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 76-94 of 94 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Klemperer Legacy - Wagner: Orchestral Works Vol 1
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 66805 Release Date: 09/08/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 77.
    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:  Antal Doráti,  Herbert von Karajan,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony, Washington, D. C.,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    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
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  • 80.
    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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  • 81.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Haitink, Concertgebouw
    Label: Philips Silverline Classics   Catalog: 420886 Release Date: 04/03/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 82.
    Signature Series - Karl Muck - 1927-29 Wagner Recordings
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 5521 Release Date: 07/09/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Karl Muck
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 83.
    Knappertsbusch Dirigiert Richard Wagner
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90286 Release Date: 06/18/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 84.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Ormandy, Szell
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 62403 Release Date: 04/16/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 85.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Barenboim, Chicago So
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 99595 Release Date: 01/09/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 86.
    Surround Spectacular - The Music, The Tests
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3179 Release Date: 03/21/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Howard Hanson,  Anthony Piccolo  ... 
    Performer:  Todd Wilson,  Della Jones,  Eugene Rousseau,  Carol Rosenberger  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz,  James DePreist,  Donald Pearson,  Zdenek Macal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra,  Oregon Symphony Orchestra,  Seattle Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 87.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Böhm, Gerdes, Kubelik Et Al
    Label: Dg Double   Catalog: 439687 Release Date: 02/14/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Otto Gerdes,  Karl Böhm,  Rafael Kubelik,  Eugen Jochum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 88.
    Hans Knappertsbusch In London And In Switzerland
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90189 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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  • 89.
    Wagner: Preludes & Overtures / Dorati, London So
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 434342 Release Date: 09/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 90.
    The Royal Edition - Wagner: Orchestral Excerpts / Bernstein
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 47643 Release Date: 11/02/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 91.
    Heavy Classix
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64769 Release Date: 03/16/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Richard Wagner,  Alexander Borodin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Klaus Tennstedt,  Seiji Ozawa,  Riccardo Muti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 92.
    Second Stage - The Symphonic Sound Stage Vol 2
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3504 Release Date: 12/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Howard Hanson,  Walter Piston,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Carol Rosenberger,  János Starker
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz,  James DePreist,  Eleazar de Carvalho
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  Oregon Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 93.
    Wagner: Lohengrin (Highlights)
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550136 Release Date: 06/30/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Michael Halász
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 94.
    Wagner - Greatest Hits
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60847 Release Date: 09/06/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski,  Arthur Fiedler,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norman Luboff Choir,  New Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Pops  ... 
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