First, I think Parsifal's placement is already pretty generous. It's in the top 20, and I think other Wagner overtures/preludes are more highly esteemed. And on Lohengrin, as you may have noticed, the Act 1 prelude is at #37, but the Act 3 prelude is at #18. I thought I should mention that since you just mentioned Lohengrin without specifying which.
The Ring is certainly hugely important, but is there any one overture or prelude from it that is important independently of the work as a whole?
On the lists I try to approach them in a balanced, objective way and rank things according to the general importance and acclaim for each work.
Yeah, Lohengrin's Act 1 prelude placed at #37 vs Tannhauser at #8 ? If it weren't for Lohengrin's influence on King Ludwig of Bavaria and his subsequent support and rescue of Wagner from poverty and obscurity....after that, who knows whether Wagner would be the towering figure that he is in the Romantic era. For that reason alone, it needs to be ahead of Tannhauser. And also since Lohengrin Act 1 prelude is performed more in orchestra repertoire than Tannhauser's prelude, at least in Europe anyway.
Regarding the epic Ring cycle, any of the 4 preludes should replace Rienzi for obvious reasons. But of the four, I would add either the prelude of Gotterdammerung. Die Walkurie is close 2nd, imo.
My whole point is that his Ring masterpiece was the culmination of his entire life's work to transform Opera (he preferred it to be called "music drama") into what he termed Gesamtkunstwerk (complete art) and to not have at least one prelude from this epic work seemed to be a glaring ommission, that's all.
As an aside, while technically not a prelude, Gotterdammerung's Siegfried's Tod and Trauermarsch (funeral march) is performed as an orchestral piece in many orchestra's repertiore throughout Europe and is performed like it were an Overture or Prelude. ( notice I'm not asking for clap trap "Ride of the Valkries" since Coppola bastardized it in Apocalypse Now
What is your reasoning for placing Rienzi? I'm curious since it's no more popular than Die Feen.
I rarely see it in orchestral programms.
I guess Parsifal is fine where it's at, personly one of my favs along with Tristan.