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
The Beethoven Journey - Piano Concerto No. 5
Release Date: 09/16/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 305886   Number of Discs: 1
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Rudolf Serkin Plays Beethoven
Release Date: 11/06/2012   Label: Sony (Nax615)  
Catalog: 988302   Number of Discs: 11
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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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Leon Fleisher Plays Beethoven & Brahms
Release Date: 08/07/2012   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 1918052   Number of Discs: 5
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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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Work: Missa solemnis in D major, Op. 123

Browse 51-75 of 85 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Erich Kleiber Conducts Beethoven
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1188 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Sigurd Björling,  Lisa Tunell,  Birgit Nilsson,  Gösta Bäckelin
    Conductor:  Erich Kleiber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stockholm Philharmonic Chorus,  Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 52.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis;  Mozart / Herbert Von Karajan
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 2126 Release Date: 10/10/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Christa Ludwig,  Nicolai Gedda,  Nicola Zaccaria
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Luisi, Dresden Staatskapelle
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2054688 Release Date: 03/21/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Camilla Nylund,  René Pape,  Birgit Remmert,  Christian Elsner
    Conductor:  Fabio Luisi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus
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  • 54.
    Legendary Recordings - Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven / Kurt Masur
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 245 Release Date: 02/01/2006   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  Annerose Schmidt,  Siegfried Lorenz,  Edda Moser,  Gisela Schröter  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra  ... 
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  • 55.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Zinman, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich
    Label: Arte Nova   Catalog: 870740 Release Date: 10/11/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Anna Larsson,  Rainer Trost,  Franz-Joseph Selig,  Luba Orgonasova
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra,  Swiss Chamber Chorus
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  • 56.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis, Violin Concerto / Toscanini
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2248/49 Release Date: 10/26/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alexander Kipnis,  Zinka Milanov,  Bruna Castagna,  Jussi Björling  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Westminster Choir
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  • 57.
    Beethoven, Schubert, Wagner / Jascha Hornstein, Et Al
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 4150 Release Date: 09/21/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Norma Procter,  Richard Lewis,  Teresa Stich-Randall,  Kim Borg
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Chorus,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Northern Symphony
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  • 58.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Beecham, Nash, Falkner, Jarred
    Label: Somm   Catalog: 11A Release Date: 08/05/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Heddle Nash,  Keith Falkner,  H. Percy Richardson,  Mary Jarred  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leeds Festival Chorus
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  • 59.
    Walter Conducts Beethoven
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1142 Release Date: 07/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Nan Merriman,  Eleanor Steber,  William Hain,  Lorenzo Alvary
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra,  Westminster Choir
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  • 60.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Schermerhorn, Nashville Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557060 Release Date: 03/16/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Lori Phillips,  Robynne Redmon,  James Taylor,  Jay Baylon  ... 
    Conductor:  Kenneth Schermerhorn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nashville Symphony Orchestra,  Nashville Symphony Chorus
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  • 61.
    Toscanini Conducts Two Choral Masterpieces By Beethoven
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 4259 Release Date: 10/28/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Ania Dorfmann,  Maria Castagna,  Jussi Björling,  Zinka Milanov  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Westminster Choir
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  • 62.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Klemperer, Steingruber, Schuerhoff, Majkut, Wiener
    Label: Vox   Catalog: 22 Release Date: 09/01/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Erich Majkut,  Otto Wiener,  Else Schuerhoff,  Ilona Steingruber  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Academy Choir,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis, Symphony No 3 / Gunter Wand, Etc
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1283 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Leonore Kirschstein,  Jeanne Deroubaix,  Peter Schreier,  Günther Morbach
    Conductor:  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra,  Cologne Gürzenich Choir
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  • 64.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 9, Missa Solemnis / Bernstein
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469262 Release Date: 08/14/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Bernard Bartelink,  Edda Moser,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  N. O. S. Radio Chorus,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 65.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Rilling, Coburn, Quivar, Et Al
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98956 Release Date: 05/15/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Aldo Baldin,  Florence Quivar,  Pamela Coburn,  Andreas Schmidt
    Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Bach Collegium,  Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart
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  • 66.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Klemperer, Söderström, Et Al
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 67547 Release Date: 04/10/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Marga Höffgen,  Waldemar Kmentt,  Martti Talvela,  Elisabeth Söderström
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Chorus,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 67.
    The Immortal Arturo Toscanini - Beethoven
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 66656 Release Date: 02/20/2001   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Nan Merriman,  Eugene Conley,  Lois Marshall,  Jerome Hines  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Bernstein, Moser, Schwarz, Kollo, Moll
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 469546 Release Date: 11/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Kurt Moll,  Hanna Schwarz,  Edda Moser,  René Kollo
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Hilversum Radio Chorus
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  • 69.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Goehr, Graf, Hoffman, Wenk, NDR Symphony & Chorus
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1033 Release Date: 02/15/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Uta Graf,  Erich Wenk,  Helmut Kretschmar,  Grace Hoffman
    Conductor:  Walter Goehr
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Chorus,  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 70.
    Immortal Toscanini Vol 3 - Beethoven: Symphony 9, Missa Solemnis
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 55837 Release Date: 11/24/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Nan Merriman,  Norman Scott,  Jan Peerce  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Complete Beethoven Edition Vol 19 - Large Choral Works
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453798 Release Date: 12/09/1997   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  William Shimell,  Veronica Verebély,  Ulrike Helzel,  Clemens Bieber  ... 
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Claudio Abbado,  John Eliot Gardiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra  ... 
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  • 72.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis, Mass In C / Solti, Chailly
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 455014 Release Date: 08/12/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Lucia Popp,  Mallory Walker,  Yvonne Minton,  Gwynne Howell  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Chorus,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus  ... 
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  • 73.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Böhm, Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 449737 Release Date: 06/10/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Max Reger
    Performer:  Maria Stader,  Marianna Radev,  Anton Dermota,  Josef Greindl  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Hedwig's Cathedral Choir
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  • 74.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis; Mozart: Coronation Mass / Karajan
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453016 Release Date: 08/15/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Walter Berry,  Gundula Janowitz,  Christa Ludwig,  Fritz Wunderlich  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Singverein,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Solti, Varady, Vermillion, Cole
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 444337 Release Date: 06/13/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Iris Vermillion,  Vinson Cole,  René Pape,  Julia Varády  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
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