CD Reviews

by Barry Katz

Jerry Hadley, Cecilia Gasdia, Samuel Ramey
Carlo Rizzi
Teldec #4509-90872

"Faust" is a gorgeous opera from first note to the last; a torrent of beautiful melodies tumbling one after another in dazzling succession, and this is an outstanding recording of it. Jerry Hadley, as Faust, is unexpectedly fine, and Samuel Ramey is a most excellent Mephistopheles (as one would expect). But the most compelling reason to own this recording is the spectacularly wonderful Italian soprano, Cecilia Gasdia as Marguerite. What a voice! I was swept away by it. Listen to her performance of the "Jewel" aria (track #3 on the second CD). Ravishing is the only word for it. I am in danger of wearing out the "repeat" button on my CD player. Carlo Rizzi, conducting the chorus and orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, gives a beautifully balanced account of the score, lilting and lush, and full of fire when required. The recorded sound is first rate - warm and full bodied, yet detailed and transparent.

Barry Katz

Westport, Connecticut

tel: 203-505-6313 fax: 203-227-9629 e-mail:

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