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: Piano Sonatas - Moonlight, Pathetique... / Gieseking
Release Date: 10/17/1995   Label: Emi Seraphim  
Catalog: 69019   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 3; Mozart: Piano Concerto No 24 / Sudbin, Vanska
Release Date: 02/25/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1978   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Rage Over a Lost Penny - Solo Piano Pieces / Brautigam
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1892   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1, Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 / Shure, Bernstein, New York Philharmonic
Release Date: 07/09/2013   Label: Doremi Records  
Catalog: 8017   Number of Discs: 3
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Beethoven: Piano Concertos 3 & 4 / Pires, Harding, Swedish Radio Orchestra
Release Date: 08/12/2014   Label: Onyx (Classical Label)  
Catalog: 415   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Coriolan Overture

Browse 1-25 of 161 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 8; Overtures
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 6260 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Yondani Butt
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  • 2.
    Leonard Bernstein Collection Vol 1 [59 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 2027800 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Leonard Bernstein,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Kurt Moll,  Hanna Schwarz  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Concert Choir,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 1158582 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Salvatore Accardo,  Evgeni Kissin,  Paul Crossley
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
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  • 4.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 1-4, Coriolan Overture / Ansermet
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002005002 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9; Overtures / Karajan, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633735 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Otto Edelmann,  Ernst Haefliger,  Marga Höffgen,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Friends of Music Society Chorus
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  • 6.
    Beethoven - Recordings During Wartime / Wilhelm Furtwangler
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5061 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Erich Röhn,  Conrad Hansen
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 1-4 & Overtures / Weil, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
    Label: Tafelmusik Media   Catalog: 1023 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Bruno Weil
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
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  • 8.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 5
    Label: Lodia Music   Catalog: 781 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Carlos Païta
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  • 9.
    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  ... 
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  • 10.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9, Overtures / Bohm, Vienna Philharmonic [6-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001923502 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Tatiana Troyanos,  Karl Ridderbusch,  Jess Thomas,  Dame Gwyneth Jones
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Vienna Opera Chorus
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  • 11.
    Berlin Philharmonic - Centenary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001923302 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Walter Berry,  Gundula Janowitz,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Nikisch,  Alfred Hertz,  Richard Strauss,  Bruno Walter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Swedish Radio Chorus  ... 
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  • 12.
    Lorin Maazel Conducts Beethoven & Bartok - Historical Recording 1958
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 94224 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Béla Bartók
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Carl Schuricht & Clara Haskil Perform Beethoven: The 1940s Decca 'K' Recordings
    Label: Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog: 9819 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Clara Haskil
    Conductor:  Eduard Van Beinum,  Reginald Goodall,  Carl Schuricht,  Carlo Zecchi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  National Symphony, Washington, D. C.,  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Bruno Walter - The Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548952 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Hendl,  John Corigliano Sr.,  Leonard Rose,  Martha Lipton  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Occidental College Consort,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 15.
    Four Maestri In 1926: Toscanini, Mengelberg, Walter, Furtwangler
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2105 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Strauss,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Willem Mengelberg,  Bruno Walter,  Wilhelm Furtwängler
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  • 16.
    Overtures
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 162 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Luigi Cherubini,  Franz Schubert,  Carl Maria von Weber  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
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  • 17.
    The Complete Beethoven: Symphonies; Concertos; Overtures [12-CD Set]
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501204 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Stefan Vladar,  Claire Rutter,  Matilde Wallevik,  Marta Fontanals-Simmons  ... 
    Conductor:  Béla Drahos,  Barry Wordsworth,  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Kenneth Jean
    CD: $58.99
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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    50 Shades Of Classical
    Label: Cleopatra   Catalog: 159 Release Date: 11/27/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Fauré,  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Danielle Dechenne,  Henrik Lagendaal,  Nora Ksendzov,  Dubravka Tomsic  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Raucheisen,  Zdenek Chabala,  Ferdinand Lang,  Zoltan Kovats  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Caspar da Salo Quartett
    CD: $12.99
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  • 20.
    Beethoven - The Orchestral Recordings / Otto Klemperer
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 404275 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Aase Nordmo-Lövberg,  Waldemar Kmentt,  Hans Hotter,  Christa Ludwig  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 21.
    Icon - Eugen Jochum
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64004 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Performer:  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Claes H. Ahnsjö,  Roland Hermann,  Helen Donath  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 22.
    Leopold Stokowski - The Stereo Collection 1954-1975
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 1916852 Release Date: 08/21/2012   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Gustav Mahler,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Margaret Price,  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Anna Moffo,  Martina Arroyo  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Symphony Orchestra,  Norman Luboff Choir  ... 
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  • 23.
    Beethoven: Overtures / Goodman, Hanover Band
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7089 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Roy Goodman,  Monica Huggett
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band
    CD: $8.99
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  • 24.
    From Bach To Wagner / Boult, London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 35657 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir
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  • 25.
    Karajan In Moscow, Vol. 1: Beethoven / Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001512 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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