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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Schubert & Beethoven / Sokolov
Release Date: 01/29/2016   Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002436702   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Complete Sonatas for Piano & Violin / Roscoe, Little
Release Date: 02/26/2016   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10888   Number of Discs: 3
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Beethoven: Symphonies 5 & 7 / Honeck, Pittsburgh
Release Date: 11/13/2015   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 718   Number of Discs: 1
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Liszt: Beethoven Complete Symphonies, Vol. 2 / Baldocci
Release Date: 01/13/2017   Label: Dynamic  
Catalog: 7771   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 19

Browse 1-25 of 178 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3 / Fleisher, Hohenrieder, Wurttemberg Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 20407 Release Date: 01/13/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Margarita Höhenrieder
    Conductor:  Leon Fleisher
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kammerphilharmonie Amadé,  Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn
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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    Beethoven: The Solo Concertos / Vladar, Van Kuelen, Speckel, Wiener Kammerorchester
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 7210 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Stefan Vladar,  Julian Steckel,  Isabelle van Keulen
    Conductor:  Stefan Vladar
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    CD: $26.99
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  • 4.
    Maurizio Pollini: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002578510 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Arnold Schoenberg  ... 
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini,  Andreas Esders,  Gabriele Lechner,  Gretchen Eder  ... 
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung  ... 
    CD: $254.49
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  • 5.
    Vivarte Collection, Vol. 2
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 2367 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Markus Schäfer,  Jonas Will,  Johannes Pohl,  Harry Van der Kamp  ... 
    Conductor:  Konrad Ruhland,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Frieder Bernius,  Bruno Weil  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Niederaltaich Scholars,  Tölz Boys Choir,  Baroque Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6.
    Emil Gilels: 100th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: MELCD1002433 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Alexander Alyabyev,  Arno Babadjanyan,  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    CD: $499.99
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  • 7.
    Eugen Jochum: Complete Recordings on DG, Vol. 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002565702 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
    CD: $108.49
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  • 8.
    Evgeny Kissin: The Complete RCA & Sony Classical Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5033827 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Evgeny Kissin,  Mikhail Milman,  Boris Garlitsky,  Vladimir Spivakov  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev,  Vladimir Spivakov,  Seiji Ozawa,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 9.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 - Brahms: Symphony No. 4 / Randalu, Jarvi, ENSO
    Label: Estonian Rec Productions   Catalog: 9016 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Kalle Randalu
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Julius Katchen: The Complete Decca Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002543002 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 35
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Julius Katchen,  Thea King
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  • 11.
    Grand Piano Masters: Concertos by Beethoven & Ustvolskaya / Hase, Leipold, Ensemble Galina
    Label: K & K Verlagsanstalt   Catalog: 123 Release Date: 07/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Galina Ustvolskaya
    Performer:  Patricia Hase
    Conductor:  Peter Leipold
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Galina
    CD: $18.99
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  • 12.
    Ludwig Van Beethoven: The Piano Concertos; The Violin Concerto; The Cello Sonatas
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88725463902 Release Date: 07/08/2016   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jos van Immerseel,  Vera Beths,  Anner Bylsma
    Conductor:  Bruno Weil
    CD: $21.99
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  • 13.
    Martha Argerich: The Complete Sony Classical Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 532035 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  César Franck,  Robert Schumann,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  James Galway,  Martha Argerich,  Ivry Gitlis
    Conductor:  Martha Argerich,  Claudio Abbado
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  • 14.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Minaar, De Vriend, Netherlands Symphony
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72712 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Hannes Minnaar
    Conductor:  Jan Willem de Vriend
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Symphony Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Europakonzert: 25 DVD Anniversary Box (1991-2015) / Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26098 Release Date: 04/29/2016  
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Leonidas Kavakos,  Mikhail Pletnev,  Violeta Urmana,  Elke Wilm Schulte  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Pierre Boulez,  Gustavo Dudamel,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Choir,  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir
    On sale! $118.99
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  • 16.
    Simon Rattle & His Soloists: The CBSO Years
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555058 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Cécile Ousset,  Nigel Kennedy,  Lynn Harrell,  Marielle Labčque  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  London Sinfonietta
    CD: $49.99
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  • 17.
    Pollini & Abbado: The Complete Deutsche Grammophon Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002462202 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann,  Arnold Schoenberg  ... 
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini,  Andreas Esders,  Gabriele Lechner,  Gretchen Eder  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 18.
    The Complete Piano Concertos Of Ludwig Van Beethoven
    Label: Hungaroton   Catalog: 32757 Release Date: 02/12/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Dénes Várjon
    Conductor:  András Keller
    CD: $48.99
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  • 19.
    Alfred Brendel: Complete Philips Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434302 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 114
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel,  Imogen Cooper,  Sylvia McNair,  Eduard Brunner  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Bernard Haitink,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $308.99
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  • 20.
    Annie Fischer & Leon Fleisher Play Schumann
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95643 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Annie Fischer
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 21.
    Radu Lupu: Complete Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002402202 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Radu Lupu,  Vincent Zarzo,  Han de Vries,  George Pieterson  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Lawrence Foster,  Uri Segal,  Edo De Waart  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $78.99
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  • 22.
    Glenn Gould Remastered: The Complete Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 503222 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 81
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Glenn Gould,  Elizabeth Benson-Guy,  Donald Gramm,  Charles Bressler  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Walter Susskind,  Vladimir Golschmann,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  CBC Symphony Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Symphonia String Quartet  ... 
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  • 23.
    Martha Argerich: The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002364402 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 48
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Guy Touvron,  Gidon Kremer,  Alexandre Gurning  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Charles Dutoit,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Jörg Faerber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 24.
    Beethoven: The Five Piano Concertos
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552123 Release Date: 09/18/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    CD: $23.99
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  • 25.
    Stephen Kovacevich: The Complete Philips Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002369302 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Béla Bartók,  Igor Stravinsky,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Jack Brymer,  Patrick Ireland,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  John Lanchbery
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Octet members  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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