music

This score was published on Score Exchange by Mark Starr. When you buy it, you are granted a license that includes the following:

Sharing the file you download
When you buy the score - make multiple copies
When you buy parts - make multiple copies

For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

In order to submit this score to Mark Starr has declared that they own the copyright to this work in its entirety or that they have been granted permission from the copyright holder to use their work. If you believe that this score should be not available here because it infringes your or someone elses copyright, please report this score using the copyright abuse form.