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: 6 Sonatas, Fur Elise & Emperor Concerto / Schnabel
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Musical Concepts  
Catalog: 3201   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Fidelio (Highlights) / Harnoncourt
Release Date: 09/17/2002   Label: Apex  
Catalog: 41374   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Fidelio / Karajan, Ludwig, Janowitz, Vickers, Berry
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Myto Records  
Catalog: 334   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Mödlinger Tänze / Gaigg, L'orfeo Barockorchester
Release Date: 07/25/2006   Label: Cpo  
Catalog: 777117   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Fidelio / Harnoncourt, Seiffert, Bonney, Margiono, COE
Release Date: 05/04/2009   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 4691254   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Piano Concerto no 3

Browse 226-237 of 237 Available Recordings
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  • 226.
    Beethoven: Complete Works For Piano & Orchestra Vol 2
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 429 Release Date: 09/26/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Elisabeth Westenholz
    Conductor:  Michael Schonwandt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Copenhagen Collegium Musicum
    CD: $21.49
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  • 227.
    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
    CD: $4.99
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  • 228.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerti 3 & 4 / K Zimerman, Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4297492 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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  • 229.
    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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  • 230.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos 3 & 4 / Vladar, Wordsworth
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550122 Release Date: 02/05/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Stefan Vladar
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana
    CD: $9.99
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  • 231.
    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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  • 232.
    Beethoven: The Piano Concertos / Zimerman, Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435467 Release Date: 10/13/1992   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman
    Conductor:  Krystian Zimerman,  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $54.49
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  • 233.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 3 / Fleisher, Szell
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 47658 Release Date: 01/03/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Leon Fleisher
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 234.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 3 / Serkin, Ozawa, Boston So
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80063 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Rudolf Serkin
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tanglewood Festival Chorus,  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 235.
    Beethoven: The 5 Piano Concertos / Ashkenazy, Cleveland Orch
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 421718 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Terry Cook,  Martin Horning,  Jon Garrison,  D'Anna Fortunato  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra Chorus,  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 236.
    Beethoven: The Five Piano Concertos / Perahia, Haitink
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 44575 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Murray Perahia
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    CD: $34.99
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  • 237.
    Classics - Beethoven: The 5 Piano Concertos / Serkin, Et Al
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80061 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Rudolf Serkin
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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