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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
Richard Wagner - Great Recordings
Release Date: 02/26/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 543504   Number of Discs: 40
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Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen / Norman, Jerusalem, Salminen, Schreier, Kollo, Adam, Janowski
Release Date: 02/12/2013   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 546223   Number of Discs: 14
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Wagner at The Met
Release Date: 04/09/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 542717   Number of Discs: 25
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Toscanini Conducts Wagner
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 541193   Number of Discs: 5
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Wagner: Parsifal / Kaufmann, Pape, Gatti, Met
Release Date: 04/01/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 372558   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Siegfried's Funeral Music

Browse 101-125 of 129 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    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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  • 102.
    Karg-elert: Harmonium Works Vol 2 / Johannes Matthias Michel
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 999523 Release Date: 06/02/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Johannes Matthias Michel
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  • 103.
    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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  • 104.
    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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  • 105.
    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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  • 106.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Levine, The Met Orchestra
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 447764 Release Date: 09/16/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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  • 107.
    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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  • 108.
    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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  • 109.
    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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  • 110.
    Max Von Schillings Dirigiert Wagner Vol 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90267 Release Date: 03/19/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Max von Schillings
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
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  • 111.
    Opera At The Movies
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8551164 Release Date: 09/19/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner,  Umberto Giordano,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Miroslav Dvorsky,  Miriam Gauci,  Luba Orgonasova,  Jonathan Welch  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Rahbari,  Uwe Mund,  Oliver Dohnányi,  Will Humburg  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Orchestra,  Slovak State Philharmonic Chorus  ... 
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  • 112.
    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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  • 113.
    Wagner: Opera Overtures & Excerpts
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 445571 Release Date: 08/01/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de Paris
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  • 114.
    150 Jahre Wiener Philharmoniker / Hans Knappertsbusch
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90116 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Carl Michael Ziehrer,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Max Lorenz
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 115.
    Wagner: Orchestral Favourites / Solti, Wiener Philharmoniker
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 440606 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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  • 116.
    Cinema Classics 9
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 556629 Release Date: 10/04/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Vladar,  Wolfgang Rübsam,  Dong-Suk Kang,  Pascal Devoyon  ... 
    Conductor:  Ondrej Lenárd,  Barry Wordsworth,  Bohdan Warchal,  Oliver Dohnányi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak State Symphony Orchestra,  Capella Istropolitana,  Slovak State Philharmonic Chorus  ... 
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  • 117.
    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  ... 
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  • 118.
    Wagner: Selected Works / Lipovsek, Prêtre, Vienna Symphony
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 237901 Release Date: 04/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Marjana Lipovsek
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 119.
    The Best Of Wagner
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556657 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Uwe Mund,  Johannes Wildner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice
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  • 120.
    Wagner: Highlights From The Ring / Mund, Czech-slovak Rso
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550211 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Uwe Mund
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bratislava Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Orchestra
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  • 121.
    Wagner, Tull, Bach, Brahms, Et Al / Millar Brass Ensemble
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 433 Release Date: 06/25/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henri Tomasi,  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruce Briney
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Millar Brass Ensemble
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  • 122.
    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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  • 123.
    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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  • 124.
    Toscanini Collection Vol 53 - Wagner: Götterdämmerung, Etc
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60304 Release Date: 08/25/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Helen Traubel,  Lauritz Melchior
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 125.
    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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