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
Richard Wagner: Die Walkure
Release Date: 06/09/2015   Label: Walhall  
Catalog: 316   Number of Discs: 3
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Wagner: Highlights From Tristan Und Isolde & Tannhauser
Release Date: 03/13/2012   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 6164   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Die Walkure / Bohm, Nilsson, Rysanek, King, Adam
Release Date:    Label: Philips  
Catalog: 412478   Number of Discs: 4
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Schumann & Wagner / Butt, London Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 05/08/2012   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 6163   Number of Discs: 1
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Richard Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde
Release Date: 06/09/2015   Label: Walhall  
Catalog: 1   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Liebestod

Browse 76-100 of 136 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    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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  • 81.
    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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  • 82.
    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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  • 83.
    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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  • 84.
    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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  • 85.
    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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  • 86.
    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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  • 87.
    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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  • 88.
    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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  • 89.
    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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  • 90.
    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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  • 91.
    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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  • 92.
    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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  • 93.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century / Herbert Von Karajan
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 62868 Release Date: 07/13/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Emil Waldteufel,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Helga Dernesch
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 94.
    Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde Highlights / Jerusalem, Meier, Barenboim
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4615052 Release Date: 06/14/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Siegfried Jerusalem,  Waltraud Meier,  Matti Salminen,  Marjana Lipovsek
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Chorus,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 95.
    The Very Best Of Christa Ludwig
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85099 Release Date: 09/02/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Gerald Moore,  Teresa Stich-Randall  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Rudolf Kempe,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Tullio Serafin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus  ... 
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  • 96.
    Original Masters - Astrid Varnay
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000085702 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Astrid Varnay,  Hertha Töpper,  Wolfgang Windgassen
    Conductor:  Hermann Weigert,  Leopold Ludwig,  Ferdinand Leitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 97.
    Great Voices Of The Past - The Sopranos
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 8013 Release Date: 07/01/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Claudia Muzio,  Conchita Supervia,  Magda [Soprano Vocal] Olivero,  Rosa Ponselle  ... 
    Conductor:  Ugo Tansini,  Fritz Stiedry,  Hector Panizza,  Richard Kraus  ... 
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  • 98.
    Ritorna Vincitor! - The Legendary Birgit Nilsson
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000018102 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frederick Loewe,  Ture Rangström,  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Gerhard Stolze,  Walter Berry,  Virgilio Carbonari
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Bertil Bokstedt,  Sir Colin Davis,  Hans Knappertsbusch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Opera Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 99.
    Wagner: Overtures, Preludes, Arias / Andre Cluytens, Et Al
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1256 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Rita Gorr
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra
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  • 100.
    Debut Series - Callas - My First Record
    Label: Fono Enterprise   Catalog: 1071 Release Date: 11/05/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Vincenzo Bellini
    Performer:  Giuseppe Modesti,  Maria Callas,  Africo Baldelli
    Conductor:  Vittorio Gui,  Arturo Basile
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin
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Richard Wagner


WORKS