Notes and Editorial Reviews
For the longest time this has been the preferred version of this opera; and despite some quirks, it remains so. In the late 1950s, when this was recorded, Nicolai Gedda was the finest Faust in the world, with a ringing, easy top and a winning combination of French, elegant style, and ardency. Victoria de los Angeles, with her beautiful, narrow tone, similarly is just right as Marguerite; she presents an innocence in the early scenes that is unmatchable and a broken-ness later on that can break your heart. Boris Christoff is simply amazing: he's unbeatable when it comes to "face", that ability to practically be visible through sound alone. The fact that he chews the scenery and sounds about as French as Boris Godunov is just the
price we have to pay. I wouldn't trade his performance for any other singer's.
Ernest Blanc's Valentin is a bit soft-edged, but it's wonderfully drawn nonetheless, and casting Rita Gorr as Marthe is luxurious. Liliane Berton's Siebel is energetic and boyish. The leadership of André Cluytens is warm and idiomatic, and his orchestra and chorus are right at home. The sound is very fine for its fortysomething age. This is an honest, straightforward, effective presentation of this opera, and I bet you'll love Christoff--glottal emphases and all.
-- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com [reviewing the full opera recording]
Works on This Recording
Faust: Excerpt(s) by Charles Gounod
Nicolai Gedda (Tenor)
Paris Opera Chorus,
Paris Opera Orchestra
Written: 1859; France
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