The masterpiece of French opera – Gounod’s ‘Faust‘ – still has surprises in store for us. Originally conceived in the spirit of opéra-comique, the 1859 score alternated between spoken dialogue and music, intermingling witty comedy and Romantic pathos. It is that ‘first Faust’ that the Palazzetto Bru Zane reveals in this recording, and particularly the many numbers that were subsequently deleted or altered. To restore the opera in its original colours, the Centre de musique romantique française has called on Christophe Rousset and his ensemble Les Talens Lyriques, who provide an unfamiliar aesthetic perspective on a work we all thought we knew well. This is also one of the firsts major recordings of the young tenor Benjamin Bernheim, who sings Faust, and who finds in Véronique Gens a partner with great experience in the music and text of this repertory.

Contents of the book
Alexandre Dratwicki, Creating or recreating the ‘first’ Faust
Gérard Condé, At all times, in all places
Paul Prévost, The other Faust
Hélène Cao, Goethe’s Faust in Romantic music
Charles Gounod, Memoirs of an artist – Faust

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