Gui: Wagner - Parsifal (3 CD box set, FLAC)
Gui: Wagner - Parsifal (3 CD box set, FLAC)

Composer: Richard Wagner
Performer: Maria Callas, Antonio Baldelli, Boris Christoff
Orchestra: RAI Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Vittorio Gui
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 3 CD box set
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Opera D’oro
Size: 671 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Parsifal, opera, WWV 111 – Recorded live, Rome November 20-21 1950
Composed by Richard Wagner
with
Kundry – Maria Callas
Gurnemanz – Boris Christoff
Parsifal – Africo Baldelli
Amfortas – Rolando Panerai
Tirurel – Dimitri Lopatto
Klingsor – Giuseppe Modesti
Twi Knights – Aldo Bertocci, Mario Frosini
Four Squires – Silvana Tenti, Miti Truccato Pace, Mario Frosini, Aldo Bertocci
Flower Maidens – Lina Pagliughi, Renata Broilo, Anna Maria Canali, Liliana Rossi, Silvana Tenti, Miti Truccato Pace
Conducted by Vittorio Gui

Disc 1:
01. Prelude to Act 1
02. Eh! Oh! Guardia cosi
03. Si, qui!… Sta ben! Posiamo un po’
04. Oh, santa lancia, prodigioso, acciar!
05. Nel menomato tempio
06. Dal bagno gia ritorna
07. Il giorno ha preparato
08. Mio figlio Amfortas, sei pronto al rito?

Disc 2:
01. Triste retaggio a me serbato
02. Il mio corpo sia pan
03. All’estrema cena in vino
04. Che fai tu qui?
05. E giunto il di
06. Oh guerrieri, o guardie, prodi! Su!
07. Qui fu il clamore: armi, fiere grida!
08. Qui resta, Parsifal
09. Ho visto il figlio sul materno sen
10. Amfortas! La piaga! La piaga!
11. Ah crudel! Gli altrui dolori atroci

Disc 3:
01. Lo vidi… Lui… Lui… E risi!
02. Di la venuto e il grido
03. Salve, fratel!
04. Dio mi a ritrovarti!
05. No! no! la sacra fone sia vital lavacro
06. Cosi ci fu promesso
07. Ma pur non e cosi
08. Mezzodi… E questa l’ora
09. Si, onta, onta su di me
10. Soltanto un’arma val

It’s Vittorio Gui’s show

I agree with “A Customer” that this performance is centered in conductor Vittorio Gui’s conducting. The RAI orchetra plays to what one might call the Debussyan side of the orchestral score. Much attention to melding individual instrumental colors, with the music indeed conveying the fundamental emotional ambiguities and developments of the story itself. One example, usually ignored, is the music of ecstatic relief as Amfortas at the end envsions the cessation of pain as he contemplates his own death.

Something that strikes me particularly about this performance is the utterly pristine articulation of the Flower Maidens’ choral ensemable. I’ve always found that part of the opera something of a chore due to the combination of shrillness and muddiness that some conductors impart to it. Gui has clearly resolved to lighten the texture of the close harmony with the result that the different lines of the ensemble stand out in clear outline in relation to each other. This from a 1950 recording is an achievement indeed. And then there is the closing chorus that builds with precision to the concluding Grail theme, avoiding the slight anticlimax that the opera’s conclusion sometimes suffers under. This is a core part of the Parsifal discography, not a curious novelty.

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