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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 at The Met
Release Date: 04/09/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 542717   Number of Discs: 25
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Richard Wagner - Great Recordings
Release Date: 02/26/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 543504   Number of Discs: 40
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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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Wagner: Parsifal / Kaufmann, Pape, Gatti, Met Opera [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 04/01/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 372572   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde / Gould, Stemme, Janowski
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186404    Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Act 1 Prelude

Browse 51-75 of 94 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Lovers' Adagios
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000615202 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Joaquin Rodrigo  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Maurice Hasson,  Henryk Szeryng,  Marisa Robles  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Bernard Haitink,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Charles Dutoit  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Montreal Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    Wagner: Preludes, Overtures, Liebestod / Studer, Tate
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 85461 Release Date: 03/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Cheryl Studer
    Conductor:  Jeffrey Tate
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    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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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    Famous Conductors Of The Past - Clemens Krauss
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90499 Release Date: 01/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Clemens Krauss
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 61.
    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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  • 62.
    Historical - Wagner: Operatic Extracts / Furtwängler
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 86191 Release Date: 01/11/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic 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: Tristan Und Isolde Highlights / Jerusalem, Meier, Barenboim
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4615052 Release Date: 06/14/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Siegfried Jerusalem,  Waltraud Meier,  Matti Salminen,  Marjana Lipovsek
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Chorus,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 65.
    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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  • 66.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Claudio Abbado, Berlin Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 474377 Release Date: 06/03/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Chorus
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  • 67.
    Simply The Best - Classical Passion - Music For Lovers
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 49754 Release Date: 05/20/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Aram Khachaturian,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris,  Tasmin Little,  Elisabeth Leonskaja,  Dieter Klöcker  ... 
    Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Leopold Hager,  Thomas Zehetmair  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Brodsky String Quartet,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 68.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century - Pierre Monteux
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75474 Release Date: 02/11/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude-Joseph de Lisle,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Wagner,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 69.
    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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  • 70.
    Wagner: Preludes, Overtures / Jankowski, Ortf Philharmonic
    Label: Virgin Classics Special Import   Catalog: 62034 Release Date: 11/05/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Marek Janowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD not available
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  • 71.
    Faszination Musik - Wagner / Carl Schuricht
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93019 Release Date: 01/22/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 72.
    Rererences - Wagner: Operatic Extracts / Furtwangler Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 64935 Release Date: 08/07/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 73.
    Wagner: Lohengrin, Meistersinger - Overtures, Preludes, Etc
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469226 Release Date: 10/17/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Kurt Moll,  Birgit Nilsson,  Roberto Banuelas  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Karl Böhm,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus  ... 
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  • 74.
    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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  • 75.
    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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