I was looking for a copy of Parsifal, and not being familiar with the many performances of Wagner operas available, I alighted on this one as very reasonably priced for a 4 CD set. I was encouraged by its great soloists and conductor but somewhat puzzled by the 2 existing reviews of this set, one giving it 5 stars and one giving it just 1. Anyway, I decided to take the plunge for at this price it seemed worth the gamble.
I am a relative newcomer to Wagner, only recently having become acquainted with his works, but I can honestly say I have been blown away with this recording. The soloists, orchestra and ensemble pieces are all excellent, I find the performance engaging and moving, the CD is well packaged with an excellent booklet with synopsis, a short essay and full libretto. I thoroughly enjoyed it at first listening and haven't been able to leave it alone since.
A word about the stage nosies referred to by another reviewer. I had expected to find them offputting but in fact they had the opposite effect on me. I found that they added to that sense of being there at a great live performance, enhancing my imaging of the drama. True, if you don't like stage noises, there are quite a lot of them and so you'd be better going for a studio version, but I for one, found them to be no problem at all.
All in all I think this is an excellent recording and superb value. If you love Wagner, or if like me you are a beginner, buy this now.