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: Wesendonck-lieder, Overtures / Stemme, Dausgaard, Swedish Chamber Orchestra
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2022   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: The Ring - An Orchestral Adventure - Arranged by Henk de Vlieger
Release Date: 01/28/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2052   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Janowski, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir
Release Date: 05/13/2016   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: PTC5186581   Number of Discs: 13
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Elgar: Sea Pictures;  Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder;  Etc
Release Date: 04/04/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 530   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner Highlights Arranged For Two Pianos / Nagai, Achatz
Release Date: 11/15/1999   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 976   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Lohengrin: Act 1 Prelude

Browse 51-75 of 96 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    101 Opera Masterpieces, Vol. 1 [box Set]
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 9528671 Release Date: 02/26/2008   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Biserka Cvejik,  Ruza Baldani,  Placido Domingo  ... 
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  • 52.
    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
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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 81884 Release Date: 11/21/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Frédéric Chopin,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Schmalfuss,  Jela Spitkova,  Sylvia Cápová,  Hans-Christoph Becker-Foss  ... 
    Conductor:  Alfred Scholz,  Herbert Münchner,  Sven Bengtson,  Henry Adolph  ... 
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  • 55.
    Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder, Arias / Charlotte Margiono, Et Al
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186077 Release Date: 11/21/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Charlotte Margiono
    Conductor:  Ed Spanjaard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Limburg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Willem Mengelberg - Beethoven, Schubert, Weber, Et Al
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1078 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Ludwig - Original Soundtrack Recording
    Label: Drg   Catalog: 19092 Release Date: 07/11/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Jacques Offenbach,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Claudio Gizzi,  Franco Mannino
    Conductor:  Franco Mannino
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
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  • 58.
    Toscanini Conducts Wagner - Complete Carnegie Hall Farewell
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 3008 Release Date: 04/25/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Toscanini - The Television Concerts 1948-52 Vol. 4
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1006 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms,  Carl Maria von Weber
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Karajan Collection - Wagner: Orchestral Music / Berlin PO
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 841575 Release Date: 08/16/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus
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  • 61.
    Musik...Sprache der Welt - Sibelius, Wagner / Jochum
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4775484 Release Date: 07/12/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 62.
    All Wagner Concert / Toscanini, Melchior, Nbc So
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2242/43 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Helen Traubel,  Lauritz Melchior
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 63.
    The Most Relaxing Opera Music In The Universe
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17331 Release Date: 09/07/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  George Frideric Handel,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 3689 Release Date: 06/29/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Richard Wagner,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl
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  • 65.
    Otto Klemperer As A Bach-wagner Conductor: Live In Budapest, 1948-1950
    Label: Hungaroton   Catalog: 32175 Release Date: 11/23/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Johann Sebastian Bach
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  • 66.
    Wagner: Overtures And Preludes / Caetani, Schumann Po
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47635 Release Date: 05/27/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Oleg Caetani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Schumann Philharmonic
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  • 67.
    Wagner: Overtures, Preludes, Arias / Andre Cluytens, Et Al
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1256 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Rita Gorr
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music From Operas / Kempe, Vienna Po
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1274 Release Date: 01/14/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 69.
    Westminster - Bruckner: Symphony 8;  Wagner / Knappertsbusch
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471211 Release Date: 06/12/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 70.
    Label: Main Street   Catalog: 6603 Release Date: 11/14/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Franz von Suppé,  Richard Wagner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Hans Knappertsbusch Rarities - Haydn, Beethoven, Wagner, Etc
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90389 Release Date: 04/25/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Clemens Franckenstein,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 72.
    Reger, Karg-elert: Organ Transcriptions / Arturo Sacchetti
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47555 Release Date: 08/17/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Liszt,  Franz Schubert,  Hugo Wolf  ... 
    Performer:  Arturo Sacchetti
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  • 73.
    Wagner E Venezia / Uri Caine Ensemble
    Label: Winter & Winter   Catalog: 13 Release Date: 09/15/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Mark Feldman,  Uri Caine,  Dominic Cortese,  Drew Gress  ... 
    Conductor:  Uri Caine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Uri Caine Ensemble
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  • 74.
    Klemperer Legacy - Wagner: Orchestral Works Vol 1
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 66805 Release Date: 09/08/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Twilight Of The Gods - The Essential Wagner Collection
    Label: Dg Double   Catalog: 459141 Release Date: 08/11/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Herbert von Karajan,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony, Washington, D. C.,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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