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
The Russian Archives - Richter Plays Beethoven
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94399   Number of Discs: 3
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Beethoven: Piano Concertos 1 & 5 / Roll, Shelley, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 04/12/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28850   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 4, Triple Concerto
Release Date: 08/09/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28700   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Late String Quartets / Lasalle Quartet
Release Date: 04/20/2010   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94064   Number of Discs: 3
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Beethoven: Piano Concertos 2 & 3 / Roll, Shelley, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 05/10/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28860   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Violin Concerto

Browse 1-25 of 226 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Ida Haendel: Prague Recordings, 1957-1965
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4162 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Henri Wieniawski,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Ida Haendel,  Alfred Holecek
    Conductor:  Václáv Smetácek,  Karel Ancerl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Symphony Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $42.99
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  • 2.
    Anne Sophie Mutter: 3 Classic Albums [limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002093402 Release Date: 07/15/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Complete Vengerov: Recordings 1991-2007 [19 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 631514 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Itamar Golan,  Maxim Vengerov,  Alexander Markovich,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Kurt Masur,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $88.99
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  • 4.
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 1158582 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Salvatore Accardo,  Evgeni Kissin,  Paul Crossley
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
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  • 5.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
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  • 6.
    Beethoven - Recordings During Wartime / Wilhelm Furtwangler
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5061 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Erich Röhn,  Conrad Hansen
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $19.99
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  • 7.
    Beethoven, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Mullova, Gardiner [Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002009846 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Viktoria Mullova
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
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  • 8.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No.1-9, Overtures, Violin Concerto / Bernstein, New York Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7683912 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Isaac Stern
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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    CD: $14.99
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  • 9.
    Jascha Heifetz Plays Great Violin Concertos
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 7761382 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Osian Ellis,  William Primrose,  Thornton Lofthouse  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Walter Hendl,  Sir Malcolm Sargent  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $22.99
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  • 10.
    Beethoven, Berg: Violin Concertos / Weithaas, Sloane, 	Stavanger Symphony
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553305 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alban Berg
    Performer:  Antje Weithaas
    Conductor:  Steven Sloane
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stavanger Symphony Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Itzhak Perlman - 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 939025 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Manuel de Falla,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Samuel Sanders
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Lawrence Foster,  André Previn,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    The Hubermann Week Festival, 30th Anniversary
    Label: Helicon   Catalog: 29667 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Shlomo Mintz,  Isaac Stern,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Benyamini  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
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  • 13.
    Isaac Stern Plays Beethoven
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 826772 Release Date: 01/01/2014   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Eugene Istomin,  Leonard Rose
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Eugene Ormandy,  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Carlo Maria Giulini: The Concerto Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 31761 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Alexis Weissenberg,  Manoug Parikian,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Itzhak Perlman  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto, Romances / Mutter [Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001935646 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 16.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Symphony No. 7 / Da Costa, Wildner, Taipai Symphony
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 43363 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alexandre Da Costa
    Conductor:  Johannes Wildner
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  • 17.
    Beethoven - Complete Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94630 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 86
    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  ... 
    CD: $148.99
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  • 18.
    Berlin Philharmonic - Centenary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001923302 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Walter Berry,  Gundula Janowitz,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Nikisch,  Alfred Hertz,  Richard Strauss,  Bruno Walter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Swedish Radio Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
    CD: $137.99
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  • 19.
    Bernard Haitink - The Philips Years [20-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001903502 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng,  Herman Krebbers,  Menahem Pressler,  Isidore Cohen  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 20.
    Karajan - 1970s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001873702 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 82
    Composer:  Arcangelo Corelli,  Francesco Manfredini,  Pietro Antonio Locatelli,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Brandis,  Michel Schwalbé,  Karlheinz Zöller,  Edith Mathis  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Hans Priem Bergrath
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus  ... 
    CD: $313.99
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  • 21.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Bach: Chaconne / Bin Huang
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 7656 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Bin Huang
    Conductor:  Michele Trenti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Genova Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Romances
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2395 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Adolf Busch
    Conductor:  Launy Grondahl,  Alfred Wallenstein
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 23.
    Maxim Vengerov: 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 844352 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Edouard Lalo,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Maxim Vengerov,  Yevgeni Voskoboinikov,  Alexander Gourvich,  Yevgeni Cheskis  ... 
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Antonio Pappano,  Mikhail Parkhomovsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Virtuosi
    CD: $17.99
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  • 24.
    Bruno Walter - The Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548952 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Hendl,  John Corigliano Sr.,  Leonard Rose,  Martha Lipton  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Occidental College Consort,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
    On sale!
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  • 25.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique; Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro Overture  / Klemperer, Menuhin
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1479 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Hector Berlioz
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
    On sale! $34.98
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