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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
Richard Wagner - Great Recordings
Release Date: 02/26/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 543504   Number of Discs: 40
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Wagner at The Met
Release Date: 04/09/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 542717   Number of Discs: 25
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Toscanini Conducts Wagner
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 541193   Number of Discs: 5
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Wagner: Parsifal / Kaufmann, Pape, Gatti, Met
Release Date: 04/01/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 372558   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Parsifal / Pape, Denoke, Finley, Pappano, Royal Opera
Release Date: 11/18/2014   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 1158   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Lohengrin: Act 3 Prelude

Browse 51-75 of 127 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    Bernstein Favorites - Opera For Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46714 Release Date: 07/06/2009   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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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    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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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    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
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 57.
    Pops Concert / Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 6213 Release Date: 12/16/2008   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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  • 58.
    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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  • 59.
    Best Karajan 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 15206 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Elisabeth Grümmer,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 60.
    The Pyongyang Concert / Maazel, NYP [Blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2056944 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  Georges Bizet,  George Gershwin,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 61.
    The Pyongyang Concert / Maazel, New York Philharmonic
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2056948 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  Georges Bizet,  George Gershwin,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 62.
    Toscanini Collection Vol 66 - Overtures & Preludes
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60318 Release Date: 08/05/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Christoph W. Gluck
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 63.
    Sabre Dance - Favorite Orchestral Works 2 / Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 35038 Release Date: 04/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Richard Wagner,  Franz Liszt,  Grigoras Dinicu  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 64.
    Herbert Von Karajan 2008 - The Great Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 16091 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Ulrich Koch,  Sviatoslav Richter,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 65.
    Karajan - Complete Emi Recordings 1946-84 Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 12038 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 88
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Ernst Haefliger,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    On sale! $253.98
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  • 66.
    Wagner: Overtures & Preludes / Sinopoli, New York Phil
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 419169 Release Date: 01/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 67.
    New Year's Concert At Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall / Valery Gergiev, Et Al
    Label: Bel Air Classiques   Catalog: 31 Release Date: 12/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Yefim Bronfman
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Wagner For Brass / Canadian Brass, Berlin Po, Bayreuth Brass
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 434109 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canadian Brass,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Brass,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra Brass Players
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 69.
    Wagner: Ride Of The Valkyries / Chailly, Royal Concertgebouw
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 448155 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 70.
    The Sound Of Wagner & Strauss / Erich Leinsdorf
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65613 Release Date: 10/22/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concert Arts Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Strauss: Horn Concerto No 1, Etc / Jeitler, Stransky, Et Al
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 15065 Release Date: 09/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Karl Ludwig Unrath,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Lars Michael Stransky
    Conductor:  Karl Jeitler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Wind Orchestra
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  • 72.
    Reiner Conducts Wagner / Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61792 Release Date: 06/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 73.
    Weekend Classics - A Wagner Weekend
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000658602 Release Date: 07/04/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Karl Böhm,  Wilhelm Pitz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra  ... 
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  • 74.
    Toscanini - The Television Concerts 1948-52 Vol. 1 - Wagner, Beethoven
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1003 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Norman Scott,  Jane Hobson,  Erwin Dillon,  Anne McKnight
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Collegiate Chorale
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  • 75.
    A Concert Tour / Alexander Gibson
    Label: Chesky Records   Catalog: 62 Release Date: 11/23/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Jean Sibelius,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Festival Orchestra
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