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: The Complete Symphonies; Concertos; Overtures
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8501204   Number of Discs: 12
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Beethoven: Fidelio / Altmeyer, Masur, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Release Date: 04/29/2016   Label: Eurodisc  
Catalog: 88875194822   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Piano Concertos / Kempff
Release Date: 08/26/2016   Label: Apr Recordings  
Catalog: APR6019   Number of Discs: 2
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The Late Beethoven Sonatas / Kempff
Release Date: 08/26/2016   Label: Apr Recordings  
Catalog: APR6018   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Complete String Quartets, Vol. 6 / Quartetto di Cremona
Release Date: 08/12/2016   Label: Audite  
Catalog: AUD92685   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 26-50 of 5288 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 / Rajski, Polish Chamber Philharmonic [Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: TACET974BDA Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Agnieszka Rehlis,  Bomi Lee,  Krystian Adam Krzeszowiak,  Tareq Nazmi
    Conductor:  Wojciech Rajski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra,  Schola Cantorum Gedanensis,  Polish Chamber Choir
    On sale! $97.99
    Blu-ray Audio: $94.99
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  • 27.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 / Rajski, Polish Chamber Philharmonic
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: TACET219SACD Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Bomi Lee,  Agnieszka Rehlis,  Krystian Adam Krzeszowiak,  Tareq Nazmi
    Conductor:  Wojciech Rajski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Gedanensis,  Polish Chamber Choir,  Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $22.99
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  • 28.
    Dean: Shadow Music / Swedish Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Bis   Catalog: BIS-2194 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Brett Dean,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Brett Dean
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Chamber Orchestra
    On sale! $21.99
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  • 29.
    Felipe Browne, Vol. 3
    Label: Claudio   Catalog: CR6034-2 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Felipe Browne
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  • 30.
    Felipe Browne, Vol. 3 [DVD Audio]
    Label: Claudio   Catalog: CR6034-6 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Felipe Browne
    DVD Audio: $24.99
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  • 31.
    Piano Daydreams / Argerich, Barenboim, Lang
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B002529802 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Claude Debussy,  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Marc Luisada,  Dino Ciani,  Alexis Weissenberg,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 32.
    Change of Keys / Leone
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1616 Release Date: 08/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Carol Leone
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  • 33.
    100 Best Classics
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556480 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Barry Tuckwell,  Mikhail Rudy,  Maria-Joao Pires  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Kent Nagano,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Alberto Lysy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Lysy,  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 34.
    111: The Violin – Legendary Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B002523902 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Giya Kancheli,  Arvo Pärt  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Shmuel Ashkenasi,  Hélčne Grimaud,  Giuliano Carmignola  ... 
    Conductor:  Heribert Esser,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Andrea Marcon,  Reinhard Goebel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Venice Baroque Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $168.98
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  • 35.
    50 Best Classics
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556482 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Barry Tuckwell,  Mikhail Rudy,  Maria-Joao Pires  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Kent Nagano,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Alberto Lysy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Lysy,  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 36.
    Color Me Classical
    Label: Decca   Catalog: B002528702 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Erik Satie,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  Pascal Rogé,  Emma Johnson,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Music Lab Collective
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  • 37.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1, 2 & 3 / Jansons, Bavarian Radio Symphony
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102175 Release Date: 07/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 38.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-3 / Jansons, Bavarian Radio Symphony [Blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 108098 Release Date: 07/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $29.99
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  • 39.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 4, 5 & 6 / Jansons, Bavarian Radio Symphony
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102176 Release Date: 07/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 40.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 4-6 / Jansons, Bavarian Radio Symphony [Blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 108099 Release Date: 07/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $29.99
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  • 41.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 7, 8 & 9 / Jansons, Bavarian Radio Symphony
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102177 Release Date: 07/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Christiane Karg,  Mihoko Fujimura,  Michael Schade,  Michael Volle
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 42.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 7-9 / Jansons, Bavarian Radio Symphony [Blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 108100 Release Date: 07/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Mihoko Fujimura,  Christiane Karg,  Michael Schade,  Michael Volle
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
    Blu-ray Video: $29.99
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  • 43.
    Yojo, 19
    Label: Tyxart   Catalog: TXA16074 Release Date: 07/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Yojo Christen,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Yojo Christen
    CD: $18.99
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  • 44.
    Pinchas Zukerman: Complete Recordings on DG, Decca, & Philips
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B002514302 Release Date: 07/22/2016   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Midori,  Daniel Barenboim,  Marc Neikrug  ... 
    Conductor:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim,  Charles Dutoit,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $78.99
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  • 45.
    Emerson String Quartet: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B002514572 Release Date: 07/15/2016   Number of Discs: 52
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Béla Bartók,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Carol Wincenc,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Thomas Hampson,  Menahem Pressler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
    CD: $159.99
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  • 46.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 / Blunier, Beethoven Orchester Bonn
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 9371899 Release Date: 07/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Stefan Blunier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Beethoven Orchestra Bonn
    SuperAudio CD: $22.49
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  • 47.
    Creation / Poulenc Trio
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3516 Release Date: 07/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alfred Schnittke,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Octavio Vazquez
    Performer:  Lia Purpura
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Poulenc Trio
    CD: $17.99
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  • 48.
    Grand Piano Masters: Concertos by Beethoven & Ustvolskaya / Hase, Leipold, Ensemble Galina
    Label: K & K Verlagsanstalt   Catalog: 123 Release Date: 07/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Galina Ustvolskaya
    Performer:  Patricia Hase
    Conductor:  Peter Leipold
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Galina
    CD: $18.99
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  • 49.
    The Britannic Organ, Vol. 12
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 1841 Release Date: 07/08/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  George Frideric Handel,  Basil Harwood  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Welte,  Eugene Gigout,  Herbert Walton,  Alfred Sittard  ... 
    CD: $34.99
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  • 50.
    Beethoven: The 9 Symphonies (1963 Recording) / Karjan, Berlin Philharmonic [Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002506446 Release Date: 07/01/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gundula Janowitz,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan,  Waldemar Kmentt,  Walter Berry
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
    Blu-ray Audio: $32.49
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