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: The Complete Symphonies; Concertos; Overtures
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8501204   Number of Discs: 12
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Beethoven: Piano Concertos / Kempff
Release Date: 08/26/2016   Label: Apr Recordings  
Catalog: APR6019   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Complete String Quartets, Vol. 6 / Quartetto di Cremona
Release Date: 08/12/2016   Label: Audite  
Catalog: AUD92685   Number of Discs: 1
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The Late Beethoven Sonatas / Kempff
Release Date: 08/26/2016   Label: Apr Recordings  
Catalog: APR6018   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Piano Trios, Vol. 3 / TrioVanBeethoven
Release Date: 08/12/2016   Label: Gramola  
Catalog: GRAM99117   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Coriolan Overture

Browse 101-125 of 138 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Toscanini Conducts Beethoven And Mozart
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2228/29 Release Date: 11/30/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Rudolf Serkin
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 102.
    Carl Schuricht-collection - Beethoven: Symphony No 9, Etc
    Label: Swr Music   Catalog: 93142 Release Date: 08/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Marga Höffgen,  Murray Dickie,  Maria Stader,  Otto Wiener
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Bach Choir,  Stuttgart Southwest German Radio Vocal Ensemble
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  • 103.
    Swr Music Highlights
    Label: Swr Music   Catalog: 93158 Release Date: 08/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Jacob Weinberg,  Mauricio Kagel,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Nemtsov,  Wolfgang Meyer,  Anja [Soprano Vocals] Silja,  Otto Wiener  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Zender,  Mauricio Kagel,  Sylvain Cambreling,  Heinz Holliger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The SWR Big Band,  Stuttgarter Lehrergesangverein
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  • 104.
    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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  • 105.
    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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  • 106.
    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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  • 107.
    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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  • 108.
    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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  • 109.
    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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  • 110.
    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
    CD: $29.99
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  • 111.
    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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  • 112.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 1-9, Overtures / Norrington, London
    Label: Erato   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
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  • 113.
    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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  • 114.
    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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  • 115.
    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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  • 116.
    Beethoven: Complete Orchestral Works Vol 2 / Dausgaard
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1180 Release Date: 08/24/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Thomas Dausgaard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 117.
    The Perfect Beethoven
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67317 Release Date: 03/14/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Emil Gilels,  Robert Holl,  Stuart Burrows,  Julia Hamari  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Eugen Jochum,  Kurt Sanderling,  Paul Strauss  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 118.
    Beethoven: Overtures / Harding, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie
    Label: Virgin Classics Special Import   Catalog: 45364 Release Date: 11/02/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Daniel Harding
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen
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  • 119.
    Furtwängler Conducts Beethoven
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 4049 Release Date: 10/19/1999   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Tilla Briem,  Elisabeth Höngen,  Peter Anders,  Rudolf Watzke
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bruno Kittel Choir,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $44.49
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  • 120.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 5 And 7, Etc / Reiner, Chicago So
    Label: Rca Victor Living Stereo   Catalog: 68976 Release Date: 01/13/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 121.
    Beethoven: The Symphonies /Hogwood, Academy Of Ancient Music
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 452551 Release Date: 06/24/1997   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Arleen Augér,  Catherine Robbin,  Gregory Reinhart,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Chorus,  Academy of Ancient Music
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  • 122.
    25 Beethoven Favorites
    Label: Vox Cameo Classics   Catalog: 8815 Release Date: 08/20/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel,  Walter Klien,  George Berry,  George Silfies  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Lizzio,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski,  Michael Gielen,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Festival Chorus,  London Festival Orchestra,  Minnesota Orchestra  ... 
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  • 123.
    Beethoven: 9 Symphonies - Vienna 1960 / Klemperer
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 886 Release Date: 03/19/1996   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 124.
    Beethoven: Symphonie No 9, Etc / Karajan, Berlin Po
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 447401 Release Date: 01/23/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gundula Janowitz,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan,  Waldemar Kmentt,  Walter Berry
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
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  • 125.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 3, Etc / Klemperer, Vienna Symphony
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 233901 Release Date: 12/12/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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