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Liszt: Faust Symphony; Dante Symphony; Les Prélludes; Prometheus (2 CDs)
 
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Liszt: Faust Symphony; Dante Symphony; Les Prélludes; Prometheus (2 CDs)

24 July 2000 | Format: MP3

Ł7.99 (VAT included if applicable)
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Song Title Artist
Time
Popularity  
30
1
28:12
30
2
23:04
30
3
22:57
Disc 2
30
1
16:48
30
2
12:27
30
3
19:23
30
4
24:05
30
5
0:57
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 2000
  • Release Date: 24 July 2000
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Decca Music Group Ltd.
  • Copyright: (C) 2000 Decca Music Group Limited
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 2:27:53
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001N23JXO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 122,811 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bill Glen on 16 Feb. 2014
Format: Audio CD
Solti as one would anticipate brings intense demonic energy to the Faust symphony and relaxes the tension encouraging the orchestra to poetically beautiful playing as needed in his portrayals of Faust, Gretchen and Mephistopheles. This remains an exciting account thrillingly recorded and backed up by fine encores from earlier Solti recordings of les preludes and Prometheus.

This disc is made more special by the Dante coupling of Lopez cobos and the Suisse Romande. This is a fine performance made more valuable in offering as an appendix the brief but interesting to hear alternative ending of the work. This coupling is one of the best bargain double CDs around.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Flying Dutchman on 11 Jan. 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Liszt's Faust symphony is one of my most favourite pieces of music. This version is the best I know. Highly recomended!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Georgay on 18 Sept. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having read Dante's Inferno and Geothe's and Marlowe's 'Faust', I was curious to hear the music set to it by one of my favourite piano composers. In the right mood, I find it soothing and ominous.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Liszt program music 12 Nov. 2005
By Harvey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
On this disk are three separate orchestras under various conductors, all of famous symphonic works by Franz Liszt. The Faust Symphony from 1986, the symphonic poems from 1978 (analogue), and the Dante Symphony from 1982.

Liszt's Faust Symphony is really three character studies, from Goethe's drama of the same name, rather than a traditional symphony. The story is about Johann Faustus, a man who makes a pact with the devil in order to have all his desires satisfied, at the expense of his soul. Eventually Faust falls in love with Gretchen and their love saves his soul. The movements of the symphony portray the three characters mentioned: I. Faust, II. Gretchen, and III. Mephistopheles, with a coda adding organ, solo tenor, and men's chorus to the orchestra. The Faust movement could be a work in and of itself, totaling approximately 30 minutes, and encompassing a wide range of motives and emotions. One critic labeled the 5 motives as "passion, pride, longing, triumph, and love. The first theme is a craggy one with odd intervals (often called the first 12-note tone row) and the other themes are evocative of their titles. The music is an easy view of the influence of Liszt upon Richard Strauss; the imaginative thematic material and the dramatic program music and orchestrations are all very suggestive of what will become R. Strauss. The Gretchen movement shows Liszt as a master orchestrator and forward-looking composer. While the second movement is lyrical in nature, Liszt creates various chamber ensembles and keeps changing the instrumentation of those groupings. The best example is after the brief woodwind introduction, a solo viola and solo oboe have a duet with a sort of peasant dance feel, then in comes the solo clarinet, flute, and violin, and a new chamber ensemble take over. Very interesting music. The Mephistopheles movement is a scherzo, utilizing all of the themes from the previous movements, but casting a crooked view of those melodies. While Mephistopheles gets a creepy scherzo theme, he also revels in a triumphant theme as well as a dance-like 6/8 theme. It is a movement of masterful design and an interesting take on Mephistopheles. The work concludes on a positive note. The male chorus and tenor solo (here sung by Siegfried Jerusalem) comment on the lesson to be learned from the story. It gives a mysterious, yet glorious conclusion to this epic work. Faust Symphony, like Les Preludes, has a lot of inventive and memorable melodies. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Sir Georg Solti give a clean performance with few to no loose ends. First class performance.

The two symphonic poems Les Preludes and Prometheus have not had such impassioned performances such as this one of the London Philharmonic under Sir Georg Solti. The famous Les Preludes has such great motives of many moods: passion, pastoral, triumphant; and all so inventive. Solti perhaps takes the maestoso a bit too "Maestoso", but exhilarating nonetheless. Prometheus, lesser known, is also very fiery, with occasional instrumental recitatives of lyricism. The playing is excellent all around, and the music is captiviating.

Liszt's Dante Symphony, based on Dante's Divine Comedy, is played here under Jesus Lopez Cobos with the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande. In two movements (Inferno and Purgatorio), this is a work not nearly as popular or as fleshed out as the other works on this disk. Certainly not as thematic, but instead, Liszt creates musical depictions of the places described. The Inferno begins just that way, with wild playing by Cobos, and eventually descends into lyricism. Purgatorio begins off-kilter and unresolved with solos for harp, while the middle section is chorale-like. It ends with a view of heaven with the heavenly chorus singing a portion of the Magnificat. The forward looking harmonies make a dramatic and interesting depiction of heaven. Included is Liszt's alternate loud ending as well. While an aggressive interpretation, the brass cannot stand up to the other orchestras represented on this CD, with occasional tuning issues. Compare this Dante with the one offered on Teldec under Barenboim and the Berlin Philharmonic. That said, this is a fiery interpretation and the ending is particularly well played.

Three separate fiery performances of 4 Liszt symphonic works is hard to beat. Even with the Dante Symphony not attaining the heighest of heights, this disk is an excellent buy. Compare these works to those released on Teldec under Barenboim and the symphonic poems to that on Sony under Mehta and this 2 for 1 CD is a bargain.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Fine 'Faust', decent 'Dante', and two great bonuses 3 May 2011
By Alexander Arsov - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
One cannot but love DOUBLE DECCA. If there ever was a material equivalent of the immortal phrase 'Double action - satisfaction!', this is it.

To begin with the philosophical question, it is a really fine idea to fill a double CD with Liszt's two most ambitious symphonic works. May we hope that BOTH the 'Faust' and the 'Dante' symphonies receive one day their true recognition; though the latter has a rather longer way until that happen, it is hardly inferior to the much more highly regarded 'Faust'. Certainly both works - politely called symphonies; actually multipart symphonic poems - are among Liszt's masterpieces. I can think, unfortunately, of only one such coupling more. This is the double disc from Brilliant which is almost on the same level of DECCA's attempt; it includes Inbal's 'Faust' and Haenchen's 'Dante', coupled with the extremely rarely performed (and virtually never recorded) 'A la Chapelle Sixtine' as a bonus track (also under Haenchen's baton).

The 'Faust' Symphony included here was recorded in 1986 by Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra whose boss for many years he was. It is a legendary collaboration with quite a recording catalogue behind it, mostly for DECCA; both the legendary status and the recording legacy are probably second only to Karajan and the Berliner Philharmoniker. Such close collaboration between great musicians and great label is bound to produce memorable results. As it might be expected from DECCA, the digital sound is excellent, with impeccable clarity and dynamic range beyond reproach; but without that annoying flatness, or glassy artificiality, or call it what you like, that often affects digital recordings - or at least it used to do so in the early days of the digital era. Solti's interpretation, however, leaves something to be desired. It is not that I mind his occasional lack of subtlety or disrespect of detail; I do, in fact, mind all these things, but I do expect them from any new recording of Solti I come across. What I don't expect, but what I do, disappointingly, find here, is lack of excitement and involvement - and that, whatever his faults, is not something typical for Solti. Nevertheless, he conducts a fine recording, well-paced and wonderfully musical, if a little dry and dull from time to time. I don't know the reason for this strange inhibition on Solti's side - maybe he just had a bad day; maybe he didn't like the music enough; maybe it came too late in his career - but, had this been absent, this might well have been a definitive recording. (Not THE definitive recording; there is no such thing; every work that justifies the grand description 'masterpiece' must be opened to at least several equally definitive interpretations). Still, Solti's 'Faust' remains one of the best on record and an excellent introduction to this rather complex and not-so-easy to assimilate music.

The real gems in this collection, as far as Georg Solti is concerned, are the two symphonic poems on the second disc. These were recorded with the London Philharmonic in 1977 and they do make Solti's 'Faust' sound like a lullaby. Certainly, both 'Les Preludes' and 'Prometheus' have seldom received such a vigorous treatment, almost savage indeed. It works wonderfully in combination with a spectacular late analogue sound. For my part, these are one of finest renditions of 'Les Preludes' and 'Prometheus' ever committed on disc, worthy of their place beside the amazing versions of Karajan, Golovanov or (only for 'Prometheus') Haitink.

The 'Dante' Symphony included here is also a digital recording (1981), but a great deal less distinguished both in terms of names as well as in turn of musicianship. Jesus Lopez-Cobos is a new name to me, and though the L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande is of course not, it might be called 'one of the finest orchestras in Europe' only with a great deal of exaggeration. Yet, Lopez-Cobos conducts a very competent 'Dante' and the orchestral playing is top-notch; in combination with DECCA's state-of-the-art sound, it makes for a fine introduction to a work which is even more difficult to grasp than the 'Faust' Symphony. By no means a first choice, for Lopez-Cobos is some light years away from Barenboim's sumptuous rendition on TELDEC or Sinopoli's 'wall of sound' and subtlety of interpretation on DG, this recording is still preferable to Conlon's fine but unfortunately compromised by dismal sound 'Dante' on Erato or Haenchen's rough-and-ready live performance on Brilliant.

In short, excellent bargain for Lisztians and Lisztian neophytes alike. For a mere couple of bucks you get good or better recordings of four of Liszt's major orchestral works, nearly two and a half hours of great music in superior sound. Turn up the volume and enjoy the aural feast.

P. S. By the way, it is worth noting that the recording of 'Dante' here, as a kind of historical curiosity, includes also the alternative ending which Liszt, apparently, composed on the insistence Princess Carolyne, and against his own wishes. His artistic instincts seldom were more right than in this case. The alternative ending is just a one-minute orchestral tour de force without any singing: by far inferior to the ethereal Magnificat which forms the much more often played conclusion of the symphony. But it is a kind of fascinating, if weird, to hear this alternative conclusion.
11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Marvellous Recording 6 Jan. 2004
By "gypsychorus" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This was done during Solti's award-winning streak days. The celebrated Solti-CSO partnership at its best. The orchestra is thrilling in Liszt masterpiece. You haven't heard Faust Symphony if you haven't heard Solti.
Very good! 5 Nov. 2013
By Linda IC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Item as described.
Nice and relaxing music. My family and I enjoy it so much while reading. Widely recommended. Love Liszt.
Liszt Symphonies 13 Oct. 2013
By Barbara J. Wowk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The quality of the CD is very good and offers some Liszt that I was not familiar with previously. The price is a bargain.
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