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 / Gould, Thielemann, Bayreuther Festspiele
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002503809   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde / Furtwangler, Flagstad, Schock, Fischer-Dieskau
Release Date: 04/06/2004   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 85873   Number of Discs: 4
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Wagner: Parsifal / Meier, Barenboim, Berlin Philharmonic
Release Date: 05/20/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 555535   Number of Discs: 4
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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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Beecham Collection - Wagner / Beecham, Flagstad, Et Al
Release Date: 06/05/2007   Label: Somm  
Catalog: 20   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Act 1 Prelude

Browse 51-75 of 88 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    Karajan - Complete Emi Recordings 1946-84 Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Warner 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
    CD: $194.99
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  • 55.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Barbirolli, Hallé Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64141 Release Date: 03/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra
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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    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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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    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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  • 61.
    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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  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    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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  • 66.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Schmidt-Isserstedt
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 76734 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 67.
    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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  • 68.
    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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  • 69.
    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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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    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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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    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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  • 75.
    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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