Brilliant Opera Collection: Wagner: Parsifal

Composer Richard Wagner
Artist René Kollo tenor
Ulrik Cold bass
Theo Adam bass
Gisela Schröter contralto
Reid Bunger baritone
Fred Teschler bass
Rundfunkchor Leipzig
Rundfunkchor Berlin
Thomanerchor Leipzig
Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Leipzig
Herbert Kegel conductor
Format 3 CD
Cat. number 95120
EAN code 5028421951201
Release July 2015

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About this release

Wagner’s most elusive and enigmatic opera, Parsifal has given scholars much to think about it since its premiere in 1882. A cryptic mixture of Christian, pagan and oriental elements, as well as containing some nods to the 19th-century writings of Schopenhauer, the opera follows the medieval legend of the knights of the Holy Grail. With their leader Amfortas gravely injured, the Knights are in trouble, and turn to the unlikely hero Parsifal to steal back the holy spear Amfortas possessed when he was seduced and stabbed by Klingsor, an embittered ex-knight. On the way, Parsifal must battle the temptations of the flower maidens and the manipulative Kundry – this in addition to him discovering more about his own past. Wagner’s last opera, Parsifal deals centrally with the theme of Mitleid, or compassion, a redemptive quality that is underlined by Wagner’s gloriously sublime score.

Featuring a stellar cast, this production was originally released in 1978 and has certainly stood the test of time. René Kollo takes the main role in a release that was lauded by Gramophone for its ‘highly distinguished’ singing and conducting ‘unusual in its swiftness and dramatic candour’. With a first-class supporting cast that includes Gisela Schröter as the devious Kundry and Theo Adam as the despairing Amfortas, this Parsifal marks a wonderful tribute to Wagner’s work of intense humanity.

This reissue of the 1975 live recording of Wagner’s Parsifal features a stellar cast: the great René Kollo in the title role, further Theo Adam, Gisela Schröter and Ulrik Cold, and the splendid Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Leipzig, conducted by Herbert Kegel, a specialist in late romantic repertoire.
First issued on Berlin Classics this historic recording received high praise for its “unusual swiftness and dramatic candour” (Gramophone) and the “highly distinguished” title role of Rene Kollo.
The booklet contains excellent liner notes in English and German, the libretto is available on the Brilliant Classics website.

Other information:
Recorded in Leipzig’s Kongreßhalle in 1975.
Contains extensive notes on the opera in English and German.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Parsifal, WWV 111, Prelude to Act 1
  2. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: He! Ho! Waldhüter ihr (Gurnemanz/Second Knight)
  3. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: Seht dort die wilde Reiterin! (Second Esquire/First Esquire/Second Knight/Kundry/Gurnemanz)
  4. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: Recht so! Habt Dank! (Amfortas/Second Knight/Gurnemanz/Kundry)
  5. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: He, Du da! Was liegst du dort wie ein wildes Tier? (Third Esquire/Kundry/Fourth Esquire/Gurnemanz)
  6. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: O wunden-wundervoller heiliger Speer! (Gurnemanz/Third Esquire/First Esquire/Second Esquire)
  7. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: Titurel, der fromme Held (Gurnemanz)
  8. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: Vor allem nun: der Speer kehr’ uns zurück! (Fourth Esquire/Third Esquire/Gurnemanz/Knights and other Esquires)
  9. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: Weh’! Hoho! Auf! Wer ist der Frevler? (Knights and Esquires/Gurnemanz/Parsifal)
  10. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: Du konntest morden (Gurnemanz/Parsifal)
  11. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: Wo bist du her? (Gurnemanz/Parsifal)
  12. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: Den Vaterlosen gebar die Mutter (Kundry/Parsifal/Gurnemanz)
  13. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: So recht! So nach des Grales Gnade (Gurnemanz/Kundry)
  14. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: Vom Bade kehrt der König heim (Gurnemanz/Parsifal)
  15. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: Transformation Music
  16. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: Nun achte wohl und laß mich seh’n (Gurnemanz/Knights of the Grail/Voices of youths)
  17. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: Mein Sohn Amfortas, bist du am Amt? (Titurel/Amfortas)
  18. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: Enthüllet den Gral! (Titurel/Amfortas/Boys and youths/Knights)

Disk 2

  1. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: Nehmet hin meinen Leib, nehmet hin mein Blut (Voices from above/Boys’ voices from above//Titurel)
  2. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: Wein und Brot des letzten Mahles(Boys’ voices from above/Youths’ voices/Knights of the Holy Grail)
  3. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 1: Was stehst du noch da? (Gurnemanz/Voices)
  4. Parsifal, WWV 111, Prelude to Act 2
  5. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 2: Die Zeit ist da (Klingsor)
  6. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 2: Erwachst du? Ha! Meinem Banne wieder verfallen (Klingsor)
  7. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 2: Ach! Ach! Tiefe Nacht... Wahnsinn... (Kundry/Klingsor)
  8. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 2: Furchtbare Not! So lacht nun der Teufel mein (Klingsor/Kundry)
  9. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 2: Jetzt schon erklimmt er die Burg (Klingsor/Kundry)
  10. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 2: Hier war das Tosen (Maidens/Parsifal)
  11. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 2: Ihr schönen Kinder (Parsifal/Maidens)
  12. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 2: Komm, komm! Holder Knabe! (Maidens/Parsifal)
  13. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 2: Parsifal! Weile! (Kundry/Parsifal/Maidens)
  14. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 2: Dies alles hab’ ich nun geträumt? (Parsifal/Kundry)
  15. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 2: Ich sah das Kind an seiner Mutter Brust (Kundry)
  16. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 2: Wehe! Wehe! Was tat ich? (Parsifal/Kundry)
  17. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 2: Amfortas! Die Wunde! (Parsifal/Kundry)
  18. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 2: Grausamer! Fühlst du im Herzen (Kundry)
  19. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 2: Auf Ewigkeit wärst du verdammt (Parsifal/Kundry)
  20. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 2: Vergeh, unseliges Weib! (Parsifal/Kundry/Klingsor)
  21. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 2: Mit diesem Zeichen bann’ ich deinen Zauber (Parsifal)

Disk 3

  1. Parsifal, WWV 111, Prelude to Act 3
  2. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 3: Von dorther kam das Stöhnen (Gurnemanz)
  3. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 3: Du tolles Weib! Hast du kein Wort für mich? (Gurnemanz/Kundry)
  4. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 3: Wer nahet dort dem heil’gen Quell? (Gurnemanz)
  5. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 3: Heil mir, daß ich dich wieder finde! (Parsifal/Gurnemanz)
  6. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 3: O Herr! War es ein Fluch (Gurnemanz/Parsifal)
  7. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 3: Nicht so! Die heil’ge Quelle selbst (Gurnemanz/Parsifal)
  8. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 3: Du wuschest mir die Füße (Parsifal/Gurnemanz)
  9. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 3: Wie dünkt mich doch die Aue heut so schön (Parsifal/Gurnemanz)
  10. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 3: Du siehst, das ist nicht so (Gurnemanz/Parsifal)
  11. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 3: Mittag. Die Stund’ ist da (Gurnemanz)
  12. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 3: Geleiten wir im bergenden Schrein (Processions)
  13. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 3: Ja! Wehe! Wehe! Weh’ über mich! (Amfortas/Die Knights)
  14. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 3: Nur eine Waffe taugt (Parsifal)
  15. Parsifal, WWV 111, Act 3: Höchsten Heiles Wunder! (All)