April 29, 2017 7:30PM
Vernon Cook Theater
Clinton High School
Beethoven: Romance in G Major, Op 40
Katie Wolfe, violin
Bloch: From Jewish Life: Prayer
Vokan Orhon, double bass
Glière: Symphony No. 1
in E-flat major, Op 8
Andante - Allegro
Ludwig van Beethoven: Romance in G major, Op 40
The Romance for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 in G major, Op. 40 is the second of two such Romances Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) wrote for violin and orchestra. It was written in 1802, four years after the Second Romance, but since it was published in 1803, two years before the second, this romance has been designated as Beethoven's first.
Beethoven's reputation as a pianist often obscures the fact that he was a very capable violiist, a position he occupied at the court orchestra in Bonn. Although not an accomplished master of either the viola or violin, he possessed a profound love for and understanding of the stringed instruments, evident in his numerous chamber works. The two Romances for violin are noteworthy because they are single-movement works with orchestra. Some scholars think that the two Romances may have been preliminary exercises for the slow movement of a violin concerto.
The Romance No 1 in G major, Op 40 was published in 1803, at least five years after the Romance No 2 in F, Op 50. The date of its first performance is unknown. He retained the early Classical orchestra he employed for his earlier Piano Concerto in B flat, Op. 19: one flute, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, and strings.
One biographer of Beethoven wrote of the Romances, “They are beautiful in their way, not easy as to technique, and very difficult to interpret satisfactorily."
The Romance in G is in rondo format, with the theme in two parts, first performed by the soloist then by the orchestra. Beethoven closes the work with a brief coda, featuring a trill in the solo violin followd by three fortissimo chords.
Program notes© William H Driver and Clinton Symphony Orchestra