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Thielemann: Wagner – Parsifal (4 CD, FLAC)

Thielemann: Wagner - Parsifal (4 CD, FLAC)
Thielemann: Wagner - Parsifal (4 CD, FLAC)

Composer: Richard Wagner
Orchestra: Bühnerorchester der Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Conductor: Christian Thielemann
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 4
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Size: 956 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Amfortas: Falk Struckmann
Titurel: Ain Anger
Gurnemanz: Franz-Josef Selig
Parsifal: Placido Domingo
Klingsor: Wolfgang Bankl
Kundry: Waltraud Meier
Elster Gralsritter: Benedikt Kobel
Zweiter Gralsritter: In-Sung Sim
1. Knappe: Daniela Denschlag
2. Knappe: Janina Baechle
3. Knappe: John Dickie
4. Knappe: Peter Jelosits
1. Gruppe: Inna Los, Bori Keszei, Antigone Papoulkas
2. Gruppe: Simina Ivan, Ildiko Raimondi, Nadika Krasteva
Stimme von oben: Janina Baechle

CD 1
01. Vorspiel
02. Akt 1 – He! Ho! Waldhuter ihr
03. Akt 1 – Seht dort, die wilde Reiterin!
04. Akt 1 – Recht so! – Habt Dank! Ein wening Rast
05. Akt 1 – Nicht Dank! Haha! Was wird es helfen
06. Akt 1 – O wunden-wunderwoller heiliger Speer!
07. Akt 1 – Titurel, der fromme Held, der kannt ihn wohl
08. Akt 1 – Weh! Weh! – Hoho! – Auf!
09. Akt 1 – Nun sag! Nichts weisst du, das ich dich frage

CD 2
01. Akt 1 – Vom Bade kehrt der Konig heim
02. Akt 1 – Verwandlungsmusik
03. Akt 1 – Nun achte wohl und lass mich sehn
04. Akt 1 – Mein Sohn Amfortas, bist du am Amt
05. Akt 1 – Wehvolles Erbe, dem ich verfallen
06. Akt 1 – Nehmet hin meinen Leib
07. Akt 1 – Wein und Brot des letzten Mahles
08. Akt 1 – Was stehst du noch da

CD 3
01. Akt 2 – Vorspiel – Die Zeit ist da
02. Akt 2 – Ach! Ach! Tiefe Nacht
03. Akt 2 – Ho! Ihr Wachter! Ho! Ritter!
04. Akt 2 – Hier was das Tosen! Hier, hier!
05. Akt 2 – Komm, komm, holder Knabe!
06. Akt 2 – Parsifal! Weile!
07. Akt 2 – Dies alles hab ich nun getraumt!
08. Akt 2 – Ich sah das Kind an seiner Mutter Brust
09. Akt 2 – Wehe! Wehe! Was tat ich
10. Akt 2 – Amfortas! Die Wunde! Die Wunde!
11. Akt 2 – Grausamer! Fuhlst du im Herzen
12. Akt 2 – Auf Ewigkeit warst du verdammt
13. Akt 2 – Vergeh, unseliges Weib!

CD 4
01. Akt 3 – Vorspiel
02. Akt 3 – Von dorther kam das Stohnen
03. Akt 3 – Wer nahet dort dem heil’gen Quell
04. Akt 3 – Heil mir, dass ich dich wiederfinde!
05. Akt 3 – O Gnade! Hochstes Heil!
06. Akt 3 – Nicht so! Die heil’ge Quelle
07. Akt 3 – Gesegnet sei, du Reiner, durch das Reine!
08. Akt 3 – Karfreitagszauber
09. Akt 3 – Du siehst, das ist nicht so
10. Akt 3 – Mittag Die Stund ist da
11. Akt 3 – Geleiten wir im begrenden Schrein
12. Akt 3 – Ja, wehe! Wehe!
13. Akt 3 – Nur eine Waffe taugt
14. Akt 3 – Hochsten Heiles Wunder!

Thielemann’s DG Parsifal ‘live’ from Vienna (spliced together from several performances) is a fine solution to the ‘live’ vs ‘studio’ recording of this magnificent masterpiece. I have always preferred it live on the hoof, especially from Bayreuth, but also, notably, from the Deutsche Oper Berlin with Thielemann in 1998, an even finer performance than this DG set, but this will do nicely.

There are two notable performances worth preserving on this set, the first is, obviously, Plácido Domingo’s 2nd commercially available Parsifal, the first being with Levine with Jessye Norman at the Met, also on DG, excruciatingly conducted by an especially somnolent Levine. A very top-class affair that never takes wing or discovers a shred of magic within itself. Beautifully sung, especially James Morris’s Amfortas, but otherwise an also-ran best left for the discount used-bin find at rock bottom prices, for the completist only.

I groaned when I saw the cast list for this release. Oh gawd not another Waltraud Kundry THEN oh gawd Plácido in yet another farewell circus act in a role he is FAR to elderly to bring off. But then there was Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic and Waltraud Meier IS a great singer and a consummate actress and her voice has worn well, and there is Falk Struckmann’s Amfortas. How bad could it be? Not bad at all, in fact it is probably going to come to be considered a ‘classic’ recording before too long.

The great glory of this recording is Thielemann’s grasp of the whole thing; architecture, spirit, technical demand on the singers and orchestra, pacing, everything. The orchestra and chorus are splendid and the audience is virtually silent. No smokers’ hack in evidence, unlike the Knappertsbusch from 1962 which would have made a great cancer society stop-smoking add well before its time.

Meier sounds the same as she did when she made her first recording of Kundry for Goodall way back in the early 1980s. Goodall wrecks it with his horribly slow tempi, especially in Act 2, but she was clearly a star in the making. She has recorded and filmed this role several times. This is her finest version I think. She sounds younger on Barenboim’s studio set on Teldec but live in Vienna she embodies this highly complex and most fascinating of all Wagner characters.

I strongly recommend this Parsifal as a first recording for newbies who may have heard one or two other recordings or Met performances. The Karajan and Solti are also classical, though studio bound. And I say there is nothing like a Parsifal ‘on-fire’ on the stage live somewhere, especially Bayreuth, Berlin or Vienna.

In closing I have to mention, in passing, a recording I save to last in my spring Parsifal binge of 10 recordings, and reviews. This is a live radio broadcast from Salzburg in 2002. Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic with the greatest cast possible in this day and age. Thomas Moser, Urmana Violeta (perhaps the greatest Kundry of them all!), Hans Tschammer, Albert Dohmen and Eike Wilm Schulte.

Abbado made some of his finest recordings with Sony, WHY they didn’t capture his Wagner for posterity will forever be a disgusting mystery to me. Abbado also did a wonderful Tristan und Isolde, with Ben Heppner and Deborah Polaski and Matti Salminen in Berlin in 1998. I hope Sony sees fit to get hold of these two performances and release them in memoriam to a great Wagnerian who was not recorded enough in this repertory.

2 thoughts on “Thielemann: Wagner – Parsifal (4 CD, FLAC)”

  1. Большое спасибо за возможность сравнить различные интерпретации этой замечательной оперы.
    ИМХО только исполнение Шолти близко к идеалу.

  2. If I ever wondered how many different “Parsifal”s it was possible for one human being to accumulate, now I know. :-) You have good taste. (My personal favorite is Kubelik’s.)

    If you’re taking Wagner requests, I’m really looking for: 1) either Kempe’s “Lohengrin” on EMI or Bychkov’s on Profil; 2) Solti’s “Tannhauser” on Decca; 3) Kubelik’s “Meistersinger” on Arts Music; and 4) Bohm’s “Tristan und Isolde” on DG. But I understand if you have no interest in posting them. What you’ve done already is pretty amazing.

    Thanks for all your hard work! I greatly appreciate it!

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