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Classic Masterpieces - Liszt: A Faust Symphony

June 12, 2007 | Format: MP3

$2.97
Also available in CD Format
Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
29:52
30
2
19:04
30
3
23:20
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Sir Thomas Beecham rarely conducted and/or recorded much Liszt. Maybe that is why I find his Faust here to be detached and somehow unemotional. And this is a pity, since Faust is after all one of Liszt's finest, most complex and significant works. Nevertheless, it is still a solid rendition boosted by an excellent stereo sound.

The second CD contains what is for me the main reason for purchasing this release: the most amazing performance of Tasso by Constantin Silvestri. This has to be one of the most magnificent and memorable Tassos ever recorded! It proves yet again (not that there was any need....) that Silvestri was one of the greatest conductors of his day. His recordings will always reveal and be remembered for their warm and expressive style, enhanced by rich, beautiful and yet delicate instrumental colour. For more magic from this unique maverick look no further than his Tchaikovsky - Manfred Symphony and Respighi - Pini di Roma released in 1999 by the BBC Legends label. All true Silvestri gems that will always be treasured as highlights in the history of extraordinary conducting.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I've always felt Liszt's music was a bit on the cheesy side but I've always had a soft spot for this work despite that and here Maestro Saccani succeeds in making it sound like serious music; an added bonus is that it features the choral ending of the finale, which is frequently omitted (as on the Alexander Gauk recording).
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Format: MP3 Music
If you're thinking of downloading the $2.97 mp3s (the ones with a illustration of a blue sleeve) of this classic performance then please be aware that these are copied from a vinyl LP, and at a rather low level.

So I'd avoid this, unless you're one of those that still thinks that vinyl recordings hold more 'character' than CDs - in which case you'll be delighted to know that there are some great-sounding scratches in the last two movements!
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Format: Audio CD
The sound on this mid-Fifties Faust Symphony is quite good, and the piece itself is certainly the major work on this bargain twofer. The rest is pure Lidztian rum-tum without interest to anyone but a sufferer from Lisztomania. I wouldn't wilingly sit through Orpheus or Psalm 13, much as Beecham seems to like them. Constantin Silverstri fills in with credible but hardly exhilarating performances of Tasso and Les Preludes.

As for the Faust Symphony, it gets an elegant interpretation that could be called French, I suppose. Beecham does his best to gloss over the banality in Liszt's conception, and to that end his reading misses the point, for this listener at least. The piece is a combination of hokum and blood-stirring melodrama, so it works best in all-out performances that don't apologize for the cheap theatrics. I much prefer Bernstein and Horenstein, but English critics love Beecham's way with this work. So if you are inclined toward mild-mannered, elegant Liszt, here you go.
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