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
George Szell conducts Beethoven
Release Date: 05/12/2017   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 88883737152   Number of Discs: 5
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Beethoven: 10 Symphonies / Morris, London Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 04/05/2011   Label: Musical Concepts  
Catalog: 199   Number of Discs: 5
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Jos van Immerseel: The Accent Recordings, 1979-1986
Release Date: 09/11/2015   Label: Accent  
Catalog: 24311   Number of Discs: 8
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Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 5 / Vogt, Royal Northern Sinfonia
Release Date: 05/19/2017   Label: Ondine  
Catalog: 1292   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven & Possinger: Violin Concertos / Steck
Release Date: 03/24/2017   Label: Accent  
Catalog: 24320   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 26-50 of 5184 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Richard Stoltzman: The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985389642 Release Date: 05/05/2017   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Olivier Messiaen,  Johannes Brahms,  Igor Stravinsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Stoltzman,  Jeremy Wall,  Bill Douglas,  Eddie Gomez  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Stoltzman,  Lawrence Leighton Smith,  Robert Salter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Woody Herman & His Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Tashi  ... 
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  • 27.
    Beethoven, Schumann, Strauss & Vivaldi: Horn Music / Damm
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 0300930 Release Date: 04/28/2017   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Richard Strauss,  Udo Zimmermann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Damm
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  • 28.
    Beethoven: The Piano Trios / TrioVanBeethoven
    Label: Gramola   Catalog: 99134 Release Date: 04/28/2017   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  TrioVanBeethoven
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  • 29.
    Herbert von Karajan & Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797230 Release Date: 04/28/2017   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Arthur Honegger,  Igor Stravinsky,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 30.
    Leonard Bernstein & The Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797221 Release Date: 04/28/2017   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Anton Bruckner,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung
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  • 31.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 - Brahms: Symphony No. 1 / Jarvi, Randalu, Estonian NSO
    Label: Estonian Rec Productions   Catalog: 9416 Release Date: 04/21/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Kalle Randalu
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 & Coriolan Overture - Jost: Fanfare & An die Hoffnung / Sado, Tonkunstler Orchestra
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 740208 Release Date: 04/21/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christian Jost,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Klaus Florian Vogt,  René Pape,  Camilla Nylund,  Elena Zhidkova
    Conductor:  Yutaka Sado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tonkunstler Orchestra,  EUYO Alumni,  Vienna Singverein
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  • 33.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 & Coriolan Overture - Jost: Fanfare & An die Hoffnung / Sado, Tonkunstler Orchestra [Blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 740304 Release Date: 04/21/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christian Jost,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Klaus Florian Vogt,  Elena Zhidkova,  Camilla Nylund,  René Pape
    Conductor:  Yutaka Sado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tonkunstler Orchestra,  EUYO Alumni,  Vienna Singverein
    On sale! $34.99
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  • 34.
    Carl Schuricht: Icon
    Label: Wb / Parlophone   Catalog: 560512 Release Date: 04/21/2017   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orch Ste Conc Du Conservatoire
    CD: $38.99
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  • 35.
    Beethoven: Cello Sonatas, Op. 5 & Variations, WoO 45 / Thiel, Drogosz
    Label: Cd Accord   Catalog: 225 Release Date: 04/14/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jarosław Thiel,  Katarzyna Drogosz
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  • 36.
    Nathan Milstein & Arthur Balsam
    Label: Symphonia   Catalog: ERM1007 Release Date: 04/14/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Niccolň Paganini  ... 
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein,  Artur Balsam
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  • 37.
    Naxos: The Anniversary Collection
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8503293 Release Date: 04/14/2017   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Performer:  Bettina Eger,  Ute Hartwich,  Martin Kevenhörster,  Hans-Martin Kothe  ... 
    Conductor:  Helmut Müller-Brühl,  Georg Tintner,  Robert Stankovsky,  Leonard Slatkin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Chamber Orchestra,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra,  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 38.
    A Noble & Melancholy Instrument / Frank-Gemmill, Beatson
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2228 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Strauss,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Alec Frank-Gemmill,  Alasdair Beatson
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  • 39.
    Artur Schnabel: The RCA Victor Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985389712 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Artur Schnabel
    Conductor:  Frederick Stock
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Beethoven: Complete String Quartets / Takacs Quartet [7 CD + Blu-ray + DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4831317 Release Date: 04/07/2017  
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Takács String Quartet
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  • 41.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Subdin, Vanska, Tapiola Sinfonietta
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2078 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
    SuperAudio CD: $18.99
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  • 42.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 & Fidelio Overture / Jurowski, London Philharmonic
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 0096 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $15.99
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  • 43.
    Beethoven: The Last 3 Piano Sonatas / Richter
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 226 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
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  • 44.
    German Repertoire for Winds, Vol. 1: Beethoven / Les Vents Francais
    Label: Rhino Warner Classic   Catalog: 560463 Release Date: 04/07/2017  
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Vents Français
    CD: $16.99
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  • 45.
    Glenn Gould in the Sixties
    Label: Idis   Catalog: 6724 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Glenn Gould
    CD: $14.99
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  • 46.
    Johan Botha: Wiener Staatsoper Live (1997-2014)
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 906171 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Johan Botha,  Christian Gerhaher,  Cheryl Studer,  James Rutherford  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Franz Welser-Möst,  Simone Young,  Donald Runnicles  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
    On sale! $22.99
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  • 47.
    New York Philharmonic: 175th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 533636 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 65
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Oscar Levant,  Robert Casadesus,  Isaac Stern,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg,  Josef Stransky,  Arturo Toscanini,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 48.
    Perspectives / Grimaud
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002643402 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Béla Bartók,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Hélčne Grimaud
    CD: $17.99
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  • 49.
    Piano Passion / Fischer
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 17464 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Clara Wieck Schumann,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Caroline Fischer
    CD: $17.99
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  • 50.
    Carl Schuricht: The Complete Decca Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4831643 Release Date: 03/31/2017   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Max Bruch,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    CD: $55.49
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