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Wagner: Parsifal [Import]


List Price: CDN$ 47.99
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Product Details

  • Format: Classical, NTSC, Import
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: C Major
  • Release Date: May 31 2011
  • ASIN: B004RRW4HE

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Traditional doesn't mean boring. June 11 2011
By Doug Urquhart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This production is about as traditional as they come: a 1990s Bayreuth production, directed by Wolfgang Wagner, conducted by Giusppe Sinopoli. No acrobats, no flying pretzel monster, no nudity, no decaying rabbit. Boring, I should imagine...

You might think that: I couldn't possibly agree. This production is excellent, and strongly recommended.

The star of this production is not the director - it's the music of Wagner, ably interpreted by Sinopoli. I've watched Parsifal many times, in many forms. It tends to be ritualized, which is no bad thing, but Sinopoli brings a new freshness to the piece, and finds emotion within the ritual. The scene with Amfortas and his deceased father is delicately expressed. (Oddly enough, Schlingensief also focused on this scene, amidst the chaos of his production...)

The quality of the singing is splendid, for the most part.
Poul Elming's Parsifal was beautifully portrayed: incomparable heldentenor voice, plus a careful portrayal of Parsifal as the Tor, the simpleton: not stupid, merely incapable of dealing with the complexities and hypocrisies of life. In some portrayals, he seems to lose his innocence in the final act. Not in this production. He managed to combine authority with simplicity.

It was fun to see Falk Struckman as Amfortas. We saw him in this role at the Met in 2003, chewing the woodwork and appealing to the gallery. The character of Amfortas deserves no less.

Interesting to see Linda Watson as Kundry. She was fine, but the fey quality of the role seemed to have eluded her. Not unlike her current portrayal of Brünnhilde.

Hans Sotin's Gurnemanz was no more than adequate, but the rest of the cast compensated for this. I usually feel that the the performance of Parsifal stands or falls on Gurnemanz. This performance managed to stand on its own feet.

Any anomalies? Kundry helped Parsifal to raise the Grail. Rather effective, and a subtle bit of regietheater.

A worthy addition to any Wagnerite's library
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Parsifal on DVD Aug. 25 2012
By Paul - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is, in my opinion, the best Parsifal recorded on DVD, and comes close to my favorite audio-only version (Knappertsbusch 1964). This is a modern staging that doesn't changes the original meaning, and focuses on the most important things. Lightning is particularly important in this production, as it enhances the dramatic effect of some of the most important moments. I can't stress enough how much I like this production. The singing is superb, there's a symmetry present in the arrangement of things and placement of people that contrasts with the labyrinth pattern on the floor. As another reviewer mentioned, there are two elements changed from the original: Kundry doesn't die and she actually take the Grail out of the shrine. Considering how many and horrible changes some modern productions do to some operas, this change is rather insignificant and it actually fits the production. The ending transmit such feeling of harmony and perfection that really leaves me speechless every time I watch/hear it.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wagners Urandson. Unbelievable! April 11 2012
By flemming - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Setup satisfactory. Slightly modern, but still with romantic touch. Superb casting. Poul Elming and Linda Watson performs wonderfully. And Amfortas is the first ever to make my eyes wet! Hard to believe, that it is Wolfgang, Richards Grandson, who made the show!
Why not the fifth star? Because there is still more to Parsifal to be reveiled. Flowermaidens can be even more seductive, and Klingsor is a little "stiff." Get him closer to the audience!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great traditional Parsifal Oct. 15 2012
By Conrad J. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Saw this production two years in a row at Bayreuth. I have almost all the Parsifal CDs and DVDS and this probably is my favorite, except for the Kundry who sings beautifully, but is not a great actress nor seductive. Waltraud Meier is the echt Kundry in every respect. Hans Sotin has a great voice but is not a great vocal actor. Falk Struckman as Amfortas made me bawl at Bayreuth and almost did it again. Poul Elmung as Parsifal is excellent. The sound and picture were much better than I expected for an older DVD. A must for Parsiful lovers.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best DVD that's likely to appear May 25 2014
By Col William Russell - Published on Amazon.com
There are a number of DVDs/Blu-rays of PARSIFAL but most fall short due to inept conducting, mediocre singing, and atrocious stagings that may have a "message" but it's not Wagner's. Sinopoli was certainly no Knappertsbush or von Karajan but he does a better job than anyone after him. Linda Watson is a decent Kundry despite the unttarctive as well as unseductive weight. Elming is no Melchior or Windgassen and keeps his eyes fixed on the conductor as if on cue cards. That said, it's a moving performance of Wagner's greatest (and my personal favorite) opera. The staging isn't bad but Wolfgang was certainly no Wieland. The bottom line is that this is the best that's likely to show up on DVD or Blu-ray as the qualities of singing, conducting, and staging continue to deteriorate and won't get back this level, much less the superior earlier standards.

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