Good Friday Spell from "Parsifal" Maximize

Good Friday Spell from "Parsifal"

Composer: Richard Wagner (1813-1883) 
Arranger: Mort Shafer (1931-2009) 
Instrumentation: French Horn Quintet (includes Treble Clef and Bass Clef parts for Horn 5) 
Performance Time: 3:15
Price: $8.00

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Good Friday Spell is from the opera, Parsifal. The word ‘spell’ refers to the moment when magical powers were stripped from Klingsor when Parsifal catches the Sacred Spear in mid-air and subsequently is made King of the Knights. This happened on Good Friday. This is one of the most hauntingly beautiful pieces I know. It is so chromatic in style and the harmonies are so related that one becomes unaware of the complexity. I think it is Wagner at his operatic best.

Parsifal, Wagner’s last opera, is based on a medieval romance with strong religious overtones. Like the earlier Lohengrin, it concerns a brotherhood of knights devoted to preserving the Holy Grail, the chalice which, according to legend, Christ used to serve wine to His disciples at the Last Supper. The once strong band of Grail knights has fallen victim to the dark magic of the sorcerer Klingsor. Parsifal arrives in their realm an innocent, ignorant of the world and even his true name. This very quality permits him to defeat Klingsor and restore the strength and spirit of the Grail knights. The opera’s final act begins with Parsifal returning on Good Friday morning to the realm of the grail after years of wandering. There he experiences an epiphany in which the purity of nature is revealed to him. Glistening in the morning sunlight, the landscape seems reborn, purged of sin and sorrow. Wagner conveys the transcendent beauty of the scene in an orchestral passage known as the “Good Friday Spell”