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 Without Words / Maazel, Berlin Philharmonic
Release Date: 09/25/2012   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 2020228   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Janowski, Berlin Radio Symphony & Choir
Release Date: 05/13/2016   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186581   Number of Discs: 13
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Wagner: The Ring - An Orchestral Adventure / Jarvi, Royal Scottish NO
Release Date: 03/04/2008   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5060   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Two Symphonies, Marches, Rienzi Overture / Jarvi, Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Release Date: 03/27/2012   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5097   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Overtures, Preludes / Varviso, Staatskapelle Dresden
Release Date: 08/26/2003   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186123   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Lohengrin: Bridal Chorus

Browse 51-75 of 79 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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  ... 
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  • 52.
    Welte-mignon Mystery, Vol. 2: Felix Mottl
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: 135 Release Date: 02/15/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    CD: $21.49
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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    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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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    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  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 58.
    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
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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    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  ... 
    CD: $25.49
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  • 61.
    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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  • 62.
    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  ... 
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  • 63.
    The Best Of Opera Vol 5
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8554683 Release Date: 11/14/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
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  • 64.
    Famous Opera Choruses- Wagner, Beethoven, Nicolai, Etc
    Label: Tuxedo Music   Catalog: 1077 Release Date: 04/15/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Otto Nicolai,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Tieozzi,  Silvio Maionica,  Karl Paul,  Marianne Schech  ... 
    Conductor:  Georges Singer,  Franco Capuana,  Armando La Rosa Parodi,  Gerhard Pflüger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hamburg Choir,  Hamburg Symphony Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus  ... 
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  • 65.
    Bride's Guide to Wedding Music
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 66817 Release Date: 05/05/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  James L. Molloy,  Jean Joseph Mouret  ... 
    Performer:  Virgil Fox,  Maurice André,  Nancy Allen,  Jane Parker-Smith  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  Robert Irving,  Jean-Pierre Wallez  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  South German Madrigal Choir Stuttgart,  Concert Arts Orchestra  ... 
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  • 66.
    The Complete Wedding Album - There Is Love
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80490 Release Date: 04/28/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Richard Wagner,  Samuel Barber,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Angel Romero,  Joseph Silverstein,  Larry Cooperman,  Michael Chertock  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw,  Erich Kunzel,  Leonard Slatkin,  Keith Clark  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Chorus,  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Pops  ... 
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  • 67.
    German Operatic Choruses
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550507 Release Date: 04/22/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Pinchas Steinberg,  Johannes Wildner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian Festival Chorus,  Failoni Orchestra Budapest,  Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 68.
    Wagner: Scenes from Tannhauser, Lohengrin, Die Walkure / Varady, Seiffert
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 56138 Release Date: 09/10/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Peter Seiffert,  Julia Varády
    Conductor:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus
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  • 69.
    Ben Heppner Sings Lohengrin
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68239 Release Date: 07/16/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Jan-Hendrik Rootering,  Ben Heppner,  Sharon Sweet,  Eva Martón  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus members,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 70.
    For Weddings / Kevin Bowyer
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7712 Release Date: 04/02/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Sir William Walton,  John Stanley,  Charles-Marie Widor  ... 
    Performer:  Kevin Bowyer
    CD: $14.99
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  • 71.
    The Wedding Album
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 99709 Release Date: 02/13/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Johann Pachelbel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Philippe Pierlot,  Rotraud Hansmann,  Felicity Lott,  Marie-Claire Alain  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Corboz,  Claudio Scimone,  Jean-François Paillard,  Theodor Guschlbauer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berne Symphony Orchestra,  Maitrise Saint-Pierre Aux Liens de Bulle,  I Solisti Veneti  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 72.
    Oxford Book Of Wedding Music / Jeremy D. Filsell
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 7107 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Sir William Walton,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Andrew Carter  ... 
    Performer:  Jeremy Filsell
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  • 73.
    Grand & Glorious - Great Operatic Choruses / Robert Shaw
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80333 Release Date: 03/29/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Christine Brewer,  Kevin Maynor,  Karl Dent
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Atlanta Symphony Chorus,  Atlanta Symphony Chamber Chorus
    CD: $17.99
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  • 74.
    Wedding Music / Bertalan Hock
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550790 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Bertalan Hock,  György Geiger
    Conductor:  István Bogár
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Strauss Ensemble
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  • 75.
    Bride's Guide To Wedding Music
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64899 Release Date: 09/14/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles-Marie Widor,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Jane Parker-Smith,  Christopher Parkening,  John Shirley-Quirk,  Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Louis Auriacombe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players,  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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