Ludwig van Beethoven
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1770-12-17
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9
Ludwig van Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven

Biography

The popular image of Beethoven as a morose individual who shunned society is only partly true. He did have a serious outlook on life, and in later years he had difficulty mixing with people because of his deafness, which emerged ...

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Biography

The popular image of Beethoven as a morose individual who shunned society is only partly true. He did have a serious outlook on life, and in later years he had difficulty mixing with people because of his deafness, which emerged in his late twenties and gradually increased thereafter till his death. Yet he loved company, and had a ready wit. His letters contain many puns, and it was he who introduced the scherzo (literally, ‘joke’) into the symphony when he used one in his Symphony No. 2 instead of the customary minuet.

This Second Symphony already goes well beyond the models of Haydn and Mozart, the two chief influences on his style. Building on their example Beethoven continually strove to stretch the bounds of music to new limits, whether in his seven surviving concertos, 16 string quartets, 35 piano sonatas (including three very early ones) or other works.

Each of his nine symphonies (and an incipient tenth) is completely different from any previous one, and he showed similar originality in every major genre of the time, from his only opera Fidelio and his mighty Missa solemnis to his numerous settings of folk songs, which he treated in an entirely novel way. He achieved his goal through a combination of natural genius and sheer hard work: every one of his major compositions is the result of painstaking refinement, evident in the many thousands of pages of musical sketches that he wrote.

It is not always realised, however, that Beethoven was extraordinary in other ways too. Having no wife or family of his own, he spent enormous energy on helping his nephew, and he was deeply religious. Indeed his goodness and kindness were so evident to his contemporaries that at least three of them independently asserted that he was even greater as a human being than as a musician. Considering that many regard him as the greatest composer in history, such praise is astonishing.

Beethoven also responded strikingly to political upheavals – the French Revolution and the ensuing Napoleonic wars. Although no political activist, he made his hatred of tyranny very plain in works such as Fidelio and his music for Goethe’s play Egmont.

Yet it is the quality of his music that has ensured his lasting reputation. Although its novelty initially puzzled some of his contemporaries, repeated hearings and study have shown that it is based on firm foundations. Its combination of beauty and unpredictability, extreme emotional depth and intellectual rigour, across so many genres, is unsurpassed and probably always will be.

Profile © Barry Cooper

Clips (20)


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Ludwig van Beethoven, Gil Shaham, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra & Naoko Tanaka
Romance for violin and orchestra (Op.50) in F major
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Romance for violin and orchestra (Op.50) in F major Romance for violin and orchestra (Op.50) in F major Romance for violin and orchestra (Op.50) in F major Romance for violin and orchestra (Op.50) in F major
Vladimir Davidovich Ashkenazy & Ludwig van Beethoven
Bagatelle (fur Elise) for piano (WoO.59) in A minor
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Bagatelle (fur Elise) for piano (WoO.59) in A minor Bagatelle (fur Elise) for piano (WoO.59) in A minor Bagatelle (fur Elise) for piano (WoO.59) in A minor Bagatelle (fur Elise) for piano (WoO.59) in A minor
Louis Schwizgebel & Ludwig van Beethoven
Sonata quasi una fantasia in C sharp minor Op.27`2 (Moonlight) for piano
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Sonata quasi una fantasia in C sharp minor Op.27`2 (Moonlight) for piano Sonata quasi una fantasia in C sharp minor Op.27`2 (Moonlight) for piano Sonata quasi una fantasia in C sharp minor Op.27`2 (Moonlight) for piano Sonata quasi una fantasia in C sharp minor Op.27`2 (Moonlight) for piano
Ludwig van Beethoven, BBC Philharmonic & Nicholas Kraemer
Symphony no. 6 in F major Op.68 (Pastoral)
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Symphony no. 6 in F major Op.68 (Pastoral) Symphony no. 6 in F major Op.68 (Pastoral) Symphony no. 6 in F major Op.68 (Pastoral) Symphony no. 6 in F major Op.68 (Pastoral)
Ludwig van Beethoven
6 Bagatelles, Op.126
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6 Bagatelles, Op.126 6 Bagatelles, Op.126 6 Bagatelles, Op.126 6 Bagatelles, Op.126
Ludwig van Beethoven
Sonata No.11 in B flat major, Op.22
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Sonata No.11 in B flat major, Op.22 Sonata No.11 in B flat major, Op.22 Sonata No.11 in B flat major, Op.22 Sonata No.11 in B flat major, Op.22
Ludwig van Beethoven, Till Fellner & Heinrich Schiff
Cello Sonata in A, Op. 69
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Cello Sonata in A, Op. 69 Cello Sonata in A, Op. 69 Cello Sonata in A, Op. 69 Cello Sonata in A, Op. 69
Albrecht Mayer, Nikolaus Frisch, Georg Klütsch, Reiner Wehle, Dag Jensen, Bruno Schneider, Klaus Lohrer, Ludwig van Beethoven, Sabine Meyer, Diethelm Jonas & Bläserensemble Sabine Meyer
Octet for wind (Op.103) in E flat major, 1st movement; Allegro
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Octet for wind (Op.103) in E flat major, 1st movement; Allegro Octet for wind (Op.103) in E flat major, 1st movement; Allegro Octet for wind (Op.103) in E flat major, 1st movement; Allegro Octet for wind (Op.103) in E flat major, 1st movement; Allegro
Trio AnPaPie & Ludwig van Beethoven
Serenade Op. 8 - Adagio
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Serenade Op. 8 - Adagio Serenade Op. 8 - Adagio Serenade Op. 8 - Adagio Serenade Op. 8 - Adagio
Ludwig van Beethoven, Oslo-Filharmonien & André Previn
Symphony No.7 in A major (Op.92)
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Symphony No.7 in A major (Op.92) Symphony No.7 in A major (Op.92) Symphony No.7 in A major (Op.92) Symphony No.7 in A major (Op.92)
Sol Gabetta, Bertrand Chamayou & Ludwig van Beethoven
7 Variations on 'Bei Mannern, welche Liebe fuhlen' WoO.46 for cello and piano
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7 Variations on 'Bei Mannern, welche Liebe fuhlen' WoO.46 for cello and piano 7 Variations on 'Bei Mannern, welche Liebe fuhlen' WoO.46 for cello and piano 7 Variations on 'Bei Mannern, welche Liebe fuhlen' WoO.46 for cello and piano 7 Variations on 'Bei Mannern, welche Liebe fuhlen' WoO.46 for cello and piano
Ludwig van Beethoven & Alban Berg Quartett
String Quartet in F minor, Op 95
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String Quartet in F minor, Op 95 String Quartet in F minor, Op 95 String Quartet in F minor, Op 95 String Quartet in F minor, Op 95
Murray Perahia, Ludwig van Beethoven, Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest & Bernard Haitink
Concerto for piano and orch no. 4 (Op.58) in G major, 3rd mvt; Rondo
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Concerto for piano and orch no. 4 (Op.58) in G major, 3rd mvt; Rondo Concerto for piano and orch no. 4 (Op.58) in G major, 3rd mvt; Rondo Concerto for piano and orch no. 4 (Op.58) in G major, 3rd mvt; Rondo Concerto for piano and orch no. 4 (Op.58) in G major, 3rd mvt; Rondo
Ludwig van Beethoven, Imre Rohmann & Lajos Mayer
Adagio in E flat (WoO.43 No.2) for mandolin and piano
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Adagio in E flat (WoO.43 No.2) for mandolin and piano Adagio in E flat (WoO.43 No.2) for mandolin and piano Adagio in E flat (WoO.43 No.2) for mandolin and piano Adagio in E flat (WoO.43 No.2) for mandolin and piano
Julian Rachlin, Ludwig van Beethoven & Orchestra della Svizzera italiana
Violin Concerto in D op61
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Violin Concerto in D op61 Violin Concerto in D op61 Violin Concerto in D op61 Violin Concerto in D op61
Alfred Brendel & Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata in D minor, Op. 31 No. 2 'Tempest'
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Piano Sonata in D minor, Op. 31 No. 2 'Tempest' Piano Sonata in D minor, Op. 31 No. 2 'Tempest' Piano Sonata in D minor, Op. 31 No. 2 'Tempest' Piano Sonata in D minor, Op. 31 No. 2 'Tempest'
Kyung-wha Chung, Ludwig van Beethoven, Myung-Whun Chung, Philharmonia Orchestra & Myung-Whun Chung
Romance for violin and orchestra (Op.40) in G major
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Romance for violin and orchestra (Op.40) in G major Romance for violin and orchestra (Op.40) in G major Romance for violin and orchestra (Op.40) in G major Romance for violin and orchestra (Op.40) in G major
Wilhelm Kempff, Ludwig van Beethoven & Wolfgang Schneiderhan
Sonata for Piano and Violin in A, Op 47 ('Kreutzer')
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Sonata for Piano and Violin in A, Op 47 ('Kreutzer') Sonata for Piano and Violin in A, Op 47 ('Kreutzer') Sonata for Piano and Violin in A, Op 47 ('Kreutzer') Sonata for Piano and Violin in A, Op 47 ('Kreutzer')
Wilhelm Kempff & Ludwig van Beethoven
6 Variations on the duet 'Nel cor più non mi sento'
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6 Variations on the duet 'Nel cor più non mi sento' 6 Variations on the duet 'Nel cor più non mi sento' 6 Variations on the duet 'Nel cor più non mi sento' 6 Variations on the duet 'Nel cor più non mi sento'
Ludwig van Beethoven, Riccardo Chailly & Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Symphony no.7 in A, op.92 - 4th mvt
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Symphony no.7 in A, op.92 - 4th mvt Symphony no.7 in A, op.92 - 4th mvt Symphony no.7 in A, op.92 - 4th mvt Symphony no.7 in A, op.92 - 4th mvt
Miloš Mlejnik, Reiner Gepp, Ludwig van Beethoven, Gorian Kosuta & Arcadia Trio
Trio for piano and strings No.7 in B flat major, 'Archduke' (Op.97)
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Trio for piano and strings No.7 in B flat major, 'Archduke' (Op.97) Trio for piano and strings No.7 in B flat major, 'Archduke' (Op.97) Trio for piano and strings No.7 in B flat major, 'Archduke' (Op.97) Trio for piano and strings No.7 in B flat major, 'Archduke' (Op.97)

Trio for piano and strings No.7 in B flat major, 'Archduke' (Op.97)

Performer
Miloš Mlejnik
Reiner Gepp
Gorian Kosuta
Ensemble
Arcadia Trio
Ludwig van Beethoven, Sveriges Radios Symfoniorkester & Manfred Honeck
Coriolan - overture (Op.62) (1807)
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Coriolan - overture (Op.62) (1807) Coriolan - overture (Op.62) (1807) Coriolan - overture (Op.62) (1807) Coriolan - overture (Op.62) (1807)
Ludwig van Beethoven, Lucy Crowe, Jennifer Johnston, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Michael Spyres, Matthew Rose & Monteverdi Choir
Missa solemnis (Mass in D major), Op.123
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Missa solemnis (Mass in D major), Op.123 Missa solemnis (Mass in D major), Op.123 Missa solemnis (Mass in D major), Op.123 Missa solemnis (Mass in D major), Op.123
Ludwig van Beethoven & Lindsay String Quartet
String Quartet No7 in F.Op. 59
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String Quartet No7 in F.Op. 59 String Quartet No7 in F.Op. 59 String Quartet No7 in F.Op. 59 String Quartet No7 in F.Op. 59
Jos van Immerseel, Anner Bylsma & Ludwig van Beethoven
Cello Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 5 No. 2
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Cello Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 5 No. 2 Cello Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 5 No. 2 Cello Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 5 No. 2 Cello Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 5 No. 2
The Festival Winds & Ludwig van Beethoven
Rondino in E flat (WoO 25)
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Rondino in E flat (WoO 25) Rondino in E flat (WoO 25) Rondino in E flat (WoO 25) Rondino in E flat (WoO 25)
Radu Lupu & Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata No 14 in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 2, 'Moonlight'
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Piano Sonata No 14 in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 2, 'Moonlight' Piano Sonata No 14 in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 2, 'Moonlight' Piano Sonata No 14 in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 2, 'Moonlight' Piano Sonata No 14 in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 2, 'Moonlight'
Ludwig van Beethoven, Christoph von Dohnányi & The Cleveland Orchestra
Symphony No 7 in A major (Allegro con brio)
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Symphony No 7 in A major (Allegro con brio) Symphony No 7 in A major (Allegro con brio) Symphony No 7 in A major (Allegro con brio) Symphony No 7 in A major (Allegro con brio)
Michael D'Arcy, Christopher Marwood, Hugh Tinney & Ludwig van Beethoven
Trio in B flat Major Op.97 (Archduke) for Piano and Strings
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Trio in B flat Major Op.97 (Archduke) for Piano and Strings Trio in B flat Major Op.97 (Archduke) for Piano and Strings Trio in B flat Major Op.97 (Archduke) for Piano and Strings Trio in B flat Major Op.97 (Archduke) for Piano and Strings
Martha Argerich, Mischa Maisky & Ludwig van Beethoven
Bei Mannern, welche Liebe fuhlen
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Bei Mannern, welche Liebe fuhlen Bei Mannern, welche Liebe fuhlen Bei Mannern, welche Liebe fuhlen Bei Mannern, welche Liebe fuhlen
Ludwig van Beethoven, Günter Wand & NDR Symphony Orchestra
Symphony no. 7 (Op.92) in A major, 2nd movement; Allegretto
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Symphony no. 7 (Op.92) in A major, 2nd movement; Allegretto Symphony no. 7 (Op.92) in A major, 2nd movement; Allegretto Symphony no. 7 (Op.92) in A major, 2nd movement; Allegretto Symphony no. 7 (Op.92) in A major, 2nd movement; Allegretto

Symphony no. 7 (Op.92) in A major, 2nd movement; Allegretto

Conductor
Orchestra
NDR Symphony Orchestra
Last played on
Ludwig van Beethoven, Slovenian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra & Günter Pichler
Die Geschopfe des Prometheus (Op. 43)
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Die Geschopfe des Prometheus (Op. 43) Die Geschopfe des Prometheus (Op. 43) Die Geschopfe des Prometheus (Op. 43) Die Geschopfe des Prometheus (Op. 43)

Die Geschopfe des Prometheus (Op. 43)

Orchestra
Slovenian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra
Tatjana Ognjanović & Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata no.32 in C minor (Op.111)
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Piano Sonata no.32 in C minor (Op.111) Piano Sonata no.32 in C minor (Op.111) Piano Sonata no.32 in C minor (Op.111) Piano Sonata no.32 in C minor (Op.111)
Escher Quartet & Ludwig van Beethoven
Quartet in A Major Op.18 no. 5 for Strings
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Quartet in A Major Op.18 no. 5 for Strings Quartet in A Major Op.18 no. 5 for Strings Quartet in A Major Op.18 no. 5 for Strings Quartet in A Major Op.18 no. 5 for Strings
Ludwig van Beethoven & Quartetto Italiano
String Quartet in E flat, Op 127; 1st mvt, Maestoso-Allegro
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String Quartet in E flat, Op 127; 1st mvt, Maestoso-Allegro String Quartet in E flat, Op 127; 1st mvt, Maestoso-Allegro String Quartet in E flat, Op 127; 1st mvt, Maestoso-Allegro String Quartet in E flat, Op 127; 1st mvt, Maestoso-Allegro
Ludwig van Beethoven, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique & Sir John Eliot Gardiner
Symphony no. 4 (Op. 60) in B flat major: 3rd movement, Allegro Vivace
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Symphony no. 4 (Op. 60) in B flat major: 3rd movement, Allegro Vivace Symphony no. 4 (Op. 60) in B flat major: 3rd movement, Allegro Vivace Symphony no. 4 (Op. 60) in B flat major: 3rd movement, Allegro Vivace Symphony no. 4 (Op. 60) in B flat major: 3rd movement, Allegro Vivace
Alexandra Soumm, Julien Quentin, Ludwig van Beethoven
Sonata in E flat major Op.12`3 for violin and piano
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Sonata in E flat major Op.12`3 for violin and piano Sonata in E flat major Op.12`3 for violin and piano Sonata in E flat major Op.12`3 for violin and piano Sonata in E flat major Op.12`3 for violin and piano
Paul Tortelier, Éric Heidsieck & Ludwig van Beethoven
Cello Sonata No. 1 in F, Op. 5 No. 1
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Cello Sonata No. 1 in F, Op. 5 No. 1 Cello Sonata No. 1 in F, Op. 5 No. 1 Cello Sonata No. 1 in F, Op. 5 No. 1 Cello Sonata No. 1 in F, Op. 5 No. 1
Ludwig van Beethoven, Carlos Kleiber & Wiener Philharmoniker
Symphony no. 7 (Op.92) in A major, 3rd movement; Presto
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Symphony no. 7 (Op.92) in A major, 3rd movement; Presto Symphony no. 7 (Op.92) in A major, 3rd movement; Presto Symphony no. 7 (Op.92) in A major, 3rd movement; Presto Symphony no. 7 (Op.92) in A major, 3rd movement; Presto
Paavali Jumppanen & Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata in F major, Op.10 No.2
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Piano Sonata in F major, Op.10 No.2 Piano Sonata in F major, Op.10 No.2 Piano Sonata in F major, Op.10 No.2 Piano Sonata in F major, Op.10 No.2
Mats Zettervist, Ludwig van Beethoven & Mats Widlund
Sonata for violin and piano (Op.24) in F major "Spring"
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Sonata for violin and piano (Op.24) in F major "Spring" Sonata for violin and piano (Op.24) in F major "Spring" Sonata for violin and piano (Op.24) in F major "Spring" Sonata for violin and piano (Op.24) in F major "Spring"
Ludwig van Beethoven & Freddy Kempf
Sonata, Op.28 (the Pastoral) - 1st movement
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Sonata, Op.28 (the Pastoral) - 1st movement Sonata, Op.28 (the Pastoral) - 1st movement Sonata, Op.28 (the Pastoral) - 1st movement Sonata, Op.28 (the Pastoral) - 1st movement
Ludwig van Beethoven & Håvard Gimse
Sonata quasi una fantasia for piano (Op.27 No.2) in C sharp minor, 'Moonlight'
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Sonata quasi una fantasia for piano (Op.27 No.2) in C sharp minor, 'Moonlight' Sonata quasi una fantasia for piano (Op.27 No.2) in C sharp minor, 'Moonlight' Sonata quasi una fantasia for piano (Op.27 No.2) in C sharp minor, 'Moonlight' Sonata quasi una fantasia for piano (Op.27 No.2) in C sharp minor, 'Moonlight'
Ludwig van Beethoven, Frans Brüggen & Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century
The Creatures of Prometheus: excerpts
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The Creatures of Prometheus: excerpts The Creatures of Prometheus: excerpts The Creatures of Prometheus: excerpts The Creatures of Prometheus: excerpts
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