<< -- 3 -- Robert Anderson SKILL AND SENSITIVITY
The Klingsor of Tom Fox, sinister within his magic circle, does an irresistible invocation
of the wretched Kundry, who only wants, like most of us, a bit more sleep
[listen -- DVD 2 track 1, 3:18-4:15, Vorspiel (Act 2)].
The Flowers or bunnies are as sensuous as they should be and would doubtless have earned the
applause Wagner persistently gave them at the first performances
[listen -- DVD 2 track 4, 0:00-1:17, 'Komm, komm! Holder Knabe!' (Act 2)].
[watch and listen to a sequence from 'Parsifal! Weile!' (Act 2) using
the player below -- needs an
Apple Quicktime plugin --
high speed connection preferred].
Wagner's psychological and musical pacing of the attempted seduction is a miracle of art,
and Kundry is never more dangerous than when near defeat
[listen -- DVD 2 track 10, 0:00-1:31, 'Grausamer! Fühlst du im Herzen' (Act 2)].
Tom Fox as Klingsor. DVD screenshot © 2005 Opus Arte
The fine Amfortas of Thomas Hampson gets a very raw deal in this production. His upper lip
could not be less stiff, and I would have considered him unbalanced enough to be sectioned long
before the end. But vocally he carries on as gamely as Wagner could have wished even when
scenically well beyond the end of his tether
[listen -- DVD 3 track 11, 5:27-track 12, 0:25,
'Ja, Wehe! Wehe! Weh' über mich!' (Act 3)].
Kent Nagano conducts 'Parsifal' at Baden-Baden. DVD screenshot © 2005 Opus Arte
The Act 1 prelude is clearly at Baden-Baden rather than Bayreuth. In other words we inspect the
orchestra, admiring its skill and sensitivity, concentrating on one instrument or another, and
wondering how some players of such apparently tender years can produce not only endless melody
but endless beauty. Nagano, a magisterial figure on the rostrum, shakes locks at us, though
mercifully less gory than Banquo's. The explanatory film is interesting as much for its special
pleading as for relaying thoughts of the cast on their roles; but, alas, no Gurnemanz.