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 / Grimsley, Mellor, Blythe, Vinke, Fisch, Seattle Opera
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2313   Number of Discs: 14
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The Ride of the Valkyries - Orchestral Music by Wagner / Royal PO
Release Date: 09/08/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28080   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner Without Words / Llyr Williams
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Signum U.k.  
Catalog: 388   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde / Knappertsbusch, Klose, Braun, Treptow, Frantz
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Andromeda  
Catalog: 9011   Number of Discs: 3
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Carlos Paita Conducts Wagner
Release Date: 04/08/2014   Label: Carlos Paita Edition  
Catalog: 803   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Der fliegende Holländer: Overture

Browse 26-50 of 136 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Best Of Wagner
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300345 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich,  Els Bolkestein,  Hanne-Lore Kuhse,  Martin Ritzmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny,  Heinz Fricke,  Otmar Suitner,  Hiroshi Wakasugi  ... 
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  • 27.
    50 Best Overtures & Preludes
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27368 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Gianluigi Gelmetti,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
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  • 28.
    Best Overtures 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27333 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Gianluigi Gelmetti,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 29.
    Schumann & Wagner / Butt, London Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 6163 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Yondani Butt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 30.
    Wagner: Orchestral Highlights / Klemperer
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6782992 Release Date: 03/26/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0467 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Charles Gounod
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
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  • 32.
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5034 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Edwin Fischer
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
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  • 33.
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 945669 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Aram Khachaturian,  Benjamin Britten,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Della Jones,  Myleene Klass,  Nadia Cole,  Werner Haas
    Conductor:  Frans Brüggen,  Aram Khachaturian,  Benjamin Britten,  Valery Gergiev  ... 
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  • 34.
    Wagner: Favourite Overtures & Preludes / Simonov, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1165 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Yuri Simonov
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  • 35.
    Solti Conducts Wagner Strauss & Beethoven
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5024 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Wagner: Overtures / Edo De Waart, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 432199 Release Date: 04/05/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 37.
    The Wagner Opera Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 83449 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Jane Eaglen,  Rolando Villazón,  Felicity Palmer,  Peter Seiffert  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
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  • 38.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Sawallisch, Wiener Symphoniker
    Label: Philips Concert Classics   Catalog: 422480 Release Date: 01/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 39.
    The Ultimate Wagner Opera Album
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578070-71 Release Date: 12/14/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Marga Schiml,  Ingrid Haubold,  Hedwig Fassbender,  John Erik Eleby  ... 
    Conductor:  Pinchas Steinberg,  Uwe Mund,  Michael Halász,  Johannes Wildner  ... 
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  • 40.
    Wagner: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 / Edo De Waart, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland
    Label: Exton   Catalog: 153 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Immortal Romance: Tunes Of Timeless Passion From Bach To Rachmaninov
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300104 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Léon Boëllmann,  Max Reger,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  George Enescu  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Pohl,  Dieter Zechlin,  Günter Kootz,  Jan Vogler  ... 
    Conductor:  Heinz Bongartz,  Heinz Rögner,  Gerhart Wiesenhütter,  Herbert Kegel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra  ... 
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  • 42.
    Wagner: Orchestral Excerpts / Klemperer, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 31827 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Seiji Ozawa - Anniversary [11-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001464002 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Trevor Pinnock,  Everett Firth,  Simon Preston,  Kathleen Battle  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 44.
    Wagner: Overtures / Knappertsbusch, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 440062 Release Date: 09/03/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Franz Lechleitner
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream; Wagner / Ormandy, Philadelphia
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 38285 Release Date: 04/22/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Judith Blegen,  Frederica Von Stade
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mendelssohn Club Chorus Philadelphia
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  • 46.
    Senza Parole - Opera Without Words
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 149532 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Egon Morbitzer
    Conductor:  Horst Forster,  Gerhard Wiesenhutter,  Rudolf Kempe,  Václav Neumann  ... 
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  • 47.
    19th Century Masterpieces
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 98317 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Paul Dukas,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Lucia Popp,  Emmanuel Pahud,  Aldo Ciccolini,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Michel Plasson,  Eugene Ormandy,  Klaus Tennstedt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 48.
    The Ride of the Valkyries - Orchestral Music by Wagner / Royal PO
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 28080 Release Date: 09/08/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Edition Staatskapelle Dresden Vol 22 - Karl Bohm Conducts Wagner / Elmendorff, Striegler, Schech, Lorenz, Et Al
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 7058 Release Date: 06/30/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hans Hermann Nissen,  Josef Herrmann
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus
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  • 50.
    Wagner: Der Fliegende Holländer - Highlights / Dorati, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Grand Opera Series   Catalog: 452731 Release Date: 04/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  George London,  Rosalind Elias,  Leonie Rysanek,  Giorgio Tozzi  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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