Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust (EUR)

Composer Hector Berlioz
Artist Maria Ewing Marguerite
Dénes Gulyás Faust
Robert Lloyd Méphistophélès
Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt
Eliahu Inbal conductor
Format 2 CD
Cat. number 94391
EAN code 5028421943916
Release September 2012

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About this release

Although little appreciated in his native France for many years, Hector Berlioz now safely resides among the giants of the 19th century’s musical scene. The composer’s vocal output is extensive and includes several operatic works; written during 1845–46, La Damnation de Faust forms the subject of this engaging 2CD release.

The work grew out of Berlioz’s encounter with Goethe, one of the great influences – together with Shakespeare – on the composer’s creativity. A hybrid composition which employs just four principal singers and a chorus, as befits a ‘concert’ setting, La Damnation de Faust is too theatrical to work in this guise – and, alas, too impractical to be staged successfully. Nevertheless it remains an intensely dramatic piece: listen out for the violent orchestral outpourings of the Hungarian March as well as the ‘Ride to Hell’, which leads to a terrible vision of Pandemonium. Residing among the composer’s most intense and thrilling music, the work features many ballet episodes and includes Marguerite’s song – one of the greatest French operatic scenes. ‘Inbal has a fine ear for Berlioz's orchestration, matched by sensitive recording, so that time and again details spring into dramatic life…a distinctive and intelligent performance… No lover of the work should miss hearing it.’ Gramophone, July 1991

Other information:
- Recorded in 1989, when the great Israeli conductor Eliahu Inbal spent a remarkably successful and fruitful period in Frankfurt with its orchestra, resulting in several impressive symphonic cycles, notably the legendary complete Mahler Symphonies.Apart from the great artistic value of these recordings, the special one-point recording technique used by the Denon engineers is still a marvel of natural recorded sound.
- A superb release, formerly issued on the prestigious Denon label, of the “dramatic legend” La Damnation de Faust, written (both music and libretto) by Hector Berlioz, after the famous “Faust” of Goethe.
- Wonderful soloists: Maria Ewing, Denes Gulyás, Robert Lloyd and the young Christiane Oelze.
- Includes booklet notes on the composer and the music.
- Libretto available at www.brilliantclassics.com.
- Territory: Europe only.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. La Damnation de Faust: Part 1: Scene 1: Plaines de Hongrie
  2. La Damnation de Faust: Part 1: Scene 2: Rondo de paysans
  3. La Damnation de Faust: Part 1: Scene 3: Une autre partie de la plaine
  4. La Damnation de Faust: Part 1: Scene 3: Marche hongroise
  5. La Damnation de Faust: Part 2: Scene 4: Nord de l’Allemagne
  6. La Damnation de Faust: Part 2: Scene 4: Chant de la Fête de Pâque
  7. La Damnation de Faust: Part 2: Scene 5: Allegro moderato (O pure émotion!)
  8. La Damnation de Faust: Part 2: Scene 6: La cave d’Auerbach à Leipzig
  9. La Damnation de Faust: Part 2: Scene 6: Choeur de buveurs
  10. La Damnation de Faust: Part 2: Scene 6: Chanson de Brander
  11. La Damnation de Faust: Part 2: Scene 6: Fugue sur le thème de la chanson de Brander
  12. La Damnation de Faust: Part 2: Scene 6: Chanson de Méphistophélès
  13. La Damnation de Faust: Part 2: Scene 7: Bosquets et Prairies du Bord de l’Elbe – Air de Méphistophélès
  14. La Damnation de Faust: Part 2: Scene 7: Choeur de gnomes et de sylphes – Songe de Faust
  15. La Damnation de Faust: Part 2: Scene 7: Ballet des sylphes
  16. La Damnation de Faust: Part 2: Scene 8: Final: Choeur d’étudiants et de soldats marchant vers la ville

Disk 2

  1. La Damnation de Faust: Part 3: Scene 9: Tambours et trompettes sonnant la retraite
  2. La Damnation de Faust: Part 3: Scene 9: Air de Faust
  3. La Damnation de Faust: Part 3: Scene 10 Moderato (Je l’entends!)
  4. La Damnation de Faust: Part 3: Scene 11: Allegretto non troppo presto e dolce (J’ai peur comme une enfant)
  5. La Damnation de Faust: Part 3: Scene 11: Le roi de Thulé, chanson gothique
  6. La Damnation de Faust: Part 3: Scene 12: Évocation
  7. La Damnation de Faust: Part 3: Scene 12: Menuet des follets
  8. La Damnation de Faust: Part 3: Scene 12: Sérénade de Méphistophélès
  9. La Damnation de Faust: Part 3: Scene 13: Final: Duo
  10. La Damnation de Faust: Part 3: Scene 14: Trio et Choeur
  11. La Damnation de Faust: Part 4: Scene 15 Romance
  12. La Damnation de Faust: Part 4: Scene 16 Invocation à la nature
  13. La Damnation de Faust: Part 4: Scene 17 Récitatif et chasse
  14. La Damnation de Faust: Part 4: Scene 18 La course à l’abîme
  15. La Damnation de Faust: Part 4: Scene 19: Pandaemonium
  16. La Damnation de Faust: Part 4: Scene 19: Épilogue: Sur la terre
  17. La Damnation de Faust: Part 4: Scene 19: Dans le ciel
  18. La Damnation de Faust: Part 4: Scene 19: Apothéose de Marguerite