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: Tristan und Isolde / Dernesch, Vickers, Ludwig, Schreier, Karajan, Berlin Philarmonic
Release Date: 01/29/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 554010   Number of Discs: 4
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Wagner: Tannhauser / Pape, Seiffert, Prudenskaya, Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin
Release Date: 01/29/2016   Label: Bel Air Classiques  
Catalog: 122   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Lohengrin / Kempe, Grummer, Ludwig, Fischer-Dieskau
Release Date: 01/29/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 554009   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Tannhauser / Barenboim, Pape, Seiffert, Mattei, Prudenskaya [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 01/29/2016   Label: Bel Air Classiques  
Catalog: 422   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Der Fliegende Hollander / Klemperer, Adam, Silja, Unger, Burnmeister
Release Date: 01/29/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 554008   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Act 1 Prelude

Browse 51-75 of 77 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    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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  • 55.
    Lovers' Adagios
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000615202 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Maurice Hasson,  Henryk Szeryng,  Marisa Robles  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Charles Dutoit,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Montreal Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    Leaving Home - Music In The 20th Century 1 - Dancing On A Volcano
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102033 Release Date: 07/19/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Webern,  Alban Berg,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer,  Felicity Palmer
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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  • 58.
    All Wagner Concert / Toscanini, Melchior, Nbc So
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2242/43 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Helen Traubel,  Lauritz Melchior
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Dame Gwyneth Jones Sings Wagner / Paternostro
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10286 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones
    Conductor:  Roberto Paternostro
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Welte-mignon Mystery, Vol. 2: Felix Mottl
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: 135 Release Date: 02/15/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
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  • 61.
    Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde (Highlights) / De Billy, Et Al
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 602 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Deborah Polaski,  Heidi [Mezzo Soprano] Brunner
    Conductor:  Bertrand De Billy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 62.
    Discover - Music Of The Romantic Era
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8558155-56 Release Date: 01/18/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Ewa Podles,  Idil Biret,  Dong-Suk Kang,  Pascal Devoyon  ... 
    Conductor:  Piergiorgio Morandi,  George Hurst,  Michael Halász,  Jerzy Maksymiuk  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Katowice Polish Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    Romantic Adagios Ii
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 473596 Release Date: 01/28/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Edvard Grieg,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Lynn Harrell,  Jorge Bolet,  Jeffrey Khaner  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington,  Riccardo Chailly,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Yehudi Menuhin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
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  • 66.
    Wagner: Wesendonk Lieder, Arias / Varady, Fischer-dieskau
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 467981 Release Date: 09/16/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Julia Varády
    Conductor:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
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  • 67.
    Richard Strauss Conducts - Mozart, Wagner, Strauss, Et Al
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90392 Release Date: 02/22/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Strauss
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde - Bayreuth 1928 / Graarud, Et Al
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90383 Release Date: 02/22/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Nanny Larsen-Todsen,  Anny Helm,  Gustav Rödin,  Rudolf Bockelmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Elmendorff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
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  • 69.
    Helen Traubel and Lauritz Melchior Sing Wagner
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 60896 Release Date: 06/29/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Helen Traubel,  Lauritz Melchior,  Herbert Janssen,  Torsten Ralf  ... 
    Conductor:  Artur Rodzinski,  Robert Kinsky,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Fritz Busch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Buenos Aires Teatro Colón Orchestra,  Columbia Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 70.
    Wagner E Venezia / Uri Caine Ensemble
    Label: Winter & Winter   Catalog: 13 Release Date: 09/15/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Mark Feldman,  Uri Caine,  Dominic Cortese,  Drew Gress  ... 
    Conductor:  Uri Caine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Uri Caine Ensemble
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  • 71.
    Wagner: Favourite Overtures / Sir Georg Solti
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 458214 Release Date: 05/12/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 72.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Thielemann, Philadephia Orchestra
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453485 Release Date: 05/12/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 73.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Kubelik, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Dg Galleria   Catalog: 453290 Release Date: 11/17/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Karl Muck - The Electrical Wagner Recordings 1927-1928
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1118-2 Release Date: 09/23/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Karl Muck
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Art Of Classics - Beruhmte Ouverturen Und Zwischenspiele
    Label: Intercord Klassische Diskothek   Catalog: 25929 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Zanotelli,  Gunter Neidlinger,  George Randolph Warren,  Carl-August Bünte  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Philharmonic Orchestra,  Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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