Ludwig van Beethoven

Canon in 2 parts in A major, WoO 35

    Description by Robert Cummings

    There is some controversy surrounding this canon, since it cannot be determined whether it was written for two voices or for two violins. Generally Beethoven supplied the texts of his canons, but in the case of this A major effort, there is neither text nor indication of vocal or instrumental setting. This lack has fueled speculation that the piece was actually intended for two violins, not for voices, as was usual for Beethoven in this genre.

    The composer wrote this work for his friend Otto de Boer, a member of Amsterdam's Academy of Fine Arts. Like many of Beethoven's other post-1813 canons, the theme is rather simple, with the second part here entering on the fourth note of the main line. The work lasts a mere half-minute, a not unusually brief duration, since several other canons (such as WoO 193 and Te solo adoro, WoO 186, to name but two) are about that length. As one might surmise, this is hardly an important work in the composer's oeuvre, but it illuminates a side of his artistic persona necessary to understand his genius fully.

    This work was published posthumously.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2007 Cascade Records 2200
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 453 772-2GCB6
    1997 Decca
    Cascade Records 2262