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Parsifal: Bayreuther Festpiele (Stein) [DVD] [2007]

Brian Large    Exempt   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
Price: £18.43 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Parsifal: Bayreuther Festpiele (Stein) [DVD] [2007] + Wagner - Tristan Und Isolde [Barenboim] [DVD] [2009] + Peter Schneider - Wagner: Lohengrin [DVD] [2008]
Price For All Three: £49.80

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Product details

  • Directors: Brian Large
  • Format: AC-3, Box set, Classical, Colour, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, DVD-Video, PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: German, English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Chinese, English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Universal Classics & Jazz
  • DVD Release Date: 16 July 2007
  • Run Time: 244 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PC1N4A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,843 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Wagner's opera with Siegfried Jerusalem, Eva Randova, Bernd Weikl, Hans Sotin, Leif Roar, Matti Salminen, and the Choir and Orchestra of the Bayreuther Festpiele.

Product Description

NOTICE: Polish Release, cover may contain Polish text/markings. The disk DOES NOT have English audio and subtitles.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
104 of 107 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Until now, I haven't felt that there was a recommendable "Parsifal" available on DVD. Nagano's version from the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden is visually inane and musically uninspiring, while Levine's Metropolitan Opera version is safely traditional but unexpectedly dull.

Here is a version recorded live at the Bayreuth Festival in 1981. I've been very pleased to find that this is, with some caveats, an outstanding version of the opera.

In Act 1, the character of Gurnemanz is of critical importance since it is his role to explain the background of Kundry, Amfortas, Titurel, Klingsor and the spear to the audience. Fortunately Hans Sotin as Gurnemanz and conductor Horst Stein bring every facet of the story to life. I've heard Stein's conducting in this performance described as pedestrian. Not so. The orchestral response is thrilling in the Transformation Music, and the singing of the Grail Knights in the following section is magnificent.

As for Siegfried Jerusalem, this performance finds him, aged 41, fairly near the beginning of his operatic career (he was a bassoonist until the age of 35). Nevertheless, it seems he was already an excellent Parsifal, and this recording allows him to shine more than the Levine DVD from 1992. Matti Salminen is towering (and unmistakable) as Titurel, and Bernd Weikl conveys all of Amfortas's pain and anguish.

I didn't think that Act 2 was quite as successful, largely on account of Eva Randova's Kundry. I found her voice unduly shrill. For me that detracted from the latter half of the act where Kundry's role is so important. On the positive side, Stein is impressive in the chromatic music representing Klingsor's kingdom, and he brings a sense of eroticism to the Flower Maidens' music that harks back to "Tristan".
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Production 28 Dec 2003
By E. A. Redfearn TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Produced by the same team which produced the wonderful Der Ring Des Nibelungen in New York. Its a very fine production which is what to be expected from the maestros of the New York Metropolitan Opera. Wagner's final opera can be an ordeal to sit through at times due to its enormous length and subject matter. But if you are a die-hard Wagnerian it wont matter because this is a must see. Siegfried Jerusalem sings his part as Parsifal with much style and emotion. Veteran singer Kurt Moll is a very fine Gurnemanz indeed. But the star of the opera is the lovely Waltraud Meier who brings much passion to the difficult role of Kundry. Overall, the production cannot be really faulted. James Levine, as always conducts the New York Met Orchestra with his professionalism and style. However, it cannot really match the intensity of the famous Knappersbutsch Bayreuth 1962 recording which is still available on CD. Still, am sure any Wagnerian will welcome this addition to the ever growing DVD Opera catalogue. One thing though which needs to be mentioned; make sure your scart lead is in RGB socket on your television and that the RGB connection is on at setup in the DVD Menu page, otherwise picture will be in black and white and look grainy.
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75 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bingo! This is the one. 2 Aug 2007
Format:DVD
Finally the quest for the holy grail is over: A performance/production of Parsifal on Dvd that is really worth investing in and really helps you appreciate that in fact Parsifal IS a great opera.

My knowledge of Parsifal is limited to the Nagano Dvd and the Levine/New York Met production (similar to the first reviewer here). I have seen a couple of live performances and have a few recordings on dvd (Von Karajan, Knappertsbusch (1962), Levine). I can say that, regarding dvds, whereas the Nagano production suffers from: a) conducting that seems to me to lack feeling and, b) from being another silly modern stage, and while the Levine production is: a) sluggish with unimaginative tempi and, b) lacking in dramatic effect, this Bayreuth version is conducted with pace by Stein but is nevertheless replete with ethereal atmospheric effect induced by a really effective layering of the score, the staging is perfect - not cluttered, but scenic and in fact beautiful - and individual performances in terms of singing and acting are really first rate.

Ultimately this recording illustrates how fundamental it is to adhere to Wagner's stage instructions to maximize not only dramatic effect but, I believe, also to bring out the sheer beauty of the music. Stein, backed by an excellent orchestra, conducts well for sure but the fact that there is real synthesis between music and drama - the gesamtkunstwerk of which Wagner extolled - really does serve to facilitate both: the music seems more apt and imbued with significance, the drama simultaneously drives and is driven by the music.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The True Bayreuth Experience 15 Dec 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I recently purchased the DVD of this production of Parsifal which was recorded at Bayreuth in the early 1980s. The production is directed by Wolfgang Wagner and the conductor is the Swiss maestro and Bayreuth regular Horst Stein (both are sadly no longer with us).

This production has a special place in my heart as it was the first Wagner work that I actually experienced live in the Festspielhaus. That was in 1982 and this recording was made the year before. I recall that it was broadcast by the BBC at Easter one year sometime later on in the decade.

Anyway enough personal reminiscence. The production is a fairly conventional one by the standards that opera goers experience nowadays. The costumes seem right and the scenery is suggestive rather than representational. The lighting is good. All in all the work is presented to us in a way that will not distract us from the singing and playing.

The orchestral playing is sublime and we have Wagner's incandescent score given a sensitive and exquisite performance by Horst Stein and the Festival Orchestra. The choral singing is all one would expect from Bayreuth at this time. In terms of the soloists Hans Sotin and Bernd Weikl take the honours with Siegfried Jerusalem also deserving much credit. Eva Randova is not the best Kundry I have seen or heard and her upper register is a little strident. However, I recall the passion and fire in my heart as I walked out of the Festspielhaus after the second act into the evening air back in the summer of August 1982 and I forgive her failings in a way that others who had not experienced the intensity of the live performance cannot be expected to.

I can whole heartedly recommend this DVD recording of Parsifal. It gives a true account of a moving performance of one of the world's greatest works of art - and all for £8.99 at Amazon as at the time of me writing this review!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Music excellent, production disappointing
I have a Cd of Parsifal that I have loved for ages and wanted to have something more visual, after all, Wagner considered his "operas" to be music drama - intended to be... Read more
Published 3 months ago by David Keast
5.0 out of 5 stars Parsifal
This is a fine version of the opera. I particularly liked the effort made to make both scenes and costumes contemporary to the time of the opera was set. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Philip Noble
4.0 out of 5 stars Parsifal DVD
I saw a production of Parsifal in Bayreuth and I thought this production was very well staged and enjoyed the singing and all over setting.
Published 7 months ago by Philip Day
5.0 out of 5 stars The Complete Parsifal
This is my third attempt at finding a production of Parsifal that fullfills all my expectations.
Teatro La Fenice is stark and depressing, though the music is fine, similarly... Read more
Published 17 months ago by I. Zaneres
3.0 out of 5 stars non-seductive Kundry
This Wolfgang Wagner approach well suits the music and the drama. Parsifal, Gurnemanz and Amfortas, in the hands of Jerusalem, Sotin and Weikl are, at worst, well done and often... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Badger
4.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite music.
Now, you would think as I have only given this 4-stars that I don't think this is excellent, but you'd be wrong. Read more
Published on 2 July 2012 by Nigel Gallimore
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Performance
I have seen Parsifal several times, including at Bayreuth, and I found this production to be excellent. One is soon drawn into the performance especially in the forest scene.
Published on 10 May 2012 by John
3.0 out of 5 stars All Around Adequate
This, Wolfgang Wagner's first production of his grandfather's final masterpiece, was a traditionalist reaction to his elder brother's famous 30 year old iconoclastic staging. Read more
Published on 5 April 2011 by L. Lubin
5.0 out of 5 stars The Only One You Need
This production provides just about everything I want from a Wagner opera. The setting is traditional, in that there is a recognizable forest and cathedral, and the costumes are in... Read more
Published on 18 Sep 2010 by Carl Vaughan
5.0 out of 5 stars parsifal
I agree with all the reviews, that this is a first class performance. The only comment I would make is that I would liked to have seen the orchestra during the prelude rather... Read more
Published on 23 July 2010 by Bernard Akester
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