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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Wagner: Lieder / Sburlati, Scolastra
Release Date: 09/30/2014   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94451   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Wagner: Highlights From Tristan Und Isolde & Tannhauser
Release Date: 03/13/2012   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 6164   Number of Discs: 1
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Schumann & Wagner / Butt, London Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 05/08/2012   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 6163   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Act 1 Prelude

Browse 26-50 of 103 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 [25 CDs]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001469202 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Nelson Freire,  Alfred Brendel,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Claudio Abbado,  Sir Georg Solti,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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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.
    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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  • 33.
    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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  • 34.
    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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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    Sydney Opera House Opening Concert 1973 [includes Bonus Dvd]
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 1371715 Release Date: 09/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
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  • 39.
    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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  • 40.
    Transcendent Love: The Passions Of Wagner And Strauss
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4766811 Release Date: 07/21/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Lisa Gasteen
    Conductor:  Simone Young
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  • 41.
    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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  • 42.
    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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  • 43.
    Muses To Murder
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4766500 Release Date: 05/17/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Elizabeth Connell
    Conductor:  Muhai Tang
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  • 44.
    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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    CD: $194.99
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  • 45.
    Wagner: Pages Symphoniques D'operas
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 575389 Release Date: 01/13/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 46.
    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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  • 47.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 5126312 Release Date: 10/12/2007   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Mikhail Glinka,  Antonín Dvorák,  Stanislaw Moniuszko  ... 
    Performer:  Wanda Jakubowska,  Zofia Kilanowisz,  Lucia Popp,  Piotr Anderszewski  ... 
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Herbert von Karajan,  Arnold Rezler  ... 
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  • 48.
    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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  • 49.
    Wagner: Overtures & Preludes / Mehta, De Waart, Solti
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4428283 Release Date: 06/02/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Sir Georg Solti,  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 50.
    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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