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  • Wagner - Parsifal / Ventris, Hampson, Meier, Salminen, Fox, Kristinsson, Nagano, Berlin Opera
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Wagner - Parsifal / Ventris, Hampson, Meier, Salminen, Fox, Kristinsson, Nagano, Berlin Opera


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Product Details

  • Actors: Christopher Ventris, Thomas Hampson, Waltraud Meier, Matti Salminen, Kent Nagano
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Classical, Color, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: German (DTS 5.1), German (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: May 17, 2005
  • Run Time: 317 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007X9T70
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,675 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Christopher Ventris, Waltraud Meier, Matti Salminen, Tom Fox, and Thomas Hampson star in this Wagner opera with Kent Nagano conducting the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Festspielchor Baden-Baden.

Customer Reviews

The performers are all good to excellent actors.
Joseph Dodge
There are passages of vivid orchestration in Parsifal, but there are far more passages of mere portentous rumbling.
Giordano Bruno
That, or the music who we are supposed to listen to, and the staging is in the way.
Schneider

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

110 of 121 people found the following review helpful By G P Padillo VINE VOICE on May 23, 2005
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The best and most moving Parsifal you will see.

Matti Salminen is simply terrific as Gurnemanz. While the voice may be a hair less gorgeous than 20 years ago it is wanting for nothing. Salminen remains a formidable stage presence and his grasp of Gurnemanz is complete. Even a slight grandiosity and arrogance in Act I cannot diminish the role's sincerity. Even as he watches the Grail Ceremony this Gurnemanz gives off an aura of superiority - even over Amfortas and Titurel. His transformation in the third act - fervent, wise fervor and in his wisdom, possessor of a truly inspiring humility and sense of order. It is a miracle of a performance . . . just amazing from every aspect.

Christopher Ventris is the most remarkable Parsifal I've encountered and plays him exactly how I've always felt the role should be played. This Parsifal is a wild child/animal boy in the extreme and Ventris looks terrific in his amalgamation of skins, sticks, enormous leather breeches, face paint and thick-as-rope coils of dreadlocks. Initially I had reservations about his sound - light textured . . . almost boyish - but my, oh my how this singer captures this character in every nuance and gesture, facial expression and body language and movement. Indeed Ventris's rare physicality almost defines the role in its totality. Where most Parsifals in the Act I Grail ceremony are directed to remain still and out-of-the-way, this Parsifal is climbing over every surface of the stage, examining everything and everyone: entranced, amazed and full of awe at the wonderment of all he is experiencing. I can't imagine Ventris's Parsifal being bettered.

Later, following "The Kiss" we witness Parsifal's shock and Ventris makes it a palpable experience of shared epiphany.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful By D. Thomas on December 5, 2005
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After reading the other rave reviews here, I was ready to love this DVD. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. The singing is generally of high quality, especially Matti Salminen. Waltraud Meier in Act 2 is dramatically very strong. Thomas Hampson's voice is too light for the role of Amfortas, but it works dramatically in the production's overall concept, which is that this king is hated for his weakness. The big letdown comes in Act 3, which simply did not deliver for me. A surprise which other reviewers didn't mention is that Amfortas dies in Parsifal's arms in this production, then Gurnemanz is left holding the spear, while Kundry leads Parsifal and a few other knights down a traintrack. The ending struck me as much more ambiguous than others found it. This is not an apotheosis of radiant healing. Instead, we're given a dark ending to the troubled reign of Amfortas and a movement toward a world outside this kingdom of darkness. Lehnhoff says in his liner notes, "Amfortas' wound is... the wound of civilization." Judging by this staging, it is a terminal wound, and the healing of civilization comes through its own demise. It seems to me, Wagner's music offers a different message. I was able to go along with the postmodern revision of the staging up until the last act, but the ending left me feeling like I'd been tricked by a cynic who was pretending to offer a tale of hope.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Dodge on September 1, 2005
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The basic idea of this production is that redemption lies in good actions rather than piety and ritual (faith). Thus, we see at the beginning that Amfortas is self-absorbed and left unattended by his followers, the squires are mad at Kundry, Gurnemanz is mad at the squires, everybody is mad at Parsifal, and the Knights of the Grail are only interested in their ritual. Parsifal (in contrast to all other productions I've seen) actually shows a great deal of curiosity during the Grail scene, but "doesn't get it," which is wholly appropropriate, because the point is not the Grail ritual itself but Amfortas' suffering. When Parsifal finally does get it, he becomes the moving force. At the end, after restoring the Montsalvat crew to some semblance of normalcy, Parsifal and Kundry exit, presumably to perform good deeds elsewhere (performing good deeds being the reason why we would care about the Knights of the Grail in the first place). Gurnemanz is left behind as de facto head man.

What is not clear to me is why Kundry not only survives but goes out into the world, and does so ahead of Parsifal. The Kundry character seems to me to have been intended by Wagner as a counterpart to Amfortas. Although it is true that one of Kundry's aspects is to perform good deeds, that was also true of Amfortas before betraying his calling and suffering his wound. And Kundry is extremely passive during Act III. This aspect of the production appears to me to be super-imposed PC. The female principle lies in the Grail itself, which, as at the end of Goethe's Faust, is a kind of prime motivating force. But perhaps this is too abstract or symbolic for contemporary audiences, so that the female presence has to be presented in a more explicit fashion.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful By C. Harbison on May 30, 2005
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The singing throughout is outstanding: Salminen has rarely been more effective, likewise Meyer, Fox and Hampson; Ventris is a very moving, soft-spoken Parsifal. The various concepts involved in the staging are fascinating (Kundry as redemptive force, etc.) even when they don't totally work (why is Klingsor a kabuki actor?). The end result is just amazingly gripping and makes returning to the traditional Met Opera/Levine staging seem strangely dull and out-dated. Nagano conducts at a speed equal to Boulez which turns the opera from a dirge into a dramatic force.
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Wagner - Parsifal / Ventris, Hampson, Meier, Salminen, Fox, Kristinsson, Nagano, Berlin Opera
This item: Wagner - Parsifal / Ventris, Hampson, Meier, Salminen, Fox, Kristinsson, Nagano, Berlin Opera
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