"The Karajan Parsifal seems to grow in statute as an interpretation on each re-hearing; on CD it appears to have acquired a new depth, in terms of sound, because of the greater range of the recording and the greater presence of both singers and orchestra. As in practically all cases, the new medium offers a more immediate experience.
Karajan's reading, a trifle stodgy in Act 1, grows in intensity and feeling with the work itself, reaching an almost terrifying force in the Prelude to Act 3 which is sustained to the end of the opera. Moll's Gurnemanz is a deeply expressive, softly-moulded performance of notable beauty. Vejzovic, carefully nurtured by Karajan, gives the performance of her life as Kundry. Hoffmann's toneRead more isn't all times so steady as a Parsifal's should be, but he depicts the character's anguish and eventual serenity in his sincere, inward interpretation. Van Dam is a trifle too placid as Amfortas but his singing has admirable power and steadiness. Nimsgern is the epitome of malice as Klingsor. The choral singing hasn't quite the confidence of the superb orchestral playing. In his original review William Mann found this reading had beauty while Solti's on Decca had truth. For me, Karajan's has both qualities of Keats's imagining in abundance. And what a blessing to have it all on four CDs."
Parsifalby Richard Wagner Performer:
Dunja Vejzovic (Mezzo Soprano),
Siegmund Nimsgern (Baritone),
Victor von Halem (Bass),
Claes H. Ahnsjö (Tenor),
Kurt Rydl (Bass),
Marjon Lambriks (Soprano),
Anne Gjevang (Alto),
Heiner Hopfner (Tenor),
Georg Tichy (Bass),
Hanna Schwarz (Mezzo Soprano),
Barbara Hendricks (Soprano),
Janet Perry (Soprano),
Doris Soffel (Mezzo Soprano),
Inga Nielsen (Soprano),
José Van Dam (Baritone),
Kurt Moll (Bass),
Peter Hofmann (Tenor),
Audrey Michael (Soprano),
Rohangiz Yachmi (Mezzo Soprano)
Herbert von Karajan
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,
Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus
Period: Romantic Written: 1877-1882; Germany Length: 256 Minutes 46 Secs. Language: German
Tough Choice!November 30, 2011By Christian Withers (San Antonio, TX)See All My Reviews"If I had to choose only one recording of Parsifal, it would be this one. But it's a narrow margin above the Solti, and there are many things I prefer about Solti (his pacing, the audibility of minute details, the greater power of the brass section). But by virtue of sheer overall beauty, sublimely spiritual atmosphere and hair raising choral climaxes, Karajan wins! His strings are certainly the most gorgeous to be heard, and he also has the most beautiful and convincing bells. I've heard many recordings of this music drama (it is perhaps my favorite opera), and while some occasionally receive higher critical praise, I'd rather listen to these two repeatedly. The only one that approaches them (in my opinion) is Sinopoli on DVD."Report Abuse
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