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Bernstein: Liszt – A Faust Symphony (24/96 FLAC)

Bernstein: Liszt - A Faust Symphony (24/96 FLAC)
Bernstein: Liszt – A Faust Symphony (24/96 FLAC)

Composer: Franz Liszt
Performer: Kenneth Riegel, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, John Oliver
Orchestra: Boston Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Size: 1.31 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

A Faust Symphony S.108
01 I. Faust
02 II. Gretchen
03 III. Mephistopheles And Final Chorus

An energetic piece with plenty of variety

FAUST SYMPHONIE my Liszt Ferenc has three movements: (1) FAUST (29:41); (2) GRETCHEN (23:02); and MEPHISTOPHELES (24:18). The sound engineering quality is excellent. There is no muddiness. The composition has many parts where there are solos on various instruments, e.g., the flute, oboe, and harp, and where there is a tenor solo. These are all easy to hear. Generally, the solos are accompanied by a fragment of the entire orchestra. The second movement, GRETCHEN, is a fine stand alone, piece, and I have enjoyed llistening to this movement, in its entirety, several times in the past few days. The melodies in GRETCHEN are not so stunning and obvious as those in Stravinsky’s Firebird. Instead, the melodies in GRETCHEN are more like “nuanced motifs.” I made up the term “nuanced motif” to refer to tunes that are not so pronounced that you will get tired of them after a dozen hearings.

FAUST begins quietly, with an ominous sounding motif from the strings. The woodwinds take over, and invoke an aura of tentative exploration, sounding haunting and ominous. Little silences separate the motifs from the strings and the motifs from the woodwinds. Suddenly at three minutes, begins a noisy and rousing episode, which is as rousing as Liszt’s TOTENTANZ. But at four minutes all is quiet again, and a bassoon provides a curious noodling, and then what occurs is a Mahleresque whirlwind from the entire orchestra.

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