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A priceless collection of Hans Knappertsbusch's opera recordings made for Universal Music labels, including the legendary live Parsifal performances of both 1951 and 1962, the Vienna studio Die Meistersinger of 1950-51, the Munich Fidelio of 1961, as well as operatic excerpts and highlights. For singers such as Birgit Nilsson, Jon Vickers, George London and Hans Hotter, Knappertsbusch was the supreme Wagnerian. Audiences at the 1951 Bayreuth Festival were enraptured by the many beauties of his Parsifal - not only it's patience but it's steady unfolding, as if in a ritual, and the Decca recording became the first complete set of the opera on LP. Reissued on CD by many different labels, it returns to Decca here in the company of the 1962 account from Bayreuth, quicker and more flexible and perhaps even more attuned to the human drama of Wagner's final opera. Perhaps no one has conducted Parsifal more frequently than Knappertsbusch: over 200 times during a career that spanned just over half a century. His Wagner interpretations gained their unique authority from his study of the operas at Bayreuth under the direction of Hans Richter and the composer's son, Siegfried. His career was centred around performing all the mature music-dramas at the State Operas of Vienna and Munich, and latterly at Bayreuth. He had a bond of particular affection with the Vienna Philharmonic, and recorded albums of Wagnerian excerpts with them throughout the 1950s, including the Wesendonck Lieder and the First Act of Die Walk√ľre with Kirsten Flagstad. The complete studio recording of Die Meistersinger, from 1950-51, belies the idea that Knappertsbusch did not respond to a studio environment; it remains one of the most heart-warming accounts on disc. The same broad vein of humanism runs through his Fidelio recording with the Bavarian State Opera from 1961 and a strong cast led by a still youthful-sounding Jan Peerce and Sena Jurinac. Albums of Wagnerian excerpts from Zurich in 1947 preserve the artistry of Maria Reining and Paul Sch√∂ffler at their peak. Much here has long been unavailable on Decca; newly remastered, compiled with a new essay on the conductor's life and career by Peter Quantrill, the set is an essential acquisition for both devotees and sceptics of Knappertsbusch's fallible genius.
A priceless collection of Hans Knappertsbusch's opera recordings made for Universal Music labels, including the legendary live Parsifal performances of both 1951 and 1962, the Vienna studio Die Meistersinger of 1950-51, the Munich Fidelio of 1961, as well as operatic excerpts and highlights. For singers such as Birgit Nilsson, Jon Vickers, George London and Hans Hotter, Knappertsbusch was the supreme Wagnerian. Audiences at the 1951 Bayreuth Festival were enraptured by the many beauties of his Parsifal - not only it's patience but it's steady unfolding, as if in a ritual, and the Decca recording became the first complete set of the opera on LP. Reissued on CD by many different labels, it returns to Decca here in the company of the 1962 account from Bayreuth, quicker and more flexible and perhaps even more attuned to the human drama of Wagner's final opera. Perhaps no one has conducted Parsifal more frequently than Knappertsbusch: over 200 times during a career that spanned just over half a century. His Wagner interpretations gained their unique authority from his study of the operas at Bayreuth under the direction of Hans Richter and the composer's son, Siegfried. His career was centred around performing all the mature music-dramas at the State Operas of Vienna and Munich, and latterly at Bayreuth. He had a bond of particular affection with the Vienna Philharmonic, and recorded albums of Wagnerian excerpts with them throughout the 1950s, including the Wesendonck Lieder and the First Act of Die Walk√ľre with Kirsten Flagstad. The complete studio recording of Die Meistersinger, from 1950-51, belies the idea that Knappertsbusch did not respond to a studio environment; it remains one of the most heart-warming accounts on disc. The same broad vein of humanism runs through his Fidelio recording with the Bavarian State Opera from 1961 and a strong cast led by a still youthful-sounding Jan Peerce and Sena Jurinac. Albums of Wagnerian excerpts from Zurich in 1947 preserve the artistry of Maria Reining and Paul Sch√∂ffler at their peak. Much here has long been unavailable on Decca; newly remastered, compiled with a new essay on the conductor's life and career by Peter Quantrill, the set is an essential acquisition for both devotees and sceptics of Knappertsbusch's fallible genius.
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A priceless collection of Hans Knappertsbusch's opera recordings made for Universal Music labels, including the legendary live Parsifal performances of both 1951 and 1962, the Vienna studio Die Meistersinger of 1950-51, the Munich Fidelio of 1961, as well as operatic excerpts and highlights. For singers such as Birgit Nilsson, Jon Vickers, George London and Hans Hotter, Knappertsbusch was the supreme Wagnerian. Audiences at the 1951 Bayreuth Festival were enraptured by the many beauties of his Parsifal - not only it's patience but it's steady unfolding, as if in a ritual, and the Decca recording became the first complete set of the opera on LP. Reissued on CD by many different labels, it returns to Decca here in the company of the 1962 account from Bayreuth, quicker and more flexible and perhaps even more attuned to the human drama of Wagner's final opera. Perhaps no one has conducted Parsifal more frequently than Knappertsbusch: over 200 times during a career that spanned just over half a century. His Wagner interpretations gained their unique authority from his study of the operas at Bayreuth under the direction of Hans Richter and the composer's son, Siegfried. His career was centred around performing all the mature music-dramas at the State Operas of Vienna and Munich, and latterly at Bayreuth. He had a bond of particular affection with the Vienna Philharmonic, and recorded albums of Wagnerian excerpts with them throughout the 1950s, including the Wesendonck Lieder and the First Act of Die Walk√ľre with Kirsten Flagstad. The complete studio recording of Die Meistersinger, from 1950-51, belies the idea that Knappertsbusch did not respond to a studio environment; it remains one of the most heart-warming accounts on disc. The same broad vein of humanism runs through his Fidelio recording with the Bavarian State Opera from 1961 and a strong cast led by a still youthful-sounding Jan Peerce and Sena Jurinac. Albums of Wagnerian excerpts from Zurich in 1947 preserve the artistry of Maria Reining and Paul Sch√∂ffler at their peak. Much here has long been unavailable on Decca; newly remastered, compiled with a new essay on the conductor's life and career by Peter Quantrill, the set is an essential acquisition for both devotees and sceptics of Knappertsbusch's fallible genius.
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