on 4 January 2013
This really is a great volume on Wagner's final masterpiece.It contains chapters on the music,libretto and even performance history (a total of eight,long and very different, chapters;each with a different author).The lengthy chapter dealing with the christian dimension of the work is beautifully handled (chapter 3 "Parsifal and religion:A christian music drama?")giving both a "yes" and a "no" to the blunt question "is Parsifal a 'christian' work?".Christian readers will enjoy the way the author (Ulrike Kienzle) finds Christ in a number of 'places' in the opera.
One of the most refreshing features of the volume is its 'cool headedness'.The authors are able to discuss the work with exceptional clarity without the typical hysteria that normally accompanies discussions about Wagner(and particularly this last work,for some perverse reason).The very few references to Adolf Hitler re-enforce the writers sobriety; so those looking for a writing that pours slime on the german composer will have to look elswhere.
This would make a great gift for anyone interested in Parsifal and/or Wagner;although it would certainly help if you can read music.