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 / Janowski, Berlin Radio Symphony & Choir
Release Date: 05/13/2016   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186581   Number of Discs: 13
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Wagner: The Ring - An Orchestral Adventure / Jarvi, Royal Scottish NO
Release Date: 03/04/2008   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5060   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Two Symphonies, Marches, Rienzi Overture / Jarvi, Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Release Date: 03/27/2012   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5097   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Tannhauser / Pape, Seiffert, Prudenskaya, Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin
Release Date: 01/29/2016   Label: Bel Air Classiques  
Catalog: 122   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Overtures, Preludes / Varviso, Staatskapelle Dresden
Release Date: 08/26/2003   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186123   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Liebestod

Browse 26-50 of 118 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Arturo Toscanini: The Wagner Recordings
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2096 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Helen Traubel
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
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  • 27.
    Wagner: Arias / Kirsten Flagstad
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802090 Release Date: 11/15/2011   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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  • 28.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 521 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Leonie Rysanek,  Giorgio Tozzi,  Regina Resnik,  David [Tenor Vocal] Lloyd
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
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  • 29.
    Wagner: Piano Transcriptions / Chitose Okashiro
    Label: Pro Piano   Catalog: 224521 Release Date: 06/21/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Ju-Ying Song,  Chitose Okashiro
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  • 30.
    The Opera Album 2011
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001566102 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel,  Anna Netrebko,  Andrea Bocelli,  Jonas Kaufmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth,  Gianandrea Noseda,  Zubin Mehta,  Antonio Pappano  ... 
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  • 31.
    Transfiguration - Wagner, Strauss / Camilla Nylund
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1168-2 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Camilla Nylund
    Conductor:  Hannu Lintu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 32.
    The Ultimate Wagner Opera Album
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578070-71 Release Date: 12/14/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Ingrid Haubold,  Marga Schiml,  Hedwig Fassbender,  John Erik Eleby  ... 
    Conductor:  Pinchas Steinberg,  Uwe Mund,  Michael Halász,  Johannes Wildner  ... 
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  • 33.
    Sigrid Arnoldson & Lilly Hafgren - Recordings 1911-21
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10015 Release Date: 12/03/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Carl Maria von Weber  ... 
    Performer:  Lilly Hafgren,  Fritz Vogelstrom,  Hermine Bosetti,  Sigrid Arnoldson
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  • 34.
    Ioan Holender Farewell Concert / Netrebko, Domingo, Quasthoff [2 DVDs]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001491309 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jacques Offenbach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Nadia Krasteva,  Herwig Pecoraro,  Michaela Selinger  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Antonio Pappano,  Bertrand De Billy,  Franz Welser-Möst  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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  • 35.
    Wagner: Der Ring, Tristan Und Isolde, Parsifal - Orchestral Adventures / De Waart
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72338 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder; Strauss: Vier Letzte Lieder / Flagstad
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 23416 Release Date: 08/31/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad
    Conductor:  Georges Sebastian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Will Quadflieg spricht Tristan von Thomas Mann
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435306 Release Date: 08/12/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Various
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Will Quadflieg
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
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  • 38.
    50 Best Opera
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 57531 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Gustave Charpentier  ... 
    Performer:  Cornelius Hauptmann,  Margareta Lilowa,  Carolyn Watkinson,  Ursula Kunz  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington,  Bernard Haitink,  Rafael Kubelik,  Peter Schneider  ... 
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  • 39.
    Dokumente Einer Sangerkarriere: Martha Modl
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93460 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Mödl,  Johanna Blatter,  Wolfgang [Tenor Vocal] Windgassen,  Rudolf Schock
    Conductor:  Hans Löwlein,  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt,  Arthur Rother,  Joseph Keilberth  ... 
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  • 40.
    Wagner: Tristan Scenes & Wesendonk Lieder / Weigert, Varnay
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 423955 Release Date: 05/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Astrid Varnay,  Wolfgang Windgassen,  Hertha Töpper
    Conductor:  Hermann Weigert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Da Capo - Opera Highlights
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 149512 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Otto Nicolai,  Richard Wagner,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Armin Ude,  Grace Bumbry,  Siegfried Lorenz,  Sona Cervana  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernhard Klee,  Otmar Suitner,  Hans Vonk,  Václav Neumann  ... 
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  • 42.
    In Memoriam Christel Goltz
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93455 Release Date: 09/08/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Christel Goltz,  Bernd Aldenhoff,  Max Lorenz,  Elisabeth Wysor  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Rother,  Robert Heger,  Kurt Striegler,  Ferdinand Leitner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian State Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
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  • 43.
    Two Divas: Callas & Tebaldi - The Greatest Sopranos Of All Time
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 10078 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Renata Tebaldi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mexico City Palacio de Bellas Artes Orchestra,  Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale Della Rai,  Naples Teatro San Carlo Orchestra  ... 
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  • 44.
    Classic Archive - Great Voices From The Golden Age
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 3078538 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Werner Egk,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Gré Brouwenstijn,  Galina Vishnevskaya,  Irmgard Seefried,  Gundula Janowitz  ... 
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  • 45.
    Wagner: Orchestral Works / Sabata, Farrell, New York Po
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 372 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell
    Conductor:  Victor De Sabata
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 46.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 3;  Wagner: Preludes / Solti, Nilsson, Et Al
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 4239 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
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  • 47.
    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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  • 48.
    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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  • 49.
    Leontyne Price - The Prima Donna Collection
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61236 Release Date: 06/30/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Benjamin Britten,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Leontyne Price
    Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra
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  • 50.
    Jessye Norman - A Portrait
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001105909 Release Date: 04/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Traditional,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Jessye Norman
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