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Thread: Wagner on disc....Parsifal

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    As a historian I am interested in historical facts and I wondered whether anyone had any definite information. It is also the historians job to question 'facts' when they do not appear to add up. It appears to me that DG making a recording of Parsifal for release at the same time as they made the Karajan recording is highly unlikely, not least for commercial reasons. That is was made for Bavarian Radio appears far more likely.
    If it hadn't been made for Bavarian Radio, the tapes would not be kept in the BR archive, BR would not have put their logo on the jewel case and Archives & Arts would have never released it without permission from DG because according to EU copyright DG would own the rights until 2050.

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  3. #32
    Senior Member Taplow's Avatar
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    My three Parsifals:





    I have to admit to only listening to this opera in snippets, and certainly not enough to compare the various recordings, but already the Knapp is coming out on top. I'll be seeing it live at the Bayerische Staatsoper in June, so will be sure to be well-versed by then. I can already tell you I am not overly thrilled with Christian Thielemann as a conductor, despite this being a relatively well-reviewed live recording. Domingo doesn't strike me as an ideal Wagnerian, either, though he is darker-toned with age here. I have him in the Sinopoli Tannhäuser, and he sounds like he's forgotten he's no longer in the middle of a Verdi melodrama.
    Last edited by Taplow; Oct-22-2017 at 21:52.

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  5. #33
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post
    Yes, as a historian, you should definitely decide what happened by making assumptions about what makes sense to you as opposed to widely reported and published uncontradicted statements. That's exactly what good historians do.
    Widely reported and uncontradicted statements? Sorry I have not noticed many. The statement I have about Kubelik's Mastersingers is that it was 'a [Bavarian] Radio broadcast from 1967' and 'It was recorded by Bavarian Radio to mark the work's centenary the following year.' (Gramophone Record Guide)

    The information I have on Kublelik Parsifal was that it was a radio broadcast in 1980.

    Hence the reasons the recordings were originally made was for radio broadcast.
    Last edited by DavidA; Oct-22-2017 at 21:55.

  6. #34
    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanmichael1 View Post
    If it hadn't been made for Bavarian Radio, the tapes would not be kept in the BR archive, BR would not have put their logo on the jewel case and Archives & Arts would have never released it without permission from DG because according to EU copyright DG would own the rights until 2050.
    Serious question - have you ever seen the recording contracts involved with these performers and their record labels? Are you aware of the provisions in those contracts relating to reversion of rights based on non-publication? Have you done any due diligence to uncover licensing or rights purchase agreements between Arts Archives and Deutsche Grammaphon?

    I assume not, and I haven't either. So absent direct information, we can only go by what is publicly stated and still hasn't been contradicted by many sources including very public (for classical music!) things like major online classical music retailers, classical music critics and publications, and Wikipedia.
    Last edited by howlingfantods; Oct-22-2017 at 22:03.

  7. #35
    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Widely reported and uncontradicted statements? Sorry I have not noticed many. The statement I have about Kubelik's Mastersingers is that it was 'a [Bavarian] Radio broadcast from 1967' and 'It was recorded by Bavarian Radio to mark the work's centenary the following year.' (Gramophone Record Guide)
    Yes, that's exactly what I said. Meistersinger was for broadcast, but they also offered the tape to DG to release, and there was interest before it was quashed.

    The information I have on Kublelik Parsifal was that it was a radio broadcast in 1980.
    Where? You cited a publication for the first proposition but not the second.

  8. #36
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post
    Yes, that's exactly what I said. Meistersinger was for broadcast, but they also offered the tape to DG to release, and there was interest before it was quashed.


    Where? You cited a publication for the first proposition but not the second.
    Where is your information that:
    (i) it was offered to DG for release
    (ii) it was quashed by D F-D?

    The second citation is from Arnold Whittall's Gramophone Collection on Parsifal, April 2005

  9. #37
    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Where is your information that:
    (i) it was offered to DG for release
    (ii) it was quashed by D F-D?

    The second citation is from Arnold Whittall's Gramophone Collection on Parsifal, April 2005
    The thread that alanmichael posted has excerpts from Fanfare from William Youngren with reporting that Thomas Helmsley--who played Beckmesser in the recording--said both that it was offered to DG for release and there was mutual interest, and that it was killed by a potential rival Sachs at DG. Based on those facts, it's pretty easy to conclude this must've been DFD, since he was already in negotiations with DG to record it and he's the only baritone at the time with the kind of pull to squash this.

    What does the Gramophone Collection on Parsifal from April 2005 say exactly?

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    My choices in that order.
    Kub and Knap are kind of tied, but if I had to choose, I have to have it from Bayreuth.
    I've always loved the Solti. It has great singing and sound and I always enjoy listening to it.
    Last edited by Itullian; Oct-22-2017 at 23:34.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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  12. #39
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    My favourite overall:

    Parsifal danny.jpg

    Every collection needs at least one version by Kna and one with Martha Moedl, my favourite with both of them in is the following:
    Parsifal 52.jpg

    Kna 62 is a classic, but I think he was at his best during his final year at Bayreuth:
    Parsifal 64.jpg

    N.

  13. #40
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    My favourite overall:

    Parsifal danny.jpg

    Every collection needs at least one version by Kna and one with Martha Moedl, my favourite with both of them in is the following:
    Parsifal 52.jpg

    Kna 62 is a classic, but I think he was at his best during his final year at Bayreuth:
    Parsifal 64.jpg

    N.
    No problems with the dynamic range on the Barenboim?
    Last edited by Itullian; Oct-22-2017 at 23:37.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

  14. #41
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Woodduck -> We can experience the Bayreuth sound, though not in stereo, in quite a few other recordings of Parsifalmade throughout the 1950s. In those, we hear a number of the singers favored at the theater, including Wolfgang Windgassen and Martha Modl as Parsifal and Kundry in the first recording from 1951 (the recording by which many of us first heard the opera). They perform with the intensity and intelligence we'd expect, although not with the vocal beauty of Thomas and Dalis in 1962. I can recommend the 1951 performance for the noble Gurnemanz of veteran Ludwig Weber and above all for the wonderfully unhinged Klingsor of Hermann Uhde, who got beneath straightforward villainy to suggest the character's underlying fear, impotence and brittle hysteria. In that year Knappertsbusch offered tempos considerably slower than those of 1962, which some like and others don't; I think they pay momentary expressive dividends here and there, but slightly diminish the dramatic momentum and flow of the whole. It might be pertinent to observe that the overall timing of Kna's 1962 performance is almost identical to that of Hermann Levi, the conductor Wagner chose and supervised for the opera's premiere in 1882.
    To observe the arc of Knap Parsifal Bayreuth performances from 1951-64 he started as one of the slowest total times gradually the tempo grew faster each year and by 62 Parsifal he is right in the middle/average of all recorded versions, Karajan and others now were much slower by comparison.....the guy has probably learned and forgotten more about Parsifal performance art over those years than many others will ever even begin to understand, quite a legacy

    Last edited by DarkAngel; Oct-22-2017 at 23:45.

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  16. #42
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post
    The thread that alanmichael posted has excerpts from Fanfare from William Youngren with reporting that Thomas Helmsley--who played Beckmesser in the recording--said both that it was offered to DG for release and there was mutual interest, and that it was killed by a potential rival Sachs at DG. Based on those facts, it's pretty easy to conclude this must've been DFD, since he was already in negotiations with DG to record it and he's the only baritone at the time with the kind of pull to squash this.

    What does the Gramophone Collection on Parsifal from April 2005 say exactly?
    'King repeated his fine Parsifal in a 1980 Munich broadcast which captures a magnificently spacious yet flowing reading under the great Rafael Kubelík.'

    So the basic fact we have in all this is that both the Mastersingers and Parsifal were made by Bavarian Radio to be broadcast on the radio. Nothing unusual in that - the BBC certainly did it at the time. They were not made specifically for DG to release on record.

    Of course what happened to them after is a matter some speculation. Hensley might be right. It might have been offered to DG then killed because they wanted to record it with D F-D which didn't happen for years later. In the same way Culshaw says RCA killed his hopes of recording Walkure after Rheingold as they recorded it with Nilsson and Leinsdorf. Whether D F-D intervened personally is another matter.

    This is a bit different from what our friend Superconductor says:
    'In 1967, Deutsche Grammophon eager to add a Meistersinger to its catalogue, commissioned conductor Rafael Kubelik and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra to record this opera.' It is this I am questioning. As far as I can see it was made for radio. I mean, if DG had intended to release it why did they allow it to be broadcast on the radio?

    However we appear to have no evidence that the Kubelik Parsifal - again made just for radio - was offered and quashed. I would certainly have been incredible if DG had recorded it for release by themselves given they had Karajan coming out at exactly the same time. And again, if DG had intended to release it why did they allow it to be broadcast on the radio in 1980?

    Just that conspiracy theories make better print!
    Last edited by DavidA; Oct-23-2017 at 08:37.

  17. #43
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    In that order.
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

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  19. #44
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howlingfantods View Post
    Serious question - have you ever seen the recording contracts involved with these performers and their record labels? Are you aware of the provisions in those contracts relating to reversion of rights based on non-publication? Have you done any due diligence to uncover licensing or rights purchase agreements between Arts Archives and Deutsche Grammaphon?

    I assume not, and I haven't either. So absent direct information, we can only go by what is publicly stated and still hasn't been contradicted by many sources including very public (for classical music!) things like major online classical music retailers, classical music critics and publications, and Wikipedia.
    Not at all. Sorry but we don't work like that, just to swallow what has been put on the Internet without question when we think there might be doubts about it. It is our right to question, you know.

  20. #45
    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    The Internet is definitely not definitive. For instance I saw on the internet that Donald Trump had been elected president of the U.S.A. last year and that Britain had opted out of the E.U. Surely that can't be right.
    Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate!

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