The seeds were planted in the early 1970s when Deutsche Grammophon realised what amazing results could be achieved by recording the multi-channel tapes, with either four or eight channels. Yet, due to a few restrictions, they never fully blossomed. Flaws in the playback equipment meant that music connoisseurs were prevented from enjoying these recordings in the way that artists, producers, engineers and other professionals intended, even though recording technology was already way ahead of its time.
Now ⎯ over a quarter of a century later ⎯ and thanks to the arrival of the multi-channel Super Audio CD, there is finally a system available which permits these precious recordings to be released in the quality they deserved back then.
Digitally re-mastered on 2 SACDs, this PENTATONE release also features a complete libretto both in French and English.
The re-mastering and re-release on SACD bears witness to a perfect blend of the past and present, just as Hector Berlioz combined it in La damnation de Faust. He told the story in a fascinatingly modern manner ⎯ so modern, that we are able to translate for our ears the extreme paradoxes of drinking song and fugue, rides to hell and heavenly apotheosis, prayer and march, into colourful, dramatic images and let our imaginations run wild.
Recorded with a solid team of performers such as Edith Mathis (soprano), Stuart Burrows (tenor), Donald McIntyre(bass), Thomas Paul (bass), Judith Dickinson (solo in Dans le ciel), Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Boston Boy Choir, together with Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Seiji Ozawa, this recording lets us relish in their prime performance of orchestral playing and singing.