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: Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg / Gatti, Volle, Sacca, Gabler, Zeppenfeld
Release Date: 07/29/2014   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 72688   Number of Discs: 2
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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: Der Fliegende Hollander / Selig, Merbeth, Muzek, Thielemann, Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
Release Date: 07/29/2014   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 1140   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Verdi & Wagner - The Odeonsplatz Concert / Thomas Hampson, Ronaldo Villazon, Yannick Nezet-seguin
Release Date: 07/29/2014   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 716708   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Liebestod

Browse 101-125 of 147 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century / Herbert Von Karajan
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 62868 Release Date: 07/13/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Emil Waldteufel,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Helga Dernesch
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 102.
    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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  • 103.
    Deborah Voigt - Obsessions - Wagner And Strauss / Armstrong
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57681 Release Date: 04/06/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Deborah Voigt,  Natascha Petrinsky
    Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 104.
    The Very Best Of Christa Ludwig
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85099 Release Date: 09/02/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Gerald Moore,  Teresa Stich-Randall  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Rudolf Kempe,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Tullio Serafin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus  ... 
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  • 105.
    Original Masters - Astrid Varnay
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000085702 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Astrid Varnay,  Hertha Töpper,  Wolfgang Windgassen
    Conductor:  Hermann Weigert,  Leopold Ludwig,  Ferdinand Leitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 106.
    Great Voices Of The Past - The Sopranos
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 8013 Release Date: 07/01/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Claudia Muzio,  Conchita Supervia,  Magda Olivero,  Rosa Ponselle  ... 
    Conductor:  Ugo Tansini,  Fritz Stiedry,  Hector Panizza,  Richard Kraus  ... 
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  • 107.
    Ritorna Vincitor! - The Legendary Birgit Nilsson
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000018102 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frederick Loewe,  Ture Rangström,  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Gerhard Stolze,  Walter Berry,  Virgilio Carbonari
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Bertil Bokstedt,  Sir Colin Davis,  Hans Knappertsbusch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Opera Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 108.
    The Very Best Of Jessye Norman
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75912 Release Date: 04/22/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Jacques Offenbach,  Francis Poulenc,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Jessye Norman,  Irwin Gage,  Gabriel Bacquier,  Jean-Philippe Lafont  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Riccardo Muti,  Sylvain Cambreling,  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Toulouse Capitole Chorus,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 109.
    Wagner: Overtures, Preludes, Arias / Andre Cluytens, Et Al
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1256 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Rita Gorr
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra
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  • 110.
    Maria Callas - Live In Milan 1956 & Athens 1957
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67917 Release Date: 11/05/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ambroise Thomas,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Alfredo Simonetto,  Antonino Votto
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Chorus Milan,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Milan,  Athens Festival Orchestra
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  • 111.
    Operamania
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 44120 Release Date: 10/29/2002   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Umberto Giordano,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Marilyn Horne,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Renata [Soprano vocal] Tebaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Franco Patanè,  Henry Lewis,  Tullio Serafin,  Nello Santi  ... 
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  • 112.
    Prinzregenten Theater - Wagner: Werke / Knote, Kappel, Et Al
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89305 Release Date: 04/09/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Pietro Mascagni,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Friedrich Brodersen,  Ludwig Weber,  Hans Hopf,  Lorenz Fehenberger  ... 
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  • 113.
    The #1 Soprano Album / Battle, Caballé, Fleming, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 472179 Release Date: 04/09/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Traditional,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Marilyn Horne,  Barbara Bonney  ... 
    Conductor:  Silvio Varviso,  André Previn,  Carl Davis,  Julius Rudel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Naples Rossini Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 114.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Göta Ljungberg
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89548 Release Date: 12/18/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Ralph Benatzky,  César Franck,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Göta Ljungberg,  Browning Mummery,  Herbert Janssen,  Joseph Schmidt  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Ernst Hauke,  Clemens Schmalstich,  Leo Blech  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Berlin Playhouse Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 115.
    The Pupil And Her Teacher / Callas, De Hildalgo
    Label: Fono Enterprise   Catalog: 1010 Release Date: 08/28/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Heinrich Proch,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Elvira De Hidalgo,  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Arturo Basile
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin
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  • 116.
    The Secret Of A Voice / Maria Callas
    Label: Fono Enterprise   Catalog: 1011 Release Date: 08/28/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Luisa Tetrazzini,  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Arturo Basile
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin
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  • 117.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Elisabeth Ohms, Gertrude Kappel
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89521 Release Date: 03/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Charles Gounod,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Elisabeth Ohms,  Gertrude Kappel,  Elfriede Marherr-Wagner,  Adele Kern
    Conductor:  Manfred Gurlitt,  Julius Prüwer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 118.
    Opera For A Rainy Day
    Label: Lifestyles   Catalog: 215051 Release Date: 02/27/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Fiorenza Cossotto,  Placido Domingo,  Leontyne Price  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 119.
    Birgit Nilsson - Opera Arias - Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi, Etc
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1200 Release Date: 11/14/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson
    Conductor:  Heinz Wallberg,  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 120.
    Waldoper Zoppot - The Bayreuth Of The North - 99 Singers
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89406 Release Date: 10/24/2000   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Claire Dux,  Robert Hager,  Tiana Lemnitz,  Ludwig Hofmann  ... 
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  • 121.
    Sopranos - Callas, Sutherland, Price And Caballe
    Label: Columbia River Entertainment   Catalog: 315002 Release Date: 10/17/2000   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Monica Sinclair,  Maria Callas,  Franco Corelli  ... 
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  • 122.
    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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  • 123.
    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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  • 124.
    Wagner Gala / Knappertsbusch, Flagstad, Nilsson, London
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 458238 Release Date: 08/08/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  George London,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Grace Hoffman
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 125.
    Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde - Bayreuth 1928 / Graarud, Et Al
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90383 Release Date: 02/22/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Nanny Larsen-Todsen,  Anny Helm,  Gustav Rödin,  Rudolf Bockelmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Elmendorff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
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