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: Lieder / Sburlati, Scolastra
Release Date: 09/30/2014   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94451   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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Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde / Knappertsbusch, Klose, Braun, Treptow, Frantz
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Andromeda  
Catalog: 9011   Number of Discs: 3
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Wagner: Highlights From Tristan Und Isolde & Tannhauser
Release Date: 03/13/2012   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 6164   Number of Discs: 1
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Schumann & Wagner / Butt, London Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 05/08/2012   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 6163   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Lohengrin: Bridal Chorus

Browse 51-75 of 108 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    Perfect Summer Wedding
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557979 Release Date: 01/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Gottfried H. Stölzel,  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Adolf Hasse  ... 
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  • 54.
    Perfect Wedding
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557975 Release Date: 01/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gottfried H. Stölzel,  Johann Adolf Hasse,  George Frideric Handel,  Giovanni Gabrieli  ... 
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  • 55.
    Perfect Winter Wedding
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557977 Release Date: 01/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Torelli,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Georg Christoph Wagenseil,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
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  • 56.
    After Work Hour Vol 8 - Smetana, Verdi, Mozart
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 8287 Release Date: 12/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Venceslava Hruba-Freiberger,  Harald Neukirch,  Hermann Prey,  Lisa Della Casa  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Giuseppe Patané,  Johannes Winkler,  Heinz Fricke  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Leipzig Radio Chorus,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 57.
    Wedding Classics - 20 Of Your Wedding Favorites
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 5866592 Release Date: 03/07/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Charles-Marie Widor,  Sigfrid Karg-Elert,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Jane Parker-Smith,  Sir Philip Ledger,  Noel Rawsthorne,  Maurice André  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Rudolf Kempe,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Maurice Handford  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Chamber Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 58.
    Welte-mignon Mystery, Vol. 2: Felix Mottl
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: 135 Release Date: 02/15/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
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  • 59.
    Wagner: Oper Choruses / Segerstam, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557714 Release Date: 01/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Lars Cleveman,  Marianne Hellgren Staykov,  Lennart Forsén,  Göran Eliasson
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Swedish Opera Chorus,  Royal Swedish Opera Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Wedding Music - Bach, Mozart, Etc
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 4984 Release Date: 08/17/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Traditional,  Richard Wagner,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
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  • 61.
    Best Of Wagner
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 477503 Release Date: 05/28/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Thomas Stewart,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Karl [Bass Vocal] Ridderbusch  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm,  Silvio Varviso,  Riccardo Chailly,  Otto Gerdes  ... 
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  • 62.
    The Essential Wedding Collection
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000233302 Release Date: 05/11/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Andrew Wright,  Francis Lai,  Bryan Adams,  Giorgio Moroder  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Peter Hurford,  Richard Farnes,  Stephen Cleobury  ... 
    Conductor:  Nick Ingman,  Michael Kamen,  Julius Rudel,  Wyn Morris  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  Utah Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 63.
    Wagner: Choruses
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 469651 Release Date: 03/04/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Gerd Nienstedt,  Franz Crass
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Karl Böhm,  Rafael Kubelik,  Eugen Jochum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra  ... 
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  • 64.
    Famous Opera Choruses / Ivan Anguelov, Et Al
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 219 Release Date: 01/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Conductor:  Ivan Anguelov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak State Opera Chorus,  Bratislava Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 65.
    The #1 Wedding Album
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000027402 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  John Stanley,  Helen Guy,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Laird,  Peter Hurford,  Placido Domingo,  Wolfgang Marschner  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl-Heinz Loges,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Heinrich Steiner,  Roberto Benzi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Michael Laird Brass Ensemble,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 66.
    For Your Life - For Your Wedding
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000003312 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  John Stanley,  Edvard Grieg,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Thelma Owen,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Leontyne Price  ... 
    Conductor:  Raymond Agoult,  Heinrich Steiner,  Rafael Kubelik,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra,  Michael Laird Brass Ensemble,  Nordmark Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 67.
    Favorite Choruses / Barbirolli, Barenboim, Mackerras, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 74769 Release Date: 03/25/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Riccardo Muti,  Otto Klemperer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Les Petits Chanteurs de St. François de Versailles  ... 
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  • 68.
    Operamania
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 44120 Release Date: 10/29/2002   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Umberto Giordano,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Marilyn Horne,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Renata Tebaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Franco Patanè,  Henry Lewis,  Tullio Serafin,  Nello Santi  ... 
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  • 69.
    Great Opera Choruses - Wagner, Verdi / Bernhard Klee, Et Al
    Label: Chesky Records   Catalog: 230 Release Date: 03/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Conductor:  Bernhard Klee
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bruckner Orchester Linz,  Prague Philharmonic Chorus,  St. Florian Boys' Choir
    SuperAudio CD: $18.49
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  • 70.
    The #1 Choral Album - Beethoven, Handel, Verdi, Bizet, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470382 Release Date: 03/12/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Thomas Augustine Arne,  John Tavener,  Charles Gounod,  Carl Orff  ... 
    Performer:  Sarah Walker,  Stephen Doughty,  Bryn Terfel,  James Morris  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington,  Stephen Cleobury,  Richard Bonynge,  Charles Dutoit  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cambridge King's College Choir  ... 
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  • 71.
    A Bride's Guide To Wedding Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8503134 Release Date: 02/19/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Sir William Walton,  Théodore Dubois,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
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  • 72.
    I Do - Classical Wedding Music
    Label: Golden Stars   Catalog: 5326 Release Date: 01/29/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Eduardo Di Capua  ... 
    Performer:  Gabriele Fuchs,  Peter Dvorsky,  Bojan Gorisek,  Georgi Robev  ... 
    Conductor:  Bohdan Warchal,  Ernst Hinreiner,  Marko Munih,  Ondrej Lenárd  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Chamber Orchestra,  Salzburg Camerata Academica,  Consortium Musicum Ljubljana  ... 
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  • 73.
    The Wedding Album - Pachelbel, Wagner, Et Al / De Chiaro
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2565 Release Date: 01/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Francisco Tarrega,  Moshe Nathanson,  Albert Hay Malotte  ... 
    Performer:  Giovanni De Chiaro
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  • 74.
    Favourite German Opera Choruses / Varviso, Dresden Staatskapelle, Leipzig Radio Chorus
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4646452 Release Date: 01/07/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Otto Nicolai  ... 
    Conductor:  Silvio Varviso
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Leipzig Radio Chorus
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  • 75.
    The #1 Opera Album Vol 1
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 467632 Release Date: 02/27/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Leo Nucci,  Andrea Bocelli,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Michele Pertusi  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané,  Leone Magiera,  Sir Georg Solti,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe  ... 
    CD: $16.99
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