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
Toscanini conducts Wagner
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 541193   Number of Discs: 5
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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Barenboim
Release Date: 10/25/2011   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4755   Number of Discs: 11
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Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde / Gould, Herlitzius, Thielemann, Bayreuther Festspiele
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002503809   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Die Walkure / Van Zweden, Skelton, Melton, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 11/11/2016   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8660394   Number of Discs: 4
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Wagner: Der Fliegende Hollander / Behrens, Grundheber, Salminen, Et Al
Release Date: 06/29/2004   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 2252   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Liebestod

Browse 1-25 of 110 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Supreme Sopranos
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4594 Release Date: 12/06/2016  
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Eileen Farrell,  Renata Tebaldi,  Victoria de los Angeles  ... 
    DVD: $28.99
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  • 2.
    Opera Gold: 100 Great Tracks
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002503602 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Marilyn Horne,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Henry Lewis,  Richard Bonynge,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 3.
    The History of Classical Music in 24 Hours
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002403602 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Pérotin,  Guillaume de Machaut,  John Dunstable  ... 
    Performer:  Konrad Ragossnig,  Charles [Tenor Vocals] Daniels,  Susan Gritton,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Conductor:  Pater Godehard Joppich,  David Munrow,  Josef Ulsamer,  Bruno Turner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort of London,  Ulsamer-Collegium,  Pro Cantione Antiqua  ... 
    CD: $75.49
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  • 4.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 5.
    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,  Alexander Scriabin  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Paul Imbert
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  • 6.
    Stars Der Oper
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 38 Release Date: 04/21/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Beniamino Gigli,  Giuseppe de Luca,  Amelita Galli-Curci,  Ezio Pinza  ... 
    Conductor:  Rosario Bourdon,  Giulio Setti,  Bruno Reibold,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 7.
    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
    DVD: $22.49
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  • 8.
    100 Classical Masterworks
    Label: Dg 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  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 11.
    Wagner: Opera Scenes / Tennstedt, Norman, London Philharmonic
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 256463 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Jessye Norman
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 16.
    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  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 17.
    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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  • 18.
    Wagner: Meistersinger; Lohengrin; Parsifal; Tristan Und Isolde
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001819302 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    CD: $7.99
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  • 19.
    50 Best Sensual Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 333022 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  James Horner,  Pietro Mascagni,  Nino Rota,  Charles Chaplin  ... 
    Performer:  Natasha Marsh,  Sally Herbert,  Nikolaj Bloch,  Jose Alberto Giaimo  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons,  François-Xavier Roth,  Ron Goodwin,  Michel Plasson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Twelve Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic,  Ahn Trio,  Virtuosi
    CD: $11.99
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  • 20.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 21.
    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  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 22.
    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
    CD: $48.99
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  • 23.
    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
    On sale! $9.99
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  • 24.
    Maria Callas - The Live Recitals
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 59794 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Léo Delibes,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Nicola Rescigno,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Jeffrey Tate
    Conductor:  Oliviero de Fabritiis,  Georges Prętre,  Nicola Rescigno,  Alfredo Simonetto  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  ORTF National Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $55.98
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  • 25.
    Voices Of German Opera
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 40497 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Heinrich Marschner  ... 
    Performer:  Natalie Dessay,  Edda Moser,  Kurt Moll,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Langrée,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Berislav Klobucar,  Rudolf Moralt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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