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: Die Meistersinger / Jurowski, Finley , Selinger, Miles, Gabler, Jentzsch [blu-ray]
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 7108   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Parsifal / Nagano, Ventris, Meier, Salminen, Hampson
Release Date: 05/25/2010   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 7063   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Complete Piano Works / Dario Bonuccelli
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Dynamic  
Catalog: 761   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner, Verdi: Paraphrases for Violin & Piano / Manara, Sollini
Release Date: 04/29/2014   Label: Concerto  
Catalog: 2092   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Lohengrin: Act 3 Prelude

Browse 51-75 of 94 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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
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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    Toscanini Collection Vol 66 - Overtures & Preludes
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60318 Release Date: 07/16/2008   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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  • 54.
    Sabre Dance - Favorite Orchestral Works 2 / Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 35038 Release Date: 03/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Richard Wagner,  Franz Liszt,  Grigoras Dinicu  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    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
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  • 58.
    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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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    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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  • 61.
    Reiner Conducts Wagner / Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61792 Release Date: 06/04/2007   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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  • 62.
    Wagner: Orchestral Works / Norrington, Eaglen, London
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55479 Release Date: 04/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Jane Eaglen
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Classical Players
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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    Super Audio Cd Sampler Vol 2
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186086 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gottfried August Homilius,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Bram Beekman,  Andrew Marriner,  Julia Fischer,  Mari Kodama
    Conductor:  Yakov Kreizberg,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Ed Spanjaard,  Simon Murphy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Netherlands Chamber Choir  ... 
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  • 65.
    Karajan Collection - Wagner: Orchestral Music / Berlin PO
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 841575 Release Date: 08/16/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus
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  • 66.
    The Only Opera Album You Will Ever Need
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 51677 Release Date: 07/26/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Georges Bizet,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
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  • 67.
    Musik...Sprache der Welt - Sibelius, Wagner / Jochum
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4775484 Release Date: 07/12/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Grand Opera Gala / Hughes, Norman, Evans, Maxwell, Royal Po
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85952 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Deborah Norman,  Donald Maxwell,  Wynne Evans
    Conductor:  Owain Arwel Hughes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Choral Society
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  • 69.
    Wagner: Preludes & Overtures / Kreizberg, Netherlands Po
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186041 Release Date: 12/14/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Yakov Kreizberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 70.
    Super Audio Cd Sampler - Rqr
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186044 Release Date: 11/25/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Severino Gazzelloni,  Werner Haas,  Daniel Chorzempa,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Eliahu Inbal,  Edo De Waart,  Josef Krips  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 71.
    Otto Klemperer As A Bach-wagner Conductor: Live In Budapest, 1948-1950
    Label: Hungaroton   Catalog: 32175 Release Date: 11/23/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Johann Sebastian Bach
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  • 72.
    Wagner: Overtures, Preludes / Varviso, Staatskapelle Dresden
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186123 Release Date: 08/26/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Richard Schumacher,  Silvio Varviso
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Chamber Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 73.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Caetani, Schumann Po
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47635 Release Date: 05/27/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Oleg Caetani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Schumann Philharmonic
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  • 74.
    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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  • 75.
    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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