Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Danish National Radio Choir
Thomas Dausgaard, conductor
June 2000
All Music


Liszt: A Faust Symphony
Some consider this symphony to be Liszt’s masterpiece. It surely contains one of the most colorful families of leitmotifs in the orchestral repertoire. In fact, each character in Goethe’s play is so vividly depicted that you might not be remiss in calling it an opera without words. The themes even interact like real characters: In the finale the Mephistopheles theme assimilates the others, “possessing” them and spitting them back out as caricatures, at least until the “chorus mysticus” banishes him–and his motif–back to hell. Listeners need a taut performance of this work to really experience its drama, and each of the reference recordings delivers
  1. No. 1, Faust
  2. No. 2, Gretchen
  3. No. 3, Mephistopheles