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
Toscanini conducts Wagner
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 541193   Number of Discs: 5
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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Barenboim
Release Date: 10/25/2011   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4755   Number of Discs: 11
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Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde / Gould, Herlitzius, Thielemann, Bayreuther Festspiele
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002503809   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Die Walkure / Van Zweden, Skelton, Melton, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 11/11/2016   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8660394   Number of Discs: 4
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Wagner: Der Fliegende Hollander / Behrens, Grundheber, Salminen, Et Al
Release Date: 06/29/2004   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 2252   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Liebestod

Browse 76-100 of 110 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    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
    CD: $36.99
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  • 80.
    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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  • 81.
    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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  • 82.
    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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  • 83.
    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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  • 84.
    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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  • 85.
    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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  • 86.
    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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  • 87.
    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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  • 88.
    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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  • 89.
    Deborah Voigt - Obsessions - Wagner And Strauss / Armstrong
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57681 Release Date: 04/06/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Deborah Voigt,  Natascha Petrinsky
    Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 90.
    Ritorna Vincitor! - The Legendary Birgit Nilsson
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000018102 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Virgilio Carbonari,  Walter Berry,  Gerhard Stolze
    Conductor:  John Pritchard,  Argeo Quadri,  Thomas Schippers,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 91.
    Les Introuvables Du Chant Wagnèrien
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 64008 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Emanuel List,  Fritz Wolff,  Alexander Kipnis,  Lauritz Melchior  ... 
    Conductor:  Eduard Mörike,  Siegfried Wagner,  Robert Heger,  Leo Blech  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Chorus,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra  ... 
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  • 92.
    Prinzregenten Theater - Wagner: Werke / Knote, Kappel, Et Al
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89305 Release Date: 04/09/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Pietro Mascagni,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Friedrich Brodersen,  Ludwig Weber,  Hans Hopf,  Lorenz Fehenberger  ... 
    On sale! $69.98
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  • 93.
    La Stupenda - The Supreme Voice Of Joan Sutherland
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470026 Release Date: 10/09/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Léo Delibes,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Jane Berbié,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Tina Bonifacio  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge,  John Pritchard,  Nello Santi,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra,  New Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 94.
    Opera For A Rainy Day
    Label: Lifestyles   Catalog: 215051 Release Date: 02/27/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Fiorenza Cossotto,  Placido Domingo,  Leontyne Price  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    CD: $13.99
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  • 95.
    Wagner: Wesendonk Lieder, Arias / Varady, Fischer-dieskau
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 467981 Release Date: 09/16/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Julia Varády
    Conductor:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
    CD: $22.49
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  • 96.
    Wagner Gala / Knappertsbusch, Flagstad, Nilsson, London
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 458238 Release Date: 08/08/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  George London,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Grace Hoffman
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 97.
    The Best Opera Album In The World...ever!
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 42203 Release Date: 07/27/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Maria Callas,  Montserrat Caballé,  Roberto Alagna  ... 
    Conductor:  Alain Lombard,  Georges Prêtre,  Riccardo Muti,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rhine Opera Chorus,  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra,  ORTF National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 98.
    Helen Traubel and Lauritz Melchior Sing Wagner
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 60896 Release Date: 06/29/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Helen Traubel,  Lauritz Melchior,  Herbert Janssen,  Torsten Ralf  ... 
    Conductor:  Artur Rodzinski,  Robert Kinsky,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Fritz Busch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Buenos Aires Teatro Colón Orchestra,  Columbia Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 99.
    Kirsten Flagstad - The Voice Of The Century - Songs & Arias
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1820 Release Date: 03/11/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Strauss,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad,  Sigvart Fotland,  Waldemar Alme,  Edwin McArthur  ... 
    Conductor:  Georges Sebastian,  Geraint Jones,  Fritz Reiner,  Wilhelm Furtwängler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Mermaid Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 100.
    The Harold Wayne Collection Vol 32 - Walker, Wildbrunn
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1229 Release Date: 12/15/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  James L. Molloy,  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Helene Wildbrunn,  Edyth Walker
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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