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
Release Date: 04/01/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 372558   Number of Discs: 2
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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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Wagner, Strauss / Richard Hickox, Jard Van Nes, Et Al
Release Date: 06/21/2005   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10313   Number of Discs: 1
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Great Opera Choirs - Wagner, Mozart, Verdi, Purcell, Et Al
Release Date: 01/30/2007   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 4046   Number of Discs: 1
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Edition Staatskapelle Dresden Vol 22 - Karl Bohm Conducts Wagner / Elmendorff, Striegler, Schech, Lorenz, Et Al
Release Date: 06/30/2009   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 7058   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Liebestod

Browse 51-75 of 147 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    The Record of Singing Vol 5 - From the LP to the Digital Era
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 28949 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Jacques Offenbach,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  John Shirley-Quirk,  Luciana Serra,  Neil Shicoff,  Alain Vanzo  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Sylvain Cambreling,  Georges Prêtre,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    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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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    Leontyne Price - The Prima Donna Collection
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61236 Release Date: 07/23/2008   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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  • 57.
    Muses To Murder
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4766500 Release Date: 05/17/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Elizabeth Connell
    Conductor:  Muhai Tang
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  • 58.
    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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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    The Art Of Christa Ludwig
    Label: Emi 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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  • 61.
    Wagner: Opera Arias And Duets
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 9703 Release Date: 03/11/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Hans Hotter
    Conductor:  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    The Essential Montserrat Caballe
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 721357 Release Date: 01/15/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Vincente Sardinero,  Ruggero Raimondi,  Placido Domingo,  Montserrat Caballé  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Georges Prêtre,  Carlo Felice Cillario,  Anton Guadagno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    Birth Of A Diva - Legendary Early Recordings / Maria Callas
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 327612 Release Date: 10/16/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Richard Wagner,  Vincenzo Bellini
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Francesco Albanese,  Mariano Caruso,  Ines Marietti  ... 
    Conductor:  Gabriele Santini,  Antonino Votto,  Arturo Basile
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin,  Coro Cetra
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  • 66.
    Maria Callas - The Complete Studio Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 95918 Release Date: 09/25/2007   Number of Discs: 70
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  David Sellar,  Giorgio Tadeo,  Tito Gobbi  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno,  Georges Prêtre,  Tullio Serafin,  Antonino Votto  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Paris Opera Orchestra,  Paris Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 67.
    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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  • 68.
    Simply Callas - Ponchielli, Verdi, Wagner, Etc
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 698772 Release Date: 07/24/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Piero Poldi,  Paolo Silveri,  Gianni Poggi  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Basile,  Antonino Votto,  Gabriele Santini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin,  Coro Cetra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 69.
    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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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    Chicago Symphony Orchestra- The Centennial Collection
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60206 Release Date: 04/09/2007   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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  • 72.
    The Art Of Meta Seinemeyer
    Label: Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog: 9770 Release Date: 03/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Anton Rubinstein,  Felix Weingartner,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Helena Jung,  Meta Seinemeyer,  Tino Pattiera
    Conductor:  Frieder Weissmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    Maria Callas - The Live Recitals
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 68022 Release Date: 11/21/2006   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Jeffrey Tate,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Nicola Rescigno
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre,  Alfredo Simonetto,  Nicola Rescigno,  Sir Malcolm Sargent  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  ORTF National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 75.
    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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