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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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 / 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: Marches & Overtures / Kojian, Hong Kong Po
Release Date: 05/15/2001   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555386   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Liebestod

Browse 1-25 of 146 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Wagner, Liszt: Tristan Und Isolde; Parsifal
    Label: Calliope   Catalog: 1522 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Christophe Vautier
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  • 2.
    Transcriptions - Retranscriptions
    Label: Bnl Productions   Catalog: 112978 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Paul Imbert
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  • 3.
    Encores! - Great Performances at the Met
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002250109 Release Date: 02/03/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Georges Bizet,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Natalie Dessay,  Alessandro Corbelli,  Juan Diego Flórez,  Joyce DiDonato  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Marco Armiliato,  Maurizio Benini,  Yannick Nézet-Séguin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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  • 4.
    100 Classical Masterworks
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002188102 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Edvard Grieg,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theater Violin Ensemble,  Ansbach Bach Week Soloists Union,  Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata Academica  ... 
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  • 5.
    Maria Callas Remastered - Complete Studio Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633991 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 70
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Richard Wagner,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Gianni Poggi,  Fedora Barbieri,  Paolo Silveri  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Basile,  Antonino Votto,  Gabriele Santini,  Tullio Serafin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin,  Italian Radio Chorus Turin,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $274.99
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  • 6.
    Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder; Tannhauser; Tristan Und Isolde
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 5174 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Anne Schwanewilms
    Conductor:  Cornelius Meister,  Manuel Lange
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  • 7.
    Maria Callas: Live In Atene, Vol. 4
    Label: Fabula Classica   Catalog: 2246 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Antonino Votto,  Oliviero de Fabritiis
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  • 8.
    Liszt Allopera / Andrea Trovato
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 7682 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Andrea Trovato
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  • 9.
    Wagner At The Organ: The Transcriptions Of Edwin Lemare
    Label: Regent   Catalog: 394 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Jonathan Vaughn
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  • 10.
    Teldec - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 643851 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonín Dvorák,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  András Schiff,  Josef Protschka,  Barbara Bonney,  Edita Gruberova  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Carlo Rizzi,  Reinbert De Leeuw  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Festival Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 11.
    Ludmila Dvorakova Sings Wagner & Smetana
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4137 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Bedrich Smetana
    Performer:  Ludmila Dvoráková
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  • 12.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22336 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Christoph W. Gluck
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad
    Conductor:  Georges Sebastian,  Johan Hye-Knudsen
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  • 13.
    Great Wagner Voices
    Label: Br Klassik   Catalog: 900310 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Ingrid Bjoner,  Elisabeth Grümmer,  Martina Arroyo,  Rudolf Schock  ... 
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  • 14.
    Great Wagner Singers [6-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001826302 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Sieglinde Wagner,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Gundula Janowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Heinrich Hollreiser,  Wilhelm Pitz,  Ferdinand Leitner,  Richard Kraus  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus  ... 
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  • 15.
    Toscanini Conducts Wagner
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 541193 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Lauritz Melchior,  Helen Traubel
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
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  • 16.
    Wagner: Heavy Classix - The Ultimate Collection
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001819702 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Helga Jenckel,  Barbro Ericson,  Danica Mastilovic,  Cvetka Ahlin  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Karl Böhm,  Eugen Jochum,  Rafael Kubelik  ... 
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  • 17.
    Wagner: Meistersinger; Lohengrin; Parsifal; Tristan Und Isolde
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001819302 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
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  • 18.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 189 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  George London,  Christa [Mezzo-soprano Vocal] Ludwig
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
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  • 19.
    Karajan Adagio: Music To Free Your Mind
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001805202 Release Date: 03/05/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Johann Pachelbel,  Gustav Mahler,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Meyer,  Frank Maus,  Michel Schwalbé,  Karlheinz Zöller  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 20.
    50 Best Sensual Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 333022 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  James Horner,  Pietro Mascagni,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nino Rota  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Bernard Pommier,  Cécile Ousset,  Mikhail Rudy,  Natasha Marsh  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons,  Lawrence Foster,  Simon Rattle,  François-Xavier Roth  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Twelve Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic,  Ahn Trio,  Virtuosi
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  • 21.
    Solti: The Legacy, 1937-1997
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001777802 Release Date: 12/04/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Benjamin Britten,  Umberto Giordano,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Margaret Price,  Tito Gobbi,  Mirella Freni,  Willi Domgraf-Fassbaender  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 22.
    Harry Begian
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 56001 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Hindemith,  Alfred Reed,  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Hanssen  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Begian
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  • 23.
    The Essential Wagner
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 973399 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Siegfried Jerusalem,  Peter Haage,  Nicolai Gedda,  Reiner Goldberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Heger,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Klaus Tennstedt,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 24.
    Semperoper Edition, Vol. 3: Wagner Again?
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 11044 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Kurt Böhme,  Dora Zschille,  Margarete Bäumer,  Brünnhild Friedland  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe,  Joseph Keilberth,  Rolf Kleinert,  Gerhard Pflüger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 25.
    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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Richard Wagner


WORKS