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 / Barenboim
Release Date: 10/25/2011   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4755   Number of Discs: 11
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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Barenboim, Bayreuth [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4755   Number of Discs: 4
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Wagner: Tannhauser / Domingo, Studer, Sinopoli
Release Date: 09/27/1989   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 427625   Number of Discs: 3
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Wagner: Parsifal / Kaufmann, Pape, Gatti, Met
Release Date: 04/01/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 372558   Number of Discs: 2
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Richard Wagner: Die Walkure / Knappertsbusch, Bayreuth
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Walhall  
Catalog: 247   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Act 1 Prelude

Browse 26-50 of 94 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Wagner: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 / Edo De Waart, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland
    Label: Exton   Catalog: 153 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 27.
    Grosses Festspielhaus Salzburg - 50 Years
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001469202 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Leos Janácek,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Hilde Rössl-Majdan,  Sena Jurinac,  Judith Hellwig,  Siegfried Rudolf Frese  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Claudio Abbado,  Carlo Rizzi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung  ... 
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  • 28.
    Seiji Ozawa - Anniversary [11-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001464002 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Trevor Pinnock,  Everett Firth,  Simon Preston,  Kathleen Battle  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 29.
    Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder; Strauss: Vier Letzte Lieder / Flagstad
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 23416 Release Date: 08/31/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad
    Conductor:  Georges Sebastian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
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  • 30.
    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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  • 31.
    Ultimate Classical Dreams - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001280302 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Samuel Barber,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Marisa Robles,  Jack Brymer,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  David Zinman,  Frederick Fennell,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 32.
    Betrayals - Strauss, Wagner, Dubois, Champagne / Jean-philippe Tremblay, Et Al
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 29952 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Claude Champagne,  Richard Strauss,  Théodore Dubois
    Performer:  Amelie Benoit-Bastien,  Melissa Scott
    Conductor:  Jean-Philippe Tremblay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Francophonie Canadienne
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  • 33.
    Stokowski Conducts Blacher, Prokofiev, Milhaud, Egk, Wagner, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 94204 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Darius Milhaud,  Boris Blacher,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Werner Egk  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Baden-Baden Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Wagner: Orchestral Works / Sabata, Farrell, New York Po
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 372 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell
    Conductor:  Victor De Sabata
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 35.
    Ignace Jan Paderewski - The 78rpm - Chopin, Debussy, Paganini, Liszt, Schumann, Etc
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 367 Release Date: 11/25/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy,  Franz Schubert,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Ignace Jan Paderewski
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  • 36.
    Wagner: Orchestral Excerpts / Furtwängler, Berlin Phil
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 415663 Release Date: 10/15/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Ultimate Wagner - Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 00115870 Release Date: 08/26/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Ruth Hesse,  Gustav Neidlinger,  Dorothea Siebert,  Helga Dernesch  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm,  Sir Georg Solti,  Silvio Varviso,  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
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  • 38.
    Wagner, Strauss: Famous Opera Scenes / Theo Adam
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 13222 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Theo Adam
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner
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  • 39.
    Wagneriana / Cyprien Katsaris
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 58973 Release Date: 06/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Joachim Raff,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris
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  • 40.
    Karajan - Complete Emi Recordings 1946-84 Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 12038 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 88
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Ernst Haefliger,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 41.
    Wagner: Piano Transcriptions / Zoltán Kocsis
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 416457 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Zoltán Kocsis
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  • 42.
    The Romantics / Roger Norrington
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93901 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Hector Berlioz
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 361 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
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  • 44.
    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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  • 45.
    Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder, Arias / Charlotte Margiono, Et Al
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186077 Release Date: 11/21/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Charlotte Margiono
    Conductor:  Ed Spanjaard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Limburg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 46.
    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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  • 47.
    Weekend Classics - A Wagner Weekend
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000658602 Release Date: 07/04/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Karl Böhm,  Wilhelm Pitz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra  ... 
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  • 48.
    Organ Of The Cathedral Of Lausanne / Jean Christophe Geiser
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1143 Release Date: 04/25/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Maurice Duruflé,  Johannes Brahms,  Joseph Guy Ropartz  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Christophe Geiser
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  • 49.
    Leaving Home - Orchestral Music In The 20th Century
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102073 Release Date: 03/21/2006   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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  • 50.
    Century Vol 18 - Wien 1900 - The Death Of Tonality?
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908180 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Anton Bruckner,  Gustav Mahler,  Arnold Schoenberg  ... 
    Performer:  Detlef Roth,  Robert Gambill,  Sophie Koch,  Sigurd Brauns  ... 
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano,  Philippe Herreweghe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cello-Ensemble Peter Buck,  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin,  Windsbach Boys Choir  ... 
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