Canon, 'Geschlagen ist der Feind,' Hess 305 completed and orchestrated by Willem (mp3)
Performer: Mark S. Zimmer
This 8 bar canon draft can be found amidst the sketches for Wellington's Victory, opus 91 (1813). Given the text of the canon ('The enemy has been beaten') it seems plausible that at one stage Beethoven was thinking of giving the Battle Symphony a choral ending. If so, then this would constitute a link between the Choral Fantasy, op.80, and the Ninth Symphony.
For a change, Beethoven's handwriting is reasonably clear, but clef and key signature are missing. Therefore it was of great help that Hess and Unger had already identified the piece as being in D major.
A canon on the melody of the draft itself appears to be impossible, so the question becomes: is this really a canon like Hess and Unger claim? The answer is yes, because above the sketch Beethoven has scribbled a few words, of which the third seems to read 'canon'. Therefore we can agree with Unger's assesment that Hess 305 is the first section of a round.
In the present midi the draft has been worked out as a 3 part canon, by adding two further sections. To live up to Hess's characterization of Hess 305 as being 'lively', some extra orchestral voices have been added. A homophonic setting of the tune and a final cadence form the triumphant conclusion.
With sincere thanks to the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, which provided us with a copy of the original manuscript in Beethoven's own handwriting.