Vivid Reading of La Damnation de Faust

Such is the strength of this recording, you'll believe you're in the thick of the action.

Composer: Berlioz

Repertoire: La Damnation de Faust
Artists: Todorovitch, Myers, Vernhes, Schirrer, Orchestre National de Lille/Casadesus
Rating: 4/5

Genre: Opera

Label: Naxos 8.660116-17

Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust calls for as much spectacle as Wagner’s Ring: there’s a magical ‘Ballet of Sylphs’, an extraordinary ‘Invocation to Nature’, a fiery ‘Ride into the Abyss’ and the entire Hungarian army has to march across a plain. It’s foiled many an opera company to stage, but this recording offers the next best thing: playing and singing of such vivid conviction and colour that you’ll almost believe you can see it. Casadesus gets right under the skin of Berlioz’s incredible orchestration, Myers (Faust) has a fine tenor voice and Vernhes is thrillingly malevolent as Mephistopheles. There is the odd choral moment that lacks fire, but otherwise a highly recommended recording.