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 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: The Late Piano Sonatas / Igor Levit
Release Date: 11/05/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 370387   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 2 / Jean-efflam Bavouzet
Release Date: 01/28/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10798   Number of Discs: 3
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Beethoven / Alice Sara Ott
Release Date: 10/04/2011   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001594502   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven, Berg: Violin Concertos / Weithaas, Sloane, 	Stavanger Symphony
Release Date: 01/14/2014   Label: Cavi Music  
Catalog: 8553305   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Coriolan Overture

Browse 151-165 of 165 Available Recordings
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  • 151.
    101 Great Orchestral Classics Vol 1
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 551141 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Edvard Grieg,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Takako Nishizaki,  István Székely
    Conductor:  Alexander Rahbari,  Anthony Bramall,  Zdenek Kosler,  Daniel Nazareth  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brussels Belgian Radio & TV Philharmonic Orchestra,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra,  Capella Istropolitana  ... 
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  • 152.
    Beethoven: Complete Overtures, Etc / Masur, Marriner
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 438706 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 153.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 5, Overtures / Titov
    Label: Sony Classical Infinity Digital   Catalog: 57220 Release Date: 02/08/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Alexander Titov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmony Orchestra
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  • 154.
    Karajan Gold - Beethoven: Symphonie No 8, Etc / Berlin Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439005 Release Date: 11/09/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 155.
    Karajan Gold - Beethoven: 9 Symphonien, Ouvertüren
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439200 Release Date: 10/12/1993   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Agnes Baltsa,  Vinson Cole,  Janet Perry,  José Van Dam
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
    CD: $108.49
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  • 156.
    Beethoven: Overtures / Gunzenhauser, Slovak Philharmonic
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550072 Release Date: 06/30/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Stephen Gunzenhauser
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 157.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 7 & 8 / Keilberth
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 268921 Release Date: 04/03/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $19.99
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  • 158.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 9, Etc / Karajan, Berlin Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435095 Release Date: 03/10/1992   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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  • 159.
    Beethoven: The Symphonies / Sir Georg Solti, Chicago So
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 430792 Release Date: 02/11/1992   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Yvonne Minton,  Stuart Burrows,  Martti Talvela,  Pilar Lorengar
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Chorus,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 160.
    Beethoven: 9 Symphonies, Overtures / Bernstein, Vienna PO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 423481 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Kurt Moll,  René Kollo,  Hanna Schwarz
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Concert Choir,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 161.
    Beethoven: Symphonies (Complete)
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 427306 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Marjana Lipovsek,  Hermann Prey
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 162.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 6, Etc / Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Dg Galleria   Catalog: 415833 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 163.
    Beethoven: Triple Concerto / Karajan, Mutter, Zeltser, Ma
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 415276 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Mark Zeltser,  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 164.
    Karajan Collection - Beethoven: 9 Symphonien / Berlin Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 429089 Release Date: 07/03/1990   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Anna Tomowa-Sintow,  Agnes Baltsa,  Peter Schreier,  José Van Dam
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
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  • 165.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 3, Coriolan Overture / Abbado
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 419597 Release Date: 01/05/1987   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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