Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the most prolific and celebrated composers of the Classical and Romantic eras. We are collecting music, coverage and news about Beethoven from around Classical MPR and our affiliated programs. Have a look (and listen) and enjoy.

Beethoven's Life and Work

Stories about Beethoven, and the music he created.

  • New Classical Tracks: Terrifying, restless, witty
    Jonathan Biss is halfway through a nine–year, nine–disc recording project of the entire Beethoven sonata cycle. The most recent is volume four. Learn more about the project — including its educational component — and enter for a chance to win the CD.May 20, 2015
  • New Classical Tracks: The joy and tumult of Beethoven
    The Cypress String Quartet were first inspired to record Beethoven's late quartets. Now 'telling the story backwards', they are releasing a three-CD set of Beethoven's middle quartets, works that came at a tumultuous time in the composer's life.March 4, 2015
  • Learning to Listen: Beethoven's Razumovsky Quartets
    Two members of the Cypress String Quartet join Learning to Listen to discuss Beethoven's "Middle String Quartets" - also known by the name of the Russian count who commissioned them, Andrey Razumovsky.March 2, 2015
  • Morning Glories: Birthday Beethoven
    This week brings us the birthday of the man who for many is the archetypal composer in the classical tradition, Ludwig van Beethoven (the evidence points to a December 16 birthday -- no one is absolutely sure). We'll note the anniversary with five Morning Glories, each in a different genre: sonata, symphony, string quartet, ballet, and choral.December 15, 2014
  • New Classical Tracks: Pushing the Boundaries
    Pianist Alessio Bax is fascinated by Beethoven's music. Even though Bax feels Beethoven's music can never be mastered, there's enough to explore and discover that Bax has released a new album of Beethoven music.October 22, 2014
  • On Beethoven's Birthday, The Three Periods
    It was not long after Beethoven's death that people began to talk about "three periods" in his music. Despite the obvious simplifications involved, this division continues to be used and discussed today.December 16, 2013
  • A Distinguished Discography: Minnesota Orchestra recordings with Osmo Vänskä
    As Osmo Vanska departs for the next chapter of his career, he leaves a powerful legacy of recordings with the Minnesota Orchestra. Here is a rundown of those works.October 4, 2013
  • Writing thriller novels with Beethoven
    Best-selling author Jeffery Deaver — whose latest book, The Kill Room, is the next in the series featuring forensics expert Lincoln Rhyme — finds story structure in symphonic music.August 5, 2013
  • New Classical Tracks: Prepare for Goose Bumps
    Violinist Joshua Bell, who is now also conductor Joshua Bell, talks about his new recording and the excitement of Beethoven's symphonies.March 5, 2013
  • New Classical Tracks: Piano Variations
    According to Emanuel Ax, writing variations on a theme is a way for composers to show off what they can do. On his new disc, he lets us hear how Haydn, Beethoven, and Robert Schumann flex their muscles.January 29, 2013

Beethoven and You

We're collecting stories about Ludwig's life or music on listeners of Classical MPR. What's your Beethoven story?

The Music

The Beethoven You Probably Know The Beethoven You Probably Know

For whatever reason, some classical pieces seem to have emerged as the common works of which everyone knows and thinks when classical music is mentioned.

Soothing Beethoven Playlist Soothing Beethoven Playlist

Whilst most of Beethoven's famous output seems to be furious and impassioned, he has many works which are intimate and tender. This playlist offers some examples.

Complete Works of Beethoven

Complete Works of Beethoven

Beethoven in the news

Coverage of Beethoven from the Classical Notes blog.

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