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 / Alice Sara Ott
Release Date: 10/04/2011   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001594502   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: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 2 / Jean-efflam Bavouzet
Release Date: 01/28/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10798   Number of Discs: 3
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Beethoven, Berg: Violin Concertos / Weithaas, Sloane, 	Stavanger Symphony
Release Date: 01/14/2014   Label: Cavi Music  
Catalog: 8553305   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Piano Concerto no 3

Browse 276-290 of 290 Available Recordings
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  • 276.
    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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  • 277.
    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
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  • 278.
    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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  • 279.
    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: $49.99
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  • 280.
    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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  • 281.
    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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  • 282.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 3, Etc / Serkin, Bernstein
    Label: Cbs Great Performances   Catalog: 38526 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Rudolf Serkin
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Westminster Choir
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  • 283.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 1, 3 / Serkin, Ormandy, Bernstein
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 42259 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Rudolf Serkin
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 284.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos 3 & 4 / Perahia, Haitink
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 39814 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Murray Perahia
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 285.
    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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  • 286.
    Beethoven: The 5 Piano Concertos / Fleisher, Szell
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 42445 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Leon Fleisher
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 287.
    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
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  • 288.
    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
    CD: $32.99
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  • 289.
    Beethoven: The 5 Piano Concertos / Claudio Arrau, C Davis
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 422149 Release Date: 09/26/1988   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 290.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos No 1 & 3 / Pennetier, Baudo
    Label: Lyrinx   Catalog: 186 Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jean-Claude Pennetier
    Conductor:  Serge Baudo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
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