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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 String Quartets / Tokyo SQ
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 807641   Number of Discs: 8
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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas No 1-3, 5-10, 12-18, 23, 30-33 / Glenn Gould
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 541286   Number of Discs: 6
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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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Beethoven: Complete Works for Cello & Piano / Queyras, Melnikov
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902183   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Piano Trios Op 70 No 2,
Release Date: 02/11/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902125   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Rage Over a Lost Penny (Rondo a capriccio)

Browse 26-50 of 50 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    My Piano Lesson
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 184392 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Norman Shetler,  Dieter Zechlin,  Peter Rösel,  Cécile Ousset  ... 
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  • 27.
    Beethoven: Bagatelles, Etc / Linda Nicholson
    Label: Accent   Catalog: 24180 Release Date: 04/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Linda Nicholson
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  • 28.
    Beethoven: Sonata Op. 111, Bagatelles / Ugorski
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435881 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Anatol Ugorski
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  • 29.
    Best Beethoven 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 97307 Release Date: 07/31/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Eric Heidsieck,  Paul Tortelier,  Stephen Kovacevich,  Siegfried Rudolf Frese  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Riccardo Muti,  Jeffrey Tate  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Nash Ensemble  ... 
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  • 30.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 943182 Release Date: 07/17/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
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  • 31.
    Gyorgy Cziffra Plays Beethoven, Schumann & Liszt
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 4255 Release Date: 02/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  György Cziffra
    Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
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  • 32.
    Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms / Grigory Sokolov
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 30421 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Grigory Sokolov
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  • 33.
    Enfants Classiques - Le Meilleur De Beethoven
    Label: Children's Group   Catalog: 84396 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jénö Jandó,  Balázs Szokolay,  Stefan Vladar,  Ruxandra Donose  ... 
    Conductor:  Béla Drahos,  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia,  Capella Istropolitana,  Nicolaus Esterházy Chorus
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  • 34.
    Nińos Clásicos - Lo Mejor De Beethoven
    Label: Children's Group   Catalog: 84402 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jénö Jandó,  Balázs Szokolay,  Stefan Vladar,  Claudio Otelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Béla Drahos,  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia,  Capella Istropolitana,  Nicolaus Esterházy Chorus
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  • 35.
    Weekend Classics - A Beethoven Piano Weekend
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000428702 Release Date: 05/10/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff
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  • 36.
    Beethoven: La lettre ŕ Elise / Anne Queffélec
    Label: Mirare   Catalog: 9972 Release Date: 05/03/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Anne Queffélec
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  • 37.
    Classical Kids - The Best Of Beethoven
    Label: Children's Group   Catalog: 84381 Release Date: 10/19/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jénö Jandó,  Claudio Otelli,  Manfred Fink,  Ruxandra Donose  ... 
    Conductor:  Béla Drahos,  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nicolaus Esterházy Chorus,  Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia,  Capella Istropolitana
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  • 38.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 4, Etc / Ros-marba, Sánchez
    Label: Ensayo   Catalog: 9743 Release Date: 03/30/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Esteban Sánchez
    Conductor:  Antoni Ros Marbŕ
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Barcelona Symphony Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Mark Ehrenfried Plays Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven Et Al
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98410 Release Date: 05/28/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Ehrenfried
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  • 40.
    Label: Spj Music   Catalog: 90603 Release Date: 02/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Rubinstein,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Schubert,  Claude Debussy  ... 
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  • 41.
    Beethoven: Bagatelles And Dances Vol 3 / Jenö Jandó
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553799 Release Date: 04/17/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jénö Jandó
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  • 42.
    Grand Piano - Josef Hofmann - Liszt, Beethoven, Et Al
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 8818 Release Date: 06/15/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Josef Hofmann
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  • 43.
    Bach-Busoni, Beethoven, Schumann / Evgeny Kissin
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68911 Release Date: 01/12/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ferruccio Busoni,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Evgeni Kissin
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  • 44.
    Complete Beethoven Edition Vol 6 - Piano Works
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453733 Release Date: 11/25/1997   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gianluca Cascioli,  Mikhail Pletnev,  Wilhelm Kempff,  Simon Preston  ... 
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  • 45.
    Bach/Busoni, Beethoven, Debussy, Falla, Liszt / Gianluca Cascioli
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453422 Release Date: 04/22/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Gianluca Cascioli
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  • 46.
    Beethoven: Diabelli Variations, Bagatelles, Etc / Brendel
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5112 Release Date: 12/12/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
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  • 47.
    Brailowsky Plays Vivaldi/Bach, Scarlatti/Tausig, Etc
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 5501 Release Date: 12/01/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Frédéric Chopin,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alexander Brailowsky
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  • 48.
    Classical Kids - Beethoven Lives Upstairs
    Label: Children's Group   Catalog: 84236 Release Date: 03/20/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Douglas Bodle,  Adele Armin,  Suzanne Schulmann,  Russell Braun  ... 
    Conductor:  Walter Babiak
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Studio Arts Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Romantic Piano Favourites Vol 10 / Peter Nagy
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 550219 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Péter Nagy
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  • 50.
    Beethoven Or Bust / Don Dorsey
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80153 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Don Dorsey,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Don Dorsey
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