The first comprehensive discography on one of Wagner's music dramas, this volume lists all complete performance recordings, all major selections recorded, and hundreds of individually-recorded excerpts, both vocal, and instrumental, from the earliest acoustic recordings to recent laser discs. Many excerpts have never appeared in discographies or other works on Wagner, and pirate recordings have been identified. Precise information is given as to date and place of recording and record numbers as well as performers, choruses, orchestras, and conductors. Musical incipits introduce each excerpt. The index provides access to more than 230 singers of the principal roles and over 130 conductors. A lengthy introduction provides a lively and provocative commentary on the recordings.
Written in Australia where Parsifal has never been fully staged, the discography was researched in major libraries and archives of Europe and the United States as well as old record shops in New York, London, Paris, and Sydney. The result is an important resource for the discographer and record collector, the student of opera and vocal art, and all lovers of Wagner in performance.
About the Author
JONATHAN BROWN is an Australian government lawyer and opera lover, currently living in Paris. His other publications have been in his professional specialty, international law.
Table of Contents
Excerpts: Act One; Act Two; Act Three
Parsifal in Wagner Anthologies
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Jonathan Brown has compiled quite a discography of PARSIFAL-ia that ranges from the complete recordings to obscure fragments. His discussions of the complete recordings are judicious and even-handed. My only quibble is that he didn't avail himself of the CD remasterings of some performances which are far superior to 'pirate' LPs, most of which were poorly mastered and had terrible surfaces. I had the Met Flagstad-Melchior perormance on tape and can attest to its poor sound. HOWEVER! The performance has since been remastered in acceptable sound on the MYTO label. Ditto for the 1954 Met performance which has been remastered on the German label Adonis. Readers who are unaware of these remasterings might be inclined to forego their considerable pleasures based on Mr. Brown's assessments based on the LPs. I also think his description of Ed Smith's recordings as 'notorious' needs clarification. Ed was hardly notorious nor were his efforts at preserving and making available some superb performances. What was notorious were his pressings which was not uncommon for small runs of records that were made as quickly as possible by contract pressers who lacked the quality control of major record labels. It is a pity that such a fine book is so expensive (as is his TRISTAN UND ISOLDE discopraphy) which limits its availability to a wider body of operaphiles.