Время создания: 1795 год.
Ricercar Academy (avec instruments originaux)
Beethoven employed the same instrumentation in his Variations on "La ci darem la mano," WoO. 28, as he did in the contemporaneous Trio, Op. 87. Both works were published long after their composition—the Variations, WoO. 28, were printed eighty-seven years after the composer's death. Beethoven did try to sell the Variations during his lifetime, offering them (unsuccessfully) to C. F. Peters for publication as late as 1822. Douglas Johnson has suggested that the WoO. 28 Variations were intended as the finale of the Trio, Op. 87. The Variations, WoO. 28, were first performed on December 23, 1797, in Vienna, at a Concert for the Benefit of Widows and Orphans.
The variations of WoO. 28 are in the decorative, high-Classical style and maintain the harmonic movement of the theme. We find none of the probing of tonal relationships as in the Variations in F major, Op. 34, and none of the multiplicity of material to be varied as in the Variations in E flat, Op. 35. Although Beethoven's chamber works for winds generally do not stand with his better compositions, we should remember that it is likely they were used as a testing ground on which Beethoven could gain the familiarity with wind instruments necessary to compose confidently for them in the context of a symphony orchestra. Furthermore, works for wind ensembles were generally acknowledged as "light" music, creating less pressure on the composer to be profound.
Unlike numerous of Beethoven's variations from this period, the theme is readily apprehensible throughout most of the decorative transformations. Although he preserves Mozart's original meter of 2/4, Beethoven changes the key from A major to C major, most likely because of the characteristics of the English horn.
(All Music Guide)