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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
Wagner: Symphony in C Major / Markl, MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony
Release Date: 03/10/2017   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573413   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Das Rheingold / DeYoung, Goerne, Begley, Reid, Samuil, van Zweden
Release Date: 11/13/2015   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8660374   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Siegfried / Zweden, Hong Kong Philharmonic
Release Date: 11/10/2017   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8660413   Number of Discs: 4
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The Wagner Project / Goerne, Harding, Swedish Radio Symphony
Release Date: 12/08/2017   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902250   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Siegfried / Zweden, Hong Kong Philharmonic [Blu-ray Audio]
Release Date: 11/10/2017   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: NBD0069A   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Farewell and Magic Fire Music

Browse 26-50 of 61 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Wagner: Die Walkure Highlights / Haitink, Marton, Morris
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54328 Release Date: 07/22/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Eva Martón,  James Morris,  Carolyn Watkinson,  Margarita Lilowa  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 27.
    Edition Staatskapelle Dresden - Wagner: Opera Highlights / Elmendorff, Striegler, Schech, Lorenz, Et Al
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 7048 Release Date: 04/28/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Margarete Teschemacher,  Max Lorenz,  Kurt Böhme,  Josef Herrmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Elmendorff,  Kurt Striegler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 28.
    Icon - Hans Hotter - The Great Bass-Baritone
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 64901 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Sidney Sutcliffe,  Geraint Jones,  Gerald Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Anthony Bernard,  Herbert von Karajan,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Meinhard von Zallinger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Friends of Music Society Chorus  ... 
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  • 29.
    The Record of Singing Vol 5 - From the LP to the Digital Era
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 28949 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Jacques Offenbach,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  John Shirley-Quirk,  Luciana Serra,  Neil Shicoff,  Alain Vanzo  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Sylvain Cambreling,  Georges Prêtre,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 30.
    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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  • 31.
    4 Elements - Classical Music Of Fire, Water, Air And Earth
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 184592 Release Date: 09/09/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Performer:  Andreas Pistorius,  Jutta Zoff,  Peter Rösel,  Ute Priew  ... 
    Conductor:  Hartmut Haenchen,  Carl von Garaguly,  Václav Neumann,  Kurt Sanderling  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Chamber Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra  ... 
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  • 32.
    Ultimate Wagner - Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 00115870 Release Date: 08/26/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Ruth Hesse,  Gustav Neidlinger,  Dorothea Siebert,  Helga Dernesch  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm,  Sir Georg Solti,  Silvio Varviso,  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
    CD: $17.99
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  • 33.
    Wagner, Strauss: Famous Opera Scenes / Theo Adam
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 13222 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Theo Adam,  Gisela Schroter
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner
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  • 34.
    Wagner: Opera Arias and Duets / Nilsson, Hotter
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 9703 Release Date: 03/11/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Hans Hotter
    Conductor:  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Wagner: Die Walküre - Highlights / Solti, Nilsson, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 421887 Release Date: 01/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  James King,  Hans Hotter,  Birgit Nilsson,  Régine Crespin  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Wagner: Die Walküre Highlights / Levine, Behrens, Morris
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 427359 Release Date: 09/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  James Morris,  Hildegard Behrens,  Jessye Norman,  Gary Lakes
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Friedrich Schorr - Wagner: Ring Scenes
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10221 Release Date: 07/23/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Friedrich Schorr,  Frida Leider,  Rudolf Watzke,  Lauritz Melchior  ... 
    Conductor:  Leo Blech
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 38.
    Jean-François Delmas & Emile Scaramberg
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10072 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Emile Scaramberg,  Jean-François Delmas,  Georgette Brejean-Silver
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  • 39.
    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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  • 40.
    Friedrich Schorr Sings Richard Wagner
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 94512 Release Date: 05/09/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Friedrich Schorr,  Göta Ljungberg,  Lauritz Melchior
    Conductor:  Leo Blech,  Albert Coates,  Lawrence Collingwood,  Robert Heger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Chorus
    CD: $15.99
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  • 41.
    Magic! - Wagner, Mussorgsky, Et Al / Peter Richard Conte
    Label: Gothic Records   Catalog: 49248 Release Date: 04/11/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Richard Wagner,  Otto Nicolai,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Richard Conte
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  • 42.
    Classic Library - Wagner: Arias & Scenes
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 76228 Release Date: 03/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Waltraud Meier,  Sherrill Milnes,  Ben Heppner,  Jan-Hendrik Rootering  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Anton Guadagno,  Sir Colin Davis,  Joseph Keilberth  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 43.
    Metropolitan Opera Gala - James Levine's 25th Anniversary
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000460209 Release Date: 11/22/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Charles Gounod,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Renée Fleming,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Jerry Hadley,  Bryn Terfel  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
    On sale! $34.98
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  • 44.
    100 Best Opera Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 862112 Release Date: 02/15/2005   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Gary Lakes,  Maria Callas,  Tito Gobbi,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  James Conlon,  Alceo Galliera,  Lamberto Gardelli,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 45.
    The Begian Years Vol 18 / University Of Illinois Symphonic Band
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 4888 Release Date: 01/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Richard Wagner,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Begian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Illinois Symphonic Band
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  • 46.
    The Very Best of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75922 Release Date: 04/22/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  James McCracken,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Jean-Pierre Rampal,  Jacques Neilz  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Alberto Erede,  Rafael Kubelik,  Sir Philip Ledger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 47.
    Stokowski - Classic 1947-1949 Columbia Recordings Vol 1
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 533 Release Date: 10/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Richard Wagner,  Charles Tomlinson Griffes  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 48.
    Les Introuvables Du Chant Wagnèrien
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 64008 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Emanuel List,  Fritz Wolff,  Alexander Kipnis,  Lauritz Melchior  ... 
    Conductor:  Eduard Mörike,  Siegfried Wagner,  Robert Heger,  Leo Blech  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Chorus,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra  ... 
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  • 49.
    Wagner: Die Walkure (Highlights) / Barenboim, Et Al
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 41410 Release Date: 05/14/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  John Tomlinson,  Anne Evans,  Poul Elming,  Nadine Secunde  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 50.
    Prinzregenten Theater - Wagner: Werke / Knote, Kappel, Et Al
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89305 Release Date: 04/09/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Pietro Mascagni,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Friedrich Brodersen,  Ludwig Weber,  Hans Hopf,  Lorenz Fehenberger  ... 
    On sale! $69.98
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