Richard (formerly Wilhelm Richard) Wagner acquired a profound interest in drama at school in Leipzig, and before the age of 20 had written several orchestral works. His earliest theatrical appointments were at Würzburg as chorus-master, 1833, and as conductor at Magdeburg, 1835. Wagner's whole career was characterized by a determination to succeed as an opera composer: his other compositions are few and, apart from the Faust overture, of minor importance.

From Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Prelude to Act 1

From Tannhäuser

Overture (Dresden version)

Entry of the Guests (Act 2 Scene IV)

Ode to the Evening Star (Act 3 Scene II)