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This is the first individual study of Beethoven's Violin Concerto. It explores the work's background and the influences that combined in its creation, and describes its indifferent initial reception. It considers the numerous textual problems that confront the performer, including discussion of Beethoven's adaptation for piano and orchestra. Following a detailed synopsis of the work itself, a final section reviews the wide variety of cadenzas that have been written to complement the concerto throughout its performance history.