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
Pinchas Zukerman Plays Beethoven - The Violin Sonatas
Release Date: 08/26/2014   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 440142   Number of Discs: 4
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Rudolf Serkin Plays Beethoven
Release Date: 11/06/2012   Label: Sony (Nax615)  
Catalog: 988302   Number of Discs: 11
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Leon Fleisher Plays Beethoven & Brahms
Release Date: 08/07/2012   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 1918052   Number of Discs: 5
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Beethoven: Complete Symphonies / Muti, Philadelphia
Release Date: 09/02/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 627829   Number of Discs: 6
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Beethoven: Symphonies No 1-9, Overtures... / Bernstein
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 7683912   Number of Discs: 6
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Work: Emperor Concerto

Browse 226-250 of 321 Available Recordings
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  • 226.
    Vladimir Ashkenazy - Great Piano Concertos
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 473601 Release Date: 10/14/2003   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt,  István Kertész  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 227.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 1-5 / Aimard, Harnoncourt
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 47334 Release Date: 05/20/2003   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
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  • 228.
    Original Masters - Clifford Curzon
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 473116 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Alan Rawsthorne,  Manuel de Falla,  Henry Charles Litolff  ... 
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Enrique Jorda,  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 229.
    Mozart, Beethoven, Et Al / Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000001602 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Cord Garben
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra Hamburg
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  • 230.
    Original Masters - Wilhelm Kempff
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 474024 Release Date: 02/11/2003   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff
    Conductor:  Karl Münchinger,  Paul Van Kempen,  Franz Konwitschny,  Josef Krips  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
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  • 231.
    Pollini Edition - Mozart: Piano Concerto No 23;  Beethoven
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471351 Release Date: 02/11/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 232.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 5 & 9, Etc / Brendel, Vienna So
    Label: Spj Music   Catalog: 90115 Release Date: 10/02/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $6.99
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  • 233.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5, Etc;  Dvorák / Gilels, Szell
    Label: Emi Classics Double Fforte   Catalog: 69509 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 234.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos, Etc / Barenboim, Klemperer
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 63360 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir
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  • 235.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 4 & 5 / Zacharias, Vonk, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 74721 Release Date: 08/13/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Christian Zacharias
    Conductor:  Hans Vonk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 236.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5, Triple Concerto / Stern
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 89961 Release Date: 08/06/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Eugene Istomin,  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Rose,  Leon Fleisher
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 237.
    Beethoven: Complete Piano Concertos / Brendel, Levine, Chicago Symphony
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 470938 Release Date: 06/11/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 238.
    Label: Delta Records   Catalog: 14588 Release Date: 05/07/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
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  • 239.
    Beethoven: Emperor Concerto, Pathetique & Appassionata Sonatas / Fischer, Furtwangler
    Label: Emi Classics Références   Catalog: 74800 Release Date: 03/12/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Edwin Fischer
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 240.
    The Maurizio Pollini Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471350 Release Date: 03/12/2002   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Igor Stravinsky,  Claude Debussy,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini,  Slavka Taskova
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Herbert von Karajan,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 241.
    The Complete Josef Hofmann Vol 7 - Great Concerto Performances
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 52037 Release Date: 03/01/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Josef Hofmann
    Conductor:  Donald Voorhees,  José Iturbi,  Hans Lange,  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
    CD: $36.99
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  • 242.
    Label: Spj Music   Catalog: 90601 Release Date: 02/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
    CD: $4.99
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  • 243.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 5
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 457891 Release Date: 12/21/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm,  Eugen Jochum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD not available
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  • 244.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5, Sonatas / Solomon, Menges
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1221 Release Date: 11/13/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Solomon
    Conductor:  Herbert Menges
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 245.
    Beethoven: Emperor Concerto; Haydn: Piano Concerto No 11 / Michelangeli
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 7406482 Release Date: 10/29/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
    Conductor:  Mario Rossi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin
    CD: $8.99
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  • 246.
    Rubinstein Collection Vol 36 - Beethoven: Concertos;  Haydn
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63036 Release Date: 10/09/2001   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Josef Krips
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air
    CD not available
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  • 247.
    Beethoven: Egmont Overture, Piano Concerto No 5 / Nanut
    Label: Vox Allegretto   Catalog: 8193 Release Date: 07/30/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Dubravka Tomsic
    Conductor:  Anton Nanut
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ljubljana Symphony Orchestra
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  • 248.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5, Sonata No 23 / Brendel
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 468666 Release Date: 06/29/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 249.
    Eloquence - Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 4 & 5 /Arrau, Et Al
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 468113 Release Date: 04/10/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    CD not available
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  • 250.
    Philips 50 - Beethoven: Piano Concertos 4 & 5 / Arrau
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 464681 Release Date: 03/13/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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