Live recordings of Hans Knappertsbusch conducting Parsifal seem to proliferate like stairways in M.C. Escher prints. The high priest of the podium so owned this music in the 1950s and early 1960s that at least a half dozen transfers are in circulation, augmenting his gold standard 1962 Philips release and the historic 1951 reading that inaugurated the post-war Bayreuth Festival.
All share common characteristics: a spacious approach to Wagner’s musical line, great depth of expression and an unforced wash of sound that tenor Jess Thomas likened to a cloud cushioning the voices on stage. Read more »