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
Toscanini conducts Wagner
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 541193   Number of Discs: 5
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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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Wagner: Die Walkure / Van Zweden, Skelton, Melton, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 11/11/2016   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8660394   Number of Discs: 4
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Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde / Gould, Herlitzius, Thielemann, Bayreuther Festspiele
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002503809   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Der Fliegende Hollander / Behrens, Grundheber, Salminen, Et Al
Release Date: 06/29/2004   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 2252   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tannhäuser: Dich, teure Halle

Browse 26-50 of 85 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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
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  • 27.
    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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  • 28.
    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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  • 29.
    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 Prętre,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 30.
    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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  • 31.
    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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  • 32.
    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: $24.99
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  • 33.
    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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  • 34.
    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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  • 35.
    Wagner: Opera Arias and Duets / Nilsson, Hotter
    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
    CD: $12.99
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  • 36.
    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,  Placido Domingo,  Ruza Baldani  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    Régine Crespin - Un Portrait
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64434 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Régine Crespin,  John Wustman,  Janine Reiss,  Jacques Mars  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Ackermann,  Georges Prętre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  French National Radio Orchestra  ... 
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  • 39.
    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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  • 40.
    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
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 41.
    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
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 42.
    Tiana Lemnitz Vol 2 - Wagner-Szenen
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10144 Release Date: 09/07/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Tiana Lemnitz,  Franz Völker,  Margarete Klose,  Rudolf Bockelmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Rudolf Kempe
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  • 43.
    Wagner, Strauss / Pieczonka, Schirmer, Munich Rso
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 665061 Release Date: 05/30/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Adrianne Pieczonka
    Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $22.49
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  • 44.
    Birgit Nilsson - Bell Telephone Hour 1961-1967
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4364 Release Date: 03/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson
    Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
    DVD: $28.99
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  • 45.
    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  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 46.
    Classic Recitals - Prima Donna In Vienna / Pilar Lorengar
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000582202 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Emmerich Kálmán,  Franz Lehár,  Carl Zeller  ... 
    Performer:  Pilar Lorengar,  Arleen Augér
    Conductor:  Walter Weller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Opera Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 47.
    Metropolitan Opera Gala - James Levine's 25th Anniversary
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000460209 Release Date: 11/22/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Charles Gounod,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Renée Fleming,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Jerry Hadley,  Bryn Terfel  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
    DVD: $43.99
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  • 48.
    The Art Of Victoria De Los Angeles - Mozart, Puccini, Etc
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6472 Release Date: 11/04/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Charles Gounod,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Gerald Moore,  Cesare Valletti,  Jussi Björling  ... 
    Conductor:  Walter Susskind,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Pierre Monteux,  Sir Thomas Beecham  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 49.
    The Complete Félia Litvinne and Selected Recordings by Natalya Yermolenko-Yuzhina
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 52049 Release Date: 09/13/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Alexander N. Serov  ... 
    Performer:  Natalia Yermolenko-Yuzhina,  David Yuzhin,  Félia Litvinne,  Alfred Cortot
    CD: $36.99
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  • 50.
    Gwyneth Jones In Concert
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4344 Release Date: 08/09/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Lehár,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones
    Conductor:  Simon Streatfield
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quebec Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $18.99
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