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Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust / Kuebler, Grundheber, Uria-Monzon, Sedov

Album Summary

>Berlioz, Hector : La damnation de Faust, Op. 24
>Ravel, Maurice : Daphnis et Chloe, ballet music
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

More than any other musician, Gary Bertini brought Israeli music-making to a standard that could readily bear international comparison. On this set, Bertini conducts the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in a live recording of Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust from 1996 coupled with music from Ravel's Daphnis and Chloé recorded live in 1974.

American Record Guide, September / October 2012
Debate has always swirled around Damnation of Faust as to what it is. Choral work? Cantata? Opera? In a full-bodied, red-blooded performance like this, opera wins hands down. The Israel Philharmonic is on top of its game, alert to every nuance of the music and desire of conductor Gary Bertini. They are powerful in all the big places, fiery in the 'Hungarian March', and nimble in 'Esprits des Flammes Inconstantes' and 'Maintenant Chantons a Cette Belle'.

The soloists fill their roles very well. Leopold Simoneau and Nicolai Gedda are the right tenors for French music. The American David Kuebler sounds more like a not-too-lyrical German tenor - he cannot duplicate the beautiful sounds Gedda makes for Colin Davis in 'Grand Dieux' - but he makes up in dramatic sense and excitement what he lacks in French lyrical tone. He is moving in 'Dors! Heureux Faust', powerful in 'Nature Immense', and defiant on his way to Hell. (The tuba is great there.) Beatrice Uria-Monzon (the only French soloist) is a mature Marguerite dark and almost syrupy of tone. She brings strength to her part even if she does not have a lyrical French voice or great enunciation: Faust displayed some courage walking out on her! A little more delicacy would have helped 'Autrefois un Roi de Thule', but she makes up for that in other places. Franz Grundheber's Mephistopheles is almost noble.

Fanfare Magazine, November/December 2012
This is a good, solid performance of La Damnation de Faust. All the soloists sing well and have acceptable French diction. Best is tenor David Kuebler, who brings more heft to the role of Faust than some tenors. As Méphistophélès, Franz Grundheber displays a tightly produced, rather grainy baritone; he is solid... The orchestra and chorus acquit themselves honorably...

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Mann Auditorium, Tel-Aviv.


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Works Details

>Berlioz, Hector : La damnation de Faust, Op. 24
  • Performers: Beatrice Uria-Monzon (Voice); Denis Sedov (Bass); Franz Grundheber; David Kuebler (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Gary Bertini
  • Ensemble: Transylvania State Philharmonic Choir
  • Running Time: 99 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 11/1845-10/1846
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Ravel, Maurice : Daphnis et Chloé, ballet music :: [Excerpt]
  • Conductor: Gary Bertini
  • Notes: Composition written: 1909-12.
  • Running Time: 22 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1909-1912
  • Studio/Live: Live