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: 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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The Ride of the Valkyries - Orchestral Music by Wagner / Royal PO
Release Date: 09/08/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28080   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner Without Words / Llyr Williams
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Signum U.k.  
Catalog: 388   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde / Knappertsbusch, Klose, Braun, Treptow, Frantz
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Andromeda  
Catalog: 9011   Number of Discs: 3
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Carlos Paita Conducts Wagner
Release Date: 04/08/2014   Label: Carlos Paita Edition  
Catalog: 803   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Siegfried Idyll

Browse 51-75 of 125 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    The Number One Wagner Album
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4765891 Release Date: 03/20/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 52.
    Wagner: Siegfried Idyll; Schönberg: Verklärte / Ashkenazy
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 410111 Release Date: 01/07/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Zen Classics - Mozart, Debussy, Etc / L. Maazel, P. Jarvi, N. Dessay, Et Al
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 34865 Release Date: 11/24/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev,  Barbara Hendricks,  Augustin Dumay,  Steven Isserlis  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Harding,  Mikhail Pletnev,  Andrew Parrott,  Marek Janowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen,  Taverner Players,  French National Radio Orchestra  ... 
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  • 54.
    Bruckner: Symphony No 6;  Wagner / Blomstedt, San Francisco
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 436129 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    Weber: Symphony No 1;  Mendelssohn: Sinfonia No 10;  Etc
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 53109 Release Date: 08/18/2008   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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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    Toscanini Collection Vol 65 - Mozart, Brahms, Wagner
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60317 Release Date: 07/23/2008   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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  • 59.
    Classics For My Baby - Chopin, Mozart, Bach, Debussy, Handel, Grieg, Etc / Angelich, Menuhin, Argerich, Jarvi, Anderszewski, Et Al
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 19003 Release Date: 05/27/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Edvard Grieg,  Frederick Delius  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Bonney,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Elena Duran,  Aldo Ciccolini  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Jeffrey Tate,  Paavo Järvi,  Eric Fenby  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 60.
    Bruckner: Symphony No 8 / Karajan, Berlin Phil
    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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  • 61.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Boulez, New York Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64108 Release Date: 04/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    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 Symphony Orchestra
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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    Wagner: Orchestral Works From The Operas
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 567893 Release Date: 01/13/2008  
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 66.
    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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  • 67.
    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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  • 68.
    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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  • 69.
    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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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    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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  • 73.
    Carl Schuricht Collection - Historical Recordings 1950-1966
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93140 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Richard Wagner,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Barry McDaniel,  Clara Haskil,  Fritz Wunderlich,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Southwest German Radio Vocal Ensemble,  Hessian Radio Chorus Frankfurt  ... 
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  • 74.
    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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  • 75.
    Bruno Walter - A Treasury Of Wagner Concert Favorites
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 4838 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad,  Bruno Walter
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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