Время создания: 1822 г.
Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan
In Beethoven's later years, he turned more often to writing shorter works. While he did of course produce notable large compositions (the Ninth Symphony and the last quartets), he also wrote a spate of concise, far less well-known ones, including many of his 43 canons, the Waltz in E flat, WoO 84, Waltz in D, WoO 85, the Ecossaise, WoO 86, and many others. Whatever his reasons for his concision, he remained a master in whatever realm he chose to work. This piece, the so-called Gratulations-Menuet, was written to pay tribute to a friend of the composer's, dramatist Carl Friedrich Hensler (1761-1825). Hensler was director of the Josephstadt Theater, where, on November 3, 1822, this work, along with readings and other musical compositions, was performed in his honor.
Oddly, this minuet looks back to Beethoven's earlier forays in the genre. It is unlike the more advanced ones appearing in the symphonies, quartets and sonatas. The attractive and elegant first section is repeated, but in different, now somewhat humorous instrumentation in the manner of the bassoon's burp-like accompaniment. There follows a trio in which Beethoven displays some colorful writing for the winds. The recapitulation of the main theme ensues, and the work ends. The Gratulations-Menuet was published in 1832 and carries a dedication by the publisher to Karl Holz.
(All Music Guide)