It was always been common practice for composers to write smaller works as a means of increasing their income. Sibelius was now different from many of his contemporary and composed a wide range of salon pieces. Most of these were composed for the piano or violin and piano. When asked by his daughter Katarina why he composed these small pieces, when he should be writing great works, he replied, "To provide you with bread and butter."
In 1915 Sibelius composed his four Pieces for violin and piano, Op.78. This Romance is the second of these pieces and was also published for cello and piano.
We must remember that Sibelius was a violinist! Sibelius was 50 in 1915 and in his diary he famously admitted of "Dreaming of being twelve years old and a violin virtuoso". This Romance is far from being a virtuoso piece but it is filled with charm.
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