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Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 21

During the composition of his Second Symphony, Beethoven was much different from the man who would come to epitomize the Romantic artist. For the first time, he had disclosed his secret of deteriorating hearing to a friend; he later wrote the "Heiligenstadt Testament," an unsent letter to his brothers expressing suicidal thoughts due to his increasing deafness. In spite of his desperate state, the Second Symphony, dedicated to Prince Karl von Lichnowsky, had a humorous and happy air. The piece's vitality might have provided Beethoven with comfort at a difficult time. His contemporaries applauded his Second as a noteworthy piece full of power and depth, but they commonly described his music of that time as bizarre. Following the work's completion, Beethoven was moving in a new direction and preparing to compose some of his best-loved pieces.

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