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 / Kaufmann, Pape, Gatti, Met Opera [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 04/01/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 372572   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Der Fliegende Hollander / Selig, Merbeth, Muzek, Thielemann, Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
Release Date: 07/29/2014   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 1140   Number of Discs: 1
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Ives: Three Places in New England; Sibelius, Wagner / Michael Tilson Thomas
Release Date: 09/24/2013   Label: Ica Classics  
Catalog: 5111   Number of Discs: 1
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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: Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg / Gatti, Volle, Sacca, Gabler, Zeppenfeld
Release Date: 07/29/2014   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 72688   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Tannhäuser: Overture

Browse 76-100 of 135 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 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.
    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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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    The Nbc Recordings - Beethoven, Schubert, Etc / E. Kleiber
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5005 Release Date: 06/04/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Maurice Ravel,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Erich Kleiber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 81.
    The Power Of Wagner
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 72888 Release Date: 04/05/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  George Szell,  Lorin Maazel,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
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  • 82.
    Wagner: Overtures & Preludes
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4775445 Release Date: 03/10/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
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  • 83.
    Radiance - Music For A Night On The Town
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17486 Release Date: 03/08/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
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  • 84.
    Gemini - Wagner: Orchestral Music / Tennstedt, Berlin Po
    Label: Emi 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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  • 85.
    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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  • 86.
    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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  • 87.
    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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  • 88.
    Original Masters - Igor Markevitch - Un Veritable Artiste
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000085602 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Claude Debussy,  Georges Bizet,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Suzanne Cotelle,  Fritz Demmle,  Aurèle Nicolet,  Georges Alès  ... 
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra,  USSR State Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 89.
    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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  • 90.
    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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  • 91.
    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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  • 92.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century - Albert Coates
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75486 Release Date: 02/11/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Frida Leider,  Lauritz Melchior
    Conductor:  Albert Coates
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 93.
    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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  • 94.
    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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  • 95.
    Wagner: Preludes, Overtures / Jankowski, Ortf Philharmonic
    Label: Virgin Classics Special Import   Catalog: 62034 Release Date: 11/05/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Marek Janowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 96.
    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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  • 97.
    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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  • 98.
    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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  • 99.
    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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  • 100.
    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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