In despair at his increasing deafness, Beethoven somehow found the inner strength and creativity to write some of his most joyful music, bursting with optimism and vitality, and one of the most tender and serene slow movements of his career.
Beethoven’s only Violin Concerto, composed a few years later, grabs our attention with five pianissimo kettledrum strokes, and doesn’t let it go. The violin, never showy, sings expressively through the first movement, seems to dream its way through the second, and skips and dances through the ebullient third. Nicola Benedetti is one of today’s foremost exponents of this enchanting masterpiece.
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