The Wagner Journal

Justin Mueller, The Remediated Soundscape of Syberberg’s ‘Parsifal’

Justin Mueller, The Remediated Soundscape of Syberberg’s ‘Parsifal’

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March 2022, Volume 16, Number 1, 21–34.

Hans-Jürgen Syberberg’s Parsifal relies heavily on Brechtian alienation techniques, and it connects to Syberberg’s broader ideological critique of postwar German culture and society, seen also in works like his notorious, eight-hour Hitler: Ein Film aus Deutschland (1977). Among Wagner scholars and film critics, Parsifal has been considered largely in terms of its casting, costume, props and other aspects of its visual mise-en-scène. Far less discussed is its sound-world and how it affects our understanding of Wagner’s music drama: the way we perceive the voices is at times markedly different from what we might encounter at Bayreuth or elsewhere.

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