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
Toscanini conducts Wagner
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 541193   Number of Discs: 5
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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Barenboim
Release Date: 10/25/2011   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4755   Number of Discs: 11
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Wagner: Die Walkure / Van Zweden, Skelton, Melton, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 11/11/2016   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8660394   Number of Discs: 4
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Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde / Gould, Herlitzius, Thielemann, Bayreuther Festspiele
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002503809   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner, Strauss / Richard Hickox, Jard Van Nes, Et Al
Release Date: 06/21/2005   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10313   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tannhäuser: Overture

Browse 51-75 of 99 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Wagner-Gala / Abbado, Studer, Meier, Jerusalem, Terfel
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439768 Release Date: 06/04/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Cheryl Studer,  Bryn Terfel,  Waltraud Meier,  Siegfried Jerusalem
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 52.
    Karajan In Concert
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001099209 Release Date: 05/13/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Alexis Weissenberg
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Karajan - Complete Emi Recordings 1946-84 Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 12038 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 88
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Ernst Haefliger,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    CD: $194.99
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  • 54.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Boulez, New York Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64108 Release Date: 03/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 55.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Barbirolli, Hallé Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64141 Release Date: 03/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra
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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    101 Opera Masterpieces, Vol. 1 [box Set]
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 9528671 Release Date: 02/26/2008   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Biserka Cvejik,  Placido Domingo,  Ruza Baldani  ... 
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  • 58.
    Courbet - Les Musiques - Chopin, Etc / Sokolov, Et Al
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5118 Release Date: 02/26/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  Traditional,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Grigory Sokolov,  François-Frédéric Guy,  Anne Gastinel,  Albert Thierry  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Laurence Equilbey,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Alain Lombard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  Végh String Quartet,  Accentus  ... 
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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    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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  • 61.
    Director's Choice /
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: ALT60882 Release Date: 10/16/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner,  George W. Chadwick,  Boris Kozjevnikov  ... 
    Conductor:  John R. Bourgeois
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  "President's Own" United States Marine Band
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  • 62.
    40 Most Beautiful Classical Anthems
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 284732 Release Date: 08/21/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Thomas Augustine Arne,  Aram Khachaturian,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
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  • 63.
    Open Road: Classics
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 55550 Release Date: 07/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Bergerich,  Dieter Goldmann,  Leonard Hokanson
    Conductor:  Sidney Lark,  Vladimir Petroschoff,  Ernst Delgado,  Sven Bengtson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Camerata Academica
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  • 64.
    Wagner: Orchestral Highlights
    Label: Selections   Catalog: 8571073 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Uwe Mund,  Alexander Rahbari,  Michael Halász
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  • 65.
    Sunday Evenings With Pierre Monteux - California 1941-52
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1192 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Olivier Messiaen,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Dorothy Warenskjold,  William Kapell,  Boris Blinder,  Naum Blinder  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Standard Symphony Orchestra
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  • 66.
    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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  • 67.
    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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  • 68.
    Tchaikovsky, Wagner / Willem Mengelberg, Et Al
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2012 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 69.
    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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  • 70.
    The Most Relaxing Opera Music In The Universe
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17331 Release Date: 09/07/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  George Frideric Handel,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Wagner: Overtures, Preludes / Varviso, Staatskapelle Dresden
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186123 Release Date: 08/26/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Richard Schumacher,  Silvio Varviso
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Chamber Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 72.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Claudio Abbado, Berlin Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 474377 Release Date: 06/03/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Chorus
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  • 73.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Caetani, Schumann Po
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47635 Release Date: 05/27/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Oleg Caetani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Schumann Philharmonic
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  • 74.
    The Instruments Of The Orchestra / Jeremy Siepmann
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8558040-46 Release Date: 12/03/2002   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johannes Brahms,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Takako Nishizaki,  Idil Biret,  Tedi Papavrami,  Maria Kliegel  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Antoni Wit,  Richard Edlinger,  Takuo Yuasa  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ulster Orchestra  ... 
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  • 75.
    Wagner: Piano Transcriptions For Four Hands / Tal & Groethuysen Duo
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 60142 Release Date: 05/20/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Jacques Halévy,  Henri Herz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tal & Groethuysen Duo
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