Hartmut Haenchen’s 2017 Bayreuth Parsifal Gains in Tension, Spirituality and Reverence
..."The subheading of Hartmut Haenchen’s informative programme essay on how he has revised Wagner’s Parsifal score – so that this performance reclaimed the composer’s intentions more than any recent ones at Bayreuth
– was ‘Tempo, performance practice, and new insights into the score’. Some of his ideas he has put forward before in a previous article (click here) and this year has seen further changes in instrumentation – particularly with regard to the bells – and tempo, such that he writes: ‘With the slight acceleration called for by Wagner, I count on a playing time of 3 hours and 54 minutes and believe this choice of tempo reflects the work’s binary character alternating between action and reflection.’ Indeed, what was freshly spring-cleaned last year had seemed to have accreted greater tension, spirituality and reverence. The chorus was on blistering form and Haenchen encouraged diaphanous playing from the remarkable Bayreuth Festival Orchestra. In line with his thesis – hinted at above – he brought everything to its incandescent resolution ‘bang on’ – by my reckoning – 3 hours 54 minutes!"...
Jim PritchardGanze Rezension