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Berlioz: La Damnation De Faust Highlights / Solti, Riegel, Von Stade


Release Date: 01/12/2010 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 410181  
Composer:  Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Kenneth RiegelJosé Van DamFrederica Von Stade
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony OrchestraChicago Symphony Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Batten down the hatches, send your neighbours away on holiday, then take out this new version of Damnation to give your hi fi an evening out. This is a recording of quite startling range and depth. You sense that you are in the stalls of a large hall with the combined Chicago forces there to entertain and uplift you in person such is the immediacy and presence of the sound, an outstanding achievement for the Decca team led by James Mallinson.

Of course, Berlioz's extraordinary "dramatic legend", with its quixotic scoring, sudden shafts of diablerie, and glimpse of pandemonium lends itself to such aural treatment, and to the kind of choral and orchestral virtuosity Solti and his Chicagoans bring to it. In every
Read more respect, the Chicago choir outstrips its rivals; it is more precise in attack, more refulgent in tone, more articulate in its enunciation, and it characterizes peasants, students, follets, and the rest with a keen ear for the appropriate timbre.

Solti has a reliable trio of soloists. Kenneth Riegel, who seems to have studied Gedda's Faust (Philips) quite closely (a good model), hasn't the most pleasing tone—it is apt to become squeezed under pressure, although he displays a true understanding of Faust's dilemmas, whims and poetic heart—but his Invocation is ardent, his ride to the abyss suitably terrified. His lean Faust pairs nicely with Frederica von Stade's young-sounding, intelligently-phrased Marguerite—the "Roi de Thule" simply, sweetly done. But in the Romance we cannot but note a want of vocal warmth and a tendency to sound a shade mannered.

But Solti has the most cogent advocate of the Devil in Jose van Dam. His by turn commanding and insinuating manner (a subtle, finely-shaped "Voici des roses") is more naturally achieved than Fischer-Dieskau's strained Mephistopheles for Barenboim, and it is better sung—though less pointedly articulated—than Bastin's for Davis, and he has exactly the right colour of voice for the part.

-- Gramophone [5/1982, reviewing the LP release of the complete Damnation de Faust]
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Works on This Recording

1.
La damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Rákóczy March by Hector Berlioz
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; France 
2.
La damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Easter Hymn by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Kenneth Riegel (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus
3.
La damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Une puce gentille by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  José Van Dam (Bass Baritone)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; France 
4.
La damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Villes entourées "Soldiers' Chorus" by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  José Van Dam (Bass Baritone), Kenneth Riegel (Tenor)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus
5.
La damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Autrefois un roi du Thulé by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Frederica Von Stade (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; France 
6.
La damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Maintenant Chantons...Devant la maison "Serenade" by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  José Van Dam (Bass Baritone)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus
Period: Romantic 
7.
La damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Allons, il est trop tard by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Frederica Von Stade (Mezzo Soprano), Kenneth Riegel (Tenor), José Van Dam (Bass Baritone)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus
8.
La damnation de Faust, Op. 24: D'amour, l'ardente flamme by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Frederica Von Stade (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; France 
9.
La damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Dans mon coeur retentit by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Frederica Von Stade (Mezzo Soprano), Kenneth Riegel (Tenor), José Van Dam (Bass Baritone)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; France 

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