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 Concerto No. 5 & Works for Solo Piano / Bax
Release Date: 05/18/2018   Label: Signum Classics  
Catalog: 525   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Works for Flute, Vol. 2 / Seo, Ueno, Kodama
Release Date: 06/08/2018   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573570   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Works for Flute / Seo
Release Date: 03/09/2018   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573569   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Bagatelles And Dances Vol 2 / Jenó Jandö
Release Date: 01/25/2000   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553798   Number of Discs: 1
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The Best Of Beethoven
Release Date: 10/20/1997   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8556651   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 4 in B flat major, Op. 60

Browse 1-25 of 199 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Beethoven: Symphony Nos. 4 & 5 / Saraste, WDR Sinfonieorchester
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 17084 Release Date: 06/01/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wdr Sinfonieorchester
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  • 2.
    Gunter Wand Conducts Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 1-9
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 19075818872 Release Date: 05/25/2018   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hamburg Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Beethoven: 9 Symphonies / Bernstein, Vienna Philharmonic [Vinyl]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4798721 Release Date: 04/13/2018   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Beethoven: Symphonies & Overtures / Immerseel, Anima Eterna Brugge
    Label: Alpha Productions   Catalog: 380 Release Date: 03/09/2018   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Markus Schäfer
    Conductor:  Jos van Immerseel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anima Eterna Brugge,  Anima Eterna Choir
    CD: $37.49
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  • 5.
    Beethoven: Revisited Symphonies 1-9 / Stangel, Pocket Philharmonic
    Label: Edition Taschenphilharmonie   Catalog: 10 Release Date: 03/02/2018   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Peter Stangel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taschenphilharmonie
    CD: $51.49
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  • 6.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5 / Jordan, Vienna Symphony
    Label: Vienna Symphony Orchestra   Catalog: 14 Release Date: 02/09/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Philippe Jordan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Protrait / Jansons, Bavarian Radio Symphony
    Label: Br Klassik   Catalog: 900157 Release Date: 01/05/2018   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Judith Schmid,  Malin Hartelius,  Christian Elsner,  Franz-Josef Selig  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Choir
    CD: $32.49
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  • 8.
    Beethoven: 9 Symphonies / Bernstein, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797708 Release Date: 12/01/2017   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung
    CD: $81.49
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  • 9.
    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,  Willfried Boettcher,  Heinz Wallberg,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus,  Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $148.99
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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos 1 & 4 / Kubelik
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186248 Release Date: 09/15/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 12.
    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: $373.99
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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 16.
    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  ... 
    CD: $138.99
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  • 17.
    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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  • 18.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 / Rajski, Polish Chamber Philharmonic [Vinyl]
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: TACET239LP Release Date: 07/07/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Wojciech Rajski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra
    LP: $58.99
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  • 19.
    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
    CD: $29.99
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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
    SuperAudio CD: $18.99
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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    Beethoven: The Symphonies & Overtures / Butt, London Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 13 Release Date: 01/06/2017   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Wilke te Brummelstroete,  Neal Davies,  Steve Davislim,  Rebecca Evans
    Conductor:  Yondani Butt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
    CD: $29.99
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  • 25.
    Beethoven Barenboim
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 558505 Release Date: 12/02/2016   Number of Discs: 35
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Itzhak Perlman  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Chorus  ... 
    CD: $77.49
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