Wagner: Parsifal

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
It is good to have so many recordings by Rudolf Kempe available on compact disc, far more recordings available now than when he was alive. One reason may be that Kempe spent much of his later career in East Germany, putting himself beyond the reach of most Western record companies. Another possible explanation is that there is simply more room for Kempe now, because when he was alive, giants roamed the earth. When this live performance of Wagner's "Parsifal" was made in 1959, for example, Knappertsbusch, Klemperer, Walter, Reiner, Karajan, Böhm, and Szell were active and Furtwängler, Kleiber, and Krause were only recently deceased. There are few modern conductors who can ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
It is good to have so many recordings by Rudolf Kempe available on compact disc, far more recordings available now than when he was alive. One reason may be that Kempe spent much of his later career in East Germany, putting himself beyond the reach of most Western record companies. Another possible explanation is that there is simply more room for Kempe now, because when he was alive, giants roamed the earth. When this live performance of Wagner's "Parsifal" was made in 1959, for example, Knappertsbusch, Klemperer, Walter, Reiner, Karajan, Böhm, and Szell were active and Furtwängler, Kleiber, and Krause were only recently deceased. There are few modern conductors who can measure up to any of them, and Kempe inevitably looks better in comparison. The cast of Kempe's 1959 Convent Garden performance of "Parsifal" is for the most part fine. Gottlob Frick's superbly characterized Gurnemanz is especially strong, but Karl Liebl is quite weak in the title role; he makes Parsifal sound less like the pure fool that Wagner intended and more like just a fool. For the most part, the Covent Garden Orchestra is in good shape, though the string tone is not ideally smooth and the brass are not particularly well-blended. Most importantly, though, Kempe is in good form, delivering a beautifully shaped and expertly paced performance that is neither too slow in the long first act nor too quick in the third act's climax. As a whole, this performance cannot compare with the great "Parsifal"s of the 1950s -- Knappertsbusch's and Krause's, for instance -- in terms of depth, insight, and spirituality. This latter quality, of course, can be debated, but comparing the three performances, Knappertsbusch and Krause seem to have it, and Kempe doesn't. Recorded in sepia-toned monaural, this set should interest listeners already converted to Kempe, but others may want to stick with Knappertsbusch or Krause.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/13/2010
  • Label: Testament Uk
  • UPC: 749677145521
  • Catalog Number: 1544
  • Sales rank: 364,400

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–65 Parsifal, opera, WWV 111 - Richard Wagner & Richard Wagner (243:50)
    Composed byRichard Wagner
    Conducted byRudolf Kempe
    Performed byJoan Carlyle, Margreta Elkins, Lauris Elms, Edgar Evans, Gottlob Frick, Rudolf Kempe, Otakar Kraus, Karl Liebl, Raymond Nilsson, Royal Opera House Orchestra Covent Garden, Forbes Robinson, Joseph Rouleau, Royal Opera House Chorus Covent Garden, Jeannette Sinclair, Josephine Veasey, Mary Wells, Eberhard Wächter, Gerda Lammers, Judith Pierce, Robert Bowman, Edith Cavell Secondary School Chorus
    1. 1Vorspiel
    2. 2Act 1. He! Ho! Waldhüter ihr
    3. 3Act 1. Seht dort, die wilde Reiterin
    4. 4Act 1. Recht so! Habt Dank! Ein wenig Rast
    5. 5Act 1. He, du da! Was liegst du dort wie ein wildes Tier?
    6. 6Act 1. O wunden-wundervoller heiliger Speer!
    7. 7Act 1. So kanntest du Klingsor?
    8. 8Act 1. Titurel, der fromme Held
    9. 9Act 1. Drum blieb es dem, nach dem ihr fragt
    10. 10Act 1. Vor allem nun: der Speer kehr' uns zurück!
    11. 11Act 1. Weh! Weh!... Hoho!... Auf!
    12. 12Act 1. Du konntest morden, hier, im heil'gen Walde
    13. 13Act 1. Wo bist du her?
    14. 14Act 1. Den Vaterlosen gebar die Mutter
    15. 15Act 1. So recht! So nach des Grales Gnade
    16. 16Act 1. Vom Bade kehrt der König heim
    17. 17Act 1. Verwandlungsmusik
    18. 18Act 1. Nun achte wohl, und laß mich seh'n
    19. 19Act 1. Mein Sohn Amfortas, bist du am Amt?
    20. 20Act 1. Nein! Laßt ihn unenthüllt!
    21. 21Act 1. Des Weihgefäßes göttlicher Gehalt
    22. 22Act 1. Nehmet hin meinen Leib
    23. 23Act 1. Wein und Brot des letzten Mahles
    24. 24Act 1. Was stehst du noch da?
    25. 25Act 2. Vorspiel
    26. 26Act 2. Die Zeit ist da
    27. 27Act 2. Erwachst du? Ha!
    28. 28Act 2. Ach! - Ach! Tiefe Nacht!
    29. 29Act 2. Furchtbare Not! So lacht nun der Teufel
    30. 30Act 2. Jetzt schon erklimmt er die Burg
    31. 31Act 2. Hier war das Tosen!
    32. 32Act 2. Ihr schönen Kinder
    33. 33Act 2. Komm, komm, holder Knabe!
    34. 34Act 2. Parsifal! - Weile!
    35. 35Act 2. Dies alles - hab ich nun geträumt?
    36. 36Act 2. Ich sah das Kind an seiner Mutter Brust
    37. 37Act 2. Wehe! Wehe! Was tat ich? Wo war ich?
    38. 38Act 2. Bekenntnis wird Schuld in Reue enden
    39. 39Act 2. Amfortas! - Die Wunde!
    40. 40Act 2. Gelobter Held! Entflieh dem Wahn!
    41. 41Act 2. Grausamer! Fühlst du im Herzen nur and'rer Schmerzen
    42. 42Act 2. Ich sah Ihn
    43. 43Act 2. Auf Ewigkeit wärst du verdammt
    44. 44Act 2. Erlösung, Frevlerin, biet ich auch dir
    45. 45Act 2. Vergeh, unseliges Weib!
    46. 46Act 2. Mit diesem Zeichen bann' ich deinen Zauber
    47. 47Act 3. Vorspiel
    48. 48Act 3. Von dorther kam das Stöhnen
    49. 49Act 3. Du tolles Weib! Hast du kein Wort für mich?
    50. 50Act 3. ...in düstrem Waffenschmucke?
    51. 51Act 3. Erkennst du ihn?
    52. 52Act 3. Heil, mir, daß ich dich wiederfinde!
    53. 53Act 3. O Gnade! Höchstes Heil!
    54. 54Act 3. Die heil'ge Speisung bleibt uns nun versagt
    55. 55Act 3. Und ich, ich bin's, der all dies Elend schuf!
    56. 56Act 3. Nicht so! - Die heil'ge Quelle selbst
    57. 57Act 3. Du wuschest mir die Füße
    58. 58Act 3. Wie dünkt mich doch die Aue heut so schön!
    59. 59Act 3. Du siehst, das ist nicht so
    60. 60Act 3. Mittag. die Stund ist da
    61. 61Act 3. Geleiten wir im bergenden Schrein
    62. 62Act 3. Ja, Wehe! Wehe! Weh' über mich!
    63. 63Act 3. Enthüllet den Gral!
    64. 64Act 3. Nur eine Waffe taugt
    65. 65Act 3. Höchsten Heiles Wunder!
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Rudolf Kempe Primary Artist
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