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: 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: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Janowski, Berlin Radio Symphony & Choir
Release Date: 05/13/2016   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186581   Number of Discs: 13
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Wagner: The Ring - An Orchestral Adventure / Jarvi, Royal Scottish NO
Release Date: 03/04/2008   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5060   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Two Symphonies, Marches, Rienzi Overture / Jarvi, Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Release Date: 03/27/2012   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5097   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Tannhauser / Pape, Seiffert, Prudenskaya, Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin
Release Date: 01/29/2016   Label: Bel Air Classiques  
Catalog: 122   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Lohengrin: Act 3 Prelude

Browse 26-50 of 95 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Richard Wagner: Lohengrin (Excerpts) (Bayreuth 1936)
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 284 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Spoken Word,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
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  • 27.
    PentaTone - The First 10 Years
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186500 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Aram Khachaturian,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Alexander Glazunov  ... 
    Performer:  Julia Fischer,  Sa Chen,  Arabella Steinbacher,  Bram Beekman  ... 
    Conductor:  Yakov Kreizberg,  Simon Murphy,  Lawrence Foster,  Marek Janowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra,  Russian National Orchestra,  Chamber Soloists of The New Dutch Academy  ... 
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  • 28.
    Mravinsky Conducts The Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 698905 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Mikhail Glinka,  Alexander Glazunov,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 29.
    Wagner: Favourite Overtures & Preludes / Simonov, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1165 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Yuri Simonov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 30.
    Wagner: Lohengrin Highlights / Solti, Domingo, Norman, Fischer-Dieskau
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 425530 Release Date: 12/17/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Eva Randová,  Placido Domingo,  Hans Sotin,  Siegmund Nimsgern  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder, Overtures / Brueggergosman, Welser-Most, Cleveland
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001450302 Release Date: 07/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Measha Brueggergosman
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Wagner - Arr. Henk De Vlieger: Parsifal - An Orchestral Quest / Jarvi, Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5077 Release Date: 05/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
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  • 33.
    Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream; Wagner / Ormandy, Philadelphia
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 38285 Release Date: 04/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Judith Blegen,  Frederica Von Stade
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mendelssohn Club Chorus Philadelphia
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  • 34.
    Wagner: Famous Opera Choruses / Solti, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 421865 Release Date: 04/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Werner Krenn,  Isola Jones,  Janis Martin,  Helga Dernesch  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir,  Gumpoldskirchner Spatzen  ... 
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  • 35.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 467 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Charles Gounod
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
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  • 36.
    Open Air - A Night With The Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2051968 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Michael Ziehrer,  Henri Wieniawski,  Richard Wagner,  Yuzo Toyama  ... 
    Performer:  Vadim Repin
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Label: Caprice Records   Catalog: 22055 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Elisabeth Söderström,  Kerstin [Mezzo-soprano Vocal] Meyer,  Kerstin Lofgren,  Ingeborg Kjellgren  ... 
    Conductor:  Sixten Ehrling,  Nils Grevillius
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  • 38.
    State Of The Art - The Story Of Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001341102 Release Date: 12/15/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Gabriel Fauré,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Rafal Blechacz,  Kathleen Battle,  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Leonard Bernstein,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort,  Andalucian Dogs
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  • 39.
    Favorite Overtures Vol 1 / United States Air Force Band
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 5637567789 Release Date: 11/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Leonard Bernstein,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Conductor:  Col. Arnald Gabriel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Air Force Band
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  • 40.
    Waldbuhne Concert - A Romantic Opera Night
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4533 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Paul Lincke
    Performer:  Ben Heppner
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 41.
    The Ride of the Valkyries - Orchestral Music by Wagner / Royal PO
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 28080 Release Date: 09/08/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Wagner: Siegfried Idyll / Marek Janowski, Radio France
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 59689 Release Date: 08/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Marek Janowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Bernstein Favorites - Opera For Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46714 Release Date: 07/02/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Alexander Borodin,  Georges Bizet,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 44.
    Edition Staatskapelle Dresden Vol 22 - Karl Bohm Conducts Wagner / Elmendorff, Striegler, Schech, Lorenz, Et Al
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 7058 Release Date: 06/30/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hans Hermann Nissen,  Josef Herrmann
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus
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  • 45.
    Beethoven: Choral Fantasy, Etc;  Wagner / Semkow, St. Louis
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5104 Release Date: 05/22/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Walter Klien
    Conductor:  Jerzy Semkow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra,  St. Louis Symphony Chorus
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  • 46.
    Staatskapelle Dresden - Legendary Masterworks Recordings
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 184532 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Carl Maria von Weber  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Berry,  Anneliese Rothenberger,  Hermann Prey,  Hilde Gueden  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Herbert Blomstedt,  Jeffrey Tate,  Marek Janowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus
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  • 47.
    Filharmonikot Juhlatuulella / Segerstam, Helsinki Philharmonic
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 956 Release Date: 12/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mariano Mores,  Luiz Bonfá,  John Philip Sousa,  Hans Christian Lumbye  ... 
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Pops Concert / Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 6213 Release Date: 12/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Ambroise Thomas,  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Krips
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 49.
    Sir Georg Solti - Grammy Champion
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 436779 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus,  Vienna State Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 50.
    Best Karajan 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 15206 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Bernard Walton,  Dennis Brain,  Lothar Koch,  Maurice André  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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