Wagner: Parsifal - Liebl, Lammers, Frick, Wächter, Kraus; Kempe. London, 1959
Listen to a Sample:
There must have been something in the water in the 50s and 60s that produced great Wagner singers. Not being familiar with Karl Liebl or Gerda Lammers, I was not expecting much from this performance of Parsifal. However they are both superb in their respective roles. Liebl bring a very nice balance between the lyrical and the stentorian. His voice is attractive and he never pushes it beyond its means. The same cannot necessarily be said form Lammers in terms of vocal restraint, but who wants to hear someone sing Kundry carefully? The odd wayward high note aside, she is able to alternate between the tender and the bloodcurdling remarkably well. Gottlob Frick shows that he can play the nice guy as well as the villain. His voice is warm and avuncular. Eberhard Waechter is excellent as Amfortas. Wagner lovers out there will appreciate Rudolf Kempe's very sensitive interpretation which seems driven as much by the text as it is by the music. The sound is very good for the time although there is a brief omission in between Disc 1 and Disc 2.