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: Tannhauser / Andersen, Royal Danish Opera
Release Date: 07/26/2011   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001499009   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Solti
Release Date: 06/09/2015   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002330102   Number of Discs: 16
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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Keilberth [Bayreuth 1953]
Release Date: 07/31/2015   Label: Pan Classics  
Catalog: 10340   Number of Discs: 12
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Wagner: Tannhauser / Youn, Kerl, , Eiche, Kober, Bayreuth Festival
Release Date: 07/31/2015   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 1177   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: The Ring - An Orchestral Adventure / Jarvi, Royal Scottish NO
Release Date: 03/04/2008   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5060   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Act 1 Prelude

Browse 51-75 of 101 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    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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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    Label: Myto Records   Catalog: 168 Release Date: 07/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Wolfgang [Tenor Vocal] Windgassen,  Martha Mödl,  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Carla Martinis
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Schüchter
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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    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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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    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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  • 61.
    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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  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    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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  • 66.
    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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  • 67.
    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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  • 68.
    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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  • 69.
    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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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    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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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    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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  • 75.
    Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde [highlights]
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 602 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Heidi [Mezzo Soprano] Brunner,  Deborah Polaski
    Conductor:  Bertrand De Billy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
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Richard Wagner


WORKS