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: 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: The Ring - An Orchestral Adventure / Jarvi, Royal Scottish NO
Release Date: 03/04/2008   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5060   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner - Arr. Henk De Vlieger: Parsifal - An Orchestral Quest / Jarvi, Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Release Date: 05/25/2010   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5077   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tannhäuser: Overture

Browse 101-120 of 120 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Wagner: Favourite Overtures / Sir Georg Solti
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 458214 Release Date: 05/12/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 102.
    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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  • 103.
    Wagner: Overtures & Preludes / Maazel, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 36699 Release Date: 02/27/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 104.
    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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  • 105.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Bohm, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453989 Release Date: 09/08/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 106.
    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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  • 107.
    Wagner: Overtures & Orchestral Music / Sinopoli, Dresden Staatskapelle
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 449165 Release Date: 07/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 108.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Ormandy, Szell
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 62403 Release Date: 04/16/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 109.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Barenboim, Chicago So
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 99595 Release Date: 01/09/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 110.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Rudolf Kempe, Adrian Boult
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 69037 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe,  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 111.
    Art Of Classics - Beruhmte Ouverturen Und Zwischenspiele
    Label: Intercord Klassische Diskothek   Catalog: 25929 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Zanotelli,  Gunter Neidlinger,  George Randolph Warren,  Carl-August Bünte  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Philharmonic Orchestra,  Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 112.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Böhm, Gerdes, Kubelik Et Al
    Label: Dg Double   Catalog: 439687 Release Date: 02/14/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Otto Gerdes,  Karl Böhm,  Rafael Kubelik,  Eugen Jochum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 113.
    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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  • 114.
    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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  • 115.
    The German Album - Schumann, Wagner, Liszt / Leibowitz
    Label: Chesky Records   Catalog: 96 Release Date: 01/17/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Richard Wagner,  Robert Schumann
    Conductor:  René Leibowitz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  International Symphony Orchestra
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  • 116.
    Royal Edition - Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder, Opera Excerpts / Bernstein
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 47644 Release Date: 11/02/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 117.
    Wagner: Lohengrin (Highlights)
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550136 Release Date: 06/30/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Michael Halász
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 118.
    Wagner: Tannhauser Without Words / Maazel, Pittsburgh SO
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 47178 Release Date: 09/26/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
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  • 119.
    Kosmos / Tomita
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 2616 Release Date: 07/09/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Isao Tomita,  Grigoras Dinicu,  Edvard Grieg,  Charles Ives  ... 
    Performer:  Isao Tomita
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  • 120.
    Wagner: Tannhäuser, Siegfried-idyll, Etc / Karajan, Norman
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 423613 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Jessye Norman
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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Richard Wagner