Wagner: Parsifal (Excerpts) - Steel, Bampton, Nelson Eddy; Stokowski. 1933
Listen to a Sample:
- This performance, albeit in poor sound, is a wonderful artifact of an era that was barely a generation away from a time in which greats like Richard Wagner roamed the earth.
- Leopold Stokowski imbues Wagner's orchestration with nearly every color of the rainbow. His is neither a "slow" nor "fast" Parsifal, but one whose tempos seem to spring organically from the drama.
- In Act II, Rose Bampton brings a rich mezzo color to Kundry's seduction, and then later unleashes high notes with astonishing power and ease.
- Nelson Eddy (yes, THE Nelson Eddy) shows that he was more than a matinee idol, bringing legit Wagnerian gravitas to the role of Gurnemanz.
- Robert Steel is a bit over-shadowed by his colleagues, but nonetheless brings powerful lyricism to the title role.
- The sound is as you would expect from an aircheck made in 1933. There are also occasional gaps of about a second or two in the music.