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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: Complete String Quartets / Tokyo SQ
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 807641   Number of Discs: 8
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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas No 1-3, 5-10, 12-18, 23, 30-33 / Glenn Gould
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 541286   Number of Discs: 6
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The Beethoven Journey - Piano Concertos No 1-5 / 	Leif Ove Andsnes
Release Date: 10/27/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 305887   Number of Discs: 3
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Beethoven: Complete Works for Cello & Piano / Queyras, Melnikov
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902183   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Piano Trios Op 70 No 2,
Release Date: 02/11/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902125   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Für Elise

Browse 251-266 of 266 Available Recordings
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  • 251.
    Mad About Piano
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439520 Release Date: 08/10/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Claude Debussy,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Evgeni Kissin,  Alexis Weissenberg,  Stanislav Bunin,  Jean-Marc Luisada  ... 
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  • 252.
    My First Recital / Ruth Laredo
    Label: Ess.a.y Recordings   Catalog: 1006 Release Date: 07/15/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Robert Schumann,  Claude Debussy,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Ruth Laredo
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  • 253.
    The Telarc Collection Vol 9
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 89109 Release Date: 06/29/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Phil Moore,  Clifford Brown,  Mel London,  Stefan Schyga  ... 
    Performer:  Jeanie Bryson,  John Heard,  Ahmad Jamal,  Yoron Israel  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel,  Martin Pearlman,  Yoel Levi,  Keith Clark  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slide Hampton/Jazz Masters,  Azuza Pacific University Choir,  Central State University Chorus  ... 
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  • 254.
    Favourite Beethoven / Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 436380 Release Date: 01/19/1993   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 255.
    Piano Classics - Popular Works For Solo Piano / O'Conor
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80313 Release Date: 11/17/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Edvard Grieg,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  John O'Conor
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  • 256.
    Beethoven: Variations & Vignettes For Piano / Alfred Brendel
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 3017 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
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  • 257.
    Beethoven: Eroica Variations, Rondos, Etc / Louis Lortie
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 8616 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Louis Lortie
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  • 258.
    Schroeder's Greatest Hits
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61240 Release Date: 09/08/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Vince Guaraldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Nelly Kokinos,  Ronnie Zito,  John Miller,  Ken Bichel
    CD: $8.99
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  • 259.
    Van Cliburn Collection - The World's Favorite Piano Music
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60973 Release Date: 07/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Van Cliburn
    CD: $9.99
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  • 260.
    Beethoven - Greatest Hits
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60831 Release Date: 09/06/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Matti Salminen,  Marilyn Horne,  Jon Vickers,  Margaret Price  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Zubin Mehta,  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  New York Philharmonic,  New York Choral Artists  ... 
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  • 261.
    The Best Of Beethoven
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8551101 Release Date: 03/24/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Balázs Szokolay,  Stefan Vladar,  Takako Nishizaki,  Jénö Jandó
    Conductor:  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Barry Wordsworth,  Kenneth Jean,  Michael Halász  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra,  Capella Istropolitana,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 262.
    Beethoven Or Bust / Don Dorsey
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80153 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Don Dorsey,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Don Dorsey
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  • 263.
    Beethoven: Für Elise, Eroica-Variationen, etc / Brendel
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412227 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
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  • 264.
    Greatest Hits Of 1790 / Kapp, Philharmonia Virtuosi
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 37216 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Luigi Boccherini,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Edward Carroll,  Hubert Laws,  Chick Corea
    Conductor:  Richard Kapp
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Virtuosi
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  • 265.
    Concerto / Richard Clayderman
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 44739 Release Date: 05/26/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Erik Satie,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Clayderman
    Conductor:  Roger Berthier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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