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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 / Tokyo SQ
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 807641   Number of Discs: 8
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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas No 1-3, 5-10, 12-18, 23, 30-33 / Glenn Gould
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 541286   Number of Discs: 6
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Beethoven: Complete Works for Cello & Piano / Queyras, Melnikov
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902183   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Complete Symphonies / Bruggen
Release Date: 10/14/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002161102   Number of Discs: 7
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Beethoven: Piano Trios Op 70 No 2,
Release Date: 02/11/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902125   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 6 "Pastoral"

Browse 226-250 of 290 Available Recordings
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  • 226.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century - Erich Kleiber
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75115 Release Date: 06/04/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Antonín Dvorák,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kleiber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 227.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 6 & 8 / Mengelberg, Concertgebouw
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2016 Release Date: 04/09/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 228.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 6 / Naxos Musical Journey
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 151019 Release Date: 02/12/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
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  • 229.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 1 & 6 / Szell, Cleveland Orchestra
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 89838 Release Date: 01/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 230.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 5 & 6 / Abbado, Berlin Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471489 Release Date: 12/20/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 231.
    Leonard Bernstein - The Unanswered Question
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 1570 Release Date: 11/20/2001   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Maurice Ravel,  Charles Ives,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
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  • 232.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 1-9, Overtures / Norrington, London
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 61943 Release Date: 11/06/2001   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Petteri Salomaa,  Sarah Walker,  Yvonne Kenny,  Patrick Power
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Classical Players,  London Heinrich Schütz Choir
    CD: $34.99
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  • 233.
    Westminster - Beethoven: Symphonies No 3 & 6 / Scherchen
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471241 Release Date: 09/18/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
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  • 234.
    Life And Works - Beethoven / Siepmann, Peck, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8558024-27 Release Date: 07/17/2001   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jénö Jandó,  János Keveházi,  Jenö Keveházi,  Gyözö Máthé  ... 
    Conductor:  Béla Drahos,  Barry Wordsworth,  Johannes Wildner,  Ondrej Lenárd  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia,  Capella Istropolitana,  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 235.
    Beethoven: Overtures, Symphony No 5 & 6 / Horenstein, Et Al
    Label: Vox Box Legends   Catalog: 7808 Release Date: 07/10/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Pro Musica Orchestra
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  • 236.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos 5 & 6
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4681022 Release Date: 04/02/2001  
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 237.
    The Immortal Arturo Toscanini - Beethoven
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 66656 Release Date: 02/20/2001   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Nan Merriman,  Eugene Conley,  Lois Marshall,  Jerome Hines  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 238.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 1-9 / Furtwängler, Hopf, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Références   Catalog: 67496 Release Date: 01/09/2001   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Elisabeth Höngen,  Hans Hopf,  Otto Edelmann
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 239.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 6 & 8 / Furtwangler, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Références   Catalog: 5674932 Release Date: 01/09/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 240.
    Beethoven: Die Symphonien / Claudio Abbado, Berlin Po, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 469000 Release Date: 11/21/2000   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Violeta Urmana,  Thomas Moser,  Thomas Quasthoff,  Karita Mattila
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Radio Chorus,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir
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  • 241.
    Hans Zender Edition Vol 2 - Beethoven: Symphonies 1 & 6, Etc
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 999474 Release Date: 10/10/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng
    Conductor:  Hans Zender
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 242.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos 5 & 6/ Drahos, Esterházy Sinfonia
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8554061 Release Date: 10/06/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Béla Drahos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia
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  • 243.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 6, Leonore Overture No 3 / Muti, Etc
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 73729 Release Date: 06/27/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 244.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 1 - 9 / Edlinger, Zagreb Po
    Label: Lydian   Catalog: 18501 Release Date: 05/24/2000   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gabriele Lechner,  Michael Pabst,  Eliane Elias,  Robert Holzer
    Conductor:  Richard Edlinger,  Michael Halász
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zagreb Philharmonic,  Slovak State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 245.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 6;  Schubert / Cluytens, Berlin Po
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1182 Release Date: 04/11/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 246.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 6 & 8
    Label: Spj Music   Catalog: 90035 Release Date: 12/13/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
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  • 247.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 4-7 / Sawallisch, Royal Concertgebouw
    Label: Emi Classics Double Fforte   Catalog: 73326 Release Date: 11/02/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 248.
    Furtwängler Conducts Beethoven
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 4049 Release Date: 10/19/1999   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Tilla Briem,  Elisabeth Höngen,  Peter Anders,  Rudolf Watzke
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bruno Kittel Choir,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 249.
    Classic Performances - Bernstein In Vienna - Beethoven
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 463468 Release Date: 10/12/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 250.
    Beethoven: 9 Symphonies / Zinman, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 65410 Release Date: 04/27/1999   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Birgit Remmert,  Detlef Roth,  Steve Davislim,  Ruth Ziesak
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra,  Swiss Chamber Chorus
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