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Huntley Dent
Fanfare, March 2017

Schager’s voice is bright and secure; he uses it very effectively in the second-act confrontation with Kundry and is capable of considerable volume and force… The two distinguished voices in the cast belonged to René Pape’s well-established and still magnificent Gurnemanz and the gleaming-voiced Anja Kampe, proving that a soprano who can handle Senta, as Kampe does superbly, can also be a convincing Kundry.

A level or so down in vocal quality comes the rest of the cast. The assorted low voices—Wolfgang Koch as Amfortas, Matthias Hölle as Titurel, and Tómas Tómasson as Klingsor—sing out with crude force but dramatic effectiveness. Tómasson in particular would have been a riveting, magnetic Klingsor were it not for the absurd/offensive characterization (weirdo sexual abuser) he was forced into. Overall, the singing rose to a high standard of professionalism, without rivaling the superb cast in the 2013 Met production…

The conducting of Daniel Barenboim is knowing and expert. …The Staatskapelle Berlin plays with its expected proficiency, even if one doesn’t note anything very memorable in the orchestral part. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Stephen D Chakwin Jr
American Record Guide, January 2017

The cast is very strong. Schager is an Austrian tenor who sings both Tamino and Siegfried. His voice is pleasant, more dry than sweet, but easy on the ear, and he is a fine actor. Kampe is wonderful. Her voice is a good mezzo-ish soprano, …Koch is a fine Amfortas who shows how stuck he is in the contradictions of who he is and who he has to be to his community. Holle’s Titurel (a rather corporeal presence for that ghostly role) is fine.

…the singers performed so intensely and Barenboim did such a good job on the orchestral part that I was riveted to the screen until the end. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Manuel Ribeiro
Pizzicato, December 2016

Tcherniakov’s Parsifal staging is a dark and cruel vision of a Wagner’s opera. Full of symbols it has a very troubling character. Barenboim serves well this captivating staging, and his ensemble, soloists choir and orchestra, is excellent. © 2016 Pizzicato

Robert Cummings
Classical Net, December 2016

…[Barenboim’s] tempo selections always seem perfectly workable and he draws splendid, spirited playing from the orchestra and fine singing from the chorus. This is a difficult opera to bring off, not least because of the almost unceasingly slow pacing called for in Wagner’s score. By ratcheting up the tension in the right places with deftly applied changes in dynamics and tempo, and through sensitive phrasing of both lyrical and emotionally intense episodes, Barenboim almost never allows the music to flag. Even the opening Prelude, which can sound static and almost interminable in the wrong hands, comes across with passion and tension and a profoundly epic sense. Barenboim is one of the great Wagner conductors of this or any time, as his two highly acclaimed Ring cycles and recordings of Tristan, Meistersinger, and other Wagner operas have attested. © 2016 Classical Net Read complete review

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