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: Tristan Und Isolde / Gould, Herlitzius, Thielemann, Bayreuther Festspiele
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002503809   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Lohengrin / Thielemann, Beczala, Netrebko, Staatskapelle Dresden
Release Date: 07/07/2017   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002691609   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Die Walkure / Van Zweden, Skelton, Melton, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 11/11/2016   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8660394   Number of Discs: 4
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Wagner: Lohengrin, WWV 75 / Thielemann, Staatskapelle Dresden [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 07/07/2017   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002691559   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Parsifal / Haenchen, Vogt, Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
Release Date: 07/21/2017   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002694909   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Tristan und Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod

Browse 26-50 of 75 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Edition Wilhelm Furtwangler [Vinyl]
    Label: Audite   Catalog: AUD87101 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Anton Bruckner,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    LP: $349.99
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  • 27.
    Celibidache  Vol 4 - Sacred Music & Opera / Munich Phiharmonic
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 85617 Release Date: 11/29/2011   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Anton Scharinger,  Yaron Windmuller,  Peter Schreier,  Barbara Bonney  ... 
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Philharmonic Choir,  Munich Bach Choir
    CD: $75.99
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  • 28.
    Icon: William Steinberg
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 26486 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein,  Rudolf Firkusny
    Conductor:  William Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $63.99
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  • 29.
    Mravinsky Conducts The Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 698905 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Mikhail Glinka,  Alexander Glazunov,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 30.
    Fritz Busch Conducts Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Wagner, Alfven, Schubert
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2366 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Busch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winterthur Symphony Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Malmö Concerthouse Foundation Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Icon - Rudolf Kempe
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 29557 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Tortelier,  Teresa Zylis-Gara,  Sylvia Geszty,  Gundula Janowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 32.
    Furtwangler - The Best Of The Early Recordings 1929-1943
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 954 Release Date: 01/27/2010   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Gioachino Rossini,  Wilhelm Furtwängler  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
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  • 33.
    Wagner: Orchestral Favorites From The Operas / Simonov
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1065 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Yuri Simonov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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    CD: $12.99
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  • 34.
    Waldbuhne Concert - A Romantic Opera Night
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4533 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Paul Lincke
    Performer:  Ben Heppner
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Ormandy Conducts Wagner - Die Meistersinger, Tannhauser, Tristan
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 38114 Release Date: 09/23/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Edition Wilhelm Furtwängler - The Complete RIAS Recordings
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 21403 Release Date: 06/09/2009   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Gerhard Taschner,  Yehudi Menuhin
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 37.
    The Art of Bernard Haitink
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001267402 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Béla Bartók,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 38.
    Bernstein, Gershwin, Ravel, Wagner / Barenboim, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 69816 Release Date: 02/25/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Maurice Ravel,  Leonard Bernstein,  George Gershwin
    Performer:  Donald Peck
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 39.
    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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  • 40.
    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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  • 41.
    Tragic Lovers - Wagner: Prelude & Liebestod From Tristan And Isolde, Etc  / Depriest, Oregon So
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3369 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  James DePreist
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oregon Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 42.
    Mahler, Wagner / Lott, Quatuor Schumann
    Label: Aeon   Catalog: 858 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Felicity Lott
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schumann String Quartet
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  • 43.
    Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Etc / Stokowski, Frankfurt Rso, Et Al
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2329 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Richard Wagner,  Claude Debussy,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 44.
    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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  • 45.
    Label: Relief Classical   Catalog: 991068 Release Date: 01/01/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Gustav Mahler
    CD: $17.99
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  • 46.
    Wagner: Preludes And Overtures / Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 413754 Release Date: 11/16/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Wagner Without Words / Fruhbeck De Burgos, Dresden Philharmonic
    Label: Genuin Classics   Catalog: 87095 Release Date: 11/12/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 48.
    Great Works Of Richard Wagner / Steinberg, Leinsdorf
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65208 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  William Steinberg,  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  Concert Arts Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Wagner: Orchestral Highlights / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Rca Silver Seal   Catalog: 60493 Release Date: 07/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 50.
    Daniel Barenboim & West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2055538 Release Date: 05/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Giovanni Bottesini,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Nabil Shehata,  Kyril Zlotnikov
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
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