Wagner: Parsifal (Acts 2 & 3) - Shuard, Uhl, Frick, Shaw; Solti. London, 1966
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When one thinks of Georg Solti’s style the adjectives that usually come to mind include fiery, dynamic, brisk etc. This recording of Act II and Act III of Parsifal shows another, softer side to Solti’s music-making and is nothing short of a revelation. Solti luxuriates in the suspended animation of Wagner’s “holy festival work”. The dynamic contrasts are more understated and the edges seem smoothed providing the listener with a melodic arch that is more lyrical than dramatic. As Kundry, Amy Shuard is at her absolute best in this performance and brings a luscious quality to her dark-hued middle range as well as exciting dramatic punch to her top. As Gurnemanz, Gottlob Frick, famous for his villains, shows that there was also considerable warmth to his bass profundo. The one shortcoming of this recording is Fritz Uhl who sings the title role. Uhl brings a respectable tenor voice, but lacks the dramatic commitment of his colleagues. The sound is good.