Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust John Nelson

Cover Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust

Album info

Album-Release:
2019

HRA-Release:
22.11.2019

Label: Warner Classics

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Opera

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • Hector Berlioz (1803 - 1869): La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 1:
  • 1La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 1: "Le vieil hiver a fait place au printemps" (Faust)05:43
  • 2La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 1: "Les bergers laissent leurs troupeaux" (Chorus, Faust)03:32
  • 3La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 1: "Mais d'un éclat guerrier" (Faust)00:57
  • 4La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 1: Marche hongroise04:53
  • 5La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 2: "Sans regrets j'ai quitté les riantes campagnes" (Faust)04:58
  • 6La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 1: "Christ vient de ressusciter !" (Chorus, Faust)05:46
  • 7La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 1: "Hélas ! doux chants du ciel" (Faust)01:31
  • 8La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 1: "Ô pure émotion !" (Méphistophélès, Faust)02:25
  • 9La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 1: "À boire encor ! ... Oh ! qu'il fait bon" (Chorus, Méphistophélès, Brander)02:55
  • 10La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 1: "Certain rat, dans une cuisine" (Brander, Chorus, Méphistophélès)02:20
  • 11La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 1: "Amen" (Brander, Chorus)01:27
  • 12La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 1: "Vrai Dieu, messieurs" (Méphistophélès, Chorus)01:16
  • 13La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 1: "Une puce gentille" (Méphistophélès, Chorus)01:37
  • 14La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 1: "Assez ! fuyons ces lieux" (Faust, Méphistophélès)02:16
  • 15La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 1: "Voici des roses" (Méphistophélès)02:28
  • La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 2:
  • 16La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 2: "Dors, dors, heureux Faust" (Chorus, Méphistophélès, Faust)06:10
  • 17La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 2: Ballet des sylphes02:10
  • 18La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 2: "Margarita !" (Faust, Méphistophélès)01:17
  • 19La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 2: "Villes entourées" (Chorus)01:27
  • 20La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 2: "Jam nox stellata velamina pandit" (Chorus)01:06
  • 21La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 2: "Villes entourées ... Jam nox stellata" (Chorus, Faust, Méphistophélès)02:23
  • 22La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 3: Tambours et trompettes sonnant la retraite01:07
  • 23La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 3: "Merci, doux crépuscule !" (Faust)05:25
  • 24La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 3: "Je l'entends !" (Méphistophélès, Faust)01:02
  • 25La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 3: "Que l'air est étouffant !" (Marguerite)02:55
  • 26La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 3: "Autrefois un roi de Thulé" (Marguerite)04:57
  • 27La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 3: "Esprits des flammes inconstantes" (Méphistophélès)02:03
  • 28La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 3: Menuet des follets05:58
  • 29La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 3: "Maintenant, chantons à cette belle" (Méphistophélès)00:25
  • 30La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 3: "Devant la maison" (Méphistophélès, Chorus)02:09
  • La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 3:
  • 31La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 3: "Grand Dieu !" (Marguerite)00:45
  • 32La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 3: "Ange adoré" (Faust, Marguerite)05:09
  • 33La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 3: "Allons, il est trop tard !" (Méphistophélès, Marguerite, Faust, Chorus)02:48
  • 34La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 3: "Je connais donc enfin" (Faust, Méphistophélès, Marguerite, Chorus)02:16
  • La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 4:
  • 35La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 4: "D'amour l'ardente flamme" (Marguerite)08:01
  • 36La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 4: "Au son des trompettes" (Chorus, Marguerite)02:08
  • 37La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 4: "Nature immense" (Faust)03:57
  • 38La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 4: "À la voûte azurée" (Méphistophélès, Faust)03:27
  • 39La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 4: "Dans mon cœur retentit sa voix désespérée" (Faust, Chorus, Méphistophélès)03:47
  • 40La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 4: "Ha ! Irimiru Karabrao !" (Chorus, Méphistophélès)01:55
  • 41La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Pt. 4: "Tradioun Marexil fir trudinxé burrudixé !" (Chorus)02:14
  • La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Epilogue:
  • 42La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Epilogue: "Alors l'enfer se tut" (Chorus)01:19
  • 43La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Epilogue: "Laus ! Laus ! Hosanna ! Hosanna !" (Chorus, Une voix)01:09
  • 44La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Epilogue: "Remonte au ciel, âme naïve" (Chorus)01:03
  • 45La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, H. 111, Epilogue: "Viens, les vierges divines" (Chorus, Une voix)02:22
  • Total Runtime02:06:58

Info for Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust



“The most dramatic piece that Berlioz ever wrote,” is how conductor John Nelson describes La Damnation de Faust. The composer designated this thrilling hybrid of oratorio and opera a ‘légende dramatique’. Following in the triumphant footsteps of Les Troyens, also recorded at the Auditorium Erasme in Strasbourg, this performance reunites Nelson and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg with singers Michael Spyres, Joyce DiDonato and Nicolas Courjal.

“The most dramatic piece that Berlioz ever wrote,” is how conductor John Nelson describes La Damnation de Faust. Based on Goethe’s Faust and first performed in 1846, it is an epic hybrid of oratorio and opera – a ‘légende dramatique’ according to the composer, who recognised that its greatest potential lay in firing the audience’s imagination: “Music has great wings,” he said, “but the walls of a theatre do not allow it to spread them to the full.”

This recording was made in the Auditorium Erasme in Strasbourg in April 2019, two years after Nelson, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and a superb cast including Joyce DiDonato, Michael Spyres and Nicolas Courjal brought Berlioz’s Les Troyens to life in the same venue. The associated Erato recording of the huge two-part opera has gone on to win unalloyed praise and multiple major prizes. As the New York Times wrote: “Berlioz’s epic opera has rarely been given such luxury treatment as in this magnificent live recording from France.”

For La Damnation de Faust, Nelson, DiDonato, Spyres and Courjal – described by France Musique as a ‘dream team” – were joined by French baritone Alexandre Duhamel. Capturing the thrill of the occasion, and remembering the impact of Les Troyens, Bachtrack wrote: “Lightning, they say, never strikes in the same place twice. If that's the case, then somebody please explain the scorch marks streaked across Strasbourg's Palais de la Musique et des Congrès ... Nelson wove Berlioz's fantastical score miraculously and meticulously.”

The Times, also giving a five-star review to the performance, said: “Strasbourg is a kind of meeting point between France and Germany — and in a way so is Damnation, in which the extravagance of Berlioz’s writing meets the philosophical rigour of Goethe. The conductor favours this orchestra, too, for its Gallic colours and Germanic discipline. It makes an impressive blend. The Hungarian March, kicked off by Nelson with deceptive calm, built up to a strutting, testosterone-fuelled climax. Amid the great setpieces, however, one admired the sinuous delicacy of the OPS’s playing: the gauzy strings accompanying the devil’s serenade, ‘Voici des roses’, the eerie woodwind tinkle of the infernal spirits, and the two instrumental partners in Marguerite’s big arias, first a silky viola, then a luminous cor anglais ... Vivid characters massed behind the orchestra — the Coro Gulbenkian, a virtuosic Portuguese choir who played impeccable Easter celebrants, lusty peasants and outrageously raucous students, but saved the best for worst as the cacophonous imps of Hell. Their richly detailed performances set the tone for the soloists. Nicolas Courjal’s Méphistophélès … took wicked ownership of the text, playing Faust like a fish on a line. This is a devil who would happily pour the champagne at the same time as impaling your nether regions with a pitchfork. He made a compelling foil for Spyres’s ardent, doomed and near unsurpassable Faust. He’s a fearless tenor who can do baritonal strength as well as spinetinglingly floated high notes, and who — by the end of the night — seemed utterly under the spell of Mephisto and Berlioz ... DiDonato [was] a Marguerite of marvellous elegance and vulnerability, close to delirium in her last scene, an emotion the whole audience could partake in when it was all over.”

The central role of Faust is closely identified with Michael Spyres. Le Monde pointed out that the character had resonances for Berlioz himself: “An alter ego condemned to solitude, a spirit too large for a small world … the archetypal Romantic hero.” The online magazine Toute la culture observed that the tenor “took such a grip on Faust’s character that he became indistinguishable from … the man who has sold his soul to the devil, a timeless poetic and romantic character … He [Spyres] was possessed, not by Méphistophélès, but by the music … When everything came to an end, there was an almost religious silence … before thunderous applause broke out. Amidst the acclaim Michael Spyres wiped tears from his eyes … What a musical experience this had been for us all!”

Michael Spyres, tenor (Faust)
Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano (Marguerite)
Nicolas Courjal, bass (Méphistophélès)
Alexandre Duhamel, baritone (Brander)
Coro Gulbenkian
Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra
John Nelson, conductor

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Booklet for Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust

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