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: Missa Solemnis / Harnoncourt, Concentus musicus Wien
Release Date: 07/15/2016   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 531359   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Beethoven: Complete Works for Piano & Orchestra / Shelley
Release Date: 11/15/2011   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10695   Number of Discs: 4
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Beethoven: The Symphonies / Thielemann, Vienna [6 CD]
Release Date: 01/08/2016   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 88875112822   Number of Discs: 6
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Re:Imagined: Schumann & Beethoven / Bailey, Ying Quartet
Release Date: 08/26/2016   Label: Sono Luminus  
Catalog: 92204   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 3 "Eroica"

Browse 251-265 of 265 Available Recordings
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  • 251.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 3, Etc / Peter Tiboris
    Label: Elysium   Catalog: 702 Release Date: 04/18/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Peter Tiboris
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 252.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 3 / Munchinger, Stuttgart Radio So
    Label: Intercord Classical Creations   Catalog: 820573 Release Date: 04/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Karl Münchinger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 253.
    Beethoven: Eroica
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 4007 Release Date: 02/21/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
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  • 254.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 3 & 5 / John Eliot Gardiner
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 445944 Release Date: 01/17/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
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  • 255.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 3, Overtures / Alexander Titov
    Label: Sony Classical Infinity Digital   Catalog: 57219 Release Date: 02/08/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Alexander Titov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmony Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Conservatory Orchestra
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  • 256.
    Bruno Walter - Beethoven: Eroica - Carnegie Hall, 1957
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1010 Release Date: 11/01/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air
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  • 257.
    Karajan Gold - Beethoven: 9 Symphonien, Ouvertüren
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439200 Release Date: 10/12/1993   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Agnes Baltsa,  Vinson Cole,  Janet Perry,  José Van Dam
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
    CD: $108.99
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  • 258.
    Karajan Gold - Beethoven: Symphonie No 3, Etc / Berlin Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439002 Release Date: 10/12/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 259.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 / Roy Goodman, Hanover Band, Et Al
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5144 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jean Bailey,  Andrew Murgatroyd,  Michael George,  Eiddwen Harrhy
    Conductor:  Monica Huggett,  Roy Goodman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hanover Band,  Oslo Cathedral Choir
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  • 260.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 / Harnoncourt, CO Of Europe
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 46452 Release Date: 10/11/1991   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Charlotte Margiono,  Birgit Remmert,  Rudolf Schasching,  Robert Holl  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arnold Schoenberg Choir,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
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  • 261.
    Beethoven: Symphonie No 3, Leonore 3 / Karajan
    Label: Dg Galleria   Catalog: 921085 Release Date: 03/17/1987   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 262.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 3, Coriolan Overture / Abbado
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 419597 Release Date: 01/05/1987   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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