WAGNER: Parsifal: Prelude, Act I; Good Friday Spell; Finale, Act III; Tristan und Isolde: Prelude, Act I; Gotterdaemmerung: Dawn and Siegfried’s Rhine Journey; Funeral March; A Siegfried Idyll for Small Orchestra – Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra/ Carl Schuricht
Hanssler Classic CD 93.156, 75:56 (Distrib. Allegro) ****:
This assemblage of Wagner excerpts from the archives (XVI, the Schuricht Edition) of conductor Carl Schuricht (1880-1967) traverses sixteen years of work with the SouthWest German Radio Stuttgart, the earliest inscriptions being the 29 April 1950 Tristan Prelude; the latest the Parsifal Act I and Act III sequences from 17-19 March 1966. The Twilight of the Gods excerpts from 28 September 1955 are particularly powerful, with Siegfried’s Funeral March in towering motion against the Valhalla motif in the trumpets. The Rhine Journey is no less plastic and arched, with the vocal lines preserved right up to Brunnhilde’s high C from Zu Neuen Thaten.
From the same day of recording comes the chamber version of A Siegfried Idyll, which permits the flute, oboe, and low horns immediacy of impact on the amblings of our Nibelungen hero. The Parsifal Act I Prelude is cast in the same expansive mold we hear in renditions by Schuricht’s contemporaries Klemperer, Knappertsbusch, Walter, and Furtwaengler. The Good Friday Spell (23 September 1954) from Parsifal projects a deeply burnished, rich ambiance, with the strings and winds in pungent, incisive form, the oboe ravishing. The Act III Finale lacks the chorus, but the alchemical mix of winds, horns, and harp is superbly magical. Schuricht’s is a lustrous Wagner, eminently vocalized in the instrumental renditions, and equally notable for the clarity of orchestral detail. Himmel hoch!
— Gary Lemco