Richard Wagner: Parsifal - Bayreuther Festspiele 1955

Richard Wagner: Parsifal - Bayreuther Festspiele 1955

PH23002 (Profil, CD, 4 discs)

FIRST RELEASE (7 July 2023)

Playing time: 63'21"/43'39"/68'30"/73'17" - TT 248'47"
Tracks: 9 + 8 + 16 + 14
Booklet pages: 20
℗ 1955 Bayerischer Rundfunk
© 2023 Profil Medien GmbH
Main country of recording: Germany
Reviewer: Patrick Maxwell
Review of Richard Wagner: Parsifal - Bayreuther Festspiele 1955 published on 6 September 2023

Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele
Hans Knappertsbusch, conductor
Wilhelm Pitz, choirmaster

Richard Wagner:



1 Vorspiel

2-9 Act I


1-8 Act I (continued)


1-16 Act II


1-14 Act III

On 16 August 1955, the weather in Berlin was partially overcast with sunny intervals, while in Nuremberg it was cloudy, but in the Bayreuth Festspielhaus those present were celebrating a musical moment of glory. After a brief interlude by Clemens Krauss in 1953, Parsifal was once again being conducted by Hans Knappertsbusch, and as usual, Martha Mödl sang Kundry as she had done in every performance since 1951, while Ludwig Weber as usual took the part of Gurnemanz. Gustav Neidlinger had played Klingsor since 1954, Ramón Vinay had sung the title character for the first time in 1953, abandoned it a year later and was now back. A newcomer to the Parsifal ensemble was Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as Amfortas, who had only taken on the role during that summer in Bayreuth, and in only a single performance on that 16 August 1955 did Hermann Uhde sing the part of Titurel. This recording provides a complete documentation of Hans Knappertsbusch's conducting in Parsifal in Bayreuth. According to Klaus Kalchschmid, his conception of the piece certainly changed over the years: 'It moved away from an all too great an emphasis on grandeur towards an aggressive, even vociferous drama'. Each recording is unique, and above all that from 1955, thanks to Mödl, Vinay, Weber and Fischer-Dieskau.