Berlioz: La Damnation du Faust - Kmentt, Hass, Mayfarth, Franzen; W. Steinberg. Köln, 1970

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By far the most probing, intellectual take on the Faust legend opera has ever produced, Berlioz's masterpiece is given a strong outing in this Radio broadcast. Waldemar Kmentt's lyrical Faust and Julien Haas' snide, insinuating Mefistopheles are a wonderful double act, with Kmentt taking the overall honors for his earnestly-sung invocation to Nature. Jutta Mayfarth is a rather mature-sounding, plummy Marguerite, but what she lacks in vocal allure she makes up for in attention to detail. William Steinberg conducts, and while his tempi are often on the slow and ponderous side, he generally keeps the piece moving and builds to a terrifying climax in hell. The sound is mostly very good, though ”D’amour l'ardente flamme” is marred by an unfortunate moment of tape warp.

OD 11145-2

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