Wagner: Parsifal

Pentatone: PTC5186401

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Wagner: Parsifal


Presto Disc of the Week

26th March 2012

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2013

Award for Technical Excellence



Catalogue No:




Release date:

19th March 2012




3 hours 45 minutes


SACD (download also available)


Hybrid Multi-channel
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Wagner: Parsifal

Evgeny Nikitin (Amfortas), Christian Elsner (Parsifal), Franz-Josef Selig (Gurnemanz), Michelle DeYoung (Kundry/Stimme aus der Hohe), Dimitry Ivaschenko (Titurel), Eike Wilm Schulte (Klingsor)

Rundfunkchor Berlin & Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Marek Janowski

SACD - 4 discs


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This is the third release of the very successful Wagner Edition. The first release, Flying Dutchman (PTC5186400) was an Editor’s Choice in the Gramophone. The second, Die Meistersinger, (PTC5186402) was the BBC Music Magazine Opera Choice of the Month in February. “It is a phenomenal achievement of Marek Janowski to have welded his immense forces into such a virtually flawless unity.”

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

Richard Wagner: Parsifal

Act I: Prelude

Act I: He! Ho! Waldhuter ihr (Gurnemanz, First knight)

Act I: Seht dort, die wilde Reiterin (Squires, Knights, Kundry, Gurnemanz)

Act I: Recht so! Habt Dank! Ein wenig Rast (Amfortas) - Gawan! Herr! Gawan weilte nicht (Amfortas, Second Knight, Gurnemanz)

Act I: He! Du da! Was liegst du dort wie ein wildes Tier? (Squires, Gurnemanz, Kundry)

Act I: O wunden-wundervoller heiliger Speer (Gurnemanz, Squires)

Act I: Titurel, der fromme Held (Gurnemanz, Squires)

Act I: Weh! - Hoho! - Auf - Wer ist der Frevler (Squires, Knights, Gurnemanz, Parsifal)

Act I: Nun sag'! Nichts weisst du, was ich dich frage (Gurnemanz, Parsifal, Kundry)

Act I: Vom Bade kehrt der Konig heim (Gurnemanz, Parsifal)

Act I: Verwandlungsmusik

Act I: Nun achte wohl und lass mich seh'n (Gurnemanz) - Zum letzten Liebesmahle (Chorus)

Act I: Mein Sohn Amfortas, bist du am Amt? (Titurel, Amfortas)

Act I: Wehvolles Erbe, dem ich verfallen (Amfortas, Chorus)

Act I: Enthullet den Gral! (Titurel, Chorus) - Nehmet hin mein Blut (Chorus, Titurel)

Act I: Wein und Brot des letzten Mahles (Chorus)

Act I: Departure of the Knights - Was stehst du noch da? (Gurnemanz, Voice from Above, Chorus)

Act II: Prelude - Die Zeit ist da (Klingsor)

Act II: Ach! Ach! Tiefe Nacht Wahnsinn! (Kundry, Klingsor)

Act II: Ho! Ihr Wachter! Ho! Ritter! (Klingsor)

Act II: Hier war das Tosen! (Flower Maidens, Parsifal)

Act II: Komm, holder Knabe! (Flower Maidens, Parsifal)

Act II: Parsifal! Weile! (Kundry, Parsifal, Flower Maidens)

Act II: Dies alles hab' ich nun getraumt? (Parsifal, Kundry)

Act II: Ich sah das Kind an seiner Mutter Brust (Kundry)

Act II: Wehe! Was tat ich? Wo war ich? (Parsifal, Kundry) - Bekenntnis wird Schuld in Reue enden (Kundry)

Act II: Amfortas! Die Wunde! (Parsifal, Kundry)

Act II: Grausamer! Fuhlst du im Herzen (Kundry, Parsifal) - Ich sah ihn (Kundry, Parsifal) - Nun such' ich ihn von Welt zu Welt (Kundry, Parsifal)

Act II: Vergeh, unseliges Weib! (Parsifal, Kundry, Klingsor)

Act III: Prelude

Act III: Von dort her kam das Stohnen (Gurnemanz, Kundry)

Act III: Heil dir, mein Gast! (Gurnemanz)

Act III: Heil mir, dass ich dich wiederfinde! (Parsifal, Gurnemanz)

Act III: Zu ihm, des tiefe Klagen (Parsifal, Gurnemanz)

Act III: O Herr! War es ein Fluch (Gurnemanz) - Die heil'ge Speisung bleibt uns nun versagt (Gurnemanz, Parsifal)

Act III: Nicht so! Die heil'ge Quelle selbst (Gurnemanz, Parsifal)

Act III: Gesegnet sei, du Reiner, durch das Reine! (Gurnemanz, Parsifal)

Act III: Wie dunkt mir doch die Aue heut so schon! (Parsifal, Gurnemanz)

Act III: Du siehst, das ich nicht so (Gurnemanz, Parsifal)

Act III: Mittag: Die Stund' ist da (Gurnemanz) - Verwandlungsmusik

Act III: Geleiten wir im bergenden Schrein (Chorus)

Act III: Ja, wehe! Weh' uber mich (Amfortas, Chorus)

Act III: Nur eine Waffe taugt (Parsifal)

Act III: Hochsten Heiles Wunder! - Erlosung dem Erloser!

The Guardian

29th March 2012


“the set is beautifully engineered, and the presentation immaculate”

BBC Music Magazine

June 2012


“It has spontaneity of something which has sunk so deeply into the performers' minds and souls that they can throw caution to the wind and still be accurate...Elsner is a wonderfully sensitive and expressive Parsifal...But the strongest performance of all is the Amfortas of Evgeny Nikitin...If Janowski's planned cycle...continues like this, it will unquestionably be the finest modern traversal on disc of Wagner's achievement.”

Financial Times

26th May 2012


“The strongest contributions come from Evgeny Nikitin’s Amfortas and Eike Wilm Schulte’s Klingsor.”

Sunday Times

15th July 2012

“The Parsifal strikes me as one of the finest on disc, easily the best of the past decade, with an avuncular, Sachs-like Gurnemanz in Franz-Josef Selig, an exciting Kundry in Michelle DeYoung, Evgeny Nikitin’s noble, anguished Amfortas (better than in 2010’s Gergiev/Mariinsky set) and, best of all, Christian Elsner’s ideally lyrical and heroic Parsifal.”

Gramophone Magazine

October 2012

“Familiar tropes from previous concerts in this all-Wagner series resurface. Pacing is generally quite quick. Casting and characterisation are naturalistic, apparently written by Wagner. Gurnemanz (Selig) sounds like an inquisitive old squire rather than a retired Wotan waiting to unearth the secrets of the universe. Parsifal (Elsner) is a rough, innocent outsider instead of the chosen one in embryo.”

International Record Review

September 2012

“Janowski's approach is pointedly symphonic...[Elsner] proves an inspired choice as Parsifal, dark-toned yet lyrical...DeYoung delivers what is by some margin her most compelling performance to date...She pins you to your seat with her description of her alter ego laughing at Christ...All told, this is a Parsifal - in modern sound - to rank with some of the great performances on disc.”

MusicWeb International

August 2012

“the first benefit that strikes the listener is the quality of the recorded sound... This is matched by a vivid performance from the orchestra, who have played Wagner brilliantly throughout this cycle so far...Selig is outstanding, anchoring the whole set with gravitas and weight. He sings not only with authority but with outstanding beauty...Nikitin is outstanding at evoking sympathy...DeYoung’s Kundry is outstanding because she gets inside both aspects of the role.”

Financial Times

5th January 2013


“these performances sound polished and well cast, revealing diaphanous beauty and detail in the orchestration...Parsifal is distinguished by Franz-Josef Selig’s majestic Gurnemanz”

Presto Classical

26th March 2012

“[Elsner has] lyricism and stamina to burn...[de Young] is fully alive to the schizophrenic shifts in mood which Wagner demands...Selig is every bit as eloquent and insightful as you’d expect in the verbose role of Gurnemanz...Janowski paces things immaculately: there’s a serene, lucid radiance to the Prelude and Good Friday Music, and never a hint of anything ponderous or stodgy.”

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