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: Rage Over a Lost Penny - Solo Piano Pieces / Brautigam
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1892   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Violin Concerto / Mutter, Karajan, Berlin Po
Release Date: 01/08/2008   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001038902   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 3; Mozart: Piano Concerto No 24 / Sudbin, Vanska
Release Date: 02/25/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1978   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: The Late String Quartets Arranged For String Orchestra  /  Tonnensen, Camerata Nordica
Release Date: 02/25/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1096   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Symphony no 7

Browse 1-25 of 342 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Beethoven: 9 Symphonies / Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic [5 CDs & 1 Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 1171050 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Hilde Rössel-Majdan,  Gundula Janowitz,  Walter Berry,  Waldemar Kmentt
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
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  • 2.
    Complete Orchestral Recordings on DG / Carlos Kleiber
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002131960 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Ferenc Fricsay: Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon, Vol. 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 1158037 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Tibor Varga,  Helmut Krebs,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    Beethoven: Symphonies / Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002114502 Release Date: 08/25/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gundula Janowitz,  Walter Berry,  Hilde Rössel-Majdan,  Waldemar Kmentt
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
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  • 5.
    100 Great Symphonies
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002054602 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Sammartini,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf,  Johann Christian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Kevin Mallon,  Christopher Hogwood,  Thomas Füri,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aradia Ensemble,  Academy of Ancient Music,  Camerata Bern  ... 
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  • 6.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 7 & 8 / Abbado, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002069402 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Strauss Conducts Strauss, Mozart, Beethoven [7-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002037802 Release Date: 05/19/2014   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Reitz,  Enrico Mainardi,  Philipp Haass,  Oswald Uhl  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Strauss
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian State Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Leonard Bernstein Collection Vol 1 [59 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 2027800 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Leonard Bernstein,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Kurt Moll,  Hanna Schwarz  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Concert Choir,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 9.
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 1158582 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Salvatore Accardo,  Evgeni Kissin,  Paul Crossley
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
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  • 10.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9; Overtures / Karajan, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633735 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Otto Edelmann,  Ernst Haefliger,  Marga Höffgen,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Friends of Music Society Chorus
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  • 11.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 7, Leonore Overture No 3 / Mehta
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002005302 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Beethoven: The 9 Symphonies / Leibowitz, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 121278 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Ruth Siewert,  Inge Borkh,  Richard Lewis,  Ludwig Weber
    Conductor:  René Leibowitz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beecham Choral Society
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  • 13.
    Hermann Abendroth A Varsovie
    Label: Tahra   Catalog: 7630 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Hermann Abendroth
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  • 14.
    Beethoven - Recordings During Wartime / Wilhelm Furtwangler
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5061 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Erich Röhn,  Conrad Hansen
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No.1-9, Overtures, Violin Concerto / Bernstein, New York Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7683912 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Isaac Stern
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 16.
    Erich Leinsdorf Conducts Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 1-9
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 1916822 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Bernard Haitink: The Symphony Edition [36-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002010702 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 36
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Lucia Popp,  Carolyn Watkinson,  Peter Schreier,  Robert Holl  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Chorus,  St. Willibrod Boy's Choir  ... 
    CD: $113.99
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  • 18.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7 / Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Orpheus   Catalog: 1 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Icon: Wolfgang Sawallisch - Beethoven, Brahms The Complete Symphonies
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 9356521 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Margaret Price,  Jan-Hendrik Rootering,  Marjana Lipovsek,  Peter Seiffert
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Düsseldorf Städtischer Musikvereins Chorus,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 20.
    Beethoven By Knappertsbusch
    Label: Tahra   Catalog: 762 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Géza Anda
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
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  • 21.
    Carlo Maria Giulini - The Chicago Years
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 317522 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 1104380 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  John Newton,  César Franck,  Ludovico Einaudi,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Il Divo,  The Priests,  Einaudi,  Jonathan & Charlotte  ... 
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  • 23.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 5 & 7 / Kleiber, Vienna Philharmonic [Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001935546 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Symphony No. 7 / Da Costa, Wildner, Taipai Symphony
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 43363 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alexandre Da Costa
    Conductor:  Johannes Wildner
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  • 25.
    Stanislaw Skrowaczewski: The Complete Oehms Classics Recordings
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 90 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Annette Dasch,  Daniela Sindram,  Christian Elsner,  George Zeppenfeld  ... 
    Conductor:  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Saarbrücken Radio Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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