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: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Grimsley, Mellor, Blythe, Vinke, Fisch, Seattle Opera
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2313   Number of Discs: 14
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The Ride of the Valkyries - Orchestral Music by Wagner / Royal PO
Release Date: 09/08/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28080   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner Without Words / Llyr Williams
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Signum U.k.  
Catalog: 388   Number of Discs: 2
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Carlos Paita Conducts Wagner
Release Date: 04/08/2014   Label: Carlos Paita Edition  
Catalog: 803   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde / Knappertsbusch, Klose, Braun, Treptow, Frantz
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Andromeda  
Catalog: 9011   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Tannhäuser: O, du mein holder Abendstern

Browse 1-25 of 122 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Verdi & Wagner - The Odeonsplatz Concert / Thomas Hampson, Ronaldo Villazon, Yannick Nezet-seguin
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 716708 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jules Massenet,  Richard Wagner,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Rolando Villazón
    Conductor:  Yannick Nézet-Séguin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 2.
    Verdi & Wagner - The Odeonsplatz Concert / Thomas Hampson, Ronaldo Villazon, Yannick Nezet-seguin [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 716804 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jules Massenet,  Richard Wagner,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Rolando Villazón
    Conductor:  Yannick Nézet-Séguin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 3.
    James Rutherford Sings Wagner
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2080 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  James Rutherford
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 7704332 Release Date: 05/24/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Greindl,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Martha Musial,  Leopold Clam  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Rother,  Wilhelm Buschkötter,  Kurt Gaebel,  Fried Walter  ... 
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  • 5.
    The Complete Arthur Endreze
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 55001 Release Date: 05/01/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Arthur Endrèze,  Gaston Micheletti,  René Verdière,  Paul-Henri Vergnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Henri Défosse,  Gustav Cloëz,  François Ruhlmann,  Selmar Meyrowitz
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  • 6.
    Singers Of The Century - 40 Greats Of  The 20th Century
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 2078 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Ettore Bastianini,  Giuseppe Taddei,  Richard Tucker,  Mario Del Monaco  ... 
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  • 7.
    Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau - Voice Of The Century [23 CDs & 2 DVDs]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001792900 Release Date: 01/15/2013   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Daniel Barenboim,  Jörg Demus,  Gerald Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik,  Karl Böhm,  Lorin Maazel,  Karl Richter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 8.
    Romantische Arien / Christian Gerhaher
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 54229 Release Date: 11/20/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Otto Nicolai  ... 
    Performer:  Christian Gerhaher
    Conductor:  Daniel Harding
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4805770 Release Date: 09/04/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Robert Schumann,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold  ... 
    Performer:  Matthias Goerne,  Dorothea Röschmann
    Conductor:  Manfred Honeck
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Chorus members,  Adolf Frederik Childrens Choir
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  • 10.
    The Art Of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001717702 Release Date: 08/21/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Gerald Moore,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Hermann Töttcher,  Jörg Demus  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Ristenpart,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Otto Gerdes,  Eugen Jochum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Karl Ristenpart Chamber Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 11.
    Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, Peter Seeger
    Label: Estonian Record Productions   Catalog: 5211 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Peter Seeger
    Performer:  Juha Kotilainen
    Conductor:  Peeter Saan,  Ants Soots
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  • 12.
    Voices Of German Opera
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40497 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Heinrich Marschner  ... 
    Performer:  Natalie Dessay,  Edda Moser,  Kurt Moll,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Langrée,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Berislav Klobucar,  Rudolf Moralt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 13.
    Emilio De Gogorza, Baritone - Selected Recordings
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 52068 Release Date: 10/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Emilio de Gogorza,  Emma Eames,  Marcella Sembrich,  Louise Homer  ... 
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  • 14.
    Wagner / Pape, Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001529702 Release Date: 10/04/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  René Pape,  Placido Domingo
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
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  • 15.
    The Very Best Of Thomas Hampson
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94807 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Charles Gounod,  Jules Massenet,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Marc Barrard,  Martine Mahé,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington,  Michel Plasson,  Eugene Kohn,  Antonio de Almeida  ... 
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  • 16.
    Casals Encores / Alban Gerhardt, Cecile Licad
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67831 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Popper,  Claude Debussy,  Benjamin Godard,  Giovanni Sgambati  ... 
    Performer:  Alban Gerhardt,  Cecile Licad
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  • 17.
    Richard Wagner: Organ Transcriptions
    Label: Tactus   Catalog: 812301 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Giulio Mercati
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  • 18.
    Label: Membran International Gmbh   Catalog: 232763 Release Date: 02/15/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Albert Lortzing,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Hans Pfitzner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Rita Streich,  Lisa Della Casa,  Rudolf Schock  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Schüchter,  Arthur Rother,  Richard Kraus,  Joseph Keilberth  ... 
    CD: $22.99
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  • 19.
    Meditations / Les Violoncelles Francais
    Label: Mirare   Catalog: 112 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch,  Pablo Casals,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Violoncelles Français
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  • 20.
    Cornelis Bronsgeest - Recordings 1907-1913
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10040 Release Date: 12/03/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Charles Gounod,  Georges Bizet,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Cornelius Bronsgeest,  Erna Denera,  Franz Naval,  Frances Rose  ... 
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  • 21.
    Friedrich Schorr Vol 2 - Wagner Operas
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10222 Release Date: 12/03/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Friedrich Schorr,  Gota Ljungberg,  Rudolf Laubenthal,  Ben Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Albert Coates,  Leo Blech,  Lawrence Collingwood
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Richard Bonelli - Recordings 1928-1947
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10033 Release Date: 11/22/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Friedrich von Flotow,  Richard Wagner,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Bonelli,  Mario Chamlee
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  • 23.
    111 - The Collector's Edition 2 [56-CD Set - Limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4779142 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Stuart Harling,  Robert Lloyd,  Sherrill Milnes,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  John Nelson,  Leonard Bernstein,  Jerzy Semkow  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  George Watson's College Boys' Chorus  ... 
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  • 24.
    Marko Rothmüller - Recordings 1945-1950
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10199 Release Date: 10/15/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Marko Rothmüller
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  • 25.
    50 Best Opera
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57531 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Gustave Charpentier  ... 
    Performer:  Cornelius Hauptmann,  Margareta Lilowa,  Carolyn Watkinson,  Ursula Kunz  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington,  Bernard Haitink,  Rafael Kubelik,  Peter Schneider  ... 
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