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 / Budapest String Quartet
Release Date: 04/13/2018   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 88985497062   Number of Discs: 12
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Beethoven: Complete String Quartets / Quartetto di Cremona
Release Date: 07/06/2018   Label: Audite  
Catalog: 21454   Number of Discs: 8
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Beethoven: Chamber Music For Horns, Winds And Strings
Release Date: 07/18/1995   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553090   Number of Discs: 1
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Idil Biret Beethoven Edition 5 - Piano Sonatas 3
Release Date: 02/24/2009   Label: Iba [idil Biret Archives]  
Catalog: 8571255   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven Edition Vol 8 - Piano Sonatas Vol 4 / Idil Biret
Release Date: 04/28/2009   Label: Iba [idil Biret Archives]  
Catalog: 8571258   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 19

Browse 151-175 of 175 Available Recordings
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  • 151.
    Beethoven: 5 Piano Concertos / Brendel, Rattle, Vienna Po
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 462781 Release Date: 04/06/1999   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 152.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 1 & 2 / Uchida, Sanderling
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 454468 Release Date: 04/14/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Mitsuko Uchida
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 153.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 1 & 2 / Vracheva, Kofman
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47351 Release Date: 01/27/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Galina Vracheva
    Conductor:  Roman Kofman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kiev Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 154.
    Beethoven: The Piano Concertos, Etc / Schiff, Haitink
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 13159 Release Date: 09/16/1997   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  András Schiff
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 155.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 1 & 2, Etc / Levin, Gardiner
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 453438 Release Date: 08/12/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Robert Levin
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
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  • 156.
    Beethoven: The Five Piano Concertos / Brendel, Levine
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 456045 Release Date: 07/15/1997   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 157.
    Beethoven: The Piano Concertos / Ashkenazy, Solti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443723 Release Date: 06/24/1997   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 158.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 1 & 2 / Solomon, Cluytens
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1219 Release Date: 02/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Solomon
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 159.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 1-4 / Gilels, Szell, Cleveland
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 69506 Release Date: 11/26/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 160.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 5 & 2 / Artur Schnabel
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1020 Release Date: 01/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Artur Schnabel
    Conductor:  Alceo Galliera,  Issay Dobrowen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 161.
    Glenn Gould Live In Stockholm 1958 / Georg Jochum
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 323 Release Date: 12/06/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alban Berg,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Glenn Gould
    Conductor:  Georg Ludwig Jochum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stockholm Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 162.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 2 / Fellner, Marriner
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 98539 Release Date: 09/05/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Till Fellner
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 163.
    Beethoven: Five Piano Concerti, Choral Fantasy / Brendel
    Label: Vox Box Legends   Catalog: 3502 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
    Conductor:  Willfried Boettcher,  Zubin Mehta,  Heinz Wallberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Teacher's Choral Society,  Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 164.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 1 & 2 / Pollini, Abbado, BPO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 445852 Release Date: 04/03/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 165.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 2 & 4 / Westenholz, Schonwandt
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 349 Release Date: 09/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Elisabeth Westenholz
    Conductor:  Michael Schonwandt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Copenhagen Collegium Musicum
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  • 166.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 1 & 2 / Argerich, Sinopoli
    Label: Dg Masters   Catalog: 445504 Release Date: 08/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Martha Argerich
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 167.
    Glenn Gould Edition - Bach, Beethoven: Live In Leningrad
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 52686 Release Date: 01/11/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Glenn Gould
    Conductor:  Ladislav Slovák
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academic Symphony Orchestra Leningrad
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  • 168.
    Beethoven: The Pianos Concertos / Kempff, Van Kempen
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435744 Release Date: 03/16/1993   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff
    Conductor:  Paul Van Kempen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 169.
    Glenn Gould Edition - Beethoven: The 5 Piano Concertos
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 52632 Release Date: 10/27/1992   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Glenn Gould
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski,  Leonard Bernstein,  Vladimir Golschmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Symphony Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 170.
    Beethoven: The Piano Concertos / Zimerman, Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435467 Release Date: 10/13/1992   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman
    Conductor:  Krystian Zimerman,  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $54.49
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  • 171.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 2 And 5
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550121 Release Date: 06/30/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Stefan Vladar
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana
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  • 172.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 2 & 4 / Fleisher, Szell
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 48165 Release Date: 06/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Leon Fleisher
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 173.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2 / Perahia, Haitink
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 42177 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Murray Perahia
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    CD: $6.99
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  • 174.
    Beethoven: The 5 Piano Concertos / Ashkenazy, Cleveland Orch
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 421718 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Terry Cook,  Martin Horning,  Jon Garrison,  D'Anna Fortunato  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra Chorus,  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 175.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerti 1 & 2 / Kempff, Leitner, Berlin
    Label: Dg Galleria   Catalog: 419856 Release Date: 04/25/1988   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff
    Conductor:  Ferdinand Leitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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