In Helsinki, Florian Boesch sings the role of Méphistophélès with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Hannu Lintu. A celebrated singer-actor, the Austrian baritone is ideally cast for the role of Faust’s diabolical antagonist.
Hector Berlioz was so taken with Goethe’s Faust that he wrote his dramatic legend La damnation de Faust in 1846, tearing down the boundaries between the genres of opera, oratorio and choral symphony. His intention was not simply to imitate the literary model, but to be inspired by it and extract the musical substance. It is hard to believe that La damnation de Faust was a flop at its premiere, as the work is full of memorable moments, such as the famous Marche hongroise at the end of the first part or the Menuet des Follets in the third act. After a performance at the Berlin State Opera, the neue musikzeitung wrote: “As Méphistophélès, Florian Boesch, who is an experienced lied recitalist, frequently changes colours within his sung phrases and juggles like a master of ceremonies with his notes, ambiguously funny in his action and baritonal timbre; he uses a completely different voice when he intones the unison chant for 12 bass voices marking the passage from hell to heaven. Boesch’s Méphistophélès is a masterpiece.”
John Irvin, Faust
Florian Boesch, Méphistophélès
Markus Suihkonen, Brander
Tuija Knihtilä, Marguerite
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Hannu Lintu