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: 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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Ives: Three Places in New England; Sibelius, Wagner / Michael Tilson Thomas
Release Date: 09/24/2013   Label: Ica Classics  
Catalog: 5111   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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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Liebestod

Browse 76-100 of 148 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    Wagner, Brahms, Mahler, Beethoven / Ludwig, Klemperer
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 61596 Release Date: 10/03/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
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  • 80.
    Grieg, Wagner / Flagstad, Sargent, Bbc So
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 4190 Release Date: 09/19/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Edvard Grieg
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 81.
    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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  • 82.
    Wagner: Tristan und Isolde Highlights / Nilsson, Solti
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4428288 Release Date: 08/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Tom Krause,  Birgit Nilsson,  Regina Resnik,  Fritz Uhl  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 83.
    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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  • 84.
    Weekend Classics - A Soprano Weekend
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 0006650202 Release Date: 06/13/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Traditional,  Franz Schubert,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Ileana Cotrubas,  Rita Streich,  Fred Artmeier  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber,  Carl Michalski,  Ion Marin,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra,  Instrumental Ensemble,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 85.
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000638302 Release Date: 04/11/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik,  Karl Böhm,  Otto Gerdes,  Ferdinand Leitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra  ... 
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  • 86.
    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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  • 87.
    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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  • 88.
    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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  • 89.
    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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  • 90.
    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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  • 91.
    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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  • 92.
    Wagner: Preludes, Overtures, Liebestod / Studer, Tate
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 85461 Release Date: 03/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Cheryl Studer
    Conductor:  Jeffrey Tate
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 93.
    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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  • 94.
    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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  • 95.
    Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde (Highlights) / De Billy, Et Al
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 602 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Deborah Polaski,  Heidi [Mezzo Soprano] Brunner
    Conductor:  Bertrand De Billy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 96.
    Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde [highlights]
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 602 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Heidi [Mezzo Soprano] Brunner,  Deborah Polaski
    Conductor:  Bertrand De Billy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 97.
    Wagner: Wesendonck-Lieder, Arias / Kirsten Flagstad
    Label: Emi Great Artists Of The Century   Catalog: 62957 Release Date: 01/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad,  Elisabeth Höngen,  Set Svanholm,  Gerald Moore
    Conductor:  Issay Dobrowen,  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  Georges Sebastian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 98.
    The Essential Jessye Norman [CD + DVD]
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 000328300 Release Date: 01/11/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Pietro Mascagni,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Jessye Norman,  Neil Shicoff,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Irwin Gage  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Sir Colin Davis,  Semyon Bychkov,  Raymond Leppard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Orchestra d'Ile de France,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris Chorus  ... 
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  • 99.
    Legendary Voices / Helen Traubel Ii
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89596 Release Date: 10/26/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Amilcare Ponchielli
    Performer:  Helen Traubel
    Conductor:  Frieder Weissmann,  Charles O'Connell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Orchestra,  Orchestra
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  • 100.
    Schubert, Brahms, Wagner / Carlos Kleiber
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000344702 Release Date: 10/12/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Wolfgang Hellmich,  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Werner Goetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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