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
Rudolf Serkin Plays Beethoven
Release Date: 11/06/2012   Label: Sony (Nax615)  
Catalog: 988302   Number of Discs: 11
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The Beethoven Journey - Piano Concerto No. 5
Release Date: 09/16/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 305886   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5 / Freire, Chailly
Release Date: 09/30/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002153402   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Pinchas Zukerman Plays Beethoven - The Violin Sonatas
Release Date: 08/26/2014   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 440142   Number of Discs: 4
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Work: Emperor Concerto

Browse 251-275 of 322 Available Recordings
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  • 251.
    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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  • 252.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto 5;  Tchaikovsky / Jordania, Et Al
    Label: Angelok   Catalog: 9904 Release Date: 01/30/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Tatsuya Nagashima
    Conductor:  Vakhtang Jordania
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Federation State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 253.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 4 & 5 / Curzon, Knappertsbusch
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 467126 Release Date: 11/14/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 254.
    Rare Recordings (1936-45) / Wilhelm Kempff
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1071 Release Date: 10/24/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Gabriel Fauré,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff
    Conductor:  Peter Raabe,  Hans Weisbach
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig Symphony Orchestra
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  • 255.
    Beethoven: Overtures, Leonora No 3, Etc /Lill, Weller, Et Al
    Label: Chandos Collect   Catalog: 6612 Release Date: 09/26/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  John Lill
    Conductor:  Walter Weller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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  • 256.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos / Curzon, Kubelik, Bavarian Rso
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95459 Release Date: 08/29/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 257.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 4 & 5 / Barenboim, Berlin Po
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 74008 Release Date: 08/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 258.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5, Choral Fantasy / Brendel
    Label: Tuxedo Music   Catalog: 1038 Release Date: 04/15/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Friedrich Wührer,  Alfred Brendel
    Conductor:  Clemens Krauss,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Academy Chamber Choir,  Vienna Pro Musica Orchestra
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  • 259.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto no 5, Rondos Op. 51, Sonatas Op. 49 / Lupu, et al
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4666892 Release Date: 04/03/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Radu Lupu
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 260.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5, C Minor Variations / Uchida
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 462586 Release Date: 02/08/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Mitsuko Uchida
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 261.
    A. B. Michelangeli In Performance - Beethoven, Haydn
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 4296 Release Date: 11/16/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
    Conductor:  Agostino Orizio,  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brescia and Bergamo Festival Chamber Orchestra,  Paris Symphony Orchestra
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  • 262.
    Beethoven, Mozart: Piano Concertos / Curzon, Boulez, Et Al
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 4020 Release Date: 11/16/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 263.
    Beethoven: Complete Sonatas & Concertos, Etc / Arrau, Et Al
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 462358 Release Date: 11/09/1999   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau,  János Starker,  Henryk Szeryng
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Eliahu Inbal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 264.
    Beethoven: The Piano Concertos / Levin, Gardiner
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 459622 Release Date: 09/14/1999   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Robert Levin,  David Watkin,  Peter Hanson,  Constanze Backes  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique,  Monteverdi Choir
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  • 265.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 9, Etc;  Mozart / Sawallisch, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Double Fforte   Catalog: 73329 Release Date: 08/10/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Youri Egorov,  Margaret Price,  Jan-Hendrik Rootering,  Peter Seiffert  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Düsseldorf Städtischer Musikvereins Chorus,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 266.
    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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  • 267.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5, Violin Concerto / Beths, Etc
    Label: Sony Classical Vivarte Series   Catalog: 63365 Release Date: 04/28/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Vera Beths,  Jos van Immerseel
    Conductor:  Bruno Weil
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
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  • 268.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 5, Concerto For Piano No 5
    Label: Spj Music   Catalog: 90013 Release Date: 04/07/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    CD: $3.99
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  • 269.
    Favorite Piano Concertos Vol 1 - Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Beethoven...
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 462176 Release Date: 03/17/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henry Charles Litolff,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Liszt,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Misha Dichter,  Byron Janis,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Alfred Brendel  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Antal Doráti,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 270.
    Complete Beethoven Edition Vol 2 - Concertos
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453707 Release Date: 11/11/1997   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Patrick Gallois,  Pascal Gallois,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Eva Ander  ... 
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung,  Peter Gülke,  Daniel Barenboim,  Emil Tchakarov  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Chamber Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 271.
    Bernstein Century - Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 3 And 5
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 63080 Release Date: 10/28/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Rudolf Serkin
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 272.
    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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  • 273.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 2 & 5 / Kissin, Levine
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 62926 Release Date: 07/29/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Evgeni Kissin
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 274.
    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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  • 275.
    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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