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
Release Date: 04/01/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 372558   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Two Symphonies, Marches, Rienzi Overture / Jarvi, Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Release Date: 03/27/2012   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5097   Number of Discs: 1
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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: Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg / Gatti, Volle, Sacca, Gabler, Zeppenfeld
Release Date: 07/29/2014   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 72688   Number of Discs: 2
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Verdi & Wagner - The Odeonsplatz Concert / Thomas Hampson, Ronaldo Villazon, Yannick Nezet-seguin
Release Date: 07/29/2014   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 716708   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Ride of the Valkyries

Browse 201-220 of 220 Available Recordings
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  • 201.
    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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  • 202.
    Wagner: The Ride Of The Valkyries, Etc. / Rickenbacher
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 9008 Release Date: 08/20/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 203.
    Mad About The Classics
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439513 Release Date: 08/10/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Igor Stravinsky,  Edvard Grieg,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Mischa Maisky
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi,  Leonard Bernstein,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Artillery Division,  Gothenburg Symphony Chorus,  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 204.
    Masters Of The Opera Vol 8 (1866-1876)
    Label: Laserlight (Usa)   Catalog: 14078 Release Date: 07/20/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Günter Kurth,  Reiner Goldberg,  Anatoly Kotcherga,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Vassil Kazandjiev,  György Lehel,  János Sándor
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sofia Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Budapest Symphony Orchestra,  Svetoslav Obretenov Bulgarian Chorus  ... 
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  • 205.
    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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  • 206.
    The Wagner Collection - Solti, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 440107 Release Date: 01/19/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 207.
    Operatic Piano - Liszt, Wagner, Etc / Michael Ponti
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5047 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Paul Pabst,  Sigismund Thalberg,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Ponti
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  • 208.
    Regimental Marches Of The British Army Vol 1 / Sharpe
    Label: Chandos Collect   Catalog: 6563 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Various,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Conductor:  Trevor Le M. Sharpe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Regimental Band of the Coldstream Guards
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  • 209.
    Wagner: Overtures & Preludes / Adrian Boult
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 62539 Release Date: 09/29/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 210.
    Label: Imp Classics   Catalog: 21 Release Date: 09/01/1992   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Mikhail Glinka,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Richard Wagner  ... 
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  • 211.
    Wagner: Orchestral Excerpts / Szell, Cleveland Orchestra
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 48175 Release Date: 06/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 212.
    Classics At The Movies
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60833 Release Date: 09/06/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Maurice Ravel,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Leonard Pennario,  Earl Wild,  Jane Marsh  ... 
    Conductor:  Géza Anda,  Eugene Ormandy,  Charles Munch,  Seiji Ozawa  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 213.
    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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  • 214.
    Kosmos / Tomita
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 2616 Release Date: 07/09/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Isao Tomita,  Grigoras Dinicu,  Edvard Grieg,  Charles Ives  ... 
    Performer:  Isao Tomita
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  • 215.
    Fright Night - Music That Goes Bump In The Night
    Label: Cbs Masterworks Digital Masters   Catalog: 45530 Release Date: 07/01/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Franz Liszt,  Charles Ives,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Elisabeth Söderström,  Gilbert Kalish,  E. Power Biggs,  Lorin Maazel
    Conductor:  John Pritchard,  Eugene Ormandy,  Lorin Maazel,  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  New York String Quartet  ... 
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  • 216.
    Wagner Without Words / George Szell, Cleveland Orchestra
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 46286 Release Date: 07/01/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 217.
    The Best Of Richard Wagner
    Label: Rca Victrola   Catalog: 60777 Release Date: 06/06/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Robert Shaw
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Robert Shaw Chorale,  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
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  • 218.
    Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen- Excerpts / Solti, Vienna Po
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 410137 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 219.
    Wagner: Highlights From
    Label: Cbs Masterworks Digital Masters   Catalog: 44657 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  Peter Wimberger
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 220.
    Wagner Weekend - Ride Of The Valkyries
    Label: London/Decca Weekend Classics   Catalog: 421020 Release Date: 09/20/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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