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: Rage Over a Lost Penny - Solo Piano Pieces / Brautigam
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1892   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Violin Concerto / Mutter, Karajan, Berlin Po
Release Date: 01/08/2008   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001038902   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 3; Mozart: Piano Concerto No 24 / Sudbin, Vanska
Release Date: 02/25/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1978   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: The Late Piano Sonatas / Igor Levit
Release Date: 11/05/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 370387   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: The Late String Quartets Arranged For String Orchestra  /  Tonnensen, Camerata Nordica
Release Date: 02/25/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1096   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Piano Concerto no 3

Browse 1-25 of 289 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 3 & 4 / Pires, Harding, Swedish Radio Orchestra
    Label: Onyx (Classical Label)   Catalog: 415 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Maria-Joao Pires
    Conductor:  Daniel Harding
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 3, Moonlight Sonata / Galeani, Nowak
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra   Catalog: 41 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Mario Galeani
    Conductor:  Grzegorz Nowak
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    Annie Fischer - The Centennial Collection
    Label: Hungaroton   Catalog: 41011 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Annie Fischer
    Conductor:  Heribert Esser,  Ervin Lukács
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Symphony Orchestra
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  • 6.
    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
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  • 7.
    Giulini In Vienna [15-CD Set]
    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  ... 
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  • 8.
    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  ... 
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  • 9.
    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  ... 
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  • 10.
    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
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  • 11.
    Beethoven: Complete Piano Concertos / Perahia, Marriner, ASMF [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 3085294 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Murray Perahia
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 12.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.3, Piano Sonatas Op.111 / Say, Noseda, Frankfurt Radio Symphony
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5347 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Fazil Say
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Glenn Gould Plays Beethoven
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7685272 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Glenn Gould
    Conductor:  Vladimir Golschmann,  Leonard Bernstein,  Leopold Stokowski
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  • 14.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 3; Mozart: Piano Concerto No 24 / Sudbin, Vanska
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1978 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Sergiu Celibidache In Caracas, 1956
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 543 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Judith James,  Albert Ferber
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
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  • 16.
    Beethoven By Knappertsbusch
    Label: Tahra   Catalog: 762 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Géza Anda
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
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  • 17.
    Beethoven: The Piano Concertos / Rudolf Buchbinder, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 374521 Release Date: 01/07/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder
    Conductor:  Rudolf Buchbinder
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 3, 4 & 5 / Pizarro, Mackerras, Scottish Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 336 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Artur Pizarro
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Richter Archives, Vol. 22
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 8022 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Rudolf Barshai
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  • 20.
    Beethoven - Complete Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94630 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 86
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Helena Döse,  Marga Schiml,  Peter Schreier,  Theo Adam  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt,  David Zinman,  Gérard Oskamp,  Carl-August Bünte  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus,  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra  ... 
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  • 21.
    Great Pianists - Legendary Recordings from Arrau, Cherkassky, Cziffra, Gilels, Katchen
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5114 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gilels,  Claudio Arrau,  Julius Katchen,  György Cziffra  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Christoph von Dohnányi,  Otto Klemperer,  Rudolf Kempe  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 22.
    Beethoven: Complete Piano Concertos / Glemser, Weil
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 6011226 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Bernd Glemser
    Conductor:  Bruno Weil
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  • 23.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 1 & 3 / Jacoby, Kaspszyk, Sinfonia Varsovia
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5107 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Ingrid Jacoby
    Conductor:  Jacek Kaspszyk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia
    On sale! $16.99
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  • 24.
    Gary Graffman - The Complete RCA & Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 546239 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Gary Graffman,  Berl Senofsky,  Shirley Trepel,  Dick Hyman  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Enrique Jorda,  Charles Munch,  Walter Hendl  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 25.
    Beethoven: Willems Collection (Box)
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4810464 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gerard Willems
    Conductor:  Antony Walker
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Australia
    On sale! $143.98
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