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
Toscanini conducts Wagner
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 541193   Number of Discs: 5
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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Barenboim
Release Date: 10/25/2011   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4755   Number of Discs: 11
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Wagner: Die Walkure / Van Zweden, Skelton, Melton, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 11/11/2016   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8660394   Number of Discs: 4
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Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde / Gould, Herlitzius, Thielemann, Bayreuther Festspiele
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002503809   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner, Strauss / Richard Hickox, Jard Van Nes, Et Al
Release Date: 06/21/2005   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10313   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Lohengrin: Elsa's Dream

Browse 51-68 of 68 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Rca Red Seal Century - Vocalists
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63860 Release Date: 11/06/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Luisa Tetrazzini,  Titta Ruffo,  Giovanni Martinelli,  Alma Gluck  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Pasternack,  Rosario Bourdon,  Renato Cellini,  Marcello Viotti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 52.
    Italian Singers Of Wagner Vol 2 / Del Monaco, Pertile, Et Al
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6354 Release Date: 06/26/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Giuseppe Modesti,  Africo Baldelli,  Maria Callas,  Luigi Rossi-Morelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Vittorio Gui,  Lorenzo Molajoli,  Carlo Sabajno,  Argeo Quadri  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Chorus Rome,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  Orchestra  ... 
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  • 53.
    Karita Mattila - Arias & Scenes / Yutaka Sado, London Po
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 85785 Release Date: 06/19/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Lehár,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Leos Janácek  ... 
    Performer:  Karita Mattila,  Duncan Riddell
    Conductor:  Yutaka Sado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 54.
    Recitals - An Evening With Birgit Nilsson Vol 1
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 2033 Release Date: 09/12/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Wolfgang Windgassen,  Birgit Nilsson,  Hermann Uhde,  Astrid Varnay  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
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  • 55.
    Wagner Gala / Knappertsbusch, Flagstad, Nilsson, London
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 458238 Release Date: 08/08/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  George London,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Grace Hoffman
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 56.
    The Golden Age Of Singing Vol 1 - 1900-1910
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7050 Release Date: 04/11/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Mikhail Glinka,  Gioachino Rossini,  John Liptrott Hatton,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Kastorsky,  Marcella Sembrich,  Adamo Didur,  Charles Santley  ... 
    Conductor:  I. P. Arkadiev,  Carlo Sabajno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  I Solisti della Scala
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  • 57.
    Prima Voce - Elisabeth Rethberg
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7903 Release Date: 10/12/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Elisabeth Rethberg
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  • 58.
    Helen Traubel and Lauritz Melchior Sing Wagner
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 60896 Release Date: 06/29/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Helen Traubel,  Lauritz Melchior,  Herbert Janssen,  Torsten Ralf  ... 
    Conductor:  Artur Rodzinski,  Robert Kinsky,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Fritz Busch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Buenos Aires Teatro Colón Orchestra,  Columbia Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 59.
    Four Famous German Sopranos
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89971 Release Date: 07/04/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Giacomo Puccini,  Bedrich Smetana,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Margarete Teschemacher,  Tiana Lemnitz,  Maria Müller,  Franz Völker  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Leo Blech,  Robert Heger,  Fritz Zweig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin City Opera Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Prima Voce - Nezhdanova In Opera & Song
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7877 Release Date: 06/04/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Joaquin Valverde,  Richard Wagner,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Antonina Nezhdanova,  U. Masetti
    Conductor:  I. P. Arkadiev
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  • 61.
    Evelyn Lear And Thomas Stewart Sing Wagner & Strauss
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1011 Release Date: 11/06/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Thomas Stewart,  Evelyn Lear
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  • 62.
    Prima Voce - Great Singers At The Gran Teatro Del Liceo
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7869 Release Date: 06/20/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Edoardo Mascheroni,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Barrientos,  Riccardo Stracciari,  Francisco Viñas,  Mattia Battistini  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Sabajno,  Gelabert,,  Robert Heger,  Lorenzo Molajoli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 63.
    Prima Voce - Rosa Ponselle Vol 2
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7846 Release Date: 04/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Charles,  Charles Gounod,  Jules Massenet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Rosa Ponselle,  Elsie Baker
    Conductor:  Romano Romani,  Rosario Bourdon
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  • 64.
    Kirsten Flagstad Vol 1 - The Early Recordings 1914-1941
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1821 Release Date: 01/01/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Eyvind Alnaes,  Sigurd Lie,  Christian Sinding  ... 
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad,  Eyvind Alnaes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 65.
    Kirsten Flagstad, Vol. 2: Live Performances 1935-1948
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1822 Release Date: 01/01/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Gioachino Rossini,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Traditional  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 66.
    Prima Voce - Opera Arias / Adelina Patti
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7840 Release Date: 09/02/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  James Hook,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Henry Bishop,  John Liptrott Hatton  ... 
    Performer:  Adelina Patti,  Alfredo Barili,  Lucien Fugère,  Landon Ronald  ... 
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  • 67.
    Prima Voce - Kirsten Flagstad
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7847 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Edwin McArthur,  Hans Lange
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  San Francisco Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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