- La Damnation de Faust, for mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, bass, chorus and orchestra, ("légende dramatique") H. 111 (Op. 24)
Quadraphonic technology was state-of-the-art audio reproduction in the early 1970s, and several important recordings from that time have been remastered for multichannel playback in the hybrid SACD format. Seiji Ozawa's four-channel recording of "La Damnation de Faust" by Hector Berlioz dates from 1973, and it has been reissued over the years by Deutsche Grammophon as standard stereo LPs and CDs, so this super audio presentation by PentaTone is the first attempt to restore it to its former quadraphonic glory. The forces used in this légende dramatique -- Berlioz couldn't decide whether to call the piece an oratorio or an opera -- are quite massive, so the positions of the four vocal soloists, seven-part Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the Boston Boys' Choir, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra are clearly defined in the spacious sound field. This is one of Ozawa's earliest performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and they are captured at their finest, with all of their rich sonorities and refined textures clearly audible in the remastered version. This is a classic recording that audiophiles need in their collections.