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 / Alice Sara Ott
Release Date: 10/04/2011   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001594502   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Prometheus / Petrou, Armonia Atenea
Release Date: 07/29/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002099302   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Beethoven: The Late Piano Sonatas / Igor Levit
Release Date: 11/05/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 370387   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 2 / Jean-efflam Bavouzet
Release Date: 01/28/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10798   Number of Discs: 3
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Browse 6051-6075 of 6381 Available Recordings
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  • 6051.
    Bratsche! - Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Bridge /Schotten, Et Al
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 638 Release Date: 06/25/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Yizhak Schotten,  Paul Silverthorne,  Katherine Collier,  Peter Rejto  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ann Arbor Sinfonietta
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  • 6052.
    Beethoven, Hindemith, Heiden, Faure, Et Al/ Cerminaro, Carno
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 676 Release Date: 06/15/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heinrich Kaspar Schmid,  Reinhold Gliere,  Paul Hindemith,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Zita Carno,  John Cerminaro
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  • 6053.
    Beethoven, Luke, Plagge, Roseman / Arthur Grossman, Et Al
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 840 Release Date: 06/15/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Ray E. Luke,  Wolfgang Plagge,  Ronald Roseman
    Performer:  Frank Kowalski,  Arthur Grossman,  Peter Mack,  Seth Krimsky
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  • 6054.
    Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Op 31 Nos 1-3 / Alfred Brendel
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 438134 Release Date: 06/15/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
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  • 6055.
    Basic 100 Vol 1 - Beethoven: Symphony No 9 / Mehta
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61550 Release Date: 06/08/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Margaret Price,  Marilyn Horne,  Jon Vickers,  Matti Salminen
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  New York Choral Artists
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  • 6056.
    Classics For All Seasons - Summer
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80324 Release Date: 05/25/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Fauré,  Ernesto Lecuona  ... 
    Performer:  Yolanda Kondonassis,  Henryk Tritt
    Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos,  Leonard Slatkin,  Erich Kunzel,  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Pops  ... 
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  • 6057.
    Marches In Hi-fi / Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops Orchestra
    Label: Rca Victor Living Stereo   Catalog: 61249 Release Date: 05/11/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Miklós Rózsa,  Jean Sibelius,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 6058.
    Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol VIII / John O'Conor
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80335 Release Date: 04/27/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  John O'Conor
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  • 6059.
    Beethoven: The Early String Quartets / Vermeer Quartet
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 91494 Release Date: 04/13/1993   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Shmuel Ashkenasi,  Pierre Menard,  Richard Young,  Marc Johnson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vermeer String Quartet
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  • 6060.
    Beethoven: The Late String Quartets / Vermeer Quartet
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 91496 Release Date: 04/13/1993   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Marc Johnson,  Richard Young,  Shmuel Ashkenasi,  Pierre Menard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vermeer String Quartet
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  • 6061.
    Beethoven: The Middle String Quartets / Vermeer Quartet
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 91495 Release Date: 04/13/1993   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Richard Young,  Marc Johnson,  Shmuel Ashkenasi,  Pierre Menard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vermeer String Quartet
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  • 6062.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerti 3 & 4 / K Zimerman, Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4297492 Release Date: 04/01/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 6063.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5 / Zimerman, Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 429748 Release Date: 04/01/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 6064.
    Beethoven: Quartets Op 59 No 1, Op 131 / Schneiderhan
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 315931 Release Date: 03/30/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Otto Strasser,  Wolfgang Schneiderhan,  Ernst Moravec,  Richard Krotschak
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schneiderhan String Quartet
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  • 6065.
    Beethoven: The Pianos Concertos / Kempff, Van Kempen
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435744 Release Date: 03/16/1993   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff
    Conductor:  Paul Van Kempen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 6066.
    Beethoven: Serenade, Trio, Duo / Milan, Azzolini, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 9108 Release Date: 03/15/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Louise Williams,  Levon Chilingirian,  Susan Milan,  Sergio Azzolini  ... 
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  • 6067.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Harnoncourt, Mei, Lipovsek
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 74884 Release Date: 03/09/1993   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Eva Mei,  Robert Holl,  Marjana Lipovsek,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arnold Schoenberg Choir,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
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  • 6068.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto, Overtures / Ferras, Karajan, BPO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 437644 Release Date: 03/01/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Christian Ferras
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 6069.
    The Telarc Collection Vol 7
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 89107 Release Date: 02/23/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ben Bernie,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Paul Dukas,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  André Previn,  Ray Brown,  Mundell Lowe,  Maria Lambros  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Erich Kunzel,  Yoel Levi,  Leonard Slatkin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Pops,  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6070.
    Beethoven: Messe In C, Etc / Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 435391 Release Date: 02/16/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alastair Miles,  Charlotte Margiono,  Catherine Robbin,  William Kendall
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique,  Monteverdi Choir
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  • 6071.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto, Romances 1 & 2 / Menuhin
    Label: Emi Classics Studio Plus   Catalog: 64324 Release Date: 02/16/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin
    Conductor:  John Pritchard,  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 6072.
    Beethoven: Sextet, Quintet, Duet / L'Archibudelli
    Label: Sony Classical Vivarte Series   Catalog: 48076 Release Date: 02/09/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Vera Beths,  Jürgen Kussmaul,  Knut Hasselmann,  Ab Koster  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  L'Archibudelli
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  • 6073.
    Beethoven: String Quartets Op 18 / Budapest String Quartet
    Label: Cbs Masterworks Portrait   Catalog: 52531 Release Date: 02/09/1993   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Mischa Schneider,  Joseph Roisman,  Jac Gorodetsky,  Boris Kroyt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest String Quartet
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  • 6074.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos 3 & 4 / Vladar, Wordsworth
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550122 Release Date: 02/05/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Stefan Vladar
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana
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  • 6075.
    Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol 3 / Jeno Jando
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550150 Release Date: 02/05/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jénö Jandó
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