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: Die Meistersinger / Jurowski, Finley , Selinger, Miles, Gabler, Jentzsch [blu-ray]
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 7108   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Parsifal / Nagano, Ventris, Meier, Salminen, Hampson
Release Date: 05/25/2010   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 7063   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Complete Piano Works / Dario Bonuccelli
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Dynamic  
Catalog: 761   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner, Verdi: Paraphrases for Violin & Piano / Manara, Sollini
Release Date: 04/29/2014   Label: Concerto  
Catalog: 2092   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Act 1 Prelude

Browse 1-25 of 82 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    125 Years of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 241 Release Date: 06/24/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Hamish MacCunn,  Carl Nielsen,  George Enescu  ... 
    Performer:  Felicity Lott,  Lydia Mordkovitch
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Bryden Thomson,  Matthias Bamert  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus
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  • 2.
    Bamberg Symphony: The First 70 Years
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002474902 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonín Dvorák,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff,  Carl Seemann,  Pilar Lorengar,  Gottlob Frick  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth,  Fritz Lehmann,  Ferdinand Leitner,  Richard Krauss  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Wagner: Orchestral Highlights / Thielemann, Orchestra of the German Opera, Berlin
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 8791321 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
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  • 4.
    Wagner: Wesendonck-lieder;    Elgar: Sea Pictures / Sarah Rose Taylor
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1532 Release Date: 08/11/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Grace Cloutier,  Sarah Rose Taylor,  Nigel Potts
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  • 5.
    Cyprien Katsaris: The Sony Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875050462 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Josef Gelinek,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris
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  • 6.
    Wagner, Liszt: Tristan Und Isolde; Parsifal
    Label: Calliope   Catalog: 1522 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Christophe Vautier
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  • 7.
    Transcriptions - Retranscriptions
    Label: Bnl Productions   Catalog: 112978 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Paul Imbert
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  • 8.
    Decca Sound  – Mono Years 1944 -1956
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002280602 Release Date: 04/07/2015   Number of Discs: 53
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Maurice Ravel,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus,  Clifford Curzon,  Alfredo Campoli,  Henry Datyner  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Roger Desormičre,  Karl Münchinger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Paris Conservatoire Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
    CD: $213.99
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  • 9.
    Wagner: Preludes And Interludes / Luisi, Philharmonia Zurich
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 102 Release Date: 02/24/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Fabio Luisi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Zürich
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  • 10.
    Karajan - 1980s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002187902 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 78
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Anton Bruckner,  Johannes Brahms,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  José Van Dam,  Barbara Hendricks,  Gösta Winbergh  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Domenico Bartolucci
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
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  • 11.
    Leonard Bernstein Edition - Concertos & Orchestral Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301330 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 80
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Gomberg,  William Heim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Maurice Peress
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Philharmonic members,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    Wagner: Der Fliegende Hollander
    Label: Lodia Compact Discs   Catalog: 770 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Carlos Paďta
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  • 13.
    Vibrez! / Cellophony
    Label: Edition Classics   Catalog: 1047 Release Date: 08/19/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Franz Schubert,  Franz Liszt,  Henri Wieniawski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cellophony
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  • 14.
    Great Recordings / Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002093802 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Gustav Mahler,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Krystian Zimerman,  Jard Van Nes  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Claudio Abbado,  Simon Rattle,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Chamber Choir
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  • 15.
    Strauss Conducts Strauss, Mozart, Beethoven [7-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002037802 Release Date: 05/19/2014   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Reitz,  Enrico Mainardi,  Philipp Haass,  Oswald Uhl  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Strauss
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian State Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder; Tannhauser; Tristan Und Isolde
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 5174 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Anne Schwanewilms
    Conductor:  Cornelius Meister,  Manuel Lange
    CD: $17.99
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  • 17.
    Wagner At The Organ: The Transcriptions Of Edwin Lemare
    Label: Regent   Catalog: 394 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Jonathan Vaughn
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  • 18.
    Teldec - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 643851 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonín Dvorák,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  András Schiff,  Josef Protschka,  Barbara Bonney,  Edita Gruberova  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Carlo Rizzi,  Reinbert De Leeuw  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Festival Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
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  • 19.
    Liszt at the Opera / Louis Lortie
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10793 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Louis Lortie
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  • 20.
    Wagner: Overtures and Preludes / Jarvi, Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5126 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
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  • 21.
    Sommernachtskonzert 2013 / Lorin Maazel, Wiener Philharmoniker
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 371205 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Strauss Jr.
    Performer:  Michael Schade
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22367 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Ignace Jan Paderewski
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  • 23.
    Transcriptions / Grau Schumacher Piano Duo
    Label: Neos   Catalog: 20903 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Richard Wagner,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  GrauSchumacher Piano Duo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  GrauSchumacher Piano Duo
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  • 24.
    Wagner: Arrangements For Piano / Severin Von Eckardstein
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 9041805 Release Date: 05/21/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Moritz Moszkowski,  Richard Wagner,  Sidney Corbett,  Ferruccio Busoni
    Performer:  Severin von Eckardstein
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  • 25.
    Great Wagner Conductors [4-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001826202 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch,  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  Eugen Jochum,  Victor De Sabata  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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