Ray Barnes | Surrey, British Columbia Canada | 12/14/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For the very modest price asked, this set can be recommended, but at mid or full price would have to be passed over. The sound is definitely mono quality and below average even by comparison to other historical Wagner recordings from the 1950s. The singing is of consistently high standard apart perhaps from Fritz Uhl's assumption of the title role, which I found to be lacking in lyric beauty. Hans Hotter as expected was splendid in Gurnemanz, although he might have been trying to enliven his role somewhat by vocally overacting in places. For me Kurt Moll remains peerless in this role among modern singers. Karajan's tempi are much brisker than in his studio recording for DGG; for instance, the Act I Prelude is done in just over 12 minutes. He does not push as hard as did Boulez in the Bayreuth 1966 production. I cannot give a detailed assessment of the orchestral playing due to the very recessed sound, but what one can hear of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra - among them members of the Vienna Philharmonic - is quite agreeable. The presentation on only 3 very long CDs is close to ideal. A brief synopsis is provided but no libretto. I still rank the Karajan and Solti studio recordings well ahead of this one, but for the price it is well worth hearing."
More information on cast members
Ray Barnes | 03/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For those who don't know, this is the famous 1961 Vienna recording. Other cast members are Walter Berry as Klingsor, Fritz Uhl as Parsifal and, Christa Ludwig as Kundrty in Act II, with Elisabeth Hoengen performing the role in the outer acts. Among the Flowermaidens are Gundula Janowitz, Hilde Gueden, and Anneliese Rothenberger."
Fine Music, Bad CDs
Ray Barnes | 03/03/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The performance is fine, with a great cast. But the sound is quite bad, even for 1961. Plenty of recordings from the 30's and 40's sound much better.The CD booklet has a summary of each act, but no libretto."
Great cast. Good conducting. Passable sound quality.
Anthony Louis | USA | 07/18/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This recording has a magnificent cast under the direction of von Karajan. It's too bad the sound quality isn't better. Nonetheless, for the very reasonable price this is worth the money. It's a very enjoyable performance."