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: Act 3 Prelude

Browse 101-125 of 134 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century - André Cluytens
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75106 Release Date: 06/04/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Richard Wagner,  Hector Berlioz,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Boris Christoff,  John Lanigan
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Sofia National Opera Chorus,  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris  ... 
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  • 102.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Gerd Albrecht, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 9870 Release Date: 10/24/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Gerd Albrecht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 103.
    Sounds Of Excellence - Great Music From The Opera
    Label: Platinum Disc   Catalog: 671 Release Date: 01/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Richard Wagner,  Georges Bizet  ... 
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  • 104.
    Sounds Of Excellence - Top 20 Greatest Classics
    Label: Platinum Disc   Catalog: 672 Release Date: 01/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aram Khachaturian,  Carl Orff,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
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  • 105.
    The Begian Years Vol 13 / University Of Illinois Symphonic Band
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 3085 Release Date: 01/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Harry Begian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Illinois Symphonic Band
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  • 106.
    Wagner: Overtures And Orchestral Music / Jansons, Oslo Po
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 73299 Release Date: 04/20/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 107.
    The Greatest Classical Hits Of Wagner
    Label: Platinum Disc   Catalog: 1837 Release Date: 02/23/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
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  • 108.
    Thunder & Lightning / Sir Georg Solti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 460496 Release Date: 11/10/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Gottlob Frick,  Pilar Lorengar,  Martti Talvela,  Yvonne Minton  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  World Orchestra for Peace,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 109.
    Wagner E Venezia / Uri Caine Ensemble
    Label: Winter & Winter   Catalog: 13 Release Date: 09/15/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Mark Feldman,  Uri Caine,  Dominic Cortese,  Drew Gress  ... 
    Conductor:  Uri Caine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Uri Caine Ensemble
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  • 110.
    Twilight Of The Gods - The Essential Wagner Collection
    Label: Dg Double   Catalog: 459141 Release Date: 08/11/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Herbert von Karajan,  Rafael Kubelik,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 111.
    Toscanini Conducts The Orchestra Of La Scala
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1027 Release Date: 07/21/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Tancredi Pasero,  Fedora Barbieri,  Gabriella Gatti,  Giacinto Prandelli
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
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  • 112.
    The Melody Shop / Parkes, Cutt, Grimethorpe Colliery Band
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 4552 Release Date: 06/16/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Harry James,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Melvyn Bathgate,  Mark Walters,  Peter Matthews,  Richard Marshall  ... 
    Conductor:  Major Peter Parkes,  Gary Cutt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grimethorpe Colliery Band
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  • 113.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Thielemann, Philadephia Orchestra
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453485 Release Date: 05/12/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 114.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Haitink, Concertgebouw
    Label: Philips Silverline Classics   Catalog: 420886 Release Date: 04/03/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 115.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Klaus Tennstedt
    Label: Emi Classics Double Fforte   Catalog: 68616 Release Date: 06/25/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 116.
    Knappertsbusch Dirigiert Richard Wagner
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90286 Release Date: 06/18/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 117.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Ormandy, Szell
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 62403 Release Date: 04/16/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 118.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Barenboim, Chicago So
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 99595 Release Date: 01/09/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 119.
    Surround Spectacular - The Music, The Tests
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3179 Release Date: 03/21/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Howard Hanson,  Anthony Piccolo  ... 
    Performer:  Todd Wilson,  Della Jones,  Eugene Rousseau,  Carol Rosenberger  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz,  James DePreist,  Donald Pearson,  Zdenek Macal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra,  Oregon Symphony Orchestra,  Seattle Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 120.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Böhm, Gerdes, Kubelik Et Al
    Label: Dg Double   Catalog: 439687 Release Date: 02/14/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Otto Gerdes,  Karl Böhm,  Rafael Kubelik,  Eugen Jochum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 121.
    Hans Knappertsbusch In London And In Switzerland
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90189 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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  • 122.
    100 Fiedler Favorites
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 62698 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Jacob Gade,  Stevie Wonder,  George Cory,  Jerry Herman  ... 
    Performer:  Leo Litwin,  Earl Wild,  Pasquale Cardillo,  Toni Noichl  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 123.
    Mad About Wagner
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 445769 Release Date: 09/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  James Morris,  Andreas Schmidt,  Cheryl Studer
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  James Levine,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de Paris,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus  ... 
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  • 124.
    Wagner: Preludes & Overtures / Dorati, London So
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 434342 Release Date: 09/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 125.
    The Royal Edition - Wagner: Orchestral Excerpts / Bernstein
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 47643 Release Date: 11/02/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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