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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Leon Fleisher Plays Beethoven & Brahms
Release Date: 08/07/2012   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 1918052   Number of Discs: 5
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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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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 276-300 of 322 Available Recordings
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  • 276.
    The Originals Beethoven Box - Legendary Recordings
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 457097 Release Date: 05/13/1997   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff,  Gundula Janowitz,  Walter Berry,  Waldemar Kmentt  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Ferdinand Leitner,  Carlos Kleiber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 277.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 4 & 5 / Lubin, Hogwood
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 443186 Release Date: 04/22/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Steven Lubin
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
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  • 278.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 4 & 5 / Gilels, Ludwig
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1095 Release Date: 03/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 279.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5, Choral Fantasia / Vracheva
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47353 Release Date: 02/18/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Galina Vracheva
    Conductor:  Roman Kofman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kiev Chamber Chorus,  Kiev Chamber Orchestra
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  • 280.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5, Symphony No 8 / Backhaus
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 385961 Release Date: 12/17/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
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  • 281.
    Beethoven: Emperor Concerto, Choral Fantasy / Levin
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 447771 Release Date: 08/13/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Robert Levin
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
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  • 282.
    Bruno Walter Edition - Beethoven, Schumann: Piano Concertos
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64489 Release Date: 05/28/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Eugene Istomin,  Rudolf Serkin
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 283.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos 4 & 5 / Kempff, Leitner
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 447402 Release Date: 02/13/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff
    Conductor:  Ferdinand Leitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 284.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos 4 And 5 / Vladar, Wordsworth
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553266 Release Date: 01/23/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Stefan Vladar
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana
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  • 285.
    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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  • 286.
    Label: Curb   Catalog: 78029 Release Date: 10/31/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Dieter Zechlin
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling
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  • 287.
    Glenn Gould Edition - Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5, Etc
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 52687 Release Date: 06/27/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Glenn Gould
    Conductor:  Vladimir Golschmann,  Karel Ancerl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toronto Symphony Orchestra
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  • 288.
    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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  • 289.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto no 5 / Pollini, Abbado, BPO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 445851 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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  • 290.
    Beethoven: The Piano Concertos / Pollini, Abbado, Berlin Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439770 Release Date: 02/14/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 291.
    The Classical Novaes - Beethoven, Mozart
    Label: Vox Box Legends   Catalog: 5512 Release Date: 01/17/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Guiomar Novaës
    Conductor:  Hans Swarowsky,  Jonel Perlea
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 292.
    Beethoven: Complete Concertos Vol 2 / Kovacevich, Krebbers
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 442580 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Lidia Grychtolówna,  Herman Krebbers,  Henryk Szeryng  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Heinz Dressel,  Bernard Haitink,  Eliahu Inbal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Folkwang Chamber Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 293.
    Rachmaninoff: Concerto No 2;  Beethoven / Van Cliburn
    Label: Rca Victor Living Stereo   Catalog: 61961 Release Date: 03/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Van Cliburn
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 294.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5, Sonata No 15 / Vlader
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 550290 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Stefan Vladar,  Jénö Jandó
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana
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  • 295.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos 3 & 5
    Label: Sony Classical Infinity Digital   Catalog: 57222 Release Date: 02/08/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Sergei Uruvayev
    Conductor:  Alexander Titov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Classic Music Studio Orchestra,  New Philharmony Orchestra
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  • 296.
    Beethoven, Brahms: Piano Concertos / Richter-haaser, Etc
    Label: Kontrapunkt   Catalog: 32020 Release Date: 09/16/1993   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Hans Richter-Haaser
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 297.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5 / Zimerman, Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 429748 Release Date: 04/01/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 298.
    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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  • 299.
    Favourite Beethoven / Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 436380 Release Date: 01/19/1993   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 300.
    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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