Ludwig van Beethoven (German composer)

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Ludwig van Beethoven (baptised 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. He is one of the most revered figures in the history of Western music; his works rank among the most performed of the classical music repertoire and span the transition from the Classical period to the Romantic era in classical music. Beethoven's career has conventionally been divided into early, middle, and late periods. His early period, during which he forged his craft, is typically considered to have lasted until 1802. From 1802 to around 1812, his middle period showed an individual development from the styles of Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and is sometimes characterized as heroic. During this time, he began to grow increasingly deaf. In his late period, from 1812 to 1827, he extended his innovations in musical form and expression.

Born in Bonn, Beethoven displayed his musical talent at a young age. He was initially taught intensively by his father, Johann van Beethoven, and later by Christian Gottlob Neefe. Under Neefe's tutelage in 1783, he published his first work, a set of keyboard variations. He found relief from a dysfunctional home life with the family of Helene von Breuning, whose children he loved, befriended, and taught piano. At age 21, he moved to Vienna, which subsequently became his base, and studied composition with Haydn. Beethoven then gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist, and was soon patronised by Karl Alois, Prince Lichnowsky for compositions, which resulted in his three Opus 1 piano trios (the earliest works to which he accorded an opus number) in 1795.

His first major orchestral work, the First Symphony, premiered in 1800, and his first set of string quartets was published in 1801. Despite his hearing deteriorating during this period, he continued to conduct, premiering his Third and Fifth Symphonies in 1804 and 1808, respectively. His Violin Concerto appeared in 1806. His last piano concerto (No. 5, Op. 73, known as the Emperor), dedicated to his frequent patron Archduke Rudolf of Austria, premiered in 1811, without Beethoven as soloist. He was almost completely deaf by 1814, and he then gave up performing and appearing in public. He described his problems with health and his unfulfilled personal life in two letters, his Heiligenstadt Testament (1802) to his brothers and his unsent love letter to an unknown "Immortal Beloved" (1812).

After 1810, increasingly less socially involved, Beethoven composed many of his most admired works, including later symphonies, mature chamber music and the late piano sonatas. His only opera, Fidelio, first performed in 1805, was revised to its final version in 1814. He composed Missa solemnis between 1819 and 1823 and his final Symphony, No. 9, one of the first examples of a choral symphony, between 1822 and 1824. Written in his last years, his late string quartets, including the Grosse Fuge, of 1825–1826 are among his final achievements. After several months of illness, which left him bedridden, he died in 1827.

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Discography

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YearTitleArtistRatingReleases
1963Beethoven: Symphonies Nos 1&8Ludwig van Beethoven; Ernest Ansermet, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande1
1963Beethoven: Symphonies Nos 1&8Ludwig van Beethoven; Ernest Ansermet, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande1
1989Critics Choice: The Basic BeethovenLudwig van Beethoven1
1992The Best Of BeethovenBeethoven1
1993Symphony no. 3 “Eroica” / Coriolan / FidelioLudwig van Beethoven1
1994I Grandi Della Musica Classica - Beethoven 2 Vol. IIILudwig van Beethoven1
1994Piano SonatasLudwig van Beethoven; Ekaterina Murina1
1995Christus am Ölberg ChorphantasieBeethoven - Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Josef Bloser2
1995Los grandes genios: BeethovenLudwig van Beethoven1
1995Violinsonaten Op. 12/2, 23 & 24Beethoven, Oleg Kagan, Sviatoslav Richter1
1996Classical BeethovenLudwig van Beethoven1
1996Beethoven symphony No. 3 "Eroica"Ludwig van Beethoven1
1996Beethoven - Symphonies No. 2 & 7Ludwig van Beethoven1
1996Im Herzen der Klassik 17: Beethoven - Sinfonie Nr. 5 c-moll op. 67 / Sinfonie Nr. 6 F-Dur op. 68 "Pastorale"Ludwig van Beethoven1
1996Piano Concerto no. 1 in C, op. 15 / Piano Concerto no. 2 in B flat, op. 19Beethoven; Emil Gilels1
19972 Violin Romances / Piano Sonatas Nos. 14, 21, 8Ludwig van Beethoven3
1998Piano Sonatas: in B flat major, Nr. 11, Op. 22; in A flat Major, Nr. 12, Op. 26; in C major, Nr. 21, Op. 53 "Waldstein" / Maurizio PolliniLudwig van Beethoven51
1999Quatuors, Op. 18, 1 à 3Ludwig van Beethoven; Le Quatuor Talich1
1999Beethoven EditionLudwig van Beethoven; Various Artists1
2000PastoraleBeethoven, Brahms; English Chamber Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas1
2002Symphony No 9 ChoralLudwig van Beethoven1
2002Beethoven - MeisterwerkeLudwig van Beethoven1
2002Romances nos. 1 & 2 / "Moonlight" / "Waldstein" / "Pathétique"Ludwig van Beethoven1
2002Septuor | Gassenhauer-TrioLudwig van Beethoven, Ensemble Walter Boeykens1
2003Kempff plays BeethovenLudwig van Beethoven1
2008Beethoven: L'Idéal de la Révolution francaiseLudwig van Beethoven1
2009Piano ConcertosLudwig van Beethoven2
2023Piano Concerto no. 5 “Emperor” / Piano Sonata no. 22 in F major, op. 54Ludwig van Beethoven; Claudio Arrau, Alceo Galliera, Philharmonia Orchestra1
7a. Sinfonma, Dos OberturasLudwig van Beethoven1
A Musical GeniusLudwig van Beethoven1
Beethoven/The Great ComposersLudwig van Beethoven1
Beethoven Immortal: Sonatas Para Piano 3, 12 Y 17Ludwig van Beethoven1
Beethoven’s Greatest Hits, Volume 2Ludwig van Beethoven1
Berühmte WerkeLudwig van Beethoven1
Beethoven - HaydnBeethoven / Haydn1
Best of the Classics Ludwig van BeethovenLudwig van Beethoven1
Beethoven: Violin Concerto / Haydn: Sinfonia ConcertanteLudwig van Beethoven & Joseph Haydn1
Berühmte Sinfonien Nr. 9Ludwig van Beethoven1
Beethoven - Symphonic Works 4Ludwig van Beethoven1
Beethoven: The Five Cello SonatasLudwig van Beethoven1
BeethovenBeethoven; François-Frédéric Guy1
Beethoven: String Quintet op. 29 / Mendelssohn: String Quintet op. 87Ludwig van Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn; Salvatore Accardo, Margaret Batjer, Toby Hoffman, Sylvie Gazeau, Gary Hoffman1
Concerto No. 5 "Emperor"Ludwig van Beethoven1
Classical Highlights (Dolby Surround)Ludwig van Beethoven1
CollectionLudwig van Beethoven1
Complete Piano Sonatas on Period Instruments v01Ludwig van Beethoven1
Complete Piano SonatasLudwig van Beethoven1
Classic VoyageLudwig van Beethoven1
Complete Piano Trios, Volume 2Ludwig van Beethoven1
De klassiska kompositörernaLudwig van Beethoven1
Dolby Surround ClassicsLudwig van Beethoven1
Excelsior Classic Gold - Piano Concertos No. 1+2Ludwig van Beethoven1
Famous Piano SonatesLudwig van Beethoven1
Favorites from the ClassicsLudwig van Beethoven1
Great Composers - Beethoven Concert - Disc ALudwig van Beethoven1
Intégrale des sonates pour piano & variations DiabelliLudwig van Beethoven; Georges Pludermacher1
Inspiring ClassicsLudwig van Beethoven1
Ludwig van BeethovenLudwig van Beethoven1
Les Maîtres du ClassiqueLudwig van Beethoven1
Melodic MasterpiecesLudwig van Beethoven1
MIC206Ludwig van Beethoven1
Moonlight Sonata, Op. 27 No. 2Ludwig van Beethoven; Paul Pitman1
MoodsLudwig van Beethoven1
Moonlight SonataLudwig van Beethoven1
Piano SonatasLudwig van Beethoven1
Piano Concerto No.3 and Sonata Op.13 "Pathetique"Ludwig van Beethoven1
Piano Concertos, Volume 2Ludwig van Beethoven1
Piano concertos Nos.1 & 2Ludwig van Beethoven1
Piano Sonata no. 13 in E-flat major 'Quasi una fantasia', Op. 27 no. 1Beethoven; Paul Pitman1
Piano Concerto no. 5 in E-flat major, op. 73 / String Quartet no. 10 in E-flat major, op. 74Ludwig van Beethoven; Peter Toperczer, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Ladislav Slovák, Kosiče Quartet1
Piano Concerto No 1 In C-Major OP. 15Ludwig van Beethoven1
symphony no. 3, 4Ludwig van Beethoven1
Symphony No.10 (Yomiuri Japan Symphony Orchestra, Barry Cooper)Ludwig van Beethoven1
Symphonies Nos.1 & 3, "Eroica"Ludwig van Beethoven1
Symphonie Nr. 5 / Ouvertüre CoriolanLudwig van Beethoven1
Symphony No. 8Ludwig van Beethoven1
Son Pno 8/14/23Ludwig van Beethoven1
Symphonies No. 2, 3 & 5Ludwig van Beethoven1
Sinfonie n.5 e n.6Ludwig van Beethoven1
Sinfonía n5 en Do menorLudwig van Beethoven1
String Quartets Op. 132 in A minor & Op. 135 in F majorLudwig van Beethoven1
Symphonies Nos. 7 & 8Ludwig van Beethoven1
Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2Ludwig van Beethoven1
Symphonies Nos. 4 & 7Ludwig van Beethoven1
Symphony No. 3 "Eroica"Ludwig van Beethoven1
Symphony No. 6 & Symphony No. 8Ludwig van Beethoven; Hermann Scherchen1
String quartets nos. 8 and 9Beethoven; Lindsay String Quartet1
Symphonies No. 5 & 9Ludwig van Beethoven1
Symphony no. 5 / Symphony no. 6Ludwig van Beethoven41
Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 (Vienna, February 1952)Ludwig van Beethoven; Wilhelm Furtwängler, Wiener Philharmoniker1
Symphony no. 1, op. 21 / Symphony no. 3, op. 55 “Eroica”Beethoven1
Symphony No. 9 Op. 125 'Choral' / Leonora - Overture No. 3 Op. 72ABeethoven1
Symphony No.9 in D Minor Op.125, Furtwangler Bayreuth Festival Orchestra (1951)Ludwig van Beethoven1
Symphony No.1 and Symphony No.2Ludwig van Beethoven; Kurt Masur, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig1
Symphony No.9 "Choral"Ludwig van Beethoven1
Symphonien Nr. 2 & 4Ludwig van Beethoven1
Study ClassicsLudwig van Beethoven1
The Classics DiscoveredLudwig van Beethoven1
The Great Symphonies (disc 3)Ludwig van Beethoven1
The Bruton Classic CollectionLudwig van Beethoven1

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