The Art-Music Forum
December 06, 2019, 03:10:35 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Here you may discover hundreds of little-known composers, hear thousands of long-forgotten compositions, contribute your own rare (non-copyright) recordings, and discuss all the Arts in an erudite and decorous atmosphere full of freedom and delight. To participate, simply log in or register.
 
  Home Help Search Gallery Staff List Login Register  

Faust symphonies


Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Faust symphonies  (Read 1148 times)
guest2
Guest
« on: May 14, 2009, 03:50:06 pm »

Beethoven declared that a Faust Symphony would be the greatest thing for Art. Both Liszt and Mahler attempted to oblige. How do members think they did? And apart from those two are there any further Faust Symphonies?
Report Spam   Logged

Reiner Torheit
Guest
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2009, 07:56:08 pm »

Within Beethoven's own lifetime his acquaintance and supporter Louis Spohr (whose anniversary this year has been entirely ignored) had produced his opera FAUST in 1816.  Spohr revisited his own work some 35 years later, modifying it from Singspiel format into something in the French "Grand Opera" format by adding newly-composed recitative, some extra music, and ballet music.

We shouldn't forget Wagner's FAUST OVERTURE.

Among the many, many operatic treatments, Gounod's remains a marvellous work that's gained unfair contempt through familiarity.  Quite dissimilar is the astonishing (and uncompleted) opera DOKTOR FAUST by Busoni - a work he intended not only as a fine dramatic opera, but also as a "textbook" demonstrating how opera might develop through his theories of expanded tonality (rather than the atonality of the Schoenberg type, which he abhorred).
Report Spam   Logged
guest2
Guest
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2009, 02:41:21 am »

. . . the astonishing (and uncompleted) opera DOKTOR FAUST by Busoni - a work he intended not only as a fine dramatic opera, but also as a "textbook" demonstrating how opera might develop through his theories of expanded tonality (rather than the atonality of the Schoenberg type, which he abhorred).

Most interesting - this is a work I must investigate. I see that it was completed by Philipp Jarnach of Noisy - German composer of Spanish descent, disciple of Busoni, friend of Schönberg, and author of much serious-minded chamber music - has the opera in that - or any - form been staged much?
Report Spam   Logged
smittims
Guest
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2009, 08:53:52 am »

I once (c.1981) attended a splendid concert peformance of 'Doktor Faust' at the Royal Festival Hall with BBC forces (so it would have been broadcast) conducted by Michael Gielen, and there is a DG recording  conducted by Ferdinand Leitner with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in the title role.

I think Liszt's 'Faust Symphony' is a masterpiece, fully worthy of the poem. I believe Wagner's overture was originally begun as  a symphony on the subject.
Report Spam   Logged
Tony Watson
Guest
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2009, 06:49:26 pm »

Talking about being worthy of the poem, didn't Wagner think Gounod's opera most unworthy?

Then again, Wagner has been criticized for introducing 19th-century sentimentality into Norse myths.
Report Spam   Logged
Serenus Zeitblom
Guest
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2009, 08:36:03 pm »

has the opera in that - or any - form been staged much?


It was memorably staged by the ENO in the 1980s - with Thomas Allen as Doktor Faust.

Talking about being worthy of the poem, didn't Wagner think Gounod's opera most unworthy?

People who criticise Gounod's Faust for being unworthy of Goethe fail to realise that the Margarethe episode - which is what Gounod set - is the only part of the Goethe drama that is wholly original.  In some ways Gounod, the pious sensualist, was the ideal composer to do justice to Goethe's concept of Margarethe.  It is, in my view, a gorgeous work that does not deserve its cheesy reputation - least of all when it is performed as opera-comique without recitative and in the proper French style.

I'm a bit surprised that nobody has mentioned Schumann's Scenes from Faust, which IMO is a masterpiece, although its awkward form - not quite a cantata and certainly not an opera - has not helped it to get performances.
Report Spam   Logged
Reiner Torheit
Guest
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2009, 04:00:15 am »

Although Jarnach's completion of DOKTOR FAUST was the first to be essayed, and a worthy attempt in its own right, scholarly opinion now weighs in favour of the alternative completion made by Anthony Beaumont in 1982.  Of course Beaumont did not discard material of Jarnach's completion (considering Jarnach had been Busoni's pupil) - but Busoni's own sketches for much of the rest of opera came to light, of which Jarnach could not have been aware at his time.  These sketches form the basis for Beaumont's completion.

It's a fine, deeply-considered and multilayered work which repays listening time admirably.

But I still have a sneaking regard for Gounod's magnificently heretical opera, of which I have fond personal memories of Ian Judge's outstanding ENO production (conducted by Elder, using french bassons, cornets, and an ophicleide).  It's always been a great favourite in Russia since the time of Chaliapin - the role of Mephistopheles calls for this specific kind of lyrical basso cantando.  But just for a change, you may enjoy the legendary Russian tenor Lemeshev as Faust? http://video.yandex.ru/users/f-alex54/view/228/  Now, who could find anything to dislike in that?  Wink   But having mentioned Chaliapin, how could I deprive you of him?  Wink Here are the couplets de Mephistopheles, with Chaliapin singing, and the recording in remarkable condition after restoration: http://video.yandex.ru/users/f-alex54/view/38/user-tag/гуно/

By the way, one ought to note that the most remarkable novel of the C20th - Bulgakov's THE MASTER & MARGARITA - is an allegory of the Faust story.  Mephistopheles has arrived in Stalin-era Moscow - where the Devil himself seems not unusual.  Under the pseudonym "Dr Woland - expert in Black Magic" - a string of audacious escapades take place, to cover-over his true purpose... to unite a modern "Faust", an author of a banned soviet book about Pontius Pilate with his mistress... who is, of course, Margarita.  The subplot takes place within the banned novel - the execution of Yeshua al-Nozri as a common criminal in Judea.  Bulgakov's book itself was, of course, immediately banned.

We join the story half-way in, when Woland's motley crew (his seedy assistant Fagott, and the talking cat Behemoth) are in the middle of demonstrating "black magic" at the Moscow Variety Theatre...  whose director has already been "disposed of"...   Meanwhile our hero, the nameless Author, has been banged-up in a soviet psychiatric hospital with another "patient" who's been pulled-in for claiming that the literary critic Berlioz was beheaded by a tram, because of Pontius Pilate...


Report Spam   Logged
smittims
Guest
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2009, 10:23:16 am »

Browsing on the 'Concert Annals' site I came across this:

Wednesday 17 March 1937

Sir Adrian Boult

Doktor Faust (concert performance) BUSONI

Dennis Noble, baritone Parry Jones, tenor
May Blyth, soprano
BBC Symphony Orchestra.

This was not the only Busoni Boult conducted in the '30 s. Indeed, anyone knowing him only from his 'Indian Summer' on EMI in the '60s and '70s might be surprised by some of the items on that site.
Report Spam   Logged
guest2
Guest
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2009, 10:18:51 am »

For me Faust has come up twice in a musical connection over the past two days. Firstly in a reference in Grove's Dictionary to Henze's "Chorus of the Imprisoned Trojans," which dates from a year or two after 1945, and sets for chorus and orchestra a text drawn from the Third Act of the Second Part of Goethe's Faust. I do not know whether it was written before the composer's studies with Fortner Rufer and Leibowitz or after.

And secondly in Ronald Stevenson's recording of his own "Prelude Fugue and Fantasy on themes from Busoni's 'Doktor Faust'." (Another item on the same disc is Grainger's "Rosenkavalier-Ramble." - It is all what is sometimes called "splashy music".)

Neither the Henze nor the Stevenson is well known - perhaps in fifty years' time they will both be entirely unknown! Is either of them known to members here?
Report Spam   Logged
increpatio
Guest
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2009, 11:33:14 pm »

(rather than the atonality of the Schoenberg type, which he abhorred).
Did he really abhor it?  I have read a number of Busoni's writings and nothing springs to mind.

[I am very fond of Liszt's efforts faust wise; I find it very expressive, and I like the basic construction/form.  One should probably not forget, in considering this catalogue, even though it ostensibly be about symphonic works, his mephisto waltzes as well].

I haven't actually consciously listened to the Gounod yet, as it happens.
Report Spam   Logged
Reiner Torheit
Guest
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2009, 01:46:04 am »

Hello Inky, and welcome to these boards. You may recognise the forum software from somewhere? Smiley

AFAIK Busoni's principle rage was reserved for Wagner, who annoyed him so greatly that he wouldn't even name him in his lectures.. referring to "that man" or "Herr W".  Considering that Busoni had, by that stage, emigrated to Berlin to lecture, this was something like criticising the home side.  His disgust with Wagner arose from the "damage" he believed Der Meister had done with TRISTAN & ISOLDE, eating away at the traditional concept of tonality.  I believe he did respect Schoenberg as a man, and for his serious-minded approach - even though he saw no future himself in dodecaphonic experiments.
Report Spam   Logged
increpatio
Guest
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2009, 01:07:26 pm »

I believe he did respect Schoenberg as a man, and for his serious-minded approach - even though he saw no future himself in dodecaphonic experiments.
This sounds more in line with my perception of him (the Schoenberg+Busoni correspondence, have you not read it, makes for interesting, and, occasionally quite amusing, reading ).

Though, these comments on T&I; these seem to reveal a different side of him to the one I was familiar with.  I will have to read up more Smiley
Report Spam   Logged
JimL
Level 3
***

Times thanked: 1
Offline Offline

Posts: 182


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2012, 08:52:41 pm »

I'm surprised that nobody even mentioned what is probably the greatest opera based on Goethe's Faust, and one that uses both episodes - Boito's Mefistofele.
Report Spam   Logged
Jolly Roger
Level 8
********

Times thanked: 48
Offline Offline

Posts: 2030


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2015, 11:51:43 pm »

Works derived from Faust may merit a separate thread?
Report Spam   Logged
christopher
Level 5
*****

Times thanked: 73
Offline Offline

Posts: 742


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2015, 10:29:11 am »

Less well-known is an opera by the Belarusian-Polish-Lithuanian composer Prince Antoni Radziwiłł (1775-1833) - the opera is sung in Belarusian and is available online (you are unlikely to find it commercially!).  The duet for Faust and Gretchen is a particularly popular piece in the concert repertoire locally. Radziwiłł was a person of influence, being a Reichsfürst and Duke-Governor (Statthalter) in the Kingdom of Prussia (actually rather more complicated - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoni_Radziwi%C5%82%C5%82 - and maybe it was because of this and his significant patronage of the arts that Goethe himself helped him in writing the opera.   Interestingly his daughter nearly married Kaiser Wilhelm I.
Report Spam   Logged

Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum


Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy