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: Symphonies No 4 & 6 / Ivan Fischer, Budapest Festival Orchestra
Release Date: 11/09/2010   Label: Channel Classics  
Catalog: 30710   Number of Discs: 1
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Grigori Sokolov: Schubert & Beethoven
Release Date: 01/29/2016   Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002436702   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Fidelio / Ludwig, Vickers, Frick, Berry, Klemperer, Philharmonia Orchestra
Release Date: 01/29/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 554002   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Complete Sonatas & Variations / Wispelwey, Lazic
Release Date: 09/13/2005   Label: Channel Classics  
Catalog: 22605   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Violin Concerto & Symphony No. 6
Release Date: 01/22/2016   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 26129  
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Work: Piano Concerto no 3

Browse 1-25 of 228 Available Recordings
1 2 ... 9 10
  • 1.
    Mozart: Piano Concerto No 22; Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 3 / De Larrocha
    Label: Swr Music   Catalog: 19006 Release Date: 02/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha
    Conductor:  Luis Garcia-Navarro,  Ernest Bour
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart,  SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Alfred Brendel: Complete Philips Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434302 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 114
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel,  Imogen Cooper,  Sylvia McNair,  Eduard Brunner  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Bernard Haitink,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Sviatoslav Richter: 100th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002270 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Franz Liszt,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Nina Dorliac,  Oleg Kagan,  David Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Yuri Nikolaevsky,  Yevgeny Svetlanov,  Rudolf Barshai
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre String Quartet,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  Moscow Conservatory Chamber Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $636.99
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  • 4.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3; Mass in C Major / Thomas, Ax, San Francisco Symphony
    Label: Sfs   Catalog: 64 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  Kelley [Mezzo-soprano Vocal] O'Connor,  William Burden,  Joelle Harvey  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael T. Thomas
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  • 5.
    Radu Lupu: Complete Recordings [Limited Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002402202 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Radu Lupu,  Vincent Zarzo,  Han de Vries,  George Pieterson  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Lawrence Foster,  Uri Segal,  Edo De Waart  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $76.49
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  • 6.
    The Oehms Classics Recordings
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 12 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Maurice Ravel,  Alexander von Zemlinsky,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Herbert Schuch,  Mirijam Contzen
    Conductor:  Olari Elts
    CD: $34.99
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  • 7.
    Glenn Gould Remastered: The Complete Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 503222 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 81
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Glenn Gould,  Elizabeth Benson-Guy,  Donald Gramm,  Charles Bressler  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Walter Susskind,  Vladimir Golschmann,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  CBC Symphony Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Symphonia String Quartet  ... 
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  • 8.
    Martha Argerich: The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002364402 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 48
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Guy Touvron,  Gidon Kremer,  Alexandre Gurning  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Charles Dutoit,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Jörg Faerber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 9.
    Beethoven: The Five Piano Concertos
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552123 Release Date: 09/18/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    CD: $22.99
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  • 10.
    Stephen Kovacevich: The Complete Philips Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002369302 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Béla Bartók,  Igor Stravinsky,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Jack Brymer,  Patrick Ireland,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  John Lanchbery
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Octet members  ... 
    CD: $94.99
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  • 11.
    Beethoven / Abbado, Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002347002 Release Date: 07/31/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Violeta Urmana,  Thomas Moser,  Thomas Quasthoff,  Karita Mattila  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Chorus,  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir  ... 
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  • 12.
    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  ... 
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  • 13.
    Glenn Gould Plays Beethoven, Vol. 2
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6698 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Glenn Gould
    Conductor:  Ernest MacMillan,  Heinz Unger
    CD: $14.99
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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    Argerich & Abbado - Complete Concerto Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002250602 Release Date: 01/20/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Mahler Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $25.99
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  • 18.
    Sviatoslav Richter - Complete Decca, Philips & DG Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002236002 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Mikhail Kopelman,  Valentin Berlinsky,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Stanislaw Wislocki,  Kurt Sanderling,  Witold Rowicki,  János Ferencsik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moragues Woodwind Quintet members,  Borodin String Quartet,  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 19.
    Decca - Vienna Philharmonic - The Orchestral Edition
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002227902 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 65
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Tom Krause,  Werner Krenn,  Elly Ameling,  Werner Tripp  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux,  Herbert von Karajan,  Karl Münchinger,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
    CD: $174.49
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  • 20.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 21.
    The Beethoven Journey - Piano Concertos No 1-5 / 	Leif Ove Andsnes
    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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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 3 & 4 / Pires, Harding
    Label: Onyx (Classical Label)   Catalog: 4125 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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  • 24.
    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
    CD: $34.99
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  • 25.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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