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: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg / Kempe, Frantz, Schock
Release Date: 12/10/2007   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 64154   Number of Discs: 4
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Wagner: Orchestral Highlights / Klemperer
Release Date: 03/26/2012   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 6782992   Number of Discs: 2
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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: Opera Arias and Duets / Nilsson, Hotter
Release Date: 03/11/2008   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 9703   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Lohengrin / Kempe, Grummer, Ludwig, Fischer-Dieskau
Release Date: 04/20/2010   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 56465   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Liebestod

Browse 76-100 of 105 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    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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  • 81.
    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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  • 82.
    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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  • 83.
    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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  • 84.
    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 Olivero,  Rosa Ponselle  ... 
    Conductor:  Ugo Tansini,  Fritz Stiedry,  Hector Panizza,  Richard Kraus  ... 
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  • 85.
    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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  • 86.
    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  ... 
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  • 87.
    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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  • 88.
    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
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  • 89.
    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
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  • 90.
    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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  • 91.
    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 Prętre,  Riccardo Muti,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rhine Opera Chorus,  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra,  ORTF National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 92.
    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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  • 93.
    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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  • 94.
    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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  • 95.
    The Ultimate Divas Album
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 460596 Release Date: 09/15/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne,  Cecilia Bartoli,  Birgit Nilsson,  Kirsten Flagstad  ... 
    Conductor:  Henry Lewis,  Riccardo Chailly,  Hans Knappertsbusch,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Bologna Teatro Comunale Chorus,  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra  ... 
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  • 96.
    Operatic Arias (1911-1962)
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7851 Release Date: 05/19/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Karl Millöcker,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Francesco Cilča,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Fritz Wunderlich,  Tito Gobbi,  Kirsten Flagstad  ... 
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  • 97.
    Callas Edition - Live In Concert
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 72030 Release Date: 01/20/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Alfredo Simonetto,  Oliviero de Fabritiis,  Nicola Rescigno,  Antonino Votto  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Milan,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 98.
    Wagner: Tristan und Isolde Highlights / Modl, Windgassen
    Label: Teldec Historic Series   Catalog: 95516 Release Date: 03/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Martha Mödl,  Johanna Blatter,  Wolfgang Windgassen
    Conductor:  Arthur Rother
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin City Opera Orchestra
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  • 99.
    Kirsten Flagstad Vol 1 - The Early Recordings 1914-1941
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1821 Release Date: 01/01/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Eyvind Alnaes,  Sigurd Lie,  Christian Sinding  ... 
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad,  Eyvind Alnaes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 100.
    Kirsten Flagstad, Vol. 2: Live Performances 1935-1948
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1822 Release Date: 01/01/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Gioachino Rossini,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Traditional  ... 
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