Violin Concerto in D Op. 61.
Beethoven composed the concerto in 1806, when increasing deafness
was casting it's shadow over him. He wrote the concerto especially
for the great violinist at the time, Franz Clement, as marked on
the title page by Beethoven himself: "Concerto par Clemenza pour Clement,
Primo Violino e Directtore al Theatro a Vienne dal L.V. Bthvn., 1806."
'Clemenza' meaning mercifulness or perhaps intended to indicate the mildness,
tenderness and beauty so abundantly evident in this concerto, which was
the sixth of his seven concertos. The concert was slow to establish itself
and it was only in 1844, when performed by Joseph Joachim, the 12 year old
Hungarian genius, and conducted by Mendelssohn, that the work received the wide
recognition it truly deserved.
An interesting, little known fact is that Beethoven earlier made a piano
arrangement for the solo part which was first commissioned by the London
publisher Clementi. However, the beauty of the original Violin Concerto meant
that the piano version was all but ignored, although in modern time Daniel Barenboim
has actually recorded it. Beethoven dedicated the piano version to Julie, the young,
beautiful wife of Stephan von Brunning to whom he had already dedicated the Violin
The Moonlight Sonata in C Sharp Minor, Op. 27 No. 2 was written in 1801
and it was probably inspired by, and certainly dedicated to, one of Beethoven's pupils,
the 17 year old Countess Giulietta Guicciardi. It is one of Beethovens most dreamy and
original sonatas and it was Ludwig Rellstab, a German poet and musician, who 'christened'
it the 'Moonlight' sonata, likening the first movement to the moonlight shining on Lake Lucerne.