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TitlePresentation and musical analysis
Second movement
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TitleThe Violin Concerto Op.61: Second Movement (Larghetto)

The second movement is unique in the history of the concerto for its pure, uninterrupted lyricism.

The structure, a series of variations, stands out for the fact that it is totally in the tonality of G major. A sublime period of 8 bars plus a further three transitional bars makes up the second theme (B) which begins in bar 45, returning in bar 71. The entire movement (fairly long at some 9 minutes) is played in simple melodic variations on the same theme.

The only "unusual" part of the theme (bearing Beethoven's signature) is the modulation on the chord of F sharp in the fourth bar; a simple harmonic connection is introduced to take us back to G major completely naturally.

In this movement the strings play with "sordina" (while flute, oboe, trumpets and timpani are not included in the score), so to give to the overall sound a soft, mellow and warm colour.

Motif Bars Performer Tonality Approach
Theme A 1-10 Orchestra G Maj. Played pianissimo by muted strings. A plain and simple romanza phrase with a two bar coda.
Var. I 11-20 Soloist
(+ Orch.)
G Maj. The soloist draws ornamental figurations on the theme which is repeated (unchanged) by the horns and the clarinet.
Var. II 21-30 Soloist
(+ Orch.)
G Maj. The bassoon repeats the theme as the soloist embellishes it in many different ways.
Theme A 31-40 Orchestra (Tutti) G Maj. The orchestra repeats the theme forte, bringing the first part of the movement to a close.
Quick transition 41-44 Soloist G Maj. The short transitional section prepares us for the new theme.
Theme B 45-55 Soloist
(+ Orch.)
G Maj. Theme B is played for the first time on the deep, warm strings of the solo violin.
Var. III
on Theme A
56-65 Soloist
(+ str. pizz.)
G Maj. Another variation on the first theme.
Codetta 65-70 Soloist
(+ Orch.)
G Maj. Cadenza which ends III variation of theme A.
Theme B
71-79 Soloist
(+ Orch.)
G Maj. Theme B, with accompaniment by the woodwinds.
Codetta 79-83 Soloist
(+ Orch.)
G Maj. The cadenza exposed on bars 65-70, here varied and shortened.
Coda 83-91 Soloist G Maj. The soloist's last embellishment (G major) on theme A (the horns fade out).
Transition 89-90 Tutti Modulante Tutti, fortissimo, for two and a half bars; followed by a suspension prior to the Rondo' without solution of continuity..
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