Richard Wagner

Biography

Born: May 22, 1813; Germany   Died: Feb 13, 1883; Italy   Period: Romantic
Richard Wagner was one of the most revolutionary figures in the history of music, a composer who made pivotal contributions to the development of harmony and musical drama that reverberate even today. Indeed, though Wagner occasionally produced successful music written on a relatively modest scale, opera -- the bigger, the better -- was clearly his milieu, and his aesthetic is perhaps the most grandiose that Western music has ever known. Early in Read more his career, Wagner learned both the elements and the practical, political realities of his craft by writing a handful of operas which were unenthusiastically, even angrily, received. Beginning with Rienzi (1838-40) and The Flying Dutchman (1841), however, he enjoyed a string of successes that propelled him to immortality and changed the face of music. His monumental Ring cycle of four operas -- Das Rheingold (1853-54), Die Walküre (1854-56), Siegfried (1856-71) and Götterdämmerung (1869-74) -- remains the most ambitious and influential contribution by any composer to the opera literature. Tristan and Isolde (1857-59) is perhaps the most representative example of Wagner's musical style, which is characterized by a high degree of chromaticism, a restless, searching tonal instability, lush harmonies, and the association of specific musical elements (known as leitmotifs, the flexible manipulation of which is one of the glories of Wagner's music) with certain characters and plot points. Wagner wrote text as well as music for all his operas, which he preferred to call "music dramas."
Wagner's life matched his music for sheer drama. Born in Leipzig on May 22, 1813, he began in the early 1830s to write prolifically on music and the arts in general; over his whole career, his music would to some degree serve to demonstrate his aesthetic theories. He often worked as a conductor in his early years; a conducting engagement took him to Riga, Latvia, in 1837, but he fled the country in the middle of the night two years later to elude creditors. Wagner as a young man had some sympathy with the revolutionary movements of the middle nineteenth century (and even the Ring cycle contains a distinct anti-materialist and vaguely socialist drift); in the Dresden uprisings of 1849 he apparently took up arms, and he had to leave Germany when the police restored order. Settling in Zurich, Switzerland, he wrote little for some years but evolved the intellectual framework for his towering mature masterpieces. Wagner returned to Germany in 1864 under the protection and patronage of King Ludwig II of Bavaria; it was in Bayreuth, near Munich, that he undertook the construction of an opera house (completed in 1876) built to his personal specifications and suited to the massive fusion of music, staging, text, and scene design that his later operas entailed. Bayreuth became something of a shrine for the fanatical Wagnerites who carried the torch after his death; it remains the goal of many a pilgrimage today. His attitude toward Jews was deeply ambivalent (he believed, mistakenly, that his stepfather was Jewish), but some of his writings contain anti-Semitic elements that have aroused considerable controversy among opera lovers, especially in view of Adolf Hitler's apparent predilection for the composer's music. Read less
Wagner: Tristan und Isolde / Furtwangler, Flagstad, Schock, Fischer-Dieskau
Release Date: 04/06/2004   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 85873   Number of Discs: 4
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Wagner: The Ring Without Words / Maazel, Berlin Philharmonic
Release Date: 09/25/2012   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 2020228   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Parsifal / Meier, Barenboim, Berlin Philharmonic
Release Date: 05/20/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 555535   Number of Discs: 4
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Wagner: Die Meistersinger / Jurowski, Finley , Selinger, Miles, Gabler, Jentzsch [blu-ray]
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 7108   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Parsifal / Nagano, Ventris, Meier, Salminen, Hampson
Release Date: 05/25/2010   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 7063   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Lohengrin: Elsa's Dream

Browse 26-50 of 81 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Elisabeth Schwarzkopf - Romantic Opera Arias
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 69501 Release Date: 12/26/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Bedrich Smetana,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Christa Ludwig
    Conductor:  Walter Susskind,  Heinrich Schmitz,  Heinz Wallberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 27.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit: Gre Brouwenstijn
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89692 Release Date: 12/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Gré Brouwenstijn
    Conductor:  Willem van Otterloo,  Paul Van Kempen,  Rudolf Moralt,  Wilhelm Loibner
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  • 28.
    Régine Crespin - Un Portrait
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64434 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Régine Crespin,  John Wustman,  Janine Reiss,  Jacques Mars  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Ackermann,  Georges Prętre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  French National Radio Orchestra  ... 
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  • 29.
    Johanna Gadski - Recordings 1904-1917
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10092 Release Date: 07/23/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Johanna Gadski,  Marcel Journet,  Marie Mattfied,  Ellison Van Hoose
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  • 30.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Emmy Bettendorf
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89672 Release Date: 07/17/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Charles Gounod,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Emmy Bettendorf,  Lauritz Melchior,  Alfred Jerger,  Margarete Arndt-Ober  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Breisach,  Frieder Weissmann,  Fritz Stiedry,  Bruno Weyersberg
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  • 31.
    Mireille Flery - Radio Broadcast Recordings
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10375 Release Date: 05/14/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Michalis Vourtsis,  Spiro Samara,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Mireille Flery,  Despina Helmi-karamauna,  Rita Ferringo
    Conductor:  Filoctetes Oikonomide,  Totis Karalivanos,  Franco Caracciolo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Greek Radio Orchestra,  Naples Scarlatti Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Gré Brouwenstijn - Wagner, Verdi, Beethoven, Weber
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 426031 Release Date: 03/01/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gré Brouwenstijn
    Conductor:  Rudolf Moralt,  Willem van Otterloo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Hague Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 33.
    Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder, Arias / Charlotte Margiono, Et Al
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186077 Release Date: 11/21/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Charlotte Margiono
    Conductor:  Ed Spanjaard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Limburg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Tiana Lemnitz Vol 2 - Wagner-Szenen
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10144 Release Date: 09/07/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Tiana Lemnitz,  Franz Völker,  Margarete Klose,  Rudolf Bockelmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Rudolf Kempe
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  • 35.
    Wagner, Strauss / Pieczonka, Schirmer, Munich Rso
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 665061 Release Date: 05/30/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Adrianne Pieczonka
    Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Prima Voce - Great Singers Vol 2 (1903-1939)
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7812 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Mafalda Favero,  Jussi Björling,  Harry Ebert,  Kirsten Flagstad  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Leo Blech
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 37.
    The Art Of Victoria De Los Angeles - Mozart, Puccini, Etc
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6472 Release Date: 11/04/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Charles Gounod,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Gerald Moore,  Cesare Valletti,  Jussi Björling  ... 
    Conductor:  Walter Susskind,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Pierre Monteux,  Sir Thomas Beecham  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 38.
    The Complete Félia Litvinne and Selected Recordings by Natalya Yermolenko-Yuzhina
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 52049 Release Date: 09/13/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Alexander N. Serov  ... 
    Performer:  Natalia Yermolenko-Yuzhina,  David Yuzhin,  Félia Litvinne,  Alfred Cortot
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  • 39.
    The Very Best Of Hildegard Behrens
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 86308 Release Date: 04/26/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Hildegard Behrens,  Robert Schunk,  David Syrus,  José Van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Schneider,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Michel Plasson,  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 40.
    Wagner Heroines
    Label: Hungaroton   Catalog: 32317 Release Date: 03/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Mária Temesi
    Conductor:  Yuri Simonov
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  • 41.
    Dame Gwyneth Jones Sings Wagner / Paternostro
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10286 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones
    Conductor:  Roberto Paternostro
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 42.
    100 Best Opera Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 862112 Release Date: 02/15/2005   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Gary Lakes,  Maria Callas,  Tito Gobbi,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  James Conlon,  Alceo Galliera,  Lamberto Gardelli,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 43.
    Welte-mignon Mystery, Vol. 2: Felix Mottl
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: 135 Release Date: 02/15/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
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  • 44.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Victoria De Los Angeles
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89598 Release Date: 11/30/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Charles Gounod,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Gerald Moore,  Ivor Newton
    Conductor:  Walter Susskind,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Stanford Robinson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Legendary Voices / Helen Traubel Ii
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89596 Release Date: 10/26/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Amilcare Ponchielli
    Performer:  Helen Traubel
    Conductor:  Frieder Weissmann,  Charles O'Connell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Orchestra,  Orchestra
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  • 46.
    Prima Voce - Emmy Destinn
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7910 Release Date: 03/02/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Performer:  Emmy Destinn,  Karl Jörn,  Maria Duchęne
    Conductor:  Bruno Seidler-Winkler
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  • 47.
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1803 Release Date: 06/09/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Umberto Giordano,  Amilcare Ponchielli
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  • 48.
    Ritorna Vincitor! - The Legendary Birgit Nilsson
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000018102 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Virgilio Carbonari,  Walter Berry,  Gerhard Stolze
    Conductor:  John Pritchard,  Argeo Quadri,  Thomas Schippers,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 49.
    Les Introuvables Du Chant Wagnčrien
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 64008 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Emanuel List,  Fritz Wolff,  Alexander Kipnis,  Lauritz Melchior  ... 
    Conductor:  Eduard Mörike,  Siegfried Wagner,  Robert Heger,  Leo Blech  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Chorus,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra  ... 
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  • 50.
    Florence Easton - Absolute Soprano
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 52033 Release Date: 06/01/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann,  Antonio Secchi  ... 
    Performer:  Lester Hodges,  Florence Easton,  Gerald Moore,  Mario Chamlee  ... 
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