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
Pinchas Zukerman Plays Beethoven - The Violin Sonatas
Release Date: 08/26/2014   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 440142   Number of Discs: 4
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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: Symphonies No 1-9, Overtures... / Bernstein
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 7683912   Number of Discs: 6
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Beethoven: Piano Concertos 1 & 5 / Roll, Shelley, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 04/12/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28850   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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Work: Coriolan Overture

Browse 101-125 of 162 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Toscanini Conducts Beethoven
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1134 Release Date: 07/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 102.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century / Fritz Reiner
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 62866 Release Date: 07/13/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Manuel de Falla,  Maurice Ravel,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Carol Brice,  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  NBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 103.
    The Original Jacket Collection - Beethoven / George Szell
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 92480 Release Date: 06/29/2004   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Richard Lewis,  Donald Bell,  Jane Hobson,  Adele Addison
    Conductor:  Louis Lane,  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra Chorus
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  • 104.
    Expanded Edition - Beethoven: Symphonies 1 & 2, Etc / Walter
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 93087 Release Date: 02/24/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 105.
    Quintessence Saxophone Quintet - Best Of Ten Years Live
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 999990 Release Date: 11/01/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quintessence Saxophone Quintet
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  • 106.
    Expanded Edition - Beethoven: Symphony No 5, Etc / Walter
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 93012 Release Date: 09/30/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 107.
    Masterpieces - Beethoven: Symphonies No 3 & 5  / Boult
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1191 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra
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  • 108.
    Original Masters - Igor Markevitch - Un Veritable Artiste
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000085602 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Claude Debussy,  Georges Bizet,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Suzanne Cotelle,  Fritz Demmle,  Aurèle Nicolet,  Georges Alès  ... 
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra,  USSR State Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 109.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 5, Etc / Furtwängler, Berlin Po
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2037 Release Date: 07/29/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 110.
    Karajan - The Collection - Famous Overtures / Berlin Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000020102 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Meyer
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 111.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 6, Etc / Klemperer, Nilsson, Et Al
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 67966 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 112.
    Beethoven: 3 Overtures, Symphony No 2 / Gunter Wand, Et Al
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1285 Release Date: 03/11/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra
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  • 113.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century - Sir Adrian Boult
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75459 Release Date: 02/11/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Jean Sibelius,  Franz Schubert,  Hugo Wolf  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Orchestra Society  ... 
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  • 114.
    Warsaw Philharmonic Archive - Beethoven / Rowicki, Stern
    Label: Cd Accord   Catalog: 117 Release Date: 01/28/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Isaac Stern
    Conductor:  Witold Rowicki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 115.
    Beethoven: Overtures / Neumann, Keilberth
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 7495442 Release Date: 01/27/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann,  Joseph Keilberth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 116.
    Beethoven: Overtures;  Bach: Orchestral Suite No 3 / Kempe
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1271 Release Date: 12/10/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 117.
    Wilhelm Furtwängler - Recordings 1942-44 Vol 1
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471289 Release Date: 10/08/2002   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Franz Schubert,  George Frideric Handel,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Erich Röhn
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 118.
    Schumann: Symphonie 1;  Bruckner, Haydn, Et Al / Furtwängler
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 559022 Release Date: 07/16/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 119.
    Beethoven Renovated / Quintessence Saxophone Quintet
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 999861 Release Date: 05/01/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quintessence Saxophone Quintet
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  • 120.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 1-9, Overtures / Norrington, London
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 61943 Release Date: 11/06/2001   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Petteri Salomaa,  Sarah Walker,  Yvonne Kenny,  Patrick Power
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Classical Players,  London Heinrich Schütz Choir
    CD: $34.99
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  • 121.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 3, Coriolan Overture / Halász, Gunzenhauser, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 151014 Release Date: 08/31/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Stephen Gunzenhauser
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 122.
    Life And Works - Beethoven / Siepmann, Peck, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8558024-27 Release Date: 07/17/2001   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jénö Jandó,  János Keveházi,  Jenö Keveházi,  Gyözö Máthé  ... 
    Conductor:  Béla Drahos,  Barry Wordsworth,  Johannes Wildner,  Ondrej Lenárd  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia,  Capella Istropolitana,  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 123.
    Beethoven: Overtures, Symphony No 5 & 6 / Horenstein, Et Al
    Label: Vox Box Legends   Catalog: 7808 Release Date: 07/10/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Pro Musica Orchestra
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  • 124.
    Beethoven: Famous Overtures / Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4451122 Release Date: 07/02/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 125.
    Beethoven: Overtures
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 4681012 Release Date: 04/02/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
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