Finale from Faust

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by alanl58, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. alanl58

    alanl58 Member

    North Cornwall
    Help needed!

    I am trying to write some programme notes about Gounod's "Finale from Faust", and a Google search is not proving very useful.

    Now "Faust" is a five Act opera, and the ending of Act 5 is more to do with the sad story of Méphistophélès who appears and begs Faust and Marguerite to follow him to heaven, a mellow scene which does not match the firey nature of the Finale music!

    (I am also led to believe that there can be an addition in the form of a ballet to Act 5 which confuses me even more!)

    So where does Ray Woodfield's arrangement sit in the time-line of the opera? Is it at the end of Act 5 or one of the preceding Acts?

    Any help gratefully received.

  2. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Hadleigh, Essex
    French audiences loved their ballet, and many operas would have a ballet section added, whether or not it had anything to do with the action of the opera itself.

    I believe what it frequently referred to as the "Finale from Faust" is actually the "Finale from the Ballet Music from Faust", although I can't lay my hands on my recording of the Woodfield arrangement at the moment to check - it's on one of the Grimethorpe "Classic Brass" cds.
  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    You are indeed correct and the Ballet suite was written in 1869, 10 yrs after the opera. The suite itself is in seven short sections celebrating some of history's most beautiful women, with whom Mephistopheles tempts Faust. I grabbed this from the notes on Sun Life's 'Ballet' CD sleevenotes.
  4. on_castors

    on_castors Member

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