Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Arthur Endreze, Charles Cambon, Louis Musy|
Charles Gounod: "Faust"
Hailed by record collectors as the version of Gounod's Faust, this 1930 recording with Marcel Journet as Mephistopheles and conductor Henri Busser is now available in a beautiful new remastering. Complemented by an abridge... more »
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Hailed by record collectors as the version of Gounod's Faust, this 1930 recording with Marcel Journet as Mephistopheles and conductor Henri Busser is now available in a beautiful new remastering. Complemented by an abridged version of the work and comparative excerpts.
WOW! GET THIS SET!
Ralph J. Steinberg | New York, NY United States | 01/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For years, I was absurdly prejudiced against Gounod's "Faust" for being a truncated and unfaithful setting of the "Gretchen Tragedy" episode of Goethe's great drama, by far my favorite play. That is a pretty stupid reason for not being able to judge a work on its own merits, I now admit. Still, I was always curious about this opera, but I never could find a review of any recorded performance that garnered more than moderate praise; everyone whom I read seemed to harken back to this 1930 performance as some kind of sacred cow. Well, three days ago, I happened to come across this set and decided to take the risk of spending a sizable amount on a opera that I did not know. I am very happy that I did. This performance is everything critics have said it is.
To being with, Andante has provided a lavish presentation that is full worth the high price of the set. Copious notes on the history of the opera, the performance, superb photos of the three principal artists, and to top it off, the inclusion of an abriged version from the same year and numerous excerpts made by other artists. So far, I have not listened to the other versions in this set, as I am still reeling from the impact of the Busser performance.
Henri Busser sounds like one of the unsung conducting heroes. His pacing throughout is sensitive, subtle, and builds to thrilling climaxes, especially in the Final Act. The final chorus accompanying the Apotheosis of Marguerite is absolutely Brucknerian in its grandeur! As for the three principals, Vezzani is vibrant, passionate and heroic, more so than the usual Faust; Berthon, while a bit shrill, is properly naive and vulneralbe throughout most of the opera, until the Prison Scene, in which she becomes outright heroic and defiant; and Journet!!!What a great artist he is! A subtle, polished Mephistopheles, just as Goethe envisioned him, absolutely frightening in "Le veau d'or", and bitingly sarcastic in the "Serenade." And yet, he maintains a dignity throughout that makes one actually sympathize with him, again as Goethe has intended. The other members of the cast are equally excellent, and the chorus and orchestra and vigerous and thrilling. The Final Act, with the Walpurgisnacht and Prison Scene, is the high point, as it should be, with tremendously thrilling and touching music and drama.
The transfer is very alive and vibrant; the music is always there with you. If this is truly representative of Andante's work, then this is a label to be reckoned with.
In short, get this set! If, like me, you have not so far loved this opera, this thrilling and moving performance will make you love it. If you already love the opera, you will love it more.
After all this, I now wonder if we really need any other "Faust" recording?"