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: Tristan und Isolde / Gould, Thielemann, Bayreuther Festspiele
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002503809   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde / Furtwangler, Flagstad, Schock, Fischer-Dieskau
Release Date: 04/06/2004   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 85873   Number of Discs: 4
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Wagner: Parsifal / Meier, Barenboim, Berlin Philharmonic
Release Date: 05/20/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 555535   Number of Discs: 4
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Wagner: Lohengrin / Kempe, Grummer, Ludwig, Fischer-Dieskau
Release Date: 01/29/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 554009   Number of Discs: 2
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Beecham Collection - Wagner / Beecham, Flagstad, Et Al
Release Date: 06/05/2007   Label: Somm  
Catalog: 20   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tannhäuser: Dich, teure Halle

Browse 51-75 of 98 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    The Very Best Of Hildegard Behrens
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 86308 Release Date: 04/26/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Hildegard Behrens,  Robert Schunk,  David Syrus,  José Van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Schneider,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Michel Plasson,  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 52.
    Wagner Heroines
    Label: Hungaroton   Catalog: 32317 Release Date: 03/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Mária Temesi
    Conductor:  Yuri Simonov
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  • 53.
    All Wagner Concert / Toscanini, Melchior, Nbc So
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2242/43 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Helen Traubel,  Lauritz Melchior
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 54.
    Dame Gwyneth Jones Sings Wagner / Paternostro
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10286 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones
    Conductor:  Roberto Paternostro
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Victoria De Los Angeles
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89598 Release Date: 11/30/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Charles Gounod,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Gerald Moore,  Ivor Newton
    Conductor:  Walter Susskind,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Stanford Robinson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Artist Portrait - Kiri Te Kanawa
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 61590 Release Date: 08/10/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michel Legrand,  Giacomo Puccini,  Traditional,  Rebecca Clarke  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Richard Leech,  Alan Titus,  Gino Quilico  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Legrand,  Kent Nagano,  Robin Stapleton,  Marek Janowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Studio Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Lyon Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 58.
    Prima Voce - Emmy Destinn
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7910 Release Date: 03/02/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Performer:  Emmy Destinn,  Karl Jörn,  Maria Duchęne
    Conductor:  Bruno Seidler-Winkler
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  • 59.
    The Very Best Of Kiri Te Kanawa
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85111 Release Date: 09/02/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Kim Gannon,  Georges Bizet,  Francesco Cilča  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Laurie Holloway,  Jeremy Budd,  Frank Ricotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Julius Rudel,  Jonathan Tunick,  Jeffrey Tate,  Myung-Whun Chung  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Abbey Road Ensemble,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra  ... 
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  • 60.
    Great Voices Of The Past - The Sopranos
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 8013 Release Date: 07/01/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Claudia Muzio,  Conchita Supervia,  Magda Olivero,  Rosa Ponselle  ... 
    Conductor:  Ugo Tansini,  Fritz Stiedry,  Hector Panizza,  Richard Kraus  ... 
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  • 61.
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1803 Release Date: 06/09/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Umberto Giordano,  Amilcare Ponchielli
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  • 62.
    Ritorna Vincitor! - The Legendary Birgit Nilsson
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000018102 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Virgilio Carbonari,  Walter Berry,  Gerhard Stolze
    Conductor:  John Pritchard,  Argeo Quadri,  Thomas Schippers,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 63.
    Great Stars Of Opera, Vol. 2 - Bell Telephone Hour
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4232 Release Date: 04/22/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson
    Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
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  • 64.
    The Art Of Pilar Lorengar
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 473317 Release Date: 12/02/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Joaquin Turina,  Enrique Granados,  Richard Strauss,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Pilar Lorengar,  Alicia De Larrocha
    Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos,  Walter Weller,  Giuseppe Patané,  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Vienna Opera Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 65.
    Les Introuvables Du Chant Wagnčrien
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 64008 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Emanuel List,  Fritz Wolff,  Alexander Kipnis,  Lauritz Melchior  ... 
    Conductor:  Eduard Mörike,  Siegfried Wagner,  Robert Heger,  Leo Blech  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Chorus,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra  ... 
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  • 66.
    The Opera Album / Alagna, Callas, Pavarotti, Gheorghiu, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67830 Release Date: 08/13/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  José Carreras,  Jessye Norman,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa  ... 
    Conductor:  Gianluigi Gelmetti,  Riccardo Muti,  Alain Lombard,  Klaus Tennstedt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toscana Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Rhine Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 67.
    Opera Obsession! - Opera D'oro's Greatest Hits
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1001 Release Date: 03/05/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Alfredo Catalani,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Martina Arroyo,  Fiorenza Cossotto,  Alfredo Kraus  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Armando La Rosa Parodi,  Arturo Basile,  Peter Maag  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 68.
    The Golden Age Of Singing Vol 4 - 1930-1950
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7056 Release Date: 10/02/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Francesco Cilča,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad,  Martin Lawrence,  Mariano Stabile,  Tito Gobbi  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Erede,  Umberto Berrettoni,  Frank Edward Tours,  Karl Alwin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 69.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Hilde Konetzni
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89512 Release Date: 01/30/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Strauss,  Bedrich Smetana,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Hilde Konetzni,  Elisabeth Höngen,  Alois Pernerstorfer,  Georg Oeggl  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt,  Herbert von Karajan,  Erwin Baltzer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Opera Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 70.
    Karita Mattila - Live In Helsinki
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 968 Release Date: 01/23/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Karita Mattila
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Frieda Leider - Her Rarest Recordings Vol 3 1921-1926
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89509 Release Date: 12/19/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Frida Leider,  Fritz Soot
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  • 72.
    Prima Voce Vol 2 - Treasury Of Opera - Historic Recordings
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1738 Release Date: 11/28/2000   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Félicien César David,  Jacques Offenbach,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Nina Koshetz,  Feodor Chaliapin,  Clement Barone,  Amelita Galli-Curci  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Pasternack,  Franco Ghione,  Rosario Bourdon,  Hans Lange  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 73.
    The Golden Age Of Singing Vol 2 - 1910-1920
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7052 Release Date: 08/15/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Barrientos,  Giuseppe de Luca,  Renato Zanelli,  Titta Ruffo  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Sabajno,  Romano Romani,  Walter Rogers
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  • 74.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Violetta De Strozzi
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89178 Release Date: 10/26/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Georges Bizet,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Performer:  Violetta de Strozzi,  Paul Stieber-Walter,  Max Roth,  Robert Hutt
    Conductor:  Frieder Weissmann,  Hermann Weigert,  Johannes Heidenreich,  Leo Blech
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Prima Voce - Elisabeth Rethberg
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7903 Release Date: 10/12/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Elisabeth Rethberg
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