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
Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti: The 3 Tenors Sing Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti, Bizet, Wagner And More
Release Date: 09/11/2015   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 88697757882   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Overtures, Preludes & Orchestral Excerpts / Janowski, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186551   Number of Discs: 2
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Richard Wagner - The Bayreuth Edition [8 Blu-rays]
Release Date: 09/25/2015   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 7184   Number of Discs: 8
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Wagner: Opera Scenes / Tennstedt, Norman, London Philharmonic
Release Date: 02/11/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 256463   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen / Solti, Vienna Philharmonic
Release Date: 10/14/1997   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 455555   Number of Discs: 14
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Work: Ride of the Valkyries

Browse 1-25 of 154 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Opera Gold: 100 Great Tracks
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002503602 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Marilyn Horne,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Henry Lewis,  Richard Bonynge,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 2.
    Discover Film Classics
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 0300716 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Paul Dukas,  Yann Tiersen  ... 
    Performer:  Jeroen van Veen,  Douw Fonda,  Theo Adam,  Helena Doese  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Heinz Rogner,  Erhard Mauersberger,  Rudolf Mauersberger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  German Brass,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Wagner: Complete Overtures & Orchestral Music from the Operas
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94937 Release Date: 03/25/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Yuri Simonov,  Alois Springer,  Jerzy Semkow,  Heinrich Hollreiser
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Luxembourg Radio/Television Symphony Orchestra,  Hamburg Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 4.
    Barenboim and the Berlin Philharmonic - Staatsoper Unter den Linden, 1998
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2018258 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Richard Wagner,  Franz Liszt
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Cyprien Katsaris: The Sony Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875050462 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Josef Gelinek,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris
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  • 6.
    Simply The Best Classical Anthems
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 550583 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giovanni Bottesini,  Carl Orff,  Gustav Holst,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Alain Lombard,  Zubin Mehta,  London Philharmonic Choir,  Southend Boys' Choir  ... 
    Conductor:  Alain Lombard,  Zubin Mehta,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 7.
    Wagner: Preludes and Interludes / Luisi, Philharmonia Zurich
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 102 Release Date: 02/24/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Fabio Luisi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Zürich
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  • 8.
    Battles In Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 578293 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Leonardo Balada,  Roy Harris  ... 
    Conductor:  Ondrej Lenárd,  Salvador Mas Conde,  Marin Alsop,  Dmitry Yablonsky  ... 
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  • 9.
    100 Classical Masterworks
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002188102 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Edvard Grieg,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theater Violin Ensemble,  Ansbach Bach Week Soloists Union,  Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata Academica  ... 
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  • 10.
    Classics For The People Vol 1 / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94982 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Wynne Evans,  Donald Maxwell,  Deborah Norman
    Conductor:  Owain Arwel Hughes,  Philip Ellis,  Nick Davies
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Goldsmith's Choral Union Choir
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  • 11.
    Leonard Bernstein Edition - Concertos & Orchestral Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301330 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 80
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Gomberg,  William Heim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Maurice Peress
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Philharmonic members,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    Phase 4 Stereo - Stereo Concert Series
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188302 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Charles A. Zimmerman,  Francis S. Van Boskerck,  George Norton  ... 
    Performer:  Stanley Black,  David Parkhouse,  Alan Loveday,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Rodney Bashford,  Stanley Black,  Bernard Herrmann,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grenadier Guards Band,  London Festival Orchestra,  London Festival Recording Ensemble  ... 
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  • 13.
    Classic Karajan: The Essential Collection
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002092702 Release Date: 07/15/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Mahler,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  José Carreras,  Ingrid Steger,  Lilo Brockhaus  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 14.
    I Don't Like Classical Music, But I Really Like This!
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 74698 Release Date: 06/17/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Carl Orff,  Richard Wagner,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Nigel Woodhouse,  Paul Meyer,  Kolja Blacher,  Eric Le Sage  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Eduardo Mata,  Gustav Kuhn,  Mark Stephenson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus  ... 
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  • 15.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350107 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
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  • 16.
    The Most Beautiful Opera Choruses, Vol. 2
    Label: Dacapo   Catalog: 984 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Oleksandra [Mezzo-soprano Vocal] Kunitsyna
    Conductor:  Matthias G. Kendlinger
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  • 17.
    Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen Symphonic Excerpts / Stemme, Jordan
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 34142 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Nina Stemme
    Conductor:  Philippe Jordan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris National Opera Orchestra
    On sale! $27.98
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  • 18.
    Richard Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen - Orchestermusik
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 944 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Bernadett Fodor,  Anja Fidelia Ulrich,  Eve-maud Hubeaux,  Mona Somm  ... 
    Conductor:  Sebastian Weigle
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  • 19.
    Dedicated to the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Richard Wagner
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002095 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Andrey Chistiakov,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Yevgeny Svetlanov,  Yevgeny Mravinsky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR Ministry of Culture State Symphony Orchestra,  State Academic Symphony Orchestra,  Leningrad Philharmonic Society Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 20.
    My Wagner Album / Christian Thielemann
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001884102 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Paul Schöffler,  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Thomas Stewart,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  Christian Thielemann,  Hans Knappertsbusch,  Carlos Kleiber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 21.
    Sommernachtskonzert 2013 / Lorin Maazel, Wiener Philharmoniker
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 371205 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Strauss Jr.
    Performer:  Michael Schade
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Overtures & Orchestral
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 2014 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Yuri Simonov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 23.
    German Brass Celebrating Wagner
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300533 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Brass
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  • 24.
    Music Of Steel - Heroic Themes From The Movies
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001871502 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John T. Williams,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Helen Watts,  Marilyn Tyler,  Birgit Nilsson,  Claudia Hellmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Sir Georg Solti,  Stanley Black,  Antal Doráti  ... 
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  • 25.
    Best Of Pops / Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops Orchestra
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 3580 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jacob Gade,  Leroy Anderson,  Victor Young,  Meredith Willson  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
    On sale! $29.95
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