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: 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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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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Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde, An Orchestral Passion - Arranged By Henk De Vlieger / Jarvi, RSNO
Release Date: 02/22/2011   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5087   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tannhäuser: O, du mein holder Abendstern

Browse 101-122 of 122 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Enrico Molinari
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89129 Release Date: 08/20/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Arrigo Boito,  Umberto Giordano,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Nunu Sanchioni,  Enrico Molinari,  Elena Cheli,  Ida Mannarini
    Conductor:  Lorenzo Molajoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 102.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Heinrich Rehkemper Vol 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89117 Release Date: 04/23/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Hugo Wolf,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Heinrich Rehkemper,  Michael Raucheisen
    Conductor:  Manfred Gurlitt,  Julius Prüwer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 103.
    I Bis Di Ricciuti - Bach, Azzi, Franchi, Schubert, Et Al
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 5053 Release Date: 04/16/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  André Modeste Grétry,  Giovanni Bottesini,  Carmine Franchi  ... 
    Performer:  Mario Ricciuti,  Domenico Clapasson
    CD: $12.99
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  • 104.
    Bryn Terfel - Opera Arias / Levine, Metropolitan Opera
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 445866 Release Date: 04/09/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    CD: $15.99
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  • 105.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Hans Reinmar
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89112 Release Date: 02/20/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Franz Wilhelm Abt,  Viktor Nessler,  Heinrich Marschner  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Reinmar
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Franz Reuss,  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt,  Hermann Weigert,  Frieder Weissmann  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin City Opera Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 106.
    Evelyn Lear And Thomas Stewart Sing Wagner & Strauss
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1011 Release Date: 11/06/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Thomas Stewart,  Evelyn Lear
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  • 107.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Alexander Svéd
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89096 Release Date: 07/18/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Georges Bizet,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Alexander Svéd,  Aureliana Beltrami,  Viorica Ursuleac
    Conductor:  Dino Olivieri,  Alfredo Simonetto,  Clemens Krauss
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 108.
    Romantic Virtuoso Cello Music / Werner Thomas
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 131851 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Françaix,  Richard Wagner,  Franz Schubert (Dresden),  Pablo de Sarasate  ... 
    Performer:  Werner Thomas
    Conductor:  Hans Stadlmair
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Chamber Orchestra
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  • 109.
    Prima Voce - Legendary Baritones
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7867 Release Date: 04/25/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Albert Lortzing  ... 
    Performer:  Lawrence Tibbett,  Renato Zanelli,  Igor Gorin,  Gerhard Hüsch  ... 
    Conductor:  Nathaniel Shilkret,  Bruno Reibold,  Frieder Weissmann,  Frank Edward Tours
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 110.
    Opera Arias / Formichi
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1087 Release Date: 03/06/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franco Alfano,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Cesare Formichi,  Teresina Chelotti,  Maria Alessandrovitch,  Luigi Manfrini
    CD: $17.99
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  • 111.
    Heinrich Schlusnus - Arien Und Szenen
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89212 Release Date: 02/28/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Albert Lortzing  ... 
    Performer:  Heinrich Schlusnus,  Erna Berger
    Conductor:  Alois Melichar,  Leo Blech,  Manfred Gurlitt,  Arthur Rother  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
    On sale! $46.98
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  • 112.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Apollo Granforte Vol 1
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89048 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Apollo Granforte,  Anna Rozsa,  Adelaide Saraceni,  Nello Palai  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Sabajno,  Gino Nastrucci
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
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  • 113.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Carlo Tagliabue
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89015 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Carlo Tagliabue
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  • 114.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Friedrich Schorr
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89052 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Friedrich Schorr,  Melanie Kurt,  Otto Helgers,  Emmy Bettendorf
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  • 115.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Gerhard Hüsch Vol 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89071 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Gerhard Hüsch,  Wilhelm Strienz,  Eugen Fuchs
    Conductor:  Hanns Udo Müller,  Alexander von Zemlinsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin City Opera Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 116.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Heinrich Schlusnus
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89006 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Heinrich Schlusnus
    Conductor:  Alois Melichar,  Leo Blech,  Johannes Schüler,  Gerhard Steeger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 117.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Marcel Journet
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89021 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Jules Massenet,  J. Luce,  Omer Letorey  ... 
    Performer:  Marcel Journet,  Michel Cozette,  Fernand Ansseau
    Conductor:  Rosario Bourdon,  Piero Coppola,  Paul-Henri Büsser
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 118.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Riccardo Stracciari
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89003 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Jules Massenet,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Riccardo Stracciari
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  • 119.
    Legendary Performers - Casals - Early Recordings 1925-1928
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61616 Release Date: 12/13/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Edward MacDowell,  Claude Debussy,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Nicolai Mednikoff,  Pablo Casals,  Edward Gendron
    CD: $8.99
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  • 120.
    The Art Of Virgil Fox
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65426 Release Date: 11/08/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Martin Luther,  Edvard Grieg,  Arthur Sullivan,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Virgil Fox
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  • 121.
    Prima Voce - Tibbett In Opera
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7825 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Lawrence Tibbett,  Giovanni Martinelli,  Leonard Warren,  Rose Bampton  ... 
    Conductor:  Nathaniel Shilkret,  Rosario Bourdon,  Wilfrid Pelletier,  Alexander Smallens  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 122.
    The Orchestra Sings - Great Operatic Themes For Orchestra / Dragon, Newman
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65430 Release Date: 11/08/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Conductor:  Carmen Dragon,  Alfred Newman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capitol Symphony Orchestra,  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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