medici.tv celebrates Tugan Sokhiev's appointment as the new music director of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow with this concert, which was broadcast on medici.tv one year ago. The Russian conductor, a disciple of Valery Gergiev and music director of Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, was conducting Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust, based on Goethe's famous play. Olga Borodina, after a first webcast performance on medici.tv in December 2011 joins the orchestra again with Bryan Hymel, Alastair Miles and René Schirrer.
Faust is a victim of the "malady of his century," the feeling characterized by melancholy and dissatisfaction which marked artistic creation in the beginning of the 19th century and set the basis of the Romantic Movement. His knowledge is a burden which does not allow him to dream and he is tormented by his impiety (Alfred de Musset also expressed this feeling in the magnificent Rolla). Méphistolphélès, the devil personified as a human being, comes to him with a proposition: should Faust follow him and forget about his erudition, he will have access to pleasure, happiness and everything he desires.
With the help of magic and fiendish creatures, the devil present the young Marguerite to Faust and both celebrate their love in a duet "Love has taken my ravished soul." But to avoid disgrace and Marguerite's mother's fury, they have to part. In the wake of their union, Méphistophélès tells Faust that Marguerite is in prison for having poisoned her mother with a sleeping beverage. Méphistolphélès promises that he will free her if Faust agrees to serve him. As soon as Faust sells his soul to the devil, he is thrust in Hell. The last notes of Berlioz's work describe the apocalypse where blood flows, skeletons dance and the lakes are set on fire, where as Marguerite, the naive soul which love lead astray, is welcomed in Heaven.
While excerpts of the score are popular today, like the Hungarian March in the first part or Marguerite's romanza "D'amour l'ardente flamme" in the fourth part, the complete "légende dramatique," as the composer called it, is rarely performed. Do not miss this occasion to hear it!
This concert was first broadcast on medici.tv on February 2013.
Choreography by Marius Petipa, new scenic version by Yuri Grigorovich. Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow
Choreography by Patrice Bart after Marius Petipa – Daniel Barenboim (conductor) – Staatsoper Berlin