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Parsifal

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 51 pages
  • Publisher: Novello, Ewer and Co (1892)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0008D3MLS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This review is of the complete libretto for Wagner's Opera Parsifal published by G. Schirmer. I assume it is part of a series of libretti. It's not about the Eulenberg score, or the ENO libretto, which though excellent, were part of excellent series of their kind of thing, but they are not what I purchased. Amazon in their wisdom seem to have posted this review against all three. So hopefully this gives readers a signal as to what my review is about.

The libretto, comes in a booklet form about the size of a theatre program with a red cover. On one page is Wagner's original text in German. On the facing page a translation by Stewart Robb which is lucid, and easy to match with Wagner's words. Ideal for getting to know the libretto. Alternatively, ideal for following some recordings which have not reproduced the text, e.g. at time of writing Barenboim's recording of Parsifal. The print quality is good, as is the paper, though perhaps a little big to stand on a standard bookshelf. A slightly smaller size would gave made it more portable, and easily stored, hence four stars rather than five. But all in all up to its job and this will enhance your enjoyment of the opera.
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Format: Paperback
An excelelnt guide to Wagner's enigmatic final opera, containing some good introductory essays, an overview of productions and a list of recordings, along with a full libretto in the original German and an English translation (the English is actually the version sung at ENO productions of the opera, most recently in a staging by Nikolaus Lehnhoff).
Contrary to a review published below, this is not a full score, although there are some musical excertps and leitmotifs quoted.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
excellent book in every way, photos , history libretto etc etc, pleasantly surprised how informative it was as well and being well produced
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am new to this opera and it covers many aspects which will be v useful background to me in studying it in a class next term.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Opera Guide number 34 - PARSIFAL 20 Feb. 2000
By Derrick Everett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The information presented above contains some errors. This is not a score: it is an Opera Guide, one of a series published in association with the two principal London opera companies (Royal Opera and ENO). These books are intended to prepare audiences to evaluate and enjoy opera performances. Each book contains a complete libretto with a parallel translation into English (in this case, the singing translation by Andrew Porter).
There are five articles in Opera Guide no.34, as follows:
'A Very Human Epic' by Mike Ashman: a distinguished opera director, best known for his Wagner productions; these have included the WNO 'Ring' and 'Parsifal', the Norwegian Opera's 'Ring' and productions at Covent Garden. This essay provides an excellent introduction to Wagner's 'Parsifal'. It does however contain a few factual errors; in particular, Ashman is clearly out of his depth when he discusses Wagner's sources such as the 'Poetic Edda' (for the 'Ring') and Chretien de Troyes (for 'Parsifal').
This Guide was completed in 1986, and therefore it is understandable that the controversy that blew up around 'Parsifal' in the mid-1980's does not receive an adequate treatment here. The criticisms of Hartmut Zelinsky and Robert Gutman are mentioned, briefly, in a footnote at the end of Ashman's article.
'Recapitulation of a Lifetime' by Dieter Borchmeyer. I found this rather an eccentric take on 'Parsifal'. The author erroneously believes that the genesis of the work began in 1865; whereas Wagner recorded that the initial inspiration came in Marienbad in 1845 and the first sketch was written soon after Good Friday 1857. Borchmeyer also seems to be under the impression that Amfortas is meant to die at the end of 'Parsifal'; although this is a variant seen in many productions, it was not Wagner's idea. Etc.
'Experiencing Music and Imagery in Parsifal' by Robin Holloway: composer and professor of music in the University of Cambridge. In this fascinating article, Holloway identifies a "sonorous image cluster" at the core of the work. When so many articles about Wagner are leitmotif-fixated, it is refreshing to read an analysis of a Wagner score in which it is seen as an organic whole in which harmonic and melodic elements are inseparable.
'Parsifal: Words and Music' by Carolyn Abbate. An eccentric article (or is it an undergraduate essay?). The reader should refer to his score when Abbate does so, since she often misreads her score.
'Discursions into the Dramaturgy of Parsifal' by Gerd Rienäcker. I have no idea what this purple prose might be about! Rienäcker tells us that, at the end of act 2, Parsifal 'sets off into the wilderness with no idea where he is going'. On the contrary, Parsifal knows *exactly* where he is going; he just does not know how to get there.
There is also a useful 'Thematic Guide' by Lionel Friend, which contains 69 musical examples, some of which might be called 'leitmotiven'. He omits at least one of importance: Newman's 'Atonement'. Both the libretto and some of the articles refer to these musical examples by their numbers.
On balance, I can recommend this book as an introduction to 'Parsifal'. Even though I would have preferred it without a couple of the essays.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full Score 9 Oct. 1999
By Robert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a full score of the opera, printed in Hungary. The paper and paperback binding are good quality, and the book lies open easily. There is, however, no index of acts or scenes, and all the stage directions and dialogue are in German with no translation. The price of $7.98 is a bargain.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good gtranslation but avoid Ashman's idiocy 13 Nov. 2012
By Col William Russell (ret) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The ENO Guides are well known for their superb translations and, in most cases, the articlea about the opera. This in an exception. Mike Ashman's article is nonsense and is best ignored. He goes out of his way to "prove" that PARSIFAL isn not a Christian opera bu citing that some aspects are cited in "other religions". Since when did Ashman become an expert on religion (or anything else for that matter aside from in his own mind)? Maybe he doesn't believe in Wagner's statements but his diatribe is unworthy of this series and is a wonder someone was stupid enough to include it. I own the series and this is one that I can urge buyers to avoid until some edition with intelligence prevails and omits Ashman's nonsense.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Check your ISBN! 13 Mar. 2005
By D. Goodyear - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
For ISBN 963-8303-06-9, the title is correct. This is a facsimile reprint edition of the full score for Wagner's music drama Parsifal. The back page states, "This is an unabridged reprint of the first Schott edition (s.d.), the first print of the full score. The copy reproduced here is preserved in the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum and Research Center, Budapest..." This book would be appropriate for anyone who wishes a copy of the full score for study or performance purposes; look elsewhere if you want plot summaries or interpretations or critical reviews because that is not the purpose of this work.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Eulenburg edition 9 Jan. 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is the new Eulenburg critical 'Urtext' edition of Parsifal. It is a full sized score. The type set is completely redone and is much easier to read and study than the Dover edition. Totally worth it.
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