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 Biography (BBC)

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


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Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata No 30 in E major, Op 109
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Piano Sonata No 30 in E major, Op 109
Ludwig van Beethoven
Concerto no.1, Op.15 - iii) Rondo: Allegro
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Concerto no.1, Op.15 - iii) Rondo: Allegro
Ludwig van Beethoven
Romance No 2 in F major, Op 50
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Romance No 2 in F major, Op 50
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony no 5 in C minor, Op 67
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Symphony no 5 in C minor, Op 67
Ludwig van Beethoven
Coriolan - Overture Op.62
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Coriolan - Overture Op.62
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No 1 in C major, Op 21 (3rd mvt)
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Symphony No 1 in C major, Op 21 (3rd mvt)
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 132: III. Molto adagio
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String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 132: III. Molto adagio
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet in F from Piano Sonata in E, Op. 14 no. 1
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String Quartet in F from Piano Sonata in E, Op. 14 no. 1
Ludwig van Beethoven
The Creatures of Prometheus, Op 43: Overture
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The Creatures of Prometheus, Op 43: Overture
Ludwig van Beethoven
Overture (Coriolan, Op 62 (1807))
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Overture (Coriolan, Op 62 (1807))
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata no 17 in D minor, Op 31 no 2 'Tempest'
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Piano Sonata no 17 in D minor, Op 31 no 2 'Tempest'
Ludwig van Beethoven
"Moonlight" sonata in C sharp minor Op. 27/2: iii. Presto
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"Moonlight" sonata in C sharp minor Op. 27/2: iii. Presto
Ludwig van Beethoven
Violin Sonata No 5 in F major, Op 24, 'Spring' (4th mvt)
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Violin Sonata No 5 in F major, Op 24, 'Spring' (4th mvt)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Sonata quasi una fantasia in E flat major Op.27`1 for piano
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Sonata quasi una fantasia in E flat major Op.27`1 for piano
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No 1 in C major, Op 21 (4th mvt)
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Symphony No 1 in C major, Op 21 (4th mvt)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No 7 in A major, Op 92 (2nd mvt)
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Symphony No 7 in A major, Op 92 (2nd mvt)
Ludwig van Beethoven
10 Variations on "La stessa, la stessissima" for piano
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10 Variations on "La stessa, la stessissima" for piano
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No.8 in F major (Op.93)
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Symphony No.8 in F major (Op.93)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Twelve Variations on 'Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen', Op 66
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Twelve Variations on 'Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen', Op 66
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata No 23 in F Minor, Op 57, 'Appassionata'
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Piano Sonata No 23 in F Minor, Op 57, 'Appassionata'
Ludwig van Beethoven
Quartet in F major Op.135 for strings
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Quartet in F major Op.135 for strings
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony no. 5 in C minor Op.67
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Symphony no. 5 in C minor Op.67
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op 16c (3rd mvt)
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Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op 16c (3rd mvt)
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)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No.4 - Finale
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Piano Concerto No.4 - Finale
Ludwig van Beethoven
Cello Sonata in A Op.69 (4th mvt)
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Cello Sonata in A Op.69 (4th mvt)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Quartet for strings (Op.95) in F minor
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Quartet for strings (Op.95) in F minor
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano concerto No.2 in B flat, Op.19
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Piano concerto No.2 in B flat, Op.19

Piano concerto No.2 in B flat, Op.19

Orchestra
Israel Camerata Jerusalem
Conductor
Avner Biron
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No 4 in G Major
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Piano Concerto No 4 in G Major
Ludwig van Beethoven
A Major Cello Sonata Op. 69
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A Major Cello Sonata Op. 69
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No 4 in G Major Op. 58
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Piano Concerto No 4 in G Major Op. 58
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet in B flat Op.130 - Alla danza tedesca
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String Quartet in B flat Op.130 - Alla danza tedesca
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major Op. 15
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Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major Op. 15
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No 3, Op 55 'Eroica' (4th mvt)
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Symphony No 3, Op 55 'Eroica' (4th mvt)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Horn Concerto No. 1 Op.11 III. Allegro
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Horn Concerto No. 1 Op.11 III. Allegro
Ludwig van Beethoven
Cello Sonata in A major, Op 69
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Cello Sonata in A major, Op 69
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Trio in E flat major, Op 1 No 1 (2nd mvt)
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Piano Trio in E flat major, Op 1 No 1 (2nd mvt)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony no.2 (Op.36) in D major
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Symphony no.2 (Op.36) in D major
Ludwig van Beethoven
Allegro from Piano Sonata no 6 in F minor, Op 49
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Allegro from Piano Sonata no 6 in F minor, Op 49
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata in C minor, Op 13, 'Pathétique' (2nd mvt)
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Piano Sonata in C minor, Op 13, 'Pathétique' (2nd mvt)
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)

Ensemble
The Festival Winds
Ludwig van Beethoven
Bagatelle in A minor, WoO 59, 'Für Elise'
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Bagatelle in A minor, WoO 59, 'Für Elise'
Ludwig van Beethoven
Prometheus (Finale from the ballet music)
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Prometheus (Finale from the ballet music)

Prometheus (Finale from the ballet music)

Orchestra
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata in G major, Op 49 No 2
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Piano Sonata in G major, Op 49 No 2
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata no 5 in C minor, Op 10 no 1
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Piano Sonata no 5 in C minor, Op 10 no 1
Ludwig van Beethoven
8 Variations on Mozart's 'La ci darem la mano'
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8 Variations on Mozart's 'La ci darem la mano'
Ludwig van Beethoven
Sonata for Violin and Piano No.6 in A major (Op.30 No.1)
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Sonata for Violin and Piano No.6 in A major (Op.30 No.1)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonata in E flat major, Op 31 No 3 (4th mvt)
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Piano Sonata in E flat major, Op 31 No 3 (4th mvt)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Sonata no. 24 in F sharp major Op.78 for piano
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Sonata no. 24 in F sharp major Op.78 for piano
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