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
Bruno Walter Conducts Beethoven
Release Date: 11/13/2015   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 88875123912   Number of Discs: 7
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Beethoven: Symphonies 5 & 7 / Honeck, Pittsburgh
Release Date: 11/13/2015   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 718   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven & Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos
Release Date: 02/26/2016   Label: Accentus  
Catalog: 20345   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4, Symphonies Nos. 3 & 7 / Backhaus, Knappertsbusch
Release Date: 06/10/2016   Label: Orfeo  
Catalog: 901162   Number of Discs: 2
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Songs By Schubert, Beethoven, Britten & Hahn / Polenzani, Drake
Release Date: 10/24/2011   Label: Wigmore Hall Live  
Catalog: 48   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Coriolan Overture

Browse 51-75 of 129 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 4 & 7 / Jurowski, Age Of Enlightenment Orchestra
    Label: Juxtapositions   Catalog: 3079298 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
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  • 52.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 4 & 7 / Jurowski, Age Of Enlightenment Orchestra [blu-ray]
    Label: Juxtapositions   Catalog: 3079294 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
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  • 53.
    Beethoven: Complete Symphonies, Selected Overtures / Klemperer
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1252 Release Date: 05/10/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 54.
    Beethoven: Symphonies / Kletzki, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4051 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Rolf Kühne,  Martin Ritzmann,  Ingeborg Wenglor,  Annelies Burmeister
    Conductor:  Paul Kletzki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Prague Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 55.
    Beethoven Highlights
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300204 Release Date: 04/12/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Peter Schreier,  Theo Adam,  Helena Doese,  Igor Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny,  Herbert Blomstedt,  Heinrich Schiff,  Günther Herbig  ... 
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  • 56.
    Beethoven: 11 Overtures / Masur, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186148 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 1, 2 & 3 / Thielemann, VPO
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 704708 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 58.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 1, 2 & 3 / Thielemann, Vienna Philharmonic [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 704804 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 6 / Hogwood, Academy Of Ancient Music
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 421416 Release Date: 04/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
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  • 60.
    Beethoven: 9 Symphonies / Bruggen, Orchestra Of The 18th C
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 442156 Release Date: 01/28/2010   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Eike Wilm Schulte,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Jard Van Nes,  Lynne Dawson
    Conductor:  Frans Brüggen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the 18th Century,  Gulbenkian Foundation Chorus Lisbon
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  • 61.
    Bernstein Edition- Beethoven: Symphony No 6, Etc / Vienna Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 431025 Release Date: 01/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 62.
    Gunter Wand Box Set
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 9068 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Anton Bruckner,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Conductor:  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Beethoven: Overtures / Colin Davis, Bavarian Radio Sym Orch
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 42103 Release Date: 01/21/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 64.
    State Of The Art - The Story Of Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001341102 Release Date: 12/15/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Gabriel Fauré,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Rafal Blechacz,  Kathleen Battle,  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Leonard Bernstein,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort,  Andalucian Dogs
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  • 65.
    Furtwangler Conducts Beethoven - The Complete Symphonies & Selected Overtures
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 942 Release Date: 08/18/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Irmgard Seefried,  Rosette Anday,  Anton Dermota,  Paul Schöffler
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singakademie
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  • 66.
    Early Orchestral Recordings 1927-1943
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 459001 Release Date: 07/06/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Richard Strauss,  Otto Nicolai,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Richard Strauss,  Paul van Kempen,  Victor de Sabata  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian State Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra  ... 
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  • 67.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 5 & 6 / Munch, BSO
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 38426 Release Date: 05/08/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 452 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Heinz Kirchner
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
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  • 69.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 7, Coriolan, Prometheus / Previn
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 7748 Release Date: 11/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 70.
    Karajan - Symphony Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001211702 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 38
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Agnes Baltsa,  Peter Schreier,  Anna Tomowa-Sintow,  José Van Dam
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $57.99
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  • 71.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 7, Overtures / Roger Norrington
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 49816 Release Date: 10/02/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Classical Players
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  • 72.
    Edition Klavier-festival Ruhr / Sloane, Hamelin, Schuch, Et Al
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553119 Release Date: 08/12/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Richard Strauss,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Marc-André Hamelin,  Alexander Lonquich,  Herbert Schuch
    Conductor:  Steven Sloane,  Stephen Darlington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bochum Symphony Orchestra,  Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dortmund Theater Chorus
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  • 73.
    Beethoven: King Stephen, Coriolan, Etc / Bernstein, Vpo
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 419439 Release Date: 05/13/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Karajan In Concert
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001099209 Release Date: 05/13/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Alexis Weissenberg
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Beethoven: Symphonies, Ouvertures / Jos Van Immerseel, Anima Eterna
    Label: Zig Zag   Catalog: 80402 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Thomas E. Bauer,  Marianne Beate Kielland,  Anna-Kristina Kaappola,  Markus Schäfer
    Conductor:  Jos van Immerseel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anima Eterna Orchestra
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