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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
Richard Wagner - Great Recordings
Release Date: 02/26/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 543504   Number of Discs: 40
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Wagner at The Met
Release Date: 04/09/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 542717   Number of Discs: 25
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Toscanini Conducts Wagner
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 541193   Number of Discs: 5
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Wagner: Parsifal / Kaufmann, Pape, Gatti, Met
Release Date: 04/01/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 372558   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Parsifal / Pape, Denoke, Finley, Pappano, Royal Opera
Release Date: 11/18/2014   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 1158   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Lohengrin: Act 1 Prelude

Browse 51-75 of 113 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,  Placido [Tenor Vocals] Domingo,  Ruza Baldani  ... 
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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,  Miklós Spányi  ... 
    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.
    A Tribute To Zubin Mehta
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000623402 Release Date: 04/11/2006   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Gottfried von Einem,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Goodwin,  Forrest Clark,  William Kraft,  Charles DeLancey
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 60.
    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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  • 61.
    Musik...sprache Der Welt - Selected Orchestral Recordings Ii
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000507202 Release Date: 10/11/2005   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Diana Eustrati,  Aurčle Nicolet
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Fritz Lehmann,  Otmar Suitner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 62.
    Karajan Collection - Wagner: Orchestral Music / Berlin PO
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 76896 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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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    Radiance - Music For The End Of The Day
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17484 Release Date: 03/08/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Frédéric Chopin,  Jean Sibelius,  Jules Massenet  ... 
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  • 65.
    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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  • 66.
    Gemini - Wagner: Orchestral Music / Tennstedt, Berlin Po
    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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  • 67.
    Historical - Wagner: Operatic Extracts / Furtwängler
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 86191 Release Date: 01/11/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Music In The Weimar Republic - Berlin, 1929 / Walter, Et Al
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1340 Release Date: 10/26/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kleiber,  Bruno Walter,  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Lucerne Festival Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 69.
    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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  • 70.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music / Herbert Von Karajan, Berlin Po
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 62772 Release Date: 04/06/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus
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  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    Original Masters - Igor Markevitch - Un Veritable Artiste
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000085602 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Claude Debussy,  Georges Bizet,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Suzanne Cotelle,  Fritz Demmle,  Aurčle Nicolet,  Georges Alčs  ... 
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra,  USSR State Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    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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  • 75.
    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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