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
Release Date: 04/01/2014   Label: Masterworks (Dvd)  
Catalog: 372558   Number of Discs: 2
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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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Richard Wagner - Great Recordings
Release Date: 02/26/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 543504   Number of Discs: 40
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Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen / Barenboim, Bayreuth Festival [blu-ray]
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4755   Number of Discs: 4
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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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Work: Tannhäuser: O, du mein holder Abendstern

Browse 26-50 of 116 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Wagner: Die Walkure / Keilberth, Modl, Varnay, Hotter, Vinay
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1432 Release Date: 10/13/2009   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Wolfgang Windgassen,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Georgine von Milinkovic,  Ramon Vinay  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Chorus,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
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  • 27.
    Welt der Oper
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 182512 Release Date: 10/25/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz von Suppé,  Otto Nicolai,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
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  • 28.
    Juha Uusitalo - The Wagner Album
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 11212 Release Date: 09/23/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Juha Uusitalo
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 29.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Marko Rothmüller
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89705 Release Date: 09/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Franz Schubert,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Marko Rothmüller,  Suzanne Gyr,  Franca Sacchi
    Conductor:  James Robertson,  Alberto Erede
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Orchestra
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  • 30.
    Prima Voce - Igor Gorin Vol 2
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7951 Release Date: 08/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Albert Hay Malotte,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Adolph Baller,  Igor Gorin
    Conductor:  Charles O'Connell,  Carmen Dragon,  Donald Vorhees
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  • 31.
    Wagner-Gala / Abbado, Studer, Meier, Jerusalem, Terfel
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439768 Release Date: 06/04/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Cheryl Studer,  Bryn Terfel,  Waltraud Meier,  Siegfried Jerusalem
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Concert Recordings
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1804 Release Date: 04/14/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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  • 33.
    Wagner For Brass / Canadian Brass, Berlin Po, Bayreuth Brass
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 434109 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canadian Brass,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Brass,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra Brass Players
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  • 34.
    Heroes And Villains - Dmitri Hvorostovsky / Orbelian, Philharmonia Of Russia
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3365 Release Date: 10/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Richard Wagner,  Anton Rubinstein,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitri Hvorostovsky
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia of Russia
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  • 35.
    Tales Of Opera - Mozart, Verdi, Etc / Keenlyside, Schirmer
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 713067 Release Date: 09/25/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Simon Keenlyside
    Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Thomas Hampson - German Opera Arias / Fabio Luisi
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55233 Release Date: 08/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Franz Schreker  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson
    Conductor:  Fabio Luisi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Georg Ots Vol 2 - Recordings 1951-1969
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10353 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Anton Rubinstein,  George Gershwin,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Georg Ots
    Conductor:  Kirill Raudsepp,  Prokhorow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 38.
    Dokumente Einer Sängerkarriere - Fischer-dieskau
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93450 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner,  Otto Nicolai  ... 
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Heinz Borst,  Lorenz Fehenberger,  Rita Streich  ... 
    Conductor:  Mario Rossi,  Paul Schmitz,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Fritz Busch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Comic Opera Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 39.
    Eterna Collection - Grosse Sänger / Karl Schmidt-walter
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 3309 Release Date: 02/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Albert Lortzing  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Schmitt-Walter,  Hilde Scheppan,  Wilhelm Lang
    Conductor:  Arthur Rother,  Horst Stein,  Hanns Steinkopf,  Otto Dobrindt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus
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  • 40.
    José Carreras Collection - A Bolshoi Opera Night
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101409 Release Date: 10/31/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Friedrich von Flotow,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Alfredo Kraus,  Ljuba Kazarnovskaya,  Hermann Prey,  Rolando Panerai  ... 
    Conductor:  Mark Ermler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Heinrich Schlusnus - Baritone
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 3306 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jacques Offenbach,  Richard Wagner,  Heinrich Marschner  ... 
    Performer:  Heinrich Schlusnus,  Helge Rosvaenge
    Conductor:  Arthur Rother,  Johannes Schüler,  Leo Blech,  Hanns Steinkopf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Vocal Rarities / D'Andrade, Chaliapin, Ershov, King, et al
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1350 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Ambroise Thomas,  Carl Maria von Weber  ... 
    Performer:  Feodor Chaliapin,  Roxy King,  Francis MacLennan,  Luise Perard-Petzl  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 43.
    Prima Voce - John Charles Thomas In Opera & Song
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7931 Release Date: 08/08/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  May Brahe,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Frank Bridge  ... 
    Performer:  John Charles Thomas,  Carroll Hollister
    Conductor:  Frank Edward Tours,  Charles O'Connell,  Nathaniel Shilkret,  Nat Finston
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra
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  • 44.
    Ludwig - Original Soundtrack Recording
    Label: Drg   Catalog: 19092 Release Date: 07/11/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Jacques Offenbach,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Claudio Gizzi,  Franco Mannino
    Conductor:  Franco Mannino
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Thomas Quasthoff - The Voice
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000657702 Release Date: 07/04/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Strauss,  Carl Loewe,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Quasthoff,  Justus Zeyen,  Rainer Kussmaul,  Albrecht Mayer
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann,  Rainer Kussmaul,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Baroque Soloists,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 46.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Alexei Ivanov
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89645 Release Date: 06/06/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Rubinstein,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Alexei Ivanov,  Maria Maksakova
    Conductor:  Alexander Melik-Pashayev,  Vassily Nebolssin,  Vladimir Delman,  V. Smirnov  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra,  USSR State Radio/TV Orchestra
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  • 47.
    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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  • 48.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Herbert Janssen
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89640 Release Date: 03/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Albert Lortzing,  Charles Gounod,  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Herbert Janssen,  Margherita Perras,  Lauritz Melchior,  Torsten Ralf  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Zweig,  Karl Elmendorff,  Selmar Meyrowitz,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 49.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Michael Bohnen Vol 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89633 Release Date: 02/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Albert Maria Radecke,  Carl Binder,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Bohnen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 50.
    Bayerische Staatsoper 1997-2005 Live / Mehta, Bolton, Et Al
    Label: Farao   Catalog: 108023 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  David Daniels,  Peter Seiffert,  Waltraud Meier,  Martin Gantner  ... 
    Conductor:  Ivor Bolton,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bavarian State Orchestra
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