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: Piano Sonata No. 29
Release Date: 03/25/2016   Label: Alpha Productions  
Catalog: 239   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Violin Concerto & Sonata No. 9
Release Date: 02/10/2017   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 559443   Number of Discs: 1
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At  Carnegie Hall - Bach, Schumann, Janacek, Beethoven, Bartok / Piotr Anderszewski
Release Date: 06/02/2009   Label: Erato  
Catalog: 67291   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Complete Piano Trios
Release Date: 11/06/2015   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 552369   Number of Discs: 4
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Beethoven: The Late String Quartets / Cypress String Quartet
Release Date: 05/06/2016   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2356   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Emperor Concerto

Browse 26-50 of 253 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra - The Complete Sony Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875030622 Release Date: 06/16/2015   Number of Discs: 47
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wilhelm Friedemann Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Heinrich Ignaz Biber  ... 
    Performer:  Jeanne Lamon,  Stephen Marvin,  Christina Mahler,  Ivars Taurins  ... 
    Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon,  Bruno Weil,  Frieder Bernius
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik,  Stuttgart Chamber Choir,  Tölz Boys Choir  ... 
    CD: $72.49
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  • 27.
    Beethoven: Complete Piano Concertos, Vol. 1 - Piano Concertos Nos. 4 & 5
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72672 Release Date: 05/12/2015   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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  • 28.
    George Enescu Conducts Nypso: Mozart, Schumann, Beethoven
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2112 Release Date: 05/05/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Spoken Word,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ion Nonna Otescu,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Rudolf Serkin
    Conductor:  George Enescu
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  • 29.
    David Zinman conducts Beethoven
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88843077922 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Detlef Roth,  Birgit Remmert,  Ruth Ziesak,  Steve Davislim  ... 
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra,  Swiss Chamber Chorus
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  • 30.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 3 & 5 / Eschenbach, Henze, Ozawa
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186201 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Christoph Eschenbach
    Conductor:  Hans Werner Henze,  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Decca Sound  – Mono Years 1944 -1956
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002280602 Release Date: 04/07/2015   Number of Discs: 53
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Maurice Ravel,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus,  Clifford Curzon,  Alfredo Campoli,  Henry Datyner  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Roger Desormičre,  Karl Münchinger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Paris Conservatoire Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
    CD: $213.99
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  • 32.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350074 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Edwin Fischer
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    SuperAudio CD: $24.99
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  • 33.
    Beethoven: The Piano Concertos; Triple Concerto / Kodama, Nagano
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300597 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Mari Kodama,  Kolja Blacher,  Johannes Moser
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
    CD: $39.99
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  • 34.
    Piano Concertos By Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Ravel / Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 121217 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Maurice Ravel,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
    Conductor:  Mario Rossi,  Hermann Scherchen,  Nino Sanzogno,  Massimo Freccia
    CD: $29.99
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  • 35.
    Leonard Bernstein Edition - Concertos & Orchestral Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301330 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 80
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Gomberg,  William Heim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Maurice Peress
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Philharmonic members,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 36.
    The Beethoven Journey - Piano Concertos No 1-5 / Andsnes, Mahler Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 305887 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Leif Ove Andsnes
    Conductor:  Leif Ove Andsnes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Beethoven: Complete Piano Concertos
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94856 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Yefim Bronfman,  Jürgen Orelly,  Regula Konrad,  Paolo Vignoli  ... 
    Conductor:  David Zinman
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  • 38.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5 / Freire, Chailly
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002153402 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Nelson Freire
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 39.
    The Beethoven Journey - Piano Concerto No. 5
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 305886 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Leif Ove Andsnes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Beethoven: Complete Fortepiano Concertos / Schoonderwoerd, Ensemble Cristofori
    Label: Alpha Productions   Catalog: 820 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Arthur Schoonderwoerd
    Conductor:  Arthur Schoonderwoerd
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Cristofori
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  • 41.
    Beethoven: Complete Piano Concertos / Ingrid Jacoby
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5126 Release Date: 06/24/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Ingrid Jacoby
    Conductor:  Jacek Kaspszyk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia
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  • 42.
    Karajan And His Soloists, Vol. 2 (1969-1984)
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633624 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Jules Massenet,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Alexis Weissenberg,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris
    On sale! $64.99
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  • 43.
    Giulini In Vienna
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002037702 Release Date: 05/19/2014   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli,  Andreas Schmidt,  Barbara Bonney,  Lazar Berman  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 44.
    Rca Living Stereo Collection, Vol. 2
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 300350 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Byron Janis,  Gary Graffman,  Vladimir Horowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Krips,  Fritz Reiner,  Pierre Monteux,  Charles Munch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $125.98
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  • 45.
    Alfred Brendel: 3 Classic Albums
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002044602 Release Date: 05/06/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel,  James Van Demark
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Cleveland String Quartet members
    CD: $21.99
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  • 46.
    Beethoven: Emperor Concerto; Schumann: Fantasy / Yundi
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002010302 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Yundi Li
    Conductor:  Daniel Harding
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 47.
    Leonard Bernstein Collection Vol 1 [59 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 2027800 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Leonard Bernstein,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Kurt Moll,  Hanna Schwarz  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Concert Choir,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 48.
    Beethoven: The Piano Concertos, Diabelli Variations, Bagatelles, 8 Sonatas / Kovacevich
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002028102 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 49.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection, Vol. 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
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  • 50.
    Karajan And His Soloists, Vol. 1 (1948-1958)
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633625 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Dinu Lipatti,  Walter Gieseking,  Dennis Brain,  Bernard Walton  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Lucerne Festival Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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