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 Without Words / Maazel, Berlin Philharmonic
Release Date: 09/25/2012   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 2020228   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Janowski, Berlin Radio Symphony & Choir
Release Date: 05/13/2016   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186581   Number of Discs: 13
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Wagner: The Ring - An Orchestral Adventure / Jarvi, Royal Scottish NO
Release Date: 03/04/2008   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5060   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Two Symphonies, Marches, Rienzi Overture / Jarvi, Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Release Date: 03/27/2012   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5097   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Overtures, Preludes / Varviso, Staatskapelle Dresden
Release Date: 08/26/2003   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186123   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Siegfried Idyll

Browse 51-75 of 105 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    A Nos Amours / Henschel, Diabolicus
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 137 Release Date: 08/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Luigi Denza,  Franz Schubert,  Ferruccio Busoni  ... 
    Conductor:  Dietrich Henschel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolicus
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  • 52.
    Wagner: Siegfried Idyll;  Bruckner: Symphony No 9 / Bruno Walter, Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1212 Release Date: 08/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Weber: Symphony No 1;  Mendelssohn: Sinfonia No 10;  Etc
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 53109 Release Date: 07/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Hugo Wolf,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Hartmut Haenchen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  C.P.E. Bach Chamber Orchestra
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  • 54.
    Toscanini Collection Vol 65 - Mozart, Brahms, Wagner
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60317 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Bruno Jaenicke
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 55.
    Bruckner: Symphony No 8 / Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 419196 Release Date: 04/18/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Boulez, New York Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64108 Release Date: 03/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 57.
    Celibidache - Wagner / Münchner Philharmoniker
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 757125 Release Date: 03/04/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 58.
    Wagner: The Ring - An Orchestral Adventure / Jarvi, Royal Scottish NO
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5060 Release Date: 03/04/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Bruckner: Symphony No 8;  Wagner: Siegfried Idyll / Haitink
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412465 Release Date: 01/21/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Wagner: Overtures & Preludes / Sinopoli, New York Phil
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 419169 Release Date: 01/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 61.
    Great Works Of Richard Wagner / Steinberg, Leinsdorf
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65208 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  William Steinberg,  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  Concert Arts Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 62.
    The Vienna Philharmonic Plays Wagner / Solti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000897802 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder, Siegfried Idyll / Lipovsek
    Label: Farao   Catalog: 108049 Release Date: 06/26/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Marjana Lipovsek,  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Wagner: Siegfried-idyll;  Schoenberg, Strauss / James Levine
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435883 Release Date: 06/25/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Wagner: Orchestral Works / Norrington, Eaglen, London
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55479 Release Date: 04/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Jane Eaglen
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Classical Players
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  • 66.
    Mahler: Symphony No 9;  Wagner: Siegfried Idyll / Solti
    Label: London/Decca Jubilee   Catalog: 430247 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 67.
    Wagner: Siegfried Idyll; Sibelius, Wolf, Et Al / Orpheus CO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 431680 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Jean Sibelius,  Hector Berlioz,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
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  • 68.
    The Organ Of Westminster Cathedral - Brahms, Etc / Quinney
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 89 Release Date: 01/30/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Marcel Dupré,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Robert Quinney
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  • 69.
    Guido Cantelli Conducts Wagner And Brahms / Philharmonia
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1012 Release Date: 10/10/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Dennis Brain
    Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 70.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 349 Release Date: 09/26/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Leonid Kogan
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
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  • 71.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 9; Wagner / Leinsdorf, Boston Symphony
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4361 Release Date: 02/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Richard Cassilly,  Jane Marsh,  Eunice Alberts,  Thomas Paul
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  Radcliffe Choral Society  ... 
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  • 72.
    Wiener Philharmoniker - Live Performances / Klemperer
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1365 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Wilma Lipp,  Eberhard Wächter,  Ernst Pamperl,  Walter Weller  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    Wagner, Strauss / Richard Hickox, Jard Van Nes, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10313 Release Date: 06/21/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Jard Van Nes,  Lesley Hatfield,  Stephen Reay,  Christina Rhys  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northern Sinfonia
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  • 75.
    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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