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: Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg / Gatti, Volle, Sacca, Gabler, Zeppenfeld
Release Date: 07/29/2014   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 72688   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Der Fliegende Hollander / Selig, Merbeth, Muzek, Thielemann, Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
Release Date: 07/29/2014   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 1140   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Parsifal / Kaufmann, Pape, Gatti, Met Opera [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 04/01/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 372572   Number of Discs: 1
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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: Tristan Und Isolde, An Orchestral Passion - Arranged By Henk De Vlieger / Jarvi, RSNO
Release Date: 02/22/2011   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5087   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Farewell and Magic Fire Music

Browse 26-50 of 102 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Label: Classic Records   Catalog: 2029 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Frédéric Chopin,  Thomas Canning
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Houston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 27.
    50 Best Opera
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57531 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Gustave Charpentier  ... 
    Performer:  Cornelius Hauptmann,  Margareta Lilowa,  Carolyn Watkinson,  Ursula Kunz  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington,  Bernard Haitink,  Rafael Kubelik,  Peter Schneider  ... 
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  • 28.
    Da Capo - Opera Highlights
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 149512 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Otto Nicolai,  Richard Wagner,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Armin Ude,  Grace Bumbry,  Siegfried Lorenz,  Sona Cervana  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernhard Klee,  Otmar Suitner,  Hans Vonk,  Václav Neumann  ... 
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  • 29.
    Wagner: Opera Arias / Estes, Fricke, Staatskapelle Berlin
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412271 Release Date: 12/29/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Simon Estes,  Eva-Maria Bundschuh,  Heinz Reeh
    Conductor:  Heinz Fricke
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
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  • 30.
    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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  • 31.
    Icon - Hans Hotter - The Great Bass-Baritone
    Label: Emi 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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  • 32.
    The Record of Singing - The Very Best of Vols 1-4
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 28956 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Arthur Sullivan,  Giacomo Puccini,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Marian Anderson,  Kosti Vehanen,  Dame Clara Butt,  Richard Crooks  ... 
    Conductor:  Clemens Schmalstich,  Clarence Raybould,  Georges Lauweryns,  Nat Finston  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra,  Pasdeloup Concert Association Orchestra  ... 
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  • 33.
    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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  • 34.
    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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  • 35.
    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
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  • 36.
    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
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner
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  • 37.
    Wagner: Opera Arias And Duets
    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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  • 38.
    Wagner: Die Walküre - Highlights / Solti, Nilsson, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 421887 Release Date: 01/21/2008   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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  • 39.
    Solti - A Passion For Music
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000972102 Release Date: 09/18/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Mikhail Glinka,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Tamás Daróczy,  Alexandru Agache
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 40.
    Wagner: Die Walküre Highlights / Levine, Behrens, Morris
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 427359 Release Date: 09/17/2007   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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  • 41.
    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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  • 42.
    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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  • 43.
    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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  • 44.
    Evelyn Lear & Thomas Stewart - A Musical Tribute
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 689702 Release Date: 08/08/2006   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Leonard Bernstein,  Alban Berg,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Evelyn Lear,  Thomas Stewart,  Erik Werba,  Marie McLaughlin  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Karl Böhm,  Otto Gerdes,  Hans Löwlein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Voices,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra  ... 
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  • 45.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Luciano Neroni
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89643 Release Date: 05/30/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Richard Wagner,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Neroni,  Giuseppe Manachini,  Michele Ortuso
    Conductor:  Alfredo Simonetto,  Ugo Tansini,  Arturo Basile,  Armando La Rosa Parodi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin
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  • 46.
    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,  Elisabeth Schumann  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Collingwood,  Albert Coates,  Leo Blech,  Robert Heger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Chorus
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  • 47.
    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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  • 48.
    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  ... 
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  • 49.
    Dokumente Einer Sangerkarriere - Josef Hermann
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93445 Release Date: 11/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Strauss,  Hugo Wolf  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Herrmann,  Christel Goltz,  Rudolf Dittrich
    Conductor:  Karl Elmendorff,  Joseph Keilberth,  Ferdinand Leitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 50.
    Metropolitan Opera Gala - James Levine's 25th Anniversary
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000460209 Release Date: 11/22/2005  
    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
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