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 / 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: 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: 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 51-75 of 122 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    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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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    Classic Recitals - Tom Krause - The Heroic Baritone / Quadri
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4756814 Release Date: 08/09/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Alexander Borodin,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Tom Krause
    Conductor:  Argeo Quadri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Opera Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Prima Voce - Emilio De Gogorza
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7922 Release Date: 06/14/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Ambroise Thomas,  Jules Massenet,  Emile Paladilhe  ... 
    Performer:  Emilio de Gogorza,  Marcella Sembrich,  Emma Eames
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  • 58.
    Great Baritone Arias / Tommi Hakala, Et Al
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1048 Release Date: 04/26/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Charles Gounod,  Umberto Giordano,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Tommi Hakala
    Conductor:  Eri Klas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Sigurd Bjorling
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93437 Release Date: 04/26/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Sigurd Björling,  Birgit Nilsson,  Paul Kuen
    Conductor:  Herbert Sandberg,  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
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  • 60.
    The Very Best Of Thomas Hampson
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 86332 Release Date: 04/26/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Stephen Foster,  Charles Wakefield Cadman  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Jay Ungar,  Molly Mason  ... 
    Conductor:  Fabio Luisi,  Roger Norrington,  Franz Welser-Möst,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra of St. Luke's,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 61.
    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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  • 62.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Lawrence Tibbett
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89576 Release Date: 11/25/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Howard Hanson,  Louis Gruenberg  ... 
    Performer:  Lawrence Tibbett,  Giovanni Martinelli,  Herman Dreeben,  Nicholas Massue  ... 
    Conductor:  Nathaniel Shilkret,  Rosario Bourdon,  Wilfrid Pelletier,  Giulio Setti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Leopold Demuth
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89577 Release Date: 11/25/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Leopold Demuth,  Hermine Kittel,  Wilhelm Hesch,  Elisa Elizza
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Let's Go To The Opera! / Thomas Heywood
    Label: Pro Organo   Catalog: 7168 Release Date: 10/28/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Heywood
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  • 65.
    Wolfgang Brendel - Famous Opera Arias - Rossini, Mozart, Etc
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 177021 Release Date: 05/27/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Jacques Offenbach,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Brendel,  Hermann Sapell
    Conductor:  Heinz Wallberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Operamania
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 44120 Release Date: 10/29/2002   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Umberto Giordano,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Marilyn Horne,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Renata [Soprano vocal] Tebaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Franco Patanè,  Henry Lewis,  Tullio Serafin,  Nello Santi  ... 
    On sale! $43.98
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  • 67.
    Otto Edelmann
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90498 Release Date: 06/25/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Cornelius,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Performer:  Otto Edelmann,  Hans Hopf
    Conductor:  Rudolf Moralt,  Wilhelm Loibner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 68.
    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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  • 69.
    Die Stimme: Deutsche Opernarien
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4716932 Release Date: 03/08/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Albert Lortzing,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Thomas Quasthoff,  Christiane Oelze
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
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  • 70.
    Evening Star - German Opera Arias / Thomas Quasthoff, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471493 Release Date: 03/05/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Albert Lortzing
    Performer:  Thomas Quasthoff,  Christiane Oelze
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus
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  • 71.
    Wagner / Terfel, Abbado, Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471348 Release Date: 02/12/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 72.
    Great Voices Of The Past - Great Moments From Wagner Operas
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 8004 Release Date: 11/06/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Theodor Scheidl,  Lydia Kindermann,  Helge Rosvaenge,  Pearl Yoder  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 73.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Heinrich Rehkemper Vol 3
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89538 Release Date: 09/25/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Strauss,  Hugo Wolf  ... 
    Performer:  Heinrich Rehkemper
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 74.
    The Great Polish Bass In Opera & Song / Marian Nowakowski
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 152 Release Date: 09/25/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  George Gershwin,  Jules Massenet,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Marian Nowakowski
    Conductor:  Philip Green,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Warwick Braithwaite,  J Kolaczowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Riccardo Stracciari Vol 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89532 Release Date: 07/31/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Francesco Paolo Tosti,  Jules Massenet,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Riccardo Stracciari
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