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 Barenboim
Release Date: 12/02/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 558505   Number of Discs: 35
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Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 29
Release Date: 03/25/2016   Label: Alpha Productions  
Catalog: 239   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Violin Concerto & Sonata No. 9
Release Date: 02/10/2017   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 559443   Number of Discs: 1
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At  Carnegie Hall - Bach, Schumann, Janacek, Beethoven, Bartok / Piotr Anderszewski
Release Date: 06/02/2009   Label: Erato  
Catalog: 67291   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: The Late String Quartets / Cypress String Quartet
Release Date: 05/06/2016   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2356   Number of Discs: 3
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Browse 26-50 of 5186 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    The Welte Mignon Mystery Vol. 21: Alferd Grunfeld
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: 220 Release Date: 01/13/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Grunfeld
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  • 27.
    Beethoven: Sonatas for Violin & Piano Nos. 2, 4 & 6 / Hofmeyr, Radoslavov
    Label: Blue Griffin   Catalog: 415 Release Date: 01/09/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Ilia Radoslavov,  Zanta Hofmeyr
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  • 28.
    Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 3, Symphonies Nos. 7 & 8 / Furtwangler
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350127 Release Date: 01/06/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $23.99
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  • 29.
    Beethoven: The Symphonies & Overtures / Butt, London Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 13 Release Date: 01/06/2017   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Wilke te Brummelstroete,  Neal Davies,  Steve Davislim,  Rebecca Evans
    Conductor:  Yondani Butt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
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  • 30.
    Mstislav Rostropovich: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002593102 Release Date: 01/06/2017   Number of Discs: 37
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Alexander Glazunov  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Martha Argerich,  Rudolf Serkin,  Bruno Giuranna  ... 
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Herbert von Karajan,  Seiji Ozawa,  Paul Sacher  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $124.49
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  • 31.
    Pearls of Classical Music / Fischer
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 17452 Release Date: 01/06/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Caroline Fischer
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  • 32.
    Siv Wennberg - A Great Primadonna: Vol. 8, New Year's Concert
    Label: Sterling   Catalog: 1811 Release Date: 01/06/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wilhelm Peterson-Berger,  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Siv Wennberg,  Bengt Wennberg,  Anders Wadenberg,  Michael Wilson  ... 
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  • 33.
    The American Recordings / Paderewski
    Label: Apr Recordings   Catalog: 2047276 Release Date: 01/06/2017   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  François Couperin,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Ignace Jan Paderewski  ... 
    Performer:  Ignace Jan Paderewski
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  • 34.
    Liszt & Beethoven: Piano Concertos / Mehta, Buniatishvili, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Sony (Nax615) (Dvd)   Catalog: 88985369669 Release Date: 12/30/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Liszt & Beethoven: Piano Concertos / Mehta, Buniatishvili, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra [Blu-ray]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985369679 Release Date: 12/30/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Mutterissimo: The Art of Anne-Sophie Mutter
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002597802 Release Date: 12/23/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Lambert Orkis,  André Previn
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Manfred Honeck,  Kurt Masur,  Paul Sacher  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $23.99
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  • 37.
    The David Oistrakh Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002599502 Release Date: 12/23/2016   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    CD: $76.49
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  • 38.
    Beethoven: Complete Sonatas & Variations for Cello & Piano / Kirshbaum, Wosner
    Label: Onyx   Catalog: 4178 Release Date: 12/16/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Ralph Kirshbaum,  Shai Wosner
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  • 39.
    Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Op. 109 & 110 / Pollini [Vinyl]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B002590601 Release Date: 12/16/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini
    LP: $28.49
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  • 40.
    Beethoven: The Piano Sonatas / Schiff
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 002587102 Release Date: 12/16/2016   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  András Schiff
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  • 41.
    50 Classical Masterworks
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002596702 Release Date: 12/02/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Bedrich Smetana,  Johannes Brahms,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  David Garrett,  Hélčne Grimaud,  Max Richter,  Daniel Hope  ... 
    Conductor:  Gustavo Dudamel,  Rafael Kubelik,  Herbert von Karajan,  André de Ridder  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Konzerthaus Kammerorchester Berlin  ... 
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  • 42.
    Anastasia Rizikov: Piano Recital
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573725 Release Date: 12/02/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Isaac Albeniz,  Juan Cruz-Guevara,  Edvard Grieg
    Performer:  Anastasia Rizikov
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  • 43.
    Beethoven Barenboim
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 558505 Release Date: 12/02/2016   Number of Discs: 35
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Itzhak Perlman  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $74.98
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  • 44.
    Daniel Barenboim - On My New Piano
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002596502 Release Date: 12/02/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
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  • 45.
    Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol 3 / Bavouzet
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10925 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
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  • 46.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 / Blomstedt, Gewandhausorchester
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 20381 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Christian Elsner,  Simona Saturová,  Mihoko Fujimura,  Christian Gerhaher
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gewandhausorchester Leipzig,  Gewandhauschor,  Gewandhauskinderchor
    On sale! $24.99
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  • 47.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 / Blomstedt, Gewandhausorchester [Blu-ray]
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 10381 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Christian Gerhaher,  Mihoko Fujimura,  Simona Saturová,  Christian Elsner
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gewandhausorchester Leipzig,  Gewandhauschor,  Gewandhauskinderchor
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  • 48.
    Beethoven: The Solo Concertos / Vladar, Van Kuelen, Speckel, Wiener Kammerorchester
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 7210 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Stefan Vladar,  Julian Steckel,  Isabelle van Keulen
    Conductor:  Stefan Vladar
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  • 49.
    Complete Concerto Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon / Kremer
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002582102 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Alban Berg,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer,  Heinz Holliger,  Mischa Maisky,  Rainer Keuschnig  ... 
    Conductor:  Gidon Kremer,  Pierre Boulez,  Sir Colin Davis,  Emil Tchakarov  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $103.98
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  • 50.
    Klemperer: Long Journey Through His Times & The Last Concert
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 109289 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Daniel Adni
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $94.99
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