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Scenes from Goethe's Faust Steven D. Brown
Mon May 22 2000 17:00
I recently picked up a copy of Phillipe Herreweghe's recording of Scenes from Goethe's Faust by Schumann. With all due respect to Johannes Brahms, who considered the work uneven, I think that it is a neglected masterpiece. Why this work is not performed more often is a mystery to me. Is anyone else familiar with it?
RE: Scenes from Goethe's Faust jbayer34
Tue Jun 20 2000 00:19
I know the work moderately well in the Abaddo recording. I agree that it is a neglected masterpiece, but I also know that a lot of people consider it less than a masterpiece. This seems to be one of those "received ideas" that never goes away because it is never closely examined.


RE: Scenes from Goethe's Faust Steven D. Brown
Tue Jun 20 2000 18:42
Another "received idea" regarding Schumann is that he didn't know how to orchetrate. To my ears, Schumann's orchetral works are in no need of touching up. Schumann knew what he was doing. This past season I heard an absolutely lucid performance of his 4th symphony with Roberto Abbado leading the Boston Sympony Orchestra.
RE: Scenes from Goethe's Faust mcdade
Wed Aug 9 2000 11:57
It is a wonderful piece and one whose neglect is quite astonishing. The scene of Faust's death is one of the most extraordinary things he ever wrote.

As far as recordings go if you're interesting in the piece then seek out Benjamin Britten's recording. None before or since gets as close to the essence of the piece.

RE: Scenes from Goethe's Faust Steven D. Brown
Wed Aug 9 2000 20:16
The Britten recording of Scenes from Goethe's Faust is on my "to-get" list, especially after hearing the Boston Symphony perform the War Requiem last season and subsequently getting Britten's own recording of it. It would be intersting to hear how one composer understands the work of another composer.

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