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: Parsifal / Kaufmann, Pape, Gatti, Met
Release Date: 04/01/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 372558   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Parsifal / Kaufmann, Pape, Gatti, Met Opera [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 04/01/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 372572   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner, Strauss / Richard Hickox, Jard Van Nes, Et Al
Release Date: 06/21/2005   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10313   Number of Discs: 1
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Great Opera Choirs - Wagner, Mozart, Verdi, Purcell, Et Al
Release Date: 01/30/2007   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 4046   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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Work: Siegfried Idyll

Browse 76-100 of 124 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    Wagner: Overtures & Preludes
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4775445 Release Date: 03/10/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
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  • 81.
    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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  • 82.
    Wagner: Opera Excerpts, Siegfried Idyll / Schuricht, Stuttgart Rso
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93156 Release Date: 08/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 83.
    Bruckner: Symphony No 3;  Wagner / Knappertsbusch, Vienna Po
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1339 Release Date: 06/08/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 84.
    Classic Library - Wagner: Orchestral Works
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 59414 Release Date: 04/20/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 85.
    Bruckner: Symphony No 4; Wagner: Siegfried Idyll / Klemperer
    Label: Emi Great Artists Of The Century   Catalog: 62816 Release Date: 03/23/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 86.
    The Best Of The Academy  / Neville Marriner, Asmf
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85624 Release Date: 02/03/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Franz von Suppé,  Luigi Boccherini  ... 
    Performer:  Denis Vigay,  Kenneth Sillito,  Paul Davies,  William Bennett
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 87.
    Berlioz, Wagner, Etc / Yvonne Naef, David Heer, Pilsen Rso
    Label: Claves   Catalog: 2309 Release Date: 01/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Yvonne Naef
    Conductor:  David Heer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Pilsen Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 88.
    Wagner: Overtures, Preludes / Varviso, Staatskapelle Dresden
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186123 Release Date: 08/26/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Richard Schumacher,  Silvio Varviso
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Chamber Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 89.
    Original Masters - Igor Markevitch - Un Veritable Artiste
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000085602 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Claude Debussy,  Georges Bizet,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Suzanne Cotelle,  Fritz Demmle,  Aurèle Nicolet,  Georges Alès  ... 
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra,  USSR State Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 90.
    Wagner: Siegfried Idyll, Etc;  Strauss / Andre Cluytens, Etc
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1255 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 91.
    Richard Tognetti & Australian Chamber Orchestra: Celebrating 20 Years Together
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4763304 Release Date: 03/23/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Amy Elizabeth Jones,  Helena Rathbone,  Richard Tognetti,  Satu Vänskä
    Conductor:  Anthony Halstead
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  • 92.
    Wagner: Preludes, Overtures / Jankowski, Ortf Philharmonic
    Label: Virgin Classics Special Import   Catalog: 62034 Release Date: 11/05/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Marek Janowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 93.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Klemperer, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 67896 Release Date: 09/17/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 94.
    From Haydn To Mahler / Bruno Walter, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2017/18 Release Date: 01/29/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 95.
    Faszination Musik - Wagner / Carl Schuricht
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93019 Release Date: 01/22/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 96.
    Westminster - Bruckner: Symphony 8;  Wagner / Knappertsbusch
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471211 Release Date: 06/12/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 97.
    Label: Eclipse Music Group   Catalog: 64498 Release Date: 01/01/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  George Frideric Handel,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
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  • 98.
    Schoenberg: Pelleas & Melisande; Wagner: Siegfried Idyll / Thielemann, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 469008 Release Date: 11/14/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Arnold Schoenberg
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
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  • 99.
    Wagner: Symphony In C Major, Etc / Rögner, Berlin Radio So
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 9408 Release Date: 01/11/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Heinz Rögner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 100.
    Wagner's Greatest: Ride Of The Valkyries, Etc
    Label: Platinum Disc   Catalog: 1044 Release Date: 01/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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