Well, Wagner himself was absolutely ENTHRALLED when he heard tenor Julián Gayarre sing his Lohengrin in Italian, the same goes for his opinions on Battistini singing his baritone-roles in Italian. He truly loved the translations, the musical flow and the Belcanto style that his music was treated with instead of the German "Bayreuth bark" as he called it himself. (!) Back then Wagner was done in Italian only in Italy and I must say that I really like this set a lot. I'm a native Austrian and have heard Parsifal many times in its original language, the best Kundry I heard live today was Waltraud Meier BTW.
This marks Maria Callas' final assumption of a Wagnerian part and it makes one understand why a conductor like Serafin had her do Isolde, Brünnhilde and Kundry under his baton. Those two also made operatic history when Callas not only enthralled her audiences and critics with Brünnhilde but also with Bellini's "I Puritani" in the same week. Her "Ich sah das Kind" is silken and smooth, there is nothing uneven in that large column of sound young Callas had back then. Kundry's Schrei is sung must musically and not screeched for a change. It was her performance as Kundry that had young operatic director Franco Zeffirelli spellbound. And justly so for all its difference to the Teutonic Kundrys we're used too this one not only has a large, silken voice (In 1950 Callas voice was truly beautiful) but a glorious way of molding phrases, spinning piani, attacking high notes fearlessly. This is NOT an idiomatic Parsifal for the purist but those who love to listen to big, luscious voices like Callas and Christoff will find hidden beauties here you cannot find in any other recording. And if one were to suggest another Kundry I wouldn't go for Nilsson but for Mödl, Jones, Ludwig or Meier. My final verdict would be that this is a must for Callas-Fans, Wagnerians with a taste for the unusual and those of us who want to hear Maria Callas in her fullest prime but not those who want to get to know Wagner's Parsifal for the first time.