Author Topic: Wagner's Parsifal  (Read 76501 times)

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jlaurson

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #200 on: July 30, 2015, 11:22:58 PM »
Well, given that Richard Wagner abhorred the opposite sex and was/is famous for not having a single known affair with a woman, their point might be spot on indeed...

You're tongue in cheek comment is appreciated but perhaps misplaced... as being a devout connoisseur of the female sex (knowing Cosima, I hesitate to say "weaker sex") does not therefore preclude the possibility of homo-eroticism in some form or another. We may sexualize man-man relationships in a way they were not intended, I grant you, but there are certainly strong bonds of some form of love between several male characters in several Wagner operas... most of all, perhaps, Tristan & Isolde... the one opera that you most obviously reference with your hint at his affairs. Both Marke + Tristan and, more one-sided, Kurwenal -> Tristan could easily be explored in such a light.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #201 on: July 31, 2015, 12:13:51 AM »
Tristan could easily be explored in such a light.

Go on then. Spell it out.
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Offline Jaakko Keskinen

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #202 on: July 31, 2015, 03:46:08 AM »
A good friend of mine says that to a certain extent, Parsifal absorbs the history of western music, not only of what came before it, but also a good chunk iof what came after it.

Well, I always have thought Parsifal leitmotive sounds like the music they use in Looney Tunes (outside of What's opera, doc, obviously)... Obviously a stretch since pretty much every brass fanfare in existence could sound like Looney Tunes.
"Javert, though frightful, had nothing ignoble about him. Probity, sincerity, candor, conviction, the sense of duty, are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed; but which, even when hideous, remain grand."

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Offline Jaakko Keskinen

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #203 on: July 31, 2015, 03:52:59 AM »
and, more one-sided, Kurwenal -> Tristan could easily be explored in such a light.

Agreed. Stage directions in Tristan specifically mention Kurwenal lying at Tristan's feet. From real life there is of course Wagner's relationship with Ludwig, many of their letters to each other are almost impossible to see in heterosexual light, were it not for the fact that Wagner was most likely manipulating the young king (who actually was a homosexual) in order to squeeze some more money out of him.
"Javert, though frightful, had nothing ignoble about him. Probity, sincerity, candor, conviction, the sense of duty, are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed; but which, even when hideous, remain grand."

- Victor Hugo

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #204 on: July 31, 2015, 03:59:26 AM »
I do feel rather sorry for Wagner.  His was not the strongest or noblest character to start out with;  and then he becomes a leech, and (assuming that he had any qualms about that to start with) he rationalizes it away . . . because he's A Great Artist™, he deserves to leech  8)
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #205 on: July 31, 2015, 04:05:39 AM »
Agreed. Stage directions in Tristan specifically mention Kurwenal lying at Tristan's feet. From real life there is of course Wagner's relationship with Ludwig, many of their letters to each other are almost impossible to see in heterosexual light, were it not for the fact that Wagner was most likely manipulating the young king (who actually was a homosexual) in order to squeeze some more money out of him.

Where's that stage direction? Or do you just mean the bit where he sinks at Tristan's feet when Tristan's dying?
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 04:12:47 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #206 on: July 31, 2015, 04:20:03 AM »
Where's that stage direction? Or do you just mean the bit where he sinks at Tristan's feet when Tristan's dying?

I assume that's what Alberich means: Act III Scene 3, Kurwenal (severely wounded) sings, Da liegt er - hier wo ich liege (He sinks down at Tristan's feet).

That seems more the act of a faithful "dog" than a lover.

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« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 04:22:23 AM by Sergeant Rock »
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Offline Jaakko Keskinen

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #207 on: July 31, 2015, 04:32:02 AM »
Actually I meant the part in act 1 when Brangäne is delivering message to Tristan. When Brangäne enters, Kurwenal is at Tristan's feet. Depending on what edition of libretto you're reading, they may or may not be that elaborate. Some are shortened possibly because Wagner in true 19th century fashion over-describes everything. It's bad enough when you run into that in books, but when you actually have to stage it (and the early productions, especially those under Cosima's orders, wanted to include every single thing, leaving none for imagination and creativity) it becomes exceedingly difficult.
"Javert, though frightful, had nothing ignoble about him. Probity, sincerity, candor, conviction, the sense of duty, are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed; but which, even when hideous, remain grand."

- Victor Hugo

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #208 on: July 31, 2015, 04:40:28 AM »
Like this?


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Offline Jaakko Keskinen

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #209 on: July 31, 2015, 04:42:50 AM »
Pretty much.
"Javert, though frightful, had nothing ignoble about him. Probity, sincerity, candor, conviction, the sense of duty, are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed; but which, even when hideous, remain grand."

- Victor Hugo

ZauberdrachenNr.7

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #210 on: July 31, 2015, 05:02:44 AM »
Hey, no one's getting past the Parsifal Line , ooops, I guess they did! (1918 anti-German, anti-Wagner Chicago Tribune cartoon). 


Offline ritter

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #211 on: August 11, 2015, 12:41:03 AM »
The Parsifal prodcution permièred this year at the Berliner Festtage, directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov and conducted by Daniel Barenboim, has been posted on YouTube (let's see how long it lasts there  ::) ):

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/yMqDgYgqvtM" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/yMqDgYgqvtM</a>

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMqDgYgqvtM
ritter
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Offline Jaakko Keskinen

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #212 on: December 01, 2015, 06:16:41 AM »
"Javert, though frightful, had nothing ignoble about him. Probity, sincerity, candor, conviction, the sense of duty, are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed; but which, even when hideous, remain grand."

- Victor Hugo

Offline rw1883

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #213 on: October 31, 2016, 10:22:14 AM »
Hello Parsifal fans!  I'm going to bump this thread up because I'm a Parsifal nut!  I won't even go into how many recordings I have of this incredible work.  Quick question: I'm trying collect all of Kna's Parsifals at Bayreuth.  Here is what I have so far:

1951✔️(Teldec/Naxos)
1952✔️(Archipel)
1954✔️(Archipel)
1955
1956✔️(Walhall Eternity)
1957✔️(Walhall Eternity)
1958✔️(Andromeda)
1959✔️(Walhall Eternity)
1960✔️(Myto)
1961✔️(Myto)
1962✔️(Philips)
1963
1964✔️(Orfeo)

The 1963 is only available on Golden Melodrama and it's very expensive.  I'll wait for a reissue.  My question concerns the 1955 performance.  Does anyone know why this has never been available?  I've been searching for quite a while and can't find anything.  Thank you...

Paul

Spineur

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #214 on: October 31, 2016, 10:50:04 AM »
I have a preference for opera on DVD if the production is good.  Here this blu-ray release of Bayreuth production directed by Wolfgang Wagner is a reference in good taste.  Sinopoli does an excellent job as a conductor.


Get it before it gets OOP.
Otherwise Knapperbush 1964 CD is another great reference.

I view this opera as a quest for truth, something to which most people can relate.  An of course the music is a summit of European art.

Offline ritter

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #215 on: October 31, 2016, 01:47:12 PM »
...My question concerns the 1955 performance.  Does anyone know why this has never been available?  I've been searching for quite a while and can't find anything.  Thank you...

Paul
Hello Paul. From what I've read, the 1955 perfomance has never been issued in any format. But it is likely that tapes of it are at the Bavarian Radio, as I suppose all opening nights of the '55 festival were broadcast (Orfeo has already published the Knappertsbusch Dutchman and the Cluytens Tannhäuser from that same year). But I suppose Orfeo might not see that much of a market for yet another Knapperstbusch Parsifal (even if I know you certainly are not alone among the completists looking to fill that gap  ;) ).

I myself only have the "official" 1951 (Decca) and 1962 (Philips) issues by Knappertsbusch, as (even if I acknowledge his mastery of the score) I prefer different approaches (my first and to this day "go to" version is Boulez on DG).

One thing I would like to see is a Cluytens Parsifal from Bayreuth (preferably from the "transitional" year 1965). AFAIK, that has never seen the light of day either, but it would be interesting to get to know hoy Cluytens handled this miraculous score in the brief interregnum between Knappertsbusch and Boulez. After all, we already have a document of the previous interregnum (Krauss in '53--another great performnace IMHO).

Regards,

Rafael
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Offline rw1883

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #216 on: November 05, 2016, 01:26:51 PM »
Hello Paul. From what I've read, the 1955 perfomance has never been issued in any format. But it is likely that tapes of it are at the Bavarian Radio, as I suppose all opening nights of the '55 festival were broadcast (Orfeo has already published the Knappertsbusch Dutchman and the Cluytens Tannhäuser from that same year). But I suppose Orfeo might not see that much of a market for yet another Knapperstbusch Parsifal (even if I know you certainly are not alone among the completists looking to fill that gap  ;) ).

I myself only have the "official" 1951 (Decca) and 1962 (Philips) issues by Knappertsbusch, as (even if I acknowledge his mastery of the score) I prefer different approaches (my first and to this day "go to" version is Boulez on DG).

One thing I would like to see is a Cluytens Parsifal from Bayreuth (preferably from the "transitional" year 1965). AFAIK, that has never seen the light of day either, but it would be interesting to get to know hoy Cluytens handled this miraculous score in the brief interregnum between Knappertsbusch and Boulez. After all, we already have a document of the previous interregnum (Krauss in '53--another great performnace IMHO).

Regards,

Rafael

Thank you for the info Rafael.  I do hope that someday the 1955 Kna will see the light.  And I completely agree–the Cluytens would be a great addition to the Parsifal discography!  Which performances/recordings do you have in your collection?  My collection so far:

Knappertsbusch - 1951, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964
Barenboim - Teldec
Thielemann - DG
R. Kraus - Gebhardt
C. Krauss - Gebhardt
Kegel - Berlin Classics
Levine - Decca Box (The Wagner Operas)
Levine - DG (DVD)
Gatti - Sony (DVD)
Kubelik - Arts Archives
Solti - Decca Box
Jordan - Erato
Gergiev - Mariinsky
Jochum - Living Stage
Conlon - 2002 (Paris)

Way too few!! ;D

Still some major holes to fill: Boulez, Zweden, Kempe, Levine (DG-Domingo), Goodall, Kanowski, Karajan...

Best,

Paul

Offline ritter

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #217 on: November 05, 2016, 02:12:44 PM »
I'm afraid I'm an amateur compared to you, Paul;). This is my list (alphabetically):

Pierre Boulez 1966 (Melodram) & 1970 (DG)
Reginald Goodall (ROH Heritage Series)
Hartmut Haenchen (DVD from Brussels, staged by Romeo Castellucci)
Armin Jordan (Erato, and the same perfromance on DVD--the Hans-Jürgen Syberberg film)
Herbert von Karajan (DG)
Herbert Kegel (Berlin Classics)
Hans Knappertsbusch 1951 (Decca) & 1962 (Philips)
Clemens Krauss (Andromeda)
Rafael Kubelik (Arts)
James Levine 1985 (Decca Bayreuth box)
Giuseppe Sinopoli (DVD, Wolfgang Wagner's 2nd Bayreuth staging)
Horst Stein (DVD, Wolfgang Wagner's 1st Bayreuth staging--which I saw in the theatre  :))
Christian Thielemann (DG)
Jaap van Zweden (Challenge Classics)

I used to have the Solti (Decca) on LP, but somehow I've never gotten the CDs (and I should, because of Christa Ludwig, mainly)

The Jochum looks appealing.... And I am still furious that the Stefan Herheim's staging from Bayreuth, conducted by Philippe Jordan--which I also saw live--, although filmed, was never released on DVD (rumour has it that, for some unfathomable reason, Katharina Wagner vetoed the issue >:( ). As discussed not long ago with SurprisedByBeauty, I consider this the single most rewarding evening I have ever experienced in a theatre...

Regards,
« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 02:50:00 PM by ritter »
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Offline rw1883

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #218 on: November 05, 2016, 02:49:14 PM »
I'm afraid I'm an amateur compared to you, Paul;). This is my list (alphabetically):

Pierre Boulez 1966 (Melodram) & 1970 (DG)
Reginald Goodall (ROH Heritage Series)
Hartmut Haenchen (DVD from Brussels, staged by Romeo Castellucci)
Armin Jordan (Erato)
Herbert von Karajan (DG)
Herbert Kegel (Berlin Classics)
Hans Knappertsbusch 1951 (Decca) & 1962 (Philips)
Clemens Krauss (Andromeda)
Rafael Kubelik (Arts)
James Levine 1985 (Decca Bayreuth box)
Giuseppe Sinopoli (DVD, Wolfgang Wagner's 2nd Bayreuth staging)
Horst Stein (DVD, Wolfgang Wagner's 1st Bayreuth staging--which I saw in the theatre  :))
Christian Thielemann (DG)
Jaap van Zweden (Challenge Classics)

I used to have the Solti (Decca) on LP, but somehow I've never gotten the CDs (and I should, because of Christa Ludwig, mainly)

The Jochum looks appealing.... And I am still furious that the Stefan Herheim's staging from Bayreuth, conducted by Philippe Jordan--which I also saw live--, although filmed, was never released on DVD (rumour has it that, for some unfathomable reason, Katharina Wagner vetoed the issue >:( ). As discussed not long ago with SurprisedByBeauty, I consider this the single most rewarding evening I have ever experienced in a theatre...

Regards,

That's an impressive collection!!!  And to have seen the Wolfgang #1 with Stein–wow!!

I have only seen Parsifal in Seattle (2003–Ascher Fisch/François Rochaix; Ventris, Watson, Milling, Grimley) and in NYC (2013–Daniele Gatti/François Girard; Kaufmann, Dalayman, Pape, Mattei).  I'm looking forward to the next live performance wherever that may be.

And yes!–I remember reading about the Herheim/Jordan and I'm still hoping they will release it in the near future (as well as Herheim's Ring).  In the meantime, being a fan of Jordan's conducting, I'm going to order the CD from Premiere Opera ;D http://premiereopera.net/product/parsifal-by-wagner-bayreuth-2012/

Best,

Paul

Offline ritter

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Re: Wagner's Parsifal
« Reply #219 on: November 05, 2016, 02:58:31 PM »
I was just about to recommend that site to you, Paul  ;) They have the '65 Cluytens, Abbado in Salzburg, Eschenbach in Bayreuth, and the 2004 Boulez, among many others. I've used them in the past (for some off the beaten track repertoire), with usually excellent results (except once--a badly edited copy of Boulez conducting Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie  :( ).

And I edited my list to include the Syberberg film (the soundtrack of which is the Armin Jordan recording). If you haven't seen it, you definitely must! It's fascinating (sometimes bizarre, but fascinating!)...



AFAIK, currently only available from Mr. Syberberg himself: http://syberberg.de/Syberberg4_2008/080408-DVD-Werk-alle.html

I missed the Girard staging from the MET when they showed it in cinemas here in Madrid. Must have been quite something to see it live (and what a great cast!).

EDIT: And, of course, as I write this, I'm inevitably listening to:


Karajan was OK a couple of days ago, but this is it! What a performance!!!!
« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 03:25:49 PM by ritter »
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