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Gounod: Faust (Beczala, Isokoski/Vienna State Opera/de Billy) [Box set]

Piotr Beczala , Soile Isokoski , Wiener Staatsoper , Charles Gounod , Bertrand de Billy Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £28.40 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Conductor: Bertrand de Billy
  • Composer: Charles Gounod
  • Audio CD (26 July 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Orfeo
  • ASIN: B003TOZ6LM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 448,261 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Introduction
2. Rien! En Vain J'interroge
3. Ah! Paresseuse Fille
4. Mais Ce Dieu
5. Me Voici!
6. A Moi Les Plaisirs
See all 21 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Alerte, La Viola
2. Je Voudrais Bien Savoir
3. Un Bouquet ... Ah! Je Ris De Me Voir
4. Seigneur Dieu
5. Dame Marthe Schwerlein
6. Prenez Mon Bras
See all 19 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Qu' Attendez-vous Encoure?
2. Vous Qui Faites L'endormie
3. Que Voulez-vous, Messieurs?
4. Par Ici!...Par Ici, Mes Amis!
5. Ecoute-moi Bien, Marguerite!
6. Dans Les Bruyères
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Product Description

CD Description

The Vienna State Opera at least in these, the last days of the Holender era is one of the last opera houses in the world in which the repertoire system is rigorously maintained. The absence of opening-night tension in repeat performances by no means brings any loss in quality: on the contrary, often the reallocation of roles and the more relaxed atmosphere in the audience can lead to an improved overall ensemble . This was the case in 2009, when after its opening night, Gounod s Faust became a real tour de force of singing. Bertrand de Billy was in the pit of the Vienna State Opera, and with his unerring mastery of style and idiom he enjoyed a triumphant success with the audience. The two protagonists were new to Vienna: Piotr Beczala as Faust and Soile Isokoski as Marguerite. On CD, too, they prove that they were a real stroke of luck, able to combine vocal brilliance with nobility and subtle characterisation. The Polish tenor confirmed his reputation as a versatile master of bel canto and a knight of the high C , just as the Finnish soprano, a success at the Vienna State Opera in the title role of Halévy s La Juive, proves with her finely drawn vocal lines and her well-nigh limitless palette of nuances that she is not just suited to Mozart and Strauss. Nor is it a secret that the mighty bass voice of Kwangchul Youn is not just a Wagnerian giant, for also in the role of Gounod s devil he can reach the heights of form with remarkable consistency. With Michaela Selinger and Adrian Eröd as Siebel and Valentin we have documentary proof that for two decades under Iaon Holender, discovering local talent was a matter of course (though by no means something that comes of its own accord). We can hear in compelling fashion how these singers are brought into small, but still important roles as part of the moulding process and when one hears the precision of the Vienna State Opera Chorus, one can only join in their final chorus of resurrection. No one could here claim that the final judgement has fallen on repertoire theatre; no, it is saved! .

Product Description

Charles Gounod Faust Vienna 2009 (Beczala/Isokoski)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devilishly Good! 4 Nov 2010
Verified Purchase
Though I am an opera lover in general, French Opera and Gounod in particular is not high on my favourites chart-but who can resist the melodic profusion, the grandeur and high drama of Faust?
I will declare an interest here straight away-my wife and I were present at the performance from which this recording is made. Visually it was not the Staatsoper's finest hour, but musically it was an absolute triumph. As there are so many fine recordings of this work available, most notably for me the excellent Sir Colin Davis Bavarian recording , now an excellent bargain on "The Originals " series and a top recommendation despite the "wooliness " of Nesterenko's Mephisto, I thought I would be buying this simply as a souvenir of a great evening at the opera.How wrong I was, I'm delighted to say. Firstly, the recording quality is amazing-live recordings from this venue are usually sonically compromised, but hearing this recording one wonders why. The tones are lush, the detailing excellent, there is real bloom to voices and orchstra-it is one of the finest live opera recordings in terms of technical excellence I have heard, possibly THE finest-certainly from this source. The ambience of the offstage chorus, the organ-so stunning in the theatre, all are caught to perfection. There are few of the usual drawbacks of live recordings-stage noise is occasional and minimal, prompter non-existant-but there is applause (and WHAT applause) after the "big" numbers-for me this adds to the frisson of excitement a live performance provides, but be prepared! The key points though are the performances of the main artists. First of all, the conducting.de Billy is a "cause celebre" in Vienna-he can do no wrong, and he does none here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended! 6 Sep 2012
The sound is very clear for a live performance and the 2 main parts, Beczala and Isokoski are a dreamteam, incredible value!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor Gounod 25 April 2013
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Gounod's 'Faust' is in essence a French opera and demands some acknowledgement of that fact. You will not however find such of that style here. I realise that by now we are getting used to the kind of rip-roaring performances of such as Corelli, Christoff, Sutherland, Merrill etc but Gounod I suspect would be turn in his grave to hear their bawlings. Here we have a fine stylish Faust in the person of Piotre Beczala who is as good as it gets. He is excellent - stylish, musical and the voice finely focussed. Everywhere else there are drawbacks. Isokoski is a good Marguerite but sounds mature and decidedly unvirginal. There is more than a hint of acid in her voice. She brings passion and drama to the Church Scene but elsewhere is merely acceptable. Sadly I cannot find much that is positive about Kwangchul Youn. The photos in the libretto show him to look wonderful as this subtle sly and mocking devil but alas this is not as he sounds. He has a beat in his voice under pressure and too many moments of vague vocalism to satisfy. His serenade is started softly and would be a valid and interesting interpretation if he could manage anything approaching smooth vocalism. As it is it manages only to be tolerable. Valentin is weakly cast. De Billy is an excellent conductor and he keep things moving forward without the kind of special magic that Beecham brought to this lovely old opera. Beczala deserves better colleagues than this. Time for this opera to be recorded in a style that the composer would recognise and approve. Still - bravo Beczala.
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