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: 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, Strauss / Richard Hickox, Jard Van Nes, Et Al
Release Date: 06/21/2005   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10313   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Opera In English - Wagner: The Ring Cycle / Goodall, Et Al
Release Date: 07/24/2001   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3065   Number of Discs: 16
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Work: Götterdämmerung: Dawn and Siegfried's Rhine Journey

Browse 76-100 of 116 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century - Albert Coates
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75486 Release Date: 02/11/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Frida Leider,  Lauritz Melchior
    Conductor:  Albert Coates
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 77.
    Stokowski - Classic 1947-1949 Columbia Recordings Vol 2
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 534 Release Date: 10/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aaron Copland,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Richard Wagner,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Lipton
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music From
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 74762 Release Date: 08/13/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 80.
    Wagner: Orchestral Excerpts From Operas; Schoenberg / Leinsdorf
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93040 Release Date: 04/30/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Arnold Schoenberg
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 81.
    Faszination Musik - Wagner / Carl Schuricht
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93019 Release Date: 01/22/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 82.
    Rererences - Wagner: Operatic Extracts / Furtwangler Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 64935 Release Date: 08/07/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 83.
    Wagner: Der Ring Nibelungen (Highlights) / Karajan, Et Al
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469223 Release Date: 02/27/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Jess Thomas,  Thomas Stewart,  Cvetka Ahlin,  Liselotte Rebmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 84.
    Opera - Wagner: Ring Of Nibelungen (Highlights) / Haitink
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 74135 Release Date: 10/24/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  John Tomlinson,  Eva Martón,  Siegfried Jerusalem,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 85.
    Klemperer Legacy - Wagner: Orchestral Works Vol 2
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 66806 Release Date: 10/17/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 86.
    Wagner: Wesendonk Lieder, Arias / Varady, Fischer-dieskau
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 467981 Release Date: 09/16/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Julia Varády
    Conductor:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
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  • 87.
    Merit - Bruckner: Symphony No 3;  Wagner / Knappertsbusch
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 4257 Release Date: 01/19/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bavarian State Orchestra
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  • 88.
    Sir Georg Solti - A Celebration
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 466000 Release Date: 01/12/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  Maxim Vengerov,  Anne Sofie von Otter
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 89.
    Wagner: The Ring - Great Scenes / Solti, Vienna PO, et al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 448933 Release Date: 07/03/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Helga Dernesch,  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Berit Lindholm,  Marilyn Tyler  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 90.
    Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen - Highlights / Runnicles
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 17109 Release Date: 05/19/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Donald Runnicles
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 91.
    Wilhelm Furtwangler - Wagner: Tannhauser Overture, Etc
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1141 Release Date: 04/14/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Lucerne Festival Orchestra
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  • 92.
    R. Strauss, Wagner / Wolfgang Sawallisch, Philharmonia
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1112 Release Date: 10/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 93.
    Karl Muck - The Electrical Wagner Recordings 1927-1928
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1118-2 Release Date: 09/23/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Karl Muck
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
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  • 94.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Klaus Tennstedt
    Label: Emi Classics Double Fforte   Catalog: 68616 Release Date: 06/25/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 95.
    Wagner: The Best Of The Ring / Böhm, Nilsson, Rysanek, Et Al
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 454020 Release Date: 04/09/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Dorothea Siebert,  Ruth Hesse,  Helga Dernesch,  Gustav Neidlinger  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
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  • 96.
    Rudolf Kempe Conducts Wagner
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1035 Release Date: 01/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Antonio Vivaldi
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
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  • 97.
    The Begian Years Vol 6 / University Of Illinois Symphonic Band
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 1647 Release Date: 01/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Hindemith,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Conductor:  Harry Begian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Illinois Symphonic Band
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  • 98.
    Bruno Walter - The Early Recordings - Schumann And Wagner
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1059 Release Date: 11/06/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Robert Schumann
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  British Symphony Orchestra,  Mozart Festival Orchestra
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  • 99.
    Wagner: Die Götterdämmerung Highlights / Barenboim, Bayreuth
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 97909 Release Date: 08/01/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Anne Evans,  Philip Kang,  Bodo Brinkmann,  Siegfried Jerusalem  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
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  • 100.
    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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