A 19th-century ‘trio sonata’. Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov have already given us an acclaimed version Brahms’s First Violin Sonata, in 2007. They now complete the cycle with the other two sonatas of 1886 and 1888, and add a fascinating rarity dating from 35 years earlier: the ‘F-A-E’ Sonata, a collaborative effort by three composers in honour of the great violinist Joachim, who had to guess who had written which movement! He did so with ease, for the Scherzo is as eminently Brahmsian as the Intermezzo and Finale are Schumannesque. Alexander Melnikov will be contributing his take on a score his mother gave him that belonged to Sviatoslav Richter in September BBC Music Magazine.
This imaginative staging of Berlioz's dramatic symphony for chorus, soloists and orchestra relies heavily on the moving of massed choirs across a large stage. It has vivid lighting effects–rather too many of them using strobes–and monolithic multi-purpose sets, in particular a revolving glass drum which functions both as cinema screen and rostrum for singers, so that the final ride to Hell, for example, is sung by Mephistopheles and Faust above a cavalcade of projected horses, like the inside of a zoetrope. The three main soloists have voices on a scale that can compete with these flashy production values–White and Kasarova, in particular, sing at a level of intensity that would swamp anything less; the climactic seduction trio has rarely been sung so well or with such an overpoweringly polymorphous eroticism. Cambreling marshals his forces effectively, giving full rein to the work's showstoppers like the "Hungarian March" but not neglecting the subtler less kinetic Gluckian side of Berlioz's vocal writing. (Roz Kaveney)
Private Release. Four CD's in a spiral bound serrated black cover and semi-transparent and black slips. A record of the Faust 'Day in the Life' special presented by Andy Wilson and Ian Land for Resonance Radio, 4th August 2002. Combines live, rare and previously unreleased tracks as well as interviews with Chris Cutler and Jochen Irmler. Chris Cutler's interview is spread across disc A:III,VIII,XII,XVII,XXIV. The tracks B:1-1V recorded live at The Garage, London, 1996. B:V-VIII are solo tracks by Jochen Irmler. B:IXf is an interview recorded with Jochen especially for the Resonance show. Disc Z is made up of Keef Robert's Faust Redux project. U:VI-XV recorded live at Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT, USA, 5 May 1994. U:XVI is Ian Morrisson's Elektron (Coulomb Remix). No longer available.
Doktor Faust remained a fragment at the time of the composer's death. Busoni died in 1924, unable to complete what he himself described as his ''state masterpiece'' - an opera to which he had a deep personal attachment. The missing scenes from the score - the appearance of Helen and Faust's closing monologue - were completed by his pupil, Philipp Jarnach, whom Busoni had become acquainted with during his period in exile in Zürich. In this form the opera was given its first performance in Dresden in 1925. Then in the 1980s the conductor Anthony Beaumont came across previously undiscovered sketches by Busoni and produced a new version of Doktor Faust, which was premiered in Bologna in 1985. The current recording uses the Jarnach score.
In 2015 the Berliner Philharmoniker dedicated an evening of their renowned Easter Festival in Baden-Baden to one of the most famous and beloved of German composers, Ludwig van Beethoven. Together with Bernard Haitink, a universally acclaimed authority on the works of that composer, they performed Beethoven’s exquisite expression of nature, his Symphony No. 6, the “Pastoral”. They were joined for Beethoven’s Violin Concerto by Isabelle Faust, whose interpretation of the work has enjoyed widespread acclaim.