Wagner: Parsifal - Beirer, Crespin, Hines, Waechter, Blankenheim, Greindl; Knappertsbusch. Bayreuth, 1958


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Régine Crespin made an exiting splash on the international scene when she debuted as Kundry.   In 1958 her voice was fresh and subtle and the top notes that alluded her in later years were still at her disposal.  Listening to "Ich sah das Kind" one forgets that they are listening to Wagner.   She phrases the line like a Lied or a chanson.   However, later on in the act, when it gets heated, she unleashes some great high bs.  I have known people who have said that in the theater her voice seemed as loud if not louder than Nilsson's.  Hans Beirer was never a superstar but he is dependable and solid and in the world of Wagner that is saying a lot (especially today.)  Jerome Hines delivers a stoic Gurmenanz and Eberhard Wächter is one of the most exciting Amfortas' that I have ever heard.   Hans Knappertsbusch in the pit seems to stop time especially during the Transformation music.  The sound is excellent except for a patch in the "Good Friday Scene" in which there is some static on the master.

OD 10274-4

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