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
George Szell conducts Beethoven
Release Date: 05/12/2017   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 88883737152   Number of Discs: 5
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Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 / Szell, Gilels, Cleveland Orchestra
Release Date: 02/10/2017   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 559442   Number of Discs: 3
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Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas / Bavouzet
Release Date: 11/03/2017   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: CHAN 10960(9)   Number of Discs: 9
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Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 / Weil, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
Release Date: 09/22/2017   Label: Tafelmusik Media  
Catalog: 1034   Number of Discs: 6
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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 6, 7 & 8 / Kubelik
Release Date: 11/03/2017   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186250   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Rage Over a Lost Penny (Rondo a capriccio)

Browse 1-25 of 51 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Beethoven - Complete Edition 2017
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95510 Release Date: 10/01/2017   Number of Discs: 85
    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  ... 
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  • 2.
    Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Op. 78, 101 & 111 & Rondo, Op. 129 / Marsoner
    Label: Gramola   Catalog: 99111 Release Date: 06/16/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Ingrid Marsoner
    CD: $18.99
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  • 3.
    Pearls of Classical Music / Fischer
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 17452 Release Date: 01/06/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Caroline Fischer
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  • 4.
    Evgeny Kissin: The Complete RCA & Sony Classical Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5033827 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Evgeny Kissin,  Mikhail Milman,  Boris Garlitsky,  Vladimir Spivakov  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev,  Vladimir Spivakov,  Seiji Ozawa,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos / Kempff
    Label: Apr   Catalog: 6019 Release Date: 08/10/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff
    Conductor:  Paul Van Kempen,  Peter Raabe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Deutsche Opera Orchestra Berlin  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6.
    Andre Watts: The Complete Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 511979 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  André Watts
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Thomas Schippers,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Seiji Ozawa
    CD: $34.99
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  • 7.
    Discover Piano Classics
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 0300719 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Erik Satie,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Friedrich Gulda,  Andrej Hoteev,  Jeroen van Veen,  Matthias Kirschnereit  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 8.
    Apassionato: Beethoven / Donka Angatschewa
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 38200 Release Date: 03/25/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Donka Angatschewa
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  • 9.
    Brahms: Recaptured by Pupils & Colleagues
    Label: Arbiter   Catalog: 163 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Carl Friedberg,  Johannes Brahms,  Lona Eibenschutz,  Edith Heymann  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  String Trio Of New York
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  • 10.
    Beethoven:   Piano Pieces / Tobias Koch
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553321 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Tobias Koch
    CD: $17.99
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  • 11.
    My Favorite Beethoven
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5393 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Patricia Kopatchinskaya,  François-Frédéric Guy,  Jérome Voisin,  Jean-François Duquesnoy  ... 
    Conductor:  Emmanuel Krivine,  Philippe Jordan
    CD: $19.99
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  • 12.
    Beethoven: Rage Over a Lost Penny - Solo Piano Pieces / Brautigam
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1892 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Ronald Brautigam
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  • 13.
    Erwin Schulhoff: Concertos
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 5197 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erwin Schulhoff,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Frank-Immo Zichner,  Jacques Zoon
    Conductor:  Roland Kluttig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin,  Leipzig String Quartet
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  • 14.
    Visions: Sonatas Of Beethoven Vol 1 /  Barbara Nissman
    Label: Three Oranges Recordings   Catalog: 5638267584 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Barbara Nissman
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  • 15.
    Scenes d'Enfants / Daniel Clarke Bouchard
    Label: Atma Classique   Catalog: 22698 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Oliver Jones,  Daniel Clarke Bouchard
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  • 16.
    James Levine at Carnegie Hall / Kissin, Met Orchestra
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001909402 Release Date: 09/30/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Evgeny Kissin
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    CD: $21.99
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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: $118.49
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  • 18.
    Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas  / Michael Korstick
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 125 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Michael Korstick
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    On sale! $54.99
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  • 19.
    Beethoven: Complete Works for Solo Piano / Buchbinder
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 2564660745 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder
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  • 20.
    Beethoven: Diabelli Variations / Alfred Brendel
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1194 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
    CD: $12.99
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  • 21.
    Best Of Beethoven
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300339 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Theo Adam,  Marga Schiml,  Peter Schreier,  Helena Doese  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny,  Herbert Blomstedt,  Heinrich Schiff,  Günther Herbig  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 22.
    Germany - A Musical Visit To The Munich Project And Nuremberg Toy Museums
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 2110304 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Péter Nagy
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  • 23.
    Classical 2012
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001675702 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi,  Francesco Cilča,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Andrea Bocelli,  Anna Netrebko,  Jonas Kaufmann,  Renée Fleming  ... 
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung,  Antonio Pappano,  Marco Armiliato,  Daniele Callegari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Fagiolini
    CD: $21.99
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  • 24.
    Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 10 / Michael Korstick
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 663 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Michael Korstick
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 25.
    Sokolov - Complete Recordings
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 30528 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Grigory Sokolov
    CD: $48.99
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