Romance for Violin and Orchestra No.2 in F major Op.50
Ludwig van Beethoven


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The seventh of Beethoven's 17th entries in the Ultimate Hall of Fame. This has appeared in every chart apart from in 2013, and reached its highest position of number 62 in 1998.

Beethoven's ability to create astonishing music can all too easily lead us to forget the cruel experience of his suffering from gradual deafness. At about the same time as writing the Romance in F, Beethoven was probably for the first time being forced to come to terms with his condition.

The delicate, youthful phrasing of the violin line suggests a composer finding some brief respite through the escapism of writing music. Indeed, Beethoven seems to have continually found solace in this way throughout the early 1800s, when his awareness of his deteriorating hearing was at its most acute. The evergreen Moonlight Sonata and his Symphony No. 2 were just two of the other works he composed during this period.

But here, all angst is absent from the page; in its place, we find music that suggests that all is well. As Beethoven knew all too clearly, though, this was far from the case.