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
Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti: The 3 Tenors Sing Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti, Bizet, Wagner And More
Release Date: 09/11/2015   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 88697757882   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Overtures, Preludes & Orchestral Excerpts / Janowski, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186551   Number of Discs: 2
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Richard Wagner - The Bayreuth Edition [8 Blu-rays]
Release Date: 09/25/2015   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 7184   Number of Discs: 8
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Wagner: Opera Scenes / Tennstedt, Norman, London Philharmonic
Release Date: 02/11/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 256463   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen / Solti, Vienna Philharmonic
Release Date: 10/14/1997   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 455555   Number of Discs: 14
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Work: Der fliegende Holländer: Overture

Browse 51-75 of 108 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    19th Century Masterpieces
    Label: Warner 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,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Michel Plasson,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $116.99
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  • 52.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    Debussy Transcriptions For Piano Duet Or Piano Four Hands
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4692098 Release Date: 03/02/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Robert Schumann,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-François Heisser,  Georges Pludermacher
    CD: $11.99
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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    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
    CD: $39.99
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  • 57.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 58.
    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
    CD: $9.99
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  • 59.
    Ignace Jan Paderewski - The 78rpm - Chopin, Debussy, Paganini, Liszt, Schumann, Etc
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 367 Release Date: 11/25/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy,  Franz Schubert,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Ignace Jan Paderewski
    On sale! $33.98
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  • 60.
    Wassermusik
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 182612 Release Date: 11/24/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Bedrich Smetana,  Franz Schubert,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Cécile Ousset,  Jürnjakob Timm,  Karl Suske,  Peter Rösel  ... 
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann,  Kurt Masur,  Peter Schreier,  Peter Falk  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Dresden Baroque Soloists,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 61.
    Opera Gala / Mattila, Hynninen, Isokoski, Hakala, Garanca, Uusitalo, Et Al
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 11392 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Karita Mattila,  Juha Uusitalo,  Elina Garanca,  Tommi Hakala  ... 
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam,  Jukka-Pekka Saraste,  Alexander Vilumanis,  Eri Klas  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra,  Latvian National Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $48.99
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  • 62.
    Juha Uusitalo - The Wagner Album
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 11212 Release Date: 09/23/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Juha Uusitalo
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Basics 25-cd Boxset
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 186002 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Georges Bizet,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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  • 64.
    Karajan - Complete Emi Recordings 1946-84 Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 12038 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 88
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Ernst Haefliger,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    CD: $194.99
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  • 65.
    Karajan - The Legend
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 15934 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Hector Berlioz,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Boulez, New York Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64108 Release Date: 03/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 67.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Barbirolli, Hallé Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64141 Release Date: 03/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Wagner: Overtures & Preludes / Sinopoli, New York Phil
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 419169 Release Date: 01/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 69.
    Overtures And Finales / United States Navy Band
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: ALT70182 Release Date: 10/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Richard Wagner,  Louis Ferdinand Herold,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Conductor:  Ralph M. Gambone
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Navy Band
    CD: $17.99
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  • 70.
    The Vienna Philharmonic Plays Wagner / Solti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000897802 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Wagner: Orchestral Highlights
    Label: Selections   Catalog: 8571073 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Uwe Mund,  Alexander Rahbari,  Michael Halász
    CD: $6.99
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  • 72.
    Beecham Collection - Wagner / Beecham, Flagstad, Et Al
    Label: Somm   Catalog: 20 Release Date: 06/05/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 73.
    Sunday Evenings With Pierre Monteux - California 1941-52
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1192 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Olivier Messiaen,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Dorothy Warenskjold,  William Kapell,  Boris Blinder,  Naum Blinder  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Standard Symphony Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Pierre Monteux In France 1952-58 Concert Performances
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1182 Release Date: 07/18/2006   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Greindl,  Libero De Luca,  Hélčne Bouvier,  Maria Stader  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Famous Conductors - Hans Knappertsbusch
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90699 Release Date: 03/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Franz Lechleitner,  Günther Treptow
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Opera Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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