Listen to a Sample:
In 1972 the Bayreuth Festival was still using Wieland Wagner’s timeless production dating back to 1951, the first year of the post-war Bayreuth. To prevent rigamortis from setting, in the administration switched in many notable conductors and singers throughout its decades long life span. This particular year finds Eugen Jochum at the podium and James King, Janis Martin, Franz Crass and Theo Adam in the lead roles. King is in glorious voice in the title role, successfully encapsulating the character’s youth and subsequent enlightenment. Janis Martin delivers one of the most beautifully sung Kundrys I have ever heard even during the end of Act II when many sopranos resort to shrieking their way through the numerous high b flats. Likewise, Franz Crass’ mellifluous bass makes much of Gurnemanz’ big vocal moments without barking. Theo Adam delivers an anguished Amfortas. Eugen Jochum favors brisker tempos giving the proceedings a lightness that you don’t often associate with Wagner. The sound is only ok.