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
George Szell conducts Beethoven
Release Date: 05/12/2017   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 88883737152   Number of Discs: 5
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Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 / Szell, Gilels, Cleveland Orchestra
Release Date: 02/10/2017   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 559442   Number of Discs: 3
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Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas / Bavouzet
Release Date: 11/03/2017   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: CHAN 10960(9)   Number of Discs: 9
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Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 / Weil, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
Release Date: 09/22/2017   Label: Tafelmusik Media  
Catalog: 1034   Number of Discs: 6
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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 6, 7 & 8 / Kubelik
Release Date: 11/03/2017   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186250   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Violin Concerto

Browse 1-25 of 207 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Decca Sound: The Piano Edition
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4832243 Release Date: 11/17/2017   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Julius Katchen,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  André Previn  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Bernard Haitink,  André Previn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
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  • 2.
    Leonard Bernstein: Remastered Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 541714 Release Date: 10/27/2017   Number of Discs: 100
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Darius Milhaud,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Shapero  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
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  • 3.
    Beethoven & Schubert: Works for Violin & Orchestra / Ehnes, Manze, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
    Label: Onyx   Catalog: 4167 Release Date: 10/20/2017  
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  James Ehnes
    Conductor:  Andrew Manze
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Beethoven - Complete Edition 2017
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95510 Release Date: 10/01/2017   Number of Discs: 85
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Helena Döse,  Marga Schiml,  Peter Schreier,  Theo Adam  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt,  David Zinman,  Gérard Oskamp,  Carl-August Bünte  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus,  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    Daniel Barenboim: A Retrospective / Various
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985393632 Release Date: 08/18/2017   Number of Discs: 46
    Composer:  Alban Berg,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Carl Stamitz  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim,  Saschko Gawriloff,  Halina Lukomska,  Pinchas Zukerman  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Daniel Barenboim,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 6.
    Joshua Bell: The Classical Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 539520 Release Date: 08/18/2017   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Alexander Courage,  George Gershwin,  Nicholas Maw,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  John Williams,  Craig Ogden,  Gregory Knowles  ... 
    Conductor:  John Williams,  Roger Norrington,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  David Zinman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 7.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto, Romances & Triple Concerto / Irnberger, Judd, Royal Philharmonic
    Label: Gramola   Catalog: 99101 Release Date: 07/21/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Thomas Albertus Irnberger,  David Geringas,  Michael Korstick
    Conductor:  James Judd
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Andre Cluytens: The Complete Orchestral & Concerto Recordings
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 562261 Release Date: 06/16/2017   Number of Discs: 65
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Raoul Laparra,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Monique de la Bruchollerie,  Marcelle Meyer,  Zino Francescatti,  Jeanne-Marie Darré  ... 
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire,  Le Grand Orchestre Symphonique Columbia,  Orchestre du Theatre National de l'Opera-Comique  ... 
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  • 9.
    Karl Bohm: The Early Years
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 561986 Release Date: 06/02/2017   Number of Discs: 19
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Jan Dahmen,  Max Zimolong,  Elisabeth Höngen,  Josef Herrmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden,  Dresden State Opera Chorus,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    Beethoven & Possinger: Violin Concertos / Steck
    Label: Accent   Catalog: 24320 Release Date: 03/24/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz A. Possinger
    Performer:  Anton Steck
    Conductor:  Matthew Halls
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  L'Arpa Festante
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  • 11.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto & Sonata No. 9
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 559443 Release Date: 02/10/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Bronislaw Huberman,  Ignaz Friedman
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Edition Staatskapelle Dresden, Vol. 40: Weber, Beethoven, Brahms / Haitink, Zimmerman
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 09036 Release Date: 01/13/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Frank Peter Zimmermann
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden
    CD: $34.99
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  • 13.
    Beethoven Barenboim
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 558505 Release Date: 12/02/2016   Number of Discs: 35
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Itzhak Perlman  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Chorus  ... 
    CD: $77.49
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  • 14.
    Beethoven: The Solo Concertos / Vladar, Van Kuelen, Speckel, Wiener Kammerorchester
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 7210 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Stefan Vladar,  Julian Steckel,  Isabelle van Keulen
    Conductor:  Stefan Vladar
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  • 15.
    Complete Concerto Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon / Kremer
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002582102 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Alban Berg,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer,  Heinz Holliger,  Mischa Maisky,  Rainer Keuschnig  ... 
    Conductor:  Gidon Kremer,  Pierre Boulez,  Sir Colin Davis,  Emil Tchakarov  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $120.49
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  • 16.
    Vivarte Collection, Vol. 2
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 2367 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Markus Schäfer,  Jonas Will,  Johannes Pohl,  Harry Van der Kamp  ... 
    Conductor:  Konrad Ruhland,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Frieder Bernius,  Bruno Weil  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Niederaltaich Scholars,  Tölz Boys Choir,  Baroque Orchestra  ... 
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  • 17.
    Charles Munch: The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 516979 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 86
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Vincent D'Indy  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Artur Rubinstein,  Margaret Roggero,  Leslie Chabey  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Harvard Glee Club  ... 
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  • 18.
    Beethoven & Brahms: Violin Concertos / Neveu
    Label: Swr Music   Catalog: 19018 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Ginette Neveu
    Conductor:  Roger Desormičre,  Hans Rosbaud
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française,  SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 19.
    Beethoven & Bruch: Violin Concertos / Accardo, Masur, Gewandhausorchester
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186237 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Eugen Jochum: Complete Recordings on DG, Vol. 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002565702 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
    CD: $108.49
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  • 21.
    The Originals, Vol. 2
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002534902 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Helmut Walcha,  Nathan Milstein,  Géza Anda,  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Eugen Jochum,  Wolfgang Schneiderhan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $142.49
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  • 22.
    Jascha Heifetz: The Complete Stereo Collection (Remastered)
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 309534 Release Date: 08/26/2016   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz
    CD: $101.49
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  • 23.
    Pinchas Zukerman: Complete Recordings on DG, Decca, & Philips
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002514302 Release Date: 07/22/2016   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Midori,  Daniel Barenboim,  Marc Neikrug  ... 
    Conductor:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim,  Charles Dutoit,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 24.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos; Violin Concerto; Cello Sonatas
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88725463902 Release Date: 07/08/2016   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jos van Immerseel,  Vera Beths,  Anner Bylsma
    Conductor:  Bruno Weil
    CD: $21.99
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  • 25.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto & Romances / Kino, Hungarian Symphonic Orchestra
    Label: Exton   Catalog: 65 Release Date: 06/17/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Masayuki Kino
    Conductor:  Peter Illenyi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $52.98
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