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
Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti: The 3 Tenors Sing Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti, Bizet, Wagner And More
Release Date: 09/11/2015   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 88697757882   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Overtures, Preludes & Orchestral Excerpts / Janowski, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186551   Number of Discs: 2
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Richard Wagner - The Bayreuth Edition [8 Blu-rays]
Release Date: 09/25/2015   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 7184   Number of Discs: 8
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Wagner: Der Ring - An Organ Transcription / Albrecht
Release Date: 08/12/2016   Label: Oehms  
Catalog: 72   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Opera Scenes / Tennstedt, Norman, London Philharmonic
Release Date: 02/11/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 256463   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Siegfried Idyll

Browse 1-25 of 99 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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
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  • 2.
    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  ... 
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  • 3.
    Glenn Gould Remastered: The Complete Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 503222 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 81
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Glenn Gould,  Elizabeth Benson-Guy,  Donald Gramm,  Charles Bressler  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Walter Susskind,  Vladimir Golschmann,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  CBC Symphony Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Symphonia String Quartet  ... 
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  • 4.
    Klemperer Conducts Wagner
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552129 Release Date: 09/18/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
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  • 5.
    Siegfried Idyll / Deveau
    Label: Steinway & Sons   Catalog: 30051 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  David Deveau
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  • 6.
    Rossini, R. Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-korsakov, Wagner, Dvorak
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 7073 Release Date: 09/08/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Alceo Galliera
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  • 7.
    Sinfonietta Ventus And Friends
    Label: Urtext   Catalog: 248 Release Date: 07/31/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Arnold Schoenberg
    Conductor:  Guido Maria Guida
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  • 8.
    Mahler: Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen (Arr. Schoenberg)… / Pinnock
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 481 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Ferruccio Busoni,  Alexander von Zemlinsky,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Gareth Brynmor John,  Katie Bray
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble
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  • 9.
    Mercury Living Presence - The Collector's Edition Vol 3
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 002275902 Release Date: 03/23/2015   Number of Discs: 53
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Lehár,  Emil Waldteufel,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Rafael Druian,  Georges Miquelle,  Eugene List,  Alfred Mouledous  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski,  Frederick Fennell,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
    CD: $213.99
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  • 10.
    Karajan - 1980s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002187902 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 78
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Anton Bruckner,  Johannes Brahms,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  José Van Dam,  Barbara Hendricks,  Gösta Winbergh  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Domenico Bartolucci
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
    CD: $245.99
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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    Wagner: Symphony In C; Tristan Und Isolde; Siegfried Idyll /  De Waart, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72649 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Schubert: Symphonies Nos. 5-9; Incidental Music To Rosamunde
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 121164 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
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  • 14.
    The Argo Years / Marriner, Academy of St Martin in the Fields
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002081902 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Giuseppe Torelli,  Pietro Antonio Locatelli  ... 
    Performer:  Gwynne Howell,  Philip Langridge,  Anna Reynolds,  Elly Ameling  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus,  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble
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  • 15.
    Schubert: Unfinished Symphony; Beethoven: Symphony No 2; Wagner: Siegfried Idyll / Abbado
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95627 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
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  • 16.
    Rafael Kubelik Conducts Great Symphonies
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7884112 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann,  Anton Bruckner,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $15.99
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  • 17.
    Scottish Chamber Orchestra 40th Special Anniversary Edition
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 540 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Jean Sibelius,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Robin Ticciati,  Joseph Swensen,  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 18.
    The Westminster Legacy
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001999302 Release Date: 02/18/2014   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Sena Jurinac,  Lucretia West,  Hans Loeffler,  Frederick Guthrie  ... 
    Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen,  Pierre Monteux,  René Leibowitz,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Academy Chamber Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $119.98
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  • 19.
    BBC Legends - Great Recordings from the Archive
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5113 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Robert Schumann,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Beryl Hatt,  Agnes Giebel,  Joyce Barker,  Kerstin Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein,  Yevgeny Mravinsky,  Arturo Toscanini,  Kiril Kondrashin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orpington Junior Singers,  Goldsmiths' Choral Union  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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  • 20.
    Wagner: Gotterdammerung; Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg; Siegfried-idyll
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 32713 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Petra Lang
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Festival Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $20.99
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  • 21.
    Great Wagner Conductors [4-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001826202 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch,  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  Eugen Jochum,  Victor De Sabata  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 22.
    Toscanini Conducts Wagner
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 541193 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Lauritz Melchior,  Helen Traubel
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    CD: $23.99
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  • 23.
    Wagner: Wesendonck-lieder, Overtures / Stemme, Dausgaard, Swedish Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2022 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Katarina Andreasson,  Nina Stemme
    Conductor:  Thomas Dausgaard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Chamber Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $21.49
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  • 24.
    Wagner: Operatic Highlights; Strauss: Tone Poems / Klemperer
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 484682 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Label: Bayer Records   Catalog: 100391 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Ruben Gazarian
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