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
Highlights From: Tristan & Isolde, Vol. 2 Richard Wagner 1
Lohengrin Richard Wagner; Bayreuther Festspiele, Peter Schneider 1
Lohengrin Richard Wagner; Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Rafael Kubelík 1
Music of Richard Wagner Richard Wagner 1
Orchestral Masterpieces From the Ring of the Niebelung Stokowski / Wagner; London Symphony Orchestra 1
Ouvertüren Richard Wagner 1
Ouvertüren & Opernvorspiele Richard Wagner; New Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult 1
Ouvertüren und Orchestermusik: Tannhäuser / Parsifal / Das Liebesverbot / Rienzi Richard Wagner; Staatskapelle Dresden, Giuseppe Sinopoli 1
Overtures Wagner; London Philharmonic Orchestra 1
Overtures: Tannhäuser, Der fliegende Holländer, Die Feen Richard Wagner; Concertgebouw Orchestra, Edo de Waart 1
Parsifal (Bayreuth 1953) Richard Wagner; Clemens Krauss, Martha Mödl, Ramón Vinay, George London, Ludwig Weber, Hermann Uhde, Josef Greindl, Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele, Chor der Bayreuther Festspiele 1
Rhapsodies: Liszt, Enescu, Wagner, Smetana Liszt, Enescu, Wagner, Smetana; Stokowski 1
Rheingold Richard Wagner; Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Wolfgang Sawallisch 1
Richard Wagner - Sämtliche Lieder Richard Wagner, Gundula Schneider, Jochen Kupfer, Felicitas Strack, Württembergischer Kammerchor & Dieter Kurz 1
Siegfried Richard Wagner; Staatskapelle Dresden, Marek Janowski 1
Sinfonie in C-Dur / Siegfried-Idyll (Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin feat. conductor: Heinz Rögner) Richard Wagner 1
Tannhäuser (Metropolitan Opera feat. Melchior, Traubel, Varnay, Leinsdorf) Richard Wagner 1
Tannhäuser (Selección) Richard Wagner 1
Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg Richard Wagner; Orchester & Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Franz Konwitschny 1
The Masterpiece Collection: Wagner Richard Wagner 1
The Ride of the Valkyries Richard Wagner 2
Tristan und Isolde Wagner; Chorus & Orchestra of Welsh National Opera; Sir Reginald Goodall 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1972 Bernstein Conducts Wagner Wagner; New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein 1
1983 Der Ring des Nibelungen (Excerpts) (Wagner - Solti) Richard Wagner; Wiener Philharmoniker, Sir Georg Solti 2
1984 Ride of the Valkyries: Wagner's Greatest Hits (Philadelphia Orchestra feat. conductor Eugene Ormandy) Wagner; The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy 1
1988 Music From the "Ring" Richard Wagner 1
1988 Overtures & Preludes Richard Wagner 1
1989 Great Orchestral Music (Philadelphia Orchestra feat. conductor: Eugene Ormandy) Richard Wagner 1
1989 La Walkiria (Selección) Richard Wagner; Orquesta Filamónica de Berlín, Herbert von Karajan 1
1990 Great Overtures Richard Wagner 2
1990 Masterpiece: Wagner Richard Wagner 1
1991 Orchestral Music Richard Wagner; Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell 3
1991 Wagner Greatest Hits Richard Wagner 1
1992 Bruckner: Symphony no. 8 / Liszt: "Faust" Symphony / Wagner: "Faust" Overture Liszt, Wagner, Bruckner; Jascha Horenstein 1
1992 Highlights From: Tristan & Isolde, Volume 1 Richard Wagner; Symphonieorchester Innsbruck, Robert Wagner 2
1992 Orchestral Music from Der fliegende Holländer, Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Tannhäuser & Tristan und Isolde Wagner; Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan 2
1993 Selections from Tristan und Isolde, Tannhäuser, Götterdämmerung / Wesendonck-Lieder Wagner; New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein, Eileen Farrell 1
1993 Essential Wagner Richard Wagner; Wiener Philharmoniker 2
1993 Overtures & Preludes Richard Wagner 1
1993 The Ring: Instrumental Highlights / Tannhäuser Overture Wagner; Orchestra of the Württemberg National Opera, Jonel Perlea, London Philharmonia Orchestra, Alfred Scholz 1
1994 Orchestral Favourites Richard Wagner 1
1994 Wagner Gala Richard Wagner 1
1994 Der Ring des Nibelungen (Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele feat. conductor: Karl Böhm) Richard Wagner 5 1
1994 Wagner / Mussorgsky / Beethoven Wagner, Mussorgsky, Beethoven; Sydney Symphony Orchestra, José Serebrier 1
1994 Mad About Wagner Richard Wagner 1
1994 La Légende de Wagner Richard Wagner 1
1994 »Auf denn, zum Feste!«: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau singt Opernarien von Beethoven · Mozart · Verdi · Wagner Beethoven, Mozart, Verdi, Wagner; Dietrich Fischer‐Dieskau 1
1994 Greatest Hits Richard Wagner 1
1994 Les grandes scènes du Ring Richard Wagner; Orchestre symphonique de la radio bavaroise, Bernard Haitink 1
1994 Reflets : Richard Wagner Richard Wagner 1
1994 The Classical Collection 37: Wagner: Operatic Masterpieces Richard Wagner 3
1995 Tristan und Isolde (highlights) Richard Wagner; Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele, Karl Böhm 1
1995 Overtures & Highlights Richard Wagner 1
1995 Overtures and Preludes Richard Wagner; New Philharmonia Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult 1
1995 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Richard Wagner 1
1995 Operatic Favourites Richard Wagner 1
1995 Orchestral Favourites Richard Wagner; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly 1
1995 Tristan und Isolde: Großer Opernquerschnitt Wagner; Wiener Philharmoniker, Sir Georg Solti 1
1996 Orchestral Music Wagner; Berliner Philharmoniker, Klaus Tennstedt 2
1996 Romantic - Wagner: Ride of the Valkyries; The Flying Dutchman Overture; Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin Richard Wagner 1
1996 Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 / Wagner: Lohengrin - Overture / Siegfried Idyll / Parsifal - Prelude Bruckner, Wagner; Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Hans Knappertsbusch 1
1997 The Best of Wagner Richard Wagner 1
1997 Orchestral music (The MET Orchestra feat. conductor: James Levine) Richard Wagner 1
1997 Classical Masterpieces Richard Wagner 2
1998 Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 / Wagner: Preludes Bruckner, Wagner; Herbert von Karajan 1
1998 Der Ring des Nibelungen - Auszüge (Wiener Philharmoniker feat. conductor: Sir Georg Solti) Richard Wagner 1
1998 Wagner Great Overtures Richard Wagner 1
1999 Richard Wagner: Ouvertüren und Orchesterszenen - Chicago Symphony Orchestra Philharmoniker Richard Wagner 1
1999 Mahler: Symphonie 9 / Wagner: Siegfried Idyll / Strauss: Metamorphosen Mahler, Wagner, Strauss; Otto Klemperer 1
1999 Famous Scenes Richard Wagner; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Klaus Tennstedt 1
1999 Excerpts from Götterdämmerung / Parsifal / Die Walküre / Tristan und Isolde Richard Wagner; Wiener Philharmoniker, Hans Knappertsbusch 1
1999 Deutsche Grammophon Collection: Wagner: Wesendonck-Lieder / Strauss: Don Juan / "Till Eulenspiegel" / Four Last Songs Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss; Staatskapelle Dresden, Berliner Philharmoniker, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Herbert von Karajan, Cheryl Studer, Gundula Janowitz 1
1999 Overtures and Preludes (Berliner Philharmoniker) Richard Wagner 1
1999 Золотая коллекция (Gold Collection) Вагнер 5 1
2000 Strauss: Four Last Songs / Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder / Berg: Seven Early Songs Strauss, Wagner, Berg; Jane Eaglen, London Symphony Orchestra, Donald Runnicles 1
2000 Wagner Richard Wagner; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley 1
2001 Orchestral Music from 'The Ring' Richard Wagner; Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Klaus Tennstedt 1
2001 Christoph Schlingensief trifft: Richard Wagner Richard Wagner 1
2001 Götterdämmerung Highlights: Siegfried Idyll Richard Wagner; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Edward Downes, Sir Charles Mackerras 1
2002 Bryn Terfel, Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado Richard Wagner 1
2002 Overtures and Preludes Wagner; Berlin State Opera Orchestra, Karl Muck 1
2002 Siegfried‐Idyll / Orchestral Music from Der fliegende Holländer, Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Parsifal, Rienzi, Der Ring des Nibelungen, Tannhäuser & Tristan und Isolde Wagner; Otto Klemperer, Philharmonia Orchestra 2
2002 The Ride of the Valkyries Richard Wagner; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Mark Elder & Karl Anton Rickenbacher 1
2003 Greatest Hits Richard Wagner 3 1
2004 Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 "Romantic" / Wagner: Siegfried Idyll Bruckner, Wagner; Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer 1
2004 Carlos Kleiber: Tribute to a Unique Artist Schubert, Brahms, Wagner; Carlos Kleiber 1
2004 Extracts from the Operas Wagner; Wilhelm Furtwängler 1
2004 Opera Choruses Richard Wagner 1
2005 Die kompletten Opern Richard Wagner 1
2005 Rienzi / Der fliegende Holländer / Tannhäuser / Die Walküre / Siegfrid / Parsifal Richard Wagner; Wiener Philharmoniker, Hans Knappertsbusch 1
2005 The Flying Dutchman / Lohengrin etc. Richard Wagner 1
2006 Der Ring - An Organ Transcription (Hansjörg Albrecht) Richard Wagner 1
2006 管弦楽曲集 ワーグナー;メトロポリタン・オーケストラ,レヴァイン 1
2006 DIE ZEIT Klassik-Edition 08: Roger Norrington dirigiert Richard Wagner Richard Wagner; Roger Norrington 1
2007 Strauss: Four Last Songs R. Strauss / Wagner 1
2007 Los clásicos de la Ópera, No. 7: Tristan und Isolde (Orquesta Philharmonia feat. conductor: Wilhelm Furtwängler) Richard Wagner 1
2008 Ultimate Wagner: The Essential Masterpieces Richard Wagner 1
2009 Grandes compositores da música clássica, Volume 22: Wagner Richard Wagner 1
2009 Der Symphonische Ring Richard Wagner; Duisburger Philharmoniker, Jonathan Darlington 1
2010 Karajan Conducts Wagner: Overtures and Preludes Richard Wagner; Herbert von Karajan, Berliner Philharmoniker 1

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