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 / Haenchen, Vogt, Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
Release Date: 07/21/2017   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002694909   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Parsifal / Haenchen, Vogt, Bayreuth Festival Orchestra [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 07/21/2017   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002694859   Number of Discs: 1
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The Best Of Wagner
Release Date: 02/15/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8556657   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Highlights From The Ring / Mund, Czech-slovak Rso
Release Date: 02/15/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550211   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Orchestral Highlights / Wildner, Polish NRSO
Release Date: 02/15/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550498   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tannhäuser: Overture

Browse 1-25 of 109 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Horn Fusion / China Horn Ensemble
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 1870 Release Date: 08/25/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  China Horn Ensemble
    CD: $19.99
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  • 2.
    Andre Cluytens: The Complete Orchestral & Concerto Recordings
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 562261 Release Date: 06/16/2017   Number of Discs: 65
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Raoul Laparra,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Monique de la Bruchollerie,  Marcelle Meyer,  Zino Francescatti,  Jeanne-Marie Darré  ... 
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire,  Le Grand Orchestre Symphonique Columbia,  Orchestre du Theatre National de l'Opera-Comique  ... 
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  • 3.
    Karl Bohm: The Early Years
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 561986 Release Date: 06/02/2017   Number of Discs: 19
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Jan Dahmen,  Max Zimolong,  Elisabeth Höngen,  Josef Herrmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden,  Dresden State Opera Chorus,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    Bruckner: Symphony No. 3 - Wagner: Tannhauser Overture / Nelsons, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002656302 Release Date: 05/19/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Andris Nelsons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
    CD: $21.99
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  • 5.
    Wagner: Overtures & Preludes / Wakasugi, Staatskapelle Dresden
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 0300923 Release Date: 05/19/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Hiroshi Wakasugi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden
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  • 6.
    Wagner: Overtures & Preludes / Rosbaud, Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 19036 Release Date: 05/12/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Hans Rosbaud
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 7.
    Wiener Philharmoniker: 175th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797090 Release Date: 03/31/2017   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Emmanuel Chabrier  ... 
    Performer:  Anton Dermota,  Irmgard Seefried,  Rosette Anday,  Paul Schöffler  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Rafael Kubelik,  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Arnold Schoenberg Choir,  Kuchl String Quartet  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 8.
    Wagner: Overtures, Preludes & Orchestral Excerpts / Janowski, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186551 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Marek Janowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $29.99
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  • 9.
    Wagner: Complete Overtures & Orchestral Music from the Operas
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94937 Release Date: 03/25/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Yuri Simonov,  Alois Springer,  Jerzy Semkow,  Heinrich Hollreiser
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Luxembourg Radio/Television Symphony Orchestra,  Hamburg Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 10.
    Wagner: Orchestral Highlights / Thielemann, Orchestra of the German Opera, Berlin
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 8791321 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
    CD: $39.99
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  • 11.
    Klemperer Conducts Wagner
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552129 Release Date: 09/18/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    CD: $13.99
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  • 12.
    Cyprien Katsaris: The Sony Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875050462 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Josef Gelinek,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris
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  • 13.
    Georg Solti - In Rehearsal & Performance
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2053038 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 14.
    Wagner: Preludes and Interludes / Luisi, Philharmonia Zurich
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 102 Release Date: 02/24/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Fabio Luisi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Zürich
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  • 15.
    Pierre Boulez: The Complete Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301333 Release Date: 11/24/2014   Number of Discs: 67
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Alexander Scriabin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alban Berg  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Dönch,  Isabel Strauss,  Walter Berry,  Fritz Uhl  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Anton Webern
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Camerata Singers,  Schola Cantorum New York  ... 
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  • 16.
    Seiji Ozawa - The Philips Years: Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002185602 Release Date: 11/18/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Mariko Kobayashi,  Everett Firth,  Hiroshi Arimori,  Sawako Yasue  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Saito Kinen Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers  ... 
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  • 17.
    Leonard Bernstein Edition - Concertos & Orchestral Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301330 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 80
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Gomberg,  William Heim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Maurice Peress
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Philharmonic members,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 18.
    Great Recordings / Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002093802 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Gustav Mahler,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Krystian Zimerman,  Jard Van Nes  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Claudio Abbado,  Simon Rattle,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Chamber Choir
    CD: $39.99
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  • 19.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350107 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    SuperAudio CD: $24.99
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  • 20.
    Bruckner: Symphonies 4-9
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 9008 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Claude Debussy,  Richard Wagner,  Franz Schubert
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    CD: $19.99
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  • 21.
    Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder; Tannhauser; Tristan Und Isolde
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 5174 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Anne Schwanewilms
    Conductor:  Cornelius Meister,  Manuel Lange
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Wagner Gala / Kaufmann, Thielemann, Dresden
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 714908 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 23.
    Wagner Gala / Kaufmann, Thielemann, Staatskapelle Dresden [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 715004 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
    Blu-ray Video: $34.99
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  • 24.
    Brahms: Symphony No 2; Wagner: Tannhauser Overture / Kempe
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5119 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 25.
    Dedicated to the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Richard Wagner
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002095 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Andrey Chistiakov,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Yevgeny Svetlanov,  Yevgeny Mravinsky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR Ministry of Culture State Symphony Orchestra,  State Academic Symphony Orchestra,  Leningrad Philharmonic Society Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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