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Ludwig van Beethoven

Biography

Born: 1770, Germany   Died: 1827, Austria   Period: Classical, Romantic
The events of Beethoven's life are the stuff of Romantic legend, evoking images of the solitary creator shaking his fist at Fate and finally overcoming it through a supreme effort of creative will. Born in the small German city of Bonn on or around December 16, 1770, he received his early training from his father and other local musicians. As a teenager, he earned some money as an assistant to his teacher, Christian Gottlob Neefe, then was Read more granted half of his father's salary as court musician from the Electorate of Cologne in order to care for his two younger brothers as his father gave in to alcoholism. Beethoven played viola in various orchestras, becoming friends with other players such as Antoine Reicha, Nikolaus Simrock, and Franz Ries, and began taking on composition commissions. As a member of the court chapel orchestra, he was able to travel some and meet members of the nobility, one of whom, Count Ferdinand Waldstein, would become a great friend and patron to him. Beethoven moved to Vienna in 1792 to study with Haydn; despite the prickliness of their relationship, Haydn's concise humor helped form Beethoven's style. His subsequent teachers in composition were Johann Georg Albrechtsberger and Antonio Salieri. In 1794, he began his career in earnest as a pianist and composer, taking advantage whenever he could of the patronage of others. Around 1800, Beethoven began to notice his gradually encroaching deafness. His growing despondency only intensified his antisocial tendencies. However, the Symphony No. 3, "Eroica," of 1803 began a sustained period of groundbreaking creative triumph. In later years, Beethoven was plagued by personal difficulties, including a series of failed romances and a nasty custody battle over a nephew, Karl. Yet after a long period of comparative compositional inactivity lasting from about 1811 to 1817, his creative imagination triumphed once again over his troubles. Beethoven's late works, especially the last five of his 16 string quartets and the last four of his 32 piano sonatas, have an ecstatic quality in which many have found a mystical significance. Beethoven died in Vienna on March 26, 1827.
Beethoven's epochal career is often divided into early, middle, and late periods, represented, respectively, by works based on Classic-period models, by revolutionary pieces that expanded the vocabulary of music, and by compositions written in a unique, highly personal musical language incorporating elements of contrapuntal and variation writing while approaching large-scale forms with complete freedom. Though certainly subject to debate, these divisions point to the immense depth and multifariousness of Beethoven's creative personality. Beethoven profoundly transformed every genre he touched, and the music of the nineteenth century seems to grow from his compositions as if from a chrysalis. A formidable pianist, he moved the piano sonata from the drawing room to the concert hall with such ambitious and virtuosic middle-period works as the "Waldstein" (No. 21) and "Appassionata" (No. 23) sonatas. His song cycle An die ferne Geliebte of 1816 set the pattern for similar cycles by all the Romantic song composers, from Schubert to Wolf. The Romantic tradition of descriptive or "program" music began with Beethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony No. 6. Even in the second half of the nineteenth century, Beethoven still directly inspired both conservatives (such as Brahms, who, like Beethoven, fundamentally stayed within the confines of Classical form) and radicals (such as Wagner, who viewed the Ninth Symphony as a harbinger of his own vision of a total art work, integrating vocal and instrumental music with the other arts). In many ways revolutionary, Beethoven's music remains universally appealing because of its characteristic humanism and dramatic power. Read less
Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas / Bavouzet
Release Date: 11/03/2017   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: CHAN 10960(9)   Number of Discs: 9
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Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 / Szell, Gilels, Cleveland Orchestra
Release Date: 02/10/2017   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 559442   Number of Discs: 3
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Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 / Weil, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
Release Date: 09/22/2017   Label: Tafelmusik Media  
Catalog: 1034   Number of Discs: 6
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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 6, 7 & 8 / Kubelik
Release Date: 11/03/2017   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186250   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol 3 / Bavouzet
Release Date: 11/18/2016   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10925   Number of Discs: 3
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Browse 26-50 of 5295 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 8 / Morris, London Symphony
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1353 Release Date: 10/20/2017  
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Wyn Morris
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 27.
    Boston Symphony Orchestra: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797718 Release Date: 10/20/2017   Number of Discs: 57
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Alexander Scriabin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Zukofsky,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Teresa Berganza  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  William Steinberg,  Rafael Kubelik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Chamber Players
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  • 28.
    Sviatoslav Richter: Eurodisc Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875199912 Release Date: 10/20/2017   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
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  • 29.
    The Paul Badura-Skoda Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4798065 Release Date: 10/20/2017   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Badura-Skoda,  Antonio Janigro,  Jean Fournier,  Otto Ruhm  ... 
    Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Felix Prohaska,  Milan Horvat  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  London Promenade Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 30.
    Beethoven: Triple Concerto & Piano Concerto No. 3 / Vogt, Tetzlaff, Royal Northern Sinfonia
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1297 Release Date: 10/13/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Lars Vogt,  Christian Tetzlaff,  Tanja Tetzlaff
    Conductor:  Lars Vogt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Northern Sinfonia
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  • 31.
    Murray Perahia: The Complete Analogue Recordings (1972-1979)
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 541670 Release Date: 10/13/2017   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Murray Perahia,  Peter Pears
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  • 32.
    Beethoven (Live) / Kissin [Vinyl]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B002733801 Release Date: 10/06/2017   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Evgeny Kissin
    LP: $44.49
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  • 33.
    Beethoven, Ysaye, Schumann & Britten: Cello Works / Worlitzsch, Brauss
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 17463 Release Date: 10/06/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Eugčne Ysa˙e,  Robert Schumann,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Valentino Worlitzsch,  Elisabeth Brauß
    CD: $18.99
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  • 34.
    Beethoven: Complete String Quartets, Vol. 8 / Quartetto di Cremona
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 92688 Release Date: 10/06/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quartetto di Cremona
    CD: $19.99
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  • 35.
    Piano Masters
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002732802 Release Date: 10/06/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Daniil Trifonov,  Evgeny Kissin,  Krystian Zimerman,  Pierre-Laurent Aimard  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 36.
    The Heart of the Cello / Jacqueline Du Pre
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 564137 Release Date: 10/06/2017  
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Frederick Delius,  Antonín Dvorák,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim,  Stephen Kovacevich  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 37.
    Beethoven - Complete Edition 2017
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95510 Release Date: 10/01/2017   Number of Discs: 85
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Helena Döse,  Marga Schiml,  Peter Schreier,  Theo Adam  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt,  David Zinman,  Gérard Oskamp,  Carl-August Bünte  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus,  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra  ... 
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  • 38.
    Andre Navarra: Prague Recordings
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 2542292 Release Date: 09/29/2017   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann,  Ernest Bloch,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Suk,  André Navarra,  Alfred Holecek,  Frantisek Maxian
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl,  Martin Turnovsky,  Constantin Silvestri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
    On sale! $54.99
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  • 39.
    Beethoven: The Complete Sonatas / Goode
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 561659 Release Date: 09/29/2017   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Richard Goode
    CD: $38.99
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  • 40.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 / Weil, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
    Label: Tafelmusik Media   Catalog: 1034 Release Date: 09/22/2017   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Bruno Weil
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos 1 & 4 / Kubelik
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186248 Release Date: 09/15/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $15.99
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  • 42.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 3
    Label: Altus   Catalog: 135 Release Date: 09/15/2017  
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Béla Bartók
    Conductor:  Lothar Zagrosek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart State Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 43.
    Mondscheinsonate: Elly Ney Performs Ludwig van Beethoven
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 109336 Release Date: 09/15/2017   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Elly Ney,  Wilhelm Stross,  Ludwig Hoelscher,  Ingo Sinnhoffer  ... 
    DVD: $68.99
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  • 44.
    Seiji Ozawa at the Matsumoto Festival
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26402 Release Date: 09/15/2017  
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jean-Paul Fouchécourt,  Lydia Teuscher,  Rie Miyake,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saito Kinen Orchestra,  OMF Chorus
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 45.
    Seiji Ozawa at the Matsumoto Festival [Blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26402 Release Date: 09/15/2017  
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Kei Fukui,  Nathalie Stutzmann,  Martha Argerich,  Rie Miyake  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saito Kinen Orchestra,  OMF Chorus
    On sale! $28.99
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  • 46.
    Sir Georg Solti: The Complete Chicago Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4831375 Release Date: 09/15/2017   Number of Discs: 108
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $373.99
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  • 47.
    Vladimir Ashkenazy: The Solo & Chamber Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4832182 Release Date: 09/15/2017   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Wind Soloists
    CD: $236.49
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  • 48.
    Beethoven: Piano Sonatas / Kissin
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002712902 Release Date: 09/08/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Evgeny Kissin
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  • 49.
    Beethoven: String Quintet, Piano Quartet & Grosse Fuge / Budapest Quartet
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 250381 Release Date: 09/08/2017  
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Walter Trampler,  Mieczyslaw Horszowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest String Quartet
    CD: $22.99
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  • 50.
    Humoresque / Fialova, Nouzovsky
    Label: Arcodiva   Catalog: 178 Release Date: 09/08/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonín Dvorák,  Roman Haas,  Petr Fiala  ... 
    Performer:  Kristina Fialova,  Petr Nouzovsky
    CD: $17.99
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