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 / Solti
Release Date: 06/09/2015   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002330102   Number of Discs: 16
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Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Wagner / Jonas Kaufmann, Claudio Abbado
Release Date: 04/06/2010   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001413202   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen / Knappertsbusch, Varney, Et Al
Release Date: 10/25/2005   Label: Orfeo D'or  
Catalog: 660513   Number of Discs: 13
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Wagner: Lohengrin / Matačić, Kónya, Grümmer, Crass
Release Date: 10/31/2006   Label: Orfeo D'or  
Catalog: 691063   Number of Discs: 3
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Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen / Krauss, Hotter, Uhde, Stolze, Kuen, Greindl
Release Date: 10/26/2010   Label: Orfeo  
Catalog: 809113   Number of Discs: 13
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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Act 1 Prelude

Browse 26-50 of 96 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Wagner: Overtures - Organ Transcriptions / Hansjorg Albrecht
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 690 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hansjörg Albrecht
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  • 27.
    Fifty Shades Of Emotions
    Label: Belmondo   Catalog: 53 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Samuel Barber,  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
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  • 28.
    The Power Of The Organ 2
    Label: Fidelio Musique   Catalog: 37 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Louis Vierne,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Mélanie Barney
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  • 29.
    Wagner: Orchestral Excerpts Vol 3 / Gerard Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572769 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Alessandra Marc
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 30.
    From Bach To Wagner / Boult, London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 35657 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir
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  • 31.
    Wagner: Ride Of The Valkyries
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001701602 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
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  • 32.
    Best Of Wagner
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300345 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich,  Els Bolkestein,  Martin Ritzmann,  Hanne-Lore Kuhse  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny,  Heinz Fricke,  Otmar Suitner,  Hiroshi Wakasugi  ... 
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  • 33.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes From The Operas
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 02300 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
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  • 34.
    Schoenberg: Pelleas und Melisande; Wagner: Tristan und Isolde: Act 1 Prelude / Boulez
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001535502 Release Date: 03/06/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Arnold Schoenberg
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Sensual Classics: Desire
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300254 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Antonín Dvorák,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Annerose Schmidt
    Conductor:  Georges Sebastian,  Herbert Kegel,  Arthur Apelt,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
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  • 36.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 521 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Leonie Rysanek,  Giorgio Tozzi,  Regina Resnik,  David [Tenor Vocal] Lloyd
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
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  • 37.
    Wagner: Piano Transcriptions / Chitose Okashiro
    Label: Pro Piano   Catalog: 224521 Release Date: 06/21/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Ju-Ying Song,  Chitose Okashiro
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  • 38.
    Richard Wagner: Organ Transcriptions
    Label: Tactus   Catalog: 812301 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Giulio Mercati
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  • 39.
    Wagner: Overtures & Preludes / Solti, Chicago Symphony
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4782662 Release Date: 01/03/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Hector Berlioz,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 40.
    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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  • 41.
    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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  • 42.
    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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  • 43.
    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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  • 44.
    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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  • 45.
    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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  • 46.
    For Mother - A Classical Bouquet
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001267302 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Jules Massenet,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Erik Satie  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Nigel Kennedy  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 47.
    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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  • 48.
    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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  • 49.
    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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  • 50.
    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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Richard Wagner