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Thread: Opinions on Solti's 'Parsifal'?

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    Senior Member Oreb's Avatar
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    Default Opinions on Solti's 'Parsifal'?

    I've heard mixed reports on this (my favourite opera) and have never heard it.

    Am I being hasty? Do you like it? Why?

    If not, why not?

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Well, I'll venture forth with my opinion.

    1. I love the recording. Clear and rich Decca sound, never harsh on the ear and the dynamics judged just right. Excellent stereo.
    Not so extreme to where you need to adjust the volume to hear the lows or turn down the highs.

    2. The cast is wonderful. Frick, DFD, Ludwig, Hotter, Keleman, Popp, Kollo, TeKanawa. Come on
    I know, people like to rag on Kollo. I think he's good here.

    3. The orchestra is top notch and Solti paces the opera very well.

    The only thing I don't like is that none of the Acts is whole on a disc, but that might be a personal quirk of mine.

    That's my humble review. I love it.
    Last edited by Itullian; Feb-21-2014 at 12:25.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

    "Life's a long song, but the tune ends too soon for us all." Ian Anderson lyric

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet

    "Man does not live by bread alone......"

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    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
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    It is wonderful.
    Doch dieses Wörtlein: und, -wär' es zerstört,
    wie anders als mit Isoldes eignem Leben wär' Tristan der Tod gegeben?

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    Senior Member Oreb's Avatar
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    So I played this yesterday and loved it. Solti shows a delicacy I'd not associated with him before - the cast is outstanding and, no surprise here - the sound is flawless.

    Doesn't reach Kna or Gergiev levels (for me the Nonseuch Parsifals) but a very welcome addition and one I'll be returning to with pleasure

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oreb View Post
    So I played this yesterday and loved it. Solti shows a delicacy I'd not associated with him before - the cast is outstanding and, no surprise here - the sound is flawless.

    Doesn't reach Kna or Gergiev levels (for me the Nonseuch Parsifals) but a very welcome addition and one I'll be returning to with pleasure
    Glad you enjoyed it. I listen to it often. One of my favorite recordings.
    My next Wagner purchase is the Kubelik. I've wanted it for a long time.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

    "Life's a long song, but the tune ends too soon for us all." Ian Anderson lyric

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet

    "Man does not live by bread alone......"

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    Senior Member Pip's Avatar
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    At the time of the recording, Solti had not yet conducted it in any opera house, and it shows. It has a wonderful cast, all of whom were singing their roles in various stage productions around that time, but to me Solti fails to find the line, the whole recording is a collection of highlights without the benefit of an overall conception. It is a curate's egg of a recording. It would be another 6 years before he came to CG to conduct it. The 1978 performances were better than the recording (you will have to take my word for it) although the press gave the production bad reviews. Unfortunately Solti cancelled the broadcast performance, so we never got the chance to compare.
    Frick had already retired from the stage at the time of this recording, but one would would never guess that from his wonderful singing.
    Probably the best cast of all the Parsifals - no weak link - except (at times) the conductor.

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    Senior Member Oreb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    My next Wagner purchase is the Kubelik. I've wanted it for a long time.
    Let me know what you think - in my opinion it's marvelous. Not on the level of his first-rank Meistersinger, but not far off!

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    At the time of the recording, Solti had not yet conducted it in any opera house, and it shows. It has a wonderful cast, all of whom were singing their roles in various stage productions around that time, but to me Solti fails to find the line, the whole recording is a collection of highlights without the benefit of an overall conception. It is a curate's egg of a recording. It would be another 6 years before he came to CG to conduct it. The 1978 performances were better than the recording (you will have to take my word for it) although the press gave the production bad reviews. Unfortunately Solti cancelled the broadcast performance, so we never got the chance to compare.
    Frick had already retired from the stage at the time of this recording, but one would would never guess that from his wonderful singing.
    Probably the best cast of all the Parsifals - no weak link - except (at times) the conductor.
    The problem with some of Solti's Wagner on disc. As he said later of his Tristan: "I was too inexperienced."
    It is, of course, better for a conductor to know the opera so it has a whiff of grease paint about it. Of course, there are exceptions. I believe Guilini was new to Don Giovanni when he conducted the classic version for EMI

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    At the time of the recording, Solti had not yet conducted it in any opera house, and it shows. It has a wonderful cast, all of whom were singing their roles in various stage productions around that time, but to me Solti fails to find the line, the whole recording is a collection of highlights without the benefit of an overall conception. It is a curate's egg of a recording. It would be another 6 years before he came to CG to conduct it. The 1978 performances were better than the recording (you will have to take my word for it) although the press gave the production bad reviews. Unfortunately Solti cancelled the broadcast performance, so we never got the chance to compare.
    Frick had already retired from the stage at the time of this recording, but one would would never guess that from his wonderful singing.
    Probably the best cast of all the Parsifals - no weak link - except (at times) the conductor.
    The Solti CG Parsifal hot bad reviews because of Terry Hands' production. Some misguided person thought that as Parsifal was a 'holy fool' it would be good to have someone who had never seen it produce it. Hands was a great man of the theatre but his Parsifal was not one of his better nights!

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    Senior Member Pip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    The Solti CG Parsifal hot bad reviews because of Terry Hands' production. Some misguided person thought that as Parsifal was a 'holy fool' it would be good to have someone who had never seen it produce it. Hands was a great man of the theatre but his Parsifal was not one of his better nights!
    Well do I remember this - the sets were by Farah and were mostly covered in Pink Fur - I kid you not! It was atrocious. Solti took the review to mean him, rather than what was on show, he even cancelled the broadcast(BBC) performance which was taken over by Maurits Sillem. I saw performances 1,3 and 4. Three was the broadcast as far as I remember. Solti got better and better.
    Unfortunately when the production was revived in 1980 with Solti again and the same cast, it was not broadcast. So we never got a Solti Parsifal "live". one of the ones that got away.

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    Senior Member Marschallin Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    Well, I'll venture forth with my opinion.

    1. I love the recording. Clear and rich Decca sound, never harsh on the ear and the dynamics judged just right. Excellent stereo.
    Not so extreme to where you need to adjust the volume to hear the lows or turn down the highs.

    2. The cast is wonderful. Frick, DFD, Ludwig, Hotter, Keleman, Popp, Kollo, TeKanawa. Come on
    I know, people like to rag on Kollo. I think he's good here.

    3. The orchestra is top notch and Solti paces the opera very well.

    The only thing I don't like is that none of the Acts is whole on a disc, but that might be a personal quirk of mine.

    That's my humble review. I love it.
    --
    Quite agreed. I actually bought it just for Kiri. Ha. Ha. Ha. . . It's a 'good' performance. Nothing outstanding in the conducting. I do love the excellent sound engineering of K.E. Wilkinson-- which no one's mentioned yet.
    "Let me have my own way in exactly everything, and a sunnier and more pleasant creature does not exist." - Thomas Carlyle

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