Wagner: Parsifal [Blu-ray]
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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
- Aspect Ratio : 16:9
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 6.73 x 5.31 x 0.47 inches; 3.2 Ounces
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, NTSC, Widescreen
- Run time : 4 hours and 50 minutes
- Release date : April 1, 2014
- Actors : Daniele Gatti
- Subtitles: : Italian, English, German, Spanish, French
- Studio : Sony Classical
- ASIN : B00CU55HHY
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #111,714 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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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.
Surround track is listed as DTS HD-MA 5.1, but I listen to it in 7.2 with the receiver doing the decoding.
I don't think that I have ever praised a MET surround recording, but here it is:
Sound stage 180 degrees? Check
Orchestra detailed recorded? Check
Good balance between principals, chorus and orchestra? Check
Voices are clear and move with the principals? Check
No drastic voice fluctuations? Check
Applause from the sides and not the front? Check
Result: 5 Stars for the surround audio, that seems to have been recorded with stage microphones only.
The staging helped with the stage on an angle and plenty of dirt that will not reflect as well as a wooden floor. Then what seems like 6 feet of carpet before the stage microphones that will further dampen unwanted reflections. The direction with pretty much everything in slow motion and the principals facing forward makes for a relatively uniform sound and still allows the depth of the stage to be captured.
Much to my surprise Post Production Audio Mix was still Ken Hahn, who shows that he can mix once he's given clean and enough channels. Audio Supervisor was John Kerswell, 10 names are given for Audio. My compliments.
Let's hope that this is the new surround audio standard of the MET
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.
Top reviews from other countries
BTW, the production tries to de-Catholicise the mystical component. It is serviceable and saved from dullness by dramatic back-projections of cloudscapes, planets and - more curiously - what appear to be anatomical close-ups.
But I was not transported for all the best interpreters' efforts, and time didn't become space, largely, I suspect, because the sound is constricted!
The staging is visually very strong and striking, and in the second act positively intense (not to say disturbing). Monsalvat is a chillingly bleak place, though, which undermines the sense of redemption at the end - it made me think of the powerlessness of religion to combat the climate crisis rather than of any spiritual enrichment.
I can't comment properly on the sound, listening in stereo rather than surround, but when I switched to headphones after pausing the disc, the syncing went off - probably the result of my equipment rather than the disc. Certainly this recording strained my TV speakers a few times, to the detriment of what is probably a much better sound than my gear can deliver. The extra features are restricted to stereo vs. surround sound, and some rather fatuous backstage interviews culled from the theatre broadcast - ok for the price, but very unambitious.