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
Rudolf Serkin Plays Beethoven
Release Date: 11/06/2012   Label: Sony (Nax615)  
Catalog: 988302   Number of Discs: 11
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The Beethoven Journey - Piano Concerto No. 5
Release Date: 09/16/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 305886   Number of Discs: 1
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Leon Fleisher Plays Beethoven & Brahms
Release Date: 08/07/2012   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 1918052   Number of Discs: 5
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Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5 / Freire, Chailly
Release Date: 09/30/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002153402   Number of Discs: 1
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Pinchas Zukerman Plays Beethoven - The Violin Sonatas
Release Date: 08/26/2014   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 440142   Number of Discs: 4
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Browse 6101-6125 of 6298 Available Recordings
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  • 6101.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 1 & 6 / Szell, Cleveland Orchestra
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 46532 Release Date: 08/19/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 6102.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 9, Etc / Szell, Cleveland Orchestra
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 46533 Release Date: 08/19/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Adele Addison,  Donald Bell,  Richard Lewis,  Jane Hobson
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra Chorus
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  • 6103.
    The Legendary Concerto Recordings 1950-1956 / Rudolf Serkin
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 47269 Release Date: 07/26/1991   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Rudolf Serkin
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 6104.
    Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Op. 10 / Richard Goode
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 79213 Release Date: 07/20/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Richard Goode
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  • 6105.
    Marlboro Fest 40th Anniversary - Beethoven: Quintet, Trios
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 47296 Release Date: 07/16/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Yuzuko Horigome,  Rudolf Serkin,  Peter Wiley,  Alain Meunier  ... 
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  • 6106.
    The Glorious Sound Of Christmas / Ormandy, Philadelphia
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 6369 Release Date: 07/16/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Traditional,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Temple University Concert Choir,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 6107.
    Beethoven: The Piano Sonatas / Wilhelm Kempff
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 429306 Release Date: 07/12/1991   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff
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  • 6108.
    The Great Violin Concertos / Yehudi Menuhin
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67310 Release Date: 07/05/1991   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Christian Ferras
    Conductor:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Efrem Kurtz,  Walter Susskind,  Rudolf Kempe  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bath Festival Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6109.
    Bach, Chopin, Beethoven / Mieczyslaw Horszowski
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 79232 Release Date: 06/25/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Mieczyslaw Horszowski
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  • 6110.
    Beethoven: The Op. 31 Sonatas / Richard Goode
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 79212 Release Date: 06/25/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Richard Goode
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  • 6111.
    Beethoven: Ninth Symphony / Mehta, Price, Horne, Ny Phil
    Label: Rca Victrola   Catalog: 60477 Release Date: 06/21/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Margaret Price,  Marilyn Horne,  Jon Vickers,  Matti Salminen
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Choral Artists
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  • 6112.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 4 & 5 / Ashkenazy, Mehta
    Label: London/Decca Jubilee   Catalog: 430704 Release Date: 06/14/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 6113.
    Isaac Stern Collection- The Trio Recordings Vol 2
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46738 Release Date: 05/31/1991   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Eugene Istomin,  Leonard Rose,  Isaac Stern
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  • 6114.
    The Wedding Album / Anthony Newman
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 47273 Release Date: 05/24/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  André Campra,  Franz Schubert,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Anthony Newman
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  • 6115.
    The Solti Collection - Beethoven: Symphony No 9 / Lorengar, Minton, Burrows, Talvela
    Label: London/Decca Jubilee   Catalog: 430438 Release Date: 05/10/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Yvonne Minton,  Martti Talvela,  Stuart Burrows,  Pilar Lorengar
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 6116.
    Concert Of The Century / Bernstein, Horowitz, Stern, Et Al
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46743 Release Date: 04/19/1991   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Isaac Stern,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Vladimir Horowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Lyndon Woodside
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oratorio Society of New York,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 6117.
    Midori Live At Carnegie Hall
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46742 Release Date: 04/19/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Robert McDonald,  Midori
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  • 6118.
    Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol VI / John O'Conor
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80261 Release Date: 04/12/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  John O'Conor
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  • 6119.
    Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 14, 23, 24 & 26 / Robert Casadesus
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 46345 Release Date: 04/05/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Robert Casadesus
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  • 6120.
    Beethoven: The Middle String Quartets / Tokyo Quartet
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 60462 Release Date: 04/05/1991   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
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  • 6121.
    Beethoven: Violin Sonatas / Francescatti, Casadesus
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 46342 Release Date: 04/05/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Zino Francescatti,  Robert Casadesus
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  • 6122.
    The Best Of Beethoven
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8551101 Release Date: 03/24/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Balázs Szokolay,  Stefan Vladar,  Takako Nishizaki,  Jénö Jandó
    Conductor:  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Barry Wordsworth,  Kenneth Jean,  Michael Halász  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra,  Capella Istropolitana,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6123.
    Beethoven: The 32 Piano Sonatas / Artur Schnabel
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 63765 Release Date: 03/15/1991   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Artur Schnabel
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  • 6124.
    Beethoven: Fidelio / Haitink, Norman, Goldberg, Moll
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 426308 Release Date: 02/08/1991   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Kurt Moll,  Pamela Coburn,  Hans-Peter Blochwitz,  Ekkehard Wlaschiha  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus
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  • 6125.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / John Eliot Gardiner
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 429779 Release Date: 02/08/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  William Kendall,  Catherine Robbin,  Charlotte Margiono,  Alastair Miles
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
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