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: Wesendonck-lieder, Overtures / Stemme, Dausgaard, Swedish Chamber Orchestra
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2022   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: The Ring - An Orchestral Adventure - Arranged by Henk de Vlieger
Release Date: 01/28/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2052   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Janowski, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir
Release Date: 05/13/2016   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: PTC5186581   Number of Discs: 13
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Elgar: Sea Pictures;  Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder;  Etc
Release Date: 04/04/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 530   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner Highlights Arranged For Two Pianos / Nagai, Achatz
Release Date: 11/15/1999   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 976   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tannhäuser: Dich, teure Halle

Browse 1-25 of 89 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Elisabeth Schwarzkopf: The Complete Recitals 1952-74
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 553028 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 31
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Strauss,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Edwin Fischer,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Anny Felbermayer,  Josef Metternich  ... 
    Conductor:  John Pritchard,  Otto Ackermann,  Lovro von Matacic,  Josef Krips  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Philharmonia Chorus  ... 
    CD: $89.99
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  • 2.
    Most Wanted Recitals - Operatic Recital /  Nancy Tatum
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002177402 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Performer:  Nancy Tatum,  Geoffrey Parsons
    Conductor:  Argeo Quadri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Opera Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 3.
    Kiri Te Kanawa - Opera Arias
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564635295 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Gustave Charpentier,  Claude Debussy,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Roger Vignoles,  Andrew Schulman
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano,  Jeffrey Tate,  Julius Rudel,  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $27.99
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  • 4.
    Modest Prima Donna
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1232 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini,  Alfredo Catalani,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Giannella Borelli,  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Gerald Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Anatole Fistoulari,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Giuseppe Morelli,  Walter Susskind  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Great Wagner Voices
    Label: Br Klassik   Catalog: 900310 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Ingrid Bjoner,  Elisabeth Grümmer,  Martina Arroyo,  Rudolf Schock  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6.
    Montserrat Caballe - The Diva
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548834 Release Date: 05/07/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  Maya Sunara,  Corinna Vozza,  Sherrill Milnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Anton Guadagno,  Carlo Felice Cillario,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra London,  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra,  RCA Italian Opera Chorus  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 7.
    Great Wagner Singers [6-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001826302 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Sieglinde Wagner,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Gundula Janowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Heinrich Hollreiser,  Wilhelm Pitz,  Ferdinand Leitner,  Richard Kraus  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 8.
    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  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 9.
    Best Of Wagner
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300345 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich,  Els Bolkestein,  Martin Ritzmann,  Hanne-Lore Kuhse  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny,  Heinz Fricke,  Otmar Suitner,  Hiroshi Wakasugi  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 10.
    Dokumente Einer Sangerkarriere: Maud Cunitz
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93478 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Carl Maria von Weber
    Performer:  Maud Cunitz
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  • 11.
    Wagner, Verdi, Beethoven, Weber / Gre Brouwenstijn
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802061 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Gré Brouwenstijn
    Conductor:  Willem van Otterloo,  Rudolf Moralt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 12.
    Transfiguration - Wagner, Strauss / Camilla Nylund
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1168-2 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Camilla Nylund
    Conductor:  Hannu Lintu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Margarete Teschemacher Vol 1 - Recordings 1932-1943
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10244 Release Date: 11/23/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Albert Lortzing,  Bedrich Smetana,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Margarete Teschemacher,  Marcel Wittrisch,  Maria Cebotari,  Mathieu Ahlersmeyer  ... 
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  • 14.
    Margarete Bäumer - Recordings 1930-1947
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10024 Release Date: 10/15/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Eugène d' Albert,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Margarete Bäumer,  Werner Schupp,  Gerhard Hüsch,  Walter Kirchhoff
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  • 15.
    50 Best Opera
    Label: Warner 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  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 16.
    The Irresistible Karita Mattila
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1171-2 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thelonious Monk,  Erroll Garner,  Jerome Kern,  Frederick Loewe  ... 
    Performer:  Karita Mattila
    Conductor:  Kirmo Lintinen,  Pekka Savijoki,  Riku Niemi,  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  How Many Sisters Vocal Trio,  Fever Band Bandoneon,  Tapiola Sinfonietta  ... 
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  • 17.
    Wagner /  Schnitzer, Seiffert, Schirmer, Munich Radio Orchestra
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 760091 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Petra Maria Schnitzer,  Peter Seiffert
    Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Orchestra
    CD: $22.49
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  • 18.
    Caballe Sings Wagner
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 37294 Release Date: 07/07/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 19.
    Festival Of The Primadonnas
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 8025 Release Date: 06/30/2009   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Arrigo Boito,  Giacomo Puccini,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Renata Tebaldi,  Ljuba Welitsch,  Maria Callas,  Astrid Varnay  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Max Rudolf,  Hermann Weigert,  Wilhelm Schüchter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 20.
    Edition Staatskapelle Dresden - Wagner: Opera Highlights / Elmendorff, Striegler, Schech, Lorenz, Et Al
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 7048 Release Date: 04/28/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Margarete Teschemacher,  Max Lorenz,  Kurt Böhme,  Josef Herrmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Elmendorff,  Kurt Striegler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
    CD: $34.99
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  • 21.
    Opera Gala / Mattila, Hynninen, Isokoski, Hakala, Garanca, Uusitalo, Et Al
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 11392 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Karita Mattila,  Juha Uusitalo,  Elina Garanca,  Tommi Hakala  ... 
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam,  Jukka-Pekka Saraste,  Alexander Vilumanis,  Eri Klas  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra,  Latvian National Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $48.99
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  • 22.
    Gundula Janowitz In Recital
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4458 Release Date: 08/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Carl Maria von Weber  ... 
    Performer:  Gundula Janowitz
    Conductor:  Berislav Klobucar
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graz Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $23.99
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  • 23.
    Leontyne Price - The Prima Donna Collection
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61236 Release Date: 06/30/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Benjamin Britten,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Leontyne Price
    Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra
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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    101 Opera Masterpieces, Vol. 1 [box Set]
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 9528671 Release Date: 02/26/2008   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Biserka Cvejik,  Ruza Baldani,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    On sale! $20.98
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