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: Complete String Quartets / Belcea Quartet
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Zig Zag  
Catalog: 344   Number of Discs: 8
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Beethoven, Mozart: Violin Concertos / Schneiderhan
Release Date: 02/13/1996   Label: Dg The Originals  
Catalog: 447403   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 8, 14 & 23 / Alfred Brendel
Release Date: 10/25/1990   Label: Philips  
Catalog: 411470   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: Complete Works For Solo Piano Vol 13: The Rage Over A Lost Penny / Brautigam
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1892   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 6051-6075 of 6346 Available Recordings
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  • 6051.
    Mozartiana- Piano Transcriptions / Cyprien Katsaris
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 52551 Release Date: 01/12/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Cyprien Katsaris,  Edwin Fischer,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 6052.
    Intimate Encounters
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3505 Release Date: 12/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  David Shifrin,  Carol Rosenberger,  Allan Vogel,  Kenneth Munday  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orford String Quartet,  Chamber Music Northwest
    CD: $9.99
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  • 6053.
    Soundscapes Vol 1 - A Delos Digital Compact Disc Sampler
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3500 Release Date: 12/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Igor Stravinsky,  Maurice Ravel,  Francisco Tarrega  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Burns,  Carol Rosenberger,  Celedonio Romero,  Susann McDonald  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  New York Chamber Symphony  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 6054.
    Soundscapes Vol 2 - A Delos Digital Compact Disc Sampler
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3501 Release Date: 12/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Sigfrid Karg-Elert,  Olivier Messiaen  ... 
    Performer:  John Browning,  Robert Noehren,  Warren Lash,  William Doppmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz,  Aldo Parisot
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra,  Chamber Music Northwest,  Orford String Quartet  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 6055.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 4, Symphony No 5 / Schwarz
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3027 Release Date: 12/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Carol Rosenberger
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6056.
    Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Opp 57 & 111 / Carol Rosenberger
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3009 Release Date: 12/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Carol Rosenberger
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6057.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 1 & 8, Etc / Schwarz, Los Angeles Co
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3013 Release Date: 12/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6058.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 6 / Schwarz, Y Chamber Symphony
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3017 Release Date: 12/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Chamber Symphony
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6059.
    Beethoven: The Complete Quartets Vol I / Orford Quartet
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3031 Release Date: 12/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Andrew Dawes,  Kenneth Perkins,  Terence Helmer,  Denis Brott
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orford String Quartet
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6060.
    Beethoven: The Complete Quartets Vol Ii / Orford Quartet
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3032 Release Date: 12/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Kenneth Perkins,  Andrew Dawes,  Terence Helmer,  Denis Brott
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orford String Quartet
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6061.
    Beethoven: The Complete Quartets Vol Iii / Orford Quartet
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3033 Release Date: 12/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Kenneth Perkins,  Terence Helmer,  Andrew Dawes,  Denis Brott
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orford String Quartet
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6062.
    Beethoven: The Complete Quartets Vol Iv / Orford Quartet
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3034 Release Date: 12/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Andrew Dawes,  Kenneth Perkins,  Terence Helmer,  Denis Brott
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orford String Quartet
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6063.
    Beethoven: The Complete Quartets Vol V / Orford Quartet
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3035 Release Date: 12/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Kenneth Perkins,  Andrew Dawes,  Terence Helmer,  Denis Brott
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orford String Quartet
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6064.
    Mozart, Beethoven: Piano And Wind Quintets / Rosenberger
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3024 Release Date: 12/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Robin Graham,  David Shifrin,  Kenneth Munday,  Allan Vogel  ... 
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  • 6065.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Terje Kvam, Hanover Band
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5109 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Marianne Hirsti,  Carolyn Watkinson,  Andrew Murgatroyd,  Michael George  ... 
    Conductor:  Terje Kvam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band,  Oslo Cathedral Choir
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  • 6066.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 / Roy Goodman, Hanover Band, Et Al
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5144 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jean Bailey,  Andrew Murgatroyd,  Michael George,  Eiddwen Harrhy
    Conductor:  Monica Huggett,  Roy Goodman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band,  Oslo Cathedral Choir
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  • 6067.
    Prima Voce - Chaliapin
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7823 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Jacques Ibert,  Alexander Grechaninov,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  George Godzinsky,  Feodor Chaliapin,  Cedric Sharpe,  Ivor Newton  ... 
    Conductor:  Jacques Ibert,  Nicolai Afonsky,  Max Steimann,  Lawrence Collingwood  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Metropolitan Church Choir Paris,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6068.
    Prima Voce - Divas Vol 1 (1906-1935)
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7802 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Stefano Donaudy,  Arrigo Boito  ... 
    Performer:  Nina Koshetz,  Claudia Muzio,  Maria Németh,  Eidé Noréna  ... 
    Conductor:  Stanford Robinson
    CD: $11.99
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  • 6069.
    Prima Voce - Great Singers At The Berlin State Opera
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7848 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Richard Strauss,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Gerhard Hüsch,  Erna Berger,  Tiana Lemnitz,  Else Ruziczka  ... 
    Conductor:  Hanns Udo Müller,  Clemens Krauss,  Erich Orthmann,  Fritz Zweig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 6070.
    Prima Voce - Kirsten Flagstad
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7847 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Edwin McArthur,  Hans Lange
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  San Francisco Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 6071.
    Piano Classics - Popular Works For Solo Piano / O'Conor
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80313 Release Date: 11/17/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Edvard Grieg,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  John O'Conor
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6072.
    Beethoven: Eroica Variations, Etc / Bruno Gelber
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 40841 Release Date: 11/13/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Bruno-Leonardo Gelber
    CD: $22.49
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  • 6073.
    Beethoven: String Quartets Op 131 & 135 / Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435779 Release Date: 11/10/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 6074.
    Alfred Brendel Plays Beethoven Piano Sonatas Vol I
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5028 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
    CD: $13.99
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  • 6075.
    Alfred Brendel Plays Beethoven Piano Sonatas, Vol Iii
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5056 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
    CD: $11.49
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