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: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Solti
Release Date: 06/09/2015   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002330102   Number of Discs: 16
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Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen / Knappertsbusch, Varney, Et Al
Release Date: 10/25/2005   Label: Orfeo D'or  
Catalog: 660513   Number of Discs: 13
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Wagner: Lohengrin / Matačić, Kónya, Grümmer, Crass
Release Date: 10/31/2006   Label: Orfeo D'or  
Catalog: 691063   Number of Discs: 3
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Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Wagner / Jonas Kaufmann, Claudio Abbado
Release Date: 04/06/2010   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001413202   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen / Krauss, Hotter, Uhde, Stolze, Kuen, Greindl
Release Date: 10/26/2010   Label: Orfeo  
Catalog: 809113   Number of Discs: 13
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Work: Lohengrin: Act 3 Prelude

Browse 76-100 of 108 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    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  ... 
    CD not available

  • 81.
    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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  • 82.
    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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  • 83.
    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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  • 84.
    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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  • 85.
    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
    CD not available

  • 86.
    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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  • 87.
    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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  • 88.
    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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  • 89.
    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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  • 90.
    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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  • 91.
    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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  • 92.
    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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  • 93.
    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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  • 94.
    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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  • 95.
    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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  • 96.
    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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  • 97.
    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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  • 98.
    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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  • 99.
    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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  • 100.
    Mad About Wagner
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 445769 Release Date: 09/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  James Morris,  Andreas Schmidt,  Cheryl Studer
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  James Levine,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de Paris,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus  ... 
    CD not available

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Richard Wagner


WORKS