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5 Shows, 21 Tracks

Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner's idea for "Gesamtkunstwerk" (literally "total artwork") demonstrates the scale on which the German composer operated: with 18-hour operatic cycles, orchestras that were more powerful than any ever assembled, and librettos examining the tragedy and heroism of existence, his legacy is utterly titanic. Born in 1813, Wagner was introduced to the theater by his stepfather and, after brief musical training, began composing operas. Dissonant chromaticism and expansive orchestral technique resulted in mid-career triumphs including 1845's Tannhauser and 1848's Lohengrin. After finding a benefactor in King Ludwig II, Wagner wrote his masterwork, Der Ring des Nibelungen (known commonly as "The Ring Cycle"). A set of operas based loosely on Norse mythology, the Ring birthed the stereotypical marriage of Viking helmets and stout sopranos, included the "Flight of the Valkyries," and was appropriated by Nazi ideologues for its heroic depiction of the German nation. After finishing Parsifal, Wagner died of a heart attack on February 13, 1883. While striving for Gesamtkunstwerk, Wagner made profound achievements in his creative expression.

Richard Wagner Concert Films

  • Bayreuth Festival - Wagner: Die Walküre

    Richard Wagner

    Year: 2017

    Runtime: 3 hr 59 min

    Conducted by Daniel Barenboim and directed by Harry Kupfer, Wagner's 'Der Ring des Nibelungen' has never been better realised on film than in this legendary production from the Bayreuth Festival, recorded in 1992. An allegory on the struggle for ultimate power, the 'Ring' consists of four epic dramas. The second of these is 'Die Walküre', which focuses on Wotan, the ruler of the gods, whose ill-fated attempts to recover the ring drive much of the plot; his mortal son Siegmund and daughter Sieglinde; and his Valkyrie daughter Brünnhilde, who supports Siegmund, with tragic consequences. Cast includes Poul Elming (Siegmund), Nadine Secunde (Sieglinde), John Tomlinson (Wotan) and Anne Evans (Brünnhilde) with the Orchester der Bayreuther.
     
     
  • Lohengrin

    Richard Wagner

    Year: 2017

    Runtime: 3 hr 35 min

    Lohengrin is a Romantic opera in three acts composed and written by Richard Wagner, first performed in 1850. The opera has inspired other works of art. King Ludwig II of Bavaria named his fairy-tale castle "New Swan Castle", or "Neuschwanstein", after the Swan Knight. It was King Ludwig's patronage that later gave Wagner the means and opportunity to compose, build a theatre for, and stage his epic cycle The Ring of the Nibelung.
    The most popular and recognizable part of the opera is the Bridal Chorus, better known as "Here Comes the Bride", often played as a processional at weddings in the West.
     
     
  • The Ring of the Nibelung - Götterdämmerung - Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires

    Richard Wagner

    Year: 2016

    Runtime: 1 hr 23 min

    To honor Richard Wagner’s 200th birthday, Latin America’s famous opera house in Buenos Aires hosts a one-of-a-kind project: Performing Wagner’s powerful music drama “The Ring of the Nibelung” on stage in a single day. Stage Director Valentina Carrasco, who has worked with the award-winning Catalonian theatre group “La Fura dels Baus” for the past ten years, transposes the “Colón Ring” into the 1970s – the period of Argentina’s military dictatorship. Symbols of that age are seen on the costumes, while the characters also make references to the period in their behavior and gestures.
     
     
  • Parsifal

    Wagner

    Year: 2006

    Runtime: 4 hr 7 min

    Parsifal is an opera in three acts by German composer Richard Wagner. It was Wagner's last completed opera and in composing it he took advantage of the particular acoustics of his Bayreuth Festspielhaus. Wagner described Parsifal not as an opera, but as "Ein Bühnenweihfestspiel" ("A Festival Play for the Consecration of the Stage").
     
     
  • Tristan and Isolde

    Wagner

    Year: 2016

    Runtime: 4 hr 9 min

    Wagner's supporters say that he took music to new heights of expression here; his detractors say it's the death-knell for melody and structure. It's four hours of aching yearning that does not rest until the last few minutes of the opera.
     
     

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