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Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Born in Bonn, Beethoven moved to Viennna when in his twenties to study under Haydn. Vienna was was the centre of musical life in Europe at the time and Beethoven quickly established his reputation as a brilliant pianist. Teaching and composing augmented his income.

Beethoven's compositions between 1800 and 1802 were dominated by two works, although he continued to produce smaller works, including the Moonlight Sonata. In the spring of 1801 he completed The Creatures of Prometheus, a ballet. The work was such a success that it received numerous performances in 1801 and 1802, and Beethoven rushed to publish a piano arrangement to capitalize on its early popularity. In the spring of 1802 he completed the Second Symphony, intended for performance at a concert that was eventually cancelled.

By this time he was suffering from a severe form of tinnitus, a ringing in his ears that made it hard for him to perceive and appreciate music; he also avoided conversation. Beethoven wrote to friends in 1801 describing his symptoms and the difficulties they caused in both professional and social settings.

On the advice of his doctor, lived in the small Austrian town of Heiligenstadt, just outside Vienna, from April to October 1802 in an attempt to come to terms with his condition. There he wrote his Heiligenstadt Testament, which records his resolution to continue living for and through his art.

Over time, his hearing loss became profound: there is a well-attested story that, at the end of the premiere of his Ninth Symphony, he had to be turned around to see the tumultuous applause of the audience; hearing nothing, he wept. Beethoven's hearing loss did not prevent his composing music, but it made playing at concerts—a lucrative source of income—increasingly difficult. After a failed attempt in 1811 to perform his own Piano Concerto No. 5 (the "Emperor"), he never performed in public again.



Beethoven Piano Concerto No 5 Richter Haaser height=
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1st movement
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2nd and 3rd movements
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Beethoven Rondo in C Op 51 No 1 Richter Haaser
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Beethoven Piano Sonata No 8 Rudolf Firkusny
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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beethoven string quartet number 3
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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4th movement
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beethoven string quartet number 4
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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4th movement
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beethoven fidelio overture
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Geza Anda Piano Concerto number one
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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"I am perfectly sure that I like this new performance of the Concerto the best of all. Geza Anda is of the Serkin school of thought in that he also takes the first movement briskly (with a two-in-a-bar feeling), but he is more careful in his precise choice of speed and the result is altogether better judged. The playing is wonderfully clean, full of attractive touches, and glitters as it should. Galliera and the Philharmonia are in equally good form. I was just a little disappointed in the Finale, which is not as exuberant as it seems to me it should be. But this is only a slight reservation in otherwise whole-hearted approval. The recording is good, though oboes here and there sound rather ungrateful." Gramophone November 1955

lili kraus Piano Concerto number four
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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piano concerto number 4 in g major
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1st movemnent Alegro moderato wirth candenza by Saint Seans
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2nd movement Andante con molto and 3rd movement Rondo
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"Rarely, rarely as comes the spirit of delight, there is the infrequent occasion which makes the reviewer's life really worth while : such an occasion is the issue of this recording. I cannot remember a finer or more deeply satisfying performance of this great concerto, one which more effortlessly overcomes every obstacle and in which every detail is so meticulously polished and so absolutely right. The recipe is simple enough : take a soloist and a conductor who, besides being personalities as well as great artists, are entirely en rapport, add a first-rate orchestra of alert musicians, give them all enough time to rehearse thoroughly, finish off with a recording engineer who secures the right balance between piano and orchestra, and who captures the lustre of the orchestral playing —and you get a masterpiece, like this.

Throughout these discs there is this feeling that two personalities are pulling together, each inspiring the other. The orchestral playing is never allowed to become just an accompaniment, but is full of life (notice, as one instance only, the basses in bars 55-58). Phrasing is beautifully modelled, the rhythm is admirably taut (listen to the second subject of the first movement), and the perfectly-controlled string dynamics at the end of the Andante are most moving. Rubinstein's cadenzas, which are new to me, are entirely acceptable in style, though that in the first movement is over-long.

So far as I am concerned, nobody need bother to record this concerto again : this performance is it ! " Lionel Salter reviewing the original release in Gramophone October 1949

piano concerto number 5 in e minor
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1st movement Allegro
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2nd movement Adagio and 3rd movement Rondo
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rondo in b flat lili kraus
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horn sonata dennis brain
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leonora overture number 3
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leonora overture number 2
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leonora overture number 1
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fidelio overture
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coriolan overture
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prometheus overture
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cello sonata no 3
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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"The recording itself is admirable and the playing of first-rate quality." Gramophone October 1937

There is a cut in the reprise of the first part of the Scherzo and the omission of the conventional repeats in the first and last movements. This was standard practice at the time the recording was made.

beethoven string quartet number 9
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd and 4th movements
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Schuricht Beetoven symphony number one
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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4th movement
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"The Viennese style--more caressing than the Teutonic--is admirably suited to the first of the Beethoven symphonies, handled gently and easily by Schuricht. The orchestra's playing is virtually impeccable, as one would expect." Gramophone September 1952

Schuricht Beetoven symphony number two
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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4th movement
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"One of the Berlin Philharmonic's assets is the woodwinds' capacity for scaling-down, for modulating their tone-qualities so that they are part of the orchestra rather than an assertive contrast to the strings. It is wellexemplified in this recording of Beethoven's Second Symphony, particularly in the Larghetto. Similarly their brass is integrated into the tuttis which consequently escape domination by trumpets and drums." Gramophone August 1972

beethoven symphony number two
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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4th movement
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Erich Kleiber Beetoven symphony number three
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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4th movement
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Erich Kleiber Beetoven symphony number three
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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4th movement
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" This is a performance of the utmost distinction from a great Beethoven conductor in charge of a great orchestra. " Gramophone May 1959

beethoven symphony number four
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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4th movement
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Schuricht Beetoven symphony number five
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd and 4th movements
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"...imbued with a kind of strength and vitality that is richly satisfying, and the 1958 recording is first-class." Alan Sanders in Classical Recordings Quarterly Autum 2011

" Here is indeed a strong performance and this is one of the best things I have ever heard this conductor do. It seeks to make no effects, but by very virtue of its honest strength ends by making a great impression. " Gramophone March 1959

Talking about franck symphonic variations
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Cluytens Beethoven sixth symphony
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd, 4th and 5th movements
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"An exceptionally good and clear recording allows this most beautiful performance of the Pastoral to be heard at its best. Throughout the Berlin players are on top of their form, with soloist after soloist turning his phrases with the utmost happiness, and allowed too by good recording balance to be a clearly audible soloist without struggle ; only the flute, sometimes, might perhaps have stood out rather more readily from his background.

Cluytens gives an easy-going reading of the work, refusing either to hurry the first movement or to be unduly delayed by the second. The third is particularly happy: not •nly is the very desirable repeat made, but the energetic 2/4 section has an impulse only rarely allowed it in sedate performance—towards the end the rustic dancing might readily be believed to be getting out of hand until the trumpet-call announces a return to sobriety. The storm, too, lacks nothing in terror, and subsides to a flowing and beautifully controlled finale."M.M. reviewing in The Gramophone Nov. 1957

Kleiber Beethoven
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd, 4th and 5th movements
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"The pp sotto voce final pages are beautifully done, and the muted horn calls a benediction on our country holiday. Just back from my own, I find the music moving, and the records happy in unified style, without any feeling of showing off. I can remember more "brilliant" readings and playings. Someone might even think this a bit dull--but only, I believe, if he were more concerned about manner than matter. To be able to call a result musicianly is my ideal." Gramophone October 1948

beetoven symphony  number seven
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rdmovement
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4th movement
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Erich Kleiber Beetoven symphony number seven
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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4th movement
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beethoven symphony number 8
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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4th movement
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Symphony number 9
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1st movement
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2nd movement
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3rd movement
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4th movement
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campoli beethoven violin concerto
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1st movement
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2nd and 3rd movements
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Talking about beethoven violin concerto
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