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Conducted by Daniele Gatti and starring Jonas Kaufmann in the title role, François Girard's stunning post-apocalyptic production of Parsifal was filmed at The Metropolitan Opera in 2013. "This is a Parsifal to treasure, elevated to the highest musical level by the solemnity and sweep of Daniele Gatti's conducting and a dream cast headed by tenor Jonas Kaufmann." - Associated Press.
The DVD tracks are:
1. Opening Credits
2. Introduction by Eric Owens
4. He! Ho! Waldhüter ihr
5. Seht dort, die wilde Reiterin! \
6. Recht so! Habt Dank!
7. He! du da! Was liegst du dort wie ein wildes Tier
8. Das ist ein andres
9. Titurel, der fromme Held
10. Weh! Hoho! Auf!
11. Ich hab' eine Mutter
12. So recht! So nach des Grales Gnade
13. Vom Bade kehrt der König heim
14. Nun acht wohl, und laß mich seh'n
15. Mein Sohn Amfortas, bist du am Amt?
16. Wehvolles Erbe, dem ich verfallen
17. Nehmen hin meinen Leib
18. "Wein und Bort des letzten Mahles"
19. Was stehst Du noch da?
20. Introduction to Act II by Eric Owens
22. Die Zeit ist da
23. Erwachst du? Ha!
24. Jetzt schon erklimmt er die Burg
25. Hier war das Tosen!
26. Komm! Komm! Holder Knabe!
27. Parsifal! Weile!
28. Ich sah das Kind an seiner Mutter Brust
29. Wehe! Wehe! Was tat ich?
30. Amfortas! Die Wunde!
31. Ich sah ihn und lachte!
32. Erlösung, Frevlerin, biet' ich auch dir
33. Vergeh, unseliges Weib!
34. Introduction to Act III by Eric Owens
36. Von dorther kam das Stöhnen
37. Du tolles Weib! Hast du kein Wort für mich
38. Heil dir, mein Gast!
39. Heil mir, daß ich dich wiederfinde!
40. O Gnade! Höchstes Heil!
41. Nicht so! die heil'ge Quelle selbst
42. Du wuchest mir die Füße
43. Wie dükt mich doch die Aueheut so schön!
44. Mitta Die Stund' ist da
45. Geleiten wir im bergenden Schrein
46. Ja wehe! Wehe! Weh' über mich!
47. Nur eine Waffe taugt
48. Höchstens Heiles Wunder!
49. Bows and Closing Credits
50. Interview with Jonas Kaufmann
51. Interview with René Pape
52. Interview with Peter Mattei
53. Interview with John Sellars, Met Assistant Manager, Technical
54. Interview with Katarina Dalayman
55. Interview with Daniele Gatti
56. Interview with François Girard
Top customer reviews
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Remember, you're reading a skeptic. I almost dreaded seeing what is going to happen to Kaufmann in this opera. Sure enough, they get his shoes and shirt off but the silliness ends there. The acting and singing in this production are pretty close to perfect---again, Kaufmann isn't the greatest actor in the world though he well may be the best tenor. However, acting befuddled and confused suites him perfectly in this role.I don't think he fully assumes the title of keeper of the Grail and Spear collection at the end of the opera. He still doesn't really seem to get it. I give Kaufmann a B+. (only because of acting)
Pape on the other hand hits it so far out of the park that they'll never find the ball. Acting and singing are perfect. He nails it. A+
Katarina Dalayman is really good Kundry. She seems to understand the personal hell that Kundry faces daily. She wants to do good but is owned because of her transgression. This is a tough role very well performed. Solid A for Katarina Dalayman.
Peter Mattei is a terrific Amfortas. Man, I feel your pain. A+
Maestro Gatti steers the orchestra for 4 1/2 hours of perfection.
I cried at the end. It's that powerful. It's that good. Watch an act each night and savor it. This is well worth adding to your collection. It's a beautiful work of art.
The staging? I thought it was rather interesting. It delivers the right message at the proper time. No, you don't get people in knight costumes running around a castle and you get a meadow scene with blooming flowers---well, sort of. You do get a good feel for what Wagner was trying to say...
Don't let the bad reviews scare you off. It's wonderful. And I'm very critical.
I can only repeat my usual panegyric of Jonas Kaufmann's incredible voice and his canny use of it - not to forget his superb acting and his looks. He is simply a flawless incarnation of "Parsifal".
But this recording has quite a few other gems. There is first and foremost the Gurnemanz of Rene Pape. He's had a lot of competition from previous singers in this role. Kurt Moll comes to mind. But Pape cannot only take it up with the best, he can simply outdo them. And then there is the revelation of Peter Mattei. My only previous acquaintance with this baritone was as "Figaro" in the "Barbiere di Siviglia" - quite a switch from his gripping, pluperfect Amfortas here. And Katarina Dalayman and Evgeny Nikitin can easily hold up their heads in this illustrious company.
On the other hand, as much as I admired the singing, I disliked the production. Give me a traditional setting for "Parsifal" anytime. The barren first act had little to offer but having the scenery repeated in the third act, stopped making sense altogether. According to the libretto, it is spring - Good Friday, to be more specific - with greenery and flowers and all we have is that barren landscape once more. And then there is the second act: nothing but imitation gory kitsch. However, while the second act actually could get away with that, the first - but especially the third - are nothing but just drab.
The sublime music was in the capable hands of Daniele Gatti and along with the superlative voices and acting, this recording is definitely a "Parsifal" for the ages.
Of course the orchestra plays at its very best, and I believe that musically this production is so satisfying due to the baton of maestro Daniele Gatti, who brings the most glorious sounds of the entire cast and musicians. Comes to no surprise to learn in the bonus material that he was conducting the entire opera without a score: his understanding of Wagner, the music, the text, and the emotions are felt throughout and his attention to the smallest details and all the nuances in such complicated story make this a hard-to-beat performance.
And as stated before, it is a complicated story, one not easy to put on stage. However, this production by Francois Girard is very well done. Do not expect, however, to have everything given to the audience right off the bat, it is a very artistic vision, and I appreciate that many things are hinted leaving the audience to become active participants in making this an artistic experience from all angles.