Richard Wagner


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: Orchestral Music from The Ring / Falletta, Buffalo Philharmonic
Release Date: 03/09/2018   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573839   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde / Bernstein, Bavarian Radio Symphony
Release Date: 06/22/2018   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 746208   Number of Discs: 3
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Wagner: Das Fruhwerk / Weigle, Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra
Release Date: 06/08/2018   Label: Oehms  
Catalog: 15   Number of Discs: 9
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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde / Bernstein, Bavarian Radio Symphony [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 06/22/2018   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 746304   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Oper Choruses / Segerstam, Et Al
Release Date: 01/18/2005   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557714   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Farewell and Magic Fire Music

Browse 51-62 of 62 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Italian Singers Of Wagner Vol 2 / Del Monaco, Pertile, Et Al
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6354 Release Date: 06/26/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Giuseppe Modesti,  Africo Baldelli,  Maria Callas,  Luigi Rossi-Morelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Vittorio Gui,  Lorenzo Molajoli,  Carlo Sabajno,  Argeo Quadri  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Chorus Rome,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  Orchestra  ... 
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  • 52.
    Hans Hotter - Early Emi Recordings - Schubert, Wagner, Et Al
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1199 Release Date: 12/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Gerald Moore,  Michael Raucheisen,  Hermann von Nordberg
    Conductor:  Meinhard von Zallinger,  George Weldon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Grosse Sänger Unseres Jahrhunderts - George London
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 502001 Release Date: 05/15/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  George London,  Astrid Varnay,  Valery Bak,  Teresa Stich-Randall  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Kraus,  Hermann Weigert,  Rudolf Moralt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 54.
    Wagner Highlights Arranged For Two Pianos / Nagai, Achatz
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 976 Release Date: 11/15/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Dag Achatz,  Inzuki "Yukie" Nagai
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  • 55.
    Stokowski's Wagner / Matthias Bamert, Bbc Philharmonic
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 9686 Release Date: 04/13/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Matthias Bamert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen - Highlights / Runnicles
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 17109 Release Date: 05/19/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Donald Runnicles
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 57.
    The Only Opera Cd You'll Ever Need
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 68823 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Anna Moffo,  Helen Donath,  Roberta Peters,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Lorin Maazel,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
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  • 58.
    George London - Of Gods And Demons
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 62758 Release Date: 01/14/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Rubinstein,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Louis Gruenberg,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  George London
    Conductor:  Kurt Herbert Adler,  Rudolf Moralt,  Jean Paul Morel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Wagner: The Best Of The Ring / Böhm, Nilsson, Rysanek, Et Al
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 454020 Release Date: 04/09/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Dorothea Siebert,  Ruth Hesse,  Helga Dernesch,  Gustav Neidlinger  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Marcel Journet Vol 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89106 Release Date: 02/20/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Marcel Journet
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  • 61.
    Evelyn Lear And Thomas Stewart Sing Wagner & Strauss
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1011 Release Date: 11/06/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Thomas Stewart,  Evelyn Lear
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  • 62.
    Prima Voce - Tibbett In Opera
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7825 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Lawrence Tibbett,  Giovanni Martinelli,  Leonard Warren,  Rose Bampton  ... 
    Conductor:  Nathaniel Shilkret,  Rosario Bourdon,  Wilfrid Pelletier,  Alexander Smallens  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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