About this work
The exact date of composition for these minuets is not known but is surmised to be around the time of the 1795 12 Minuets for Orchestra, WoO 7. There is some confusion about the scoring here, too: Beethoven allowed a cello to play the bass line as an alternative. In fact, there is good reason to believe that he felt it was just as effective as the double bass here, as well as in his other early dance collections that use this same instrumental combination.
These six dances also exist in a piano version, but the composer never fashioned an orchestral one for them, as was often his practice. Perhaps he decided that this collection did not fully meet his typically high standards. The last two items are of some interest, especially the Fifth. And No. 3 also features a good measure of charm. Still, while these minuets are far from weak creations, they may not quite measure up to the quality of much of Beethoven's early dance music.