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Wagner: Parsifal

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, October 12, 2009
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 12, 2009)
  • Imported ed. edition
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Label: Teldec Classics
  • ASIN: B002PZDL54
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #655,964 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Ralph Moore TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 3, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I was pleased to see this 1982 recording reissued more cheaply, as I have never been interested in the highly controversial film version by Hans-Jürgen Syberberg for which this is the soundtrack, nor am I especially interested in opera on DVD in general, as I prefer either to be present at a live performance or to use my own mind's eye to supply the visuals. I am, however, very interested in the cast and conductor assembled here to make a recording to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Wagner's death, as it includes some very fine singers.

It is true that the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo cannot rival the Berlin Philharmonic and other great orchestras which have recorded this masterpiece with Karajan, Kubelik, Knappertsbusch and Krauss; they lack the sumptuousness, depth and virtuosity to give the orchestral passages the kind of sheen and impact a superior band imparts, but they are very well directed by Jordan and are by no means negligible in their dedication and professionalism. Nor is the Prague Philharmonic Choir to be sniffed at; unlikely though it seems, they sing with idiomatic conviction; the Knabenchor singing from the dome sounds pure, ethereal and very well tuned. I have read complaints about muddy, distant sound; this is early digital and I don't think it has been remastered, but apart from some very faint hiss, it sounds very good to me.

Jordan has a superb sense of pacing and shape; no undue lingering but nor is there any unseemly haste and the great orchestral set pieces such as the end of Act 1, the Transformation and Good Friday music all make their mark without quite reaching the apotheosis such as Karajan achieves in his recording a couple of years earlier.
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