Mariinsky Label

_Mariinsky Label: Wagner Parsifal

MAR0508 4SACD

Wagner Parsifal

Wagner Parsifal

Valery Gergiev conductor

CDs of the Year Los Angeles Times (USA)
CDs of the Year New York Times (USA)
Disc of the Month Performance *****  Recording *****
BBC Music Magazine

CD of the Week ‘startling beautiful, rapturously sung and radiantly recorded’ BBC Radio 3 CD Review (UK)

The Mariinsky label’s first recording of an opera by Wagner features an exceptional international cast led by René Pape, Gary Lehman and Violeta Urmana. The Mariinsky Theatre has a long association with Wagner’s music. The composer himself conducted at the Theatre, which in 1863 was the location of the first performance of music from his as yet unstaged Ring Cycle. Over the past decade Valery Gergiev has become a frequent conductor of Wagner’s operas, establishing a formidable reputation in the repertoire, although remarkably this is his first recording of the composer’s operas.

Wagner described his final complete opera as a ‘A Festival Play for the Consecration of the Stage’ and the work has always sparked controversy, mixing moral and religious themes with music of irresistible sumptuousness. The opera was inspired by Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Arthurian poem Parzifal. Yet despite the story’s overt Christian imagery, Wagner also draws on ideas from other beliefs including Buddhism. The ‘harmonic experiments’ that he adopted for his previous opera Tristan und Isolde are further refined to create music of astonishing beauty that still retains and reflects the deep morality of the tale.

Digital booklet:


Price: £29.99

 
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Reviews

CDs of the Year
Los Angeles Times (USA)
Read the full review here

CDs of the Year
New York Times (USA)
Read the full review here

La Clef
Res Musica (France)

‘it’s exceptional ... Gergiev has a terrific cast to work with. Pape is the Wagnerian bass of his generation and he’s in especially good voice. Lehman portrays a thoughtful Parsifal, his voice possessing more than adequate heft and an appealing timbre. The orchestral playing is top-notch and the chorus well prepared. The sound is superb’
Fanfare (USA)

'His [Gergiev] approach is vigorously dramatic and red-blooded, treating this massive score as an urgent call to arms rather than a dreamy meditation ... the intensity generated by the end of Act 2 quite blows one away, and Gergiev never lets Act 3 drift off into dreamy nothingness.'
Daily Telegraph
Read the full review here

'this recording, taken from live performances in June, 2009 in St. Petersburg, is marvelously theatrical, with the situations dictating tempo and flow. The spiritual moments glow in a way that is rarely achieved, and the Mariinsky Orchestra plays magnificently from start to finish.

The voice [Gary Lehman] has weight and authority and enough flexibility to caress some phrases and create quite a grand effect with others. His attention never flags, and he looms over the proceedings as rightly he should; wisdom, piety, and justice never sounded this good. When he comes across Kundry again in Act 3 it's quite an event.

Violeta Urmana's Kundry, like all of her work, is vocally remarkable: there's not a weak spot in her voice, even in this difficult-to-cast part.'
ClassicsToday.com
Read the full review here

'The cast is outstanding, with impressive performances from the brilliant René Pape (Gurnemanz) and Evgeny Nikitin (Amfortas) ... This is a landmark for Gergiev and, at mid-price – or even if it were full-price – worth every penny.'
The Observer
Read the full review here

‘Above all, this is Gergiev’s Parsifal and it is the superlatively good playing of the Mariinsky Orchestra that, with Pape’s gloriously sung Gurnemanz, makes this new set essential listening for Wagnerians’
International Record Review

‘What really distinguishes this, though, is Gergiev. His reading is vivid and luminous, generally expansive but with fluidly shifting tempos, unashamedly guilty of theatrical excitement. Gergiev, with the vigorous Mariinsky chorus and orchestra, achieves a glowing translucency in both choral and orchestral textures’
Disc of the Month
Performance *****  Recording *****
BBC Music Magazine
Read the full review here 

‘Gergiev presumably wanted to record a Parsifal that measured up to the international competition ... and he's certainly succeeded’
The Guardian
Read the full review here 

‘La Kundry passionnée de Violeta Urmana, le Gurnemanz très tendre de René Pape nuancent subtilement cette palette crue ... le son devient couleur, la musique peinture’ 
ffff
Télérama
(France)

‘A truly moving experience, one of the finest Wagner recordings of recent years’ 
Editor’s Choice 
Gramophone (UK) 

‘startling beautiful, rapturously sung and radiantly recorded’ 
CD of the Week
BBC Radio 3 CD Review (UK)

‘marvelously theatrical ... The spiritual moments glow in a way that is rarely achieved, and the Mariinsky Orchestra plays magnificently from start to finish ... Besides Gergiev’s leadership and the orchestra’s playing, the other crucial thing about this set is René Pape’s Gurnemanz. His attention never flags, and he looms over the proceedings as rightly he should; wisdom, piety, and justice never sounded this good. Violeta Urmana’s Kundry, like all of her work, is vocally remarkable: there’s not a weak spot in her voice, even in this difficult-to-cast part’ 
ClassicsToday (US)

‘a magnificent recording’ Der Neue Merker (Germany)

 

FFFF ‘La Kundry passionnée de Violeta Urmana, le Gurnemanz très tendre de René Pape nuancent subtilement cette palette crue ... le son devient couleur, la musique peinture’ 
Télérama (France

Artists

Valery Gergiev conductor
Orchestra and Chorus of the Mariinsky Theatre

Marina Mishuk
 Principal Vocal Coach
Andrei Petrenko
 Principal Chorus Master
Dmitri Ralko Children’s Chorus Direction

This recording was made possible through the generous support of Yoko Ceschina.

Evgeny Nikitin Amfortas
Alexei Tanovitski Titurel
René Pape Gurnemanz
Gary Lehman Parsifal
Nikolai Putilin Klingsor
Violeta Urmana Kundry
Yuri Alexeev and Yuri Vorobiev Two Knights of the Grail
Lia Shevtsova, Olga Legkova, Alexander Timchenko and Andrei Popov Four Squires
Olga Trifonova, Irina Mataeva, Liudmilla Dudinova, Elena Ushkova, Zhanna Dombrovskaya and Anna Kiknadze Six Flowermaidens
Alla Martynenko Voice from Above

Recording Details

James Mallinson producer
John Newton and Dirk Sobotka recording engineers
Jonathan Stokes and Neil Hutchinson mastering engineers

Recorded June 2008, Mariinsky Concert Hall, St Petersburg
4 x Hybrid SACD. Compatible with all CD players Includes multi-channel 5.0 and stereo mixes

Notes in Russian (Cyrillic), English, French and German
Libretto in Russian (Cyrillic) and English, French and German
Sung in German

Catalogue code - MAR0508
UPC - 822231850827

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