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
Murray Perahia plays Beethoven
Release Date: 10/28/2016   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 88843013312   Number of Discs: 5
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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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Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Harnoncourt, Concentus musicus Wien
Release Date: 07/15/2016   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 531359   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: The Symphonies / Thielemann, Vienna [6 CD]
Release Date: 01/08/2016   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 88875112822   Number of Discs: 6
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Helene Grimaud Piano Recital - Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Rachimaninov
Release Date: 10/29/2013   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4891   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 26-50 of 5096 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Beethoven: The Young Innovator - 3 Piano Sonatas / Coop
    Label: Skylark Digital   Catalog: 1601 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jane Coop
    CD: $17.99
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  • 27.
    Beethoven: Works for Flute & Fortepiano / Di Felice, Giammarco
    Label: Stradivarius   Catalog: 37049 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Enrico Di Felice,  Francesco Giammarco
    CD: $17.99
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  • 28.
    Charles Munch: The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 516979 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 86
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Vincent D'Indy  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Artur Rubinstein,  Margaret Roggero,  Leslie Chabey  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Harvard Glee Club  ... 
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  • 29.
    Ludwig Van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 13, Op. 130; Grosse Fugue, Op. 133; Quintet For Piano And Winds, Op. 16
    Label: Phi   Catalog: 023 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northernlight
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  • 30.
    Murray Perahia plays Beethoven
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88843013312 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Murray Perahia
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  • 31.
    Rene Jacobs: The Countertenor - The Accent Recordings 1978-1982
    Label: Accent   Catalog: 24321 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Johann Christoph Bach,  Georg Philipp Telemann  ... 
    Performer:  René Jacobs,  Wieland Kuijken,  Konrad Junghänel,  Jos van Immerseel  ... 
    Conductor:  Sigiswald Kuijken
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kuijken Consort,  Parnassus Ensemble,  Ghent Collegium Vocale  ... 
    CD: $34.99
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  • 32.
    The Complete RCA Recordings / Isserlis
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88985312572 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann,  Woldemar Bargiel  ... 
    Performer:  Steven Isserlis,  Matthew Wilkie,  Marieke Blankestijn,  Douglas Boyd  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 33.
    The Golden Era of Living Stereo: Remastered Collector's Edition
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 532174 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Pietro Nardini,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  Stuart Sankey,  Ania Dorfmann,  Leonid Kogan,  Andrei Mitnik  ... 
    Conductor:  Howard Mitchell,  Arthur Fiedler,  Arturo Basile,  Robert Shaw  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Festival Quartet,  Portland Symphonic Choir,  Choir Of The Abbey Of Mount Angel  ... 
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  • 34.
    Sviatoslav Richter: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 557828 Release Date: 10/21/2016   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alban Berg  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  David Oistrakh,  Oleg Kagan  ... 
    Conductor:  Yuri Bashmet,  Lorin Maazel,  Herbert von Karajan,  Riccardo Muti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto,  Orchestre de Paris,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 35.
    Bach, Beethoven & Medtner: Piano Works / Debargue
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985341762 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Nikolai Medtner
    Performer:  Lucas Debargue
    CD: $11.99
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  • 36.
    Beethoven & Brahms: Violin Concertos / Neveu
    Label: Swr Music   Catalog: SWR19018CD Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Ginette Neveu
    Conductor:  Roger Desormičre,  Hans Rosbaud
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française,  SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Beethoven & Bruch: Violin Concertos / Accardo, Masur, Gewandhausorchester
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: PTC5186237 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 38.
    Beethoven: Diabelli Variations / O'Conor
    Label: Steinway & Sons   Catalog: STNS30054 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  John O'Conor
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  • 39.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 / Laycock, Vienna Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Westminster Choir College   Catalog: WCC1610 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Leah Wool,  Ah Young Hong,  William Burden,  Mark S. Doss
    Conductor:  Mark Laycock
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Chamber Orchestra,  Westminster Symphonic Choir
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  • 40.
    Bruckner, Schubert, Brahms & Beethoven: Symphonies / Wand, Munich Philharmonic
    Label: Profil   Catalog: PH16060 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Emil Gilels: 100th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: MELCD1002433 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Alexander Alyabyev,  Arno Babadjanyan,  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    CD: $499.99
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  • 42.
    Eugen Jochum: Complete Recordings on DG, Vol. 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002565702 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
    CD: $108.49
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  • 43.
    Evgeny Kissin: The Complete RCA & Sony Classical Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5033827 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Evgeny Kissin,  Mikhail Milman,  Boris Garlitsky,  Vladimir Spivakov  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev,  Vladimir Spivakov,  Seiji Ozawa,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 44.
    Fritz Wunderlich: Complete Studio Recordings on DG
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002565802 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 32
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Alban Berg  ... 
    Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich
    CD: $90.99
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  • 45.
    Beethoven: Complete Sonatas for Piano & Violin / Fouchenneret, Descharmes
    Label: Aparte   Catalog: 129 Release Date: 10/07/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Pierre Fouchenneret,  Romain Descharmes
    CD: $23.99
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  • 46.
    Beethoven: Sonatas & Variations for Cello & Piano / Capucon, Braley
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 557653 Release Date: 10/07/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gautier Capuçon,  Frank Braley
    CD: $16.99
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  • 47.
    Claudio Arrau: The Complete RCA Victor & Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 307165 Release Date: 10/07/2016   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Karl Krueger,  Desiré DeFauw,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 48.
    A Century Of Piano Classics
    Label: Skylark Digital   Catalog: 0901 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Jane Coop
    CD: $17.99
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  • 49.
    Beethoven & Strauss: Orchestral Works / Randalu, Jarvi, ENSO
    Label: Estonian Rec Productions   Catalog: 8916 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Kalle Randalu
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 50.
    Beethoven: Complete Symphonies / Jordan, Paris National Opera Orchestra
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 109248 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Daniela Sindram,  Ricarda Merbeth,  Robert Dean Smith,  Günther Groissböck
    Conductor:  Philippe Jordan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris National Opera Orchestra,  Paris National Opera Chorus
    DVD: $68.99
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