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Subject: Parsifal: Met Saturday Matinee
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Sat, 17 Feb 2018 17:31:58 -0500
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As predicted, while the prima was wonderful, today's matinee performance (as is usually the 
case) this 2nd (and final) broadcast it for the season, was absolutely remarkable.  Maestro 
Nézet-Séguin had more "pull" with that spiritual feel (are there better words to describe 
this?) in certain slower sections.  There was much in evidence with that vibration in the 
strings again making the score electrifying even in quiet moments.  The chorus, of course, 
was exemplary and the music making was at that level one always hopes to experience.  
We did.  

Rene Pape sounded healthier and stronger in the lower range than the prima, the lowest 
passages firm and elegantly produced; each word of Gurnemanz's narrations weighted for 
maximum impact.  His great first act narrative bringing tears to my eyes.  Then, as he 
always does in the Good Friday music - presenting only some of the most moving singing 
one will likely hear in this music today.  When I first heard his Gurnemanz, years ago, the 
phrasing throughout was perfection, but at:

"Das dankt dann alle Kreatur, was all' da blüht und bald erstirbt da die entsündigte Natur 
heut' ihren Unschuldstag erwirbt."

just the delivery of "alle Kreatur" took my breath away.  It did so again today.  

I've come to the conclusion Yvegny Nikitin is, hands down, the greatest Klingsor in my 
lifelong obsession with this opera.  No one has ever roared, ripped and blasted their way 
through the role, nor presented a more maniacal, masculine menace with such enormity of 
sound than he.  While Klingsor is the bad guy, you need one to make the heroes "heroes."  
I am looking forward to seeing/hearing his performance as I am any other element of this 
entire opera.

Ms. Herlitzius sounded better - a little "smoother" but still will always be a Kundry of the 
"wildling" order.  Her Act II was thrilling and played off of Vogt's boyish hero perfectly, 
adding a "Mrs. Robinson" quality to the proceedings.  

I didn't think Peter Mattei could do more than he did earlier, but today the totality of his 
Amfortas again was simply heart wrenching.  The perfect portrayal despair and anguish that 
somehow made those two things sound never less than beautiful.  

I've gotten used to applause at the end of Act I, and although I don't applaud still, recall a 
Met Parsifal sometime back, when I didn't applaud, after the first act curtain, and my entire 
row turned and looked at me as though I'd just eaten their young.  

I cannot, however, abide idiots who begin, as happened today, applauding WHILE the 
orchestra is still playing the final bars.  I can forgive and even "get it" at the end of a blood 
'n thunder opera, but Parsifal simply IS NOT an opera you jump in clapping during the last 
bar.   A nuisance, but even that could not spoil what was nearly as perfect an afternoon of 
opera as one could hope for.  

Bravo a tutti to all involved!  

p.

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