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: The Ring - An Orchestral Adventure - Arranged by Henk de Vlieger
Release Date: 01/28/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2052   Number of Discs: 1
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Elgar: Sea Pictures;  Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder;  Etc
Release Date: 04/04/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 530   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Parsifal / Haenchen, Richards, Larsson, Rootering, Mayer, Tomasso
Release Date: 01/28/2014   Label: Bel Air Classiques  
Catalog: 97   Number of Discs: 2
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James Rutherford Sings Wagner
Release Date: 05/27/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2080   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen / Grimsley, Mellor, Blythe, Vinke,   Fisch, Seattle Opera
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2313   Number of Discs: 14
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Work: Farewell and Magic Fire Music

Browse 51-75 of 101 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Legend - Music Of Myth, Magic And Mystery
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 33619 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Richard Wagner,  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Klaus Tennstedt,  Jean Martinon,  Wolfgang Sawallisch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  ORTF National Chorus  ... 
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  • 52.
    Great Wagnerian Scenes - Flagstad, Nilsson, Et Al
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90676 Release Date: 10/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Leonie Rysanek,  Sigurd Björling,  Birgit Nilsson,  Kirsten Flagstad
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Schüchter,  Herbert Sandberg,  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Northwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Great Scenes & Arias / John Tomlinson
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4623012 Release Date: 09/12/2005   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Pier Francesco Cavalli  ... 
    Performer:  John Tomlinson
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  • 54.
    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  ... 
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  • 55.
    Gemini - Wagner: Orchestral Music / Tennstedt, Berlin Po
    Label: Emi 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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  • 56.
    George London - 1953
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90580 Release Date: 09/28/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Alexander Borodin,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  George London,  Bruno Walter,  Astrid Varnay
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter,  Hermann Weigert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    Famous Voices Of The Past - George London
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90543 Release Date: 06/24/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Rubinstein,  Richard Wagner,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  George London
    Conductor:  Kurt Herbert Adler,  Rudolf Moralt,  Max Schönherr,  Jean Paul Morel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    Original Masters - Hans Hotter - Lieder And Opera Scenes
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 474006 Release Date: 02/11/2003   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Hugo Wolf,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Gloria Davy,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Erik Werba
    Conductor:  Heinrich Hollreiser,  Artur Roder,  Argeo Quadri,  Robert Heger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra  ... 
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  • 61.
    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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  • 62.
    Wagner: Orchestral Music From
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 74762 Release Date: 08/13/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 63.
    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
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  • 64.
    Wagner: Orchestral Excerpts From Operas; Schoenberg / Leinsdorf
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93040 Release Date: 04/30/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Arnold Schoenberg
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 65.
    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  ... 
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  • 66.
    Wagner / Terfel, Abbado, Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471348 Release Date: 02/12/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 67.
    Great Voices Of The Past-wagner's Ring: Collected Highlights
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 8002 Release Date: 08/07/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Sigrid Onegin,  Richard Mayr,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Lauritz Melchior  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Domenico Viglione Borghese
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89513 Release Date: 02/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe Bellantoni,  Domenico Viglione-Borghese
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  • 69.
    Wagner: Der Ring Nibelungen (Highlights) / Karajan, Et Al
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469223 Release Date: 02/27/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Jess Thomas,  Thomas Stewart,  Cvetka Ahlin,  Liselotte Rebmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    Wagner: Opera Arias & Duets / Nilsson, Hotter, Ludwig
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1201 Release Date: 11/14/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Birgit Nilsson
    Conductor:  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 72.
    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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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Harry De Garmo
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89175 Release Date: 08/24/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Eugène d' Albert,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Harry De Garmo
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  • 75.
    Brass Music By Opera Composers - Strauss, Freiberg, Et Al
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 540 Release Date: 07/27/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Carl Michael Ziehrer  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Jeitler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Winds
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