- Scenes From Goethe's Faust for vocal soloists, chorus & orchestra (or piano), WoO 3
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Schumann: Scenes from Goethe's Faust based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Something about Goethe's epic Faust calls out to composers: Gounod, Boito, Berlioz, Mahler, Liszt...and Schumann, who began this choral setting only a dozen years after the great dramatic poem was completed, a score which was to occupy him on and off for ten years more. No attempt was made to represent the entire work--instead, it's sort of a "favorite bits" approach and, like Handel's Messiah, it is assumed you know some of the story going in. Also like Messiah, it's hard for a single recording to do justice to the vast concept; still, Antoni Wit and his forces do a more than solid job, and really bring out much of the remarkable variety in the music (I keep playing the chorus of angels and boys in Part Three). Some of the male soloists are challenged by the range of their parts, but baritone Jaakko Kortekangas and soprano Iwona Hossa are very fine. No texts, as usual, though you can easily download them from the label's website, and the booklet gives a synopsis of the original work, including parts that were not set to music.
Robert Schumann Scenes from Goethe's Faust This two-cd set, which showcases the talents of impressive soloists and Choirs of the Warsaw Philharmonic, brings to light a romantic illustration of the epic work by Goethe. Schumann's use of Scenes, with orchestra, choirs, and soloists, paints pictures of certain portions of the Faust story, rather than conforming to opera or oratorio structure. It suits the romantic era and permits emotional description in the music rather than fitting a libretto to melody or providing a religious record of Biblical passages. Numerous artists and authors of the Nineteenth Century used the prominent Goethe work for their creative productions. Description of the writing of these Scenes is well-explained in the accompanying booklet, and is helpful during the hearing of this beautiful yet complicated opus. The Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Boys' Choir have a pure, cohesive sound, fitting their roles perfectly. The women soloists carry their lines with clear expression and beautiful quality. But the men completely capture the listener's attention in this performance. The audience waits with expectation to hear each entrance of Baritone Jaakko Kortekangas and the beauty of his exceptional range and expression. Tenor Daniel Kirch is equally impressive with the clear presentation of Ariel and Pater Ecstaticus. The texture of Bass Andrew Gangestad's voice enhances the drama for his roles. Conductor Antoni Wit utilizes his extensive background and skills to evoke from these performers a dramatic, impressive production of a very large-scale work to display the talents of Robert Schumann. One hearing of "Scenes from Goethe's Faust" is merely the beginning, an invitation to more education and appreciation of this impressive composition.