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Faust Symphony / Magnard - Symphony #3

Ansermet Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 15.44 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Sep 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Australian Eloquence
  • ASIN: B001APFIOC
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 361,816 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lizst's Faust legend inspirations 2 Feb 2013
By Dr. H. A. Jones TOP 500 REVIEWER
Verified Purchase
Liszt is best known for his piano music and symphonic poems, but he also composed two symphonies - this one and a Dante symphony. The symphonies are perhaps even more accessible on first hearing than the symphonic poems because there are more recognizable melodies. The Faust symphony is in three movements that respectively represent Faust, Gretchen or Margarita and Mephistopheles. When Liszt composed the work in 1854 he was at the height of his powers as composer. It is an orchestral work throughout until the final section of the finale which is scored for choir and tenor solo - here the Pro Arte Choir of Lausanne and the tenor Werner Krenn.

Several composers of the Romantic period composed ballets, operas, symphonies or, like Robert Schumann, scenes based on the Faust legend, usually as related by Goethe. Like his son-in-law, Richard Wagner, Liszt in this work uses the idea of musical motifs to represent characters or their emotions. This was not originally a digital recording, but with digital reprocessing I have no problem at all with the quality of the sound reproduction in this Decca Eloquence double CD. The orchestra is L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande conducted by its founding conductor, Ernest Ansermet. Ansermet conducted the orchestra from 1918 to 1968. I love this work and, of my three recordings, this is my favourite for the atmosphere of the whole performance - exquisite.

The CDs also contain the `Two Episodes from Lenau's Faust' - the Dance at the Village Inn or Mephisto Waltz No.1 and the Nocturnal Procession. On the second CD there is also Liszt's Symphonic Poem No.11, the Hunnenschlacht (the Battle of the Huns). To complete the second CD we have an orchestral rarity - the Symphony No.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Awesome Ansermet 25 Jan 2009
By Michael B. Richman - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Those familiar with my reviews on Amazon know that I'm a big fan of conductor Ernest Ansermet. Decca in the USA and Europe have seen to fit to reissue many of his recordings in the past of couple of years (most recently Ernest Ansermet: Decca Recordings 1953-1967-- see my review), but it is Australian Decca that has out done itself in 2008 with numerous Ansermet releases in their Eloquence line, many receiving their first international release on CD. This two-fer features music that one would not generally associate with this conductor -- Liszt's Faust Symphony, Two Episodes from Lenau's Faust ("Dance at the Village Inn - Mephisto Waltz No. 1" and "Nocturnal Procession") and Hunnenschlacht, and Alberic Magnard's 3rd Symphony, the latter being one of Ansermet's final recordings with his beloved Suisse Romande Orchestra. These performances are not definitive by any means, and I personally prefer Bernstein in the Faust and Haitink or Masur in the various Liszt Tone Poems, though I have nothing in my collection to compare to the Magnard -- did any other "major" conductor even tackle it at this time? However, Ansermet's accounts offer clean, crisp readings and showcase the great balance and tone that came to characterize recordings by this conductor and orchestra. This was a truly satisfying purchase, made all the better by the fact that when I ordered it from a vendor in the Marketplace, it was half the price currently listed -- interested parties should keep an eye out for a similar deal.
5.0 out of 5 stars Liszt's Faust-inspired compositions 2 Feb 2013
By Dr. H. A. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Liszt is best known for his piano music and symphonic poems, but he also composed two symphonies - this one and a Dante symphony. The symphonies are perhaps even more accessible on first hearing than the symphonic poems because there are more recognizable melodies. The Faust symphony is in three movements that respectively represent Faust, Gretchen or Margarita and Mephistopheles. When Liszt composed the work in 1854 he was at the height of his powers as composer. It is an orchestral work throughout until the final section of the finale which is scored for choir and tenor solo - here the Pro Arte Choir of Lausanne and the tenor Werner Krenn.

Several composers of the Romantic period composed ballets, operas, symphonies or, like Robert Schumann, scenes based on the Faust legend, usually as related by Goethe. Like his son-in-law, Richard Wagner, Liszt in this work uses the idea of musical motifs to represent characters or their emotions. This was not originally a digital recording, but with digital reprocessing I have no problem at all with the quality of the sound reproduction in this Decca Eloquence double CD. The orchestra is L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande conducted by its founding conductor, Ernest Ansermet. Ansermet conducted the orchestra from 1918 to 1968. I love this work and, of my three recordings, this is my favourite for the atmosphere of the whole performance - exquisite.

The CDs also contain the `Two Episodes from Lenau's Faust' - the Dance at the Village Inn or Mephisto Waltz No.1 and the Nocturnal Procession. On the second CD there is also Liszt's Symphonic Poem No.11, the Hunnenschlacht (the Battle of the Huns). To complete the second CD we have an orchestral rarity - the Symphony No.3 by Alberic Magnard, born the same day as Carl Nielsen but whose life-span was an almost exact contemporary of Claude Debussy. Magnard's symphony has more affinity in style to those of Mendelssohn and Schumann rather than to any music of Debussy's and certainly nothing of Nielsen's. Magnard was a pupil of Cesar Franck and Vincent D'Indy at the Schola Cantorum and there is something of their musical style in his own work. This is an enjoyable and interesting work with which to end this double CD.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Ansermet 21 Mar 2009
By Russell Etzenhouser - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Excellent disc from Australian Eloquence. This disc shows Ansermet at his best. The Magnard should be much better known.
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