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: Symphony No. 9 / Shaw, Atlanta Symphony
Release Date: 04/29/2016   Label: Aso Media (Label)  
Catalog: 1007   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven, Period. / Haimovitz, O'Riley
Release Date: 02/10/2015   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 186475   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Piano Concertos 4 & 5 / Sudbin, Vanska, Minnesota Orchestra
Release Date: 01/25/2011   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1758   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Complete Sonatas for Piano & Violin / Roscoe, Little
Release Date: 02/26/2016   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10888   Number of Discs: 3
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Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 - Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 24 / Sudbin, Vanska
Release Date: 02/25/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1978   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 26-50 of 5256 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Minaar, De Vriend, Netherlands Symphony
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72712 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Hannes Minnaar
    Conductor:  Jan Willem de Vriend
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Symphony Orchestra
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  • 27.
    Beethoven: The Early String Quartets / Cypress String Quartet
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2348 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cypress String Quartet
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  • 28.
    Beethoven: The Late String Quartets / Cypress String Quartet
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2356 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cypress String Quartet
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  • 29.
    Great Moments at Carnegie Hall (Selected Highlights)
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 530420 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Paul de Schlözer,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Ronald Turini,  Artur Rubinstein,  Jorge Bolet,  Van Cliburn  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Arturo Toscanini,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra of St. Luke's
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  • 30.
    Love & Friendship (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 531493 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Esdraffo,  Henry Purcell,  William Boyce,  Mark Suozzo  ... 
    Performer:  Dianne Marshall,  Mark Suozzo,  The Irish Film Orchestra,  William Butt  ... 
    Conductor:  Mark Suozzo
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  • 31.
    Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik / Fricsay [Vinyl]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B002485101 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Bedrich Smetana,  Franz Liszt
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 32.
    The Art of Itzhak Perlman
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 518338 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Itzhak Perlman,  John Williams,  Pinchas Zukerman  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Juilliard String Quartet
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  • 33.
    The Art of Murray Perahia
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 518339 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Murray Perahia,  Radu Lupu
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Bernard Haitink,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Yehudi Menuhin: The Complete American Victor Recordings
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 519854 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Edouard Lalo,  Max Bruch,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Adolf Baller,  Wanda Landowska,  Carroll Hollister  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux,  Charles Munch,  Antal Doráti,  George Enescu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $34.98
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  • 35.
    Awakening
    Label: Shadow Mountain   Catalog: 5146683 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Nelson,  Giacomo Puccini,  John Newton,  Carl Orff  ... 
    Performer:  Jenny Oaks Baker,  Condoleezza Rice,  Lexi Walker
    CD: $14.99
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  • 36.
    Bamberg Symphony: The First 70 Years
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002474902 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonín Dvorák,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff,  Carl Seemann,  Pilar Lorengar,  Gottlob Frick  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth,  Fritz Lehmann,  Ferdinand Leitner,  Richard Krauss  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $47.98
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  • 37.
    Beethoven & Auerbach: Piano Works / Grau
    Label: Tyx Art   Catalog: 15068 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Lera Auerbach
    Performer:  Georg Michael Grau
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  • 38.
    Beethoven & Ries: Cello Works / Teichmanis, Staemmler
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 38533 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ferdinand Ries,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Juris Teichmanis,  Hansjacob Staemmler
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  • 39.
    Beethoven: Complete String Quartets, Vol. 5 / Quartetto di Cremona
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 92684 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Lawrence Dutton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quartetto di Cremona
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  • 40.
    Beethoven: Fidelio / Altmeyer, Masur, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
    Label: Eurodisc   Catalog: 88875194822 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Rudiger Wohlers,  Carola Nossek,  Siegfried Jerusalem,  Jeanine Altmeyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Radio Chorus,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Beethoven: Fidelio / Kaufmann, Harnoncourt
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 109223 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gabriel Bermudez,  László Polgár,  Camilla Nylund,  Jonas Kaufmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera Chorus,  Zurich Opera Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Beethoven: Fidelio / Kaufmann, Harnoncourt [Blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 109224 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Boguslaw Bidzinski,  Christoph Strehl,  Elizabeth Magnuson,  Günther Groissböck  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera Chorus,  Zurich Opera Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 43.
    Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 3 / Buchbinder
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 73508 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder
    On sale! $29.99
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  • 44.
    Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 3 / Buchbinder [Blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 734604 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 45.
    Beethoven: Sonatas for Violin & Piano / Dawes, Coop
    Label: Skylark Digital   Catalog: 101 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Andrew Dawes,  Jane Coop
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  • 46.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 3
    Label: Alia Vox   Catalog: 9916 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Jordi Savall
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert des Nations
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  • 47.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 / Shaw, Atlanta Symphony
    Label: Aso Media (Label)   Catalog: 1007 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Richard Leech,  Benita Valente,  Janice Taylor,  William Stone
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Atlanta Symphony Chorus
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  • 48.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto - Brahms: Violin Sonata, Op. 100 / De Vito
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95621 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Tommaso Antonio Vitali
    Performer:  Gioconda De Vito,  Michael Raucheisen
    Conductor:  Georg Ludwig Jochum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Devienne, Donizetti, Beethoven, Morlacchi-Torriani: Bassoon Trios / Data, Carbotta, Barbareschi
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95251 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  François Devienne,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonio Torriani
    Performer:  Massimo Data,  Mario Carbotta,  Piero Barbareschi
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  • 50.
    Europakonzert: 25 DVD Anniversary Box (1991-2015) / Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26098 Release Date: 04/29/2016  
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Leonidas Kavakos,  Mikhail Pletnev,  Violeta Urmana,  Elke Wilm Schulte  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Pierre Boulez,  Gustavo Dudamel,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Choir,  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir
    On sale! $118.99
    DVD: $113.99
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