Holz geigt die Quartette, WoO 204, (Canon solution by Willem) (mp3)
Author: Mark S. Zimmer
James Green : "It was practice in Beethoven's time to make sauerkraut by cutting the heads of cabbage into quarters, placing them into a barrel and then stomping on them in bare feet to release the juices in order to speed the fermentation process. This creates quite an image, if indeed Holz did play the violin that way." (New Hess Catalog, p.163).
The musical joke can now also be played as a four-voice canon, after Willem's discovery of the solution.
Willem: "When looking at WoO 204, "Holz, Holz, geigt die Quartette" last night, I noticed something interesting: it could not only be worked out as an ordinary two-part canon, but also as a mirror canon. And what's more : these two could be combined! So, if we represent the theme by "1,2,3,4,5,6" and its mirror image by "m1,m2,m3,m4,m5,m6", then I've worked it out as follows
voice1 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 voice2 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3 voice3 m1,m2,m3,m4,m5,m6,m1,m2,m3,m4,m5,m6 voice4 m1,m2,m3,m4,m5,m6,m1,m2,m3Of course, to keep in tune with the text, I had to score it for string quartet!"
The fact that Kinsky/Halm and Hess describe the piece as just a 'musical joke', and not a 'canon', means that the canon solution had eluded them, while Ludwig Misch doesn't even mention it in his chapter on the canons. We are therefore happy to present here for the first time both Beethoven's original sketch and the working out as a canon. Truly, for Beethoven world premieres the Unheard Beethoven site is the place to be!