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 Piano Sonatas / Bavouzet
Release Date: 11/03/2017   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: CHAN 10960(9)   Number of Discs: 9
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Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 / Szell, Gilels, Cleveland Orchestra
Release Date: 02/10/2017   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 559442   Number of Discs: 3
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Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 / Weil, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
Release Date: 09/22/2017   Label: Tafelmusik Media  
Catalog: 1034   Number of Discs: 6
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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 6, 7 & 8 / Kubelik
Release Date: 11/03/2017   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186250   Number of Discs: 2
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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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Work: Symphony no 7

Browse 1-25 of 294 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 6, 7 & 8 / Kubelik
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186250 Release Date: 11/03/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 2.
    BBC Legends, Vol. 2
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5141 Release Date: 10/20/2017   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Niccolò Paganini,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Nathan Milstein,  Ernest Lush  ... 
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Rudolf Schwarz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Boston Symphony Orchestra: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797718 Release Date: 10/20/2017   Number of Discs: 57
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Alexander Scriabin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Zukofsky,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Teresa Berganza  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  William Steinberg,  Rafael Kubelik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Chamber Players
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  • 4.
    Beethoven - Complete Edition 2017
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95510 Release Date: 10/01/2017   Number of Discs: 85
    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  ... 
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  • 5.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 / Weil, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
    Label: Tafelmusik Media   Catalog: 1034 Release Date: 09/22/2017   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Bruno Weil
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Seiji Ozawa at the Matsumoto Festival
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26402 Release Date: 09/15/2017  
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jean-Paul Fouchécourt,  Lydia Teuscher,  Rie Miyake,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saito Kinen Orchestra,  OMF Chorus
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  • 7.
    Seiji Ozawa at the Matsumoto Festival [Blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26402 Release Date: 09/15/2017  
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Kei Fukui,  Nathalie Stutzmann,  Martha Argerich,  Rie Miyake  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saito Kinen Orchestra,  OMF Chorus
    On sale! $28.99
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  • 8.
    Sir Georg Solti: The Complete Chicago Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4831375 Release Date: 09/15/2017   Number of Discs: 108
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $321.49
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  • 9.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 / Rattle, Berliner Philharmoniker [Vinyl]
    Label: Berlin Philharmonic   Catalog: BPHR160092 Release Date: 09/01/2017   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Christian Elsner,  Dimitry Ivashchenko,  Annette Dasch,  Eva Vogel
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
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  • 10.
    Beethoven: The 9 Symphonies / Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 563142 Release Date: 08/18/2017   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Berlin
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  • 11.
    Daniel Barenboim: A Retrospective / Various
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985393632 Release Date: 08/18/2017   Number of Discs: 46
    Composer:  Alban Berg,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Carl Stamitz  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim,  Saschko Gawriloff,  Halina Lukomska,  Pinchas Zukerman  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Daniel Barenboim,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 12.
    Joshua Bell: The Classical Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 539520 Release Date: 08/18/2017   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Alexander Courage,  George Gershwin,  Nicholas Maw,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  John Williams,  Craig Ogden,  Gregory Knowles  ... 
    Conductor:  John Williams,  Roger Norrington,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  David Zinman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 13.
    DG 111: The Conductors / Various
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797477 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Alexander Scriabin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Gaston Litaize,  Alain Moglia,  Luben Yordanoff,  Christa Ludwig  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Leonard Bernstein,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 14.
    Beethoven: Complete Symphonies / Blomstedt, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 80322 Release Date: 07/07/2017   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Simona Saturová,  Mihoko Fujimura,  Christian Elsner,  Christian Gerhaher
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gewandhausorchester Leipzig,  Gewandhauschor,  Gewandhauskinderchor
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  • 15.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 / Rajski, Polish Chamber Philharmonic [Vinyl]
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: TACET242LP Release Date: 07/07/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Wojciech Rajski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra
    LP: $34.99
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  • 16.
    Beethoven: Complete Symphonies / Konwitschny, Gewandhausorchester
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300926 Release Date: 06/23/2017   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
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  • 17.
    Andre Cluytens: The Complete Orchestral & Concerto Recordings
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 562261 Release Date: 06/16/2017   Number of Discs: 65
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Raoul Laparra,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Monique de la Bruchollerie,  Marcelle Meyer,  Zino Francescatti,  Jeanne-Marie Darré  ... 
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire,  Le Grand Orchestre Symphonique Columbia,  Orchestre du Theatre National de l'Opera-Comique  ... 
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  • 18.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7 / Blomstedt, Gewandhaus-orchester Leipzig [Blu-ray]
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 10413 Release Date: 06/16/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
    On sale! $39.99
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  • 19.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7 / Blomstedt, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 20413 Release Date: 06/16/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
    On sale! $24.99
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  • 20.
    George Szell conducts Beethoven
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88883737152 Release Date: 05/12/2017   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Donald Bell,  Adele Addison,  Jane Hobson,  Richard Lewis
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 21.
    Carl Schuricht: Icon
    Label: Wb / Parlophone   Catalog: 560512 Release Date: 04/21/2017   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orch Ste Conc Du Conservatoire
    CD: $38.99
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  • 22.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 7 / Blunier, Beethoven Orchester Bonn
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 9371995-6 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Stefan Blunier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bonn Beethoven Orchestra
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  • 23.
    New York Philharmonic: 175th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 533636 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 65
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Oscar Levant,  Robert Casadesus,  Isaac Stern,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg,  Josef Stransky,  Arturo Toscanini,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 24.
    Wiener Philharmoniker: 175th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797090 Release Date: 03/31/2017   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Emmanuel Chabrier  ... 
    Performer:  Anton Dermota,  Irmgard Seefried,  Rosette Anday,  Paul Schöffler  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Rafael Kubelik,  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Arnold Schoenberg Choir,  Kuchl String Quartet  ... 
    On sale! $159.98
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  • 25.
    Toscanini: The Essential Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 537604 Release Date: 03/10/2017   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Edna Phillips,  Jon Garrison,  Gladys Swarthout,  Nicola Moscona  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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