Richard Wagner

~ Person


Wilhelm Richard Wagner (/ˈvɑːɡnər/; German: [ˈʁiçaʁt ˈvaːɡnɐ]; 22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is primarily known for his operas (or, as some of his later works were later known, "music dramas"). Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Weber and Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"), by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).

His compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex textures, rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs—musical phrases associated with individual characters, places, ideas or plot elements. His advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centres, greatly influenced the development of classical music. His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music.

Wagner had his own opera house built, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which embodied many novel design features. The Ring and Parsifal were premiered here and his most important stage works continue to be performed at the annual Bayreuth Festival, run by his descendants. His thoughts on the relative contributions of music and drama in opera were to change again, and he reintroduced some traditional forms into his last few stage works, including Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg).

Until his final years, Wagner's life was characterised by political exile, turbulent love affairs, poverty and repeated flight from his creditors. His controversial writings on music, drama and politics have attracted extensive comment, notably, since the late 20th century, where they express antisemitic sentiments. The effect of his ideas can be traced in many of the arts throughout the 20th century; his influence spread beyond composition into conducting, philosophy, literature, the visual arts and theatre.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1994 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Richard Wagner; Wolfgang Sawallisch, Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper 1
1994 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wiener Philharmoniker feat. conductor: Hans Knappertsbusch) Richard Wagner 1
1994 Götterdämmerung - Highlights Richard Wagner 1
1994 Grieg - Mussorgsky - Rachmaninoff - Wagner auf der Orgel Grieg, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff, Wagner; Ernst-Erich Stender 1
1994 Orchestral Music Wagner; Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Bruno Walter 1
1994 Orchestral Music (Philadelphia Orchestra feat. conductor: Eugene Ormandy) Richard Wagner 1
1994 Preludes & Overtures (London Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor: Antal Dorati) Richard Wagner 1
1994 The Sheffield Leinsdorf Sessions, Volume I Prokofiev, Debussy, Wagner; Los Angeles Philharmonic, Erich Leinsdorf 1
1994 Wagner for Orchestra (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor: Jesús López-Cobos) Richard Wagner 1
1995 Götterdämmerung Wagner; Nilsson, Rysanek, Malaniuk, Aldenhoff, Uhde, Frick, Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Hans Knappertsbusch 1
1995 The Ride of Valkure, etc. Wagner; The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy 1
1995 Das Liebesverbot (Bavarian State Opera) Richard Wagner 1
1995 Das Rheingold (The Cleveland Orchestra feat. conductor: Christoph von Dohnányi) Richard Wagner 1
1995 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Höhepunkte Richard Wagner 1
1995 Tannhäuser Richard Wagner 1
1995 The Sheffield Leinsdorf Sessions, Volume II Stravinsky, Wagner; Los Angeles Philharmonic, Erich Leinsdorf 1
1995 Tristan und Isolde (Berliner Philharmoniker feat. conductor: Daniel Barenboim) Richard Wagner 1
1995 Wagneriana: Piano Transcriptions by Rubinstein, Busoni, von Bülow, Brassin, Wagner, Raff, Rupp Rubinstein, Busoni, von Bülow, Brassin, Wagner, Raff, Rupp; Cyprien Katsaris 1
1996 Overtures and Preludes Wagner; Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim 4 2
1996 Lohengrin (R. Kubelik, J. King, G. Janowitz, G. Jones, T. Stewart, K. Ridderbusch, Chor & Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks) Richard Wagner 1
1996 Orchestral Music Richard Wagner; The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, The Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell 1
1996 Wagner - Händel - Grieg - Bruch Richard Wagner, George Frideric Handel, Edvard Grieg, Max Bruch, Paul Wißkirchen, Lena Lootens, Christian Ludwig, Frauenchor Bayer Leverkusen, Männerchor Bayer Leverkusen, Bayer Philharmoniker, Rainer Koch 1
1997 Der Ring Des Nibelungen Richard Wagner; Clemens Krauss & Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele 1
1997 Der Ring des Nibelungen Richard Wagner; Wiener Philharmoniker, Sir Georg Solti 5 3
1997 Tristan und Isolde Richard Wagner; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Philharmonia Orchestra, Wilhelm Furtwängler 3
1997 The Masterpiece Collection: Wagner Richard Wagner 1
1997 Classic Masters: Aberturas célebres I Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner, Strauss, Rossini, Cimarosa, Mascagni; Oquestra sinfônica nacional de Olsztyn, Igor Gogol 1
1997 Der fliegende Holländer Richard Wagner, James Levine, Deborah Voigt, Ben Heppner, Jan-Hendrik Rootering, Paul Groves, Birgitta Svendén, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus 1
1997 Der Ring des Nibelungen (Staatskapelle Dresden, feat. conductor: Marek Janowski) Richard Wagner; Staatskapelle Dresden, Marek Janowski 4
1997 Strauss: Don Quixote / Wagner: Tannhäuser, Die Meister von Nürnberg Richard Strauss, Richard Wagner; Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan 1
1997 The Masters: Wagner - Overtures Richard Wagner 1
1997 Wesendonck-Lieder / Overature: Das Liebesverbot / Symphony in E major Wagner; The Philadelphia Orchestra, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Marjana Lipovšek 1
1998 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg / Lohengrin / Parsifal / Tristan und Isolde (The Philadelphia Orchestra feat. conductor: Christian Thielemann) Richard Wagner 1
1998 Overtures Wagner; Philharmonia Orchestra, Lorin Maazel 1
1998 Julia Varady Wesendonk-Lieder - Tristan und Isolde - Götterdämmerung (Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, singers: Julia Varady, Dietrich Fischer Dieskau) Richard Wagner 1
1998 Tannhäuser Richard Wagner; Bayreuth Festival Chorus and Orchestra, Wolfgang Sawallisch 1
1998 Lohengrin Richard Wagner; Chor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin, Staatskapelle Berlin & Daniel Barenboim 1
1998 Der Ring des Nibelungen Richard Wagner; Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan 1
1998 The Klemperer Legacy: Orchestral Works 1 Richard Wagner; Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer 1
1998 The Ride of the Valkyries: Overtures and Choruses (feat. conductor: Sir Georg Solti) Richard Wagner 1
1998 Twilight of the Gods Richard Wagner 1
1999 Overtures & Orchestral Music Wagner; Mariss Jansons, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra 1
1999 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Highlights (Wiener Staatsopernchor, Gumpoldskirchner Spatzen, Wiener Philharmoniker, feat. conductor: Sir Georg Solti) Richard Wagner 1
1999 Parsifal Richard Wagner 1
1999 Wagner Highlights: arranged for two pianos by Max Reger Richard Wagner, Max Reger; Yukie Nagai, Dag Achatz 1
1999 Deutsche Grammophon Collection: Idylle de Siegfried / Preludes of the Mastersingers of Nüremberg, Lohengrin & Tristan and Isolde Richard Wagner; Berliner Philharmoniker, Rafael Kubelík 1
1999 Rienzi Richard Wagner, Staatskapelle Dresden & Heinrich Hollreiser 1
1999 Schubert: Symphony no. 9 / Wagner: Siegfried Idyll Schubert, Wagner; Wiener Philharmoniker, Solti 1
2000 Overtures & Preludes Richard Wagner; Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gerd Albrecht 1
2000 Der fliegende Holländer Richard Wagner; Otto Klemperer, BBC Chorus, New Philharmonia Orchestra 1
2000 Lohengrin (Wiener Philharmoniker feat. conductor: Rudolf Kempe) Richard Wagner 1
2000 Die Walküre Richard Wagner; Erich Leinsdorf, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Chorus, Lauritz Melchior, Helen Traubel 1
2000 Das Rheingold (Sinfonie Orchester des HR feat. conductor Winfried Zillig, singers: Kronenberg, Stern, Sattler, Carlsson, Kopp, Schild, von Rohr, Etterer) Richard Wagner 1
2000 Die Walküre, Act 3 Wagner; Flagstad, Wiener Philharmoniker, Solti 1
2000 Faust Berlioz, Liszt, Wagner; Chœur et Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, Yutaka Sado 1
2000 Panorama Richard Wagner 1
2000 Schoenberg: Pelleas und Melisande / Wagner: Siegfried-Idyll Schoenberg, Wagner; Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Christian Thielemann 1
2000 Tristan und Isolde (London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House feat. conductor: Fritz Reiner, chorus master: Robert Ainsworth) Richard Wagner 1
2001 Wagner: Orchestral Works Richard Wagner 2
2001 Die Walküre (Bayreuther Festspiele feat. conductor: Karl Böhm) Richard Wagner 1
2001 Der fliegende Holländer (Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala feat. conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch, singers Crass, Ridderbusch, Rysanek) Richard Wagner 1
2001 Der Ring des Nibelungen Wagner; Badische Staatskapelle, Günter Neuhold 1
2001 Der Ring des Nibelungen (1950 Scala recording) Richard Wagner; Wilhelm Furtwängler, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano 1
2001 Mozart: Symphony no. 35 / Beethoven: Symphony no. 7 / Wagner: Siegfried Idyll Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner; Hallé Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli 1
2001 Tannhäuser (Chor und Orchester des Hessischen Rundfunks, feat. conductor Kurt Schröder singers von Rohr, Treptow, Schlusnus, Eipperle, Joesten) Richard Wagner 1
2001 Tannhäuser (Staatsoper u. Staatskapelle Berlin, feat. conductor Barenboim, Seiffert, Eaglen; Meyer, Hampson) Richard Wagner 1
2001 Tristan & Isolde Richard Wagner; Ludwig Suthaus, Margarete Bäumer, Frick, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Franz Konwitschny 1
2001 Tristan und Isolde (Philharmonia Orchestra feat. conductor: Wilhelm Furtwängler) Richard Wagner 2
2002 Mahler: Kindertotenlieder / Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen / Wagner: Wesendonk-Lieder Gustav Mahler, Richard Wagner; Kirsten Flagstad 1
2002 Die Walküre Richard Wagner; Nilsson, Vickers, London, Erich Leinsdorf 1
2002 Scenes From The Ring Richard Wagner; Plácido Domingo 5 1
2002 Der Ring des Nibelungen Wagner; The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, James Levine 2
2002 Der fliegende Holländer Richard Wagner; Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim 1
2002 Brahms: Haydn Variations / Alto Rhapsody & Overtures / Wagner: Siegfried Idyll Brahms, Wagner; Knappertsbusch 1
2002 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Chicago Symphony Orchestra & Chorus feat. conductor: Sir Georg Solti) Richard Wagner 1
2002 Faust Lieder (Hymnia Chamber Choir, soprano: Lone Koppel, baritone: Björn Asker, piano: Jørgen Ellegård Frederiksen) Richard Wagner 1
2002 Lohengrin (Metropolitan Opera and Chorus fet. conductor: Erich Leinsdorf, singers: Melchior, Rethberg, Thorborg, Huehn, List, Warren) Richard Wagner 1
2002 OSG En Vivo 1992-2002: Richard Wagner (Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia feat. conductor: Víctor Pablo Pérez) Richard Wagner 1
2002 The Ride of the Valkyries from "Die Walküre" Richard Wagner; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Karl Anton Rickenbacher 2
2002 Walküre Richard Wagner; Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Zubin Mehta 1
2003 Basic Edition 98: Die Walküre Highlights Richard Wagner 1
2003 Parsifal Wagner; Chor and Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Rafael Kubelík 1
2003 Orchestral Music Richard Wagner; Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado 1
2003 Tristan und Isolde Richard Wagner; Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele & Herbert von Karajan 2
2003 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Richard Wagner, Rafael Kubelík, Thomas Stewart, Sándor Kónya, Gundula Janowitz, Thomas Hemsley, Kammerorchester des Symphonieorchesters des Bayerischen Rundfunks 1
2003 Die Walküre - Acts I and II Richard Wagner; Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Bruno Walter, Berlin State Opera Orchestra, Bruno Seidler-Winkler 1
2003 The Ring: Orchestral Highlights Richard Wagner; Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Uwe Mund 1
2004 Orchestral Music Wagner; Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan 1
2004 Richard Wagner - Preludes & Overtures Richard Wagner; Yakov Kreizberg, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra 1
2004 The Ride of the Valkyries / Overtures Wagner; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley 1
2004 Bruckner: Symphony No. 3; Wagner: Tannhäuser Overture & Venusberg Music Anton Bruckner, Richard Wagner; Hallé Orchestra & Sir John Barbirolli 1
2004 Preludes & Overtures Richard Wagner 1
2004 Scenes From Tristan und Isolde and Götterdämmerung (Russian State Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor John McGlinn) Richard Wagner 1
2004 Tannhäuser Wagner ; Brouwenstijn, Windgassen, Fischer-Dieskau, Greindl, André Cluytens 1
2004 Tristan und Isolde: Highlights Richard Wagner; Bertrand de Billy, Deborah Polaski, Heidi Brunner 1
2005 Preludes and Overtures Wagner; London Symphony Orchestra, Barry Tuckwell 1
2005 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Richard Wagner; Sir Georg Solti, Norman Bailey, Wiener Philharmoniker 1
2005 Rhapsodies Liszt, Enesco, Smetana, Wagner; Stokowski 1
2005 Tristan und Isolde (Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden feat. conductor: Antonio Pappano) Richard Wagner 1
2005 BBC Music, Volume 13, Number 13: Orchestral Music from the Operas (BBC Philharmonic feat. conductor: Sir Edward Downes) Richard Wagner 1

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