Время создания: сентябрь 1819 г.
Посвящено: Moritz Schlesinger
A canon for roast veal
"Vien am 21ten Sept. 1819 bey Anwesenheit des Hr: Schlesingers aus Berlin von L. v Beethoven" (Vienna, 21 Sept. 1819 in the presence of Hr Schlesinger from Berlin by L. v Beethoven), thus read Beethoven's dedication above this canon-like movement "Glaube und hoffe" ("Believe and hope") WoO 174. Beethoven gave the work to Maurice (Moritz Adolph) Schlesinger as a way of saying thank you. The latter had previously organized roast veal for the composer. At least this is what Schlesinger told the Beethoven biographer A. B. Marx in 1859 - 40 years later! "I found myself in the vaults of Steiner & Comp. [a Viennese music dealer and publisher], when Haslinger, his associate, said: there's Beethoven, would you like to become acquainted with him? (...) He then introduced me and Beethoven invited me to visit him in Baden. This happened a few days later. On stepping out of the carriage I entered the inn and found Beethoven leaving through the door in an angry manner, which he slammed shut behind him. After I had brushed the dust off, I went into the house described as his apartment. His housekeeper told me I would not be able to speak to him, as he had returned very angry. I gave her my card, which she took to him and a few minutes later, she came (...) out again and told me to go in. There I found the great man at his desk. (...) He (...) told me that he was the unhappiest man alive. He had just come from the inn, where he had ordered a piece of veal, greatly desiring a piece; but they had not had any there; this all with a very serious and dark expression. (...) Leaving him, I hurried back to Vienna in my carriage, immediately asked my innkeeper's son whether he had any roast veal and on his confirmation, had it put in a dish, well-covered and without a word sent a man in the carriage to Baden to give it to Beethoven in my name. The next morning (...), Beethoven came to me, kissed and embraced me and said I was the best person he had ever met; nothing had ever made him so happy as that veal when he had really desired a piece."
In 1819 Maurice Schlesinger was a young man, 21 years of age and not yet the established Paris publisher. His father ran a music publishers in Berlin and wanted to do business with Beethoven. We can no longer ascertain to what extent his story is true or not. As the canon goes to show, the young man had in any case made an impression on the already famous composer. His mission was also a great success: Schlesinger Publishers received op. 108, 109, 110 and 111 for printing from Beethoven after the (true or invented) roast veal episode.
The canon remained in the possession of the Schlesinger family till 1907 and was treasured by Maurice Schlesinger. On 3 July 1822 he wrote to Beethoven from Paris: "I will always remember the hours which I had the happiness to spend with you; the beginning of a canon then given to me, I honour like a relic and preserve it with the greatest care, to the joy of all those who have never had the luck to see something written in your hand." (J.R.)