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Liszt: Symphonic Poems Vol 2 / Noseda, BBC PO

Album Summary

>Liszt, Franz : Faust Symphony, S 108
>Liszt, Franz : Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe (From the Cradle to the Grave), symphonic poem for orchestra, S. 107 (LW
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

A Faust-Symphony is one of Liszt's finest creations and is dedicated to Berlioz who had introduces Liszt to Goethe's dramatic masterpiece. In a frenzy of creativity, Liszt wrote the work in just two months during 1854, revising it and adding a choral ending in 1857. It is recorded here in its original form. A highly original composer, Liszt did not write symphony of conventional, classical design: in fact, his Faust Symphony is a fully fledged programmatic symphony in the sense of Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique; he described its concept clearly on the title-page, as 'in three character studies' - a portrayal of the story's three main protagonists (Faust, Gretchen and Mephistopheles) and their inter-relationships. "The whole Faust Symphony was splendidly conducted here by Gianandrea Noseda He shaped this epic symphonic poem with passion, empathy and intelligence." -The Times of London

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Volume 2 in Chandos's series of Liszt's orchestral works includes the Faust Symphony, his crowning masterpiece, in a performance of supreme clarity and assurance. To achieve such stylistic empathy and lucidity in an hour-long force-of-nature work (the conductor has dropped the choral ending), showing Liszt's transformation of themes and characters at its height, is a daunting achievement.

Time and again you are made to realise that accusations (still made in some quarters) of theatricality, of fustian and bombast, are largely the result of inadequate performances that put superficial display before true musicianship. Gianandrea Noseda immediately engages you in Faust's opening and troubled questioning with the promise of epic variations to come. Gretchen's radiance emerges truly andante soave, dolcissimo e tranquillo e molto, allowing the music's gently sighing lines and phrases to contrast to maximum effect with Mephistopheles's snapping accentuation and glittering diablerie. Indeed, so precise and articulate is the playing that you are left to wonder if Liszt, like Milton in Paradise Lost, was of the Devil's party without realising his ironic bias or inclination.

Such a possibility is, however, erased in Liszt's final symphonic poem, Von der Wiege biszum Grabe, where the opening 'Cradle' and closing fade-out suggest the composer's vision at its most ethereal and elevated. Chandos's sound is superb; you could hardly wish for more eloquent advocacy.



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Works Details

>Liszt, Franz : Faust Symphony, S 108
  • Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
  • Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, England (08/31/2005/09/01/2005)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1854-1857

>Liszt, Franz : Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe (From the Cradle to the Grave), symphonic poem for orchestra, S. 107 (LW
  • Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
  • Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 16 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1881-1882