Wayne A. | Belfast, Northern Ireland | 12/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Something truly remarkable is happening; we're finally getting the kinds of recordings and performances of Berlioz that have been needed for years. This isn't a matter of a "new take" with Brahms or Beethoven, as we see often enough, this is a manifestation of a growing understanding of this incredibly misunderstood composer. Younger conductors are hearing the avant-garde qualities of the music and unapologetic-ally bringing out the extraordinary details. We're accepting that Berlioz knew exactly what he was doing. In a marvelous way one had to be brought through the experimentation of the last century in order to finally "get" him. Recording technology has also, and finally, reached Berliozian standards. It's as if he had been composing for us, not for his own time.
The still-brilliant, incredibly taut, Solti Faust had always been tops in my book but this version will probably supplant it in some ways. Years of listening to this exciting masterpiece and here I'm hearing imaginative details I'd never encountered before, the piece never sounded so modern. The interpretation is largely excellent, the vocalists outstanding with Terfel a brilliant Mephistopheles and von Otter great. Lewis strikes just the right note for his character. The sound is dazzling and the gut-wrenching tour of Hell can hold its own against the loudest rock. Just fantastic overall!
The best modern version
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 09/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I own other versions of Le Damnation de Faust by Markevitch, Colin Davis, Munch, and Solti, all of wich have their viutes. But Chung's is the best overall, boasting excellent sound with tremendous impact, the best soloists on record (although the ones on the superb Markevitch set, also on DG, sound the most French of all), and exciting conducting. Among digital versions, this one is nearly flawless."