Richard Wagner


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: The Ring (Highlights) / Haitink, Bavarian Rso, Et Al
Release Date: 10/28/2008   Label: Emi Classics For Pleasure  
Catalog: 28377   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Scenes From The Ring / Domingo, Pappano, Et Al
Release Date: 05/07/2002   Label: Emi Classics  
Catalog: 57242   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Der Fliegende Holländer / Böhm
Release Date: 06/12/2007   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 000875402   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Das Rheingold / Haitink, Morris, Lipovsek, Zednik
Release Date: 10/17/2006   Label: Emi Classics  
Catalog: 58699   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Siegfried Idyll

Browse 101-115 of 115 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Strauss, Wagner, Schoenberg / Kammerensemble De Paris
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 827 Release Date: 06/18/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Odile Bourin,  Hugh Mackenzie,  Jean-Claude Bouveresse,  Christophe Poiget  ... 
    Conductor:  Armin Jordan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Chamber Ensemble
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  • 102.
    Musik In Luzern - Wagner, Brun, Lauber / Henzold, Thalmann
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 838 Release Date: 12/12/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fritz Brun,  Joseph Lauber,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Klaus Thalmann
    Conductor:  Olaf Henzold
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  AML Lucerne Symphony Orchestra
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  • 103.
    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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  • 104.
    Label: Hungaroton   Catalog: 12988 Release Date: 03/14/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Ervin Lukacs
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  • 105.
    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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  • 106.
    Bruno Walter Edition - Wagner: Orchestral Music
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64456 Release Date: 01/24/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 107.
    Otto Klemperer Conducts Beethoven, Wagner, Ravel, Debussy
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1042 Release Date: 10/24/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kurt Weill,  Jacques Offenbach,  Daniel-François Auber,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 108.
    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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  • 109.
    Glenn Gould Edition - Wagner: Siegfried Idyll, Etc
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 52650 Release Date: 04/19/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Glenn Gould
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  • 110.
    Palladio - Bruno Walter In Vienna - Mozart, Schubert, Wagner
    Label: Enterprise   Catalog: 4169 Release Date: 03/01/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 111.
    Wagner: Orchestral Highlights / Wildner, Polish NRSO
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550498 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Johannes Wildner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Katowice Polish Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra
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  • 112.
    Gifts For My Wife - Mozart & Wagner / Philharmonia Virtuosi
    Label: Ess.a.y Recordings   Catalog: 1020 Release Date: 02/22/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Richard Kapp
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Virtuosi
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  • 113.
    Adagio 2 - A Collection Of Orchestral Classics
    Label: Celestial Harmonies   Catalog: 14052 Release Date: 11/03/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Unico Graf Van Wassenaer,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Max Bruch,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Iona Brown,  Lynn Harrell,  Maria Kliegel,  Jorge Bolet  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Michael Halász,  Riccardo Chailly  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 114.
    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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  • 115.
    Leopold Stokowski In Performance
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 0657 Release Date: 02/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Richard Wagner,  César Franck
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Symphony of the Air,  Hilversum Radio Orchestra
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Richard Wagner