Despite its duration, I always think that Parsifal is one of Wagner's easiest operas to get to grips with. The story is relatively simple, the psycho-drama is not too 'psycho' and the music is the composer's most refined and inspired. I can even manage to listen to an entire recording without a break (OK, I did go to the toilet and made a coffee after the first act). The first thing to say about this set is that it is easily the best recorded Parsifal ever and in all probability has the best sound of any Wagner recording. It is simply glorious and the orchestral playing is outstanding. This is an opera which places the listener in a divine world and it uses sound to achieve that. No other recording comes close to creating the effect on offer here - even Richard Wagner himself would probably be impressed. As for the cast? Well Pape is as usual outrageously good as ever. And I was very impressed with Lehman and Urmana. Lehman may not have the most youthful voice for a Parsifal (that's actually a strange comment when you consider that he's a young man and the role has often been recorded by pensioners!) but its still a very fine performance in every way. Will try to write a more in-depth review of the rest of the cast after listening again but there appear to be no weak links. In summary, this is a magnificent recording. The artistry is on a par with the finest performances of the '50s and far exceeds more recent recordings from Karajan et al, but the astonishing soundworld on offer here places this set in a league of its own.