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: Preludes and Interludes / Luisi, Philharmonia Zurich
Release Date: 02/24/2015   Label: Accentus  
Catalog: 102   Number of Discs: 2
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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: The Ring Without Words / Maazel, Berlin Philharmonic
Release Date: 09/25/2012   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 2020228   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Die Meistersinger / Jurowski, Finley , Selinger, Miles, Gabler, Jentzsch [blu-ray]
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 7108   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Parsifal / Nagano, Ventris, Meier, Salminen, Hampson
Release Date: 05/25/2010   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 7063   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Liebestod

Browse 101-114 of 114 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Helen Traubel
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89120 Release Date: 10/15/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Helen Traubel,  Kurt Baum
    Conductor:  Charles O'Connell,  Artur Rodzinski,  Ernst Knoch,  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 102.
    The Art Of Meta Seinemeyer
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89402 Release Date: 10/15/1996   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Anton Rubinstein  ... 
    Performer:  Meta Seinemeyer,  Helena Jung,  Curt Taucher,  Jaro Dworsky  ... 
    On sale! $104.98
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  • 103.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Helene Wildbrunn
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89097 Release Date: 03/21/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Helene Wildbrunn
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  • 104.
    Wagner: Tristan und Isolde Highlights / Modl, Windgassen
    Label: Teldec Historic Series   Catalog: 95516 Release Date: 03/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Martha Mödl,  Johanna Blatter,  Wolfgang Windgassen
    Conductor:  Arthur Rother
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin City Opera Orchestra
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  • 105.
    Unvergessene Stimmen Der Wiener Staatsoper
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89401 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Hilde Konetzni,  Elisabeth Höngen,  Esther Réthy,  Set Svanholm  ... 
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  • 106.
    Kirsten Flagstad Vol 1 - The Early Recordings 1914-1941
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1821 Release Date: 01/01/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Eyvind Alnaes,  Sigurd Lie,  Christian Sinding  ... 
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad,  Eyvind Alnaes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 107.
    Kirsten Flagstad, Vol. 2: Live Performances 1935-1948
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1822 Release Date: 01/01/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Gioachino Rossini,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Traditional  ... 
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  • 108.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Frieda Leider
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89004 Release Date: 10/14/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Christoph W. Gluck
    Performer:  Frida Leider,  Lauritz Melchior,  Rudolf Laubenthal
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Albert Coates,  Leo Blech
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 109.
    The Art Of Frieda Leider
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89301 Release Date: 04/20/1994   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Strauss,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Frida Leider,  Carl Günther,  Martin Abendroth,  Heinrich Schlusnus  ... 
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  • 110.
    Opera's Greatest Love Songs - Pavarotti, Domingo, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 61886 Release Date: 10/26/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Georges Bizet,  Richard Wagner,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Julia Varády,  Franco Corelli,  Leontyne Price,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Herbert von Karajan,  Henry Lewis,  Nello Santi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 111.
    Prima Voce - Divas Vol 2 (1909-1940)
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7818 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Richard Wagner,  Manuel Ponce,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Mafalda Favero,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Nina Koshetz,  Maggie Teyte  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonio Sabino,  Hans Lange,  Eugene Ormandy,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Opéra Comique Orchestra
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  • 112.
    Prima Voce - Kirsten Flagstad
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7847 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Edwin McArthur,  Hans Lange
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  San Francisco Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra
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  • 113.
    Les Introuvables De Christa Ludwig
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64074 Release Date: 04/14/1992   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig,  Herbert Downes,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Gerald Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer,  Karl Forster,  Horst Stein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
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  • 114.
    Wagner: Arias & Duets / Kirsten Flagstad, Lauritz Melchior
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 7915 Release Date: 04/19/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad,  Lauritz Melchior
    Conductor:  Edwin McArthur,  Eugene Ormandy,  Hans Lange
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Opera Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
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