Ludwig van Beethoven completed his Seventh Symphony in the spring of 1812. The work was not performed, however, until 8 December 1813 in a programme together with the battle symphony Wellington’s Victory, or the Battle of Vitoria. Following the years-long Napoleonic Wars, Austria was in a state of triumphant euphoria, and Beethoven’s newest symphony reflected the general mood better than anything else. The Seventh Symphony soon took its honoured place in the “cultural programme” of the Congress of Vienna.
Wagner referred to Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony as the “apotheosis of dance.” It is, indeed, imbued with energetic rhythms and it contains not a single truly lento movement. The music of this symphony does not move from suffering towards joy – here the joy reigns throughout, starting with the first movement and concluding in utter ecstasy in the finale.
Beethoven dedicated the score of the symphony to his friend and patron Count Moritz von Fries and the arrangement for piano to Empress Elizabeth Alexeyevna, wife of Alexander I of Russia.
Completed in October 1812, the Eighth Symphony waited almost a year and a half for its first performance. The premiere took place on 27 February 1814 in Vienna at one of Beethoven's regular "academies" (concerts by the composers), under the baton of the maestro himself. Written along with the Seventh Symphony, the Eighth is close to it with its vivid dance rhythms; but if, in the huge Seventh Wagner heard "the apotheosis of dance", then the chamber-like Eighth is the embodiment of refinement, unconstraint, a kind of mirthful grace. Beethoven called it his "little symphony", perhaps meaning the nature of the unique intermezzo between the "heroic idyll" (as Serov referred to the first movement of the Seventh Symphony) and the final symphonic masterpiece – the Ninth, a "symphony with choruses".
The Eighth Symphony, according to Tchaikovsky, "of all of Beethoven's symphonies stands out for the unusually condensed nature of form, to the final note, its joyful, festive mood. Beethoven, who to a remarkable degree possessed the ability to instil tragedy into an audience, this time pours entire floods of some joyous and happy emotion into its soul."
Violin Romance No. 1 in G major, Op. 40, was written by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1802. At that time the 32-year-old composer won prestige from the Vienna audience and created his compositions for violin in addition to those for piano. He planned to compose a violin concerto, and small pieces of romance kind served as a preparation for a large form. Four years before Beethoven wrote his Romance in F major, Op. 50. It was published later, and their enumeration is not in line. In Beethoven’s lifetime the both romances had grown popular, and until now violinists include them in their repertoire.