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: Parsifal / Haenchen, Vogt, Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
Release Date: 07/21/2017   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002694909   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde / Gould, Herlitzius, Thielemann, Bayreuther Festspiele
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002503809   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Lohengrin / Thielemann, Beczala, Netrebko, Staatskapelle Dresden
Release Date: 07/07/2017   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002691609   Number of Discs: 2
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Wagner: Parsifal / Gui, Callas, RAI Roma
Release Date: 09/15/2017   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 563929  
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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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Work: Lohengrin: Bridal Chorus

Browse 26-50 of 82 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Essential Wedding
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27937 Release Date: 08/24/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Markus Klinko,  Tasmin Little,  Piers Lane,  Frederic Bayco  ... 
    Conductor:  Reginald Kilbey,  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks,  Kenneth Montgomery  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble,  Camerata Lysy,  Liverpool Cathedral & Brass Ensemble  ... 
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  • 27.
    50 Classical Music Favorites
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001388102 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Luigi Boccherini,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Heinz Holliger,  Italo Colandrea,  Antonio Perez,  Michael Copley  ... 
    Conductor:  Frans Brüggen,  Sir Colin Davis,  Kurt Masur,  Silvio Varviso  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
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  • 28.
    Top 100 Favorite Classical Melodies
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94027 Release Date: 05/04/2010   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Georges Bizet,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Sara Crombach,  Wladislav Warenberg,  Martijn van den Hoek,  Marc Grauwels  ... 
    Conductor:  Bohdan Warchal,  Enrique Bátiz,  Mark Ermler,  Georgi Robev  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Harp Ensemble,  London Baroque,  Musica ad Rhenum  ... 
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  • 29.
    Wagner: Famous Opera Choruses / Solti, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 421865 Release Date: 04/02/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Werner Krenn,  Isola Jones,  Janis Martin,  Helga Dernesch  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir,  Gumpoldskirchner Spatzen  ... 
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  • 30.
    Label: Caprice Records   Catalog: 22055 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Elisabeth Söderström,  Kerstin [Mezzo-soprano Vocal] Meyer,  Kerstin Lofgren,  Ingeborg Kjellgren  ... 
    Conductor:  Sixten Ehrling,  Nils Grevillius
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  • 31.
    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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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    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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  • 34.
    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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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    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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  • 39.
    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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  • 40.
    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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  • 41.
    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:  Catherine Marx,  Andrea Zonn,  David Francis
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  • 42.
    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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  • 43.
    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 Domingo,  Ruza Baldani  ... 
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  • 44.
    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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  • 45.
    The Premium Collection - 75 Classical Masterworks
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000988602 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Edvard Grieg,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Alfons Kontarsky,  Aloys Kontarsky,  Wolfgang Herzer,  Göran Söllscher  ... 
    Conductor:  Baumgartner,  Neeme Järvi,  Seiji Ozawa,  Rafael Kubelik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Strings
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  • 46.
    Leonard Slatkin Conducts Concert Classics
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 5959 Release Date: 06/06/2007   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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  • 47.
    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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  • 48.
    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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  • 49.
    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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  • 50.
    Perfect Spring Wedding
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557976 Release Date: 01/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
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