Berlioz - La damnation de Faust
Type of spiritual experience
La damnation de Faust
In 1828, Berlioz read Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust for the first time (in French translation), which would become the inspiration for Huit scènes de Faust (his Opus 1), much later re-developed as La damnation de Faust.
Berlioz discovered Goethe's Faust through Gérard de Nerval's translation, published in December 1827. Its impact on Berlioz was, again, profound and immediate, with the Faustian concept of man striking several chords with the composer. He described Shakespeare and Goethe in an 1828 letter as "the silent confidants of my suffering; they hold the key to my life." In any event, Shakespearian tragedy and Faustian mystique became of one type in his mind.
A description of the experience
La Damnation de Faust
Consuelo Rubio - Marguerite
Richard Verreau - Faust
Michel Roux - Méphistophélès
Pierre Mollet - Brander
Chorale Elizabeth Brasseur
Choeur d'enfants de la Radio-Télévision Française
Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux, Paris
Studio recording, Paris, V.1959