Connections

Hosted by: Stephen Peithman

Exploring links between concepts, themes and people in classical music, from medieval to modern

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Saturday, October 5, 2013 Permalink

The Faust Connection

  

In 1829, Hector Berlioz wrote a short work based on Goethe's Faust, published it at his own expense, and then had second thoughts.  He quickly rounded up every copy he could find and destroyed them.

Fifteen years later, he pulled out the abandoned manuscript and revamped it into a longer, more exciting work -- but not before he had urged Franz Liszt to read Faust, prompting him to write his own setting of the famous tale of the man who sold his soul to the devil.

In this hour, how a single book inspired Berlioz, Liszt, Wagner -- indeed, an entire generation of composers.

 

Recordings Used

Title

Catalog Number

Faust by Berlioz, Liszt, Wagne

Erato 8573-80234-2

Symphonie Fantastique

BBC MM113

Liszt Transcriptions

Hyperion CDA66346

La Damnation de Faust, etc.

EMI 0946 3 81493 2 3

A Faust Symphony

London 417 399-2

Die Walkurie

Decca 455 5592