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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 251-275 of 290 Available Recordings
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  • 251.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 6;  Mozart / Stokowski, Et Al
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 523 Release Date: 11/24/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Bernard Portnoy,  Sol Schoenbach,  Marcel Tabuteau,  Mason Jones
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  New York City Symphony
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  • 252.
    Immortal Toscanini Vol 2 - Beethoven: Symphonies No 5-8
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 55836 Release Date: 11/24/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 253.
    Beethoven: Complete Symphonies/ Muti, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 72923 Release Date: 11/03/1998   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Cheryl Studer,  James Morris,  Delores Ziegler,  Peter Seiffert
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Westminster Choir
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  • 254.
    Basic 100 Vol 23 - Beethoven: Symphony Nos 1, 6 / Leinsdorf
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61720 Release Date: 08/30/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 255.
    Bernstein Century - Beethoven: Symphonies No 6 & 8, Etc
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 60557 Release Date: 07/14/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 256.
    Complete Beethoven Edition Vol 1 - Symphonies  / Karajan
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453701 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gundula Janowitz,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan,  Waldemar Kmentt,  Walter Berry
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Singverein,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 257.
    Take 2 - Beethoven: Symphonies 5-8 / Ormandy, Philadelphia
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 63266 Release Date: 09/02/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 258.
    Beethoven: The Symphonies /Hogwood, Academy Of Ancient Music
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 452551 Release Date: 06/24/1997   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Arleen Augér,  Catherine Robbin,  Gregory Reinhart,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Chorus,  Academy of Ancient Music
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  • 259.
    Beethoven: The Nine Symphonies / Peter Maag
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47370 Release Date: 11/19/1996   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Amanda Halmgrinson,  Ruthild Engert,  Zeger Vandersteene,  Friedemann Kunder
    Conductor:  Peter Maag
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Athestis Chorus,  Padua and Veneto Orchestra
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  • 260.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 5 & 6 / Peter Maag, Padova E Veneto
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47247 Release Date: 07/09/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Peter Maag
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Padua and Veneto Orchestra
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  • 261.
    Beethoven: Complete Symphonies Vol 2 / Masur, Gewandhaus
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 454035 Release Date: 06/11/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 262.
    Beethoven: Symphonie No 6;  Schubert: Symphonie No 5 / Böhm
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 447433 Release Date: 05/14/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 263.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 1 & 6 / Drahos, Esterházy Sinfonia
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553474 Release Date: 04/23/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Béla Drahos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia
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  • 264.
    Beethoven: 9 Symphonies - Vienna 1960 / Klemperer
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 886 Release Date: 03/19/1996   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 265.
    Label: Curb   Catalog: 78026 Release Date: 10/31/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Heinz Rögner,  Franz Konwitschny
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  • 266.
    Beethoven: Symphonien 6 & 8 / Abbado, Wiener Philharmoniker
    Label: Dg Masters   Catalog: 1154007 Release Date: 09/19/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 267.
    Hans Pfitzner Dirigiert Beethoven: Symphonies No 6 And 8
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90221 Release Date: 08/22/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Hans Pfitzner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 268.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6' Pastoral'
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 447062 Release Date: 08/01/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
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  • 269.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 6, 7 & 8, Etc / Böhm, Vienna Po
    Label: Dg Double   Catalog: 437928 Release Date: 07/18/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 270.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos 5 & 6 / Edlinger, Halasz
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553224 Release Date: 07/11/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Richard Edlinger,  Michael Halász
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra,  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 271.
    Bruno Walter Edition - Beethoven: Symphonies 4 & 6
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64462 Release Date: 05/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 272.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 1, 3, 6 & 8 / Monteux, Vienna PO
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 440627 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 273.
    Beethoven: 9 Symphonies / John Eliot Gardiner
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 439900 Release Date: 09/20/1994   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Luba Orgonasova,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Gilles Cachemaille
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique,  Monteverdi Choir
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  • 274.
    Wilhelm Furtwängler Dirigiert Beethoven, Brahms / Vienna Po
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90199 Release Date: 05/31/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 275.
    Beethoven: The Symphonies / Haitink, Concertgebouw Orchestra
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 442073 Release Date: 02/25/1994   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Lucia Popp,  Carolyn Watkinson,  Peter Schreier,  Robert Holl
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Chorus
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