WAGNER, R.: Parsifal

Buy + Add To Wish List + £18.99 - Few in stock

Shipping time: In stock | Expected delivery 1-2 days | Free UK Delivery
Alfred Hertz's 1913 recording of 37 minutes' worth of excerpts from Parsifal was one of the more ambitious orchestral recording projects of the acoustic era. In those days before microphones were developed for electrical recording, musicians gathered in small studios, crowded around a gigantic horn into which they would play. Balances were determined by seating proximity to the horn. Even then, some types of instruments (e.g. the brass) registered more clearly than others (the strings).

In the present recording, there appears to be little of the re-orchestration which was commonly undertaken during this period in an attempt to bolster the less-phonogenic sections of the orchestra, (by, for example, reinforcing the bass line with tubas). As a result, we are able to hear the Berlin Philharmonic in much the way it would have sounded in concert, albeit through a sonic glass darkly.

The 1927 Bayreuth Festival recordings were made two years after the adoption of electrical recording as the industry standard enabled itinerant engineers to set up microphones in any concert hall in the world - even the fabled Festspielhaus itself. The original recordings were far from flawless, even by the standards of the time; yet Karl Muck's high fees precluded the Columbia engineers from remaking several sides which were excessively overcut.

Artist fees were also cited as the reason for recording the \Grail Scene" without a Titurel or an Amfortas, and the "Flower Maidens Scene" without Parsifal. However, what we miss there is more than made up for by the presence of the original Bayreuth bells in the Act I Transformation Scene. Cast for the first production of the opera in 1882, they were melted down for the German war effort in the early 1940s. Their imposing sound (notably tuned to a lower pitch than the orchestra was using by the late 1920s) would have vanished forever from the earth, had it not been preserved for posterity in shellac grooves.

The finest vintages of source material were used for these transfers. The Hertz discs came from Hanover "Gramophone Concert Record" pressings, the Muck First Act Prelude and all of Act III were transferred from Victor "Z" pressings; and the 1927 Bayreuth Festival recordings came from a combination of U.S. Columbia "Viva-Tonal" and laminated, pre-EMI English Columbia copies, with the best sides from each being used. Although Ceder-2 declicking was employed, some low-frequency thumps caused by pressing bubbles remain in portions of the rare Hertz recording.

Disc: 1
Parsifal, Act I: Gral Scene
1 Prelude to Act I
2 Act I: Transformation Music
3 Act III: Transformation Music
4 Good Friday Spell
5 Act I: Prelude to Act I
6 Act I: Transformation Music
7 Zum letzten Liebesmahle
8 Durch Mitleid wissend, der reine Tor
9 Wein und Brot des letzten Mahles
Disc: 2
Parsifal, Act III: So ward es uns verhiessen (Good
1 Act II: Flower Maidens Scene (Komm'! Komm'! Holder
2 Act III: Prelude
3 Act III: Heil mir, dass ich dich wieder finde!
4 Act III: O Gnade! Hochstes Heil!
5 Act III: So ward es uns verhiessen (Good Friday Sp
6 Act III: Mittag: die Stund' ist da (Transformation
7 Act III: Geleiten wir im bergenden Schrein
8 Act III: Ja, Wehe! Wehe!
9 Act III: Nur eine Waffe taugt
10 Act III: So ward es uns verhiessen (Good Friday Sp
Write your own review
You must log in to be able to write a review
If you like WAGNER, R.: Parsifal, please tell your friends! You can easily share this page directly on Facebook, Twitter and via e-mail below.

You may also like.....

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 9
STRAUSS II, J.: Die Fledermaus
WAGNER: Lohengrin
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 5 / WAGNER: Parsifal Prelude
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 6 8110865 10/01/2003 £11.99
Few in stock Buy +
WAGNER, R.: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg 8110872-75 02/01/2003 £22.99
Few in stock Buy +
WAGNER, R.: Parsifal 8110221-24 12/01/2002 £22.99
Few in stock Buy +
WAGNER, R.: Overtures and Preludes 8110858 07/01/2002 £11.99
Out of stock
WAGNER, R.: Tannhauser 8110094-95 01/01/2001 £18.99
Few in stock Buy +
DVORAK: Symphony No. 9 / SMETANA: Moldau 8110907 12/01/1999 £11.99
Few in stock Buy +
Image Image Image
My account
My cart: 0 items