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: The Ring - An Orchestral Adventure - Arranged by Henk de Vlieger
Release Date: 01/28/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2052   Number of Discs: 1
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Elgar: Sea Pictures;  Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder;  Etc
Release Date: 04/04/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 530   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Parsifal / Haenchen, Richards, Larsson, Rootering, Mayer, Tomasso
Release Date: 01/28/2014   Label: Bel Air Classiques  
Catalog: 97   Number of Discs: 2
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James Rutherford Sings Wagner
Release Date: 05/27/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2080   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen / Grimsley, Mellor, Blythe, Vinke,   Fisch, Seattle Opera
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2313   Number of Discs: 14
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Work: Siegfried Idyll

Browse 26-50 of 126 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Arturo Toscanini: The Wagner Recordings
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2096 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Helen Traubel
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
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  • 27.
    Icon - Bruno Walter: The Early Years
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6790262 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Bruno Walter,  Lauritz Melchior,  Alfred Jerger,  Emanuel List  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  British Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
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  • 28.
    Icon - Guido Cantelli: Fiery Angel Of The Podium
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog:  6790432 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Dennis Brain
    Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra  ... 
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  • 29.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 1; Wagner: Faust Overture; Siegfried Idyll
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1241 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
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  • 30.
    Liszt: Piano Concertos / Barenboim, Boulez, Staatskapelle Berlin
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 20239 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Liszt: Piano Concertos / Barenboim, Boulez, Staatskapelle Berlin [blu-ray]
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 10239 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0349 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Leonid Kogan
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
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  • 33.
    Label: Bayer Records   Catalog: BR100391 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Ruben Gazarian
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  • 34.
    Celibidache  Vol 4 - Sacred Music & Opera / Munich Phiharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85617 Release Date: 11/29/2011   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Anton Scharinger,  Yaron Windmuller,  Peter Schreier,  Barbara Bonney  ... 
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Philharmonic Choir,  Munich Bach Choir
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  • 35.
    Shore: A Dangerous Method / Original Soundtrack
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 798726 Release Date: 11/21/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Howard Shore,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Lang Lang
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  • 36.
    Willen Van Otterloo: The Original Recordings: 1951-1966
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72383 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  César Franck,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Feike Asma,  Cor de Groot,  Theo Olof,  Herman Krebbers
    Conductor:  Willem van Otterloo
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  • 37.
    Marriner & The Academy - 20th-Century Classics [10-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001553402 Release Date: 05/24/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Heinrich Baermann  ... 
    Performer:  Jack Brymer,  John Ogdon,  John Wilbraham,  Michael Laird  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 38.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Sawallisch, Wiener Symphoniker
    Label: Philips Concert Classics   Catalog: 422480 Release Date: 01/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen - Orchestral Highlights / Runnicles
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 2564680434 Release Date: 11/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Donald Runnicles
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 40.
    Wagner: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 / De Waart, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic
    Label: Exton   Catalog: 198 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Label: Northquest   Catalog: 48029 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Frédéric Chopin,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Pachelbel  ... 
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  • 42.
    Label: Northquest   Catalog: 315001 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
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  • 43.
    Wagner: Orchestral Excerpts / Klemperer, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 31827 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 44.
    Grosses Festspielhaus Salzburg - 50 Years [25 CDs]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001469202 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Nelson Freire,  Alfred Brendel,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Claudio Abbado,  Sir Georg Solti,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 45.
    Toscanini Collection Vol 52 - Wagner / Traubel, Melchior
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60264 Release Date: 02/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Helen Traubel,  Lauritz Melchior
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 46.
    19th Century Masterpieces
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 98317 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Paul Dukas,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Lucia Popp,  Emmanuel Pahud,  Aldo Ciccolini,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Michel Plasson,  Eugene Ormandy,  Klaus Tennstedt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 47.
    Brahms: Alto Rhapsody, Haydn Variations / Knappertsbusch
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470254 Release Date: 10/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Lucretia West
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Academy Choir
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  • 48.
    The Ride of the Valkyries - Orchestral Music by Wagner / Royal PO
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 28080 Release Date: 09/08/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Kontra Wagner / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Et Al
    Label: Col Legno   Catalog: 60018 Release Date: 07/14/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Vittorio Monti,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Paul Hindemith  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra members
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  • 50.
    Hans Knappertsbusch Conducts Richard Wagner
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6569 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
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