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Subject: Re: Parsifal
From: Jean Scarr <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Fri, 27 Jan 2017 12:17:22 -0500
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Ken, First, no titles back in the 1940's.  There were librettos.  The text in 
Wagner is very important.  The orchestra is also a kind of "text" in Wagner.  If one knows the motifs, then they guide you through the plot line.  For the novice, I certainly recommend that one study the text.  However, it is not the word in "Parsifal/Tristan" that is transformative.  It is the music.  For Wagner, it was a total artistic event.  However, in "Parsifal" and "Tristan" what you see doesn't have the same impact that the visual has in most opera. In fact, with the directorial liberties of today. what one sees is not what is in the text.  Steve is correct.  One can shut out the visual and still receive the metaphysical and undefinable extra-sensory vibes which the music conveys. In "Parsifal", for example, Wagner actually composes a note for Kundry's demise.  Regardless of what the director does, I know that she has received her longed for salvation/redemption.  Many find Gurnemanz's narrative of the backstory to be challenging, but listen to the music.  It tells the story of what he is saying. Such glorious music!  In the 40's the poor singer never got a curtain call. 

"Parsifal" has been the sources of so much controversy in modern times.  .Directors have stripped out any religious references. They have changed the ending.  (Kundry does not die,  Amfortas does die. Women are  inserted into the realm of the grail knights)  If one just listens, none of these travesties interfere with the transformative beauty of the music. Jean
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Wilson <[log in to unmask]>
To: OPERA-L <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thu, Jan 26, 2017 11:43 am
Subject: Re: Parsifal

-----Original Message----- 
From: Jean Scarr

In those days, "Parsifal" was treated as a religious experience ie a church 
communion service.  No applause except after Act II.  Like "Tristan" the 
opera stands on the musical score, not stage action.  It is a transformative 
experience, much like the "Liebestod".

No applause? That's fascinating. But unless I misunderstand you, you're not 
saying that the transformative experience depends upon the music alone, 
never mind the libretto. Given that I don't understand German, I need 
subtitles to follow the libretto. The only production I've seen is the one 
from Vienna recently available on The Opera Platform. Can anyone recommend a 
DVD? Thanks in advance.

Ken


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