Canon for Samson de Boer, WoO 35, for Cellos
This canon was written for Samson de Boer, a Dutch amateur cellist, and NOT the Frysian painter Otto de Boer (1797-1856), as some sources claim. De Boer apparently dropped in on Beethoven in 1825 and from the conversation books it appears that they had a nice time together. Beethoven wrote the canon while they were chatting, and presented it to de Boer as souvenir when he left. The canon is presently in the Houghton Library at Harvard University, which kindly provided us with a copy of the autograph. The transcription by Willy Hess in vol. VI of his Supplement to the Gesamtausgabe contains an error in the final measure which prevents it from being a proper canon; the autograph as actually written does work correctly.
Because de Boer played cello, and mentioned this to Beethoven, we believe the canon is intended for two cellos, not two violins as is generally assumed. The canon is jotted down in the treble clef. In Beethoven's days cello parts written in the treble clef had to be played one octave lower than as written (transposing instrument). In the midi the notes are therefore transposed one octave downwards. We feel this is to the advantage of the canon.