Boulez at Bayreuth
Aug 27, 2005 10:47 am
I have always loved Boulez and I was also looking forward to hearing Michelle de Young’s interpretation of Kundry. Boulez’ Parsifal has generally been criticized for being very fast, cold and unemotional. This recent Bayreuth version, rebroadcast this afternoon, seems to fit that description.
Parsifal is one of the most moving operas—all the characters seem to be operating at extremes of emotional intensity most of the time (just different emotions). This performance was very fast—under 3 1/2 hours of music—yet when I hear the notes the passion (pun intended) was missing. We left the realm of the spiritual for the realm of the living room.
For me the real highlight of this years Bayreuth season was the really excellent Tristan with Robert Dean Smith (Tristan), Kwangchul Youn (King Mark), Nina Stemme (Isolde) conducted by Eiji Oue.