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: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Grimsley, Mellor, Blythe, Vinke, Fisch, Seattle Opera
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2313   Number of Discs: 14
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Wagner: Lieder / Sburlati, Scolastra
Release Date: 09/30/2014   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94451   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde / Knappertsbusch, Klose, Braun, Treptow, Frantz
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Andromeda  
Catalog: 9011   Number of Discs: 3
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Wagner: Highlights From Tristan Und Isolde & Tannhauser
Release Date: 03/13/2012   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 6164   Number of Discs: 1
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Schumann & Wagner / Butt, London Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 05/08/2012   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 6163   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Lohengrin: Elsa's Dream

Browse 26-50 of 94 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    The Record of Singing Vol 5 - From the LP to the Digital Era
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 28949 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Jacques Offenbach,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  John Shirley-Quirk,  Luciana Serra,  Neil Shicoff,  Alain Vanzo  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Sylvain Cambreling,  Georges Prętre,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 27.
    Pilar Lorengar In Recital
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4476 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francisco Barbieri,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Pilar Lorengar,  Juan Pons,  Miguel Zanetti
    Conductor:  Miguel Gómez-Martinez,  Luis Garcia-Navarro
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spanish Radio/TV Orchestra,  Spanish Radio/TV Chorus
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  • 28.
    Icon - Victoria De Los Angeles - The Opera Singer
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 17308 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Jussi Björling,  Boris Christoff,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Morelli,  Stanford Robinson,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Gabriele Santini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  RCA Victor Orchestra  ... 
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  • 29.
    Aino Ackté - Collected Recordings 1902-1913
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: ODE883 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arthur Goring Thomas,  André Messager,  Edvard Grieg,  Paul Vidal  ... 
    Performer:  Aino Ackté
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  • 30.
    La Nilsson - Wagner, Beethoven, Weber, Sacred Songs
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4800901 Release Date: 08/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Adolphe Adam  ... 
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Ĺke Levén
    Conductor:  Edward Downes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Wagner: Opera Arias And Duets
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 9703 Release Date: 03/11/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Hans Hotter
    Conductor:  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    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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  • 34.
    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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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    Original Masters - Renata Tebaldi - Aria And Duets
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000837202 Release Date: 02/13/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Richard Wagner,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Renata Tebaldi,  Gianni Poggi,  Giulietta Simionato,  Giuseppe Di Stefano  ... 
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  • 38.
    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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  • 39.
    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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  • 40.
    Sigrid Arnoldson Opera Collection Vol 17
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1342 Release Date: 06/06/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Charles Gounod,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Sigrid Arnoldson
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  • 41.
    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
    CD: $22.49
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  • 42.
    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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  • 43.
    The Art Of Victoria De Los Angeles - Mozart, Puccini, Etc
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6472 Release Date: 11/29/2005   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,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 44.
    Jessye Norman Collection - A Wagner Collection
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 000551302 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Jessye Norman,  Placido Domingo,  Hans Sotin,  Eva Randová  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  James Levine,  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung  ... 
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  • 45.
    Berlin Opera Night / Banse, Bumbry, Nagano
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2053588 Release Date: 09/20/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Lehár,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Jules Massenet,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Charles Castronovo,  Vladimir Galusin,  Vesselina Kasarova,  Grace Bumbry  ... 
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
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  • 46.
    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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  • 47.
    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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  • 48.
    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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  • 49.
    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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  • 50.
    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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