Knappertsbusch: Wagner – Parsifal, Bayreuth 1964 (4 CD, FLAC)
Knappertsbusch: Wagner – Parsifal, Bayreuth 1964 (4 CD, FLAC)

Orchestra: Bayreuth Festival Orchestra
Conductor: Hans Knappertsbusch
Composer: Richard Wagner
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 4
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Orfeo
Size: 735 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Parsifal…Jon Vickers
Kundry…Barbro Ericson
Gurnemanz…Hans Hotter
Amfortas…Thomas Stewart
Klingsor…Gustav Neidlinger
Titurel…Heinz Hagenau
1.Gralsritter…Hermann Winkler
2.Gralsritter…Gerd Nienstedt
1.Knappe…Ruth Hesse
2.Knappe…Sylvia Lindenstrand
3.Knappe…Dieter Slembeck
4.Knappe…Erwin Wohlfahrt
Blumenmдdchen…Anja Silja
Liselotte Rebmann
Else-Margret Gardelli
Dorothea Siebert
Rita Bartos
Sylvia Lindenstrand
Altsolo…Ruth Hesse

CD 1
01. Vorspiel
02. Act 1. He! Ho! Waldhuter ihr
03. Act 1. Seht dort, die wilde Reiterin!
04. Act 1. Recht so! – Habt Dank! – Ein wenig Rast
05. Act 1. He! Du da! Was liegst du dort wie ein wildes Tier?
06. Act 1. O wunden-wundervoller heiliger Speer!
07. Act 1. Titurel, der fromme Held
08. Act 1. Weh! Weh! – Hoho! – Auf! – Wer ist der Frevler?
09. Act 1. Nun sag’! Nichts wei?t du, was ich dich frage
10. Act 1. Vom Bade kehrt der Konig heim
11. Act 1. Verwandlungmusik
12. Act 1. Nun achte wohl und lass mich seh’n

CD 2
01. Act 1. Mein Sohn Amfortas, bist du am Amt?
02. Act 1. Wehvolles Erbe, dem ich verfallen
03. Act 1. Nehmet hin meinen Leib
04. Act 1. Wein und Brot des letzten Mahles
05. Act 1. Was stehst du noch da?

CD 3
01. Act 2. Orchestervorspiel
02. Act 2. Die Zeit ist da
03. Act 2. Ach! – Ach! – Tiefe Nacht!
04. Act 2. Furchtbare Not! So lacht nun der Teufel mein
05. Act 2. Ho! Ihr Wachter! Ho! Ritter!
06. Act 2. Hier war das Tosen! Hier! Hier!
07. Act 2. Komm, komm, holder Knabe!
08. Act 2. Parsifal! – Weile!
09. Act 2. Dies alles – hab’ ich nun getraumt?
10. Act 2. Ich sah das Kind an seiner Mutter Brust
11. Act 2. Wehe! Wehe! Was tat ich? Wo war ich?
12. Act 2. Amfortas! – Die Wunde! – Die Wunde!
13. Act 2. Gelobter Held! Entflieh dem Wahn!
14. Act 2. Grausamer! Fuhlst du im Herzen
15. Act 2. Auf Ewigkeit warst du verdammt mit mir
16. Act 2. Vergeh, unseliges Weib!

Also available:  Beecham: Wagner - Tristan und Isolde (3 CD, APE)

CD 4
01. Act 3. Orchestervorspiel
02. Act 3. Von dorther kam das Stohnen
03. Act 3. Wer nahet dort dem heil’gen Quell
04. Act 3. Heil mir, dass ich dich wiederfinde!
05. Act 3. O Gnade! Hochstes Heil!
06. Act 3. Nicht so! – Die heil’ge Quelle selbst
07. Act 3. Gesegnet sei, du Reiner, durch das Reine!
08. Act 3. Wie dunkt mich doch die Aue heut’ so schon! (Karfreitagszauber)
09. Act 3. Du siehst das ist nicht so
10. Act 3. Mittag. – Die Stund’ ist da (Verwandlungmusik)
11. Act 3. Geleiten wir im bergenden Schrein
12. Act 3. Ja, Wehe! Wehe! Weh’ uber mich!
13. Act 3. Nur eine Waffe taugt
14. Act 3. Hochsten Heiles Wunder!

KNA’s last Stand. The end of an era. His final Parsifal

KNA’s connection with Parsifal spans almost fifty years, and on record begins with his 1942 Act III issued on Music and Arts)with surprisingly fleet tempos), through the fifties, to his legendary 1962 stereo account on Philips, and culminating in this 1964 Parsifal, KNA’s last stand and the end of an era-his final Parsifal.
This Parsifal, at last count I have KNA’s 51,52,54,56,60,62 and now this one(along with about twenty other versions). My overall favourites have long been the 1954 due to Josef Griendl’s uncomparable Gurnemanz and Hans Hotter’s magnificent Amfortas, perhaps the wisest interpretation of the role on record-though overall I prefer london and the 62 philips kna.
This version is similar to that storied 62 version with one major upgrade, John Vickers as Parsifal. Jess Thomas in the 62 isnt bad, in fact, I think he is close to great, but this is Vickers show. He proves once again that he may be the most subtly intense Heldentenor since Melchoir, well deserving of the title passed down from Windgassen. Another unexpected delight, as in 1960, Thomas Stewart takes over as Amfortas. I dont believe he compares with Hotter or London, but his interp is vastly superior than today’s Weikl or Hampson.
Hotter is also surprising fine, though there is evidence of his soon-to-occur vocal demise. This was relatviely near to his debacle as Wotan in the Solti cycle so I was surprised at how well he sounded, though his 62 performance(in stereo) is still to be preferred.
Finally, KNA is the star of the show. I have long loved the ability to study his changes over time with this score. From the 1942 act III issued on Music and Arts(more similar to this than his 50’s perf), through the profound and glacial fifties, on to the his 60 performances, which culminate in this 1964, his last Parsifal at Bayreuth and as a conductor. It is truly aweinspiring the accumulation of wisdom he has gained over this 22 year, 60 plus performance stretch. His tempos went from hasty, to glacial, to moderate, to fleet but never rushed. And the detail will never be rivalled, not even by Krauss in 53 or Boulez(which was recorded prior to his fine tuned abilities). Just listen to the opening prelude and revelation after revelation await those who are familiar with the work. Turn on your 1954 version and listen to how the flutes were brazen then, but now subtlely hint at a vindication.
I would not recommend this as a first buy or introduction to parsifal, that goes to his 1962 stereo version on philips. Then I would return to his 1954 version on Archipel, my overall favourite. This perf is very good but would be recommended more toward those who adore this piece as I do. Vickers parsifal needs to be and is my second favourite interp of that character to Jerusalem with barenboim.
For those beginners, I would recommend Solti, Kubelik, or Barenboim.

2 Comments

  1. do we have ARMIN JORDAN from 1981 on Erato? Potenitally (although I have not heard it) one of the finest readings….

Leave a Reply