Listening to Beethoven #83 – Canon in C major

Beethoven’s compass © Beethoven-Haus Bonn

Canon in C major Hess 248 for four voices (1795, Beethoven aged 24)

Dedication not known
Duration 1’10”


Background and Critical Reception

This short canon is for four ‘voices’ – as in four separate parts. It is the second canon of Beethoven’s we have heard to date, but as we listen to more of his music this aspect of his output will be more fully revealed.


A bold, confidently written piece – with a motif whose repetitions become a little trying after a while! It is however a good example of Beethoven’s rigorous training and ability to work with an ever-increasing number of techniques.

Recording used and Spotify link

Benjamin Lichtenegger, Lara Kusztrich, Luka Kusztrich, Dominik Hellsberg (violins) (Naxos)

An attractively performed and brightly lit version.

You can chart the Arcana Beethoven playlist as it grows, with one recommended version of each piece we listen to. Catch up here!

Also written in 1795 Hyacinthe Jadin 3 String Quartets Op.1

Next up Im Arm der Liebe ruht sich’s wohl

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