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In 1802, under a June Sun, a 31-year-old Beethoven paced through the countryside around Vienna. Rays of sunshine pierced through the trees, the hard soil crunched beneath his feet and birds conducted their own orchestra. But Beethoven didn’t marvel at these details; he was preoccupied by thoughts of suicide. Some years earlier, he had started to lose his hearing, and although it wasn’t yet severe, he was still struggling immensely with his condition. Living with hearing loss made his life a “wretched existence” that drove him into despair, he wrote. He still persevered with his work, and went on to create timeless music. But he found little joy in the process.