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Subject: Re: Parsifal: Met Saturday Matinee
From: RONALD MAGNUSON <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:RONALD MAGNUSON <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 17 Feb 2018 18:15:33 -0500

text/plain (91 lines)

I also was impressed with Nézet-Séguin today, in spite of a tentative start. The slow sections shimmered with etherial string playing and glorious brass utterances.  He has a fine sense of the score and produces biting accents, crisp rhythms and finely balanced, individually colored ensembles. He knows how to implement an effective ritard to lead to a shattering climax. Really nicely done.

I thought that Pape sounded thin with a hint of a hollowed out bass at his opening phrases but then seemed to gather strength as he progressed.  As was mentioned, his exquisite phrasing and sensitive voice coloring to shape each phrase produced a masterful interpretation.

Vogt's interpretation was highly unusual to these ears, as a young sounding, unheroic Parsifal.  It worked for me as far as the "pure fool" was concerned, but the lack of vocal characterization with the development of the character became problematic.  Everything that he sang sounded "pretty".  The same approach, the same dynamics, the same phrasing produced a monotonous result for me. 

I concur with Mr Padillo's perceptive comments about the rest of a very satisfying DAY of music.

Ron Magnuson


> On February 17, 2018 at 5:31 PM "G. Paul Padillo" wrote:
>     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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