Sir John Eliot Gardiner is conducting Schumann’s brilliant Szenen aus Goethes Faust. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Gardiner are sharing the stage with Christian Gerhaher, Ann Hallenberg and other great vocal soloists, plus two mixed choruses and a children’s choir.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner is first and foremost a Baroque specialist, but he also has a surprisingly fresh perspective on Romantic repertoire.
Szenen aus Goethes Faust is a high point in Schumann’s œuvre. Having proved himself as a composer of lieder, he now successfully tried his hand at an evening-long work, scored for a gigantic ensemble. The subject he chose was Goethe’s dramatic work about a certain Doctor Faust, who makes a pact with the devil. Goethe declared that Mozart alone was fit to compose music for it, making the challenge all the more considerable for Schumann. The result is as moving as it is masterful.