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 / Alice Sara Ott
Release Date: 10/04/2011   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001594502   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Prometheus / Petrou, Armonia Atenea
Release Date: 07/29/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002099302   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: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 2 / Jean-efflam Bavouzet
Release Date: 01/28/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10798   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Symphony no 3 "Eroica"

Browse 26-50 of 323 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Bernard Haitink - The Philips Years [20-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001903502 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng,  Herman Krebbers,  Menahem Pressler,  Isidore Cohen  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio  ... 
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    CD: $83.49
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  • 27.
    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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  • 28.
    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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  • 29.
    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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  • 30.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22402 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Spoken Word,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Nikos Skalkottas  ... 
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
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  • 31.
    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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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    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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  • 34.
    Claudio Abbado - A Life Dedicated To Music
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2059588 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Igor Stravinsky,  Johannes Brahms,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Bonney,  Bryn Terfel,  Lucio Gallo,  Ramón Vargas  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir,  Swedish Radio Choir  ... 
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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    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
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  • 37.
    Wilhelm Furtwangler: Wiener Konzerte 1944-1954 [18-CD Set]
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 834118 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  César Franck,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Badura-Skoda,  Dagmar Bella,  Paul Schöffler,  Anton Dermota  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singakademie,  Vienna Boys' Choir
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    CD: $118.99
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  • 38.
    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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  • 39.
    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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  • 40.
    Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 / Gielen, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2050558 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Renate Behle,  Yvonne Naef,  Hanno Müller-Brachmann,  Glenn Winslade
    Conductor:  Michael Gielen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
    DVD: $39.99
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  • 41.
    Beethoven For All / Daniel Barenboim [Deluxe Edition - 19 CDs and 1 DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001699900 Release Date: 12/04/2012   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
    CD: $167.99
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  • 42.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 3; Smetana: Bartered Bride Overture / Argenta
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5087 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Bedrich Smetana,  Ruperto Chapi,  Jerónimo Giménez
    Conductor:  Ataulfo Argenta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spanish National Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Grand Symphony Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Beethoven - The Orchestral Recordings / Otto Klemperer
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 404275 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Aase Nordmo-Lövberg,  Waldemar Kmentt,  Hans Hotter,  Christa Ludwig  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 44.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 3
    Label: Tafelmusik Media   Catalog: 1019 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Bruno Weil
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Beethoven: The Symphonies / Bruggen, Orchestra Of The Eighteenth Century
    Label: Glossa   Catalog: 921116 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Michael Tews,  Marcel Beekman,  Wilke te Brummelstroete,  Rebecca Nash
    Conductor:  Frans Brüggen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the 18th Century,  Laurens Collegium,  Gulbenkian Foundation Chorus Lisbon
    SuperAudio CD: $68.99
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  • 46.
    Carl Schuricht Collection II - Historical Recordings 1951-1966
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93292 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $88.99
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  • 47.
    Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001739902 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    CD: $8.99
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  • 48.
    Beethoven: The Symphonies / Simon Rattle, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 15624 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Barbara Bonney,  Thomas Hampson,  Birgit Remmert,  Kurt Streit
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus
    CD: $19.99
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  • 49.
    Icon - Eugen Jochum
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64004 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Performer:  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Claes H. Ahnsjö,  Roland Hermann,  Helen Donath  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 50.
    Icon: Carl Schuricht - The Complete Emi Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 23379 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Anton Bruckner
    Performer:  Wilma Lipp,  Marga Höffgen,  Murray Dickie,  Gottlob Frick
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Elisabeth Brasseur Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $54.99
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