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The Warsaw Voice » Stage & Screen » May 7, 2015
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Finale with Faust
May 7, 2015   
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The concert season at the Warsaw Philharmonic ends May 29 and 30 with performances of Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust, a monumental work inspired by the timeless story of Dr. Faustus, the man who sold his soul to the devil.

Hector Berlioz’s work is a fitting conclusion to the Romantic repertoire performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic this season.

Conductor Jacek Kaspszyk, the philharmonic’s artistic director, opened the season in October with a similarly strong accent, conducting Arnold Schönberg’s rarely performed Gurrelieder.

Kaspszyk is a keen promoter of Romantic works. This season at the Warsaw Philharmonic he conducted Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, a concert version of R. Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4, and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.

His interpretations have been enthusiastically received by audiences and have won critical acclaim.

The story of Dr. Faustus has attracted many composers and authors. Goethe’s masterpiece is the most famous literary version. The tale also inspired musical works by Liszt (1857) and Mahler (1906). Earlier, the tale was taken up by French composer Berlioz in The Damnation of Faust of 1846, a work that gained recognition only after the composer’s death. Since the late 19th century this monumental four-part work has been performed as a cantata. It tells the story of three main dramatis personae: Faust, Marguerite and Mephistopheles. The events are commented upon by elaborate choruses. This striking work will be performed in Warsaw by a galaxy of international singers and by the Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and Choir conducted by Kaspszyk.

Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall
Friday, May 29, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 30, 6 p.m.
Hector Berlioz – The Damnation of Faust
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir
Jacek Kaspszyk – conductor
Lilli Paasikivi – mezzo-soprano (Marguerite)
Michael Spyres – tenor (Faust)
Lionel Lhote – baritone (Mephistopheles)
Adam Palka – bass (Brander)
Henryk Wojnarowski – choirmaster
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