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An authentic Faust this week on The Lyric Stage

This week we have selections from a 1931 performance of Charles Gounod's Faust that gives us a feeling of what it was like to hear Faust at the Paris Opera when it was a new work in 1859.

The conductor is Henri Busser (1872-1973), a friend of Jules Massenet and also a of Charles Gounod himself late in that composer's life. Gounod became a mentor to Busser, and helped him become a composer and conductor himself very much in the French 19th century tradition of restraint in performance and idiomatic use of the language.

Busser's early electric recording of Gounod's Faust in 1931 features French singers as rooted in the French style of opera as he was, including Mireille Berthon as Margueritte, Cesar Vezzani as Faust, and Marcel Journet as Mephistopheles.