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: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Solti
Release Date: 06/09/2015   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002330102   Number of Discs: 16
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Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Wagner / Jonas Kaufmann, Claudio Abbado
Release Date: 04/06/2010   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001413202   Number of Discs: 1
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Twilight Of The Gods - The Ultimate Wagner Ring Collection
Release Date: 09/11/2012   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001724902   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Complete Piano Music / Pier Paolo Vincenzi
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94450   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Lohengrin / Nagano, Kaufmann, Harteros, Koch, Schuster [blu-ray]
Release Date: 01/20/2015   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002247759   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Tannhäuser: Dich, teure Halle

Browse 76-95 of 95 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Von Der Königlichen Hofoper Zur Staatsoper Unter Den Linden
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89403 Release Date: 07/21/1998   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Tiana Lemnitz,  Josef Mann,  Ludwig Suthaus,  Paula Buchner  ... 
    On sale! $104.98
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  • 77.
    Four Austrian Sopranos Of The Past
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89973 Release Date: 07/04/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Hilde Konetzni,  Maria Reining,  Luise Helletsgruber,  Berta Kiurina
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  • 78.
    Four Famous German Sopranos
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89971 Release Date: 07/04/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Giacomo Puccini,  Bedrich Smetana,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Margarete Teschemacher,  Tiana Lemnitz,  Maria Müller,  Franz Völker  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Leo Blech,  Robert Heger,  Fritz Zweig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin City Opera Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 79.
    Richard Wagner On Record
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89404 Release Date: 07/04/1998   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Berta Morena,  Nicola Geisse-Winkel,  Gertrud Bindernagel,  Karl Armster  ... 
    Conductor:  Selmar Meyrowitz,  Johannes Schüler,  Walter Lutze,  Manfred Gurlitt  ... 
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  • 80.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Kirsten Flagstad
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89141 Release Date: 05/20/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Hans Lange
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Orchestra
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  • 81.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Helen Traubel
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89120 Release Date: 10/15/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Helen Traubel,  Kurt Baum
    Conductor:  Charles O'Connell,  Artur Rodzinski,  Ernst Knoch,  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 82.
    Prima Voce - Lehmann In Opera
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7873 Release Date: 03/05/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Wagner,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Lotte Lehmann,  Michael Bohnen,  Heinrich Schlusnus
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  • 83.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Maria Németh
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89109 Release Date: 02/20/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Karl Goldmark,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Németh
    Conductor:  Karl Alwin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 84.
    Evelyn Lear And Thomas Stewart Sing Wagner & Strauss
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1011 Release Date: 11/06/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Thomas Stewart,  Evelyn Lear
    On sale! $16.98
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  • 85.
    Anna Tomowa-sintow - Famous Opera Arias
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 106841 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Anna Tomowa-Sintow
    Conductor:  Peter Sommer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 86.
    Immortal Voices Of The Vienna Opera
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89999 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Leo Slezak,  Hilde Konetzni,  Hans Hermann Nissen,  Franz Völker  ... 
    Conductor:  Manfred Gurlitt,  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Franz Alfred Schmidt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 87.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Barbara Kemp
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89056 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Strauss,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Kemp,  Delia Reinhardt,  Marion Claire
    Conductor:  Leo Blech
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 88.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Tiana Lemnitz
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89025 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Tiana Lemnitz
    Conductor:  Leo Blech,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Johannes Schüler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 89.
    Kirsten Flagstad Vol 1 - The Early Recordings 1914-1941
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1821 Release Date: 01/01/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Eyvind Alnaes,  Sigurd Lie,  Christian Sinding  ... 
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad,  Eyvind Alnaes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 90.
    Kirsten Flagstad, Vol. 2: Live Performances 1935-1948
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1822 Release Date: 01/01/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Gioachino Rossini,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Traditional  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 91.
    Opera - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 66707 Release Date: 12/06/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Alexander Borodin,  Friedrich von Flotow  ... 
    Performer:  Agnes Baltsa,  Leo Nucci,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Richard Tucker  ... 
    Conductor:  Ion Marin,  Riccardo Chailly,  Emerson Buckley,  Emil Tchakarov  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Emilia Romagna Arturo Toscanini Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 92.
    The Art Of Frieda Leider
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89301 Release Date: 04/20/1994   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Strauss,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Frida Leider,  Carl Günther,  Martin Abendroth,  Heinrich Schlusnus  ... 
    On sale! $69.98
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  • 93.
    American Diva / Alessandrea Marc
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3108 Release Date: 12/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Alfredo Catalani,  Francesco Cilèa,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Alessandra Marc
    Conductor:  Heinz Wallberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 94.
    Prima Voce - Great Singers At The Berlin State Opera
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7848 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Richard Strauss,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Gerhard Hüsch,  Erna Berger,  Tiana Lemnitz,  Else Ruziczka  ... 
    Conductor:  Hanns Udo Müller,  Clemens Krauss,  Erich Orthmann,  Fritz Zweig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 95.
    Prima Voce - Kirsten Flagstad
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7847 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Edwin McArthur,  Hans Lange
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  San Francisco Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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Richard Wagner


WORKS