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Thread: Best Gurnemanz ?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sieglinde View Post
    I really loved László Polgár. He had a beautiful, warm voice and he nailed the kind but occasionally cranky nature of Gurnemanz. (he was also a great Sarastro, Leporello and King Philip.)
    Are you referring to the 1983 Parsifal conducted by János Ferencsik?

    I admire László Polgár. I Am enraptured with Parsifal. But have never heard him sing Gurnemanz.
    If this is the one, I will seek it.

    Bill
    Last edited by Spy Car; Jun-13-2020 at 03:09.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    Originally Posted by The Conte
    For those who say that Hotter is the best Gurnemanz, which of his recordings in the role do you consider his best?
    I’d go for either 1962, which has the best sound by far, or 1964, which has Vickers.
    I'm afraid there's no straightforward answer to this one!! I fully agree that 1962 has the best sound and that Vickers is special in 1964. On the other hand, 1963 may have the best-balanced cast (mainly the 1962 cast, except that Windgassen replaces its weak link, Thomas); while Hotter himself is in much better voice in the 1954 Met performance!

    Principal singers in the four recordings:

    1954 Met (slightly abridged): Svanholm (P), Hotter (G), Varnay (Ku), London (A), Lawrence Davidson (Kl), cond. Stiedry

    1962 Bayreuth: Thomas (P), Hotter (G), Dalis (Ku), London (A), Neidlinger (Kl), cond. Knappertsbusch

    1963 Bayreuth: Windgassen (P), Hotter (G), Dalis (Ku), London (A), Neidlinger (Kl), cond. Knappertsbusch

    1964 Bayreuth: Vickers (P), Hotter (G), Barbro Ericson (Ku), Stewart (A), Neidlinger (Kl), cond. Knappertsbusch

    One may debate the swings & roundabouts... but in a sense it doesn't matter greatly, because all four are pretty good performances.
    Last edited by gvn; Jun-13-2020 at 10:06.

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  4. #33
    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvn View Post
    I'm afraid there's no straightforward answer to this one!! I fully agree that 1962 has the best sound and that Vickers is special in 1964. On the other hand, 1963 may have the best-balanced cast (mainly the 1962 cast, except that Windgassen replaces its weak link, Thomas); while Hotter himself is in much better voice in the 1954 Met performance!
    1954 is an interesting performance because it was actually the first time Hotter sang Gurnemanz on stage (and the last time he sang at Met) and it has Varnay as Kundry. Considering how great Hotter's Wotan was in 1953 then I guess his Gurnemanz in 1954 must also be better, at least vocally, than in 1960s but I haven't heard the performance myself. I listened to some excerpts from Pristine and the sound seems to be unusually good.
    Last edited by annaw; Jun-13-2020 at 10:13.

  5. #34
    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Historical Wagner Recordings...............

    With ref to the 1954 NewYork Parsifal I wrote this a while ago.
    "...it is said that first your heart sings, then you play. I think if it is not like that, then it is only just combination of notes, isn't it? " - Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Master of the Sitar.

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    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spy Car View Post
    Are you referring to the 1983 Parsifal conducted by János Ferencsik?

    I admire László Polgár. I Am enraptured with Parsifal. But have never heard him sing Gurnemanz.
    If this is the one, I will seek it.

    Bill
    It’s only available as a download either from Hungaroton or iTunes. You can have either MP3 or FLAC at Hungaroton.
    "...it is said that first your heart sings, then you play. I think if it is not like that, then it is only just combination of notes, isn't it? " - Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Master of the Sitar.

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  8. #36
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    Jerome Hines in the Leinsdorf 1960 Met Parsifal was a great Gurnemanz as well.

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  10. #37
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    I actually prefer Moll on von Karajan's recording, but overall I prefer Kubelik's recording. But Moll was such a consistent singer that either performance will satisfy.

    Love Hotter's performance from 62 because his engagement with the text adds so much to the performance. After all, in the beginning of Act III Gurnemanz is more or less talking to himself.

    Another favourite, and a complete surprise, was Franz Crass on the Boulez set. I always thought him a rather stolid singer, but he's incredibly dramatic for Boulez. Try him out!

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  12. #38
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrikalansson View Post
    Another favourite, and a complete surprise, was Franz Crass on the Boulez set. I always thought him a rather stolid singer, but he's incredibly dramatic for Boulez. Try him out!
    Crass surprised me pleasantly too. Unfortunately he is, IMO, the only first-rate thing about the Boulez Parsifal. James King is wooden (he's much more vivid later for Kubelik), Gwyneth Jones was always better seen than merely heard, and Boulez doesn't let the music expand and breathe.

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