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: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Solti
Release Date: 06/09/2015   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002330102   Number of Discs: 16
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Wagner: Tannhauser / Andersen, Royal Danish Opera
Release Date: 07/26/2011   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001499009   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Keilberth [Bayreuth 1953]
Release Date: 07/31/2015   Label: Pan Classics  
Catalog: 10340   Number of Discs: 12
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Wagner: Tannhauser / Youn, Kerl, , Eiche, Kober, Bayreuth Festival
Release Date: 07/31/2015   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 1177   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Marches & Overtures / Kojian, Hong Kong Po
Release Date: 05/15/2001   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555386   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Siegfried's Funeral Music

Browse 76-100 of 129 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 361 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
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  • 80.
    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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  • 81.
    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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  • 82.
    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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  • 83.
    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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  • 84.
    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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  • 85.
    Legend - Music Of Myth, Magic And Mystery
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 33619 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Richard Wagner,  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Klaus Tennstedt,  Jean Martinon,  Wolfgang Sawallisch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  ORTF National Chorus  ... 
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  • 86.
    Wagner: Orchestral Excerpts From Operas / Tennstedt, Et Al
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 3 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 87.
    Bayerische Staatsoper 1997-2005 Live / Mehta, Bolton, Et Al
    Label: Farao   Catalog: 108023 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  David Daniels,  Peter Seiffert,  Waltraud Meier,  Martin Gantner  ... 
    Conductor:  Ivor Bolton,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bavarian State Orchestra
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  • 88.
    Carl Muck
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1345 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Karl Muck
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra members
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  • 89.
    All Wagner Concert / Toscanini, Melchior, Nbc So
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2242/43 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Helen Traubel,  Lauritz Melchior
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 90.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Tennstedt, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 86248 Release Date: 02/15/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 91.
    The Fascination Of Furtwängler
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000388602 Release Date: 01/11/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Antonín Dvorák,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 92.
    Wagner: Die Meistersinger / Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1153 Release Date: 11/30/2004   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Erich Zimmermann,  Fritz Krenn,  Camilla Kallab,  Josef Greindl  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Chorus,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 93.
    Wagner: Opera Excerpts, Siegfried Idyll / Schuricht, Stuttgart Rso
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93156 Release Date: 08/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 94.
    Toscanini E L'orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala (1948-1952)
    Label: Fono Enterprise   Catalog: 1091 Release Date: 12/02/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arrigo Boito,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Cesare Siepi,  Herva Nelli,  Giacinto Prandelli,  Renata Tebaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
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  • 95.
    Music To Die For - Mozart, Verdi, Beethoven, Wagner, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557411 Release Date: 10/21/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Rutter,  Henryk Mikolaj Górecki,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Nicholas Rimmer,  Zofia Kilanowisz,  Adele Anthony,  Jénö Jandó
    Conductor:  Timothy Brown,  Antoni Wit,  Zdenek Kosler,  Uwe Mund  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Clare College Choir,  City of London Sinfonia,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 96.
    Wagner: Siegfried Idyll, Etc;  Strauss / Andre Cluytens, Etc
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1255 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 97.
    Original Masters - Wilhelm Furtwängler - Live Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 474030 Release Date: 02/11/2003   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Maurice Ravel,  César Franck,  Paul Hindemith  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 98.
    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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  • 99.
    Wagner: Scenes From The Ring / Domingo, Pappano, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57242 Release Date: 05/07/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Simon Rayner,  Violeta Urmana,  Natalie Dessay  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
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  • 100.
    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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Richard Wagner


WORKS