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Compositions by Robin Holloway
Transcriptions by Robin Holloway
Souvenirs de Monsalvat, op. 60aWagner Nights, op. 60b
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This Parsifal-endeavour (op. 60 a/b) combines passionate commitment to Wagner's opus ultimum with an equally ardent delight in the French attitude to its overweening sublime which lovingly pulls its leg.  Fauré and Messager had collaborated on Souvenirs de Bayreuth for piano duet on themes from The RingChabrier had written his Souvenirs de Munich for the same domestic medium, in quadrille form, on themes from Tristan:  why not a Parsifal

When first attempted, I didn't have the skill.  By the mid-1980s, however, technique was up to desire.  The original 4-handed piano version tells the complete plot in waltz form (valses from the Flowermaidens;  Sarabande for the Perfect Fool Hero's Good Friday Coronation).  The later orchestration (premièred by that solely serious Wagnerian Bernard Haitink to his manifest puzzlement) had to omit several sequences from the total scenario, but penetrates deeper, via the orchestra, into the Franco-Teutonic ententecon amore yet always shot through with blasphemous laughter. 

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