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
Toscanini Conducts Wagner
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 541193   Number of Discs: 5
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Wagner: Der Fliegende Hollander / Terfel, Salminen, Kampe, Altinoglu
Release Date: 03/17/2015   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002264809   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Wagner: Der Fliegende Hollander / Terfel, Salminen, Kampe, Altinoglu [blu-ray]
Release Date: 03/17/2015   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002264759  
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Work: Lohengrin: Act 3 Prelude

Browse 76-100 of 121 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    Gemini - Wagner: Orchestral Music / Tennstedt, Berlin Po
    Label: Warner 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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    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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  • 81.
    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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  • 82.
    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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  • 83.
    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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  • 84.
    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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  • 85.
    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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  • 86.
    Wagner: Preludes, Overtures / Jankowski, Ortf Philharmonic
    Label: Virgin Classics Special Import   Catalog: 62034 Release Date: 11/05/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Marek Janowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 87.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Klemperer, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 67896 Release Date: 09/17/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 88.
    Bruckner: Symphony No 3;  Wagner / Gielen, Swr So
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93031 Release Date: 06/25/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Michael Gielen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 89.
    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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  • 90.
    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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  • 91.
    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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  • 92.
    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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  • 93.
    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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  • 94.
    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
    CD: $7.99
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  • 95.
    The Greatest Classical Hits Of Wagner
    Label: Echo Bridge   Catalog: 1837 Release Date: 02/23/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
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  • 96.
    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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  • 97.
    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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  • 98.
    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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  • 99.
    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
    CD: $11.99
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  • 100.
    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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Richard Wagner