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: Tristan und Isolde / Furtwangler, Flagstad, Schock, Fischer-Dieskau
Release Date: 04/06/2004   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 85873   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: Parsifal / Meier, Barenboim, Berlin Philharmonic
Release Date: 05/20/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 555535   Number of Discs: 4
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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 51-75 of 111 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Mahler, Wagner / Lott, Quatuor Schumann
    Label: Aeon   Catalog: 858 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Felicity Lott
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schumann String Quartet
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  • 52.
    The Art of Christa Ludwig
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 17608 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Gioachino Rossini,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig,  Gerald Moore,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer,  Herbert von Karajan,  Tullio Serafin,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 53.
    101 Opera Masterpieces, Vol. 1 [box Set]
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 9528671 Release Date: 02/26/2008   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Biserka Cvejik,  Ruza Baldani,  Placido Domingo  ... 
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  • 54.
    Kirstin Flagstad - The Danish Radio Concert
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 336 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad
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  • 55.
    The # 1 Opera Album Vol 2 / Bartoli, Pavarotti, Price, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000950602 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Edita Gruberova,  Jon [Tenor Vocals] Vickers,  Elizabeth Harwood  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Sir Georg Solti,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
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  • 56.
    The Premium Collection - 75 Classical Masterworks
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000988602 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Edvard Grieg,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Alfons Kontarsky,  Aloys Kontarsky,  Wolfgang Herzer,  Göran Söllscher  ... 
    Conductor:  Baumgartner,  Neeme Järvi,  Seiji Ozawa,  Rafael Kubelik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Strings
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  • 57.
    Opera Obsession! Act IV - Opera d'Oro's Greatest Hits
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1004 Release Date: 09/04/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Mirella Freni,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Jon Vickers,  Oralia Dominguez  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Schippers,  Jean Fournet,  Horst Stein,  Bohumil Gregor  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  Netherlands Radio Symphony,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 58.
    Johanna Gadski - Recordings 1904-1917
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10092 Release Date: 07/23/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Johanna Gadski,  Marcel Journet,  Marie Mattfied,  Ellison Van Hoose
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  • 59.
    Ultimate Opera - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000895102 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  George Frideric Handel,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Renata Tebaldi,  Marilyn Horne,  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Dame Joan Sutherland  ... 
    Conductor:  Lamberto Gardelli,  Henry Lewis,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
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  • 60.
    Cheryl Studer - A Portrait
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55350 Release Date: 06/08/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Charles Gounod,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Cheryl Studer,  Cyndia Sieden,  Alfred Muff,  Ute Vinzing  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Bernard Haitink,  Jeffrey Tate,  Michel Plasson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian State Orchestra  ... 
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  • 61.
    Chicago Symphony Orchestra- The Centennial Collection
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60206 Release Date: 04/10/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  César Franck,  Richard Wagner,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Leontyne Price,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Jascha Heifetz
    Conductor:  Frederick Stock,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Desiré DeFauw,  Artur Rodzinski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 62.
    Marta Fuchs - Recordings 1934-1944
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10349 Release Date: 01/31/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hugo Wolf,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Raucheisen,  Marta Fuchs,  Gerald Moore,  Else Wieber  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Reuss,  Robert Heger,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Gustav Görlich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder, Arias / Charlotte Margiono, Et Al
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186077 Release Date: 11/21/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Charlotte Margiono
    Conductor:  Ed Spanjaard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Limburg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Martha Mödl - Arias And Scenes From Don Carlos, Macbeth, Etc
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90136 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Martha Mödl
    Conductor:  Arthur Rother,  Hans Löwlein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin City Opera Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Kirsten Flagstad - Live In Concert / Melchior
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1248 Release Date: 08/29/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Christoph W. Gluck
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad,  Set Svanholm,  Niels Mollner
    Conductor:  Gaetano Merola,  Johan Hye-Knudsen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Opera Orchestra,  Danish National Radio Choir,  Danish State Radio Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Audrey Stottler Sings Richard Wagner / Steinlucht, Et Al
    Label: Roméo Records   Catalog: 7250 Release Date: 06/27/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Audrey Stottler
    Conductor:  Arkady Steinlucht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academic Symphony Orchestra St. Petersburg
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  • 67.
    Midnight in the Grand Court, Lord & Taylor / Conte
    Label: Gothic Records   Catalog: 49247 Release Date: 04/11/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Richard Wagner,  Claude Debussy,  Louis Vierne  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Richard Conte
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  • 68.
    Classic Library - Wagner: Arias & Scenes
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 76228 Release Date: 03/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Waltraud Meier,  Sherrill Milnes,  Ben Heppner,  Jan-Hendrik Rootering  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Anton Guadagno,  Sir Colin Davis,  Joseph Keilberth  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus  ... 
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  • 69.
    Carl Muck
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1345 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Karl Muck
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra members
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  • 70.
    The Complete Félia Litvinne and Selected Recordings by Natalya Yermolenko-Yuzhina
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 52049 Release Date: 09/13/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Alexander N. Serov  ... 
    Performer:  Natalia Yermolenko-Yuzhina,  David Yuzhin,  Félia Litvinne,  Alfred Cortot
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  • 71.
    The Very Best Of Hildegard Behrens
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 86308 Release Date: 04/26/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Hildegard Behrens,  Robert Schunk,  David Syrus,  José Van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Schneider,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Michel Plasson,  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 72.
    The Very Best Of Kirsten Flagstad
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 86326 Release Date: 04/26/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Richard Wagner,  Henry Purcell,  Edvard Grieg
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad,  Set Svanholm,  Gerald Moore,  Blanche Thebom  ... 
    Conductor:  Walter Susskind,  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  Hermann Weigert,  Georges Sebastian  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 73.
    Wagner Heroines
    Label: Hungaroton   Catalog: 32317 Release Date: 03/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Mária Temesi
    Conductor:  Yuri Simonov
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  • 74.
    Dame Gwyneth Jones Sings Wagner / Paternostro
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10286 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones
    Conductor:  Roberto Paternostro
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 75.
    100 Best Opera Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 862112 Release Date: 02/15/2005   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Gary Lakes,  Maria Callas,  Tito Gobbi,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  James Conlon,  Alceo Galliera,  Lamberto Gardelli,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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