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Wagner: Parsifal / Barenboim, Elming, Struckmann, Tomlinson [3 DVD]

Album Summary

>Wagner, Richard : Parsifal
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Parsifal represents the culmination of Wagner's work as a revolutionary composer of opera. In it, he created a powerful allegory on the conflict between Christianity and paganism, good and evil, light and dark, physical passion and spiritual abstinence. This dramatic production by the brilliant German stage director Harry Kupfer marked Daniel Barenboim's appointment as the artistic director of the Berlin State Opera in 1992. The cast is made up of the finest Wagnerian singers of the period, all of whom enjoyed substantial international careers. Barenboim's superb conducting reveals Wagner's multi-layered score in all its glory.

"With 20 years delay, finally we now have the 1992 Berlin State Opera production of Parsifal, quite simply the best presentation to date of Parsifal on DVD... The singers are what Kupfer wants: Young, agile singer-actors, all in their vocal prime, most having already worked with Barenboim/Kupfer in their just terminated Bayreuth Nibelungen Ring... Is Waltraud Meier the best Kundry in history? Honestly, I think she may well be. Here, stunningly beautiful in her vocal prime (36 years old), already with 10 years experience in the part, her dramatic commitment and effortless vocal flexibility is unparallelled... Daniel Barenboim has the weightier punch, which is ultimately the most satisfying approach. He quite simply understands the structure of Richard Wagners compositions, better than he understands the structure of anything else I have ever heard him conduct (which is, in fact, a lot). An easy first choice on DVD." -Mostly Opera

Pretty riveting, due mainly to the commitment of the cast to character and to superb singing and playing.

Fanfare Magazine, September/October 2012
As for the performance, it's very good... Despite the granitic pace of the opera, Barenboim keeps everything moving extremely well and draws some impressive and expressive playing from the orchestra... An interesting production, then, if not everyone's ideal. If you like Parsifal, this one will surely be on your to-get list. If you've never seen the opera, it is certainly a thoughtful and impressive production to judge it by.

In the year Daniel Barenboim himself devoted to Beethoven it was the long-awaited DVD release of his Berlin Staatsoper Parsifal that topped my personal hit list. Harry Kupfer's production (1992) is unobtrusively futuristic and, with Barenboim conducting as well as he ever has, this is currently the best modern recording in any format. John Tomlinson's Gurnemanz and Waltraud Meier's Kundry look young and sound glorious.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 245 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: NTSC, 4:3, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo,
Subtitles: English, German, French, Japanese


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Works Details

>Wagner, Richard : Parsifal
  • Performers: Poul Elming (Tenor); Fritz Hubner (Bass); Gunter Kannen (Bass Baritone); Waltraud Meier (Mezzo Soprano); Falk Struckmann (Bass); John Tomlinson (Bass)
  • Conductor: Daniel Barenboim
  • Ensemble: Berlin State Opera Chorus
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1857-1859