Classical Music | Piano Music

Franz Liszt

Paraphrase from Gounod’s Faust  Play

Soyeon Lee Piano

Recorded on 03/21/2012, uploaded on 11/12/2012

Musician's or Publisher's Notes


In 1861 Franz Liszt visited Paris. At a dinner party hosted by Count and Countess Metternich, Liszt met Charles Gounod, whose new opera of 1859, Faust, was the talk of town. Gounod brought a score of the opera as a gift for Liszt who played the waltz that evening.  It was, indeed, a grand accomplishment, and managed to single-handedly revitalize the world of French grand opera. 

The concert paraphrase, one of Liszt’s most successful, used the waltz and the love duet of Act Two as the cornerstones for the work.  Like Faust itself, it attempts to combine the diabolical with the angelic, the Apollonian with the Dionysian, and the super-human virtuoso with the philosopher-poet. It also utilizes the entire gamut of pianistic sounds and effects in order to emulate the full sound of the orchestra, the vibrancy of the human voice, and even the sounds of Nature (like the “nightingale” that appears in the slow section of the work). It is a work that became a resounding success and still brings the same excitement and wonderfully touching moments both to the performer and the listener.      Soyeon Lee