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: Parsifal / Kaufmann, Pape, Gatti, Met Opera [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 04/01/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 372572   Number of Discs: 1
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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, Strauss / Richard Hickox, Jard Van Nes, Et Al
Release Date: 06/21/2005   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10313   Number of Discs: 1
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Opera In English - Wagner: The Ring Cycle / Goodall, Et Al
Release Date: 07/24/2001   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3065   Number of Discs: 16
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Opera In English - Wagner: Twilight Of The Gods / Goodall
Release Date: 07/24/2001   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3060   Number of Discs: 5
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Work: Lohengrin: Act 3 Prelude

Browse 76-100 of 138 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    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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  • 81.
    Musik...sprache Der Welt - Selected Orchestral Recordings Ii
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000507202 Release Date: 10/11/2005   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Diana Eustrati,  Aurèle Nicolet
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Fritz Lehmann,  Otmar Suitner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 82.
    Karajan Collection - Wagner: Orchestral Music / Berlin PO
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 76896 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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  • 83.
    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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  • 84.
    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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  • 85.
    Radiance - Music For A Celebration
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17532 Release Date: 07/12/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Leos Janácek,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Niccolò Paganini  ... 
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  • 86.
    Time Life Presents - Classical Passion
    Label: Time/Life Music   Catalog: 201842 Release Date: 05/24/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Alexander Borodin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
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  • 87.
    Classical Cuisine - A German Feast
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 74603 Release Date: 04/05/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Zino Francescatti,  Pierre Fournier,  Robert Marcellus,  E. Power Biggs
    Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon,  Eugene Ormandy,  Bruno Walter,  George Szell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 88.
    Wagner: Overtures & Preludes
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4775445 Release Date: 03/10/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
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  • 89.
    Gemini - Wagner: Orchestral Music / Tennstedt, Berlin Po
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 86248 Release Date: 02/15/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 90.
    Classics At The Movies, Vol. 2
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4762897 Release Date: 01/17/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Alessandro Marcello,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  David Hobson,  Teddy Tahu Rhodes,  Diana Doherty,  Catherine Davis  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Woods,  Sir Bernard Heinze,  Ola Rudner,  Stuart Challender  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tasmanian Symphony Chamber Players
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  • 91.
    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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  • 92.
    Classic Library - Wagner: Orchestral Works
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 59414 Release Date: 04/20/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 93.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Herbert Von Karajan, Berlin Po
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 62772 Release Date: 04/06/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus
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  • 94.
    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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  • 95.
    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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  • 96.
    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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  • 97.
    Original Masters - Igor Markevitch - Un Veritable Artiste
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000085602 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Claude Debussy,  Georges Bizet,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Suzanne Cotelle,  Fritz Demmle,  Aurèle Nicolet,  Georges Alès  ... 
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra,  USSR State Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 98.
    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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  • 99.
    Wagner: Overtures, Preludes, Arias / Andre Cluytens, Et Al
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1256 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Rita Gorr
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra
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  • 100.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music From Operas / Kempe, Vienna Po
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1274 Release Date: 01/14/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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