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: Piano Concertos No 3 & 4 / Bronfman
Release Date: 09/13/2005   Label: Arte Nova  
Catalog: 640100   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5, Choral Fantasy / Bronfman, Zinman
Release Date: 11/14/2006   Label: Arte Nova  
Catalog: 825850   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Triple Concerto, Septet / Shaham, Bronfman, Zinman
Release Date: 04/11/2006   Label: Arte Nova  
Catalog: 640150   Number of Discs: 1
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The Beethoven Journey - Piano Concertos No 1-5 / 	Leif Ove Andsnes
Release Date: 10/27/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 305887   Number of Discs: 3
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Helene Grimaud Piano Recital - Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Rachimaninov
Release Date: 10/29/2013   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4891   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Missa solemnis in D major, Op. 123

Browse 1-25 of 82 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Donath, Soffel, Jerusalem, Sotin, Solti
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 77 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Siegfried Jerusalem,  Doris Soffel,  Hans Sotin,  Helen Donath
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Edinburgh Festival Chorus,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Mackerras, Sydney Symphony
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4763517 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Warwick Dunham,  Rosamund Illing,  Elizabeth Campbell,  Rodney Macann  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sydney Symphony Orchestra,  Sydney Philharmonic Choir
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  • 3.
    Karajan 1947-1958: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms - Choral Music
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633629 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Nicolai Gedda,  Marga Höffgen,  Heinz Rehfuss  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Leonard Bernstein Collection Vol 1 [59 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 2027800 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Leonard Bernstein,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Kurt Moll,  Hanna Schwarz  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Concert Choir,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    Sir Colin Davis - The Complete RCA Legacy
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 300607 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Jan-Hendrik Rootering,  Barbara Fleckenstein,  Ben Heppner,  Heinrich Weber  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $119.98
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  • 6.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Crowe, Johnston, Gilchrist, Rose, Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir
    Label: Soli Deo Gloria Records   Catalog: 718 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  James Gilchrist,  Lucy Crowe,  Matthew Rose,  Jennifer Johnston
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique,  Monteverdi Choir
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  • 7.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Klemperer, Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22302 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Else Schürhoff,  Erich Majkut,  Otto Wiener,  Else Schuerhoff  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Academy Choir
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  • 8.
    BBC Legends - Great Recordings from the Archive
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5113 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Robert Schumann,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Beryl Hatt,  Agnes Giebel,  Joyce Barker,  Kerstin Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein,  Yevgeny Mravinsky,  Arturo Toscanini,  Kiril Kondrashin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orpington Junior Singers,  Goldsmiths' Choral Union  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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  • 9.
    Beethoven - Complete Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94630 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 86
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Helena Döse,  Marga Schiml,  Peter Schreier,  Theo Adam  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt,  David Zinman,  Gérard Oskamp,  Carl-August Bünte  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus,  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $148.99
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  • 10.
    Berlin Philharmonic - Centenary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001923302 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Walter Berry,  Gundula Janowitz,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Nikisch,  Alfred Hertz,  Richard Strauss,  Bruno Walter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Swedish Radio Chorus  ... 
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  • 11.
    Sacred Music - Bach, Handel, Beethoven / Klemperer
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 935402 Release Date: 08/20/2013   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Franz Crass,  Agnes Giebel,  Nicolai Gedda,  Dame Janet Baker  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  BBC Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Masur, Leipzig Gewandhaus [LP]
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300525 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Annelies Burmeister,  Peter Schreier,  Anna Tomowa-Sintow,  Hermann-Christian Polster
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Chorus,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    LP: $48.99
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  • 13.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Petersen, Kulman, Gura, Finley, Harnoncourt
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 712608 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Marlis Petersen,  Werner Güra,  Elisabeth Kulman,  Gerald Finley
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Choir
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  • 14.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Petersen, Kulman, Gura, Finley, Harnoncourt [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 712704 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gerald Finley,  Elisabeth Kulman,  Werner Güra,  Marlis Petersen
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Choir
    On sale! $39.99
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  • 15.
    The John Eliot Gardiner Collection
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001826002 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Henry Purcell,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Marinella Pennicchi,  Michael Chance,  Mark Tucker,  Bryn Terfel  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir,  His Majesties Sagbutts and Cornetts  ... 
    CD: $104.49
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  • 16.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 196 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Richard Lewis,  Kim Borg,  Eileen [Soprano Vocals] Farrell,  Rudolf Serkin
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
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  • 17.
    Beethoven Masterworks Collection  [51-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001813172 Release Date: 03/19/2013   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Janet Perry,  Agnes Baltsa,  Vinson Cole,  José Van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Carlos Kleiber,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $163.49
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  • 18.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Blomstedt, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    Label: Querstand   Catalog: 1237 Release Date: 03/05/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Richard Croft,  Jochen Kupfer,  Gerhild Romberger,  Simone Schneider
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
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  • 19.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Herreweghe, Collegium Vocale Gent
    Label: Phi   Catalog: 7 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gerhild Romberger,  Marlis Petersen,  Benjamin Hulett,  David Wilson-Johnson
    Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ghent Collegium Vocale,  Champs-Élysées Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 20.
    Label: Farao   Catalog: B108053 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Pavol Breslik,  Yorck Felix Speer,  Susanne Bernhard,  Andreas Reiner
    Conductor:  Enoch zu Guttenberg
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  • 21.
    Arturo Toscanini - The Complete RCA Collection [84 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 791631 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 85
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Nan Merriman,  Jan Peerce,  Norman Scott  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Chorus  ... 
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  • 22.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Eschenbach, London Philharmonic
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 61 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Anne Schwanewilms,  Nikolai Schukoff,  Annette Jahns,  Dietrich Henschel
    Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Chorus
    CD: $17.99
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  • 23.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis; Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem; Verdi: Messa Da Requiem
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 663202 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Janet Williams,  Thomas Hampson,  Tina Kiberg,  Waltraud Meier  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus
    CD: $34.99
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  • 24.
    Great Sacred Masterpieces
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501062 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Thomas Tallis,  Gregorio Allegri,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Anna Gonda,  Julia Faulkner,  Nicholas Gedge,  Lisa Beckley  ... 
    Conductor:  Jeremy Summerly,  Michael Halász,  Johannes Wildner,  László Kovács  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxford Camerata,  Schola Cantorum Oxford,  Camerata Budapest  ... 
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  • 25.
    Magnificat - 500 Years Of Choral Masterworks [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001664502 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Gregorio Allegri,  Antonio Lotti,  Orlando de Lassus,  Josquin Des Préz  ... 
    Performer:  Patrick Russill,  Marinella Pennicchi,  Michael Chance,  Mark Tucker  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Christophers,  Paul McCreesh,  Stephen Cleobury,  Edward Wickham  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen,  Gabrieli Consort,  Gabrieli Players  ... 
    CD: $179.99
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