Jonas Kaufmann sings the title role in a new live recording of Wagner’s Parsifal that Sony Classical will release on 1 March. It derives from performances at the Vienna State Opera under Philippe Jordan with Elīna Garanča as Kundry, Georg Zeppenfeld as Gurnemanz and Ludovic Tézier as Amfortas. Today the first single “Amfortas, die Wunde,” is available to stream and download.
Press reactions following the first night in the spring of 2021 were unanimously positive. Der Standard spoke of “a feast of fine singing” and even of “a sensational cast”, while Die Zeit hailed the achievements of “a luxurious ensemble”. Time and again the critics mentioned the wealth of nuance in the musical interpretation. As the “innocent fool” Parsifal, Jonas Kaufmann was praised for his ability to modulate between a bewitching mezza voce and the most thrilling dramatic outbursts. Two singers were tackling their roles for the very first time: Elīna Garanča was making her long-awaited debut as Kundry, to which she brought sovereign authority, while Ludovic Tézier was singing his first Amfortas. Both Tézier and Georg Zeppenfeld as Gurnemanz brought a bel canto beauty to their roles in the spirit that Wagner himself had always valued. Internationally acclaimed as Hans Sachs in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Wolfgang Koch gave a riveting performance as Klingsor.
Wagner’s Parsifal with Jonas Kaufmann, Elīna Garanča, Georg Zeppenfeld, Ludovic Tézier, Wolfgang Koch, the Chorus and Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera under the direction of Philippe Jordan will be released by Sony Classical on CD and digital formats on March 1, 2024.