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: Preludes and Interludes / Luisi, Philharmonia Zurich
Release Date: 02/24/2015   Label: Accentus  
Catalog: 102   Number of Discs: 2
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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: The Ring Without Words / Maazel, Berlin Philharmonic
Release Date: 09/25/2012   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 2020228   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Die Meistersinger / Jurowski, Finley , Selinger, Miles, Gabler, Jentzsch [blu-ray]
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 7108   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Parsifal / Nagano, Ventris, Meier, Salminen, Hampson
Release Date: 05/25/2010   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 7063   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Der fliegende Holländer: Overture

Browse 26-50 of 99 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Wagner: Overtures - Organ Transcriptions / Hansjorg Albrecht
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 690 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hansjörg Albrecht
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  • 27.
    Wagner: Orchestral Excerpts Vol 1 / Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572767 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 28.
    From Bach To Wagner / Boult, London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 35657 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir
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  • 29.
    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,  Martin Ritzmann,  Hanne-Lore Kuhse  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny,  Heinz Fricke,  Otmar Suitner,  Hiroshi Wakasugi  ... 
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  • 30.
    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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  • 31.
    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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  • 32.
    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
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 33.
    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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  • 34.
    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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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    The Ultimate Wagner Opera Album
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578070-71 Release Date: 12/14/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Ingrid Haubold,  Marga Schiml,  Hedwig Fassbender,  John Erik Eleby  ... 
    Conductor:  Pinchas Steinberg,  Uwe Mund,  Michael Halász,  Johannes Wildner  ... 
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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    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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  • 39.
    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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  • 40.
    Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream; Wagner / Ormandy, Philadelphia
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 38285 Release Date: 04/08/2010   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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  • 41.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 467 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Charles Gounod
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
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  • 42.
    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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  • 43.
    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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  • 44.
    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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  • 45.
    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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  • 46.
    Wagner: Overtures & Preludes / Ozawa, Berlin Phil
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 426271 Release Date: 02/18/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Staatskapelle Dresden - Legendary Masterworks Recordings
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 184532 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Carl Maria von Weber  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Berry,  Anneliese Rothenberger,  Hermann Prey,  Hilde Gueden  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Herbert Blomstedt,  Jeffrey Tate,  Marek Janowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus
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  • 48.
    Wagner: The Flying Dutchman Overture, Etc / Halle
    Label: Hallé   Catalog: 7517 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Mark Elder
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Wagner: Overtures / Suitner, Konwitschny, Wakasugi
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 14432 Release Date: 12/03/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Hiroshi Wakasugi,  Franz Konwitschny,  Otmar Suitner,  Herbert Kegel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 50.
    Ignace Jan Paderewski - The 78rpm - Chopin, Debussy, Paganini, Liszt, Schumann, Etc
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 367 Release Date: 11/25/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy,  Franz Schubert,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Ignace Jan Paderewski
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