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: Lohengrin: Act 1 Prelude

Browse 51-75 of 102 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Beethoven: Choral Fantasy, Etc;  Wagner / Semkow, St. Louis
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5104 Release Date: 05/22/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Walter Klien
    Conductor:  Jerzy Semkow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra,  St. Louis Symphony Chorus
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  • 52.
    Romantic Orchestral Masterpieces / Rilling, Gielen, Marriner, Sanderling, Et Al
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98540 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Hector Berlioz,  Edvard Grieg,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    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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  • 55.
    Toscanini Collection Vol 66 - Overtures & Preludes
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60318 Release Date: 07/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Christoph W. Gluck
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    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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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    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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  • 61.
    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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  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    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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  • 66.
    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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  • 67.
    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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  • 68.
    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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  • 69.
    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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  • 70.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Tennstedt, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 86248 Release Date: 02/15/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    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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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    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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  • 75.
    Bruckner: Symphony No 3;  Wagner / Gielen, Swr So
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93031 Release Date: 06/25/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Michael Gielen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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