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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: Complete String Quartets / Tokyo SQ
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 807641   Number of Discs: 8
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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas No 1-3, 5-10, 12-18, 23, 30-33 / Glenn Gould
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 541286   Number of Discs: 6
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The Beethoven Journey - Piano Concertos No 1-5 / 	Leif Ove Andsnes
Release Date: 10/27/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 305887   Number of Discs: 3
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Beethoven: Complete Works for Cello & Piano / Queyras, Melnikov
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902183   Number of Discs: 2
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Beethoven: Piano Trios Op 70 No 2,
Release Date: 02/11/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902125   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Piano Concerto no 3

Browse 226-250 of 275 Available Recordings
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  • 226.
    Rubinstein Collection Vol 14 - Beethoven / Toscanini
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63014 Release Date: 08/07/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 227.
    Anton Kuerti Plays Beethoven Vol 2 / Davis, Toronto So
    Label: Cbc Sm 5000 Series   Catalog: 5179 Release Date: 07/01/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Anton Kuerti
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toronto Symphony Orchestra
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  • 228.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 2 & 3 / Brendel, Rattle, Et Al
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 462783 Release Date: 06/29/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 229.
    Eduard Erdmann Vol. 3
    Label: Tahra   Catalog: 386 Release Date: 01/10/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
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  • 230.
    Rubinstein Collection Vol 78 - Beethoven Concertos 3 & 4
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63078 Release Date: 08/08/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 231.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 3 & 4
    Label: Spj Music   Catalog: 90034 Release Date: 12/13/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
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  • 232.
    Beethoven: Complete Sonatas & Concertos, Etc / Arrau, Et Al
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 462358 Release Date: 11/09/1999   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau,  János Starker,  Henryk Szeryng
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Eliahu Inbal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 233.
    Beethoven: The Piano Concertos / Levin, Gardiner
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 459622 Release Date: 09/14/1999   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Robert Levin,  David Watkin,  Peter Hanson,  Constanze Backes  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique,  Monteverdi Choir
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  • 234.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 2 & 3 / Barenboim, Berlin Po
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 73553 Release Date: 08/10/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 235.
    Mozart, Beethoven: Piano Concertos, Etc / Kempff, Van Kempen
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 447976 Release Date: 07/07/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff
    Conductor:  Paul Van Kempen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 236.
    Legendary Treasures - Emil Gilels Legacy Vol 1
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7747 Release Date: 05/18/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Emil Gilels,  Elizaveta Gilels,  N. Kharkovsky
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 237.
    Beethoven: 5 Piano Concertos / Brendel, Rattle, Vienna Po
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 462781 Release Date: 04/06/1999   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 238.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 3 & 4 / Fischer, Philharmonia
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1169 Release Date: 12/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Edwin Fischer
    Conductor:  Edwin Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 239.
    Beethoven: Concerto No 3, Symphony No 5, Etc / Szell, Et Al
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 484981 Release Date: 11/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 240.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 3 & 4 / Gardiner, Levin, Et Al
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 457608 Release Date: 08/11/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Robert Levin
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
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  • 241.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 1 & 3 / Oppitz, Janowski
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68226 Release Date: 07/13/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gerhard Oppitz
    Conductor:  Marek Janowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 242.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 3 / Michelangeli, Giulini
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 449757 Release Date: 01/27/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 243.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 3 & 4 / Vracheva, Kofman
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47352 Release Date: 11/18/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Galina Vracheva
    Conductor:  Roman Kofman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kiev Chamber Orchestra
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  • 244.
    Complete Beethoven Edition Vol 2 - Concertos
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453707 Release Date: 11/11/1997   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Patrick Gallois,  Pascal Gallois,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Eva Ander  ... 
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung,  Peter Gülke,  Daniel Barenboim,  Emil Tchakarov  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Chamber Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 245.
    Bernstein Century - Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 3 And 5
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 63080 Release Date: 10/28/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Rudolf Serkin
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 246.
    Beethoven: The Piano Concertos, Etc / Schiff, Haitink
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 13159 Release Date: 09/16/1997   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  András Schiff
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 247.
    Beethoven: The Five Piano Concertos / Brendel, Levine
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 456045 Release Date: 07/15/1997   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 248.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 3 & 4 / Immerseel, Weil
    Label: Sony Classical Vivarte Series   Catalog: 62824 Release Date: 07/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jos van Immerseel
    Conductor:  Bruno Weil
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
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  • 249.
    Beethoven: The Piano Concertos / Ashkenazy, Solti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443723 Release Date: 06/24/1997   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 250.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 3 & 4 / Solomon, Cluytens
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1220 Release Date: 02/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Solomon
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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