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 / Jurowski, Finley , Selinger, Miles, Gabler, Jentzsch
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 1085   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Die Walkure / Rattle, White, Johansson, Gambill Berlin Philharmonic
Release Date: 11/11/2008   Label: Bel Air Classiques  
Catalog: 34   Number of Discs: 2
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Salzburg Festival 2012 - Strauss: Don Juan; Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder
Release Date: 07/30/2013   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 2072628   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Die Walkure / Barenboim, Meier, Stemme, Tomlinson, Gubanova
Release Date: 11/19/2013   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 101694   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Siegfried / Barenboim, Ryan, Bronder, Stensvold, Stemme, Kranzle
Release Date: 01/28/2014   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 101695   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Tannhäuser: Dich, teure Halle

Browse 51-75 of 110 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Metropolitan Opera Gala - James Levine's 25th Anniversary
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000460209 Release Date: 11/22/2005  
    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
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  • 52.
    Opera In English - Great Operatic Arias / Christine Brewer, Parry, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 3127 Release Date: 09/20/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Bob Merrill,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Christine Brewer,  Janice Watson,  Barry Banks
    Conductor:  David Parry
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
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  • 53.
    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
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  • 54.
    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
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  • 55.
    Il Mito Di Renata Tebaldi - Verdi, Mozart, Puccini, Etc
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6464/5 Release Date: 06/28/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Charles Gounod,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Renata Tebaldi,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Giuseppe Di Stefano
    Conductor:  Alberto Erede,  Nino Sanzogno,  Arturo Toscanini,  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Milan,  San Francisco Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    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
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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    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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  • 61.
    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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  • 62.
    Masters Of The Voice - Soprano / Battle, Fleming, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000273702 Release Date: 07/13/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Leonard Bernstein,  Francesco Cilèa,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland,  June Anderson,  Giovanni Foiani,  Silvio Maionica  ... 
    Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Leonard Bernstein,  Franco Capuana,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 63.
    Deborah Voigt - Obsessions - Wagner And Strauss / Armstrong
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57681 Release Date: 04/06/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Deborah Voigt,  Natascha Petrinsky
    Conductor:  Richard Armstrong
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 64.
    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 Duchêne
    Conductor:  Bruno Seidler-Winkler
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  • 65.
    The Very Best Of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85105 Release Date: 09/02/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gottfried H. Stölzel,  Rudolf Sieczynski  ... 
    Performer:  Elisabeth Grümmer,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Gerald Moore,  Edwin Fischer  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Otto Ackermann,  Lovro von Matacic,  George Szell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 66.
    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 Cilèa  ... 
    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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  • 67.
    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 [Soprano Vocal] Olivero,  Rosa Ponselle  ... 
    Conductor:  Ugo Tansini,  Fritz Stiedry,  Hector Panizza,  Richard Kraus  ... 
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  • 68.
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1803 Release Date: 06/09/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Umberto Giordano,  Amilcare Ponchielli
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  • 69.
    Ritorna Vincitor! - The Legendary Birgit Nilsson
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000018102 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frederick Loewe,  Ture Rangström,  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Gerhard Stolze,  Walter Berry,  Virgilio Carbonari
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Bertil Bokstedt,  Sir Colin Davis,  Hans Knappertsbusch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Opera Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    The Very Best Of Jessye Norman
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 892880 Release Date: 04/22/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Jacques Offenbach,  Francis Poulenc,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Jessye Norman,  Irwin Gage,  Gabriel Bacquier,  Jean-Philippe Lafont  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Riccardo Muti,  Sylvain Cambreling,  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Toulouse Capitole Chorus,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 72.
    The Very Best Of Victoria De Los Angeles
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75888 Release Date: 04/22/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Manuel de Falla,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Carlo Del Monte,  Alicia De Larrocha,  Gerald Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Vittorio Gui,  Giuseppe Morelli,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Tullio Serafin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    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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  • 75.
    Renata Tebaldi - The Birth Of A Legend
    Label: Fono Enterprise   Catalog: 1056 Release Date: 05/07/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Arrigo Boito,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Jolanda Gardino,  Giovanni Malipiero,  Renata Tebaldi,  Tancredi Pasero  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Guido Cantelli,  Gaetano Merola,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  San Francisco Opera Association Orchestra  ... 
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