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 Edition 2017
Release Date: 10/01/2017   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 95510   Number of Discs: 85
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Beethoven: Cello Sonatas, Variations / Rosler, Wurtz
Release Date: 11/19/2013   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94624   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Mass In C Major / Hickox, Collegium Musicum 90
Release Date: 11/25/2003   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 703   Number of Discs: 1
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The Youthful Beethoven / Zamparas, Mitchell, Et Al
Release Date: 04/26/2005   Label: Centaur Records  
Catalog: 2725   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Piano Variations & Bagatelles / Brendel
Release Date: 03/13/2007   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 93183   Number of Discs: 5
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Work: Missa solemnis in D major, Op. 123

Browse 26-50 of 81 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Masur, Leipzig Gewandhaus [Vinyl]
    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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  • 28.
    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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  • 29.
    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
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 30.
    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 Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts  ... 
    CD: $90.99
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  • 31.
    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: $118.49
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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    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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  • 34.
    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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  • 35.
    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: $39.99
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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Steinberg, Harper, Hamari, Eliasson
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5054 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Sven Olof Eliasson,  Heather Harper,  Wolfgang Marschner,  Peter Meven  ... 
    Conductor:  William Steinberg
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  • 38.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Nelson, Wilson, Deshong, Schukoff, Sherratt
    Label: Juxtapositions   Catalog: 3079358 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Tamara Wilson,  Nikolai Schukoff,  Brindley Sherratt,  Elizabeth Deshong
    Conductor:  John Nelson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Gulbenkian Chorus
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 39.
    Romantic - Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Schubert, Schumann
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908500 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Roger Vignoles,  Bernarda Fink,  Régis Pasquier,  Jean-Claude Pennetier  ... 
    Conductor:  Marcus Creed,  Philippe Herreweghe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wanderer Trio,  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus,  Collegium Vocale  ... 
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  • 40.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Klemperer, Steingruber, Schuerhoff, Majkut, Wiener
    Label: Vox   Catalog: 22 Release Date: 07/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Erich Majkut,  Otto Wiener,  Else Schuerhoff,  Ilona Steingruber-Wildgans  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Academy Choir,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 41.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Thielemann, Stoyanova, Garanca, Schade, Selig
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 705408 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Franz-Josef Selig,  Michael Schade,  Elina Garanca,  Krassimira Stoyanova
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus
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  • 42.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Thielemann, Stoyanova, Garanca, Schade, Selig [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 705504 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Elina Garanca,  Michael Schade,  Krassimira Stoyanova,  Franz-Josef Selig
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus
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  • 43.
    Label: Farao   Catalog: 108053 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Andreas Reiner,  Pavol [Tenor Vocal] Breslik,  Susanne Bernhard,  Yorck Felix Speer
    Conductor:  Enoch zu Guttenberg
    CD: $19.99
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  • 44.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Herreweghe, Collegium Vocale Gent
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 501557 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Cornelius Hauptmann,  Rosa Mannion,  Birgit Remmert,  James Taylor
    Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Champs-Élysées Orchestra,  Ghent Collegium Vocale
    Recommendation
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  • 45.
    Sacred Music
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2057918 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Robin Blaze,  Chiyuki Urano,  Gerd Türk,  Stephan MacLeod  ... 
    Conductor:  Masaaki Suzuki,  Fabio Luisi,  Lorin Maazel,  Georg Christoph Biller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bach Collegium Japan,  Dresden State Opera Chorus,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    DVD: $34.99
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  • 46.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Klemperer
    Label: Medici Masters   Catalog: 15-2 Release Date: 08/25/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Annelies Kupper,  Sieglinde Wagner,  Rudolf Schock,  Josef Greindl
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Cologne Radio Chorus,  North German Radio Chorus
    CD: $17.99
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  • 47.
    Best Karajan 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 15206 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Bernard Walton,  Dennis Brain,  Lothar Koch,  Maurice André  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 48.
    Beethoven: Mass In C; Missa Solemnis / Giulini
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 17664 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Heather Harper,  Dame Janet Baker,  Robert Tear,  Hans Sotin  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Chorus,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
    On sale! $29.98
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  • 49.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Kuhn, Et Al
    Label: Col Legno   Catalog: 60011 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Liang Li,  Ingrid Kaiserfeld,  Wolfram Wittekind,  Hermine Haselböck
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Haydn Orchestra,  Tyrolean Festival Erl Choir
    CD: $19.99
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  • 50.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Masur, Leipzig Gewandhaus
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 13122 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Peter Schreier,  Anna Tomowa-Sintow,  Annelies Burmeister,  Hermann-Christian Polster
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Chorus
    CD: $17.99
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