Wagner: Parsifal - Vandenberg, Schech, Frantz, Metternich, Proebstl; Jochum. München, 1957

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I was drawn to this recording of Parsifal because it featured soprano Marianne Schech as Kundry. Schech is a singer I have come to in my later years (aged 34) and I am not quite sure how I had previously neglected her. Her voice had a gleaming quality with soaring high notes not unlike Leonie Rysanek and yet at the same time there was a purity of tone that brings to mind Gundula Janowitz. These seemingly contradictory traits add up to a Kundry that is alluring, fragile, youthful and wild all at the same time. The rest of the cast delivers respectable if not legendary performances the one notable stand-out being Ferdinand Frantz as Gurnemanz. Eugen Johcum's conducting is sublimely delicate. The sound is good although there is a very large portion of the Good Friday scene missing.

OD 10834-4

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