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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 / Barenboim
Release Date: 10/25/2011   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4755   Number of Discs: 11
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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Barenboim, Bayreuth [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4755   Number of Discs: 4
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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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Richard Wagner: Die Walkure / Knappertsbusch, Bayreuth
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Walhall  
Catalog: 247   Number of Discs: 3
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Wagner: Tannhauser / Domingo, Studer, Sinopoli
Release Date: 09/27/1989   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 427625   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Der fliegende Holländer: Overture

Browse 101-121 of 121 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Karl Muck - The Electrical Wagner Recordings 1927-1928
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1118-2 Release Date: 09/23/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Karl Muck
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
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  • 102.
    Knappertsbusch Dirigiert Richard Wagner
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90286 Release Date: 06/18/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 103.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Ormandy, Szell
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 62403 Release Date: 04/16/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 104.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Barenboim, Chicago So
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 99595 Release Date: 01/09/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 105.
    Rudolf Kempe Conducts Wagner
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1035 Release Date: 01/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Antonio Vivaldi
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
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  • 106.
    Wagner: Opera Overtures & Excerpts
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 445571 Release Date: 08/01/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de Paris
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  • 107.
    Art Of Classics - Beruhmte Ouverturen Und Zwischenspiele
    Label: Intercord Klassische Diskothek   Catalog: 25929 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Zanotelli,  Gunter Neidlinger,  George Randolph Warren,  Carl-August Bünte  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Philharmonic Orchestra,  Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 108.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Böhm, Gerdes, Kubelik Et Al
    Label: Dg Double   Catalog: 439687 Release Date: 02/14/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Otto Gerdes,  Karl Böhm,  Rafael Kubelik,  Eugen Jochum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 109.
    Bruno Walter Edition - Wagner: Orchestral Music
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64456 Release Date: 01/24/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 110.
    Wagner: Opera Greats
    Label: Curb Records   Catalog: 78001 Release Date: 01/24/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Marianne Schech,  Gisela Schröter,  Eberhard Büchner,  Theo Adam  ... 
    Conductor:  Hiroshi Wakasugi,  Franz Konwitschny,  Heinz Fricke,  Otmar Suitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
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  • 111.
    Wagner: Orchestral Favourites / Solti, Wiener Philharmoniker
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 440606 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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  • 112.
    Debussy: Arrangements For 2 Pianos / Blumenthal, Groslot
    Label: Marco Polo   Catalog: 223378 Release Date: 07/14/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Robert Groslot,  Daniel Blumenthal
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  • 113.
    Best Of Naxos 8
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8551201 Release Date: 05/17/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Alessandro Marcello,  Franz Schubert,  Giovanni Palestrina  ... 
    Performer:  József Kiss,  Jénö Jandó
    Conductor:  Pinchas Steinberg,  Jeremy Summerly,  Nicholas Ward,  Will Humburg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxford Camerata,  Scholars Baroque Ensemble
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  • 114.
    Overtures - The Greatest Hits
    Label: Reference Gold   Catalog: 3611 Release Date: 04/13/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Jacques Offenbach,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slavonic Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Festival Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 115.
    The Best Of Wagner
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556657 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Uwe Mund,  Johannes Wildner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice
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  • 116.
    The Royal Edition - Wagner: Orchestral Excerpts / Bernstein
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 47643 Release Date: 11/02/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 117.
    Wagner: Overtüren, Vorspiele / Levine, The Met Orchestra
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435874 Release Date: 04/13/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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  • 118.
    The Wagner Collection - Solti, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 440107 Release Date: 01/19/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 119.
    Wagner: Overtures & Preludes / Adrian Boult
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 62539 Release Date: 09/29/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 120.
    Wagner: Lohengrin (Highlights)
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550136 Release Date: 06/30/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Michael Halász
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 121.
    Wagner: Overtures - Selections / Walter, Columbia Symphony
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 42050 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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