Review by Graham Clark|
Generally speaking, if there is such a thing as definitive Wagner
recordings, this might well be one. Knappertsbusch's conducting is
very slow, granted, but it has a spiritual quality to it that barely
anyone else can match. The Bayreuth orchestra is at its best here,
and the acoustics of the theater are excellently caught.
The cast has no fatal flaws, and many virtues. At the very top is
Jess Thomas, one of the very best Heldentenors. He is in beautiful,
but strong voice, especially in Act 1. Unfortunately, Dalis as Kundry
does not match up to him. She is convincing enough, but no dramatic
match for, say, Gwyneth Jones. Never the less, she pulls herself
together in time for the curse in Act 2, and her brief part in Act 3.
The rest of the cast is flawless, with Neidlinger an intense, if
slightly too coarse, Klingsor, and Hotter a commanding Gurnemanz.
Add to that a quartet of squires that includes Paskuda and Stolze,
and you get a very alive and exciting recording.
This review is from the now closed Wagner on the Web and it is published
without the author's consent. I haven't been able to get in touch with him.
If the author reads this, please contact me as soon as possible. If you
don't want it here, I'll take it of the site immediately.