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
Bach, Mozart, Haydn & Beethoven: Piano Works / Shin
Release Date: 01/19/2018   Label: Steinway & Sons  
Catalog: STNS30068   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Diabelli Variations / Helmchen
Release Date: 01/12/2018   Label: Alpha Productions  
Catalog: 386   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Symphonies No 4 & 7 / Boyd, Manchester Camerata
Release Date: 11/25/2008   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2169   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Symphonies 1 & 3 / Douglas Boyd,  Manchester Camerata
Release Date: 10/01/2009   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2185   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Symphonies No  6  & 8 / Boyd, Manchester Camerata
Release Date: 10/11/2011   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2242   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 26-50 of 5305 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Victor de Sabata: Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon & Decca
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4798196 Release Date: 12/08/2017   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Strauss,  Jean Sibelius,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pia Tassinari,  Ebe Stignani,  Ferruccio Tagliavini,  Italo Tajo
    Conductor:  Victor de Sabata,  Victor De Sabata
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 27.
    Nadia Reisenberg & Erick Friedman In Performance & Conversation
    Label: Roméo Records   Catalog: 7295 Release Date: 12/07/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Recorded Sound,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Strauss,  Spoken Word  ... 
    Performer:  Erick Friedman,  Nadia Reisenberg
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  • 28.
    Beethoven: 9 Symphonies / Bernstein, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797708 Release Date: 12/01/2017   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung
    CD: $81.49
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  • 29.
    Bach, Busoni & Beethoven / Shiokawa, Schiff
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 002734202 Release Date: 11/17/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ferruccio Busoni,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Yuko Shiokawa,  András Schiff
    CD: $22.99
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  • 30.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 / Bohm, Bayreuther Festspiele
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 935171 Release Date: 11/17/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gundula Janowitz,  Jess Thomas,  Grace Bumbry,  George London
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
    CD: $19.99
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  • 31.
    Beethoven: The Complete Wartime Piano Sonata Recordings / Kempff
    Label: Apr   Catalog: 7403 Release Date: 11/17/2017   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff
    CD: $34.99
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  • 32.
    Classic Sonatas for French Horn / James, Partridge
    Label: Ebs   Catalog: 6139 Release Date: 11/17/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Luigi Cherubini,  Franz Danzi
    Performer:  Ifor James,  Jennifer Partridge
    CD: $18.99
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  • 33.
    Decca Sound: The Piano Edition
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4832243 Release Date: 11/17/2017   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Julius Katchen,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  André Previn  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Bernard Haitink,  André Previn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $210.99
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  • 34.
    From Mary Lou to Meistersinger / Kollo
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4828826 Release Date: 11/17/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  René Kollo
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $26.99
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  • 35.
    Late Beethoven / Shaer
    Label: Orchid Classics   Catalog: 100076 Release Date: 11/17/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Ishay Shaer
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  • 36.
    Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Bruckner & Debussy / Klemperer
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5145 Release Date: 11/17/2017   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Bronislaw Gimpel
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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  • 37.
    Sonatas, Variations, Impromptus / Morris
    Label: Quartz Music   Catalog: 2127 Release Date: 11/17/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Schubert,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Olwen Morris
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  • 38.
    Stradivari Marechal Berthier 1716 / Berman, Mazzoccante
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 7733 Release Date: 11/17/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Niccolò Paganini,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Pavel Berman,  Giuliano Mazzoccante
    CD: $32.49
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  • 39.
    Beethoven: Violin Sonatas, Vol. 1 / Hanslip, Driver
    Label: Rubicon   Catalog: 1010 Release Date: 11/10/2017  
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Chloë Hanslip,  Danny Driver
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  • 40.
    Mozart & Beethoven: Violin & Cello Duets / Miranda, Abramov
    Label: Navona   Catalog: 6118 Release Date: 11/10/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Boris Abramov,  Carmine Miranda
    CD: $14.99
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  • 41.
    Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas / Bavouzet
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: CHAN 10960(9) Release Date: 11/03/2017   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
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  • 42.
    Beethoven: String Quartets, Op. 59
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4798120 Release Date: 11/03/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Quartet
    LP: $37.49
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  • 43.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 6, 7 & 8 / Kubelik
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186250 Release Date: 11/03/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $29.99
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  • 44.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 / Bernstein, Vienna Philharmonic [Vinyl]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4798118 Release Date: 11/03/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    LP: $29.99
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  • 45.
    Beethoven: The Late Quartets / Quatuor Mosaiques
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5445 Release Date: 11/03/2017   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mosaïques String Quartet
    CD: $24.99
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  • 46.
    Die Himmel ruhmen
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 16041 Release Date: 11/03/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Georg Ebeling,  Melchior Vulpius,  Johannes Cruger,  Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi  ... 
    Performer:  Cornelius Beck,  Daniela Jooß-Kesselmeyer,  Hannelore Finkbeiner,  Barbel Rieger  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerhard Wilhelm,  Helmuth Rilling,  Michael Nonnenmann,  Karl-Friedrich Beringer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Hymnus Boys Choir,  Stuttgart Bach Collegium,  Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart  ... 
    CD: $34.99
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  • 47.
    Romance / Lang Lang
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985466782 Release Date: 11/03/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Lang Lang
    CD: $11.99
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  • 48.
    Leonard Bernstein: Remastered Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 541714 Release Date: 10/27/2017   Number of Discs: 100
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Darius Milhaud,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Shapero  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
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  • 49.
    Sviatoslav Richter: Live at Carnegie Hall 1960
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985395212 Release Date: 10/27/2017   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
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  • 50.
    BBC Legends, Vol. 2
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5141 Release Date: 10/20/2017   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Niccolò Paganini,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Nathan Milstein,  Ernest Lush  ... 
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Rudolf Schwarz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $59.98
    CD: $52.99
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