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: Dich, teure Halle

Browse 26-50 of 117 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    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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  • 28.
    The Irresistible Karita Mattila
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1171-2 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thelonious Sphere 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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  • 29.
    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
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  • 30.
    Icon - Lucia Popp - Queen Of The Night, Maiden Of Light
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 98515 Release Date: 10/20/2009   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Lucia Popp,  Leslie Pearson,  Katia Labèque,  David Briggs  ... 
    Conductor:  Georg Fischer,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Christfried Bickenbach,  Stephen Cleobury  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 31.
    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  ... 
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  • 32.
    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
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  • 33.
    Opera 2009 / Pavarotti, Callas, Domingo, Brightman, Villazon, Gheorghiu, Etc
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64192 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Jacques Offenbach,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Laurent Naouri,  José Carreras,  Teresa Berganza,  Sarah Brightman  ... 
    Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm,  Michael Plasson,  Michel Plasson,  Paul Bateman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée,  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 34.
    The Record of Singing Vol 5 - From the LP to the Digital Era
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 28949 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Jacques Offenbach,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  John Shirley-Quirk,  Luciana Serra,  Neil Shicoff,  Alain Vanzo  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Sylvain Cambreling,  Georges Prêtre,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 35.
    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  ... 
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  • 36.
    Icon - Victoria De Los Angeles - The Opera Singer
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 17308 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Jussi Björling,  Boris Christoff,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Morelli,  Stanford Robinson,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Gabriele Santini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  RCA Victor Orchestra  ... 
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  • 37.
    Sydney Opera House Opening Concert 1973 [includes Bonus Dvd]
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 1371715 Release Date: 09/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
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  • 38.
    La Nilsson - Wagner, Beethoven, Weber, Sacred Songs
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4800901 Release Date: 08/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Adolphe Adam  ... 
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Åke Levén
    Conductor:  Edward Downes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
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  • 39.
    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
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  • 40.
    Leontyne Price - The Prima Donna Collection
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61236 Release Date: 07/23/2008   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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  • 41.
    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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  • 42.
    Wagner: Opera Arias And Duets
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 9703 Release Date: 03/11/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Hans Hotter
    Conductor:  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 43.
    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  ... 
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  • 44.
    Les Prieres De L'opera
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 574540 Release Date: 01/13/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Kurt Moll,  Mirella Freni,  Maria Callas,  Jessye Norman  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Riccardo Muti,  Nicola Rescigno,  Klaus Tennstedt  ... 
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  • 45.
    Elisabeth Schwarzkopf - Romantic Opera Arias
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 69501 Release Date: 12/26/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Bedrich Smetana,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Christa Ludwig
    Conductor:  Walter Susskind,  Heinrich Schmitz,  Heinz Wallberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 46.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit: Gre Brouwenstijn
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89692 Release Date: 12/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Gré Brouwenstijn
    Conductor:  Willem van Otterloo,  Paul Van Kempen,  Rudolf Moralt,  Wilhelm Loibner
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  • 47.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Galina Vishnevskaya
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89690 Release Date: 09/18/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Arrigo Boito  ... 
    Performer:  Galina Vishnevskaya
    Conductor:  Boris Khaikin,  Alexander Melik-Pashayev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Johanna Gadski - Recordings 1904-1917
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10092 Release Date: 07/23/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Johanna Gadski,  Marcel Journet,  Marie Mattfied,  Ellison Van Hoose
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  • 49.
    Kiri Te Kanawa - German Opera Arias / Rudel, Philharmonia
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56417 Release Date: 05/07/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Andrew Schulman
    Conductor:  Julius Rudel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 50.
    Gré Brouwenstijn - Wagner, Verdi, Beethoven, Weber
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 426031 Release Date: 03/01/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gré Brouwenstijn
    Conductor:  Rudolf Moralt,  Willem van Otterloo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Hague Philharmonic Orchestra
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