Wagner: Parsifal

Wagner: Parsifal

by Hans Knappertsbusch


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Wagner: Parsifal

Nietzsche may have been the first, but he was by no means the last to note that "Parsifal" was blasphemous. Wagner's final opera, his self-described "sacred festival stage play," "Parsifal" is a work steeped in the Christian mythology of the cross and the blood, but its message of compassion through suffering and transcendence through renunciation is more Buddhist than Christian. But while "Parsifal"'s subversions may be blasphemous for atheist German philosophers and dogmatic Christians, for devout Wagnerians, "Parsifal" is heaven on earth. Among them, Hans Knappertsbusch was the last of the great pre-war Wagner conductors, and his postwar Bayreuth performances of the canonical operas have always been regarded as among the finest of their era. But even among his epic "Rings" and masterful "Meistersingers," Knapperstbusch's "Parsifals" were held to embody the highest expression of the works' aspirations, and this one from the 1962 Bayreuth Festival was, for devout Wagnerians, the ultimate quintessence of his interpretation. With an unmatched postwar cast of George London as Amfortas, Martti Talvela as Titurel, Hans Hotter as Gurnemanz, Gustav Neidlinger as Klingsor, and Jess Thomas in the title role, plus the unfailingly idiomatic Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and stereo sound so real you can smell in the incense, Knapperstbusch's "Parsifal" was then, is now, and forever shall be the one true "Parsifal."

Product Details

Release Date: 11/14/2006
Label: Philips
UPC: 0028947577850
catalogNumber: 000786302
Rank: 118481


  1. Parsifal, opera, WWV 111

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