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
The Beethoven Journey - Piano Concerto No. 5
Release Date: 09/16/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 305886   Number of Discs: 1
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Rudolf Serkin Plays Beethoven
Release Date: 11/06/2012   Label: Sony (Nax615)  
Catalog: 988302   Number of Discs: 11
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Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5 / Freire, Chailly
Release Date: 09/30/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002153402   Number of Discs: 1
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Leon Fleisher Plays Beethoven & Brahms
Release Date: 08/07/2012   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 1918052   Number of Discs: 5
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Pinchas Zukerman Plays Beethoven - The Violin Sonatas
Release Date: 08/26/2014   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 440142   Number of Discs: 4
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Work: Symphony no 7

Browse 251-275 of 342 Available Recordings
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  • 251.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 5 & 7 / Ashkenazy, Philharmonia
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000105702 Release Date: 09/09/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 252.
    Masterpieces - Beethoven: Symphonies, Overtures / Boult
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1192 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra
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  • 253.
    Guido Cantelli - The Nbc Broadcast Concerts 1949-1950
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1306 Release Date: 07/08/2003   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Girolamo Frescobaldi,  Paul Hindemith,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 254.
    Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Historic Telecasts / Reiner, Stokowski, Hindemith
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4237 Release Date: 06/24/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Paul Hindemith,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Hindemith,  Leopold Stokowski,  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 255.
    Wand Edition - Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 / Wand, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Special Imports   Catalog: 89109 Release Date: 05/20/2003   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Hildegard Hartwig,  Keith Lewis,  Roland Hermann,  Edith Wiens
    Conductor:  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Chorus,  Hamburg State Opera Chorus,  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 256.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 5 & 7 / Kleiber, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000010136 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 257.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 1 & 7, Etc / Weingartner, Vienna Po
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2038 Release Date: 04/29/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Felix Weingartner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 258.
    Beethoven: Symphonies / Simon Rattle, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57445 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Barbara Bonney,  Birgit Remmert,  Kurt Streit,  Thomas Hampson
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 259.
    The Art Of Karl Böhm
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4233 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Jon Vickers
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toronto Symphony Orchestra,  C. B. C. Orchestra
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  • 260.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 1 & 7 / Gunter Wand, Gurzenich
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1284 Release Date: 03/11/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra
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  • 261.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 7 & 8 / Van Remoortel, London So
    Label: Tuxedo Music   Catalog: 1209 Release Date: 02/25/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Edouard Van Remoortel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 262.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century - Carlo Maria Giulini
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75462 Release Date: 02/11/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Igor Stravinsky,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 263.
    Original Masters - Eugen Jochum - Beethoven: The 9 Symphonies
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 474018 Release Date: 02/11/2003   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 264.
    Original Masters - Wilhelm Furtwängler - Live Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 474030 Release Date: 02/11/2003   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Maurice Ravel,  César Franck,  Paul Hindemith  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 265.
    Wilhelm Furtwängler - Recordings 1942-44 Vol 1
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471289 Release Date: 10/08/2002   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Franz Schubert,  George Frideric Handel,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Erich Röhn
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 266.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 5 & 7 / Klemperer, Philharmonia
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 67852 Release Date: 09/17/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 267.
    Beethoven, Mozart: Symphonies / Knappertsbusch, Et Al
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 4202 Release Date: 05/21/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 268.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 7 & 8 / Abbado, Berlin Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471490 Release Date: 04/09/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 269.
    Beethoven: Symphony No.7/Haydn: Symphony No.104
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470256 Release Date: 12/17/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 270.
    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
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  • 271.
    Carl Schuricht - Unissued Recordings From The Archives
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1094 Release Date: 10/23/2001   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Christian Bach,  Richard Wagner,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Performer:  Enrico Mainardi
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 272.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 7
    Label: Antes Edition   Catalog: 319162 Release Date: 09/09/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
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  • 273.
    Beethoven: Complete Orchestral Works Vol 4 / Dausgaard
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1182 Release Date: 06/26/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Henriette Bonde-Hansen
    Conductor:  Thomas Dausgaard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 274.
    Klemperer In Hamburg - Two Complete Concerts With The Ndr So
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1088 Release Date: 05/22/2001   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Anton Bruckner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra Hamburg
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  • 275.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 3, 5, 7 /Solti, Wiener Philharmoniker
    Label: London/Decca Legends   Catalog: 467679 Release Date: 04/10/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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