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
Glenn Gould Plays Beethoven
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 7685272   Number of Discs: 6
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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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The Beethoven Journey - Piano Concerto No. 5
Release Date: 09/16/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 305886   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Beethoven: Symphonies No 1-9, Overtures... / Bernstein
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 7683912   Number of Discs: 6
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Work: Rage Over a Lost Penny (Rondo a capriccio)

Browse 1-25 of 52 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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
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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    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:  Evgeni Kissin
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    Beethoven: Rondos & Bagatelles / Natalia Valentin
    Label: Paraty   Catalog: 109104 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Natalia Valentin
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  • 10.
    Beethoven: Complete Piano Music: Sonatas, Bagatelles, Etc / Rudolf 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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  • 11.
    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
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  • 12.
    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  ... 
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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    Classical 2012
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001675702 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Georges Bizet,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi,  Francesco Cilèa  ... 
    Performer:  Lang Lang,  Andrea Bocelli,  Anna Netrebko,  Jonas Kaufmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung,  Antonio Pappano,  Marco Armiliato,  Daniele Callegari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Fagiolini
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  • 15.
    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
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  • 16.
    Wilhelm Kempff - Solo Piano Recordings [35-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001648902 Release Date: 03/20/2012   Number of Discs: 35
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Christoph W. Gluck,  George Frideric Handel,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff
    CD: $129.99
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  • 17.
    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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  • 18.
    Beethoven / Alice Sara Ott
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001594502 Release Date: 10/04/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alice Sara Ott
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  • 19.
    Best Piano Music
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 82166 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder
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  • 20.
    Beethoven Highlights
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300204 Release Date: 04/12/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Peter Schreier,  Theo Adam,  Helena Doese,  Igor Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny,  Herbert Blomstedt,  Heinrich Schiff,  Günther Herbig  ... 
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  • 21.
    The Beethoven Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 81680 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard,  Daniel Barenboim,  Rudolf Buchbinder,  Thomas Zehetmair  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Daniel Barenboim
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Brailowsky Plays Virtuoso Showpieces
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 68165 Release Date: 02/14/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Lyapunov  ... 
    Performer:  Alexander Brailowsky
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Beethoven / Alice Sara Ott, [Japanese Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 926424 Release Date: 12/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alice Sara Ott
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  • 24.
    Essential Beethoven
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 95445 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  James Morris,  Jeremy Menuhin,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Siegfried Rudolf Frese  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Kurt Sanderling,  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble London,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
    CD: $12.99
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  • 25.
    Enfants Classiques - Beethoven Habite À L'étage
    Label: Children's Group   Catalog: 42133 Release Date: 12/31/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Mark Childs,  Adele Armin,  Suzanne Schulmann,  Douglas Bodle  ... 
    Conductor:  Walter Babiak
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Studio Arts Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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