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Hugo Shirley
Gramophone, December 2017


It is no surprise that Schumann should have been a great admirer of both parts of Goethe’s Faust, but he quickly changed early plans to produce an opera based on the work to favour an oratorio. The result is in three parts, composed separately and taking episodes from both Faust I and Faust II. Despite its fragmented structure, it adds up to one of Schumann’s finest works. © 2017 Gramophone

John Quinn
MusicWeb International, May 2015

The present recording is an extremely fine one [and]…If anyone still doubts Schumann’s skills as a felicitous orchestrator then this recording ought to convince them. There’s a considerable amount of this score that calls for delicacy and finesse and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, conducted with great understanding by Daniel Harding, plays superbly throughout.

The choral contribution is also very good indeed. The adult choir is excellent throughout. A special word of praise is due to the boy’s choir. Their singing in Part II has a beguiling freshness and innocence to it and the soloists who feature in Part III as the Blessed Boys are assured.

The other important presentational aspect is the recorded sound and this is very good indeed. The balance between voices and instruments seems to me to be extremely well judged. The choir is accurately placed within the sound-picture and Schumann’s colourful and attractive orchestral writing is clearly heard.

This is an important set containing a first-rate performance of a fine work and scrupulously presented documentation. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Robert A. Moore
American Record Guide, May 2015

This recording does the work justice… The excellent singers here do bring it to life.

Harding leads his forces with a sure and steady hand. The orchestral sonority and balance with chorus and soloists is well shaped. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Paul E. Robinson
Musical Toronto, March 2015

…those who heard [Christian Gerhaher] won’t have to be told what a fine artist he is. This new recording provides even more evidence, as if it were needed, of the beauty of his voice and the keen intelligence with which he uses it…the collaboration between Gerhaher and conductor Daniel Harding is consistently compelling.

All the soloists are excellent in their roles, especially soprano Christiane Karg as Gretchen and bass Alastair Miles as Mephistopheles. Daniel Harding guides his forces with a sure hand. © 2015 Musical Toronto Read complete review

Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, March 2015

Musicologists often object to any interpretation in a performance, claiming that we are not “letting the music speak for itself,” but in this remarkable new recording of Schumann’s Faust Scenes these skilled and dedicated artists do exactly that. They give just enough interpretation to the music to draw the listener inward, and once there Harding holds your interest with his superb crafting of the score. Even the rests and pauses have meaning. This is a major release, one of the very best I’ve heard this year. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

Alain Steffen
Pizzicato, January 2015

This is one excellent recording of Schumann’s ‘Faust Scenes’ with very intense playing and choir singing. …the overall quality is so good that we clearly can recommend this beautiful set from BR-Klassik. © 2015 Pizzicato

Peter Quantrill
Gramophone, December 2014

Daniel Harding conducts with a superb sense of pace,weight and colour, perfectly supporting his equally fine singers in a really impressive live recording. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, November 2014

Maestro Harding demonstrates that he is extremely comfortable with the structural and emotional demands of Schumann’s work. Excelling in the demanding key roles of Faust, Pater Seraphicus and Dr. Marianus, Christian Gerhaher is in tremendous voice throughout and demonstrates that he is one of the finest baritones around. Clear, rich and expressive he can easily draw down both colour and weight to his singing. The members of the Knabensolisten und Kammerchor der Augsburger Domsingknaben are in clear voice, fresh and dedicated. The Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under Daniel Harding is spirited and committed giving a high quality performance. Its weighty sound, underpinned by the basses and cellos, has a remarkable warmth and energy.

There is much outstanding music in Schumann’s Scenes from Goethe’s Faust and I can only greet this recording with confidence and enthusiasm. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Mark Sealey
Classical Net, November 2014

The performance has strong forward momentum from start to finish.

Each of the singers…has a pleasing and approachable character, which is distinct…Delivery, enunciation, articulation, projection are just as you would expect from this distinguished cast. © 2014 Classical Net Read complete review

Stuart Sillitoe
MusicWeb International, October 2014

This is an excellent performance…the present recording wins hands down is on recording quality. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Andrew Clements
The Guardian, October 2014

The cast is as good as any.

Harding’s handling of the whole span of the score is also deeply impressive. © 2014 The Guardian Read complete review

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