..."Parsifal should not leave listeners indifferent," once wrote the late British music critic Andrew Porter. Certainly, the Bayreuth Festival's new production of Parsifal (seen Tuesday, August 2) didn't leave a sold-out audience indifferent. There was a good half-minute of silence after Wagner's music had completely died away before they broke into applause lasting for 10 minutes.
So, what was it that had them so enthralled? Wagner's wonderful score? Quite possibly. It was brought to lustrous life in the pit by conductor Hartmut Haenchen leading a crackerjack orchestra made up of musicians from Germany's finest orchestras. (For those Wagnerians keeping score at home, Haenchen timed in at three hours and fifty-four minutes, roughly 10 minutes quicker than Hermann Levi at the 1882 premiere which was directed by the composer himself.)
Leonard Turnevicius Ganze Rezension