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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 76-100 of 129 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    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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  • 81.
    Gemini - Wagner: Orchestral Music / Tennstedt, Berlin Po
    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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  • 82.
    Historical - Wagner: Operatic Extracts / Furtwängler
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 86191 Release Date: 01/11/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 83.
    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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  • 84.
    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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  • 85.
    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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  • 86.
    Wagner: Orchestral Works, Etc / Stokowski, Verrett, Arroyo
    Label: Rca 24/96 Sound Dimension   Catalog: 55306 Release Date: 01/13/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Louise Parker,  Carlotta Ordassy,  Martina Arroyo,  Doris Yarick  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Symphony of the Air
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  • 87.
    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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  • 88.
    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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  • 89.
    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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  • 90.
    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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  • 91.
    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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  • 92.
    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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  • 93.
    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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  • 94.
    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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  • 95.
    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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  • 96.
    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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  • 97.
    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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  • 98.
    Bandboy - Musket, Fire & Drum
    Label: Bandleader   Catalog: 1 Release Date: 11/28/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Michael Hall,  Traditional,  Herman Koenig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Air Force Regiment Band,  Massed Corps of Drums of the Guards,  Household Division Massed Bands  ... 
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  • 99.
    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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  • 100.
    Wagner: Overtures And Orchestral Music / Jansons, Oslo Po
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 73299 Release Date: 04/20/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
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