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: Lieder / Sburlati, Scolastra
Release Date: 09/30/2014   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94451   Number of Discs: 1
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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: 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 51-75 of 94 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    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 Duchêne
    Conductor:  Bruno Seidler-Winkler
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  • 54.
    The Very Best Of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85105 Release Date: 09/02/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gottfried H. Stölzel,  Rudolf Sieczynski  ... 
    Performer:  Elisabeth Grümmer,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Gerald Moore,  Edwin Fischer  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Otto Ackermann,  Lovro von Matacic,  George Szell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 55.
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1803 Release Date: 06/09/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Umberto Giordano,  Amilcare Ponchielli
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  • 56.
    Ritorna Vincitor! - The Legendary Birgit Nilsson
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000018102 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frederick Loewe,  Ture Rangström,  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Gerhard Stolze,  Walter Berry,  Virgilio Carbonari
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Bertil Bokstedt,  Sir Colin Davis,  Hans Knappertsbusch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Opera Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 57.
    Symposium Opera Collection Vol 11 - Cannetti, Caprile, Et Al
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1315 Release Date: 04/29/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Giorgina Caprile,  Giannina Russ,  Andria Carrera,  Eugenio Giraldoni  ... 
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  • 58.
    The Very Best Of Victoria De Los Angeles
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75888 Release Date: 04/22/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Manuel de Falla,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Carlo Del Monte,  Alicia De Larrocha,  Gerald Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Vittorio Gui,  Giuseppe Morelli,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Tullio Serafin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    Mahler: Kindertotenlieder, Etc;  Wagner / Flagstad, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Legends   Catalog: 468486 Release Date: 02/12/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch,  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 61.
    Great Voices Of The Past - Great Moments From Wagner Operas
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 8004 Release Date: 11/06/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Theodor Scheidl,  Lydia Kindermann,  Helge Rosvaenge,  Pearl Yoder  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    Karita Mattila - Live In Helsinki
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 968 Release Date: 01/23/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Dumont,,  Jule Styne,  Frederick Holländer  ... 
    Performer:  Karita Mattila
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Wagner: Opera Arias & Duets / Nilsson, Hotter, Ludwig
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1201 Release Date: 11/14/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Birgit Nilsson
    Conductor:  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Wagner: Lohengrin, Meistersinger - Overtures, Preludes, Etc
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469226 Release Date: 10/17/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Kurt Moll,  Birgit Nilsson,  Roberto Banuelas  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Karl Böhm,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus  ... 
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  • 67.
    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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  • 68.
    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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  • 69.
    Aus Münchens Operngeschichte - History Of The Munich Opera
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89405 Release Date: 05/30/2000   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Louise Höfer,  Ella Tordek,  Elisabeth Ohms,  Delia Reinhardt  ... 
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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    Kirsten Flagstad - The Great Arias - Beethoven, Weber, Et Al
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 34 Release Date: 07/20/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Robert Franz,  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad,  Edwin McArthur
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Hans Lange
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Orchestra
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  • 73.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 74.
    The Art Of Maria Müller - Wagner, Puccini, Brahms, Et Al
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89235 Release Date: 06/01/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Max Reger  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Raucheisen,  Maria Müller,  Ivor Newton,  Tino Pattiera  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Heger,  Leo Blech,  Heinz Tietjen,  Arthur Rother  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Municipal Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
    On sale! $40.98
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  • 75.
    Four Austrian Sopranos Of The Past
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89973 Release Date: 07/04/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Hilde Konetzni,  Maria Reining,  Luise Helletsgruber,  Berta Kiurina
    On sale! $22.98
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