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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Knappertsbusch was the inspired choice of conductor made by Wagner’s grandsons for the first revival of Parsifal after the Second World War. The Naxos historical reissue of a recording originally issued by Decca, taken from the first season in 1951, makes a striking contrast with the later Knappertsbusch recording, made in stereo for Philips II years later. The 1951 performance is no less than 20 minutes longer overall, with Knappertsbusch, always expansive, even more dedicated than in his later reading.

Robert J. Farr
MusicWeb International, June 2003

"As the eponymous hero Windgassen, aged 37 at the time of the recording, is ardent and fresh voiced; one of the best Parsifals on disc...Those who like to hear outstanding singers practicing their art or who want to get to know the opera at an affordable price should not hesitate."

Tony Haywood
MusicWeb International

"This 1951 version has been available for some time but at the Naxos price, and with improved re-mastering from Mark Obert-Thorn, this classic account is likely to win a whole new audience. It thoroughly deserves to.

Recorded sound, though mono, is marvellous for the year, full, warm and rich and with a relatively static production, stage noise is kept to a reasonable minimum. Unless you already have it, no Wagner lover should hesitate."


"What incredible treasures Naxos offers the collector here! Mark Obert-Thorn has worked his usual miracles in this transfer, pointing out some of the problems with the original recordings - all of which he has solved with the greatest craftsmanship. Absolutely essential recordings for collectors!"

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