Gounod: Faust - Sills, Molese, Treigle, Cossa, Bible; Rudel. 1968
Listen to a Sample:
This may be one of my all-time favorite recordings of Faust. There is a synergy between the performers, all of whom were world-class, which creates a performance that is even greater than its formidable parts. Norman Treigle was an actor of the first order and his characterization at times is so vivid that it becomes easy to overlook how beautiful his voice was. Beverly Sills is an ideal Marguerite delivering with ease both the spinto and the coloratura aspects of this role. In addition, her sensitivity to the text and music is outstanding and demonstrates why a voice, which may not have been the most beautiful, couldn't keep her from super-stardom. Michele Molese, hitherto unknown to me, is surprisingly good and actually holds his own quite well next to Sills and Treigle. In an effort to keep these description from getting too verbose, I generally don't say much about the conductor but I have to make an exception for Julius Rudel. Rudel was a true opera conductor, and every gesture seems to be motivated by the action on stage so that musical licks that could come across as sounding trite otherwise, are ripe with meaning. The sound is excellent.