Сонатина для мандолины и фортепиано, WoO 44a

Время создания: 1796 год.

Beethoven began his career in Vienna as a pianist. He was soon very successful and in 1796 embarked on a concert tour. The first stop was Prague, where he stayed almost three months. Beethoven travelled with his patron, Prince Lichnowksy, who was on his way to his estates in Bohemia and Silesia. Lichnowsky introduced Beethoven to the salons of the nobility in Prague and opened doors for him into higher social circles. Beethoven wrote several works in Prague, including the Four Pieces for Mandolin and Piano (Harpsichord) WoO 43 and 44 (Beethoven composed at least one other one which has since disappeared). Beethoven wrote them for Comtesse Josephine von Clary-Aldringen, a well-known singer and mandolin player. It was probably Prince Lichnowsky who arranged the contact with Prince Clary and his family. Beethoven obviously liked Comtesse Clary because he wrote the following dedication at the top of the autograph score of the Adagio WoO 43b "pour la belle J par LvB." (for the beautiful J[osephine] by LvB).

(beethoven-haus-bonn.de)

Formally this work is a single-movement rondo. The mandolin leads a dashing rondo theme, pausing for breath only in the contrasting episodes. If you didn't know any better you'd think you were listening to bluegrass. The harpsichord or piano accompanies throughout, occasionally imitating a phrase of the mandolin's.

(Aaron Rabushka, All Music Guide)