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“Karajan's Parsifal seems to grow in stature as an interpretation on each rehearing; on its CD transfer it appears to have acquired a new depth, in terms of sound, because of the greater range of the recording and the greater presence of both singers and orchestra. As in practically all cases, CD offers a more immediate experience. Karajan's reading, a trifle stodgy in Act 1, grows in intensity and feeling with the work itself, reaching an almost terrifying force in the Prelude to Act 3 which is sustained to the end of the opera. Moll's Gurnemanz is a deeply expressive, softly moulded performance of notable beauty. Vejzovic, carefully nurtured by Karajan, gives the performance of her life as Kundry. Hofmann's tone isn't at all times as steady as a Parsifal's should be, but he depicts the character's anguish and eventual serenity in his sincere, inward interpretation. Van Dam is a trifle too placid as Amfortas, but his singing exhibits admirable power and fine steadiness. Nimsgern is the epitome of malice as Klingsor. The choral singing doesn't have quite the confidence of the superb orchestral playing, which has both qualities of Keats's imagining of beauty and truth in abundance.”
“In most respects this is the most perfect, atmospheric Parsifal yet committed to disc or cassette. Admitting the vocal imperfections, few as they are, the set attempts an artistic, or at least technical superiority which it fairly achieves.”
“...in its glowing beauty, Karajan's Parsifal comes closest to the ideal of Schopenhauerian or Buddhist renunciation of will that the opera itself may strive towards.”
“Communion, musical and spiritual, is what this intensely beautiful Karajan set provides. The playing of the Berlin Orchestra is consistently beautiful, near to the atmospheric ideal. A superb achievement.”
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