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: Piano Sonatas - Moonlight, Pathetique... / Gieseking
Release Date: 10/17/1995   Label: Emi Seraphim  
Catalog: 69019   Number of Discs: 1
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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: 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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The Russian Archives - Richter Plays Beethoven
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94399   Number of Discs: 3
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Beethoven: Nine Symphonies / Vanska, Juntunen, Minnesota Orchestra
Release Date: 10/27/2009   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1825/6   Number of Discs: 5
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Work: Symphony no 7

Browse 26-50 of 342 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Beethoven: The Symphonies / Jansons, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 107537 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Mihoko Fujimura,  Christiane Karg,  Michael Schade,  Michael Volle
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
    DVD: $88.99
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  • 27.
    Beethoven: The Symphonies and Reflections / Jansons, Bavarian Radio Orchestra
    Label: Br Klassik   Catalog: 900119 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johannes Maria Staud,  Misato Mochizuki,  Rodion Shchedrin,  Raminta eerkUnyte  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
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  • 28.
    Chamber Music / Sabine Meyer Blaserensemble [8 CD-Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 31267 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonín Dvorák,  Josef Myslivecek,  Franz Krommer  ... 
    Performer:  Diethelm Jonas,  Albrecht Mayer,  Dag Jensen,  Nikolaus Frisch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sabine Meyer Wind Ensemble
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  • 29.
    Legendary Conductors of the BSO
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5115 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Erich Leinsdorf,  William Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $64.99
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  • 30.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9, Overtures / Bohm, Vienna Philharmonic [6-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001923502 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Tatiana Troyanos,  Karl Ridderbusch,  Jess Thomas,  Dame Gwyneth Jones
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Vienna Opera Chorus
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  • 31.
    Berlin Philharmonic - Centenary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001923302 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Walter Berry,  Gundula Janowitz,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Nikisch,  Alfred Hertz,  Richard Strauss,  Bruno Walter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Swedish Radio Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
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  • 32.
    Beethoven: The Symphonies / Jansons, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra [blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 107536 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Christiane Karg,  Mihoko Fujimura,  Michael Schade,  Michael Volle
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
    Blu-ray Video: $88.99
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  • 33.
    Karajan - 1970s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001873702 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 82
    Composer:  Arcangelo Corelli,  Francesco Manfredini,  Pietro Antonio Locatelli,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Brandis,  Michel Schwalbé,  Karlheinz Zöller,  Edith Mathis  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Hans Priem Bergrath
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus  ... 
    CD: $313.99
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  • 34.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 / Barenboim, West-eastern Divan Orchestra [4-DVD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001880609 Release Date: 08/06/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
    DVD: $75.49
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  • 35.
    Beethoven: Complete Symphonies & Selected Overtures / Toscanini
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1275 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jarmila Novotná,  Kerstin Thorborg,  Jan Peerce,  Nicola Moscona
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 4202 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
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  • 37.
    Bruno Walter - The Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548952 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Hendl,  John Corigliano Sr.,  Leonard Rose,  Martha Lipton  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Occidental College Consort,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 38.
    Claudio Abbado - The Symphony Edition [41-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001846502 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Violeta Urmana,  Thomas Moser,  Thomas Quasthoff,  Karita Mattila  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Mozart,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $129.99
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  • 39.
    Claudio Abbado - The Decca Years / [7-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001847802 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  James King,  Leslie Fyson,  Nicolai Ghiaurov
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Ambrosian Chorus  ... 
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  • 40.
    Mercury Living Presence - The Collector's Edition Vol 2
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001831802 Release Date: 06/04/2013   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Anton Webern,  Alban Berg,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Performer:  Helga Pilarczyk,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Mihaly Székely,  Olga Szönyi  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Rafael Kubelik,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Frederick Fennell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 41.
    Beethoven: Complete Symphonies / Abbado, Berlin PO [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2057374 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Violeta Urmana,  Karita Mattila,  Thomas Moser,  Eike Wilm Schulte
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $88.99
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  • 42.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 7 / Mcgegan,  Philharmonia Baroque
    Label: Philharmonia Baroque (Label)   Catalog: 6 Release Date: 05/14/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Beethoven: Les 9 Symphonies / Cluytens, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 483032 Release Date: 05/07/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Frederick Guthrie,  Kerstin Meyer,  Gré Brouwenstijn,  Nicolai Gedda
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 44.
    The Complete Beethoven: Symphonies; Concertos; Overtures [12-CD Set]
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501204 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Stefan Vladar,  Claire Rutter,  Matilde Wallevik,  Marta Fontanals-Simmons  ... 
    Conductor:  Béla Drahos,  Barry Wordsworth,  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Kenneth Jean
    CD: $58.99
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  • 45.
    Ashkenazy - 50 Years on Decca
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001820202 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Boris Belkin,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fou Ts'ong  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Uri Segal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Wind Soloists  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 46.
    Beethoven Masterworks Collection  [51-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001813172 Release Date: 03/19/2013   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Janet Perry,  Agnes Baltsa,  Vinson Cole,  José Van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Carlos Kleiber,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $163.49
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  • 47.
    Beethoven: Incidental Music To 'egmont'; Symphony No. 7
    Label: Helicon   Catalog: 9660 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Beethoven For Wind Octet: Symphony No. 7
    Label: Lawo Classics   Catalog: 1036 Release Date: 03/05/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  David Friedemann Strunck
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  • 49.
    EMI Eminence - The Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 393872 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  David Nolan,  Jonathan Small,  George Malcolm,  William Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher,  Vernon Handley,  George Guest,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir  ... 
    On sale! $201.98
    CD: $154.99
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  • 50.
    Wiener Philharmoniker Symphony Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001797302 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Karl Böhm,  Leonard Bernstein,  John Eliot Gardiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Monteverdi Choir  ... 
    CD: $163.49
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