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Subject: Re: Parsifal - as heard on WUOT from the Met, today
From: "Sklenar, Robert John" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Sklenar, Robert John
Date:Sun, 18 Feb 2018 05:13:38 +0000
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Hi Don, 
 
 I left Siepi off my list only because I never had the privilege of hearing his Gurnemanz, and I count this one of the greatest losses of my life. Alas, I was simply born into the wrong generation: by the time I was able to attend performances at the Met, he was no longer performing there. When I was in college at the University of Michigan, he gave a magnificent recital in Hill Auditorium. This included German lieder which he micro-interpreted as impressively as any native speaker (full disclosure: I am myself, by dint of heritage, fully bilingual in German and English); also a “death of Seneca” from Monteverdi’s “L’Incoronazione di Poppea” that put to shame the entire early-music movement. He was in his late fifties at the time, and still in excellent voice. I yield to no one in my admiration of this great artist. 
 
-Robert 
[log in to unmask] 
 
From: Don <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> 
Date: Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 11:02 PM 
To: robert sklenar <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> 
Subject: Re: Parsifal - as heard on WUOT from the Met, today 
 
Let's not forget Siepi, the best Gurnemanz I've ever heard and after 79 years I've heard a few. 
DonD 
 
On Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 7:38 PM, Sklenar, Robert John <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote: 
My thoughts, based only on the broadcast: completely agree with Bob about 
Pape and Mattei. Mattei in particular has one of the most gorgeous 
baritone voices I have head in a long time, and the contrast between the 
beauty of his voice and the suffering of his character made his 
interpretation of Amfortas all the more compelling. Pape¹s place in the 
ranks of the great Gurnemanz interpreters is assured: he is a worthy 
successor to Weber, Hotter, Frick, and Moll. Nikitin is a terrifying 
Klingsor. I am not enamored of Vogt¹s choirboy timbre, but he made it work 
for the character, and his musicianship is what one would expect from a 
former professional orchestra player. Herlitzius has a problematic 
instrument, to be sure, but she is an intelligent, probing artist, and 
while she did serve up some out-of-control vocalism, it was not nearly as 
much as I sometimes had to tolerate from Hildegard Behrens, whom I greatly 
admired. I was captivated by Yannick Nézet-Séguin's spacious, transparent 
reading of this extraordinary score; the ³serve-the-music² approach of his 
mentor Carlo Maria Giulini was very much in evidence, and the orchestra 
played rapturously for him. Predictions of the Met¹s demise are clearly 
premature: true, the ³Trovatore² of two weeks ago was execrable, 
sub-provincial in every respect but the Azucena of Anita Rachvelishvili, 
but this Parsifal was a distinguished performance. 
 
-Robert 
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> 
 
 
 
On 2/17/18, 5:46 PM, "Discussion of opera and related issues on behalf of 
Bob Rideout" <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> on behalf of [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> 
wrote: 
 
>Very, very brief comments about the Marathon that is 
>Parsifal. 
> 
>Mattei and Pape were everything that one might want in 
>the roles of Amfortas and Gurnemanz. The opera ultimately 
>rests on their shoulders, and they delivered in every way 
> 
>I didn't mind Vogt's voice as much as others have, and I 
>thought his vocalism just fine, especially in Act 2. 
> 
>Nikitin was fine, and Herlitzius was very variable (more 
>variable than reliable). 
> 
>Nezet-Seguin and the chorus were magnificent, especially 
>in Act 1, my favorite among the three. 
> 
>If it was not Golden Age, it still would have been admired in 
>any age. I enjoyed the afternoon enormously! 
> 
>Bob 
> 
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