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 / Furtwangler, Flagstad, Schock, Fischer-Dieskau
Release Date: 04/06/2004   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 85873   Number of Discs: 4
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Wagner: Parsifal / Meier, Barenboim, Berlin Philharmonic
Release Date: 05/20/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 555535   Number of Discs: 4
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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde / Gould, Thielemann, Bayreuther Festspiele
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002503809   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Lohengrin / Kempe, Grummer, Ludwig, Fischer-Dieskau
Release Date: 01/29/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 554009   Number of Discs: 2
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Beecham Collection - Wagner / Beecham, Flagstad, Et Al
Release Date: 06/05/2007   Label: Somm  
Catalog: 20   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Farewell and Magic Fire Music

Browse 51-75 of 87 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    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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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    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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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    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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  • 61.
    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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  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    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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  • 66.
    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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  • 67.
    Wiener Opernlieblinge Von Seinerzeit / Güden, Kunz, Et Al
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90345 Release Date: 02/09/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Hilde Konetzni,  Herbert Alsen,  Luise Willer,  Ludwig Weber  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Rudolf Moralt,  Clemens Krauss,  Hanns Steinkopf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 68.
    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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  • 69.
    Dokumente Einer Sängerkarriere - Paul Schöffler
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90325 Release Date: 07/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Paul Schöffler,  Irmgard Seefried
    Conductor:  Hermann Abendroth,  Karl Rankl,  Karl Böhm,  Wilhelm Loibner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Chorus,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 70.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Joel Berglund
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89151 Release Date: 07/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Johan August Söderman,  Andreas Hallén,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Joel Berglund
    Conductor:  Nils Grevillius,  Leo Blech
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Four Famous Wagnerian Baritones
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89982 Release Date: 05/20/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Rudolf Bockelmann,  Lauritz Melchior,  Hans Hermann Nissen,  Josef Herrmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Clemens Schmalstich,  Albert Coates,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra  ... 
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  • 72.
    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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  • 73.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Rudolf Bockelmann
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89121 Release Date: 04/23/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Carl Loewe
    Performer:  Rudolf Bockelmann,  Clemens Schmalstich,  Lauritz Melchior,  Helena Jung  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Alfred Schmidt,  Albert Coates,  Clemens Schmalstich,  Carl Leonhardt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Reichssenders Orchestra  ... 
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  • 74.
    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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  • 75.
    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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