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Heard and not seen, Berlioz’s Faust is largely a lyrical work. There are intermittent ‘effects’ indeed, and the final ride to the abyss seems to me one of the most thrilling in all music, understated as only a master of hyperbole and overstatement would know how to do; but an astonishing amount of the score is ‘absolute’ music more notable for melody than for overt drama and consisting in large part of instrumental interludes and songs. Now stage the work and see what happens. The music is transformed into a sublime commentary and magnification as the tragedy unfolds with neither haste nor delay. I took in the staging in an impressionistic way, not an analytical one.Read more ›
This live performance must have been an overwhelming experience. What they give you here is more than good singing, great acting, superb orchestral playing, but first the design - the way the whole production has been enhanced by special effects right out of Hollywood Studios - has to be mentioned.
Add to all this the great acting and singing of the bass Willard White in his big black overcoat. He is very impressive and with his big body he even manages to dance some steps like an alter ego of Michael Jackson (if you don't like that as a classical music buff you still have to see it because White really sings while doing this).
All in all very convincing.