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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Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Wagner / Jonas Kaufmann, Claudio Abbado
Release Date: 04/06/2010   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001413202   Number of Discs: 1
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Twilight Of The Gods - The Ultimate Wagner Ring Collection
Release Date: 09/11/2012   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001724902   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Complete Piano Music / Pier Paolo Vincenzi
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94450   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Lohengrin / Nagano, Kaufmann, Harteros, Koch, Schuster [blu-ray]
Release Date: 01/20/2015   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002247759   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Tannhäuser: Overture

Browse 51-75 of 99 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Wagner: Orchestral Excerpts / Furtwängler, Berlin Phil
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 415663 Release Date: 10/15/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 52.
    Basics 25-cd Boxset
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 186002 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Georges Bizet,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    Karajan In Concert
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001099209 Release Date: 05/13/2008  
    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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    DVD: $39.99
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  • 55.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Boulez, New York Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64108 Release Date: 04/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 56.
    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,  Ruza Baldani,  Placido Domingo  ... 
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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    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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  • 59.
    Sir Georg Solti - The Maestro
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001010909 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Leó Weiner,  Zoltán Kodály,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony 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.
    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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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    Toscanini - The Television Concerts 1948-52 Vol. 2
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1004 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Frank Miller,  Mischa Mischakoff
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC 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.
    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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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    Wagner: Overtures, Preludes, Arias / Andre Cluytens, Et Al
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1256 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Rita Gorr
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra
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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    Johannes Brahms / Rafael Kubelik, Daniel Barenboim, Et Al
    Label: Melodram   Catalog: 40053 Release Date: 04/09/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony 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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Richard Wagner


WORKS