If you want to know this great masterpiece composed by Gounod, or if you are just adding one more recording to your collection, please get this recording! You WON’T be disappointed! I have listened to many of the other catalogue recordings of this opera and this recording leaves them in it’s shadow. The orchestral playing and conducting are a revelation. Corelli is a ‘force of nature’. He portrays Faust as a tortured man. Sutherland is a stupendous Marguerite and Ghiaurov is a herculean Mephistopheles.
# Composer: Charles Gounod
# Performer: Dame Joan Sutherland, Franco Corelli, Nicolai Ghiaurov
# Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
# Conductor: Richard Bonynge
# Vinyl (1966)
# Number of discs: 4
# Format: Flac
# Label: Decca
# DR-Analysis: DR 14
# ASIN CD: B0000041TQ
# Size: 3.83 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory
This was the first recording I heard of this wonderful opera, but even listening to most of the other usually recommended recordings, including the classic one with Victoria de los Angeles and Nicolai Gedda (EMI), I couldn’t find some important aspects that I can find in this incredible recording made in 1966.
First of all, the orchestra is excellent and Richard Bonynge manages to conduct it with softness and power simutaneously. The result is that we can notice some wonderful details that simply don’t exist in other versions. Besides, (if well conducted) Faust is a show of wonderful melodies and ecstasy moments!
Although some people may imagine the cast is not “French” enough, you can’t realize what these voices can do!
Franco Corelli has a sweet but large voice and his voice blends very well with Sutherland’s voice in the romantic duets. He was also a successful singer in many French roles (Romeo in Romeo et Juliette, Don José in Carmen, Raoul in Les Huguenots, etc.), so he was completely aware of the French style of singing.
Dame Joan Sutherland was in her ultimate prime, with a huge and heavenly voice that had such a “tearful tone” that could be perfectly applied to romantic-tragic roles like Marguerite. In her first coloratura aria (Ah! je ris de me voir), her voice is youthful and agile, while later in the opera it tends to be darker and heavier, indicating Marguerite’s torment. Her characterization is really moving. I like Joan Sutherland’s interpretations a lot not only because of her voice, but because she had a rare talent: she could express happiness, sadness and pain while singing perfectly and with the most beautiful tones. She doesn’t need to breathe, to cry or to do any other “theathrical elements” to make her characterizations sound interesting to our ears.
I suppose I don’t need to talk many things about Nicolai Ghiaurov’s Mephistopheles. He was one of the best basses of the 20th century (unfortunately this great singer and man passed away this week) and probably the best bass of the last fifty years, and Mephistoph?les was one of his greates roles. His voice is enormous and dark and his interpretation of the role is the most viril and sarcastic I have ever heard.
And when these three legendary voices joins, it’s spectacular! The final trio is dazzling, one of the greatest moments of the recorded history of Opera!
Since I cannot talk about every great singer in this recording (there are so many!), I would like to mention the elegant Valentin of Robert Massard, the sweet Siebel of Margreta Elkins and the interesting Martha of Monica Sinclair. With such a great cast, nothing can go wrong in this opera!
Analyzed folder: /96kChaGou_Fst (JoSuthFraCo)/96k Gounod – Faust (Sutherland, Corelli)
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR15 -0.41 dB -21.20 dB sideA.wav
DR13 -0.27 dB -19.24 dB sideB.wav
DR14 -0.46 dB -20.82 dB sideC.wav
DR14 -0.13 dB -20.21 dB sideD.wav
DR14 -0.20 dB -20.03 dB sideE.wav
DR14 -0.28 dB -19.83 dB sideF.wav
DR13 -0.44 dB -19.09 dB sideG.wav
DR14 -0.23 dB -19.14 dB sideH.wav
Number of files: 8
Official DR value: DR14
- Baritone Vocals – Raymond Myers, Robert Massard
- Bass Vocals – Nicolai Ghiaurov
- Choir – Choir Of Highgate School, The
- Chorus – Ambrosian Opera Chorus, The
- Chorus Master – John McCarthy
- Conductor – Richard Bonynge
- Contralto Vocals – Monica Sinclair
- Mezzo-soprano Vocals – Margreta Elkins
- Orchestra – London Symphony Orchestra, The
- Soprano Vocals – Joan Sutherland
- Tenor Vocals – Franco Corelli
- RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
- TT: Vintage (1982) Yamaha PX-3
- Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
- Phono amp: Pro-Ject Phono Box RS
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
- Pre Amp: Vintage (1979) Luxman L-55A
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music.
Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.
I tend more and more, in the last time, to de-click with an automatic setting between 0.7 and 1.2 so you can say, my rips are like half rough rips.
- Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Very light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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