I have listened to many of the other catalogue recordings of this opera and this recording leaves them in it's shadow. The orchestral playing and conducting are a revelation. However, as the other reviewers have said the vocal talent is breathtaking. Corelli is a 'force of nature'. He portrays Faust as a tortured man. Sutherland is a stupendous Marguerite and Ghairov is a herculean Mephistopheles.
A perfect recording in orchestral and vocal terms. OK, if you want gallic accents it may be less than ideal but then so are the other recordings around. Indeed, the only other recording I would find acceptable after this one is the English National opera's set, which translates brilliantly to English.
This is a fantastic, all-round recording of Faust, slightly edging out the wonderful stereo recording on EMI with Christoff, De Los Angeles and Gedda.
Franco Corelli blasts his way through the title rolee but there are times when he shows great finesse (eg: act 3 duet) but be warned: he slides all over the place and his top notes are at full tilt – a shame as he was able to produce gorgeous diminuendos. Nonetheless his passion wins the day.
Joan Sutherland was made for Marguerite and she's in her prime. The vocal control she has is so impressive, and tone is always easy on the ear. A remarkable voice.
Nicolai Ghaiurov hams it up, but then he is playing the devil. The supporting cast are all admirable, though Monica Sinclair is a bit OTT as Martha. A special mention for Raymond Myers as Wagner - what a voice, and whilst I enjoyed Massard as Valentin I wonder if the producer ever thought of switching them around.
Bonygne took this recording seriously. He wanted to make his mark, so the atmosphere and playing of the LSO is superb. The raucous um-pa-pa prior to the waltz chorus puts us in a Bavarian village and the sheer punch of brass in the soldiers chorus are two moments I wanted to pick out.
The recorded sound is excellent (including having to cope with editing in Corelli for the final trio after it was recorded with Sutherland and Ghiaurov as he was absent on the day). It's a recording that easily takes top spot.
This is a CD to treasure and how lucky we are that CD recordings capture performances of this magnitude.I feel that no cast today could come anywhere near this production.La Stupenda in full flight is awesome,Corelli with his strong lachrymose voice is splendid.Just play the last track preferably loud and you will experience the tingle factor its electric.The orchestra is superb under the skilfull direction of Maestro Bonynge.Worth its weight in Gold-----NO in Platinum !