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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 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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Wagner: Parsifal / Pape, Denoke, Finley, Pappano, Royal Opera
Release Date: 11/18/2014   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 1158   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Siegfried's Funeral Music

Browse 51-75 of 129 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Ride Of The Valkyries / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 38286 Release Date: 05/08/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 52.
    Wagner: Gotterdammerung / Keilberth, Modl, Windgassen, Greindl, Hotter, Et Al
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1433 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Martha Mödl,  Josef Greindl,  Gré Brouwenstijn,  Hans Hotter  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
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  • 53.
    Music of Richard Wagner /
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: ALT07121 Release Date: 01/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  John R. Bourgeois
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  "President's Own" United States Marine Band
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  • 54.
    Wagner: The Ring (Highlights) / Haitink, Bavarian Rso, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics For Pleasure   Catalog: 28377 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Eva Martón,  Johannes Ritzkowsky,  Siegfried Jerusalem,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 55.
    Wagner: Orchestral Excerpts / Furtwängler, Berlin Phil
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 415663 Release Date: 10/15/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Ultimate Wagner - Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 00115870 Release Date: 08/26/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Ruth Hesse,  Gustav Neidlinger,  Dorothea Siebert,  Helga Dernesch  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm,  Sir Georg Solti,  Silvio Varviso,  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
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  • 57.
    Wagneriana / Cyprien Katsaris
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 58973 Release Date: 06/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Joachim Raff,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris
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  • 58.
    Une Soiree Musicalle Chez Albert Baron De L'espee - Wagner Transcribed For Organ / Thorp, Kuhlmann
    Label: Aeolus   Catalog: 10271 Release Date: 05/06/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Christoph Kuhlmann,  Suzanne Thorp
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  • 59.
    Edition Klavier-festival Ruhr - Transkriptionen & Paraphrasen
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553015 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Strauss,  Sergej Kursanov,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Anthony Paratore,  Joseph Paratore,  Nikolai Tokarew,  Irina Puryshinskaja  ... 
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  • 60.
    Celibidache - Wagner / Münchner Philharmoniker
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 757125 Release Date: 03/04/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 61.
    Wagner: The Ring - An Orchestral Adventure / Jarvi, Royal Scottish NO
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5060 Release Date: 03/04/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Symphony Orchestra
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  • 62.
    Wagner For Brass / Canadian Brass, Berlin Po, Bayreuth Brass
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 434109 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canadian Brass,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Brass,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra Brass Players
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  • 63.
    Wagner: Ride Of The Valkyries / Chailly, Royal Concertgebouw
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 448155 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Wagner Without Words / Fruhbeck De Burgos, Dresden Philharmonic
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 87095 Release Date: 11/12/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Wagner: Scenes And Arias / Domingo, Voigt, Dessay
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 97683 Release Date: 10/23/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Deborah Voigt,  Natalie Dessay,  Placido Domingo,  Violeta Urmana
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
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  • 66.
    The Sound Of Wagner & Strauss / Erich Leinsdorf
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65613 Release Date: 10/22/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concert Arts Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 67.
    Solti - A Passion For Music
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000972102 Release Date: 09/18/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Mikhail Glinka,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Tamás Daróczy,  Alexandru Agache
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 68.
    Wagner: Orchestral Highlights / Tennstedt, London PO
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 91008 Release Date: 07/17/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 69.
    Reiner Conducts Wagner / Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61792 Release Date: 06/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 70.
    Piano Transcriptions / Jura Margulis
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 545 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Franz Liszt,  Richard Wagner,  André Caplet  ... 
    Performer:  Jura Margulis
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  • 71.
    Wagner: Der Ring - An Organ Transcription
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 612 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hansjörg Albrecht
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  • 72.
    Wagner: Der Ring / Hansjorg Albrecht
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 612 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hansjörg Albrecht
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  • 73.
    Carl Schuricht Collection - Historical Recordings 1950-1966
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93140 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Richard Wagner,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Barry McDaniel,  Clara Haskil,  Fritz Wunderlich,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Southwest German Radio Vocal Ensemble,  Hessian Radio Chorus Frankfurt  ... 
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  • 74.
    Wagner / Heppner, Schneider, Staatskapelle Dresden
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000641702 Release Date: 05/09/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Ben Heppner,  Burkhard Ulrich
    Conductor:  Peter Schneider
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 75.
    Toscanini - The Television Concerts 1948-52 Vol. 4
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1006 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms,  Carl Maria von Weber
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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