CD REVIEWS

An occasional update of music releases

OPERA/CLASSICAL. Parsifal (by Richard Wagner, Deutsche Grammophon):. Any new recording of Wagner's last opera is a major event. Spanning 4 1/2 hours of music spread over four CDs, it's also a major investment. The latest version, from DGG, largely re-creates the recent Metropolitan Opera production. The performances here sound fine - better, in fact, than they did on stage. Placido Domingo's ripe, ardent tone almost never sounds forced. Jessye Norman manages Kundry's Act 2 high notes without piercing shrieks, and her lower register glows. The rest of the cast is also top-notch, as is the Met chorus. The orchestra, of course, sounds magnificent.

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