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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Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
Wagner: The Best of the Ring (Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele) Richard Wagner 1
Wagner's Greatest Richard Wagner; London Symphony Orchestra 1
Wagner's Greatest Hits Richard Wagner 1

Album + Compilation + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1958 Chöre Richard Wagner; Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele, Chor der Bayreuther Festspiele, Wilhelm Pitz 1
2001 Excerpts from Wagner Operas Richard Wagner; San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Woman’s Chorus, John Grover, Gaetano Merola 1
2004 Beethoven: Missa Solemnis / Schubert: Symphony no. 8 / Wagner: A Faust Overture Beethoven, Schubert, Wagner; Teresa Stich-Randall, Norma Procter, Richard Lewis, Kim Borg, BBC Chorus, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra, Jascha Horenstein 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1990 Das Rheingold Richard Wagner 1
1991 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Originalaufnahme der Bayrischen Festspiele 1974) Richard Wagner 1
1992 Parsifal Richard Wagner, James King, Gwyneth Jones, Franz Crass, Karl Ridderbusch, Thomas Stewart, Donald McIntyre, Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele, Pierre Boulez 1
1993 Siegfried-Idyll in E, WWV103 / Verklarte Nacht, op. 4 / Metamorphosen Richard Wagner, Arnold Schönberg, Richard Strauss 1
1993 Der fliegende Holländer Richard Wagner; Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele, Chor der Bayreuther Festspiele, Karl Böhm 1
1993 Das Rheingold Wagner; Bayreuther Festspiele, Barenboim 1
1994 Siegfried Wagner; Bayreuther Festspiele, Barenboim 1
1995 BBC Music, Volume 3, Number 7: Anne Evans sings Wagner at the 1994 Proms (BBC National Orchestra of Wales feat. conductor: Otaka) Richard Wagner 1
1995 Lohengrin Richard Wagner; Bayreuther Festspiele, Wolfgang Sawallisch 2
1995 Rienzi Richard Wagner; Wolfgang Sawallisch, René Kollo, Cheryl Studer, Jan-Hendrik Rootering, Norbert Orth, Kieth Engen, Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper & Bayerisches Staatsorchester 1
1996 Der Ring des Nibelungen (Bayreuth 1956) Richard Wagner; Hans Knappertsbusch, Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele, Chor der Bayreuther Festspiele 5 2
1997 Tristan und Isolde (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra feat. conductor: Erich Leinsdorf) Richard Wagner 1
1998 Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3, Overture Coriolanus / Wagner: Siegfried's Rhine Journey from Götterdämmerung Beethoven, Wagner; Dame Myra Hess, NBC Symphony Orchestra, Arturo Toscanini 1
1998 Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto / Wagner: Parsifal Mendelssohn, Wagner; Jascha Heifetz, NBC Symphony Orchestra, Arturo Toscanini 1
1999 BBC Music, Volume 7, Number 5: Requiem / Siegfried Idyll (Hong Kong PO feat. conductor: David Atherton) Faure / Wagner 1
1999 Götterdämmerung Richard Wagner; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Artur Bodanzky 1
2000 Tristan und Isolde Richard Wagner; Kirsten Flagstad, Lauritz Melchior, Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Fritz Reiner 1
2000 The Valkyrie Richard Wagner, Reginald Goodall, Rita Hunter, Alberto Remedios, Norman Bailey 2
2001 Siegfried Richard Wagner; Reginald Goodall, Alberto Remedios, Gregory Dempsey, Norman Bailey, Rita Hunter 2
2001 The Rhinegold Richard Wagner; Reginald Goodall, Norman Bailey, Emile Belcourt, Derek Hammond-Stroud 2
2001 Twilight of the Gods Richard Wagner; Reginald Goodall, Alberto Remedios, Rita Hunter, Aage Haugland 2
2001 Tannhäuser Richard Wagner; Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele, Chor der Bayreuther Festspiele & Karl Elmendorff 1
2002 Parsifal ((Bayreuth Festival 1954)) Richard Wagner; Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele, Chor der Bayreuther Festspiele & Hans Knappertsbusch 2
2002 Bruckner: Symphony no. 8 / Wagner: Tristan and Isolde: Prelude to Act I / Wesendonck Lieder Bruckner, Wagner; Janet Baker, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Reginald Goodall 1
2005 Die Feen (Edward Downes, BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra, BBC Northers Singers) Richard Wagner 1
2006 Das Rheingold, Bayreuth 1955 (Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele feat. conductor: Joseph Keilberth) Richard Wagner 1
2006 Siegfried (Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele feat. Conductor: Joseph Keilberth) Richard Wagner 1
2008 Bruno Walter Conducts: Bruckner Symphony No. 9 / Wagner: Siegfried Idyll Wagner, Bruckner; Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Bruno Walter 1
2010 Parsifal (Mariinsky Orchestra & Chorus) Richard Wagner 1
Die Walküre Richard Wagner; Astrid Varnay, Amy Shuard, Ramón Vinay, Hans Hotter, Kurt Böhme, Franz Konwitschny 1
Orchestral Music Wagner; Münchner Philharmoniker, Sergiu Celibidache 1

Album + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1988 Der Ring ohne Worte - Orchestral Highlights From The Ring Cycle (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra feat conductor: Lorin Maazel) Richard Wagner; Lorin Maazel, Berliner Philharmoniker 2
2004 Tristan und Isolde (Vienna State Opera feat. conductor: Christian Thielemann) Richard Wagner 1
2007 Magic Fire Richard Wagner & Erich Wolfgang Korngold 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1998 Symphony no. 9 for Piano, Soloists and Choir Ludwig van Beethoven arranged by Richard Wagner; Noriko Ogawa, Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1985 CBS Great Performances, Volume 2: Wagner: Great Orchestral Music from "The Ring" Richard Wagner 1
1990 Ouverture e preludi / Idillio di Sigfrido Wagner; Staatskapelle Berlin, Otmar Suitner 1
1993 Tannhäuser / Lohengrin / Die Walküre / Götterdämmerung / Der fliegende Holländer / Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg / Parsifal Wagner; Wilhelm Furtwängler, Kirsten Flagstad, Wiener Philharmoniker, Berliner Philharmoniker, Philharmonia Orchestra 1
1995 Tristan und Isolde (Highlights) Richard Wagner; Berliner Philharmoniker, Chor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin, Daniel Barenboim 1
2000 Der Ring des Nibelungen: Highlights Richard Wagner; Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan 1
2003 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Richard Wagner; Otto Edelmann, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Hans Hopf, Erich Kunz, Bayreuth Festival Chorus and Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan 1
2004 Die Fliegende Holländer Richard Wagner 1
2011 Der Ring des Nibelungen Wagner; Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele, Daniel Barenboim 1
Der fliegende Holländer (Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele feat. Conductor Joseph Keilberth) Richard Wagner 1
Der Ring des Nibelungen - Auszüge Richard Wagner 1
Der Ring des Nibelungen (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra feat. conductor: Herbert von Karajan) Richard Wagner 1
Der Ring des Nibelungen (Deborah Polaski, Daniel Barenboim) Richard Wagner 1
Der Ring: An Orchestral Adventure Richard Wagner; Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Edo de Waart 1
Die Walküre (Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, Hoffman, Boulez) Richard Wagner 1
Opernchöre, Treulich geführt... Richard Wagner 1
Ouvertüren und Vorspiele Richard Wagner 1
Richard Wagner - Charles Gerhardt - National Philharmonic Orchestra Richard Wagner 1
Siegfried: Der Ring des Nibelungen, Part 3 Richard Wagner 1
Stefan Mickisch / Die Walküre Richard Wagner 1
The Best Of Wagner (Philadelphia Orchestra feat. conductor: Eugene Ormandy) Richard Wagner 1
The Compact "Ring" Richard Wagner 1
The Ride of the Valkyries Richard Wagner 1
The World of Wagner Richard Wagner 1
Wagner (New York Philharmonic) Richard Wagner 1
Wagner: Symphonic Synthesis of Tristan und Isolde / Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier Suite Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss; American Youth Symphony, Mehli Mehta 1
Вагнер. Избранное Richard Wagner 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1987 Bruckner: Symphonie Nr. 8 c-moll / Wagner: Siegfried-Idyll Anton Bruckner, Richard Wagner; Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan 2
1988 Overtures (Munich Philharmonic Orchestra feat. conductor: Hans Knappertsbusch) Richard Wagner 1
1993 Overtures & Preludes (The Met Orchestra feat. conductor: James Levine) Richard Wagner 1
1996 Die Klassiksammlung 85: Wagner: Musikalischer Prunk Richard Wagner 2
1998 Overtures, Volume 5 (1,4: Philharmonia Slavonica feat. conductor: Algred Scholz; 2: Philharmonia Slavonica: Carlo Pantelli; 3: London Festival Orchestra: Alfred Scholz; 5: Münchner Symphonie Orchestra: Hanspeter Gmür) Richard Wagner 1
2004 Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 "Romantic" / Wagner: Siegfried Idyll Bruckner, Wagner; Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer 1
2005 The Greatest Classical Hits of Wagner Richard Wagner 1
2008 Ultimate Wagner: The Essential Masterpieces Richard Wagner 1
Music of Wagner Richard Wagner 1
Overtures Richard Wagner 1
Overtures and Preludes Richard Wagner 1
Overtures, Preludes Richard Wagner 1
Preludes and Overtures Richard Wagner 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2011-09-10: BBC Proms 2011: Prom 74: Royal Albert Hall, City of Westminster, London, England, UK Sir Peter Maxwell Davies / Béla Bartók / Richard Wagner / Franz Liszt / Frédéric Chopin / Percy Grainger / Benjamin Britten / Richard Rodgers / Sir Edward Elgar / Thomas Arne / Sir Hubert Parry 1

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