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: 6 Sonatas, Fur Elise & Emperor Concerto / Schnabel
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Musical Concepts  
Catalog: 3201   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Fidelio (Highlights) / Harnoncourt
Release Date: 09/17/2002   Label: Apex  
Catalog: 41374   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Fidelio / Karajan, Ludwig, Janowitz, Vickers, Berry
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Myto Records  
Catalog: 334   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Fidelio / Abbado, Kaufmann, Stemme, Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Release Date: 08/02/2011   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001570502   Number of Discs: 2
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Complete Beethoven Symphonies, Vol. 2 / Shui, Copenhagen Philharmonic
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Orchid Classics  
Catalog: 100059   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Coriolan Overture

Browse 76-100 of 139 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    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
    CD: $48.99
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  • 81.
    Herbert Von Karajan 2008 - Beethoven: The Symphonies
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 15863 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Otto Edelmann,  Ernst Haefliger,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Marga Höffgen
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Friends of Music Society Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $34.99
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  • 82.
    Karajan - Complete Emi Recordings 1946-84 Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 12038 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 88
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Ernst Haefliger,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    CD: $194.99
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  • 83.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 7, Coriolan & Egmont Overtures
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 411941 Release Date: 01/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 84.
    Beethoven: Symphony 5, Coriolan & Egmont Overtures / Brüggen
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 434087 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Frans Brüggen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the 18th Century
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  • 85.
    Beethoven Concert For Amnesty International / Bernstein, Various Orchestras
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000958302 Release Date: 09/11/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 86.
    Beethoven: Overtures / Eugen Jochum, Bamberg Symphony
    Label: Rca Silver Seal   Catalog: 61212 Release Date: 08/21/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 87.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos 5 & 8 / Sawallisch, Nhk Sym Orch
    Label: Rca Silver Seal   Catalog: 60534 Release Date: 07/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 88.
    Beethoven: The Overtures / Abbado, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 429762 Release Date: 06/25/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 89.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 3, Etc / De Billy, Rso Wien
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 621 Release Date: 05/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Bertrand De Billy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 90.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 3, Coriolan Ov / Furtwängler, Et Al
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 7026 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 91.
    The Best Beethoven
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 2014 Release Date: 01/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Michael Roll,  Bruce Hungerford
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Howard Shelley,  Raymond Leppard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 92.
    The Beethoven Box Set / Harnoncourt, Chamber Orchestra of Europe
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 63779 Release Date: 01/09/2007   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Robert Fontane,  Elisabeth von Magnus,  Deon Van der Walt,  Maria Haid  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Arnold Schoenberg Choir
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  • 93.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 3, 6, 8, Etc / Klaus Tennstedt
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 71462 Release Date: 11/21/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 94.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 4 & 8 / Menuhin, Sinfonia Varsovia
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 2564604542 Release Date: 05/23/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Yehudi Menuhin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia
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  • 95.
    Beethoven;  Bruckner: Symphony No 3 / George Szell
    Label: Andante   Catalog: 2180 Release Date: 11/15/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Anton Bruckner
    Performer:  Nikita Magaloff
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
    CD: $17.99
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  • 96.
    Beethoven: Overtures / Konwitschny, Leipzig Gewandhaus
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 3111 Release Date: 10/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 97.
    Label: Madacy Records   Catalog: 5653 Release Date: 08/09/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
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  • 98.
    Günther Wand Edition - Beethoven: Piano Concerto, Etc
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 4052 Release Date: 07/19/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 99.
    Beethoven's Best
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 72885 Release Date: 04/05/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Philippe Entremont,  Leon Fleisher,  Hilary Hahn
    Conductor:  George Szell,  William Smith,  Richard Kapp,  David Zinman
    CD: $4.99
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  • 100.
    London Symphony Orchestra (1904-2004) - Centennial Set
    Label: Andante   Catalog: 4100 Release Date: 01/18/2005   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Hector Berlioz,  Claude Debussy,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe Sabbatini,  Laurent Naouri,  Elizabeth Futral
    Conductor:  Arthur Nikisch,  Sir Colin Davis,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  André Previn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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