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 Concerto No. 5 & Works for Solo Piano / Bax
Release Date: 05/18/2018   Label: Signum Classics  
Catalog: 525   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Works for Flute, Vol. 2 / Seo, Ueno, Kodama
Release Date: 06/08/2018   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573570   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Works for Flute / Seo
Release Date: 03/09/2018   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573569   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Bagatelles And Dances Vol 2 / Jenó Jandö
Release Date: 01/25/2000   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553798   Number of Discs: 1
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The Best Of Beethoven
Release Date: 10/20/1997   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8556651   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Piano no 1 in C major, Op. 15

Browse 1-25 of 193 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Pianist / Bernstein
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548379 Release Date: 06/08/2018   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  George Gershwin,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Leonard Bernstein,  Walter Berry,  Christa Ludwig,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 & Piano Concerto No. 1 / Argerich, Ozawa, Mito Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002796802 Release Date: 02/23/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Martha Argerich
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mito Chamber Orchestra
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    CD: $18.99
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  • 3.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos / Ashkenazy, Solti, Chicago Symphony [3 CDs + Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4832579 Release Date: 01/12/2018   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $48.99
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  • 4.
    Walter Gieseking - His First Concerto Recordings
    Label: Apr   Catalog: 7308 Release Date: 01/05/2018   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Gieseking
    Conductor:  Hans Rosbaud,  Karl Böhm,  Bruno Walter,  Henry Wood
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Saxon State Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 5.
    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  ... 
    CD: $210.99
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  • 6.
    Leonard Bernstein: Remastered Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 541714 Release Date: 10/27/2017   Number of Discs: 100
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Darius Milhaud,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Shapero  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    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  ... 
    CD: $148.99
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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    Sviatoslav Richter Plays Beethoven
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 16030 Release Date: 09/01/2017   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Hermann Abendroth,  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR Radio/TV Large Symphony Orchestra,  USSR State Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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
    SuperAudio CD: $34.99
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  • 14.
    Andre Cluytens: The Complete Orchestral & Concerto Recordings
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 562261 Release Date: 06/16/2017   Number of Discs: 65
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Raoul Laparra,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Monique de la Bruchollerie,  Marcelle Meyer,  Zino Francescatti,  Jeanne-Marie Darré  ... 
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire,  Le Grand Orchestre Symphonique Columbia,  Orchestre du Theatre National de l'Opera-Comique  ... 
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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Subdin, Vanska, Tapiola Sinfonietta
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2078 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
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  • 18.
    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
    CD: $16.99
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  • 19.
    Liszt & Beethoven: Piano Concertos / Mehta, Buniatishvili, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Sony (Nax615) (Dvd)   Catalog: 88985369669 Release Date: 12/30/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $13.99
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  • 20.
    Liszt & Beethoven: Piano Concertos / Mehta, Buniatishvili, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra [Blu-ray]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985369679 Release Date: 12/30/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 21.
    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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  • 22.
    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
    Recommendation
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  • 23.
    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: $218.99
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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    The Warner Classics Recordings / Argerich
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 558208 Release Date: 11/04/2016   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Alberto Ginastera  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich
    On sale! $49.98
    CD: $47.99
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