WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION A pride of new compact disks awards first place to Beethoven

Talk about dynasties: the Yankees, Canadiens and Celtics have nothing on Ludwig van Beethoven. Since the mid-19th century, Beethoven has been the dominant figure in concert music. Brahms was haunted by him, Bruckner worshiped him, and Wagner was inspired by him. Pianists, string quartets and symphony orchestras perform his music incessantly, and audiences never tire of it. In the nearly 160 years since his death, Beethoven has fended off all contenders to World's Greatest Composer and shows no signs of losing his title. The latest crop of the champ's compact disks: Beethoven: The Five Piano Concertos; Polonaise in C Major, Op....

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