Gergiev's Parsifal: Gary Lehman, Rene Pape, Violeta Urmana and Gergiev speak Plus, Reviews

Written By The Wagnerian on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 | 9:33:00 am

I love this Parsifal and the more I go back to it the more I enjoy it. I find it difficult to imagine, but if you haven't already,  go listen to a little of it now  (you can listen at Mariinsky Labels website here). I don't normally promote music sites but if you don't mind MP3,  Emusic is selling the whole recording for 15 pound and Itunes are selling it for 17.99.



Valery Gergiev, conductor
Marina Mishuk, Principal Vocal Coach
Andrei Petrenko, Principal Chorus Master
Dmitri Ralko, Children’s Chorus Direction
Opera soloists, Chorus and Symphony Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre
Violeta Urmana Kundry, soprano
Gary Lehman Parsifal, tenor
René Pape Gurnemanz, bass-baritone
Nikolai Putilin Klingsor, bass
Evgeny Nikitin Amfortas, bass-baritone
Alexei Tanovitski Titurel, bass
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

Recorded in June 2009 at the Mariinsky Concert Hall, St Petersburg
Released in September 2010 on the Mariinsky Label

Reviews:

"What really distinguishes this...is Gergiev. His reading is vivid and luminous, generally expansive but with fluidly shifting tempos, unashamedly guilty of theatrical excitement. Yet he evokes a rapt quality which does convey an authentic spirituality - passionate 'Russian soul', perhaps, rather than sombre Germanic brooding, but if so, so much the better". (BBC Music Magazine)

“... it’s for René Pape’s majestic Gurnemanz that Wagnerites will want this set. Violeta Urmana’s Kundry is unexpectedly voluptuous, while Gary Lehman makes a conscientious Parsifal...sceptics should be won over by the way his wonderful orchestra and chorus bring Wagner’s problematic swansong to life.” The FT
His approach is vigorously dramatic and red-blooded, treating this massive score as an urgent call to arms rather than a dreamy meditation. The Mariinsky Orchestra plays with glowing commitment throughout...Lehman is an agreeably youthful Parsifal, bright in voice and clear in diction...Evgeny Nikitin and Nikolai Putilin bring a distinctively Russian intonation to Amfortas and Klingsor.” The Telegraph
“...on grounds of the general excellence of its singers and the cumulative authority of the interpretation, this is a performance to be reckoned with...it has an imaginative force, overall, which pushes any hints of contrivance to the musical and dramatic margins.” Gramophone







And as a bonus here is a wide ranging interview Gergiev gave RT, May 2010