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: 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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Wagner: Parsifal / Kaufmann, Pape, Gatti, Met
Release Date: 04/01/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 372558   Number of Discs: 2
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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: 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: 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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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Liebestod

Browse 26-50 of 147 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0521 Release Date: 01/01/2012   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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  • 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: Emi Classics   Catalog: 828662 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Henry Purcell,  Jean-Philippe Rameau  ... 
    Performer:  Nancy Argenta,  Crispian Steele-Perkins,  Gudrun Jahn,  Barbara Hendricks  ... 
    Conductor:  Gyorgy Fischer,  Kirk Trevor,  Louis Langrée,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Paris National Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 29.
    Best Soprano Arias 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 80442 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Henry Purcell,  Jean-Philippe Rameau  ... 
    Performer:  Nancy Argenta,  Crispian Steele-Perkins,  Gudrun Jahn,  Barbara Hendricks  ... 
    Conductor:  Gyorgy Fischer,  Kirk Trevor,  Louis Langrée,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Paris National Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 30.
    Birgit Nilsson Sings Wagner
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4803550 Release Date: 08/02/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Helge Brilioth,  Norman Bailey,  Grace Hoffman
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam,  Sir Colin Davis,  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 31.
    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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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    The Wagner Opera Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 83449 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Jane Eaglen,  Rolando Villazón,  Felicity Palmer,  Peter Seiffert  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
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  • 34.
    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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  • 35.
    The Ultimate Wagner Opera Album
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578070-71 Release Date: 12/14/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Marga Schiml,  Ingrid Haubold,  Hedwig Fassbender,  John Erik Eleby  ... 
    Conductor:  Pinchas Steinberg,  Uwe Mund,  Michael Halász,  Johannes Wildner  ... 
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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    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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  • 39.
    Wagner: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 / Edo De Waart, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland
    Label: Exton   Catalog: 153 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Grosses Festspielhaus Salzburg - 50 Years [25 CDs]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001469202 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Nelson Freire,  Alfred Brendel,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Claudio Abbado,  Sir Georg Solti,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 41.
    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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  • 42.
    Essential Opera
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27920 Release Date: 08/24/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Nicolai Gedda,  Ernest Blanc,  Thomas Hampson  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Thomas Schippers,  Pierre Dervaux,  Gianluigi Gelmetti  ... 
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  • 43.
    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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  • 44.
    50 Best Opera
    Label: Emi 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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  • 45.
    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 Windgassen,  Rudolf Schock
    Conductor:  Hans Löwlein,  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt,  Arthur Rother,  Joseph Keilberth  ... 
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  • 46.
    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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  • 47.
    Icon - Kirsten Flagstad - The Supreme Wagnerian Soprano
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55346 Release Date: 03/23/2010   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giacomo Carissimi,  Johann Wolfgang Franck,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad,  Gerald Moore,  Ludwig Suthaus,  Blanche Thebom  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  Hermann Weigert,  Georges Sebastian,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Wagner: Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 761891 Release Date: 02/02/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Robert Shaw,  Zubin Mehta,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
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  • 49.
    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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  • 50.
    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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