La damnation du Faust

Sir Georg Solti is in my opinion maybe the greatest conductor who ever lived. But that might also be because I know many of his recordings. He made more than 250 of them, of which 45 were complete operas. He is famed for raising the standards for those recordings. His recording of Wagner’s Ring cycle has been praised many times, and two times chosen as best recording ever made.

Born in 1912 in Hungary and having a jewish background, his early career was frustrated by the rise of the nazi party. He has to restart after the war, but did so successfully. Starting in the Bavarian State Opera in Munich in 1946, but quickly moving on Frankfurt and then Covent Garden in Londen. From 1967 until 1991 he was the principle conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

In that capacity is he standing before the orchestra on this recording. And again, impressive recording, beautifully performed. I think that was the reason I bought this. The work itself is not that interesting to me though. Maybe I should give it more hours: at this time I didn’t listen to opera that much any more. To really appreciate it, you have to hear it more.

Solti died in his sleep in 1997. He is buried in Hungary, next to Béla Bartok.

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