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: Complete String Quartets / Belcea Quartet
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Zig Zag  
Catalog: 344   Number of Discs: 8
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Beethoven, Mozart: Violin Concertos / Schneiderhan
Release Date: 02/13/1996   Label: Dg The Originals  
Catalog: 447403   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 8, 14 & 23 / Alfred Brendel
Release Date: 10/25/1990   Label: Philips  
Catalog: 411470   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: The Late Piano Sonatas / Igor Levit
Release Date: 11/05/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 370387   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Complete Works For Solo Piano Vol 13: The Rage Over A Lost Penny / Brautigam
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1892   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Violin Concerto

Browse 26-50 of 234 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Beethoven Masterworks Collection  [51-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001813172 Release Date: 03/19/2013   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Janet Perry,  Agnes Baltsa,  Vinson Cole,  José Van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Carlos Kleiber,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $163.49
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  • 27.
    EMI Eminence - The Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 393872 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  David Nolan,  Jonathan Small,  George Malcolm,  William Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher,  Vernon Handley,  George Guest,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir  ... 
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    CD: $154.99
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  • 28.
    Georg Kulenkampff: Concerto Recordings, Vol. 1
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2090 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Georg Kulenkampff
    Conductor:  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt,  Arthur Rother
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
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  • 29.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Mozart: Violin Concerto No 3 / Oistrakh, Cluytens
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1329 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 30.
    Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms: Concertos / Klemperer [6-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 43482 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Liszt,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Alan Civil,  Annie Fischer,  Daniel Barenboim,  Yehudi Menuhin  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 31.
    Philips Original Jackets Collection  [55-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001767702 Release Date: 12/04/2012   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Elisabeth Unger,  Claudio Arrau,  Thomas Zehetmair  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Bernard Haitink,  Frans Brüggen,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
    CD: $148.49
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  • 32.
    Beethoven, Sibelius: Violin Concertos / Kremer, Temirkanov
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002022 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov,  Woldemar Nelsson
    CD: $18.99
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  • 33.
    Menuhin in Moscow: Beethoven, Brahms, Bach
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001518 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Hephzibah Menuhin
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
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  • 34.
    Jascha Heifetz Plays Beethoven Sonatas & Concertos
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 1915552 Release Date: 08/07/2012   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Gregor Piatigorsky,  Jacob Lateiner,  Leonard Pennario  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  William Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Arturo Toscanini - The Complete RCA Collection [84 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 791631 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 85
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Nan Merriman,  Jan Peerce,  Norman Scott  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
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  • 36.
    Steven Staryk: A Retrospective, Vol. 1 - Violin Concertos
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3186 Release Date: 06/19/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Steven Staryk
    Conductor:  Herman Michael,  Bernard Haitink,  John Avision,  Douglas Gamley  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norddutscher Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Cbc Vancouver Chamber Orchstra  ... 
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  • 37.
    Legacy - Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Kreisler / David Garrett
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001684102 Release Date: 06/05/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Fritz Kreisler,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  David Garrett
    Conductor:  Ion Marin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $13.99
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  • 38.
    Legacy - Live In Baden-Baden / David Garrett
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001684809 Release Date: 06/05/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Fritz Kreisler,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Niccolò Paganini
    Performer:  David Garrett
    Conductor:  Vladimir Spivakov,  Lorenzo Coladonato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $19.99
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  • 39.
    Legacy - Live In Baden-Baden / David Garrett [blu-ray]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001685359 Release Date: 06/05/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Fritz Kreisler,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Niccolò Paganini
    Performer:  David Garrett
    Conductor:  Vladimir Spivakov,  Lorenzo Coladonato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $21.99
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  • 40.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto / Nigel Kennedy, Polish Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6027365 Release Date: 03/13/2012  
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Nigel Kennedy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Hilary Hahn Spectacular
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 795069 Release Date: 02/21/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Hilary Hahn
    Conductor:  Marek Janowski,  Hugh Wolff,  David Zinman,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 42.
    Beethoven, Berg: Violin Concertos / Isabelle Faust, Claudio Abbado
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 902105 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alban Berg
    Performer:  Isabelle Faust
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Mozart
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  • 43.
    Beethoven, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Itzhak Perlman
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85177 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Unspecified
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 44.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5; Violin Concerto
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0380 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Robert Casadesus,  Zino Francescatti
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    CD: $9.99
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  • 45.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0421 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Wolfgang Schneiderhan
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
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  • 46.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0349 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Leonid Kogan
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
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  • 47.
    Beethoven / Karajan [13-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001622702 Release Date: 12/06/2011   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Christoph Eschenbach,  Alexis Weissenberg,  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Yo-Yo Ma  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
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  • 48.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto, Op. 61; Berg: Violin Concerto / Ferras, Bohm, Freccia, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95590 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alban Berg
    Performer:  Christian Ferras
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm,  Massimo Freccia
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 49.
    The Decca Sound [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001619902 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 50.
    Beethoven: Complete Concertos / Pollini, Kremer, Shaham [5-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001607002 Release Date: 10/18/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Pascal Gallois,  Patrick Gallois  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum,  Karl Böhm,  Kurt Sanderling,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $31.99
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