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Wagner, R.: Parsifal (Bayreuth / Knappertsbusch) (1951)
 
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Wagner, R.: Parsifal (Bayreuth / Knappertsbusch) (1951)

21 Jan. 2003 | Format: MP3

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Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
14:16
30
2
5:55
30
3
3:19
30
4
7:01
30
5
7:46
30
6
5:06
30
7
11:51
Disc 2
30
1
7:38
30
2
7:26
30
3
7:47
30
4
6:28
30
5
11:28
30
6
8:54
30
7
5:22
30
8
4:32
30
9
2:32
Disc 3
30
1
6:39
30
2
3:46
30
3
8:14
30
4
4:22
30
5
5:36
30
6
6:48
30
7
5:41
30
8
5:15
30
9
9:20
30
10
10:07
30
11
6:51
30
12
5:44
Disc 4
30
1
4:28
30
2
4:34
30
3
6:55
30
4
4:22
30
5
8:02
30
6
6:33
30
7
13:59
30
8
5:19
30
9
4:44
30
10
8:08
30
11
9:18
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 21 Jan. 2003
  • Release Date: 21 Jan. 2003
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Label: Naxos
  • Copyright: (C) 2003 Naxos
  • Total Length: 4:32:06
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0062GY17Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,124 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jim N on 30 Oct. 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is my favourite Parsifal, recorded during July and August 1951 at the Bayreuth festival. The all round cast is magnificent, Martha Moedl is a stupendous Kundry with her unique rich dark voice and a characterisation that takes the breath away. Wolfgang Windgassen is in his peak in the title role and singers in the other roles including the Klingsor of Hermann Uhde and Amfortas of George London are terrific.
Hans Knappertsbusch is my favourite Wagner conductor and his unique slow tempi enable a myriad of orchestral detail to emerge - and the singers are fully able to make the long phrases with him.

The recording sounds remarkable for its age.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Klingsor Tristan VINE VOICE on 3 Jun. 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is a memorial of a very special occasion, the re-opening of the Bayreuth Festspielhaus after the war. It introduced the new Festival management of the third generation of Wagners, the brothers Wieland and Wolfgang, one of whom was a genius of Wagnerian proportions as a stage director. And this was the first outing of Wieland's famous Parsifal, described by the doyen of an older generation of Wagner critics, Ernest Newman, as one of the greatest experiences of his life and which ran in the repertory at Bayreuth until the 1970s. It set a style for operatic production that has influenced directors ever since, much as his grandfather's music has influenced subsequent composers.
But what of the performance divorced from its visual surroundings? Knappertsbusch clearly saw this as a special occasion. He was even slower with his speeds than in any of his later Bayreuth performances. But he knew the score inside out - Parsifal at Bayreuth became almost his personal fiefdom for the next fifteen years as it had previously been for Karl Muck before the Nazis came to power. The concentration he applies is incredible, working as he loved to in his shirtsleeves in the pit hidden from the audience. Huge paragraphs and whole acts are taken, as it were, in one long breath. The ad hoc orchestra - always at Bayreuth the cream of German players - loved him and it shows in their dedicated and wonderful playing.
The cast is probably one of the best, certainly the most consistent, on disc. Gurnemanz carries so much of the weight of the first and third Acts on his shoulders that his role is crucial: with all his narrations and back-story filling in, he can end up as a garrulous old bore.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LR on 27 Aug. 2013
Format: Audio CD
Parsifal is, in my view, terribly difficult to bring off, and most conductors make a mess of it. It is such a mysterious, strange piece.

Any mis-step in interpretation can render it sounding, by turns, pretentious, saccharine, disjointed and even risible or barmy.

Kna is without peer in this work, and in my opinion his 1951 recording is the most successful and fully realised account of Parsifal. The mono sound is very good and you soon don't even notice the sound so transporting is the performance.

No one else can realise Parsifal like Kna, his readings are simply on another, far more exalted level from all other contenders.

I believe that this is his finest rendering.

Here you will find a transcendent Parsifal that is utterly revealing and moves your whole being- a transfiguring experience.
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