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Richard Wagner

May 22, 1813 - February 13, 1883
born in Leipzig, Germany, composed during the Romantic period
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 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. ~ Rovi Staff, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Tristan Und Isolde

Disc 1
Title: Tristan Und Isolde, Opera, Wwv 90
Disc 2
Disc 3
x

Track List: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Disc 1
Title: Die Meistersinger Von Nürnberg, Opera, Wwv 96
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4
x

Track List: Twilight Of The Gods: The Ultimate Wagner Ring Collection

Disc 1
Title: Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold), Opera, Wwv 86a
Title: Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), Opera, Wwv 86b
Disc 2
Title: Siegfried, Opera, Wwv 86c
Title: Die Götterdämmerung (Twilight Of The Gods), Opera, Wwv 86d
x

Track List: Wagner: Der Fliegende Hollander

Disc 1
Title: Der Fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), Opera, Wwv 63
Disc 2
x

Track List: Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen (1982 Orchestral Excerpts)

x

Track List: Wagner: Die fliegende Holländer

Disc 1
Title: Der Fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), Opera, Wwv 63
Disc 2
x

Track List: Wagner: Lohengrin / Solti

Disc 1
Title: Lohengrin, Opera, Wwv 75
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4
x

Track List: Wagner: Scenes from Tristan und Isolde and Götterdammerung

Title: Tristan Und Isolde, Opera, Wwv 90
Title: Die Götterdämmerung (Twilight Of The Gods), Opera, Wwv 86d

Comments

kill the wabbit... kill the wabbit
Just wish Pandora wouldn't cut the songs off midway, what's up with that? That's worse then listening to those cheesy classical music LPs that have only the most famous part of a piece of music and the heck with the rest, when they start playing an entirely different piece of music, of a different composer! We'll have to go back to buying CDs, dusting off old cassettes, LPs, and 8 tracks, ;).
That's why his little rake, libertine of a father-in-la w Franz Liszt outlived him! It's not cool to be anti (Semitic) or anything, fill in the blank. Whatever he lacked in broad-minded n e s s he made up for in musical talent I guess, as I love his music.
jessesmac
Hey, guys! Did you know that Wagner was strongly anti-Semitic , and that many of Adolf Hitler's political views were derived from Wagner's opinions? Still, cool song.
HEARD THIS IN THE MOVIE EXCALIBUR
Truely a beautiful masterpiece.
Ahhhh. So it's Wagner that's EVERYWHERE!
Wagner -- Now we know whose influence we hear in the Star Wars music.
jeffreybrown 3 1 7
Wasn't this in a bugs bunny cartoon with elmer fudd singing "kill the wabbit"?
john williams all the way but still a good song
This song sucks because it is not from john willims
mosheyisrael 5 2
David Moshe Yisrael
H'mmm Wow!
There are comments from 5 years ago!!!
Wagner was Hitler's favorite composer, but that should not be held against him as he had been dead for several decades beforehand. The boldness in his work has been an inspiration for many people including Ernest Hemingway and Leo Tolstoy
I read through this thread and found comments from 6 months ago posted by a Nazi regarding the Jewish global domination hoax. Then 9 days ago He was Hitlers favorite composer.
Hitler had as much in common with Wagner as Mussolini had with Vivaldi.
Let it go. Wagner grew up where and when he did, thus was formed his anti-semitis m . Hitler used the prevailing anti-semitis m to rabble rouse.
Wagner was a victim of his environment, and a musical genius. Hitler was a criminal.
i love the smell of naplam in the moring smellls like vicyory
He was Hitlers favorite composer
amandacalder a 1 4
WWE Daniel Bryan!!!!
During the invasion of Kuwait this was played by coalation forces crossing the border
I get both sides of this argument. But I think we can all just agree Wagner is da bomb?
9124797389
Check out - string quartet tribute to slayer. The difference between slayer metal and Wagner is amplifiers. I love em both
rbeach88
ummmmm, this is a music station, not a talk show.
ffgg30
Lol. Ethan, and all you other people that are engaged in this argument are ignorant and idiots. I'm not agreeing with prague, but you guys look like fools. Get fed up,b**ches.
Jsprague1498 - I've already refuted everything you've said. Your final arguments are mere repetition. You have lost, and now retreated into pathetic denial. Enjoy your conspiracy theories, I see no reason to concern myself further with them- any third party can easily read our discussion and learn to disregard your foolishness. Goodbye.
boogabooga73
If one is religious, perhaps this makes sense?

Of all the people on earth among whom God could have put his son, he chose the Jews. What does this say about the regard he held them in? Would you put your child among people you loved or people you reviled, if that were your choice? How can one say he believes in Jesus' message of love, and hate his family, because they were born Jews, as He was.

This discussion has no place here. The world can be a tedious and vile place. Stop.
Wow.
Federal Reserve Bank, all the World banks, The U.N., Hollywood... it goes on and on and on. This is all skill and good fortune I guess,lol
skill and good fortune Thatone literally made me laugh out loud, good job sir I needed that. You seem too smart to be blindly ignoring facts. We need you on our side man.
Rupert Murdoch gives millions to Israel every year so he is more Jewish than most Jews. Don't you think it is a little odd that America's money is controlled by a jewish run private bank? Go ahead say something clever
99% is a gross exaggeration - Fox News and the other portions of its conglomerate account for more than 1% on their own- and are controlled by Rupert Murdoch- who is not Jewish- and have major stockholders among the Saudi Royalty(also not Jews). The other organization s are also not dominated by the Jewish people- and what ones are can be easily accounted for by nothing more suspicious than skill and good fortune.

A disproportio n a t e l y high percentage of Nobel prize winners in the sciences are als
I guess it is all a coincidence that a people that represent less than 3% of America's population control around 99% of all major media outlets and also control all of the world banks. I am not blaming Jews I am blaming Zionists and their agenda. This information is easily proven and yet people want to say it is a lie created by anti-semites . People can believe whatever they want...
jsprague1498 . I suggest you research your history more carefully- Lenin was not Jewish, either genetically or religiously. He, like Trotsky and most true Communists, was an atheist, though Trotsky was indeed, of Jewish descent.

That notwithstand i n g - how on earth can you claim the Jews were responsible for the over-harshne s s of the Treaty of Versailles? It's widely known that Clemanceau and France were the strongest force in that, due to a sense of vengeance against Prussia depredations and insu
petermeister
Wagner's music is better than it sounds.
Mr. Sprague, I lived in Germany for many years. They are rightfully ashamed of what Hitler did to their citizenry and try very, very hard to make sure nothing like that ever happens again.

Yes, Germany was torn apart by the reparations they were forced to pay as a result of the Armistice. There is strong evidence that history might have been different had the reparations AND the Great Depression not flattened the world's economy. However, blaming the Jews is flat out ridiculous.
Mr. Rodriguez, we are human. We were animal and had to fight for life. Getting along was not part of the fight. And you are no different; if I insult you or your ideas you will not treat me the same as someone who loves your ideas. No! you cannot get along with someone who finds you repulsive. Attacking and defending is part of our nature. When we formed into communities and civilization s we invented religion to give us a guide but even religion stopped short of your request.
Mr. Rodriguez, we are human. We were animal and had to fight for life. Getting along was not part of the fight. And you are no different; if I insult you or your ideas you will not treat me the same as someone who loves your ideas. No! you cannot get along with someone who finds you repulsive. Attacking and defending is part of our nature. When we formed into communities and civilization s we invented religion to give us a guide but even religion stopped short of your request.
Can't we all just get along!
Stalin was suspect but Lenin was a jew. so much for zero evidence? Look it up yourself
So, Mr. Sprague, Stalin and Lenin were actually Jewish? You must do the world a favor and publish this news widely in respectable journals. Please do not be dissuaded by the fact that there is zero evidence to support your claim.
and by the way the Jewish form of government known as Communism claimed millions of more victims than the Nazis and their atrocities and barbarism made Hitler look like Gandhi
@rosenthalhm , I am truly sorry that you are ignorant to the facts of history, after the Treaty of Versailles at the end of WW1 the jews decimated Germany in every way, if not for that a man like Hitler would have never needed to exist, He was the answer to a problem. But you just go on beleiving all the bullshit and lies they teach in school and on the media. My eyes are wide open my friend.
When a school house is built, bricks are used. Some of the bricks are made with straw from the meadow where a beautiful young girl sings and dances in the bright sunlight. Some of the straw comes from the pig pen and corral where the animals defecate on it and stomp it into the mud and slime. Is it really the source of the straw that makes school houses such evil places? Please let me know what world you come from where there are no social injustices and no evil.
rosenthalhm
jsprague1498 , I am truly sorry for the state of ignorance and unknowingnes s in which you hide. Music should transcend social and political injustices, lulling its audience into a higher subconscious . You - much like the members of the Third Reich - are obviously unsatisfied with the pathetic and pitiable life you live and feel as though you cannot possibly be responsible for your own misery.
Politics and racism will-not outlast the Genius that is Wagner. He made notes follow notes; sound after sound like nowhere else in Human history. Where Beethoven is raw power, with Wagner there is pure absolute beauty and must be God Inspired! Put aside todays issues and absorb the gift that is Wagner...
jsprague, proof please.
to jeff9121.
In Wagners time the Jews had a stranglehold on Germ in much the same way they do today; economy, media, politics, etc... Like it or not Jews invented and control the world's internationa l banking, they own 98% of Americas major media, and manage to keep all our politicians slaves to Irael. Need me to go on?
kcecilr1150g s
I've been thinking about shaving my face everywhere except my neck (sensitive neck skin). If I do I'll just say it is a tribute to Wagner.
And if Hitler loved Bugs Bunny cartoons, would Bugs be maligned too?
Serenity now.
Insanity later....
I've been to Neuschwanste i n several times. Before King Ludwig died, he hired people to make every room a different theme from a Wagnerian opera. What's finished is gorgeous.
kreativesau
Ihr habt doch keine Ahnung, also bitte solche Bemerkungen aus Respekt gegenüber der Kunst lassen! Wagner is cool and there is nothing more but i believe that you believe in fukcin propaganda made by others ..not wagner he did great musicart.
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