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
Murray Perahia plays Beethoven
Release Date: 10/28/2016   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 88843013312   Number of Discs: 5
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Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Harnoncourt, Concentus musicus Wien
Release Date: 07/15/2016   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 531359   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol 3 / Bavouzet
Release Date: 11/18/2016   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10925   Number of Discs: 3
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Beethoven: The Symphonies / Thielemann, Vienna [6 CD]
Release Date: 01/08/2016   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 88875112822   Number of Discs: 6
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Helene Grimaud Piano Recital - Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Rachimaninov
Release Date: 10/29/2013   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4891   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Violin Concerto

Browse 26-50 of 200 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Bruno Walter Conducts Beethoven
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875123912 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Nell Rankin,  Alberto DaCosta,  William Wildermann,  Emilia Cundari  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Westminster Symphonic Choir
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  • 27.
    Hilary Hahn: The Complete Sony Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875126182 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Leonard Bernstein,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Hilary Hahn
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  Hugh Wolff,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Marek Janowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    CD: $22.99
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  • 28.
    Mendelssohn, Beethoven: Violin Concertos
    Label: Royal Philharmonic   Catalog: 49 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Robert Davidovici
    Conductor:  Grzegorz Nowak
    CD: $17.99
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  • 29.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552362 Release Date: 11/06/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    CD: $9.99
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  • 30.
    Itzhak Perlman: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552439 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 77
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Ray Still,  Samuel Sanders  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster,  Daniel Barenboim,  Itzhak Perlman,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 31.
    Beethoven, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552122 Release Date: 09/18/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    CD: $12.99
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  • 32.
    Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra - The Complete Sony Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875030622 Release Date: 06/16/2015   Number of Discs: 47
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wilhelm Friedemann Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Heinrich Ignaz Biber  ... 
    Performer:  Jeanne Lamon,  Stephen Marvin,  Christina Mahler,  Ivars Taurins  ... 
    Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon,  Bruno Weil,  Frieder Bernius
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik,  Stuttgart Chamber Choir,  Tölz Boys Choir  ... 
    CD: $72.49
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  • 33.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Symphony No. 8; Brahms: String Sextet
    Label: Onyx   Catalog: 4154 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Augustin Dumay,  Henri Demarquette,  Miguel Da Silva,  Svetlin Roussev  ... 
    Conductor:  Augustin Dumay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia,  Osaka Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $20.99
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  • 34.
    Imperial Oistrakh!
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564614443 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Max Bruch,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Lev Oborine,  Svyatoslav Knushevitsky,  Igor Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  André Cluytens,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Lovro von Matacic,  David Oistrakh  ... 
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  • 35.
    Kyung-Wha Chung: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564614053 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Claude Debussy,  Antonín Dvorák,  Jacques Ibert  ... 
    Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung,  Itamar Golan,  Myung-Wha Chung,  Myung-Whun Chung  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $44.49
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  • 36.
    David Zinman Conducts Beethoven
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88843077922 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Detlef Roth,  Birgit Remmert,  Ruth Ziesak,  Steve Davislim  ... 
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra,  Swiss Chamber Chorus
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  • 37.
    Decca Sound  – Mono Years 1944 -1956
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002280602 Release Date: 04/07/2015   Number of Discs: 53
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Maurice Ravel,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus,  Clifford Curzon,  Alfredo Campoli,  Henry Datyner  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Roger Desormičre,  Karl Münchinger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Paris Conservatoire Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
    CD: $213.99
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  • 38.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Romances For Violin And Orchestra
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94857 Release Date: 03/31/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Christian Tetzlaff
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    CD: $8.99
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  • 39.
    Kyung Wha Chung - Complete Decca Recordings [19 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002217700 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Jean Sibelius,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung,  Phillip Moll,  Radu Lupu,  Myung-Wha Chung  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  André Previn,  Rudolf Kempe,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $68.99
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  • 40.
    Beethoven: Triple Concerto; Violin Concerto
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350082 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Svyatoslav Knushevitsky,  Lev Oborin
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  André Cluytens
    SuperAudio CD: $24.99
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  • 41.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Romances / Gatto, Levy, Orchestra De Chambre Pelleas
    Label: Zig Zag   Catalog: 354 Release Date: 11/18/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Lorenzo Gatto
    Conductor:  Benjamin Levy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pelleas Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 42.
    Leonard Bernstein Edition - Concertos & Orchestral Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301330 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 80
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Gomberg,  William Heim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Maurice Peress
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Philharmonic members,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 43.
    Beethoven: Complete Symphonies / Bruggen
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002161102 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 7
    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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  • 44.
    Kirill Kondrashin: 3 Classic Albums
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002131202 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Borodin
    Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung,  Herman Krebbers
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    CD: $21.99
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  • 45.
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 10183 Release Date: 09/12/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner
    CD: $13.99
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  • 46.
    My Favorite Beethoven
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5393 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Patricia Kopatchinskaya,  François-Frédéric Guy,  Helene Devilleneuve,  Antoine Dreyfuss  ... 
    Conductor:  Emmanuel Krivine,  Philippe Jordan
    CD: $19.99
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  • 47.
    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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  • 48.
    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
    CD: $21.99
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  • 49.
    Great Recordings / Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002093802 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Gustav Mahler,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Krystian Zimerman,  Jard Van Nes  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Claudio Abbado,  Simon Rattle,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Chamber Choir
    CD: $39.99
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  • 50.
    Violin Concertos Conducted By Wilhelm Furtwangler
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 9122 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Erich Röhn,  Gioconda De Vito,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Georg Kulenkampff
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    CD: $12.99
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