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Subject: Re: Met Parsifal Prima: Welcome to Monsalvat
From: David Wagner <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:David Wagner <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 7 Feb 2018 00:34:44 -0500
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As some of you know I was only able to tune in for Act III, but I agree
with everything G.Paul says about it, including Pape's phrasing. Just one
thing: at the very pinnacle of Amfortas's delirium scene, I thought I heard
a little bit of strain in Mattei's voice, which wasn't there in the awesome
and perfect Amfortas I heard from him in the house in 2013.

Nikitin was in that performance too, so I can easily believe the praise
here, and I look forward to the 17th. Two things: G.Paul is right about the
attractiveness of the Flower Maidens, and Nikitin's voice. I'll add one
thing: it was good to have a break from the "Uncle Fester" image of
Klingsor that was used to good effect in both of the last two productions.
This time, Klingsor is more of a gone-to-seed heavymetalist (which, in
fact, Mr. Nikitin does in his spare time, minus the gone-to-seed part).
He's also downstage, reveling in the ground-blood, so those of us who like
a real tower will have to wait, but that's ok, we've had Klingsor towers
recently (even though Merrill/O'Hearn's was basically made of curtains).

One more thing: Gergiev (there, I said it. Is he forgiven now, with all the
stress about Levine, Copley, etc.? Maybe a little?) - in Gergiev's Parsifal
you can hear Nikitin's Amfortas. His Klingsor is, of course, Putilin - with
that wiry sound G.Paul speaks of.

Oh and yeah, the EBS cut-in: I was NOT in a good mood, having missed the
first two acts, so my oration at the laptop (on which I receive Sirius) was
"Real emergency? Wait'll I catch YOU - THEN we'll have a real emergency!"

-David Wagner

On Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 8:47 PM, E J Michel <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> i was only able to listen to act one.  after the first intermission act two
> never started... there was silence and after trying to go back and forward,
> nothing.  by the time i closed sirius and tried again . and the same
> thing.. i gave up bec the second intermission had started. and i just didnt
> want to hear the third act and not the second.  it had been a bad day and i
> just gave up.
>
> Not sure what was going on with Sirius but it has been acting up lately.
>
>
> Best regards,
> Elizabeth
>
> E J Michel
> ===============
> [log in to unmask]
>
>
>
> On Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 6:06 PM, Don <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > I have never liked Vogt; never thought he was any sort of Wagnerian tenor
> > except for the fact that he can memorize the notes and words.  That's
> about
> > it as far as I'm concerned.   There just isn't enough voice there for the
> > roles he sings.
> > DonD
> >
> > On Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 3:01 PM, Shirley Moyer <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Yes I got the Emergency warning too. Everything else great. But I am
> not
> > a
> > > Vogt fan and did not particularly like his contribution.
> > >
> > > Sent from my iPhone
> > >
> > > > On Feb 6, 2018, at 4:34 PM, Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > I was wondering if anyone else got the EBS interruption as well -
> since
> > > no one else had
> > > > mentioned it. That was awful.
> > > >
> > > > However, I didn't get any other interruptions - the ending of the
> opera
> > > was intact.
> > > >
> > > > I've been tending to listen to the Met only on the Sirius stream
> rather
> > > than the Met's
> > > > "listen live" option, because I've experienced a lot of dropouts on
> > that
> > > stream. But, as far
> > > > as I know, the Met's stream isn't taken from Sirius, so maybe the
> > > "listen live" internet
> > > > audience was luckier last night.
> > > >
> > > > But I agree with the praises for last night's performance. Wagner is
> > not
> > > my first love, and
> > > > I'm not as well-versed in Parsifal as many of you are. But I enjoyed
> > > having a night to be
> > > > at home and relax on my couch, vocal score in hand, listening to the
> > > beauty of it all, and
> > > > getting another chance to get more familiar with this opera. I
> picked a
> > > winner, lol.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Tue, 6 Feb 2018 15:16:06 -0500, G. Paul Padillo <
> > > [log in to unmask]>
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> I had some difficulty tuning in last night and, there were several
> > > glitches on
> > > >> Sirius including an infuriating “This is a test of the Emergency
> > > Broadcast
> > > >> System . . . “ a few minutes into one of Gurnemanz’s 3rd act
> > monologues
> > > >> and worse – Sirius dropping out during Parsifal’s final line and
> > > receiving
> > > >> the “content not available” message before Mahler began playing from
> > > >> another Sirius channel.  Even these, however couldn’t (fully) spoil
> > the
> > > >> effect that was being made over the air, and, based on good
> evidence,
> > > >> emanating from the house itself.
> > > >>
> > > >> Yannick Nézet-Séguin led what can only be described as an
> > extraordinary
> > > >> reading of an extraordinary score and his love for this score was
> made
> > > >> palpable in its execution.  Moments, like some of those orchestral
> > > >> interludes during Gurnemanz’s monologues that change its tone which
> > > >> many others either gloss or languish over, here crackled with life,
> a
> > > >> vibrancy in the strings that was electric.
> > > >>
> > > >> The first transformation scene went about as beautifully as
> > Furtwangler,
> > > >> with a similar sense of moving forward and at Gurnemanz’s response
> (my
> > > >> favorite line from any opera) to Parsifal’s observation:
> > > >>
> > > >> "Du siehst, mein Sohn,
> > > >> zum Raum wird hier die Zeit!"
> > > >>
> > > >> We were all along for that journey.  Here was shape and form,
> > expansive
> > > >> where it needed to be, then firm . . . taut with a momentum like
> some
> > > >> great galactic force pulling each of us, inexorably, into its
> core.  I
> > > was, as I
> > > >> always want to be by Parsifal, overwhelmed and transported.
> > > >>
> > > >> That same care and detail, without being over precious was to be
> heard
> > > >> also in the Good Friday music, every measure part of the journey.
> > > >>
> > > >> In the title role Klaus Florian Vogt will not likely be to the
> liking
> > > of some
> > > >> (most?) of our listers here.  My first encounter with him – about
> ten
> > > years
> > > >> ago – found me perplexed . . . the tone that, I thought, of a
> > > countertenor.
> > > >> After a few years I’ve come to love his interpretations of both
> > > Parsifal and
> > > >> Lohengrin.  Vogt began his musical career as a horn player with the
> > > >> Philharmoniker Hamburg and played in the pit for Parsifal.  There
> is a
> > > >> purity of tone – almost treble like – in his singing that I feel
> works
> > > >> wonderfully in this role paired against both Frau Herlitzius and
> Herr
> > > Pape
> > > >> brought an interesting aural tapestry, all the richer for its
> > inclusion
> > > of light.
> > > >>
> > > >> Making her company debut, Evelyn Herlitzius offered a wonderfully
> > drawn
> > > >> Kundry.  Bolder than many, more wild than some in her delivery.
> When
> > > >> she wanted sleep, you just know that no one in the world has ever
> been
> > > >> more exhausted than this lady.  She took interesting liberties with
> > her
> > > >> laugh at Klingsor – beginning it earlier and lasting longer and
> > > >> less “measured” than one is generally accustomed to.  She was
> > > sensational
> > > >> and different than my other favorite Kundries who offered more plush
> > to
> > > >> their sound (think Ludwig, Troyanos, et. al.) and more in the Modl
> and
> > > >> Meier vein.
> > > >>
> > > >> Of Klingsor, all one can say of Evgeny Nikitin is that he sings the
> > > role as
> > > >> though born to it.  Too often for my taste has Klingsor had a wiry
> > > sound,
> > > >> more “Merlin the Magician” not enough menace.  Not so Nikitin who
> > roars
> > > >> through the part like a beautiful, sexy howling beast.
> > > >>
> > > >> His Blumenmädchen sounded sexier than usual, girly and wild (“Girls
> > Gone
> > > >> Wild,” I remarked to friends last night on FB).  They definitely
> > didn’t
> > > sound
> > > >> like middle-aged matrons in caftans beckoning a hefty tenor in boy’s
> > > >> clothing.  There was definite “snap” going on in their sound which
> > > somehow
> > > >> managed to be both luscious and lean.  Delightful.
> > > >>
> > > >> When Peter Mattei first took on Amfortas everyone  (including me)
> > > thought
> > > >> why?  Well, he showed us all why when this production first appeared
> > > here,
> > > >> and, as though we could possibly forget, reminded us again last
> night.
> > > The
> > > >> elegiac quality of his suffering is exquisitely portrayed, the
> sound,
> > > focused,
> > > >> unforced, open with a raw beauty so exposed it almost feels “raw.”
> > > >>
> > > >> Rene Pape has, from the beginning, been one of the most beautifully
> > > sung,
> > > >> sonorous Gurnemanz in my experience.  He belongs up there with the
> > best
> > > >> interpreters of the role.  While at this stage of the game a singer
> > > could just
> > > >> offer what he knows would “sell” – Pape goes beyond this.  One can
> > hear
> > > >> some age in his voice, softening the old knight’s sternness, and, if
> > at
> > > all
> > > >> possible, deepening the intensity, whilst balancing it with
> > gentleness.
> > > >> Nowhere was this more evident than in the Good Friday music, where
> he
> > > >> evokes nature itself and spins out such tenderness in:
> > > >>
> > > >> "Nun freut sich alle Kreatur
> > > >> auf des Erlösers holder Spur,
> > > >> will sein Gebet ihm weihen."
> > > >>
> > > >> Just his mere utterance of “Kreatur” is a model of exquisite word
> > > painting.
> > > >>
> > > >> Everything about this performance lifted my heart up last night,
> made
> > me
> > > >> glad to be alive right now regardless of what else is happening in
> > this
> > > crazy
> > > >> world.  For six hours last night we had the opportunity to be lost
> in
> > > the
> > > >> time space continuum on our way to Monsalvat.
> > > >>
> > > >> I can hardly wait to experience this live in a few weeks – and that,
> > > friends,
> > > >> is an understatement.
> > > >>
> > > >> p.
> > > >>
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