We are frequently asked to recommend recordings for our upcoming productions. To help give our audience members some listening options, we have gone through the current CD catalog and provided reviews for our top picks.
Indicate "Maestro's Selection" or the recording he likes the best.
There are no fewer than 9 recordings listed on Amazon.com – a testament to the popularity of this French grand opera that remains the most performed work on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.
Opera is like fine wine. The more you know about it, the more you appreciate and desire it.
Two music excerpts everyone should learn before coming to hear Faust (yes, my friends, one goes to the cinema to ‘see’ a movie, but one comes to the theater to ‘hear’ a play or an opera):
Le veau d’or – the devil’s song to the Golden Calf during which he whips up the locals into an inebriated state that is nearly orgiastic.
Gloire immortelle – the famous Soldier’s Chorus.
Learn these two hit tunes and when you hear Faust, you’ll feel right at home.
Victoria de Los Angeles, Nicolai Gedda, Boris Christoff, Andre Cluytens, conductor
Orchestres du Theatre de l’Opera. EMI records
Why this one and not say, Alfredo Kraus’ wonderful recording or Placido Domingo’s equally exquisite performance? Two reasons – Boris Christoff and Andre Cluytens. The great Bulgarian basso is such an imposing Mephistofeles, every time he opens his mouth one is mesmorized by the sheer power of the voice, and his truly sardonic portrayal – even his laugh is sinister. Plus Mo. Cluytens’ sensitive, exquisitely French interpretation (Cluytens was Belgian) is as perfect as one could ask for. For me, it is equally fun to hear a French orchestra (reedy oboes, bassoons that sound a little like saxophones, French horns that almost sound like fat bassoons) play this music. More reasons – Nicolai Gedda is a truly wonderful Faust, and Victoria de Los Angeles a sweet and convincing Margarite (his French is excellent, hers not so).
Posted: Tuesday, August 19th @ 4:18pm
Amahl & the Night Visitors
Cinderella (La Cenerentola)
La Vida Breve
Lucia di Lammermoor
Porgy & Bess
Roméo et Juliette
Samson & Delilah
The Barber of Seville (Il barbiere di Sivigllia)
The Magic Flute
The Marriage of Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro)
The Pearl Fishers
The Pirates of Penzance