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: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Barenboim
Release Date: 10/25/2011   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4755   Number of Discs: 11
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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Barenboim, Bayreuth [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4755   Number of Discs: 4
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Wagner: Tannhauser / Domingo, Studer, Sinopoli
Release Date: 09/27/1989   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 427625   Number of Discs: 3
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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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Richard Wagner: Die Walkure / Knappertsbusch, Bayreuth
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Walhall  
Catalog: 247   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Lohengrin: Bridal Chorus

Browse 26-50 of 98 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Label: Caprice Records   Catalog: 22055 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Elisabeth Söderström,  Kerstin Lofgren,  Ingeborg Kjellgren,  Kerstin [Mezzo-Soprano Vocals] Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Sixten Ehrling,  Nils Grevillius
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  • 27.
    Va Pensiero - Opera Chorus / Menskes, Braunschweig Orchestra
    Label: Coviello Classics   Catalog: 30203 Release Date: 02/02/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Conductor:  Georg Menskes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Braunschweig Theater Chorus,  Braunschweig Orchestra
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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.
    Passione - Opera For Lovers
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 149522 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Otto Nicolai,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Sylvia Geszty,  Evelyn Lear,  Thomas Stewart,  Hanne-Lore Kuhse  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Heinz Fricke,  Otmar Suitner,  Siegfried Kurz  ... 
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  • 30.
    The Art Of Oscar Fried, Vol. 4 / Oscar Fried, Berlin State Opera Orchestra & Choir
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1231 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Anton Bruckner,  Pietro Mascagni
    Conductor:  Oscar Fried
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Chorus
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  • 31.
    Edition Staatskapelle Dresden Vol 22 - Karl Bohm Conducts Wagner / Elmendorff, Striegler, Schech, Lorenz, Et Al
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 7058 Release Date: 06/30/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hans Hermann Nissen,  Josef Herrmann
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus
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  • 32.
    Best Wedding 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64262 Release Date: 06/16/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Claude Debussy,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Markus Klinko,  Ian Brown,  Christopher van Kampen,  Susan Tomes  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Reginald Kilbey,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Stephen Cleobury  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble,  Vienna String Sextet Members,  Ensemble Berlin  ... 
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  • 33.
    Opera's Greatest Moments - Favourite Arias And Choruses
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557926-27 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Marina Mescheriakova,  John Dickie,  Thomas Harper,  Patrizia Pace  ... 
    Conductor:  Johannes Wildner,  Michael Halász,  Piergiorgio Morandi,  Alexander Rahbari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Chorus,  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Capella Istropolitana  ... 
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  • 34.
    German Opera Choruses - Varviso, Leipzig Radio Chorus
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 422410 Release Date: 02/18/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Otto Nicolai,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Frank Schiller,  Ekkehard Wagner,  Dagmar Pecková,  Sybille Kästner
    Conductor:  Silvio Varviso
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Leipzig Radio Chorus,  Dresden Cathedral Boys Choir
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  • 35.
    Duel
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 473999 Release Date: 08/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sidney Bechet,  Gustav Holst,  Alexander Borodin,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duel
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  • 36.
    Famous Opera Choruses / Suitner, Berlin Staatsoper
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 1335 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Richard Wagner,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Giuseppe Patané
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  • 37.
    Serenade: A Classical Wedding Collection
    Label: T Carter   Catalog: 3018128 Release Date: 03/18/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johann Pachelbel,  Traditional,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  David Francis,  Andrea Zonn,  Catherine Marx
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  • 38.
    The Greatest Opera - Choruses
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 8572 Release Date: 03/04/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Giuseppe Patané
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  • 39.
    101 Opera Masterpieces, Vol. 1 [box Set]
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 9528671 Release Date: 02/26/2008   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Biserka Cvejik,  Placido [Tenor Vocals] Domingo,  Ruza Baldani  ... 
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  • 40.
    Wagner For Brass / Canadian Brass, Berlin Po, Bayreuth Brass
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 434109 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canadian Brass,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Brass,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra Brass Players
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  • 41.
    Leonard Slatkin Conducts Concert Classics
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 5959 Release Date: 06/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Edvard Grieg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Organ Bon Bons - Organ Works By Bach, Dvorak, Elgar, Widoe & Handel
    Label: Membran / Scandinavian Classics   Catalog: 220539 Release Date: 04/26/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Oskar Lindberg,  Charles-Marie Widor,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Ulrik Spang-Hanssen
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  • 43.
    Wedding Essentials / Canadian Brass
    Label: Opening Day   Catalog: 7334 Release Date: 04/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  John Stanley,  Sonny Kompanek,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canadian Brass
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  • 44.
    Best Classics 100 Vol 2
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 70872 Release Date: 08/29/2006   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Andrew Lloyd Webber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Andrei Gavrilov,  Jane Gilchrist,  Fergus Thirlwell,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Kirk Trevor,  Riccardo Muti,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 45.
    Weekend Classics - A Wagner Weekend
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000658602 Release Date: 07/04/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Karl Böhm,  Wilhelm Pitz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra  ... 
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  • 46.
    Label: Spj Music   Catalog: 95803 Release Date: 06/06/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  George Frideric Handel,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
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  • 47.
    The Knot Collection Of Ceremony & Wedding Music
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 92826 Release Date: 05/02/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Stanley,  Henry Purcell,  George Frideric Handel,  Aaron Copland  ... 
    Performer:  Wynton Marsalis,  Edward Carroll,  William Neil,  Yo-Yo Ma  ... 
    Conductor:  Anthony Newman,  Edward Carroll,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Richard Kapp  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Chamber Soloists of Washington,  Utah Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 48.
    Music For A Wedding
    Label: Vox Allegretto   Catalog: 8033 Release Date: 03/16/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Franz Schubert,  Louis-Claude Daquin,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Werner Simons,  Franz Lehrndorfer
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  • 49.
    Label: Vox Classics   Catalog: 97013 Release Date: 02/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Franz Schubert,  Jules Massenet,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
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  • 50.
    Perfect Autumn Wedding
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557978 Release Date: 01/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
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