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Saturday, May 9, 2015 Permalink

The Faust Connection

Poster art from the F.W. Murnau’s film of Faust (1926)


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 his friend, Franz Liszt, to read Faust, prompting Liszt 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, Wagnerindeed, an entire generation of composers.


Recordings Used


Catalog Number

Faust by Berlioz, Liszt, Wagner

Erato 685738023424

Symphonie Fantastique


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

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