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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 Piano Sonatas / Bavouzet
Release Date: 11/03/2017   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: CHAN 10960(9)   Number of Discs: 9
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Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 / Szell, Gilels, Cleveland Orchestra
Release Date: 02/10/2017   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 559442   Number of Discs: 3
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Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 / Weil, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
Release Date: 09/22/2017   Label: Tafelmusik Media  
Catalog: 1034   Number of Discs: 6
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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 6, 7 & 8 / Kubelik
Release Date: 11/03/2017   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186250   Number of Discs: 2
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Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Bruckner & Debussy / Klemperer
Release Date: 11/17/2017   Label: Ica Classics  
Catalog: 5145   Number of Discs: 4
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Work: Emperor Concerto

Browse 1-25 of 259 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Decca Sound: The Piano Edition
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4832243 Release Date: 11/17/2017   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Julius Katchen,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  André Previn  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Bernard Haitink,  André Previn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
    CD: $165.99
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  • 2.
    Boston Symphony Orchestra: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797718 Release Date: 10/20/2017   Number of Discs: 57
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Alexander Scriabin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Zukofsky,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Teresa Berganza  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  William Steinberg,  Rafael Kubelik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Chamber Players
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  • 3.
    The Paul Badura-Skoda Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4798065 Release Date: 10/20/2017   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Badura-Skoda,  Antonio Janigro,  Jean Fournier,  Otto Ruhm  ... 
    Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Felix Prohaska,  Milan Horvat  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  London Promenade Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $100.99
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  • 4.
    Beethoven - Complete Edition 2017
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95510 Release Date: 10/01/2017   Number of Discs: 85
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Helena Döse,  Marga Schiml,  Peter Schreier,  Theo Adam  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt,  Willfried Boettcher,  Heinz Wallberg,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus,  Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    Sir Georg Solti: The Complete Chicago Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4831375 Release Date: 09/15/2017   Number of Discs: 108
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $373.99
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  • 6.
    Rudolf Serkin: The Complete Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985404062 Release Date: 08/25/2017   Number of Discs: 75
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Rudolf Serkin,  Adolf Busch,  Hermann Busch,  Pablo Casals  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Bruno Walter,  Eugene Ormandy,  Pablo Casals  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Busch String Quartet  ... 
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  • 7.
    Daniel Barenboim: A Retrospective / Various
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985393632 Release Date: 08/18/2017   Number of Discs: 46
    Composer:  Alban Berg,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Carl Stamitz  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim,  Saschko Gawriloff,  Halina Lukomska,  Pinchas Zukerman  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Daniel Barenboim,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 8.
    Ashkenazy: Complete Concerto Recordings / Various
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4831752 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 48
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Keith Puddy,  Fou Ts'ong,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Kiril Kondrashin,  David Zinman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 9.
    Beethoven: Complete Piano Concertos / Minnaar, Vriend, Netherlands Symphony
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72763 Release Date: 07/07/2017   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Hannes Minnaar
    Conductor:  Jan Willem de Vriend
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Symphony Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Karl Bohm: The Early Years
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 561986 Release Date: 06/02/2017   Number of Discs: 19
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Jan Dahmen,  Max Zimolong,  Elisabeth Höngen,  Josef Herrmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden,  Dresden State Opera Chorus,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 11.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 5 / Vogt, Royal Northern Sinfonia
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1292 Release Date: 05/19/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Lars Vogt
    Conductor:  Lars Vogt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Northern Sinfonia
    CD: $17.99
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  • 12.
    Arthur Rubinstein Plays Great Piano Concertos
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88883737172 Release Date: 05/12/2017   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Eugene Ormandy,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 13.
    Artur Schnabel: The RCA Victor Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985389712 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Artur Schnabel
    Conductor:  Frederick Stock
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 / Szell, Gilels, Cleveland Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 559442 Release Date: 02/10/2017   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    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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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    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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  • 20.
    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
    Recommendation
    On sale! $111.98
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  • 21.
    Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002559502 Release Date: 09/23/2016   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
    CD: $61.49
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  • 22.
    Beethoven: 6 Sonatas, Fur Elise & Emperor Concerto / Schnabel
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 3201 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Artur Schnabel
    Conductor:  Frederick Stock
    CD: $13.99
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  • 23.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos / Kempff
    Label: Apr   Catalog: 6019 Release Date: 08/10/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff
    Conductor:  Paul Van Kempen,  Peter Raabe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Deutsche Opera Orchestra Berlin  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 24.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos; Violin Concerto; 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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  • 25.
    The Art of Murray Perahia
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 518339 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Murray Perahia,  Radu Lupu
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Bernard Haitink,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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